Last of a Ragged House Long Bereft of Lordship - Chapter 5: The Hurt Has Just Begun
"Let me in!" he cried in agony.
A young she-elf, dressed in a drirted white blouse, opened the door with all calmness.
"That's my wife," Elrond stuttered, "and I need to get to her."
He tried to get passed the girl but she blocked him. "I'm sorry, my lord," she said, calmly, "but you cannot pass. Don't worry. Your wife is doing just fine."
Her words didn't help Elrond's nerviousness. Just before she closed the door he caught sight of Celebrian. Her long, blond hair was wet with sweat. Her face was tired and also drenched. Then the door shut on him. He leaned his forehead against the door. He had never felt so at loss of power.
Elrond walked into the hall, again. Not knowing what eles to do, he moved towards a wall and leaned up against it. His knees gave in with another cry from inside the room. He sat down. He didn't know how long he sat there, helpless, but it must have been close to three hours.
His thoughts went out to Elrohir and Elladan. They were with their grandparents, Galadriel and Celeborn, back at the palace. They were waiting for Celebrian and him to come home with smiles and a little something more.
Suddenly, the door swung open and interrupted his thoughts. The same she-elf as before stepped out and smiled. Elrond suddenly realized the cries had changed. There was silent murmering inside.
"Cangratulations." she said, "You have a beautiful baby girl. Your wife is waiting for you."
Before she could even finished speaking, he ran into the room. There he saw his wife and in her arms she rocked a small bundle of cloth. The only way Elrond could tell that it was a babe was because of a tiny head with eyes that were barely open.
He walked towards Celebrian and she handed him the child. He smiled at the girl. "She's beautiful." he said as he began to rock her in his arms. He turned to Celebrian "She has your eyes."
Celebrian shifted her weight. "I've been in labour with her for twelve hours, she better at least have my eyes."
Elrond laughed. "What should we name her?"
Celebrian took the girl and held her close to her chest. "Arwen." she said, tiredly.
"Arwen." he repeated.
Ah, yes. She was finally here. As Elrond watched the two women he loved most fall asleep together, he made himself a promise. Arwen would grow up to live a life untroubled by the shifty, uncontrolable world around her. He would make sure she lived to the fullest. And that she would never be hurt by anything so long as he could stop it.[1/]**
Elrond was pasing, once more, only this time in silence. He had thought about that day of Arwen's birth a lot lately. Now, he had a promise to fulfill.
Estel and Arwen had been getting closer like the days. As Summer passed, they spent more time together. Autumn was here and Elrond had seen just about everything he didn't want to see, all exept a kiss. Whether they didn't know or didn't care, Elrond had paid close attention to them, as did Elrohir.
Now, Elrond had seen a vision. He had called Estel to his chamber and now, he was waiting for him.
As Estel entered the room, Elrond looked up at him. "Ah, Aragorn. Finally, you're here. I have something to tell you."
"Oh, no." Estel muttered with a smile, "The last time you wanted to tell me something I nearly swore I would never forgive you."
Elrond dismissed the remark and sighed, trying to make sense of the vision he saw. Trying to put it into words. "Aragorn, I have seen your fate in a vision." he paused, looking at the young man who stood before him, "A great doom awaits you. Either to rise above all your fathers, or to fall into darkness. Many years of trial lie before you. You will not get married until your time comes and you are found worthy of it."
Whatever expression was on Estel's face, it faded quickly. Elond was referring to Arwen. He didn't quite know if what Elrond was saying was true. But if it was, then this wasn't going to be a very good conversation.
"But I do not speak of my daughter alone." Elrond continued, knowing what Estel was thinking, "You will marry no man's child, yet. Not for many years." Elrond put his hand on Estel's shoulder. "Aragorn, I do not wish to hurt you. I want what's better for you and Arwen. But you should know, to Arwen you may be looked upon like a young boy. She has lived many years. But if I'm wrong, and she does love you, then I will be very grieved because of the doom that is laid on her."
"What doom?" Estel asked.
"That as long as I am here, she will live in the youth of the Eldar. But if I leave without her, she will not."
"But the choice is not your's, right? It is Arwen's."
"True." Elrond said, "But many years will pass before the choice needs to be made. Also there will be no choice for Arwen, unless you come between us and bring one of us, you or me, to a bitter parting with her. You do not yet know what you desire of me." he sighed, and after a while he said again, "The years will bring what they will. We will not speak about this until many have passed. No, Aragorn, you will not marry."
Estel's eyes darkened. He could barely breathe as the weight of the inpact of Elrond's words hit him like a brick wall.
