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Not a day like others part 2  by Laikwalâssê

Not a day like others part 2


The characters, places, and events are creations of J.R.R. Tolkien. No profit was or will be made from this story. It was written solely for entertainment.

Author’s note:

As always many, many thanks to my wonderful beta reader LadyLindariel.


The Golden Wood is swarmed with orcs. The elves struggle valiantly but will it be enough in the end?

Rating: PG-13

A/N: to understand this story fully it would be advisable to read part 1.

Warning: the story is rated PG-13: this chapter contains violence, disturbing themes, and death



Chapter 1:  the end of all days

Celeborn´s POV:

I carefully look around the huge base of the Mallorn while flattening my body against the bark. Still, I could not believe my eyes what was just happening at my home.

Living near the vicinity of Dol Guldur we were used to occasional attacks of the foul brutes, but the past raids were nothing compared to the invasion now taking place.

Masses of orcs had and were still swarming our beautiful haven, but that would not be the worst. The hordes were led by many Uruk-hai and accompanied by great packs of wargs.

The assault came totally by surprise for our border guards and in such sheer numbers that our defense was overrun in no time.

Of course, we knew the relative peace we had over the last years could be deceiving, but this attack had reached a level never anticipated.

Not even the superior skill of foresight of my wife had sufficed to give any warning. As if someone or something had blocked her mind, the mirror had shown nothing and the eather had been mute. This was new and an entirely alien concept for us.

Early in the morning just at sunrise, I was ripped from my night sleep by the call of the border horn. Galadriel had equally jerked upright an irritated expression on her face. For millennia we hadn´t heard the call of the horn, in fact, I hadn’t heard it at all since the end of the war in Eregion in the Second Age.

The call was solely created in the face of a great danger approaching. Never since the war´s end had it been necessary to raise the alarm.

While Galadriel hastened down in her garden to look in the mirror and listen to the eather, I swung down the long sturdy rope; a much quicker access to the ground than across the many winding staircases.

My heart constricted at the sight that greeted me. The first of the Uruk-hai were already entering the inner core of Caras Galadhon. Many dead elves were already the testimony of their brutality. How could this be? Why haven´t we noticed anything earlier?

While running, I caught my sword, Haldir—the chief of the border guards and my foster son—was handing me.

“Report,” I demanded while parrying a blow from an advancing Uruk. Together we made quick work of the foul beast.

“Our borders are breached on all sides. The masses of orcs, wargs, and Uruks are uncounted. The first wave of attack nearly destroyed our whole contingent on watch. I have already called for a backup, yet for every orc we slay, two more appear.”

When the younger elf stopped, I looked in my son´s direction. To my great dismay and surprise, tears were falling down the warrior´s face.

I swallowed.

Haldir was a very tough young elf and hardened through a trauma in his childhood; he rarely showed any emotions not even when alone with my wife or me.

“Haldir?” I asked trying a soothing tone but failed miserably. I pushed the younger elf into a crevice of a big tree. Haldir lowered his eyes.

“Rúmil is dead,” he whispered his fingers clenching around his sword´s hilt until they went white.

I closed my eyes in sorrow. Haldir´s younger brother was as dear to me as a son. The loss was a hard blow. Yet before I could comfort my son, Haldir had squeezed out of the hole and hastened away all the way hacking and stabbing at advancing orcs.

I took a deep breath and followed the warrior out plunging into sheer chaos.







The sun was not even descending but my hope that we would survive this had long vanished. Caras Galadhon was doomed to die. The wood was burning at uncounted places, the attempts of my people to douse the fires a futile venture.


This attack seemed carefully planned by a higher force, and the number of invaders indicated that now the evil powers in the world had been merged into an army dedicated to eliminating the elven race finally.

Because this was happening in our realm and if no miracle happened, no one would survive to tell this tale or warn the other elven realms.

At the back of my mind, something was nagging me always as if I were not thinking my own thoughts or were repeating already spoken words of another but I had not even a breather to follow my train of thought. A new band of orcs was just climbing on one of our most significant combined platform high in the trees.

Many women and children had retreated there, and I would be damned if these brutes would be allowed to set foot on the platform.

Until now, I had supported a party of warriors down at the river Anduin where it joined the Celebrant valiantly trying to prevent even more orcs from entering the shores. In the end, we had to flee to at least rescue our naked lives but not without killing hundreds of orcs.

Our best-trained warriors had not managed to defend their position. A significant number of dead elves were now littering the ground, their blood drenching the earth.

I had also suffered a deep wound to my left side, thanks to a rusty orc scimitar. The blood loss and the shock were already taking its toll, and if not treated soon I would not have to care how the day would end.

I have fought in many wars—long and cruel ones—but it was always another matter entirely when you fought in your own home and when you have women, children, and family to consider. Warriors did their duty, and even when their deaths were terrible, it was much worse when innocent lives or family were involved.


I veered to the left when debris of burning wood rained down on me from above. With horror, I registered after the downfall had stopped, that not only timber but also two beyond recognition burned bodies had fallen. The stench of burned flesh was choking, and I had to force myself not to retch.

With watering eyes from the smoke, I stumbled forward, and when I reached the platform, I stopped, my blood running cold. Two Uruk-hai had managed to climb up and had already killed many women; I could also see at least two dead elflings.

What made me reel, however, was my wife kneeling in the middle of the platform cradling a body to her chest. Even with her back to me, I knew instantly whom she had in her arms. Along with my three foster sons, now my granddaughter was dead as well.

Blinding rage was flooding my veins, but before I had the chance to mourn any of them, more orcs were entering the platform.

Without thinking, I raised my sword and plunged into the fray. Grief lending me the strength I had never thought possible I hacked at the foul creatures killing them wherever my sword found a target.

When I neared an exceptionally tall Uruk-hai, I momentarily stopped at the surprised, even anxious expression on its face. Yet he did not look at me but over my shoulder.

At some foreboding and knowing my wife was in the middle of the platform, I quickly killed the Uruk the fortune seizing and whirled around to see what had startled the beast.

I just had time to grip the railing before the blast broke loose. Shielding my eyes against the incredible blinding light, I looked between my fingers to watch the miracle unfolding before my eyes.

Galadriel had risen to her full height. Her white gown splattered with blood was nonetheless billowing in an unnatural breeze. Her long golden hair ruffled by an unearthly wind and her whole frame illuminated by a strange blue light.

Barely able to look against the blinding light emanating from the tall figure, I closed my eyes anyway knowing what was and would happen.

Galadriel had been angered beyond restraint. She was using the power of old, releasing potency only few could even comprehend enhanced by the power of Nenya.

No longer looking anything resembling an elf or even a living being, Galadriel released powers not describable.

Like being caught in a hurricane, all beings remaining on the platform, elves, orcs, and Uruks—dead or alive—were pushed over the rim.

While most of the elves managed to grip something to hold on or land on a tree-branch, all foul beasts were blown away only to shatter seconds later on the ground with a dull thud. At the last moment, I grabbed one of the long ropes dangling down one of the platforms, yet due to my injury, I had not the strength to hold on for long.

Before I plunged into the depth, I caught a glimpse onto the platform. It snapped all my ties with sanity and rationality.

My beloved wife was again kneeling on the wooden planks a long thick spear sticking out of her chest. Her surprised gaze was the last thing I saw of her before I lost hold.

The released power burst sweeping through the Golden wood, blowing away all in its wake I did not recognize because my body had connected hard with the ground a second before.


To be continued…     

A/N: to understand this story thoroughly it would be advisable to read part 1.

Warning: the story is rated PG-13: this chapter contains violence, disturbing themes, and death

Chapter 2:  shocking news

Galadriel looked up startled when Celeborn was staggering back after he had suddenly sprung up.

A delegation of Imladris had just arrived the day before and this evening was the first time for them to take a breather and enjoy the gathering away from council meetings and pressing topics to discuss.

On a rare occasion, Master Elrond had left his sheltered valley to personally report on a disturbing development and a frightening personal experience he had made. Not the least he seized the opportunity to visit his daughter. Since the death of his wife, Arwen was residing with her grandparents.

While listening to a report of one of her grandson´s, Galadriel had already sensed malice in the eather but had not deemed it directed against her husband.

However, before any of the other elves present at the dining table could react in any way, Celeborn had gone pale and had fallen to the floor unconscious.

All elves had sprung up in shock. Before kneeling down, the Lady of the Golden Wood had briefly looked at her son-in-law sitting opposite of her.


