The great hall was dark and cold. There was still a fire glowing in the pit in the middle of the hall, casting a gloomy glow throughout the huge room. She found a bench against the wall hidden in the shadows and threw herself upon it, sobbing loudly. Why could she not answer him? Why did it have to be so complicated? Her feelings had grown so strong that she had a hard time keeping them in check. But she was an outsider. She was a mortal. He was so much more. She wanted to be part of him so much that she had dreamed she was linked to him. How she wished it was true. But it could never be. As her sobs started to subside, she felt a hand on her back.
“My child, what could cause you so much pain?” Gandalf asked with a calming voice. She sat up on her knees and saw him sitting on the bench next to her. At the sight of him she threw herself into his lap, her tears soaking the front of his robe.
“Mithrandir, I am so ashamed. I have tried to not let my feelings get the best of me. I know my dreams can never be. I can not look at him now without wishing he felt the same for me. How could I be so foolish?” Her words came between sobs.
Gandalf smoothed her hair back with his free hand, the other hand being wrapped around her shoulders.
“My child, have you not learned that things happen for a reason? Do you think that Iluvatar would have you so miserable? Open your eyes, Aliana. Do you not remember when I told you to trust your visions? Did you not have a vision?”
“Yes, I did. But it was so much different. It was so much more.” Aliana decided to open her heart to the wizard.
“It was as if he and I were one. I could feel his heart beating in time to my own. I could not see anything but blackness, but it was as if I could hear a conversation he was having with someone……I think it was Saruman. I tried to nonchalantly ask him thinking it might have been real, but he wanted to know why I asked. Mithrandir, I could not answer him without baring my soul to him.” With that, she began crying uncontrollable.
“My dear sweet child, would that be such a bad thing?”
“But it can never be! We can never be together!”
Gandalf decided it was time.
“Do you remember the battlefield at Helms Deep?”
“And do you remember when you fell?”
She wandered through her thoughts carefully. “No, Mithrandir,” she answered slowly.
Raising her head with his left hand, he laid his right hand on her forehead.
“Then it is time that you do.”
She felt herself fall into a void. Once the blackness cleared she saw herself lying in the field with Galadriel. She watched as Galadriel led her to the Mallorn tree and had her look into her mirror. She watched as she saw Aragorn and Legolas sitting over her in the mirror. She watched Legolas’ tears fall onto her skin. She watched the blue light emanate from her wound. She watched as Galadriel spoke to her of the prophecy. She watched as Galadriel laid her hand over Aliana’s eyes and she felt herself again enter the void. Once the blackness cleared she found herself once again in the great hall lying in Gandalf’s lap.
She sat up with a new realization. Things had been in the works and she didn’t see it until now.
“Why did I not remember, Mithrandir? Why did Galadriel leave me blind?”
“My child, everything happens for a reason,” he answered with a smile.
Aliana felt a strength growing inside her. Things finally made sense. She had such strong feelings for Legolas because she was meant to. That was why they would fulfill the prophecy. She thought back to her lessons when she was little. Yes, things were making sense! There was someone she needed to talk to immediately.
“Go to him, child. Go fulfill your destiny, Aliana.”
Aliana reached up and hugged Gandalf. Wrapped in his embrace she whispered in his ear, “Thank you Mithrandir….for everything.”
She jumped to her feet and ran for the dining hall doors.
As she entered the huge room, she found it as she had left it. The only difference was that most of the people had more to drink and were getting louder. She scanned the room looking for him, but saw no sight of him. She moved carefully through the hall making sure to look at every face, at every corner. She felt a hand on her shoulder. With a smile she turned, but did not find what she expected.
“He is out on the terrace, my sister.”
Squeezing his hand, she replied, “Thank you, my brother.”
Aragorn bowed and she turned and ran towards the outer door. She paused as she reached it, taking a moment to run her fingers through her hair and straighten out her dress. She took a deep breath and reached out and turned the knob.
She quietly stepped outside and gave her eyes a moment to adjust to the darkness. The stars were shining brightly overhead and cast a glow about him as he stood on the edge of the terrace, gazing out at the valley.
“Legolas, I am sorry,” she quietly said as she reached his back. He did not turn around. He did not acknowledge that she was there. Aliana waited for what seemed like forever before she turned to walk back to the hall.
“Aliana, do you trust me?” He called to her without moving.
Aliana stopped in her tracks. Without turning around she answered him simply with a “Yes.”
“My heart was worried for you when he mentioned you. I would walk through Mordor itself to keep you safe.” They both turned toward each other, but neither closed the gap between them.
“Mithrandir opened my eyes, Legolas. I know what you did for me. I know we have a prophecy to fulfill. We are linked for a reason that will make us both miserable. But I know the world will depend on us.” Silently he closed the gap between them. He placed his left hand on her cheek and caught a tear as it ran down her face. He pulled his hand back and looked down at his palm.
“I can feel your pain as I did the first night we stood here under the stars. Do you remember that night, Aliana?”
Looking up into his eyes she replied, “It was the first time I realized my feelings for you.”
“You know we will be separated.” Legolas’ heart ached at the thought.
“But it will not be forever. When we come back together, it will be for eternity.” She reached up and placed her hand on his smooth jaw.
“You have given me a gift that no other mortal has ever been given. Because of you, we will be together for eternity.”
“But being parted will feel like eternity.” Legolas turned to look up at the stars. He knew the Valar were watching them from afar, smiling down on them.
“Then we will enjoy every moment we have until then.”
Legolas brought himself closer to her, bringing his face inches from hers. Slowly he closed the gap between them and brushed her lips with his own. Before he could pull away she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and leaned into him. He pulled her to him and they shared a passionate kiss. She felt her breath leave her and she lost herself in him. As he pulled his head back, she laid her head on his chest, taking in his sweet smell.
“I love you Aliana. My heart is yours.”
“And I love you, my prince. My heart has been yours from the first time I laid eyes upon you.”
She knew the road ahead of them would be filled with heartache. But in the end they would be together. She knew she had made the right decision.
They heard the door open and someone walk towards them. Neither of them looked up as they did not want to give their attention to anyone but each other. Aragorn stood beside them looking up at the stars.
“I see all is right in the world tonight.” After a brief pause, he finished, “Take care of her, my friend. She is the only family I have.”
“I love her with all that I am. I will protect her always.”
“That is all I can ask.”
All of a sudden Aliana was filled with fear. It was as if pure evil surrounded them. She could feel it trying to reach her within Legolas’ arms.
Aragorn noticed a change in Legolas. “What is it, my friend?”
Legolas whispered, “He is here.”
“Who is here?”
“Sauron.” He is here with us.”
A realization reached Aragorn. “The palantir! Aragorn grabbed his friend’s arm, tearing him away from Aliana. The two men ran into the hall, leaving Aliana frozen where she stood on the terrace.