In truth, she had doubts about joining the ranks of Galadhrim's Maidens. It was said that these elleth had no say in their choice of mate. It was decided by the Lady herself. But until this day, no maiden has claimed to be unhappy of the marriage she had arranged. Still, Calavénë wanted the freedom to choose her own partner. She wanted to fall in love and be loved in return. She sighed again, at the thought of her fate.
Moments later both her ada and naneth entered her chamber, "Ada, naneth. What a pleasant surprise! I thought the both of you will take longer to return from your audience with the Lord and Lady." Laugoneth looked at her daughter. She was fortunate to have a child with the help of the Lady of Galadhrim. Her daughter was beautiful, nothing in comparison to the great Luthien or that of Lady Arwen's, but still beautiful in her eyes. One thing her daughter had which didn't come from her or her hervenn, Thand was her golden hair. He was convinced that part of Lady's Galadriel's magic causing her hair to turn a golden shade like that of the lady herself.
Laugoneth stroked her daughter's daisies laden hair, "We have news for you, iell." Calavénë turned around to face her ada and naneth. She loved them with all her heart and would do anything to make them proud, "What is it ada, naneth?" Thand came closer to his daughter and kissed her cheeks, "You are to be moved to the palace meleth, to stay with Lady Galadriel." Calavénë's heart protested. She wanted to stay here with her parents, "No, I want to stay here, with the both of you."
Laugoneth held her face, "No, Calavénë. It is for the best. There you will learn to be a healer with Master Annoguil. You will have your dreams, lirimaer." Calavénë sat down on the chair in front of her, "I will miss you very much." Thand smiled at his only child, "We will miss you too, iell. But we will see you whenever you have the time. Come. It is time. Lady Galadriel is waiting for us."
The three elves walked down from their dwellings and made their way to the palace. Calavénë had never seen the palace from this distance. The walls seemed to glow and the air denser. They stopped in front of the entrance where Idhrenon was keeping guard, "Who goes there?" Thand walked closer to his friend, "It is I, mellon. I have come to send my daughter off to be in the Lady's tutelage." Idhrenon regarded Calavénë and her naneth and returned his attention to the elf in front of him, "Very well, Thand. You may proceed. Meet Minvain inside. He will show you the way."
Calavénë and Laugoneth nodded to the head of the palace guard and made their way inside. Calavénë took a deep breath as she enters the hallways. A great power can be sensed through these walls. Lady Galadriel was close by. The three of them came to a halt once more when Thand was greeted by Mirvain, "Mae govannen, Thand. Mankoi naa lle sinome?" Thand shook the hand of Minvain, second in charge after Idhrenon, "Mae govannen, Mirvain. I came to meet with the Lady. She is expecting us." Mirvain nodded and took them further into the palace.
Very soon, the three were in the presence of Lady Galadriel and her hervenn Lord Celeborn. Mirvain turned to speak to the three, "Wait here. The Lord and Lady are in a meeting with the March warden." Calavénë was intrigued. She has heard of the March warden but never has she seen him before. Calavénë walked closer to the entrance and saw three warriors standing in front of the throne talking to Lord Celeborn.
Her gaze fell upon the warrior standing close to the Lord. He had silvery golden hair, unlike her hair but it was shining. His face was stern and serious. There was a gash on his cheek. His skin glowed under the light of the talan's torches. Her eyes travelled down his broad shoulders and to his lithe body. Her eyes stopped abruptly at the bulge in his leggings. Calavénë swallowed hard. "I see you have found the March warden's pleasing, hen. Now if I may, please clear your thoughts of him. You will be shown in, in a moment."
Calavénë blushed. She had forgotten about the Lady's abilities to read minds. She shook her head trying to clear her mind of the March warden. Just then, the three warriors walked about of the throne room. The first two wardens nodded to her and made their way. Out came the March warden. Without a single acknowledgement, he walked past her. Calavénë watched as the cold March warden disappeared behind a corner.
