Fading Legends: Part VI
I would die for him. Because he is the last of a great race which blood I share, because he is the friend of Gimli the Dwarf, and because my father would have.
I miss him, my kind and legendary father. But in comforts me to know that Legolas misses him too, remembering all that have been. He will pass over the sea and keep on remembering, and my father will not have lived in vain.
I will not have lived in vain.
I would die for him because my heart sings when he is near, and there is little song left in Middle-earth now.
The cave was quiet as Aneana sat, cradling the elf and watching intently every shadow. The wraith would come soon, realising Legolas was not giving in to domination.
She shivered, wishing desperately some of her determination from meeting Galadriel would return. The cave seemed so empty and cold, no obvious exit.
The great Elven lady had led her there, to a small entrance that had caved in behind her, trapping her inside and Gimli outside.
Could Galadriel lead him to another entrance? Or would her image fade as the morning did, leaving the dwarf to find a way on his own? Would he really seek help from Minas Tirith, as Aneana had been so convinced he would just a few moments ago?
She shivered again, reaching inside to hold around her amulet. It had been her mother’s, shining with starlight. But since her mother had walked off, its light had become dull.
"Mother," she whispered, staring down at Legolas. He seemed so pale, and so beautiful, but his skin was still cold to her touch.
"Mother , help me!"
She summoned all her strength, reaching out to his mind once more. It seemed easier every time, as if it was a skill she could practice.
The shadow presence in his mind hissed at her, but as she clutched the amulet, she felt light beginning to emerge from it. Not her mother’s light, her light.
He is not for you! she thought forcefully, the starlight growing in her mind.
Arwen… You have come…came a stronger voice, and she realised the wraith was speaking to her through the being. It was aware of her.
I am Aneana! she shouted, cursing the being for saying her mother’s fair name with such foulness.
The shadow being laughed then, and Legolas’s body tensed. Sweat rolled down his face, and she realised he was fighting with all the strength he had.
Without thinking, she took his hand and put it on the amulet.
The being screamed in his mind, filed with rage and pain, but even as it screamed, light penetrated it and with a wail, it was gone.
Legolas’s eyes opened, and she felt his hand take hers as the starlight vanished and the darkness returned.
The wraith cried out in anger, his great mind consumed by only one thing.
Pain. Pain to the half-elf and the elf who had dared resist him and stealing his one treasure. Pain to the world, this fading wreck of a world that barely had anything of worth in it. Pain to the humans, who had become small and petty. Pain to the orcs who had tormented him under Sauron’s watchful eye. Pain to the trees because they mocked him in their existence, reminding him of something he did not wish to remember.
Most of all though, pain to himself for crumbling, for betraying, for changing, for… Dying, while still alive.
But even as his mind cursed and plotted revenge, the small part of his heart that sill remembered, wept.
Wept for Vilmeide the Blue, rider of the air and member of the Order of the Istari. There was nothing Sauron could not corrupt and turn to evil.
Pain. In the end, it got to everyone.
And the being that had been Vilmeide laughed. It knew the half-elf’s pain.
He had felt so very, very tired when starlight had filled his mind. Starlight like that of Arwen and Galadriel, assaulting the presence in his mind until it had vanished.
A veil seemed to lift from his mind, and feeling returned to his body. He could open his eyes again, staring into the face of Aneana, Arwen’s daughter. Only Arwen’s daughter could summon the light of the Eveningstar and shine so brightly. It warmed his heart and grieved him, almost like the first dawn after Sauron’s defeat had. It was the same feeling of loss and great joy, knowing that Arwen was gone, but something of her lingered in Middle-earth still.
For a second her mind touched his again, singing softly in Elvish.
It was like an echo of the songs of Lothlórien, before it had faded and Galadriel had left.
Not all of Middle-earth’s glory was gone. There was echoes still. Perhaps there would always be echoes, small reminders of what had been.
"Aneana?" he asked softly.
He could barely see her face in the darkness, but something moist shone in her eyes.
"Galadriel came," she whispered, her voice trembling. "She had a message from Gandalf. The being… It is one of the Istari, the last of the Istari to remain in Middle-earth. We must go to the remains of Barad-dûr. It will be there."
"I know. I hear its whispers still," the Elf replied, nearly groaning in pain as he tried to get up. Even though warmth was returning to his body, pain throbbed distantly through it.
"I…" she began, but her voice failed her. Guilt was radiating from her, as she let him lean on her for a moment and taking in the full extent of his injuries. He had to take a deep breath, his knees nearly buckling under the effort to remain standing.
"Something is coming," he said suddenly, staring into the darkness.
A loud curse came from nearby in the unmistakably voice of an annoyed dwarf.
"Gimli!" they said in unison, and both smiled.
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