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my bow shall sing with your sword: eowyn and legolas

Eowyn awoke to the feeling of Legolas' lips pressed gently against her temple.

"Good morning, melmenya," he said softly, pulling her closer, "are you hungry? I am famished—I could eat nothing last night."

Eowyn smiled happily; she was going to spend the rest of her life with this man—this elf. "Good morning, my love," she replied. "Let us find you something to eat, then!" And she threw back the blanket and bounded to her feet, holding out her hands to him.

Legolas smiled. "Why do I have the feeling that I have met my match in you?"

He rose—very gracefully, Eowyn thought, for someone who was completely naked and so uncharacteristically dishevelled—and took her hand and together they looked around the banqueting hall. The remains of the banquet had been cleared away, but some of the guests remained, sleeping in various groups.

Eowyn examined a pile of bodies lying beside the table—she recognised Elrohir and Elladan, and one of the disappointed ellith, but—who was that, lying naked beside them, on his stomach? Ah, Prince Imrahil.

She turned happily to Legolas and pointed at the prince: "That," she said, softly, "but for you, and the grace of the gods, would have been me."

To her surprise Legolas looked away, clearly uncomfortable.

She caught his hand and gave him a questioning look, but he simply drew her to the table, where breakfast had already been laid out—fresh bread rolls, jam, honey, fruit, and jugs of water. The water, Eowyn noticed, bubbled and foamed as she poured it into a glass.

She lifted it up to the light and laughed—and Legolas seemed to recover his good mood. "It comes from a spring in the hills, just outside Doro Lanthron, melmenya," he said. "Gimli tells me that the bubbles are made by 'good stone' dissolving into the rainwater. The local people seal it in jars to stop the bubbles escaping, then sell it at the market, here in Eryn Carantaur. It is very popular as an alternative to wine."

"Is it safe?"

"Yes," he replied, "in fact, my healer tells me its effects are beneficial."

Eowyn tasted it; it felt sharp and refreshing on her tongue. "Your people should take it to Caras Arnen and Minas Tirith. And to Edoras," she said. "I am sure it would be very popular there, too, especially with the ladies."

"You can suggest that at the next meeting of the Council," he said, "to our people, meleth nín. Come, sit."

Legolas pulled out a chair and Eowyn heard his breath catch. She stepped forward and peered under the table. Sleeping there, clearly hoping for some privacy, lay a semi-clothed King of Gondor, his wife, and another of the eligible ellith. Eowyn and Legolas smiled at each other, conspiratorially.

"Perhaps," said Eowyn, "we should take our breakfast elsewhere."

Legolas nodded in agreement. "Where would you like to go, meleth nín?" he asked. "To my chambers?"

"What I would dearly like," said Eowyn, "is to bathe."

Legolas kissed her forehead. "I thought the Rohirrim were afraid of soap and water."

Eowyn laughed. "Only the men!"

"Let us go to my chambers, then. We can bathe, and eat breakfast in my garden." Legolas picked up the robe he had been wearing the night before and helped her into it, carefully tying the sash around her waist. He himself seemed quite happy to remain naked.

Elves! Eowyn thought. She fingered the robe. But this was very considerate of him.

They filled a plate with bread, honey and fruit, and Eowyn poured two glasses of the bubbling water, and, together, they escaped from the banqueting hall like two naughty children.


"And I am telling you," said Lenwë, Treasurer of Eryn Carantaur, with a wail in his voice, "that we must not tell him. If Lord Legolas were to know about this terrible tragedy, how could he possibly complete the harvest rite? So much depends on his ability to—to perform it successfully. And if he cannot, what future will our colony have?"

"And exactly how do you propose to keep it from him?" asked Chief Counsellor Caranthir. "She was central to the rite. Without her it will be impossible to continue. Whoever did this might as well have killed Lord Legolas' lady herself..."

Lord Fingolfin held up his hand. "We have no choice, my friends. We must tell him, for he must not only reassure his guests, he must also discover and punish whoever is responsible. And, as for the rite, I believe there is another who has been trained to take the elleth's role—no, Lenwë, I will hear no further protests. I will go now and tell Lord Legolas myself."

