Kaari's Story - Chapter 6
"Wake up, Kaari," he whispered.
The young girl moaned as she opened her eyes. But when she had her eyes fully open, she gasped. The last thing she remembered was being in a field of rocks. Now she was in the most beautiful forest she had ever seen. The trees were taller than the ones in Rivendell, and bigger around.
"It's beautiful," she whispered, not wanting to disturb the serenity of the place. But Gimli soon did that for her.
"Stay close, young hobbits," he whispered in a loud voice. "They say that a great sorceress lives in these woods. An Elf-witch of terrible power. All who look upon her fall under her spell. And are never seen again."
Legolas let out a small protesting sound that only Kaari heard.
"Well, here's one dwarf she wont ensnare so easily. I have the eyes of a hawk and the ears of the fox."
Gimli started to say something else, but was interrupted by an arrow being pointed in his face. Legolas reached for his bow, but realized that Kaari had it. Instead he just held onto her tighter, and she to him. They were surrounded by Lorien guards.
"The dwarf breathes so loud, we could have shot him in the dark," a blond elf said to Aragorn. Kaari assumed that he was the leader. "Follow me."
The fellowship allowed themselves to be lead through the forest. Legolas turned to one of the elves that was `guarding' him and Kaari.
"This young girl is hurt. She broke her leg," Legolas told them. "Please, take her to Lord Celeborn. She needs to be healed."
"I'll inform Haldir of this," the guard said. "May I ask who she is? She looks familiar."
"My name is Kaari. I am the foster-daughter of Lady Arwen of Rivendell," Kaari answered.
The guard smiled.
"Yes, that is where I have seen you. In Rivendell. The Lady Galadriel will be glad to see you. Arwen has told us much about you."
With that, the guard walked to the front of the line and began whispering to Haldir. Haldir looked back at Legolas and Kaari for a moment, and then sent the guard back to his post.
"Haldir says that he will make sure that the Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn see her," the guard assured.
"Thank you," Legolas answered.
By the time they stopped walking, it was nightfall.
"Welcome Legolas, son of Thranduil," Haldir greeted in Elvish.
"Our Fellowship stands in your debt," he answered in the same tongue.
Haldir smiled and bowed his head in respect of the prince.
"Aragorn of the Dunedain, you are known to us," Haldir said (still in Elvish), turning to Aragorn.
"And, Kaari, foster daughter of Lady Arwen. Welcome, to Lothlorien."
Kaari bowed her head in thanks.
"So much for the legendary courtesy of the elves," Gimli chimed in, angrily. "Speak words we can all understand."
"We have not had dealings with the dwarves since the Dark Days," Haldir replied in the common tongue.
"And you know what this dwarf says to that?" Following those words was a strand of dwarvish that Kaari didn't understand. But from the tone of his voice, Kaari guessed Gimli wasn't saying anything nice.
"That was not so courteous," Aragorn said. Apparently, he spoke dwarvish.
Then Haldir turned to Frodo. He just stood there, staring at him for a minute.
"You bring great evil with you. You can go no further," Haldir exclaimed.
"But you promised Kaari could see Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn," Legolas exclaimed, stepping forward.
"You and she can come, but the rest cannot go any further!"
Legolas started to argue with Haldir, but Aragorn interrupted him. He told the elf to sit down and rest. Legolas did as he was told, and Kaari sat on the ground in front of him. She listened as Haldir and Aragorn argued with each other in Elvish. Then Haldir said that the fellowship could enter, as long as the dwarf wore a blindfold. Aragorn told the rest of the fellowship this, and Gimli argued against it. Finally, Aragorn gave in.
"If one must wear a blindfold, the rest of us shall wear one as well."
The guards brought forth blindfolds. As one started to tie a piece of cloth over Legolas's eyes, the prince pulled away. But seeing Aragorn wear one, he too, allowed himself to be blindfolded. A guard picked up Kaari, and the rest of the fellowship was led by one guard each. It was dawn by then, and Kaari wanted to sleep more than ever. The darkness of the blindfold, the warmth of the morning sun, and the fatigue from their journey all caused her to fall asleep in the Lothlorien guards arms.
When she woke up, she was sitting in a chair next to where the rest of the fellowship stood. Their blindfolds had been removed. She saw Legolas and almost laughed at the look on his face. It was one of utter awe and anticipation.
