Disclaimer: The Lord of the Rings trilogy was written by J. R. R. Tolkien.

I make no monetary profit from this story.

Summary: Aragorn grieves over Haldirís death

Authorís note: I wrote this before I learned that Haldir did NOT die in the book. (So therefore as far as I am concerned, he did NOT die in the movie)

Set at the end of TTT

Rating PG

~~~~~~~~

 

THE LIGHT OF LÓRIEN 

 

A crimson red sun rose that dawn. Much blood had been spilled that night.

The battle was over. The battle was won, but at a great cost. Aragorn returned to the fortress at Helmís Deep. Gandalfís words were true, but not in the least comforting. Sarumanís wrath *would* be terrible and there would be another harrowing battle before this was over. Aragorn only hoped evil would be triumphed over and that it did not claim the lives of his friends as this battle had done.

The Gondorian Warrior sat, for the first time since the battle, to grieve. A battle was no time or place to grieve and he was glad for the time he had now. Legolas and Gimli left him be.

Aragorn hadnít known Haldir of Lórien for very long, although he had heard of him. But their friendship was unbreakable, but now the Elf of the Golden Woodís light had gone out and nothing could replace it. Aragorn could not stop a solitary tear escaping. Slowly, it splashed onto the cold stone ground.

Legolasí head jerked up and he drew his bow.

"What is it?" Gimli asked, concerned.

"Someone approaches."

The Dwarf raised his axe. Aragorn was on his feet in an instant, but not without a twist of anger. His grief would have to wait once more

"Friend or foe I wonder?" he muttered. "Be on your guard, but do not be too quick to fire, Legolas, should a friend approach."

The Elf gave a single nod. "That was my plan."

The large door opened inward slowly. Aragorn and the others stood ready.

The Ranger stared and almost dropped his sword as Haldir staggered inside, his hair out of sorts. The wounded Elf collapsed, almost falling onto Aragornís sword. Strider cursed himself inwardly for not been quick enough to catch him. He was on his knees by Haldirís side in but a moment.

"Haldir..." He spoke his friendís name in Elven tongue.

The bleeding Elven warriorís eyes opened. "The battle ... is won .." he struggled to say, "but I fear my friend ... I am lost..."

"No ..." Aragorn shook his head in defiance.

It pained Haldir to even take a breath. "Aragorn, my friend ... I must ask you one last favour ... Please promise to take me to be buried in Lórien ... it is my home."

"I will not honour your request."

Legolas looked shocked and turned to Aragorn to protest. Haldir looked forlorn.

The Ranger continued. "I promise to take you to the woods of Lothlórien, Haldir, but I will not bury you there. I will not bury you at all."

Legolas closed his eyes for a moment, thinking he should have known better than to think wrong of Aragorn.

"My wounds run deep, Aragorn," Haldir said "I ... I fear I will not hold out the day."

"You *will* hold out this day," the Ranger said, sternly, "and many others, but you have to *promise me* you will last the journey. You must have hope, Haldir of Lórien, for without it we all are lost. I will take you to Lórien and there you will be cured."

Haldir took a deep breath. "For you, Aragorn, I will hold on."

"Do this also for yourself, Haldir."

Legolas bent down and took Haldirís hand. "I shall write a song about you, My Dear Friend, of your valour and loyalty, your courage and honour."

"I am just a warrior, Legolas. Many of our people died the pervious night. I am no hero."

"Forgive me, but you are wrong, Haldir of Lórien. Without the Elven army which you lead, this war would have been lost and Rohan would have fallen to the dark forces of Sauron. You are too modest, my dear Haldir. I will write your song, though I warn you, I am no writer, but I shall do my best."

"I shall be honoured to hear you sing it."

"I shall be honoured to sing it for you."

"I hope I am alive to hear it."

"You had better be," Aragorn said, pointing at him.

For the first time in many days, Haldir smiled. Carefully, Aragorn lifted him up and carried him outside.

"You are lucky the Orc weapon missed your spine, but barely."

