“Stay close, young hobbits.” Silvren heard Gimli whisper to Frodo and the other hobbits. “They say a sorceress lives in these woods. An Elf-witch…of terrible power. All who look upon her fall under her spell and are never seen again.” She couldn’t help but wonder where Gimli had heard that because her grandmother wasn’t a witch just because she could predict the future or what could happen in the future. Glancing ahead of her, Silvren noticed Frodo glancing about him as if he was looking for something with a worried look on his face.
“Mister Frodo?” Sam asked from behind him. Frodo looked back at Sam and then cautiously looked ahead of him, slowly following Gimli.
“Well, here’s one dwarf she won’t ensnare so easily. I have the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox.” Gimli said.
Silvren suddenly stopped walking at the sound of bowstrings being pulled taunt and glance about her to see that they were surrounded. Legolas had drawn his own bow and aimed an arrow at a nearby elf.
“The dwarf breathes so loud we could have shot him in the dark.” said an elf with long, golden hair.
“Aragorn, these woods are perilous. We must turn back.” Gimli called out.
“You have entered the realm of the Lady Galadriel. You cannot go back.” the elf said sternly to Gimli.
“Silvren?” the elf asked, turning with a questioning look on his face as he looked over dirty, travel worn clothes and appearance.
“Hello, Haldir.” Silvren said quietly. “Rúmil, Orophin.” she acknowledged Haldir’s brothers.
“Follow me.” Haldir said to the company as he led them through the darkening woods.
* * *
Silvren followed Legolas and Aragorn up the rope ladder that hung from the large flet that rested above them on one of the large branches of the Mallorn tree. A small breeze whispered through the leaves and branches of the trees as the company finally came to stand side by side on the flet.
“Welcome, Legolas, Son of Thranduil.” Haldir said in a courteous voice, speaking in the elves’ native tongue.
“Our fellowship stands in your debt.” Legolas replied in a soft tone, that made the elven language sound twice as desirable and enticing.
“Silvren Ithilien, it is good to see you again.” Haldir said as he came to her and respectfully nodded his head to her.
“It is good to be in these woods once again.” she spoke in her native tongue as well.
“Ah, Aragorn of the Dunedain.” Haldir said politely, also speaking to the ranger in elvish. “You are know to us though you have not stepped foot in these woods for some time.”
“So much for the legendary courtesy of the elves.” Gimli grumbled in a rough voice. “Speak words we can all understand.”
Haldir turned his gaze upon the dwarf and spoke slowly in a hard tone. “We have had not had dealings with the dwarves since the dark days.”
“And you know what this dwarf says to that?” Gimli growled and then spoke in a rough, choppy tongue that Silvren had never heard before and was quite glad she hadn’t for it made her grimace in disgust.
“That was not so courteous.” Aragorn hissed as he roughly snatched Gimli’s arm.
Haldir gazed at Gimli and turned, stepping past him to face Sam and Frodo who stood a few steps behind the others. “You bring great evil with you.” Haldir breathed, his gaze fixed on Frodo. “You can go no further.” Haldir said, turning quickly to face Aragorn.
Haldir spoke with Aragorn in soft voices by themselves as the others sat around and waited to learn what their next move would be. Legolas stood by Silvren as she sat on the flet gazing up at the stars that twinkled in the sky above, wondering what was going to happen to them now. Finally, Legolas took a seat beside her, wondering if she was ready to talk about her feelings.
“Why Gandalf? Why did it have to happen to Gandalf?” she asked sorrowfully as she turned to face Legolas. A single tear tumbling down her cheek.
“I don’t know, Silvren. If I could change it I would.” Legolas said comfortingly.
“He was like a grandfather to me. The grandfather I never had on my father’s side. He always brought me treats and showed me new tricks and told me new stories.” Silvren began to cry and Legolas wrapped his arms around her.
“Shh, everything will be all right.” he whispered, doing what he could to comfort her.
A soft breeze blew through the trees and played with the loose material of their outfits. Silver lanterns hung from small tree branches and shed a pale blue light upon the surrounding area. Here, Silvren began to feel as if she was at home once again.
“Gandalf’s death was not in vain.” Boromir said to Frodo as he sat down near the young hobbit. “Nor would he want you to give up hope. You carry a heavy burden, Frodo. Don’t carry the weight of the dead.” Boromir said and then glanced up to see Silvren watching them.