Suddenly, a light filled the room. Standing at the top of stairs was Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn. They descended the stairs with such grace as Kaari had never seen. She found herself glued to them. She couldn't close her eyes, not even blink, for she was afraid of missing a second of their beauty and perfection.
"The enemy knows you have entered here. What hope you had in secrecy is now gone. Nine there are here, yet ten there were set out from Rivendell. Tell me, where is Gandalf? For I much desire to speak with him. I can no longer see him from afar," Lord Celeborn said. At the mention of the wizards name, the fellowship all looked down at their feet.
"Gandalf the Grey did not pass the borders of this land," Lady Galadriel said.
Legolas slowly looked up, feeling her eyes rest on him.
"He has fallen into Shadow," she gasped in realization, as she read his thoughts.
"He was taken by both Shadow and flame. A Balrog of Morgoth," Legolas said slowly and angrily. "For we went needlessly into the net of Moria."
"Needless were none of the deeds of Gandalf in life. We do not yet know his full purpose," Lady Galadriel told them in a voice Kaari was mesmerized by. "Do not let the great emptiness of Khazad-dum fill your heart Gimli, son of Gloin," she said, reading the dwarves thoughts. "For the world has grown full of peril and in all lands love is now mingled with grief."
"What now becomes of this fellowship? Without Gandalf, hope is lost," Lord Celeborn said.
"The quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains, while the company is true. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Go now and rest for you are weary with sorrow and much toil. Tonight, you will sleep in peace," the Lady Galadriel concluded. "Haldir, show them where they can sleep. And bring the young girl to my room."
Legolas walked over to Kaari and picked her up. She wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. She gave him a small smile before resting her cheek on his shoulder. He put his arms around her back and carried her with him. When they arrived at where they were to rest during their stay in Lorien, Legolas put Kaari in Haldir's arms.
"I feel like a child," Kaari laughed, as she was passed from one elf to the other.
"You are anything but," Legolas said, giving her a smile.
Haldir took Kaari to Galadriel's room and laid her down on a long sofa.
"Thank you, Haldir," Lady Galadriel said before he left. "Now, let me look at your leg, Kaari."
Galadriel unwrapped the makeshift stint and smiled when she say the broken arrows.
"Legolas made this I see," Lady Galadriel said with a smile.
"Yes, milady, he did," Kaari answered.
"This is something of his as well?" She asked, holding up the piece of cloth.
Lady Galadriel looked at Kaari's leg, but didn't touch it (much to Kaari's relief).
"This will be simple to heal. Legolas would have done it himself, I assume, if he had had the right herbs," she told Kaari after awhile.
"I suppose, milady," Kaari commented.
"Please, you may call me Galadriel. I am of kin to your foster mother."
Kaari simply nodded again.
"You have a few other scratches, would you like me to heal those for you as well?"
"No thank you, Galadriel," the human answered.
"Now, tell me. I saw the prince pick you up and carry you. Was it he who carried you after you jumped?"
Kaari looked up at Galadriel in shock. How had she known that was how she broke her leg? And if she knew that, wouldn't she know that Legolas DID carry her? Galadriel stood up and took a few bottle of herbs off a shelf. She started mixing them together.
"Yes, he did. He also carried me when I was unconscious."
"When you were hit in the head by a falling rock," Galadriel finished.
Kaari just nodded. Galadriel put the herbs in a whine glass and poured some water in it. She lightly swirled the liquid around, then handed it to Kaari.
"Drink this. You shall begin to feel better within the night. But I fear that you will have to be carried to your friends. Is it alright if Haldir does this?"
Haldir came a few minutes later and carried her to where the others were resting. Haldir set her down next to Aragorn. At that moment, Legolas returned with a pitcher of water. Kaari noticed that he was wearing a different shirt. One that made him appear more `prince-like'. She closed her eyes as she listened to the beautiful singing of the Lorien elves, echoing throw the woods.
"A lament for Gandalf," Legolas said, listening to the same sweet music.
"What do they say about him?" Merry asked.
"I have not the heart to tell you. For me, the grief is still too near," Legolas replied. The elven prince set the pitcher down and walked over to where Kaari was sitting. He sat down next to her and brushed away a strand of hair from her face.
