Gandalf couldn’t believe his ears. “Surely you jest,” he said astonished. “You want Narbeleth to reside here in this Haven?”
“I know you don’t like her,” Legolas said, “but I ask it as a favor? She needs strong guidance and I can think of no Haven better on Tol Eressea than this!”
“Dear Legolas, even if I did vote in Narbeleth’s favor, I’m not sure about Galadriel, and I have grave doubts that Elrond will be in favor of it. We have a quiet place here, you know that. did you know Glorfindel has come also to live here with us?”
“How marvelous!” Legolas exclaimed. “And I have heard Gwindor of Nargothrond and Voronwe of Gondolin and Mablung of Doriath are also here now?”
“Yes, and we have another new one…Haldir…of the Golden Wood?”
At that, Legolas frowned. “The others I can see being here, but how did he manage to get voted in?”
“Galadriel pushed for it. He was a good and faithful marchwarden for her…but…you didn’t get along with him too well, did you?”
“We weren’t exactly friends, but we fought battles together. He must be the youngest one here in your Haven?”
“He is. And tell me, how did he and Narbeleth get along?”
“Too well,” Legolas admitted.
“Then perhaps it would not be a good idea for her coming after all?”
Legolas pondered. “It is still a good idea. At least here she would only have one Elf perhaps to mess around with.”
“Be that as it may, you will have to talk to Elrond and Galadriel. And what does Narbeleth think of staying here?”
“She doesn’t know which Haven I have my sights on, she hates the idea of having to live in any Haven.”
“But she will do it? To please you?”
“She will do it, or she will not get my name-ring.”
“Ah, a threatening bribe from you?”
“I want her to settle down!” Legolas complained, getting a bit exasperated. “Haven’t you heard the trouble she was just in with Mandos?”
“Everyone has heard.”
“Well? I am not going to give up my work with Menelya to stay here and baby-sit her! She gets crazy notions, and if you and Elrond and Galadriel can’t keep her contained, then who can?”
“Ah, Menelya. How is she?” Gandalf asked, changing the subject, and hopefully trying to calm Legolas down.
“She is fine…she speaks often of you.”
“Really? I wish she would visit sometime.”
“I’ll tell her that. You’ve known each other forever, haven’t you?”
Gandalf nodded. “We almost married.”
That shocked Legolas! “She never mentioned that!”
“No, she wouldn’t, she is too gracious. The break-up was my fault. I became a wizard…our paths separated.”
Legolas gave him a wiry look. “But now you’re a retired wizard, right? Maybe you two could at last get together?”
Gandalf slowly shook his head. “She is wholly dedicated to her work…just as you have become. She made a good choice, too, in choosing you for a helper and companion.”
“The work is both a joy and a sorrow. There are so few Elves and Fey Folk left on earth; so many have turned mean or wicked; most have shrunk or faded so much you can hardly see them. It’s pitiful.”
“Well, perhaps not too many more Ages will pass before The End since Men have now devised such weapons of mass destruction…but…only Iluvatar knows the day and hour.”
“Alas…as for Narbeleth?” Legolas asked, getting back on the subject. “What say you, old friend? I beseech you, will you cast your lot for her to come here?”
Gandalf slowly nodded. “For you I will do it, Legolas…but we must find Elrond and Galadriel and put the matter before them.”
That made Legolas very happy. At least he had one vote cast in her favor!
They found the two in another part of the vast garden and Legolas made his plea.
Elrond got boiling angry right away! “That frolicking-no-good-maiden? You want her to come live here? Do you know that she enticed my sons to spend an entire month with her in some broken-down-forsaken shack after you sundered? A whole month! Glorfindel found them! Old as my sons were, he took his belt off and strapped them both and I was glad to hear it! That maiden has no shame! She is depraved!”
“I know!” Legolas exclaimed, “that’s why I want her to live here while I’m away!” He had never seen Elrond so visibly aggravated. He wished he could disagree with Elrond and defend Narbeleth, but he couldn’t!
