If you were in the halls and not asleep, you would hear the sounds of whimpers echoing through the dimly lit halls of Imladris. If you were in a certain bedroom, you would see a young elfling fitfully tossing and turning in his bed. You would also see sweat beading the small forehead, and tiny fists clutching the sheets. Perhaps also you would catch a small voice cry out in fear.
Here we begin our tale.
A small elfling shot up in his tousled bed, looking around him in confusion. He felt alone, and frightened. The small forehead crinkled in fear. He had never felt like this before. He lifted his arm to his head and wiped away the sweat, which covered his face. His bed sheets were wrinkled and wet from his nightmare. Scurrying to the side of his great bed, he lightly jumped to the floor. He glanced around him frowning. Only recently his father and mother had set up separate bedrooms for him and his brother, both rooms lay across from each other, but it was still weird to wake up alone instead of beside the other who looked so much like himself.
The young elfling darted to the door and opened it, before entering the halls he glanced around him to make sure that no one saw him. He tiptoed to his brother's room and reached up above his head to reach the door handle. The door clicked open and he pushed it open slightly poking his head around it.
"Ella?" The young elf whispered into the darkness.
There was no answer. The youth frowned, and tiptoed to the great bed that lay in the center of the room. His brother's room was almost the same as his, but the only differences were the colors. Where his own room held the scenes of the ocean, filled with pale and dark blues. His brother's was filled with the forest and colors of green and gold. So different yet alike these two were, there was the always present problem of telling the two apart. One was slightly, perhaps a fraction of an inch shorter. The other never missed anything. His eyes always scanning the grounds, or looking around him in interest. One always getting into trouble, while the other tried to get out of it. One loved reading and glancing at pictures in his father's chambers. The other only looking at the pictures that painted the great room of his parents.
Their alikeness was uncanny to those who did not know them. The same gray eyes, same dark hair which hung just below their shoulders. Their hair hung loose around them, yet awaiting their coming of age day where they would receive their first braids. They both had identical smiles.
The young elf climbed up onto the bed and scrambled to the lump on the other side. He reached his small hand over and poked the soft bedding. He sat back stunned, then reached his hand out and pulled the covers down. There was nothing. He glanced around the dark room while climbing down off the great bed. He walked over to the balcony and poked his head around the doors that separated the rooms.
Shrugging his shoulders, he exited the room and walked down the halls towards his father's chambers. Standing on his tiptoes to reach the handle the door opened slightly and he walked inside. His brother must have crawled in with his parents. He looked at his father's sleeping face; his eyes were glazed over signaling his father in the path of dreams. He tuned around and picked up the small stool in the corner and stood on it to look over his father's sleeping form. Still unable to see the middle of the bed, the young elfling crawled onto the bed, careful not to disturb his father. His brother was not there either. He swallowed. His brother would not wander without him, especially at night.
He crawled down from the stool, and exited that room, to look in the other rooms of the house. He did not hear the murmured whispers of his parents as he walked down the halls passing his and his brother's rooms.
"What is he doing out of bed?" The mother whispered to her husband.
"I do not know." Came the muffled reply.
"Perhaps you should go find out, then?"
The father grumbled but sat up and climbed out of his bed, and followed the youth who kept darting in and out of rooms, as though he were looking for something.
The young elfling walked down the great steps of his father's house, heading towards the kitchen. But after entering, he found no trace of him there either. On his way out, the younger of the two elflings grabbed a pastry sitting on a plate by the door. He stuffed it in his mouth and wandered towards the council halls. He stopped at the great oak doors, and once again stood on his toes to reach the door handles. As the door opened a great gush of wind blew in, causing the elf to gasp surprised. He gingerly stepped out into the darkness, but a hoot from a night owl, caused the young elf to whimper startled, and turn and dash back through the doors. Poking his head around the corner, he looked for the great beast. He shook his head and closed the door with difficulty, against the wind.
'He would not go outside at night.' He thought to himself. Feeling defeated, the small dark haired elf wandered back up stairs, and did not see the concerned frown on his father's face, as he watched from a darkened corner.
He followed the elfling up the stairs and watched as his youngest son walked into his brother's room, looking lost. Taking a deep breath, he walked through the doors, and glanced at the bed. No sign of either elf in the bed. The wind blew the door to the patio slightly, the elf Lord walked over and saw his youngest son crouched in the corner holding his knees whimpering softly to himself.
"My son?" The father whispered gently, kneeling beside the youth. "What ails you?"
"Ella?" He whimpered. But said no more, still rocking back and forth.
The elf Lord frowned and glanced up and searched the room with his eyes. He saw no sign of his eldest son. Concern growling in the pit of his stomach, he stood and walked over to the bed. He lowered his hand to the sheets, and felt the coldness seeping from them. Wherever his son had wandered off to, it had been some time since he had been in the bed.
Clearing his throat, he quickly exited his son's room and walked to the end of the hall. He knocked firmly on the door at the end, and earned himself a complained groan from within. The door opened after a moment revealing a tall blonde haired elf, looking miserable. An elegant eyebrow rose at the sight of his Lord standing there in his bed robes.
"My Lord?" The Blonde asked confused.
"No time to sleep now. My eldest is wandering the halls somewhere, and I need him found. I must go to my chambers and inform my wife, and have her tend my youngest." Without another word, the Lord turned on his heel and walked towards his own chambers.
The blonde haired elf stood there baffled, but walked back into his own chambers to change out of his sleep wears. After a moment he exited his rooms, and met the elf Lord in the halls with a worried wife, standing there cradling the small elfling in her arms.
Both the elf Lord and blonde turned and walked hurriedly down the halls, leaving the Mother and her child standing there in the dimly lit hallway. The youngest in her arms, whimpered sleepily.
She stroked his hair gently. "Shhh, my son. Your father and Glorfindel will find your brother.
Another muffled whimper echoed her words.
The elfling curled up in his mother's arms shivering from the feeling of being alone.
"Are you cold?" She whispered feeling her son's shivers through her sleeping gown. She let gray eyes drift down to the form cradled in her arms.
