40. Chapter 40
A white light as bright as the sun shone down and blinded me. "Who's there?" I asked not recognizing the voice that just spoke to me.
"I have been watching and listening to you while you have been here. I heard you earlier, when you were humming with the trees. Tell me, how did you learn to tune in to our song? This is something that has only ever been done by the First Born. Yet here you are exuding the same talents."
"First Born?" I questioned.
"The elves." she answered.
I was confused at first. Then I remembered sitting in the garden and hearing the hum. I hadn't realized that I was singing too. "It was something Legolas told me about. I played my music for him and he explained his to me."
"Ah, you have the gift of music, I see. 'Tis a rarity amongst your people, no?" she asked.
"Many of my people enjoy listening to music but some of us enjoy performing it. Only a slight few can do it well. I'm not one of those." I said remembering my horrible guitar playing.
"Do not sell yourself short, child. You possess a talent no other human does, the gift of hearing nature. You are closely bound by it. You understand it and are able to communicate through it and with it." she said then laughed in a kindly manner. "You remind me of myself, in my younger days."
Curious as to what was happening, I asked. "Where is Legolas? Won't he be wondering where I am? I mean, we were about to… uh…"
The feminine voice chuckled lightly. As she did, the light that surrounded me felt warm and comforting as if nothing could harm me. I could not resist and let it take over my mind and my being. It reminded me of when I was a little girl and Mother rocked me on the porch at night. I would lay my head on her chest and listen to her heart beat as she sang to me, just like Legolas did for me once. "You have done your job well. Legolas has been reunited with Minaethiel. A bond has been made. They are at last at peace."
Suddenly it all made sense. That was what was happening. I wasn't with Legolas. It was Minaethiel. I was only a vessel and through me, her soul entered back into this world. I couldn't help but feel sad. A part of me had really believed that Legolas was in love with me. "Glad I could help, I guess." I whispered disappointed.
"I am sorry if you feel forsaken somehow. This was the only way to separate the two souls, yours and Minaethiel's. If it's any consolation, Legolas' feelings towards you are indeed genuine. Had he not already loved another, he may have given you all his love." she said.
"You're just trying to make me feel better. I know Legolas would not have given me a second look had he not sensed a part of Minaethiel within me." I was ready to move on to another subject. Especially since one minute I was about to make love to or marry or bind, whatever it's called, with Legolas. And now I was standing in a white room with no doors and no windows, talking to a disembodied voice of a woman who sounded very nice. But I'm rambling. Well, what do you expect from someone who just had the 'robe' yanked out from under her.
"So what happens to me now? What happens to Legolas? Will I get to see him again? Am I going home?" I hoped I hadn't sounded too pushy. Something told me that this invisible lady was quite powerful and I didn't want to get on her bad side.
"My dear child, I'm afraid that even I do not know the outcome here. This situation has never happened before. For the time being, you are to stay here." she said.
"And where is here?" I said looking around at the nothingness.
"Why you are in the Hall of Waiting. Do not worry; you will not be kept here forever. You are human and this is not your world. However, I cannot say what will happen next. It is beyond my decision and my power. I suggest you take this time to think about what is important to you. Your thoughts could prove to be a distraction while you wait." she said. There was something so comforting about her voice. When she told me not to worry, I didn't. What was it about this world that I seemed to have no control of my own thought process?
"Wait. Before you go, won't you tell me who you are? You have been so nice to me and I am thankful." I pleaded.
"I am one of the Valar." she said as if I should have known that from the beginning.
I realized I was speaking to one of their gods or higher beings or whatever she was. I still wasn't sure how these things worked here. I did know, however, that she was one of the one's that decided to take Minaethiel away from Legolas and I wondered how someone who sounded so sweet and understanding could be so cruel.
"I am sorry you feel that way." she said. Somehow she knew what I was thinking. "Let me tell you their story. You see, Minaethiel is what we call an observer. Her soul was sent to Middle Earth and she was born for one purpose, to observe the happenings of Middle Earth. It was a different time then. Our enemies were strengthening and a great weapon of theirs was still missing. Minaethiel's task was to visit the different Elven realms, observe them and the happenings of the time. When she had acquired all the information she could, she would travel to the Grey Havens and sail back to Valinor to report her findings to us. It was her only purpose. But there were rules she had to abide by. She was not supposed to become involved. She was not supposed to fall in love. It was forbidden for she would sail at a very early age."