"What worries me," said Caranthir, "is, is the rite still valid? The murder is surely a sacrilege."

Fingolfin sighed. "If the Valar would truly condemn an entire colony for the wickedness of one elf, my friend, then I fear the damage is already done."



"Melmenya!" Legolas, pretending to be angry, caught her arms and, pinning them to her sides, pulled her between his legs, holding her in place with his thighs.

His very muscular thighs, thought Eowyn.

She laid her head on his shoulder and sighed contentedly. She felt him hardening against her belly. "Are all elves completely insatiable?"

Still holding her firmly, Legolas burrowed into the crook of her neck and bit her. Eowyn yelped and they both laughed. Then, with hands and mouths, they started to explore each other's bodies.

"Oh, my lord," she whispered, "make love to me."

He turned them over and, supporting her head and shoulders above the water, entered her body and began to thrust—

They were immediately interrupted by an urgent knocking on the bathing room door.

"Please return later!" shouted Legolas.

"I apologise, Lord Legolas," said a muffled voice, "but this is an urgent matter."

Legolas looked questioningly at Eowyn. She nodded and, with a frustrated sigh, he gently withdrew—"One moment!"—and rested his forehead on Eowyn's shoulder, breathing raggedly, until he had regained control of his body. "Stay here, melmenya," he said, "where he cannot see you." Then he climbed out of the bath, hastily put on his robe, and virtually stamped to the door.

That is not like him, thought Eowyn. Instinctively, she put on another of his robes and followed him to the door.

"This had better be a matter of life or death," said Legolas sharply.

The elf at the door was taken aback. He has never seen Legolas angry before, thought Eowyn. She assumed that he was one of Legolas' counsellors; he was dark, and distinguished-looking, and reminded her a little of Lord Elrond.

"My lord, I—oh, and my lady," he added, with a slight bow.

Legolas glanced over his shoulder, surprised to find Eowyn standing behind him.

"I have bad news, my lord," said the elf, "which I believe you should hear. This morning one of the serving ellith found the Mistress of the Ceremony..." He hesitated.

The news was clearly bad and, unseen by the Counsellor, Eowyn took Legolas' hand, supportively; he squeezed her fingers in response. "And, my lord Fingolfin?" he prompted.

"She is dead, my lord. She has been strangled."


Haldir, formerly March Warden of Lorien, now March Warden of Eryn Carantaur, was rapidly reaching breaking point.

At Legolas' insistence, the emergency meeting of the colony's Inner Council, including the heads of the border and the household guards, had been joined by the woman, Eowyn—Haldir nodded a brief greeting—and the nogoth, Gimli. And, thanks mainly to the latter's enthusiastic support of his elven friend, the meeting was proving even louder and more pointless than usual.

Chief Counsellor Caranthir was advising Legolas to cancel the rite and send his guests home: "We cannot guarantee their safety, my lord. What if the killer were to attack King Elessar—or Queen Arwen?" He shuddered at the thought. "My lord—we might even find ourselves at war with Gondor!"

The Treasurer—that cringing fool Lenwë—wanted to carry on as if nothing had happened, and kept whimpering, "But the rite, my lord! The colony cannot survive without the blessing of the Valar!" whenever he thought Legolas might hear him.

The so-called Captain of the Palace Guard, Golradir, was merely concerned to cover his own back, bristling at anyone he thought might be questioning his competence.

Haldir sighed; he would have followed Legolas-the-warrior into the fires of Mount Doom itself, but watching Legolas-the-diplomatic-ruler in action drove him to the brink of mutiny. Just give them orders! he almost screamed.

But Legolas was being supremely patient, whilst firmly insisting that steps must be taken to find the murderer immediately. "This sort of thing cannot be kept secret. And we do not," he said, "know what the killer's motives are. We do not know whether he intends to kill again or, if so, who his next victim might be." He placed his hand on Eowyn's. "If he intends to disrupt the rite, then all the participants are at risk. Our only option is to track him down as quickly as possible, stop him, and make him answer for his crime."

