7. A New Beginning
Master Maenestad had gifted her with a small bookcase, which now stood against the sitting area wall to the side of the entry door. It held all her books and some small, carved figures she had found during a fair held during one of the festival days at Imladris. Across from it were two rather large comfortable chairs that all but filled the area. There was another rug on the floor and some pillows piled in a corner.
A small area off the sitting area boasted a small table and two chairs that would double as a desk. Shelves on the wall held dishes and other eating utensils. On one end of the upper shelf were two baskets that held writing materials. There was a small balcony that was just off the sitting room and eating area side of the talan. Here she had placed two chairs, which could be pulled in and placed around the table when she had guests.
The cooking area was little more then a pass through, holding a small cooking grate over the firebox and oven beside side it. There was a small sink that she would have to haul water for and storage areas for food and pots and pans.
Her sleeping area was a small alcove off the sitting area. There she had a narrow bed and one of the chests containing her spare clothes and bedding. Her weapons and cloak hung on wall pegs above the chest. The bed was covered with one of the rugs left by her parents and a second covered the floor beside the bed. She had hung some of the fabric to provide privacy between the alcove and the sitting area.
Nurael had been pleased to find that someone had laid in a modest supply of food and wine prior to her arrival and she was looking forward to a nice quiet dinner after she had visited the bathing pools later that afternoon after completing the last of her unpacking.
Master Maenestad had used her two previous days to introduce her to the other healers and familiarize her with her new duties. She was expected to spend the next few weeks working in the healing talan before she would be allowed to accompany a patrol to the fences. She would go along with one of the other healers for one rotation and then she would be on her own.
Arwen had shown up at the healing talan and spirited her away late yesterday afternoon leaving a much amused Master Maenestad behind. Nurael had been surprised and somewhat awed when she found she was expected to join Arwen and her daer odhril for dinner that evening. She was curious about the Lord and Lady and she knew she would have to make herself known to them in order to thank them for their permission to return to Lorien. She had not however expected the honor of being their guest for dinner in their private quarters.
After much dithering over what to wear and with Arwen’s advice she was able to select a presentable dress. Arwen had been puzzled at first as to why she was so worried. It was not until Nurael explained she had few dresses because she found that tunics and leggings were far more practical in her duties as a healer.
With some trepidation she had presented herself later that evening at the royal talan where she found Arwen waiting to greet her and take her in to be presented to her daer odhril. After some initial awkwardness she found that they were very easy to be with and she enjoyed herself immensely. Both had seemed very interested in the details of the trip from Imladris asking many questions about what she had observed and what difficulties she had encountered. She suddenly found the conversation turning to her earlier days in Lorien and the adventures she and her friends had gotten up to. Embarrassed she glowered at Arwen who could only grin and roll her eyes.
Celeborn laughed, “You must not be upset about this. We have enjoyed hearing about the escapades of the terrible trio and our March Warden. I fear he has lost his sense of humor though. Perhaps now that you are here he will find it again.”
Nurael watched with bewilderment as the Lord and Lady exchanged meaningful looks. Again there was that undercurrent of unease or worry where Haldir was concerned. What was going on? She wanted to ask but dared not.
Galadriel noticed her expression and sent a silent comment to her.
*Child, you will learn all in a short while. We believe you may be the answer to a serious problem. We do not wish this to be discussed where it could be overheard and misconstrued. Be patient and all will become clear. *
Nurael nodded slowly more puzzled then before and the conversation turned to her training at Imladris and her odhril decision to remain there instead of returning with her.
“It was no one thing my lady,” Nurael explained. “However I think my ada is more interested in exploring new techniques and medicines than dedicating himself to healing patients. He can only do that under Lord Elrond since no other healing hall provides that opportunity.”
“There are already many well-trained healers at Imladris and I spent more time doing routine basic duties normally accomplished by beginning students as part of their initial training. There simply was not enough to keep every one busy at the level they needed to be. I wanted to apply what I had learned in a real environment where patients had endured battle wounds and I could really help with their treatment. I talked it over with my ada and he suggested I discuss it with Lord Elrond. He agreed that I could be of better use here or in Mirkwood but he recommended Lorien and so he sent you the letter requesting I be allowed to return.”
Celeborn nodded. “Elrond was most fulsome in his praise of your abilities. Master Maenestad is very pleased to have you join him.” He studied her for a long moment. “Serving as a healer on the fences is no easy thing. Are you sure you are prepared for the difficulties you will face?”
“One is never fully prepared for that situation, my lord, but I believe I have done everything I can to do so. I have been one of the travelling healers in Imladris for the past forty-five years. I have travelled among the Dunedine rangers and with your daer ionnath on their patrols as healer during that time as well. Lord Elrond has given me special training in the use of herbs and other medicinal plants that are especially useful in primitive field medical applications. Lord Glorfindel has trained me in the use of the sword and bow and was satisfied I could protect myself in most situations. I do not know what else I could add except experience.”
Both Celeborn and Galadriel stared at her with growing amazement during her long discourse. When she had finished Galadriel grinned at Celeborn who chuckled. “I believe the March Warden will be much surprised at his new healer.”
Nurael lowered her head in embarrassment then said. “My lady, I understand I am much junior to the other healers here. As such I will most likely be assigned to one of the lesser patrols. He will not have to deal with me for some time.”
“Oh I think that can be arranged Mistress Nurael.” Galadriel smiled at her. “I think you are just what he needs.”
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.