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

I make no monetary profit from this story.

Summary: Some incredibly valuable, sacred Elven artifacts and items go missing from Caras Galadhon and Rúmil is the only suspect. He proclaims his innocence, but he is hiding something and learns a valuable lesson.

Author's Note: Set after the War of the Ring. This story is written in accordance to the events in the novels, and since there was no mention of Haldir O Lórien's death in the books, he is alive and well in this story.

Rating PG


Pronunciations of names of made up characters in order of appearance (or mention):

Lithuvìen - (Lith-oo-vi-an) - both short i's

Kamu - (Ka-Moo) - short a

Lolia - (Loh-L-eye-a)

Pila - (Pea-lah)

Eovannia - (A-oh-vah-neea) - Long A

Eòlia - (Ee-oh-le-a) - long e






The War of the Ring was over.

Celeborn, Lord of Lórien sat down behind his desk in his official chambers and rubbed his temples. He sighed with a great sense of relief when he sensed the One Ring destroyed in the Fires of Mount Doom and Sauron, enemy of the Free People of Middle Earth, overcome for eternity. News of Sauron's defeat had spread widely and quickly through all of Middle Earth. Lord Celeborn had sensed tension and fear beginning to leave the hearts of the people and great celebrations ensued. He had thought the demise of the Dark Lord would put an end to ill deeds, but apparently it had not. He sighed again as he prepared for the unpleasant task ahead.

* * *

Briskly, Rúmil walked up to his talan. He was surprised to see both his brothers standing outside with their arms folded, looking rather grave.

"You will tell us where you have been," Orophin demanded.

"I was meditating in the forest," Rúmil replied, having prepared what to say earlier, surprised at his brother’s tone.

"Five hours seems an awfully long meditation," Haldir observed, unconvinced.

"Indeed. I had a number of issues I felt I needed to deal with."

"Do you care to discuss them with us?" Orophin asked.

Rúmil shook his head. "Nay. I am sorry. It was a private matter, but thank you for your concern, My Brothers."

"Something very serious had happened," Orophin stated.

Rúmil became concerned, and it showed on his face as his oldest brother continued. "Several irreplaceable items of great value have gone missing from Caras Galadhon. Every item of mithril, including Lady Galadriel’s carafe for her mirror and Lord Celeborn’s scared neckpiece."

Rúmil looked stunned. "Who would do such a thing?"

"That is what we are going to find out. Where were you today?"

Rúmil looked shocked. "Surely you do not believe that I -"

"Of course we would rather not," Orophin said, "but you are the only one of us who has not been accounted for. Was anyone with you in the forest that could vouch for you?"

Rúmil shook his head. "Nay." He hated to lie to his brothers.

Orophin sighed.

Rúmil looked at his older brothers. "You do not believe I am guilty do you?" he asked, hurt.

Haldir looked sympathetic. "We do not want to, My Brother, but you have been acting very strange of late. You have been ‘meditating’ and awful lot, sneaking off into the forest at all hours when you believe no one is watching you."

Rúmil became afraid.

"To meditate?" Haldir asked doubtfully.

"It was not all meditation," Rúmil said. "I was also exploring, patrolling and attending to ailing trees."

"You are hiding something." Haldir observed. "I can sense it."

"As can I," Orophin said. "Why will you not-"

"As it is my affair," Rúmil almost snapped.

"That is not much of an alibi."

"I cannot believe you think I did this!"

"Rúmil, we are not accusing you," Haldir said. "We are endeavouring to help you."

"It does not seem like it," the younger Elf scowled, folding his arms.

"In any case," Orophin said, "Lord Celeborn wants to see you upon the morn."

The blood drained from Rúmil’s already pale face. "So he too believes I am the culprit?"

"Rúmil, do not behave like an Elfling," Orophin scalded. "We are not accusing you and neither is Lord Celeborn. We are all endeavouring to get to the bottom of this situation."

"But I seem to be the prime suspect."

"You are the only suspect."

"That makes me feel a great deal better."

Rúmil’s sarcasm was not appreciated.

"We advise you to get some rest," Orophin said.

"It does not seem I have much of a choice." Rúmil watched as his brothers left. He could not remember ever being this angry with them. He felt guilty to harbour such feelings toward those he loved, but what else could he have said?

He worried about what was going to happen on the morrow with Lord Celeborn, but he pushed that to the back of his mind as he struggled to find sleep, but for the most part it eluded him.

* * *

It took a conscious effort on Rúmil’s part to stop shivering as he approached his Lord. Celeborn was seated behind a white gemstone table.

"Rúmil," he said, without looking up, "please sit down."

The young Elf felt uncomfortable, as though he was about to be eaten alive by ravenous Trolls.

Celeborn's gaze mat his. "You know why you are here."

"Aye, My Lord," Rúmil said, softly. "And I must tell you, I did not steal any of those items."

"And I want to believe you, Rúmil. Honestly, I do, though you are the only one of us without an alibi. Your brothers tell me you were in the forest, meditating, amongst other things. Do you hold to that?"

"Aye, My Lord, I hold. I am sorry I cannot offer more of an explanation."

Celeborn regarded him. "There is something you are not telling me," he said. "…And tell me, if you are innocent, then why are you afraid?"

Rúmil made a conscious effort to stop fidgeting. "I am afraid that you will find me guilty when I am not. I assure you, my Lord, I did not steal anything."

"You are lying," Celeborn stated, matter of factly.

Rúmil paused. "I ... I did take a carafe of your berry wine to share with a friend, two days prior to the alleged theft," he said, nervous, knowing this would not help his case. "But … I did return the empty carafe..." he offered.

"Why did you simply not ask me?"

Rúmil felt even more uncomfortable. "It is complicated, My Lord … and I ... did not think you would allow..."

"So you stole it. If you stole that, then it may be likely you thieved the other items as well."

"Please believe me, My Lord, when I say I did not."

"And I have said I honestly want to believe you, Rúmil. I do not want to believe any Elf, particularly one of us in Lórien would do such a thing, but you are the only one who has not been accounted for at the time of the theft and we have had no travelers come through our forests of late."

