7. A Chance Meeting In The Dark
When Rowena finished her letter, she returned to her room - an empty, dark room. After some thought, she went over to the fireplace and tried to start a fire. It took some time, but Rowena was finally successful. Soon she had a roaring fire that lit the entire room in a golden light, like the light outside her balcony.
Rowena sat in front of the fire and stared into the flames until she was almost mesmerized by it. She was so entranced by the light that she didn’t notice a figure standing in the doorway to her balcony. The figure made no advance into the room; it just stood there watching the elf-maiden sit in her chair and watch the fire. Suddenly, without warning, Rowena spoke. “I know you’re there Legolas, I heard you climb up onto the balcony. Please come in and sit down, I don’t mind the company.”
The figure stepped into the light, and sure enough, it was the Woodland Prince. “Forgive me for intruding on your privacy Eararma; my curiosity got the better of me.”
“Curiosity of what Legolas? Of me? Certainly there is nothing so interesting about me to hide in the shadows about.”
Legolas came further into the room and sat down in the chair next to Rowena. “You shouldn’t belittle yourself so much. Everyone has their own beauty. Yours is your spirit. It has been so long since I met someone like you Rowena.”
Rowena’s cheeks turned crimson. “You flatter me too much Prince Legolas. I am but a child in your eyes, I don’t deserve this praise.”
Legolas brushed Rowena’s cheek with the back of his hand. “Of course you do. I am in awe of you Rowena. You have so much courage to walk the path that has been placed in front of you. There has never been a person like you in this situation. You are a complete fantasy, a mystery, an enigma. Do you have any idea how special you are?”
Rowena flashed a sheepish grin. “Unfortunately no, but I would love to hear.”
“Arwen mentions it every chance she can. She’s called you a shining light, a hope, and I know Gandalf has said that you have an exceptionally sharp mind.”
“Really? I wish they would have told me that myself. It’s nice to know that I’m appreciated somewhere.”
A concerned look washed over the princes’ face. “Why do you say that? Didn’t they take care of you in Dol Amroth?”
“Oh yes, Adrahil and Imrahil treated me like royalty; it was everyone else that kept me at arm’s length. All because of these.” Rowena pointed to her ears. “These were always a reminder that I was different than all the rest, that I was somehow better than everyone else. I never thought that, but I could never get away from it. The members of the court would always tease me. Even Imrahil took part in the constant jokes when he was a child, even though he will never admit it today. When I think about it, it still hurts.”
Legolas put his arm around Rowena and allowed her to rest her head on his shoulder. “I’m sorry you were treated so unfairly, you didn’t deserve that. If you had been in Eryn Lasgalen, I’m sure you would have fit right in.”
“Of that I’m quite sure of. I would have been with my own kind; I would have grown up around my own culture, my own heritage. It’s just so disconcerting to see your future so close but not close enough to grasp. You never had to deal with that Legolas, you had your father and the wood elves to keep you on your path; I had scribes and ancient texts. It’s a different world deep in the borders of Gondor. I felt so lost there. I felt like I didn’t have a purpose.”
Rowena was almost on the verge of tears. All the memories of her long life came rushing back in a fury. It wasn’t long before tears started to stream down her face. Legolas noticed this almost immediately and pulled Rowena into a protective embrace. He smoothed her hair and spoke soothing words in her ear while all she could do was sob into his shoulder. “I’m so sorry,” Rowena managed to say between crying fits. “I’m so sorry Legolas.”
“Shhh, there is nothing to be sorry about. Absolutely no need to be sorry.” Legolas kissed Rowena’s forehead. “Come now, stop your crying. I promise that I’ll watch over you while you are in my keeping.”
Rowena lifted her head and looked into the clear blue gaze of the prince with her bloodshot eyes. “What do you mean?”
“That whenever you are in need of company, or a shoulder, you can always come to me.”
The smile returned to Rowena’s face. “I would be grateful for that Legolas. Thank you.”
“You’re quite welcome. I’ll return to my room now.”
Legolas began to rise from his seat, but was stopped by Rowena grabbing hold of his hand. “Please stay, I don’t want to be alone tonight.”
So Legolas returned to his seat next to Rowena and allowed her to rest her head on his shoulder again. After some time Legolas noticed that Rowena was rather quiet. Carefully he looked over Rowena’s face and saw the blank stare of an elf in sleep. Carefully he picked her up and set her on her bed. As he turned to leave, he heard a noise come from the bed. He turned around to see Rowena in a terrible state; she was tossing and turning, like she was trying to find someone and was coming up empty handed. When he went back to her, she shot straight up and screamed.
Legolas tried to hold her, but Rowena wouldn’t hear of it. “I have to find Aragorn,” Rowena said into the darkness. “I heard the Horn, I have to find Aragorn. He needs to help the Steward!”
Legolas was having a hard time understanding what was going on. It seemed to him that Rowena was still in her dream and couldn’t wake from it. All he could do was participate in her delusion. “What’s the matter Rowena? Where are you?”
