Beneath the Niphredil
Synopsis: The Resting place of the Elves who fought at Helm's Deep was beneath Niphredil.
A/N: Plot Bunny. Wouldn't go away. Yadda Yadda Yadda. You know what I mean!
Disclaimer: Question: If I owned LOTR do you think I would be writing on ? Answer: No. Therefore, I own nothing.
Sweet blossoms breathed gentle fragrance into the air and shafts of golden sunlight danced upon moss and grass in gentle play. All around the sweet sound of birdsong filtered through the air in a gentle chorus, around him small flowers bloomed in abundance. He walked slower now, his home was without of the cities limits, it was that way because she desired it so. She walked in the streams, and lay amongst the flowers when the Lady had no need of her. She made garlands and talked to the woodland animals in her sweet voice. The language of her people, almost unspoken now in Middle Earth falling from her lips in songs no longer sung this side of the ocean.
He paused as he came to the clearing by the stream, but she was not there, he looked in the usual places, amongst the flowers, in the small dale where the wild cherries grew so sweet. But she was not there. He frowned, wondering where his lady was, he searched further. He went to their house, climbing the narrow steps and walking through the small house, not in the library with her precious books, not cooking nor sewing nor singing. She was not there. He paused on the flet, looking out at the stream of winding blue and listening to the bird calls. They usually gathered around her but not today, today they were strangely... They were... They were sad. The notes were low and sad, the chorus more than anything else distressed him. He hurried down the steps again. He knew where she would be and he set off to the west, he came to a place where the streams bank reared up by a great old mellorn, here was where he had first seen her.
She had been gowned in sweetest white, with a belt of pale gold and an elanor flower tucked behind one ear. He had thought then, in that moment, that she was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. But she was also different, she was not like him, she was the handmaiden of the Lady Galadriel. A Noldor out of Valinor, an exile with dark gold hair and a gentle smile. She was not powerful, nor gay and bright, but calm and gentle. Their courtship had been as gentle and quiet as she, a flower left on a doorstep, a gift here, a few moments of soft conversation there. Whenever his duty and hers permitted.
He supposed that many may have thought it a very small romance, there were greater ones, greater in their passionate temper, or by the grief they caused. Greater in the price which had to be payed for love.
But he was not distressed if his love was not considered so lofty, for it was as gentle as his lady. He did not mind theirs being a quiet sort of life, a sweet companionship which might be mistaken for a lack of passion. He knew better. His Lady loved him, and he her. They needed not to prove themselves to one another, and the opinions of others were of no importance to them.
He walked around the great tree and there she was, standing still he watched her a moment. She was seated on the wooden bench he had made her during their courtship, looking over the eddies in the blue water, she held something in her hands.
He sensed something was wrong, he walked slowly forwards, she did not turn her head, nor rise to greet him. She sat still and silent, the gentle breeze making merry with her soft hair. When he saw her face he was stricken dumb and still. For the first time in their life together his lady wept. Pale tracks left by tears marked her face and as he watched another pale drop made its lonely journey down her face.
He did not speak, he had not the power to. He could not move, as though a tree and not a man he was rooted to that spot. She did not sob, nor make any sounds but for harsh breaths, and another pale drop fell down her cheek, left her chin and hung in the air a moment before landing on the white bloom in her hands...
Wide swathes of grass shifted like a golden sea, crackling and rustling in the cold breeze. Amongst the sea walked a single horse, a black stallion, huge and imposing. On his back, slight and dainty she sat. Grey gowned and silver cloaked. Like ghosts they passed by villages abandoned in fear, burnt out homes and dark windows. They passed up into a valley under starlight. Before them a great wall rose up, breached and blackened. She knew this was the place. The horse stopped without a word. She slipped to the ground, all blackened dirt, here and there the remains of the great battle could be seen. She moved away from it all. She moved to a small stone outcropping before the great wall, to her right the great causeway rose up, but she looked at it not.
Her pale hands were cold, she did not rub them, her eyes felt dim, as though she could not see. She remembered it so well. The day she knew he loved her. She had heard a sound at her door, a soft sound, barely a sound at all. Curious she went to it and opened it, and there, upon the timber of her flet was a pale Niphredil. Her eyes searched the walkways and winding stairs and there she saw him, he had paused, he looked up briefly, his blue eyes met hers and she knew, she raised the flower and smelt its sweet scent, he looked away, a secretive smile on his face, without another glance he hurried away, grey robed and sombre. Sweet and young. Kind and noble. All these things she had seen in that moment. And it had been enough.
She lay on that cold rock, her back felt not the discomfort, but the rock felt her. In her hands she held a Niphredil, pale and sweet.
They found her there they next day. The rocky outcrop was turned white with bright little flowers that emitted a sweet scent that drove away the smoke and dirt of the enemy. The waters of the streams ran sweeter than they had ever before been. And brightly coloured hummingbirds fluttered around her grave. Below the outcrop was a cairn, here lay the lords of Lothlorien, their bodies entombed so far from their woodland home.
Legend said she loved an elven lord, and so great was her love she came to lay with him even in death. And there she was, cold as marble. They left her there, and the flowers grew and bent over her, and she was gone from view.
And the flowers grow amongst the rocky cairn, and sweet little trees came from the ground, and the Elven warriors slept in peace beneath the Niphredil.