Lorien — I just decided to write something for Haldir because I believe he died in the Two Towers, at Helm’s Deep, I’m assuming. And I like Haldir. A lot. How could they kill him? He wasn’t supposed to die! Well, this is for Haldir, and Craig Parker, who is the only individual who can successfully make character it’s best.
The Fellowship was still deep in despair as they entered Lorien, though they tried not to show it. Despite Mag’s attempts to hide her emotions, it did not work, and Legolas looked sorrowfully at her. They walked a bit further, and came to the top of a slope. They all looked down, and it was a valley filled of trees, the leaves blowing softly. It seemed dark, yet light and beautiful, like it emitted joy to some extent.
“Lothlorien!” Legolas cried gladly. “Lothlorien! We have come to the eaves of the Golden Wood. Alas that it is winter.”
“Winter can be just a beautiful,” Mag added gloomily, though her facial expression showed other wise. The Fellowship walked, and Mag felt her heart lighten. Indeed, this was the one place of all she’d been looking forward most to visiting.
“Lothlorien!” Aragorn said. “Glad am I to hear again the wind in the trees! We are still little more than five leagues from the Gates, but we can go no further. Here let us hope that the virtue of the Elves will keep us tonight from the peril that comes behind.”
“If Elves indeed still dwell here in the darkening world,” Gimli added, looking about.
“It is long since any of my own folk journeyed hither back to the land whence we wandered in ages long ago,” said Legolas. “but we hear that Lorien is not yet deserted, for there is a secret power here that holds evil from the land. Nevertheless it’s folk are seldom seen, and maybe they dwell now in the woods and far from the northern boarder.”
“Indeed deep in the wood they dwell,” said Aragorn, and sighed as though he was remembering something from the past. “We must fend for ourselves tonight. We will go forward a short way, until the trees are all above us, and then we will turn aside from the path and seek a place to rest.”
Aragorn went, but Boromir held back, and would not go. “Is there no other way?” he asked.
“What fairer way would you desire?” asked Aragorn, turning back.
“A plain road, though it lead through a hedge of swords.” Boromir told. “By strange paths this Company has led, and so far to evil fortune. Against my will we passed under the shades of Moria, to our loss. And now we must enter the Golden Wood, you say. But of that perilous land we have heard in Gondor, and it is said that few come out who once go in; and of that few none have escaped unscathed.”
“Say not unscathed, but if you say unchanged, then maybe you will speak the truth,” said Aragorn with a smile. Then is disappeared. “But lore wanes in Gondor, Boromir, if in the city of those who once were wise they now speak evil of Lothlorien. Believe what you will, there is no other way for us — unless you would go back to the Moria-gate, or scale the pathless mountains, or swim the Great River all alone.”
“Then lead one!” Boromir said, deciding this proposal none too appealing. “But it is perilous.”
“Perilous indeed,” said Aragorn. “fair and perilous; but only evil need fear it, or those who bring some evil with them. Follow me!”
They walked on, in silence listening to the healing-like music of the leaves, it soon joined, after a little more than a mile of walking, by the rippling of water. Mag waited for Legolas to say something, but he said naught. Perhaps this was more movie-oriented than book. She still wasn’t used to it. Some things had to do with the movie, while more-so it had to do with the book.
Suddenly, Mag was filled with a warm glow. It was bursting from her chest in form of song, and she realized, her throat as well.
And Elven-maid there was of old,
A shining star by day:
Her mantle white was hemmed with gold,
Her shoes of silver-grey
A star was bound upon her brows,
A light was on her hair
As sun upon the golden boughs
In Lorien the fair.
Her hair was long, her limbs were white,
And fair she was and free;
And in the wind she went as light
As leaf of linden-tree.
Legolas looked at her, and seemed surprised that she knew the song of Nimrodel. He joined her melody in a soft, quiet voice. They came to an end at the same verse. Mag blushed, as everyone looked upon her with a grin. Her singing was pleasant, and tune had lifted their spirits considerably.
