Indile lay in her bed awake, for though it was night, and she was tired, she could not sleep. She felt restless, and she imagined that she heard the wind call her name. She knew she could not stay inside any longer, however comfortable the talan may have been.
She rose quietly and slipped into her green dress, going down the stairs and out into the forest unobserved and unheard by any.
* * * *
Indile knew she had been out in the woods for a very long time indeed, for the birds began to sing as light crept into the sky, chasing away the darkness.
But then, Indile felt her eyes turn from her surroundings to other lands, other times, and she knew what was happening. A vision from the Valar! she thought as the images before her eyes became clear.
She saw many things in her vision. Some were beautiful, some were sad, and some were terrifying.
She witnessed the making of the Silmarils, and she felt the greed of Feanor as they took shape and were completed. She saw her father in the wilderness, searching, searching desperately. She felt the future as she saw hew mother and Galadriel take ship in the Grey Havens. Then, the most terrible part of her vision began.
She saw herself surrounded by orcs and wargs, and she was all alone. The evil creatures were laughing in their harsh voices at her helplessness. They began closing in on her..
But she did not see what would happen to her, for the vision ended and she collapsed on the ground, unconscious.
* * * *
Legolas and Haldir were walking back to the City of the Galadhrim together. They had forgiven and forgotten past wrongs and become good friends once again. Legolas had even volunteered to take a night watch shift with Haldir, though this offer surprised Celeborn indeed. Celeborn had accepted Legolas’ help with words of appreciation, but wondered, for he knew as well as any that Legolas and Haldir had been at odds for nearly a thousand years. Nevertheless, Legolas had gone with Haldir to watch the Northern border.
It was for this reason that the two elves now returned to the city at the first light, laughing and talking as friends do.
Legolas, being keener-sighted, spotted the green lump in the path before Haldir. As they drew closer to it, realization dawned on Legolas and crying, “No!” he ran ahead and picked it up, revealing an unconscious Indile.
“Haldir!” he shouted at his already running companion. “Haldir, run! Go to the city and get Galadriel, or the healers, please! We should not move her.”
Haldir nodded and then sprinted away, disappearing quickly though the trees.
Legolas turned his attention to the limp Indile, whom he held. Her face was deathly pale, and her hands were cold as ice to his touch.
“Indile!” he said, trying to bring her back from the black sleep she was in. “Indile, come back! I love you,” he finished in a whisper, feeling almost relieved. There, he thought. I have said it now, though it fell on deaf ears.
He hugged her tighter to himself, trying to warm her. He called her name and spoke to her, hoping that somehow she would hear and respond.
* * * * *
Indile was unconscious, lost in her mind. Seeing the beginning of her probable death had frightened her beyond belief and had shaken her comfort she had always possessed. Always she had thought that because of the gift of immortality from Eru, she could never die. Now, she had seen the circumstances and how she would face death.
The shock of it had sent her down the road from which few return. But she could hear Legolas call her name in his soft, gentle voice. She could feel strong, warm arms holding her. She knew that she was awakening..
* * * * *
Legolas saw Indile’s eyelashes flutter, and he spoke her name once more before he fell silent, hoping she would wake.
When her eyes opened at first, Indile could not focus on anything, and it was all so bright! She closed her eyes, and then opened them again, seeing Legolas’ concerned blue eyes studying her face intently. As her head cleared, she realized that the Prince was walking and holding her like an infant child.
Blushing, she said, “My good Prince, indeed I am very grateful for the transportation, and it puts me deep in your debt, but may I not walk?”
His face lit up when her heard her speak, and he smiled until Indile thought his face might split. “No, Indile. You have not been seen by a healer yet, and I would not have you endanger your health just for the sake of walking. But, of course, if you desire it very much, you could sit on the ground..”
“Ai!” she cried. “You are impossible.”
“No, my lady. Just concerned.” He stopped walking and bent his head to kiss Indile, much to her surprise, on the lips.
It was at this inopportune moment, much to their embarrassment, that the group from the City chose to arrive. Healers, friends of Indile’s, and curiosity seekers alike came to a halt just in time to witness the scandalous scene. A very tired Haldir arrived at the tail end of the party, having spread the word (in his mind, the truth) that Indile Almiel had collapsed and died, and that the Prince Greenleaf was mourning her passing.
Now, many murderous looks were directed at the Warden of the Northern March, who pretended that he did not see it.
Morelin, being one of the party and not being an Elf to mince words, walked up to Legolas and demanded, “Prince Legolas, put her down! She will not break,” Morelin looked at Indile who blushed even more, “and shame on you Prince,” she finished.
Legolas turned red at this, but set Indile quickly on her feet and then backed away to stand with the chastened Haldir while Indile was pronounced by the healers to be quite healthy, and only suffering a few bruises from the fall. One eager elf-maiden inquired about what had happened, but Indile refused to speak of it.
The healers, the friends, and Haldir all turned around with a disappointed air and walked away, leaving Legolas and Indile alone.
They were about to speak when Morelin cast a suspicious glance back at them, as if to make sure Legolas would be a gentleman with her friend Indile. Satisfied, she turned and continued walking.
Legolas said immediately, “Indile, I am sorry. I know that embarrassed you. I did not mean for them to come at precisely that moment. “
“Legolas, it is alright! It is my turn to say I did not mind. And truly I did not.”
“What happened, Indile? Why did you faint like you did?”
She sighed and cast her eyes down. “I saw my own death in a vision, Legolas. I saw it as clearly as I see the trees around us. I was surrounded by orcs and wargs, and I was alone. There was no one to help me. The vision ended, but I know it meant I will die. I felt it!”
Legolas was stunned. His Indile? Die? He did not know what to do. He loved her, and yet she stood there and told him that her death was coming soon in the future!
“I can’t promise you it won’t happen, Indile. The vision was sent by the Valar, and it could only be truth. But I can promise that I will do everything in my power to alter the course of the future.”
“I know you can’t promise to stop me from dying, Legolas, but I do thank you for promising to do what you can to change it.”
“Indile.. there’s just one thing I have to say before we go back to the city.”
“What is it?” she asked.
“I love you.”
“You do?” She could not believe it!
“Yes, I do. I love you with all my heart, and all my soul.”
“I love you too!” she said, hugging him, as a tear rolled down her cheek. She had loved him since she met him, and she had known it, but she had never dreamed that he would love her back! She had given that thought up as soon as it came to her head, and she had resigned herself to never loving another, but now, he told her he loved her too!
He would have kissed her, but the clear ringing sound of a silver horn reached their ears. Haldir had taught Legolas what it meant. Orcs!