His resolution brought a chorus of protest from Caranthir and Lenwë, but Counsellor Fingolfin—The only one of the counsellors worth a damn, thought Haldir—nodded in agreement. And the dwarf pounded the table—presumably in support.

Haldir had had enough. "But we elves have no experience of these matters," he said. "How do we find a murderer? I do not know where to start."

"I do," said a firm, quiet voice, taking everyone by surprise.

Haldir turned to face the woman who had, until now, been sitting silently beside Legolas. "I have observed several investigations of this sort," she continued, "and they all follow a similar pattern."

She counted each step on her fingers. "First, you must seal the borders of Eryn Carantaur and ensure that no one leaves until you have had a chance to question him.

"Secondly, you must examine the place where the body was found, looking for anything that might identify the murderer—"

"Do you think me a fool, lady?" asked Golradir angrily. "I have thoroughly searched that part of the hall, myself. The murderer left nothing—"

"I am not making any accusations, Captain, for I am not referring to a cloak or a dropped glove," said Eowyn, firmly. "I am talking about small traces that might easily be overlooked—a few hairs, perhaps, or a shred of cloth—which might, nevertheless, provide you with a clue to the murderer's identity."

Legolas, Haldir noticed, was gazing at the woman with even deeper adoration. And the dwarf's expression was much the same.

"Thirdly," Eowyn continued, "you need to establish exactly where the murder took place—whether the Lady was killed where she was found, or whether her body was moved there afterwards—"

"Why?" asked Haldir. And realised that he, too, was taking the woman seriously.

"Because, March Warden, it will help you eliminate suspects—I will explain that in a moment."

She is every inch a Princess, thought Haldir, and would be a fitting consort for an elf, were she not mortal.

"The body was moved by the guards—"

"That could hardly be avoided, lady," said Golradir, "since the guests were beginning to waken."

"Yes, I understand that, Captain," she answered. "But evidence may have disappeared when the body was moved, so you need to talk to the girl who found it and to the guards who moved it, and see what they remember.

"Fourthly, your healer must examine the body thoroughly—"

"Why? Why must we violate her still further?" cried Lenwë. "Surely it is time to leave the poor, unfortunate elleth in peace and..." He was silenced by a look from Legolas.

"Because, my lord Lenwë," answered Eowyn, gently, "we owe it to the lady herself to find out who did this terrible thing to her.

"If possible, your healer must ascertain the time of her death. Also, he must examine her for any traces the murderer might have left on her body—hairs or shreds of clothing, perhaps, torn away when she struggled. It would also be useful to know how tall the killer was, how strong, and which hand he favoured—all these things a healer can often tell from the wound.

"And... You need to know whether he could possibly have been a she."

The Counsellors stared at her in horror; even Gimli looked surprised.

Eowyn held up her hand. "I mention it only as a possibility," she said. "If the answer is no, then that reduces the number of suspects. Lastly—" she hesitated, just for a moment, "lastly, it will be necessary to question all of your guests—"

There was pandaemonium.

Legolas quickly called everyone to order.

"You must question all the guests," Eowyn insisted, "as soon as possible, and make written records of their statements. If you can establish where the lady was killed, and when, and you use the statements to work out where each guest was when she died, you can eliminate all those who can prove they were elsewhere at the time, and that should help you identify the killer."

"How can we possibly ask our guests what they were doing last night, of all nights, my lady?" asked Caranthir.

"True," said Legolas, " it will not be pleasant, my lord. But our guests will surely understand that our search for the killer must come first."

"That is why Lord Legolas should personally oversee the investigation," said Eowyn. "He is above suspicion. And people will be more co-operative when approached by the lord of the colony."

The counsellors agreed reluctantly.

"Very well," said Legolas. "There is much to do. March Warden, I presume that your guards will have records of anyone who has left the colony since last night?" Haldir nodded. "Good. Have anyone who has left brought back to city, and seal the border until further notice."

"Of course."

"Captain Golradir, have your men close the banqueting hall immediately and stand guard; no one is to enter it until we have examined the area. If we can finish before three o'clock, there will still be time to prepare for the banquet tonight. Have the girl who discovered the body—Míriel?—and the guards who moved it sent to my chambers in half an hour. We will talk to them first."

