The rain fell in thick sheets, drenching everybody for leagues and beyond. All Elves had retreated to their homes to stay dry, and only Nienna remained outside, staring up at the cloudy sky.
“Nienna, what are you doing?” came the voice of Nienna’s father, Celeborn.
Nienna turned to face him. “Thinking.” she answered. “Why do you ask, Father?” Nienna was not normally this polite to anyone, but she respected her father greatly, but not so much her mother, who always watched her like a hawk.
“Your mother wishes for you to return inside.” Celeborn replied. He held his hand out to his daughter, and she took it and aloud her self to be led inside.
“What were you doing, Nienna?” Galadriel asked the moment Nienna stepped into the room.
“Thinking.” Nienna repeated, her patience growing thin. She removed the hood of her cloak, revealing her long, blonde hair.
“If you want to be outside so much, then go out with Haldir to meet Aragorn and Arwen.” Galadriel answered.
“You will let me be with Haldir?” Nienna asked incredulously.
“Be with him, no. Ride out to meet your niece and her husband, yes.” Galadriel seemed angry, so Nienna said no more. She swept from the room. She longed very much to be with Haldir, for she loved him more than anyone, but her mother had forbidden it. According to Galadriel, she wanted her daughter to marry an Elf worthy of marriage to the daughter of the White Lady.
Arwen was the daughter of Elrond and Celebrian, and even though she was the niece of Nienna, she was still older and was married to Aragorn, the King of Gondor.
Nienna met Haldir, who was standing there, waiting. He kissed her hand as she approached. “Good afternoon, My Lady.” Nienna had an urge to slap him. His formalness annoyed her. He acted like they had never held each other or kissed each other before. They had even confessed their love to each other before, but that seemed long forgotten.
As they walked, Nienna said, “Why so formal, Haldir?”
Haldir stiffened. “I do not really have a choice, My Lady.”
“You can make your own decisions.” her voice lowered to a whisper. “I thought you loved me, Haldir.”
Haldir stopped and turned to her. He took her hands and said quietly, “I do. You know I do, Nienna.”
Nienna smiled and kissed him softly on the lips. “So prove it.” she whispered.
Haldir did not open his eyes when Nienna pulled back from the kiss, as if her were savoring the moment. “I desire nothing more than to prove my love to you, Nienna. But…it is forbidden.” Haldir opened his eyes.
Nienna took a step closer to him. “Haldir, we are alone in the woods. There is no one else. Please prove it to me so I can believe you.”
After hesitating a moment, Haldir finally wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her lips to his. She deepened the kiss and wrapped her arms around his neck as he pulled her even closer so their bodies were pressed together.
He broke the kiss, but did not pull away from her. He moved one hand from her waist and caressed her cheek. “Do you believe me?” he asked.
She smiled. “I believe you, Haldir.” she whispered.
Nienna and Haldir stopped walking when they saw Arwen, Aragorn, and another Elf ride up on horseback. Aragorn dismounted first and warmly greeted Haldir before turning to Nienna, who was very fond of this king,
“It is wonderful to see you again, Nienna.” he said, pulling her into a hug. In the middle of their embrace, he hissed in her ear, “I thought it was forbidden for you see him!”
Nienna hissed back, “It is! We are not doing anything wrong!”
Aragorn pulled back and smiled before taking Arwen’s hand and unnecessarily helping her down from her horse. Arwen greeted Haldir before embracing Nienna.
The last Elf dismounted last. He greeted Haldir as if they were brothers and then turned to Aragorn, thus ignoring Nienna.
“Who is this, Aragorn?” Nienna asked coolly.
“This Legolas son of Thranduil King of Mirkwood, Nienna.” Aragorn answered, looking from Legolas to Nienna timidly, as if they’d kill each other at any moment.
“Nice to meet you, Legolas.” Nienna said coolly before turning back to Arwen. She didn’t know why, but this Legolas made her uneasy.
“We need to ride back to Lothlorien,” Aragorn said, breaking the awkward silence. “Haldir, why don’t you ride with me, and Nienna can ride with Arwen?”