Elrond, however, had not answered the asking gaze. He was already hastening around the table to come to the fallen elf´s aid. He had also felt something approaching but was unable to determine the source of the malice and who would be the target.

Only one Elf-lord had not risen. Lord Glorfindel was still sitting in his chair his eyes closed. He had as well perceived something approach on another level than the elves powered with enhanced mental abilities.

This malice felt instantly familiar to him. It reawakened a terrible feeling in his gut. He had not to look at the felled Elf-lord to know what was ailing him.

After opening his eyes, Glorfindel caught the gaze of his lord over the rim of the table. Elrond had come to the same conclusion as he.

It was some years past when the healer had fallen victim to a similar mental attack. At that time, only the quick intervention of his mentor had rescued the Elf-lord from pushing him mentally beyond reach.

Back then, they could not discover where the attack had come from nor who was behind it. They had known one thing for sure, however. A new level of warfare had been heralded—the attack powerful, merciless and precise; nothing compared to the former intrusions. And, with one essential benefit. The attackers had not marched into a foreign land. They could launch their attacks from wherever they resided.

After recovering, Elrond had informed the leaders of the other elven realms, yet they had doubted that something similar could happen to the respective leaders. Today they were told otherwise.

Even if knowing what was ailing their comrade, Elrond counseled caution. Only guessing that the wood elf´s mind was attacked like his back then, it could be a different thing entirely.

Not knowing where the attack had come from they had only surmised Dol Guldur as the source of the malice. Lothlórien being much nearer to the dark fortress the power input could be more forceful and dangerous, even if Elrond doubted that his experience could be topped.

He had fallen into hell while experiencing masses of orc and Uruk-hai swarming Imladris and killing all in their way. In his fictive existence, Elrond had lived through many horrors; his whole family slaughtered during the siege of his valley.

It had taken a long time afterward for the Elf-lord to recover from this trauma. His mind and most of his confidence had been shaken to a level that had made him question his position to lead Imladris.

Now many years later, Elrond had come to the Golden wood to discuss among others this topic with Galadriel and Celeborn. If it was sheer coincidence or purpose that the attack was taking place right now no one could answer.

Maybe they now had the chance to discover where the attacks were coming from or the purpose behind this all.

Elrond had carefully turned the fallen Elf-Lord on his back and was already feeling for a pulse. The beating was there but erratic and uneven. Elrond directed a quick gaze at his son. Elladan was looking back with a grim expression. Too vivid were his memories when his father had been the victim.

Apart from keeping watch over the Elf-lord, Elrond refrained from doing anything further. He did not want to slight his colleague and comrade healers.

He gazed at Galadriel. Celeborn´s wife was still standing like a statue, her eyes closed and her face turned upwards to the canopy. A side glance told him that Glorfindel was also still sitting in his chair his eyes once again closed.

Elrond was sure that both elves tracked whoever had dared to attack one of the mightiest elf´s on Middle-earth and in his home among his family no less.

The healer shuddered. This was precisely frightening on a new concept. He also had been attacked in a surrounding where he had deemed himself safe. The sanctuaries were no sanctuaries anymore.

Elrond had not to wait long. Wholly and suddenly soundless, Calan, the Golden woods chief healer, had landed on the platform, not an inch apart from him.

Not letting his surprise be noticed, Elrond moved away to give his colleague space to do his work. Calan quickly examined the silver-haired Elf-lord and looked up with a frown on his face.

“What happened?” he asked at no one in particular.

Opening her eyes and kneeling down next to her husband Galadriel gazed at the healer.

“Something or someone is attacking his mind,” she said before lowering her eyes and placing her hand on the Elf-lord´s chest. Galadriel´s serene attitude seemed out of place.

Calan frowned while looking at the Master Healer from Imladris. Just yesterday, the Noldo-elf had reported of a vicious attack on his person not long ago.

Calan had been present and listened interested, yet not really understanding how this attack had affected the Elf-lord. It was a “mental access” the Elf-lord had said, something not controllable or stoppable, at least not from his perspective.

His frown increasing, Calan rechecked the heartbeat of his lord trying to determine what was ailing the silver-haired elf and if it was anything resembling what Mater Elrond had befallen.

To his dismay, he had to admit that he had had many doubts that a mighty Elf-lord like the son of Eärendil could be overpowered by a force not even recognized yet.

Celeborn was undoubtedly no less powerful than the other Elf-lords present. Should he be told otherwise just now? His lord was also felled without an apparent source. Could a mental force really be this strong and affecting?

Calan jerked his head toward his lady when a slender hand was placed on his shoulder. One look in her clear eyes confirmed his unvoiced question.

“Forgive my doubts, my lady,” he murmured while lowering his eyes and again gazing at the prone elf at his feet. A soft squeeze on his shoulder reassured his bad conscience.

Suddenly, however, Galadriel stood up.

“Bring him to the infirmary and guard his mind. I will put an end to this,” she said to no one in particular.

Calan and Haldir instantly rose and lifted the limp body of Celeborn. Quickly they descended the steps of the talan undoubtedly in the direction of the infirmary.

Without looking at another elf standing around her and ignoring the questioning and incredulous faces directed at her, Galadriel turned and was about to leave the great platform also.

“Galadriel, what have you in mind?” Lord Elrond called after the retreating she-elf after he had also risen.

A strained silence was stretching. No one had indeed dared to counteract against the mightiest elf in Middle-earth. Having first-hand experiences in this matter, Master Elrond deemed it appropriate to demand an answer.

Glorfindel had also risen and slightly moved into the she-elf´s path which Galadriel answered with a flash of her eyes.

Elladan and Elrohir were standing to the side, their stances rigid, however. Arwen was gazing uncomprehendingly at her father and her grandmother. The tension was nearly palpable.

“My lady,” Elrond said with a controlled voice. “I counsel caution. We do not know what is ailing your husband and if it is even similar to my experience. We could…”

The Master of Imladris had no chance to finish his sentence. Galadriel had whirled around her stance belligerent and her eyes flashing.

“Do not tell me what to do, Elrond Peredhel. I have clearly determined where the attack is coming from and I will not hesitate to strike. Until now the signs have been let un-encountered, the guilty unpunished, I will not.”

With that, she left the platform her long dress unhindering her in the slightest, leaving stunned and shocked elves behind.

To be continued…     

A/N: to understand this story thoroughly it would be advisable to read part 1.

Warning: the story is rated PG-13: this chapter contains violence, disturbing themes, and death

Chapter 3:  taking action

Elrond hastened down the grand staircase leading to the secret garden of Galadriel. He was not surprised but relieved to find the Lady of Light standing at the rim of her mirror.

Only two times before, he was fortunate to see Galadriel asking her mirror. The surface had swirled and darkened, circled with light streaks before a vision was established. However, it was always to the interpretation of the lady what the mirror showed.

Now the surface was black. No ripple, no swirling—nothing.

Galadriel looked up just as Elrond had reached the bottom of the stairs; a frown etched on her beautiful features.

“My lady?” Elrond asked, curious to know what had disturbed the she-elf in such a manner. He had not forgotten the harsh retort from earlier, yet if he could help, he would more than oblige.

“The mirror is not responding to me. Something or someone is blocking it too.”

Elrond took a deep breath. The unknown force could attack not only the elves minds but also block the powers of the elves of old.

Galadriel´s gaze, distant before, was now directed at the healer.

“And that´s the very reason why this has to stop now. It´s the third time, and now we will strike back.”

Elrond´s head snapped up; his gaze had again traveled to the black surface of the mirror.

“Third time?” he asked irritated.

“Are you telling me that another elf was attacked?”

Galadriel´s eyes narrowed indignant over her careless spoken words.

Seeing the unwillingness in the other´s eyes, Elrond inched closer.

“You should have told me,” he said in a low voice.

Galadriel raised an annoyed eyebrow.

“Let me decide, Peredhel, what I do and do not tell you. You are much too close to this obscure Istari for me to feel comfortable.”

Elrond swallowed. Galadriel, also a member of the white council did long harbor doubts about their leader. This was going on for some time, but now the white council was falling apart. Even the other members suspected that Saruman was not what he wanted them to see in him. Often did he follow according to his own plans. King Thranduil had even left the council long ago.

Galadriel had made no secret of her aversion against the wizard. This informal meeting was a clear sign of this development. Elrond had always counseled caution to affront the Istari openly. He could and wanted not to imagine that the leader of the white council would betray them to the enemy.