"Yes, my lord."

"Lord Caranthir, is everything prepared for the rite this evening?"

"Lady Eowyn must be fitted for her gown, my lord. And you will need to replace the Mistress of the Ceremony," replied the Chief Counsellor.

"Lady Lessien has been tutored in that role, my lord. Please explain the situation to her and ask her to prepare herself to officiate tonight."

Caranthir nodded gravely.

"Where is the body?" asked Legolas.

"She lies in her own chamber, my lord," replied Golradir.

"Lord Fingolfin," said Legolas, "who amongst our healers do you think would be best equipped to examine the body?"

Fingolfin thought for a moment. "Master Dínendal, my lord. He is young and has a practical nature, and will, perhaps, be more willing to take part in something of this sort than any of the others."

"And he has already seen the body, my lord," added Golradir.

"Good; that should help," said Legolas. "Lord Fingolfin, please ask Master Dínendal to meet me in the lady's chambers in two hours. And please feel free to join us yourself, my lordyou too, Lord Caranthir." He turned to the Treasurer. "I will spare you that burden, Lord Lenwë." He inclined his head, indicating that the meeting was over.

That, thought Haldir. The ability to grasp the situation and be decisive—whilst charming the birds down from the trees—that is what makes him a king, even though he refuses the title.


"Thank you Gimli," said Legolas. "I am so sorry to have dragged you into this, but I do appreciate your support, elvellon."

"Well," said the dwarf, "someone has to keep you elves in order." He winked at Eowyn.

"Will you help us with the investigation?"

"My sharp dwarven mind—like my axe—is at your service. But I should point out that I am as much a suspect as anyone else. I left the banqueting hall before the rite began. I had intended to return once, er,"—he blushed—"once things were over, but—well, I was, er—" Gimli came to a painful decision. "The truth is, I fell asleep and did not wake until you sent for me this morning."

The two friends laughed, despite the grim situation.

"So, you see, there is no proof that I did not kill the lady myself," Gimli continued. "And though I will give you all the support I can, lad, I am not sure that your people would be happy for me to take part in the investigation."

Legolas sighed. "Ai, Gimli, how could anyone accuse you of such a thing? What motive could you possibly have?"

"Gimli?" Eowyn interrupted, suddenly. "When you awoke, had the fire in your chambers been tended? Was there hot water in your bathing room?"

Gimli looked surprised, "Yes."

"Then the servants responsible must have seen you asleep in bed. If the healer can determine when the lady died, it may be possible to clear you of any suspicion. And I think that we can also clear Aragorn and Arwen, and Prince Imrahil and the twins," she looked at Legolas, "and their elleth companions."

"Aragorn!" said Legolas. "I must tell him what has happened and explain why I have decided not involve him in the investigation, as yet. Gimli, if you are happy to remain in the background for the time being, elvellon,"—Gimli nodded—"then, at least, meet us in my chambers this afternoon. Who knows, by then, we may have proved your innocence."

He briefly clasped Gimli's hand, then turned to Eowyn. "Come melmenya," he said, "let us go and talk to Aragorn."


As he swung himself up into the saddle, Haldir caught sight of Legolas and Eowyn walking towards the guest quarters. Though he could not begrudge Legolas his obvious happiness, Haldir was finding it painful to watch his lord court the mortal woman.

She had found him, barely breathing, on the ramparts of Helm's Deep, had single-handedly dragged him out from under a filthy orc, and had stubbornly insisted that the healers continue treating him, even when they had said there was no hope.

He had woken from the darkness to find her sitting beside him...

But I was a coward, thought Haldir, and that is another story.

He spurred his horse and set off for the nearest border post. He had a lot of ground to cover in the next few hours.



Contents page


Previous chapter: The rite
The people of Eryn Carantaur perform the Harvest Rite. But one of them has evil intentions.

Chapter 3

Next chapter: Investigations
Legolas and Eowyn question the witnesses.

Chapter 5

Extra scene: The first time
In the bathing room.

Extra scene