Beyond Canon

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Story Notes:
WARNING- Being written for November 2005 Novel Challenge thing. May contain tons of spoilers to previously written and unwritten parts of PPB Universe.
“How long until we return home?” Haldir was sitting in the drawing room of the suite he and his spouses stayed in when they were in Oropher’s Palace in the heart of the ages old city. He had not even looked up from the book he had been reading to ask this question, a question both Legolas and Elodien had heard many a time in the past few weeks.

“Haldir, why do you not go home?” There was no menace in Legolas’ voice, only sincere concern. With a glass of wine in one hand, Legolas walked across the room, his deep green robes open loosely and dragging along the floor behind him. “I am sure Gimli would accompany you back home to the Kastle.” A strong hand came to rest upon Haldir’s shoulder, kneading away the tension there. “We will not be but a few more weeks.”

Relaxing as his muscles were massaged, Haldir rolled his head back and forth, hearing the crackling of his neck at the second pass. “If I leave, I will simply miss you both and end up traveling back.”

“Perhaps there is something else you can do to pass the time,” suggested Elodien. “Why not visit your grandparents?”

“I have, quite a few times.” The trio was in the city visiting their daughter, more accurately the daughter of Elodien and Legolas, and her husband, Gwindor. They had seen their son and daughter-in-law a few times, as well as their grandchildren. It was actually the main reason for their being here- Lasiavis sent word that she was expecting, and Elodien insisted upon being around for the last few months of her daughter’s pregnancy, and for a time after the baby was born. As the mark of one year drew nearer, Elodien spent more and more time with her daughter, while Legolas and Gwindor spent much time discussing things.

That left Haldir to his own devices, for Gimli was usually found in the company of Oropher or Thranduil or one of their wives or a combination of the four. It was argued that Haldir could speak to the only child of Aule in Valinor on his own time at home, but that when he was in Valimar, it was the king of the elves here that was given the chance first and foremost to talk with him. On a few of the days, Haldir had gone to the confectionary that was owned and operated by his grandparents, either to help his grandfather wrap the candies made by his grandmother or to sit in the workroom where all of the wonderful concoctions were made while his grandmother told him stories of Valimar as it had been long years before.

He had already explored the majority of the palace and gone to visit many friends he had here in the city. Early in their visit, he chanced to pass Orophin and Valarda while walking through the market, but they were busy as they always were and after only a brief conversation he found himself alone again. The only place he found that he truly enjoyed was the grand library that he had helped to build centuries ago, perhaps because on certain days of the week, Erestor would be there. Everyone said the farmer turned librarian turned farmer again was absolutely insane to ride all the way into the city early in the morning and all of the way back to his cottage again at night, but Haldir had a certain fondness for the old elf and though he agreed that the routine journeys seemed slightly absurd, he would never say so to his face.

Tomorrow would be one of those days, however, Haldir needed to busy himself that night. As was becoming usual, everyone was having supper with someone else, and no one was doing so with him. A meal was packed already and awaiting him in a sack on the table at the door; a horse was saddled and ready to go wherever Haldir pleased to take it. Allowing himself to lean into Legolas’ touch a little longer, Haldir finally stretched his arms, giving Legolas a chance to slip his hand away. “I will be going out; do not worry about waiting for me.” Each of them was hugged and kissed and said good-bye to before Haldir left the room.

Not wanting to wander aimlessly, Haldir tried to decide upon a destination as he walked down the numerous flights of steps to the ground level. There was his grandparent’s house of course, but he did not wish to overstay his welcome and had invited himself to a number of dinners already. Orophin had always said to stop anytime, but so often were he and Valarda out that Haldir did not consider this a serious option to begin with. There were a few inns that he could go to, but they tended to be too noisy for his liking.

A quiet place is what he wanted, a place to think. The best place he could think of for such a thing was one of the sanctuaries of the Valar. He had been to Orome’s wooded dwelling a few times and loved the peace and serenity he found there. As he mounted, he decided that he would go to the forest. Unexpectedly when he lead the horse to the exit, he coaxed her to go in another direction. Unsure of why or what was drawing him, Haldir meandered on his unseen path until he reached a different forest. Amazingly, he nearly thought himself to be in Lothlorien again until he realized he was in Lorien- in the Lord Irmo’s dream flower.

There were so many similarities to the home he once knew. The great trees, suitable for climbing and living in, were the most beautiful mellyrn he had ever seen. Covering the ground was a lush carpet of green with a multitude of colorful flowers springing up around the trunk of each tree. Birds sang to the visitor, and what surprised Haldir the most was the total lack of anyone else. Unless they were so far into the woods that he could not see them, Haldir was certain he was the only occupant of the woods.