“Accept it, Elrond. Saruman had long slipped past our perceptions. I even assume him behind these attacks.”

The Master of Imladris stepped back in shock. Where did Galadriel take this information?

Suddenly he felt her breath in his ear.

“I even go one step further. New malice has again taken residence at Dol Guldur. Either it is Saruman or a force supported by him. These attacks are too cunning for orcs. Why are our leader or ring bearer always the target?”

Elrond panted heavily. He was not even aware that he had spoken aloud one of his thoughts.

They had long feared that a dark force had again taken up the dark fortress, but Galadriel already stated this as if she had proof.

He looked at her sharply.

“Who was the victim of the third attack?”

Galadriel closed her eyes briefly.

“This infuriating elf from Mirkwood.”

Now Elrond felt sick. King Thranduil had also fallen victim to a mind attack?

He had never learned of this. Even if his dealings with the elves of Mirkwood were not as vivid as he had wished of them, he deemed this incident significant enough to let the other rulers know.

“Thranduil showed extraordinary resilience, and he even confirmed my concern about a new threat at Dol Guldur.”

Elrond narrowed his eyes.

“And you intended to tell me all this when?” he asked unable to banish anger from his voice.

Galadriel looked at the healer frowning.

“I called for this council, and you have now heard of all this. You are not the only one guarding Middle-earth, Elrond.”

The Half-elf sighed deeply. Galadriel would never change. One question, however, was still gnawing at the back of his mind.

“How had Thranduil managed to counter the attack? He did not even have a ring of power.”

Elrond felt slightly abashed at the news. He has a ring of power, but without Glorfindel´s help, he would have presumably succumbed to the assault.

Now Galadriel smiled a thin smile which did not quite reach her eyes.

“We should not underestimate our neighbor ruler. My dear husband´s cousin is always good for a surprise. As much as I could perceive he used the power he inherited from his father.”

Elrond nodded absentmindedly. He had already encountered the enchanted river on the east border of the great Greenwood. Even without a ring of power, Thranduil was not as defenseless as he made all believe.

Before he could retort, they heard a call from Haldir. The Marchwarden was standing on the top of the staircase.

At seeing the Master of Imladris, he hesitated briefly to address his lady. Regarding the encouraging nod form Galadriel, he took a deep breath.

“Mother, come quickly. Father´s condition has worsened.

Elrond looked at the Lady of Light aghast. Galadriel, however, was already climbing up the stairs. He could barely follow the swift steps.

When he had reached the top stair of the great staircase, he quickly traversed the huge platform and entered the spacious abode of the ruling couple. Galadriel and Haldir were already there. Elrond suspected that the wood elves had a secret, swifter way to reach their talans.

Calan, the Golden wood´s chief healer, was sitting on the big bed where Celeborn was placed. He had undoubtedly called for Galadriel.

He was just about to inform his lady but stopped when Elrond entered the tent.

“Go on,” Galadriel said. “This concerns him as well.”

Elrond stepped closer with an acknowledging nod. He directed a quick glance at the silver-haired elf. Unlike him, Celeborn was reacting outwardly to the torment. However, while he had thrashed and cried before, he was now shivering and moaning as though he was in intense pain. Dying almost.

The next words of the healer confirmed Elrond´s fears.

“My lady,” he said his voice forcibly steady.

“Your husband is dying. He´s caught in some death throws. His system is moments from shutting down completely.“

Elrond looked at Galadriel swallowing. He did not doubt his colleague’s assertions. Celeborn’s skin color was as pale as the sheets he was resting on. Cold sweat was on his brow, and his whole body was shivering with a cold that had nothing to do with the day´s chill.

Celeborn let out an unearthly cry, and after some more tremors, his body went still. Elrond could see the chest still rising, yet he was sure this would end at any time. He looked first at Calan and then at Galadriel. Should they intervene—could they even?

Galadriel´s lips were pressed into a thin line while her gaze briefly went distant. Then she walked forward, bent low and placed a gentle kiss on her husband´s slightly parted lips. She whispered something in his ear and straightened again.

Before anyone could say or do something, she had rushed out of the room. Arwen just in the process of entering nearly collided with her.

“Daernaneth? she asked bewildered, yet Galadriel did not even notice her.

Haldir also turned and swiftly followed his foster mother out. Elrond directed a last glance at the prone elf and followed the others out.

Galadriel was standing at the reeling, her face turned upwards, and her hands raised high in the air. Elrond looked at his mother-in-law with a frown after stepping out.

The healer turned when he felt a presence behind him.

“What is she up to?” Elrond asked Glorfindel.

The warrior had narrowed his eyes.

“She´s leaving to put an end to all this.”

Elrond looked back at the she-elf startled. What was the meaning of this? He did not like the sound of Glorfindel´s statement.

Before he could ask or do anything, Galadriel had turned and vanished into her abode. Again, Arwen just emerging had to move aside swiftly to grant her grandmother entrance.

She walked toward her father, her face tear-streaked.

Elrond gathered his daughter in a gentle hug.

“Ada, what is the meaning of this. Where is Daernaneth going?”

“I do not know, my child,” Elrond retorted.

Just a moment later Galadriel emerged again. Elrond blinked.

She was clad all in black—trousers and boots in a soft midnight black leather, as well as a dark tunic completed with a black cape reaching to her waist. Her hair had been braided in a single thick plait down her back. She donned black gloves.

She looked no less imposing as in her wont brilliant white dresses.

Again, Elrond had not the chance to say anything. A faint hissing noise was heard, coming from above the trees and growing louder with every moment. All elves gathered on the platform looked upwards, all eyes directed at the leaf canopy.

Galadriel was not looking up. She sheathed a knife to her right hip and a short sword to her other. Additionally, she attached a leather bag to her back.

Soon the leaves of the great mallorns were parting by a mighty gush of wind eliciting a few startled cries from all elves witnessing this.

With a few powerful flaps of wings, a great eagle was maneuvering down until he landed at the clearing around the ruling couple´s talan. The bird looked up, though his height nearly reached the top of the talan. With a loud screech, he folded his wings and grew silent after ruffling his feathers.

Elrond swallowed. Only one or two times before was he fortunate to encounter one of Lord Manwë´s eagles. He was not aware Galadriel had the power to call for the great birds.

Without a further word, Galadriel turned and was just about to descend the stairs when Elrond hastened forward.

“My lady, wait. Where are you going? You cannot leave like this.”

To emphasize his words and out of desperation, Elrond had grabbed the she-elf´s arm. Galadriel was raising an annoyed eyebrow with a pointed look at the fingers clenched around her upper arm.

“I was not under the impression that I need anyone´s permission to leave,” she said tugging loose of the grip.

Elrond lowered his gaze and stepped back.

“Mother, please listen. You cannot venture into Dol Guldur alone. It´s too dangerous; even for a powerful elf like you.”

Haldir´s first demanding voice had changed into near pleading.

Had anyone standing on the platform hoped for the Lady of Light to cave in they were taught otherwise.

“The time for discussing and planning is over. I will not let another elf fall prey to this malice. This must stop once and for all. My chances of success will be higher if I go alone. They will neither see nor expect me. So, stay back. I can certainly look after myself.”

Too stunned to answer, Galadriel used the shock of the elves digesting her news and hastened down the staircase. With a graceful leap, she landed on the back of the great bird. The big animal instantly spread its wings and was air-born a moment later.

Arwen sank to her knees sobbing.

“She will die there alone,” she cried, her slender frame shaking violently.

Elrond knelt next to his daughter enveloping her in a gentle hug. His head, however, snapped up when Glorfindel stepped out on the platform clad in shining armor, his mighty sword attached to his hip and a longbow on his back.

“She will not be alone!”

The gathered elves were a second time stunned when the Balrog-slayer leaped over the railing and glided down on a thick rope to precisely land on the back of a waiting Asfaloth.

Rider and horse had soon vanished out of sight.

To be continued…


A/N: to understand this story fully it would be advisable to read part 1.

Warning: the story is rated PG-13: this chapter contains violence, disturbing themes, and death

Chapter 4:  a nightmare 

When Celeborn awoke, he felt pain—all-consuming pain. He could not discern where the hurting was coming from; it seemed that his whole body was the source. With a groan, he rolled from his side onto his back. Though it was dark, he could make out the ceiling of a room. No, not a room. Rough stone surrounded him, looking like a cave. What was he doing in a cave?

