The Hands of a Healer - Part 10
Lauren woke early the next day, content and at peace. Then she remembered the events of last night; her dream, and... Thialfir. She smiled slightly at the memory, recalling his warmth, her sense of security, and his genuine concern. Her smile faded as the dream came again to her, and with a defiant thrust of her blankets, she rose from the bed and made her way to the small wardrobe meant for her use. She opened it and was bombarded with the sight of dresses upon dresses. She raised an eyebrow, though she had been in middle earth for some time now, she had never worn a dress, preferring instead the clothes worn for combat training by both males and females. She sighed and picked the one that looked the least festive. After all, she wasn't going to a ball. The dress was silvery grey in colour and made of a light material with no special embroidery and long, wide sleeves. She pulled it over her head and ran a brush through her hair, then proceeded out of the tree.
She was enveloped in the sounds of the non-elf and non-human occupants of Lothlorien. The birds sang their sweet song, greeting the newly risen sun. The squirrels leapt from silver tree to silver tree, oblivious to the young human's internal strife. Thus she walked on, soundless, troubled by her dream and many things she had not thought of yet completely. Though she had an idea of how she had come to be here from her dream, she was still at loss for the reason and the details. It was not possible that she could be responsible for such things that the evil voice had said. Yet, how was she able to heal so quickly? And another troubling thought; how will she get back? Would she want to get back? The image of the limp, lifeless hand forced itself from the depths of her mind, and she gave an involuntary shudder, remembering what her life now lacked.
She felt at loss, helpless, confused. Though these thoughts had ran through her mind before, she had always pushed them aside, thinking only of exploring her favourite world and enjoying herself while she could, fearing it only to be a dream. Yet now she wished for nothing more than answers, even if it cost her this wonderful, though at times terrifying dream. Her thoughts continued in this pattern until she caught a pair of glistening eyes, waiting patiently for her to take notice. She focused now on the face surrounding those eyes and she beheld a breathtaking beauty, both terrible and kind. She knew at once that this could only be the lady of the golden wood, Galadriel.
"Good morning, milady," she said awkwardly with slight nervousness.
Galadriel smiled, "Peace, child, no need to be nervous. I have been looking forward to our meeting, Lauren."
"You have?" she asked, then remembered where she was, "I guess I must be some sort of enigma. How much do you know about me?"
"I know all that you have told Elrond," she replied calmly.
It seemed as though a hush had fallen over the world, quieting the ever-present sounds of nature. Lauren held Galadriel's gaze for a moment, then, unable to suppress her need for answers blurted, "How did I get here, why am I here, why can I heal almost instantly, why is that cold evil thing after me, what is that cold evil thing? ", quite out of breathe once she had finished.
Galadriel simply smiled. " Slowly child! I am able to answer some of your questions, but on others, I can only speculate. Now, I believe I should start at the beginning. Here, have a seat, this may take some time," she said as she gestured to a nearby bench. Lauren followed her request silently, somewhat in shock that she'd finally hear the answers she so longed for.
Galadriel sat beside her and began, "Many years ago, in the first age of this middle earth, came another like you, one from a different world. He was badly wounded, and died after a month's stay with us. During his stay he explained what he was; one of the last of his race, and all of his strange powers. He said that he was the second of his kind to come to this world. His predecessor came before the arrival of the elves when the Valar walked and shaped middle earth. He was a Lennir, a being who is able to travel between the worlds and through time. The Lennir represent all that is good, and do their best to travel from world to world and help the worlds through critical moments in their history, or in some cases, future. There were once many of them, but word spread of their abilities and many persecuted them, jealous of their power and thus they began to die out. You, Lauren, are the last of this race. Each Lennir has at least one special ability gifted to them; in your case, your healing and a great strength of will to go against all evil.
He spoke of your coming and that you would be in great peril. He meant for you to have this," she said as she handed her a dusty red leather folder. It was etched with gold in the shape of a pair of winged boots.