Haldir counted his blessings. He did not want to say anything to Aragorn, but he was unsure whether he would last the journey.

Legolas helped Aragorn take Haldir onto the horseís back with him. Aragorn placed Haldir in front of him.

"Hold on, My Friend. We have a long journey ahead of us."

Haldir focused not on his pain, but Aragornís loyalty and friendship. He realised he would have done the same for his human friend and he definitely would not have let him die. Tightly, he held onto the horseís mane as Aragorn strode off.

The Ranger took the smoothest course he could. He did not want to aggravate Haldirís already serious wounds.

Legolas and Gimli watched them go.

"I never thought Iíd say this, but Iíll miss that Elf if he departs our lands."

"We must not lose Hope, Gimli. For Haldir needs all the support he can get, near and afar."

The Dwarf nodded. "I shall help you write your song if you would like, though I warn you I am no writer either."

Legolas smiled and sat down. "I would be honoured for your help."

The Elf and Dwarf sat for many hours. Legolas wrote most of the words.

"It is almost finished," the Elf said. "But I do not know how to end it." He looked sad. "The story has not finished as yet and if Haldir does not make it to Lórien..."

"As you said, Legolas, we must have hope."

"You are right, Gimli. We will finish it and not write one word about Haldirís demise. We must have faith. Faith that he will survive."

* * *

The riders had long passed Fangorn Forest.

"You must rest ... We have been riding for three days and nights solid."

"I must get you to Lórien, sooner rather than later."

"You have had nought to eat since we departed Helmís deep."

"I think not of my stomach at a time like this."

"You need to eat, Aragorn. Let us stop for a while. Please."

The Ranger sighed. "I will do ask you ask, but promise me if you lie down to rest you will rise again."

Haldir realised that was what Aragorn had been afraid of. "I will wake if you snore."

The human laughed for the first time in many days. "I do not snore I am proud to say, but I will wake you gently."

Haldir lay on the grass and despite his many pains, fell asleep in an instant.

Aragorn went hunting and caught some rabbits. He also filled his water canister in a nearby brook. He lay near Haldir and taking his friendís advice took some rest.

He was awakened suddenly by the cry of an eagle and on his feet in an instant. He calmed and relaxed and thanked the Earth for the sign. The Eagle was a sign of Hope and Spirit. Aragorn looked over to Haldir and relaxed further when he saw his friend breathing. He watched the Elfís chest slowly rise and fall for a few moments before he began a fire to cook his quarry.

Haldir awoke, smelling the fire. Aragorn brought him some of the cooked meat.

"Haldir, my friend, I know you do not eat living creatures, but I am sorry there is nought else and you must regain your strength."

The Elf sat up. "There have been times when I have had no other choice but to consume the flesh of other creatures. Let us be silent and bless that animals for their sacrifice."

In honour, Aragorn bowed his head in silence, before they began to eat.

"I hope it does not taste too bad," he said.

"It is quite pleasant, truth be known," Haldir said. "Though it is not the taste of meat I dislike."

Aragorn nodded. "I understand, and when we get to Lórien I shall have all your favourite vegetables roasted and brought before you on a silver platter."

Haldir chuckled, then he winced, the pain flaring. Aragorn took his hand.

"Do not focus on it."

"I have been holding my focus on fair Lórien. It has kept me alive thus far."

"And it will continue to do so."

With an effort, Aragorn mounted the horse, carrying Haldir.

"I am sorry I am such a burden my dear Aragorn."

"You are no burden. You are my friend. Let us ride on."

The man and Elf had not ridden for half a day when Haldir lurched. He almost fell from the horse. Aragorn caught him and let him down slowly.

"What is it, Haldir?"

The Elf fell to his knees and vomited. "I fear our hearty breakfast was wasted on me." He threw up again, but this time his bile was tainted with blood.

Aragorn looked worried. Haldir again vomited, the blood becoming thicker.

The Elf wiped his mouth and began to breathe, though each breath hurt.

"I do not think I can go on."