The family of elves was summoned in for an audience with the rulers of Lorien. Thand lead his family in and bowed to Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel, "My Lord and Lady. I brought my iell with me. I present Calavénë." Calavénë stood up and walked forward, "My Lord and Lady, I am Calavénë, iell of Thand and Laugoneth. I come here with the greatest hope that you will take me under your tutelage and teach me the ways of the Eldar." Galadriel rose from her throne, "Rise, hen. You have such strong spirit, Thandiel. I have been informed of your wish to learn the arts of healing. I must oblige since Lorien is currently understaffed with healers." Galadriel looked into the distant, seeing things in her mind, "For I fear, there will come a day when we need more healers to help ease the pain." Lord Celeborn descended from his throne and placed a hand on his mistress, "Let us not dwell on things that have not yet come to pass."
Galadriel turned to her lord and smiled, "You are right, hervenn. Come Calavénë. I will show you to your new talan. Thand, Laugoneth that will be all. We will see you for dinner tonight. Until then…" Calavénë watched as her ada and naneth walked out of the throne room. Galadriel only smiled and held her hand, "Do not worry Calavénë. You parents will be safe. Now, let us move on. I have much to show to you and to explain."
Galadriel, Celeborn and Calavénë walked through the halls until they reached Galadriel's personal parlour. Celeborn turned to his hervess, "Meleth nin, I take my leave. I have matters to resolve with Haldir. I will see you tonight at dinner." Galadriel smiled and kissed her hervenn, "Very well, heruamin." Galadriel glanced at Calavénë whose face lit up at the mention of Haldir's name. The two watched Lord Celeborn leave. Galadriel held Calavénë's hand, "Come. We must talk."
The parlour was magnificent. Most of the draperies were white and soft. There was a small lounger in the middle of the room. An easel stood near the exit to the balcony. There were musical instruments of all kind and a few books lay stacked on the table. Galadriel beckoned her to take a seat. Calavénë sat down nervously. Galadriel smiled, "Do not worry, child. I will not harm you despite whatever people may call me. You are aware of your standing?"
Calavénë nodded, "Yes, my lady. I am to be one of your ladies in waiting." Galadriel laughed and shook her head, "Yes and no. You will not just be one of my ladies in waiting, Calavénë. All the elleth I take under my charge become like my own child. After Celebrian sailed for Valinor, we no longer have the desire to produce more children. Therefore, you will receive the best education I can provide. I will also help in choosing your life partner for I want the very best for my adopted children. All I ask from you is that you learn hard and stay true to the Eldar ways of life. You will remain pure and only be one with your intended. Do you understand hen?"
Calavénë nodded. Galadriel continued when she was satisfied that her new young charge understood her, "You will have your own talan. You will join us for every breakfast and dinner. Lunch time is for your own amusement. The library and healing quarters are at your disposal, tithen pen. Know this; you are the first of my ladies to be taught in the arts of healing. Others before you chose arts and other skills. I shall look forward to follow your progress. Is there anything you would like to ask me, hen?"
Calavénë slowly looked at the Lady of Light, "Yes, my lady. How many others have you right now, under your sponsorship?" Galadriel smiled, "As for now, only two. You and Mirnimmeril. She is trained in the arts of growing. The gardens outside are the testament of her skills. You will meet her tonight at dinner. Come, let us interrupt my hervenn. I must introduce you to the wardens. One of them is in charge of your safety since our master healer will be travelling back and forth from the border back to the city. I am assuming he will want to take you along."
Calavénë followed Galadriel through a series of doors before coming to a large room filled with maps and war artefacts. In the middle of the room was a large round table with more maps on top of it. Lord Celeborn was surprised to see his hervess, "My dear, what do I owe this delight to?" Galadriel walked towards the table, leaving Calavénë by the door. She looked at the other elves in the room. The March warden was there with three other wardens. He turned to look at her for a second before turning away. "I have come to ask one of our brave wardens to be in charge of Calavénë's safety when she travels to the borders with Master Annoguil. Which warden can you spare meleth?"
Lord Celeborn looked at Calavénë who was standing near the door, "Enter, hen. Let me introduce you to our wardens." Calavénë walked inside the room timidly. She stopped in front of the table and waited as Lord Celeborn made his way towards her, "Calavénë, meet our wardens. This is Mebedir, he is in charge of the eastern borders. This is Rumil and Orophin, brothers to our March warden. Both are in charge of the northern borders. I trust you know our March warden. This is Haldir." Calavénë nodded to the three elves before coming face to face with the March warden, "Suilad." Haldir nodded to her, "Mae govannen, arwen en amin."
