4. Chapter 3 : A Gift For Legolas
They had reached their destination, and when it was time to remove the blindfolds from the Fellowship, Haldir went straight for the dwarf Gimli.
"Your pardon!" Haldir said, bowing low to Gimli. "Look on us now with friendly eyes! Look and be glad, for you are the first dwarf to behold the trees of the Naith of Lórien since Durin's Days!"
He smiled up at Gimli, privately hoping this would be the beginning of a renewed friendship between elves and dwarves. But Gimli simply grunted and turned away. Sighing inwardly, Haldir went next to Legolas while the other members of the Company were tended to by nearby Lórien elves.
"The dwarf was rude to you even when you showed him nothing but kindness!" were the first words out of Legolas's mouth when he was relieved of his blindfold, and he made to confront Gimli but Haldir held him back.
"It matters not to me, dear one," Haldir said gently. "Look, he has already fallen for Lothlórien! This alone makes my heart glad." And indeed the dwarf was looking about in wonder despite himself. Legolas stubbornly tried again, but Haldir held his arm tighter, silently willing him to stay.
Sighing, Legolas's attention strayed to the beautiful golden flowers that grew beside the foot of the hills. He heard Haldir chuckle and release him.
"You have never seen the splendors of Lothlórien. Take a moment and look around yourself!"
Legolas crouched down to study the flowers while Haldir spoke with the hobbits Frodo and Sam. He motioned to them to follow him and up he took them on Cerin Amorth. Legolas watched them silently, debating if he should follow, just to be beside Haldir for his heart already ached for him seeing him so far away, his lithe form glowing under the sun. But his attention turned instead to Gimli, who settled down on the fragrant grass looking around himself, both impressed and disgusted at the world he was in.
"What does Haldir see in dwarves?" Legolas wondered to himself. "Why is he willing to befriend someone who would never consider you a friend?" He made to speak with the dwarf but quickly decided against it. Haldir may have the ability to calm anyone, but Legolas knew any conversation with Gimli would only resort to an argument, and the last thing Legolas wished was to upset Haldir.
* * *
Legolas waited until the rest of the Company had settled for the night before slipping away from their pavilion. He found Haldir washing his hands at a fountain at the base of a tall tree.
"Legolas! Is something the mat-"
"Haldir!" Legolas laughed, running up to him. "Do not worry so much about me."
"I do not wish to see anyone I love dearly in so much pain."
"No pain has plagued me since setting foot in this blessed land." He took Haldir's hands in his, looking deep into his soulful eyes.
"Come with me," Haldir said gently. He led Legolas into the deep forest away from the eyes of meddling elves. He stood against the tree with Legolas resting his head on Haldir's chest. In silence they resumed their little dance with their hands from the night before. Fingers entwined, their thumbs exploring the soft joints and knuckles of the other's wrist.
Legolas was the first to slip his hand away and bring it to stroke Haldir's chest. Haldir in turn stroked Legolas's hair, his cheek rubbing against Legolas's own. The faintest kiss he gave to Legolas right below his ear. Legolas moaned softly. Taking Haldir's chin in his hand, he gently pushed him away till they were looking at one another again. They brought their heads closer till their lips met.
Soft moans filled the forest as the two explored their mouths, deepening their kiss till the two had to move away to take in air. The barest whisper, "Haldir" came from Legolas's lips as they parted, eager to again feel his lover's lips touch him. And when Haldir granted his unspoken wish, Legolas could feel his own name leaving his lover's lips before they met again. Legolas moaned back Haldir's name, letting the word be engulfed inside their mouths, as his tongue licked the length of Haldir's own tongue, tasting every bit of him that he could.
The winds around them became colder, and Haldir felt the tinniest shiver from his love. He brought his cloak around him, wrapping him in a tight warm embrace, and Legolas awarded him with another soft moan and nibbling of his lower lip.
Haldir laughed lightly. "I was worried you would deny me for being overprotective."
"I would never refuse your embrace," Legolas sighed. "Hold me as tight as you can. I will always yearn for your strong arms around me. Hold me, Haldir. I love you. I love as the budding flower loves the rain that awakens it at the twilight of winter."
Long lashes fluttered against Haldir's cheek and their kiss deepened. They moved closer till their chests were pressed against one another and they could feel their hearts pounding, muffled by the layers of their clothes.
The sound of singing, first too far for them to hear, had finally penetrated the forest. It was a lament for Gandalf, and Legolas pulled himself away from Haldir.
