TITLE: Daughter of Time
AUTHORS: Greenwood ('ThisIsGreenwood' on this site ) and Wednesday McKenna
ARCHIVE: Our webpage only. We also ask that our work not be nominated for any awards.
SUMMARY: Legolas never left Middle-Earth, but stayed behind to look after Aragorn's children--most specifically the first-born daughter of each generation. In 2004, this generation's daughter was never prepared to believe in Elves, much less Legolas.
AUTHORS NOTES: "Daughter of Time" is a rollercoaster ride with an original female character, but Greenwood and I have tried very hard to keep her from becoming a MarySue.
The story is Alternative Universe because it takes place within a future LOTR universe and selectively uses canon for the purposes of set-up and backstory. It is also Alternate Reality because the characters are in another time and place (i.e., thousands of years beyond the ending of the books).
Among other things, the plotline plays fast and loose with this statement from Tolkien: "The view is that the Half-elven have a power of (irrevocable) choice, which may be delayed but not permanently, which kin's fate they will share. Elros chose to be a King and 'longaevus' but mortal, so all his descendants are mortal, and of a specially noble race, but with dwindling longevity: so Aragorn (who, however, has a greater life-span than his contemporaries, double, though not the original Númenórean treble, that of Men). Elrond chose to be among the Elves. His children - with a renewed Elvish strain, since their mother was Celebrían dtr. of Galadriel - have to make their choices (Tolkien Letter No. 153)."
We recognize the AU, AR and a few other elements will not be welcomed by some canon purists. If you think what we've written might offend you, please remember that we did try to warn you here.
FEEDBACK: Dreaded, actually. We ask that if anything in this flavor of tea offends you, please consider simply leaving it for someone else to enjoy rather than lashing out and hurting those who brewed it. Your beloved, original LOTR characters and world are just over there on your bookcase: pristine, intact and very much unharmed.
DISCLAIMER: Lord of the Rings and all character names are the acknowledged trademarks of the J.R.R. Tolkien Estate and/or its licensees. Character and other creative elements from these respective works are used in this story without permission for entertainment, not-profit purposes only and is meant for fun. Not blood. No money is collected or made off of anything on this site. Everything here is fictional (this means it never happened). Any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
Happy graduation to me, Ivy thought while racing the San Francisco rain for her front door. The December downpour cared nothing for finally-finished Masters candidates, and she reached the front porch of the old Victorian house just as the sky opened. Slamming the front door against the wind and the wet, Ivy almost stepped on a cream-colored envelope laying on the worn green carpeting just beyond the door's dull brass mail slot. Addressed to her mother, Marian MacLeod, the envelope gleamed in the gloomy half-light of the narrow hallway.
Scooping up the envelope, she didn't bother taking off her coat before passing into the living room. She could have turned up the heat, but that was an expensive luxury and she didn't want the financial burden. Everyone thought the historical Victorian homes of San Francisco were quaint and charming - everyone, that is, who didn't have to pay for their upkeep. Better just to wear the coat.
Ivy had no idea how she was going to pay to keep the 1880s worse-for-wear five-bedroom Victorian white elephant her mother had deeded over to her as a graduation present weeks before. Marian MacLeod-Matheson's second husband may have been wealthy, but Ivy seriously doubted if the racing stable owner wanted to take care of a grown step-daughter. She wasn't even really sure he remembered he had one. The late-summer wedding had come as a surprise to Ivy, who had been so engrossed in trying to finish her Masters thesis that she hadn't realized her mother's five-year relationship with Reuben Matheson was that serious.
Regardless my mother's marital status, six years of school, and three-hundred thousand dollars in student loans, I'm supposed to be able to take care of myself, she thought. Hopefully, I can without selling this place.
Shoving aside her fears for the moment, Ivy called her mother's new home in Louisville, Kentucky. Reuben's maid or cook answered – Ivy couldn't tell them apart from their soft southern drawls. A brief exchange informed her that Marian was with her husband in Acapulco.
Acapulco? With a surge of resentment at her mother's choice for a Christmas holiday, Ivy glanced out at the dark, dreary rain that made everything feel that much colder and gloomier. And then she was redialing and hoping her mother's cell phone worked in Mexico.
"Hello, Ivy," Marian chirped in her ear. "The phone said it was you, I was meaning to call you later tonight. Graduation day, isn't it? You're officially an artist now?"
"That's the theory. Mom, when I came home—"
"I feel terrible about our not being there to celebrate with you, but Reuben has business down here and, well, we did send you a gift. Did you get the money we deposited into your account?"
"Yes, Mother. You and Reuben are very generous." If I'm careful, that money will see me through until spring, when hopefully I'll have found a job in some gallery.
"I know the house isn't cheap to keep, so you must let me know if you need more."
