The Fellowship of Ten - Chapter 9: The Welcome

The Fellowship stood before the Lord and Lady of Lothlorien; Galadriel and Celeborn. Their presence was comforting yet foreboding, all at once. Galadriel peered at them, holding their gaze as if thrying to read their innermost thoughts. Celeborn smiled slightly; his aged golden hair swaying a little as a fresh breeze flew.
Galadriel's gaze finished on Kara, who withstood it longer than even Legolas.

"Welcome to Lorien." Galadriel spoke.

"Has their been a change in council?" Celeborn inquired. "I was told that Gandalf was coming."

"Aye, he did come." Kara looked sadly into her father's eyes. "But he did not pass through Moria. He has fallen into Shadow."

Silence reigned as they all took to mind what she had said.

"Indeed" the deep, harmonic voice of Galadriel stired them from their thoughts. "Yet hope still remains as long as you stay true to each other. But lay aside your burdens, you are in the Golden Wood. Anything we may have that will help in your journey, you can have. Stay as long as you wish, for we have not seen new faces in these woods for many a year."

Celeborn agreed. "Yes. Haldir, will you take them to their rest?" They began following an elf yand down the stairs, but he called on Aragorn and Kara to stay.

"You are wounded." The Lady said, refering to the blood stain on her shirt.

"Yes, something to do with a poison orc arrow and whatnot, but I am alright, thanks to a certain inexperienced human healer. I'm still sore by the way." She added, punching Aragorn in the shoulder.

"Well, at least I had the sense..." he replied, trying to start a fight, but Celeborn acted referee.

"Hey, none of that now. Come on, Kara, let's go see about that wound of yours. And get you a bath, you smell rank."

"Thank you." She barely got it out as she was pulled into an extremely tight hug by her father. "I missed you, too."

Galadriel laughed as they left by way of another staircase leading off from the chamber. " It does the heart good to see those two together again. I've missed you both. How have you been, we haven't talked in almost forty years."

"I am deeply sorry about not coming back until now," apologized Aragorn. "But I am doing as well as may be in times like these."

She read his thoughts. "You miss her, don't you?"

"More than you could fathom."

"She loves you with all her soul." Her hand strayed to the Evenstar that hung about his neck, touching it lightly. "But you are aware of that."

"I fear I will never see her again." His eyes had gone slightly watery.

Galadriel smiled. "That is yet to be seen."

<--->

Kara had been taken to her old room and had had a bath, but she was extremely exhausted. Celeborn had redressed her wound, which was now a horrid shade of purple. A little of the poison was still running in her veins, but she was good.

She slipped into a long cotton nightshirt and had gotten into the bed; as soon as her head hit the pillow she fell asleep. Celeborn was glad to once again be with his daughter; they hadn't seen each other in over twenty years. But he sensed something different, strange about her. Yet at the sight of her peaceful, sleeping face, he dismissed the thought imediately. Before he left, he kissed her lightly on the forehead and tucked her in. She was back.

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