Disclaimer: The Lord of the Rings trilogy was written by J. R. R. Tolkien.
I make no monetary profit from this story.
Summary: Orophin and Rúmil mourn Haldirís death and comfort one and other.
Authorís note: I know Haldir did NOT die in the book and so as far as I m concerned he did not die at all. I wrote this story to explore what may have happened if Haldir had actually been killed at Helmís Deep. It was really hard to write.
SPIRIT OF LÓRIEN
He feared not for himself now, as he knew in these short seconds his time was over. The tall Elf collapsed to his knees in shock. The roaring battle raging around him became all but a blur. Death hung in the air, so many lives lost, the lifeless faces of his kin, men and children, haunting him. These people had fought and died together. He wanted to cry, but he did not have time. His body felt numb. He felt sick. He did not feel the pain of his gaping wounds, he felt he had failed the world and that pain was far greater. He felt alone. It seemed all hope was lost and all which was good in the world had been crushed underfoot and that the light of his world had been stamped out. The last thing he saw before darkness gripped him was Aragorn by his side, the manís pain as great as his own, the forlorn look in the Rangerís eyes as he knew one so close to him was lost, but he was determined to do something.
"Take the child," Haldir struggled to say, his last gesture to indicate a badly wounded long haired Rohanian boy beside him.
Aragorn looked contrite. It was the young boy he had spoken to earlier, but the Ranger wanted to save his Elven friend.
"Please..." Haldir rasped. "I have seen many dawns ... *Promise* me ... this child will see another."
Aragorn gave a determined nod. "And many more."
Haldirís eyes showed his gratitude as he laid back. His last thoughts were of his beloved brothers. He felt he had left them alone to die in this world. He had left them to grieve for a brother who would never return and would never be there for them again. He clung to a single sparkle of hope that things would turn for the better, but he did not believe he could hold onto it for long, and he lay amongst his fallen comrades, the last spark of life leaving his Elven eyes. Gently, Aragorn closed them.
* * *
Orophin and Rúmil had hardly said a word since Haldir departed for Helmís Deep. They did not have to. To look into their eyes was enough to convey how worried they were about their brother.
Emiré had been sent back to Lothlórien to deliver the news of he battle at Helmís Deep. Rúmil upped and rushed to him. Orophin watched him, worriedly. He was not sure he wanted the news. He remained seated, as Rúmil ran to Emiré, watching his brother from a distance
The other Elf removed his helmet. "Many of our kin did not survive the night," he said, trying to keep his voice even. It would not take Elf senses to see his sadness.
Rúmil swallowed and took Emiréís hand. "I grieve for them," he said sadly. "Let us hope their Spirits are guided to the Other Side and let us hope they will never see war again." He and took a breath, afraid to ask.
The dark skinned Elf was afraid to reply.
"Please ....tell me that ... " Rúmil began, then he stopped, unable to continue.
He looked into Emiréís dark brown eyes. Silence followed.
The blonde elf swallowed and a shiver traversed his body. "Please ..."
Emiréís silence spoke volumes, his sadness apparent in his eyes.
"No .." Rúmil shook his head. "No ..." tears welled in his eyes. "*No ...*"
"I am sorry, Rúmil." Gently Emiré touched the younger Elfís shoulder.
He heard his brotherís scream and Orophin felt as though an arrow had been shot into his stomach.
Rúmil fell to his knees, unable to stop his tears.
"I am sorry," Emiré whispered, tears of his own falling. "I must go to Galadriel and Celeborn."
He left in silence. He knew not how to comfort his grieving kin. He doubted anything but death would dull the pain.
Orophin ran to his youngest brother, knelt beside him and placed his arms around him. Rúmil did not stop crying, his cries stabbing his brother like a thousand swords as Orophin held him gently. Rúmil held onto his older brother, his cries piercing the night. Orophin stood and helped Rúmil up. The younger Elf could barely walk as his brother lead him deep into the wood. Rúmil could barely stay upright and collapsed weeping, his pain and despair heavy as Lonely Mountain. Orophin held his brother once more. His own grief would have to wait. His brother needed him now.
Rúmil cried well into the wee hours of the morn. Orophin had said nothing, but held him for hours on end, gently comforting his brother without words. Rúmilís sobs slowly began to ebb. His face was red and wet with tears, his long hair clung to his damp cheeks. Gently, Orophin stroked him. He was relieved when he could hear his brotherís soft breathing. Rúmil looked at the ground, his body numb now. He took a deep breath and he spoke softly, but with such conviction, Orophin shuddered. "I am going to kill them all." He looked into his brotherís eyes. "They all deserve to die. I will slaughter them until none are left standing!"