The elfling shook his head, but whispered. "Alone."
The mother felt her blood run cold at those softly spoken words. Her lips parted in a whispered fear. She walked into her youngest son's room and gently lay him down on the bed. But the small form of her son shot up whimpering. "NO!" He cried out, and jumped from the bed. He ran to the door and ran to his brother's room.
Startled, she followed him into the chambers of her eldest son. She stood in the door and watched as her youngest scrambled into the bed and curled up under the covers, grabbing the pillow and hugging it. She took a deep breath and walked over sitting on the edge and stroked her son's back as he silently cried.
The darkness faded, and the sun slowly lifted into the sky. But still the mother stroked her son's back, as he lay there sleeping. The fear in her grew as the day slowly made its appearance.
She finally stood and walked out onto the balcony, her arms wrapped around her fearfully. She let her eyes drift over the gardens and then wander over to the waterfall in the distance. The feeling of coldness filled her heart as she waited her husband's return. She did not know how long she stood there, but she finally walked back into her son's room when the faint whimpers reached her ears.
Only when her son screamed in his sleep did she run to the bedside to wake him. The young elfling sat up in his bed, and called out his brother's name.
For the second time she felt her blood run cold in her veins, when the lost and agonizing cry filled the stillness of the room.
Silence and Chills
The cold seeped into his bones, causing him to shiver, both from the chill in the nights air, and the fear of being alone. The darkness frightened him the most, but also not knowing where he was, or where his family was. All he knew was he could not see, nor speak, not even move. He had been gagged and bound. He turned his head to the side and felt the packed earth beneath his cheek, wet and warm with something sticky. Again he shivered, this time from terror, as a guttural sound reached his little ears.
* * * *
Elrond walked in through the doors feeling defeated. There was no sign of his eldest son anywhere. He shook his head, as he walked up stairs to check on his wife and youngest child. He had left his aide Glorfindel in charge of the search party. It was now nearing evening, and he had been out all day looking for signs of his son. He climbed the stairs of his house to the family halls of Imladris, and wandered towards his son's chambers. He broke into a run when a cry from his youngest echoed through the halls.
Elrond burst through the doors of Elladan's room, and caught sight of his wife and son both in a state he would remember for eternity. His wife's face was white, and tear streaked, and his son was wrapped in her arms, screaming for his twin.
Elrond closed his eyes, then opened them walking over to the bed that lay in the center. He sat down on the edge, and drew both his wife and son into a comforting embrace. He felt Celebrien's arms wrap around him and he bent his head to kiss her forehead.
"Any sign of him?" She whispered in a quiet voice.
"Not yet, but Glorfindel, Erestor, and Figwit are all out with scouting parties looking for him." Elrond replied.
Celebrien nodded against his chest, and let her tears fall down her cheeks.
"Hmm?" Elrond looked down at the tiny form of his son.
"Ella?" He whispered so quietly, Elrond was not sure he had heard his son's voice at all.
"We will find him, Elrohir." Elrond soothed, stroking his son's hair.
His youngest son shook his head back and forth. "Hurts."
Elrond sat back. "What hurts?" He let his fingers trace over his son's body looking for injury but found none.
His son's tear streaked face looked up at him. "Here." He pointed to his chest.
Elrond swallowed the lump that formed in his throat. "He gathered his son onto his lap, wrapping his arms around the small frame. "Shh, my son." He soothed rocking gently back and forth. He locked his wife's eyes with his own, both sharing a silent dread of fear. Their eldest son, only older by a few minutes, was missing. The twins were so young that they were still learning full sentences from their teacher, neither had been outside the borders of Imladris, nor had they wandered off far from their parents. More importantly, they had never been far from each other's sight.
The twins were so close, that they were rarely seen without each other, or holding hands through the halls. Elrond shivered remembering their laughter, both smiling faces. He closed his eyes, but they snapped open when he heard his aide calling for him.
Elrond passed Elrohir to his wife and stood quickly. He raced to the door and pulled it open to reveal the blonde haired elf, named Glorfindel. "What news?"
Glorfindel lowered his head, and held out an object in his hand to his Lord. "We found this."
Elrond's breath caught in his throat at the sight of the small piece of clothing held out for him. With shaky hands he reached for it, taking it and looking at it. It was a torn piece of night ware his son had worn the night he disappeared. It was pale green with a bloodstain on it. Elrond's eyes shot up to meet those of Glorfindel's, and in that brief pleading look, was all the command the aide needed. He spun on his heel and ran off down the halls, calling for members of his guard.
Elrond let out a shaky sign and turned around to meet the fear on his wife's face. He felt his blood turn icy as his wife let out a cry of terror, and cry out for her mother. Celebrien collapsed on the floor tightly holding her youngest son in her arms.
Elrond knelt on the floor and gathered both crying forms in his arms, and whispered in his wife's ear. "I must go in search myself. I cannot stand and do nothing, but I fear to leave your side." He glanced down at his wife's tear streaked face, but they were distant. He gasped allowed, and realized she was communicating with an unseen voice.
Elrond groaned, as he realized she was talking to her mother. "Galadriel." He whispered. Standing he picked up his son and held him in his arms. "I will find your brother, you have my word, little one."
Elrohir nodded, and whispered tearfully. "Ella scared. Hurts here." He pointed to his head, and looked up with gray worried eyes.
"Elladan hurts there? Or you do?" Elrond furrowed his brow confused.
"Ella." Elrohir held out his hand and showed his father where on his head it hurt. "Here."
Elrond swallowed hard. He felt his heart skip a beat, and he nodded to his youngest son. "Can you lay down for me, my son?"
"Here only." He pointed to his brother's bed.
Elrond walked over to the large bed, and laid his son down, covering him with the green comforter. Slowly he placed his hand on Elrohir's forehead and closed his eyes deep in concentration. He searched his son's mind for signs of a broken connection between the twins, but was relieved when he felt both golden strands of their fae's strong. "Sleep." Elrond murmured.
