I quickly opened my eyes and looked around, “Who’s there?”
“Only me, your highness. I was just taking an article down to my Lord and Lady, when I saw you, I almost thought you had fallen asleep. I wanted to make sure you did not fall down the stairs. I also did not want to disturb you.”
“Quite all right, sir. You are from Lothlorien, are you not?”
“Aye, I am. I am Haldir, and am the son of Oranius, a chief commander in the Lothlorien Army. And who do I have the pleasure of speaking to? An important noble Elf of sorts?”
“Yes. I am Iaryavie, daughter of King Gil-Galad High King of the Elves, and heiress to the Throne,” I said, not unkindly. This Elf with blonde hair, although he was not a prince or a person of high estate, I seemed to be attracted to. Haldir, at hearing my introduction, bowed down low as was the custom.
“My Lady, it would give me a great honor to escort you to your destination.”
“And it would give me an even greater honor to be escorted by you, my Lord.” Even though he wasn’t a `Lord’ I addressed him as such. “Come now, good sir.” Haldir linked his right arm with my left, and he escorted me to my bed chamber.”
“And here, I must leave you, oh fair Lady. For I would not wish to impose on your privacy. With your permission, I will take my leave.”
A little down-hearted, I tried the best I could to make him stay in my company, “Privacy? A princess has practically no privacy due to all the people and things that demand her attention. For once, I would like someone to talk to as a friend, not a suitor or maid, but a friend. If the errand to your Lord is not urgent, then I ask you to stay in my company and entertain me with your fair Lothlorien Speech which is as rich as gold to me.”
“I am flattered,” he said as he bowed his head, ” but I’m afraid my errand is urgent. I would love to entertain you with my speech as long as I may be able to speak, but for right now, I cannot.”
“Then when will I be able to speak to you again, good Lord?”
“I do not know-“
“Have you seen the Gardens?”
“No, I have not had time yet, and I doubt I will have time. My father, and my Lord keep me busy all day.”
“Then are you free at night?”
“Good, would you care for a midnight stroll in the Palace Gardens tonight?”
“Is this wise? Are not the doors that lead to the outside locked at night, as at any Palace?”
“Aye, but I do not use doors. Come here as soon as you are able, and I will show you the way out.”
“Yes, fair Lady! I shall not fail you. But now, I am afraid I must take my leave of you, do I have your permission?”
“Aye, leave now, before you are missed too greatly. Good Day,” said I as I opened the door to my bed chamber and entered, closing the door behind me.
“Good Bye, oh Fair one,” whispered Haldir after I closed the door, and then turned and ran down all the stairs and through all the corridors and into the great dining hall (where my family-and future family- were still sitting and talking with the Lord and Lady of Lothlorien). “My Lord,” he began to Gil-Galad, ” I pray thee, sign this document that says I may fight in the war, underage though I be.”
“No. Haldir, you are too young. I will not have an Elfling fight in this war. You have heard the word of Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel, and now my word. Do not ask again. While we are fighting, you will stay in Rivendell along with the other Elflings. But, I do have a proposal to ask of you.”
“I will do anything you ask my Lord, just name it.”
“During the war, will you guard my daughter? Your duty would start today, so that she may become accustomed to your presence. This is a serious duty, and must not be taken lightly. You must never leave her side in Rivendell, or anywhere else for that matter. I doubt evil will threaten her, but still, she may decide to sneak off and follow the army. You must not let her do this. If I fall, then she is the heiress to the throne, and she must remain safe from all evil. Will you do it?”
“I would be most honored, though I do not know why I am chosen for this task.”
“You are chosen because you can be trusted, and since you yourself will not joining in the war, then you are the perfect candidate. Surion, please go tell Iaryavie to come down again.”
“Aye, my Lord,” said the Elf Servant and he turned to go fetch the Noldor Princess.
“Sit down Haldir. Don’t stand there gaping like an orc,” said Oranius as he pointed to a seat. Haldir said nothing, but quickly complied with his father’s demands.
A few minutes went by, but still no sign of Iaryavie or Surion. Finally, some 30 minutes later, Surion came in leading a very exhausted and a very soaked princess.