"Lord Celeborn, I know it looks suspicious, but-"

"Why will you not tell anyone exactly where you were and what you were doing?"

"I have said -"

"That you were meditating, exploring and such things. This is not solid evidence, Rúmil, and you say there was no one to vouch for you."

The young Elf swallowed. Indeed, it did not look good.

"If you will tell me nothing further, then I am afraid I have no choice, but to confine you to your talan until further notice."

"But, My Lord..."

"I will brook no argument, Rúmil. This is an extremely serious offence. All the items taken were priceless and irreplaceable."

"I realise that and I -"

Celeborn looked directly at him, but he spoke gently. "Will you not return them?"

"I did not take them!" Rúmil stood in anger. He realised his Lord was trying to bait him and he also realised raising his voice would give the wrong impression.

"I have no choice but to order a search of your and your brothers talans and various other places you frequent in Lórien," Celeborn said.

Rúmil realised protesting would only hurt his case. "You will not find anything," he said, adamant. "As I am innocent." He realised Celeborn was endeavouring to get to the bottom of it all and he had not lost any love or respect for his Lord, but at this moment he was angry.

"All necessary food, water and other necessities will be brought to you," Celeborn said. "If you require anything more, within reason of course, it will be brought to you also. If need to leave your talan for any reason, you must have an escort. If you decide to leave without an escort, I have no choice but to place you under arrest."

Rúmil’s eyes widened. "My Lord..."

"I am sorry, Rúmil, but you have given me no evidence to prove or support your innocence, as much as your brothers, your friends and I want to believe you, you have not given us much to go on."

"Besides the berry wine that I have just informed you about, and an incident when I was an Elfling where I stole a piece of fruit from a fruiterer at the markets, for which Orophin severely scalded me made me return and pay for, have I stolen from you, or anyone in the past?"

"I do not believe so," Celeborn said.

"Is my service to beautiful Lórien and my people not proof enough of my innocence?"

Celeborn sighed. "I am truly sorry, Rúmil, but I must be sure."

"And I understand your concerns, My Lord, but is confinement really necessary?"

"Aye, Rúmil, I am afraid it is. If you are not the culprit, then it seems you are to remain a suspect until he or she is found."

"And if they are not?"

Celeborn sighed. "Let us hope for your sake that they are."

"I am truly sorry I cannot give you more of an explanation, My Lord. I have given you all I can."

Celeborn nodded. "Then that is all. Tinion and Lithuvìen will escort you to your talan."

Rúmil left with the other two Elves. Both of them seemed nervous, which made Rúmil uncomfortable. They were his close friends, his Elven brethren and they were afraid of him and he sensed their uncertainty.

"I did not take the items, if that is what you are wondering," he said.

"Lord Celeborn seems to think you did," Lithuvìen said.

"Nay, he does not," Rúmil said, his anger rising. He forced himself to calm. "I am only a suspect."

"If you are innocent, then why did you not give Lord Celeborn more of an explanation?" Tinion asked, puzzled.

"As that is my affair," Rúmil said. "Now please, leave me be."

He had no wish to take his anger out on his friends, if indeed they still were.

"I am sorry, Rúmil," Tinion said. "We do not wish to believe you are guilty … but I am not sure what to believe…"

Rúmil heard the uncertainty in his friend's voice and he softened. "I know," he said softly. "Please do not burden yourself as it is my affair."

As he walked by, Rúmil heard his brothers speaking in Haldir's talan.

"If I may," he said to Tinion and Lithuvìen. "I must collect some things."

Tinion nodded, but first Rúmil listened to his brothers.

"If Rúmil is guilty," Orophin said, "why do you suppose he would do such a thing?"

Haldir shook his head. "I do not know … Many youths go through stealing phases for attention, and excitement, but I would like to believe our brother is more mature than that."

"As would I."

"If he did do it, do you suppose he might have been coerced?"

"That is a possibility that had not occurred to me," Orophin said. "And not a very pleasant one. I would have thought Rúmil would have come to us in such a situation. And I would have hoped his high integrity would have won over … But then again, I have never thought of him as one to be forced to do anything."

Haldir smiled. "Aye, he is very independent."

"But he is hiding something," Orophin said. "I can sense it."

"As can I, and I sense his fear."

Orophin nodded.

"Why will he not tell us anything?" Haldir said.

"I have a feeling he will in time, though for his sake I hope it is soon."

Rúmil entered. "Speaking about me as though I am not here?"

"Rúmil, we were concerned about you," Haldir said.

"That is nice to know, but you still believe I am the culprit."

"We did not say as much," Orophin said a little hurt, "but you have not offered any-"

"Solid evidence," Rúmil said and then he sighed. "Aye, aye, I know. I guess you know by now that I have been confined to my talan of all things. I have come by to collect some of my belongings." He gathered three books that he had left.

"Rúmil, we are sorry it has come to this," Haldir said. "Why will you not tell us anything?"

The desperate tone in his brother's voice made Rúmil wince. "I am sorry, but I cannot offer any more that I have already given you."

"We want to help you," Orophin said, hoping Rúmil would throw him a line.

"You could help me by having more faith in me," the young Elf snapped. "Now leave me be."

Orophin regarded his brother. "I hope you did not speak to Lord Celeborn in that manner."

"Nay," Rúmil said. "I did not. Although I am angry at the accusations upon me, I still have the utmost respect and love for my Lord and the two of you and I wish there was something I could do to prove my innocence, but I have done all I can."

Both Orophin and Haldir sensed something amiss, but their youngest brother was not letting up and they had no desire to start another argument.

"I hope for your and our sakes, Rúmil, that you are innocent," Orophin said. "If it is found that you are guilty, it will reflect badly upon us as well."

"I am not guilty!" Rúmil yelled, close to tears, throwing down his books.

"I hope you are not," Orophin said. "Now go to your talan."

Rúmil scowled. ‘Go to your talan.’ Orophin had not said that to him since he was a four year old Elfling fooling around.

"All right then, I am going," Rúmil announced.

"And you are not to leave," Orophin said. "For your sake I hope you are not foolish enough to do so."