“I cannot remember anymore, though that is only a part.” Mag said, trying her best to keep to the novel format.
“There is still more, it is long and sad.” Legolas said. “It tells how sorrow came upon Lothlorien, Lorien of the Blossom, when the Dwarves awakened evil in the mountains.”
“But the dwarves did not make the evil,” Gimli said.
“I said not so; yet evil came,” answered Legolas sadly. “Then many of the Elves of Nimrodel’s kindred left their dwellings and departed, and she was lost far in the South, in the passes o the White Mountains; and she came not the ship where Amroth her lover waited for her. But in the spring when the wind is in the new leaves the echo of her voice mat still be heard by the falls that bear her name. And when the wind is in the South the voice of Amroth comes up from the sea; for Nimrodel flows into Silverlode, that Elves call Celebrant, and Celebrant into Anduin the Great, and Anduin flows into the Bay of Belfalas whence the Elves of Lorien set sail. But neither Nimrodel nor Amroth ever came back.”
Mag thought about this as Legolas continued the tale. It frosted her heart to think of Amroth calling for his love, and never receiving an answer. That is why she could not get close to anyone of this world. They would fall in love, and Mag at any given time, could be taken away.
“It is told that she had a house built in the branches of a tree that grew near the falls; for that was the custom of the Elves of Lorien, to dwell in the trees, and maybe so still. Therefore they were called the Galadhrim, the Tree-people. Deep in the forest their trees are very great. The people of the woods did not delve in the ground like Dwarves, nor built strong places of stone before the Shadow came.” Said Legolas.
“And even in these latter days dwelling in the trees might be thought safer than sitting on the ground,” said Gimli. He looked over the run and then up to the trees.
“Your words bring good counsel, Gimli.” Aragorn said. “We cannot build a house, but tonight we will do as the Galadhrim and seek refuge in the tree-tops, if we can. We have sat here beside the road already longer than wise.”
They continued for a while, and came upon trees. They were great trees, and in a bunch, and high and mighty. Legolas stopped by them, and looked upward.
“I will climb up,” said Legolas. “I am at home among trees, by root or bough, though these trees are of a kind strange to me, save a name in song. Mellyrn they are called, and are those that bear the yellow blossom, but I have never climbed one. I will see now what their shape and way of growth.”
“Whatever it may be,” said Pippin. “they will be marvelous trees indeed if they can offer any rest at night, except to birds. I cannot sleep on a perch!”
“Then dig a hole in the ground, if that is more the fashion of your kind!” Mag smiled, leaving Legolas with a puzzled look. “But be swift! Or you will be caught by Orcs.” She knew this wasn’t exactly along the lines of the book, but she just smiled it away, and caught a branch with her left hand. Legolas joined her, and they began to climb. With out warning, a dark voice came from above, causing Legolas and Mag to jump down in fright.
“Daro!” it said, in the language of the Elves. They flattened themselves against the bough of the Mellyrn. Mag smiled inside at her own foolishness, remember that they were in no danger.
“Stand still!” Legolas whispered still, clueless. “Do not move or speak!”
There was a soft laughter, and Mag grinned wider as she looked up. She saw nothing but the clustered branches of the great tree, however, she knew they saw her. A voice in spoke, and Legolas listened attentively. One asked a question, and Legolas answered in the same language.
“Who are they, and what to they say?” asked Merry, looking at Legolas for an answer.
“They are Elves,” Sam said matter-of-factly. “Can’t you hear their voices?”
“Yes they are Elves,” Magan said, though she could not understand what the people above her said. “And they say that you breathe so loud they could shoot you in the dark.” She smiled as Sam quickly covered his mouth with his hand. Legolas nodded.
“But they say also you need have no fear. They have been aware of us for a long while. They heard my voice across the Nimrodel and Mag’s song, and knew that I was one of their Northern kindred, and therefore they did not hinder our crossing. Now they bid Frodo and Mag climb up with me; for they seem to have some tiding of the hobbit and our journey. The others they ask to wait a little and to keep watch at the foot of the tree, until they have decided what it to be done.”