He opened his eyes and watched as his youngest closed his gray eyes, falling into an unnatural, but much needed sleep. He stood glanced at his wife who sat on the floor. He walked over to her and lifted her into his arms, and laid her down next to his sleeping son. She sighed and whispered. "Find him. Please, love, find him."
Elrond nodded and quickly left the room.
The dark haired elf sat upon his horse looking over the vast valley before him. He had trailed unknown footprints across the ford to the valley that lay beyond Imladris. His search party was scouring the ground for signs of over turned earth, and scuffled grass, which would tell them in which direction these men had taken.
"Figwit!" Another elf called from the distance.
He turned and glanced in the direction of the voice, and nodded to the elf that motioned him over. He nudged his horse forward, and dismounted once reaching the elf. "What have you found?"
"There are signs that men traveled to the south, but also others to the west." The elf paused. "What would you have us do?"
Figwit narrowed his eyes thinking. He raised a hand to cover his eyes from the setting sun, and looked into the distance. "Take, four guards and travel south, I will take the remainder with me to the west." He lowered his hand and turned his eyes to the elf at his side. "Have a messenger sent to me if you find any traces."
Figwit mounted his horse, called out to his men, and the five of them raced into the setting sun, leaving behind the others to travel their own way.
Elrohir tossed and turned whimpering. Sweat beading his little forehead, he felt his brother's fear and pain, which matched his own. He sat upright in bed, and found he was alone. His father and mother were both gone, and he felt his eyes widen at the chill he felt enter his soul. With a startled gasp he clutched tiny fists to his head, and shook his head.
"Quiet, stop, please. Ella. Hurts." He mumbled. He blocked the link his brother had sent to him, and quickly got out of bed. He wandered out of his brother's room, to his own, and gathered together a tunic and packed a small bag. After dressing, he quickly walked down the candle lit halls to the kitchen.
Once there, he pilled pastries and water together in his bag, and left the kitchens to the room behind his father's study. Slowly poking his head around the door, he wandered into the room filled with weapons. Here he found a small dagger made for training young elflings. Here he also found a flint and candles, which he also pilled into his growing pack. Once satisfied, Elrohir wandered the halls to the front doors, and exited the house out in the quickly dimming light.
Glorfindel knelt beside the river separating Imladris from the valley, where he had found the scrap piece of clothing. He and his men had searched up and down river for traces of Elladan, but had found none. Now he knelt by the river, scanning the ground, trying to locate the trail to signal where Elladan had gone. He knew Figwit was trailing prints left behind from men in the area, hoping to find any sign of his Lord's son in that direction. But also, he knew Erestor was headed to a nearby village to question the peoples there. Another guard named Amrir was off to Mirkwood to ask assistance from the King, and a messenger had been sent to Loth Lorien. Glorfindel shook his head, he felt hopeless. He had yet to find a trail. He raised his eyes to the sky above him, hoping and praying to Elbereth. He lowered his head and rose from beside the river, and called out to his men to travel on.
* * * *
He felt rough hands grab him and throw him over a shoulder, causing him to grunt surprised. He would have cried out but the cloth in his mouth prevented anything but sounds from the throat to escape. Every now and then he felt his throat contract, gagging on the tightly bound cloth in his mouth. He tried squirming to escape the foul stench of the one who carried him, but he was only clutched tighter. Defeated, the young elf remained still, reaching his mind out to his only comfort. His brother, his soul, his life, his twin...
Following a Feeling
It took the little elfling and youngest son of Lord Elrond, about two hours, to climb the hill leaving Imladris. His little feet would not let him travel any faster, especially with the large sack he carried slung over his shoulder. When he reached the top of the hill leading to the dirt path, he sat down on a boulder, and glanced around him nervously. It had already turned dark, and his eyes were not trained to see that well yet. He shivered, and opened the pack, to retrieve the small cloak he had folded neatly for himself. He clasped it around him and stood up, to continue his own search of his brother. He knew that Elladan was no longer in Imladris, and that his brother was hurt. Elrohir also knew that he was the only one who could find him before something terrible happened.
Slowly he turned and walked down the marked path leading to the ford, but stopped thinking furiously to himself. 'Ford?' Is that what it was called? The great river that protected Imladris from the world around them, from the dark forces of, who?
He shook his head angrily; he could not remember what the teachers had said about the histories. He preceded walking again still thinking about the world around him. He was anxious to travel, but he was also frightened. He had never been far from his parents, but more importantly, he had never been away from his twin longer then a night of sleep. Most times, however, their father found them curled up in one bed or another a limb or hand always touching, fast asleep.
Suddenly he jumped up clapping his hands together excitedly. "Loud Water." He cried. He could hear it in the distance, the loud crashing of water against the rocks and cliffs. He pursed his lips and broke into a run. To him it was fast, but to anyone seeing the little elfling, is was a slow trot. His shoulder pack slapped against his back, and his little feet carried him to the cliff above the great river of the Bruien. Smiling, satisfied that he had found his way to the boarders of his fathers lands without help from the elders he quickly descended the side of the cliffs with the ease of a youth. Once beside the rushing water, he stood there looking around him, trying to find someway across that would be safe for him.
* * * *
He was tossed from the shoulder, to the ground in a heap, and he felt the air leave his lungs in a great whoosh of air. He lay on the packed earth trying to fill his lungs again. He felt a hand grab his hair and pull his head up. Frightened, he remained motionless. He felt the hands work at the knot at the back of his head, taking off the gag in his mouth. He sucked in his breath taking in as much air as his small lungs could muster. He felt something held up to his mouth and pour into his mouth, but not sure as to what it was he spat it out, not knowing whether or not it hit the monster that knelt before him.
His head was pulled back hard, and he gasped. He heard a loud voice that he could not understand, and shivered. He felt the liquid pour down his throat, but this time he was not able to spit it out. He felt the moisture slip down his small throat and make it's way into his stomach. He shuddered, but realized that it was only water that had been fed to him.