"Then bitter will my days be and I will walk in the wild alone." said Estel.
Estel then took leave of Elrond and went to his room. He fell on his bed and laid there for a while. Suddenly, life was too much to bare. And he didn't know how long he could bare it.
Arwen nearly ran through the halls of Imladris. Her eyes were on fire, her jaw couldn't possibly be more set, and there was thunder in her step. She was looking for only one man. Something was terribly wrong and if the reason for it was what she suspected, someone was going to pay. She could barely believe what was happening to her. Why this? Why now? Why when she felt so close to this person was he doing this to her. She would find out the answer soon enough.
There he was. Just where she was told he'd be.
Elrohir looked up and saw her comming. His smile faded quickly when he saw how angry she looked. Yes, he was the one she had been looking for. Elrohir had a bad feeling about what this conversation would be like. Sure enough, when she was in arm length, she gripped his arm and twisted it around so that he fell on his knees right there in the hallway.
"Ow!" he cried in pain.
"What did you do?!" she cried in anger.
"Estel! What did you say to him?"
Elrohir couldn't think of anything, partially because he didn't do anything and partially because all he could concentrate on was the pain in his arm. "What do you mean 'what did you say to him'? I didn't say anything to him! Well, yes, we do talk but-"
"What did you say to make him act like this? He won't walk with me, he won't talk to me, he doesn't want to spend time with me. He doesn't even want to see me. And he's been doing this for days! You are the one who has wanted to stop us from being together! Don't think I haven't noticed! Don't think I haven't known! You're like an open book to me, Elrohir! NEVER forget that!!" She twisted his arm a little more.
"Ow! Okay, okay! I'll never forget it! But, I swear, I didn't say anything to Aragorn that would make him not want to be with you!"
"Are you sure?!" pressed Arwen, reminding Elrohir that she still had his arm by twisting it ever so slightly. She was so angry at him she could have snapped his arm off.
Help, however, was on the way. Elrond stepped into the hallway just in time to see Arwen twisting Elrohir's arm.
"Arwen! Stop!" He cried as he rushed to Elrohir's rescue. He pried Arwen's grip off her brother. "What is the meaning of this maddness?" he asked Arwen, who was breathing in angry heaps.
Elrohir, who knew he didn't deserve the punishment, lie limp on the cold, marble floor. He was considering the possibility that his arm might, actually, be broken. It turned cold, then numb, then sworming with pain. He marveled at the fact that Arwen knew exactly where to grab hold of him.
"Elrohir said something to Estel," Arwen said through her teeth, "and now he won't talk to me. He won't do anything with me. He's completely ignoring me. And it's driving me insane."
"Elrohir didn't say anything to Estel." Elrond assured her, "I did."
That was it. That was enough to make Arwen turn to fire. Her eyes widened and turned crimson red. She could barely control herself as she gripped her own father's collar and yanked him, violently, closer to her.
"What did you do?! What did you say?!" she cried.
"I saw his future. He will not marry anyone. Yes, he did seem upset, but I didn't think he would ignore you."
Arwen's grip loosened on him. "He will not marry anyone? What does that have to do with anything?" Then, suddenly, her eyes changed from confusion to understanding. How could she have missed it? He had fallen in love with her. It was so obvious. The only question now was did she love him? She had never quite thought about-
"Lord Elrond?" said a voice that interrupted Arwen's thoughts. It was someone they all knew, but had seemed quite distracted lately.
Estel, the oncomer, walked closer to see the three all stare up at him in the most bazzar positions. Arwen quickly let go of Elrond and fixed her dress.
"Yes, son?" Elrond said after clearing his throat.
Before Estel could answer, Elrohir's position caught his eye. He looked down at him. "Can I help you up?" he said extending his hand towards his step-bother. Elrohir smiled weakly and, with his good arm, gripped Estel's hand and pulled himself up. Estel glanced down at Elrohir's arm, which he was clenching like a baby, but made no reply.
"Hello, Estel." Arwen said quietly.
Estel looked at her. A small smile crossed his face. "Hello, Arwen." For a split second, Arwen thought he might say something else to her, but he turned back to Elrond. "I need to tell you something. The Dunedain Rangers are going to leave Rivendell. I'm going with them. They're going somewhere south of here."
Arwen managed to hold back a gasp. However, she couldn't help feeling more then a little heartsick.
It was obvious that Elrond was shocked also. "Well... Um... If you think that's what you should do. When do you leave?"
"That early?" Arwen broke in.
"Yes. I need to do this." he paused, "Well, I guess I should get ready." And with that he turned and walked away.
