Vallairë was dreaming. It was her usual nightmare, the one about the mysterious stranger, dressed in black, half hidden by the shadows. The dream was becoming clearer with each passing night. Soon the dream would no longer confuse her and all the pieces would be put together to reveal the finished puzzle. Vallairë did not like the look of the stranger. It had an icy gaze and a sly grin that gave her chills. Suddenly, there came a knocking in the distance and a voice.
“Vallairë, may I come in? I have a message for you.” Vallairë woke with a start.
“Come in, if you must Rúmil.” she called back after quickly slipping on a robe, wishing she was still hidden away under the waterfall. Why does he even bother, she thought. He was only wasting his time. But she did admire his efforts and patience with her.
Rúmil opened the tall wooden door, inscribed with the Lady’s beautiful name written gracefully in the elvish lettering and collecting his wits, walked steadily into the room. As he turned to face Vallairë at her vanity desk, he flushed as he imagined what it would be like if this castle belonged to them – if they were man and wife. If he could only walk over to her at this very moment and take Vallairë into his arms as if they were newly wed.
“Why on Arda are you standing there so, Rúmil? You did not forget the message you had for me, did you?” Vallairë asked. Rúmil, brought back to the present, flushed a more furious shade of red.
“Why, no, m’Lady, I did not forget. But it would not surprise me what could befall the mind in the presence of your mesmorizing beauty.” Rúmil answered, silently congratulating himself on his well-chosen words.
“Really Rúmil, you must not flatter me so. But I appreciate your compliments.” Vallairë declared.
“Your very much welcome m’Lady.” answered Rúmil, swelling with pride.
“So, what was it you came here to tell me. It must be important.” asked Vallairë. Rúmil nodded in agreement.
“It was simply that your uncle, Lord Celeborn requires an audience with you. Alone. To discuss some very pressing matters which have increased in their importance as of late due to a current incident.” said Rúmil grimly.
“Oh, I see.” said Vallairë with a look of guilt that betrayed her. “I can understand what it is that my uncle wishes to speak of.” There was an akward moment of silence which gave Rúmil a moment to admire the beautiful robe she was wearing. It was a dazzling royal blue with an outline of the silver tree Telperion, adorned with small glinting pearls which brought out her pale gray eyes so that they shone like pearls themselves. Vallairë broke the silence which, for the second time, broke the spell she held over him.
“Well, I guess I should return to my duties now. Good day m’Lady.” said Rúmil as he turned for the door.
“Good day, Rúmil.” returned Vallairë. She then hurriedly rang for her maids to help her dress for her meeting with her uncle.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.