6. Chapter 5 - The Treaty and Some
Nyonna noticed that the Princess of Mirkwood was lost in her own thoughts. She slowed her horse down and rode beside her, "What is it Lothestel? You have been awfully quiet for the better part of our journey. Are you not excited to visit Lorien? We are but one day nearing the borders."
Lothestel gasped. One day? So soon? Panic rose inside her as she thought about Haldir. She did not trust herself when he was around. With the anger inside her still boiling, she might say or do something to Haldir, just to make him hurt. But some part of her wanted to see him, wanted to meet this Elwen. She must know what this elleth have over her? Why was Haldir adamant about leaving her for another?
Lothestel looked at Nyonna and forced a smile, "I am... I am excited to arrive in Lorien. I am just weary I think. Worry not for me my friend."
Nyonna nodded and rode on leaving Lothestel to return to her thoughts. Night time was fast approaching and they would soon camp. Lothestel prayed in her heart not to meet Haldir so soon. She cannot see him just yet. Tomorrow will come and with it her courage to face the warden. She looked ahead at the golden sun, may tomorrow bring her courage...
Haldir walked hurriedly towards the palace. He was summoned from the borders for an audience with Lord Celeborn. He was already waiting for Haldir in the throne room when he approached the hall, "Haldir, there you are! The northern scouts have informed me that there is an assemblage from Mirkwood heading this way. It seems your friend Legolas is here. They will be camping out the borders. I want you to travel out to them and stay there to ensure their safety. Take a few wardens with you."
Haldir was happy to hear that Legolas had finally reached Mirkwood, "That is wonderful news my lord. I will travel to the borders now. May I inquire as to how big the assemblage is?"
Lord Celeborn continued, "Not too big. The scouts informed me that there were four guards with them, Legolas and two other ellyth."
Haldir was surprised. Who were these two other ellyth? He merely nodded and excused himself to make his way to the northern borders. Legolas was finally here. There were so many things he wanted to say to his best friend in the light of Gollon's departure. But he was also curious to as who these ellyth accompanying him were. It could not be the queen for she was still not well according to Legolas' letter. Then could it be Lothestel?
Haldir took three other wardens with him to the borders. His brothers, Rumil and Orophin were both stationed at the eastern borders this week. They would be very happy to see him again. The journey to the borders would not take long since they knew the paths there very well. After three hours of journeying into the wild, Haldir could hear the sound of people talking and laughing. They were close to the campsite it seemed. Haldir smiled, it will definitely be nice to see Legolas again.
Legolas sat in front of the fire with Nyonna next to him. He wanted so much to hold her in his arms but Lothestel still did not know about their relationship. He also did not want to be too affectionate in front of the guards. He was after all the prince. His eyes gazed over to his little sister sitting by her horse, "Lothestel! Come and join us, my dear."
Lothestel looked at her brother, "No, Legolas. I am well here. Besides I think I want to go bathe in the river."
Legolas shook his head, "No, my dear. It is dangerous. If you want to go, take Nyonna with you."
Lothestel stood up, "It is not necessary. I am sure Nyonna is wearied. You forget brother; you are not the only one who can wield a bow. I will be fine. I will call if I need any assistance."
Legolas nodded, "Very well. Do not wander off far."
And with that Lothestel took her rucksack and headed towards the river Anduin that curved through the woods. She was still lost in her thoughts and with every second that passed, she began to dread of tomorrow. Little that she know, that tonight was the night her courage would desert her...
Haldir walked towards the campsite and announced himself, "Peace. I am Haldir, Marchwarden of Lorien."
Legolas looked up and a smiled formed on his lips, "HALDIR! What are you doing here?"
Haldir laughed and embraced his friend, "Lord Celeborn has commanded me to escort you to the palace tomorrow. He also said you brought two other ellyth with you. Is your mother here too Las?"
Legolas shook his head, "No, Haldir. The two females with me are Nyonna and my sister. There is Nyonna..." He pointed to a spot near the tree. Haldir could see a female form sleeping on the ground.
Haldir nodded, "Where is Lothestel then?"
Legolas shrugged, "She said she wanted a bath. She has been gone long, it seems. I should go look for her."
Haldir smiled and placed a hand on Legolas' shoulder, "No need my friend. You take your rest. I shall go look for her. After all, I know these woods better."
Legolas patted his hand, "Very well Haldir. I will be here if you need me."
Haldir turned around and walked towards the Anduin. He sighed. How would his meeting with Lothestel go? He had hoped there would be no more animosity between them. He needed to talk to her and ask her again how she feels. Haldir still harboured some feeling for her and this time, if she would reciprocate it, he will court her formally.
