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

 

I make no monetary profit from this story.

 

Summary:   AU:  Saruman is planning something dastardly.  Celeborn and the Lórien Elves send Haldir to Isengard to discover what the evil wizard is planning and stop him.

 

 

Rating PG

 

~~~~~~~~

 

WHISPERS OF THE TREES

 

 

 

  "Saruman is brewing evil," Celeborn said gravely.  "I can sense it.  I know not what he is planning, though we can be sure it will not do Middle Earth any good.  My senses tell me he is creating a weapon of some sort."

  "What would you have us do, My Lord?" Orophin said.

  "I have given it some thought, though it will be very dangerous."

  "We are brave, My Lord," Rúmil said.

  "Of that I have no doubt," Celeborn said.  "I require one of you to travel to Isengard disguised as a Haradhrim, wearing the attire of the Easterling we captured not a few days ago."

  "I will go, My Lord," Haldir said.  "Though I may not return."

  "Do not say such things," Rúmil said, worried for his brother.

Celeborn regarded Rúmil.  "We all wish Haldir return from this dangerous mission."

  "I apologise if I spoke out of turn, My Lord."

Celeborn smiled warmly.  "You are worried for your brother, as are we all. Haldir, please know that this is a voluntary mission."

  "Then I volunteer."

Celeborn bowed slightly.  "Lórien thanks you for it is you who must stop Isengard."

 

Haldir was dismayed to have to dye his lovely hair black, though it was an essential part of the mission.  Rúmil prepared the face make-up from natural Lórien Earth.

 

  "I hope this will come off," Haldir said, looking at his now brown face.

Rúmil smiled.

  "You think this is funny do you not," Haldir said.

The younger Elf chuckled. "You are brave, My Brother.  Here is your headdress."

  "I hope it will not mess up my hair."

Rúmil smiled.  "I appreciate your attempts to lessen my worry, Brother, but they are not working."

  "It was worth an endeavour."

Rúmil placed the headdress upon Haldir's head.  The disguised Elf stood.

 

 

 "You will have safe passage to Isengard through Fangorn Forest," Celeborn said.  "The Ents will not harm you as they know you are an Elf."

Haldir nodded.  "Shall I leave now?"

  "Aye, and make haste."

 

 

Haldir arrived at Isengard unmolested.  He feared at first he might be mistaken for the enemy by friends of the Elves, but no such event occurred. 

The 'Haradhrim' entered Isengard and called for Saruman.

The White Wizard appeared seemingly from nowhere.

  "To what do I owe this pleasure, Haradhrim?"

  "I am Dral.  I have been sent by my superiors to check your progress.  Mordor grows impatient."

Saruman bristled and his gaze darkened.  "A little forthcoming for a solider aren't we?"

  "Forgive me, My Lord.  I have been instructed to return with news, or be it my death.  My life is at your command."

  "Splendid.  As a matter of fact there is something you can tell your masters, if I choose to let you live long enough."

  "I pray that you do."

Saruman led Haldir to a dark room in the tower.  The Wizard illuminated it by opening a small window.  Haldir saw a covered contraption in the middle of the room.

  "What is this pray tell?"

  "This as you call it is my finest invention.  It will usher in the new world."

  "That is all very well and good, but what does it do?"

With a melodramatic flair the Istari uncovered it, revealing a sleek looking machine. Haldir shivered.  He knew not what it was, but it looked horrid.

  "It is powered by this crystal," Saruman explained.

  "A pretty thing," Haldir lied.  "But you still have not shown or told me what it does."

  "Impatient aren't we?"

Saruman stood behind it and told the 'Haradhrim' to focus on the tree 500 meters away. Haldir did so as the Wizard activated the machine.  Haldir was shocked to see a beam of light shoot out of it and obliterate the tree.  It took all his strength to hide that shock from Saruman.

  "There.  That's what it does.  Just a small taste."

  "A small taste.  It's wondrous."  Haldir almost struggled to get the word out.

  "On a large scale, this will decimate an entire forest.  Just imagine when I turn it on Lothlórien.  Mirkwood."