A ladder was put down from the leaves. It was of Elven make, and though seemed slim, it was strong, and could certainly hold many people. Legolas went with ease, but Frodo did not. Hobbits weren’t accustomed to heights, nor did they like heights. Mag was hesitant, not sure what might happen. She had a good idea, but why did they want her there? Why was she special? Perhaps, when they’d entered the wood, Galadriel sensed her, and knew of her origin. Did she guess that Mag was not of Middle Earth? Mag arrived after some time with Frodo, as she’d been forced to walk behind him, for she’d let him go ahead of her. Legolas was seated with three other Elves, one in particular caught her attention. Like his kin, he was clothed in shadow-gray, and was obscured against the trees’ bark. Their hair was all of gold, the one in the middle was taller than the other two. Mag smiled at the one who followed her with his eyes. It was Haldir, and a smiled grew across his lips. It was odd, in the movie, he never seemed like he smiled much. She remembered little of him from the book. The Elves seated at his left and right were most definitely Orophin and Rumil. They looked like they’d be his brothers, with the same sort of nose. He first spoke in Elven, then slowly in common tongue.
“Welcome!” he said, gazing at Mag in the overly-dim light. “We seldom use any tongue but our own; for we dwell now in the heart of the forest, and do not willingly have dealings with other folk. Even our own kindred our own kindred in the North are sundered from us. But there are some of us who still go abroad for the gatherings of news and the watching of our enemies, and they speak the languages of other lands. I am one. Haldir is my name.” Mag blushed when he looked from Legolas to her, his eyes shimmering brightly by the candle shadow. Haldir motioned first to his left, then to his right. “My brothers, Rumil and Orophin, speak little of your tongue. But we have heard rumors of you coming, for the messengers of Elrond passed by Lorien on their way home up the Dimrill Stair.” He looked at Frodo, and inspected him closely, looking through squinted eyes for a clearer view. “We had not heard of – hobbits, or halflings, for many a long year, and did not know that any yet dwelt in Middle Earth. You do not look evil! And since you come with an Elf of our kindred, we are willing to befriend you, as Elrond asked; though it is not our custom to lead strangers through our land. But you must stay here to night. However, we were not told of the lovely maiden I bade to accompany you up here, Legolas. Tell me, girl, who are you?”
His friendly smile had disappeared as he looked at Mag skeptically. Her gaze fell to her hands, and Legolas’ eyes darted from Mag to Haldir, with a look of mercy.
“Haldir! Come now. Make not with such untrusting. If Elrond not thought her safe, then would you think he would let her accompany us hither? Magan here comes from another land, far from here, but is no less truthful than I.”
Haldir bowed his head at Magan. “I apologize. It is our way, as you know, to be so, but I meant no harm.”
“No harm done, I assure you.” Mag smiled edgily. Haldir looked back to Legolas after a moment.
“How many of there are you?”
“Nine, now.” Legolas said. “Myself, Magan, four hobbits; and two men, one of whom, Aragorn, is an elf-friend of the folk of Westernesse.”
“The name of Aragorn son of Arathorn is known in Lorien,” said Haldir. “and he has the favor of the Lady. All then is well. But you have yet spoken only of eight.”
“The ninth is a dwarf,” Mag informed, and this was not to the fondness of Haldir, nor his brothers.
“A dwarf!” said Haldir bitterly. “That is not well. We have not had dealings with the Dwarves since the Dark Days. They are not permitted in out land. I cannot allow him to pass.”
“What?” Mag asked, abashed, as she stood up unhappily. “How can you be so prejudice towards the Dwarves? They haven’t done-“
Legolas grabbed Mag’s arm to hush her. She looked down at him, and her angry gaze dimmed. She took a deep breath, and sat, and looked at Haldir. His face was emotionless, as he stood straightly up.
“But he is from the Lonely Mountain, one of Dains’s trusty people, and friendly to Elrond.” Frodo spoke up at last. “Elrond himself chose him to be one of out companions, and he has been brave and faithful.”
