Heart of Stone: 5. Missing

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5. Missing

A few days had passed. Orophin was healing tremendously well in the care of the apprentice healer, Calavénë. She has been by his side, night and day; ever watchful for any signs of distress or pain. Today Orophin looked and felt better. Days of confinement made him restless and he longed to be with his brothers. The Marchwarden had visited his brother yesterday. He was very pleased with Orophin's progress and had hoped he would be able to join them again at the borders very soon.

The bitterness between Calavénë and Haldir seemed to lessen of late. They did not formally voice their understanding but there was now a comfortable silence between them. Neither tried to displease the other nor did they bicker on small matters. The task at hand was to ensure Orophin's well being and so the both of them put aside their differences. Haldir would only speak to Calavénë on matters regarding Orophin and speak though he did; it was only briefly at times. As days changed, Calavénë found herself even more drawn to the mysterious warrior.

Orophin stood near the entrance of the tent, watching the glorious sunrise. There were a number of wardens walking about the encampment. He was to join the patrol with Rumil and Haldir today. Since Master Annoguil and Calavénë have the need to travel towards the border to find herbs and roots for the apothecary, he would be escorting them. He waited for lady Calavénë to prepare his last tonic of the week before returning to his talan to prepare. His daydreaming was interrupted as Calavénë approached him with a goblet of green murky liquid.

"Fin, here. Take this and finish it to the last drop. It will help keep your strength for the travel today," Calavénë handed the iron goblet to her friend.

Orophin grimaced at the sight of the revolting potion, "Must I, lady Calavénë? The taste is ghastly not to mention the smell."

Calavénë smiled. For a warrior, Orophin can sometimes be very child like. She touched his hand and looked at her dear friend, "Yes, mellon nin. I would very much like to see you vigorous even after the travel. Haldir would have my head if he sees you in distress of any kind."

Orophin threw his head back and laughed, "No, my lady. I think he would dare not. Defying one of the Maiden of Galadriel would be a great offense. I know he seems hard. But my brother has not always been the hard elf you see now."

Calavénë could feel her face turning pink. Had Orophin knew the way he had defy her, he would not have let the matter be. He has become her dear friend and Calavénë has considered him as her own family. A scandal like this would not go well between the brothers.

Master Annoguil had finally finished gathering his tools. He spent the entire morning checking and rechecking his gear. Calavénë watched the older elf in reverence but could not help herself but giggle. He was either very forgetful or very tedious. It was almost noon when the three of them together with two more wardens made their way to the northern borders.

The scenery along their journey was breathtaking. Calavénë has never been to this side of Lorien before. There were huge Mellyrn trees and small shrubs along the forest floor. There were beautiful flowers and delicate humming birds hovering around them. Calavénë enjoyed herself tremendously, soaking in the landscape and having a delightful conversation with Orophin and the two other wardens. It was not long before they finally reached the border.

The first thing Calavénë saw as they were walking towards the patrol camp was an elf, standing tall on the watch talan. Her eyes squinted, adjusting to the light. The sun was still in the sky and it made it very hard to see who it was. As they came closer to the camp, she saw that the elf was Haldir. Her heart raced and her mind wandered. Orophin sensed the change in her demeanour and immediately looked at the person she was looking at. It was Haldir. He looked back at the elleth that he has considered his kin. Why would Haldir elicit such effect from her? Had something happened between them?

Annoguil and his apprentice set down their gear near the small healing tent. He wanted to find some athelas and the flowers of Lissuin. The mandrake supply in the apothecary was also running low. They only have a few hours before dusk. Annoguil knew how Haldir felt about him wandering in the forest after dark. He would disapprove even more now that Calavénë was with him. Nevertheless, he made his way to the watch talan to have a word with Haldir.

