cg.htmlTEXTStMl:!>˘lb I, Alone

Celeborn and Galadriel

I, Alone

by Jacynthe Demorae

Haldir and his brothers had escorted the remainder of the Fellowship to a place where they might rest. As soon as they had gone, Galadriel withdrew from me, cloaking herself in chill silence. Something disturbed her, beyond even the shock of Gandalf's death.

I rested a hand on the smooth, silvery bark of a nearby mallorn. No tree in all of Middle-Earth felt like the golden mallorn, not the shy willow or the vibrant rowan. Not even the oldest of the ancient oaks and pines could match their majesty. Strong of body, was the Lady of this Wood.

Long ago, she turned to me, and I counted myself the most blessed of all the Eldar. Artanis of the Noldor, sister of Finrod, had chosen me. For all the tumult of the time, the choice was made quietly. She only looked into my eyes for a long, silent moment, then raised her hand and touched my cheek. I knew that she had seen her heart reflected back at her through my eyes, even as I saw my own in hers. I named her Galadriel then, for her rich golden hair that then became mine to touch.

We spoke no pledge then--it was a time of strife, she told me, not a time for love-oaths. I knew her powers of sight, a strength I utterly lacked, and so I yielded to her. I bent the laws of the Eldar for her, tarnished my own honor! I lay with her as husband to wife, yet spoke no vow. Years of shame passed before we spoke the Names and traded rings, yet I would not alter one day of that time.

And then she answered Celebrimbor's call. There had never been peace between the Silver Hand of Eregion and myself, not since the days when we were rivals for the hand of Artanis. He did not take her loss with grace. That she went to him, without a word to me... A darkness fell on my sight, then, and I feared myself forsaken.

Perhaps such as I can only see in the dark, for now I know that time was but a forewarning of what was to come.

She returned so changed, my Galadriel. She said only that she had been called to a council, but would tell me no more. I thought we had no secrets between us. It proved but the first stone in the wall that now separates us.

"Melda," I sighed, hoping against hope that my plea would reach her this time. But she only looked past me, and my heart broke again against the ice of her voice.


I could not remember when she last came to me for pleasure. We did not even walk under the stars together anymore. I buried my sorrow in the dark places beneath the trees, and watched as the shadows grew deeper. And though I was counted among the Wise, I still could not say how a love so bright with promise could turn to ashes. Now, with the weight of this new grief, I found I could bear the silence no longer.

I went to her side, drawing as close as I dared. She gave me no sign of welcome, nor did she draw away.

"What has come between us, my Galadriel?" I murmured into her hair. The rippling tresses smelled of elanor petals and sunlight. "Was it my desire that drove you away? It is rare to long for the beloved flesh after children are born, but I still yearn for you, Galadriel."

Perhaps I should not have spoken of it. If, indeed, that was the cause of our estrangement, my bold words would not mend matters. Yet I could still feel the pulse of it in my body, the constant thrumming awareness of her. Unnatural, for an Elf who had fathered a child, whose wife chose to bear no more. My desire should have faded like the morning mist, replaced by a quiet joy in her company. But now I had neither joy nor pleasure, and I feared the paths before me.

Her only response was to fold her hands together so that the lacy cuffs of her overgown hid them from sight. Her bare hands. Long ago, she had removed the gold oath-ring that declared her my wife. Though she stayed with me, called me 'lord' and 'husband' before others, the ring never returned to her hand.

I took a fold of her sheer overgown between trembling fingers and peeled it back, baring her white shoulder. My beloved had once walked under the light of the Trees, and her flesh glowed like a new pearl.

"Shall I tell you of them, Galadriel?" I whispered. "Those others I have sought because you have spurned me?"

She said nothing, as cold and remote as the Moon.

I trailed my fingertips up along the pale curve of her throat. "You know I speak falsely. I have not touched another, cannot bear another. So instead I crouch at your feet, like a chained beast, waiting for a word, a touch, always waiting!"

Galadriel closed her eyes, turned her face from me, and still she did not speak.

"Curse your Noldori pride, Galadriel!" I cried, grasping her by the shoulders. "Will you never tell me why?"

She met my gaze at last, and I saw my heart again in her eyes. Yet it flickered and wavered, like the drowned light of Earendil at the heart of her fountain. I did not understand what I saw--but she was still the one who kept my heart, however cruelly.

I let my hands fall away and sank down to the broad step to sit at her feet. After a time, I felt a light touch upon my hair, as if she had graced it with her hand, but I did not look up.

A time later, I thought I heard a soft sigh--but my Galadriel would never weep.

And neither would the one before me.

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