The pure hate Orophin saw in his gentle brotherís eyes frightened him.
"Yes, they do deserve to die. They do not deserve life in the first instance, but, you cannot-"
The younger Elf stood. "I will and I am going to."
He began to walk away.
"No! You cannot." Orophin was on his feet in an instant.
"Nothing will stop me," Rúmil said, with conviction.
"I forbid you," Orophin stated.
"*I* am your older brother."
"You will not stop me, Orophin."
"You will *not* go."
Rúmil ignored his brother and approached a dark brown horse.
"It is folly. You cannot fight them alone."
The younger Elf jumped on top of the steed. "I will ride to Helmís Deep and-"
"Nothing you say will stop me, Orophin."
"Rúmil, *please ...*"
The other Elf readied himself to leave.
"Rúmil, please..." Orophinís voice shivered. "I have lost one brother this night. I *cannot* lose another..."
Rúmil closed his eyes for a few moments, then he dismounted and approached his brother. Gently, he placed his arms around him. "I am sorry, Orophin ... I thought only of my own selfish desire for revenge ... You are right ... I could not bear to lose you either. The grief of one brother lost is enough for a thousand lifetimes."
Gently Orophin embraced his brother. Rúmil felt him shivering.
"Thank you..." Orophin said. "In the coming times, we must be a comfort to each other."
A tear rolled down Rúmilís cheek. "Why? ... Why did it happen?"
"I know not."
The pain flooded back, filling Rúmilís every sense. If it was not for his older brotherís gentle embrace, he did not believe he would have survived. Again he sat down and grieved. It was not long before Rúmil fell into a temporary sleep. His brother went to find some food. Orophin was not hungry, though he hoped it would help. He gathered only fruits, nuts and berries. He did not want to kill this night. He forced himself to eat a wild peach and took some berries and nuts back to Rúmil, who was waking.
"Here," he said.
Rúmil shook his head.
"You must eat something."
"I am not hungry."
"Neither was I. Take them, Rúmil. It will do you good."
Reluctantly, Rúmil did as his brother asked. Even the bittersweet taste of his favourite berries did nothing at all to take his grief.
The figure watched the two grieving brothers, his pain as great as their own. Beyond the dawn he watched them in silence. Neither they nor he knew why it had happened. He turned away, the pain too much for him to bear.
* * *
Orophin held Rúmil until his brother had fallen asleep in his arms. The older Elf stood, gently laying his brother down on the soft leaf mulch. He walked away in silence and sat on a large rock. He took in and let out silent breaths.
"You cannot hold it in. You know this."
Orophin turned. "Lady Galadriel."
She smiled warmly, her smile tainted with sadness. "We all bear the grief of Haldirís departure, but you must let your grief out. It is not healthy to keep it within."
Orophin took a breath. "It not easy for me, for Rúmil is a lot more sensitive than I. In some ways I envy him."
"But you feel your brotherís loss, do you not?"
"More than I can say."
"You were there for Rúmil, now you must be here for yourself. Haldir would be grieved to see you suffer so."
"It is strange," Orophin said. "Rúmil always thought I favoured Haldir and Haldir believed I preferred Rúmil, but in truth I loved them both equally."
Gently Galadriel touched his shoulder. "You must release your grief into the forest, Orophin of Lórien. Only then will you be free. You will always feel his loss, as will we all, but it will make it easier to bear."
The Marchwarden nodded sadly.
The Elf Queen stood. "I leave you now, Orophin, Son of Tinúviel. I must consult the Mirror. Dark times lie ahead."
Orophin nodded and waited until the Lady of the Wood had left.
* * *
Nearby her mirror, Galadriel saw another, sitting with his back to her.
"You linger," she said.
"I cannot leave."
"You should be on your way to the Other Side by now."
The Spirit of Haldir turned. "I cannot leave them."
"They will survive. Both Rúmil and Orophin are strong of character."
Haldir nodded. "Yes, but their grief cuts me like a sword."
"Would yours be any less had one of them passed?"
"Of course not, but I cannot let them suffer like this." Haldir stood. "I feel I have failed them."
"You have not, Haldir. You fought valiantly."
"I should have seen it coming."
"Not even he wisest can see all ends."
Sadly the Elf spirit nodded. "But I cannot leave. Please, Lady Galadriel, do not force me to go."
She smiled warmly. "I will not force you to do anything, My Dear Haldir. Only to do what you feel is right."
"I have to stay for them, until they no longer need me, but I cannot go to them now, their grief is still too great."
"If you choose to appear before them, you must be careful they do not become dependant on you."
