A Counsel Unheeded - Part 2

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. Its light pierced the night, but it could not drive the
black 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, hopless fear laying hold of his
"No!" he whispered fiercely. He would not succumb to that,
not while there might yet be time left to act.
He dressed hurriedly, then left his chamber heading for
His son greeted him solmnly as he beckoned him to enter
the room.
"The Dark Powers work some evil this night, do they not,
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 forth, 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 effect, 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 belt and sword.
Before the new day dawned, the sons of Elrond had depart-
* * *

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 diffucult to get in. Finding her may prove other-
wise; 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
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 know-
ing 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 was 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 toabide 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 iin his
heart of heart's that it would come to this. But he had hoped
"You are going then?"
Celebrian stared at him. "You do not forbid it?"
Elrond opened his eyes, his soul aching. "Forbid it? 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 we shared." With that, he pulled her close and held
her for the last.

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