"Thanks, Mom," she responded automatically, even while she thought, If? This thing sucks down money faster than a black hole, but I'm not going to ask for your charity.
"I'm so proud of you," her mother was gushing. "A Masters Degree! No one in our family has ever gotten one of those before, though I still wish you'd chosen to study something you could actually have a career in. How you think you can make a living drawing horses—"
"I paint horses, Mom, the drawings are only preliminaries. By the way, didn't you have all of your mail forwarded to Reuben's house?"
"Yes, dear. Why?"
"Something was waiting in the hall when I came home." She turned the envelope in her cold-stiffened fingers. "The return address is in Lairg, Scotland, but there's no stamp or postmark."
"There wouldn't be," her mother muttered.
Ivy traced the ornate calligraphy. "Whoever addressed it has beautiful handwriting."
"That would be Hald...Halden."
"Perhaps you should open it while I get myself into a room that's more private. Reuben is trying to watch CNN, after all. Read me the note inside."
Sliding a finger beneath the flap, Ivy ripped open the envelope and retrieved the card. Cradling the phone against her chin, she read aloud.
"Greenwood Limited, Winter Solstice Meeting of the Board of Directors. Tuesday December 21. The meeting will begin at ten o'clock and continue until the conclusion of the board's agenda. Greenwood Estate, Lairg County, Loch Shin, Scotland. Mother, what is this?" She waved the envelope about regardless her mother couldn't see it.
"Keep reading, please?"
"It says...um...the meeting is closed and private. Matters to be considered are the approval of the agenda, minutes from the meeting last June, the chairman's report, president's...yeah, this is exciting stuff. You're supposed to confirm attendance with Halden Greenwood, acting Chairman of the Board, Treasurer and Secretary of the Corporation. Wait a minute. Halden Greenwood?" Ivy squeaked, "as in one of the richest men in the world? That Halden Greenwood?"
"Why is he in our front hallway?"
There was a long pause. "Actually, his name is Haldir."
Where do I know that name from? Ivy reflected. Haldir...she can't mean...
"Haldir of Lothlórien?" Ivy said, incredulous.
"So he's not that Halden Greenwood?" Ivy said slowly, trying to work things out. "He's just some nutty Scot pretending to be a rich Elf? Or some nutty rich Scot pretending to be a fictional Elf?"
"Ivy! Of course he isn't any of those things. Out in the world, he's Halden Greenwood. Inside his castle and to those living in the village of Lairg, he's Haldir."
"Haldir of Lothlórien has a castle in Scotland?"
"It's not his castle, it's Legolas' castle." Marian drew a deep breath. "Greenwood Enterprises is Legolas' company as well, but he's been on sabbatical for a number of years. I've never actually met him, but your grandmother Isabel and he had a falling out after they became lovers. Oh, it's a terribly sad story."
"My grandmother and Haldir were lovers?"
"Oh, Ivy, how could you think such a thing? Isabel and Haldir were never lovers. They were never even really friends. Isabel and Legolas were lovers. But the affair turned out badly, so very badly."
Ivy tried hard to absorb what her mother was throwing at her. "My grandmother had an affair with the Elven prince of Mirkwood, one of the Nine Walkers in The Lord of the Rings. That Legolas?"
"And you're blaming the turning-out-badly part on Legolas?"
"Yes. You must remember that Elves are dangerous. You can trust Haldir - he's a darling - but I've been told more than once that Legolas is terribly dangerous, and he can be violent. You must avoid him if he comes back, for I doubt there's any love lost on his part for our branch of the family."
Legolas is dangerous and is going come gunning for our family for revenge or something? She's lost her mind, thought Ivy.
Laying the meeting notice aside, she said carefully, "Please don't take this badly, Mom, but you're starting to sound like you need psychiatric evaluation."
"I am not!" the older woman snapped. "I may be explaining things badly, but I am not crazy. Surely you remember those summers when you stayed with your grandfather in Montana while I went off to Scotland? That was for the Summer Solstice meetings in June. And you know I was always gone a few days before Christmas, for the Winter Solstice meetings. I let you and your grandfather think I needed time for myself."
"Didn't you?" Ivy inserted.
"Of course I did. But that's another story entirely, and I'm not going to tell it tonight. If you'll just call Haldir and give him your name, he'll take care of everything. His phone number should be on that invitation."
Ivy squeezed the bridge of her nose. "In case you haven't noticed, Mother, it's the middle of the night in Scotland."
"Haldir will be awake. Everyone knows that Elves don't sleep."
Of course they don't sleep, Ivy thought. Tolkien said so.
Sliding down in the chair, she tucked up her legs and settled in for the long haul. "Mom, could you try setting aside this fantasy for a minute and tell me, in very small words, exactly why I should call this pseudo-Elf guy?"
