Elwen ó Lórien

Elwen sat in her flet braiding her hair, as she always did before she lay down to retire. As she continued to braid she looked gazed at the surroundings outside her flet with a sigh. Many of her friends and family had sailed to Valinor. Many urged her to do so as well, but she was not ready to leave Middle Earth just yet. Elwen was content in Lothlórien, serving the Lady Galadriel.

Suddenly, the sound of the approaching border guard broke into her thoughts. Elwen got up from her stool and approached the edge of her flet. She saw the platinum blonde head of Haldir leading what appeared to be small, curly headed children. Then, two men, who she could see bore fresh battle-scars, and a dwarf, to which she wrinkled her nose in disgust. But then, something else caught her eye.

A golden-haired elf brought up the rear of the group. Elwen was able to see the side of his face as the company began to climb the staircase to Galadriel and Celeborn's flet, which was situated right next to Elwen's tree.

The sight of the elf took her breath away as she watched him gracefully ascend the stairs. Her elf eyes could make out every detail of him. His sea blue eyes, every different shade of gold in his hair, and wisps it of floated behind him as he moved.

Elwen's ears picked up his voice as he whispered to the dwarf in front of him.

"Mind your tongue while you are before the Lady, Gimli."

"I can be a perfect gentlemen when I want to," the dwarf answered.

"Like you were to the Captain of the Guard earlier," the elf responded.

"I didn't want to be a gentlemen then."

The elf rolled his eyes. *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Through the whole time he had been climbing the stairs, Legolas had sensed someone watching him. At first he tried to ignore it, but it intensified after he rolled his eyes at Gimli. When Legolas could not stand the nagging sensation any longer, he turned his head sharply toward the watcher.

The son of Thranduil was startled to meet the eyes of an elf-maid, who blushed immedietly and ducked back into her flet. Legolas could see her move about her flet, desparetly trying to hide herself from view. Legolas was forced to tear his gaze away when he realized that his friends were now far ahead of him, for he had stopped.

Legolas was not used to that kind of attention. He was admired every now and then, but never stared at in such a manner by any elf-maid. His elder brother usually got all of the female's attention, which he didn't mind at all. Actually, Legolas had found it quite amusing, seeing his brother being hounded by elf-maids day and night. That had ended though. Just before he left for Rivendell he had witnessed the wedding of his brother to a sweet elf-maid. He knew that the attention would soon turn to him, and not only of the elf-maids but, of his father who would begin to pressure him into choosing a bride, just as he did with his elder brother. Fortunately, his brother's marriage was willful, as the he and the maiden loved each other.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Elwen peeked out from behind the curtain that covered one of the windows of her flet. She was relieved, though quite disappointed to see that the elf was gone. With another sigh Elwen sat back on her vanity stool. She was about to finish her braid when she heard the Lady Galadriel's voice in her head beckon her to her flet.

Elwen gave up on finishing the braid and just let her hair fall loose over her shoulders. When she reached the Lord and Lady's flet she beheld the Fellowship standing before the rulers of Lothlorien. Also, she saw that there were other hand-maidens there.

"These are my hand-maidens, they shall see to your every need and comfort. If you will follow them they will lead you to where you shall be sleeping tonight. Now, go and rest."

With a gracious smile, Galadriel motioned to the hand-maidens and they began to lead the Fellowship back down the spiral staircase.

"You stare . . ." came Galadriel's voice in Elwen's head again. She had not moved, but had continued to gaze at Legolas.

"He is so beautiful . . ." she said with her mind to the Lady.

"You sound as if you had never seen an elf before," Galadriel replied with her lips forming a teasing grin.

"I know, it is just--- he's different from Lorien elves. He has a presence . . . Do not ask me to explain it, my lady, for I would not be able to do so."

"I understand," Galadriel replied glancing over at her husband, whose face was dark with concern over the situation with the Fellowship.

Galadriel's smile faded as well. "Go on 'star-maiden*,'" she bid and gestured lightly toward the staircase. Elwen dipped her body in a curtsey before leaving the flet.

Elwen went quickly down the stairs and ran to catch up with the Fellowship. She found the Fellowship in one of the many gardens. White tents were being set up and plush pillows and comforters were being laid out.

Elwen filled water into crystal goblets for the travelers. She put down the silver pitcher when she saw the Prince of Mirkwood approach. He had removed his outer tunic. His shirt was of a silver-blue, with silver threaded clasps that went up the front of his shirt to a high collar.

"He truly is a prince of Mirkwood . . ." Elwen whispered to herself. She now stood half concealed by a tree. She did not have the strength to approach him. She found this odd. She had come into the presence of the Lady many times and she was undoubtedly of a higher set than this elf. Why was he so different?

Soon strains of a sorrowful song was heard.

A Olórin i yáresse

Mentaner i Númeherui

Tírien i Rómenóri

Maiaron i Oiosaila

Manan elye etevanne

Nórie i melanelye?

Mithrandir, Mithrandir,

A Randir Vithren

ú-reniathach i amar galen

I reniad lín ne môr, nuithannen

In gwidh ristennin, i fae narchannen

I lach Anor ed ardhon gwannen

Calad veleg, ethuiannen.

"A lament for Gandalf," came Legolas' soft musical voice.

"What do they say about him?" asked Merry.

"I have not the heart to tell you," Legolas' face took on a pained expression, "for me the grief is still to near . ."

It was then that Elwen stepped out of the shadows.

"'Olórin, who once was . . .

Sent by the Lords of the West

To guard the lands of the East

Wisest of all Maiar

What drove you to leave

That which you loved?

Mithrandir, Mithrandir, O Pilgrim Grey

No more will you wander the green fields of this earth

Your journey has ended in darkness.

The bonds but, the spirit broken

The Flame of Anor has left this World

A great light, has gone out.' . . . That is what they sing."

"Oh," was Merry's quiet reply.

The company about her bowed their heads in sorrow. Legolas looked at her with recognition in his eyes.

"I have seen you before . . ."

"Yes, I was the elf who shamelessly stared at you as you and your company went to see the Lady of the Wood. I was also there to lead you to these glades."

"Edaved nin,* grief has so clouded my memory, that I did not recognize you at first."

"All is forgiven, Legolas, Cunn.*"

Legolas smiled and Elwen's heart fluttered. "You know my name," he said, "yet I do not know yours."

"Elwen, daughter of Laurëfin."

"I am pleased to meet you, hiril*" Legolas said bowing slightly, with his hand over his heart. Elwen curtsied.

"Would care to see the rest of Lothlórien, hîr nîn?"

"Nothing would please me more, hiril nîn." *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*So, how do like it so far? Send a review!

*Elwen means star maiden.

*Edaved nin: Forgive me.

*Cunn: Sindarin for "prince"

*Hiril: Sindarin for "lady"

*Hîr nîn: Sindarin for "my lord"

(By the power of reason you could put together what "hiril nin" means, I'm sure.) :)