Haldir nodded and sat back down and remained long after Galadriel had left.
* * *
Orophin sat in silence by himself, before the first tears came. In a reflex, he tried to stop them, but could not. The lump in his throat tore itself loose as more tears flowed.
Rúmil awoke to the sound of crying. He was puzzled at first, but recognised it as his brother. Concerned, he walked to him. He thought for a moment that Orophin might wish to be alone, then he thought of how his brother had comforted him through the night. Rúmil sat next to him, gently placing his arms around him. Orophin gave a little start. At first he had not wanted anyone to see him like this, but seeing his youngest brother brought him some comfort. Orophin did not stop sobbing as Rúmil held him.
"I never even apologised to him ..." the older Elf wailed.
Rúmil looked puzzled. "About what?"
"I go back to the time when I abandoned him in Fangorn Forest, by the lake, when he was about seven years. He cried out my name, but I was determined not to go back to him, for him to learn his own way. He was terrified. I could hear it in his voice."
"But you went back to him, didnít you?"
"Only after one of the Ents whacked my backside so hard I thought I would never be able to sit down again."
Rúmil gave a small smile.
"I went to back him and he was so relieved to see me. All the way out of Fangorn, Haldir clung to me with the claws of an Eagle ... and I have never apologised to him for..."
"Oh, Orophin, Iím sure he has forgiven you ... And we must think of the happy times we spent together. The times we ate together, trained together, fought together, played together."
The older Elf smiled, then began to laugh.
"What is it?" Rúmil asked with a smile.
"Iím remembering the time we first taught you how to shoot."
Rúmil laughed too. "Though at the time I was mortified."
"Yes, I recall ... Haldir was setting the apple atop the branch and was set upon by that hideous Orc. You grabbed your bow and aimed, so determined you were to save your brother, then you fired and shot him in the arse."
Rúmil closed his eyes and laughed.
"And it startled the Orc so and gave Haldir the upper hand," Orophin said.
"Haldir forgave me," Rúmil said with a smile, "but he never told me if it left a scar."
Haldir chuckled as well as he looked into the mirror. "It is good to see them laughing again."
"Did it leave a scar?" Galadriel inquired.
The younger Elf laughed. "A small one, for a time, though I thought if I told Rúmil heíd feel worse."
The Lady of the Wood smiled.
* * *
Rúmil and Orophin walked to their dwelling, reminiscing on happy times they had spent with Haldir.
"Let us prepare his favourite dish," Orophin said.
"Yes. Letís. We have not had berry ice in ages."
"I was thinking of sweet leaf pie with pine nuts."
"Let us make both."
Orophin smiled. "Yes. I will gather the ingredients, while you prepare the setting."
Rúmil began to prepare the workplace, while Orophin went to fetch the requirements. The younger Elf took a breath as he took out Haldirís stone dish. He set it down and took another deep breath. Tears began to well in his eyes. He was willing to wager this would not be the last time. Slowly and clumsily, he wiped them away.
"Please do not grieve for me, Rúmil."
The younger Elf turned and he swallowed to see the glowing form of his brother.
The Spirit gave a warm smile. "I will never leave you, or Orophin My Dear Brothers." Gently, Haldir touched his younger brotherís face. "You will not always be able to see me as you do now, nevertheless, know that I am always with you."
A tear meandered down Rúmilís cheek. "Thank you, My Dear Haldir. In my grief I had not sensed you."
Again the Elven Spirit smiled gently. "As I would have felt the grief had your or Orophin passed ... Although I will not be able to taste your dishes as I normally would, I am sure they will be delicious."
Rúmil chuckled. "I hope so. I was never much of a cook."
Haldir smiled and held his brotherís hand. "Farewell for now, My Dear Rúmil."
"Please do not stay away too long."
Haldir could not betray the pleading in his brotherís eyes as he gently embraced him before he disappeared.
Orophin returned baring the ingredients and Rúmil noticed the colour was back in his brotherís cheeks.
"Please believe me when I say this, Rúmil," Orophin said "but in the wood, I-"
"You saw him too?" Rúmil said with delight.
Rúmil nodded, with a smile. "He told me he would never leave us."
"That is what he told me and I should have known that."
"As I, but we know now, do we not?"
Orophin smiled. "Yes, we do. Now, let us get started."
He set the ingredients down and the two Elves began to make their brotherís favourite dishes.
Haldir watched them bake, eat and share their masterpieces with his Elven kin. He would visit his brothers from time to time, and he watched over them until, many, many, thousands moons forward, it was their time to cross over to the Other Side and they made that journey together.
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