Arwen watched him as he did. She couldn't believe he was going to leave her. He was leaving. She turned, angryly, to Elrond, then turned and ran down the hall before she burst into tears. Before she knew it, she landed in her bed. Tears rolled down her cheeks.
The sunset outside looked almost like the sunset she and Estel had seen the first time they met. In any other situation she would stare at it and think about that day, now it hurt to think about it.
She dug her face in her pillow. She was sobbing now, not wanting to think about anything, trying to stop her thoughts from resting on Estel.
Suddenly, she paused, momentarily. Why was she crying? Was it because she felt strongly about him? No, of course not. She was much too sad to think clearly. It was probably because he was leaving so suddenly after ignoring her. In any case, she would not think about it till the next morning.
Arwen awoke with a start. The sun was already passed dawn. All of what had happened the day before flooded her mind all at once. She realized she might be to late to say goodbye to Estel. She might be angry at him for leaving her, but she would still say her farewell to him, nonetheless.
She rushed to get dressed and ran out the door. In fact, she still looked quite like she just woke up. She left her hair down. She hadn't had time to position her dress right, just enough so it wouldn't come undone. She wore no jewlry, and all she could fit on, at the moment, were slippers.
As she ran down the hall which led to the exit, she prayed that he hadn't left yet. It would be a shame to have had to go through such a huried motion like that for nothing.
Finaly, she ran out the door. The Rangers were gathered just ahead of her. They were just preparing their horses for leaving. Just in time, she thought.
She entered the group, not caring about other rangers, only one. Her eyes searched aimlessly. She didn't see him, if he was even there. Soon, she began to become discouraged, but she didn't stop. Then she spotted him. He, like eveyone eles, was getting his horse ready. A slight smile adorned her fair face.
"Estel?" she said when she was close enough to him.
He turned to face her and smiled. "I thought you wouldn't come." he smirked.
"And miss saying farewell? No way." she smiled.
Estel eyed her. "Did you have a hard time coming?" he gestured to her dress and hair, which, at the moment, was a mess.
He turned around to finish his preparations. Arwen quickly fixed herself.
The Rangers began finishing their adjustments. Estel looked around. He was about to mount his horse when she stopped him.
"Estel, how long will you be gone?" her voice was a whisper.
"I don't know. But I do know that it would be a long time."
She looked down for a second. "Why are you leaving?"
Estel looked confused. What did that mean? "What are you talking about? The Rangers are leaving-"
"No." she looked around, momentarily, then she locked her eyes on him. "Why have you been ignoring me? Before you leave I need to know. Father said something about telling you that you wouldn't marry yet. What does that mean?"
Estel didn't look at her, but saw all the Rangers leading their horses out of Rivendell. "I have to go." he said without even glancing at her.
"Estel! Tell me!" she cried.
"I can't." he whispered. He turned his horse and began to walk away.
"Estel!" her breathing hardened, "You're not going to even-" she stopped herself.
Why was he choosing to leave like this? Why must he act like this now? What was his problem? In that moment, she wanted to run up and grab him. Infact, she was desiding whether to do it or not. No, she shouldn't. She was more mature then that.
As he was walking away, he realized he couldn't just leave in that way. It was too far below him. He stopped. In his heart, he knew what he wanted to do, but his head told him no. Not in front of all these Rangers. He turned to face her. He saw that she was on the verge of crying. Her head bent low, and her eyes were on the ground.
Feeling his gaze, she looked up at him. Her bright, blue, beautiful eyes begged him to explain. To Estel, suddenly, everyone else seemed to disapear. It was only him and her. All of his senses fell away at once with her blue eyes.
Leaving his horse, he walked to her. He placed his hands on the sides of her face and pulled her to him. Leaning in, he kissed her. She was so shocked at the action she couldn't move. All she could manage to do was to kiss him back. Everything around them fell away. The kiss lasted, what seemed to be, ages. When, in reality, it was only a few seconds.
He, finally, pulled back and looked at her. She was far more stunned then he was.
Without saying anything, Estel turned and walked away. He mounted his horse and rode off. He gave one short glance back at her. Then continued.
Arwen, however, stared at him as he left. The kiss was still on her lips and she wasn't sure what to do about it. She stood like a statue, unmoving. Almost afraid that if she looked away, he would disapear and never come back.
Soon, he was out of sight. She felt so alone all of the sudden. He had made a lasting impression on her that would not go away with just a thought. In her heart, she would never forget him. The hurt of his departure was setting in, already. Little did she know that he would be gone for nearly thirty years. Her hurt had just begun.
Author's Note: Sorry it took me so long. Anyway, I hope you like it!