The sound of the great river was deafening. Haldir could see footsteps on the wet embankment and soon his eyes fell upon a female body resting on the rocks. Her long dark hair flowed over the boulder like a veil of dark curtain. Her clothes clung to her body and Haldir could see that they were wet. She must have swum with her clothes on, he thought. He approached her with caution, not wanting to startle her.
Lothestel closed her eyes. The feel of her damp clothes on her skin was divine. The coolness of the cloth seemed to ease the burning inside her. The Anduin was flowing strong tonight. The moon shone bright with the stars on its left and right. She let her hair hang down to the ground, wanting the night breeze to dry it out.
A cool male voice startled her and she sat up, "It is nice to see you again Lothestel..."
She stared at the figure in front of her. It was Haldir. All of a sudden she became aware of her current state and covered her chest with her arms. Haldir sniggered. Not that was necessary; he had seen her, all of her before. But the gesture made him smile nevertheless.
Lothestel did not say a word to him. Words did not come to her. Never would she expect to see him right now. She was trying to gather her courage to face him tomorrow but now he was here, looking at her, "What is it that you want warden?"
Haldir shook his head. Maybe it was time she knew he was the Marchwarden, not just a simple warden. But as he was about to say something, Lothestel jumped from the rocks and gathered her belongings. Before she could go, Haldir spoke to her, "Lothestel, please... May I have a word with you? It is about Elwen and me..."
Lothestel turned around and watched the warden, "What is there to tell, Haldir? You obviously have made your decision. Good night..."
Haldir walked forward and pulled her into his arms. His lips quickly sought hers and he poured all his passion and begged her understanding. Lothestel did not respond and let her arms hang by her side as Haldir continued to try to illicit some reaction from her. When he felt that his plan was to no avail, he let her go, "Go..."
Lothestel walked further and before she left, she turned around and said, "Go to Mandos Haldir..."
Haldir watched as hurt and hatred for him played on her face. Why was she being so stubborn? If only she would listen to him, she would know how he felt about her. Haldir shook his head. No one would have guessed this was Legolas' little sister. She was very different from him. Legolas was kind and attentive. He would listen to all sides of the story before coming to a conclusion but not Lothestel. Haldir sighed and made his way back to the campsite.
It was already morning. Legolas stood near the river and gazed out towards the beauty of the Anduin. He watched as Nyonna bathe having offered to escort her here. Lothestel was still asleep and Haldir was back at the campsite, going over a few details of their departure. Legolas was anxious about the treaty. All will depend on his negotiation skills. Perhaps today, Lord Celeborn will be in a good mood.
Nyonna walked up to the prince and gave him a kiss, "Worry not about the treaty, my love. You will do well."
Legolas smiled and took her in his arms, "You will make a great queen one day, Nyonna because you can read the king's mind."
The two of them walked back to the camp to find the rest of them ready to move out, including Lothestel. Legolas could immediately see that his sister was very uncomfortable when Haldir was around which fuelled his suspicions even more. He watched as Haldir gathered their belongings and mounted his steed. Lothestel was to ride beside him and it made her even more nervous than before. There was something wrong between these two and Legolas will find out!
Lothestel stared at the back of Haldir's head, hoping her stare would make a whole inside his skull and kill him instantly. Her heart ached. What more could he possibly want to say last night? She should have given him the chance to speak. Perhaps it would be something she would love hearing. Perhaps he wanted to tell her how he really feels. A smile formed on her lips. If it was so, then tonight she will go to him and listen to what he has to say.
The assemblage reached the city of Caras Galadhon at high noon. There was a small welcoming party waiting for them in the courtyard. Legolas could see Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel standing near the palace balcony. He dismounted from his steed and walked towards the advisor, Faelon, "We meet again, Faelon. This is my sister, princess Lothestel and this is Nyonna, daughter of our advisor Lyean."
Faelon stepped forward and greeted the prince, "Welcome, your highness. Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel have been expecting you. I trust your journey here was interesting."
Legolas shook the advisor's hand, "It was. The Anduin kept me fascinated as well as the forests."
Faelon smiled, "Come, let me show you to your rooms and then you are to join the lord and lady for lunch."
Haldir walked up to Legolas and patted his friend's shoulder, "Las, I must take my leave. I have things to attend to with my officers. I shall see you tonight then?"
Legolas nodded, "Yes, I shall see you tonight and perhaps you can tell me more about Elwen. Or better yet introduce us."
Haldir laughed but when his gaze fell upon Lothestel, his laugh died instantly. He saw hurt and anger on her face when Elwen's name was spoken. He turned around quickly and made his exit. He did not want to further annoy her. He wanted to be in her good graces and tell her how he truly feels. Perhaps, later tonight he could visit her and make his feelings known.