She continued. "Legolas on the other hand was unknown to us, or at least his special ability was not. You see, Minaethiel was not supposed to become involved in any way. She was meant to travel her path alone because she would not be on the earth long before she was to sail back to the Undying Lands. Because of this, she was not seen as anyone special to other elves. But there are a few, and it is very rare, who can sense these special beings. They are drawn to them and are consumed by them. The chemistry is strong with these 'seers' as we call them. Had we known Legolas was one of these seers, we would not have sent Minaethiel to Greenwood. Alas, it was overlooked and they met. They were inseparable and kept their relationship a secret at first. Thranduil eventually discovered this and asked for our help. You see, Legolas was to play his own part in the destruction of our common enemy. He would one day swear an oath to friends and companions who he would accompany on a very important journey, one that would destroy the enemy and his missing weapon. Had Legolas and Minaethiel bonded that night, she would have been called home to us and he would have sacrificed his life to be with her, therefore never fulfilling his own important path. It would have not only changed his course, but the lives of many and the future of Men. So we called her home before her time.
Now, for Legolas, had he known she willingly came to us, he would have faded. His love for her ran deep and he would not have lived long. Thranduil decided it was best to let him think she was alive but taken. It would ensure that he would not fade, too determined to search through eternity to find her. It must seem like a very cruel thing to you, but there was no other choice. However, we felt this love that emanated from them and our hearts went out to them. You see, we are not all that pitiless. We still have compassion and decided to give Legolas and Minaethiel a second chance, though it would be a very, very long time in the making. Her soul dwelt for many millennia here, in the Halls of Mandos, a kind of purgatory for elf souls. She remained in exile until we saw fit to release her soul. In order for this to happen, she had to be sent back to earth. Middle earth was no more but your earth sufficed. This is why we created the portals, so that those who were seers could search for any such souls. Minaethiel's was the last one to be called back to Valinor. When she was found, the portals would be closed forever."
I took in all the information she just told me. How sad to think Legolas had been deceived all this time. "But they are together again, right?"
"Because of you, yes. You were the vessel that brought her soul back to Valinor."
"And are the portals closed now? Am I stuck in this elf purgatory for the rest of my life? Or am I dead already?" I said worriedly.
"My, you ask a lot of questions for such a young one." she laughed. I didn't find anything funny about my situation but I kept my mouth shut for once. "Rest and take comfort in the light. Turn to your thoughts to happier times. Remember who you really are and where you come from. It will help you in the long run. I must go now. Peace my child." she said and was gone.
I didn't understand a single thing she just said, but she seemed happy to leave me here in this place, alone to ponder my thoughts.
* * *
I sat alone in the white room a long time, feeling as though I had been forgotten about. It just wasn't fair. I didn't ask for any of this. They 'chose' me to be this… vessel. Was my life worth nothing more? How could they just leave me here? I was important too. I had a good life back in my world. Then, guilt crept upon me. Being in this place made me forget about my life back home. The magic that surrounded me here made me not care about ever going home, until now. When I was in the garden, I thought I could spend the rest of my life just sitting there, listening to nature and its song. But I couldn't stay here in this nothingness. So I did as she said and started thinking about my life. For the most part it was good. I had the best parents a kid could ever want. They gave me the freedom to express myself as I saw fit. I had overcome a few hurdles along the way and came out better for it. I did the best I could at protecting my land and everything important about it. I never told a soul about Legolas or…
That was when it hit me. I had told Ethan everything about Legolas. I wasn't supposed to share that information with anyone. Maybe I was being punished. Maybe they would never let me leave. And what about Ethan. Was he telling others what I had told him?
I remembered that night. I went over everything that had happened to me and to Legolas. Ethan never said a word. He sat silent and listened to everything I had to say. And when I was through, he believed me, or at least I thought he did. We looked into each other's eyes and I had seen him, really seen him for the first time. He truly loved me. He had always loved me though we both made mistakes along the way. He believed every word I said that night and did not judge me.
