31. Lemons Do Not Always Give Lemonade
It had been six hours, six long, unproductive, disappointing hours. He had thought himself a reasonably intelligent elf. He had been tutored by the best educators in his Ada's realm for Valar's sake! He could speak to the monarchs of other realms, court noblemen and noblewomen, servants and animals, but he could not find the right words for a simple heart felt apology to the elleth he loved. It was incredibly frustrating to the wood-elf Prince. Even worse then his inability to speak, was the fact that Fire seemed to have vanished.
The wood was quiet, except for the small animals that scurried around in the underbrush and the wind slowly rustling the Mallorn leaves over head. Haldir crept silently across the path following the light footed Feline ahead of him. They had been hunting for almost five hours, and had bagged enough game for a small, friendly gathering. It was unnerving, at first, having two great cats prowling around, but after the first hour or so he had begun to enjoy it. They came into a sheltered glade that many of the Lorien elves enjoyed frequenting. A medium sized pool fed by a raging waterfall was in one corner and it was to this pool the three hunters headed.
Legolas paced his talan. The spacious quarters felt like a small box to the elf. He could not believe he had been that damn stupid. All he had needed to do was explain what the necklace meant, but instead he had forced the situation. He knew that it had not been intentional. The necklace was only a token of his intent to pledge his heart to Fire, until the stones activated and became a binding of souls that could only be undone with the death of one of them. That he had done this to her, made his soul bleed. His anger at his own stupidity and rash actions nearly undid him, and the thought of losing her made him tremble in grief. How he would make this up to her, he had no idea, but the elf Prince knew he would spend eternity trying.
He had been taken by surprise, when the stones flared to life and melded into one solid piece. He had felt the jolt of oneness as their hands had enfolded the necklace. He had noticed that Fire did not seem to feel the jolt, but soon realized it must be because of her Kindred blood. Legolas knew, as did all elves, how the bonding process was supposed to be. Elves feel the jolt to their souls when they find their potential binding mate. It is an instantaneous bond that draws them to each other.
Once the jolt is felt, the elves then begin courting rituals to see if the first spark will flare to life fully or wither away to nothing. If the spark withers, the elves part ways and continue searching for their soul mate. If the spark flares, bonding begins. After a time, in which the bonding elves become closer, the bonding pair declare their pledge of fidelity to each other and a betrothal is announced.
One year later, the couple bind for eternity under a canopy of stars and witnessed by Eru, the Valar, friends and family. When the rites are completed, the couple dance and feast until the moon reaches its highest point. The couple is then led to their bedchamber, and the final intimate, ceremonial ritual is done by the families of the couple. They score the palms of the couple's left hand and bind them together with a mithril chain. The families then leave, so the couple can consummate the binding vows through a melding of heart, soul and flesh. When the couple emerged from their bedchambers, the bond wounds on their palms become a symbol of their eternal pledge of love and fidelity.
That was how it should have been between himself and Fire, but his impatient actions may well have ruined any hope of a true bond forming normally. Guilt snarled around him like an angry beast. It was choking the breath from his body, and dimming his life's inner flame. What made it worse, was the satisfaction he felt deep inside. She was his mate! The terrible fact that in a small, dark, secret part of his heart, he was selfish enough to enjoy the fact she was now his; even if it was against her wishes. He hated that small piece of his soul that was dark and feral. He would have ripped it from within him, if he could have. Letting out a scream of rage and despair, Legolas dropped to the floor gracelessly.
Haldir watched from his lazily, prone position, as the two cats frolicked in and around the waterfall, playfully wrestling and swatting each other. After some time, the two made their way back up the bank to Haldir's position, under a shady Mallorn tree. The March warden rolled his eyes and tried to push off the big, shaggy head that landed firmly on his lap. "Fine! Stay there then, you flea ridden beast. You had best not drool upon my personage again or I will forget that I promised Fire I would be nice to you today!", Haldir said with a glower. The black cat eyed the March warden for a moment, before she stretched up just enough to lick his cheek and flopped back into his lap. Haldir lay back again with a disgusted look. "No more of that either!", he hissed at the happy cat head laying on his lap.
*Briar what am I going to do? I am betrothed to Legolas! I promised myself I would never let anyone have control over me, ever again, yet here I am engaged to be bound to another for all eternity and he did not even care enough to ask me.*
*Could it be he cared so much, that he did not think of the consequences of his actions, but acted on his desire to have you for his own? Haldir in the picture did make him quite jealous!!*
*Well Briar, he could have given me the chance to say yes or no! I mean I do have a mind and I know what I want!*
*If he had asked you, Fire, what answer would you have given him? Remember I know you are in love with him, so do not pretend with me! I want a truthful answer, my mirror.*
Dead silence met Briar, in way of an answer. She gazed at Fire as the white cat regained her feet and padded quietly to the water's edge, lost in thought. That she had not answered the question right away was a good sign. Briar had seen how they were together and knew they had been destined by Eru to be together for eternity. Now, if only Ty could see it too, things would be much less complicated. By the time they tried to work out their relationship's change in status, Ty would have at least admitted the inevitability of her love for the Prince of Mirkwood. Sighing contentedly, Briar snuggled closer to a drowsing Haldir.
