The Last Journey - Chapter 3
Three days later Haldir sent word to Galadriel that he would like to speak to her. After that he took Gythien into the woods. They were so happy to be together. They were strolling along, hand-in-hand, when a bright light suddenly lit up the forest. They both held up their hands to shield their eyes, and then the light dimmed. When it was no longer blinding they saw that Galadriel was standing there. She came to them and spoke.
"I know what it is you wish, Haldir, but if you truly wish for it then you must face the inevitable hardships that will come." Galadriel knew that they wanted to announce their love to the world and join in the union of marriage, but she didn't know if she wanted to grant their wish. She could see, however, that there was no way short of breaking their hearts to stop them. This was their destiny. The two would have fallen in love, no matter what she tried to do to hinder it. Haldir and Gythien looked at each other so lovingly that she knew she had to comply with their request. She sighed and spoke again in her dreamlike voice.
"Your wish shall be granted. Be here tomorrow at midday and I will join you two in marriage." She didn't know if what she was doing was right, but she did know that it would be wrong not to grant their wish and at least give them some happiness. She also knew that if she didn't do as they wished Haldir might not agree to leave for his destiny, which would now come sooner than even she had thought. She turned to leave, but then turned around to face the smiling couple again.
"You might want to bring those closest to you so they can witness your happiness." She turned again and walked away.
"So," Gythien said with a smile, "who do you want to invite to our wedding?"
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That night Gythien was wandering in the woods and noticed a strange light. She walked towards it and saw Galadriel with her mirror. Galadriel looked up and looked right into Gythien's eyes. Gythien sensed a great sadness about the beautiful elf. Galadriel motioned for Gythien to go to her, so Gythien cautiously walked down the stairs and joined Galadriel by the basin of water. She had heard about Galadriel's mirror and she knew its uses.
"Come," Galadriel said, "look into the water." Gythien peered into the crystalline surface of the water. At first she could only see the stars above them reflecting, but soon it all became black. She saw a great host of orcs and evil-looking men. She had only a moment to register what she was looking at before the picture changed. This time she saw herself surrounded by light and holing a small baby in her arms. She was smiling and reaching out to someone, but Gythien couldn't see who. The picture once again changed and she saw herself in a great battle. She was killing many when she looked up and saw Haldir also fighting not too far away. She watched in horror as he received a fatal wound from an orc. She saw herself screaming as his body crumpled to the ground. Then, before she knew it, she was screaming too. She tore her gaze from the mirror and stood staring at Galadriel with tears streaming down her cheeks. Galadriel went to her and placed a hand on her shoulder.
"I know what you saw," she said, "for I have also seen it in my mind."
"But will it come true?" Gythien asked. "Will that really happen?" She wanted answers, now. "We have just proclaimed our love for each other, that can't happen, it just can't!" She knew that she was getting hysterical, but she couldn't help it. She turned and fled into the forest, leaving Galadriel behind her. Galadriel knew what the young elf was going through, for she had seen those pictures, and many others, in her mirror for many years. She had tried to protect Gythien by sending her to Rivendell, but she had eventually realized the she had had to come back, it was her destiny. Gythien was the only one Haldir would listen to now. She looked into the direction Gythien had fled, back toward the guard houses, where Haldir lived. She slowly turned and went back to her great mallorn tree.
~ ~ ~
When Gythien had run away she hadn't even noticed in what direction she was running. Soon she found herself at the guard's housing area where Haldir lived with the other keepers. She went to his tree and called to him. He went down to greet her and was shocked at the sheer terror on her face. It was the knight before their wedding, she should be happy! He hugged her close and kissed the top of her head.
"What's wrong?" he asked after a while. What could she possibly be so upset about? Had someone tried to hurt her? Had something happen to her parents? A list of bad things ran through his head as he held her close.
"I..." started Gythien, pausing amidst her sobs, "I can't tell you, it's just too terrible!" With that she started sobbing again onto his shoulder. He slowly led her back to her housing and carried her up the stairs. He took her to her room and sat her down on her bed. She looked at him gratefully and lay down with her head on his lap. He talked to her soothingly, though she was so filled with grief that she couldn't even hear what he was saying. His voice soon lulled her into sleep, though, and he sat by her for a long time just running his fingers through her long silky hair. He smiled as he looked upon her; she looked so beautiful, even in her grief. He shifted her position on the bed so her head was on the pillow. He then covered her with a blanket, kissed her forehead softly, and quietly slipped out of the room.
~ ~ ~
The next morning when Gythien woke up she remembered right away all that had happened. She slowly rose and got ready for the day, her wedding day. That thought was a tiny ray of hope in her dark thoughts as she slowly got dressed. She knew she should be ecstatic, but she wasn't. She remembered what she had seen in the mirror vividly, perhaps too vividly. Should she call off the wedding? She thought that maybe if they didn't get married some of those things might never happen. Maybe Galadriel had shown her those things the night before to warn her and to make her pull away from Haldir. She was still deep in thought when there was a knock on the door.
~ ~ ~
When Haldir had woken he had gotten dressed then gone straight to Gythien's suite of rooms. He hesitated before knocking on the door. Why had she been so upset the night before? He had to know. He knocked on the door and waited for Gythien to answer. When she did she looked much better, but still deeply troubled, like she was enduring a great struggle of some kind.
"Gythien," he began, "can you now tell me what was wrong?" He hated to see her so sad and he desperately wanted to help her.
"Haldir," Gythien said hesitantly. She didn't know how to tell him that she was having doubts. She didn't want to fail Galadriel, but if she called off the wedding she was sure Haldir would leave the woods and follow the fellowship. She thought the scene in the mirror was showing what would happen to him on his mission for Galadriel, but what if the scene was what would happen if she called off the wedding? What if she called it off and he left and died all because she had not followed Galadriel's orders and kept him in the woods by marrying him? She was still thinking when Haldir spoke again.
"What, Gythien? What did you want to say?" Haldir wanted to take away all of her troubles, but he could only do that if she told him what was wrong. She hesitated before speaking again.
"Nothing is wrong." She stammered. She had decided that the last thing she wanted to do was disappoint Haldir. "I was just..." here Gythien faltered. She didn't want to lie to him, but this time she felt that it was necessary. "I was just sad my parents couldn't be here for the wedding." It was a reasonable excuse, and Haldir seemed content with it, for now. She knew one day she would have to tell him the truth, but not here, not now. For now all she wanted to do was be with him. She gave him a big hug and looked up into his love-filled eyes.
"I love you." She said, and then she grabbed his hand and pulled him towards the door. "Let's go get married!"
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