Angry, the younger Elf hastily picked up his books and left with out another word. Tinion and Lithuvìen both looked sorry for him, but there was little they could do.

"We have left food and water in your talan to see you through the night," Tinion said. "Is there anything else we can bring you?"

"Thank you, but you cannot bring me what I desire," Rúmil said, entering his talan. It had always been a sanctuary to him, now it felt like a cage … a prison.

Rúmil began to read one of the books he had brought on the Mythology, the ancient Gods and Goddesses of Middle Earth, many thousands of years ago, but he was not in the mood. He wanted to enjoy the books and he could not when he felt this way. He closed the thick book with a crack and let it drop to the floor with a thud.

The young Elf paced around his room for a while, putting a few things in their proper places, his frustration and tension building. He looked around at his berth and saw his large and well loved plush Hobbit toy that Orophin had bought him many, many years ago at the markets. This was the first time Rúmil had seen a Hobbit, even though it was not a real one and he had become fascinated with them. They looked like such peaceful folk. Rúmil smiled when he remembered giving his oldest brother his best ‘puppy eyes’ look and strong, resolute and proud Orophin had melted and given in in a second and bought him the toy. Rúmil remembered spending many hours looking at many a Hobbit naming books before he finally decided on Meriadoc Proudfoot. The young Elf sat on his berth and pulled the toy Hobbit into his arms and cuddled it. At least something was still right in the world. However it was a small thing and much larger things were pressing on his mind. Soon, Rúmil placed down his beloved curly haired toy and decided that he had to leave his talan or lose his sanity and he exited through his secret passage.

Rúmil began to head into the forest, wearing dark clothes so as not to be seen, but it availed him not.


Rúmil froze and turned, his body shaking. "Tinion…"

"You were forbidden to leave your Talan," the young Elf said, shocked.

"Tinion, I …"

"Lord Celeborn expressly stared that-"

"I know ... But Tinion, I have to go … Please … I cannot tell you why. I can only tell you that I am innocent and hope with all my heart that you believe me."

"Rúmil, I do so want to believe you, but-"

"Aye, I know the evidence is stacked against me, but I must go, Tinion … Please…"

Tinion said nothing, Rúmil pleaded again.

"Oh, Rúmil, why did you have to put me in such a position … I want to help you, but if Lord Celeborn discovers…"

"Tell him you have not seen me."

"I cannot lie to him," Tinion said, shocked.

"Perhaps it will not come to that and I will accept full responsibility for my actions, now please, I must leave. It is very important. I tell you again, I did not steal our priceless artifacts."

Tinion sighed. "I sense you have something important to do, Rúmil, but please do not stay away too long and whatever it is you must do, I hope that it will benefit you."

"Thank you, Tinion, you have little idea how much this means to me."

The younger Elf watched Rúmil leave, feeling very uncomfortable, torn between his friend and his Lord.

* * *

The young Elf walked briskly, deeper into the forest. He sensed he was not followed, which gave him relief. He walked to the old stone cottage, once the home of Kamu an old Istari, long since departed for the shores of Valinor, who had so very long ago dwelled in Lothlórien.

"Rúmil…" came a quiet, feminine voice.

The Elf smiled and became relived. "I am glad you were able to come."

"I am so sorry I have not been able to come to see you. I would not miss being with you for all of Valinor." The Elf’s smile broadened as he took her hand. Gently, he twirled her around. "My dearest Lolia, I thank the Valar that we found each other."

She smiled warmly as Rúmil drew her toward him and held her in a gentle embrace. Together they shared a soft kiss and slowly parted.

"Rúmil, what is wrong? ... You look troubled."

The Elf sighed and conveyed to her what had transpired.

"You must tell them!" Lolia said, exasperated. "That we were together in the forest at the alleged time of the theft. And my goodness, you left your talan just to see me… What if you are found out? They will view it the wrong way…"

"You are worth it, My Love. I would like to, tell them but ..."

"I would dearly love to meet your brothers," Lolia said. "As well as Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel."

Rúmil sighed.

"I realise you are afraid that they will not approve of me, but I will have to meet them sometime."

Rúmil looked at her sadly. "I do not want to believe my brothers will reject you, but-"

"Do you not know them well enough?"

"I would like to think I do and I love them dearly ... Ohh, My Darling ... I am so sorry ... I do not wish to offend you, for I love you more than I can say."

She placed are arms around him. "I feel the same for you, My beautiful Rúmil and I am sure if your brothers are anything like you, I am sure all will be well."

Rúmil smiled. "I wish I had your confidence, Nîn Bain." {My beautiful}

Lolia smiled back at her love and placed her head against the Elf’s chest. Gently, he held her and ruffled her dark hair.

She smiled lovingly. "Your hands are like the gentlest linen."

He smiled back at her and kissed her head. "My Beloved, your hair is finer than the most exquisite Elven silk."

Lolia beamed. "Never before have such kind words been spoken me. Never before have I been looked upon in such a fair light."

"Then everyone who has seen you has obviously been blind."

Lolia sighed. "And no one has ever touched me the way you do."

"I should hope not."

The both of them laughed and began to tickle each other madly. Lolia tripped and fell on top of Rúmil and they fell beside a large rooted tree. Rúmil began to tickle her to which she squealed with laughter. The Elf smiled, then held her in his arms. "Never before have I enjoyed myself so much," he said, putting the mithril incident as far away from him as possible.

Lolia lay her head on his lap and he stroked her gently.

* * *

Rúmil was oblivious to how much time had gone by. It seemed to pass in the twinkling of an eye when he was with her. He sat up with a jerk as he realised how late it had become and he sighed sadly. "As much as I love you, Nîn Elrin {My Star}. I must leave you for now. If it is discovered that I have left..."

"...Things will become worse for you ... Ohh, Rúmil ... can you not tell them?"


"Ohh, I understand, My Sweet One but I do not wish to get you into any bother."

Rúmil smiled warmly. "You are no bother, My Light ... I do not wish to lie to my brothers any longer, but I am unsure ..."

"Do you wish me to accompany you to Caras Galadhon?"

