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The Dark of Night

Chapter 4: Chapter 4

by ellie

Betas: Chrissie, Nerdanel Istarnie

Disclaimer: Most of this is Tolkien's. I make no money from this.

Terms:
Adar - Father
Daeradar - grandfather
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Chapter 4
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Galadriel raced down the steps to her private fountain in the glade in the center of Caras Galadhon. Carefully setting down the basket of small crystal phials she carried, she continued to ask herself: Could this really work?

Her brother Finrod had used songs of power when battling Sauron thousands of years ago, invoking the feeling, the joy, the light of the Blessed Realm in the middle of Sauron’s foul pits. That was the last time that she knew of one of her kin using a song of power. Could she create and sustain this long enough to do what needed to be done?

She looked up. Eärendil’s star had just crested the horizon and soon his light would be visible through the trees. She could not afford doubts now. Finrod doubted in the middle of his song and that had been his undoing. She had to be confident. She had to be strong. She could do this. With Nenya’s help, she knew she could do this.

Clearing her mind of all thoughts but the song of the trees about her, she set to work. Carefully filling the silver ewer beside her fountain, she emptied it five times into the large silver basin perched on the carved stone pedestal beside the fountain. When the basin was brimming full, she breathed upon the waters. Then, taking a deep breath, she began.

Slowly, she started to sway in time to the soft, barely audible song she felt beginning to grow inside of her. Visions of Cuiviénen and the first awakening of the elves and their first glimpses of the stars filled her mind. Then invoking Elbereth, the Vala who had created the stars, she softly, reverently sang of their beauteous light. Raising her hands into the air, she began to walk around the basin.

Her song grew louder, turning to one of creation calling upon Yavanna and praising her glorious fount of life, gushing forth as plants and animals awoke at the rising of the sun and moon. Now she skipped with the fire of growth she felt. The song grew louder still, turning again to light with the creation of the sun and the moon and their radiant power bursting into the sky, banishing all darkness away.

Her steps became a glorious dance as Eärendil’s star shone down from directly overhead. Light trickled through the trees, dripping from the leaves above her, as she practically shouted her song. Power charged through her. Nenya exploded in brilliant whiteness, bathing her in a radiant glory. Eärendil’s light streamed down in a solid beam into her basin, washing the entire glade in flashes of silver and white.

When Eärendil finally passed behind the trees, her movements slowed, her song grew quieter. Finally she stilled before her basin which glowed from within of its own volition. She swayed almost to the point of overbalancing, trying desperately to eek out the last bit of the song. When at last the final note fell from her parched lips, she collapsed to the earth utterly spent, losing consciousness before she hit the ground.

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Celeborn stood just out of sight of his wife, marveling at the music and light she was producing. Amroth standing beside him gaped in equal wonder. The servant who came running in to tell them of the beauteous song and lights at the Lady’s fountain had not been exaggerating. Now half of the residents of Caras Galadhon stood staring in wonder at the spectacle before them. Celeborn had never before seen anything like this, and judging from the looks on the faces around him, neither had anyone else.

When Galadriel’s dancing finally stilled from its hours of whirling wonder, Celeborn could sense across his bond with his wife that she was completely drained of all strength. When the song died, he dashed to her, catching her head before it smacked into the fountain. Amroth was right there beside him, cleansing the glistening sheen of sweat from her forehead with the hem of his sleeve. Her breast barely rose with each breath she took. Celeborn patted her face, calling her name.

At last her eye lids fluttered weakly. Her lips moved, forming words, only a few of which were discernable “The…the…my basin… water…” she whispered.

Noting her dry chapped lips, Celeborn said, “My king, would you please get her some water. I saw some containers in the basket. Water from her basin should be fine. She always keeps it clean and only uses fresh pure water in it.”

Amroth nodded in acknowledgement, already moving as Celeborn cradled his exhausted wife closer to his chest, stroking her overly pale face. A moment later, Amroth knelt beside him again, holding a crystal container of water to her lips. Celeborn tilted her head back, opening her lovely mouth a little bit to allow the water to wet her lips and trickle inside. As she swallowed a third time, Amroth suddenly paused.

Celeborn looked up to see a bewildered look on his king’s face. “My lord, what is it?” he asked.

Amroth set the container on the ground, then rubbed his fingers together, staring oddly at his right hand. “Celeborn…Celeborn, this water feels… strange. It is like nothing I have ever felt before. Like…almost like liquid silk. It…my hand feels strange.” He turned his hand around in wonder, watching as a last couple of drops trailed across the back of his and slid down his wrist to dampen his sleeve. “It feels … I do not know how to describe it.” He flexed his fingers. “My hand feels stronger.” Then his eyes grew wide. “By the Valar, Celeborn! What have we just given your wife to drink?!”

Alarmed, Celeborn looked down at his wife. Color was returning to her cheeks and her chest moved more noticeably with each breath. Eyes still closed, she smiled lazily.

