Elven Ranger - Chapter 9 - For the Love of the Land I Live in

"Io sui gûr nín rên,
Elenath, dennin iûl,
Io, ir fuin thiant uireb
Nannen ah eg."

("Once, as my heart remembers,
all the stars were fallen embers,
once, when night seemed forever
I was with you.")

Eleniel sung softly as she walked by the stream, down deep into the woods of Rivendell, she couldn't remember the rest of the words; she wasn't even sure where she had learnt the song. She shrugged her shoulders and walked on, and began to hum to herself. Eleniel crouched down and ran her fingers through the stream, back and forwards, from side to side. She continued to hum, her eyes fell shut and her head tilted forward. Eleniel's hair fell out, and the tips fell into the stream, the tide tugged at it playfully like Lina did now and again when she became bored and wanted attention. Lina wasn't a spoiled child, by no means, she was used to have the worst of the worst, but had always been used to having a mothers constant love and companionship. And now she looked to Eleniel for this.

Eleniel sighed and pulled her hair out of the water, ringed it out and threw it out of her face. Then lay back upon the soft, sweet smelling grass. She closed her eyes and listened to the trickling stream, and then the soft footfalls coming closer. Did they want her to know they were there? They stopped and did not talk, her eyes were still closed.

"Iston nach ennas." ("I know you are there.") Eleniel murmured and smiled, she sat up, opening her eyes to see a young elf standing there watching her. He then shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other. "What is it you wanted young sir?" Eleniel asked.

"Sorry Lady, I wasn't sure if you were awake or not. And you looked so peaceful..." He stopped and looked up at the trees and back down again at her. "Well, I found you, and that is good."

"Why were you looking for me?" Asked Eleniel.

"Oh, Lord Elrond sent me to find you. He wants to speak with you." The elf answered.

Eleniel smiled, "Thank you, what is your name?"

"I am Laslin." He answered.

"Greetings Laslin, I am Eleniel as you may have known already as you knew who it was you were sent to find." He smiled and nodded. They headed back towards the house. "I am sorry but I have never seen you before. You are new here aren't you?"

"Yes I am new arrived here in Rivendell; I grew up in Mithlond with my parents. They have now sailed west, but I have not the heart to leave yet. This is the land of my mother's kin and I wished to see it." Laslin smiled up at the trees, and the birds singing in their branches.

"Have you liked Rivendell so far?" Eleniel inquired.

"Oh yes, very much so!" He said eagerly.

"That is good. It is a beautiful place." Eleniel smiled and said goodbye she then walked off to find Lord Elrond. Lina may still be with him, he was teaching her about the ways of elves, and many other things. Eleniel would have had a go at teaching Lina all that she knew, but Elrond knew more and was a better teacher. And Eleniel knew Lina would give Lord Elrond her undivided attention.

"Good afternoon Lord Elrond. Ah, I see Lina is not here? Where is she?" Eleniel asked, as she walked in to Elrond's library. "Lina is off with Arwen, running her off her feet. But Arwen does not mind, just like you." He beckoned Eleniel to sit in a chair at the table he was sitting at. `I wonder what this is all about.' She thought to herself, `he normally doesn't ask for private talks with me. It seems a little serious.' Elrond then spoke and disturbed her thoughts.

Elrond seemed to read Eleniel's thoughts as though they showed on her face, "You look a bit worried my dear. This isn't too serious. Though it might be when some others come to speak with me as well. I just wished to speak with you lightly before we talk of war." Eleniel sat up with a start, "Yes, Eleniel, war."

"War is upon us? Or are we to help the men?" Eleniel asked.

Elrond waved his hand, "Not yet, you will be present in the speaking of these things in a short while." Eleniel nodded her head. "Be iest lin." She answered, and then smiled. "So what is this small talk you would like to make with me Lord Elrond?"

He laughed, "Not small. Just not talk that is heavy with worries."

Eleniel leaned forward, with her elbows on the table and her face resting in her cupped hands. "Isn't it a lovely day?!" Eleniel grinned.

Elrond nodded, "Very." He paused. "You could not believe how amazed I was when I heard two young elves gossiping about how you and Elladan where in love." With this Eleniel's head slipped between her hands and she nearly banged her chin on the table. Elrond laughed, and so did Eleniel.

"Gossiping you say? Well it is not gossip. It is true my Lord." Said Eleniel grinning.

"Well, you both have fooled me for a long time then." He said, meaning no harm, but looked a little sad.

Eleniel frowned, "Why would we wish to fool you my Lord? He only broke through my barriers, and you know I have a few, in Lothlorien. And I am not one to go shouting upon the rooftops of my life and love." Eleniel then smiled, knowing Elrond could never be sad of this union.

