Disclaimer: The Lord of the Rings trilogy was written by J. R. R. Tolkien.
I make no monetary profit from this story.
Summary: You will have to read the story for this one. I donít want to spoil it.
LEST WE FORGET
Rúmil sat at the table, swirling his elegant silver fork in his food. Around and around he swirled.
"Rúmil," Orophin scalded, "are you going to eat your food or play with it like an Elfling?"
The younger elf looked up and Orophin saw a flash of anger in his eyes. "I am not hungry," he remarked.
"You have hardly eaten," Orophin said, wondering why his brother had replied so harshly.
Rúmil swirled his fork again.
"The food is not that bad," Orophin said. "Celebornís cooking has improved."
Rúmil almost smiled. "It is not that."
"Something is troubling you," Orophin sensed. "What is it?"
Rúmil looked up again, his anger apparent. "How could you not know?" He stood so abruptly, the glass bowl emptied its gingered steamed vegetables on the table. Orophin looked with concern at his younger brother.
Celeborn and Galadriel entered the dining area, sensing pain and anger.
Rúmil glared at them. "Do not tell me you do not know either."
Celeborn looked bewildered.
"Rúmil!" Orophin scalded, shocked at how his brother could be so discourteous.
The younger Elf struggled to hold back tears but failed. "I cannot believe this! How could it mean so little to you?!" Angry and hurt, he stormed past his Lord and Lady.
Orophin called out to him, but Rúmil didnít respond. Celeborn and Galadriel looked concerned, though puzzled.
Orophin shook his head in astonishment. "I apologise, My Lord, My Lady. I do not know what is troubling him. I am sorry for his-"
Celeborn held up a hand. "No need. Something is indeed troubling Rúmil. I sense his anger and beneath that, immense sadness. Got to him Orophin, but do not be harsh. Something saddens him greatly."
The Silvan Elf nodded. "I too sense his sadness, but I know not what troubles him so. I have never seen him like his before."
It did not take Orophin long to find his brother, sensing the trail of anger and sadness, though he sensed now the sadness overwhelmed the anger.
Rúmil wept by the Nimrodel. It pained Orophin to see his brother so full of woe. He watched the begrieved Elf for a while.
Rúmil wept mournful tears, the tips of his golden hair dipping into the river. The young Elf closed his eyes.
Orophin waited a while before approaching.
Rúmil looked up. "You have come to reprimand me," he said.
"No. I have come to find what troubles you so. Please do not be angry with me, Rúmil, I want to help you."
The younger Elf sighed. "You truly do not know?"
Orophin shook his head. "Though I am concerned about you. Never before have I seen you behave this way. What is wrong?"
Although he was upset, Rúmil sensed his brotherís genuine concern and he motioned for Orophin to come closer and sit down. Rúmil shivered and tears began to fall.
Gently, Orophin took his hand. "What ails you, my Brother?"
Rúmil dried his tears. "Can you not feel his loss?"
Orophin began to understand.
"It has been a full year this night since our beloved brother passed at Helmís Deep ... and no one seems to care."
At this point Orophin became hurt. "You believe I do not care?"
"You have not even *mentioned* his name this past year."
"That does *not* mean I do not care. How could you even think such a thing of me?" Orophin stopped a tear rolling down his cheek. "Do you not think Haldirís loss tears at me day by day?"
"You have not said..."
"That is because I did not know how. You have always been more adept at showing your feelings than I."
"Oh, Orophin ... you could have told me ... When I first heard the news, it felt as though an arrow shot straight through my heart."
"I felt the same."
"I did not express my feelings, as I believed you would have scalded me for being so open."
"Never, my brother."
"I am sorry, Orophin, I should have known better than to think you cared not."
Gently, the brothers embraced.
Slowly, Orophin parted. "Not a sun rises or sets when I do not think of Haldir, especially today. Forgive me for being so blind to your feelings."
Rúmil took his brotherís hand. "I should have exercised greater control."
"You were pained, My Brother, very deeply and that pain has built up inside you."
"Will it ever lessen?"
Orophin wiped his brotherís tears away. "I do not know, perhaps with time. The pain is as great for me as well. I had planned a meditation tonight to honour our brother and I wanted to ask you to join me."
"I would be honoured." Gently, Rúmil embraced his older brother. "I was not sure how to honour him. I ..."
"I am sure Haldir would be honoured in whichever way you chose to pay homage." Orophin smiled warmly. "Come, let us prepare."
The older Elf helped his younger brother up.
"My hair is wet."
"I do not think Haldir will mind."
Rúmil laughed softly. "Thank you, brother. It has been a long while since I have smiled ... I must apologise to our Lord and Lady."
"There is no need," Orophin said. "Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel were very concerned for you."
Rúmil sighed, touched at the Lord and Lady of Lórienís concern. "I would still like to speak with them."
"In the meantime I shall prepare our meditation."
Orophin began preparing the Talan, while Rúmil found Celeborn and Galadriel.
"My Lord and Lady."
Celeborn turned. "Rúmil."
"I apologise for my..."
"There is no need," Celeborn said, gently.
"You were expressing your innermost feelings," Galadriel said, taking his hand.
