Chapter Five - A Messenger of Hope

When Elemmire and Haldir returned, Rumil and Orophin met them at the gate. "Lord Celeborn wishes to see you immediately, brother. There is trouble at the West borders. All border guards left in Caras Galadhon have been summoned to a council. Celeborn would not start until you arrived. Come, we must make haste!" Rumil turned to follow his brother towards the heart of Lórien. "I apologize for deserting you, but I must hurry. I shall see you as soon as I can." They shared a parting kiss. "I'm going to miss you terribly!" "As will I. Now hurry, Lord Celeborn is not a patient elf." She waved as he disappeared after his brothers. Heading off down a different path, Elemmire came to her dwellings by a back route. The longer path gave her a chance to think about everything that had happened in the last few days. It also meant that she would not have to speak to anyone before she was ready. Upon reaching her room, she lay on her bed and drifted off into a state between waking and dreaming. She allowed herself to relax and let her mind wander at its own will. There she lay for many an hour still, calm and peaceful.

Elemmire was woken from her dreams by a rather loud noise. It annoyed her to be disturbed in such a way. Drowsily, she managed to sit up and look around. She could see nothing that would make such a discord. She was about to walk to the window when Haldir burst through the door. "I hope I did not disturb you." He looked her up and down. A smile slowly spread across his face, becoming a huge grin. "What could be so funny? Have I a wart on my nose?" "No my dear elfling, you look. like nothing I have ever seen before." "And what exactly do you mean by that?" Elemmire's patience was wearing thin. Haldir gestured towards the mirror on the far wall. She crossed the floor and peered into it. Haldir heard her gasp in shock. Her usually shining mass of curls was looking like a bird's nest and her clothes were dishevelled. "Oh my, I look." "Unbelievably beautiful." Haldir finished her sentence. "Like I've never seen anyone before. You're a gem, you are!" Elemmire's cheeks flushed with a rosy glow. "If you will excuse me a moment, I shan't be long." Elemmire exited through a door near her mirror. Haldir seated himself at the window, watching as elves scurried about making preparations for the guards who were to set out to the borders. Elemmire soon returned again looking like the heavenly spirit she was. "See, what did I tell you, you are the most beautiful elfling I have ever seen! Now come and sit by me and hear what I have to say." Elemmire sat before him, her gaze never wandering far from his face while he told her his news. "There is trouble at the borders as Rumil told us yesterday at the gates." On hearing this, Elemmire was slightly startled. Had she really been asleep that long? Haldir took no notice of this and continued. "We are not quite sure what is happening, but many orc armies have been spotted to the west and there is fear they will attack. Lord Celeborn is sending all available elves to help defend Lórien. I have been chosen to oversee what is happening and to organize an attack if need be. I do not know how long I will be gone, no one does." He clasped Elemmire's hands in his own, revelling in their softness. "I will miss you terribly, I don't wish to leave your side." He dropped her hands and turned to gaze out the window. He could feel tears welling up inside of him; he did not want to appear vulnerable to Elemmire. "You have a duty, and you are bound to it." She caressed his cheek. "You must go, and swiftly you must return." Standing up, she walked over to the low table by her bed. She picked up an object from the table and pressed it into Haldir's hand. "May you be kept safe from harm and protect the fair people of Caras Galadhon." Haldir turned silently and trudged from the room. Rushing to the window, Elemmire watched him as he strode towards the elves assembled in the grassy courtyard. Gallantly, he led them off down the path towards the gate and through the forest. Feeling Elemmire's eyes set intently on him, Haldir refused to look back at her. He was afraid that his heart would break. Looking down at the object in his palm, he felt strength and hope instilled in his heart. It was the Silver Star jewel that Elemmire had worn when they first talked in Lady Galadriel's Chambers.

