Estel of Rivendell - Chapter 5


That night, back in his room again after a day spent with his brothers, Aragorn looked out into the grey garden, glimmering with touches of silver where the streams and fountains caught the starlight. A tall Elf clad in a plain grey cloak walked alone under the starry sky, deep in thought. Although he could not see his face, Aragorn knew him at once. It was Elrond, his father.

Aragorn went down to speak to him. He met his father at the door, coming in. There had once been a time when he would fling his arms around his father's neck when he saw him again after having been away from home. But now, Aragorn bowed formally to him. "You asked to see me, father. So I have ridden home, despite the great dangers that threaten my people." Elrond looked at his youngest son in his tattered green cloak. Despite the fact that his clothes were old and worn, Aragorn stood before him with an indefinable air of dignity, every inch the chieftain of the Dunedain.

"Thank you, Estel," he said quietly. "Shall we go out into the garden?" Aragorn nodded politely. As they walked together under the stars, Elrond spoke of the huge army that was gathering in the plains of the North. He spoke of his concern for the safety of his son and made him an offer of help. For some reason, Elrond's offer of help enraged Aragorn, and his new resolution to try to make friends with his father vanished without a trace. Why should a person who hadn't bothered to help him for so long suddenly offer him his aid? And there was also the fact that Aragorn had for years been cursing Elrond in his mind. It wouldn't be right to accept his aid after having done that...

Elrond looked deep into Aragorn's eyes, seeming to read his mind. "I and my Dunedain will fight this battle on our own, father," said Aragorn quietly. "And if I lose the battle, if I am destroyed, it is of no matter. No kingdom would have lost its king." Ah, the pleasure of snubbing Elrond! And it was rather neat, thought Aragorn, the way he had made such a subtle reference to his pet grievance about becoming King of Gondor and Arnor.

But as he walked back to his room, Aragorn reflected that a price would have to be paid for the pleasure of proudly refusing his father's help - he might have to pay for it with his life. For it was true... the enemy was waxing in power and Elrond's concern for the safety of Aragorn and his Dunedain was genuine. Aragorn got into bed, and tried to get some sleep. As he tossed and turned and sweated uneasily in bed, his fears of death grew and grew and began to take hideous shapes and forms in his dreams...

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