Haldir turned to his brothers, and they spoke among eachother. Legolas looked at Mag, and she blushed. Legolas himself spoke quietly to her.
“I suggest you do not speak so to them again. The Elves of Lorien already are doubting towards you.” He said, and Mag nodded, and looked to her lap. Her eyes flickered at Frodo, and he smiled.
“Very good,” Haldir said. “We will do this, though it is against our liking. If Aragorn and Legolas will guard him, and answer for him, he shall pass; but he must go blindfold through Lothlorien. But now we must debate no longer! Your folk must not remain on the ground. We have been keeping watch on the rivers, ever since we saw a great troop of Orcs going north toward Moria, along the skirts of the mountains, many days ago. Wolves are howling on the wood’s borders. If you have indeed come from Moria, the peril cannot be far behind. Tomorrow early you must go on. The four hobbits shall climb up here and stay with us – we do not fear them! There is another talan in the next tree. There the others must take refuge. You, Legolas, must answer for them. Call us, if anything is amiss! And have an eye on that dwarf!”
Legolas and Magan went down to deliver Haldir’s message. The rest of the Fellowship went to the other talan, and before going to it, Mag assisted Pippin, Merry and Sam with carrying some things up. The hobbits were out of breath, and scared, they neither liking heights.
“There!’ panted Merry, setting some things down. Mag stood up after setting the blankets she’d brought up down. “We have lugged up your blankets as well as our own! Strider has hidden the rest of out baggage in a deep drift of leaves.”
“You had no need of your burdens,” said Haldir with a twinkle of amusement in his eyes. “It is cold in the tree-tops in winter, though the wind tonight is in the South; but we have food and drink to give you that will drive away the night-chill, and we have skins and cloaks to spare.”
Mag went to leave, but Frodo protested; the two had become good friends in their journey and Mag to appreciate Frodo more than she had back home.
“Do not go! Stay! Have a bite to eat before you leave.” He held up the loaf he had in his right hand. Mag thought for a moment. She looked at Haldir, who raised an eye brow.
“I do not think I am welcome here. I will go join Legolas and Aragorn.”
“No, stay.” Said Haldir, bowing. “I apologized ere, but I shall again; I meant not to be so cold before. Stay.”
Mag nodded, and sat next to Sam, who offered her some bread. She ate that, then some other stuff she’d never seen, but it was still good. They talked, and Mag listened attentively, though sleep was creeping up on her. She sprawled herself on her stomach, and rested her head on her arms. Her eyes closed wearily, and soon, she was fast asleep.
It was late when she awoke, but still night, the crescent moon twinkling dully through the leaves. Th white light was upon Frodo’s eyes, he too awake. Mag didn’t know if he’d been awake all this time, or just awoke.
“Hey,” said Magan very quietly. Frodo opened his mouth to speak, but it was cut by the vile laughter and loud stamping of many boots upon the forest floor. Frodo snapped his head around, and Mag looked over his shoulder for the sound. The blanket that been laid on her while she slept quivered as she held it tightly in her white knuckles. The sound dulled as they went southward. Both Frodo and Mag were alarmed when a head peeped through the hole in the flet, but they realized it was the cloaked head of an elf.
“What is it?” Frodo asked.
“Yrch!” spat the Elf.
“Orcs!” Frodo said with equal hate.
“But what are they doing?” asked Mag. The Elf, however, had left. Mag looked at Frodo, who shivered in his own blanket. All was silent and still. The leaves above and about them were even quiet. Frodo clambered over the edge of the flet and looked down. After a moment of watching, Frodo came back, and Haldir came. Mag looked quizzically at them.