He felt the hard calloused hands reach behind his head again and untie the blindfold that had prevented him from seeing his surroundings. He closed his eyes tightly, afraid to look up, afraid to see the monsters who had taken him from his bed, and out of his homelands. The voice spoke again, harsh and full of command, and Elladan slowly opened his eyes. When his gray eyes cleared from the fog of being bound so long, his eyes beheld the figure before him, and he opened his mouth and let out a piercing cry that echoed through the forests, and lifted into the whirling wind.
* * * *
Elrohir dropped to his knees in shock, and clutched his hands to his chest. The pain and fear that entered his soul froze him in place, and caused him to shudder unrepentantly. He felt his whole body convulse and he curled up into a ball, calling out his twins name in a way that would stop a heart beat momentarily.
He laid there on the rock surface at the riverbed, and did not notice the approach of horses in the distance.
The sight that greeted him was one he would remember for the rest of his life. Glorfindel gasped allowed as he saw the Lord's son lying on the rocks as if he were in pain. He jumped from his horse and raced over to the small form huddled in a tight ball. The first thing he did was search for a heart beat, and once found one; he lifted the small form into his arms, cradling it gently. He had walked half way to his horse, before he noticed that the elfling was lost in a fae battle. He felt his eyes widen at the sight of such a small elf child having eyes open and glazed over, lost in a world that was still unknown to them. He shivered and mounted his horse, galloping towards Imladris.
Glorfindel entered the gates calling for Elrond as he dismounted carrying the small form. But he stopped when Elrohir struggled within his arms, trying to fight the demons in his dreams.
"Ella!" The small-lost voice whimpered. Glorfindel shook his head and closed his eyes. Slowly he wandered up the stairs entering the Lord's house. Elrohir had stopped his struggles and blinked confused.
"Orfinel?" He whispered.
"Shush, little one, you are safe." He smiled at the twins nickname for him.
"No, Ella, not. He hurts. Scared." Elrohir wiped his eyes.
"I know, I am sure you are also."
Elrohir nodded uncertainly. "He not here. Outside."
Glorfindel nodded again. "I know, we have lots of guards looking for Elladan. Fear not we will find him."
Elrohir frowned, and his eyes became distant for a moment, his face screwed up in concentration. He reached up a small hand and fingered Glorfindel's ear, causing him to shiver at the contact. "Not pointed." He whispered.
Glorfindel raised an eyebrow. "What?"
"Ella, not with pointed ears." Elrohir moaned. "Round, big round ears."
Glorfindel breathed a curse, and called out again for Elrond, but was only met in the halls by the healer Dyrenturah. "Where is Elrond?"
"He left to head out the hunt for his son."
"Sweet Eru!" Glorfindel cursed. "Take Elrohir, I must find him."
However Elrohir had other plans. "NO!" he cried. "I come. Help find Ella!" He glared at the blonde haired elf Lord.
"No, Elrohir, it is too dangerous." Glorfindel placed the young elf in the healer's arms despite his struggles.
"I know where he is!" He shouted causing Glorfindel to turn surprised.
Elrohir crossed his arms, and shook his head. "I come!"
The elf Lord narrowed his eyes dangerously. "Elrohir-" He warned. He was unable to finish his sentence because Elrohir suddenly clutched his stomach as though he were in pain and fell to the ground in an unconscious heap. With a startled cry, Glorfindel sprang forward and picked the small elfling up, racing to the healers rooms, with the healer not far behind.
The only sound had anyone been listening for it, was the small whimpers of the captured elf. Not even his abductors caught the small whispered plea, which the elder twin hissed into the wind.
Silver tears ran down the small face unnoticed by anyone, as the older twin broke his link with his brother. Leaving behind nothing but the chill in his heart, and that of one far off.
Elrond rushed into his house, after Glorfindel has sought him out. He raced into his youngest son's room and stepped up to the bed. The young elfling lay there tossing and turning fitfully. Elrond placed a long fingered hand on the elfling's brow murmuring words of comfort. He knew the anxiety Elrohir was going through. He himself had experienced it in his life. However the words did not seem to comfort his son. Frowning, he sat on the edge of the bed, while whispering to his aide.
"See if you can locate Celebrien. She should be in our chambers."
Glorfindel nodded and slipped quickly from the room.
Elrond deeply sighed. "What is bothering your dreams my son?"
The only response the father received were the frightened whimpers of his youngest. Then without warning, the young elfling sat up in his bed, and cried out into the dimly lit room. "ELLA? NO!"
Elrond nearly jumped out of his skin at the lost expression on his son's face. The suddenness of the outburst shook him to his soul. "Shh, my son." Elrond whispered.
"No, Ella, he went away."
Elrond felt his blood turn cold at the lost and frightened voice. His fear grew as he drew in his son's words. "Away?" Elrond mouthed. "What do you mean went away?"
"I d'unno." Elrohir whimpered clutching his pillow in his small arms.
"Tell me." Elrond pried.
"Not here." Elrohir raised grief stricken eyes to his father, placing his hand on his chest.
Elrond swallowed the lump in his throat; his worst fear was before him. He knew the connection between his sons. He knew that they were inseparable. Celebrien rushed into the bedroom, behind Glorfindel. She raced to the bedside and sat down on the edge.
"Oh, my son, what were you thinking leaving the house?" She whispered gently taking the small elfling into her arms.
Elrond looked over his shoulder in question.
Glorfindel nodded. "I found him at Loud Water."
Elrond stood up from the bed, and walked over to his aide. "I want you to find my son, I fear the worst." He muttered quietly.
Glorfindel felt his eyes widen. "I will find him my lord, do not fear. We will not fail you."
Figwit turned on his horse and shouted an order to the men close behind him. They saw riders in the distance and Figwit urged his horse into a gallop to meet up with the riders.
He slowed his horse when he realized who it was. The day approached quickly, and the light allowed for him to clearly see the mounted riders.
"Haldir." The dark haired elf shouted.
The young blond approached nodding in greeting. "Celeborn and Galadriel are not far behind. What happened? When Aredwe arrived in a panic sputtering inane words, we feared the worst."
"Lord Elladan is missing." Figwit quietly hissed. "He was taken from his own bed, and we are following prints left by men near the Bruien.