Slowly but insistently his memory came back slamming into his conscience like a mighty wave.

Masses of orcs and Uruk-hai swarming and attacking the Golden Wood, uncounted elves dead with no chance to stop the invasion,


He closed his eyes shortly to digest the picture of his beloved wife being pierced by a long spear. His breathing grew ragged. That was the last he remembered. The power burst his wife had released while her fëa was fleeing her body and his plunge to the ground.

Obviously, he had survived the fall, but this was no room or space at Caras Galadhon. Where was he then?

He tried to rise but fell back with a cry. Intense pain was shouting from every fiber of his body right into his brain. For many seconds he merely lay there breathing in and out. The bolts of pain made coherent thinking or acting impossible at the moment.

He could not say how long it took to banish the stars dancing before his closed eyes. The clank of metal and the rattling sound of a chain, however, made him open his eyes again.

With much effort, he raised his left arm and encountered a heavy manacle around his wrist. Blood was dripping down his forearm from a deep cut to his shoulder. He made no effort to lift his right arm, sure that a similar device was attached there.

Closing his eyes again, he tried to relax and clear his thoughts. Had he survived the fall from the high talan only to end as a prisoner in some orc´s den?

Considering the enormous amount of pain he was in, the orcs had already had their fun even if he could not remember anything so far.

After long moments the stabbing pain was reduced to a dull throbbing. He opened his eyes again and slowly rose to a sitting position. As expected his wrists and ankles were secured with heavy shackles on long chains vanishing into the dark of the room.

Why had the orcs not killed him and bothered to let him live? He laughed a mirthless laugh and regretted the action instantly when his bruised ribs protested fiercely.

Whoever was behind this attack was eager for information and who was better suited than the Lord of the Golden Wood to deliver them?

Celeborn grimaced. Let them come to try.

No sooner, he had come to that conclusion the door was yanked open. The creaking of the rusty hinges grated on his sensitive ears. Dreary light was filtering into the room, so he assumed to be underground.

“Awake already?” an unusually tall Uruk-hai sneered. A fresh wound was gracing his forehead.

Celeborn did not answer only mustering the towering Uruk in front of him. Even with his limbs not bound and with his strength up he doubted he would manage to overpower the brute.

Yet before Celeborn had a chance to react, two orcs came shuffling into the cell from behind the Uruk. With great rusty keys, they yanked on the lockings of the manacles until they opened. Two further orcs hoisted him to his feet.

He could not entirely suppress a grunt when the pain flared anew. His ribs seemed more than bruised.

With dismay, he registered that if not for the cruel hold of the clawed hands he would have fallen back to the ground.

“The Master is waiting. Watch out this one is all trouble,” the Uruk-hai grunted while gesturing for the orcs to bring him out.

Celeborn gritted his teeth when claws sank into his upper arms to get a better grip. He was pulled forward, and just as he crossed the threshold of the cell, a whip landed with a hiss on his back.

This time he could not suppress a cry of pain. The skin on his back felt on fire even before the whip landed there.

Roughly, he was pushed forward over the floor never able to get his feet under him. His probably broken ribs made proper breathing impossible. Only semi-conscious he was dragged along the dark and crooked corridors.

After endless moments, the winding corridors opened up in a great space. Celeborn was thrown onto a rough stone floor. He remained from moving trying to regain some strength. When nothing happened, no one spoke, he raised his head a fraction. He had to close his left eye when blood was dripping down from a cut to his brow.

What his other eye saw, however, let him swallow. They had brought him to a great cave-room with a dome-like ceiling. In the middle stood a black throne-like chair.

Long had the White Council suspected some evil power returned to Dol Guldur—and that he was inside the dark hill he had no longer any doubt.

Seeing the wavering being sitting on the throne dispersed all qualms that evil had again taken residence here, if not Sauron itself.

Celeborn could not make out a shape, yet he could see flames around something like a face. Where there was no nose or mouth visible, he could make out eyes—red glowing, burning eyes. The air wavered in red and yellow, and he was not sure how tall the figure was.

The sitting being suddenly stood and came down the three steps before his throne. He held some kind of staff in his left hand.

Celeborn schooled his features to a mask of indifference. He would not give away how weak he felt and how much he was hurting. That he would not leave here alive, he long accepted, but he would be dammed to give anything away until the very end.

The figure stopped a few steps away in front of him, the flame-framed eyes looking down. Celeborn had the impression that a sizzling noise was in the air. Were there flames or was this just an apparition?

Rising to his knees, Celeborn took a deep breath.

“What do you want?” he cried. He was tired of being manhandled and looked upon; it was unnerving him.

The figure stepped nearer, and now Celeborn could feel the great heat on his exposed upper body. Still, he was not sure if this was a real sensation or only a feeling created in his mind. Anyway, he already shied away from the heat.

“The time of the elves is over. The kingdom of Angmar shall rise again.”

Celeborn blinked. The words were spoken in the black tongue, yet he could understand every word.

What a surprising statement. He could only laugh at the phrase, which ended quickly in hard coughing.

He tried to recede further from the now scorching heat, yet he could not move a finger.

“Yield to me, elf,” the roaring voice said.

Celeborn was not sure if the being looked at him at all.

He still stared at the figure unminding of the blinding light and the heat. Utter calm had come over him, fatigue and pain forgotten.

“Never,” he retorted.

For long seconds nothing happened as if the figure had to contemplate his next actions.

Then the scene erupted in an explosion of flames, light, and heat.

Celeborn was thrown back by a mighty flash of pure light.

He parted his lips and let out an agonized cry, drowned out by the noise of the eruption.

The silver-haired elf cracked one eye open, but he could no longer see the figure. Only a wall of flames could be seen in the middle of the room, no longer any shape recognizable.

What really grated on his nerves was the shrill laughter exploding in his brain.

Knowing that his body was already shutting down, Celeborn closed his eyes and placed his head on the cold stone floor in an attempt to cool his burning skin. He shut out all around him. They could not inflict any more pain or damage only hasten his departure which would sit well with him.

When he already heard the call of Mandos he felt a brushing on his lips, feather-light like a kiss. He shook his head—illusion, imagination, wishful thinking.

But then, he heard a voice in his mind.

´Hold on my love; you are not alone. ´

Tears sprung to his eyes and ran down his cheeks mingling with the dirt and blood.

´I love you. ´


His battered body took a last breath yearning for the luring call of the soul keeper.

To be continued…     

A/N: to understand this story fully it would be advisable to read part 1.

Warning: the story is rated PG-13: this chapter contains violence, disturbing themes, and death

Chapter 5:  the dark hill

Galadriel slid down from the back of the great bird quickly stepping aside when the eagle turned around to face her. She did not move when the giant beak came down only stopping inches from her face.

The Lady of Light inclined her head lightly.

“I thank thee for thy service. May there always be air under thy wings.”

The lidless eyes looked down at the elf a moment longer until the great beast turned, spread its wings and was air-born seconds later.

As soon as the bird was out of sight, Galadriel strapped a bag on her back. The eagle had set her on a small plateau just in view of the black hill. She had only to get down and enter the forest around Dol Guldur.

She looked around but knew that the Elvenking´s people had long deserted this place no longer even stationing a guard on watch.

For years, King Thranduil was sure a new malice had taken up residence here. He had time and again brought this to the White Council´s attention, but always his warnings had fallen on deaf ears. Saruman had always assured the members of the council that the strange happenings were mere coincidences and had nothing to do with a new force once again setting there.

Finally, the Elvenking had given up and left the council and had ordered to close his border to the north.

No fence or wall, however, could stop the ever-increasing darkness creeping forward around Dol Guldur.

After the events some years ago at Imladris where her son-in-law had nearly died and after the recent events concerning her husband, Galadriel was sure that the Elvenking´s warnings should have been considered much earlier – no, not only been considered but acted upon.

Today she was here not only to make up for the neglect but also to rid this forest, once and for all from the darkness.

Just as she went to take the first step, she nearly stumbled at the intense emotion coming from Celeborn down through their bond. Celeborn was dying, and even if this all was only happening in his imagination, the Elf-lord was not able to discern this. His sights and feelings were real for him. If not relieved of his visions, his body would shut down.

Galadriel pressed her lips into a thin line. She shared a deep bond with the silver-haired elf. Where she was logical and controlled, he was the emotional part in their relationship, the one that made her responsibility to wield a ring of power bearable.

