SUMMARY: The last few moments of Haldir's life. Movieverse

DISCLAIMER: Everything belongs to JRR Tolkien, the title is from Nightwish and their Album "Century Child"

End of All Hope

By Tiger

Dedicated to Tux...who else would have given me the bunny to write this?

He gave the call for his army to retreat back into the keep, their only safe haven in the battle. He was about to go back himself when he was struck by a blade in the front. He gasped at the pain that suddenly coursed through him. It was no different from other wounds from other battles. It was not enough to kill him. He could not die. As long has he held onto his hope, he could not, he would not die. He struck down the ur-kai that dared to wound him.

Then he felt it again. The burning sensation, the fire that wouldn't stop spreading. He had been struck again, in the back. He tensed for a moment, unable to feel anything but shock.

Hope, he thought to himself. I must not lose hope...

He sank to his knees, his body unable to bear the pain that was now numbing him. He couldn't feel his arms, his legs; he could feel nothing except for a sense of despair that had crept into his mind. His head had drooped down as he fell, and now he brought it back up. He wished he hadn't. He wished for nothing more than to be safe, to be home, a noble death for a warrior be damned.

A wish to see how his kinsmen were fairing prompted him to lift his head. He regretted doing so for whatever hope he had left in his heart fled. All he could see around him were elves, on the ground, their blank eyes open, staring up at him. To his left, to his right, he could hear their pained screams as they too, were cut down, just as he was. He took another quick glance, and once again saw the eyes of his kinsmen. But now, they were no longer blank, but full of accusing anger.

It's your fault that we died. It's your fault that we will never sail into the paradise of the west... they seemed to say to him as their eyes bored holes into his very soul. Soon, he saw that he was the only one left standing. A living corpse among corpses. Alone. Without hope.

Is this the end of all hope? His mind whispered to him. To lose the life that I once had? Is this, the end of all hope? He was falling again, he felt like he was falling, just like his kinsmen as their fea left their bodies. I have lost my hope.

He stopped falling. It only took him a moment to realize the fact that someone was holding him. It was Estel, the man whose name meant hope. How ironic that he had just lost the very thing the man stood for. He heard Estel calling, calling out to him. He smiled a little, although it came out more as a grimace. At least he wouldn't die alone.

But his hope still fled from him, even in the arms of Estel. There was no hope left for him, no hope left for Haldir of Lorien. He would die, he would never see his family again, he was forever doomed to reside in the Halls of Mandos. He tried to hold on to his fea, trying to argue with his heart that not all hope was lost for him...and failed. He felt himself slip away, for in his heart, he knew that he no longer belonged to Arda.

Estel looked at Haldir with horror and grief in his eyes as he felt Haldir's body suddenly become limp. He stared at the blank grey eyes that looked back at him, empty, devoid of any emotion at the time of death. Quickly, Estel felt around the elf's body, checking it for wounds in the few precious seconds he had before he had to return to battle. They weren't grievous wounds, nothing that would have made him die so quickly. Estel's heart sank as he realized the reason for Haldir's death. The elf, as with the other elves that valiantly joined them at Helm's Deep, they had lost their hope. Placing a hand on Haldir's heart while silently asking Illuvatar to watch over the elf, he picked up his sword again, and fought with a renewed vengeance.