Orophin and Rumil were sent out on patrol assigned to the border where Saerian's nephew had been buried. When the two ellyn arrived, they noticed the child's grave was covered with the softest green grass and vibrant beautiful flowers unfamiliar to them. It wasn't long ago that they were here and the grass had barely begun to cover the mound; that was when...they looked at one another, questions in their eyes.
"How can this be? Is it possible?" Rumil asked his middle brother stunned.
"No, it can't be! They were just stories Naneth told us, weren't they?" Orophin said in astonishment.
"I thought so Orophin but we will have to wait until we get back," Rumil stated in determination.
"It won't be soon enough," Orophin replied impatiently.
Their time at the border went by fast, soon the question that plagued their minds would be answered. There was a mystery behind Saerian that begged to be answered.
Before Haldir returned to Saerian, who still laid unconscious, he sought an audience with the Lady. As he approached the royal talan, he was granted entry.
"What is bothering you pen vuin?" Galadriel asked him.
"Saerian has been unconscious too lone. Neither Indiell nor I have been able to reach her," Haldir told his lady. She heard the deep worry in his voice.
"Haldir, this vision put a strain on her already fragile soul. It has weakened her and her body needs more rest. Trust you heart Haldir and trust her. She has a long, difficult road ahead of her; she will need your guidance and your strength. Remeber this, she will fight you, however never lose hope. She has awakened penneth but, she is not herself; you must get her back for the time draws short. She wants to stop the pain, the visions. Saerian believes if she is gone, that what she saw will not come to be. Noone can stop what is meant to be, but, only she can change the outcome. Do not let her push you away or everything will be for naught. Your feelings for one another is not forbidden Haldir," the Lady informed him.
"He inclined his head and left.
Arriving back at Saerian's talan, he stopped a moment before he entered. Her back was to him and he silently walked up behind her; he wrapped his arms around her.
"Saes Haldir, just leave," Saerian whispered as she suddenly jerked away.
The ellon gently grabbed her arm. "I have lived almost 3,000 years penneth and never thought I would find or want a life mate. In a matter of a few moments, I have let myself think of what could be, that I have found the one whom my hears sings for; the one I wish to share my life with...you. I am not an innocent Saerian, I have shared mutual pleasures with others however I want more with you. Noone has touched my heart as you have," Haldir told her honestly.
"And you will die because of me! I will not, can not allow it! I only bring death and destruction Haldir...to everyone, to everything...you can't want me! I will be leaving as soon as I can," Saerian cried. "I was happy here, I felt like I belonged–I was wrong. I care too much to bring any harm here. I am paying for my past, my failures, for...what I am! When I am gone, everyone should be safe–YOU should be safe!"
"Pen vuin, you haven't caused anything. Whatever happens is meant to, whether you are here or not," Haldir tried to reason with the young woman.
The woman turned abruptly and angrily looked at the ellon; she glared daggers at him.
"Oh really March Warden?" she spat. "Are you saying babes, children are meant to be tortured in such barbaric ways; way that you could never imagine? Are they meant to bear a man's shaft or whatever else they decide to use, inside their little bodies? Are they meant to endure dismemberment and more? NO! They are meant to be nurtured and loved! They are meant to be cherished and protected. I tried to protect them BUT I couldn't even do that right...I failed. I killed them and I will kill you! It would be better I die than anyone else because of me!" Saerian shouted sharply at Haldir.
Saerian saw the dagger lying on the table. While Haldir stood there shocked and horrified, she swiftly wrenched away and grabbed for it. Indiell had walked in and screamed, pulling Haldir from his stupor. His hand grasped her wrist holding the weapon and wrested it from her, tossing it away. He yelled at Indiell to grab it as he tightly enveloped Saerian in his arms. She started to slump to the floor, sobbing.
"She is finally purging the poison that has been held in too long. This has allowed more to be learned of her Haldir, do not regret what was said here. She would never have openly spoke of these things and she needed to,"
Haldir heard the Lady in his mind.
The ellon acknowledged Galadriel's words; he tried to gain control of the anger coursing through him. Anger at Saerian for trying to do something so foolish and especially anger at those who did this to her. Haldir maneuvered his body so she didn't feel trapped, however he still maintained a tight control over her; he tried to calm her–he failed. She struggled until exhaustion claimed her, her energy drained.
