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A Halloween Story

October 31st, 2010 (10:40 pm)

Well... I'm afraid this is only the first part of the story, but I do hope to finish it before Christmas! It's almost a year since I've written any Legolas/Eowyn or--more importantly--written anything in the past tense(!), and I'm a bit rusty. The first part of this was written a couple of years ago, but I'm reposting it because it's a sort of prologue to the rest.

The White Ladies of Eryn Carantaur

Last year...


Climbing up the main staircase, at the end of an afternoon spent sparring with Rumil and Orophin, Eowyn stopped, one hand on the rail, listening hard. The voice had been soft, no more than a sigh upon the wind, and at first she thought she had imagined it, but—


—no, it was real—and its owner was just behind her!

Eowyn spun round, automatically reaching for the hilt of her sword, but there was no one else on the stairs.

Puzzled, she climbed to the top, and stepped onto the walkway.

To the right, her and Legolas’ chambers stood out from the rest of the buildings, decked with pumpkin lanterns made by the colony’s schoolchildren to celebrate of the first night of Rhîw.


Gods! The voice had grown louder, and now seemed—somehow—to be coming from up ahead!

Eowyn hurried towards it, her hand on her sword. She could see no one—No one at all, she thought, no servants, no guards; and where is Legolas? Why, tonight of all nights, has he not come out to meet me?

Beyond the brightly grinning lanterns, the shadows seemed unnaturally dark, and Eowyn was surprised to find herself trembling, but the voice drew her on, past her chambers, and up the stairs to her garden.

There, between the pools of light, she thought she saw a figure, and asked, “Who are you?”

She was scarcely expecting a reply, but the voice responded, “Do you not recognise me, Eowyn?

He stepped closer, his already insubstantial form fading in the lanterns’ glow, but Eowyn could still see his silhouette, and she gasped. “Are you lost?” she whispered. “Are you here because you are not at peace?”

I am with my ancestors.

“Oh…” Her hands came up to her breast, and she smiled. “Is your father there with you?”


Oh…” She wiped away a tear. “I saw it myself, once, for just a moment.”

I know.

There was a smile in his voice, and Eowyn moved closer. “If you are at peace, why have you come?”

Because, tonight, we are permitted to visit our loved ones, if they light the way.

“Light the way… You mean the lanterns?” She looked up at the grotesque faces, which Legolas himself had taught the children to carve (because, he said, the first night of Rhîw meant something to all the races of Eryn Carantaur, and the colony should celebrate it). “Do you have a message for me?” she asked. “Or—or is it a warning?”

I just wanted to see you,”—his voice had changed, become softer, more intimate—“to see what my Shieldmaiden had become.” And, strangely, his tenderness made her blush.

“Do you like what you see?”

You are so much wiser, Eowyn, and stronger, and even more beautiful. You were a girl then, and now you are a woman.”

Fresh tears spilled down her cheeks. “I am happy,” she told him, because she knew that he had loved her, and because they had once believed that their futures lay together.

I know.


He is the luckiest of beings. But,”—his voice began to fade, its echo growing longer—“he loves you, Eowyn, and will always love you, and will never take you for granted.

“Wait!” she cried, rushing towards him, because he was leaving her, every moment growing less and less distinct. “I want to tell you—wait—I did love you—I did not know it then, but I did—please!—and I would have made you a good wife—I would…”

But he was gone.


Legolas found her sitting in the garden.

“Melmenya? I went down to the practice field, looking for you. What are you doing up here?” He crouched down beside her. “Have you been crying?”

“On this night,” said Eowyn, softly, “the dead may visit their loved ones.”

“And who were you hoping to see, my darling?” He pulled her into his arms, and tried to rub some warmth into her. “Your uncle?—oh, melmenya, you are so cold!”

“It was Theodred who came, Lassui,” she said, smiling. “Theodred has given us his blessing.”

* * * * *

This year...

Legolas stepped out into the damp evening air and, patting the Elven cloak draped over his arm, surveyed the line of pumpkin lanterns, carved by Eowyn and little Melannen, that ran past the door and up the curving staircase that led to their private garden flet.

Night was drawing in, and a light mist was rising from the ground. The grinning faces—some cheerful, some rather less than welcoming—glowed brightly in the gloom and, despite his misgivings, the elf smiled.

She has arranged the lanterns, he thought, like a trail of bread crumbs, luring her quarry into her lair.

He ran lightly up the stairs, and crossed the flet to where his wife was already waiting—perching uncomfortably upon a wooden chair, for she was cold, but would never have admitted it. “Put this on, melmenya,” he said, draping the cloak about her shoulders, “to please me.”

“Thank you...” She gathered up the fabric, and held it close to body. “Lassui, I know you do not want me to do this—”

“It is only that I do not want you to be disappointed, melmenya.”

“I know, my love. I know. But he is lonely, Lassui, and tonight is his only chance.”

Legolas sat down beside her and, tilting his head to catch her eye, he smiled. “I hope he comes, melmenya,” he assured her, gently.

She was about to reply but, with a little start, turned instead towards the stairs, sighing when she realised that it was only their servant, Galathil, bringing two goblets of smoking mulled ale.