Haldir sat on his horse speechless. Behind him the Lord and Lady of Lothlorien quickly approached. He turned in his saddle, and furiously announced. "Lord Elladan is missing, I wish to lead a group and set a search for him."
The Lord and Lady glanced at each other and nodded their approval. "Go then, quickly." Celeborn commanded.
Haldir bowed from the back of his horse, and shouted a command to a few of the guards. The growing group of elves raced towards the forest that lay in the distance.
Haldir rode his horse beside Figwit's. "It would be faster if we split up."
"Faster, but would that be wise? We do not know how many men there are. I think if we stay together we have a better chance of finding them and over taking them if needed." Figwit glanced at the Guard of Lothlorien.
Haldir pursed his lips, but nodded. "You are right."
They entered the woods and quickly dismounted their horses. The elves gathered their packs and weapons, without another word took to the trees. The ground was too noisy if they were to sneak up on their prey, and in the trees they were concealed.
Haldir, who had lived among the trees all his life, quickly sped through them, allowing his eyes to follow the prints left on the forest floor. He left the others behind and he raced to find the men who were suspected in taking a young elfling. As he raced through the trees, he jumped and changed directions a few times before hearing the loud roaring of men in the distance. He stopped and stood on a thick branch and waited for the others to catch up. Sighing in frustration he waited impatiently. Figwit joined his side a minute later, a small cut on his cheek. Haldir raised an eyebrow in question, but received no response.
Figwit pointed silently towards the camp and motioned his hands in a circle, pointing to his eyes and then the ground. Haldir nodded and both elves jumped through the trees, leaving the slower elves behind.
Within minutes they located the clearing where the men were situated and they crouched on the branch. Haldir scanned trained eyes through the camp, but saw no sign of anything out of place. Figwit also scanned the campsite his eyes narrowed in anger.
Both elves glanced at each other sending a silent message and jumped into the campsite startling the ground of men who launched to their feet drawing their weapons.
Figwit raised his bow with an arrow notched in a blink of an eye aiming at the men.
"You have many arrows pointed to your hearts, we seek a young elfling and have tracked you here." Figwit muttered in the common tongue.
One man stepped forward his sword pointed at the dark haired elf. Haldir gripped his bow and notched an arrow. "You and your men are surrounded by trained warriors. I would cease your steps now!" Haldir hissed, stepping out of the shadows.
The man stopped glancing at the blond who seemed to have materialized out of nowhere.
Haldir walked through the camp and kept his eyes on the men who glanced at each other warily.
"You say you seek a young elf?" One man asked looking at Figwit.
The dark haired elf nodded. "The camp is being searched as we speak. Once we conclude you do not have him, then we will lower our weapons. Stand fast." He commanded.
Haldir walked out of the campsite following tracks that lead away from the fire, and the clearing. What he saw made him gasp in outraged fear. He dropped his bow and raced to the small huddled form wrapped in a blanket. He quickly knelt and touched the small bruised face of the small child. It was Elladan.
He called over his shoulder in elvish, to announce his finding, while allowing his fingers to search the wounded young elf who lay unconscious. He felt for a pulse and found one fast and erratic beneath his fingertips. "Oh sweet Elbereth. I shall take you home, young one." Haldir whispered, picking up the small broken form holding it protectively in his arms. He quickly raced from the brush and ran past Figwit who still stood his stance against the men, who now angrily watched.
Smiling deadly, Figwit hissed. "Elves do not take kindly to abductors." The men glanced around them uneasily as other elves jumped to the ground from above.
Haldir quickly mounted his horse after signally a whistle, and raced towards Rivendel. He prayed he would catch up with his Lord and Lady, for they would know how to help the young elfling in his arms. Cursing to himself that he did not know much about healing, Haldir gently held the broken body of Elrond and Celebrien's son in his arms.
Galadriel closed her eyes and stopped her horse, turning in her saddle. Celeborn frowned also stopping his horse. "Love?"
"Haldir." She whispered, opening her eyes watching in the distance. It was now midday and they were almost to Rivendel where they had already been announced.
Celeborn glanced in the direction his wife was staring and seemingly out of nowhere, Haldir approached at a dead run. The elf Lord of Lothlorien gasped when he saw the form cradled in his arms. He held out his arms when Haldir approached and took the small form of the grandchild he had never met, into his arms. Galadriel placed her hand on the small forehead whispering softly in elvish, and the young elfling whimpered against the touch.
Elrond raced down the steps of his house, he had been informed that his wife's parents had arrived with his small son. Impatiently he waited pacing back and forth. He had also been informed that his son was in a grave condition. His fear only heightened when the small group of elves finally entered through the trellis. He rushed over to the horses and took the wrapped bundle Celeborn held in his arms.
Elrond could only gasp at the sight of his young son, and he felt silent tears fall down his face as he turned and sprinted into the house to the healing chambers. He lay his son down on the bed and slowly unwrapped the blanket to reveal the numerous wounds his son had received. Elrond immediately began preparing salves and concoctions of medicine, which would aid in healing his son.
A cry from the halls brought Elrond's head up, and he quickly shouted to Celeborn to stop his youngest son from entering. The Lord left the room slowly closing the door behind him, leaving his wife and Elrond alone in the room with Elladan.
Celeborn turned but gasped startled when something tiny crashed into his legs. He bent down and smiled at the identical face of Elladan's. "Good day, young Elrohir." He greeted, earning himself a confused look.
"Who're you?" Elrohir frowned, his face squinting at the elder before him.
"I am Lord Celeborn, your mother's father." He smiled at the surprised look on the youthful face.
But the surprised look turned white as a painful cry drifted from the room Celeborn protected. Elrohir tried desperately to get around the larger elf that blocked the door, but he was only lifted into a pair of strong arms and carried down the hall. "Why not show me this wonderful house?"
"ELLA!" Elrohir cried holding his arms out to the door, which slowly disappeared when they turned the corner. Elrohir burst into tears and buried his head into Celeborn's shoulder. The elf lord silently prayed to the Valar to help his son-in-law and wife heal the small elfling who lay injured, and perhaps dying.