"Do not speak like that, Haldir."

"Leave me, Aragorn. I cannot expect you to take me any further."

"I am taking you to Lórien. That is my promise."

"I weaken day by day. I am such a burden to you."

"I told you, you are no burden, My Dear Haldir."

"I will not make it."

"Another word and I will leave you here," Aragorn mock threatened.

"Is that not what I asked?" Haldir said with a small smile.

Aragorn managed a smile also. "I will *not* bury you here, Haldir. Nor will I bury you in Lórien. You will not perish this day. It will be a long while before you see your final sunset."

"I wish I had your confidence, young Aragorn."

"Believe in yourself, Haldir. Trust that you will prevail. I cannot do this alone. Please, Haldir..."

The Elf took a deep breath, trying to ignore his pain. He took Aragornís hand into his. "You have given me something to hold on to, my dear friend. I am forever in your debt."

"I will take no debt. I have the only thing I require from you, and that is your friendship."

"You have that always ... I will make it to Lórien or die trying."

"That wasnít funny, Haldir," Aragorn said, trying not to smile.

Haldirís eyes twinkled as Aragorn helped him back onto the horse as they rode on as fast as the steed could muster against the wind.

* * *

"They are nearing the woods of Lothlórien by now," Legolas said, sitting by the stone table. Though hopeful, his heart was heavy and full of worry.

"I sense your woe, Legolas," Gimli said. "As I share it. Come, let us ride to Lórien. We will sing Haldirís song to him yet."

"Thank you for lifting my spirits, Gimli."

The Dwarf smiled as he and Legolas upped from the table.

Two fine steeds were given to them.

"Haldir will need time to heal," Legolas said. "Let us hope we shall sing when he has recovered."

Ah ... "Youíd better do the singing."

The Elf chuckled. "Take some credit, Gimli, you helped after all."

Together they rode swiftly.

* * *

Aragorn made one more stop before they reached the borders of Lórien.

"Haldir..."

"Yes, My Friend, Iím still alive."

Aragorn smiled. "Good."

"If I was dead I would not have this excruciating headache."

With a smile, Aragorn touched his friendís head. "Hold on. We are almost there."

He did not stop until he was in the heart of the wood.

The Ranger dismounted and carried Haldir up to the Lady of the Wood. By this time the Elf had lost consciousness.

"His wounds go deep," Galadriel said, gently touching Haldirís chest. "I cannot be sure if he will survive."

"He *must* survive," Aragorn said. "I did not bring him here to pay my last respects."

"I admire your resolve, young Aragorn. We will do everything we can for him."

Haldirís two brothers looked with woe at their fallen kin and helped Aragorn take him to rest.

"We thank you from the deepest reaches of out hearts, Aragorn, son of Arathorn," Rúmil said.

"Although Haldirís fate is yet uncertain, he is truly blessed to have such a friend," Orophin said.

"As I am blessed to have his friendship."

The two Elves looked worriedly at their brother.

"Do not grieve," Aragorn said, "for he is not lost."

* * *

The healer Elves carefully undressed Haldir and placed magical medicine, made from the trees of Lothlórien onto the fallen Elfís deep wounds. Celeborn stood by Haldirís side.

Gently, Galadriel touched the fallen Elf. "May the spirits of the Underworld not take you this night. Let my Grace touch you and heal you."

The Ladyís hands glowed as she softly placed them on Haldirís severe lacerations. She stayed in silence for hours before she stood. Haldirís wounds had closed though not fully. He would most likely bear the scars for many moons.

"Celeborn and I have done all we can," Galadriel said to Aragorn who had stayed by Haldirís side the entire time. "If it is the will of the Spirits to take him, all we can do is give him blessings and wish him well on his journey to the Other Side."

"Let us hope he will not have to make that journey for tens of thousands of moons."

"Let us hope," Celeborn said, "but for now he needs to rest."

