21. Truth and Lies
The sun crept slowly over the land of Rivendell. The birds stirred and the trees stretched out for the first ray of sunlight. Calavénë rolled around in bed. She knew she was in a bed but last she remembered was sitting under a tree and then everything went pitch dark. She slowly opened her eyes and saw a beautifully crafted roof. Her eyes travelled downwards towards the mighty columns that held the roof. The windows were oval with light airy fabrics as drapes.
She sat up and drank in the sights and sounds. She was in what seemed to be the healing hall. She could smell potions brewing and the spicy scent of mandrake. An ellon approached her with a small vial in his hand, "I am Celeb, the healer in charge for the moment. Our master, Lord Elrond will make his appearance shortly. Drink this. It will help give you strength."
Calavénë took the small vial, "Thank you. Lord Elrond you say? Then I am in Rivendell…"
Celeb smiled, "Yes, my lady. You are indeed in Imladris. Drink and I shall return shortly with some breakfast for you. Before that, what shall I address you by?"
Calavénë wanted to say her name but thought it was best to take on another for she did not want to be recognized. After thinking for a moment she decided to tell Celeb her name was, "Melethovorien…"
Celeb nodded, "Such a wonderful name, Melethovorien. I shall return shortly."
Calavénë took a deep breath. Why did she choose Melethovorien? Haldir used to call her meleth all the time and that was the only word that came to mind. She was now known as Melethovorien, an orphaned elleth whose family died in an orc ambush. She had travelled to Rivendell seeking refuge. Yes, she would tell this story to everyone here. Calavénë pulled the cork from the vial and drank it down.
Calavénë did not realize that Lord Elrond, master of Rivendell and his trusted companion, Glorfindel stood by the door watching her. It was not until the both of them entered, she realized their presence. Calavénë recognized Elrond for she had seen him before when he visited Lorien but it was usually from afar. She rose from her bed and knelt down before the mighty lords.
With her eyes on the ground she greeted Elrond, "My lord, Elrond. I am humbled by this meeting today. I thank you for your hospitality and for saving my life."
Elrond looked at the elleth. She is still very young, he thought. He could sense her new fea. He walked up to her and pulled her up, "No need for that, henn. It was my duty to tend to the injured. As for saving you, Glorfindel here should be the one deserving the praises."
Calavénë turned towards the golden warrior, "Thank you, my lord Glorfindel."
Glorfindel merely nodded and maintained his silence. Elrond will do the talking today. He would be the listener, the judge to find out more of this elleth.
Elrond showed her to the plush seats near in the middle of the hall, "Come… Sit. We have a lot to discuss."
Calavénë sat down, nervous by the stare Glorfindel was giving her, "Thank you my lord."
Elrond sat down and looked at the elleth, "Who are you and what brought you here?"
Calavénë swallowed hard and tried her best to sound convincing, "I am known as Melethovorien. I hail from Caras Galadhon. My family was on the way towards Rivendell. My father wanted to learn the arts of healing from your halls. We were ambushed by orcs and all but I alone were killed. I crossed the High Pass and walked all the way here, in hopes you would grant me refuge, my lord."
Elrond listened intently, "Glorfindel here found you unconscious in the forest. Tell me, henn are you aware of your condition?"
Calavénë shook her head, "What condition might that be my lord? I know I am weak and I was not able to keep any type of food inside me for long. Perhaps I was too exhausted."
Elrond nodded, "What I am about to tell you might come as a surprise. But seeing what you were willing to put yourself through, I can safely assume you do not know."
Calavénë wore a confused expression on her face, "Know what my lord Elrond?"
Elrond looked at her, trying to study her, "You are with child…"
Time had stopped. The air began to thin out. The sunlight disappeared and was replaced by darkness. She was alone in the dark, hearing these words. She was with child… She was with Haldir's child. Tears fell down her eyes like streams. She looked at Elrond, hoping for him to say that it was a jest. But Elrond did not falter.