“Glorfindel will not abide her living here,” Elrond went on, “he was mortified by what he saw them doing! It was deplorable!”
“Elrond, calm down,” Galadriel urged him, “I know Narbeleth and her barother Baras…who lingers yet with Mandos. I knew their parents. I would like to help her if i could.”
“She’s very headstrong,” Gandalf interjected, “she might not listen to anyone here but…”
“I don’t like the idea!” Elrond exclaimed, cutting Galadriel off, “I think it is far too late for that one to change her ways. Such behavior cannot be condoned!”
Gandalf pondered, then appealed Elrond. “Elrond, forgive her, if Glorfindel will abide her, will you then agree to let her stay?”
Elrond pondered and frowned then sighed. “This is a hard thing you ask of me…but…yes, if he will abide her…and she will humble herself and ask forgiveness…then yes, I will accept it…but don’t expect me to be happy about it…and one other condition do I make…if she does become a problem and will not take our advice or our discipline, we have the right to send her away. You agree to all this, Legolas?
“That sounds fair to me,” Legolas agreed.
“Then, we shall go see Glorfindel,” Gandalf said, and led Legolas off.
Elrond turned to Galadriel. “How can you even consider this? You know she is going to disrupt this whole Haven? Yu don’t really think we can change Narbeleth, do you?”
Galadriel smiled. “It will be a challenge, will it not?”
At the cottage of Glorfindel, Gandalf knocked and Glorfindel let them in and was surprised to see Legolas.
“Legolas!” he exclaimed, shaking his hand, “what a pleasant surprise!”
“Legolas has a problem,” Gandalf asserted, “he needs your help.”
“Oh? And what might that be? Not to slay a Balrog I hope!”
All of them chuckled. “Nay, not a Balrog,” Legolas told him, “but my maiden is a bit wild even yet.”
Glorfindel eyed Legolas. “Are you meaning Narbeleth?”
“I would like her to live here in this Haven during the times I am away at work with Menelya. Elrond says he does not think you will abide her staying here?”
Glorfindel frowned deeply. “Do you know what she did with his sons?”
“Elrond just told me she was with the twins for a month, but did not go into any detail…but I can imagine.”
“It was disgusting. I perceive her need for Elves is great, and she cares not their station, high or low. To frolic is like an addiction to her? How can you still love her and want her? None of us here can understand it. Your are a Prince of Destiny, you could choose most any maiden. Why do you stick with her?”
Legolas knew Glorfindel had a point, alright. But for some reason, he did love her. “She has problems,” Legolas admitted, “but she has a good heart and does love me…and I her. I will marry her if the…Elf problem can be solved. I have promised to give her my name-ring if she will live here and learn to say faithful to me. Gandalf and Galadriel have agreed she might…but Elrond will not vote for her unless you say you will abide her here. So it’s come down to you, Great Warrior…yea or nay…and I’m begging your forgiveness, that you had to be a witness to her folly.”
Glorfindel pondered several moments. “Well, there is only one Elf here who she might entice…Haldir is here.”
“I know. I was told.”
“And you can suffer that? I will bet everything I won that if she comes, he will be tempted by her.”
“I know that, too. But I still think if she can stay here long enough, she will change to the better.”
Glorfindel looked incredulously to Gandalf. “Have you ever heard of a situation like this before? Have you ever known any respectable Elf to suffer such a maiden?”
“No, I never have.” Gandalf admitted.
Glorfindel looked at Legolas. “If Gandalf and Galadriel think she should be allowed, then who am I to deny her? But I warn you, she better walk and talk and act like a lady-maiden around me or there will be consequences…you tell her that.”
Legolas smiled a little, happy at his decision, then told Glorfindel seriously. “I will tell her, and if I find out she offends you or any one here, she will have consequences to deal with from me, also!”
Glorfindel nodded acknowledgment. “Then, I guess Narbeleth will be among us!”
And Gandalf sighed, “And may Iluvatar help us all!”