The rain beat down upon Middle-earth. It was a cold, hard rain, not the warm, light rain that was expected in summer.
It was for this reason that Legolas and Indile sought protection under a grove of large trees through which ran a small stream. They had ridden far since dawn and Legolas believed that they were close to finding Nenlosse, though he did not say so to Indile, not wishing to raise her hopes for naught.
Her perpetual silence grew very heavy on Legolas. She had not spoken to him since the dawn, and had deemed it necessary to speak to her horse only once. She did not smile, and her eyes no longer shone like elves’ do.
Sighing, he continued to watch the rain pour down and endure the silence while Indile slept.
Indile, appearing to rest, was torn with grief, confusion and the uncertainty of the future inside her mind. She wondered, ‘Will I ever see my mother again?” She knew her father was gone, but she did not even know whether to hope or not for her mother.
And what of Legolas? What must he be thinking of her? Sitting in silence constantly, accepting his help but not deeming it necessary to even acknowledge his presence.
She could do something about that, however powerless she was to help her mother.
Legolas heard a stirring behind him, but did not turn, assuming it to be Indile, moving in her sleep.
“Prince Legolas..” a voice said from behind him.
“Yes?” Still he did not turn.
He does not make apologies easy, thought Indile.
“I wished to thank you for coming with me,” she said. “I do greatly appreciate it. You know not how much.”
At last, he turned to face her. She had been standing right behind him, so when he turned, he planted a gentle kiss on her cheek. “You are most welcome. I have not said so, not wishing to raise hopes only to be crushed, but I do believe we are very close to finding your mother.
‘You are, indeed,’ a feminine voice said.
Legolas and Indile whirled to see a smiling Nenlosse and a tall Elf standing there.
“Mother!” Legolas and the strange Elf stood by as Indile and Nenlosse shared a tight hug, and Indile shed tears of relief.
When the two parted, Indile wiped her tears away, saying, “I thought I would never see you again!” The shine that had been absent now came back into her eyes, making them that brilliant blue that Legolas had admired from the beginning.
‘Indile,” her mother told her, “this is Tolerin. He has been very kind, having found me by this stream not three hours past. Tolerin, this is my daughter, Indile, whom I told you of.”
Tolerin, previously silent, bowed slightly. “It is an honor to meet you, my lady.”
“Thank you. It is a pleasure to meet you as well.” Indile’s cheeks turned a pale pink. He was handsome! Not more so than him, though.. she thought, looking at Legolas. He was looking on with a tightly clenched mouth and an air of jealousy.
“Tolerin,” she said, “this is Prince Legolas Greenleaf of Mirkwood. He has aided me in following, and now, in finding my mother.”
Tolerin said nothing. Legolas remained silent, thinking, Can she not allow me to speak for myself! She has ignored me for two days, and now all she can do is talk to this.. this.. Elf! Legolas forgot that Indile had done her best to make amends not 15 minutes past.
This did not escape the notice of Indile, as she seemed capable of reading Legolas’ mind. And, the silence between the he and Tolerin was obvious enough to any.
Addressing her mother, Indile asked for the tale of what had happened, and why Nenlosse was traveling this way, so far from the safety from home.
Nenlosse began the story, omitting only the discovery of what was in the box.
“And so, when we heard your voices, we came toward them, and here you were!” Nenlosse concluded.
“Ah.. but I suppose you must still go on to Lorien?” asked Indile.
“Yes. You are coming, aren’t you?”
“Of course!” Indile appeared surprised that her mother need ask. “Legolas, will you come with us or return to Mirkwood?”
“I will come with you. There are things I must discuss with Lord Celeborn. I would soon have departed to see him, even had I not met you.” Legolas looked thoughtful.
“But,” he continued, ” as for transportation, you, Indile, will ride with me on my horse, and your mother can ride Tinwe.”
Indile and Tolerin both looked at Legolas suspiciously, but he had turned and did not see it.
Nenlosse glanced at Indile, but Indile only lowered her eyes and blushed.
The threesome were getting very close to Lorien. Tolerin had surprised them, saying he had business elsewhere. Though he had not said anything to suggest it, they had supposed he would accompany them.
As Legolas had proclaimed, Indile rode with him so her mother could have Tinwe.
She had become increasingly sleepy as the miles wore on and darkness came. She was riding in front of Legolas, so he had his arms around her, mostly to hold the reins, and partly to keep her from falling, as his horse bore no saddle.
For his part, he thought that no harm would be done if there was always a shortage of horses, and Indile thought, ‘This isn’t bad at all..” as her eyes were closing.
“Halt!” a voice commanded. “What business have you in the Golden Wood?”
Nenlosse looked around. Night had fallen, and she wished she could see to whom she spoke.
“I am Nenlosse of Mirkwood and with me Prince Legolas Greenleaf and my daughter. I must see Lady Galadriel, and quickly.”
An Elf Legolas recognized as Haldir, even in the darkness stepped forth from the trees with his companions.
“I am Haldir, Warden of the March. Greetings, Nenlosse of Mirkwood. And Prince Legolas, as well,” he added with a condescending tone. Then Haldir’s eyes fell on the beautiful elf-maiden sleeping, resting her head on Legolas’ shoulder.
“You didn’t even send word, Legolas! Tell me, when did the happy event take place?”
Legolas scowled, refusing to take Haldir’s bait.
Nenlosse could see that Haldir’s remark had angered Legolas, though he had made no reply. “My lord Haldir, will you kindly take us to the Lady Galadriel? The business I have will not wait,” she said, trying to help Legolas.
He nodded. “Come. She is waiting.”