“You are to follow me.” Haldir ensnared Boromir and Frodo’s attention as the elf stood above them.
* * *
“You have entered the Naith of Lórien. We allow no strangers to find out the secrets and few are permitted to even set foot here.” said Haldir. “As was agreed, I shall blindfold Gimli’s eyes. The others are free to walk freely for a while.”
“What?” Gimli grunted furiously. “I never agreed to such an outlandish thing.” he growled as he stared long and hard at Haldir. “I am no more likely to betray you than Legolas or any of my other companions.”
“I do not doubt you, but it is our law and I cannot throw it aside.”
Silvren watched uneasily as Gimli drew his axe from his belt and planted his feet in the ground. “I will walk freely.” he growled.
“A plague on the Dwarves and their stiff necks!” cried Legolas from beside Silvren.
“If I am to lead this company, you must do as I say. We shall all be blindfolded, including Silvren and Legolas.” Aragorn announced.
“But, the lady is of our kin.” Haldir stammered. “She is an elf as am I, there is no-“
“A plague on the stiff necks of Elves!” Aragorn cried. “The company shall all fare alike. Blindfold us if you must, Haldir.”
“I’m sorry, my lady.” Haldir said as he placed a strip of silky fabric over her eyes and gently tied the ends together behind her head.
“I mind not, Haldir. I have seen the beauty of Lórien many times and can see it in my mind already.”
“Very well.” Haldir muttered as he finished tying the loose ends together and gently patted her on the shoulders.
Once everyone had been blindfolded, the company slowly began to walk along the smooth paths as Haldir guided them through the woods. The sweet smell of the trees and grass tickled their noses and the soft rustle of the falling leaves and the murmur of the nearby river could be heard as clear as crystal.
The company marched on all day until the cool air of the night came upon them. They rested on the ground among the trees, not daring to climb the trees blindfolded.
Silvren settled on the ground beside Legolas and she felt him draw her closer to him as he lay on his back.
“How I long to see the moon’s pale light reflecting on your beautiful face.” Legolas whispered in elvish as Silvren rested her head on his shoulder, her fingers gently stroking a piece of his long, blonde hair that lay on his chest.
“You shall see it soon enough.” she smiled as he leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. Silvren sighed happily as she began to drift off to sleep, smiling at Gimli’s obnoxious snoring.
* * *
Silvren woke to the warm sunlight shining down through the plaited branches of the trees and onto her face.
“Are you awake, Legolas?” she whispered as she slowly sat up.
“Aye, Silvren. I’m awake.” he answered as he sat up as well.
“How long have you been awake?”
“Not long.” he smiled, though she couldn’t see it.
Silvren smiled as Legolas grabbed her hand and helped her to her feet. She was ready to continue onward for she desperately wanted to be rid of the blindfold and see the beauty of Lórien.
The company walked all throughout the morning before stopping to rest around noon. Silvren listened carefully as a group of elves approached Haldir.
“We are hastening towards the northern borders to guard against any possible attack from Moria.” One of the breathless elves said to Haldir.
“The marauding orcs were waylaid and were nearly all destroyed. The remaining ones fled westward towards the mountains.”
“That is good news.” said Haldir.
“There was also a strange creature that ran with its back bent and hands near to the ground.”
‘Gollum’ Silvren thought to herself and then debated whether or not to tell Legolas.
“Also,” the elf continued, but Silvren could not hear what he said for Merry and Pippin began arguing over their apples.
“Pippin, you’ve had enough already.” Merry insisted, though he could not see how many Pippin had really eaten.
“I’ve only had four.” Pippin said innocently.
“My point exactly.” said Merry.
Silvren could hear Haldir’s soft footsteps as he reapproached the company. “You all are free to walk without blindfolds, even Gimli.”
Silvren smiled in delight as she felt Legolas lightly trace the back of her head and gently undid the knot and pulled the fabric from her eyes. She blinked as the bright sunlight stung her eyes. She turned to face Legolas and reached behind his head, undoing the blindfold’s knot and letting the fabric fall away from his eyes as he had done for her. He blinked at the sunlight and quickly flashed Silvren a bright smile that she returned as Haldir undid Gimli’s blindfold.