Fire stared at the waterfall with pensive gold eyes. She turned over all that had happened between her and Legolas. The fights, the companionship, the humor and the sadness. The ranger had to admit, if only to herself, that she liked the thought of having Legolas for a mate. He was a bit hot headed for an elf when his temper was flared, but he was also achingly tender when he wanted to be. What would her answer have been?
*Truth you want, my mirror, well that is harder then it should be. I am afraid of losing my soul to him. I have already lost so many. If I give myself to Legolas, and I lose him to the Darkness, will I survive intact or forever wander the grayness of my life, until the ending of the world? Do I have the strength of spirit to allow his closeness after the horrors I have seen? Will he truly want me when he sees into my heart, my mind, my very soul? I am not a princess, though they bestow the title on me. I am a ranger, a fighter, a wanderer by choice. Can that be enough for him? Will it be enough for me? Do I love him? Eru help me but I sincerely do love him. I think if he had asked, I would have said NO! Too much fear, not enough faith. Now the question is moot! The real question is, can I let go my fear and build a life with him? Oh Briar I hope so, or it will be a very lonely life.*, Fire's words brushed through Briar's mind with a profound sadness. Briar's heart went out to her hurting mirror and prayed to Eru that the Prince of Mirkwood could break down Ty's defenses and make her his own.
Legolas' scream rent the air in frustration, anger and pain. His emotions were out of control. They rolled over him like a seething volcano about to blow. The elf knew he needed to vent his anger, so he could think more clearly, but he had no idea what would help. Frustrated and angry, Legolas closed his eyes and screamed in fury, letting the emotions drain away. Suddenly, a feeling of profound sadness and aching loneliness filled him. It was like a giant pit, deeper then the depths of Moria, opened up inside his soul.
The feeling stole his breath and made tears stream down his fair elven face. It was just like what happened to him in the dining hall with the laughing fit, only this time he realized what it was. The sad, loneliness was not his feelings, but Fire's emotions. A horrible thought struck him. If he was getting Fire's feelings, then would she be getting his? Reaching out with his mind, Legolas desperately contacted Galadriel, as she would know where the ranger was within the Golden Woods. It was a moment before he got his answer, then he was charging off hoping what he feared was not true.
Fire waded into the water, trying to wash away the lonely sadness. She was tired of fighting the barriers around her heart. There was no turning back from the course the Valar had laid out before her. She would bind herself to Legolas and try to find a way to build a life together that both could live with. Maybe Briar was right, and the idiot elf had not been thinking correctly. She hoped that he had not meant to trap her to him. Fire had come to the conclusion, that she could forgive him, as long as it had not been done deliberately. She would forgive him, but she would not give in to him easily! If he wanted her heart, he damn well better court her! The anger rose like a tidal wave.
Fire had begun to feel better. Standing in the water, with her decision about the idiot elf made, Fire made to turn back to shore when the anger washed over her unannounced. The pressure built around her like a living wall. She could feel her emotions under the guilt, frustration and self anger that washed through her. She knew the feelings were not her own, but she had no idea where they came from. The guilt weighed on her heart, heavily and tore her very soul to shreds. The frustration was so thick, you could almost reach out and touch it. Beyond all that, the anger took hold of her and released itself the only way it could.
Briar jumped to her feet as Haldir scrambled to his. The growling screams tore through the quiet glade alerting them to danger. What they saw, stopped them in their tracks. Fire in cat form suddenly shimmered in blue flame and became human once more. She stood naked to the waist in the pond. The screams turned from growling animal to almost inhuman. The ranger's body was covered now in true flaming fire. The flames licked the ponds surface causing steam to rise in a giant mist cloud. Haldir made to go after the ranger, but the black Feline stepped into his path, blocking him from reaching Fire.
The black feline heard Fire's frantic plea dance through her mind. Instantly heeding the distressed call, Briar shimmered into blue flames and returned to human form in front of a very shocked and confused Haldir. As soon as she hit human form, Briar began walking towards the pond. Her voiced sing songed as she spoke the ancient spell.
From the Valley of Hate
Water to flame
Your Anger I Cool
Made to Abate
This do I claim
My mind is my tool
Not to the Flower
Nor to the Tree
OF Your Grievous Power
I Set You Free
As I Will It, So Mote It Be
Water swirled up to engulf Fire, just as Legolas burst into the glade. Without a thought for his own safety, the elf ran straight into the turbulent pond to the ranger's side and reached for her through the twisting water geyser and consuming flames. Hauling Fire into his arms, he called her name again and again, until the flames died, as quickly as they had come.
Blinking, Fire's senses finally began to focus again. The first thing the ranger saw, when the world righted itself, was the Prince of Mirkwood. Almost without thought, Fire pulled out of his arms and blackened his eye. With a shirk of undiluted rage, the ranger followed the elf into the pond, where he had fallen under the unexpected attack, with the intent to drown the sneaky, son of an orc! The skirmish lasted a good fifteen minutes and drew a crowd of on lookers. Briar had stalked over to the bags Haldir had left under the tree and shrugged into Fire's clothing. If Fire wanted clothes, she could find them elsewhere! Briar hoped the ranger was happy, because the sentinel was livid. Now Haldir knew who the drooling culprit's identity was, Briar was in for a long, long, long border watch; that if he did not kill her first!
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.