Dismounting, Haldir continued to lead his mount through the trees. Some unseen force pulled him further into the forest, deeper into the heart of the dream realm until he came to a garden so much like the one his mother kept in Lothlorien. There was one extremely different feature. Instead of the mirror that stood as the focal point of the garden Galadriel had, there was a crystal clear pool fed by a waterfall. The origin of the waterfall was unknown; the water was rushing down from a mountain concealed in mist. The water of the pond itself did not gush over the area that contained it. Merely a ripple flowed across the surface from where the falls filled the pond which did not grow. The entire setup was inconceivable, and so naturally Haldir had to go forward to get a better look.

The pond, he found out when he reached the edge of it, was less natural than it first appeared. It was more of a pool, finely crafted with stones to keep the water from draining or seeping into the ground. He still could not understand the waterfall.

Beside the structure was a carved stone embedded into the ground with flowers of all colors growing around and over it. Crouching down, he read the finely printed text that was etched into the stone:

Break my calm
My reverie
Come inside
Dance with me

“That makes no sense.” Haldir took a look around, making sure no one else was there. He ventured his hand closer to the water. Experimentally, he touched the surface, and the water sang. His hand shot back to his side and he remained motionless as the water ceased and regained the smooth, glassy surface.

Again he checked for anyone to be around, but there was no one that he could see or hear. For the second time he touched the surface of the water, and now dipped his finger in. The singing he could hear once more as a sheen of color rippled over the surface from where he broke the water. Not one color, not many colors, just... color. Unexplainable otherwise, except that it was there, changing the water from crystal to something more beautiful than that.

He removed his hand again, scrutinizing the pool. “Break my calm,” he repeated to himself. He tapped at the surface of the water again, and he could tell the singing was meant to lure him- or whomever came here- into the water. “Come inside, dance with me.”

Dance with me

Haldir jumped back as the water echoed his voice. At least, he had to assume it was the water. There was no one else around that he could perceive. The surface sparkled at him like a wink of the water, and he stuck his hand in again, but this time all the way to his elbow. Something tugged on his hand, but nothing was there. When he removed his hand, he realized for the first time that he was not getting wet. His entire arm was dry.

“What do you want me to do?” he asked, feeling a little silly for asking a pond a question.

Come inside dance with me

Deciding that since he was not getting wet at all, there was no reason to remove his clothing. He did take off his boots, for they had become caked with mud on his journey. Holding onto the edge of the pond the best he could, Haldir cautiously stepped into the water, finding that the slope inside was slippery and he could not manage a foothold. He could feel the water, feel that it was wet, but when he tested and raised his knee out a little, the fabric of his pants was dry.

Come inside

“I am inside,” replied Haldir, slightly annoyed. The singing he not only heard, but felt now that he was in the water. Color swirled around him on the surface.

A tug on his foot made him look down, but again there was nothing there.

Trust me come inside

This was the first time the words that were sung were not the same as those posted by the pool. Haldir looked around the area again. He felt safe, if nothing else. He felt no menace from this place, and what’s more he was in Valinor. Nothing could happen here. Here, he was safe.

Letting go of the edge, he swam out a little ways until he was at the center of the pond, and then treaded water. For a time, there was nothing except the singing and the color and the peacefulness of the broken calm of the garden. Then, there was a sharp downward tug on Haldir, as if someone had gotten a hold of both ankles and pulled straight down. Unable to fight it, Haldir was yanked beneath the surface into the abyss, soon losing the light from above the water and plunging into darkness. He panicked and fought to be released. Wanting to cry out, he twisted and turned away, still being forced further down. His struggling waned as he continued to hold his breath, determined to free himself.


No, no, no, no, no! screamed his mind. He continued to fight, but he was tiring and lightheaded.


Of all the ways he had considered he might have died if it ever came to it, he never expected drowning to be one of them. He wasn’t the best swimmer, but he could keep his head above water even in a storm. Once he had even managed to rescue his sister from the Nimrodel’s swift current. But his muscles relaxed and against his will, he gulped in water that should have been air.


There was confusion at first, but after the first few shakey breaths, Haldir regained a little of his composure. He was breathing, in a sort of liquidy way. It was thicker than air by far, but it sustained him. How he was able to he knew not, but he thanked the Valar and Eru and anyone else that was listening that he could.