"The words are too terrible to hear," he said. "It fills me with guilt to be here holding you when one of my Company had suffered such a horrifying death."
Haldir held him close. "Be not filled with guilt for a deed you had no control over. Your heart breaks for him, but you must not forget that life continues. See the dying flower over there, surrounded by blossoming niphredil? This pattern will continue till the end of this world."
"I need but a few words from you to find comfort. Would I had met you while I grieved for my mother!" Sighing, Legolas nuzzled under Haldir's chin. "It seems I would forever grieve over someone."
"Such is life," Haldir said. "We are forever bond to this earth, and death we shall witness to all we care for while our own bodies will stand unchanged by time. But this burden is not just yours to bear. I too carry this burden, as every elf you will meet throughout your life."
"What have you seen to bring you burden?" Legolas asked softly, resting his head against Haldir's chest. Haldir responded only with placing a kiss on the top of Legolas's head. "My father carries the burden of losing his wife. I was so lost in grief that I never knew that he too suffered."
"So now you see, this burden you will not carry alone," Haldir said. "In time you will find ways to rest your heart enough to still enjoy the splendors of this world.
"Soon I will need to return to my watch with my brothers. In the meantime you must go back to your company. We are deep in the night and I wish not to alarm your friends by keeping you here. I will watch over you if you wish."
"Rest among us," Legolas said. "Let us give ourselves comfort again tonight."
"I have a talan where I rest in, not too far from here."
"Take me inside with you!" Legolas gave Haldir a little squeeze and looked up, a small coy smile on his face.
As calm as Haldir normally was, the last words spoken and the look Legolas was giving him sent a bashful flush on his cheek. His bright eyes sparkled as he chuckled. "Legolas, patience please!"
Legolas rubbed his nose against Haldir's own. "I am ready to bond, love."
"As is myself," Haldir confessed. "But please...there is so much happening, so much grief. I wish not for your memory of our bond to be surrounded by the grieves of war."
Legolas moaned softly, pressing himself against Haldir again. "I will go back to my men, but I wish not for this to be our last moment together."
"It will not, for the longer I spend here with you the more reluctant I am to let you go." Haldir smiled. "Soon I must return to my watch, but before that day comes I wish to spend all of tomorrow with you. Do you think we can meet before the sun reaches the peak in the sky?"
Legolas's eyes widened with joy. "Yes! I see no reason why I cannot join you!"
"Wonderful! And if you can bring the dwarf Gimli with you on this next visit," Haldir said encouragingly. "There is someone I think he would enjoy seeing."
"Who would know Gimli in Lothlórien?" Legolas asked but he held to his promise.
* * *
Gimli studied Legolas's back as they made their way to the gates of Lothlórien.
"Why again did you request me to join you?" he asked. "I would be lying to say that I was not surprised when you invited me this morning." And he wasn't the only one. Every member of the Fellowship had given the pair an odd look when Legolas had approached Gimli that morning.
"Haldir wants you to be with us," Legolas said. "For what reason, I know not." He glanced down at the dwarf with a hostile look. "Though if it were up to me, I would have preferred you not to join us."
"The feeling is mutual," Gimli grumbled.
Haldir was waiting for them away from the gate guards, beaming when he saw the strange pair.
"Good morning! Gimli, I am so glad you joined us!" Haldir said, bowing to the dwarf. Gimli just snorted and threw curses under his breath. Legolas glared at him. Haldir, on the other hand, simply ignored the rude words.
"I have received permission from Lady Galadriel to leave my post for today," Haldir told Legolas before returning to Gimli. "She agreed with me to take you to meet someone."
"The Lady herself requested that I join you?" Gimli's face instantly lit before his eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Or perhaps this is a trick."
"Oh, dear! No trick at all!" Haldir laughed. "Come! Both of you will find this visit a great joy!"
Legolas and Gimli shared a look before following Haldir. A million questions spun in their heads.
They had past many trees when Legolas leaned into Haldir and whispered, "Where exactly are you taking us? Does the Lady of Light request to see us together?"
"Unfortunately that is not the case, though I am sure Gimli would love to see her again." Haldir chuckled.
"Then where are you taking us? Do you plan some mischief for the dwarf?" Legolas could not stop the hope from showing in his voice.
Haldir gave a hearty laugh that earned him another suspicious look from Gimli. "Oh, no! Dear Legolas, I wish you both to meet my father and mother!"