Haldir murmured in her ear; he placed her in a healing sleep then laid her on the bed and undressed her. He slipped a nightshift over her and pulled the light coverlet over her. He removed his boots, tunic and silk undershirt, he left his leggings on. He crawled into bed, pulled her into his arms. He softly kissed her forehead before tucking her head under his chin.
The ellon knew this was not the time to dwell on his bodily pleasure, especially now that he saw the effects of what she had experienced. He wished he could abolish the memory, to be the one who taught her what relations were suppose to be like between a male and female. Reality hit him, she may never be ready for it. However, as he held her, he knew something had to be done.
'If I had not been her and Indiell had not screamed, she would have ended her own life. She cannot be left alone now," a curse sounded in Haldir's mind.
"Haldir, we cannot wait any longer, it is time for the Healing Pool. Two days from now at sunrise her journey will begin. Your faers have found one another, but she doesn't realize it yet,"
Galadriel told him.
"How can our faer be bound, unless she is immortal?"
Haldir asked in confusion.
"I have not seen everything penneth, so I do not have all the answers,"
Galadriel explained. She knew the woman had the life of the Eldar however Haldir needed to learn to trust his heart.
"I would bind with her my Lady, but, I am concerned with my position. I do not want to relinquish it, it requires me to be away for extended periods and it would not be fair to her or any elflings we may have. Besides, after everything she has been through, I doubt she would want to bind with anyone,"
Haldir stated glumly.
"Ah penneth, her bloodline are servants of Yavanna. They were thought to have left this world long ago. Both Eru and Yavanna have blessed you both. Saerian will see it in time, just be patient,"
the Lady encouraged him.
"Is it only the two of us going? The Healing Pool is at the farthest reaches of the Wood and there is more chances of trouble until we reach it. Besides it being safer, having those closest to her, especially Indiell may prove invaluable,"
Haldir told Galadriel.
"I am pleased you saw the necessity of her needs pen vuin. I have already sent word to you brothers and Indiell. They will be ready to depart with you. Now rest, you will need it,"
Lady Galadriel told him, a smile in her voice. "Also Haldir, you will want to stop by the child's grave; this will be the first step in her healing."
"Hannon le my Lady,"
he replied before she broke the connection.
Saerian had remained in a healing sleep that night and most of the next day. The young woman was rarely left alone, either Haldir or Indiell was with her.
Haldir left Indiell with Saerian while he went to his talan; he packed what he needed for this journey. When he returned to Saerian's talan he sent Indiell to make her preparations. Since Saerian slept, the ellon saw to the young woman's packing. Once he finished, he stretched out on the bed, cradling her in his arms.
Orophin and Rumil were up early the morning of their departure; they saw to their supplies and made sure all the water skins were filled.
Haldir was up before the sun's rays lit the sky and once everything was ready, he woke Saerian. When she was dressed, he tried to get her to eat but she refused. She wasn't happy about this trip and she became argumentative as Rumil and Orophin walked in. They quickly gathered the packs and left, not saying a word.
"I. Am. Not. Going!" Saerian hissed at Haldir between clenched teeth.
"You either can either walk down or I can carry you, it is your choice, but you are going," Haldir calmly told the young woman. Saerian stood there, hands on her hips and glared at him. He moved as if to pick her up; Saerian stomped towards the door as Haldir smirked. Once they reached their three companions on the ground, the small group embarked on their journey.
After they had departed, Haldir explained what they were doing. "We will be stopping by Amaron's grave before we travel to the Healing Pool," Haldir told everyone as he observed Saerian for any reaction.
The March Warden had been told of the strange flowers, flowers that suddenly sprung up and never seemed to die. Saerian hadn't spoken since they'd left Caras Galadhon.
'Why can't they just leave me along? All I want to do is die, but–they won't let me! I don't want this so-called healing and forgiveness! Don't they understand, I don't deserve it!'
her mind shouted with self-loathing.
Having finally reached her nephew's resting place, Saerian's legs gave out; Haldir's swift reflexes caught her. He carried the woman to the grave and gently sat her down. She refused to look at him.