* * *

Haldir slept for many days. Aragorn kept a close watch upon him. He calmed each time he saw the sheets rise and fall with Haldirís silent and gentle breathing. For many hours at a time he would stay by his friendís side, giving him silent blessings.

Aragorn slept on the floor beside Haldir that night. Just before the dawn broke, the Elf awoke. He smiled warmly as he saw Aragorn asleep on the floor. Slowly he reached over and took a long sip of the waters of Lórien, placed before him in an exquisite silver chalice. As he held it in his hands, he felt truly honoured. Not idly is the Chalice of the Elven Forefathers given.

The Ranger stirred before his eyes blinked open.

"I hope you had a pleasant sleep, though I do not think a stone floor would be very comfortable."

"Haldir!" Aragorn exclaimed his friendís name in Elven. Gently, he embraced the Elf.

"You were right, Aragorn. Hope was the answer. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe I would live to see another sunrise." He wiped a tear from the Rangerís face. "I have you to thank for that. Without your strength I would not have been able to go on."

"You had your own strengths as well, Haldir of Lórien. If you truly wanted to die, I could have done nothing."

Elf and Man held hands.

Aragorn felt Haldir shivering, and he placed his arms around the Elf once more. "It is all right, Haldir. You are safe now. You need not fear."

"Thank you, Aragorn... You have made me remember what a precious gift life is."

"You have never forgotten that, Haldir. Now you must rest yourself, My Dear Friend."

"I feel as though I can take on the forces of Mordor alone." He shifted slightly, then winced. "Perhaps tomorrow."

Aragorn chuckled. "Your spirits have not dampened at least, though your wounds are on the mend, you must recuperate. You have gone though one hell of an ordeal. Do not net me catch you leaving your bed."

"Aragorn ... "Haldir complained, trying to sit up. "There is much to do. Saruman will not sit idle."

"Saruman did not have an Uruk-Hai blade ram into his stomach nor an axe cleave his back."

"Moreís the pity."

"You cannot expect to be running about, like an excited child, Haldir."

The Elf took a breath. "I am ashamed to say I took life for granted, until it was almost taken from me."

"And now you shall rest and recover yourself and if I find you out of this bed Iíll kill you myself." Aragorn tried not to smile, but didnít succeed and he was joined by Haldir.

"At least it does not hurt to laugh anymore."

* * *

Food and water was brought to him as were many blessings and flowers of the wood.

"You indeed have many blessings, young Haldir," Galadriel said.

"Your spirit is strong," Celeborn said.

"I would not be here if it were not for you, my lord and lady, Aragorn and the Elven Healers."

"And you. You showed extraordinary courage and strength, otherwise we would not be talking now."

Gently Galadriel kissed his forehead and left him.

Celeborn took Haldirís hand into his. "I thank the Valar you were not taken from us."

Rúmil and Orophin came before their brother.

"I am truly blessed to be able to see your faces again."

"As are we," Orophin said in Elvish. "We feared you might be lost."

"On the way here, Aragorn told me if I died, heíd kill me."

The three Elves chuckled.

"We have seen much peril and situations where we thought we had no hope," Orophin said. "Like the time we were captured by Saruman and the Orcs."

"I still remember their vile food," Haldir said, screwing up his fair face.

"Yes it was rather awful, wasnít it?" Rúmil said with a smile. "A good thing we can laugh about it now."

"And let us hope we will laugh about a great many things in future times," Haldir said.

"I fear we have taken up too much of your time, Dear Brother. You appear very tired."

"Not too tired to converse with my beloved brothers."

"There will be time for that in the days that lie ahead. You need some rest now."

"You sound like Aragorn," Haldir said with a smile.

"Then he is a wise man," Rúmil said.

"Yes," Haldir said, lying down. He is."

The two Elves left their brother to rest. Together they found Aragorn and spoke in their mother tongue.

"We are deeply grateful for what you have done for our brother. We are forever in your debt, Aragorn, Son of Arathorn."

The Ranger smiled warmly. "As I told your brother, you owe me nothing. It was a pleasure, an honour and a privilege to save him. The only thing I require is your friendship."