Rúmil shook his head sadly. "I do not know ..." He placed his head on his love’s shoulder. "I would like you to meet them, but I am not sure when ... please do not despair... Nîn Meleth." {My Love}

Lolia took her beloved’s hand. "You are shivering ... Ohh, Rúmil, do not be afraid, for I would never leave you."

The Elf breathed an inward sigh of relief. "You always seem to know what I am thinking, My Love."

"Rúmil, I too love you more than my words can convey. It is a blessing from the Valar to be held in your gentle arms." Softly, she wiped a tear away form his cheek.

"As it is to be held in yours … It breaks my heart, but I must leave you."

"I understand, My Beloved," she said, sadly. "When can we meet again?"

"On the morrow," Rúmil replied. "But you must come to my talan…"

Lolia smiled, Rúmil kissed her. "As I may not be able to leave again."

He told his beloved about his secret entrance.

"I feel privileged."

"Even my brothers do not know about it."

Lolia smiled and gently kissed Rúmil’s cheek. "In that case, I feel very privileged… Ohh … Only a day away, yet it seems like an age."

"I feel the same," Rúmil said, stroking her head.

Slowly he stood and helped his beloved up and he kissed her softly.

"It pains me to leave you," she said, "but I know you must return."

Rúmil sighed heavily as he hurried back to Caras Galadhon, being extra careful not to be seen as he entered his Talan through the secret passage.

He climbed through the floor, closed the hatch and stood.

"I was wondering when you were going to return."

Rúmil gasped in shock and fell back onto his berth with his hand against his chest, his heart pounding as Lord Celeborn placed down a pristine white Unicorn ornament he had been admiring, and turned around. Rúmil swallowed. This indeed did not look good. He knew he would not be able to convince his Lord that he had been meditating. "My Lord … You … you startled me …"

"Of that I am sure. Come with me."

"My, Lord, I –"

Celeborn silenced the younger Elf with a look.

* * *

Celeborn did not allow Rúmil to sit down. Tinion watched in the background, nervous.

"I guess you wish an explanation."

"The truth would be a good start and do not bother to tell me you were meditating, exploring and the like."

"Nay, I was not. I had to leave, My Lord … I felt like a prisoner in my own Talan. I needed some fresh air … to be amongst the trees of Lothlórien for my own sanity."

"Your home is amongst the trees, Rúmil. I fail to see why you felt the need to disobey my orders. Do you not realise the gravity of the situation?"

"Aye, My Lord and I am truly sorry. I meant no disrespect."

"You realise this violation is being viewed as an admission of guilt."

Rúmil hung his head. He was afraid of this. "Aye, My Lord."

"Your brothers entered your Talan and found you had disappeared."

Rúmil felt a surge of anger, for it must have been them who had informed Celeborn.

"They were concerned about you. None of us wants to believe you are guilty, Rúmil, but your actions tell a different tale."

"I realise the odds are not stacked in my favour, My Lord, and I wish there was something I could do."

"You could have prevented a bad situation from becoming worse by remaining in your talan as you were ordered. I am assuming you exited via some passage known only to you, as your brothers knew not how you left."

"Aye, My Lord. I created the secret passage when I was a child. It was one way I could leave my talan and be by myself. My brothers were a tad, how shall we say, overprotective …"

Celeborn gave a small smile. "I recall."

Rúmil continued. "But I later years, I felt the passage would serve as an escape route should Lórien ever be attacked. I hoped I would never have to use it in that case."

"Aye, let us hope not, but, Rúmil, I am afraid have no choice now, but to place you under house arrest. Guards will be placed at the entrance and exits of your Talan, including your ‘secret passage.’"

Rúmil became annoyed, but sighed. "Aye, My Lord." The young Elf wondered if this fiasco was ever going to sort itself out, or was he to be a prisoner forever? Forever mistrusted, abandoned by his fellow Elves? Rúmil held back tears.

"Tinion," Celeborn said. "Escort Rúmil back to his talan and I expect you to ensure he does not leave. Please endeavour to be more aware in future."

"Aye, My Lord… I apologise…"

"My Lord, Rúmil said, please do not blame Tinion. No one knew about my secret passage. He never saw me."

Tinion twitched, then spoke. He could not hold it back any longer. "Nay … He lies, My Lord … I am sorry … I did see him leave … I tried to stop him, but-"

Celeborn became very concerned. "Rúmil …"

"Tinion wanted me to return to my Talan, but I could not … I was very persuasive, My Lord. Please do not blame him."

Celeborn calmed a little, relieved that Rúmil had not harmed the other Elf. He would not have thought an Elf would ever dream of harming another of their kind, but in the past days Rúmil had lied and very possibly stolen, but Celeborn felt confident that the young Elf would not become violent. Rúmil did not have a history of violence, the only time the young Elf had ever employed violence was in battle and only in defence of himself and others.

The Lord of Lórien nodded. "Very well, Tinion, you are very young and easily persuaded, but this time, please ensure Rúmil stays put."

"Aye, Lord Celeborn."

Rúmil left with Tinion, and Lithuvìen, whom he hoped still regarded him as a friend.

"I am sorry, Tinion. I truly am."

"Aye, I know … And it was my decision to tell the truth. Thank you for vouching for me."

Rúmil smiled. "I hope when this is over we will remain friends."

"Oh, Rúmil, what made you think that I would desert you?" Tinion said. "You may stand accused, but you have saved my life in the past."

"And it was you who taught me how to construct bows, arrows and athames," Lithuvìen said.

"Thank you, Tinion, Lithuvìen. Despite what has happened, I still regard you both as dear friends also."

The Elves arrived at Rúmil’s Talan and the accused Elf entered.

"I am dearly sorry, Rúmil," Lithuvìen said.

"Nay, do not be. You are both doing your duty. I guess I would have to do the same in your place. I only hope this ill wind blows over soon."

"As do we," Lithuvìen said.

