Lady From Beyond the Sea - Chapter 31- Victory?
Tinania: Zandra's eldest sister, she became Dae Kular and went away. She has fire power.
Jaessa: Zandra's other sister, described as sweet, and calm. She has earth power, which includes plants.
Zandra's Mother: associated with stars
Zandra's Father: associated with shadows
Dyryn: Zandra once thought she loved him, but he tricked her and imprisoned her in Dol Guldur He had a ring, and became the Witchking of Angmar. Zandra, Eowyn, and Merry all helped kill him.
Gallin: Boy from Rohan, a friend of Zandra's, died at Helm's Deep
Recap: Zandra opened her wings at the last moment, and with a huge heave, she hovered over Frodo for an instant before gently cradling him in her talons, and lifting him up, and carrying him far away, out of the darkness and the fire.
Lady From Beyond the Sea - Chapter 31 - Victory?
Sometimes Victory is Hollow.
Legolas walked slowly through the camp, his mind a jumble of thoughts and emotions that he could not bring to any semblance of order. Why had she not let him kiss her? This question had plagued him since their departure, earning him a gash on his shoulder for his distraction. If it hadn't been for Gimli, that orc blade would have taken off his head rather than merely slicing his arm. He grimaced at the memory, he nearly had broken his promise to return to Zandra.
He looked up at the Eagles that circled the air. Their arrival had been timely, turning the tide of the battle in their favor by driving off the Nazgul. Luckily they had easily driven back the enemy once the Nazgul had fled. The army of Sauron had faltered, and fled, as though the driving force had been suddenly and unexpectedly removed, which, of course it had.
Now his gaze turned towards the grove of beeches where Frodo and Sam lay. Legolas could not wait to return to Zandra to tell her of their success, though, knowing her, she probably already knew. How happy she would be! And, perhaps the darkness that remained would be lifted, and at long last he could proclaim himself to her. He did not count the occasion when she was unconscious. His restlessness again drove him to pacing. Would she wish to go with him to Valinor? Or would he have to subdue his longing? He would, of course he would if Zandra wished it, but, it would be hard. Even now the Sea Longing pulled at his heart, just as his need for Zandra pulled him back to Minas Tirith.
How long until they returned? He knew that Frodo had awakened, and Sam was expected to wake soon. A feast was prepared for that night, but he had no desire to remain. He had too much to settle still with his beloved. He wouldn't remain, he would leave now, with Gimli if he would come, and he would ride to Zandra's side. She would be overjoyed to see him return, and would at last admit her love for him, and he would propose, and the shadows in her eyes would fade away, to become naught but a memory . . .
He strode swiftly to the grove where Sam and Frodo had been tended, pausing as he heard the voices.
"How do I feel?" he heard Sam cry, "Well, I don't know how to say it. If fell, I feel-" Legolas stepped around the trees to see Sam waving his arms in the air, "I feel like spring after winter, and sun on the leaves; and like trumpets and harps and all the songs I have ever heard!" Legolas could not resist grinning broadly at the exultation in the hobbit's voice. He forgot for a moment what he had come for, and so distracted was he that he was taken completely by surprise when a hand was placed on his shoulder to push him gently but firmly from the grove.
His protestations at this action were cut off abruptly as his eyes met Zandra's. "Zandra!" Her name burst from his lips in his shock and confused dismay. Her fingers on his lips stopped the questions that tried to follow.
"Sh," was all she said as she took his hand in hers and drew him through the trees to another shaded grove. "Lego-"
He did not allow her to finish, silencing her by the simple expedient of capturing her lips with his, and he did not release her until they were both breathless. To his dismay, as he drew back, he beheld tears glistening in her matchless eyes.
"Zandra!" he cried in dismay, only to find her fingers again on his lips.
"No don't," she said, "Don't you dare apologize for that! You tried to apologize for kissing me once before, and I won't have it."
"No buts," she hesitated, and he had the sense that she was trying to summon up the courage to tell him something.
"What is it?" he asked earnestly, worry creasing his brow. Her eyes searched his intently, an odd expression he couldn't quite define darkening their depths, almost like despair, but how could she feel despair when those who wished her ill were gone forever? "Zandra?" he prodded again.
She held his gaze an instant more, then closed her eyes, shaking her head. When she looked up again, her eyes were clear, and her words simple, "Kiss me again."
He did not immediately oblige, for no reason he could tell her words chilled him. There was something implied in her tone, something he could not define, yet something that filled him with dread.
"Please?" if the mischievous entreaty in her tone seemed somewhat forced, still, he could not resist when he had no desire not to kiss her.
When he broke it off this time, she did not allow him to draw back, but buried her face in his shoulder, clinging to him as though she would never let go.