"I must ask this pen neth. Are you bound to anyone? I found no ring on you and I hope this child was conceived with love and not with someone forcing themselves on you," Elrond asked, with concern in his eyes.
Calavénë sat quietly thinking of how to respond. Was she bound to anyone? She was in her own way. She tied her soul to Haldir's that night even without the words of matrimonial bonding. Haldir certainly did not force himself on her the night this child was conceived. She looked up at the concerned healer, "Yes my Lord Elrond, I am bonded to my hervenn. Sadly he too perished in the orc ambush. I did not know I was carrying his child. As for my ring, I might have lost it during my journey."
Elrond nodded and glanced over to the ever watchful Glorfindel. Calavénë was crying. Her tears were silent but Elrond could see the sorrow flowing from them. He held the shaking elleth in his arms, "Hush, pen dithen. You are safe here. I, Elrond, Lord and Keeper of Imladris, grant you refuge here. Stay as long as you would like and you will be treated as one of us. I see Celeb has your breakfast. Eat, pen dithen. We shall talk more later on."
Elrond rose and left Calavénë in peace to have her breakfast. He eyed Glorfindel and mouthed to him the words, "Study… now." The golden elf nodded and followed Elrond towards his study. Elrond sat in his chair and recalled the conversation he had with Calavénë. Glorfindel said nothing but continued to stare at the mighty lord.
He rose up, walking towards Elrond's desk, "She is lying…"
Elrond looked up, "I think so too. There is something she is not telling us. Do you think her a threat?"
Glorfindel shook his head, "I do not. She is no threat to us but she is definitely cloaking the truth from us. Perhaps, something happened in her past that she wants to conceal."
Elrond nodded, "Perhaps. Keep an eye on her will you mellon nin?"
Glorfindel nodded curtly and left the study to resume his patrol.
Meanwhile in Caras Galadhon, Haldir and his brothers were celebrating the union of Mebedir and Mirnimmeril. Their wedding ceremony took place evening last and today families and friends were celebrating at the reception. Haldir went along remembering the promise he gave Mebedir. Truth be told he had not the heart to be involved in festivities and what not. Why should he be merry when there was no news of his love? Why would he feast on wonderful meat and cheese when he has not a clue whether Calavénë has enough to eat? No, he would not celebrate. He could not celebrate.
Mebedir watched his grieving friend, playing with the goblet of wine in his hand. The wine had not been touched, nor has the food. In his own happiness, he had forgotten the sorrow Haldir felt in his heart. Haldir was a strong ellon. The only way to know when he was saddened by something or someone was by observing his demeanour. The strict and talkative ellon, at least when he has a goblet in his hand, would be replaced by a silent, withdrawn Marchwarden.
Mebedir sat down next to his friend, "Haldir! Come, dance with my hervess! She would be glad to dance with her future brother in law. She is after all Calavénë's adoptive sibling."
Haldir smiled but it was a sad smile, "Thank you for the invitation but I think I shall pass."
Mebedir patted Haldir's shoulder, "Do not be so forlorn, mellon nin. I have been talking to herdir Annoguil and your brothers. It will still be a few more days before you are allowed to travel. We have discussed it; Rumil and I shall travel to Rivendell first. You will follow us when you are ready. That way if she is in Rivendell, we could make sure she does not leave. What say you?"
Haldir's face seemed to light up, "That is a wonderful notion, Mebedir… but this will keep you from your hervess… I cannot agree. I will not take you away from your newly wedded life."
Mebedir laughed, "You will not do such thing mellon nin. Mirnimmeril understands and she too hopes we find Calavénë and bring her home."
Haldir looked at his officer, "Thank you Mebedir. I could not have asked for more. Thank you…"
Mebedir smiled, "It is my pleasure, Marchwarden. Come! Let us drink!"
