28. Indigestion

Dinner. A word that describes a repast of edible delights attended by friends, family and political allies. A joyous occasion to renew closeness and begin new relationships. Of all rustic and arcane practices, this was one that all races could agree to readily. Sadly, for Celeborn, Lord of Lothlorien and beloved mate of Galadriel, Lady of the Golden Woods, it was futile attempt at civility.
          Dinner in Celeborn's opinion, after the fact, had started off relatively normal. Elves gathered around tables bearing fruit, wine and assorted nuts. The Lord and Lady had greeted their guests with the calm grace and gentle presence that they always exhibited. Neither showed signs of the calamity about to unfurl in the coming night's feast. The Fellowship joined the Lord's table minus a conspicuously absent Fire. Unknown to the rest of the company, the Lady had made a special request of the ranger and after a three hour argument, had gotten Fire's word of honor to comply with her wishes. Also glaringly absent was Haldir, March warden of Lothlorien, though his absence was a direct result of the ranger.
          The happy smirk that Galadriel wore should have alerted her mate to be on his guard. She had gotten a promise, hard won though it was, and she could not wait to see the outcome of her scheme. Those in attendance would be highly surprised if they could see the ranger's current demeanor. Cussing a blue streak in several languages, Fire wrestled her clothing into place and proceeded to do battle with the maids, sent by Galadriel, who deemed her hair a disaster. Finally, the maids, evil spawn that they were, announced Fire was ready.
          Haldir sat in the living quarters of his intended date and tried to smother then hysterical laughter that kept welling up. Fire's snarling curses floated into the room and made the March warden wonder what the Lady's maid could be doing to so distress the ranger. He thought to offer her his protection from her would be torturers, but common sense reared its ugly head and he side stepped the line of Fire. The door to her bed chambers opened, and four exhausted maids trailed out after a cloaked ranger. Taking in the mutinous posture, Haldir walked into the teeth of death when he offered her his arm. Lucky for the March warden, Fire had other fish to gut, fry and eat. With a disgusted sigh at the gallantry of the male species, Fire took Haldir's arm and allowed him to escort her to dinner.
          Legolas shifted in his seat for the umpteenth time. His agitated gaze slid towards the hall's main entrance every thirty seconds or so. Gimli, Aragorn and Boromir threw amused glances at each other. It was plain to them, that the aggrieved elf was not pleased, at all, with the current situation. All of the Fellowship knew of Fire's delay. They also knew of the March warden's invitation to escort her here tonight and her agreed acceptance of his invitation. Aragorn dreaded the coming dinner, because he knew how much it bothered his best friend to see Fire on someone else's arm.
Aragorn sincerely hoped they could get through dessert without blood shed or war between realms being declared. Aragorn was in a bad position. He was best friend to Legolas and would stand by him no matter the stupidity, yet he was also the Lord and Lady's foster grandson, so he owed them allegiance as well, and lastly he was the soon to be King of Gonder and as such could not afford to insult either realms monarchs. Beginning his reign with two seething Elven Kingdoms out for his blood was not Aragorn's idea of a fun time for all. There were more days lately, that he wished he could throw his heritage away and just be a mild mannered ranger forever; this was definitely one of them.
Fire slammed to a halt outside the dining hall's door. Haldir watched as panic set into her emerald eyes. Shaking her head slowly side to side, Fire released his hand and started backing up towards the stairs and freedom. "I am not going in there!! I will single handedly take out a troop of Orcs or … or face Goblins with a toothpick!! I can not face the horde in there wearing this!", Fire said frantically waving a hand at her cloaked figure.
Amusement lit up the March warden's face. To see the calm veneer rubbed off the ranger delighted Haldir. She looked all together delicious in her vulnerable state. Reaching up a gentle hand, Haldir pushed the cloak's hood down and kissed the ranger softly. "No matter what you wear, Fire, you are beautiful to me. Just hold my hand tightly and I will help you through this. You have my word I will protect you, young one. No one would dare utter a single slur while you are with me. Those present know of my high regard for you, and the consequences of arousing my ire, or your displeasure.", Haldir said in a low silky voice, "Let us remove this offending cloak and go into the Hall."
