The characters are the property of the Tolkien Estate. No profit has been, nor will be made from this story.
With grateful thanks to Raksha.
Aragorn, son of Arathorn lay pale and still upon a low bed.
“How is our guest?” Galadriel asked the attendant healer.
“He is exhausted beyond even what a tough man can bear, and he is indeed one of the strongest of mortal men I have ever seen,” said the healer. “He has dark dreams and in his sleep he speaks of the Black Land. Who knows what horrors he has witnessed?”
“Is he injured?” asked the Lady.
“Not seriously, my lady. I have uncovered but cuts, bruises and a sprained ankle. Nothing that rest and good food will not put right.”
Galadriel pulled back the blankets a few inches. The Man had the same lean, muscular build as an Elf, though at present he lacked sufficient flesh. The scars of old wounds disfigured his body, but nothing appeared to ail him that Elvish-healing arts could not swiftly remedy. Covering him again, she gently took his hand, a scratched and calloused hand, but at the same time both strong and slender.
He stirred and in a troubled sleep called out Arwen’s name. Galadriel stood looking at him for a long time
“When he awakens,” she told the healer at last. “I would have him remain here with food and drink until he is fully recovered. Treat his old wounds that they may no longer mar him.”
A week later Galadriel again went to visit her guest. This time, he was sitting up in a chair dressed in a loose robe. His hair had been trimmed and his beard shaved, making him look more like an Elf than ever.
“My lady.” Aragorn rose and inclined his head. “I apologise for when we last met. Orcs and Wargs had pursued me almost to your gates and my horse was slain beneath me. I fear I succumbed to weakness.”
“Lesser Men would have succumbed to the Enemy long ago,” said Galadriel. “I trust you are now recovered? I should like you to dine with me tonight.”
“Gladly would I, my lady,” said Aragorn. Alas, I have no clothing save this robe I am wearing, and even that is borrowed garb.”
“Your own clothing is being washed and mended,” said Galadriel, unwrapping a parcel that she had carried tucked beneath her arm.” I have brought fitting raiment for you” It contained fine linens together with a silver and white tunic and breeches. She then drew forth a bright gem from the folds of her gown.
“My lady!” Aragorn protested. “These garments are fit for a prince!”
“Are you not of the line of Elros Tar-Minyatur?” said Galadriel. “I would have you robed in a manner fitting of your lineage. But before we dine, I suggest that you take a walk beneath the trees. They are laden with golden flowers at this time of year. Few mortal Men have had the chance to behold them.”
“Thank you, my lady, I will indeed,” said Aragorn graciously. “How long have I been here?”
“Seven days in your reckoning,” said Galadriel.
“I had lost count. It seems time as no meaning in this Elven Realm,” said Aragorn. “It could have been a day, a week, or a month I had tarried here.”
“You must remain with us until you fully regain your strength,” said Galadriel. “I will see you at dinner.”
“Come walk with me beneath the trees before we dine,” Galadriel said to her granddaughter early that evening.
The two women strode arm in arm admiring the Mallorns. It was a perfect spring evening. The air smelt sweet with the many flowers. A thrush sang melodiously in the trees, while the setting sun made the blossoms gleam like burnished gold.
Suddenly a man appeared from the opposite direction, like unto an Elf Lord from the Blessed Realm itself. Arwen stopped suddenly and gazed at the approaching figure as if transfixed. He likewise did the same.
Galadriel turned and walked away. For good or ill, Arwen’s doom was decided.
A/N A story of Strider.
Written for the Teitho Challenge “Elven Realms”
“Coastal Tales” will continue soon.