Calavénë sat alone in the room provided for her. Unlike Caras Galadhon, the dwellings in Rivendell are set on the ground. Her quarters were on the east side facing a magnificent waterfall. She was told that Lady Arwen's chamber was not far away. She longed to meet Arwen, see if she was anything like Lady Galadriel. She needed the warm comfort of Galadriel's embrace. Perhaps Arwen would feel like her grandmother did.
Her eyes looked out to the horizon. It was nearing dusk and the sky had a beautiful array of oranges, purples and pinks. Tears were still flowing from her eyes. Of all the things she had contemplated, carrying Haldir's child was the last thing she had anticipated. Now she was alone, destined to raise her elfling all by herself. Should she tell Haldir? Will Haldir even care? Questions swirled in her head. How did she become pregnant in the first place? She was once told by her naneth that pregnancy was something you and your husband chose to happen. Both parties must want it for an elfling to be conceived. Did she want it? She did not say it out loud but perhaps some part of her wanted it, to have a family with Haldir. But did Haldir want it as well? Consciously or not?
Her hand stroked her still flat belly. Her elfling will be born in a year's time. She still has plenty of time to think about her permanent dwelling. Since she was now with child, she could not possibly venture to Mirkwood and stay there. What would she tell Legolas? She could not lie to him since he knew of her feelings towards Haldir. It will not take much to figure out who was the ada.
Her illness these past few days started to make sense. Her retching and her fatigue were due to the little life growing inside her. A little smile formed on her lips. As sad and surprised as she was, she felt happy. Is she could not have Haldir; perhaps this little version of him would keep her company for the duration of her remaining time on Middle Earth. The words of the Valar Elbereth rang in her ears, "We have seen your love for Haldir. We know you have followed your heart. Your love is pure and true and so, we have bestowed upon you a great gift. With this gift it is hoped, you will find happiness and a sense of purpose…"
This must be the gift for her; to give her happiness and a sense of purpose. Now she felt that her life was worth living for, to raise this child and teach it all that she knows. But the price of this happiness will be steep. If the truth was ever revealed she will not be able to reside amongst her kin. Not everyone will be understanding, not even Lord Elrond she wagered.
She walked out to the balcony of her quarters. It led out over the waterfall and she could see a miniature rainbow over it. Although Rivendell was magnificent, she could not forget Lorien. It was nearing autumn and soon the leaves of the great Mellyrn will turn golden. Creatures both magic and ordinary will come out in the evening. Some will chirp and some will sing. It will be a magical time. She also misses her ada and nana. How were they? Do they miss her? All these questions keep rising in her mind.
Calavénë lay on her bed. She was weary and so she closed her eyes. Her mind immediately remembered Haldir and his kisses. Her lids were getting heavy and soon she fell asleep with her hand on her belly.
Calavénë woke up surprised. She was in Haldir's talan. She was on his bed covered with nothing but a blanket. The room was dim and she looked around. Haldir was not there. She called out to him. No answer. She wrapped the blanket around her body and walked towards the kitchen. She could hear laughter coming from the other room.
She peered inside and saw him playing with their ion. She stood by the door, silently watching them. A sense of peace washed over her as she watched the Marchwarden cooing and teasing the little elfling. Haldir kissed the henn's nose and their ion would giggle. He cradled the elfling, singing a song to help him sleep. Not long after, their ion yawned and fell asleep. Haldir smiled and placed the elfling inside his cradle.
He was surprised to see Calavénë standing by the doorway, "Meleth, did I wake you?"
Calavénë shook her head, "No, meleth nin. You did not. I was not accustomed to sleeping on the bed alone without you by my side."
Haldir nodded and went to his hervess, "That is so very sweet of you. Come, let us retire to our own chamber."
Haldir swept her off her feet and carried her to their room. Calavénë giggled in his arms, gently nuzzling the sensitive spot near his neck. Haldir shuddered and groaned; "Now there is no possibility of us getting some sleep. You have aroused me, meleth…"
Calavénë laughed, "I am not to be blamed here. You are easily aroused pen vuin!"