* * *
Thavrondir and Ullenn lived humbly and had no furniture fit for such a royal elf to sit on. Had Haldir and his brothers never studied law, they would have held no status in society; nonetheless, the elderly couple had never asked their children for money, content only to live off what they could make with their own hands. Rarely did they ever meet the Lord and Lady, so ever nervous they were to have a prince in their humble little home, for they had lived their entire lives as commonly as an elf can.
Legolas had sensed the tension evident in Thavrondir and Ullenn's nervous smiles, but he was kind to both, embarrassed that his own status brought them such discomfort. It was hard not to like Haldir's parents, but his heart particularly ached for Ullenn, for he could see much sorrow in her soft grey eyes.
Gimli sat with them in silence in the beginning, as uneasy as he was among elves as the first night. But once the sweet yet skittish Thavrondir learned who Gimli's father was, his face lit as he exclaimed in the Common Tongue, "Dear Glóin! Tell me, how fares he these days? Much has his brother Óin companied me during his youth!"
Gimli was taken aback, but soon a conversation carried between them, hindered only by language barriers, for Thavrondir had not spoken in the Common Speech for many years.
"Perhaps this is where Haldir got his love of dwarves," Legolas thought, watching the exchange in amusement. Most of the tension in the home had subsided. A change came over Gimli; he was smiling and talking more freely, and ever did he praise Lady Galadriel in the company of the two elves with such abandon that startled Legolas to hear one speak fondly of someone who was already bond to another.
But Haldir's parents were greatly kind to Gimli, even chuckling at his infatuation for the Lady of Light. Legolas's heart warmed at the sight, for he could see how Haldir was their son, gentle and nonjudgemental. And soon not even stubborn Gimli could deny the kindness of elves, and though he understood little of their tongue, he talked merrily all night as he went through their wine while Haldir functioned as a translator for both parties whenever they needed his aid.
Legolas was also enjoying himself as much as he could though his heart still grieved for Gandalf. Ullenn seldom spoke, though every look she gave him was filled with affection.
Gimli had drunk himself into a stupor, and Haldir and Legolas were planning on carrying Gimli back to the pavilion where the Fellowship slept, but Haldir's parents, both greatly endeared by him, allowed for him to sleep in their home.
The sky had turned very dark when they bid Thavrondir and Ullenn a good night. For a long while they walked together, hand in hand, under the silver stars and up a hillside till they reached a tall tree.
"My talan," Haldir said. "I share it with my brothers when we are too far to rest in our parents' home. Come!"
Legolas loved Haldir's comfy little home the moment he laid eyes on it. It was rather simple - suggestive of the little time the brothers slept here - but it was comfortable, cozy, and very Haldir. Legolas took joy in simply looking around, wanting to take in as much of Haldir's life as he could. Books were filed on many shelves that made up most of the walls, and some were lying on the floor. He settled down on a small furniture beside a window, looking out.
"Haldir, is that Mirkwood?" Legolas asked.
Haldir peered over his shoulder. "The farthest south of your kingdom, yes. In the years passed I've watched the realm grow darker, and always I wondered how we could help our fellow kin."
"You lived so close to me," Legolas said as he studied the ill trees of his father's kingdom. "Had the Dol Guldur not existed we may have met earlier, far earlier. I have never even traveled south in my own kingdom, as perilous as it is!" He turned to face Haldir. "Have you ever been to Mirkwood? It makes me wonder if we had passed one other before, or I had been bedridden when you came last to pass a message to my father and never saw me!"
Haldir laughed. "Unfortunately your great king has little relations with the Lord and Lady of Lórien." He stroked Legolas's rosy cheek with a gentle hand. "But in truth we have met on many occasions. In a dreamy night such as this we would meet halfway between Lórien and Mirkwood. So beautiful was this apparition that came to me every night, a face fairer than any elf that ever lived, hair like a shining star. And in his eyes I could see the cosmos, so deep were they, full of wonder, innocence, and sadness." As Haldir spoke his fingers found a path over Legolas's jawline and down his slender neck before retracing back his path.
Legolas's eyes twinkled in the dark as he leaned into the touch. "You have great imagination, my friend. You must write beautiful poetry."
"I am not a poet, but I have sketches here that, if you wish, I can show you."
"You're an artist?" Legolas sat up, interested.
Haldir nodded and left for his room. He came back carrying a thick book. Eagerly Legolas opened to the first page, and his breath was stolen by the first sketch. Though Haldir drew the scene in graphite, Legolas felt he could step into the picture and smell the many scents of the forest.
