The Last Journey - Chapter One

The Last Journey
Haldir & Gythien


~ Chapter One ~

Haldir softly sighed as he watched the boats bearing the fellowship slip silently down the Anduin River. He wondered if he would ever see those people again. He doubted it. He envied them so much. Ever since they had come to the borders of the land and he had found out why they where there and what they were doing he had wanted to go with them, he needed to. He had felt that it would be a way to prove himself to the great leaders of Middle-earth. He wanted to become a great and renowned warrior. He had begged Celeborn and Galadriel countless times to let him go, but they always said it wasn't his time, not yet. He wanted to know when it would be his time, his turn. He sadly turned to go back into the forest and found himself face-to-face with Galadriel. She looked deep into his eyes and spoke to him the way most elves do, through the mind.
"I know how you grieve." She said. "Do not be sad, your time will come, perhaps sooner than you believe." Haldir was startled by this statement. She looked, and sounded, so sad when she said it, almost as if she wished that day would never come. "I know you have waited but I must press upon you the importance of not leaving right now. You must not hasten and try to prove yourself. That is not the right way. You will soon have the opportunity to prove yourself great, but not yet. You must wait just a bit longer." At this statement Haldir's heart sank. He looked back towards the river again and sighed as he was filled with a great sadness. When he turned back around Galadriel was gone. She did that often and it no longer startled him. He slowly started walking through the woods of Lothlórien. He knew that he was very lucky to live in such a beautiful place, but all he could think about was the lands beyond the borders of the wood and the great events that were happening that he couldn't take place in. He pondered the meaning of Galadriel's words. She had looked so sad when she was talking to him. He knew she could use her mirror to see into his future. Did she see something she didn't like? He was wandering in the general direction of his guard post when he saw a strange elf ahead of him. She looked familiar, but he just couldn't place a name with that beautiful face. He started walking toward her, intending to find out who she was, when she turned her head slightly and he recognized her. It was Gythien, his childhood friend, companion, and, at one point, the woman that he had fallen in love with and had known he would someday marry, though he had never told her how he felt. When she had moved away with her parents 1,000 years ago, though, he had abandoned all his hopes of them being together and devoted his life to being a keeper of the wood instead. He had been devastated to find her gone and it took him many long years to get over the heart-break. He had gotten up that morning with the intention of telling her everything he had felt, but by the time he had gotten to her home it was deserted. There wasn't even an explanation. When he had confronted Galadriel about it all she would say was that they had moved away that morning and he shouldn't worry about them, he should just move on with his life, so he had. As he looked at her he wondered why she was there. Why had she come back after all this time? He decided that he would ask her later, for now he would just be happy that she was there, back home, with him. He was so excited to see her that he ran right up to her and gave her a massive hug.
~ ~ ~
Gythien was lost. She stood in a clearing that she knew, but had forgotten about over time. She was starting to get frustrated when an elf ran up to her and hugged her! Who was this? She pushed him away and gasped. It was Haldir! She was so surprised to see him. She was silently bursting with happiness at seeing him again. She had never told anyone but her mother how she had felt about him, how she had really felt about him. She had once been in love with him. When she told her mother, however, her mother had looked worried. Shortly after that she and her parents moved to Rivendell. They had woken her up in the middle of the night and told her that they were leaving; they left the following morning. She never got a chance to say goodbye to Haldir or explain what was happening, not that she even knew what was happening herself. She had always regretted that she had never had the chance to tell him how she felt; that was one of the reasons she had been so excited about coming back, so she could see him again. Now she was back in Lórien, back home, and he was there, right in front of her. She couldn't help noticing how handsome he had gotten and how much he had matured. He was so different, yet she could still see the old gleam of her childhood friend in his eyes, the eyes she had fallen in love with. She could also see that he carried many more worries and burdens on his shoulders now, for his face was more grave than she remembered. Right now he was obviously excited to see her, and the worries on his face were more hidden, but she knew him well enough to see what was underneath, into his very soul, she had always been good at that. All her past emotions were running through her as she just stood there and looked at him.