You are welcome

“What are you?” he asked, his voice rippling through the water. He was no longer restrained, finding he did not sink nor float. He was simply there, in the water, in the darkness.

I do not know that

At first he thought perhaps his question was misunderstood, but then he felt the sincerity of this thing, this creature, this whatever-it-was, as his mind kept referring to it. “How can you not know what you are?”

What are you

“I am one of the Eldar.”

That is what others call you but what are you

“I am...” Haldir paused. “I am an elf. I am one of the firstborn.”

That is a name a title but what are you

“I...” Shaking his head, he grasped for what was being asked of him, and came up empty. “I do not know.”

Laughter surrounded him, but the friendly sort of laughter that usually means ‘I understand’. Haldir smiled. “Do you know anything of who you are?”

I know who I am thank you

Ah, that was it. This was not a thing, this was a being. A who, not a what. “I am Haldir.”

I know who you are

Feeling a little silly now, Haldir rephrased his original question. “Who are you and what do you do?”

I am that is what they tell me


I am

That is what they tell me

“Who tells you this?” questioned Haldir.

The ones who built my home so that I would not be lost the one who talks to me the most calls me what in your speaking is Nenolor

“Dreamwater,” repeated Haldir. “Nenolor, what is it that you do here?”

I do not do I exist I am time I am thought I am memory and history I am


Excuse me I do not understand your word

“Ah...” Haldir thought quickly for something else to say. “If you are all of that why is this place deserted? Why are there not others, uh, breaking your calm?”

I am what they see what they see me as what am I to you

“Uhm. Well, water. I thought.”

How interesting as I said I exist but that is all you project what you see me as and you see what I am as water

“I... do?”

Again, the laughter. Not ‘I understand’, but an ‘I like you, we should be friends’ sort of thing.

Most see nothing some see fire some see water some see mist it all depends

For a little while Haldir let the music soothe him as he sorted through everything that he had been told. “I am trying to understand what you say when you say you are memory. Do you keep memories?”


“All memories?”


“Even the ones that we get rid of?”


You get rid of all of your memories but when you want them they are here you need to think about the right one so that I know which one you need

“Damn. I never remember this from any of Master Erestor’s history lessons,” muttered Haldir.


“You know him? Wait, of course you do, you likely know everyone,” Haldir reasoned.

I know him he named me

Curiosity rose to the surface. “He is the one who speaks to you. The one who named you Nenolor, you said he talks to you. Why does he speak to you?”

Why do you speak to me

“You pulled me in. I can not leave.”

I did not you came in on your own

“Fine. Sorry. I am sorry, I did not mean it like that.” The music had slowed, Haldir could feel Nenolor’s sadness. “My apologies to you.”

I accept them

“Tell me about Erestor. What does he say when he is here?” Haldir asked.

He confides in me what he can not tell others and watches many things and weeps

Haldir let out a watery, warbled sigh. He had always felt very close to Erestor, and knew the old elf had a certain fondness for him as well. If something was plaguing his friend, he wished he could do something to help him. “For what does he grieve?”

That he can not call his child his son

“Erestor has a son... you mean Gwindor?” asked Haldir. Gwindor, an elf reborn, had been deposited on the doorstep of Erestor and Glorfindel’s cottage as an infant. The pair had lovingly raised the child as there own, nurturing him despite the disability that so many other elves saw as such a weakness. Gwindor could not properly walk. Tortured by the wrath of Morgoth in his first life, he still bore the scars and those of his brother as well in his second incarnation. He was living happily now, married to his beloved Finduilas- the very same elleth that was called Lasiavis in her second life, daughter of Legolas and Elodien.

No the son of his soul

“Erestor has a son... has he told no one but you of this?” Haldir questioned.

Anglorel knows

“Anglorel... Anglorel...” Elves had many names each; one from their mother and one from their father and usually a few others aside from that. Arwen, for example, had been so named by her father, but from her mother came the name Undomiel. He wondered... “Anglorel the slayer of the balrog?”


“Ah, the valarauki.”


So Glorfindel knew. That made sense that Erestor would have told his lover that he had a son. It baffled Haldir, though. How and when and where and who? He began to feel uncomfortable- it seemed something Erestor did not wish known, but on the other hand if it so upset the Elda, Haldir knew he would do whatever he could to make him feel better. “If you are all memories and history, can you show me who his son is?”

No he has not told me that he does not say his name

It would be searching for a needle in a haystack, thought Haldir. That was, until he heard the singing again.

I can show you what he has said
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