"So this is the reason for your hands being too soft for a warrior," Legolas said, admiring each piece. With every turn of the page, Legolas brought the canvas closer to him, studying each detail in awe. There was not a single flaw to be seen. The sketches of young Rúmil was everything that the dreamy elf was, Orophin with the enigmatic air about him, the forests of Lothlórien like a living song. And there were places he had never seen before, each one a place Legolas wished he could have visited with Haldir.
"Every stroke of your brush was done with great purpose. It reflects everything else about you and your mannerism: each moment is rendered with such meaning. There is much love for this world that rests in your heart! Ai, if you could pass this great love into me, I would never find a reason to grieve! I could never create something of such beauty as this!" Legolas looked up in awe, but Haldir did not respond. Shyness had overcome him after seeing Legolas's reaction to his works. With a gentle laugh, Legolas kissed Haldir's cheek.
After some time Haldir motioned to Legolas towards the bedrooms.
"Do you invite me to your bed?" Legolas asked with a brightness in his voice that only made Haldir more bashful. Without waiting for an answer, Legolas located the bed that Haldir slept on and prepared himself. Haldir stepped into his room, noting that Legolas had already made himself comfortable in his bed; the prince smiled shyly at him.
"I do not mean to be- if this is-"
"It matters not," Haldir said, chuckling. "Please, stay where you are. I do not think Orophin would be comfortable with the thought of his brother's future bondmate sleeping on his bed, and beside I believe my bed can hold us both."
He prepared himself, conscious of Legolas constantly glancing at his body, before he slipped into bed beside the prince. The bed was enough for them both to rest, but it provided little space between them. Legolas took this as a chance to bring Haldir closer for a kiss that deepened quickly as he groped around Haldir, squeezing him in a tight embrace.
But Haldir gently fought against him and held him back. "Not tonight," he said, his voice slightly husky. "Please."
Legolas sighed. "For how much longer must we wait till we bond?"
"At least till the war ends," Haldir said. "It is true that bonds can be accomplished in the midst of wars, but Legolas I wish for your father to know at the very least. You deserve a beautiful ceremony for your bonding."
Legolas plopped back down on his side of the bed, disappointed. Few words they exchanged after that. They held each other in their arms as they slipped into reverie.
Sometime in the early hours of the new day Haldir awoke. He turned to the beautiful young elf beside him. Haldir's eyes radiated with only the tenderest love, and his kisses soft as his gentle demeanor. Each kiss filled him with a deep longing to take Legolas and make him his life's mate, but he had to discipline himself. He treasured Legolas too much to hastily bring about their bond, no matter how much his soul begged to unite with Legolas.
Haldir loved Legolas too much to let this war force them to bond in such conditions. There will be a ceremony once they have received King Thranduil's blessing, a ceremony filled with dishes of every kind. Only the best minstrels would be allowed to play, and all around them would be nothing but the plants and flowers that Legolas personally loved.
"Since when have I obsessed over ceremonies of such grandeur?" Haldir asked himself and grinned. "Would I even have the gold to support such festivity?" He turned to Legolas, spooned around him with his large eyes wide and unfocused. Even in his reverie his eyes shone with sadness and a vulnerability that made Haldir wish to protect him from all harm. In them also was a silent begging to take him.
And it was this desire that was making it agonizing for Haldir the more he dwelled on it. He brought his face closer for another kiss, just a gentle kiss. But the moment his lips touched Legolas again, the soft lips parted and Haldir's name escaped in a whisper, and soon Haldir was kissing Legolas deeper than the night before, his body pressing hungrily against Legolas, pinning him to the bed. And Legolas was holding him tight, his fingernails digging into his skin, begging him to go further.
Haldir was only happy to oblige, having lost all sense of self-control. Though he had never engaged in the act, his body seemed to understand how to move, grinding his hips hungrily against the prince. He rocked on top of Legolas as he played with Legolas's hair, slipping his fingers through the golden tresses, spreading them around Legolas's head like a halo. Legolas responded by untying the silver braids of Haldir's hair - "You still kept these on?" - and taking a couple strands to lightly brush around the elf's cheeks.
Legolas had spread one leg away from his body without his knowing, absorbed as he was in simply kissing and loving Haldir. The two gasped and deepened their kiss each time they felt a tiny spark go off deep inside them, of their souls getting closer to forming the bond. Haldir was lost deep in Legolas's mouth, tasting every bit of him when a tiny voice grew louder in his mind, and he suddenly pushed himself away from Legolas.
"No! Please, this is not the night for us to bond!"
Legolas stared at him in complete shock before a look of rejection shone on his flushed face. He spun around so his back was facing Haldir.