She could not entirely suppress the tears watering her eyes. Angrily she wiped them away with a sleeve. She would be dammed to give him up without a fight.

Momentarily she considered using the ring to free her husband from the influence, but she was not even sure at what source she should direct the power. It was still diffuse as who was behind these attacks.

If Saruman were behind this, she would make him answer for his crimes.

She straightened her shoulders. This should end this day.


Hearing Celeborn´s mental cry and feeling his pain she mentally brushed his lips with her own.

`Hold on my love; you are not alone. `

“And neither are you, my lady.”

Galadriel whirled around. Too occupied with the thoughts of her husband she had not watched her surroundings. Not showing her relief at the figure standing at the edge of the cliff, she raised an eyebrow.

“Do I look in need of help to you?” she asked her voice not revealing any emotion. She looked past the elf and spotted the hard-breathing horse just turning around and leaving the plateau.

Glorfindel smiled and inclined his head.

“Of course not, my lady, yet combined forces are always better than standing alone.”

Galadriel looked at the golden-haired elf for a moment longer.

“You know there could be no coming back?” Galadriel searched the thoughts of her companion, but as always, she could not penetrate the other´s defense.

“Two years ago, I warded off the same evil. I already guessed the dark hill as its source. Now I want to have confirmation.”

Galadriel inclined her head; she had expected as much.

“Then I accept your company.”

Without another word she turned and begun her descent.

Glorfindel smiled again. He had evidently perceived her alleviation.

Gathering his belongings, he quickly followed the Lady of Light.




Elrond was leaning at the railing of the high talan. His gaze directed at the distance; his mind was troubled. He had just conferred with his colleague about the condition of Celeborn.

The silver-haired elf´s system was shutting down. Even if he was physically unscathed, the power tormenting his mind was enough for his systems to fail.

The healer took a deep breath but quickly disciplined his features, when he felt a presence behind him.

“Ada, what is happening to Daerada?”

Elrond turned to look intently at his daughter. He knew that she would only accept the truth.

“An evil force had invaded your grandfather´s mind. He is experiencing horrible things, which appear real to him. His sub-conscience is unable to discern it as unreal. If he is not relieved of this soon, he will die.”

Arwen stepped back, her eyes wide.

“But Ada, how do you know so much about this? Grandfather has not spoken to you, has he?”

As soon as the words had left his mouth, the Elf-lord knew he had made a mistake.

“Because Ada has experienced the same.” Elrond briefly closed his eyes. Thanks to his eldest´ forwardness.

Arwen looked at her brother in shock.

“Are you saying that Ada was also under this…this influence?”

Elrond took both hands of his daughter in his. He had never intended to let her know, but knowing the inquisitive mind of his daughter, he would not get away with it.

“Not two years past, some evil force attacked Imladris by invading my mind and reliving horrors I´m not willing to repeat. Without the intervention of Glorfindel, I would not be standing here.”

Arwen's eyes blazed. First with worry but soon with anger.

“And you wanted to tell me this when?” Her voice was soft, yet the irritation clearly audible.

“It´s past, and we thought it settled, yet the events of today…”

Elladan let the statement unfinished.

Arwen swallowed still fighting the shock that her father nearly died without her ever knowing.

“Who was behind the attack back then?” she asked barely restraint.

“We do not know for sure. Glorfindel assumed a new malice at Dol Guldur. The happenings today seem to confirm his assumptions.”

Arwen´s gaze was now also directed at the dark hill.

“And Daernaneth and Glorfindel are on their way to break the spell, right?”

Before Elrond could answer his daughter, Elladan snorted.

“They will rid the hill of all evil.”

Elrond sighed inwardly. I hope you are right, my son.




Galadriel ducked under the low entrance to the underground caverns. She briefly made sure that her companion was following her inside. Glorfindel had just made quick work of the three orcs standing guard.

She was glad for the warrior´s company. Even if the final battle against whoever was residing here would be a mental one; Glorfindel would make sure she would arrive at her destiny and cover her back.

Galadriel wrinkled her nose. The deeper they entered the orc den, the acrider the stench became. Again, she wondered how the disgusting creatures could have been elves once.

She nearly cried out when her forwarding mind repelled at an unseen barrier. The impact made her stumble, and she would have fallen if not for the steadying hand of the warrior behind her.

“We are almost there.”

Galadriel nodded thankful for the help and that Glorfindel was not asking needless questions. He had perception enough to know what happened.

So much for entering undetected. The keeper of this force knew already of their coming.

Galadriel broke through the mental barrier, and quickly both elves ran along the dark corridor to finally emerge into a vast cavern with a dome-like ceiling.

Glorfindel stooped surprised, not having expected such a great space underground. However, what attracted his attention was the throne at the far end of the cave and the being on it.

Galadriel had also stopped abruptly, her gaze fixed on the wavering being. They had found their opponent at last.

However, before Glorfindel could even think of their next steps, Galadriel was already marching forward, her frame becoming more and more rigid the nearer she came the throne.

Glorfindel followed the Lady of Light with some distance, not sure, however, how he should protect her and what an attack would even look like.

“Release him,” Galadriel cried both hands raised in the air, the fingers crooked into claws and pointed at the evil spirit.

Glorfindel could not make out any shape. The being on the throne was wavering. Flames were radiating from a core outward, starting deep red until ending in a blinding white.

Was this Sauron in some bodiless form or one of his mighty helpers?

Whoever this being was, he must have help from outside, someone who knew about the inner secrets of the mighty elves on Middle-earth. Otherwise, such precise attacks would not have been possible. The only possibility in this regard was Saruman. No other could provide such vital information.

Glorfindel had no time to analyze the situation further. Galadriel was now standing in front of the throne, her hands still raised and a blinding white light emitting from her fingertips.

When the light reached the wavering being, the two energies seemed to duel for dominance. Glorfindel had to shield his eyes partly, the blinding light nearly overwhelming.

Just as Glorfindel was sure Galadriel would gain the upper hand, the she-elf cried out and staggered back. With horror, the warrior saw a black projectile sticking out of her chest.

He looked around wildly but could not make out the concealed shooter. Galadriel, however, seemed not to notice the pain, her appearance changing even more into something no longer resembling an elf. Her long hair was blowing behind her along with her cape appearing torn to shreds. She let out an unearthly cry.

“Retreat to the shadows where you belong. You no longer have power here.” With that, she released another powerful burst and then chaos erupted all around them.

The being was thrown back over his throne, and a mighty explosion sent a shockwave through the room sweeping both elves away. Before Glorfindel had a chance to rise again, many orcs were swarming the cave from crevices along the walls.

He cried out when he saw that Galadriel was hoisted up by an unusually tall orc only to be thrown back to the stone floor a second later with a massive boot landing on her chest.

She must have been weakened by the power burst because he did not see any resistance from her.

He had already hacked down many orcs with his sword when he felt a searing pain in his back. He turned to see an Orc with a bloody sword behind him already raising it again. At the last moment, he parried the blow only to be engaged in another attack seconds later.

“Galadriel,” he cried. “We cannot hold on much longer.”

Having beheaded the orc in front of him, Glorfindel readied his bow and shot the orc pinning the Lady of Light down.

Instantly Galadriel rose. The orcs around her were blown away by a sweep of her hand. Galadriel marched again toward the still cowering being behind his throne and released another energy burst. Glorfindel cupped his hands protectively over his ears when an eerie screeching erupted. The being wavered once more until it was blown away by the bursting wall, a dim light in the sky marking its passing.

The breaking of the wall had destroyed the stability of the dome, and huge stones were raining down. Glorfindel had no chance to avoid the downpour. His world went black in an instant when a large boulder hit him.

To be continued…



A/N: to understand this story fully it would be advisable to read part 1.

Warning: the story is rated PG-13: this chapter contains violence, disturbing themes, and death

Chapter 6:  picking up the pieces

Calan looked up when a deep moan came from the bed that his Lord Celeborn occupied. He placed the book he was reading aside and rose. Not two hours ago, Celeborn had uttered a panicked cry and opened his eyes while looking around with an uncomprehending expression.

No reassuring words could calm down the distressed elf, and he had fallen back into a catatonic state once more. The chief healer had feared the worst. The resistance of his lord had finally faltered. Even if he was still shallowly breathing, Calan was not sure if this state could be described as living.

All the more, he was surprised when his patient now looked back at him. The panicked expression was gone from the grey eyes.

