Disclaimer- I’m not claiming anything belonging to J.R.R. Tolkien. Anything you see that is unfamiliar is mine. The characters Thoron, Celebtari, Taruku, Aiduial, Hylama, Shae, Laide, Haloisi, Ailosacath, Mithaelin and Kano are all mine.
“They said what?”
“They said what?!? You have to marry him? Arwen! That draught shouldn’t have been this strong!” Aidi’s anguished cries rang through the room. `Shae had just brought them the news from the night before. She and Aidi sat on a tapestried rug in the middle of the chamber, whilst Arwen sat in a cushioned swing which had been hung from the ceiling, thinking. They were all wearing gowns of the same style as yesterday, except for `Shae, who was wearing one of the Lothlorien styled white ones which Galadriel’s maidens had brought for all of the females in the court of Thranduil. It seemed to shimmer when she moved, unlike the plain midnight blue of Aiduial’s and the amber of Arwen’s.
“Uma*, and so I have to wear this, and there will be an announcement at dinner. Why me?!?” As soon as she had said this, Arwen let out a little squeal, as if she had thought of something.
“That’s it! Hylama must have had the same idea we did, and put in her own melathond. That would explain the reason it’s so powerful, and he must have seen you dancing with Taruku just as he finished the wine.” At that moment, there came a knock at the door. When it opened, the queen, Celebtari, came in.
“Arwen! Aiduial! Change out of those filthy things at once! I have told you two time and again not to wear them in the palace! Here, wear these.” The queen walked over to the wardrobe and pulled out two more of the gowns brought from Lothlorien, except that one was powder blue and the other a soft, creamy yellow. She handed the blue to Aidi, the yellow to Arwen and turned to leave, then stopped to say, “Oh, and Hithshae, please try to look happy at dinner tonight. I’m not very happy about this wedding, but the betrothal is tonight. The king and I have decided that the two of you aren’t ready yet, so a formal marriage should not come for at least a century.”
As the queen left, `Shae nearly fell over with relief. No marriage yet! She just sat there, flooded with relief as Aidi and Arwen changed into their gowns, grumbling about how they hated these formal activities. When all of them were sitting on the bed brushing their hair, a shy tap came at the door.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me, Hylama. I came to apologize to Hithshae.”
“Come on in.”
Hylama entered with an ashamed look on her face. “Hithshae, I’m so sorry! I was hoping that the melathond I put in the wine would make him a little kinder to me, but I didn’t add much, and if there is anything I can do to make up for it I will! Oh, and there is an antidote for it. Here.” She handed Aidi a small glass vial filled with an amber liquid.
Aidi suddenly sat bolt upright. “That’s what we’ll do! Hylama you’re going to need to slip this in something Leg’las is going to eat or drink at dinner, so that he will call off the betrothal. “
“Please let it work! Please let it work! I’m too young to get married!” `Shae slumped over moaning, as Hylama got a very angry look on her face.
“Well I didn’t mean for him to fall in love with you! You’re very stupid not to realize just how lucky you are. I wish it was me getting to marry him. You get lovely Legolas and would be Queen of Mirkwood someday. Tell me that isn’t the best thing in the world!” Hylama was flushed, but, in an attempt to calm down, she turned to Aidi. “I will put the antidote in his wine and have his man servant, Thoron, give it him. Good bye!” With that she flounced out the door.
Dinner that night was a quiet affair, with most of the maidens trying to pretend that they didn’t care if Legolas got married, and Aidi and her friends on pins and needles waiting for Hylama to confess. After the last of the dishes were taken away, she came up in front of the High Table, practically shaking.
“My Lord Thranduil,” she began, I have a confession to make. At the ball the other night, I gave the Prince drugged wine. I had slipped some melathond into it and gave it to him in hope that he would notice me as a lady instead of the friend of his kid sister. I obviously over did it, and Instead of looking at me when he finished, he saw Hithshae, his tutor’s daughter, falling in love with her. I have administered an antidote, and it is coming into affect right now.”
Thranduil’s brow darkened as he listened to this confession. The girl’s father, Cirdan started to rise, put when the King put out his hand, he sat back down. “Young lady. You know how dangerous melathond is, and because of the risk you have taken, you will be confined to your chamber with all of the mending which needs to be done of everyone’s clothing. Do I make myself clear? Yes, go now to your chamber and think. We shall call of this wretched betrothal at once!”
“No Father!” Legolas ha stood up. He didn’t have the dazed look anymore, which signified that the effects of the melathond were gone. “I wish to carry this out. I have decided it is time for me to pick a wife, and Hithshae is the one I want. We shall wait a few centuries for the wedding, but a betrothal shall carry on tonight.”