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Perceptions

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Anoriel". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: They call her Anoriel because even though she carries the soul and likeness of Celebrían, she is not her.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Lord of the Rings > Buffy-CenteredhuffymcbuffyFR711,004192,67531 Jan 1331 Jan 13Yes
Disclaimer - BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon and The Lord of the Rings and all its characters belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien.


Perceptions


They call her Anoriel because even though she carries the soul and likeness of Celebrían, she is not her. It is a reminder to others, that she is mortal and no longer of their kind.

She also has no memories of her former life.

They notice at times that she will sometimes pause, as if recovering from a sense of deja vu, but then the moment will pass and she does not comment on it. She picks up the language faster than any man has though and learns her way around their forest quicker than she should. It gives some hope that one day more will follow, but most realize that it is unlikely.

It is a difficult lesson for some to remember. Galadriel and Celeborn, being near her the most, learn of Anoriel's quirks and differences, are able to see past the remnants of Celebrían, learn what makes her Buffy, and love her as a daughter still. Others, though, are not sure how to act. They notice how she’s more comfortable holding a sharp blade than a needle, how instead of being demure she can be loud and brash, but her capacity for love and affection, her strength of character, it is as great as it was then.

Of the Lothlórien elves, this confusion affects Haldir the strongest. He remembers Celebrían fondly, from her gentle beauty to her soft words of endearment, and wishes he could have somehow, someway, been on that terrible journey that caused her to sunder herself from their lives.

He knows how to act around that Celebrían, but this woman who wears her face and stands in front of him asking to teach her how to use a bow? He is lost.

“My lady, you are well protected in these borders. There is no need for you to pick up such weapons.”

She scoffs; it is an odd sound coming from Celebrían’s lips. They are not far from the southern entrance, where Haldir had recently passed through when Anoriel quickly walks up to him in a tunic and breeches with her hair plaited and asks for such a confounding thing. She rolls her eyes that are as green as the top of a mallorn leaf (he remembers Celebrían’s eyes were as silver as the underside) and places her small hands on her hips when she hears his reply. “Haldir, I’ve been here over a year now and I’m completely bored. It’s been forever since I’ve done anything physical. Please?”

Haldir doesn’t know why she needs to do something so physical, and briefly wonders what she did in her world before she fell back into theirs. He thinks Lady Galadriel must know at least, for there is little that can be hidden from her sight, but though Anoriel has heard of her past here, she has shared little of her past as a mortal.

He has no idea what it must be like, to have lived two very different lives and then find a way to meld them. He has seen the toll it takes on her, how she only recently began to truly interact with them months after she learned about her true heritage, spending weeks barred in her rooms with only Galadriel and Celeborn allowed in.

Although his mind tells reason after reason why he should not (she is a high-bred lady, she is too small in stature, she is as fragile as the rest of Men now), he ends up saying, “Meet me in the training field tomorrow morning. We will begin then.”

Her face brightens just like her namesake, but she shifts on her feet and lingers in front of him. “That’s great!” she says, “But I was hoping we could start today? It’s why I have the pants.”

She barely reaches his chest, so he swears that’s the only reason why he looks down his nose when he sighs and replies, “My lady, I have just returned from patrol. I wish to rest before we start.”

“Ah,” she nods, “patrol. Understood. I’ll see you tomorrow then, bright and early!” She smiles and abruptly turns, leaving him staring as the sun sifts through the trees and gleams off her golden hair.

He couldn’t help but notice how easy the word patrol fell from her lips.

***

The next morning he finds Anoriel wearing another set of tunic and breeches but her hair loose and flowing. He averts his gaze and sets down the quiver of arrows and bow he brought. Her hair is as golden and bright as hers. He is once again struck by the image of Celebrían, and can’t help but ask, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

She is silent for a moment, noticing his discomfort. Her voice is as soft as Celebrían’s when she says, “How well did you know her?”

He concentrates on the arrows, counts how many are in the quiver by touching each end. He does this because otherwise he will look at her face and see only Celebrían, and he will be lost.

“She is the one who recommended me as marchwarden to her father. I wouldn't be in this position today if it weren't for her.”

He hears the shuffle of her feet, feels her tiny fingers on his sleeve. “She sounds like a very good friend.”

His eyes follow the line of her arm, past her shoulder, and finds that familiar face. “She was.”

Her lips curve into a smile and he sees such a bright light behind her green eyes when she says, “Why don’t you tell me about her, and then I’ll tell you about a girl named Buffy.”

He lets go of the arrow ends, feels himself growing more comfortable around this woman he knows and doesn't. “That would be nice.”

“Good, but after that it’s archery.”

“Of course... Buffy.”

The End

You have reached the end of "Perceptions". This story is complete.

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