"I bet they don't mention his fireworks," Sam said, rolling out a blanket for him to sleep on. "There should be a verse about them."
Legolas held out both hands to suggest that he pick Kaari up. He wasn't about to interrupt Sam by speaking. Kaari smiled and put an arm around his neck. He picked her up and started walking to where he had made a make-shift bed for her.
"The finest rockets ever seen," Sam started singing. "They burst in stars of blue and green. Or after thunder, silver showers. Came falling like a rain of flowers. Oh, that doesn't do them justice by a long road," the hobbit muttered, sitting back down.
"Well, I thought it was beautiful, Sam," Kaari said, while Legolas set her down on her bed.
"Thank you, miss," he answered, blushing.
Legolas sat down on the blanket next to her.
"Did she heal your leg?" He asked.
"Yes, she did. She said that it should start healing tonight," Kaari told him.
"Excuse me, milady," an elven-maiden said, entering the clearing.
"Lady Galadriel said to give this to you," she answered, handing Kaari a folded dress.
"Tell her that I say thank you," Kaari insisted. She unfolded the night-dress and looked at it. It was made of a silvery silk. The sleeves were long, but they had a cut on the top so that the dress would show her bare arms. The skirt stopped below her knees. Kaari thought for a second then leaned forward so that she could see Aragorn, past Legolas.
"Aragorn," she called.
The king stood up and walked over to her. He had been having a conversation with Boromir.
Kaari held up the dress and gave an innocent, helpless pleading look.
"Could you please assist me in putting this on?" She asked in a small tone.
Aragorn nodded and looked around for an area where she could get dressed without being seen. A few feet away there was a small alcove. Aragorn picked Kaari up and took her over there. He helped her stand while she took of her tunic and trousers. She slipped the night-gown on and pulled her hair out of the neck. While she was getting dressed, Aragorn was careful not to look, but she wouldn't have really cared if he had. He was like a father to her. He had taken her to swim in the river when she was a child.
But Kaari didn't understand. Aragorn had been looking away, not because of Kaari's comfort, but because of his own. She was almost a women, and it just wouldn't have been proper. But Aragorn WAS thankful that she had asked him, not Legolas.
`What am I thinking?' Aragorn scolded himself. `She's a lady, and she and Legolas are only dallying. It's nothing serious'. When Aragorn turned around and saw the dress, he inwardly scolded Lady Galadriel for giving Kaari such an... open night-dress. Though it showed only her arms, the neck was lower than Aragorn liked it. But maybe he was being overcritical, as a father. That hope was quickly banished when he saw a look of excitement flash across the princes face as they re-entered the clearing. It was quickly gone, but Aragorn HAD seen it. Aragorn set her down next to Legolas (reluctantly), and went back over to his bed. He kept an eye on the two for the rest of the night.
"So, do you like it?" Kaari asked.
"It looks beautiful on you. You should wear the Lorien clothes always. Perhaps, when you return to Rivendell, you mother can arrange for some to be sent there," Legolas suggested.
"That would be nice."
The two sat in silence for a moment.
"Thank you so much for carrying me. I greatly appreciate it," Kaari said finally.
"It was my pleasure. I couldn't very well leave you to the goblins," Legolas joked.
"Legolas, could you do something more for me?" Kaari asked.
"Would you teach me how to fight, once my leg heals that is," she added.
"I'll have to ask Aragorn. What weapon?"
"Which is easier to learn?"
"The one that is easiest to learn, wont be very beneficial to you. I think that the long-knives would be far more adequate," Legolas told her.
"All right then."
There was another long silence.
"Where are you sleeping, Legolas?" Kaari asked after awhile.
"Well, elves don't sleep, but I made a small pallet over there," Legolas said, pointing to a green blanket a few feet from Kaari's. Kaari noticed that Legolas's and hers were slightly separate from the others.
"Well, I'm tired, so I think I'll try and sleep now," Kaari said quietly.
"Alright. Sweet dreams, milady," Legolas said, standing up. He walked over to where Aragorn sitting.
Kaari lifted the blankets and curled under them, favoring her leg. Legolas had left a small pillow at the end of the `bed' for her to put her leg on. As Kaari pulled the blanket around her, she smiled to herself. The elven prince really seemed to care about her.