"Because you have to attend that meeting. I can't."
"You want me to go to Scotland in the middle of December when I should be putting in job applications for the new year?" she said, incredulous. "I have to start my life now, Mother."
"You don't have to worry about that."
"I do if the mortgage is going to get paid. Unless you and Reuben want to keep paying it for me?"
"The Solstice isn't that far away, so you'll need to get to Scotland as soon as you can," her mother pushed on. "You'll attend the meeting and vote on things. Don't worry about the mortgage, a trust fund comes with your seat on the board. Haldir will probably have it set up for you by morning if you call him tonight."
"A trust fund," Ivy ventured. "With real funds, or Lord of the Rings Monopoly money?"
"Of course with real funds!" her mother snapped. "Greenwood Enterprises certainly doesn't pay its board members with Monopoly money. It never has. You'll receive more than enough to pay for the house - which Haldir helped your grandmother buy back in the sixties, you know?"
"No, I didn't know. So the Elves got Isabel this eye-searing, ugly wreck of a house? How generous. Was that before or after she and Legolas broke each other's hearts? Y'know, maybe this was some kind of payback--"
"It was after, and the house didn't look that way until your grandmother became a flower child in the sixties and redecorated. Elves have very classical tastes, as you'll soon find out. You might treat this entire matter a little more seriously."
Ivy fought back the giggles that were trying to escape. "This entire matter sounds like a fantasy, so forgive me if I'm not showing the proper respect I should after you've announced I get to spend a great deal of money visiting real Hobbits, wizards and Elves, oh my!"
"You are being sarcastic."
"And you're making my head hurt. Can we just cut to the chase here? What is this really? Some sort of Middle-earth fantasy re-enactment group sponsored by this rich old guy that you've been playing with for God knows what reason, because my brain can't come up with one that makes sense right now."
"It isn't a fantasy." Her mother sounded hurt. "And Haldir is not old."
"If he's Haldir, he's over eight thousand years old," Ivy pointed out. "That's old. That's really old. In fact, that makes him ancient – like dinosaur-old or something."
"Well, he certainly doesn't look it!" Her mother fell silent.
"So..." Ivy ventured cautiously into the breach. "This Haldir guy is willing to give me a trust fund full of real money just for sitting in on his board meetings twice a year?"
"Did he give you a trust fund?"
"Then what did you do with it? Why were we always broke? Why have I been borrowing myself into oblivion the last six years with student loans?"
"I never liked to use their money." Her mother sounded more than a little exasperated. "I never wanted to be...well...beholden to them."
"To...them. You mean to the Elves?"
"To anyone, especially Elves. Relying on anyone generally results in a bad outcome. I also didn't want to spoil you growing up, so that you became another Isabel."
Ivy snorted. "There was more wrong with my grandmother than just being spoiled. I'd have to be committable to be like her."
"Of course you're right. But still, I wanted to make sure you didn't turn out like her. But she's gone now, and you're not like her, so it doesn't matter."
I'm in debt for hundreds of thousands, and it doesn't matter? Ivy tried to look on the bright side. "Yeah, my grandmother lived in a few fantasy worlds as well, so it's best not to get tangled up with some Scottish roleplaying group that carries things too far and pretends to be real characters from Middle-earth. Or MacBeth."
"Once again, Ivy, they are not pretending, and you must mind your manners if you're going to deal with them. None of those Elves would appreciate being told they're not real. They are like...like royalty in many ways, and you must promise to behave while you're there."
"Right, okay. Don't yell. How many of them are there?"
"Thirteen are on the board, including you but not including Legolas, who's in Alaska."
"The Prince of Mirkwood is in Alaska?"
"He went there to get away from Isabel."
"Seems a bit cold in the extreme...or extreme in the cold," said Ivy, "but that's all right. He's a grown Elf, he can do what he wants."
"He didn't want your grandmother following him. Didn't want her finding him."
"Fine. Whatever." Tapping the meeting notice on the end-table, Ivy wondered if there was any aspirin left in the medicine cabinet upstairs. "So if you went to all of the meetings up until this past June, why can't you go to this one, too?"
"Because I'm married to Reuben now, and he can't find out I was involved with Greenwood!" her mother hissed on a whisper, as if secrecy were suddenly necessary, never mind she'd been practically shouting mere seconds ago. "He'd think I was spying on him for the enemy!"
"I beg your pardon? Greenwood's the enemy? Enemy of what?"
"Reuben and Halden are rivals. At least, their companies are."
"Did you know this when you married Reuben?"
"Yes, but I'm resigning from Greenwood's board as of right now, and you're taking my place. There's nothing unusual about that because daughters have replaced mothers on it for centuries."