Once everyone’s blindfold had been removed, the company began walking in single file behind Haldir. The number of trees grew less as they drew to the top of the final, rather steep, ridge and the hill of Caras Galadhon came into view. The beautiful trees shone wonderfully in the brilliant sunlight as the company gazed upon it in delight and wonder.
“Caras Galadhon. The heart of Elvendom on Earth, realm of the Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel.” Haldir informed them and then led them down the ridge towards the Elven-city.
The sun had sank below the mountains and the night sky grew darker as the elves uncovered their lamps and the company walked up the silver stairs that wound around the massive mellon trees of Lórien.
When they were quite a ways off the ground, they came to a wide talen with a house-like building with a set of stairs that led up to where Celeborn and Galadriel’s were perched. A soft silver light shone about the chamber and seemed to put their nerves and jitters at ease.
The fellowship stood across from the bottom of the stairs and watched as Celeborn offered his hand to Galadriel and the two slowly descended the silver stairs towards the fellowship.
Galadriel scanned the fellowship as the hobbits and Gimli gazed at her in wonder for they had never seen an elf of such elegance and mysteriousness.
“The enemy knows you have entered here.” Celeborn spoke at last, his eyes fixed upon his granddaughter in curiosity. “What hope you had in secrecy is now gone.”
Silvren sighed heavily and glanced down at the ground, knowing he would ask about Gandalf sooner or later. Her grief and fear filled her heart more than ever before.
“Nine there are here, but ten there were set out from Rivendell.” Celeborn continued. “Tell me, where is Gandalf for I much desire to speak with him. I can no longer see him from afar.”
Tears began to fill Silvren’s eyes at the mention of Gandalf’s name and a sharp twinge of pain pierced her heart.
“Gandalf the Grey did not pass the borders of this land.” Galadriel spoke in a quiet and sad tone.
Celeborn turned and looked at his wife in wonder and disbelief, eager to hear what else she had to say.
“He was taken by both shadow and flame.” Legolas said quietly, not fearing to speak to the lord and lady. “A Balrog of Morgoth.” he added bitterly. “For we went needlessly into the net of Moria.”
A single tear ran down the side of Silvren’s cheek as she remembered everything she had done with him and the stories he use to tell her. Sensing her pain, Legolas quietly slipped his hand into hers and gave her hand comforting squeeze.
“Needless were none of the deeds of Gandalf in life. We do not yet know his full purpose.” Galadriel said gently but with a firm voice. Her blue eyes, full of wisdom from over the many centuries, surveyed the others of the fellowship before her. Her gaze came to rest on Gimli who stood in front of Legolas and Silvren with his head bent towards the ground in guilt and sorrow.
“Do not let the emptiness of Khazad-Dûm fill your heart, Gimli, son of Glóin. For the world has grown full of peril and in all lands, love is now mingled with grief.” Galadriel finished and turned her gaze upon Boromir who could hardly look at her as he stifled a quiet and muffled sob.
“What now becomes of this fellowship?” Celeborn asked. “Without Gandalf, hope is now lost.”
“The quest stands upon the edge of a knife, stray but a little and it will fall to the ruin of all.” Galadriel said and glanced again at Boromir. “Yet hope remains while the company is true.” she turned her gaze upon Sam and her eyes softened. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Go now and rest for you are weary with sorrow and much toil. Tonight you will sleep well.” she finished and glanced over at Frodo.
One by one the fellowship began following Haldir down the silver steps that wound around the thick trunk of the Mallorn tree.
“Silvren.” Galadriel whispered before the young elf could follow after the others. “One moment please.”
Silvren looked at Legolas who offered her a small encouraging smile before following Gimli down the stairs and out of sight.
“Yes, grandmother?” Silvren asked as she stepped towards her grandparents.
Galadriel stepped towards Silvren with open arms and a gently smile lit up on her fair face. “I have missed you greatly.” Galadriel whispered as she embraced Silvren. “It must have been very hard for your father to allow to you come on this quest.” Galadriel said with a knowing sparkle in her blue eyes.
“He didn’t let me, grandmother.” Silvren gently shook her head. “I followed after them without his permission.”
“I know and he will soon learn that to have kept you from this would have caused you nothing but grief and turmoil. He will eventually see the benefits of you going on this quest.”
“And what would that be?” Silvren asked curiously.
“That is something you will have to figure out on your own.” Galadriel smiled.
“You always were the secretive type.” smiled Silvren.