“My love, it is all right,” she quietly said. “It worked.” She took a deeper breath, slowly exhaling. Her smile widened. “It worked even better than I had hoped.” Taking a few more deep breaths, she opened her brightly shining blue eyes, glanced over at Amroth, and softly announced, “My king, I believe we may have a cure for the victims of Ungoliant’s children.”

Slowly, Amroth lowered his hand. “What?” he asked incredulously.

“Fill all of the containers in the basket with the water from my basin. If any water is left, leave it in the basin for now.” She took a few more deep breaths, smiling wider still. “We have to get this water to Imladris.”

“My lady,” Amroth asked carefully. “What is in this water?”

She closed her eyes, snuggling closer to Celeborn’s chest. “The light of a Silmaril, my lord.”

And she promptly fell asleep.

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Haldir sat at the table, admiring the platters and bowls of food spread out before him. His mother, nieces, and sisters-in-law obviously had been hard at work all day preparing this. He eyed his brothers across the table. They nodded their silent agreement. The only time they ate like this was when he and both of his brothers were going to be away at the borders for an extended period of time. Silently everyone filled their plates, the ellith unusually quiet as they always were when the ellyn were going away.

As Haldir took his first bite, his father looked over at him and asked, “So why does the king send a battalion of Silvans to Imladris?”

Thoughtfully, Haldir chewed his food. How much did he dare reveal about this mission? He had just returned from the borders two days ago only to be accosted by his commanding officer, King Amroth’s general. He remembered how annoyed he had been that during a long, well earned peace, their Noldorin commander felt it necessary to order Galadhrim away from their beloved trees. Then he had heard the tale of the threat to Imladris from those warriors who witnessed attacks themselves. After that, he knew he had to go and help his fellow elves.

“There is a great need, just now. Imladris is in trouble, so the King wishes to send them aid,” Haldir answered looking all the while at the meat he was slicing.

“Those Noldor have been harbingers of doom from the very first time they set foot in Middle-earth, extinguishing our stars with their over bright sun and moon, bringing Morgoth’s evil upon us. Beleriand was ripped apart and Sauron rose to power because of them, too,” his father declared.

Neither Haldir nor his brothers responded.

“Your daeradar died in the Last Alliance because of them and their foolish king.”

His brother Rumil answered. “Adar, Daeradar died because he followed King Amdir into battle. King Amdir had no gift for strategy. Amdir followed King Oropher’s disastrous charge.” Their father looked askance and Rumil raised his voice. “AGAINST the wise council of King Gil-Galad. And our folk died because of it. You should stop trying to blame your adar’s death on the Noldor.”

“How dare you speak ill of our king whom you served!” their father exclaimed.

Haldir’s other brother Orophin answered this time. “Adar, even King Amroth admits that his adar was foolish to have followed Oropher. We were there at the battle, too, Adar. We remember hearing these words from Amroth’s own lips.”

Their father scowled. “The Noldor are still responsible for all of this...this nonsense in Imladris.”

Haldir saw his mother set down her knife, roll her eyes, then sigh heavily and shake her head. This happened every single time anything involving the Noldor came up in conversation.

“Adar,” Haldir quietly added, “Allow me to remind you that Lord Elrond has the blood of the Vanyar, the Sindar, the Atani, and a Maia in addition to his Noldorin ancestry.”

“Haldir, my understanding of this threat in Imladris is that it targets anyone of Noldorin ancestry. Why should we endanger OUR sons to try to help defeat it? It is a “Noldorin” problem. It is not “our” problem. Let them sort it out for themselves. If they are so mighty for their having been taught at the feet of their precious Valar as they have so proudly claimed since first setting foot in Middle-earth, then they do not need us!” His father finished up by deftly spearing another piece of meat and putting it on his plate.

Calmly praying for patience, Haldir glanced over at his brothers and noted, by the looks on their faces, that they were quietly doing the same. “Adar,” Haldir evenly explained. “I am the captain of the march wardens…”

“Something of which I am very proud!” His father interjected.

“Yes, Adar. I know. But as such, it is my sworn duty to protect the Golden Wood and its inhabitants. If we do not defeat this…this adversary in Imladris, then when it runs out of elves there, it will come here. I, for one, would rather defeat it while it still does not acknowledge us as a threat nor as a meal. We have to go help Imladris and we have to go now.”

Frowning, his father continued to eat, then swallowed some of his wine. Everyone at the table had stopped eating except for his adar. No one else moved. Finally setting down his goblet, his adar sighed.

“Very well, my sons. Go and defeat this menace to save the Golden Wood from having to face it. So long as you are not doing it to help the Noldor, I will say no more on the subject.”

Haldir watched the tension in the room visibly dissipate as everyone relaxed and began eating again. Perhaps getting away from the Golden Wood for a while would be a good thing – even it meant facing an unknown peril which sucked the light and blood out of elves. At least it did not argue at the dinner table…

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Chapter 4
Created
18 Oct 2006
Last Edited
18 Oct 2006
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