Five days had passed since Haldir and his patrol had set out. Every one spoke in hushed whispers and the usually cheery atmosphere of Lórien had become subdued and sorrowful. Elemmire went about her usual activities, but like those others left behind, life seemed monotonous, tedious even. She felt herself thinking more and more about Haldir, missing him greatly. Her only wish was that he would return to her safe. She had never been in love before, but she was certain she was now. She felt her heart was breaking, she pined for his touch, his kiss, and the look in his eyes when he beheld her. The Lady Galadriel noticed the sorrow growing in the once radiant elf, and her worry grew with each passing day. The news from the borders did not help in the soothing of her mind either. The stand off had continued for many days, and did not look like it was settling quickly. In the meantime the orc army had increased. Messengers had been sent to Rivendell, seeking help in this time of uncertainty. There had been no replies thus far, but Galadriel still held out hope that their help would come.

On the sixth day, The Lady's hopes were founded. Near to the time of sunset, a messenger stumbled in through the gates. Galadriel sensed his coming and sent out a party to meet him. Weary from the long trek through the forest, and injured from battle, he collapsed upon entering the city. He was born to Galadriel's chambers where he rested for the night. Galadriel, hoping to take Elemmire's thoughts from her troubles, asked her to watch over the messenger during the night. She assisted the elven healers in their work and stayed with the sick elf through the long night. Waking late the next morning, he found enough strength to tell his tale to the Lord and the Lady of the Galadhrim. Leaning heavily on Elemmire, he was able to limp to a chair set in the large hall of the Lord and Lady. Many other elves were present, eagerly awaiting news of their kin. When he was seated comfortably, Elemmire found a low stool and positioned herself next to the mysterious elf. Before he began, the Lady Galadriel coerced him into partaking of some nourishment. It took little to convince the starved warrior to eat. Having had little time the previous night to do so, Elemmire used the time to study her charge. He was tall and svelte, lacking no grace in movement. His long golden hair gleamed in the light of the morning. He still wore the green and brown attire he had arrived in, though his bow and what remained of his arrows had been left in his chambers. The feature that captivated Elemmire the most was the stranger's eyes. They were a vivid blue, rivalling that of the sky. They changed colour most often, ranging from the deep blue of twilight to the pale blue of the dawn. Feeling her gazing intently upon him, he turned to return her stare. Perceiving her ethereal beauty before him, his expression became one of wonderment. A single glance at her gave the elf a new strength. Elemmire blushed slightly at his smile and quickly looked away. Finally the messenger was ready to share his account with those gathered. "I am Legolas, son of Thranduil." At this, a murmur spread through the crowd. Here was none other than the Prince of Mirkwood himself. Was it possible that help was coming from their northern kin? Legolas continued. "I was a guest of Elrond of Rivendell, attending a banquet in my fathers place. When your messenger arrived, Elrond was disturbed by the news of the gathering army. He at once assembled a force to send immediately to your aid. Hearing your plight I too was greatly concerned and offered my services. We arrived at the borders of Lórien some 4 nights ago, during the shadows of the night. We were met by your general in charge, Haldir, who briefed us on the situation. Yesterday, the orcs attacked. They had great numbers, and we were hard pressed to keep them from entering the trees. Haldir instructed me to come to you and inform you of what was transpiring. I did not wish to leave, but as I was injured, Haldir thought it best. And so I came as fast as I could." He sighed wearily and lent back against his chair. "I do not come to take your hope from you, your warriors are very brave and fight well. They will triumph in the last." Seemingly sapped of all strength, Legolas closed his eyes for a moment, breathing deeply. "Legolas of Mirkwood, you have willingly travelled through danger to bring us tidings of the battle at the borders, and we are sincerely thankful." Celeborn spoke clearly, the gratitude obvious in his voice. Legolas bowed his head in respect for the Lord. "You are my kin and I would help where I can, freely and without complaint." Galadriel's voice lilted musically as she spoke, and her words warmed Legolas' soul. "You have done well to serve us, fair warrior, but now you must rest. Enjoy the peace that you find in Lórien and forget the troubles that fill your mind. Go now to your chambers, Elemmire shall accompany you. She will see to it that you are comfortable and do not strain yourself. You are safe in this land. You will come to no harm under the protection of the Lord and Lady of the Galadhrim." Bowing to the Lord and Lady, Legolas struggled to stand. Elemmire helped Legolas to his room where she watched over him as he drifted into an uneasy sleep.