Haldir felt guilty instantly; he kissed Legolas's shoulder. "What elf would I be to bond with you now and not make this an enjoyable memory for you? You have been through so much. I wish to bring you joyous memories to hold on to forever."
There was a long silence before Legolas finally responded. "I would be most happy if the memory held only me and you in your talan. But now I begin to wonder if I am truly in your heart."
A crushing pain came to Haldir. "I love you deeply," he said. "I love you so deeply that I want every moment of your life to be filled with happiness, for you've seen too much misery in your youth."
Haldir contemplated trying again, but the mood had cooled enough that he felt guilty if he tried to kiss Legolas. An awkwardness fell between them before Haldir got an idea. He left the bed to search through his cabinets, and his return brought with him another sketchbook and a few drawing supplies.
"What do you wish for us to do?" Legolas asked.
"We don't have to wait for our first bonding to create memories." Haldir gave Legolas a graphite. "Let me teach you some basic techniques of shading."
A smile came to Legolas, and for the rest of the night the two lay side by side taking turns working on their shared drawing.
* * *
Haldir was scheduled to leave for his post, but with Legolas in Lothlórien it was difficult for him to remain with his brothers for long. Legolas had taken to bringing Gimli with him everywhere he went, and they often visited Thavrondir and Ullenn, for both had become a part of the family.
After that night in Haldir's talan Legolas never slept with the rest of the Fellowship. He met Haldir half-way towards the north borders, and the two would go off to any uninhabited talan to spend their moments together.
Haldir made the trip to Lothlórien far more times that month than ever in his life. It was a two-days's walk from the north borders to the city, but being far from Legolas for too long brought him grief. The other elves who saw him teased him, but in truth all the elves were glad of this development. Rarely was there news that merited merriment, but their happiness was only dampened by the knowledge that the young lovers had not yet bonded, for the signs of their bond was not yet in their eyes.
Legolas had grown more disciplined where bonding was concerned, for he wished to be compliant to Haldir. Nonetheless at times he would terribly wished he would be united with Haldir, for the pain of being too far from him for long was unbearable.
"It is common in young elves new in love," Thavrondir assured him, laughing heartily when Legolas made his confession.
The Fellowship hadn't noticed this change in Legolas for they were stunned to see the elf and Gimli talking more with each other as though they were friends since childhood. But the watchful eyes of Aragorn did note the brightness in Legolas's eyes as the grief deep within was lessening every day. But it was not just Legolas who's spirits were healed in the blessed realm of Lothlórien, for nearly every member of the Fellowship seemed happier than the day when they first set foot in this land.
To Legolas's dismay, the day had come for the fellowship to depart. The month spent in Lothlórien had changed him, though the other members of the Fellowship could not explain why for none had known of Legolas's past. But they welcomed his smiles which seemed more radiant than before. Even when faced with leaving Lothlórien, something inside him seemed lighter, and when Haldir suddenly showed up with the news that he was personally taking them to the south borders, Legolas's smile glowed brighter than ever before.
"Wonder how having a lovesick elf among us will affect our mission," Pippin whispered to Merry as they watched the prince talking with Haldir, looking away only when an elf came to Haldir with a message from the Lady of Light.
* * *
"You wished to speak to me in private?" Haldir asked, bowing as he stood before Galadriel's room. She smiled and motioned him to come in.
"I have been working on Legolas's gift to give to him when it is time to depart," she said. "I would like your opinion as someone who is very close to him." She picked up the object from her dresser and brought it before him. Haldir could not hide his astonishment at the beauty of the bow. No bow had he ever seen such wonderfully crafted, and he told her so.
"But, my lady, it is still without a bowstring," Haldir said.
"It is the only piece missing," Galadriel said. "And that is the real reason why I called you. I wish for the bowstring to come from your own hair."
"From me?" Haldir chuckled. "My lady, normally it is elf-maidens from your house who give a piece of their hair for bows. Why would you ask this from a simple guard?"
"I think we both know the reason to that, Haldir son of Thavrondir," Galadriel said, smiling. "Legolas would love to have you beside him, even if it's but one strand of your hair."
"Then I will glad give it," Haldir said. Galadriel plucked one strand from his hair and thanked him.
"Haldir," she called out when he was about to leave. He turned around, noticing that Galadriel seemed to be struggling with something inside her.
Galadriel shook her head. "Go back to Legolas."
* * *
They reached the shore, and while the elves helped the fellowship load their boats, Legolas took Haldir by the hand and led him a away from the others. He cupped Haldir's face in his hands and gave him a soft kiss on the lips.
