Too Dark for Night
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Part five of a tale of sorrow, adventure and truth
I have a love. A slow, soft, confusing love.
But it is mine.
Lowen sat upon Cerin Amroth, unshod, and she twined the golden Elanor into a circlet, absent-mindedly. The moonlight was ivory, and the night was cold. The stars above were numerous, and they glittered like diamonds in the raven velvet of the night. She played with the elanor-circlet, and the stars seemed to sing, above in the sky. She was in Loríen, and all were joined together in this land. All the united races of Middle Earth, whose desire is to defeat the Dark Lord once and for all…the free peoples. Elf, Man, Dwarf, and even Perian. For the first time and the last time, it was the Last Alliance of the Free People. She smiled, and looked downwards at the grassy mound. She felt a hand upon her shoulder, and closed her eyes and raised her head. ‘Isn’t it beautiful here?’ Legolas’ voice asked. ‘Yes. But nothing can compare to you.’ She laughed, turning about and looking him in his deep eyes. His blond hair fell about his shoulders as he sat down. She noticed he was dismal-faced still. ‘What’s the matter?’ she inquired. ‘Mithrandir fell into shadow. He is gone.’ He answered, head bowed, hair upon his back. She closed her eyes, ‘I am sorry. I shall not ask how, as you seem very troubled, lord.’ ‘Thank you.’ He seemed relieved. ‘How did it come to pass that you are here?’ asked he. She smiled. ‘After twenty one nights had passed, all ridden with nightmares, I could take no more, so I arose and rode through the high pass and therefore down to Loríen. I only arrived two days ago.’ He looked confused. ‘Upon foot?’ ‘No. I too have a steed, Legolas, surely you do not take me for a complete weakling.’ She smiled. ‘Not yet anyway.’ She said dreamily, and gazed towards the city, and the glowing flets. He spied the golden circlet upon the grass, stroked her long hair, and placed the crown of flowers upon her head, and whispered into her ear. ‘Queen of my heart.’ She turned to face him and said softly; ‘I do not deserve a title more than my name.’ He smiled. ‘You deserve the heavens. You deserved to be a star upon the crest of the sky. You deserve, and are owed many things, but alas! I cannot give them to you now. But I promise, Lowen, when I return from this journey, I will do my best.’ ‘If you return…’ she looked away, but he took her face in his hands softly, and settled his eyes upon hers. ‘When I return.’ He said.
He stood up, and offered her his hand. She took it and he pulled her to her feet, and they walked from Cerin Amroth, and towards a golden grove of Mallorn. And there they walked, silently, the quietness unbroken by spoken word, and the only sound there was the song of the stars, high above them. The star’s song, however, stopped completely for a second, and on this second, Legolas’ voice was raised in a hymn, to Elbereth.
A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
silvren penna miriel,
o menel aglar elenath,
Gilthoniel, a Elbereth!
And then Lowen sang;
We still remember, we who dwell,
In this far land beneath the trees,
Thy starlight on the Western seas.
The star’s song was silenced, then, and forevermore, in respect to these two Elven-lovers. ‘Must you go again?’ asked Lowen, hopefully. ‘Yes.’ Said Legolas. ‘But I will never leave you, in spirit.’ ‘Spirit?’ said Lowen, scornfully. ‘It does not exist. It isn’t tangible, how could it?’ ‘It does exist.’ He said, catching her hand gently. ‘The knowledge that we are one, be we dead or alive is spirit. Spirit is the only thing that keeps us alive.’ ‘I believe that you are spirit, then.’ Lowen said softly, ‘For without you, I would be non-existent.’ They had passed out of the copse, and now saw a figure walking towards them. It was an elven-maid, with golden hair, and a white robe, clinging loosely to her pale skin. Galadriel, the morning star. She stopped, when they saw her, and beckoned a long finger to them. They met her, soon, among niphredil blooms, and sunny elanor. ‘It pains my heart to tell of what must be.’ She said, touching her head with her snow-white hand. ‘But it must be told. No good can come of what you two are carrying out. I trust you do not know of the dispute betwixt Evendim and Mirkwood?’ ‘No.’ answered Legolas. ‘Lostondoien, the King of Evendim, and Thranduil, King of Mirkwood, are enemies, though their reason is shallow. Long ago, Elves from Mirkwood were planted in Evendim to re-populate the fading community. Evendim became rich because of it, and much of their wealth was drawn from the gems they owned, and had bought from the Dwarves. In the late second age, Thranduil sent messengers to Evendim to take jewels to replenish Mirkwood’s store. Evendim refused. Elves have never waged war against each other, but Mirkwood, from then on, held Evendim in contempt, and Evendim they. No dealings have been held, and no Elf has travelled betwixt these two lands. Therefore, your love is not allowed.’ ‘It doesn’t matter,’ spoke Lowen. ‘We love each other, and all can be left there.’ ‘True.’ Said Legolas, taking her hand. ‘We cannot coincide with Middle Earth.’ Galadriel’s eyes flashed dangerously. ‘All would know, inevitably. And Loríen would ally Mirkwood, Rivendell ally Evendim! It is hopeless. Forget each other.’
That night, when Legolas had bidden her goodnight, Lowen walked silently into his room, and saw him, sleeping, quietly, beautiful. ‘Elegant. I deserve him not.’ She whispered, her eyes glistening silver. She brushed them away, angrily. Then, upon the frost of the window, she traced with her finger, a single word, ‘Gondor.’
At cockcrow, she mounted her horse and set off for Minas Tirith. A moment later, Legolas awoke, and looked out of his window, and caught the traced word before the rising sun melted it away. ‘Gondor.’