Nurael sat on the floor at his side holding his hand with both of hers against her cheek and silently weeping. She was torn by the anguish he had shown earlier that morning and her own feelings for this complicated elf. She would never have taken advantage of his condition to touch him as she did, but she knew that she would never have the chance to do so once he regained consciousness. She would tuck her memories of the feel of his skin and the warmth of his body safely away only to be taken out and cherished in private during the long years ahead. They would become particularly dear when she had to return to Imladris never to see him again.
Over the next few days at her touch Haldir would wake, drink a nutritious drink followed by the sleeping drug and fall back asleep. Although his slumber appeared untroubled by dreams, he faintly felt the pull of a pair of green eyes that appeared to be weeping and was soothed by the gentle touch of a soft hand. With no return of the terrible images of his nightmares, his body and his faer continued to relax.
Elrond pushed the final book away from him and leaned back in his chair. He had been searching for nearly three days amidst the large collection of medical documents and books that he amassed over the millennium trying to find an answer to the problem facing the March Warden. He knew that he had read something on the illness of the faer, but he had no success in locating the article.
*Elrond, nin, how goes your search? * Galadriel brushed his mind.
*My lady, it does not go well. * He sighed with deep regret.
*I feared as much. Nurael is deep into her sorrow and I do not know if she will be able to continue much longer before breaking. *
*I know. I have talked with her and followed her condition with each new draught administered to Haldir. *
*It maybe time for me to try to enter his mind and search out the source of this nightmare. I must try a tentative approach while he sleeps. His barriers will be more relaxed then. *
*I agree. A gentle prodding should do little harm in his current state. *
* Nurael has indicated that he has not shown any resistance to her guidance and followed her orders to wake and take the sleeping potion. *
*Yes, that surprised me. I expected to have to direct his responses through her. It may be that there is a bond of sorts between them as yet unrecognized. *
*I have suspected it for some time. His reactions to her have been far in excess of what one would normally expect. There is no question of her feelings for him. *
*She has admitted as much to me. She has asked when this was all over to return to Imladris rather then remain as a reminder of his weakness and cause him additional embarrassment. As she says, she is the one who will be the easiest to move. Lothlorien needs her March Warden. *
*Has she now? That is very interesting. She would give up her wish to serve on the fences, a goal she has worked to achieve for most of her life in order to protect him. *
*I suspect her wish was partially driven by her desire to at least be near him without being under his control. She does not wish him to ever suspect the depth of her emotion for him and risk becoming another of his conquests among the ellyth. *
*Haldir is notorious for maintaining an emotional distance from those he pursues and when he sees that an elleth seeks additional closeness he breaks it off immediately. Many of our ellyth suffer a broken heart or bruised spirit on account of his actions. *
*It appears they both fear to risk their hearts in such a manner. *
*We will deal with that after Haldir has been relieved of his illness, mell nin. If you concur, I will speak with Nurael and make the necessary preparations to begin my attempt to enter Haldir’s mind. I would ask that you also link with me at that time and act as my anchor to allow me to withdraw as safely as possible. *
*I will let you know when I will make the preliminary attempt to do so. *
*I will await your call. *
*Until then, Elrond. *
Unaware of the growing concerns of the Lady Galadriel and Lord Elrond over her well being, Nurael continued to watch closely over Haldir. She was constantly touching his face and chest with gentle hands, holding and nuzzling his hand, talking in soft whispers against his ear telling him how much he was loved and needed, how he had to let go of his dark dreams and come back to the light where his family and friends longed for him to be. He would turn his head slightly toward the sound of her voice or gently squeeze her hand with his when she would kiss his palm. At first she was not sure what his responses meant, but she was glad that she was able reach down through the darkness and the fog of the drug to reassure him he was not alone. Her discussions with Lord Elrond soon left her with no doubt the Lady would have to enter the mind of the March Warden if there was to be any chance of a healing. Since neither the Lady, nor Elrond would actually be present there with Haldir and her, she knew she would have to act as their hands and physically perform any actions that needed to be accomplished. Nurael was not surprised when the Lady contacted her with the news and told her what preparations she would need to make there at the retreat. The list was fairly simple and would not take long to complete. She was, however, surprised when Galadriel instructed her to take a light sleeping potion herself and retire early to get a good night’s rest.
*You will be very important to the success of this effort, Nurael. I will need you to monitor Haldir’s condition while I concentrate on my efforts to gain entrance to his mind. Elrond will be monitoring both my mental state and that of Haldir and will be responsible for bringing me back out if there are problems. Celeborn will bring Master Maenasted in to the link and keep overall watch on everyone’s wellbeing. You will become part of the link because Both Elrond and I will use you as the focus so you can follow what we are doing and perform any actual physical tasks needed there. Do you have any questions mell nin? *
*Not with the process my lady, but I do have a question regarding how much of Haldir’s thoughts or fears will be exposed to the rest of us. If we are all tied in together in this link, might not we all gain access to those things we have no right to know? *
*You are right to fear such a possibility and be concerned. It will be my responsibility to sift through the recesses of his mind and isolate those specific things that are causing the problem we are attempting to cure. Elrond’s responsibility will be to provide a barrier to prevent anyone of you from following me in or letting any of Haldir’s mental state flow back through the link. If I am successful, I will pass the identity of those things to Elrond. Any discussion amongst us will be limited to the relevant items and we will have protected Haldir’s privacy to the best of our ability given the circumstances. *
*Thank you, my lady. That eases my concerns a great deal. “
*Good. We will attempt the treatment after breakfast in the morning. *
*All will be ready. *
Ellyth-female elves (p)
Mell nin-my dear
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.