I originally planned to only have Lothlorien be 2 parts but looking at how much I have going on during their stay it will be atleast 3 if not 4 parts in total. Alot happens. Also, in the book I think the fellowship is there for a month but in the movie it seems like a day or two. So I compromised. They will be there a total of about 2 weeks in this story.96
Reminders since I have both Elvish and Telopathic communication in this chapter
Elvish will be italizied and Galadriels mental communication will be 'in single quotations'
Chapter 7: Archery Lessons (Lothlorien Part 2)
I sat in the warm pool for some time and enjoyed the peace while the heat relaxed my tired muscles. After I washed my hair with soap and added some rose oil to my skin, I left the water and dried off. I traded my traveling clothes for a light green gown with white leggings. My hair fell into loose curls as it dried. I put on the brown boots and made my way back to the clearing Celriana said I could find my friends.
As I neared the camp, I heard my companions speaking.
"Princeling, where is the lass? She has been with the Lady for quiet sometime" I heard Gimili ask.
"I believe she will be here very soon" Legolas said, probably hearing my nearing steps. As he finished, I heard a song being sung throughout Lorien. A tear fell at the words for Gandalf the Grey.
"A Lament for Gandalf" I heard Legolas say, just above a whisper.
"What do they say about him?" Merry asked. I know I wouldn't have the strength to tell the little hobbit. I personally can't handle their kind words right now. Then a thought once again entered my mind. My family was gone as well. Not only did I lose them but I had lost the next person I took as a father figure. A sob escaped my lips.
"I have not the heart to tell you. For me, the grief is too close"
I entered the clearing to the teary-eyed faces of the fellowship. I walked over to Legolas as another tear fell.
"Their words make it worse" I muttered as he wrapped his arms around me lightly and tried comforting me.
"Gandalf was a great man and wizard. He would not want us weeping as we are" I heard Aragorn come into the clearing. He was right. I may not have known Gandalf for long but he seemed to be a moving on no matter the circumstances kind of man.
"Get some rest; these borders are well protected" he continued.
"I will show you a place to rest Mae. Come with me" Legolas said.
"The lady provided you and I talons just above the camp" he said pointing up to a small talon holding two doors
"A bed sounds amazing" I said as I followed him up the ladder.
"I will be in the one on the left should you need anything" he said before disappearing.
It was mere seconds before I was asleep on the soft bed. It had been weeks since I last laid on something other than the ground.
The next morning, I woke to the sound of shuffling in my room. I opened my eyes slowly while reaching for my dagger…
"Good morning, Lady Maethriel. Sorry to wake you" I was relieved to see Celriana laying out a tunic and leggings for me.
"It is fine. What hour is it?"
"It is nearly mid-day"
"I slept that long?" I said sitting up and stretching.
"Your companions did not have the heart to wake you"
"They know better" I said laughing softly. I was not a morning person, and the fellowship learned that very quickly.
"If you hurry, you may still catch them for the mid-day meal"
I stood and removed my dress and replaced it with the maroon tunic and black leggings. I pulled on a pair of black boots, slipped my dagger into its place and made my way down to the clearing after Celriana pulled my hair back into a half braid.
I climbed down the ladder expecting to see my friends but the site was empty.
"Celriana, I thought you said they were readying for the mid-day meal. Yet they are not here?"
"Oh sorry my Lady, they are joining the Lord and Lady today to discuss some things over food. Come I will show you the way" We walked through the forest and I got many nods and hellos.
"It seems you are quiet popular my lady. The ellons all seem drawn to you"
"That is a first, I am not that pretty"
"I beg to differ, if I may be so bold"
"Prince Legolas seems taken with you as well" The idea of Legolas as more than a friend and companion is…unreal, farfetched even. My face however flushed.
"Legolas is only a close companion"
"I apologize for my misinterpretation"
"It is fine"
"Here we are" she said as we stopped at a door.
I walked into the room and the sounds of conversation swirled around me. I picked out Aragorn and Legolas at the far left of the room and Lady Galadriel not far from them. I opened my eyes and saw my friends eating their fill.
"There she is! Mae we thought you would sleep until tomorrow!" Pippin said smiling. I took a seat between Merry and Gimili. The dwarf has relaxed slightly since our arrival yesterday but he still is uptight, which is completely understandable given his circumstance.
I met Lady Galadriel's eyes after I took a bite of bread with some jam on it.
'I hope you slept well young one' She said talking to me telepathically.
'I did, thank you for the arrangements'
'Good, good. I have arranged for Haldir to take you to the archery field this afternoon. I recall you being a fair archer from your brothers' stories'
'There is always room for improvement, I suppose' I returned.
'Your skills will need sharpened with the journey ahead'
'Could Legolas help me instead? I would feel more relaxed. Haldir seems too serious to be a good teacher for me'
'Ask him yourself'
I looked at her. She smiled and winked.