Haldir saw the small group of elves making their way to the encampment. He saw his brother Orophin who looked well and healthy. Together with them were two other wardens. He was pleasantly surprised to see Annoguil and Calavénë. The makeshift apothecary here was running low on some healing potions and he had been planning to travel to the main encampment to ask Annoguil to make a larger batch. It seems the stars have blessed his wish. He watched them approach the encampment. In the corner of his eyes, he saw the young elleth studying him. A smile formed on his lips. Haldir shook his head. He knew the effects he had on elleth and he was sure, this one was no exception.

Haldir came down from the watch talan when Master Annoguil summoned for him. It had now become a custom; each time before Annoguil travels further into the forest he would consult with Haldir on the safety precautions he would have to adhere to. Annoguil would not risk the life of his young student accompanying him. He was in charge of her lessons as well as her safety.

Haldir walked closer to Annoguil and embraced him, "Herdir! You could not have imagined the relieve I felt when I saw you walking towards the encampment. The supplies to the makeshift apothecary are running dangerously low. I was hoping I could persuade you to make another batch for us."

Annoguil patted Haldir's shoulder, "Yes, Haldir. The apothecary certainly needs some attention. No matter. I will see to it once I have returned from the forest. Tell me, Haldir. What do I need to be on guard for?"

Haldir looked towards the forest, his eyes and ears attentive to the movement inside it. "Orcs' activities have increased of late. Be on your guard, herdir. Keep close to the encampment and return before dark. I will send Mebedir with you."

Haldir signalled for Mebedir who was already ready with his bow and arrows.He turned his attention towards his brother who seemed well and healthy.

"I am filled with joy to see you here Fin! I must thank you herdir, for taking care of my brother so well."

The elderly healer laughed, "He was not under my care Haldir. The returned health in Orophin was by Calavénë's hands."

Haldir glanced over his shoulder, "Then I must remember to thank the lady in full."

Calavénë walked towards the three elves that were deep in conversation. She approached them while cautiously eyeing Haldir. The nervous feeling she has when Haldir is around had a hold on her still. Watching from beneath her lowered lashes, she saw Haldir watching her. Her face immediately turned a shade of pink. Mebedir nodded curtly as she approached them. It seems Master Annoguil was ready to depart.

Haldir instructed Mebedir on the route and turned his attention to Calavénë, "Be on your feet my lady. Orcs are merciless creature. They will not hesitate to kill you if they have the chance. Remember to stay close to the encampment and do not wander far from herdir Annoguil and Mebedir."

Calavénë nodded politely at Haldir's orders. She understood the importance of following his instructions. She did not want to be the cause for harm to herdir Annoguil and also Mebedir. She waited patiently as herdir Annoguil continued to discuss some matters with Haldir. A few moments later, the three of them made their way towards the forest.

The sun was beginning to burn the sky orange. Night was fast approaching and the three elves quickened their pace. Mebedir stayed close to Calavénë, letting herdir Annoguil walk five paces in front of them.

Annoguil turned to speak to Calavénë, "You and Mebedir go that way. Find me some thick and healthy mandrake roots. If you happen to come across some athelas, pick them up as well. We will meet again here in two hours. Calavénë please stay close to Mebedir. Be careful."

Mebedir walked towards Annoguil, "Do not worry herdir. I will ensure the safety of Lady Calavénë."

Calavénë watched as her herdir walked further into the woods and soon disappeared from sight. The two of them continued towards the eastern part of the forest. Mebedir was exceptionally quiet. Calavénë did not feel comfortable walking in silence. She cleared her throat and tried to strike a conversation with the warden.

"Forgive me, Mebedir. I do not wish to distract you from your task at hand but I fear I cannot continue our journey in silence. I am used to conversations and company," Calavénë spoke.

Mebedir smiled at the elleth beside him, "My apologies my lady. I am accustomed to travelling with Haldir and we do not converse much on our journeys. What is it do you wish to talk about?"

Calavénë turned her attention to the warden, "Tell me, Mebedir. How is the life of a warden?"