“There was something in this tree I have never seen before. It was not an Orc. It fled as soon as I touched the tree-stem. It seemed to be wary, and to have some skill in trees, or I might have thought it was on of you hobbits. I did not shoot, for I dare not arouse any cries: we cannot risk battle. A strong company of Orcs passed. They crossed the Nimrodel – curse their foul feet in its clean water! – and went on down the old road beside the river. They seemed to pick up some scent, and they searched the ground for a while near the place where you halted. The three of us could not challenge a hundred, so we went ahead and spoke with feigned voices, leading them into the woods. Orophin has now gone in haste back to our dwellings to warn our people. None of the Orcs will ever return out of Lorien. And there will be many Elves hidden on the northern boarder before another nightfall. But you must take the road south as soon as it is fully light.”
And when light came, they aroused, Mag wide-awake when Legolas poked his head in to tell them to wake. She hadn’t fallen back asleep that night. The sun, though it was barely out, wormed it’s way through the branches, and smiled upon them, warm and kind. Mag shook Frodo, who woke the others. They set off, now their guides Haldir and Rumil. Legolas looked back.
“Farewell, sweet Nimrodel!” he cried, and Frodo mumbled his farewell. They walked for a time, then Haldir stopped to look at an Orcs print in the ground. He then went under the trees’ implication.
“There is one of my people yonder across the stream,” said Haldir. Mag looked, but found nothing. Haldir smiled as he saw her. “though you may not see him.”
Haldir made a cry across the river like a bird, and the elf jumped out, all in grey, which was the fashion of the Lorien elves. His hair was golden too, and Haldir threw a coil of silver rope cross, the other elf caught it, and tied it around a tree.
“Celebrant is already a strong stream here, as you see,” said Haldir. “and it runs both swift and deep, and it is very cold. We do not set foot in it so far north, unless we must. But in these days of watchfulness we do not make bridges. This is how we cross! Follow me!” he then ran along it easily, then back, as if he’d never left the grassy ground. Mag bit her lip. No way could she do that!
“I can walk this path,” Legolas said, looking at it, then back to Haldir. “but the others have not the skill. Must they swim?”
“No!” Haldir said. “We have two more ropes, we will fasten them above the other, one shoulder high, and another half high, and holding these the strangers should be able to cross with care.”
After the makeshift bridge was set, the Company passed over it, some slow and very careful, others with less trouble. Pippin out of all the hobbits was best, but Sam had trouble. Mag was the last, and the only one on the other side. They looked at her, and she looked at the rope, shaking her head. Even now it seemed hopeless.
“I can’t!” she cried, her heart pounding. “I can’t do it!”
“Come, Magan! Do not tarry! We must move quickly!” Legolas called from the opposite bank. Mag backed away.
“I can’t, Legolas! I’ve never been good at his kind of thing!”
“Come now!” Frodo said. “If Pippin could do it with such luck, surely you can!”
“I… I…” Mag shook her head, now almost tearful with fear. She had to go foreword. What else could she do? She couldn’t go back.
“I shall go back over and help her,” said Haldir, and he ran along the rope speedily. He arrived at her side, and she looked warily at him. He took a step to her.
“I am here to help you.” He held a hand out. Mag looked at it like it was infested with ants, dangerous and harmful.
“Take my hand.” Haldir commanded. “You are holding us back, and we must move quickly.” Mag whimpered. Haldir sighed frustradidly, but smiled fervidly. “Do not worry. I will not let you fall. Trust me.”
Magan nodded, and took his hand. He quickly led her to the rope.
“Put your foot on the rope.” Haldir instructed. Magan did. She had both feet on, Haldir right behind her. She put her right hand on the shoulder height cord and left on the other one. She went along very slowly, whining.
“Haldir…” Mag said, very frightened. “Haldir! I’m going to fall!’
“No you are not. See? Already you are halfway across.”
Magan looked up, and indeed it was so. She went, but suddenly, her left foot gave out, and she slipped.
“AHH!” she screamed, but Haldir caught her. He held her to his body, his other hand balancing both of them on the rope. Mag looked up, and sighed.
They continued to go, and finally, they reached the other side. Mag smiled in triumph, then blushed, imagining how foolish she had looked. The bridge was taken apart, Rumil slung the rope over his back, and went back to the Nimrodel to watch. Haldir turned to them.