"Yes, but now I realise that others feel as I do."
Celeborn nodded. "One of the reasons we did not mention Haldir is we felt it might deepen the pain of his loss. Perhaps we were in error."
"You were protecting our feelings," Rúmil said, touched. "I understand now, Lord Celeborn."
The older Elf smiled. "I have told you you do not have to call me ĎLord.í"
Rúmil smiled. "I hope one day to attain your wisdom and kindness."
Celeborn smiled. "You flatter me."
Rúmil smiled back. "Not at all. I speak truest truth."
Galadrielís eyes smiled. "You are already wise and kind, My Dear Rúmil and your wisdom and compassion will grow. Haldir would be proud."
"You believe so?"
Celeborn nodded. "Of course."
Gently, Rúmil embraced his Lord. Celeborn, although unused to such displays, gently returned the embrace. Galadriel smiled and gently placed her hand upon Rúmilís head.
"We have planned a feast in Haldirís honour," Celeborn said. "I had not mentioned it earlier, as I was unsure how you and Orophin would-"
Rúmil smiled. "Thank you ... "My brother and I are going to meditate for an hour to honour Haldir. After we have finished, we will be honoured to join you."
Celeborn and Galadriel smiled warmly.
Orophin and Rúmil sat cross legged in their Talan. The older Elf ignited a white pillar candle in front of them. The herbs he sprinkled in the flame shimmered in the fire. Both Elves closed their eyes and placed their hands upon their knees, palms facing upward.
It was a silent meditation, the brothers wordlessly calling to the spirit of their beloved departed to be present.
Haldir sat on Rúmilís bed, watching. ~My Dear brothers, form the moment of my death I have always been with you. I have never left the side of either one of you.~ He knew they could not hear him, but he hoped they could sense him.
Rúmil opened his eyes at a slight disturbance and he saw Orophin was crying. Gently, he placed his hands upon his brotherís, sensing his sadness.
Orophin opened his eyes. "I am remembering the time when Haldir was an Elfling of only five years. I was hunting and he came to me, so very excited. He told me he had seen a faerie in the forest. I told him faeries were a myth. He insisted that he had seen one. I became angry with him and scalded him for telling what I perceived to be a lie. He kept on insisting that he had seen a faerie and the angrier I became. He became indignant and stormed off. I believed that he was being immature and I would not allow him to eat supper that night. He refused to speak to me for days."
Rúmil smiled. "Go on..."
"He never spoke of faeries again. Just last year, six months after he passed, I was meditating in the forest and ... I saw one ... I saw a faerie. She was blue and green ... Haldir was telling the truth and I ..."
Gently, Rúmil wiped tears away. "You were not to know. Until just now, I too believed faeries were myths. It is hard to believe they exist. Perhaps they did long ago."
Orophin nodded. "But I should have listened to him, instead I punished him for telling the truth."
Haldir smiled warmly, not because Orophin finally realised he was telling the truth, but that his brother was able to let the memory go.
"I am sure he has forgiven you ... let us not dwell on sad memories. Let us think of the happy ones. Do you recall the time we Ďborrowedí Celebornís mithril undercoat and he covered for us?"
Orophin smiled. "Yes."
"And the time we snuck a peek in Galadrielís mirror and he took the blame. He always stuck up for us."
Orophin smiled. "Yes, that he did."
"And there was that time that Orc cut some of his hair off."
Orophin laughed. Haldir smiled.
"Yes, that Orc didnít live very long after that. Haldir was most put out that the other side of his hair had to be cut to match ... And then he complained for months until it grew back..."
Haldir was glad to see Rúmil and Orophin laughing together. ~I will never forget you, my Dearest Brothers.~
The two Elven brothers held hands and looked into each otherís eyes.
"Let us leave the candle," Orophin said, "to honour Haldirís memory. It will be safe to leave it alight."
* * *
Rúmil and Orophin greeted Celeborn and Galadriel warmly.
"You indeed honour Haldir," Galadriel said with a loving smile.
Tinion, a young Silvan Elf approached, bearing a clay pot with a green dish.
"I baked leaf pie with pine nuts," he said. "I am told it was Haldirís favourite."
Both Orophin and Rúmil smiled.
"Indeed it is," Orophin smiled. "He could not get enough of it. It is a wonder he kept his figure."
Tinion smiled and Rúmil chuckled.
"We are honoured you went to so much trouble," he said.
Tinion smiled and shook his head. "It was no trouble, it was an honour. In many ways I saw Haldir as a brother, if you do not mind me saying so."
"Not at all," Orophin said. "I am sure Haldir would have been honoured."
Rúmil took the warm pie and placed it on the table.
A younger Elf approached. He was shy, but he spoke. "I too miss Haldir very much. He was an inspiration to us all. It was he who taught me to use the bow and arrow and many times he has saved my life. I do not know why he as taken from us, but I do know his spirit will never die."
Rúmil took the young Elfís hand. "Thank you Lithuvìen. Your words inspire me."
"And myself as well," Orophin said.
Both brothers touched that an Elf they barely knew had such a deep devotion to their beloved brother.
Celeborn placed a silver carafe of nectar and one of dew on the table.
