The Last Journey - Chapter 4

~Chapter Four~

Haldir & Gythien went to the exact same spot as the previous morning and waited. They had brought Haldir's parents and his brothers, Rúmil and Orophin. They didn't have to wait long. Soon Galadriel was there.
"Are we ready to begin?" asked Galadriel, who, as everyone had noticed, had brought a great many elves with her. Haldir nodded in response, but Galadriel did not start right away. Instead she motioned to the elves behind her and they led Gythien away fro Haldir and into the forest. They took her to one of the great mallorn trees and showed her into a great room in the branches of the tree. Then they showed her one of the most gorgeous dresses she had ever seen. It was snow white and had a tight fitting strapless bodice that went down to her waist. Then out from that there was a rather large skirt that went all the way down to the ground, barely skimming the wood floor. The dress seemed to shine with its own radiance, but upon further inspection she found that it was covered almost completely with tiny beads of the finest glass. When she looked closer she noticed that there was in fact a pattern of tiny leaves and flowers in the beads. There were matching shoes and jewelry to go with that beautiful dress. She was so shocked and surprised at the dress that she was rendered speechless for a few seconds. The elf maidens, for now she realized that they were indeed all women elves, took the dress and gave it to her.
"The Lady Galadriel would like to give you this dress as a gift for your wedding. She has had it made especially for you." One of the elves said, bowing as she presented the dress. Gythien gasped, she was to wear this, and much more, have it also? She fingered the delicate fabric and admired the tiny beads and the detailed beadwork. The beads glinted like twinkling stars in the far--off heavens. She carefully put on the beautiful dress. She felt like a princess, Haldir's princess, just like he had said when she had first come back. That thought filled her with happiness and she felt so much joy that she thought she might burst any moment. She hugged each of the elf maidens there, trying to show her eternal thanks. Then they all went back to the glade where she was to marry her true love.
~ ~ ~
When Gythien had been taken away Galadriel spoke to Haldir through his mind so no one else could hear.
"Haldir, I fear that there will be much toil and sadness in your future with Gythien. I also fear that Gythien may be the one experiencing it the most." Galadriel looked grim when she said this and Haldir just stood there in shocked silence. He didn't know how to respond to that. Then he thought of Gythien being led away. Was Galadriel taking Gythien away from him? She seemed to be able to how his feat, for she spoke again.
"What you are thinking is not true, I will let the two of you be married, but you will soon have to leave the realm of Lórien, to which I fear you may never come back. Also Gythien will not be able to join you as you leave. She shall wish to, and I fear that she may find a way, no matter what I say or do." Galadriel hesitated before speaking again, but this time in a softer voice. "Your marriage will be happy, but it may be very short lived." She finally said. She already knew what was in store for the young couple. Before she could speak again Gythien and the other elves came back. Gythien was wearing that dress and she was beaming with happiness. Haldir turned and his face lit up at the sight of her. She went over to him and looked into his eyes.
"I love you, now and forever." She whispered. They turned to Galadriel and they were married.
~ ~ ~
Three days later Haldir and Gythien were walking through the woods. They both seemed to glow with happiness. Galadriel sighed as she silently watched them. She remembered those first few days after marriage. She hated to ruin that, but she had to tell Haldir. She had waited as long as she could and there was no more time for delay. It was his time, his turn, to leave and make sure that his name was remembered forever.
~ ~ ~
Gythien was so happy. She was finally with the one she loved and she had almost completely forgotten the horrible images she had seen in the mirror. She looked over at Haldir and beamed. They were walking through the woods together, as they often did. They were together, forever. Suddenly they saw a blindingly bright light ahead of them and they stopped. When the light had faded they saw that Galadriel was standing there. She had the mournful look that was now becoming normal for her.
"Haldir," she began, though this time she spoke out loud so Gythien could also hear, "your time has come. On the dawn of the second day from now you must leave. I will not tell you that the journey or whatever comes after will be easy, for there are many perils emerging in these times of great evil. I must inform you that Gythien will have to stay here, she cannot join you."
"No!" cried Haldir as Gythien looked pleadingly in his eyes. Now that he Gythien in his life he didn't wish to leave, at least not without her. He looked over at her and saw the terrified look in her eyes. She was as pale as a ghost. He pulled her into a comforting embrace and she started crying into his shoulder.
"I love you." He whispered. "I will not leave you behind." He looked angrily at Galadriel. "How can you be so cruel? How can you tear us apart like this?" he asked angrily. "How would you feel if you were told you had to leave Celeborn right after your marriage?" Galadriel hung her head. She seemed weary and drained of all energy. She lifted her head and looked into his eyes. He noticed that she had tears silently going down her cheeks. Why was she crying?
"You must go," she said, "Gythien cannot. She has to stay here, where it's safe, for you will be entering a great battle. I am sending you to be the leader of a great army that we are sending to help the humans at a place called Helm's Deep. The people need your help and the elves need your leadership. The fate of the world may rest upon the outcome of this battle. It can only be won if you lead the army. You must go, for it is your destiny." She said this all with determination, but Haldir had noticed that the tears still remained in her cheeks. He saw now that Galadriel would make him go, and he also saw that in a way she didn't want him to go. He saw then that he had no choice. He hung his head and slowly nodded. Galadriel turned around and silently walked away.
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