“Now, friends, you have entered the Naith of Lorien, o the Gore, as you would say, for it is the land that lies like a spearhead between the arms of Silverlode and Anduin the Great. We allow no strangers to spy out the secrets of the Naith. Few indeed are permitted even to set foot there. As was agreed, I shall here blindfold the eyes of Gimli the Dwarf. The others may walk free for a while, until we come nearer to out dwellings down in Egnadil, in the Angle between the waters.”
Gimli, how ever, did not entirely approve of this.
“The agreement was made without my consent. I will not walk blindfold, like a beggar or a prisoner. I am no spy. My folk have never had dealings with any of the servants of the Enemy. Neither had we done harm to the Elves. I am no more likely to betray you than Legolas, or any other of my companions.”
Magan looked between Haldir and Gimli, and wondered if a fight broke out, who might win. Gimli, at the moment, seemed positively bloodthirsty.
“I do not doubt you,’ said Haldir. “Yet it is out law. I am not the mast of the law, and cannot set it aside. I have done much in letting you set foot over the Celebrant.”
Gimli stood stubbornly, his hand upon his axe shaft. “I will go forward free, or I will go back and seek my own land, where I am known to be true of word, though I perish alone in the wilderness.”
“You cannot go back.” Haldir said, exactly like he had in the movie, and though this was no time for merriment, Mag hid her smile. “Now you have come thus far, you must be brought before the Lord and Lady. They shall judge you, to hold you or to give you leave, as they will. You cannot cross the rivers again, and behind you there are now secret sentinels that you cannot pass. You would be slain before you saw them.”
Gimli brought out his axe, and Haldir and his men bent their bows. “A plague on Dwarves and their stiff necks!” Legolas said. Mag began to panic. This wasn’t good.
“Come!” said Aragorn. “If I am still to lead this Company, you must do as I bid. It is hard upon a Dwarf to be thus singled out. We will all be blindfold, even Legolas. That will be best, though it will make the journey slow and dull.”
Gimli laughed, which was strange with such tenseness in the air. “A merry troop of fools we shall look! Will Haldir lead us on a string, like many blind beggars with one dog? But I will be content, if only Legolas here shares my blindness.”
Legolas then became angry. “I am an Elf and a kinsman here!”
“Legolas,” said Mag disapprovingly, with the same tone he used on her on the flet.
“Now, let us cry: ‘a plague on the tiff neck of Elves!'” said Aragorn. “But the Company shall all fare alike. Come, bind our eyes, Haldir!”
“I am blaming you for every time I stub my toe! Believe me, if I do, you’ll never hear the end of it!” Mag said, beating Gimli to what he was to say. The Dwarf showed his agreement.
“Do not worry, fair maid,” Said Haldir with an unusual gentle tone. “You will make no such claim,” he slowly tied the blue cloth around Mag’s eyes, and the last thing she saw was the smiling face.
“Alas are the folly of these days!” Legolas said, as his eyes were too covered. “Here are all the enemies of the one Enemy, and yet I must walk blind, while the sun is Merry in the woodland under the leaves of gold!”
“Folly it may seem.” Haldir said. “Indeed in nothing is the power of the dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who oppose him. Yet so little faith and trust do we find now in the world beyond Lothlorien, unless maybe in Rivendell, that we dare not by our own trust endanger our land. We live now upon an island amid man perils, and out hands are more often upon the bowstring than upon the harp. The rivers long defended us, but they are a sure guard no more; for the Shadow has crept northward all about us. Some speak of departing, yet for that it seems too late. The mountains to the west are growing evil; to the east the lands are waste, and full of Saurons’ creatures; and it is rumored that we cannot now safely ass southward through Rohan, and the mouths of the Great River are watched by the Enemy. Even if we could come to the shores of the Sea, we should find no longer any shelter there. It is said that there are still haven of the High Elves, but they are far north and west, beyond the land of the Halflings. But where that may be, though the Lord and Lady may know, I do not.”
