le fils qui a perdu
His limbs burned with urgency as the tall elf descended the ladders built into the great mallorn tree. He moved with a surety that saw him not so much as climbing down but as running and sliding through the tree limbs, flowing from branch to trunk. His pale hair gleamed, colourless, as it caught the moonlight from among the leaves. The landing from the jump off the top of the last ladder only paused his stride momentarily and his fingers were already working on untying the light sack he had brought with him.
It was nearly mid-night and the niphredil gleamed like stars in the grass of the hill that he loped down. But now was no time to admire the beauty of it. Indeed, he thought almost bitterly, what beauty could such things ever hold for him again if he failed to find his beloved elf-maiden.
He walked up to his horse by the side of the field and checked over the small pile of equipment lying in the grass beside his steed: his bow and quiver, a leather pouch of water, a coil of rope, and a cloak. The water and rope he placed in his sack. He strapped his weapon to his back and picked up the cloak. Despite his apparent hurry, he turned it over and thoughtfully examined it for a moment. He did not remember having placed it among his things.
"It will get colder tonight."
His head snapped up to see Galadriel stepping slowly towards him, her eyes bright in the dark. He bowed his head slightly to her, but he did not reply, only folded the grey cloth over his forearm.
"Do not go, dear one," the Lady said softly, soothingly, but she could not hide the pain behind her words.
"I will. I must." He turned away from her pleading eyes and shrugged the cloak on, flicking his long, bright hair over one shoulder.
Galadriel's voice sharpened at his brusqueness, "It is too dangerous with the awakened evil from the mountains. It will come nearer still, soon."
"Which is exactly why I have to go!" He retorted, facing her once more. "I know that the people flee, but I am not. I just have to find… her… you know I do." His voice nearly broke.
"No, please." The shake of her head was nearly imperceptible, if not for the way her hair swayed with the movement. She reached out a hand and grasped his tightly. "Stay and protect the Galadhrim. Here. Do not shirk your duty as Lord, and do not abandon your family."
"Say not 'abandon,' dear Lady. You know also that you can protect everyone better than I."
The Lady of the Wood did not respond, but neither did she release him. After a silent pause he was about to turn away and mount his horse when a trail of a tear caught the faint starlight and glistened on Galadriel's cheek. He froze, for it was a frightening thing; in all his life he did not think he had ever seen her cry from sheer sadness.
Instinctively he moved to embrace her.
Why do you cry? "Why would you have me abandon my quest so completely?" he asked.
"I should not say it, but I feel she is undeserving of you," Galadriel said flatly.
All the warmth in his eyes died immediately and his upper lip curled in anger. His arms lowered to his sides. However, he refused to reply other than with a bitter, "No, you should not have said that."
But so it is.
Her voice was soft, but neutral. "I simply do not wish to see you hurt." But she could not tell him what she had seen in her Mirror, her dreams. She knew that, once gone, she would not see him again this side of Arda.
"If that is all then," he managed a sad smile, giving her as reassuring a look as he could manage, "I promise I will not come to any harm."
A current of air passed high overhead, swishing somewhat violently through the mallorn leaves. The living canopy tossed and swayed, but nothing could be felt from where they stood. Nonetheless, they both stilled, listening to the remote onrush of sound. For the first time, the sound reminded him of something other than forest trees. An image of deep green waves with blue crests and white foam came to mind. He sighed, seeing the end of his road before he had even set foot upon it.
Galadriel closed her eyes in pain. Deflated, and knowing she could not attempt to alter his possible doom, she bowed her head before she knelt to pick up a small package wrapped in leaves from the ground. She placed it in his hands.
Roused from his reverie, he looked at the small bundle. "Lembas. Thank you." This time, he bowed low before her.
"At least wait until your father returns." Her final attempt to delay him held little weight, and they both knew it.
The elf lord shook his head. "Were he in my place, think you that he would tarry as long? I cannot." Briefly, the regret shadowing his expression made him resemble his father more keenly, causing a dull ache in Galadriel's heart. Quickly he gave her a final hug, but had to exert a little more force to pull away this time. "Give Father my love, and Celebrian, too, when you see her. Good-bye, Mother."
Galadriel swallowed, but managed quietly, "Farewell, Amroth."
When the sound of his horse had long faded beyond her hearing and she could feel him growing ever more distant, even surpassing the confines of Lothlorien's border, she finally stirred. Looking up, heart-broken, at Cerin Amroth, she wondered sadly how she would tell Celeborn that they had lost their son.
Bleh… I just felt like being mean and torturing Galadriel by making Amroth her son. (Although I could argue that it's Galadriel that's torturing me by making me write a fic like this in the wee hours of the morning. *blinks*)
I admit, I don't know – or remember – too much about Amroth and Nimrodel. Vagueness is a key element of the fic for a reason obviously… =) At any rate, The History of G&C (or was it C&G? boy, I –am- tired!) is so convoluted that whether Amroth is their son or not, and when and if he was Lord of Lothlorien, and which history of his merges into which history of theirs makes little difference in the end!
Anyway, thanks for joining me on that ride. Feel free to point out any other references.