Lord Celeborn looked at Orophin, "I think Orophin here would be the perfect candidate. I would have put Haldir in charge but it seems there is too much happening around us. I hope you approve meleth." Galadriel smiled and held his hand, "Thank you, heruamin. Orophin, I hope you take good care of her, for she is one of our future healers." Orophin walked forward and bowed, "I will do everything I can in my power, my lady." Galadriel was pleased, "Very well. I hope all four of you will join us at dinner tonight."
Time seemed to pass by quickly when the surrounding is new. Since afternoon, Calavénë has been exploring the palace. She has met with Master Annoguil who was warm and patience, everything she wanted in a teacher. She had also met with the Mirnimmeril. She was a breath of fresh air. Despite of being older than Calavénë, there was a mischievous nature to her. Calavénë was captivated by the paintings hanging on the walls. They were stories, said Galadriel, of how the Eldar came to be. Calavénë was so immersed with the paintings; she did not see the person in front of her and bumped into the ellon. She stood up abruptly to see who it was. She was about to apologize when words couldn't be formed in her mouth. It was Haldir. Before she could say anything, the ellon spoke, "Watch where you're going elleth. Keep your mind on the ground and not elsewhere. You will prove to be a nuisance to me and my brothers."
Shock enveloped her. Why had the March warden chose such cruel words to say her? Did she offend him in anyway? She looked at him as he walked about hastily. The realization of what happened hit her and she rubbed her shoulder in pain, "I don't think we would be friends…"
Night came by quickly. Calavénë dressed herself in a lilac gown and pinned a few beautiful roses to her hair. She looked in the mirror and rubbed her shoulder instinctively. The pain was still there, although bearable. She was about to leave when she heard a knock on the door, "Who is it?" The person standing outside spoke, "It is I, Orophin. I was told to escort you down." Calavénë opened the door and there stood Orophin, "My lady, you look ravishing tonight. May I?" Orophin offered his arm to her and she graciously accepted.
They walked towards the dining hall. "Tell me Orophin, how did you come to be a warden?" Orophin smiled, "My grandfather before Haldir was the March warden. Seeing him work and train was such a fascination for us. That why all three of us decided to become a warden. Now, Haldir was special. He had the skills and abilities some of us don't. Thus, he became the March warden." Calavénë nodded. She did want to ask Orophin about his brother, but decided it was impolite to be prying in such matters. Orophin continued to tell his new friend about the life of a warden.
Calavénë sat at the table. She and Orophin were the first to arrive. Later her ada and naneth joined them followed by Mirnimmeril. Orophin took his seat next to her and continued their conversation. Her parents sat near the front of the table close to where the Lord and Lady would sir. They were soon joined by Galadriel and Celeborn. The dinner started with a plate of tantalizing fruits from Lorien and beyond. Her parents were in deep conversation with Lady Galadriel. It was Orophin who kept her amused, "Orophin…" Orophin raised his hand, "My lady, call me Fin. Orophin is such a formal endearment making it hard for us to be friends."
Calavénë smiled, "Fin, where are the rest of the wardens?" Just as Orophin was about to answer, there came a knock from outside the room. Haldir stepped in, "Forgive me, my lord and lady. We had an unexpected intrusion on the eastern border. All is well now." Lord Celeborn stood up, inviting his guests inside, "Please, take a seat. We weren't long into our dinner nonetheless."
Calavénë watched as Mebedir took a seat next to Mirnimmeril and next to him was Rumil. The only seat empty was in front of her. She watched as Haldir crossed the room in a few strides before settling down in front of her. Calavénë quickly lowered her gaze to her plate, not wanting to look at the warrior. She was afraid of him. She was also intrigued. She played with her food trying so hard not to look at him.
Galadriel sensed the elleth's discomfort, "Calavénë, tell us about your meeting with Master Annoguil?" Calavénë looked at her lady, "It went well, my lady. Master Annoguil has decided to start my lessons tomorrow." Galadriel nodded, "I am pleased. Now let us enjoy the main course."
Haldir watched the elleth in front of him. He studied her face. She looked like the other elleth, nothing magnificent in beauty, save for her hair. It was golden, like that of the Lady of the Light. He watched her fidget in her seat under his gaze. "Do not torment her Haldir. She is already afraid enough of you." Haldir turned his attention to Galadriel who was watching him intently. He nodded and continued his dinner.