"With a heavy heart I must leave you," Legolas whispered in Haldir's ear. "My heart shall weep until it sees you again."
"Be careful in your journey," Haldir said as he returned the gentle kiss. "May all stars shine upon your path."
"We will reunite again after the downfall of Sauron."
Haldir nodded and with reluctance they departed. As Haldir watched their boats sail away from the shores of Lothlórien, a small feeling of dread swallowed him, but he pushed it to the back of his mind. Elrond had specifically chosen Legolas to go on this journey, and Haldir had utmost trust in Lord Elrond's judgement.
He turned around and locked eyes with Lady Galadriel. Her face held no sign that she had witnessed the exchange of kisses between the two elves.
Haldir bowed to her and moved away.
"Haldir," she called out, and her guard stopped. "Celeborn and I would like to have a final feast with our guests for we have yet to do so. Would you care to join us?"
Haldir turned to her with an amazed look. Galadriel simply nodded to him and motioned him to follow her.
* * *
Haldir felt self-conscious dressed in only his traveling clothes when the other elves attending were in their finest robes, but he was ever so grateful for Galadriel allowing him to witness the giving of the gifts to the Fellowship.
After Merry and Pippin were given their gift, Galadriel next gave Legolas his, and all of the elves attending in the feast looked upon his gift with slight envy, for it was the most magnificent bowstring ever crafted in Lothlórien.
"This bow is like the ones used among the Galadhrim. It is longer and stouter than the bow of your king's land," Galadriel explained. "I attached a single elf-hair upon this bow." Legolas glanced at Haldir with a private question. Galadriel smiled knowingly. "You will find this bow to be your greatest strength on your journey."
And she said no more on the matter, but Legolas continued to examine his new bow, stunned by its beauty. It was smoother than any bow he's ever touched; not a single splinter stuck out. And Haldir's hair was strung about it; running a finger through the single silver strand, Legolas glanced back again at his love and smiled.
When the Fellowship were preparing to leave, having said their farewells, Legolas took a niphredil and weaved the flower around the base of the bow. "This flower is my chastity which I will gift you after our quest is completed," Legolas whispered to Haldir. They had moved off to the side for their final words.
"I await seeing you once more," Haldir said. He needed to thank Lady Galadriel for offering him a chance to remain longer with Legolas. If he could, he would have Legolas remain and for them to wed, to bring the celebration the other elves dearly wished to witness. But Haldir had no control over matters in Middle-earth, but as he bid Legolas a safe journey, he knew that had he had the power to change anything, he would wipe all evil from the world before he would even ask Legolas to wed him.
But he was simply a guard, and one who had pushed limits of societal bounds for too long during the Fellowship's stay. After the boats would disappear over the horizon he would go back to his watch in the North and resume his old life until Legolas - the pure star of his world - was reunited with him.
He was unsurprised to find that his heart ached for having to resume his watch, so joyous were the days when Legolas was with him. But he had a duty to fulfill, just as Legolas had. He turned around to see Lady Galadriel, and he was struck by how familiar this looked when they first crossed one another.
"You will miss him," Galadriel said.
Haldir nodded. "His journey will be dark still, I am certain, but he will walk away from this war in wellness."
Galadriel did not answer for a moment. "You will be reunited with him," she finally said when Haldir looked at her questioningly. "Sooner than you may expect."
Haldir smiled and nodded again. "This is good to hear," he said. "I have treaded on your generosity for too long. I thank you for all you've done for me. I will return to the North tonight," he said, and he made to leave, half-hoping that Galadriel could call him back for another chance to be with his prince.
But she never called him back. His journey back to the North was painful, for every step brought back memories of Legolas. But he kept the Lady's words in his heart, that their reunion could be far closer than he had thought. However, he had never stopped to think of the implications of those words, as optimistic as he was for the future. Indeed, had he been with his brothers he would have caught the conversation that now went between them.
"You mustn't tell Haldir," Rúmil warned his brother. "We must instead pray this doesn't come to pass."
"If it were me I would wish to know," Orophin said. "Except I cannot give warning when I do not know the details. I only know that I fear something dreadful is about to happen to Legolas."
"Focus. Does any image come to you? Do you know where this event is taking place? Perhaps it's not too late to warn-"
"It would take us four to five days to reach the south and by then the Fellowship would be far from our reach," Orophin said. "And nothing is coming to my mind. This is the first time I experience something of this sort. My heart is pounding as though I were about to face an invincible beast." He rested back against the tree, breathing deeply to steady his heart. Rúmil looked on in worry but said nothing more.