"You have that until your dying day and beyond," Orophin said. "May the light of Earendil guide you."

* * *

Haldir stood by a tree and was startled when a blade appeared at his throat.

"What did I say?" Aragorn said.

The tall blonde Elf looked at him. "Can an Elf not relieve himself in peace?"

"Oh ... Sorry ..."

Haldir placed his cloak back around himself and turned back to return. He took a few steps and stumbled.

Aragorn caught him gently. "Lean on me, My friend. I will not let you fall."

Haldir sighed. "Not one moon ago I wandered freely in this forest, now like a drunken Dwarf, I cannot take two congruent steps!"

"Go easy on yourself. You cannot expect to be gallivanting about the woods in your state. Honour your body. It is a temple that has been damaged. It needs time to recover. Your Soul wants to roam free, but at this point in time it has to wait until each stone of your temple has been put back into place."

Haldir smiled. "You are wise beyond your years, Aragorn."

The Ranger smiled. "I am not so lucky as to live as long as an Elf."

"And thanks to you this Elf will live a little longer."

"A lot longer I should hope."

Haldir leaned upon Aragorn and they began to back to the room.

"May I ask another favour of you?" the Elf asked.

"Of course, My Friend."

"I need to bathe. I am smelling like an Orcís breakfast."

"I canít smell a thing."

Haldir smiled. "You are too kind."

Aragorn took his Elven friend to the bathing chambers. Haldir let his cloak flutter to the floor as the Ranger helped him climb inside the silver bath, filled with enchanted lukewarm water. Haldir sighed as he sat down.

"I shall remain until you have finished. The last thing you need is to fall asleep while you bathe."

"Thank you, Aragorn. You are a good friend."

Aragorn paid Haldir the respects of not watching as his friend bathed.

"I find bathing most relaxing," the Elf said.

"Really? Although it is necessary, I find it a nuisance."

Haldir smiled. "Next time you bathe, Aragorn, relax and feel the water caress your body and I guarantee you will feel good."

"Then I shall do so."

Haldir began to wash his long hair, then gasped in pain.

Aragorn spun around. "Haldir?" he said in Elven, concerned.

The Elf winced. "I think I pulled something ..." Aragorn laid him back against the end of the bath.

"Donít strain yourself."

Haldir sighed again. "I cannot even cleanse my hair," he complained.

"Let me help you ..."

Gently, Aragorn began to wash Haldirís hair, the dirt disappearing and the matt being replaced by its natural golden glow as Aragorn poured warm water over the Elfís head.

"Thank you," Haldir said. "Iíd forgotten what colour my hair was."

Aragorn chuckled as he aided his companion out of the bath and helped him dry himself.

"Thank you, My Friend."

"It is my pleasure, Dear Haldir."

Aragorn walked back to the room, holding Haldirís hand.

"I couldnít relax much," the Elf said, "but at least I no longer smell like dragonís droppings."

Aragorn chuckled. "I never noticed."

"You are just being polite."

The Ranger shook his head with a smile.

The Elf lay back down on the bed. Aragorn handed him the beautiful chalice. Haldir swallowed the remainder of the crisp water.

"I will fetch some more as soon as you have eaten something," Aragorn said as

he gave Haldir some light lembas. The Elf had not realised how hungry he was. He did not gobble, but ate a little faster than usual. "I will bring more food as you need. You need to recover your strength and I have not forgotten my promise of roasted vegetables on a silver platter."

Haldir smiled. "Sounds delicious. I can hardly wait."

Aragorn returned the smile. "Now promise me you will rest and call me if you need. Do not be embarrassed, Haldir. Your weakness is in your body, not your Soul and your body will heal with time. Remember your state is not of your doing."

"Thank you, Aragorn. I will rest.í

* * *

On the fourth day since Haldir awoke, Legolas and Gimli arrived.

The Elven warrior signed inwardly with relief seeing in Aragornís eyes that Haldir had not passed.