"Gythien!" he shouted. He was obviously very surprised to see her in Lórien. "Where have you been? All I know is that one day I went to your house and your family was gone. Galadriel wouldn't tell me anything."
"I have been living in Rivendell with Elrond and his people." She answered. "What about you? What have you done in the time that I was gone? I have heard news of the great Fellowship of the Ring passing through, have you gotten to meet them? I had thought that maybe you would have wanted to go with them, since your childhood dream was to travel and earn importance in the land."
"The Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn have not allowed me to go with them, no matter how much I beg." He said with dismay. "I truly wish to go, but they say that it is not my time. Anyway," he said, brightening up, "I have become a keeper of the wood with my brothers. We protect the borders of the land from unwelcome visitors." He seemed proud of his position and Gythien knew that, for now, he was satisfied with what he was doing. "One day, maybe soon, I will go to help them," he said looking into the distance, toward the river. His face was set with determination, "with or without consent." The way he had said that scared Gythien a little bit, but his facial expression softened as he looked back at her and smiled. "What are you doing back here?"
"The Lady Galadriel has sent for me." She answered. "Can you take me to her?"
"Are you lost?" Haldir asked. He had never thought that an elf could get lost in the land that they had grown up in.
"A little." Gythien shyly admitted. "I know and remember the general area I'm in, but I don't know where to go from here." Haldir sensed her discomfort.
"Follow me." He said brightly. "I shall show you to Caras Galathon." With that they started walking towards the home of Galadriel, talking about all that had happened while Gythien had been away.
~ ~ ~
Galadriel sighed as she turned away from her mirror. She had seen the same thing for almost 2,000 years now. She could still vividly remember the first time she had seen it and how she had sent Gythien's family away as a result. She knew in her heart that there was nothing that she could do to change it, so that was why she had sent for the young elf. It was time for everyone to face their destinies, even her.
~ ~ ~
When they got to the great mallorn tree that served as the home of Celeborn and Galadriel Haldir stopped and turned to Gythien.
"Did the Lady say why she needed you to come here?" he asked. It was very confusing to him that Galadriel wanted to see Gythien so badly.
"Elrond knows, but he would not tell me." Gythien answered. "I was actually hoping that you knew the answer to that question." For Galadriel to summon an elf from Rivendell, even a native Lórien elf, when there were already thousands of elves ready and willing to do anything to please her puzzled both of them. Also, she had asked for Gythien by name, which must mean that she was to do something important, but what could she do that no other elf could do? Haldir looked up into the high branches of the giant tree.
"Well," he said, giving out a little puff of air of resignation to go up those never-ending steps, "I guess we should start climbing." Gythien stood beside him and also looked up into the tree. It looked as if the stairs just disappeared into the leafy branches far up ahead. As they climbed they didn't have much breath for taking, so they were left to their own thoughts.
Haldir wanted to know if Gythien was there to stay. If she was, he wasn't so sure that he wanted to leave soon, if at all. All he wanted to do now, he realized as all his old feelings for her came rushing back to him, was to stay here, or anywhere, with her. He knew that his thoughts were foolish, but he just knew that he couldn't be separated from her, not again. It had almost broken his heart the last time he had lost her and he knew that he would never be able to go through that again; he had to make sure she stayed this time, she just had to.
Gythien was also thinking about Haldir. He looked so sad these days. Was it because he hadn't been allowed to go with the fellowship and gain the recognition he deserved, or was it possibly something else, something she didn't know about? She did notice, though, that whenever he looked over at her his face lightened up and his mood seemed to improve. She had known that she would see him again when she had started out from Rivendell, but she hadn't expected the rush of her old feelings that came over her when she looked at him. She smiled as she looked at him now, all grown up, yet still very much the same person he was when she had left. That was the part of him that now brought out her old feelings. She silently remembered all he good times they had had. She realized that she wanted that back, she wanted it all back, and she also wanted much more. She was still in love with him. The shock of realizing this made her stop for a second. She wanted to tell him her feelings. She knew that she needed that chance. She had to tell him. She decided to do that as soon as she was done with Galadriel and had found out what the Lady wanted. She knew that she could wait no longer than that. He had to know, before the day was over.
~ ~ ~

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