The hunter and his prey, he thinks as he trails her giddy, moonlit form through the treetops. Where does she come from? Who is she? Always he seeks her, and always she runs - with that coy, mischievous smile upon her fair features. One day he will know. One day he will catch her. But not today. Not this night.
For to speed up, to close the tantalising gap between them, would end the hunt, cease the thrilled pounding of heart as it flies after her in the dark. For now the chase is all.
There is no laughter, only calculated, deadly silence from around him, and the foul sounds of even fouler creatures from below.
Where is she? How does she fare? The questions that besiege him at the mere fleeting memory of a beckoning finger are coldly pushed aside. A warden does not have time or station to be seeking after maidens in such perilous days. It hurts. And he makes them pay all the more dearly for it.
Coarse shrieks and guttural cries mingle with the low whistling of arrows. And then there is silence.
He hopes with all hope that he did not let his previous prey of a wily maiden slip away.
The darkness has been cleared from the woods, cleared form the land in its entirety. While it brings peace, for Haldir it brings only a new restlessness. The marks of evil are abundant, slowly healing yet painful to behold. And the mounds of earth cause his throat to tighten: it had been long since fair Lorien saw a grave.
He begins his desolate, heart rending hunt amongst the mounds and groves, through the filth stained trees. Days pass and there is no trace of her, neither sign she lives nor sign she fell. Laughter and song echo through the realm but it is not the soft notes or wickedly sensual tones he remembers as if from a dream. He traces and retraces their old paths amongst the sheltering boughs and carven arches, ever hoping for a glimpse of radiant white and silver.
When hope is all but spent, he sits with face drawn and eyes that seem unusually tired as they stare out across the Goldenwood. It is then, in the stillness and silence of despair, that he hears it and his heart wildly jolts. Someone is sobbing. The low, keening tone seems to be familiar; the short and shallow breaths seem light enough.
Wary to give into fantasies or delusion, he cautiously picks his way through scattered leaves toward the sound. Heart and mind guarded, jaw firmly set, he steps into a war torn clearing and beholds the source of the sound.
His eyes widen and his heart races as she whirls to face the one who would intrude upon her mourning. The full lips tremble with emotion and she brings her hands up to cover the strangled gasp that escapes them. Frozen in shock they stand apart, a timeless wealth of unsaid words hanging between them. Finally she draws her hands away, shakily reaching toward him with a single whispered phrase:
Thanks to all those at the Hall of Fire for their suggestions and advice!
...dare me to write her side of things!
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.