"All we have is to pray for him."
* * *
Legolas spoke merrily with Gimli throughout the ride down the Anduin. His heart still sang with joy at the beautiful gift Lady Galadriel had given him. He kept turning to his new bow, thinking that he needed to keep the flower somewhere safe where it would not be crushed. His eyes turned back to the bowstring - to Haldir's hair - and his happiness grew.
Night fell, and his mind was still intoxicated with the events of the past month, giving him a sense of peace and joy that he had known for a very long time, indeed a carefreeness he had not felt since his childhood.
Suddenly there was commotion among the other Fellowship. They were being followed. Legolas caught sight of something stirring among the low branches of trees behind them. He gave an alarm to the Company, and went to strike an arrow right at the beast, when in a blinding flash he was struck, knocked unconscious. And none of the Fellowship had seen what had happened, for one moment Legolas was among them and next he was gone.
"Something's taken him!" Merry's screams filled the night. Aragorn and Boromir jumped off the boats and chased after the attacker, but it proved worthless. They lost sight of the attacker and Legolas. Boromir was cursing under his breath, looking this way and that. Aragorn's eyes had caught something on the ground like golden strands darker than Legolas's hair. He crouched forward to take a closer look when another scream alerted them that the hobbits were still in danger. Gimli's axe was no match against several Orcs at once.
"We cannot leave them!" Aragorn said. "Come! We will look for Legolas after the rest are safe!"
* * *
Legolas's head spun with the sheer force of the speed they were going at. He gained consciousness enough to struggle against whatever had been gripping him, but moving was incredibly hard. His heart was pounding inside his chest. But why his body was reacting in this way, he did not know until when finally is seemed he could take no longer of the torturous speed, he was flung onto the earth with an incredible force. A terrible sound told him that a rib had cracked. Someone turned him over onto his back, and his mouth hung open in dread.
He was looking into the devilish eyes of Glorfindel. Long gone were the icy blue eyes of the former elf lord; in their place was the same maddening lust-filled eyes that haunted Legolas since his mother's death. He made to escape, but he no longer had control of his body. He was frozen on the ground trembling with terrible fright.
Glorfindel pulled out a small vial from his pocket, and uncorking it, he forced it down Legolas's throat.
"For so long I desired you," Glorfindel said in a low voice, his own breaths ragged from the anticipation of finally getting to taste the prince. "For far too long you evaded me. But look! You are here in my arms, as you should be! Some have sought to bar the way between us. The meddlesome fool Galdor. I was kind with him. I journeyed with him back to the Grey Havens, for he was too tired to make the trip alone. I helped him onto the ship to take him to Valinor, then I pushed him off before the ship could sail! Forever shall his bones lie in the Sea!"
A strangled cry came from Legolas, glaring at Glorfindel with all a look mingled with rage and horror. But he could not strike the elf lord, as Glorfindel's powers still rendered him immobile.
"How unlike your mother you are!" Glorfindel laughed coldly. "So obedient she was…but it matters not to me! The struggling only makes your blood sweeter to my lips!"
And a gasp tore from Legolas at the transformation before him, for Glorfindel's teeth grew into long strong fangs. Before he could dodge him, Glorfindel lunged at him, sinking his fangs deep into the ivory flesh. Horrified screams filled the air as Legolas's felt his entire body jolted with a pain he had never felt before. He could almost hear Glorfindel's cold laugh in his mind as his blood was drained from him. He could almost smell the pure hatred and pleasure Glorfindel was getting from making him suffer.
Glorfindel was growing more frenzied with each suck of blood. His hands roamed all over Legolas's body in ways that left a sick feeling boiling in Legolas's twisting stomach, but no matter how hard he tried to fight against the grip, he could not break free.
With his fangs still dug deep in him, Glorfindel pinned Legolas to the soft earth and tore his clothes off. A feral madness danced in his eyes, turning a vivid red as he ripped Legolas's leggings apart, digging sharp nails into his thighs.
Legolas couldn't tell if the screaming was coming from his mouth or his mind. The terror was so great that he could see nothing more than the once-elf that straddled him, and he desperately cried out for his father, for Haldir, for anyone to rescue him as he tried to fight off hands, unnaturally strong for an elf, continually tore through his skin, releasing more of his blood.