The chief healer of Lothlórien bent forward to look at the Elf-lord.

“My Lord Celeborn, how do you feel?”

The silver-haired elf looked tired his complexion grey.

“Am I dead?”

Calan squeezed the elf´s shoulder.

“No, my lord, you are alive. I suggest you rest some more.”

Calan barely finished his last words as the elf had already closed his eyes and was now deeply sleeping, or so he hoped. Calan sighed. Was the crisis over?

He doubted that. Celeborn was far from being back to his usual self. He was not even sure what state the Elf-lord was in.

Rising, Calan directed his gaze toward the assumed direction of the dark hill. With his lady gone and his lord in dire need of help, the future of the Galadhrim looked bleak.





When Glorfindel came around, he blinked and instantly felt a pounding headache. He raised his hand to touch his brow and was not surprised when his hand came back bloody. Some of the debris lying around him must have hit him. Bushing dirt and smaller stones from his clothing, he came carefully into a sitting position. Swallowing he suppressed the rising nausea while looking around.

Much of the ceiling had come down and buried all in the cave. Orcs and elves alike. Glorfindel´s head jerked into the direction where he had last seen Galadriel. Not a wise action with a possible concussion but he did not care. With a groan, he rose and stumbled forward. He could not find his sword, nor his bow now, yet no orc seemed to have survived the downfall.

Even if he was glad for the stillness, the utter silence grated on his nerves. When he saw part of a boot under a boulder, he quickened his steps until he had reached the fallen elf.

“Galadriel?” he asked in a hushed voice while relieving the she-elf of the debris lying atop of her. Glorfindel swallowed when he saw the lady´s closed eyes. A river of blood was running down her face coming from her skull. The arrow which had brought her down earlier had broken above the skin; no chance for him to retrieve it easily.

Glorfindel looked around. Even if their situation was dire, Galadriel apparently managed to ban the evil spirit from Dol Guldur. He doubted Sauron himself had resided here.


Galadriel was powerful, but against Morgoth’s mighty servant, she would not have succeeded—at least not with one try. Anyway, this opponent had been powerful enough almost to take down Elrond and now possibly Celeborn. And the concerted attacks of late had also shown that this fiend had been no lesser one.

Even if the orcs in the vast cave had been struck down by the downpour, he was sure more would come soon. They had lost their leader but even unorganized, orcs in masses were dangerous.

“Galadriel?” he tried again, but when he got no response, he lifted the nearly lifeless body in his arms and rose.

Nearly dropping her again, the golden-haired warrior stumbled when stars danced before his eyes. He took steady and deep breaths until his vision cleared.

Only now, he registered that his left side hurt with every breath he took. Possibly broken ribs along with a concussion—not a good start to leave the underground caves of Dol Guldur.

Slowly retrieving his steps back to where he had lain he shoved some debris aside with his boot and sighed relieved when he spotted his sword. Carefully rearranging Galadriel over his shoulder to get his hands free, he retrieved his sword and felt a good deal better, at least where their ability to stand their ground was concerned.

Careful not to stumble he returned to the tunnel entrance and entered the dark column. It was pitch black, the power burst of the battle had blown out all torches. Elves could see well enough in the dark; nonetheless, Glorfindel carefully set one foot in front of the other. His side hurt with every step he took, and he was not sure if he fell that he could stand up again.

Much too soon he heard the typical snarling of orcs.

“Just what I need now,” he mumbled. He shifted the still unconscious body of the lady for the uncounted time, bringing no relief to his numb shoulder and hurting side.

He quickened his steps not willing to face a horde of orcs in this cramped space with no room to fight. For a moment, he stopped and listened. The steps of the orcs halted also.


The enemy had picked up on the flight of the elves and was now following him.

When he heard a low moan, he quickly squeezed into a crevice to his left and carefully lifted Galadriel from his shoulder. Preventively he held his hand over her mouth in case she would make another sound. The noises the orcs were making were quickly coming closer.

When Galadriel had opened her eyes, Glorfindel placed his finger over his lips. She nodded in understanding. Gently, Glorfindel felt for the head wound and soon found a long gash running from the back of her head to her hairline. Glorfindel suppressed a wince. Thankfully it had stopped bleeding. Nonetheless, it must have been painful apart from a prominent headache.

Suppressing another groan, Galadriel struggled into a sitting position. Blood was still pouring from the arrow wound in her chest. Glorfindel had the impression that he could hear a rattling sound whenever she took a breath.

“Don´t move too much, Galadriel. I will remove the arrow as soon as we are out of here.” He had barely spoken above a whisper, but his voice exploded in the tunnel. Galadriel only nodded much too occupied, to take steadying breaths. Glorfindel had ripped a piece of fabric from his shirt. Galadriel took it and pressed it at the cut on her skull.

Just at that moment, the orcs trooped past crevice. Glorfindel quickly threw his cape over their heads to cover their golden heads.

When the orcs had passed, they stayed a few moments longer before Glorfindel lifted the cover.

“We should leave, more orcs are searching for us,” Galadriel said pain prominent in her voice.

Glorfindel did not ask how Galadriel knew this but did not doubt that statement.

“You will have to help me,” she ground out with clenched teeth.

Glorfindel only nodded. This statement was unnecessary. He could see that the Lady of Light was trembling from pain. A thin sheen of sweat had appeared on her brow, and her face looked ashen.

Carefully but valiantly he pulled the she-elf to her feet. For a short moment, Galadriel rested her head on his shoulder until her ragged breath had slowed down.

“Let us leave, Glorfindel.”

With her hand firmly clasped in his, Glorfindel walked down the corridor Galadriel dragging with him. He could hear her increasing ragged breathing and feel her slowing steps. The grip on his hand became more and more crushing.

“We are almost there; I can already see the light.”

When he got no response, he turned concerned. Galadriel had her eyes squeezed shut and was swaying dangerously. He wriggled his hand free and knelt in front of her.

“We will take a short break.”

Galadriel shook her head.

“You have to go alone. I can go no further. I would only slow you down.” She had not even the strength to open her eyes.

Glorfindel snorted.

“Sure, and explain to your husband that I have left his injured wife behind in a cave with orcs? I think not!”

Before Galadriel could argue back, Glorfindel had lifted her in his arms and quickly walked the remaining distance to the cave entrance.

When he stepped outside, he blinked into the bleary sun and took a deep breath. Despite the depressing atmosphere of Mirkwood, the air was so much clearer outside the dark hill.

Leaving the main path and veering to the right into a small brush of bushes, Glorfindel managed to shelter them from plain sight. He sank to his knees and gently placed Galadriel on the ground. He kept sitting on his heels and took slow, steadying breaths. The occasionally piercing pain in his side had changed into a permanent dull throbbing, and he knew this was not good.

Just as he wanted to look at Galadriel´s arrow wound, he felt the hairs on his back stand up. He sprung up and whirled around, his sword already drawn. The orc careless enough to stand too near was beheaded in an instant.

The piercing in his side nearly stole his breath away, and before he could lift his sword for the next strike, he felt two strong and muscular arms encircling him from behind.

He felt and smelled the stinking breath of an Uruk near his ear.

“Tsk, tsk, pretty one keep still, or your pretty lady will pay the ultimate prize after she has enjoyed every one of my men.”

Glorfindel stopped his struggling when he saw another Uruk-hai rip Galadriel´s shirt apart and let his hand wander down her chest. He swallowed in rage. Gratefully she had lost consciousness.

“Leave her alone,” he snarled and struggled against the iron grip. Weakened due to his injury he could not muster the strength to shake the Uruk off.

When a hard punch landed on his injured ribs, he could not suppress a pained cry. The Uruk no longer needed to hold him up. He sagged to the ground and curled into a fetal position to breathe through the pain and banish the stars before his eyes.

Seconds later, he was pulled up roughly and dragged to a nearby tree. Concentrating on not passing out, seconds later he was bound to the tree with his hands pulled painfully over his head.

“So, now let us have our fun.”

Glorfindel looked up and froze when an Uruk heaved Galadriel up and licked his lips.

“No!” Glorfindel cried. “Take me, do what you want with me but let her alone.”

The Uruk holding Galadriel tilted his head to the side as if earnestly considering the elf´s words.

“But where would be the fun in this?” he asked. Tightening his hold on the unconscious form, he turned and stomped away.

“Kill him,” he called over his shoulder.

Glorfindel closed his eyes.