Rúmil sat on his berth, trying not to think of himself as a prisoner. He was relieved that the guards were placed at only one of the entrances/exits to his secret passage. Lord Celeborn had never asked if there was more than one and Rúmil was grateful for that. He thanked the Valar that he had thought to make two, and that Lolia would come in from the second entrance. Though he was not foolish enough to leave this time around and he could not wait until Lolia came to him. He was confident she would not be seen. She had been living in the old cottage for three weeks now, since they had been seeing each other.

* * *

Dressed in dark clothing, Lolia came upon Caras Galathon. If anyone asked, she was a traveler from the Shire. She avoided contact with any Elf folk. It seemed they were on alert, though Rúmil’s second passage was not guarded at all and she smiled with relief and was quite proud of her stealthy movements.

Early that morning, Rúmil heard a scratching noise coming from his passage. He smiled as he sensed her and opened the hatch and whispered her name.

She came closer and he smiled when he saw her friendly face. The Elf helped his love out of the passage, closed the hatch and placed the green and purple patterned rug over it.

"We cannot speak loudly," he said. "There are guards outside."

"Oh, Rúmil," she whispered. "You have got to tell them…"

He sighed. "Aye … I dearly want to, My Love, but..."

Gently, Lolia held him. Rúmil placed his arms around her chest. Her soft rhythmic breathing soothed him and for a moment he forgot that he had been accused of the most daring, underhanded and diabolical theft ever carried out in Middle Earth. Gently he ruffled her velvety hair, then his head snapped up.

"What is it?" Lolia asked, concerned.

"My brothers approach! Hide yourself!"

Lolia gave Rúmil a look before she hid under the covers beside him. The Elf arranged them so nothing looked amiss as Haldir and Orophin entered the room. Usually Rúmil would be happy to see his beloved brothers, but things had been strained of late.

"Rúmil," Orophin said. "Lord Celeborn wishes to see you, but before we take you to see him…"

His own brothers felt like strangers to him.

"We want to help you," Orophin said, kneeling down beside Rúmil’s berth.

"It does not seem like it at all," Rúmil said with a scowl.

"Aye, we have been rather hard on you, but you have given us no evidence to support your innocence. While we truly do not want to believe you are guilty, if you are you must face the consequences … Rúmil, please know that if you are found to be guilty, Haldir and I are your brothers and we will not abandon you, for we love you dearly."

Rúmil wanted to cry. "So you do care after all."

"Oh, Rúmil … What made you think we did not care?" Haldir and Orophin looked hurt.

"It did not seem like it."

"We would never stop caring for you, you are our brother," Haldir said. "Though if you are guilty, one would wonder why you did it."

"I have told you both, I am not. I know the odds are against me, but I tell you, I am innocent."

Lolia shifted. Under the covers, Rúmil gently tapped her.

Orophin looked up. "There's someone else in the room," he said.

"You are imagining things," Rúmil said somewhat nervously.

Orophin shook his head. "I sense…"

"Perhaps you are sending Tinion's presence. He came in earlier to give me some food and water and both he and Lithuvìen are standing outside"

"Nay … Rúmil, there is someone in your berth … I …."

Rúmil sighed. "I suppose there is no point in hiding it any further .. Aye, I do conceal someone within my covers. They came for a visit through the secret passage."

"It is guarded," Orophin stated.

"Aye, they came to me when the guards changed." Rúmil still did not want to tell his brothers about the second passage.

"Rúmil, do not lie to us."

"If you really must know … I have a second entrance…"

Orophin widened his eyes. "Rúmil, do you realise how serious this is? Who are you -?"

"You no doubt think the person I am concealing is my partner in crime."

"Well is he?"



Rúmil sighed. "I have been … seeing someone in the forest these past few weeks."

"Why did you not tell anyone? And do you know if this person had anything to do with the-"

"Nay. Neither of us had anything to do with the theft."

"How do you know they are innocent?"

"We were together in the forest when it happened."

"Why did you not tell anyone this?" Orophin asked, astonished.

Rúmil sighed again. "The person I have been seeing … Well … we have fallen… in love."

Both Orophin and Haldir looked flabbergasted.

Orophin shook his head in amazement. "Why did you not tell us this?"

Again, Rúmil sighed. "I did not think you would approve."

"But why would you think that … I am sure the Elf Maiden you have chosen to bond with-"

"That is just it .."

"Oh," Orophin said, pausing. "I see … You have chosen to bond with an Elf male? … That is perfectly acceptable, Rúmil, although not very common. You might not have noticed it, but Tinion and Lithuvìen have become rather fond of one and other."

"Oh ... Nay I had not, with the current happenings … " He felt guilty for not noticing something so important with his two best friends, and he continued, "I am very happy for them, but it is not that … I … dearly love her and …"

"Well then, what is the problem? I am sure the maiden you have chosen is honourable."

"Aye, of course she is honourable … I … I just .. . I …"

Lolia peeled off the covers and peered nervously at Rúmil's brothers. Both Haldir and Orophin looked quite surprised at first, but then he smiled. "Rúmil, what made you think we would not approve?"

"You … you have always seen me with an Elf maiden and I did not know if you would accept her … You and Haldir are very proud."

"Not so proud as to reject the one with whom our beloved Brother has chosen to bond."

"We are not so closed minded as to reject her because she is not Elf kind," Haldir said, then he spoke to Lolia. "We are honoured to accept you into our family, Miss…"

"Lolia," she said smiling, then she turned to Rúmil. "You did not tell me your brothers were so handsome."

Rúmil chucked. "Do not get any ideas."

Lolia laughed as he kissed her and began to tickle her. Haldir and Orophin began to laugh softly too.

"Oh, Rúmil … I am so sorry we doubted you," Orophin said, "though-"

"Aye, I do understand why you were so hard on me. I guess I would have done the same in your position and I am sorry if I caused duress."

"You are forgiven," Orophin said with a smile.

"Indeed," Haldir said relieved his youngest brother was indeed innocent.

"As are you both," Rúmil said.

All three Elves hugged gently. Lolia placed her hand upon Rúmil's shoulder.

"I will relay the good news to Lord Celeborn." Orophin paused. "Though next time, Rúmil, please do not feel as though you cannot trust us … But then I guess we are to blame for that as well as I confess, I was unsure about your innocence until now."