As Haldir started to walk away, Saerian finally spoke. "Why did you bring me here? To throw it in my face that I killed him? I knew you could be cruel Haldir, I have felt it before; but I didn't know HOW cruel you could be!" Saerian hissed, venom dripping from her voice.
"That is not my intentions pen vuin. Look at the grave Saerian, look at the flowers, their color, they are beautiful. Do you know they appeared just after your visit? It is the opposite, it was your LOVE for him that made them grow, it is your LOVE for him that keeps them from dying. You are good and full of love. You are fierce in your love and loyalty. There is no bad in you. If there was, you would not have been able to do any of this," Haldir quietly reasoned with her.
"How do you know it was me that did this?" she sarcastically confronted him.
"Because these flowers do not grow here. Look at them closely and tell me if you recognize them. Are they familiar to you?" he asked.
She wouldn't look at them, she refused to answer him.
"Look at them Saerian!" he told her firmly.
She grudgingly looked as disbelief crossed her features. "They are the same as those that bloomed in my mother's garden; they were her favorite," Saerian answered barely audible.
"That is my point penneth, only YOU could have done this. You couldn't take him home so you brought home to him; in this way he IS home. You comforted him in death which couldn't be done in life," Haldir pointed out with overwhelming feeling.
"Why do you feel the need to torment me?" the young woman asked as a sob escaped her.
"Ai Sweetling. It is not my intentions to torment you nor is it I that does so...it is you. You keep yourself in this nightmare; you are the one who refused to wake from it. Why can't you see what we all see in you?" Haldir asked her tenderly. "Why is it that when you start to allow some peace in your life, you fight it?"
Saerian's tears flowed freely down her cheeks, she wouldn't, couldn't answer him. Haldir knelt next to her and kissed her forehead. The ellon ached to comfort her, to kiss the tears away; but he knew she needed this, needed to purge the guilt and anguish from her. He stood and walked back to the others.
Saerian laid her head on Amaron's grave. "I am sorry precious one. I swore to protect you, all of you. I swore to take you home; please forgive me for failing you. I did not mean to break my word," Saerian cried with deep anguish.
After Haldir reached their companions, they looked at her. They saw a hazy light emanating from no where and took on a shape of a small child; the three stood there speechless. It didn't surprise Haldir, he'd seen something similar happen in the small glade he'd taken Saerian to.
'This could only happen by the grace of the Valar,'
Haldir thought to himself.
The four elves watch in astonishment as the child's from sat in Saerian's lap. He reached up to touch the woman's face; they knew it was her nephew. They also knew what was said by the look on her face. As the little one got on his knees, he took on a more solid form. For a fleeting moment, he wrapped his tiny arms around Saerian's neck and his lips touched her cheek in a whisper of a kiss.
"Please Aunt Saeri, don't be sad anymore. You got us away as you promised. I love you and we don't blame you, you did everything you could. There is nothing to be sorry for," Amaron told her.
"But I...failed and you died anyway Am," she sobbed.
"You didn't fail, this wasn't meant to be. Atleast we died free and in peace. I know you love me Aunt Saeri, but don't feel guilty anymore. I will always love you," he told her as he paused and looked up, nodding his head. He looked back at her, a deep love mingled with sadness shone in his eyes. "I have to go now but remember...you are not to blame," the child stated softly.
Saerian buried her face in his hair, holding tightly to him as she kissed him. She reluctantly let him go; tears streamed from her eyes. As he started to fade, she heard a whisper in the wind, "I love you." Saerian sat there, crying, unmoving.
Moments passed before Haldir approached Saerian, still in awe at what he'd witnessed. The ellon pulled the woman to her feet; she looked at him then to the others. They saw a peacefulness had settled over her features.
Before Saerian and Haldir reached the other three in their group, he turned her to face him; He stroked her cheek before he leaned in and whispered in her ear–a pleading look on her face.
"Are you ready to continue Saeri," Haldir murmured.
"Saes! Do not call me that! Only my family called me that; I am no longer that person, she is dead," Saerian begged him. Haldir nodded, giving her a light kiss.
Their companions readied themselves for an altercation; it never came.
Pen vuin–dear one
ellon–sing. male elf (ellyn–plural)
elleth–sing. fem. elf (ellith–plural)
hannon le–thank you