“In a forest. There’s orcs everywhere. I lost sight of Aragorn in the midst of the fighting. He needs to get to the Steward; he’s fighting to save the Hobbits by himself.” It was then that she turned to Legolas and grabbed his tunic, her gray-blue eyes still not registering. “I heard the Horn of Gondor and someone needs to go help. Why aren’t you there Legolas? Why didn’t you help?”
It didn’t take long for Legolas to understand what Rowena was seeing. Somehow she was reliving the Battle of Amon Hen, the day that Boromir died and the Fellowship was divided. “I tried to get to him, but they were too many. I was with Aragorn the entire time. We fought to get to the Steward the entire way, but we were too late.”
The fear on Rowena’s face was soon replaced by understanding. “I know. I can see that. You stood over Aragorn as the Steward passed on. You had such a look of confusion and sadness on your face Legolas; I almost want to weep myself.” Once again Rowena was lying on the bed. “You’ll be fine Legolas, I promise. It’ll all be over soon and Middle Earth will be free from the Shadow. Just you wait and see; we’ll all be free.” Then Rowena slipped back into a restful sleep.
The whole incident confused Legolas to the point of insanity. It was too late to seek anyone’s council on the matter, but he decided to speak to Gandalf about it in the morning. Not feeling comfortable leaving Rowena alone all night after what happened just a few minutes before, Legolas climbed into the bed next to Rowena and never left her side the rest of the night.
Rowena woke up the next morning to find herself not alone in her bed. She looked over to see Legolas asleep next to her. For some reason, she didn’t mind it; it actually felt good. She didn’t remember how she got in her bed, all she did remember was being surrounded by trees and being scared and hearing a loud horn. She knew that Legolas had been with her, because she remembered him being near her in her fear. He had calmed her down when she had been near her breaking point. She was grateful for his presence and showed it by lightly trailing her fingers across his jaw. When a smile started to form on his lips, Rowena knew that she had woken the sleeping prince.
“Good morning Eararma,” Legolas said sleepily.
“I should say the same for you Legolas,” Rowena replied with a playful smile forming on her lips as well. “It’s not every morn that I wake up to find someone in my bed.”
“Well, you did have quite a night last night. I didn’t feel it was right to leave you alone in that state.”
“What state was that?”
Legolas’ smile turned into concern. “You don’t remember what happened?”
Rowena told Legolas what she did remember and Legolas’ frown lessened. “At least that’s something.”
Legolas filled in the holes the best he could and left Rowena in a state of shock. “You can’t be serious? I did all that?”
“I wouldn’t lie to you Rowena.”
“I know you wouldn’t. Thank you for staying, it really means a lot to me.”
Legolas took Rowena’s hand and kissed it. “I told you if you needed me I’d be there for you. You needed me, so I was here.”
Rowena smiled when Legolas kissed her hand. “You’re so sweet.”
“Well, I do try. Why don’t we have breakfast in one of the gardens? I always feel more at home when I’m around growing things. Will you join me?”
“I would love to. Which one do you suggest?”
Legolas thought for a moment. “Why not the one with the white tree? That plot always has the most beautiful flowers, although they could never outmatch your beauty Eararma.”
Again Rowena blushed. “Whatever you decide Legolas I will be happy to comply.”
“Then it’s settled! I’ll meet you there in 15 minutes with a feast that would rival even Sam Gamgee’s cooking!” Legolas sprang out from under the covers and headed out into the hallway. Rowena was confused at the new name that Legolas had used; she would have to ask Legolas about Sam when she met him in the garden.
“Sam was a member of the Fellowship. He would cook the meals for us on our journey. Sam had the talent to fix something that everyone would enjoy, even Boromir when he would get into his moods.” Rowena had asked her question after Legolas had found her in the garden, waiting for him. He had set down their breakfast on the small table that sat underneath the tree when Rowena posed the question on the identity of Sam Gamgee.
“Where is he now,” Rowena asked.
“I believe that he’s still in The Shire. He’s taken care of the replanting of The Shire after Saruman’s men nearly destroyed everything. I think he also married his sweetheart Rose.”
“That’s wonderful.” Rowena moved closer to Legolas and looked into his eyes. “Tell me about the other members of the Fellowship. What about the Ringbearer? What is he like?”
Legolas mused before answering. “Frodo was under a lot of strain when I knew him, but his smile was always something that brightened our day. After the One Ring was destroyed, Frodo was never quite the same Hobbit that he had been. It was for the best that he sailed to the Undying Lands with Galadriel, Elrond, and his uncle Bilbo.”
Rowena was quiet after Legolas was finished. It wasn’t until Legolas pulled Rowena’s chin around so that they were face to face did Rowena start talking again. “I never thought I would travel to the Undying Lands. I thought I would stay in Middle Earth forever under the protection of the Princes. Are you going to travel to Valinor Legolas?”
