Hannon Le.

By Lady Nierwen

Warning: None (maybe a bit sad though)

Disclaimer: All characters used are solely property of J.R.R Tolkien

The battle is over. It is won. Though not for me. For me it is the end.

I came with my kin, the elder, to the fortress of men by the word of Lord Elrond of Imladris. I came to fight the battle for the freedom of men. Men. Humans. Such an obscure race. Never willing to see past their own instincts. They are all the same. Save only for one.

My friend, Estel, or Aragorn as he is known. The future king of men. Estel, hope. But I have no hope now.

I came not only for him but for his companions also. The never ending friendship I see between them is touching. The dwarf especially. How curious it is, that I, Haldir, march-warden of Lorien has befriended a dwarf. Such a thing has never happened.

Legolas, or Greenleaf in the common tongue, the prince of Mirkwood. He would give his life for Estel, or Gimli, but like many of his kin, including me, he dos not understand death. I wish I could have seen him, one last time, but alas, I shall follow in the wake of Luthien the fair and my spirit shall go to the great halls of mandos. Along with all my kin who came here to fight. Who came here to live. None of them survived. I shall be no different.

At first, when I was struck, I did not want to believe, I did not want to know. I fought, hard against the inevitability. In my heart, I knew it was a lost cause. I hoped I would see Aragorn, or Gimli or Legolas, they could have helped me, might have saved me. But they did not come. They never came. They retreated and struck out once again, while I lay here in my life's memories as I slowly fade away.

I have lain for hours thinking. Wondering why I have not been taken away to peace. I wonder why we came anyway. Elves and men are different, too different. My kin willingly, but cautiously attempt to befriend  them, but they insult us. Say we are too occupied with bewitchment and enchantment  that we cannot think of others. That we are selfish. This in turn has angered us, and we try to avoid them. Especially the men of Rohan. They ask for no help, so they shall receive none. Aragorn is very different. He was raised by elves, when he was orphaned. He was adopted by Lord Elrond, and, until he was nearly twenty years of age, called him Ada, and Elladan and Elrohir, Gwador nin. He fell in love with Arwen, and she is willing to forsake the immortal life she was given to live a mortal life with him. She will die. As Luthien, her ancestor has, and her Naneth. And me.

I lay here thinking about all these things. The pain from the wound in my stomach is growing. It drills through my head, as if boring a permanent hole there. I don't want to be here anymore. Please let me go.

Men have passed to look for survivors. I try to call out to them, in a vain attempt to get help. Three have passed me, they must have heard me, but their blatant dislike for my kind has so clouded their eyes. They would rather watch me die, than save me. But maybe I do not want to live. I could have asked them to finish me. Then they would have taken great pleasure in doing something that might actually help me.

***

I am dead. I am leaving my body behind. I am at peace, I am floating away. I look down and see my body and those of my kin. Those of whom I shall soon meet again. Soon.

I am dead. I have left to the halls of Mandos. I am free. I floated to the heavens and closed my eyes to embrace my destiny. But it did not come. I opened my eyes and found my self lying in a missed tunnel, upon a cloud, with another of the eldar, gazing down at me. I looked at him intently. He was obviously a noble elf; his robe was the palest of silver. Fair of face and hair. Slender also. I said nothing but stared in wonder at this magnificent being and the amazing tunnel.

"Where am I?" I asked, glancing about the misted tunnel.

"You are between here and there" he replied. I looked back at him. Here and there. Death and life.

"Who are you?" I asked, filling the silence. He smiled gently, and pointed to himself.

"Names ahave no importance here. I am here, to give you a choice."

"A choice?" I asked

"You have a choice. To remember who you were, and return to those who think of you as their hero, and the life you left behind. Or, you may wish to go forth, to the life beyond the silver curtain." I considered this. I really didn't know. Now that I was faced with the choice, I wasn't sure.

I looked back out of the misted tunnel. There stood helms Deep, proud and tall. The fortress that stole my life away. I saw the many bodies of my fallen kin. A tear swept down my cheek.

"Hiro hyn hidh, ab-winith" I whispered to them. I turned to face the elf, and said "Let them remember their hero. Let them remember him in peace." I wept some more.

"Be iest Lin." He said quietly, accepting my decision. "It is time ion- nin, be at peace"

"Hannon-le" I whispered. I spread my arms wide, and with a gust of wind, I was swept away. I was free.

***

Prince Legolas of Mirkwood stood on the fortress with Aragorn as he searched for survivors, his keen eyes surveying the surroundings. He cast his gaze over the many dead of his kin. A single tear escaped his eye as he thought of them. Aragorn came behind him and placed a hand on his shoulder.

"I'm sorry, mellon-nin" he whispered.

Legolas bowed his head. He could say nothing, could do nothing. He was paralysed with grief.

He cast his eye over the rest of it. Taking it all in, until he saw a patch of silvery blond hair. Haldir.

"Law!" he cried. He ran over to Haldir, already knowing his fate. Aragorn ran behind him. Legolas knelt by Haldir, as did Aragorn.

"Law" he whispered, tears streamed freely down his cheek now. In fierce channels. He stood up. He could not bare to look at the dead Haldir. His friend. Aragorn stayed near Haldir, sensing his friend needed to be alone.

Legolas stepped away, weeping softly. A slight breeze swept past him , brushing away his tears, like a finger, upon it, it carried a whisper. "Hannon-le" it said. It was Haldir.

Legolas closed his eyes when he heard Haldir's voice. He made no sign that he'd heard it either. He didn't want Aragorn to worry more over him.  Legolas turned his head towards the sky, eyes still closed and tears still pouring down his cheeks.

He understood now, why Haldir's and his kin's lives had been lost. His life was one of many lost to save so many more. It was not in vain. That was a hope not lost. He looked up into the night sky. A single star twinkled above. Haldir's star. Legolas smiled softly up at it. His tears all but gone. "Hannon – le, Mellon-nin, Namarie" he whispered. He turned back and Aragorn came to him and put his arm around his shoulders, and together they walked back, friends forever, nothing to come between them.

***

Up in the halls of Mandos, Haldir smiled down on them both. "Namarie" he said.

Behind him, the elf who had greeted him in the misted tunnel, whom he knew now as  Illuvater the creator of all eldar, put his hand on Haldir's shoulder and lead him away to live in freedom and peace. He walked on and was greeted by his deceased kin, that had perished on the walls of Helms Deep. He was welcomed, and he was free.