Idrial breathed a sigh of relief as she passed under the eves of Lothlorien. It felt good to be home. Beleg snorted and whinnied, lifting his muzzle to the nearest tree and blowing a golden leaf to the ground. Idrial laughed as he leaped away from the spinning leaf, snorting in surprise. She leaned low over his neck, patting him. She straightened, then sunk into the saddle. No way. Mablung cantered toward her.
Along with her father and mother.
The army bowed their heads as they passed. "You may continue to the stables." Celeborn addressed them. "Your country, and the country of Rohan, thank you for your service." His gaze caught Idrial and held her fast as bonds. "You'll come with us, instead."
Idrial dipped her head and steered Beleg between them. Nessa, her mother's mare, nickered a greeting. At first no one spoke. Idrial knew her mother'snature was to understand, and reprimand softly, especially in such a situation. Her father on the other hand had always been the firm, strict one. But it was Galadriel who spoke first.
"Idrial, what were you thinking?"
"I had something that needed to be returned," she answered lamely. Her father snorted.
"You threw yourself into the arms of danger."
"Now that we are assured your safe, there is something I should like to know." Galadriel's soft voice interrupted her husband. "The body in the cart. That was…?"
Idrial felt the tears swell again. "Haldir."
Her parent's faces registered shock and sorrow. Celeborn looked down, blinking as if she had slapped him. "He was the best guard this country's ever seen. My personal favorite, too. Trusted him with my life. He was so good with you and Legolas when you were just children."
"Well." Her mother seemed to recover, but her eyes gave away her restrained emotions. "In light of that, I'm more grateful than ever that you returned in one piece. And not to worry. I see a reunion for you and Legolas."
When her father said nothing, Idrial knew her mother must have said something to him before. As the hall appeared ahead, the family dismissed their mounts and climbed the long stairs to home. Idrial cast her mother a grateful look. Thank you. Galadriel shrugged. Don't tell your father, but I would have done the same if it had been him. I told him to be easy with you. Idrial smiled. But I hope you have learned to ask, as a princess to her king, not as a child to her father.
Don't worry, mother, I've learned a lot.
. . . . . . . . . . .
Idrial stood by the tall window in her bedroom, freshly showered and fed. She prepared to go to bed alone once again. Yet she felt different that night. Like she wasn't really alone. I see a reunion for you and Legolas. Hermother was rarely wrong when she predicted such things. She had seen Legolas living; she had seen that he was where he belonged. She tucked the sheets around her, blew out her candle and slept peacefully for the first time in months, knowing that life was as it should be.