"I believe we have all learned a lesson in trust," Rúmil said.

Lolia placed her arms around him and he ruffled her hair.

* * *

Orophin made haste to find Celeborn and found his Lord sitting in his chambers. The Lord of Lórien looked up, sensing the younger Elf's bright mood, grateful that someone at least was in good spirits.

"My Lord, Rúmil is not responsible for the theft," Orophin said with a smile.

"You seem so sure. What brings such a change of heart?"

The eldest Marchwarden began to relay the story.

* * *

Rúmil traversed the white stone stairs to Lord Celeborn's chambers with Lolia. She looked in awe at the exquisite Elvish architecture, the beautiful intricate patterns, the railings made to look like the trees themselves.

Celeborn approached Rúmil and held his hand. "Rúmil, please forgive me, though you did make it very difficult."

"Aye, My Lord, please forgive me also … I should have had more trust."

"I was very hard on you, and I must confess I was beginning to believe you were guilty due to your actions. I am so very relieved that you are not."

Rúmil felt Celeborn's hand shiver slightly and saw tears brimming in his Lord's eyes.

"Oh, My Lord, I am so very sorry. I was frightened and angry … and it felt like everyone, including yourself wanted to believe I was guilty."

Celeborn shook his head. "Nay. I hoped with all my heart and soul that you were not."

Gently Celeborn embraced him. Lolia smiled. She had been afraid to meet Lord Celeborn, though she could sense he was a kind, firm and gentle leader.

The Lord of Lórien looked down at her and smiled.

"I am sorry I seem to have caused so much trouble," Lolia said.

"You did not," Rúmil said. "I should have told them."

"Well now you have," Lolia said. "I am grateful to have met your brothers and your friends."

"As we are to meet you, young Hobbit," Celeborn said.

"Miss Lolia Proudfoot," she said, smiling. She believed Lord Celeborn was very handsome, though her heart belonged to Rúmil.

Rúmil ruffled her fluffy hair, then scooped her up into his arms.

Celeborn smiled. "Young love … I remember when I carried Lady Galadriel off many years ago."

"Yes, it did seem like a long time ago, doesn't it?" Galadriel said, seeming to glide up the stairs.

Celeborn was happy to see his Love, as she had departed for many days.

"I sensed much commotion earlier and felt I had to return earlier …" Galadriel said, concerned.

"Yes," Celeborn said, his tone graver now. "Something very serious has happened…"

Galadriel looked a little anxious.

"All the mithril items have been taken, including your carafe and Lord Celeborn's neckpiece, fashioned by the Valar themselves," Haldir said gravely. "Rúmil was a suspect at first, but he was in the forest with his new found love at the time of the theft, and so we do not-"

Galadriel looked very surprised as she turned to Celeborn. "Oh goodness … I feel terrible .."

"Perhaps you should sit down, My Lady," Orophin offered, gently taking her arm. "We will find the culprit and have the items returned."

Galadriel chuckled. "You already have the culprit."

The Elves looked puzzled.

"We do?" Haldir said, hoping with all his heart that it did not turn out to be Rúmil after all. He sensed Orophin tense as well.

The Elves became concerned. Was one of them the thief after all?

"The culprit is myself," Lady Galadriel said.

The Elves stared at her in absolute disbelief.

"All the items will be returned upon the next new moon," she assured. "As some of you know, every eight thousand years, mithril must be cleansed both physically and spiritually. The last time it was cleansed was eight thousand, three hundred years ago."

"Has it been that long?" Celeborn asked, astonished.

"Aye, my love."

"Goodness. How time flies … I feel so embarrassed … I should have sensed…"

"I am to blame, My Love," Galadriel said. "I should have contacted you, though you were indisposed at the time I left."

"I should have remembered."

"You had very much on your mind. I will endeavour for better communication in future."

"As will I." Celeborn turned to Rúmil and took his hand. "I am so very sorry. I… we all were in error … There was no thief after all … It is not often I make such an error."

"My Lord, we all make mistakes," Rúmil said, understandingly, "even the most gifted. Please do not blame yourself. My feeling is this happened for a reason. We have all learned to trust and communicate."

Celeborn smiled. "You are wise, young Rúmil."

Galadriel smiled as she turned to the short Hobbit. "Lolia Proudfoot … I sensed a beautiful new love in the forest … Please feel welcome to stay. It is not usually this…confusing!"

The Hobbit smiled. "Thank you, My Lady." She placed her arms around Rúmil, who sighed softly.

Celeborn leaned over to the young Elf. "You may take another carafe of my berry wine to share if you desire."

Rúmil smiled and chuckled softly. "I shall. Thank you, My Lord."

Galadriel and Celeborn smiled warmly as the younger Elves left.

"Young love …" Celeborn said with a sigh.

Galadriel placed her head on his shoulders. She had almost forgotten how comforting that was. Gently, he kissed her warm cheek.

Galadriel smiled. "What was that about carrying me off?"

Celeborn smiled as well as he scooped his lady love into his arms. Holding her gently, he carried her off to their chambers …

* * *

Haldir and Orophin were still over the moon about their brother's innocence and his new love. Rúmil held Lolia gently in his arms and kissed her.

Orophin sighed softly. "You look so harmonious and wonderful together."

"I had always hoped you would find someone special," Haldir said with a smile.

Rúmil smiled. "And you, Haldir? Do you have anyone special in mind? I am sorry that it did not work out with you and Ananya."

"Nay, do not be, Rúmil. It was not meant to eventuate … I have decided that…" Haldir stopped.

Both Orophin and Rúmil sensed that their brother felt uncomfortable, afraid to tell them something.

"What is it, Haldir?" Orophin prompted gently.

"I … I have had quite a few relationships, as you know with male and female Elves, and one mortal female, Darii of Gondor, and as you also know, none of them seemed to work … I have given much care and thought to this for many months … and I have decided that … I … I do not wish a relationship in that manner … I… I guess it is expected of everyone to take a love and settle, and bear children, but that is not what I want to do. I wish to remain as I am."