“Come with me. Galadriel spoke as she gently grasped Silvren’s hand and led her away from the big chamber.
* * *
Silvren walked down small set of stone steps that led to the small opening where the fellowship was resting. She wore an ivory colored, silk dress adorned with silver gems, a scooping neckline and tapering sleeves that hung from the sides of her upper arm. Galadriel had provided her with her first bath since Rivendell and fresh clothes to wear while they remained in Lothlórien. Her hair and skin had finally been washed free of dirt, dust and grime from travel. She sighed as the sweet voices of the elves echoed around them, singing songs that reflected their sorrow over the loss of Gandalf.
“A lament for Gandalf.” Silvren heard Legolas say quietly s he carried a crystal pitcher from a nearby fountain.
“What do they say about him?’ Merry asked in a grieved voice as Silvren walked over to Legolas’ side.
“I have not the heart to tell you. For me the grief is still too near.” he said softly as Silvren placed a gentle hand on his shoulder and he turned to look down at her.
“I bet they don’t mention his fireworks.” Sam muttered. “There should be a verse about them.”
Silvren leaned her head against Legolas’ shoulder as he wrapped his arm around her slender waist. Her gaze fell upon Boromir who was seated apart from the company. His chin rested in his hands as he watched her and Legolas in jealousy and sadness. He took a deep breath and stood up beneath the silken pavilion under which he had been sitting. He stood up straight and began to recite a poem he had thought up.
“The finest rockets ever seen.
They burst in stars of blue and green.
Or after thunder, silver showers,
Come falling, like a rain of flowers.”
“Oh, that doesn’t do them any justice by a long road.” Sam muttered as flopped back down onto his bed.
* * *
Aragorn sat next to Gimli sharpening his sword while Gimli lay on his soft blanket snoring loudly. Aragorn glanced over at him and smacked his shoulder to quiet him. Aragorn then glanced over towards where Boromir sat on a jutted root and Aragorn stood to his feet.
“Take some rest.” he said as he walked past Boromir. “These borders are well protected.” he stopped walking.
“I will find no rest here.” Boromir muttered, bringing Aragorn’s head around to face him. “I heard her voice inside my head.” He sighed. “She spoke of my father and the fall of Gondor. She said to me, ‘Even now there is still hope left’, but I cannot see it.” Boromir said heavily and shook his head as he looked up at Aragorn.
Aragorn gazed at Boromir and walked towards him, sitting down beside him on the jutted root.
“My father is a noble man.” Boromir continued. “But his rule is failing and our people lose faith. He looks to me to make things right and I would do it. I would see the glory of Gondor restored. Have you ever seen it, Aragorn?” he asked. “The White Tower of Ecthelion, glimmering like a spike of pearl and silver. Its banners caught high in the morning breeze. Have you ever been called home by the clear ringing of silver trumpets?” he asked looking over at Aragorn.
“I have seen the White City long ago.”
“One day, out paths will lead us there. And the Tower guards shall take up the call: The Lords of Gondor have returned.”
* * *
“Silvren.” Legolas’ soft voice whispered from beside her.
“Hmm?” she asked glancing up at his face.
“You’re tired, you should take your rest.” he said silently as he released her from his arm.
“No. I want you to stay with me. I won’t be able to rest anyway.” she whispered meekly.
“Why not?” he asked with a confused expression as he reached up to her face and gently caressed her cheek.
“Because of Gandalf.” she choked.
“Oh, Silvren, I’m so sorry. We all miss him very much.” Legolas said as he wrapped his arms around her in a tight but gentle embrace. “I’ll stay with you for awhile.” He whispered as he slowly walked her back to her pavilion.
Outside her pavilion, Legolas sat down on the ground with his back against the trunk of the Mallorn tree that towered above them and he gently pulled Silvren down next to him. Legolas wrapped his arm around her and pulled her closer as she leaned her head against his chest and snuggled as close to him as she could.
Moments passed by and then Silvren lifted her head and placed a gently kiss on Legolas’ lips which he returned. She pulled away and kissed him once more and laid her head back down on his chest. All that the two young lovers could hear was the distant singing of the elves above in the trees and the slight rustle of the leaves above them.
Legolas glanced down at Silvren and gently pressed a small kiss upon the top of her head and sighed contently as he leaned his head back against the tree.