Betrayal - Prologue
"Liedral!" The girl heard her mother call, and hurried down the steps. She wasn't supposed to be on the towers, but she loved to write in hr journal there, as the sun set in a glorious fusion of color and light.
"Yes?" she asked, peering around a corner. Her mother, Arwen, was turned away from her. From the look on her face, Liedral knew that something was amiss. "Mother?"
"We have some unexpected guests," she said. "Go wash up and change your clothes. You may not act like a princess, but you can certainly look like one."
Liedral winced at the biting tone to her mother's voice. "Who are these guests?" she ventured.
Arwen turned to her, her blue eyes glinting furiously. "Visitors from Lothlòrien!" she snapped. Turning on her heel she marched away to see about accommodations.
"Valar help them," murmured Liedral. She knew that her mother wasn't very fond of unexpected guests, and usually they realized it quickly.
Liedral ran through the servants' passages, though she wasn't supposed to run, nor use the servants' passages. She reached her room in less than half the time it would usually have taken.
"Mae govannen, Holbytla," she greeted her cat, who looked up sleepily. She kicked off her boots. "We have some guests," she continued as she slipped off her breeches, replacing them with petticoats. She yanked a gown over her head.
"Mother doesn't seem pleased."
"About what?" Startled, she turned, seeing a handsome blonde Elf, somewhat older than she, leaning against her doorframe.
"Excuse me, but this is a private residence, and I had my door closed for a reason," Liedral said. Her cheeks flamed to think that this elf had seen her undressed.
He shrugged nonchalantly. "I see," he said, a mischievous twinkle in his eye. Liedral stepped back, and Holbytla growled menacingly. "Hello," he addressed the cat. "Who are you?"
"Her name is Holbytla," said Liedral cautiously. "She's my protector. Look at her size."
"I see that. If that was a warning, it was in vain. I shan't hurt you." He winked conspiratorially. "I was just curious..."
"About what?" asked Liedral, crossing to her dresser and brushing her tangle of fiery hair.
"About you. So many rumors!" The Elf laughed.
"About me?" she asked incredulously, staring at his reflection. She frowned suddenly. "What is your name?" she demanded, turning around.
"I beg your pardon, miss." He bowed low. "My name is Haldìr."
Liedral was startled. That was one of the last things she had expected. "Haldìr?" she said. "So you are one of the ah, unexpected guests!"
"I'm afraid I am," he admitted. "But you see, we have some very important information for Arwen."
"Queen Arwen," she corrected. "That's my mother you're talking about!"
"Oh, but dear, I'm afraid she isn't!" he replied.
"What are you talking about?!" she cried. Holbytla jumped down and sat before her feet, feeling her distress.
"Arwen is not you mother," he replied.
"Then who is?" Liedral asked, trying to control her anger.
"Arwen's daughter, my wife, who is missing." Liedral stared. This man was her father?! "No, I am not your father, however. I wish I were. You are so beautiful." He smiled softly, his eyes sad.
"Who is my father?" Liedral asked. Her voice cracked.
"Dear, calm down. You have been living with him all this time. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn."
"Isn't he my mother's father?" asked Liedral.
"No, your grandfather is an Elf of Rivendell by the name of Glorfindel."
"Valar help me," said Liedral. She sat on the floor very suddenly.
"I'm sorry if I distressed you, lady. Namarie!" With another bow, he was gone.
"Holbytla," murmured Liedral, tears streaking her pale face. "I think I need some help." With a dull thud, her head hit the carpet. Holbytla got up and sniffed her mistress's face, licking it a few times. With a meow she jumped over Liedral and trotted out of the room.
The maid found her unconscious on the floor, tears flowing freely down her face.
Okay, I know it's a little bit weird, but it's necessary to set the stage for the rest of the story. Enjoy!