Mebedir cleared his voice, "Well, there is not much to tell my lady. We have sworn to protect this land with our lives. Much of it was spent in training and combat."

Calavénë nodded but pressed on, "Have you not a family?"

Mebedir smiled, "No, my lady. I have not yet the chance to meet the right elleth. I do hope one day I will be able to settle down and perhaps enjoy the quiet life. What about you my lady?"

Calavénë shook her head, "Nay, Mebedir. I do not have a family. I was promised to the Lady of Light when I was still a henn. My ada and naneth had seen it fit for Lady Galadriel to help me make these important choices. Look, I see some athelas plants!"

Calavénë ran towards the patch of wild herbs. She produced a small knife and began cutting away at the plant. Mebedir stood behind her; his eyes watchful for any signs of movement in the forest. Calavénë found some mandrake roots close by.

While cutting the roots, Calavénë eyes saw something flew by her hand. The little creature was glowing and had a wonderful sweet smell emanating from it. She held out her hand and the little insect settled in the middle of her palm. She watched it twirl around and hovered in the air again when suddenly the little thing flew away.

Meanwhile, Mebedir heard something rustling behind a bush. He grasped his sword and walked slowly towards the sound. He glanced back at Calavénë who was still busy collecting the mandrake roots. He moved closer towards the bush ready to attack the creature behind it. He drew his sword and swung it forward.

Mebedir let out a sigh of relief when a small brown rabbit hopped out from behind the bush and went on its way. He tucked his sword away carefully in the leather strap.

"There is nothing to fear, my lad-"

Mebedir was shocked to find the Calavénë missing. He searched the surrounding areas but to no avail. Lady Calavénë was nowhere to be found. His heart raced. Haldir would surely be furious at his inability to perform his task. Mebedir looked at the sky. It was time to meet herdir Annoguil at the beginning of the path. It was best to inform Haldir and the rest to help find the lady before nightfall.

Calavénë looked at the creature flying in front of her. It was a beautiful thing. She followed it further into the woods. She was entranced by the sweet smell it had and by the bright light shining from its wings. She did not seem to notice that the creature was drawing her further away from Mebedir. Her eyes became heavy and the sweet smell was beginning to make her drowsy. The light was beginning to fade from the sky and the darkness crept over the forest.

The tiny creature flew effortlessly. The wind was beginning to howl; there was a storm on the way. A few moments later, tiny droplets of rain fell on her face. The feel of the cold water on her skin broke the trance. Calavénë looked around. She did not recognize the surrounding. She turned around only to be greeted by darkness. Feeling the fear welling up inside her, Calavénë turned around and tried to find her way when suddenly a wayward root trapped her foot. She fell on the ground and cried out in agony. She had sprained her ankle.

------------------------

Mebedir stood silently in the talan. He could see the anger boiling inside Haldir. He found the herdir waiting for them at the path and once he had informed him of Lady Calavénë's disappearance both of the elves made their way back to the encampment with haste. Night was closely approaching and it was during this time Orcs will try to infiltrate the boundaries.

Haldir walked closer towards his officer, "Did I not tell you to watch the lady?"

Mebedir nodded, "You did, Marchwarden. I only shifted my gaze momentarily to seek out what was lurking behind a bush and when I turned she had vanished."

Annoguil stepped in between the two elves, "This is not the time to point fingers. We must set out to find her before anything bad happens."

Haldir nodded and backed away from Mebedir, "You are right herdir. Mebedir, go and fetch Rumil and a few other wardens. We must move now. You will remain here lest she returns. We shall have a long talk when I return Mebedir."

Haldir walked towards the door and stood in front of the talan. Night was already here. Stars were twinkling in the sky and his gaze fell upon the dark forest beneath him. He took a deep breath and sighed, "Elleth are a nuisance!"

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.

Story Information

Author: luthien85

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Romance

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 08/15/10

Original Post: 06/21/10

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