"My darling, what's wrong?" he said, "Does it have to do with what happened before I left? I don't understand, but-"
"No, no Legolas, I'm so sorry for that, its just, . . . I was so scared," her voice was muffled, "I didn't want to kiss you goodbye, for fear, . . . that you wouldn't return, and . . . it really would be goodbye."
"Oh Zandra! Nothing could possibly keep us apart, . . . even death. Somehow I would find a way back to you. I don't know how, but I would, I know it." He forced her back so the could look at her, but she hung her head, her hair obscuring her face. He gently brushed aside her golden locks, and tucked them behind her ear, and putting a finger under her chin, turned her eyes up to his. "I love you."
"Legolas," she began, her voice filled with misgiving, but she was interrupted as Gandalf came around behind the tent.
"You two will not wish to miss the celebration feast. It is beginning in but a moment," he said.
Zandra turned her head away from Legolas, obviously trying to avoid his gaze, "We had better go."
Zandra led the way through the ranks of the armies, her mind awhirl with doubts and fears and pains and joys all mixed together. Frodo lived, and Sauron had been defeated, though, she feared, at great price, so great a price that it could not be measured. Legolas lived, and he loved her, but she had to leave him.
That thought was near to swallowing the joy of victory over the Dark Lord entirely. Yet she knew she must. Oh how she dreaded the moment when she must tell him.
They finally made it to the front of the crowd, just in time to see Frodo and Sam cross the field, slowly, and with great wonder on their faces, they approached the trio of thrones that stood amidst the clamorous host. On the highest throne sat Aragorn, Anduril laid across his knees. As the hobbits drew near he rose.
Zandra watched, with tears in her eyes, as recognition dawned on their dear faces. Frodo ran to meet him, and Sam followed close behind. "Well, if this isn't the crown of all!" he cried, "Strider, or I'm still asleep!"
A water chuckle spilled from Zandra's lips. Sam would never change. He would probably even survive the dungeons of Dol Guldur unchanged.
She watched with pride as the King bowed his knee before them; and taking them by the hand, Frodo upon his right, and Sam upon his left, he led them to the throne, and setting them upon it, he turned to the men and captains who stood by and spoke, so that his voice rang over all the host, crying: "Praise them with great praise!"
Zandra joined her voice in the great cry that arose, and when the glad shout had swelled up and died away again, a minstrel of Gondor stood forth, and knelt, and begged leave to sing.
"Lo! Lords and knights and men of valour unashamed, kings nad princes, and fair people of Gondor, and Riders of Rohan, and ye sons of Elrond, and Dunedain of the North, and Elf and Dwarf, and Lady, and greathearts of the Shire, and all Free Folk of the West, now llisten to my lay. For I will sing to you of Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom."
As Zandra listened to those sweet words, it seemed as though she was drawn far away, and listened from a great distance. The words, both in Elven, and in the speech of the West, pierced her heart. Her beloved ones had suffered so much, but at least now for them it was over, or as near it as made little difference. There would still be suffering in the memory of their trials, but it seemed to her that her journey was just beginning.
At the last, as the Sun fell from the noon and the shadows of the trees lengthened, the minstrel ended. "Praise them with great praise!" he said and knelt.
Zandra turned to Legolas, "I believe now we are meant to return to the pavilions, and make ready to feast. We are to eat at the King's table." She took his hand and pulled him in that direction, but did not fail to notice the wince of pain that crossed his face. "Legolas!"
"Tis nothing," he hastened to assure her, but she was not put off, she swiftly found the tear in his tunic, and the ugly gash in his shoulder.
"You're hurt," she said numbly, appalled that it had not been taken care of, not to mention that it had happened at all.
"I just let an orc get too close, that's all," he assured her again.
A snort alerted them to Gimli's presence.
"O is that all Master Elf? That "too close" orc nearly took off your head!" the Dwarf growled.
Zandra closed her eyes at the thought of how nearly she had lost him. The pain was terrible.
"Zandra, truly it was not so close as Gimli makes out," Legolas protested, but she held up a hand to forestall him.
"At least go have Aragorn see to it before the feast," she insisted. "Go now, I'll wait at the King's table."
Legolas obeyed, if only to banish the look of fear and pain in her eyes. Eru! How he had hoped that the shadows would be banished, yet somehow they seemed deeper than ever. What was she struggling with so that she could not tell him?
Aragorn made short work of his shoulder, and together they walked up to the table which had been designated for the King and his companions. Frodo and Sam were already there with Gandalf, waiting for the King to begin the feast. Zandra was sitting next to the Wizard, talking intently. He caught a few words of their conversation.
"Have you told him yet?" Gandalf was asking her.
"No, I can't. It is too hard. How can I tell him that I must leave him so soon after I nearly begged him not to leave me in Minas Tirith?" Legolas thought that his heart had stopped. She wanted to leave him?