Elven Ranger - Chapter Eight - Young Beginnings
"And who is this young lady?" Eleniel turned around; Lina took Eleniel's hand, and stood behind her. Eleniel looked down at the girl and smiled, "There is no need to be afraid Lina." Said Eleniel. "This is Lord Elrond, Lord Elrond this is Lina." Lina stepped out and Elrond smiled down at her, Lina smiled warily at Elrond. "Hello." She said.
"Welcome to Rivendell Lina. But how did you come to be here?" Elrond asked and knelt down so he could look her in the face. He moved forward slightly. "I was with my mamma, and then the monsters came. And..." Lina's bottom lip trembled. "And mamma is gone! The dog thing ate her!" Lina threw herself in Lord Elrond's arms and cried. Both Elrond and Eleniel were very shocked at this, but Elrond let her cry in his arms as he would a child of his own. "Now, now Lina, shhh." He patted her on the head softly. "I-, I'm sorry." Lina stepped back. "Come; do not be afraid here, you are in safe company. But where are you from I should ask?" Asked Elrond.
"Mamma never told me, she said we were traveling and were on our way home. But that was forever; as long as I have known anything. She hadn't found home yet." Lina looked at the floor, and then at her tatty clothes, then at Elrond's rich fine garment. And frowned, she was cold in this thin stuff. She shivered. Eleniel unfastened her cloak and drapped it around the young child. Lina looked up; it seemed she would cry again. "Thank you Eleniel, I was cold. How did you know?" Eleniel smiled, "you were shivering my dear."
They heard screams from up in the valley, it sounded like the Warg's and their riders were not to happy, very angry indeed. Lina squealed and pulled the cloak in front of her face. "Eleniel, would you find Lina some clothes, and get her some food." Asked Elrond. "Of course my Lord." Eleniel nodded her head and sent Celebnaur to find the stables, then led Lina to her dwelling in the great house. "These are my rooms, Lina." Said Eleniel as they entered. They had walked into a spacious room with a table and some chairs and then there was a room off the left and there was a bed and a wardrobe which had a balcony that looked over the Bruinen. "It is beautiful!" Gasped Lina. Eleniel smiled, "Yes it is, it's good to be home."
Eleniel lit some candles in their brackets on the walls in the sitting room, and the fire against the fare wall. Lina stood by the door not sure what to do. Eleniel turned and beckoned her over, "Come and sit by the fire child and warm up." Eleniel lifted the small child into the chair closest to the fire, and laid the cloak over her little frame. The child snuggled into the soft chair. Eleniel walked into her bedroom and opened her wardrobe, she found in a bottom draw a little red dress she used to wear as a child, "Hmmm... yes it will fit her, and I was about that size when I was her age." Then Eleniel thought, she didn't know how old Lina was. She would ask her later. Eleniel draped it over her arm and carried it back into the other room.
Lina had gotten up from the chair and was looking intently at a hanging on the wall, it was a finely embroided hanging with pictures of the two trees, and the many stars of Varda, and flowers of Yavanna, and there were small figures of what were elves looking up at the wonders the gods had made for them. It was a beautiful hanging.
Lina ran her fingers over the border, which was thin green and yellow vines woven together to make patterns and leaves and flowers and buds bloomed through it. Then she traced her fingers over the elves, but she was too short to reach the height of the trees, and the white stars in the deep blue sky. Eleniel laid the dress on the back of a chair, and walked over to Lina, "Do you like it?" Silly question, of course she did, she was mesmerized by it. Lina nodded her head, she was on her tippy-toes, she could not touch the trees, or the stars. Eleniel put her hands on the chills waist and lifted her up, as Lina rose she ran one hand along Telperion, and the other over Laurelin. She then waved her hands softly over the stars, "Why are these three stars so much bigger than the others, Eleniel?" Asked Lina.
