The Golden Years Part 16 - Aragorn comes a-courting part 2
"Heh, heh maybe I should go back." said Aragorn nervously.
"You have entered the realm of the Lady of the Wood. You cannot go back." said Haldir.
"Who are you?" Aragorn asked the elf in the elvish tongue
"I am Haldir, Captain of the Queen's Guard. How do you know of our tongue, traveler? You speak as one of our own.
"I am Aragorn, called Estel, son of Elrond."
Another elf whispered in Haldir's ear and after he and his companion finished speaking, Haldir said, "Come she is waiting."
They tied a piece of linen over Aragorn's eyes and led him to the hill that overlooked Caras Galadhon. When they untied the linen and Aragorn beheld the beauty and wonder that is Lothlorien he exclaimed, "I never thought such beauty possible until now."
Haldir dismissed the party and led Aragorn up to the throne room. Aragorn noticed that everything was made to make use of mallorn trees that grew everywhere. The trees were so tightly woven and Aragorn wondered where all the people were but he soon found out that the palace were nestled among the golden leaves of the mallorns. He also noticed dwellings down below that made, he concluded to himself, the city.
The throne room consisted of white wood intricately carved in the shapes of the mallorn leaves and pale blue curtains. At the end were the thrones themselves perched upon twenty steps with staircases leading away from each side of the thrones to a balcony of sorts that circumfranced the entire throne room. Aragorn noticed three thrones and wondered who sat in the third one. On the balcony and below it at intervals were more doors leading to stairs, rooms, wardrobes, etc. One of the doors opened and the queen stepped out and walked down the stairs until she was halfway between Aragorn and the thrones.
"Welcome to Caras Galadhon my lord Aragorn." said Galadriel
Aragorn kneeled and said, "Thank you for your hospiltality Your Highness."
"You are welcome here Estel, may your burdens be few within our boundaries."
Galadriel spoke with Haldir and said that Aragorn did not need to be blindfolded for future visits.
Galadriel was turning to leave when Aragorn stopped her.
"My lady?, he asked, "I seek Arwen called Undomiel, when may I see her?
"How did you know that she was here? said Galadriel astonished.
"The princes Elladan and Elrohir told me so."
"Oh they did, did they?" said Galadriel annoyed but secretly pleased.
"The princess Arwen is preparing for her birthday feast tonight, so I am afraid you won't see her until then. The guests are to gather in the throne room at sunset for the party. Come with me and I'll show you to your room."
Galadriel led him upstairs to the left and went five doors down before stopping. The door itself was carved with marvalous detail as were all the other doors, but the other doors had mallorn leaves while his door had the tree of Gondor and the seven stars carved upon it.
"This shall be your room for the duration of you visit. On the bed you will find clean clothes to wear for this evening, in the wardrobe will be attire for everyday. The servants have already filled a tub for you bathe in and if you hurry it will still be warm."
"Thank you, Milady."
"Bathe and rest for we elves are known for our long parties."
Arwen closed her door quietly. Her door was exactly across from Aragorn's. Arwen's door was specially carved as well with her pendant and seven stars. Arwen was almost finished preparing for the feast. Servants were in and out of the door all day helping her prepare.
First was the dress, white with a princess cut collar that showed off her necklace, sleeves that reached her elbows with extra cloth that continued down to the floor.
Second was her hair, all of the servants fought with each other on how it should be styled but in the end spectacular. Braids weaved in and out of each other and then it was all pinned to head. Her tiara consisted of twisted mallorn leaves made entirely of mithril and encrusted with diamonds.
Third was makeup. Arwen never liked makeup but Galadriel insisted for special occasions. The makeup was just perfect because all the colors brought out her porcline skin and almost purple eyes. Her fingers were perfectly mannicured and on both her hands was an intricate decal that wove around the back her hands and ended at the wrists. The designs were made special at Galadriel's request. On one hand woven between mallorn leaves was a ship representing the Grey Havens and on the other also woven between mallorn leaves was a great mallorn tree. These decals meant to show her inheirtence and authority over these countries that she would one day rule.
Aragorn finished bathing and dressed. He felt that the clothing was to elaborate for his taste but he was at court and must act the part of prince even if he didn't want to be a prince in the first place. Aragorn opened the door and saw that guests were starting to mingle around in the throne room. He went downstairs using a hidden spiral staircase of the side so as to not show disrespect to the thrones. He reached the middle of the room when trumpets began to sound. Two doors opened. King Celeborn on the left and Queen Galadriel on the right. The both walked along the balcony of their respective sides desended the staircase and stood in front of their thrones Galadriel in the middle with Celeborn to her right. Aragorn then figured that the third throne must be for Princess Arwen. Aragorn looked around and saw that there were only about fifteen guests.
"Honored guests," said Galadriel. "We welcome you here this evening to celebrate Princess Arwen's birthday.
With that the trumpets sounded again, a door was opened and Arwen appeared looking absolutly magnificent. Aragorn just about dropped dead. Her beauty was so utterly amazing that he thought to himself, "She will never be mine, just because I made her laugh doesn't mean I am entitled to marry her. Why did she have to steal my heart?"
Arwen took her grandmother's advice to heart and decided that she would do her best to at least like Aragorn because Galadriel said that the best marriages were based on fondness for one another.
Arwen had reached her throne and stood in front of it and then all three of them sat in unison. As they sat all of the guests knelt down until Arwen bade them rise.
"My closest friends thank you for coming to help me celebrate my birthday. Let the party begin."
Arwen decsended the stairs halfway and said, "Dinner will be served out in the courtyard, afterwards there will be dancing and games."
The guests exited the great hall filling in the private courtyard that had been prepared for dinner
The table was arranged so that Celeborn and Galadriel could sit next to each other and the men sat to Celeborn's right starting with Aragorn and the women on Galadriel's left starting with Arwen.
After dinner the dancing started. Aragorn was incredibly nervous and wasn't planning on asking Arwen to dance until she stood and walked over to him.
"Hello stranger." she said in a gentle voice
A dam had burst and Aragorn blurted out, " Will the princess do me a great horror...honor and tance....dance with me.
Arwen giggled and said, "I would love to."
Next Installment: Aragorn trys to find the perfect belated birthday present.