Last of a Ragged House Long Bereft of Lordship - Chapter 2: The Truth Revealed

Estel slumped onto his bed. He was waiting for Elrond to be finished with his meeting. The night had seemed to go by within seconds and Estel was becoming bored. He bit his lower lip. The letter in Elrohir's room had been preying on his mind. He knew Elrohir had made it quite clear it was none of his business, but Estel couldn't help it. He had tried a number of times to sneak in but Elladan kept walking by. Estel guessed that Elrohir had spoken to Elladan about the letter.
Estel rose up and went to look at what Legolas was doing. Legolas was usualy always doing somthing interesting. He was just outside the palace when he saw them. Legolas and Elrohir both were fixing a stall for a horse. Estel lifted an eyebrow as he walked towards them.
"And may I ask what you are doing?"
Legolas looked up. He smiled, "We're fixing a stall."
Estel tried not to laugh at the sight of two princes with their shirts off, in the heat of the morning, stooping down to fix a stall.
"And pray tell, why didn't you let a maid do that?" he asked.
Elrohir smiled and turned to Estel. "Well, we're free spirits, you know."
Estel nodded.
"Estel," Elrohir started, "Will you go into my room and retrieve my carving knife, please?"
Estel nodded again and walked back into Imladris. He smiled though he did not know why. The peace in Rivendell was overwhelming. For the moment he forgot about the letter and was at peace. He made his way back up the stairs, through the halls, and towards Elrohir's room. He was just entering Elrohir's room when, suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"You're still here?" asked Elladan.
Estel turned. "Yes. I'm waiting for ada to finish with the Advisors of Imladris."
Elladan nodded. "What are you doing in Elrohir's room, then?" he questioned.
Estel looked at him. He tried not to show that he knew Elladan was concerned about the letter. Hmm. The letter. It started to pry it's way into his thoughts, again. In a way, Elladan had every right to be so protective towards it.
"I am retrieving Elrohir's carving knife." he said simply.
Elladan didn't say anything after that. He just nodded and sent Estel a look that seemed to be 'I know what you're up to', even though Estel's bright blue eyes were inocent, at the moment. Then he turned and walked away.
Estel stared at him for a moment. His curiosity jumped up inside of him, again. What was it about the letter that made him so attracked to it.
He walked into the room and looked around. He relised he didn't know where Elrohir had placed his carving knife. After searching a bit through Elrohir's closit and most of his things, he headed towards his dresser. When he opened it he found the carving knife on top of the letter.
He stood there, unmoving, for a minute. He bit his lower lip, again. He debated whether he would read it. He knew he shouldn't but the temptation was too great for him in the end.
He reached down and picked up both the letter and the knife. He unfolded the letter and held it up to the light of the day. He read it silently to himself.

Dear Brothers and Father,
How are you? I am fine. I am comming back to Imladris. I should be ariving there soon. I am writing this from inside my tent. I cannot wait to see you again. It has been so long since I've seen you and I miss you terribly. Has anything changed? Has Legolas came and visit you lately? How is he? I wish to apologize to him the next time I see him. Are the forests still green? It has been far too long since I has walked in them. I hope you are all happy about my comming. I would-

Estel jumped out of his reading by a shout. It was Elrohir calling Estel as he walked through the halls. Estel quickly shoved the letter back ito the dresser and stood up stright as Elrohir came into the room.
"Estel, what are you doing? I went you up here ages ago."
Estel tried to remain as calm as he could.
"I was talking with Elladan in the hallway. That is why I took so long. Also, because I forgot where you put your knife." he answered.
Elrohir took the knife from Estel and walked out. Estel sighed. That was close, he thought. He desided to let the letter be and go back to his room. When he got there he paused when he heard his called again, this time by a more deeper voice.
Estel turned around. Elrond had a grim look on his face. He motioned for Estel to sit on the bed.
He sighed and said, "Estel, have a seat. This may take awhile."

**********

"NO!"
Estel's voice echoed through out all the halls of Imladris and turned many heads, but he didn't care. He ran out of his room, through the halls, and down the stares.
Elrond stood in Estel's room. He didn't follow Estel, but instead, he walked to the window. He shook his head. Maybe he should have told Estel sooner. Maybe it would have made a difference. Maybe it wouldn't have. For a strange reason Elrond regretted telling Estel about it. Was that wrong? No of course not. But would Estel forgive him? Would he ever again stand to look upon him?
Estel ran to the edge of a balcony. His confused and angry eyes stared at the Elves walking to and fro on the Elven floor. Did they know, too? Did everyone eles know?

"You said you wanted to talk with me?" Estel said. Elrond nodded.
"Yes."