"Oh, they are not stars." Eleniel brought her back down, and held her against her hip as mothers hold their toddlers, and Lina put her arms around Eleniel's neck. "What are they then?" Asked Lina. "They are called the Sillmarili; they were made by a Noldorin Elf called Feanor. They are jewels, and in them he caught the light of the two trees,"
"These trees?" Asked Lina, pointing to the two trees on the hanging. Eleniel nodded. "Where are the Silmarili now?" Asked Lina. "As you can see, there were three; one is set as a star in the night sky. And the other two are lost, it is a long story. Full of love and loss. I will tell you as much as you want to know another time." Lina nodded, "Thank you Eleniel." She then looked at the little dress on the table and her eyes widened and she had a grin on her face. Eleniel smiled, "Yes that is for you, it used to be mine when I was a little girl elf. But as you can see it wouldn't fit me anymore." Eleniel set the girl back on her feet; Lina walked over to the table and ran her hand over the soft material of the dress. "Now." Said Eleniel, "You need to get washed up and fed, and then you will want to sleep." Lina smiled up at Eleniel and nodded.
Eleniel filled a basin with water, and gave Lina a cloth and a towel. "Here, clean yourself up. And I will go get you some food." Lina looked a little worried that she was going to be left on her own, Eleniel noticed this. "Do not worry, I will be back soon." Eleniel turned and went to the kitchens. She came back to the room a little later, and Lina was sitting by the fire in the red dress Eleniel had laid on the table for her before. Eleniel sat the food on the table in the middle of the room. Lina walked over, "does it look alright on me Eleniel?" She asked. "Yes it looks wonderful on you Lina." And it did the child's fair skin and blue, she stood out, and looked beautiful. `Oh she is going to be a beauty when she grows up, I can see it now.' Thought Eleniel.
Eleniel and Lina sat at the circular table, Lina ate hungrily. Eleniel ate silently and watched the young girl, `she must be starving' thought Eleniel. Lina took a gulp of the drink Eleniel had brought her; it had a sweet fruity taste. Lina's eyes widened with wonder, "This is the best thing I have ever tasted!" Eleniel smiled, "It is made from the fruits of Rivendell." Eleniel picked u her cup of water and drained it.
Eleniel noticed Lina was getting very sleepy, Eleniel lifted her up and took her into her room, "Here you can sleep here tonight." Lina got into Eleniel's bed with her eyes drooping down. Lina lay in the bed, "Eleniel?" Asked the little girl, "Yes Lina?" Replied Eleniel. "What is it?"
Lina murmured something, and then spoke louder, "Mamma is gone now, and so will you be my mummy?" Eleniel was quite shocked by this request. "Shhhh... go to sleep little one." Eleniel tucked Lina in and Lina was asleep instantly. Eleniel turned and saw Elladan standing in the doorway. She frowned, "How long have you been standing there?" She questioned.
He smiled, though Eleniel saw something else in his glance, "Not long," He paused. "You will be a good mother." His eyes twinkled, Eleniel couldn't help but smile. She pressed her finger upon her lips for him to be quiet because Lina was sleeping. Elladan went and sat on a chair by the fire, it was large and comfortable and soft. He stretched his legs out towards the fire like a daisy to the sun. Eleniel changed into a dress and came to him by the fire.
She stood, with her arm resting upon the back of the chair. Elladan looked up at Eleniel; he took her hand and pulled her down into the chair with him. They sat there looking into the fire, Eleniel's head resting against Elladan's chest. And curled up in his lap. "Then our land is safe again? They were destroyed?" Eleniel asked.
"Yes, they were destroyed. And I am happy that we did not suffer much loss by this blow." Elladan replied.
"Only injuries. Father is seeing to them. They will be fine."
Eleniel closed her eyes and smiled. "That is good news." She sighed; her heart was still troubled though. Elladan ran his fingers through her hair, "What is it Eleniel? What troubles you?" Eleniel sat up and looked at him, "I know you heard what she asked me. I don't know what to do, she has nowhere but here. And it seems, no one but...me."
Eleniel looked down, Elladan put his hand on her cheek and she lifted her face and met his eyes. The two dark brown eyes smiled into hers, "you will work out what is right for her. You have the ability to love. I know that most of all!" He grinned at his last comment. Eleniel smiled, "Yes, you should know that most of all." She leaned forward and kissed him, he wrapped his arms about her. They slept on the chair that night in each others arms.