"Haldir, you have never told us," Orophin said, surprised, not at his brother's decision, but the fact that he had kept silent about it.

"I … I was afraid to … I felt perhaps you would think me strange."

"No stranger than an Elf falling in love with a Hobbit," Lolia said.

Haldir chucked. "People often say that a single life is lonely, but I disagree. I have my brothers, my Lord and Lady, my dear friends, and beautiful Lothlórien. I have health and abundance of support and love, and that is all I need and all I desire."

Orophin placed his arms around his second youngest brother. "I am happy for you. It is an important decision, and a large one to make and a wonderful revelation to understand yourself. I am sorry if Rúmil or I seemed to pressure you into finding a mate."

"It is I who placed the pressure upon myself. I felt pressured by expectations of the norm. I realise now that everyone is different and we do not all wish the same things."

"I wish it was as easy for me," Orophin said. "I do desire a mate very much, not because that is the norm, but because I desire intimate company. Often I feel alone and I…" Orophin stopped, willing tears away.

Rúmil stood and held his oldest brother's hand. "You have never told us ..."

"I mean no offence, My Brothers, for I love you both dearly."

"No offence taken," Haldir said.

"None at all," Rúmil confirmed.

Orophin gave a weak smile as he sat down. "Thank you …"

Haldir sat next to his brother. "Why did you not tell us this earlier?"

"I … I am the eldest brother … I am expected to be in control… I am supposed t be sure of myself."

"You thought we would see you as weak, perhaps?"

Orophin nodded, tears brimming. Haldir held him.

Rúmil knelt by his brother's side. "We would never think such a thing, Orophin. We have never seen you as anything but strong and resolute. If you have not yet found a mate, then the time is not right. Perhaps the Valar wish you to wait to meet someone very special. It took Lolia and I many years to find one and other."

"And it took me many years to come to the realisation that I did not wish companionship in such a manner," Haldir said.

Orophin smiled. "You are both very wise and your wisdom is enlightening."

"As is yours, My Brother," Haldir said. "We have learned a lot from one and other, over the years and in these last few days … Rúmil was afraid to tell us and the others about Lolia as he was afraid we would reject her as she is not Elf kind. I was afraid to tell you both that I wished to remain single, as I believed you would think strangely of me and you were afraid that we would think you were weak or unworthy as you had not found a mate."

Orophin nodded. "Aye … It seems as though we were all in error and had we communicated properly with one and other, we could have sorted this sooner."

Haldir nodded. "I will endeavour to tell you both anything from this moment on, even if I am afraid to."

"Aye. I will make the same promise." Rúmil said.

"As will I," Orophin said, as he placed his hand on top of his brothers'.

Lolia placed her hand on top of theirs. "And I will make sure you stick to your promises, otherwise I will have to spank you all if you're naughty."

Rúmil smiled. "Then I will most definitely be naughty/"

Lolia laughed and playfully hit him. The Elf grabbed her and hugged her vigorously and they began to roll on the floor and play like happy Elflings. Lolia squealed with delight as he began to tickle her fuzzy feet.

Orophin smiled. "I can only hope my relationship will be as joyful."

"It will be, if you wish it to be," Haldir told him.

Orophin looked hopeful.

* * *

The Elven brothers and Lolia sat around the hearth in Haldir's talan as she told them her story. Originally she had come from the Shire and unlike most Hobbits, she loved to explore and travel, as much as she loved her homeland. She had a deep love and respect for Elf kind and longed to meet them. Upon arriving Lothlórien, she had tripped and sprained her ankle and she told them it was the best thing that ever happened to her. Rúmil had been protecting the borders at the time and found her, after hearing her rustle in the bushes, pleasantly surprised at a pretty looking middle-aged Hobbit, rather than a hideous Orc that he had expected. He had carried her to the old cottage and taken care of her, and then they had fallen in love …

Haldir and Orophin were touched by the story, but more so by Rúmil and Lolia's love. Rúmil was relieved that his brothers had taken so well to her, but then, he said to himself, what was not to love about her? She was gentle, caring and loving and had a deep respect for others and nature. He was so very happy to realise that he could trust his brothers with anything, and they had learned the same lesson. He felt a little foolish for thinking otherwise and surmised his brothers felt the same, though now things seemed somewhat clearer and he was grateful for that, and he sensed his brothers felt more at ease as well.

* * *

Rúmil and Lolia's bonding ceremony was held by the Northern borders of Lothlórien, where they had first met. Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel conducted the ceremony with happy hearts. The loving couple had invited their families and a small gathering close friends.

Haldir smiled warmly when he saw Orophin cry. Gently he placed his hand on his oldest brother's shoulder. "I do not think our brother has any plans to leave Lórien."

Orophin smiled and chuckled softly. "It is just so wonderful to see him so happy."

* * *

A bubbly daughter, Pila was borne to the couple the following Spring on the day of the Equinox. Rúmil cried when he held his child for the first time.

~I am a father … ~ he thought to himself in awe and he chuckled gently when his daughter sucked on his finger. The Elf sat down beside Lolia, his bond mate.

"Thank you for your beautiful gifts."

"Thank you, Rúmil. It would not have been possible without you." She kissed his warm cheek.

* * *

Orophin and Haldir could not get enough of Pila. It amused Rúmil and Lolia to no end that they fussed over her as if they were her parents.

Orophin held Pila in his arms and chuckled when the baby's tiny hands reached for his long hair. "She is so adorable … It is hard to believe Rúmil is a father, though not that I think he is incapable, by any means."

"Our little brother has grown up," Haldir said with a smile.

Orophin nodded with a smile as Pila sucked on his finger.

Rúmil and Lolia entered their Talan and the younger Elf chuckled. "The way you two cluck over her is worse than myself and Lolia."

The Hobbit chuckled as she playfully hit her bond mate. Haldir and Orophin laughed softly as Haldir gently stroked the baby's head.

Orophin smiled warmly. "It seems not so long ago, I was holding a little Elfling baby called Rúmil in my arms."

Rúmil smiled warmly. "You watched over both of us and raised us after our parents were slain … by Orcs." It was still hard for him to talk about that. "In many ways I you were like a father to us as well as a brother."