Without waiting for confirmation, Haldir, March warden of Lothlorien took his life in his hands as he divested Fire of her cloak and revealed to his appreciative gaze a stunning Ranger bedecked in a shimmering dress of silver. It floated around her lithe form like a bright, sparkling fog. Along the edges of the sleeves, and neckline, thin threads of worked mithril and gold formed a spider web pattern of glitter. The sleeves were tight to the elbow then loosely hung down. The neckline was low and slid partway off the shoulders exposing Legolas' necklace and a lot more skin then Fire was comfortable with. Holding out his arm in a courtly gesture, Haldir asked the flustered ranger, "Shall we brave the horde, young one?" About to take his offered arm, Fire snarled a very unladylike curse and frantically searched for her cloak. Grabbing the cloak in a death grip, the disgruntled ranger thrust her hand into the concealed pocket and pulled out a finely wrought circlet of mithril and gold. Giving the circlet a disgusted final look, Fire placed it on her head with a resigned sigh. "Ok now I am ready. Galadriel better get an eyeful because this is the last time I am wearing this hideous thing!!", Fire muttered to herself as she reached for Haldir's arm with sweaty palms and knocking knees.
Legolas fidgeted again. Aragorn frowned again. So it had been for the last twenty minutes as they awaited the late arriving guests. The doors of the Hall opened admitting a noble elleth and the March warden. Legolas swiveled his head hoping to catch sight of Fire, heaving a deep sigh of disappointment, the elf began to look away. Brain connected to eyes, as he nearly fell out of his seat, trying to get a good look at the new arrival. What he observed, had the elf short of breath and his heart racing.
Fire stood by Haldir's side, hands clasped with a slight smile plastered on her lips. Her shoulder length tresses were spiraled into a riot of curl, save for a few side braids that held her circlet in place. The ranger's dress swirled around her like a silvery mist, making the Elven Prince question if she was truly real. She clung to the March warden's hand as he led her to their appointed seats. Legolas was so stunned, he could make not a single sound. The elf watched as Fire took her place and smiled graciously up at Haldir. Now it was Legolas' turn to frown and Aragorn's turn to fidget.
Aragorn was flabbergasted. He had never given thought to what she would look in proper female clothing, but he never would have conjured up the enticing image before him. As she settled into her seat, Fire caught Aragorn's eye briefly. He smiled and dipped his head in a short bow, acknowledging the change wrought in the ranger. Smiling shyly, Fire returned Aragorn's nod, then took a quick peek at Legolas out the side of her eye. The completely stunned continence of the Prince of Mirkwood, bolstered Fire's shaky courage.
Thinking things were finally livable, she was brought up short by Galadriel and Celeborn, Lady and Lord of the Golden Woods, when they asked her to stand up so they could introduce the ranger to the assembled Elves. With panic flooding her eyes, Fire looked to Haldir in desperation. Seeing her plight, the March warden of Lothlorien stood first, took her hand in his, raised her hand to his lips for a lingering kiss, then helped Fire stand and face the horde of Elves. Fire's flushed face was due as much to the stares as it was to Haldir's kiss.  
Glancing over in the Lady's direction, Fire was dismayed to see the furious expression on Legolas' fair face. His body language alone would have frightened a hungry pack of wargs and his sky blue eyes had darkened to deep indigo in his fury. Legolas  looked as if he would cheerfully carve the March warden into small bite size bits. So concentrated on Legolas' murderous expression, Fire almost did not hear Galadriel's words. "Friends in this time of Darkness hope arises. Many of the Free People seek to displace the Dark Lord, and in this endeavor they have come to Lothlorien for our aid. We are pleased to render this aid. In this time of grief at the death of Gandalf, great friend to many, I am gladdened to introduced you to Tygera, Princess of a distant land and Daughter of Gandalf the Grey."
Fire wondered how excruciating could  the resulting torture really be, if she killed Galadriel slowly and painfully in her own dining hall. A giggle flashed through her mind followed by Galadriel's voice. ""I heard that! ""

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.

In Challenges

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Author: angelsfyre1

Status: Beta

Completion: Work in Progress

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 05/15/06

Original Post: 11/04/05

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