I searched the table for Legolas and I finally found him speaking with the Marchwarden and Aragorn at the opposite end. Perhaps I can ask him later. I finished my meal and ended up being whisked away by the hobbits who finally seem at peace and have opened up to me.
"Alright little ones, it is time to work on your sword skills" I heard Boromir say entering the campsite. I looked up with a smile but met his scowl. The man still seemed weary of me and I do not know why.
"I will leave. Listen to Boromir you two. He will teach you well" I said nodding to the hobbits.
I walked along the path back towards the inner city and took a moment to truly enjoy the sights around me. I took in the smells and sounds. The wind whirled around me. A familiar scent found me; pine. I turned to see Legolas walking towards me. I smiled. He looked much like the first time I saw him. He was in a dark green tunic and brown leggings. His hair was in his warrior braids and his bow lay against his back.
"There you are. I saw the hobbits steal you away before I could get a word" he said as he got closer.
"Sorry, but you know how the hobbits can be"
"I was about to head to the archery fields to practice, care to join me?" he offered.
"Actually, I was going to ask you to…" he cut me off.
"I understand. I will see you later" he turned on his heal to walk away but I shook my head.
"Legolas wait!" I said grabbing his wrist.
"Let me finish, you impatient elf" I said laughing.
"I wanted to ask you if you would oversee my skills and help me improve, I was heading to the archery field as well"
"It would be an honor" he said smiling.
We reached the field only to see Haldir there already shooting arrows at a distant target. He turned towards us.
"Ah, Lady Maethriel, Prince Legolas" he said bowed to both of us.
"Good afternoon Haldir" I said going to stand opposite another target with Aragorn's bow.
"Wait my lady, I was told by the Lady to give you these" Haldir said putting his bow to his back and going to a table with several bows on it.
First, he held out a long bow made of a soft white wood with swirls and leaves engraved into the ends. I ran my hands over the new bow and was amazed. It was a bow of the Galadhrim. He next held up a quiver full of white feathered arrows another mark of Lothlorien archers. I pulled an arrow out and notched into my new bow. It felt natural, unlike when I used Aragorn's bow. I looked down at the target Haldir had and took a quick shot. It landed in the ring just outside of the center. I smiled.
"You already have skill; then my lessons are unneeded. The lady will be pleased" Not that they were going to be used either way.
He stayed with us for about an hour before he was to return to patrol the boarders. He left with a soft good bye.
We have been in Lothlorien for nearly a week and everyday Legolas and I spend at least 3 hours at the archery field. But, today was truly not my day.
I sighed in frustration as for the third time, not one of my arrows from my quiver hit the center ring. They all hit the target but none in the coveted innermost ring.
"You're too tense. Relax" Legolas said from beside me.
"Easy for you to say you could hit the target blind folded" I mumbled under my breath. But of course, he still heard it. I could almost see the grin on his face as the light bulb went off with an idea.
"That gives me an idea" he came up to me and put his hands over my eyes. I felt his warm breath against my neck and I had to suppress a shiver. It was an odd sensation, one that I definitely didn't expect to get around Legolas.
"Take a deep breath and visualize the target in front of you. Just the center ring"
"Okay" I took a smooth slow breath. I saw the center in its mocking untouched glory.
"Pull back and release. Don't think, react" I did without thinking.
"Open your eyes" I peered down at the target and I blinked. Sure enough, my arrow was embedded perfectly in the center.
"Now do it again" he said stepping back. I shook my head at his smirk of accomplishment.
"Fine" and I did. I hit the center almost every time after that.
"Faster, you won't have 30 seconds to reset your bow!" It was now our ninth day in the golden wood and Legolas seemed to be pushing me much further today working on my speed.
"I'm trying!" I said firing again as quick as I could. But with my speed some of my arrows failed to even hit the second ring. He often excused that given my lack of experience but today that was not the case.
"Don't lose your accuracy!" He snapped. I tried again and again until I snapped.
"That's it! I need a break" I said almost throwing my bow after the tenth time I've run through his speed drills.
"I think we've done enough. I'm sorry if I pushed too hard" he said going down to retrieve my arrows. I took a couple deep breaths to calm myself. I was just frustrated. I joined him in collecting my arrows.
"You didn't. I need pushed if I'm going to improve. Thank you. But we've been at this for almost 4 hours. I need to build my endurance gradually. I haven't had centuries of practice" I said smiling at him now that I was relaxed. I looked up at the sun as we pulled the last of our arrows out.
"If we hurry we should catch the others in time for the mid-day meal" I said grabbing his hand and pulling him from the archery grounds.
There you have it! Chapter 7.
A slight hint of Legolas and Maethriel romance...just ever so slightly! Don't worry. Their relationship will grow slowly.
Anyways I hope you enjoyed the chapter!
Until Next time!