Elrond smiled, "I was just shocked, though I am extremely happy about this. I could think of no better lady than you for a son of mine. I don't think he would be interested in a young maiden who only knew how to sew and act seemly. You are tough, and that's what he is drawn to."

Eleniel sat back in the chair and grinned, "Lord Elrond, this sounds a very mighty blessing."

"What sounds like a blessing?" Said a familiar voice from the library door. Eleniel laughed and turned in her chair to face the voice, "Never you mind Elladan." Elladan walked in with Elrohir, Glorfindel, Elrond's councilor Erestor, and a few more of the lords of Elrond's house.

"Mae govannen mellyn nin, havo dad." (`Welcome my friends sit down.') They all sat about the round table, and waited for Elrond to continue. "Well, I would like to know what you all think on a matter. But before I do, I know this is a household, not a realm, and those who are here do not answer to orders. But war is creeping up upon the country of Rohan, and they will need our help soon enough as I have foreseen as has the Lady. She asks, `do we let them stand alone.' Myself, I think not. The Lady has an army of five hundred ready to march. Will we join them in Lorien and March to Rohan?"

Eleniel expected silence, a long uncomfortable one to follow this little speech by Elrond. And there was silence but brief. "Yes, well I know I will march forward to help them. Aragorn will be there and so will I." Said Elladan, Eleniel frowned and moved uneasily in her seat. She didn't like the sound off that. Elrohir was beside his brother all the way. "Well, if they are to go, then so am I." Eleniel said.

Elladan frowned at her, he opened his mouth to say something but Eleniel put her hand up. "No, no, don't look at me like that." She said quickly. He paid no attention. "No, do not go to war. I can't stand the thought of it." He pleaded.

She laughed, though she was not happy. "And you think I can?" She shook her head. "You know well that I can fight, I can, and will go to war beside you. I will not wait her and listen for news if you are dead or alive." Elladan knew he could not persuade Eleniel to stay so he looked down at the table and said nothing.

The others at the table were silent. Some were totally out of the loop, not knowing why these two spoke as they did. And others such as Elrond, Glorfindel and Elrohir were silent because Eleniel and Elladan's happiness was torn between war and peace. Though what peace would there be in these coming days?

"Are the troubles of men our worries anymore Elrond?" Erestor asked. "Our people are few, I'm sorry to say that we would be little help to Rohan. The Lady and Lord of Lorien may do as they see fit. But Rivendell has no numbers for this."

Elrond pondered Erestor's words. Eleniel spoke, "We would certainly have at least a hundred fit elves, but that is if all are willing to fight. And I'd say not many are. So less than that, I would think." Elrond nodded, "Very true. But you never know. We all know that these battles are important for middle-earth which we love."

"We cannot send all willing elves away. If elves do march to aid the men, we will need to keep some here to watch our borders." Glorfindel reminded them, and Elrond nodded.

"Well, we need to find out how many are willing to fight. And then make a decision." Elrond answered. There was nothing much else to say, and so Glorfindel started to spread the word. It was late afternoon, and news normally traveled fast here if it was important. And so late that evening they had their answer. Eleniel had been right they had at least a hundred willing elves and then also enough elves on top of that who were only willing to defend their land, not to go to war. And so that was resolved.

The elves who had talked together before came together to take council again. "Then it is resolved, a hundred elves will march to Lorien, and then from there they go to Rohan. Glorfindel and Erestor are to stay here with me as they wish; no one is forced to go to war." Spoke Elrond. "I need my chief council here with me, and I am happy they will be here in the last defense of our land if there is need of one." Elrond stopped for a moment. "My sons are to lead the army to Lothlorien. You will leave tomorrow noon. Everything will be made ready in time, now let us go to our rest." Elrond bade them all a good night, the elves left, "Eleniel, stay a moment, I wish to speak to you again." Elrond asked as she began to leave. "Elladan you can speak with her later." Elrond smiled at his son. Elladan nodded and left with Elrohir.

"Yes, what is it Elrond?" Eleniel asked.

"Come, follow me." Elrond beckoned her after him as he walked to another part of the library. They then came to a small room, it was decorated with pictures of heroism in war, and there were different suits of armor along the wall. Eleniel noticed two to be elvish armor of the Last Alliance. One more decorated than the other and of higher rank than the other. "That was my armor, when I fought there 3000 years ago. And this," he said pointing to the simpler but still beautiful armor, "Was your fathers. He did not feel the need to take it with him over the sea. And it was left here, not necessarily for you, as he would not have thought you would need it. But it is yours I guess. And this is for you to wear if you will."