“I will once Elessar passes on. I made a promise to him and I intend to keep it.”
“So you don’t have a lot of time left here do you?”
“If you look at it that way yes, but just think of the length of time that you will have in Valinor. To be in the presence of the Valar is the wish of every elf, to complete the Great Journey. It is incredibly hard not to respond to the Call of the Sea, but I will.”
“I’m glad, because I wouldn’t want you to leave before I was ready to fend for myself.”
“I wouldn’t do that to you. There is so much I want to show you, like this tree for example. Have you ever climbed a tree before?”
“No, I was never allowed for the fear that I would hurt myself.”
Legolas’ smile grew to a large grin. “You…an elf, have never climbed a tree? I think it’s time to change that. Come on!” Legolas soon jumped out of his chair and started to climb the branches of the stately tree.
Rowena just stared as Legolas bounded from branch to branch till he was nearly at the top of the tree. “Now you wouldn’t leave me to climb the tree all by myself without any help, would you?”
“No of course not! How careless of me…hold on, I’ll be down in a moment.” Legolas came down from the top of the tree as gracefully as he went up. When he was on the lowest branch he extended his hand to Rowena. “Come on then,” Legolas said. “I’ll be with you every step of the way.”
It was all Rowena could do not to be frightened out of her wits every time she scaled a branch. Legolas was true to his word and was right next to her all the way up the tree. It took some time and some coaxing, but soon the two elves were at the very top of the tree looking over the city. The two settled themselves on one of the branches and quietly took in the scene. “It’s gorgeous Legolas, the city is so beautiful.”
“That it is Eararma. Minas Tirith is very old, but very strong. It speaks to the strength of the people who dwell inside its walls. The race of Men will never return to the glory it once held, but with the care of Elessar, Arwen, and others, it will come close.”
Rowena turned to Legolas and stared into his sapphire colored eyes. “And what do you think will become of the race of elves, prince of the woodland realm?”
“Sadly Rowena, we will be all but forgotten once the last of us have left the shores of this world. Men care for their own matters and will soon forget the mark we elves have made here. We will turn into legend and myth as the years go by. Soon there will be none on the earth who will remember the footsteps we took on this land, and we will be lost to memory.”
“That’s so sad. To think that all we have done in Middle Earth will be forgotten...that we have been here so long only to pass into the shadow of memory. I won’t forget Legolas; I won’t forget the kindness that Men have shown me in my weakness. It’s a small consolation, but I think it will help somewhat.”
“That I am sure of Eararma. It makes me glad to know that you and I will share the same end. The memories that you and I will share will help to keep this time alive in the thoughts of both Men and elves.” Legolas extended his hand toward Rowena and stroked the back of her neck. “You are such a dear to carry the weight of this upon your shoulders. You have such a caring heart Rowena; you care so much for the well being of those around you. Elessar, Arwen, even Nimandir will benefit from your gentle nature.”
“And how will you benefit Prince Legolas? Are you to be the only one that stands alone in the cold?”
“Of that I’m not sure of, little one. I know where I stand; it is you who must decide my fate.”
Legolas moved in closer, so close that their lips almost touched. Emotions never swayed Legolas, but Rowena had awakened something in him that hadn’t seen the light of day for quite a while. He took that last step and lightly brushed Rowena’s lips with his own. He was afraid that his boldness would scare the elf-maiden he help in his grasp. To his surprise she didn’t shy away, but leaned in closer and seemed to actually enjoy the spell that was being woven up in the tree.
Rowena wrapped her arms around the princes’ neck and brought him closer to her while still balancing on the tree branch. It could only be described as a magnetic force; the two elves embraced as ones that had known the other for eternity.
It was only when Legolas broke the kiss did he see the longing in Rowena’s eyes that he had not seen before. It was a longing for companionship, a longing for someone to love her as much as she had the capacity to love. If it was in his power to fulfill that longing, that desire for love, he would try, for he would not be able to bear his love carrying such a burden as loneliness.
His love…he was not sure when that idea had floated into his consciousness, but he certainly didn’t let it go. He pulled her in close and let her rest her head on his chest. For what seemed like hours the two sat in silence, listening to the beating of the others’ heart.
Finally Rowena found her voice. “We should have done that long before now.”
Legolas couldn’t help but chuckle. “We should have?”
“Yes love, I think so. I do not know why, but never in my life have I had such peace, except with you. You say I have a gentle spirit, but underneath the warrior you show the world, there is a soul that is as kind and loving and gentle as you say mine is.”
Rowena turned around to face Legolas and placed her hand on his heart. “I know it’s there because that is all I have been able to see. Something has drawn us together Legolas. What it is I know not, but I thank whatever power it is because without you I am incomplete; I am a quiver without arrows or a flower without color. You, my dear sweet Woodland Prince, are my savior.”
With that Rowena drew another kiss from the princes’ lips and rested in his arms as the two elves watched the sun rise higher above the mountains that so long held back the Shadow.
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.