SHADOW AND SILVER: The Story of Aurelin - Chapter 1
To clear up the genealogy - I made Aurelin's mother the "unknown" sister of Nimloth, wife of Dior the Beautiful.
The story starts around 2800 TA, Aurelin was born in 2035 TA.
Edit. Even though I did not expect to edit the story again, I did, this is now the second time and all because I changed two names (Lachluin to Lindil for a reason that will be seen in a future chapter and Gwingeloth to Gwingloth since the latter was JRRT's later translation of Eärendil's ship's name. Sorry!
*crosses her fingers so that she should not edit the chapter again*
The company crossed the bridge and reached the Last Homely House. Aurelin dismounted and led her horse Alagos to where the horses of Imladris were stabled. She said a few words to her fiery black stallion and left him to go and find Elrond.
"I can at least save him the trouble of coming to me to ask if I am alright and that all went well on my journey," she thought knowing how protective of her he had become after her father, who had been in the company of Celebrían when she had been attacked by the Orcs, had been killed and Aurelin's mother had sailed to the West. Elrond was her kin besides, his grandmother Nimloth and Aurelin's mother Calenloth were sisters.
Aurelin crossed an arching walkway and climbed some stairs. The cool autumn evening air was caressing her skin and golden leaves were floating past her face. She had been unknowingly touching the moonstone on her forehead when the fate of her parents had come to her mind. Her father Belegorn Aelingil had given her the stone as a gift and Aurelin wore it in her hair to forever remember her father's laughter and her mother's kind eyes.
After she had lost both her parents, one to Orcs, the other to grief, she had been alone and had closed herself to others. Elves had surrounded her all the time, helping, cheering her up, teaching her. But Aurelin had not spoken of her hopes, fears or feelings to anyone for a long time, too long a time. The closest thing to a friend was Elrond's daughter Arwen but Aurelin didn't tell even her much.
Aurelin was tired of everyone wanting to protect her. She could understand the reasons but resented it nevertheless. In time the Elves in Imladris had accepted her wish to be alone and so she had spent a lot of time reading old scrolls and thinking about the Elder Days of what her parents had told her stories in happier times.
While pondering her situation Aurelin nearly walked into the Lord of Rivendell.
"Aurelin, you are back at last. Mae govannen! We were waiting for you yesterday."
Elrond kept stubbornly calling her by the name she had been known, what seemed another life to her now and when she had more than merited the name Song of Sunlight. After her father's death her mother-name Andhùwen, Maiden of the Long Night (not fitting her the least until that day and never before used, but her mother had had foresight of her daughter's grief, though not the cause of it), was what she preferred or Snowtear, Nínlos, the name given to her in Imladris by the Elves watching her fall from the mirth of youth to tears and sadness.
"If you were worried about me, then there was no need," Aurelin answered, "we just spent a day on the bank of Anduin. I'm sorry if I caused you worry because of that."
"Well, now you are here at last. I'm glad to have the company of such a beautiful Elf-maiden in Imladris again. Do you want something to eat?" Elrond asked her.
"No, we had a meal when we stopped last before the end of our road."
"Then come to the Hall of Fire, we shall sing and dance to celebrate the arrival of you and your fellow travellers," said Elrond leading her to the Hall. Aurelin Andhúwen followed, she liked the songs and dances but she had always retired from the Hall early. She was somewhat weary after the long ride and not very eager to be in a large company, seeking solitude instead. She thought what excuse to give for early retirement when they got to the warm hall. An Elf was singing a part of the Lay of Leithian and many groups of Elves were scattered about the large room.
Elrond went to his seat leaving Aurelin beside the door. She listened to the song for a while enchanted - she had read many stories of the Elder Days and the love between Lúthien and Beren had always touched her deeply. The princess of Doriath had been her kinswoman and her mother and father had witnessed Beren embarking on the quest to regain a Silmaril from Morgoth. Her aunt Nimloth had married Beren's and Lúthien's son Dior. Aurelin stood there alone for a while until she was noticed waiting there and some Elves came to welcome her back. She smiled at them and offered her thanks for their greetings but when the first welcomers had left, Aurelin decided to sneak away, find her room and unpack her bags.