"The Spirits of the Underworld have not taken him," Aragorn said, greeting his friends.

A smile spread across Gimliís bearded face. "That Elf has some strength in him."

"Indeed he does. He rests now, but come dawn he will be happy to see you."

* * *

Haldir sat up in bed. "You have come... I thank you." He was rather touched the Dwarf was here as well.

"Your strength and valour are indomitable, Haldir of Lórien," Gimli said. "A lesser fellow would be in the ground by now."

Haldir gave a smile. "I would not have gotten far without Aragorn."

The Ranger patted the Elfís head gently.

"Heís forced me into resting," Haldir said, "until my strength recovers."

Legolas smiled. "That sounds like a good plan and it doesnít sound so bad."

"I am finding it is not. Resting is good for the soul I am discovering."

Aragorn smiled as well.

And he brought Haldir a platter of roasted vegetables, which was very well received.

Haldir ate slowly, savouring the exquisite tastes all the more, appreciating the gifts of the woods as he swallowed gently. He offered the platter around, happy to share with his friends.

* * *

Within one moon cycle, Haldir was able to walk unaided. His wounds had healed and barely a scar remained. The scar of the battle would remain with him always, but also would the love and strength of his friends and what they had taught and given him.

"You are curious as to whether I wrote your song," Legolas said, coming to him.

"You were not jesting then?" Haldir said.

"Me? Jest? Never!" Legolas said with a smile. "I did indeed write it, but as I warned you, writing is not one of my strong points."

Haldir smiled. "I am honoured to hear your song, Legolas."

"This is *your* song, Haldir of Lórien and I must tell you that I got stuck after the second last verse and Gimli wrote the final one."

Haldir looked at the Dwarf and knelt down. "I am honoured, Gimli, Son of Gloin and I am truly sorry I insulted you when first we met."

"Ahh water under the bridge, Laddie."

Haldir smiled and stood. Legolas handed him the parchment on which he had written the song. It mattered not to Haldir that the paper was tatty. It was all Legolas could find lying around after the battle, though handwriting was written in beautiful Elvish.

A tear meandered down Haldirís pale cheek as he read.

"I am truly honoured," he said, sincere. "I hope I can live up to it."

"You already have," Legolas said.

Haldir smiled through his tears and placed his arms around the younger Elf.

"I would be honoured if you would sing it for me."

"I would be honoured to do so and to hear it sung by our kin throughout the ages."

Aragorn was touched as well. Until he had joined the Fellowship, he had not known friendship, and now he wondered how he had ever lived without his new found friends. He only hoped Frodo and Sam were safe and they would complete their quest to destroy the One Ring.

As Legolas began to sing, even Gimli wiped a tear away and hoped no one was looking.

 

ĎOf the Golden Wood he was borne

A loyal Guardian to the fair Lord and Lady

Abroad he would go

With his two golden haired brothers

Striking down the enemy

Making the fair lands safe once more

He grew in wisdom as time passed

He is one with the lands

The serene Woods of Lothlórien

His eternal home

As silent as the night he moves

Swift as the wind

His hair golden and bright as the sunlight

His face pale and gentle as the moonlight

His heart as dear as the Earth

His eyes hold wisdom, courage and serenity

Though they have seen much loss

He has seen his friends fall at the hands of the enemy

He fights only to save the ones and lands he holds so dear

At the Battle of Helms Deep

He lead an Elven army to the fray

An army for without the world have fallen into darkness

A battle in which he almost lost his life

Deathly wounded was he and thought to have been lost

Aragorn, Son of Arathorn took it upon himself

To take the Brave One to Lothlórien

Not for his final rest

But to save The Elf of the Golden Wood

To see another dawn

And many dawns he saw

And many moons waxed and waned

The Golden Elf inspires many to this day

He walks the woods in silence

And Eternal Peace finally came

He is the Light of Lórien

Haldir is his name

 

 

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