Haldir's blood ran cold.  "Yes, rid yourself of the Elves."

  "Yes," Saruman growled.  "They have foiled me in the past, but no longer."

  "Now remove your helmet and have a try.  Focus the lens on your target, and pull the trigger."

Haldir almost swallowed as he removed his headdress.  He looked into the lens of the cruel machine and pulled the trigger, hitting some dirt.

  "You're a lousy shot," Saruman scalded.

  "Perhaps I need more practice."

Haldir and Saruman were distracted by someone entering the room.

  "Ahh Grima," Saruman said.  "Meet Dral, a Haradhrim soldier."

Grima frowned as he scrutinised 'Dral.'  Haldir nodded to the other. Grima nodded back as he left.

  "May I stay and take note of this magnificent machine?" Haldir asked.

  "Yes, but do not touch."

The 'Haradhrim' nodded.  'Dral' pretended to take in the machine.  Haldir was not so fortunate as to have telepathic powers, he wished he did at this point.  How was he to save Lórien?  Mirkwood?  Fangorn?  Buckland and the other forests of the world?  He studied the machine long and hard.

 

 

  "My Lord, he is no Haradhrim," Grima said.  "It has been niggling me for some time now.  He is an Elf called Haldir."

  "Are you sure? I saw his ears when he removed his headdress.  They were not pointed."

  "I am sure, My Lord."

  "I will test him."

 

Haldir stood back from the machine as he heard footfalls and prepared to greet Saruman.

   "Haldir of Lórien."

The Elf swallowed.

  "Yes, I have heard of this Elf," he said.  "He is one of the Galadhrim."

  "Do not play the fool with me.  I know who you are."

  "I told you, I am Dral."

Saruman raised his staff. "Reveal yourself!"

Haldir's hair changed back to its golden colour, his attire to Elf attire and his face back to its pale colour.

  "So you *are* an Elf."

  "Yes, it seems little use to continue the charade now."

  "Before you die there's something I want you to see. The total destruction of Lothlórien."

Haldir swallowed.  "Please Saruman, you *cannot* destroy beautiful Lórien.  What evil has possessed you?"

  "I can and I will.  Possessed?  I am not possessed, My Dear Elf.  I am the ultimate power now that Sauron has been defeated."

Haldir resisted the temptation to say 'you are a madman!'  "Then why not use that power to created instead of destroy?"

Saruman ignored him.

  "If there is nothing I can do to stop you, then I have one final request," Haldir said.  "Send me back to die with my people."

Saruman grunted.  "Very well." He raised his staff, and sent Haldir back.

 

 

  "Catch it!" Orophin exclaimed as the rabbit darted by.

Rúmil leapt after it and caught the nimble creature.  "We cannot eat this rabbit," he said suddenly.

  "Why on Earth not?"

  "I am sensing something about it.  We cannot eat it," Rúmil repeated.

Orophin nodded.  "If there is one thing I've learned about you is to trust your intuition.

  "Rúmil is right, there is more to this rabbit than meets the eye," Celeborn said.

The rabbit suddenly transformed into Haldir.  Orophin gasped.  "My brother… forgive me for not sensing you…"

  "It is all right.  Saruman's little joke."

  "I am not laughing," Orophin said.

  "Nor was I."

  "Are you unharmed?" Celeborn asked.

  "For the most part," Haldir said

  "What is the wizard planning?"

Haldir swallowed as he told them.

  "I am unsure is my and Lady Galadriel's magic can withhold such an attack," Celeborn said, worry furling his brow.

And then Haldir told them something else.

 

Saruman sat behind his dastardly contraption, failing to notice the crystal was placed back to front.

  "Goodbye Elves… Goodbye Lothlórien …"

And he fired.  And Isengard exploded.

 

The explosion of Isengard was heard as far away as the Shire and it was certainly heard in Lórien.

  "Well this is the last of Saruman," Celeborn said.  "Good work, Haldir."

  "Thank you.  I wish there had been a way to rescue him from his evil, but alas there was not."

And the Elves made their way to Caras Galadhon.

 

And smoke rose from Isengard for a long time to come.

 

 

*

 

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