Centuries? "Umm... all right."
"I know it sounds bizarre, but Haldir will explain everything. I wish that I could have warned you about all of this, but quite honestly I've been so busy with the wedding, and then traveling with Reuben, that I forgot about it. Please don't tell Haldir that, though. He always makes a production of his missives, and I think he's really quite proud of them. Every one has been hand-delivered, and he has lovely handwriting, don't you think?"
"I can't stay on much longer. Reuben will want his supper."
Ivy gritted her teeth. "Would you at least call this Haldir person, and let him know I'll be replacing you?"
"I can't, Ivy." A note of desperation crept into the woman's voice. "That number must not be on our bill, it's traceable to Lee's company--"
"Lee Greenwood. That's Legolas when he's--"
"Outside of his Scottish castle. Got it."
Her mother gave a deep sigh. "Promise me that you'll call Haldir."
"Fine," she sighed in resignation. "I'll call him." And you can bet it's going to be collect. To tell him I'm not going. I don't really want to participate in this charade, I don't have the time. I don't have the money to just hop a plane to Scotland. I mean, pay the mortgage or fly off to play with the nutters? Not much of a choice there.
"Ivy? Are you listening to me?" Her mother's strident tone managed to pierce all thoughts of resistance. "You must call him tonight. The meeting isn't that far off, and you'll need time to prepare."
"Yes, Mom, I said I'd call him. Tonight. Right now."
"That's good, dear." Her mother hesitated. "You must remember that these are Elves you're dealing with. They're not like you and me. They're volatile and unpredictable, so please be careful."
"Unpredictable how, exactly?" Ivy asked cautiously.
"You'll see. Enjoy your time in Scotland, and let me know when you get back. It's beautiful in Lairg this time of year, even if it is bitterly cold. Good-night, dear. Love you."
"Good-night, Mom. I love you too." Even if you have become a total loonie since we last talked.
Her mother hung up first: she always did.
All right, Halden Greenwood. Let's see just who you are. Grabbing the invitation, Ivy pushed out of the chair and ran up the stairs. Turning on the computer in her bedroom, she waited with impatience for it to boot and signed onto the Internet.
'Halden Greenwood,' she Googled. The screen leaped to life as link after link flooded the screen.
"Okay, Mr. Elf, this one looks like it might hold some actual facts on you." She clicked one of one of Halden Greenwood's biographical links, this one through Fortune magazine.
Moments later, she rocked back in stunned amazement after learning Mr. Greenwood was the sixth richest man in the world, having a net persona worth of approximately 25.2 billion. And those were personal dollars, having nothing to do with Greenwood Enterprises.
Tapping a few more keys, Ivy further learned that Greenwood was a private company holding ownership in a fair number of companies including the likes of Jaguar, Trader Joe's, and a slew of environmentally friendly corporations.
If Halden's worth that much, then how much more is the entire organization worth? she wondered.
Further reading revealed that he had been educated at All Saints College, Oxford, and was well known for his philanthropy through the Greenwood Foundation. Established in 1885 by Halden's father, Lee Greenwood II, the foundation's purpose was to promote of academic, scientific and cultured research and development - whatever that was - throughout the world.
Eighty years old and reclusive in the extreme, Halden had been seen only a handful of times in public for over thirty years. He was also widowed and had one son named Lee Greenwood III.
So he's been playing Haldir in Scotland while his son has been playing Legolas in Alaska? And Legolas would be what...about fifty now? Oh, ick.
Aside from the company, the Greenwood family was rich through both inheritance and 'value investing principles' - whatever those were. The Greenwood family owned 17,000 acres of old-growth forest in Lairg County, Scotland, which accounted for eight percent of Britain's forests. The only available photo of Halden was said to date from 1970.
Amused blue eyes looked back at her from a classically handsome Celtic face with a high forehead and cheekbones to match. Ivy had no doubt that the hair had faded and thinned over the past thirty years: certainly Halden had to have a few more wrinkles now. Must be a really old photo.
Pushing away from the computer, Ivy sighed. I promised I'd call...whoever this guy really is...because I don't for a minute believe he's Haldir of Lothlórien.
I'm calling him collect, she repeated to herself, because there's no way that I can justify paying for a long distance call to Scotland when I can't even afford to heat this house. How do you call another country, anyway?
Last year's phone book was in a pile of magazines next to her bed, and it took only a few seconds to find the country code for Scotland. Within a few seconds more, she had communicated to the computerized operator the country and number she wanted.
"Please state the name of the party you are calling," the computer ordered.
"Halden Greenwood," she said, wanting very much to say 'Haldir' instead, if only in sheer defiance and frustration.
"Who is calling?"
"Marian MacLeod's daughter." See what he does with that.