Guardian of Mine - Pt. 3, the final installment
"It is not anyone's concern, least of all yours your majesty. My business is with the Lady of Lothlorien." The Guardian spoke with indifference to Aragorn as he walked out onto the balcony. He moved like a ghost, floating through the darkness. He drifted to the side of Galadriel and then stopped. He was very close to her but she did not move away, she merely looked out into the darkness. The Guardian's eyes had rested on Arwen and she felt herself buckle under his gaze.
"Your granddaughter is quite curious; she wants to ask me a question." He turned his head slightly towards Galadriel as he made his statement, but his eyes never left Arwen.
"May she ask it?" Galadriel asked, finally making eyes contact with he who stood beside her. While she awaited his reply, the Guardian's eyes shifted from Arwen to Aragorn and Elrond.
"I suppose." He sighed coldly. After he answered, Galadriel made a motion to both Elrond and Aragorn to take their leave. After much hesitation and argument they finally did make their retreat, leaving Galadriel and her granddaughter alone with the Guardian. Galadriel motioned for Arwen to sit on a nearby bench and she joined her.
"I do not grace anyone with explanations, so treasure your good fortune Arwen." The Guardian moved closer to them but remained standing before them. Silence hung between them for sometime, he was waiting for Arwen to collect the courage or whatever she needed to fulfill her curiosity of him. Finally, she was ready.
"What are you, why are you here?" Arwen asked confidently. Her confidence was only a veil for the insignificance she felt in his presence. The Guardian smirked, not because of her question, because he saw through her ruse easily. He also had to remind himself that she was still very much a child, this was to be expected. The Guardian lightly clasped his hands in front of him as he looked up at the stars. A moment later he brought his attention back to the maiden and her query.
"My ears are pointed as elves' are but I am no elf. As she told you I am a Maia of Varda. Before the Firstborn awoke, I was her servant and her companion. As the Valar created Arda, I tended her most precious works; I held a place of high honor." The Guardian paused after his last statement. He looked up at the stars shining against the night sky. There was a hint of longing in his eyes as he gazed on Varda's beautiful creations. He then looked back down to Arwen and Galadriel, continuing in his strong voice.
"Then the duty of the Firstborn's guardianship was placed upon. I was there when Fingwe, Olwe and Elwe opened their eyes for the first time. Throughout the thousands of years I guarded and guided Elven-kind as best I could. I remind them that the West is waiting for them.......You no longer hear my words though."
"I know." Arwen admitted as she nodded at his words. She had absorbed all he had to say with eagerness, but only his last statement struck such a powerful chord within her. Arwen lost her confidence and let her eyes drop to her lap. She did not regret her choice to be with Aragorn, though she could not help but feel a pang of sadness at her loss. Her inner turmoil was interrupted when a smooth, pale hand raised her chin gently. Arwen's clear blue eyes met with his flashing silver ones. His expression had softened slightly as he looked at her.
"Regardless of your choice, I will always be here." He said softly to her. His words did offer some comfort to Arwen. Galadriel sat silently, observing the exchange before her.
"I have only heard you called the Guardian, please; are you known by any other name?" Arwen asked. She knew that it would be bold of her ask such a question but she desperately wished to know. As the words left her lips she saw a change in the Guardian's demeanor. His eyes and face once again grew cold, Arwen instantly regretted asking.
"Not anymore." He replied quietly. He did not exhibit it, but there was anger buried deep in his beautiful voice. Galadriel touched Arwen's arm gently and asked her to leave. Arwen nodded and complied with Galadriel's wishes. She rose and quickly made her way past him, towards the door. Before she disappeared into the darkness of the long-empty room, Arwen turned and quickly asked her final question.
"Why?" As soon as she had spoken, Galadriel looked up at her. It was not an approving expression on her face. She was not happy but Galadriel still said nothing. The guardian did not turn to look at Arwen, his back was facing her. When he heard her question he closed his eyes, and bit back the sharp comment that first came to his lips. Instead he sighed deeply, eyes still shut.
"Because there is no one in Middle-earth speaks Valarin."
After Arwen had left, the two remaining wandered down into the gardens. Neither one of them spoke as they traveled the dark corridors and stairs. They walked slowly, as if they had all the time in the world, and side by side. Finally they reached their destination outside; they found a place to sit amongst the flowering trees and shrubs. Galadriel eased herself down upon the stone bench and the Guardian beside her.
"You and I never did observe any kind of formality; I suppose this occasion should be no different." The Guardian sighed.
"Very well...I never thought we would meet again." Galadriel said after a long stretch of silence. As she spoke she shifted to face him. He looked directly into her eyes, showing no emotion.
"It seems you thought wrong." He countered haughtily. The truth was that this was an errand that he had not wanted to carry out, though he was bound to do so. He sat in the quiet for a moment, thinking on the many millennia of his past.
"I remember when last I saw you. I was in Menegroth; you were a member of the court. That fool Thingol would not heed my warning about the Silmaril. They were all fools." The Guardian remembered all that came from the king of Doriath's obsession with the Silmaril.
"As bad as the Noldor when that ***ed stone is concerned. It has cost your kindred their place in paradise. They willingly left their home; you willingly left your home! I can never go home!! Because of Elves I will never go home." His anger and hatred was surging as he rose to his feet. His eyes sting with the fast-flowing tears. All he had buried within was swiftly coming to the surface.
"Left here, I will never be among my own kind again. Never again will I hear the mighty voice of Manwe. I will never look upon the exquisite face of my beloved Varda. I hate your kind!!" Tears were streaming down his face; the emotion had no other outlet. Moments later he regained his composure and wiped away the tears. He then gave an unbelievable laugh and a smirk as he continued much more calmly.
