I've desperately been wanting to write something about Haldir, and finally I have come up with an idea. I watched the Two Towers this morning, and inspiration struck me during his scenes. Even if this is not canonical to the books. So enjoy this little one shot, even if it makes me sad.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything LOTR related. Figures.

XX

Last Prayer of the Elves

All around him, the ragged breathing of his people echoed in his ears. He glanced to the side of him, his gray eyes glowing slightly in the darkness, and he wondered how many of them would survive this battle. Wondering how many would never again find peace under the golden leaves of the Mallorn trees, or return home to find their loved ones waiting for them. Children would wonder, ask questions, not yet able to understand the finality of death. He could close his eyes and see the women awaiting for an arrival that would never come, left to stand alone with no one to comfort them but their own memories. The eerie, sorrowful lamenting of the elves would hum in the boughs of the forest, and would be carried down the river like a fallen autumn leaf to the other realms in the World. For him, the battle sang of the waning of the elves, marking their final chapter in the histories of this earth.

The Marchwarden of Lórien looked to his right, turning his head only slightly so as not to go noticed. He knew this elf, he told himself as his eyes narrowed in thought. His name was Caladhen, an elf he had known for as long as he could remember. They had served in countless battles together, always there for one another if things went astray, and they shared the utmost trust and respect between each other. They knew of each others weaknesses and strengths, allowing them to make up for one another's flaws when the time came to do so. The Marchwarden knew him to have an unending flow of hope and courage, but the elf no longer had this. His lips were set together in a fine line, his fair hair hidden beneath the elaborate helm of steel he wore, and his eyes contained no emotion within them as he focused all of his attention on the empty valley before him.

A bitingly chilled breeze whipped the Marchwarden's platinum hair about his face, tousling his crimson cloak at his feet. His steely, grey eyes looked out to the distance, illuminating when a flash of white lightning shot down from the dark sky. Black, swirling clouds loomed over their heads, casting shadows over their hardened faces. The sound of rain pelting on metal rang across the fortress, extinguishing the flames that the men held with shaking hands.

The elf continued to stare out from his high place, resting his hand on the stone wall they stood behind. His bare fingers brushed over the rough texture of the rock, and he felt the bumps and grooves scratch at the calluses that had developed over the years of extensive training. He rubbed the pads of his fingers together, looking down at them with almost a childlike wondering in his eyes.

Another flash of lightning and rumble of thunder brought his eyes upwards, and he glared when he saw that the horizon had moved. Or rather, it had been taken over by the army of malicious beasts, the mockeries of himself and his own race, approaching rapidly with bloodlust in their minds. Even at this distance, he could hear their frightful roars and the hammering of their massive feet. Hate reared its head in his heart, and his fist tightened at his side.

His sensitive ears caught the whispers of his native tongue on the wind, and he looked down his ranks to seek out the creator of these words. From beneath the helm of one elf, he could see their lips moving ever so slightly. The elf's face was concealed in shadow, but he knew this one to be female. He watched as a wisp of fair hair escaped its confinement, but it los freedom as the rain matted it down to her fair skin.

Frowning, the Marchwarden realized that he could not recall the name of this warrior. Her body shook in fright, causing her to stand out among the other stoic elves, but he did not think poorly of her for this. Fear ate away at all of their hearts, gnawing and biting at the very cores of their being, but they could not allow themselves to show this raw feeling. Fear brought about uncertainty, which in turn brought about cowardice. Fear and cowardice, the Marchwarden mused, how often it was that the two were mistaken for each other.

As he watched her, he found his lips repeating her words. No sound came forth from his mouth, but his heart sang out the prayer that she offered to the Valar above. He turned his head heavenwards with eyes closed, allowing the rain to trail down the contours of his face. The cool water pooled at the corners of his eyes, streaming down past his eyelids and down to become lost in his thick hair. Had one not known better, it would have appeared as if the ever stoic, ever serious Marchwarden of Lórien was crying.

Another faint whispering of Elvish took up beside him, and he immediately recognized this almost inaudible voice. It was one he had grown up with, and one that was a near reflection of his own. It was the sound of his brother, weaving itself around his mind, giving him a sense of comfort that he had relied on through much of his long life. Inside the very depths of his being, it seemed he felt his feä reach out to encompass the feelings that radiated in the air surrounding them.

The prayer spread through the ranks of elves, the sound of their voices carrying away on the wild winds. Yet the men around them were unaware of this hopeful sound; to them, the elves remained as still as ever. They could not feel the touching of the feär like the Eldar could; the unity and harmony that they all experienced together was left unnoticed by the Second Born.

Even when the clear, powerful voice of their human commander shouted in Elvish to them, rousing their already stirring hearts, their souls still continued to mingle and sing together in what could be the last time they would have the privilege to do so. The pounding of the Uruks' spears on the ground served as their rhythm, and the bitter rain pelting against their armor was nothing more than a gentle spring misting. Raising their bows and notching the arrows to taut strings was second nature to them as the pleading songs of their hearts rose ever upwards, bringing them back to walk among the trees of their beloved Lothlórien.

The song of the Marchwarden fell slightly to reside among the softer voices, bringing himself back to partial awareness of what went on around him. His grey eyes assessed the situation, and was relieved to find that the Uruks had not attacked yet. He looked among his people again, wondering what would befall them in the end.

What now was to become of them, he thought as his fingers tightened around the grip of his longbow. If they were to fail, what then? Were they only delaying the inevitable? His eyes narrowed. No, they would not fail; they could not. Whatever happened this night was meant to take place, just as they were meant to be there. So many would fall, both elves and men, because of the dark hate and lust for power that had engulfed their enemy. But the Valar did not do things without reason, this he knew. They watched over them from their thrones, guiding each and every creature to their ultimate destiny. If he and his people were to meet their ends here, they would meet it with courage and strength.

An arrow was suddenly let loose, but the elves did not cease the singing of their feär. Even as the black creatures came upon the walls, and slashing with their crude weapons, they did not stop. Voices would suddenly drop out of the song, but still they sang. They wept for their lost companions, but nothing could silence them. They fought together as one and prayed together as one, creating a devastating force that slew all in their path.

But the one who sang most loudest, most strongest was that frightened warrior. Her pure voice rang above all others, calling for help from the Valar above. She led her people and they followed, their voices answering her own.

It was only when her voice suddenly ceased did the song end. Their feär shrank back within themselves, as if frightened. The elves' minds were now filled only with tortured screams and their eyes saw only the massacre before them. They fled, but for which reason they did not know. This time, they had failed.

And with the song ended, the elves were blind to the sudden absence of their Marchwarden's feä.

XX

Well, that was cheerful, wasn't it? All of my stuff is starting to get depressing…ah well. Such is life. But either way, I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading! And remember, this author loves reviews!

Until Next Time,

Manwathiel