“Good,” said Legolas handing one to Eowyn, and touching the other to hers in a refined version of the tankard-banging he had seen in the Mead Halls of Rohan. “It is a cold night,” he explained. “Let us at least stay warm.”


They waited, occasionally exchanging a few quiet words but mostly sitting in silence and, as the hours passed, the mist grew thicker—damper and colder.

Legolas, who did not feel the cold himself, but who had—since the first terrible time he had nursed her through a cold—developed an irrational fear for Eowyn’s health, was considering picking her up and carrying her indoors, when she suddenly grasped his arm, and gestured towards the stairs.

Two slender columns of denser, whiter mist were floating up the steps and advancing along the line of lanterns, and there was no longer any doubt in Legolas’ mind. Even had they not looked like disembodied spirits, he would have sensed their nature immediately.

Eowyn, less awed at that moment than her Elven husband, sprang to her feet. “Who are you?” she demanded, because, as the figures drew closer, and their forms grew more distinct, it became obvious that both were female. “What do you want?”

Your cousin says that you will help us,” said one of the women, in a strange, echoing voice.

“Theodred,” said Eowyn, glancing at Legolas with a mixture of triumph and relief. “Where is he? Is he with you?”

He cannot come to you tonight...


Her disappointment was tangible. Legolas wrapped a comforting arm around her, and brought her close. “Who are you, my Ladies?” he asked.

Two lost spirits...” replied the first woman.

...denied a proper burial...” her companion continued.

...and turned away from the Halls of our Ancestors.

Legolas’ hold on his wife tightened. “And what do you think Eowyn can do to help you?” he asked.

Find our remains...

...and bury them.

“Where?” asked Eowyn, and there was genuine concern in her voice. “Where are your remains?”

We do not know.

“Who are you?” asked Legolas again.

The spirits shifted, twisting towards each other as though conferring, then the women replied, in unison, “We have forgotten...


He—the one who killed us—has stolen our names.

“Then how can you expect us to find you?” asked Legolas.

Your cousin says that you will help us,” the first woman repeated, appealing directly to Eowyn.


“We will do what we can for you,” said the elf, holding his wife back. “Where did you dwell, in life?”


“Eastfold!” said Eowyn, excitedly. She tried to break free; Legolas held her fast.

“What else do you remember?” he asked. “Are you sisters? Or cousins, perhaps...? What was your father’s name? Do you remember that?”


It was a common name.

“When were you mur—I mean—when did you die?” asked Eowyn.

But at that, whether because of her question, or because their allotted time had reached its end, the spirits began to shrink away—to rise, and curl, and dissolve into the surrounding mist.

“Wait,” cried Eowyn, following them, and Legolas found himself following, too, “you have not told us enough! We cannot—”

Help us,” sobbed the women, “please, please, help us; help us; help...

And the sound of their anguished weeping lingered in the air, for many moments after their spectres had vanished.



Posted by: idle_curiosity (idle_curiosity)
Posted at: November 1st, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)

I'm so glad to see you writing Legolas and Eowyn again.

This is a wonderful beginning, very bittersweet. There is something about fall ... the lines between the worlds get blurred.

The confessions of Theodred and Eowyn, gave me the feeling that Theodred loved Eowyn, but took her for granted in a way. And that Eowyn came to realize that she had loved Theodred and would have made him a good wife.

Legolas shows himself to be very secure and confident in the love that he and Eowyn share, so much so that it allows the room for her to acknowledge the love of her past without fear that Legolas will be jealous or threatened. He is so caring and understanding, and I love how he worries for her.

I can't wait to see Melannen. And they have a mystery to solve!

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: November 1st, 2010 08:27 am (UTC)

Thank you for leaving a comment!

I think you're exactly right about Theodred taking Eowyn for granted -- he was the prince, and she was his little cousin. But they would have made it work -- Eowyn would have made it work -- though it wouldn't have been the love that Eowyn now has with Legolas.

Legolas shows himself to be very secure and confident in the love that he and Eowyn share

The funny thing is, I intended him to be a bit jealous -- I even considered having Eowyn go behind his back, trying to contact Theodred, and then have to persuade him to help the women -- but he just wouldn't let me! He said, "I'm not Draco!"

Yes, they have a mystery to solve!

[I'm not sure how they come to have Melannen. There are so many scary things I don't know about Winter Magic, which is why I've got so stuck with it, but I think someone is going to have to die...]

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: November 1st, 2010 09:38 am (UTC)
Oh Dear

I think someone is going to have to die...]

I hate it when you realise that is what is needed in a story - and yet people do die...

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: November 1st, 2010 11:11 am (UTC)

You're right, I know.

(If there's one thing I've learned from writing Draco/Hermione, it's that Eryn Carantaur is a very sunny place. And my HP stories aren't even that dark!)

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: November 1st, 2010 09:36 am (UTC)
Éowyn portrait

What an excellent beginning. I remember the encounter between Theodred and Éowyn last year, and this is a really good continuation - it sounds as if it is going to be a very complicated puzzle for our beloved sleuth and her exceedingly good looking side-kick...

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: November 1st, 2010 11:12 am (UTC)

Thank you!

Her lovely assistant!

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