She turned her back to the room full of laughter and song, took a few steps towards the open doorway from where she could see the sky streaked with the gold and red of the setting sun.
Suddenly she heard a voice both soft and deep asking, "Leaving already, my fair Lady?" Aurelin turned slowly around to see who had uttered that question and saw an Elf leaning against the wall about three paces from her. She had never seen him before and just as she was about to ask who he was, Elrond walked over and introduced the Elf.
"Aurelin, I wanted you to meet Gilgaer Lindil. He came from Círdan after you had left for Mirkwood. She is the Lady Aurelin Gwingloth," the lord of Imladris turned to the Elf.
"I have heard a lot about you, Lady," he said bowing and looking deeply into her eyes as if trying to find or see something.
"I hope it's not all bad!" was all Aurelin could say. She was unhinged by the use of the name her father had given her - Gwingloth, Foamflower. It brough sad memories and it was hard to abide the pain of hearing the name. Even more adamantly than Aurelin she tired to avoid being called Foamflower.
"I have heard only the best, so I had to see for myself if it was all true and now I find that I have been proved right," he answered her with his smile widening. "I see you are leaving, may I escort you to your quarters?"
"If you wish, I wouldn't want to trouble you," Aurelin murmured, bade Elrond good night and went with the Elf from the Hall.
Once outside she took a deep breath of cool clean air. She had lived in Mirkwood when younger and considered both it and Imladris her home, though the latter more for years now. Breathing the cool, sunlit air that had the smell of the snows of the Hithaeglir was like a true welcome to home. She walked a few steps in silence but spoke at last,
"I'm sorry if I seemed a little short-spoken in there, it was something Lord Elrond said but it doesn't matter. Another reason was that I thought you reminded me of someone but I can't say who." She looked at the Elf who had a fair face, dark brown eyes and a playful mischevious light in his eyes.
"I hope you remember one day. But I can't say that I have ever seen anyone like you, Lady Aurelin," he went on looking at the short, slim, red-haired and green-eyed Aurelin.
"I have to think if that is bad or good," she made a small smile.
"Oh, be assured, it is good!" he grinned looking down at her.
The two walked slowly, passed the gardens and came to the living quarters of Rivendell.
"Will you be here in Imladris for a long time?" Aurelin queried after a short pause.
"I was in Mithlond and when Círdan had to send a message to Lord Elrond, I was willing to depart. I have no urgent business anywhere now so I may be here a long while. It's always so refreshing to spend time in the House of Elrond, I keep traveling mostly from here to Mithlond and then back again," Gilgaer spoke while they had reached her rooms. "What about you, why do you like it here, Aurelin?"
"It is refreshing as you said and I have memories about this place," she said with a sad look in her eyes. The Elf waited for her to say something more but she was quiet, looking to the west.
"I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you again tomorrow," he bowed to her, "may the stars bless our meeting!" and left.
Aurelin gazed into the setting sun for a minute and walked inside her quarters.
Gilgaer made his way back to the Hall of Fire and was approached by Elrond.
"You were gone for a while?" he asked the thoughtful Elf.
"I escorted the lady and we spoke."
"How did she seem to you?"
"She is as sad as you said, my lord, and doesn't let anyone get close to her, I can feel it. She is holding everything inside and doesn't open much to anyone." He had felt the walls that she had built around her from his first look into her eyes.
"Yes, that's how she is. I told you her tale, after loosing her father and her mother's leaving she has been too much alone. I have worried about her for a long time. And that brings me to a favour I'd ask of you," Elrond continued, "I'd like someone to look after her and try to get her to speak what's on her mind. Aurelin used to be so happy, laughing and singing constantly. I have tried everything but she has remained sad and forlorn. You have just arrived here and she did start speaking to you after your first meeting. If you could just spend some time with her I'd be grateful."
"As you wish, my lord," was Gilgaer's answer. "I can look after her for you. She is fairly young yet, I can teach some things to her that she hasn't read from the books."
"But don't tell her that! She is very bright and will figure it out quickly that I have asked this of you. She will get angry, that I'll tell you," Elrond warned the brown-eyed Elf. "In some ways she is different from most Elves. She has a quicksilver temper and when she blows up you'd better watch out."
They discussed the matter further long into the night.