Eleniel nodded, "I would be honored. But will it fit me?" She asked. Elrond nodded, "You are nearly as tall as your father and it can easily be adjusted in width." Eleniel thanked Lord Elrond, and then took the armor to her rooms. She came to find Arwen sitting at Eleniel's table with her face in her hands counting; "min (1), tad (2), neledh (3), canad (4), leben (5), eneg (6), odog (7), toloth (8), neder (9), caer (10)..."

"What are you doing Arwen?" Asked Eleniel interrupting Arwen's counting. Arwen turned and smiled at Eleniel, Lina and I are playing a game. She has gone to find a hiding spot, either in here or out in the garden and I have to count so she has time to find a good spot then I have to go find her." Arwen grinned; she enjoyed this chance to act not like a lady but as a child for a change.

"I see, continue. Do not let me interrupt." Eleniel grinned, laying the armor on the table. "What is this for Eleniel?" Inquired Arwen. "You are not going to war are you? Father talked me out of it earlier, and now he lets you do as you wish!" She looked angry. "Arwen, do not be angry at the chance to stay in peace, I know you are drawn to fight by Aragorn's side, as am I. He is my friend. No harm will come to him. Believe me!" Eleniel assured Arwen. Arwen sighed and nodded. "I am not going to argue anymore; I am at least contented to know that there will be those of my kindred there to help him." Arwen then sat up remembering something, "Lina! Coming if you are ready or not!" Arwen called out.

Eleniel laughed, "Oh! I wonder how long she would have waited if we talked any longer?" Arwen laughed and shrugged her shoulders, "Come and help me look, Lina is good at hiding, it normally takes me so long to find her." Eleniel smiled and nodded, she went out into the garden while Arwen looked inside. Eleniel called out, "I have come to join the hunt little one! Watch out!"

Eleniel paused, she heard a giggle. "Ah, first mistake! I would try and control those giggles if I ware you. Or you will be caught out!" Eleniel called, though she had already spotted Lina's golden locks from behind a bush. Eleniel went right around, in the darkness and came up behind Lina. Lina had no idea she was there, Eleniel was an elf with light feet that a little girl trying to hold back giggles would never be able to hear. Eleniel sneaked forward she put her arms around Lina's waist and spun her up off the ground. Lina screamed with fright, not knowing what had happened. Eleniel laughed, "I told you, you would get caught out!" Lina realized what had happened and began to laugh uncontrollably. Eleniel had been amazed over the last month how much Lina could laugh, it was amazing. Laughing seemed to be her reaction to everything.

Eleniel carried Lina back across the garden; Arwen came running out, worried for she had heard the scream. Eleniel shook her head, "No there is nothing to worry about Arwen. I just scared Lina."

Arwen excused herself and said she was weary and felt like sleep. "Losto a no mae, Undomiel." Said Eleniel, Arwen nodded her head in thanks and wished Eleniel the same and then headed to her room.

"Well Lina, it is time for you to go to bed. You have been up late tonight. But before you do go to sleep I need to talk to you." Eleniel sat Lina on her bed, which was set up on the other side of the room to her own bed. Lina looked up at Eleniel with a worried expression upon her face.

"Do not worry, but I am going away tomorrow at noon. I am going to war, to help men from Rohan, and then I guess Gondor as well. No, no, do not cry!" Eleniel hugged the little child, who had begun to cry when Eleniel said she was leaving tomorrow at noon. "Shhh, don't cry. I will come back. I am going to fight those ugly monsters that you were running from when I found you."

"No! Don't go near them, they will hurt you." Lina cried.

"No, No. You don't want them to hurt anymore people do you? I am going to help stop them." Eleniel didn't know how to explain this very well. Lina tried to talk her out of it, but it didn't work and in the end Lina made Eleniel promise she would come back to her.

"I promise I will come back to you Lina. Now you must sleep." Eleniel tucked Lina in, and then went to find Elladan.

Eleniel was walking towards Elladan's room when someone came up behind her. It was Elladan. He put his hand in hers, they walked for a while. "Why do you want to go Eleniel? Have you told Lina?"

"Why do you want to go Elladan? What is the difference between you going and me going? And yes, I told Lina, it wasn't easy." Eleniel said.

"I know you can fight just as well as I. But you will be in danger," He sighed. "I know I have no argument, and I can not convince you to stay. But..."

"Elladan, if they are not stopped, then it will reach Rivendell. And I am not willing to let that happen. I guess this is for the love of the land I live in." Eleniel kissed Elladan and then left him to go to her rest.

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