“I’m sorry my Lords, she was asleep and wouldn’t wake up. I had to…resort to other measures.” Everyone tried to hold back laughs at the site of Iaryavie, all except Lairato who promptly stood up and rushed over to her draping his cloak about her shoulders.
“Come now, sit down mellon nin,” he said as he led her to the chair next to his. “Lord Gil-Galad, are you going to leave this servant unpunished?”
“Yes, I am. He has done nothing wrong…in fact, I do it myself most of the time.” Everyone laughed at Gil-Galad’s statement-even the victim- except Lairato, who did not think the matter funny.
“Why was I dragged down here?” I asked as I saw Haldir sitting almost directly across from me.
“While we are fighting the war, my daughter, you and the other elflings shall stay in Rivendell. But even there, I’m afraid you will not be totally safe. So I have commissioned a personal guard, for yourself. He himself is still an Elfling, but is very advanced for his age,” said Gil-Galad casually.
“Who is he?”
“My Lady, may I present Haldir, my son. He shall be your guard during this war.”
“A guard? Why do I need a guard? I can fight just like any other Elf.”
“Iaryavie, you will NOT fight. You must have a guard to protect you wherever you go. Starting today, Haldir will accompany you at all times.”
“Yes Ada. May I be excused, now? It’s kind of stuffy in here. Good Day.” Although I didn’t show it, I was very happy that Haldir had been chosen. I gracefully stood up-all of the men stood up as well, as a sign of courtesy and respect- and gave Lairato his cloak back, and glared at him to tell him not to follow me. I walked out of that hall for the second time in an hour, and made my way for my bedchambers again, so I could change my clothing. After a few minutes I noticed someone rushing after me.
“So, did you beg to become my guard or were you singled out among the others?”
“Uhhh, I guess I was singled out, so I can stay out of trouble, I guess. Well, how about that walk in the Gardens, now that you have nothing better to do?”
“I am under command to follow you wherever you lead, my Lady.”
“Then come on. Oh, by the way. Do not call me “Lady” when it’s just you and me. Call me Ivie, that’s what all my friends and close family call me. But first, I need to go to my bed chambers again. Come on, hurry up, I want to get this mess done and over with as soon as possible.”
“Then shall we fly? That is the only possible way to get you to your destination the quickest.”
“Then we shall! First one to the top of the stair of the flight that my chambers are located on wins!” Haldir and I raced up the long flights of stairs sometimes I’d be in the lead, sometimes he would. We did not care about all of the odd stares that we received from the servants and guests. In the end, we tied. I had fallen as I got onto the top step and he tripped over me. We laughed so hard we couldn’t remember who had gotten there first, so we just called it even. We slowly stood up, ignoring the helping hands that were offered to us. When we made it to my chambers, he said he’d wait outside, but I told him to go ahead and come in. “My bedroom is on the other side of this chamber. This is my living space, right here. You may wait in here, while I go and get into some fresh clothes.” I hurried over to the left of the room, where the door to my bedroom was. I slipped in and closed the door, and left Haldir to his own devices. As I took off my green gown, I looked out the huge window doors that led to my balcony. It overlooked the Gardens, and I could see my Apple Tree down in the middle of them. I found my dark blue gown that I usually wore if I wanted to climb my tree. I put it on, and since Methia was washing clothes with the other maids down at the river-and thus couldn’t help me- I had a little trouble tightening the laces in the back of the bodice. It felt a little weird, but that’s just me. I grabbed my apron-which I had to wear when I climbed any tree-and head towards the door that would lead me to the my living area. I saw Haldir starring out of my small-ten feet high and ten feet long-bay window into the Gardens. “It’s Beautiful, isn’t it? But it’s not as beautiful as my Secret Valley. No one knows of my Valley, but I suppose you will have to if you are to be my guard. Tomorrow we shall go there, if you please, but for today lets stick with the Gardens.”
“Aye, if it is so secret, it must take a while to get there, but lo! The sun has set her course Westward, and there would not be too much time to go to your Valley anyway.”
“Yes, come on now, lets go see the Gardens!”
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.