A Council Unheeded Part 2 - A Story

Elrond gasped, jerking into an upright position. The cool night air swirled around him, everything appearing peaceful and quiet. However, his breath was ragged, his brow soaked with sweat. He could still see her, even though the dream was broken. They would kill her.

"Celebrian!" he cried.

In the darkness Elrond rose from the bed and quickly lit a candle. It's light pierced the night, but it could not drive the shadows from Elrond's mind.

The dream-vision had been startlingly clear. There was no mistaking it. The Orcs had Celebrian.

Elrond sank onto the bed, hopeless fear laying hold of his heart. "No!" he whispered fiercely. He would not succumb to that, not while there might yet be time left to act.

He dressed hurriedly, than left his chamber headed for Elladan's.

His son greeted him solemnly as he beckoned him to enter the room.

"The Dark Forces work some evil this night, do they not, Father?"

Elrond gazed at Elladan, saying nothing. At last he spoke. "They work an act more grievous than you know. A vision came to me.....they have her, they have your mother."

Elladan turned away, many thoughts crowding his mind. "A shadow lay over my heart though I did not understand." he hesitated, then, "Are we too late?"

"That is hidden from me."

"I must tell Elrohir now," Elladan said.

It was but moments later that Elrond and his two sons stood together.

Elrohir did not try to conceal his wrath. It poured fort, scalding and vindictive.

Elrond laid a hand on his son's shoulder, his own anger stirred. "Elrohir! Enough! You act as a fool with no restraint; calm yourself!"

The hard words had some affect, though not a great deal.

Elladan spoke next, his words much to the liking of his brother. "Let us leave now and ride straight there. We cannot leave her at their mercy!"

Elrohir nodded, already strapping on his sword and belt.

Before the new day dawned, the sons of Elrond had departed.

***

Elladan glanced at his brother, praying he would not do anything rash.

Below them lay the Orcs' stronghold of Redhorn.

Elladan and Elrohir had ridden swiftly and now, having reached their destination, they crouched hidden among the rocky crags of Caradhras.

Drawing back, Elladan motioned for Elrohir to do the same. "It will not be difficult to get in. Finding her may prove otherwise; we must be quick about it."

"We waste time even now! Come!" Elrohir commanded, slipping soundlessly down the incline.

***

Elladan lifted Celebrian into his arms as Elrohir stood watch for the enemy.

"Let us be off from this accursed place," Elladan said, his voice pained. He looked down at Celebrian, her face ghostly pale, her body battered and broken.

Elrohir hissed angrily, turning to lead the way out.

The Orcs would pay, yes they would pay for this, he thought bitterly.

***

The escape was made without a great deal of notice, though the few who did encounter the Elves were quickly dealt with.

Elladan mounted his steed, Celebrian in front of him. He knew she hung to life by a thin thread; she had not regained conciousness at any time during her rescue.

They made all haste for Rivendell, the brothers both knowing Celebrian's hope of survival lay in Elrond's skill of healing.

***

He carried her to the bed, laying her gently on it. Elrond then turned to his sons. "Go and rest. You have done all that you can, now I must do what I am able."

The night that followed was surely the darkest Elrond had ever known. Many a time did he think he had lost her, yet she did not give up life even when he had given up hope.

The First golden rays of morning's light found Elrond still at Celebrian's side.

He gazed at her, knowing it by the grace of the Valar that she lingered still.

And so the days came and went. Doubts crept into Elrond's mind. Was Celebrian destined the abide between life and death? When would this end?

Then, one day, his questions were answered.

A soft moan escaped Celebrian as her eyes fluttered open. Elrond came to her immediately. She turned her head to look at him and faintly a smile came to her face. "Elrond...."

He grasped her frail hand and pressed it to his lips. "We have been long without you," he said hoarsely.

"I had a dream," she whispered. "I was in the Undying Lands, Elrond."

He made no reply but studied her face intently as silence descended over them.

***

Months passed in Rivendell.

Elrond watched Celebrian closely; it troubled him for he could see the light had gone from her eyes.

It was not long until his worst fears were confirmed.

One evening, Celebrian drew Elrond into one of the many gardens. They walked in quietness for sometime before Celebrian spoke.

"Elrond.....I...." she paused, then began anew. "I have heard the call of the West. It calls me even now!"

Elrond stopped, his eyes closing. He had known in his heart of heart's it would come to this. But he had hoped otherwise.

"You will be going then?"

Celebrian stared at him. "You do not forbid it?"

Elrond opened his eyes, his soul aching. "Forbid you? I cannot keep you here. Not when I know what your heart yearns for; what love would that be?"

Celebrian raised her hand to his cheek, gently caressing it.

"Go," he said softly,"with my blessing, but never forget the love that we shared." With this, he pulled her close and held her for the last.

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