"Thank you, Lord Celeborn, for this gathering," Orophin said. "I could not think of a better way to honour Haldirís memory."
"Nor could I," Rúmil said. "He would not want us to grieve and suffer, though his loss pains us greatly."
Celeborn nodded sadly. "It pains us all, but let us honour the joy and love he gave us and his undying love for Lothlórien."
The Lord of Lórien took the two brothersí hands for a few moments. Rúmil and Orophin sensed the immense love and respect Celeborn had for Haldir.
Celeborn opened his eyes. "I have often felt like a father to you both, and Haldir."
"We are deeply honoured," Orophin said, echoing his younger brotherís feelings. "And I am sure Haldir would be as well."
~I am.~ Haldirís eyes smiled. He had not known in life how deeply his lord respected and honoured him and he honoured that now.
Celeborn smiled warmly. "Let us all hold hands," he said.
All the Elves present formed a circle, hands entwining.
The Lord of Lórien spoke softly, though his words spoke volumes. "We are gathered here this night to honour and pay homage to Dear Haldir, who was so suddenly taken from us at the battle of Helmís Deep, one full year ago, this very night. He fought valiantly to defend Rohan from the enemy. He was friend and brother to us all. His loss pains us greatly, though I do not believe he would wish us to grieve, rather to celebrate his life and the gifts he and love gave us and Lothlórien."
A long silence followed to honour Haldirís passing.
The Elves began to open their eyes.
"A feast has been prepared in Haldirís honour," Celeborn said. "All the dishes he favoured I believe."
Haldirís brothers smiled.
"Please enjoy yourselves," Celeborn said, "as Haldir would wish."
The circle parted. Galadriel sat down and began to play gentle, tranquil harp music on an exquisite Elven harp made from mithril. Softly, Celeborn kissed her.
The Lord and Lady of Lórien smiled warmly as Rúmil and Orophin approached.
"Thank you for your beautiful words," Rúmil said to Celeborn, "and your beautiful music, My Lady. I am sure Haldir would be touched."
And he was, truly touched at how his fellow Elves cared. He had not known they respected and loved him so.
"Yes," Orophin said. "He would indeed be honoured."
"I am honoured," Celeborn said, "to pay him homage."
Galadriel smiled gently as she continued to play.
"How Haldir loved your music," Orophin said, "though he never told you."
"I am honoured to play for him."
The brothers left their Lord and Lady to sample the delicacies on the table, made with such love and honour.
"I knew you would try the leaf bake first," Rúmil said with a smile.
"It is one of my favourites also."
"I like it very much, but my favourite is the honeymilk nut bake."
"That is very nice as well."
"They have even made berry pie ... Oh how Haldir loved that."
Rúmil smiled again. "You had better not eat too much leaf bake then."
Orophin chuckled. "There is always room or berry pie."
He cut his brother a piece of the pie.
Rúmil sampled it, then ate the entire piece. "It is delicious!"
"Iím glad you think so," Celeborn said, approaching them.
"You made this?" Rúmil said.
Celeborn nodded. "You look surprised."
"Uh .. no ... Itís lovely."
"Itís no secret that cooking is none of my strong points," Celeborn said with a smile.
Lithuvìen took over from Galadriel on the harp and the Lady of Lórien joined her beloved. "He spent all day on that," she said with a smile.
Celeborn gave a slight embarrassed smile.
"I offered to make it," Galadriel said, but he was determined to do it. And he fussed so. The first three, he decided were not right."
"The first one was burnt to a cinder."
Rúmil and Orophin smiled warmly and chuckled softly.
"Haldir would be truly honoured that you went to so much trouble." Orophin said.
"I am glad," Celeborn said, "It truly was an honour."
The night progressed, the Elves ate, talked, danced and honoured Haldir.
"Thank you all," Rúmil said. "I know Haldir would be truly honoured by your efforts, your presence, your love and respect."
"You speak my thoughts, Brother," Orophin said softly.
The Elves thanked the brothers for their understanding. Many of them stayed behind to clear the tables and cleanse the earthenware crockery and mithril cutlery.
Celeborn came to the two brothers. "It has truly been an honour."
"You have honoured us and our brother," Orophin said. "I am glad that it has brought us closer together."
"As am I. I plan to spend the remainder of the evening in meditation for Haldir. Would you care to join me?"
"Of course," Orophin said. "We would be honoured."
The three Elves left the large talan and walked into the woods.
Orophin smiled and pointed. "That was Haldirís favourite tree," he said softly. "I used to worry so when he used to scurry up it like a squirrel when he was an Elfling. He did fall out of it once."
~ And you were there to catch me. ~
Together the three elegant Elves say in Haldirís favourite place in Lothlórien. A quiet, serene place, near the Nimrodel. The Elves held hands in silence, breathing soundlessly. Only night sounds carried upon the air. A cool and gentle breeze caressed them, weaving through their long hair, glowing in the silver moonlight. The energies of love and gentleness flowed through and over them.
Haldirís spirit sat above them in his favourite tree, deeply honouring the love and respect of his brothers and his Lord. Haldir gave his love to the three Elves.
~I will never leave you.~
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