Eleniel woke up the next day with the soon flooding through the windows and door, and giggling. `Giggling?' She thought. Eleniel looked up and saw standing by the dead fire, Lina. She had her hand over her mouth trying not to giggle to loud. Eleniel smiled, "Where you going to stand there all day letting us sleep on and giggle?" Lina stopped immediately, Eleniel could tell she wasn't sure if she was in trouble or not. Eleniel laughed, Elladan woke with a start. Eleniel slipped from his lap, he caught her around the waste and pulled her back towards him, and kissed her on the cheek. Then he saw the little girl.
She smiled at him now; she mustn't have seen the faces of the two male elves last night. The two men she was afraid of. "Hello!" She said brightly. "I am Lina! Who are you?" Eleniel got up from the chair, Elladan sat back lazily. "Don't you remember me? Oh it must have been to dark last night for you to recognize me. And you were too scared of me and my brother to take any notice." He smiled at her as she shifted uneasily from one foot to the other. He chuckled, "I am Elladan, son of Lord Elrond and my brother is Elrohir."
"Nice to meet you!" She grinned up at him. Then glanced sideways at Eleniel. Eleniel laughed again. "Ok come, we will all go and have some breakfast. Not here, in the main dinning room. So that you might meet some new people, I think you will find us all very interesting here Lina."
Lina nodded her head and took Eleniel's hand. Elladan stood up, "I will go get changed out of these riding clothes." He walked to the door, then turned back and grinned, "It looks like I may have some competition." He looked at Lina's hand in Eleniel's. Eleniel laughed and shooed him away with her other hand. He went from the room with a laugh.
Eleniel led Lina through Rivendell, showing her many different statues, and water fountains, and views of the mountains and the Bruinen. Lina was amazed by the beauty. She was speechless. Eleniel then led the young girl to the dinning room. It was filled with elves who like to eat with their fellows in the great hall, there was talking and laughing and even a little singing here and there. Eleniel sat Lina down and gave her some food and drink. Eleniel sat beside her and ate.
"Suliad Eleniel, mellon nin!" Called Glorfindel, he strode over and sat opposite them.
"Mae Govannen, Glorfindel!" Eleniel replied with a smile.
Lina looked up at him amazed, her mouth was slightly open. Eleniel chuckled. "Now who is this fair young maiden?" Asked Glorfindel with a kind smile.
"I am Lina Sir." She smiled, blushed and looked back down at her food.
"My name is Glorfindel, not sir!" He laughed heartily. She looked up and smiled, "Sorry... Glorfindel." He smiled at her and asked, "How old are you Lina?" `Oh yes, I was wondering that myself' Eleniel thought to herself.
"I am seven years old, if my count is correct." Lina replied.
"Ah, how young they all seem to be these days. Either very old or very young." Glorfindel smiled and Elladan appeared with Elrohir at his side. "Oh, your brother I guess?" Lina asked, and grinned from Elladan to Elrohir. Elladan laughed, "Yes, Yes. This is Elrohir. You remember Lina from last night do you not?"
"Of course!" Elrohir walked to her side, and took her hand and kissed it. "How do you do young lady?" He smiled and let go of her hand. She stared at him shocked. She blinked and realized he was waiting for an answer. "I am fine." She wasn't used to this courtesy. Eleniel smiled, Elrohir had got the reaction he had wanted and grinned. He sat down on the other side of Lina and began to eat. He was good with children, not that there were many here these days, he could talk to them well, and keep them interested. Elladan kissed Eleniel on the top of the head as he found his seat beside her.
Eleniel, Glorfindel, and Elladan spoke together as Elrohir spoke with the child about something silly. Lina was laughing so much she could hardly eat. Eleniel heard Lina whisper to Elrohir, "They are in love aren't they?" she giggled. He nodded and winked at Eleniel when he saw that she had heard. And then he began to re-enact something which made Lina burst into a new lot of giggles.