Orophin smiled. "I too miss our parents, our dear mother Tarì and our valiant father Tinùviel, but we must not dwell on woes of the past. They have long since departed to the Halls of Mandos and to happier lands."

Rúmil nodded, though part of his thoughts were still dwelling on his parents, but he made the conscious effort to put it to a final rest as he could not change what had happened and he knew his parents would not want him to dwell in the depths of grief. "And I know we will join them in many years to come."

"And I hope to become a father again …very soon," Orophin said.

Haldir and Rúmil looked at their brother.

"If I know you, Orophin," Haldir said. "I would say you have something to tell us."

A smile broadened across the elder Elf's face. "I … I have met someone..."

Rúmil's mouth dropped open. "You must tell us!"

Lolia jumped up and down. "Yes! Oh yes, you must! This is so exciting!"

"Aye," Haldir said, folding his arms. "I demand to know why you have not spoken of this before." His serious expression was spoiled by a smile escaping.

Orophin chuckled. "It was only a few days ago … As I followed two Orcs through the forest, I heard a slight splash in the Nimrodel … " Orophin took a breath. "And it was there that I saw the maiden I was destined to be with, bathing naked in the river, the water glistening against her. I could not see at that point whether she was Elf kind, for her hair covered her ears, but it did not matter … and it was not her beauty that attracted me. Strong, infallible energy radiated from her to all the lands and waters. From that moment I knew we were destined for each other. A moment later. she turned and saw me. Her face twisted with anger as she leapt out of the river, grabbed her sword and charged me. She did not give me a moment to talk as she leapt onto me. At that point we were both beset by the Orcs and fought them until we bested them. Though she seemed somewhat embarrassed that she had nowhere to sheath her sword."

Rúmil and Haldir giggled and listened intently as their brother continued.

"Sheepishly, I offered the maiden her clothes."

'I did not realise you were an Elf at first,' she told me. 'I did not think Elves spied on bathing women.'

Hastily and not very coherently, I explained to her what had transpired and to my relief she turned around and laughed. 'Are all Elves this articulate?' she asked me … And I said something clumsy again.

"You? Clumsy, Orophin?" Haldir said. "Never."

"Believe it."

"Tell us more, Orophin," Rúmil urged, sitting at his brother's feet and tugging his tunic. Lolia smiled and leant her head on her love's chest as Orophin continued. "She told me her name was Eovannia, a Shieldmaiden of Rohan."

"A Shieldmaiden saw you watching her naked and you lived to tell the tale?" Rúmil said, eyes wide. "I am indeed impressed, Brother. You seem to have hidden talents of which Haldir and I know not."

Orophin chuckled. "And it just happened like that. Our eyes locked and we kissed, a kiss to make the Gods of Old envious… And I felt like I melted into her."

Rúmil smiled. "This is how I felt when I first met my beautiful Lolia." He held her gently and the Hobbit blushed.

Orophin sighed. "It has taken me so very long to find my chosen one, but it was worth every second."

"We feel the same," Lolia said, kissing her beloved.

Haldir smiled, happy for his oldest brother.

* * *

Orophin and Eovannia were bonded on the new moon. Again, Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel conducted the ceremony, very happy for Orophin and his love, and it did not surprise all to discover she carried within her Orophin's child, a daughter, whom they named Eòlia, born the following Winter Solstice.

"I am so very happy for you, My Brother," Rúmil said, gently holding Eòlia in his arms. "I hope she and Pila will become wonderful playmates."

"I am sure they will," Orophin said with a smile. "It is wonderful that they will both come to womanhood in a world that is at peace."

Rúmil nodded, grateful as he gently ruffled the baby girl's blonde hair.

Haldir too was quite taken by Eòlia. Both his brothers daughters seemed like his own children.

* * *

The three Marchwardens, their two beloved bond mates and their young daughters traveled Middle Earth for many months, visiting the homelands of their loved ones, the Shire and Rohan, amongst other places before returning to Lothlórien.

"I am grateful you have returned," Celeborn said to them. "While I hope you enjoyed your journey, I was beginning to miss my three favourite Marchwardens."

Rúmil, Haldir and Orophin chuckled, grateful to be home and to be loved so by their Lord.

"We brought you a present," Eòlia said.

Pila looked excited. "Aye, we could hardly wait to give it to you."

She took an exquisite silver belt form her pocket and gave it to him

Celeborn knelt down, touched as he took the gift from them.

"It is very beautiful." Gently, he embraced them.

"Haldir saw it first," Pila admitted, "and he thought you would love it."

"Aye, he was right," Celeborn said, smiling at Haldir.

Rúmil took a small green ceramic plate from his satchel. "And I saw this for Lady Galadriel. It was made by Hobbit children. It even has 'forest' written on it in Elvish."

Celeborn smiled. "It is lovely. I am sure she will adore it. She has been looking for a scared item to place her mithril necklace onto when she retires for the night. I will present it to her when she returns from Rivendell in a few days." Again, Celeborn was very touched by the gift. Hobbits could be very creative and it mattered not to him that they had spelled forest with one too many r's.

Orophin returned to his talan with Eovannia and Eòlia, while Haldir returned to his own talan. Often Rúmil wondered if his second oldest brother became lonely, but Haldir had assured him that he did not. Haldir had decided to do something that he had wanted to do for many years - to tell a legendary tale of adventure of war and peace, of villains and heroes for future generations about the history, ancient to modern of Middle Earth and her people. Though he chose to start with first with writing the epic story of the War of the Ring and he began, the first installment being ~The Fellowship of the Ring~

* * *

Rúmil placed Pila in her small berth, covered her up gently and kissed his daughter's forehead softly.

Lolia sighed and placed her arms around her beloved's waist. "And you wondered if you would be good with children…"

He smiled lovingly as he held his betrothed. Together they sat on their soft berth. Rúmil held Lolia until she fell asleep, her head resting against his warm chest. He stroked her soft and fluffy hair ever so gently, thanking the Valar for their precious blessings for himself, his family and his people and peace in his world.



Back to Lord of the Rings Page