Aragorn abruptly brought his horse to a halt and burst from its back to reach Aliana’s side. Legolas looked up at him with a look of fear that Aragorn had never seen in the elf’s eyes before. Aragorn leaned over his sister, now lying lifeless in Legolas’ arms.
“She still breathes, though barely”, Aragorn said relieved as he lifted his head from her chest. He knew they needed to find the origin of her present state. Her trousers were soaked in blood, but he could tell that it had ran down the front of her.
“We must locate her wound. Help me with the chain mail”. Legolas gently held her up as Aragorn removed the outer shirt. Legolas laid her carefully on the ground and knelt beside her across from Aragorn. Aragorn lifted her tunic and started to lift her undershirt when the gaping wound came into view. Gandalf leaned over and handed Aragorn a cloth to help wipe the blood away so they could get a closer look at the wound.
“My child, you must wake”
The sound of a stream came to Aliana’s ears and she could sense a warm bright light surrounding her.
“Open your eyes.”
Slowly Aliana did as she was told. She found herself in a small field of wildflowers of every color. She knew this place, as she had played here when she was a child. She brought herself to her knees and looked around. The Lady of the Wood was standing by the big Mellor tree on the edge of the clearing. Aliana stood and ran to her. “Mother! Mother!” Aliana ran into Galadriel’s arms sobbing.
“Hush my child. Everything is fine.” Galadriel held her and brushed away her fear. “My poor girl, you have been thru so much. I am so sorry I could not protect you from this. But you had to follow your destiny.” Galadriel held her at arms length and asked her, “Do you know why you are here?”
Aliana shook her head.
Galadriel grabbed her water pitcher and walked to the stream to fill it. As she walked, she started, “My dear, thousands of years ago it was written that a mortal woman of royal lineage would pass two of three tests set by the Valar. They are the test of courageousness and the test of selflessness. Once the woman passes these tests, the third test will be passed by an elf of royal lineage. This will be the test of pure love for the woman.” Galadriel had walked back by the tree and started pouring the water into the marble bowl that sat on top of a marble pillar. “My dear, it is your time to look.” Galadriel stepped back and motioned for Aliana to come forward. Aliana obediently stepped up to the bowl. As the water stilled, she starred down, waiting for what was going to happen. In an instant a vision started forming. As it came into view, she could see it was Aragorn and Legolas kneeling over someone, with Gandalf standing behind her brother. Then she realized that the person they were kneeling over was her. The vision moved in on the scene and she could see Aragorn lifting her undershirt and bringing a gaping wound into view. He wiped the blood away with a white cloth then leaned back in shock. Legolas leaned forward and outlined the hole in her side with his fingers. She could see the pain written on Legolas’ face and watched the tears well up in his eyes.
“I fear the worst for her”, Aragorn managed to whisper.
At this the tears started falling from Legolas’ eyes, landing on her stomach. Images flashed before his eyes. He pictured the first time he laid eyes on Aliana, curled up under the tree in Fangorn Forest. He pictured her riding upon Farion with her hair flowing behind her. He pictured their moment together under the stars that first night in Edoras. Legolas could still feel the pain he felt inside her that night. Ever since she had come into his life he had found his thoughts more and more constantly on her. As if a bright light was suddenly turned on in his soul, he suddenly realized that she had become so much more to him. Legolas looked down at her lifeless body laying in front of him and realized that he felt something he had never felt before. He knew at that moment that he loved her. He loved her more than he had loved anything in his long years. But now that he knew what was inside him, it was too late. She would never know how he felt about her. He would never be able to tell her. He would never be able to show her. If only he had realized his feelings even moments earlier! At this realization, tears burst forth as the dam finally burst. As the tears landed on the gash, they started glowing a soft blue. Legolas didn’t notice for he was overcome with grief. The more tears that fell onto the wound, the brighter it glowed. “By the Valar!” exclaimed Aragorn. Where the blue light shone brightest, it looked as if the wound was healing.
“Only tears of pure love can heal a wound like this”, Galadriel whispered over Aliana’s shoulder. Aliana looked up at Galadriel.
“Only a pure soul can feel pure love for another. It is a love born out of pure selflessness. It is much like the love a small child has for its mother, only stronger.”
Aliana quickly looked back into the water, afraid to miss what was happening.
Aragorn started calling his sister’s name, trying to get her to wake up. But even with her healing, her body did not stir. Gandalf kneeled down next to Aragorn and reached behind him, bringing forward something small in his hand.
“Legolas, give me your hand.” As Legolas brought his hand forward, Gandalf reached out with what Legolas could see now was a small elvin blade, and sliced Legolas’ palm. Legolas winced and tried to pull his hand back but Gandalf held it fast. He laid the blade on the ground and with both hands curled Legolas’ hand into a fist and held it over the wound. Blood poured from his fist down into Aliana’s wound, which seemed to accept it gladly. Gandalf stood up and said, “she had lost much blood, but I think she’ll be fine now.
As the vision started to disappear, Galadriel turned Aliana to face her. “My child, it is time for you to go back. He needs you. Your brother needs you. Middle Earth needs you. Stay faithful to your destiny and always trust your judgement. And always trust Legolas. He will not lead you astray. You will not remember this night, but always know that I am with you.”
“Mother, can you tell me why the valar set the test? What will be the outcome for those that pass?”
With a smile Galadriel ran her hand over Aliana’s eyes and Aliana suddenly felt herself falling.