11. A Gathering Of Minds
*This warrior, has he physically struck out at friends or family? *
Her negative reply reassured him.
*No one has been able to reach him and discern the incident that set him on this trail to self-destruction? * He continued.
Again the reply was negative.
*Let me consider this for a day or so. I will return as soon as possible with my thoughts. *
Galadriel turned to Master Maenestad and Nurael and shared Elrond’s comments. Celeborn had listened to the discussion through the link he shared with his hervess.
Nurael sat back and relaxed, glad that the initial contact with the Lord of Imladris was completed. “I hope he will be able to help us.”
Master Maenestad nodded in agreement. “I have found that someone with a little distance from the problem often can see more clearly then those close by.”
Galadriel studied them both. “I do not know where we will go after this if Lord Elrond cannot help.”
“You may have no choice but to go in yourself, my lady.” Master Maenestad reluctantly added.
She shook her head, “I will not do that unless there is no other way.”
Nurael hesitated. “Just before I left Imladris, Lord Elrond had received some previously unknown medicinal plants. One, he thought might be useful in cases where the patient had to be put into a deep sleep for surgery or setting of limbs. If the need for Lady Galadriel to enter Haldir’s mind is the only way, it might be useful to relax him enough to allow her to do so with minimal harm to him.”
Master Maenestad looked at her with interest. “What can you tell me of this plant?”
“Unfortunately, not a great deal. There was not much information available except to say it was dangerous and had caused death where it had been used in large doses. More information was promised but it had not arrived before I left. If, in fact, there is no other option available to us, I do not doubt that Lord Elrond would recommend its use and provide the appropriate dosage at that time.”
Galadriel nodded. “So there is the possibility that if I must force my way in that this drug may ease, or minimize, the possible damage that could occur?”
“I believe so, my lady. But I would not risk it until Lord Elrond can concur with its use and possible results.”
Celeborn had sat silently throughout the discussion. He looked at his beautiful hervess for a long time before adding his concern. “I would not like to see us use this drug when so little is known about it. We do not know what the results will be.”
“My lord, I understand your reluctance. I would not have mentioned it if I did not believe that it would help. Certainly the concerns that we have all expressed about the consequences of the Lady forcing her way into a shielded mind would render the use of the plant a necessity. If the information provided to Lord Elrond is trustworthy and dosages are monitored I would much rather risk it than an unassisted mind assault that would just as easily prove fatal as well.” Nurael stated firmly.
“I concur, my lord. Lord Elrond would not suggest its use if he had no confidence in the information he receives. It would be foolish to not use it if it is available.” Master Maenstad added.
“Remember, my lord, I said I believe it would be useful only if Lord Elrond was comfortable in recommending it in this instance and he would have to provide a supply of it as well. It is not yet generally available. To my knowledge he has the only known specimen in this part of Middle Earth.” Nurael continue
Galadriel sighed. “I just want my March Warden back. The safety of all of the Golden Woods is much better served with him on watch. While he could be replaced, I would hate to do so. But more importantly he has been a devoted servant and deserves our best care and utmost concern to see him return to good health.”
“I also wish for that my lady. Although he was my nemesis as a child, I fully appreciate the elf that he is. He has devoted his life to raising his brothers and to the protection of Lothlorien. I will do all that I am capable of to see that he recovers from this illness of his faer.” Nurael added quietly.
Galadriel searched her face and smiled. “I know you will, child. I can see you have some affection for him.”
Nurael blushed. “He can be a stubborn, opinionated, self righteous mule upon occasion, my lady, but I do like him when he relaxes and lets that mask slip a bit. I just wish he didn’t feel he had to wear the March Warden identity so strongly so often.”
Galadriel exchanged amused looks with her hervenn.
*It would appear he has made another conquest ind nin. *
*Perhaps we risk her wellbeing by demanding she work to heal him. meleth nin. *
*I do not believe so. Nurael has a sensible head and her feet are solidly planted on the ground. She would be a good influence on him if she manages to get through the walls he has erected. A stable relationship would be a good anchor for him and allow him to relate to someone other then those that are under his command. He is too emotionally isolated and he carries his responsibilities too much within himself. It is possibly a strong reason he has fallen into this depression. He has not accepted anyone as his equal. We are either his order givers or his order takers. *
*What makes you think he will allow such an attachment to form? *
*His reaction to her. You mention her name and he immediately stiffens up. That seems a bit strange considering how young she was when she upset his personal life all those years ago. You would have expected him to mellow over time to the point where he would have little or no trouble adjusting to the grownup Nurael. *
Nurael watched in silence as the Lord and Lady obviously were discussing something. Her unease grew as she suspected it had to do with her and Haldir. She hoped that any plans they were making would find her relieved of this duty that tied her so closely to Haldir. While she had no qualms about going to serve under him on the fences, she had every intention of maintaining a distance from him. She had no illusions about Haldir and his relationships with ellyth in the past made it clear he wasn’t interested in anything permanent. She would not risk her heart after what had occurred when she had been so young. Even at that tender age she had been aware of his sexual attraction and as maddening as it was to consider, he was even more attractive now. She was not sure why this was so, she just accepted that it was.
Master Maenestad also watched with curiosity as Celeborn and Galadriel indulged in their silent conversation. He wondered if they were that strongly concerned about Galadriel having to enter Haldir’s mind or if it was concern about an untried drug. He had no such concerns as he had complete faith in Lord Elrond’s knowledge and ability to arrive at a solution to their problem.
Galadriel turned and smiled at them. “We will have to await Lord Elrond’s answer. Until then we must continue with the current plans. I have directed Haldir to prepare for the journey to the royal retreat and to turn over his duties to those he feels most able to fulfill them. Nurael I suggest you prepare yourself as well. Lord Celeborn will travel with you and make sure you get settled in safely. He will also insure that Haldir understands he must follow your instructions to the letter. Once that is accomplished he will return here and leave you both there on your own. I will contact you periodically to see if you need anything. There are supplies of food on hand and the wardens in the area will supply you with fresh fish, fowl or deer as you wish. Please feel free to make use of all of the retreat. I am sure its peace and quiet will be beneficial.”
At that Nurael glanced sharply at both the Lord and Lady and noted the smirks on both their faces. Her suspicions confirmed, Nurael resignedly acknowledged. “As you wish my lady, when will we depart?”
“ In five days unless Elrond has other recommendations.”
*Child, I do not think you will find this as arduous a task as you might fear. While we hope for success, we do not demand it from you. All we can ask is that you do what you can. We also will do what we can. If I must enter his mind, then it will be on my head not yours. *
*Thank you my lady. *
Unsuspecting of the undercurrents, Master Maenestad stood and with a small bow asked to be allowed to return to the Healing Talan. Nurael immediately joined him and when permission was granted both departed to their various duties.
“I do not believe Nurael is very happy with you ind nin.” Celeborn commented wryly.
“You are right, meleth nin. She is suspicious and rightly so. In her heart she is very fond of our March Warden and like many of my ladies finds him very attractive. She fears possible heartache if she is not careful.”
“I wish I was as sure as you, ind nin that he will let himself care for her.”
“He will fight it but he will not win. He will find in loosing this fight that he has won a great deal more.”
“You have seen something?”
Galadriel smiled at her lord. “You fought. Do you regret your loss?”
He smiled and rising from his chair, took her hand and led her to their private rooms. “I am willing to renegotiate the terms of my surrender, ind nin.” He shut the door firmly behind them. All was quiet for a while then, laughter resounded through the adjoining rooms of the royal talan.
ind nin-my heart
meleth nin-my love
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