It was sure to be a long day, and an even longer night.
Celeborn entered the family quarters with his small grandson in his arms. The small elfling sniffled into his shoulder, and the elf Lord rubbed the tiny back gently. Glancing around him, then at Elrohir, he slowly smiled. He remembered the day his daughter was this age, he also remembered the day he held her much the same way, after she had taken a spill off the flet steps in Lothlorien. He allowed his memory to drift back to that day, and he sighed.
He remembered that she had been in a hurry to meet with her mother, readying herself for a full day of adventure. He had walked quickly behind her following her hurried steps down the steps to the flet below their family house. Celebrien had stumbled, and let out a surprised cry, falling down the remaining stairs. She had banged her little knee against a large rock and cut it badly.
The elf Lord shook his head slightly, dislodging the memories. He looked up when a voice reached his ears, and his small smile grew into a broad grin. He quickened his steps and greeted his daughter at the benches that lay in the halls. She raced up and threw her arms around him and her small son.
"Oh, father." She whispered into his ear.
Using his free hand he wrapped it around his distraught daughter, to him, in his eyes was still his little girl. "Shh, my dear, all is well. Little Elladan has been found and is in the healing rooms with your mother and husband." She nodded into his other shoulder, which was not occupied by a small tiny elfling. He stood in the middle of the family quarters beside the entrance to the gardens. The smells of trees, and freshly tilled earth drifted in through the doors. By summers end, he knew the whole house would smell of new flowers, and herbs, which were planted outside. "Come, let us go outside and sit by the small stream there." He nodded his head in the direction of a stream. She turned in his arm, and slowly walked with him. Elrohir snuggled into his shoulder, sleeping.
Celeborn took a deep breath and walked with his daughter in one arm, and his grandson in the other.
Figwit turned around to face his hunters, after binding the men hand and foot. Frowning he glanced at the man who was bound at his feet. Furrowing his brows he tried to place the mans face. Pulling his lips into a tight line, he barked an order to one of the elven hunters.
Tomorrow the small party would haul these men back to Rivendell, and present them before Lord Elrond. It would then be up to him what was to be done. Never before had Figwit heard of elven children abducted out of their own lands. He shivered at the thought of what might of happened, but quickly shook his head.
He walked over to his men and crouched beside the fire, glancing at the fire that crackled in front of him. Lost in his thoughts he did not notice the warning the trees sang to him.
Elrond lowered himself in a chair beside his son's bed, and sighed. It had been a long and tedious night, but finally he and his mother-in-law had finished this night's task of healing. He lowered his head into his hands, remembering the numerous wounds his son had been subjected to. "One so small should never have to feel so much pain." He whispered to no one.
He glanced at the broken body of his eldest son, and took in the many bandages, splints, and ties. He let his eyes wander to the wadded cloths stained with blood and salves. He shivered. He had frantically set his son's broken arm, mended the cuts on his legs, searched for internal injuries, set two ribs, cleaned bruises, applied many healing aids, and then knowing his son would live, relaxed.
He felt a hand rest on his shoulder and looked up into the great blue eyes of Galadriel.
"Go rest, you need to find your wife and let her know of Elladan's condition. You must rest after." She said softly. "I will stay with him, until you have rested."
Elrond inspected his son once more, before leaving the healing rooms, in search of his wife. He knew Galadriel would tend to his son, so his fear did not lay in that direction. His concern rested with his youngest. He knew Elrohir would want to know of his other half's condition, and would not settle until he was able to see for himself. Even though the twins were only a few years old, he knew their connection was outstanding. He remembered the day when Elrohir had fallen and split his knee open on a sharp jagged rock. Elladan had cried out in surprised pain. Elrond had spent a good five minutes searching his son for injuries before he realized that it was not his eldest twin who had been injured. He shook his head letting his mind drift even farther back. He knew his brother and him had been connected in a similar fashion, but he could not once recall feeling his brother's emotions as his son's did.
He felt his lips pull into a small-saddened smile at the thought of his brother, who had passed away so many years ago. He had felt alone and lost at first, and grief stricken after his brother had died. It had been his aide and now close friend Glorfindel who had helped him through his grief.
Elrond turned the corner and smiled at the sight, which greeted him. There his son and wife were, wrapped in a tight embrace of the great Lord Celeborn. His wife spoke so softly that even with his keen hearing could not make out the words. It had been far too long since the Lord and Lady of Lothlorien had been to Rivendell. He wished it could have been better circumstances for the twins first meeting with their grand parents. Taking a deep breath he entered the room and cleared his throat to announce his presence.
"Elrond." His wife gasped standing and racing into his arms.
He wrapped his arms around her, resting his head on her shoulder, before whispering into her ear. "He fares well, my love. He will heal, but not without pain and fear. He is with your mother."
He felt his wife take a deep breath and nod into his embrace.
Elrond glanced up, and unwrapped himself from his wife to kneel before his small son. He quickly gathered him into his arms, tightly holding him. "All is well, Elrohir. Elladan will be fine." He reassured.
He smiled warmly at the frown that issued on his small face. "Truly?"
Elrond nodded. "Yes, little one. Elladan will be up soon, and then you may go visit with him. But-" he paused seeing the excited look mar Elrohir's face. "Only for a short while."
His youngest son frowned again. "Why?"
"We want Elladan to grow strong once again, do we not?" Elrond asked.
The small dark head nodded.
"Worry not." Elrond murmured tucking a stray piece of hair behind his son's ear. "He will be up and ready to race in no time."
A smile drew across the small face, excitedly. "When?"
Elrond grinned. "Soon, my impatient son, soon." He looked up and saw the frown issued from the Lord of Lothlorien. "Go now with your mother, Elladan may be awake shortly." Elrohir raced from his father's embrace and out of the room, before his mother could gather herself and follow.
Elrond stood up from the floor and tilted his head in question. "What is wrong, Celeborn?"
"Your son's speak in broken words still?"
Elrond nodded, "They are still not fully literate in sentences. They have their own language, they seem to speak clearly." The Lord of Rivendell shrugged. "You know that is not unusual at this age."