I thought about the night I went through the portal. He came with me, willing to lay down his life for me. By allowing me to go with Legolas, he was giving me the stars. He was the one. It was him all along. Ethan was my 'true' magic man. I suddenly realized how deeply in love with Ethan I was. I wanted to see him again. I wanted to be in his arms again. I loved him heart and soul. My eyes filled with tears to think that I may be stuck here, never knowing what happened to him that night as gunshots rang out through the forest. I may never even leave this place, forced to live alone in this white box. I had let myself become consumed with thoughts of Legolas and a love that obviously was not meant for me. How could I be so gullible? Why did I let this world change me? Why did I allow my thoughts to deceive me into thinking that Legolas loved me and wanted me when it was Minaethiel all along?
I never wanted to go home so badly. Now that I was away from Legolas, I remembered everything. I already had a life. I already had a love. Was I so blind that I did not see this? I didn't need this place to feel such emotions. I had it all back on my earth. I cried my eyes out as I sat there thinking about everything. I had deceived myself into thinking I loved Legolas and that he loved me. I had forgotten about Ethan in the process. I felt horrible. What kind of person was I?
"Do not let your soul be so troubled?" said a new voice. It was not the woman from earlier. This voice was younger, almost familiar.
I opened my eyes and found I was not alone. In front of me stood the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She had long flowing hair and wore a beautiful blue gown with silver embroidered into the neckline and sleeves. A silver circlet adorned her head, much in the fashion of the one I'd seen on Legolas. On her finger was a silver ring that matched the design of the circlet. Her smile was warm and friendly and her hands were outstretched towards me. I knew who she was. "Minaethiel. It is you isn't it? I finally get to see who it is I have helped."
She laughed and motioned for me to come to her. I got up from the floor, wiped my tears away and went to her. She embraced me and I felt her love emanate from her through me. I wrapped my arms around her and hugged her back. I was an only child, but if I had had a sister to love, I now knew what it felt like. I could feel her like she was a part of me. I had to let her go now and in doing so, I was letting go of a part of myself. I was also letting go of Legolas.
"You are so beautiful. Now I see why Legolas fell so deeply in love with you. Are you together now?" I asked as I held onto her hands.
"Yes, thanks to you. We are now bound by our souls. Nothing can ever separate us again. Thank you. You have been so kind. You have helped me remember. I am forever in your debt." she said with such sincerity.
"And what about Legolas? Is he just as happy?" I asked but I already knew the answer.
"He would have come if he could but he is not allowed to travel here. He wanted me to tell you that he deeply appreciates all the kindness you have shown him. You know, he truly loves you. There is a part of you that will always be etched into his heart. We were one in the same. For him to recognize that you were the vessel meant to also find love within your heart. This will never change." she explained.
"I wish I could see him one last time. We went through so much together. I would have liked to thank him once more. Now, I'm not sure I'll ever leave this place. I wish I could go back home and discover my own love, a real love." My eyes filled with tears once more.
Minaethiel smiled and pulled me into another embrace. She held my head against her chest and I heard her beating heart. It was in sync with my own. "Close your eyes sister, and let the music fill your soul once more."
I did as she said and suddenly heard the chirping of birds, the rustling of the wind through the leaves, the dry grasses of a summer meadow swaying in the breeze. I could smell the flowers in bloom and the fresh cut grass of someone's yard. My favorite time of year I thought. Legolas, green leaves and fresh air… and daisies.
I found myself alone once more and laid down. This must be the end, I thought to myself. I will just drift off to sleep and never wake up. I hoped to find myself in heaven with all those who I had missed, my parents mainly. Oh how I longed to see them again, to see them together and happy like they used to be. We would all be together once more.
I sacrificed everything I ever held dear just to help my magic man. I guess one good turn deserves another. After all, he saved my life long ago. After that experience, I lived life to its fullest. Now it was my turn to help him and save the life, or soul of his long lost love. I felt like I set out on a journey I never knew I was on in the first place. My world went dark as I slipped into a deep sleep. I was contempt. I was ready… ready to go to my heaven and be with my own long lost loved ones.
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.