Autumn Leaves - Part Three: More bitter than sweet.

Note: This part is still just setting the stage for the main plot, but things will begin to tie in soon.
AGLHE; Celebwen is Elrond's daughter.


Dianna ran down the hill side, her golden labrador puppy chasing merrily behind her. Although Isolde wasn't too keen on allowing a dog in the house, Orophin had talked her into it anyway. Their little girl had fallen in love with Birch upon sight of the clumsy little ball of fur. It was aparent that Birch had done the same with her, for you could not find one without seeing the other at the same time.

"Dianna!" she heard her mother call out. "Daddy's home!" But she still wanted to splash a little in the creek befor going home to Orophin.

Once upon a time, that creek had had a good swift flow of water moving through it's banks, but now it was only a small little branch barely ancle deep and half an arm's lingth across.

Inside the kitchen, Dianna and Orophin said their hellows and recounted their days. Birch ran into the room, mudying up the floor Isolde had just swept and hour befor. He was quick to run back out when she aimed the broom at his hind end, however.

"Where's Dianna?" Orophin asked, musing to himself.

"Dianna!" Isolde called back out the window again. "I told you that- Oh, by Iluvatar!"

"What is it?" Orophin followed her out the door as she sped to the creek bank.

"Dianna?" she shook the unconcious girl on the ground. "Come on, baby... You gotta wake up. Dianna?"

"Oh, Valar!" Orophin ran back up the hill and into the house. He nearly jerked the phone cradle off the wal when he began dialing 911.

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Rumil plodded out to the emergency reception doors at meet with the ambulence said to arive in a minute or two. The caller had said that his ten year old daughter had collapsed while playing with her puppy only minutes after she'd went out. He already suspected heat stroake. In the weather that the mountains of Western North Carolina was going through lately, a few inutes was all it took any more.

Instead of one, two ambulances arrived, each from an opposite direction. Both held an unexpected surprise. One happy, one frightning. In the first, Orophin acompanied his daughter, Dianna, and in the second, Haldir acompanied Ceit wo'd went into labor shortly after the time of Dianna's collapse from their reports.

Another docter had been sent for Ceit, and Rumil's duty was to Dianna.

******************************************************

Haldir had been so worried for Ceit that he'd paid no attention to what Orophin had come to the hospital for. Now, after the fuss of their son was finally over and both Hador and Ceit were sleeping in the early morning hours following Hador's birth, Haldir was able to tear himself away long enough to see.

Haldir cought sight of Rumil befor he got to the desk, and asked him instead if he'd known about Orophin's visit.

"Dianna suffered a heat stroak." Rumil said. "But something else just isn't right, and we're not sure what. She's going to be kept here for a while, or untill we can figure out what was the main factor of her collapse."

"Can you tell me what room she's in?" haldir asked, concerned for his niece.

"She's in 237. Orophin's still with her, I think." Rumil nodded to the elevator. "I was heading that way myself."

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Celebwen looked out her window. She usually didn't wake up at three in the morning, but her dreams weren't the best in the world lately, and it was becomming commonplace for her to not get enough sleep anymore.

As always, or for as long as she could remember, the stars shown brightly overhead without a cloud in sight. One thing did seam out of place, however. A man, it looked like, was in the horse's pasture, walking tward the road side of the fence. When he turned his face and met her eyes, Celebwen froze. For the first time, she was utterly terrified. Black. His form was compleatly black, even under the bright moon and the precision of her mostly elven eyes. His own eyes, however, flashed red as fire when he knew that she'd recognized his presence.

"Ada!!!! Nana!!!!" Celebwen screached, and tore for her parent's room at the other end of the house. She burst through their door in a matter of seconds after leaving her own room. Leaping for their bed, Celebwen cought her father around the neck, tears running down her face.

"What is it, Little Cele?" Elrond asked, atempting to loosen her grip from behind his neck.

"There's sombody out there, Ada. He's with the horses. He scared me." she trembled at the memory.

"It could just be one of your brothers, silly." Celebrin sugested. "They could just be checking on something."

"Elladan and Elrohir aren't all black with red eyes, Nana!" the child turned to her mother. "I know what I saw."

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