Chapter 23 – What to do?
Aragorn looked at his long-time friend. He knew something was wrong, but he could not figure out what. He was fairly certain it was to do with Seraphina. Ever since the night before the beacons had been lit, Legolas had been quiet.
Now, as men assembled in Dunharrow, he could study his friend carefully. He noted how drawn he looked; how his skin seemed dull; how his lips never curved in to a smile, not even when Gimli attempted a joke aimed at the Elves. That never failed to make Legolas smile. The fact he didn't even look at Gimli made alarm bells ring in Aragorn's head. He strode over to where Legolas was standing by his horse and grabbed his arm, spinning him round to face him.
"I don't know what has got in to you, mellon, but you are not yourself!"
Legolas merely stared back at Aragorn, eyes blank. Aragorn sighed in frustration and decided to be blunt.
"I understand the pain of separation. I truly do. We all miss Seraphina terribly, but it was her decision to go with Gandalf. She can take care of herself. What would she say if she found out you were moping like this? Pull yourself together! You need to be focused if you are to survive this battle. I cannot lose you. Seraphina cannot lose you."
His last words seemed to ignite something in Legolas, because he started a little, and lifted his eyes. There was something hidden deep within the blue orbs, but Aragorn could not place it. It was quickly taken over by a fire that made his friend's eyes look as if they were smouldering.
"I know that she can handle herself. In normal circumstances, without burden, I would pity the Orcs that came before her blades, but she is in dire circumstances. I do not know how it will affect her ability to protect herself."
Aragorn furrowed his brow at his friend's words. What was he talking about? Seraphina had healed. As far as he knew, she had just about gained her full strength. Legolas yanked his arm out of Aragorn's grasp and walked away a few strides, to the edge of the cliff. Aragorn followed him, still confused. After a beat of silence, Legolas spoke, shocking Aragorn so much he almost fell over the edge.
"Seraphina is with child."
I walked through the quiet streets of Gondor, on my way to the Healing Houses. It was an hour after dawn and the citizens had not stirred yet. I quickened my pace, wanting to get my answers as soon as possible. After my realisation three nights ago, I wanted to make sure. I had not told Gandalf, but I knew that Legolas was aware of my situation.
I reached the main Healing House and crept in. A Healer greeted me as I walked in, a smile on her face.
"Good morning, M'Lady. How may I help you?"
There was something familiar about her face. I studied her for a second, and then my eyes widened.
"Halina? What are you doing in Gondor?"
Her smile widened as I spoke; she was obviously delighted that I had remembered her. She motioned to a room and we walked in. I took note that it was an examination room as she shut the door, but said nothing, passing it off as a coincidence.
"After the battle at Helms Deep, I knew that Gondor would be the next city the armies of Mordor would go against. Healers would be needed, and so I travelled here, in preparation."
I nodded, smiling a little. She seemed as if she was a good Healer, which was why I had no trouble in asking her my next question.
"Have you ever examined an Elf before?"
She looked confused for a moment, and then her eyes widened slightly as she caught my meaning.
"Yes, actually, I have. Only once, mind you and that was years ago."
I nodded again, and bit my lip. Halina studied me and then jumped up, starting to get out medicinal equipment for an examination. I stared at her in silence, and she looked at me, one eyebrow raised.
"By your question, I'm assuming you wish me to examine you. I have seen many women try to lie to me about pregnancy, and just because you are an Elf, does not mean I cannot tell when you are lying. Now, on to the table with you."
I smiled at her efficient manner, and arranged myself on the table. I stared at the ceiling as she examined me. There was silence in the room, and I turned my thoughts to Legolas. Where was he now? What was he doing? I snapped back to the present as Halina finished. I looked at her as she washed her hands in a basin in the corner of the room.
"How long is the gestation period of an Elf?"
I closed my eyes as I calculated.
"Longer than a mortal woman's…around a year, maybe a few weeks more or less."
Halina stayed silent for a moment, and then turned around abruptly. The look in her eyes made me sit up. Instinctively, I curled my hands around my stomach. It seemed a natural response. Dimly, I recalled a similar action when I was pregnant with my first child. Halina sighed, and then fixed me with a poignant look. I braced myself for her next words.
"A year. Who knows when this darkness will end? You must seriously consider whether to keep the children…"
My mouth fell open and Halina trailed off, looking slightly confused.
I managed to force out the word, stammering slightly. A buzzing filled my ears and I dropped my gaze to my stomach.
"Yes, Seraphina. You're carrying twins."
Oh snap! Didn't see that one coming did you, now?
And let's just pretend that Halina is a kick-ass Healer/mid-wife and knows how to tell if someone has one child, twins, triplets, etc.! It's fan-fic! :D
Mellon – My friend