As soon as Telir had returned to the flet he had announced to me that we would be leaving at dawn the very next morn. Apparently the message to Rivendell was quite urgent and could not wait until a reasonable hour of departure. I disliked this, mostly because I still valued what little sleep I managed to get. But I did not snap at him, for I realized that my temper had been getting the better of me for the past few days.
That morning was much like any other one. The sun rose up over the trees as it had throughout most of my life and I held no regrets about leaving it behind. Rivendell was a good four-day ride from Lorien, but there was always something to do when I was with Telir. He had an endless store of ways to amuse me, from light horse races to finger games and childish poems.
“I shan’t wait for you much longer.” Right as I was thinking of him, Telir’s voice reached my ears. I grinned in a silly way and then threw the last of my bags upon my horse. He had already loaded his share upon the brown stallion that he usually rode and was now anxious to be on his way. I could hardly blame him.
“Oh, but I think that now I shall take my time.” I said in a teasing voice, sticking out my lip a little bit and then laughing. His horse pranced a little and darted about, mirroring his will to leave. I leisurely mounted my horse and faked a yawn, peeking out of the corner of my eye to spot his reaction. It was much as I thought it would be- the quick placement of both his hands upon his hips whilst glaring at me.
“You had better not, lest I decide to leave you behind.” He said. I quickly grabbed the reins and spurred my horse on, trying to catch him by surprise. It did work in a sense, seeing as he looked extremely surprised when I raced right by him. His recovery was quick, though, and before long we were racing neck and neck.
“If this is your idea of leaving me behind, then you must be sadly mistaken.” I said with a laugh. He would only grin at me, then whisper into his stallion’s ear. Soon he had overtaken me, but I knew that it was only because his horse was both faster and younger than my own seven year old mare. It was a sad yet true fact. That didn’t stop me from racing him though, nor did it wreck the fun.
Soon both of our horses slowed to a walk, giving me a chance to catch up to Telir and plod along beside him. There was a long period of silence, something I can only attribute to the slight argument that we had back in Lorien. I still felt badly about it. Just returning home did something to my mind, something that caused me to get irritable.
“Telir?” I murmured, trying to see if he was even still aware that I was right next to him. He nodded, but kept facing straight ahead. I was worried for him. I knew that he was stressed and I did not blame him for it. Anybody who had no constant home was bound to carry some burdens.
“Could you…I mean, do you mind… telling me about your past?” I said. I had always wondered about him, seeing as Telir rarely said anything about himself. It was rather odd, but then again I had often done the same thing. Now we had a bit of time to kill and curiosity was getting the best of me. “I don’t mean to press you. You don’t have to say anything.” I could see him sigh before he began to speak.
“No, you have shown me your secrets. I suppose it is time to show you mine.” Reaching up, he pushed back the hood of his cloak and then lightly touched his ears. His light fingers made quick work upon them, soon prying off a bit of putty. I gasped.
His ears were pointed.
“You’re…you’re…” I could hardly stutter the words out. Why had he never told me after all this time? I had always thought that he was perhaps a human hailing from Gondor or Rohan, seeing as he never mentioned anything from his past. We had both been that way.
“An elf. Yet, not quite. My mother was an elf, while my father was a ranger like I am now. I am only half-elven.” He said, turning to look at me with a hint of a smile on his face at my look of surprise. “I chose to live a life of a man, yet the ears are an odd reminder of my heritage. I have only a little elven blood and a mortal lifespan.”
“Why did you not tell me this before?” I said, trying not to get mad. At first it was hard to find anything to say to him. There were too many questions in my mind, too many questions that in the past had gone unanswered. Hiding your past was never something that could be highly recommended. Yet we both did it all the time.
“I didn’t think it to be important.” He said, jumping down from his horse. I sputtered for a few moments before jumping down from my mare and tethering her to the nearest tree branch. He began to dig in his pack for a bit of food while I just sat there and was silent.
“Didn’t think it was important?! How can you not see something like that as important?!” I was on the verge of screaming. The look on his face was still stuck between a smile and a cocky grin as he pulled a bundle of food from his bag, unwrapping it to see what it contained. I walked right over to him, staring into his eyes and trying to show my aggravation.
“You really must calm down, Maeve. Too much excitement never was very good for you.” He said as he extended out a bit of bread out to me. “Would you like some jam with this?” I growled and resisted pulling every hair in his head out.
“How can you want me to calm down? How? After all of…” I was stopped mid-sentence by something I had never expected. Least of all from Telir, who had been my loyal companion and friend for a good two years. It just seemed so wrong, but then again so right in ever so many ways.
He kissed me. It wasn’t the kind of kiss that you expected from someone who was just your friend, but a kiss from someone that you would expect from someone who might wish for something more. I didn’t pull away, though I did consider it. In the end, I decided it was worth it.
“What was that for?” I whispered to him as he withdrew, holding a crushed piece of bread in his hand and smiling sheepishly. I was almost afraid to raise my voice above a whisper for some reason, as if I would alert some imaginary person to what had just transpired.
“You really do need to relax more.” He said as he threw the bread deep into the woods and then mounted his stallion. “Let’s go, we have to make up the time we just lost.” I considered asking him if he thought that time was well spent, but decided not to. I was still busy pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.
“Haldir. I thank you for coming so promptly.” Galadriel sat back in her chair, brushing a strand of golden hair out of her eyes before addressing the March Warden again. Her tone of voice was strained and she did nothing to hide it. Celeborn was not at her side because he was busy preparing for the journey to Rivendell, which she assumed was to be purely business.
“I just wish to ask you again of the night Maeve disappeared. I have seen something…felt something, that you know more than you are telling me.” She tried to be as direct as possible, knowing that it was best that way. She also did not wish to keep him from his work for long, especially since he had an important job to do.
“I know nothing more than I have already told you, mi’lady.” He said, fidgeting. He always hated having to lie to her, mostly because he felt as if her mind was always probing his thoughts. It was also due to the fact that he had no idea how she had known that he was somehow involved.
‘I hate to do this to you, Haldir. But I can feel you lying to me.’
A feeling of intense cold swept through his body as he heard Galadriel’s voice echoing around inside his head. Yes, he knew what that feeling was. It was called fear…fear of the past, fear of what might reside inside his own mind…
Galadriel really did hate to do this to him. She had put it off for long enough, mostly because she hated to use her powers to get a direct answer out of anyone. Now she had become desperate. The last person who had seen Maeve refused to tell her the whole story and she had put up with it long enough…
He twirled the knife between his fingers as he watched the sun fall down over the horizon and give rise to darkness. Every minute felt like an eternity to him as he waited, trying to judge how long it would be before Maeve would be in dire need of care. He never wanted her to die. That had never been his intention. If anything did happen to her, it would be his head upon a silver platter. Along with his job.
It was a half-hour past the sunset that he returned to the place where he had left her. An anguished cry escaped from his lips as he realized that she was gone, all that remained was a silvery puddle of her telltale blood. No, it couldn’t be. Where had she gone? Who had taken her?
“Help! Oh, dearest Valar, somebody help!” He had the knife, the knife that had her blood all over it. How could he not be seen as guilty? His career was over, his whole life was over. He would never be forgiven for something like this…
“So you do not know where she is now…” Galadriel said with a sigh. Haldir did not answer, preferring to lower his head in shame. “You may leave. Return to the borders with my apologies, though I think that it may be a while before we speak again.”
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.