‘I'm sorry.’

The Uruk who had bound Glorfindel to the tree draw his bow.


To be continued…





A/N: to understand this story fully it would be advisable to read part 1.

Warning: the story is rated PG-13: this chapter contains violence, disturbing themes, and death

Chapter 7:  when all hope is lost

When the impact came, Glorfindel looked up in surprise. The arrow pointed at him had missed widely. Instead, a long and slender projectile was sticking out from the middle of the Uruk´s forehead.

He craned his neck to see where the arrow had come from. He clearly recognized the fletching. At least from three directions projectiles were raining down killing every orc or Uruk within minutes.

Seconds later elves came running from all directions into the clearing. Glorfindel could see Elrond, his sons and the sons of Lord Celeborn. He sighed in relief and briefly closed his eyes. While the adrenalin rush slowly faded, he felt his injuries all the more.

“Glorfindel, are you alright?”

Without opening his eyes, he identified the healer´s concerned voice and already felt someone loosening his bonds.

Glorfindel cracked his unswollen eye open.

“I´m alright, Elrond. Look after Galadriel.”

The healer nodded. “She´s already being cared for.”

As soon as the bonds came loose, Glorfindel sagged down. Elrond caught the fair-haired elf and carefully placed him on the ground.

Through carefully probing fingers, he inspected the already heavy bruised left side. The healer wrinkled his brow when the warrior flinched violently.

His primary focus, however, was the still bleeding head-wound. Glorfindel appeared much too absent and disorientated coming from a few bruised and maybe cracked ribs.

Elrond assumed a severe concussion even if he could only speculate how the elf had acquired these injuries.

Elrond looked over his shoulder and saw his sons quietly working on Galadriel. The total stillness of the lady´s body worried him.

When he felt a light tap on his shoulder; he looked up into the face of Orophin, Lord Celeborn youngest son.

“The camp is ready, my lord. We can transfer them.”

Elrond nodded his thanks, and Orophin turned. He was about to help the warrior to his feet when Glorfindel choked and instantly retched violently.

When the heaves had ceased the healer placed a restraining hand on the warrior´s shoulder. Glorfindel nonetheless struggled to rise.

“Elrond, I can walk.”

“No, you cannot. Walking around with a head injury is not a wise action.”

Expecting a protest Elrond´s concern only deepened when the warrior accepted his reprimand without complaint.

“Bring over a litter please,” Elrond advised an already retreating Orophin.

Glorfindel had again closed his eyes, and Elrond helped him to lie down. Soon Orophin and his older brother Rúmil came running into the clearing a litter between them.

Carefully they placed the warrior on the litter and covered him with a light blanket. Elrond inclined his head in thanks. “I will be along shortly.”

The brothers nodded, lifted the litter carefully and marched toward the camp just over the small hill.

Elrond was joining his sons and knelt down next to the Lady of Light.

Elladan had already removed the lady´s dirty shirt and was probing around the snapped arrow shaft. It was broken just above the skin, and it had to be cut out.

“This will not be easy. Too near the lung for my liking.”

Elrond nodded. The arrow had to come out nonetheless. The ragged breathing of his mother-in-law indicated an injured lung.

Elrond looked up at a sigh from Elrohir. The younger twin was carefully cleansing the deep gash on the skull with a wet cloth.

“Pretty deep. It needs stitching,” he said when he felt his father´s eyes on him.

Elrond blew out his breath.

“Bring her over to the camp. We will treat her there.”

Looking around he added. “I dare not to stay any longer.”

Elladan looked at his father.

“How´s Glorfindel?”

“In an equal bad shape but at least accessible.”

Elladan and Elrohir nodded and carefully placed their grandmother on the nearby litter. After covering her with a light blanket, they lifted it up and marched over the little hill toward the camp behind. Elrond gathered the supplies and followed quickly.

Haldir and a few warriors had meanwhile established a functioning camp. Tents had been erected, a water source was nearby, and fire-wood was neatly stacked next to a low burning fire.

Elrond nodded in approval. This would work, he had enough concern with his patients. His colleague from Lothlórien, Calan had remained with Celeborn.

His sons had just placed Galadriel next to Glorfindel in a tent where they could treat them even if the weather turned bad. Elrond could at least see four and sense two further guards in the trees if any orcs would be foolish enough to attack them.

“The perimeter is guarded, my lord,” Haldir reported while stepping next to the healer.

Elrond inclined his head in thanks and looked around troubled.

“I will make our stay as brief as possible, yet Galadriel and Glorfindel need some rest before we can safely move them.”

Haldir thinned his lips. Elrond sensed the conflicting emotions of the younger elf.

“Your mother is gravely wounded, but she´s strong. I´m confident that she will recover.” Elrond refrained from squeezing the young elf´s shoulder knowing how reserved Haldir was.

The March Warden did not answer.

“I wonder how Lord Celeborn is faring now that moth…. the Lady of Light has driven away the evil from Dol Guldur.”

Elrond raised an eyebrow. The fair-haired elf never did refer in public to Galadriel and Celeborn as his parents.

He tried a more personal approach.

“I awoke from this nightmare when the evil influence was cut. I needed much convincing to accept that all was only from my imagination. Your father will also recover as soon as he accepts the truth.”

Haldir nodded curtly, and although he left in a rush, Elrond perceived a great relief coming from the warrior.

When he heard his oldest son arguing with an awake Glorfindel, he quickly strode into the tent.

“Elladan, really I´m alright,” Glorfindel said already struggling to shake the restraining hand of the young peredhel off.

“Glorfindel, you have a severe concussion and a few cracked ribs. Please lie down. You need to rest.”

Hearing the strained undertone in the healer´s voice, Glorfindel relented and sat back on the pallet. Even if sitting and doing nothing was not his concept he accepted the healer´s advice knowing that is was more than sound.

When Elrond was satisfied that the warrior was again resting and seeing the fresh bandage around his middle, he nodded curtly to his son in thanks.

He strode instantly toward the other pallet where Elrohir was working on Galadriel. He had already prepared all for the surgery.

Elrohir had cleaned the arrow wound and made small incisions around the shaft.

Elrond quickly washed his hands and knelt down. He took the offered scalpel. Before setting the first cut, he looked up.

“I have prepared some poppy juice, in case she wakes,” Elrohir said knowing why his father was hesitating. Elrond smiled and instantly concentrated on his task.

He enlarged the cuts to give the arrow shaft room to move and finally grabbed the shaft with his fingers. With a determined tug, he pulled the shaft out. It gave a smacking noise, and finally, the projectile including the tip came out.

Galadriel jerked violently and took a deep breath while Elrohir staunched the blood flow by pressing a thick wad on the hole.

Elrond waited a few moments; the chance of a collapsing lung was great. When the ragged breathing had slowed, he listened carefully with his ear over her chest. After one more moment, he nodded satisfied.

“Please cover the wound and bind it and make her comfortable. The next few hours will be critical.”

Elrohir nodded and took a deep breath. He once had to cut an arrow from his sister´s body, and he was never eager to repeat this experience. But, his grandmother seemed content enough for his reassurance.

Elrond squeezed his son´s shoulder perceiving the younger elf´s emotions.

“I will look after Glorfindel; he´s much too quiet for my liking.”

Elrond sat next to the pallet Glorfindel was resting on. The warrior had his eyes closed, but Elrond knew he was not sleeping. He felt for a pulse and checked the temperature.

“How´s Galadriel doing?”

“The arrow is out, and there seems to be no critical damage to the lung. Nonetheless, we will have to watch her closely. The cut on her skull is pretty deep and will also need time to heal. She will need a considerable time to recover.”

“Knowing Galadriel, she will need much convincing,” Glorfindel retorted finally opening his eyes. The swelling of the left eye had reached its peak, and the coloring was turning a deep purple.

“Says the expert,” Elrond said with a smile while lightly squeezing the warrior´s shoulder.

Glorfindel only raised an indignant eyebrow.

“What happened at the hill, Glorfindel?”

When the warrior did not answer Elrond was about to rise and let the warrior rest, yet suddenly he began to speak.

“It was not Sauron himself, as we feared, but some mighty servant. Galadriel had much trouble driving it away, but the ring´s power finally succeeded…”

When the warrior stopped, Elrond looked up concerned.

“What is it, Glorfindel?”

“I´m not even sure if she used the ring at all. Elrond, I have never seen such power demonstrated before.”

