The Undying Lands - bad news arrives (part 9)

'Do you know of an elf by the name of Harma?' asked the messenger.

'Yes, why?' she whispered, petrified that she would never see him again.

'He is on his way here-'

'That is brilliant, I thought you said bad news!' she flung her arms around the messenger and kissed his cheek, 'Thank you so much.'

'It is bad news- Harma is dying. I am sorry,' he said as Ariengil collapsed to the floor. She was in too much shock to cry and all she could think of was her dream, last night. *'When will you be coming here?'; 'Soon, very soon.' ; 'Really? When?' ; 'Soon. Very soon.'* He had said he would be arriving soon and now he was, but he was dying. Suddenly it all seemed so real and she started to choke with tears, tears poured down her cheeks, hot and burning. Her head pounded and she felt that her life should end.

In between sharp breaths, she asked, 'How long until he arrives?'

'He will be here in one hour.'

'But I will not make it back- we are three days from the entrance to the Havens.'

'Yes, Menel, that is its name, is far away- you have done well to travel so far in such a short time.'

'He will...die,' she choked out the horrible word, 'he will die before I arrive.'

'You could ride with me back there if you wish.'

'More than anything.'

'No, you can not,' shouted Thaliondil.

'Why not?' she asked, astounded that he would not want her to see Harma before he died.

'Because-'

'There is no reason, other than you being jealous of me riding back alone with this kind man. Is that why?'

'No-'

'Do not lie to me Thaliondil! I am leaving now.' She waited until the messenger was on the mare, then jumped up after him. She held on to him around his waist and said goodbye to her friends. 'Hurry back, he may still be alive for you to see, or meet, him.'

'Ride carefully, please, good sir,' whispered Thaliondil before the mare galloped away.

It only took a few hours to arrive at Menel, by which time Harma was surrounded by healers. Many were murmuring about how there was no hope. Harma was just lying still, waiting for his love to arrive.

Ariengil ran up to the circle of people surrounding him and shouted for them to move. She pushed through the crowds and knelt by his side. Harma smiled warmly as she kissed his cheek. Ariengil pulled back the cloth covering the wound in his side and sighed. It looked terrible, blood was everywhere and the wound was deep and wide- she could see that his muscle had also been damaged.

'What does it look like? I have not been allowed to see,' asked Harma.

'Oh, Harma, do not joke at times like this,' she replied, agitated.

'At times like what? The fact that I am dying? Is that it?' he asked her, he then turned to a healer, 'Am I going to survive, am I?'

'It is hard to tell,' said Elrond, 'with a lot of hard work, from you and us, and a lot of patience, it is possible.'

'See?' Harma said to Ariengil, he pulled her closer. 'Anyway, with love and a bit of patience there is nothing that is totally impossible.'

'But Harma, I have no hope left to survive with you like this.'

'If you have health you have hope; and if you have hope, you have everything.'

Looking into his eyes, Ariengil knew that she could trust him with her life, so she had to trust him with his life too. Suddenly Harma cried out in pain. Elrond rushed forward and announced that the wound had started bleeding again. Someone grabbed Ariengil's arm and started to pull her away. She screamed out and fought against the strong man, but he held her tightly and pushed her away from the invalid.

'Harma!' she screamed, lashing out to no avail, 'I love you, stay with us please! I will return when this stupid idiot lets go of me, Harma!'

She carried on struggling, but finally gave in and looked at her capturer. He was tall with white hair and a kind face, but he was not an elf. 'Who are you, old man?'

'I am Gandalf the White, or Mithrandir, I am pleased to meet you Ariengil.'

'Oh, I am sorry, please for give me Mithrandir, I have heard tales of you. Please, I am sorry- I just love that man so much, if he were to die...'

'Do not worry, he will not die.'

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