“Or I can ride with you and Haldir and Nienna can ride together.” Arwen replied, looking at her husband.
“No.” Aragorn replied quickly. Haldir reddened. “It’s okay,” he said. “I will ride with Aragorn.”
“No, I don’t mind giving up my horse.” Arwen insisted. She climbed on the back of Aragorn’s horse.
Aragorn sighed. “Fine.” he climbed on the front of the horse as Legolas mounted his own. Haldir got on Arwen’s horse and held out his hand to Nienna, and she took it and held it a bit longer than she should have before climbing up and sitting behind him. Aragorn watched her suspiciously as she put her arms around Haldir’s waist. Aragorn sighed and rode off, followed by Legolas, and then Haldir.
When they reached their destination, Haldir slid off the horse and helped Nienna down. “I’ll go return the horses to the stables.” he volunteered.
“I’ll help.” Nienna said immediately.
“Your mother is probably looking for you-” Aragorn said quickly.
“No, she’s not.” Nienna answered simply. She led Arwen’s horse to the stables, closely followed by Haldir, who led Legolas and Aragorn’s horses.
When they had locked the horses in their stalls, Haldir led Nienna to the far side of the stable and pressed her up against the wall. Their lips crashed together and he pressed his body up against hers again.
They jumped apart to see Aragorn standing at the doorway. “I need to speak with you. Nienna, your mother is looking for you.” he looked very angry and Nienna felt ashamed. She quickly left, not meeting Haldir or Aragorn’s eye.
Nienna sat in her bedroom that night, staring at the ground as she sat on her bed. Her parents had found out about her and Haldir and now Nienna was forbidden to leave her room, much less see Haldir again. Luckily, Haldir was not in trouble at all.
Arwen entered. “Are you okay, Nienna?” she asked, sitting down next to her.
“Oh just leave me!” Nienna growled.
“Aragorn was just doing what he thought was best.”
“So it was him who told my mother!” Nienna screamed, losing her composure completely.
“He didn’t have a choice, Nienna!”
“Haldir and I are in love! Why can’t anyone accept that?! It shouldn’t matter if we are royalty or not, it should only matter about love!”
“Do not tell me that, tell your mother!” Arwen yelled. She left the room quickly.
“Who are you, again?” Haldir asked as they walked to the stables to get the horses ready for departure. Haldir had a message from Galadriel to Elrond in Rivendell, so he would be accompanying Aragorn, Arwen, and Legolas there and then would return. Nienna had sneaked out of her bedroom and dressed up like an archer, saying that he had a message from Celeborn to Elrond and that she need to go also.
“Amrod.” Nienna answered, making her voice deeper. “I have a message from Lord Celeborn to Elrond.”
“Why does Celeborn not just give me the message?” Haldir grumbled as he brought out a chestnut horse.
Nienna shrugged and went to go into her own black horse’s stall, but Haldir stopped her. “You cannot ride that.” he said quickly. “That horse belongs to Lady Nienna.”
Nienna’s eyes narrowed as she walked to a different stall. “You like Lady Nienna? You defend her horse as if it were your own.”
“I care about Lady Nienna, yes, but nothing can ever become of it.” Haldir answered sadly as he mounted his horse.
“Why not?” she asked as she mounted the gray horse that she had chosen. “If you are in love, nothing else should matter.”
“It does not work like that with Lady Nienna. According to her mother, Lady Galadriel, it is forbidden for us to be together.” Haldir paused. “Why am I discussing this with you?”
“Sometimes it is good to talk things out.” Nienna answered, her voice still deep. She paused. “I am sure that Lady Nienna loves you back.” before Haldir could say anything, she rode out of the stable.
“Who is this?” Aragorn asked Haldir when they met up at the border of Lothlorien.
“Amrod. He is an archer and has a message from Celeborn to Elrond.” Haldir replied.
The five set off out of the forest at a trot. Nienna heard Aragorn say to Haldir as they rode, “Have you seen Nienna at all?”