"So imagine my surprise and disdain for myself when I found myself longing for an elvish maiden to be at my side, a Noldo even still!" He spoke and the exasperation more than evident in his voice as Galadriel sat and listened. Then his face and voice softened greatly. The look she saw in his eyes was now one of sadness.
"You were so beautiful...you still are." He whispered to her. "My dislike for the Firstborn was no match for your brilliant blue eyes and golden hair."
"I was betrothed to Celeborn. I love Celeborn." Galadriel replied in an equally soft voice.
"I knew that when I asked you to grace me with your company. You were audacious, I will say that. You refused one of the Maiar and gave your favor to an elf." The Guardian countered.
"Would it satisfy you to hear that I thought on you for hundreds of years afterwards? I did, I will admit it." She revealed to him heatedly. She did not regret her marriage to Celeborn, but it was true that her thoughts often wandered to what could have been.
"I hated you for years and years. I hated you because you left me to wade in my loneliness." The guardian confessed coldly to Galadriel, he had believed that she had been the only one capable of curbing his lonely and discontented state.
"You were not the only Maia in Middle-earth. You yourself came to a court where the queen was one of your kin." She pointed out to him. Galadriel knew it was worthless to say such things to him though.
"Melian?! She could barely remember who and what she was! Melian could not even speak her own language anymore! It was vile." The Guardian's words were angry and spiteful. No one was aware that wizards were also of the Maiar, except the higher beings. To him, the Ishtari were even worse than the queen of Doriath. They had no clue who they really were. He also felt a small crumb of pity for them, being bound to the forms of weak, old mortal men. The Guardian was quite alone, and he knew it all too well.
"Enough of this, why are you here?" Galadriel said flatly to him, taking no concern of the anger that was now rushing through him. A moment after she had spoken, and he had calmed himself, he sighed deeply and looked deep into her sparkling blue eyes.
"I am here to tell you to go home." He sighed out. He looked as if the words themselves were incredibly tiring to him. His hand crept up to his face and brushed away a few stray strands of hair.
"Home?" Galadriel asked curiously. She was not sure what he had meant. Seeing that she did not understand, The Guardian began to explain in more detail.
"You gave aid to the Fellowship and refused the One Ring. This has earned you the Valar's forgiveness and your ban from Aman has been lifted. You may go home. Are you not pleased?" He said all this in a soft voice, a near whisper. It was as if anyone else heard his tidings the spell would be broken. His words echoed within Galadriel's mind. The words she never hoped to hear had come, and they had come from someone she never thought she would lay eyes on again. It was more than overwhelming, the thought sent tremors through Galadriel's very being. The emotion and pressure mounted until it had no other place to go but out. Galadriel collapsed in a flood of tears against the Guardian's chest.
He was not expecting to feel her touch, especially not at that moment. When the realization had set in though, the Guardian wrapped his strong arms around her. He had never done anything like this before, though he tried his best to comfort her in her shock.
"Shhhh...You are going home. You can go home now." He whispered as he gently rocked her crying form back and forth. This behavior felt strange to the Guardian, but he could not help it. He tenderly laid a kiss on Galadriel's forehead and continued to hold her. They sat there in the gardens for a long while. Time and time again she asked if she was truly forgiven and each time he assured her it was true.
He came to the Grey Havens to see her off. She was sailing with Elrond, Gandalf, and the hobbits. The hobbits stared at him and whispered amongst one another. In truth he found it a little amusing he confused the little ones so much. He said a short farewell to Elrond and Gandalf, but they all knew he had not come for them.
The ship was nearly ready to set sail. Galadriel was saddened that Celeborn would not join her, that he wished to remain in Middle-earth. She understood he had a love for this land that she did not. Now she walked along the shore with the Guardian. He had promised her that he would watch over Arwen, would not let any harm come to her.
"I am truly sorry you must stay here. That your duty keeps you away from your home." Galadriel told him as they walked slowly, side by side.
"It is what I must do. Perhaps one day I will make peace with it." The truth of the matter is I have never been to the Undying Lands. The Valar resided here then went west and eventually out of the Spheres of the World." The Guardian sighed as he looked out at the grey horizon that stretched across the sea. He longed to see where that horizon ended, but knew he never would.
"It is your home, your people are there." Galadriel replied warmly. He made no answer to that. She then decided to ask something that had consumed her thoughts more and more.
"Will you please do me one honor before I leave Middle-earth?" Never did you tell me your name, the name that your Varda called you by, in the Valarin tongue. I bid you, please tell me now." Galadriel did not know if he would indulge her bold request or no. There was a thick silence as they continued to walk. Moments later the Guardian halted in his steps and turned to face her. His hand found hers at her side and he interlaced his fingers with Galadriel's. He looked up into her eyes and gave a shallow sigh.
"Raizurhe...I was called Raizurhe." His voice was barely above a whisper. Raizurhe was a word that had not been spoken since last he was with his own kin. Even after so long, it rolled off his tongue easily. Galadriel did not attempt to repeat it. The sound of it was strange and foreign to her elvish tongue, but she felt blessed to know it. His name was in the very first language to ever be spoken since the beginning of time. That fact combined with the knowledge that it was his name made it beyond beautiful.
"Thank you." She whispered back. Then she leaned forward and placed a chaste kiss on Raizurhe's pale lips. He was slightly surprised but then he returned the kiss. It ended before either of them wanted it to. He brushed a lock of her golden hair back from her face with his pale hand and pushed it behind her ear. His hand briefly lingered there, feeling the delicate point of her ear against his skin. After a fraction of a moment, he withdrew his hand.
"You must go now."
Farewell...Galadriel." He said sadly. He would never see her again, and though he harbored such hatred for her it was only because he truly did love her. He loved her very much.
"I am Galadriel to Celeborn; I will forever be your Alatariel."
***The End*** (hope you liked it!)