But the worst had yet to come, and the moment it began, Legolas wasn't even aware that he was shrieking. The pain blinded him from what little else he could focus on. The screams continued to rip through him, begging for the end to come. He could almost see the stars above Glorfindel's shoulders dim out and he kept screaming for them to come back, at least to hold him, tell him that everything will be fine again. Instead all his body felt was a foreign sensation that brought the sickness rising from his stomach into his throat. This feeling was the worst of all for it was the most pleasurable, this strange sensation that threatened to spill the contents in his stomach.
More terrifying still was how he seemed to absorb every emotion spinning inside the Vanyarin Elf; the hatred, rage, and sickening lust and ecstasy at tormenting him…these all suffocated the elf. Never had he been the center of such pure hatred, and the sensation brought about tears, his body trembling, cowering under the raw emotions.
Finally the ordeal had ended though the pain still remained inside Legolas far after Glorfindel removed himself from him. Legolas's body had become completely immobile, his arms lying limply on his sides. He looked up to see the enraged look in Glorfindel's face. He squeezed his eyes shut, dreading what was next. His heart pounded painfully hard in his chest.
Glorfindel grabbed him by the hair and yanked him into a sitting position. "Look at what you've done to me!" he hissed. "You disgrace of a prince tempted me to you, and look! Look at the damage you brought upon us!"
Legolas reluctantly opened his eyes, unable to stop the tears from flowing. His violated body was covered in blood and another substance he had never seen in his life but perfectly knew where it had come from. Whimpers escaped him, quickly followed by a fresh flow of tears. His face burned red at the disgust, fear, and rage that swirled inside him.
"Filthy little whore you are!" Glorfindel continued, pointing to the white liquid smeared on Legolas's abdomen. Legolas couldn't keep his eyes off the parts of him that had betrayed him. Bile rose up in his throat once more, and still his body racked with uncontrollable sobs.
"You see how much you enjoyed it? Do you? And all in tempting me into your wretched body! For this you deserve an eternity of agony!" Glorfindel grabbed Legolas's hair by the roots and shook him with such force Legolas thought his neck would snap. And he prayed that it would, for this to grant him death, to leave this bitter world. But instead he was pushed back to the ground.
Breathing was becoming harder. The agonizing pain and the heavy crying took all of his strength. His eyes scanned the stars, so cold and dim among the bleakness of the night sky, and he yelled out for Mandos to take him into his Halls. But no matter how long he screamed, how hard he begged for his mother to come for him, still his heart continued to beat.
"Why do you deny me?" Legolas mumbled under his breath.
Glorfindel laughed, his rage suddenly gone. "The vial I gave you contained a special drink I have been concocting only for you. You see, I have yearned for you for nearly a hundred years, and it seemed not fair that I get to taste you just this once. No, I deserve more. I wish to have you every night, and I have granted myself thus!"
Legolas watched him in silent dread. His already pale face had turned deathly grey at the words. He spoke no word, and no more tears fell, as his eyes studied their surrounding, numbly taking in the world around them. Once green and beautiful they once were the trees now seemed to mock him. He would remain here in this cold earth forever to feed Glorfindel of his bloodlust.
A long slender hand snaked through his torn abdomen, smearing as much blood in his hand before licking each finger clean. Legolas no longer protested, so numb he had become though the fear continued to pound in his heart. He suddenly remembered Haldir's gentle smiles and tender caresses, and a choked wail left him before he finally broke down. He screamed and ripped at his hair, pounded on the earth and shrieked for the Valar to relieve him of his wretched body.
Glorfindel laughed at watching the elf's tantrum. How he enjoyed drinking in his victims' fear, but most enjoyable was watching the mental breakdown of ruined elves. He casually wondered how far he could take Legolas before breaking him completely, if it was not already accomplished.
He strolled to where a pile of Legolas's torn clothes and other materials lay scattered.
"Oh, look at this," Glorfindel said in a cold imitation of a sweet voice. "This was the bow Lady Galadriel made for you. And it has a piece of Haldir's hair. This is so sweet, you must treasure this bow very much." And with a bright smile he tore the bow in half. Legolas flinched. "Oh, I am very sorry. It seems you love him very much to weep over a single hair from him."
An anger flared in his eyes, for he despised having the knowledge that his victims continued to feel for others, continued to think of anyone besides him, Glorfindel. That he would have to change in the prince. He considered throwing the object away, but soon a new idea formed in his head that brought about a demonic grin on his beautiful face.
He crouched down close to Legolas; already the desire to taste more of the prince was returning. "This is coming with us. You would want to hold onto Haldir, won't you, sweet Legolas?"
He offered Legolas the broken bow and hair strand, and like a timid and terrified child Legolas held it tight to his chest.
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.