Celeborn nodded. "Not unusual, no. Do you know who did this unspeakable act?"
Elrond shook his head. "Not yet, but I will find out. My hunters will return and when they do, they will have those responsible for this."
The two elf lords wandered out into the gardens, speaking softly to each other.
Elrohir skidded around the corner, sliding to a halt outside the doors that lead to where his brother lay. The door opened and the small elfling stumbled back startled. He glanced uncertainly at his mother. Then back at the tall elf maiden before him. The Lady smiled and nodded. "Hello, little Elrohir."
His eyes widened, and he backed into his mother's legs.
"Mother." Celebrien grinned. "It is so good to see you."
Galadriel gracefully walked over to her daughter wrapping her arms around her. "You also, my darling."
Celebrien knelt beside her son and happily introduced her small son to his grand mother. "Elrohir, this is my mother, the Lady Galadriel of Lothlorien. This is your grand mother."
"Oh, hello." Elrohir attempted an elegant bow.
Galadriel laughed in her musical voice and nodded a greeting to her grandson. "Greetings and well met, young one." She knelt down beside him smiling broadly. "Would you like to see your brother?"
The young elfling nodded excitedly.
"Then shall we?" The Lady stood up and opened the door allowing her grandson entrance.
Too excited to maintain dignity any longer, Elrohir raced into the room and over to the bed in the center, where he sensed his brother lay. He scrambled up onto the large bed, and crawled over to his brother's figure.
"Ella?" He whispered softly, reaching out his small hand.
"Erhir?" Came a small whispered response.
"Ella!" Elrohir lay down next to his twin snuggling up close wrapping his arm over Elladan's chest. He whispered into his ear. "Do you hurt?" He asked speaking in their twin language.
"Mmm, tired." Elladan answered turning his head into his brother's shoulder. "Am I home now?"
"Yes, and I met our grandparents. Mother's mother and father."
Elladan turned his head again to look into his brother's gray eyes. "Do you have to leave?"
"They will make me if you fall asleep, I think." Elrohir moaned.
"Do not leave. I was so alone." Elladan shivered. "I do not like being alone."
Elrohir sat up and pulled the blanket over himself and snuggled once again next to his brother. "I will stay." He promised.
Celebrien watched from the door way as her two sons' fell asleep in the big bed. She heard their whispered conversation, but did not understand the quiet words that were spoken. Galadriel wrapped her arm around her daughter's shoulders, and smiled to herself. "All is well, let them sleep, I am sure they are in need of it." Galadriel pulled the door closed slightly, casting the room into darkness, and both women sat down on the benches outside the room, listening quietly to the breathing of the two small elflings within.
Elrohir awoke when he felt an arm hit him in his face. He sat upright and looked accusingly at the attacking limb that flailed about aimlessly. He glanced at his brother's face and realized that his brother was not awake, nor aware of his assault on his younger twin. Concerned, Elrohir carefully reached over, avoiding the wildly waving arms, and shook his shoulder.
"Ella, wake up!" The younger twin whispered.
The only response he received was a loud moan, and another attack from his arm. Elrohir ducked to avoid the ambush, and quickly jumped off the bed, in search of his father. Cautiously he opened the door and was greeted by his mother, and a very beautiful woman who had claimed to be his mother's mother.
"Good morning, young one. Did you sleep well?" His mother asked smiling brightly.
Elrohir nodded, but pointed to the bedroom where his brother still flailed about. "Ella hurts."
Galadriel raised an eyebrow, and ambled into the room. Closing the door gently behind her, she left the youngest twin and her daughter alone in the hall.
Elrohir watched his grandmother close the door and he frowned turning to his mother. Slowly he sauntered over to his mother, and climbed onto her lap and accepted a hug from her. He snuggled into her embrace and he felt a kiss planted on the top of his head. He wrinkled his nose and looked up at her. He smiled however when she laughed musically at his distaste at her kiss.
"It is alright, Elrohir, we are alone, and no one else saw my kiss only for you." She winked.
He nodded his approval and once again snuggled into her hug. "Mama?" He whispered against her arm. "Is Ella, going to be alright?"
Celebrian pulled away and turned her son towards her to stare at him in surprised shock. "Oh, my darling, he will be fine. He has two wonderful healers helping him. He also has a brother who loves him."
Elrohir wrinkled his nose again and shook his head. "Who?" He asked playfully.
Celebrian reached out her hand and tweaked his nose. "I am not certain, perhaps we should scan the grounds and see if we can find this mysterious elfling who claims to be Elladan Peredhil's brother." She responded playing along with her son's little game.
The younger twin jumped out of her lap and danced around in a circle gleefully. "It is I, it is I, mama. You have found me." He smiled broadly, holding his arms above his head.
She let out a surprised gasp, and regarded her son. "Sweet Eru, you are correct. How could I have missed such a tiny detail that you and Elladan are so alike?" He winked at him again as his smiled lit up the room rivaling that of the sun.
Elrohir stopped momentarily hearing commotion down the halls, and loud shouts that were not made by any elf he had ever encountered. Confused he ran towards the noise ignoring his mother's concerned plea's to stop. He skidded to a halt at the railing and peered over the ivy shaped wood columns. He gasped allowed at the sight that greeted him. There was Figwit and Glorfindel struggling with tied up-what? He frowned at the new comers. The quickly stepped back a step at the fowl stench that drifted up from below. He raised his hand and used his thumb and forefinger to plug his delicate nose.
Slowly, with his nose pinched from any smells, he tiptoed down the stairs to catch a closer glance at the males who were being pushed into his father's study. He looked up and saw his mother standing there, hissing something at him, but he was far too curious to heed her words. Silently he wandered over to his father's study door and peered through the opening. His father stood there, a dark angry look on his face, staring at the men who were now kneeling before him. Glorfindel held a sword at ones throat and Figwit stood guard beside Elrond. Elrohir slipped into the room without being noticed and eased himself behind a chair. There he watched his father become an elf he never thought he would see. One furious and lit with rage.