“Not since yesterday.” Haldir answered bitterly.
“I know you don’t think so, but maybe it’s for the best that the two of you don’t meet anymore. You’ll just get her into even more trouble.” Aragorn tried to sound soothing, but it didn’t work.
“You’re right.” Haldir said, almost growling. “I don’t think so.” he sped his horse up to ride next to Legolas.
“Let us speed up! We need to be at a certain place at nightfall before the Orcs start swarming the place!” Aragorn called out.
Nienna rode up next to him. “There are Orcs here?” she asked in a panic.
“Yes, some still run freely, but if we get to the place I told you about by nightfall, we’ll be fine.” They all sped up to a run.
“Wake up! We’re under attack!” Nienna heard Legolas yell that night as she slept in a tent with Haldir. Legolas had been keeping watch.
Nienna sat up and was pushed outside by Haldir. Legolas, Aragorn, and Arwen were all fighting the swarm of Orcs that had invaded their camp, but Nienna could do nothing. She had had no training as an archer.
“You have to help us, Amrod!” Haldir yelled. “You said you were an archer, so fight!” he threw a bow to Nienna and continued to shoot Orcs in their throats.
Nienna gulped and pulled an arrow back and tried to shoot at an Orc, but the arrow veered off course and nearly hit Legolas.
“Watch it!” The Mirkwood prince yelled.
Nienna looked at Haldir, who was shooting arrows left and right. If he had known that it was Nienna with him all along, he never would have left her side. Nienna was about to turn away when she felt a sharp pain in her side. She looked down as a spear in her hipbone and an Orc grinning maniacally. The world darkened and begun spinning. The ground came closer and closer as she fell.
“Nienna, wake up.”
Nienna slowly opened her light blue eyes to see Haldir sitting beside her and holding her hand. “Where am I?” she mumbled. “What happened?”
“You are in Rivendell, Nienna. You had a spear stabbed through your hipbone. I rode with you on my horse to here and Elrond was able to heal you.”
Nienna’s vision began to clear, and she saw that she was in a high-ceilinged, bright room on a very comfortable bed. “How long have you known that it was me?” she asked.
“For about three days. When Elrond put you here when we first arrived, he had to take off your tunic to examine the wound, and saw that you were a woman, not a man. He looked at your face more closely, recognized you, and told Aragorn, Arwen, Legolas, and I that it was not an archer with a message with us, but a daughter with a strong desire to be away from Lothlorien.” Haldir explained. “Aragorn was furious with himself for not being able to recognize you.”
“Has anyone been in to see me before now?”
“Aragorn, Arwen, and Elrond have all been in to see you, and I hardly ever leave your side.” Haldir answered, still holding her hand.
Nienna sighed. “Do I have to go back to Lothlorien?” she asked.
Haldir shifted uneasily. “I don’t know how to tell you this, but no. Your mother says that she will not allow you to return until you have produced a sufficient family.”
Nienna sat up straight. “So we can marry!” she said excitedly.
“Well…we can’t….she won’t let you return if your family is with me…she says that it must be with someone else. In fact, I am not even allowed to see you anymore…only visit you for a short period of time. You are actually under the watch of Legolas. When he leaves for Mirkwood, you’ll be watched by Elrond.”
“Will you be returning to Lothlorien?” Nienna asked gloomily.
“No. I cannot return.” Haldir answered sadly.
“I don’t have to return if I don’t want to, though! We can still marry! I don’t care about returning!”
Haldir leaned forward and kissed her softly. “I care. You need to be with your family, Nienna.”
“So you want me to marry someone else?” Nienna’s eyes darkened.
“Of course I don’t, but I don’t have a say in who you marry.”
“And I am with family. Elrond is my brother-in-law.”
Haldir laughed. “I mean with your parents.”
Nienna pressed her lips against his. “I don’t want to be with my parents. I only want to be with you.”
Author's Chapter Notes:
The PG-13 rating is just a warning in case something does happen, but it's more in between PG and PG-13