Estel shook his head and placed his hands on his temples, as if trying to shake the conversation out of his mind. It didn't work. The memories kept comming.

Elrond sat down on the bed beside Estel."You obviously know you're not an Elf." he stated.
Estel smiled, "Yes, but I don't like to be reminded of it." Estel tried to lighten the conversation because he could see that Elrond was tence. But it didn't work.

He, unconsciously, began to pace nevously. What had happened? What had he just been told? How can he banish the words out of his head?

"You are not Estel as you had thought to be." Elrond said looking deep within Estel's perfect blue eyes.
"What do you mean?"

Estel's head ached.

"It's about time I told you the truth."
The truth? What did that mean?

"No," he whispered to no one, "How could this have happened? Why? Not now."

"Your real name is..." Elrond choked.

"Aragorn..."

"Aragorn son of Arathorn."
Estel stared at him, blankly. Was he serious? What did he mean 'not Estel'?
In the remaining minutes Elrond made sure Estel knew the whole truth. Estel tried to listen, but it was so much at once. He could barely believe that he could be the heir of Isildur and future king of Gondor. How could he accept something like that? He had read about the line of Númenor. He knew of what Isildur had done on the slopes of Mount Doom. How could he be related to such a person?

"Estel?" said a voice.
Estel didn't turn. He knew who it was. Legolas. Estel sighed. Great, he thought, some one eles who is an elf.
"Estel." Legolas said again, "What's wrong? Almost all of Imladris heard you yell."
Estel closed his eyes. "Legolas, who am I?" he tested.
Legolas stared at his friend. What did he mean by that? Estel knew quite well who he was. Why would he ask that?
"Estel, are you alright?" Legolas asked. When Estel didn't move, Legolas figured he might as well answer his question. "You are Estel, adopped son of Elrond. Your mother is Gilraen. You are-"
Legolas was cut off by Estel.
"Don't play games with me, Legolas!" Estel cried, closing up on Legolas. "Answer me! Who am I!"
Estel was no more then two inches from Legolas, now. Legolas could see pain burn in Estel's tear-stricken but strong eyes. Elrond had told Estel who he was. Legolas was suddenly filled with pity for his friend.
Estel closed his eyes, again, but when he opened them, they were more fired up then before.
Through his teeth, Estel asked, "How long have you known?"
Legolas sighed, "Since you were four years old."
Estel closed his eyes yet again and returned to the edge of the balcony. "You lied to me." he said.
Legolas walked to Estel's side. "It wasn't a lie."
Estel was silent for a moment, then he looked up at Legolas with a new found horror in his eyes.
"What about my mother? She knew, as well. How could she fail to tell me of all this? How could she fail to even hint at it?" he said every word a little louder then the last.
Estel finaly turn and started off the balcony when Legolas tried to stop him.
"Estel!" he called, "Estel wait!" Then in a moment, without thinking, Legolas cried out one name which changed Estel forever, "ARAGORN!" he cried in a powerful voice.
Estel paused and turned around. Legolas was taken aback. What had he just said to make Estel look at him in that way. It was the look of pain, of betrail, of disbelief. A look that Legolas would never forget. Nor would Estel. A tear rolled down Estel's face. But before Legolas could say anything, Estel was off again.
He ran out of the houses. Out of rivendell and into the forest. Little did he know Elrond watched him from his bedroom window.
Estel didn't look up, nor did he care that the elves he was passing seemed to be concerned about him. He knew where he was going. The forest. There no one ever seemed to be anyone but a passing stranger to the trees. There he would not be known as neither Estel nor Aragorn.
When he was clear in the forest, and he was sure of it, he leaned against a tree. He felt so weak. So helpless. He slid down the tree and brought his knees to his chest. He lowered his head and, there, he wept.

**********

Estel sat there. He had run out of tears and now he was alone. His head still lowered but underneath his dark hair, he was breathing more calmly, now. His blood-shot eyes were whitening.
He suddenly felt somthing on his hand and lifted his head. He found himself staring face-to-face with the same deer he had been hunting the day before. For a moment he didn't move. Then the deer started sniffing his hands and knees. Estel smiled. So now I know, he thought, all I have to do to atract a deer is to started crying.
Then suddenly there was a noise. A snap of a twig. The deer turned it's head. Then he bolted away.
Estel stood. His now usual blue eyes scanned the wood. A sudden sparkle there caught Estel's eye. He walked closer to it. Cautioning himself with every step. There. He saw something.
"Luthien." he whispered.
A long, slender figure was covered by a silver and blue gown. Dark, long, flowing hair curled over straightened shoulders. Crystal blue eyes turned to see him.

Author's Note: The spaced lines are memories

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