"What's in it?" She asked.
" A letter, a map, perhaps more, it is in a language I cannot read," answered Galadriel, "I hope this helps," she added.
Lauren looked up from the folder, " It does, you have no idea how much. Thank you."
Galadriel smiled and left her to the folder.
The whole idea was surreal to Lauren, she couldn't believe it, but it fit, she had no choice but to accept it. She opened the folder, and smiled slightly as she recognized the familiar letters. No wonder no elf could read it, it didn't at all resemble the tengwar they were used to. She began to read but paused after the first two words, shocked and little scared. They were: Hello Lauren. How had he known her name? Determined to read on, she continued. The letter read as thus:
My name is Nicolas Flamel. You may have heard of me during the course of your education but that is not important. What is important is that you read what I have to say. Don't be afraid, these are only words, you can choose to accept them or deny them, although I hope you choose to accept them as the fate of the worlds has been appointed to you, it cannot be handed over to anyone without the loss of your life. Since you are the last of the Lennir, you are able to travel between worlds. How you may ask? Well, the souls of the Lennir are not as strongly attached to their bodies as most races, therefore when we are near death, our soul tries to separate but ends up dragging our body with it. Now, in such a situation our souls carry us up out of the world we are in and through the worlds above us in hope of reaching heaven and rest. Since our body is much heavier than our soul, it weighs us down and therefore we fall back to a different world. This is how you came into this world. We Lennir have learned to control this and thus are able to enter the world of our choosing.
The usual job of a Lennir is to travel to a world at a critical point in its history, for we can also travel through time. As you are the last of our race, your task differs from the norm. There is a dark power that reigned in Middle Earth until it was banished by its peers into the dark void. The rest of these powers, the Valar, have kept to the will of Eru and aide the world they have created. That dark power, I believe, will tear a hole in the void and will seek power. In what form, I do not know, but you are the key, Lauren. You must eventually confront it if you wish to save all. Remember, the worlds are connected, if one fails then the rest will likely deteriorate as well.
I was not permitted to learn more, but I am able to give you directions to find a circular stone tablet that will be of more use. I have enclosed a map showing its location. You must learn what this tablet says; this is your first task. It lies in the mountains of shadow, on the northwest border of Mordor. It will only reveal itself if touched by the one wearing the medallion of the Lennir, it is enclosed in this folder. The tablet lies flat on the ground, surrounded by a triangle of large stones. There will be a test that you must pass to read its inscription. I am certain that you will do well.
I hope this letter has helped. I know what you must be thinking; there is no way this can be happening to me. Yes there is a way and it is happening. I have no doubt that you will make the best decisions and will overcome all of your obstacles. Best of luck to you, and, as they say here in Middle Earth, may the grace of the Valar guide you.
Yours in hope and faith
Lauren reread the letter, again and again, unable to believe her eyes. She was a what, she had to go where, and do what? She wished she could just wake up and see that all this was a dream. "The fate of the worlds is in your hands," it had said, well what was she supposed to do with it? This is wrong, this was not meant for her, she couldn't be held responsible for all this, she had never committed to anything beyond schoolwork and family in her life. She tried to convince herself that this was all some vivid dream, that if maybe she'd just click her heels like Dorothy she'd be back home, carefree.
She was distracted from her thoughts by the medallion slipping from the folder. As she caught it, she immediately felt the cold metal warm, and glow with a soft light. A voice so deep it seemed to be naught but a rumbling of the earth, spoke.
"Lauren, daughter of the Lennir, accept your fate."
The drawling voice, having said its piece, slowly faded away. This experience and the steady warmth of the medallion in her hands tore away all the lies Lauren was trying to make herself believe. She began to accept her past, present, and future as the last of the Lennir. She had no other choice, what could she go back to? Some evil had forced her from her world and had made her an orphan. No, she didn't have anything left in that world, but she did have a future in this one. Her resolve hardened. This is the path life had given her and this is the path she will tread .