“You ought to at least guess, since you have seen us,” said Merry. “There are Elf-havens west of my land, The Shire, where Hobbits live.”
“Happy folk are hobbits to dwell near the shores of the Sea!” Haldir said. “It is long indeed since any of my folk have looked on it, yet still we remember it in song. Tell me of these havens we talk about.”
I cannot,” said Merry. “I have never seen them. I have never been out of my own land before. And if I had known what the world outside was like, I don’t think I should have the heart to leave it.”
“Not even to see fair Lothlorien?” Haldir asked in surprise. “The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark place; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps greater. Some there are among us who sing that the Shadow will draw back, and peace shall come again. Yet I do not believe that the world about us will ever be again as it was of old, or the light of the Sun as it was aforetime. For the Elves, I fear, it will prove at best a truce, in which they may pass to the Sea unhindered and leave Middle Earth forever. Alas for Lothlorien that I love! I would be a poor life in a land where no mallorn grew. But if there are mallorn-trees beyond the Great Sea, none have reported it.”
So they spoke of this, as they continued to be led. The sun was warm, and she very oddly, felt a hand slip in hers. Legolas, she was sure. She smiled, even though the elf wouldn’t see it. None slipped nor fell, the floor of the forest was smooth and on it, no stain. Lothlorien had no stain.
So, the continued to walk, and Haldir left for a time. He came back with news, some that he bore to the others. The orcs had been killed, yet a small creature had resisted.
“Also,” said Haldir. “they bring me a message from the Lord and Lady of the Galadhrim. You are to walk free, even the dwarf Gimli. It seems that the Lady knows who and what each member of your Company. New messages have come from Rivendell, perhaps.”
He went to Gimli and took the cloth from his eyes. “Your pardon!” he said, and bowed. “Look on us now with friendly eyes! Look and be glad, for you are the first dwarf to behold the trees of the Naith of Lorien since Durin’s Day!”
Haldir at last came to Magan, and reached around her to take the bandage from her eyes. The first thing Mag saw was what she’d seen last; his grinning face. Mag blushed, and then caught her breath as she surveyed the scene about her. It was so beautiful, the grass greener than Mag thought possible. She just looked, mouth open. Haldir smile.
“It is beautiful,” she said in a gasp. Haldir nodded.
“Aye.” He went back to the others, and Mag watched him go, and felt the view grow less beautiful.
“Behold! You are come to Cerin Amroth,” said Haldir. “For this is the heart of the ancient realm as I was long ago, and here is the mound of Amroth, where in happier days his high house was built. Here ever bloom the winder flowers in the unfading grass, the yellow Elanor, and the pale Niphredil. Here we will stay awhile, and come to the city of the Galadhrim at dusk.”
All, save Mag and Frodo, lay upon the grass. Mag walked a bit farther off from the group, through the trees. She felt a presence join hers.
“Do not wander too far,” Haldir warned with a mockitive grin. “You may get lost.”
“Hmm, yes.” Mag said, avoiding his eyes, and busying her own with looking at the trees about them. “It really is lovely here. You are very lucky to live here.”
“I do. Dearly do I love Lothlorien, yet there is something else I hold above my treasure,”
Mag looked at him curiously.
“Come,” he said. “The others will wonder where we have gone. “
He took her hand, and she looked at her hand in his. It didn’t feel awkward. It felt normal. Like it should be. Then she realized why. It hadn’t been Legolas that had held her hand, walking there, while she’d been blind. It had been Haldir. The elf led her back to the group. Frodo stood near Aragorn, who held a yellow elanor. He seemed like years had left him, and tall and mighty and kingly was he. He was off in some distant memory, and Mag smiled on him. It was Arwen where his mind and heart were. He looked from Frodo, and caught Mag’s eye. He did not smile, though his eyes were full of joy. They held each others gaze for a long moment, until finally Aragorn turned and taking Frodo’s hand the two went, the Company in tow. Mag took one last look behind her, and new never again would she see this land as it was.