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Chapter 3

 

Quick Author note: Maia+Valië are types of the Ainur.  That’s it.  R&R!!

 

~*~

                  Elrond and Celebrian walked alone together in the deserted gardens.  No one was ever there as such a late hour.

                  “ Êlenrana is an odd maiden,” Celebrian commented, “ Though everyone seems to embrace her, Glorfindel especially.  I think he is quite smitten by her.”

                  Elrond was quiet as usual, just listening to her happy chatter.  Celebrian did not mind.  She could tell he was deep in thought.  Whatever was on his mind, he would tell her soon enough.  Celebrian enjoyed the fact that he talked to her the same as he would any great Elf-lord.  He treated her equal in the male-dominated Elvish society.

                  “ I believe she is either a Valië or Maia,” Elrond said, “ There’s just something about her, the wisdom she bears that reminds me of what I think one would be like.”

                  “ Do you think it might be one of the Vala in disguise?” Celebrian asked; her eyes open wide.

                  “ I think not, but my heart is at peace.  She spoke highly of Gil-Galad’s bravery.  At least I know he died fighting for what he believed in,” Elrond answered.

                  “ I am happy to see your joy return.  I…I was afraid you would turn me away,” Celebrian said softly.

                  “ Turn away you?” Elrond faced her, a gentle smile lighting up his usually stern face, “ Never.”

He glanced around for any others before gently bringing her lips to his.

~*~

                  “ Where is Êlenrana?”  A woman too beautiful to behold fully paced.  “ She has been gone far too long.”

                  “ Peace, Varda.  She will return.  She always does,” Manwë’s eyes closed, “ Evil rises in Middle-Earth again.”

                  “ Forget that land,” Varda began.

                  “ Manwë, my lord.  Mandos is here to speak to you,” a Maia entered.

                  “ Send him in,” Manwë nodded.

                  The black robed, somber Vala entered, bowing low to each.

                  “ Mandos, have you seen Êlenrana?” Varda asked.

                  “ Varda, please,” Manwë sighed.

                  “ I will not be silenced.  I worry for my only child,” Varda’s anger caused the stars to tremble and some fall from their places.

                  “ I know where Êlenrana is,” Mandos said before the two could begin arguing.

                  Both parent’s heads whipped around, waiting expectantly.  Mandos bit his lip almost nervously.

                  “ She accompanied me to Middle-Earth.  There, Ilúvatar himself spoke to me.  She is comfort that tired land, taking their sorrow upon herself,” Mandos answered.

                  “ When will she return?” Varda asked.

                  “ When the last Elf sails over the Sea.”

~*~

                  Êlenrana walked down the elaborately decorated halls.  Many watched her.  Dressed in a beautiful gown of soft gray that clung to her slender torso and then fell like ripples of water around her legs, she looked like a vision, like a queen in her palace.  Glorfindel paused, his mouth slightly open seeing her.  She certainly had blossomed in Imladris over the months he’d been away with the Númenor.

                  “ Lady Êlenrana, Elrond sent me to find you,” he fell in step beside her.

                  Her tired eyes had not changed, he noted.  They were still full of sorrow yet to be seen, though he knew not why that bothered her so.  He wished to erase all the pain she carried.

                  “ I looked for a place of singing where my soul can rest and be at peace,” she said, “ I heard it last night, but I know not where it came from.  These halls all look the same to me.” 

                  “ Tis a good military strategy, but not so good for first time guests.  There will be singing again tonight in the Hall of Fire as there is always.  I could escort you there, ensuring that you are not lost,” Glorfindel offered.

                  “ Thank you,” Êlenrana nodded.

                  The two walked silently down the hallway, Êlenrana’s hand tucked in the crook of his elbow and his hand over hers.  Many Elves sent inquiring glances, but said nothing.

                  “ Why does Elrond wish to see me?” Êlenrana broke the silence.

                  “ I know not.  He may simply seek your counsel.  You are far wiser in some ways than Lady Galadriel,” Glorfindel answered.

                  “ She is wise for a Firstborn,” Êlenrana replied.

                  “ You do not address the Lady with respect,” Glorfindel said.

What did she mean?  Wasn’t Êlenrana herself a Firstborn?  Glorfindel captured his thoughts.  Êlenrana had a way of knowing what he was thinking and these questions he did not wish for her to know.

                  “ The Lady lost my respect long ago,” Êlenrana replied.

                  Elrond appeared out of nowhere or maybe he had been behind them the whole time.  Glorfindel hadn’t noticed, too deep in thought.

                  “ Join me for a walk, M’lady?” Elrond held out his elbow.

                  Êlenrana switched partners hesitantly, taking Elrond’s arm.  She looked back slightly, sending Glorfindel an almost apologetic look.  Glorfindel watched them go, their matching gray tunics resembling the cloudy sky overhead.  Celebrian descended down the stairs, her hand resting on his shoulder.

                  “ Hold onto your heart as tightly as you have before.  So much is uncertain about Êlenrana.  I fear she is as fluctuating as the sun, moon and stars that rise and fall without our approval.”

                  “ Tis too late.  I lost it when I first laid eyes on her and my doom remains in that,” Glorfindel replied.

~*~

                  “ Are your parents from here or are they of a higher power?” Elrond asked.

They’d discussed just about all that could be, except her and Elrond was curios to know more about her for Glorfindel’s sake mostly.

                  “ My parents are of the Ainur,” Êlenrana answered.

                  “ May I know whom?” Elrond asked, “ You do not have to answer.”

                  “ No, you deserve to know.  You have been kind and earned my trust.  No one, save Celebrian and Glorfindel are to be told,” Êlenrana answered with a sigh, “ Manwë is my father and my mother is Varda.”

                  Elrond stopped in shock.  He was on his face in a second in absolute reverence.

                  “ Please forgive-” he began.

                  “ Get up, man.  Here I am one of you or so everyone must believe,” Êlenrana pulled him up to his feet, thankful no one was around.

                  “ Why are you here?” Elrond asked.

                  “ Ilúvatar chose my fate.  I am to walk here until the last Elf passes over the Sea, taking all this land’s sorrow and bringing comfort,” Êlenrana answered, “ I have seen much of your future, Elrond.”

                  “ Is it good?” Elrond dared to ask.

                  “ There will be sorrow and pain, but the moments of joy and happiness will overshadow them always.  Celebrian is in your future.  Why you tarry to wed her is a shame,” Êlenrana answered.

                  “ She deserves someone so much better than me.  Why she-”

                  “ Loves you?  Celebrian is wise.  She sees you need her to be complete, as she needs you.  Why else would a lady of such high prestige travel to visit you and stand by your side in your time of trouble when she could have easily found another,” Êlenrana interrupted.

Elrond shrugged.

                  “ She will be here but a few more days before a pressing matter will return her home.  Try to imagine life without her and then tell me you cannot live with out her,” Êlenrana paused, “ You cannot.  I bid you well.”

                  “ Where do you go?” Elrond asked.

                  “ Back to Imladris.  If it pleases thee, I would like to remain here.  I reminds me of home,” Êlenrana said.

                  “ Imladris would be honored to have you as long as you will stay.”