Elrond stood there for a moment collecting himself before dealing with his son's abductors. So many emotions ran through his whole body that if he were provoked he was not sure what would progress. The terror that he felt when his son had been missing was so great, that it took all of his breathing and concentration to stop himself from assaulting the men. The rage that issued through his veins when he had first glanced at his child almost drove him mad.
Taking a deep breath, Elrond finally spoke. "Who are you?" He asked calmly.
The men nervously glanced at one another, then one with the sword at his throat and closest to Glorfindel spoke. "I am Dinarion. This is my comrade Arafin. What is it that we have done?"
"Do you have any idea of who I am?" Elrond asked patiently, really not paying attention to the names he was given. He was too busy looking for signs of hidden truths.
Both men shook their heads. "I presume you are the master of these lands. The King perhaps?" Dinarion carefully replied.
Elrond laughed menacingly. "Oh, truly, master of these lands. Do you know where you are?"
Again both men shook their heads.
"This is Rivendell the sanctuary of all who wish to hide from Sauron's evil. I am Lord Elrond, and you have been brought before me for abducting my son." He growled. He was loosing his temper and he took a deep breath to contain his anger.
Dinarion's eyes opened so wide, Elrond was sure they would have dropped onto the floor if they were to get any wider.
"What say you?" Elrond hissed. Never before had he needed to use his elvish traits to gain information from anyone. Most knew him and feared his wrath, though he was uncertain what wrath it was, and he chuckled inwardly at this.
"I-I, m-my lo-rd. I have no idea what this is about." Dinarion whimpered pathetically.
The elf lord raised his eyebrow, and then turned his back walking out onto his balcony. He allowed his eyes to scan the grassy knoll below him before turning and entering the room. "Get them out of my sight, lock them below until they are ready to talk." Elrond growled.
Both Figwit and Glorfindel nodded and hauled the men to their feet, but not before the man Arafin gasped and pointed behind a chair. "Look, it is the same child!" He cried.
Elrond snapped his head into the direction the man had responded to, and caught sight of his son kneeling there. In a flash, before anyone could react, Arafin had grabbed Figwit's dagger strapped onto his belt, wrestled out of Glorfindel's grasp, knocked over the chair and had pulled the young elfling up to his feet by his hair.
With a surprised cry, Elrohir raised his hands to ease the grip on his hair, and struggled to free himself. He halted his attempts however when he felt cold metal lay across his neck. He drew in a startled gasp but stilled his body. He allowed his gray eyes to wander to his father's blue ones, and biting his lip, he remained motionless. His father's eyes told him not to fear, and to remain calm.
"Let me leave this place safely and no harm will come to this child." The man roared.
"Release him now, and you will be allowed safe passage from this land." Elrond hissed. 'Safe passage from Rivendell but not from the Bruinen.' He silently told himself.
The man let out a loud bark of laughter. "You expect me to believe that?"
"An elf does not lie." Figwit murmured quietly.
Dinarion whispered harshly. "What in all of Middle-earth are you doing?"
"Saving the both of us from immediate death you fool." Arafin snarled.
"Perhaps you are in danger of that." The other replied. "What were you thinking?"
The two men argued back and forth, and did not notice the elven guards arrange themselves on the banisters above Lord Elrond's study. Bows drawn with arrows notched they awaited a signal from one of the elven warriors below. Figwit shook his head slightly, a small motion that Glorfindel even missed. The blonde elf lord raised his brow at Figwit, but only received a raise of his eyes to the landing.
Glorfindel warily glanced at the men arguing and then cautiously raised his own eyes and caught site of the heavily armed elves above. He drew his lips into a tight line and allowed his lips to turn upward in a sly smile. The golden haired elf lord turned his head slightly catching movement at the door, behind the men and saw Lord Elrond's wife standing there glaring at the men's backs. If she looked any harder, she would have bored a hole through them. With one curt nod to the elves inside the room she turned and left.
Elladan cried out and sat up in bed, glancing around him frightened. With a small moan of pain he flopped back down onto the soft bed and knew he was safe. But why did he feel so uneasy? He wondered. He dug his small hand under the numerous wads of gauze that surrounded his chest, and he scratched. He was healing quickly, as all elves do, but elven children healed more quickly then their elders. Frustrated he scratched the itch that was out of his fingers reach. Grumbling to himself he sat up slowly to scan the room for something to aid his attempts. Seeing nothing, he climbed out of bed and headed towards the door. Opening it slowly he glanced out to see if his mother or someone was around to help him. Frowning he wandered down the hall towards his father's study.
Elrohir locked his eyes with his father's, and watched the activity around the room cautiously. Unknown to the men they were surrounded, but would not attack without a signal from his father. He also knew his father would not allow any harm to befall him, so he found it easy to remain calm.
He felt his heart lunge into his throat when he saw what the others did not at the door. There stood his twin, white, and afraid as he took in the room's occupants.
"Ehrir!" His brother wailed, causing the men to turn surprised to the door.
Seeing an opportunity, the Lord of Rivendell cried out a command and the man holding Elrohir captive fell to the floor in a crumpled heap, an arrow protruding from his neck. As the man fell, he pulled the small elfling to the floor and landed on top of him causing him to cry out as the heavy weight almost crushed him.
Figwit raced forward and quickly pulled the man off the small-frightened elf, and retrieved his dagger. He turned and aimed it at the other man still standing, and holding his hands up in surrender.
Elrond darted forward and pulled his youngest son into a tight embrace and then held him back searching for injuries. Seeing only a small scratch where the dagger had been held against his neck, his son had escaped unscathed. Elladan quietly entered the room, tears of fear and pain running down his small face. He reached his father and brother and quickly wrapped protective arms around his mirror image. Elrond stood and glanced down at his two children sitting there holding each other fearfully. Both of them now safe, he turned and stood before the man, hiding his view from the twins, and hissed. "Get him out of here." He glared at Figwit once and then uttered quietly. "I wish to speak with you once this man is contained." Turning he knelt once more beside his son's and wrapped them in a great bear hug, lowering his face onto their shoulders, and whispered a silent prayer to the Valar for protecting his children.