Authoress Chat: Okay, okay. I have literally not done an LOTR fiction in about five years but when inspiration strikes, right? So I am writing this now. Make sure to provide lots of feedback. I eat reviews, so don't let me starve. And I also did a lot of research so I could support the elven culture as truly as possible. Please enjoy.
*As of 12/27/2009* This is an updated version of Chapter One.
Chapter 1-Remember the Name
Haldir looked down on his desk, in the elven flet set aside as the offices of the March Warden. The room was filled with golden rays of sunlight, brightening his mood far more than the abyss of paperwork which seemed to have materialized overnight. Sighing and calming his nerves, Haldir paced deliberately towards the dreaded load of work that awaited him.
Sitting down on a seat covered with a thin film of dust, he rolled his eyes at his own laziness, whilst thumbing through a grab-bag of paperwork.
"Files, requests for protection, Border Logs…," he mumbled, placing each in a pile that would help him organize. "Bill for damages, application…wait, application?" he hummed, his eyes alight with childish humour.
Haldir had been looking for one of these for what seemed like centuries. His chocolate orbs scanned the paper with purpose, slowly picking out information to see if he would be wasting his time by replying to the inquiry. He saw one fact that stood out at first glance.
"Barawen…so, it is an elleth?" he spoke out loud.
Holding back a scoff, Haldir scanned the rest of the information, finding there was sparse any information to be gathered. She said she was a healer and wanted to expand her education. That in itself was odd. Why would a healer want to join the guard? Did she not keep herself busy enough healing the injured? The second odd thing was that the name rang a teensy bell in the recesses of his mind. He, however, could not remember where it was from or why he should have recalled at all.
It was a Sindarin mother name and a Quenya father name, which meant that she was one of the Eldar and had taken a Sindarin name. She probably followed Galadriel from Beleriand, a remnant of the Noldor under Galadriel's rule.
His mind was so occupied with considerations that he barely heard his brother walk into the flaxen glow of the flet.
"What is this?" Rumil asked, dusting his light brown tunic. "I see that the Valar have finally made the time for you to review all of the new articles. I should say that the Western post is in dire need of new talent."
Then, seeing how deeply his brother was engrossed, he came closer, waving a hand in his face.
"Is all well, my brother?" he asked with a hint of sarcasm.
Haldir finally looked up smiling at his inattentiveness.
"I was overlooking the inquiry I just received for a young elleth to join the guard."
Rumil's eyebrow jumped up of its own accord.
"An elleth? Well, those are few and far in-between. What are her prerequisites?" he asked, leaning over the desk, hanging onto every word as though it were a tune.
"Her name is Barawen Russaloxë. She comes from Beleriand and wishes to make use of herself from a medic into a warrior. I feel like I should know her-"
Rumil interrupted his brother's explanation with a flare of laughter. Haldir's narrowed as his brother had clearly produced tears at hearing that he 'ought to know her.'
"Oh, brother," he said after a long time. "You should know the elleth who healed you after that orc ran you through with his blade. We feared that your bleeding would never cease as Orophin and I dragged your body from the battlefield. But Lady Galadriel had already sent her on her way. She punched an orc so hard that it fell dead. The others became frightened and ran off as she began to heal you. Her hands radiated an orchid magic, stopping your bleeding and mending the majority of the wound. How could you not remember?"
Haldir's mood became serious, pervading the room.
"I can't say I remember her everything that happened. But that is enough for me…at least for me to respond to the request. She stays in the Healing Glade, correct?"
/ / / / /
Barawen was just packing a basket with a loaf of bread and a few peaches to take with her to work when a hard knock echoed through her flet. Confusion reflecting in her jade eyes, she pulled on a deep purple cloak atop her red dress, heavily soiled in the flour she had used to knead the dough. Looking to the clock, she sorely hoped whatever the matter was, it could be laid to rest quickly.
Opening the door, two eyes returned her own look of shock.
She was nothing like Haldir had expected.
She was about as tall as he and she had hair even longer than him. Though he couldn't see where it ended clearly, her russet-red hair clearly extended beyond the small of her back. And red hair was an oddity in elf-kind to begin with. She is staring at him with confusion and a slightly slackened jaw, which Haldir was quite sure, was the mirror of his own expression.
Barawn could not believe her eyes! The March Warden, Haldir, was at her door. She had not expected but half-heartedly to hear a reply. And had certainly could never have fathomed that her reply would come directly from the ellon. Surely he did not remember her from when she had assisted him? And Barawen knew for fact that no one ever received such a direct response from such a busy ellon. So why is he there?
Perhaps, Barawen thought, she was sought after, after all…
Haldir was quick to return his jaw back to its proper position as soon as he felt a breeze enter the orifice that had dropped in utter surprise. He held out a hand to her, as she shook the confusion from her eyes, returning the gesture.
"It is nice to meet you, fair maiden. May I call you Barawen?" he asked, pecking her hand.
Blushing a ferocious shade of pink, she laughed with nervousness.
"I don't mind, March Warden," she said drawing away her hand. "Come in for a while. I was just preparing a basket for work," she said, leading him in, sweeping more flour off of her outfit.
Haldir smirked as he watched her walk away, for her had been right. Her red-brown hair came down to her calves. Walking toward her kitchen, he noticed how messy her flet was. Stepping over recipe parchments and used utensils, he finally made it into the room, where she was packing a small bit of meat to go with her meal.
"So…," she began, blushing still and her jade optical gleaming with hope. "I must way, your arrival is a surprise. I was expecting a letter at the most but really didn't think my request would satisfy the need of your patrol."
Haldir shook his head, taking a seat on a bench in the room.
"In actuality, Barawen, I am very interested in the petition that you submitted. In my dire straits, I regret to say, I forgot the face of the one whose hands saved me. When I learned that the healer who sought to become a warrior and the one who bought me back from the brink of death were one in the same, I was compelled to meet you and to tell you in person that you are welcome to join. You may start tomorrow at dawn."
She almost fell down; dropping the knife she was using to carve her meat.
"Oh…,"she said, recovering from her personal earthquake. "Oh, Yavanna, I have had my prayers answered! I am so happy. Well, I will tell them all I will be on leave. How long is the training, Captain?" she smiled, wrapping up the meat and tucking it into her wicker basket.
He smiled and rested his hand on her basket.
"That all depends on you and how quickly you learn that what I have to teach you. However, it should not be a long study for you, the one who slayed an orc with her bare fist...Cam en Amarth..."
She gripped the wicker basket, a twinge of anger striking through her like lightning and leaving as she donned a false smile. She had not heard the eppessë in many long years and, honestly, did not wish for others to know that she and the figure spoken in whisperes were one in the same.
"I suppose that's true. Thank you for the offer. I have to get to work now. Would you like to follow me?" she said turning her back on him and biting back tears.
Haldir could hear her struggle as she walked ahead of him but could not figure out what had happened to trigger such a change in her persona. Well, there was no harm in asking.
"I am deeply sorry if I have offended you in any way," he said to her, stopping as she did.
She looked at him, her mood and jade eyes a little brighter.
"It was my fault. I just wanted to put my talent to use. I have finally figured a way to use the strengths the Valar has given me and I shouldn't be so sensitive to the Lore Names that I am given. You may still accompany me. The journey is quite lonely without a companion."
And accompany, he did.
Authoress Chat: I really hope it didn't uber suck. I swear, the back story will only last another chapter before I get to the WOTR. Please don't hate me, just be patient. I have to explain her past before I get to the future, or else she would really seem like a sue. Remember to please review cause I eat reviews and they keep me alive. Plus I will give you a cookie. Much love!