Elrond only nodded. He had assumed as much. Galadriel was one of the mightiest elves in Middle-earth. She barely used her power and much less the power of her ring. However, if it was necessary, she did it without much restraint. To protect her territory and her family was her main priority. There was not much that could withstand these forces combined, yet she and Glorfindel had barely escaped this mission.

Elrond sighed.

“I´m glad Dol Guldur is freed of whatever resided there. Hopefully, we will have some respite before the next evil takes up residence here.”

Glorfindel recognized the words not spoken.

“We survived Elrond and Galadriel will recover. That´s all that matters.”

The healer nodded.

“I have to be content with that. Now rest, tomorrow we will leave toward Caras Galadhon.”

“As you command, my lord….”

When the healer raised an eyebrow, Glorfindel caught his sleeve.

“Elrond! Thank you for coming after us. Without your timely arrival, we would be dead.”

The healer swallowed. It was still vivid to him how close they had come to lose both elves.

“You are welcome and now rest.”

Without another retort, the warrior sank into his bed and closed his eyes. Elrond left quietly.

To be continued…     

A/N: to understand this story fully it would be advisable to read part 1.

Warning: the story is rated PG-13: this chapter contains violence, disturbing themes, and death

Chapter 8:  homecoming


Calan was at a loss. He could do no more for his lord. For four days, he was now sitting on Celeborn´s sickbed but was dammed to look at how his lord was slipping away.

Two days ago, however, something was different, and he had taken a bit of hope. Celeborn had suddenly jerked upright, and Calan was sure he had recognized him—as if he had suddenly been released from whatever had ailed the Elf-Lord.

“Where´s Galadriel?” he had asked.

When Calan did not answer immediately, Celeborn struggled out of bed.

“She´s in danger. I have to help her.”

Calan was about to let the elf have his will, but from one moment to the other, he collapsed again and relapsed in this coma-like condition like before. He had cried the names of his sons in some fever delirium and again demanded to see his wife.

Calan was sure that only the appearance of Galadriel or their sons could drag the Elf-lord out of his state. Was the evil influence cut?

However, neither Galadriel nor the young elves were available, and so Calan could only hope that they would arrive soon.

When Calan heard the horn from the perimeter guards, he sprung up.

“Go,” Arwen said. I will watch over him.”

Knowing that he could achieve nothing anyway, Calan nodded his thanks to the daughter of Elrond and hastened down the grand stairway leading into the clearing where the travelers would arrive. Galadriel was returning, and she had to reassure her husband immediately. The vital functions of his patient were reduced to almost undetectable by now.

When he had reached the area, he squeezed through the group of elves already awaiting their lady´s return. When he could see neither the Lady of Light nor the Lord Glorfindel riding, instead lying on two litters attached to horses his heart sank.

Only now, he registered the depressed atmosphere around him; in his concern about his lord, he had shut out all other emotions.

`Let her be alive, ` he prayed silently when the riders stopped at the clearing. He stepped forward next to the first litter and swallowed when he saw the thick-bandaged head and chest of his lady.

Calan straightened when Lord Elrond dismounted and came straight toward him.

“I had to drug her to stand the journey. She´s stable, yet it will be many days until she is back on her feet.”

Calan looked at his colleague with thinned lips. Elrond did not like this gaze at all.

“Lord Celeborn is dying, and the only chance I see is the contact—the physical contact—to his wife. He keeps asking for her. Now I understand why.”

Elrond nodded.

“The influence is cut, yet he needs the reassurance that she is alright.”

Calan issued some orders, within minutes the injured were transported up the flets, and the clearing emptied.





Celeborn floated in darkness. Where moments before he had been in his home fighting masses of orcs and seeing his people die, there was now, nothing. Darkness and total stillness were everywhere he turned.

However, was he moving or was this only his imagination? The thick dark grey mass around him was impenetrable to his eyes, and he could not judge any distance.

He had to try. This was not real. He would not give up like this. The survivors in his home needed him. He was no longer sure if his wife was dead. He had seen this with his own eyes, yet from time to time, he had the impression of sensing her. Was this wishful thinking or real?

Hour after hour he walked an endless path, his stab wound bothering him more and more. His left side was blood-drenched and still fresh blood was seeping. He no longer cared. If he did not find any escape soon, he would not have to bother in this state any longer.

He sank to his knees and stretched out on a surface he could not even see nor feel after countless tries to get away and calling his throat hoarse.

He took one more try, and this would decide all.





Calan jerked when Lord Celeborn again shot upright and looked at him with wide eyes. For hours, he had lain there dead like and now he was awake. No healthy concept for a healer.

“She´s dead, isn´t she? I want to see her at once!”

Calan swallowed. What should he answer? Obviously, his lord assumed his wife dead. Had he perceived what had happened at the dark hill or stemmed his fear from other sources only he could experience?

Yet one thing he knew with certainty. If Galadriel would not immediately appear and talk to her husband, Celeborn would slip past their reach forever.

“Then let me talk to him.”

Calan started and jerked around. Galadriel was standing in the doorway dressed in a white gown.

“But…?” he could see no bandage or other trace that would indicate her severe injuries. Master Elrond was not a step behind.

“Calan, I will talk to my husband.”

The healer could only nod and step aside. He looked at his colleague with much irritation and just earned a shrug.

The healers turned to leave, but a wink from the she-elf stopped them.

“You can stay.”

The two healers moved out of sight while Galadriel sat on her husband´s bed. Gently she brushed his face and kissed him lightly.

“Tolo dan na galad, meleth.”

Elrond held his breath. His own experience not two years ago came to the forefront. He knew how long it had taken him to pierce the fog of desperation and believe what the voices around him were telling him.

When Celeborn stirred, Elrond narrowed his eyes. He looked at his colleague, but Calan was wholly focused on the royal couple.

“Artanis,” Celeborn whispered lightly brushing his wife´s hair. Elrond saw Galadriel flinch. The cut on her skull still prominent, yet for Celeborn not to see from his lying position.

“We are both dead?” he asked while searching for his wife´s hand.

Galadriel kissed cold and white knuckles.

“No, meleth. We are at Caras Galadhon and alive.”

To Elrond´s consternation, Celeborn laughed and tugged his wife closer.

“Nice try, my love but I saw you being pierced with a spear and Lothlórien burning. So don´t tell me…”

Elrond started when Calan touched his arm and pointed at Galadriel.

A red stain was forming on the Lady´s right side apparently coming from her chest wound.

Elrond narrowed his eyes. They had to intervene. He could see Galadriel shivering, and he was sure she was not far from collapsing. Yet, this was not his territory. He did not want to compromise his fellow healer.

Calan was about to step forward when a blinding white light exploded from the spot the couple sat. Elrond had to shield his eyes, and Calan let out a small cry of surprise.

Elrond was not sure how long this state lasted. After seconds or even hours, the light dimmed and then vanished altogether. Galadriel had collapsed on top of her husband both elves not moving.

Elrond and Calan hastened toward the bed synchronic, Elrond moving Galadriel next to her husband and Calan checking on Celeborn.

“He´s alive but unconscious,” Calan informed Elrond.

“She too. The wound has reopened a bit, but it´s quickly fixed.”

Elrond was already doing this. He re-applied the bandage around her head also and together they made both elves comfortable on the large bed.

Suddenly the door burst open and revealed a concerned looking Haldir, closely followed by Arwen.

“What…?” Haldir began.

Calan rose from the bed.

“The crisis is over. They are both alive and resting.”

Not really convinced, the two younger elves turned and left reluctantly. After a last gaze, the healers left too.




Celeborn sat quietly at the great table after everyone had finished his tale. He still looked pale. Galadriel sitting next to him had recovered, but the traces of her ordeal were still visible.

Four weeks had passed, and it had taken much effort to convince the Lord of Lothlórien that all he had experienced had only happened in his imagination.

This Celeborn had finally accepted, but he was still shaken by the news, that his wife had gone to Dol Guldur to drive out the manifested evil and nearly died. And he was additionally not happy that Galadriel had used the ring to bring him back. Too many risks at stake for his liking.

“Things that happened are now in the past. This cannot be altered, only accepted. Our focus has to be the future.”

Galadriel raised her glass, and everyone saluted her, even Celeborn but only reluctantly.

Feeling the tension between the couple, Elrond raised his glass after one swallow.

“Dol Guldur is free, and you are returned to us. That´s all that matters.”

This time the silver-haired lord wholeheartedly agreed.






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