Lothestel watched as Haldir left the courtyard. Her heart sliced open when she heard the name Elwen. So, he even told Legolas, she thought. The hurt inside her doubled as the thought of him lying in bed with another elleth haunted her visions. Perhaps coming here was not such a good idea...
Legolas walked around the room that was provided for him. It was a magnificent oval shaped room with the most exquisite furniture he has ever seen. Elves in Caras Galadhon certainly knew how to live. His bed was large and had brass frames with light airy curtains covering them. The maids carried his belongings inside and helped him settled in.
Moments later, Nyonna walked inside his room with a smile on her face, "Can you believe this place? It is so magical, Las!"
Legolas laughed, "Yes, my dear. It is the magic of Lorien. Now, where is Lothestel? We have to join the lord and lady for lunch."
Nyonna shook her head, "She must be in her room. I will fetch her, my dear."
Legolas watched the queen of his heart leave the room and not long after she returned with his sister, "Come on you two. They must already be waiting for us..."
The three Mirkwood elves walked towards the palace in a steady pace. Lothestel was lost in the sights and sounds of the Golden Woods. She watched as little elflings run here and there, chasing butterflies, beautiful ellyth walking around with baskets of flowers in their arms and strong handsome wardens patrolling about the grounds. They continued to walk on until they came to a magnificent building sat upon a high platform. The palace was wondrous with beautiful carvings and awe-inspiring designs on the doors and windows.
The guards welcomed them and Faelon arrived to show them to the dining hall. The three of them walked in and again was mesmerised by the sights from the palace. There were airy curtains hanging from every doorway with beautifully crafted lights hanging from the ceilings. The three walked on until they came upon a room at the end of the hall. A strong light seemed to emanate from the room. Lothestel had to shield her eyes from the brightness.
Legolas, Lothestel and Nyonna entered the room and came upon Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel. The two stood up to great them and soon all were seated around the table. Lord Celeborn flashed a smile towards Thranduil's youngest, "How are you finding Lorien, Lothestel?"
Lothestel smiled shyly for being addressed by the Lord himself, "It is fascinating my lord. I am deeply honoured to be here."
Lord Celeborn turned his attention towards Legolas, "Legolas, if you do not mind, I wish to discuss the treaty here as we eat. I am afraid I have matters to attend to tomorrow. It is best if we resolve this matter as soon as possible. Is that agreeable?"
Legolas nodded at the mighty lord, "Yes, Lord Celeborn, whichever to your liking."
Lady Galadriel now began talking, "I hope you can explain more Legolas. I know of your ideas but I wish to listen to you explain."
Lothestel listened as the negotiations began. She smiled when she looked at her brother. He was so enthusiastic and determined to win the lord and lady's favour. She had to admit that his thoughts were inventive and reasonable. She was proud to have him as her brother and she knew he would make a great king one day.
The negotiations continued on for another hour. Legolas was making great progress and every now and then the lord and lady would include both Lothestel and Nyonna in the discussion. Soon, an agreement was reached. Lorien would provide the training for Mirkwood's guards. Two battalions of wardens would be sent to Mirkwood in exchange to the guards being sent to Lorien.
Lord Celeborn was very pleased by the negotiations and praised the prince, "Legolas, you are very much your father's son. I see him in your every gesture and speech. He would be very proud of you. I shall take my leave. Please, feel free to go about the palace. I shall see you for breakfast tomorrow. If you have any problems you can address them to Faelon or my wife here. Good day."
The three of them watched Lord Celeborn disappeared through the doors. Lady Galadriel stepped forward and smiled at the three Mirkwood elves, "Come children. I will personally take you on a tour of Caras Galadhon."
Legolas was surprised to hear such invitation, "No, my lady. We do not wish to waste your time. I am sure one of your subjects can show us around."
Galadriel laughed, "Nonsense! You are royalty and I cannot have my subjects do my duties. Come, we will start with the market and then perhaps I shall show you my glade..."
The three of them followed Galadriel's lead and soon they found themselves immersed in the colours, sights and sounds of Caras Galadhon. The city was bustling with activities. There were elves doing their daily shopping. Some stopped by the textile merchant and some by the trinkets shop. Lothestel and Nyonna even stopped by the flower shop and bought an arrangement of Caras Galadhon's best flowers. Their tour lasted late into the evening and when the three of them decided to retire, they were exhausted. Legolas thanked Lady Galadriel for her hospitality and made his way back to his quarters.
