Not To Hold

Part 1: Galadhremmen*

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I had searched the whole house for her and finally found lady Arwen by a small niche down the hall. Bowed over a large book she was writing something, her wrist twisting gracefully. For a while I allowed myself to admire her soft features, long lashes, the wave of hair and the way the purple of her dress lovingly caressed her pale cheeks with a reflected colour.

She put down the pen and smiled at me. There was sadness to that smile, and I wondered if it was due to king Elessar's absence or the fact that in the city's walls, even so white and beautiful, she was suffocating. My words forgotten, I reached for her hand and did not let go until we left the city. As helpless as I felt, I was determined to give her comfort, and warming her delicate fingers in mine was a start.

***

By the end of the day we were both exhausted after hours of walking, running, fishing like bears would do, chasing the wild horses and playing a "healer's game" with every plant and tree we saw. We were panting and laughing, wolfing down roast fish, and her smile was at last the genuine one - the one bringing springtime to my heart - and her face was beautifully flushed.

We talked about being a healer and how it had changed my perception and then, with a twinkle in her eye, Arwen came up with yet another game and closed my eyes with her hand. My senses were already so acute it was almost painful and so I recognised every little leaf and petal she would let me touch and smell.

The last one was difficult, though. The smell and softness were definitely of a raspberry, but there was something else about it. Before I could speak or open my eyes I felt the "riddle" being moved to my mouth. Parting my lips I accepted the gift... and knew I lost the game. Unless raspberries can murmur sonorously...

"Diola lle**, Eowyn."

* Sindarin: "tree-tangled"
** Quenya: "thank you"

Sindarin words are taken from an updated dictionary you can download at www.elvish.org/gwaith/pdf/addenda.zip
Quenya phrases are taken from "sheelves" located at www.sheelves.webbyen.dk

Chapter 2