Haldir cradled her in his arms. Tonight he only wanted to feel her next to him, "Come closer. I need your warmth."
Calavénë placed her head on his firm chest, "Why did you leave the bed meleth nin?"
Haldir stroked her golden hair, "Mallen Maethor woke up crying, pen vuin. He was hungry and so I fed him."
Calavénë shook her head, "Why do you call him by his full name? Len or Mae would have sufficed."
Haldir laughed, "Why not? His name means golden warrior, golden after his mother and warrior after his father. I see it fitting."
Calavénë nestled closer to him, "You win. I can never win an argument with you when it is in regards to Len." The both of them fell silent and soon the sleep washed upon them.
Haldir woke up and stared at the ceiling of the healing talan. The dream was so vivid. He saw her, Calavénë. She was his wife in his dream. A smile formed on his lips. Let it be a vision of the future, he prayed silently. He sat up in his bed. They have a child, an ion named Mallen Maethor. It was a beautiful name. For sure, Calavénë named him. He had secretly wanted a child. When he met Gwilwileth, he nurtured that dream. But when he was betrayed, he buried the dream deep inside him. Now it seems he would be able to realize the dream again.
Haldir stood up and walked towards the window. The night air was cool and calming. He gazed out towards Rivendell. Mebedir was to leave Caras Galadhon tomorrow morning with Rumil. It would take them at least ten days to reach Rivendell. If the weather on the High Pass turns for the worse, it will delay them even further.
Haldir stroked his arm. The wound was healing and his shoulder had returned to its full use and strength. Herdir Annoguil had informed him that he will be fit to travel in five days' time. There was still some medicine and poultice he had to take to make sure the infection does not spread. Haldir sighed at his defeat. For many years now he had things done his way. Everything went according to plan but now, it seems that the Valar was purposely putting obstacles in front of him. Perhaps there was a lesson to be learned but Haldir could not see it.
He looked up at the sky and closed his eyes, "Eru, you have taken away my ada and naneth, I did not complained. You took away my grandfather I still said nothing. But now, I wish and I pray to you, give me Calavénë. She is the light of my life and I love her truly. I have seen the error of my ways. I am willing to change but I need her to help me. My love is true and if you see it as that, keep her safe and return her to me…"
He looked down to the forest floor. Nephredils were in full bloom. It was his favourite flower and he was gladdened the day when Calavénë placed them in his talan. A sense of regret filled him. He did not know her favourite flower or her favourite scent. He did not know her favourite song or her favourite dance. What time he had with her, he spent tormenting her. How he wished he could turn back time…
Calavénë woke up from her reverie. She had tears in her eyes, a mixture of happiness and sadness. She stroked her belly once again. "Mallen Maethor… my ion…"
She pictured how her ion would look like when he has reached his majority. He would look like Haldir but with golden hair, like that of Glorfindel. He would be handsome like his ada and gentle like her nana. Calavénë smiled. It would be such a blessing if her dream was to come true. To be reunited with Haldir once again with love in his eyes was all that she wanted.
A knock on the door startled her, "Yes? Who is it?"
A voice of an ellon spoke from behind the door, "It is I Celeb. I have come to inform you that Lord Elrond has invited you to have breakfast with his family. I also have your medicine here."
Calavénë rose from bed and threw on her robe. She opened the door to the healer, "Thank you, Celeb. I will proceed to the hall once I am ready."
The healer nodded and left. What was she to wear? The only spare clothing she has in her sack was the gown she usually wore to work in the healing talan. She took it out and looked at it. This would have to suffice. She had no time or the means to buy a new one. She walked towards the bathing chamber and washed all the grime from her body. Soon, she was ready with her golden hair tied in braids. Before she left, she took the medicine that was provided for her.
The walk to the main hall took her nearly fifteen minutes. Indeed, Rivendell was a big place with complicated corridors and entrances. When she finally arrived at the hall, she could see Lord Elrond, Lord Glorfindel and another elleth sitting around the table.