He arrived at his room and was gladdened to find his bath was already drawn. He needed to hurry. He had promised to have dinner with Haldir today and the sun was already setting. He be rid himself of the clothes on his back and jumped into the tub. The water was warm and sweet smelling. He closed his eyes and leaned back into the tub. He only had less than an hour to get ready but he will savour his bath time.
Finally after cleaning himself thoroughly, Legolas left the bath chamber. He braided his hair and put on one of his best tunic. After all, Haldir promised an introduction with Elwen. He looked at himself in the mirror one last time and made his way towards Haldir's home.
Lothestel stood by the window and watched as his brother left his room. No doubt he was heading towards Haldir's home, she thought. She began pacing the length of the room, doubting her decision to go up to Haldir's home. She wanted to have a talk with him to clear the air between them. Should she go or forget the whole thing? She needed answers for it seems Haldir would try to approach her to say something and each time she will shoot him down. This she realized and perhaps she was hindering him from saying the things she wanted to hear. She will go to see him and that is final!
Legolas sat back into the plush chair and sipped the wine from the goblet. The meal Haldir prepared was delicious. So far the night had gone splendidly. It was a pity Elwen could not join them. According to Haldir, she had some family matters to attend to. Legolas did not want to press on the matter. So, they decided to have a drink and reminisce about old times.
The two of them laughed and joked about all the mischief they caused back in Mirkwood and here in Caras Galadhon. Times were different then. Both did not have the responsibilities they do now. Legolas was now the crown prince of Mirkwood, in line for the throne and Haldir was the Marchwarden. Things were different and they too had become different people. But they had some great times in their youth. Tonight was the night they could relive it again.
It was almost midnight when Legolas finally returned back to his room. Lothestel was still standing by the window watching her brother's every move. Just as she was certain that Legolas had finally retired for the night, Lothestel grabbed her shawl and made her way outside. She was indeed headed to Haldir's home to finally have an adult conversation with him regarding the delicate situation between them. She walked in a hurried but quiet pace to make sure no one hears her. But as she was reaching Haldir's home, she saw him leaving. She decided to follow him, see where he might be going and perhaps finally have a word with him.
Lothestel followed him quietly, watching his every move. Haldir was headed to the gardens where the ancient Mellyrn trees grew. She continued to follow him when he finally stopped near the stone steps, "I knew you were following me..."
Lothestel froze and looked at Haldir. Was he talking to her? Surely he was! There was no one here but herself and Haldir. She did not say a word but instead continued to stare at his body. Haldir still did not turn but he spoke yet again, "Stop being a minx and come closer..."
Lothestel's eyes widened at his words. As she was about to move forward, the sound of rustling leaves startled her. Her eyes caught sight of a female form hiding behind some bushes. The elleth stood up and walked towards Haldir, "How did you know it was me?"
Haldir laughed and pulled Elwen closer to his body, "I know your scent my dear. What is more, I can feel your desire... Tell me, Elwen... do you want me?"
Lothestel gasped. Elwen! This was the very same elleth Haldir told her about. She was a pretty creature and very desirable. Lothestel watched in horror as Haldir began peeling her clothing one by one and finally the two stood naked in the gardens. Lothestel could feel hot tears forming in her eyes and flowing down her cheeks as she watched the two of them made love. She wanted to leave but if she did, Haldir would immediately notice her. She closed her eyes and huddled her body close. She might have successfully shielded her eyes from the debauchery before her, but she could still hear them.
Her moans and his gasps gnawed into Lothestel's heart. How could she be so naive to think that Haldir was actually trying to tell her that he had feelings for her? He definitely did not, given the fact that he was now making love to Elwen very passionately. Lothestel could not take it any longer. She tried her best and snuck out from behind the tree and ran as fast as she could to her room. Once there, she threw herself on the bed and continued to cry, "I hate you Haldir... I hate you..."
Back in the palace, Lady Galadriel came to bed to her waiting husband. However Lord Celeborn seemed to be lost in his own thoughts. Galadriel sat on the bed beside him and gently kissed his hand, "What is bothering you my love?"
Celeborn looked at his wife lovingly, "Nothing of great consequence. I was merely thinking of how we are to make this bond between Mirkwood and Lorien stronger. Both realms could benefit from this bond."
Galadriel smiled when she heard her husband spoke, "And you want to further strengthen the bond by marriage? You forget my love, Celebrian was our only child and we had given her off to Elrond."
Celeborn laughed, "I know my dear. That is something you do not forget easily. But we have always considered Haldir like a son ever since he came under my training many years ago. Why not propose a union between him and the princess of Mirkwood?"
Galadriel nodded in agreement, "I think that is a splendid proposal my love. We shall have a talk with Legolas tomorrow. Now come... make love to me..."
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.