She knocked on the door, "Forgive my late presence. I was lost amidst the halls and corridors."
Elrond laughed, "No matter henn. That usually happens to our first time visitors. Sit, let us have breakfast together."
Once Calavénë was seated, Elrond continued, "This is my daughter, Arwen Undomiel."
Calavénë looked at the elleth. She had dark hair, like that of her father. Her beauty was beyond words. Her skin glowed just like her grandmother the Lady of Light but perhaps not as bright. Her lips were of a faded red colour and her eyes were blue and deep. She lost track of her thought upon looking at the elleth.
Arwen smiled, "Am I to your approval…"
Calavénë coughed. She was caught staring, "I am known as Melethovorien… Forgive me, my lady but your beauty has exceeded every description I have heard about you, even from your own grandmother. It is an honour to meet you."
Arwen laughed, "I owe my beauty to my naneth and ada here. Look how handsome he is!"
Calavénë nodded, "Yes, Lord Elrond is indeed very handsome."
Elrond raised his eyebrow, questioningly, "Have you taken a fancy for me, henn?"
Calavénë opened her mouth to protest, "It is not what I meant, my lord…"
The rest of them laughed looking at the nervous elleth. Glorfindel looked at her, still studying. She seemed better than yesterday but the sadness still persisted inside her eyes. He cleared his throat and addressed the elleth, "How are you this morning?"
Calavénë smiled at the warrior, "I am well, my lord. The medicine helped a lot."
Elrond nodded, "So I can safely assume the retching has stopped?"
Calavénë nodded silently. Arwen looked around to the two elders with her, "Retching?"
Elrond looked at his child, "Yes, Arwen. Melethovorien here is with child. Her entire family was killed in an orc ambush, including her hervenn."
Arwen looked at the sad elleth, "I am sorry for your loss. No matter, since I am here, I shall keep an eye out for you."
Calavénë smiled and the princess, "As long as you are here, you mean. Soon you will leave Rivendell to be with Aragorn."
Arwen looked at her questioningly, "You know of Aragorn?"
Calavénë nodded, "Yes, I had the honour of meeting the fellowship when they arrived in Lorien." Calavénë looked at Lord Elrond, "My lord has any news reached Rivendell?"
Elrond nodded, "Yes. My sons, Elladan and Elrohir sent a letter a few days ago. Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and the rangers were moving out towards the Path of the Dead, my sons included. From there, if they manage to persuade the men of the mountains, they will proceed to Minas Tirith."
The four of them continued to discuss the war that was now upon them. Arwen sat quietly, listening to the conversation. Calavénë knew she was worried for Aragorn, as was she. She was also worried for Legolas, Gimli, Merry, Pippin and Gandalf. Far worse, there was no sure news on Frodo and Sam. She could only pray that the Valar keep them safe.
Haldir watched as Rumil and Mebedir mounted their horses. Today the two were to travel to Rivendell in search of Calavénë. Haldir walked closer to Rumil, "Gwanur, find her. Keep her safe. I will be not far behind. Tell her of my love if you do see her."
Rumil smiled, "I will. Take care of yourself, gwanur. Once you have your health returned, make haste towards Rivendell. I shall wait for you there."
Haldir nodded, "Yes and I wished it was sooner. No matter. Be vigilant. Orcs and warg riders patrol the path leading up to the High Pass." He turned towards Mebedir, "May you both have a safe journey. Namarie…"
Mebedir and Rumil nodded and turned their horses towards the borders. Haldir watched the two disappear from his sight. A hand landed on his shoulder and it startled him. He spun around and saw Orophin, "Fin!"
Orophin smiled, "Come Haldir. If we were to depart in five days, you still need to train your arm."
Haldir nodded and walked together with Orophin towards the training grounds. He will catch up to her. She will be in his arms by the end of ten days!
Pen vuin – dear one
Pen dithen – little one
Ion – son
Gwanur – brother
Hervenn – husband
Hervess - wife
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.