To Dream - Ch12: Shall We Dance?

Things you need to know about this story...
1.) Elven dreams are very realistic
2.) Elves shouldn't normally meet *real* people along the Olórë Mallë (Path of Dreams)... but something happens in this story that is not normal

Names/Pronunciations will come at the end of each chapter.

By Request: An asterisk `*' will now signal a footnote. = )

A/N: I will be gone for two weeks starting the 5th of July. Sorry that you won't get another up-date for a while. I hope this *long* chapter will hold you all over!


Chapter 12.) Shall We Dance?

"Thou dancer of two thousand years... What silent music fills thine ears?"
- Robert Cameron Rogers

Time: Day of the Merendë Enyalië*

"Mae aur, Elrohir {Sindarin: good morning}." Elrond stood up from behind his desk. He and Elladan had been discussing special patrol duties for the festival to be held that night when Elrohir had made his entrance.

"What news have you of our fair guest this morning?" Elrond inquired.

Elrohir had been the primary emissary between Elrond and the three strange elves that had appeared on their borders two days before. He had also taken a special interest in the injured elleth {she-elf}, helping with her recovery process. Before arriving at his father's study, he had spent the last twelve hours or so in the healing house, sitting through the night in quiet vigil, watching the maiden as she slept.

"She is much improved, ada. The fever broke late last evening, and she spent the rest of the night in peaceful sleep. As you already know, the arrow that shot her was not poisoned, only filthy, and the wound now seems to be healing cleanly and quickly. She is already able to walk with assistance. In fact, she is waiting outside the door right now. She insisted on seeing you this morning, but then requested that I should make sure you were not busy before she intruded on your privacy. Shall I bring her in?"

"By all means," Elrond urged.

Elrohir slipped back out of the room, leaving behind two very curious elves. In moments he returned with a dark-haired elleth leaning on his arm. She limped only slightly, and was trying her best to retain a dignified stance.

"Father, brother," Elrohir began, "May I introduce Nessúlë Ëarwen, daughter of
Halliantassë and Melwakú of the Grey Havens. Nessúlë, meet my father, Elrond Peredhel, lord of Imladris, and my twin brother, Elladan."

Elrond and Elladan both swept graceful bows, while Nessúlë tried her best to dip into a curtsy.

"My lord Elrond," she poke softly, "I am deeply grateful for you're care of me, and for welcoming myself and my companions into your refuge. I am ever in your debt."

"It was my pleasure Lady Nessúlë. All are welcome here. Please take a seat; you make a valiant effort to hide it, but I can see that your wound still troubles you."

With a small smile and nod, Nessúlë sank gratefully into a chair next to Elrond's desk. After situating herself comfortably, she looked back up at Elrond and spoke.

"I suppose you must be wondering why I am here."

Elrond sat back in his chair, fingers pressed together in a steeple. He cocked one eyebrow and replied, "The thought had crossed my mind. Your two companions have been rather close-mouthed, and with your unstable condition I did not feel that I should press them for information."

"Well then, I will try to be more forth-coming. The two companions you spoke of are my brother, Lantél, and one of my father's servants, Alarkelú. They, along with myself, are the only remaining vestiges of my father's house in Middle-earth.

Over a year ago my parents decided to sail across the sea to Valinor, but I had reservations about leaving: Middle-Earth was still my home, and I had not yet felt the call of the west. For some time, however, I did not have the courage to voice my feelings or forsake all of my family. But when my brother and I discovered that we shared the same misgivings, we were able to support each other in the decision to stay behind. Alarkelú, who had always been a dear friend and mentor to my brother and I, insisted on staying as well, for he would not think of being parted with us.

For several months we remained in the Grey Havens, but it was not the same. Finally we decided to seek out my mother's kin, and make a new life with them. With this objective in mind we have come from the west, and hope to eventually make it across the Hithaeglir {Misty Mountains} to LothLorien, where some of our kinsmen dwell.

That is our tale, and the only explanation we have for our sudden appearance on your doorstep." With that, Nessúlë brought her narrative to a close.

Elrond broke the following silence. "This is hardly a time to be travelling. The world grows dark, and fell things are abroad. The journey across the Hithaeglir will be perilous, and not one to be taken up lightly. And I do not say this simply because you are a female. My sons have informed me of your valiant and skilled efforts during the skirmish with the orcs, and I have no doubt that you are quite capable of your own defense within reason. But three warriors, however skilled, may not be able to stand against the perils you will face on your journey."

Nessúlë sat up straighter in her chair and replied, "Still, it shall be done. I am afraid that you will not be able to dissuade us."

Here Elladan broke in. "My lady, if we can not dissuade you, then perhaps you will at least allow us to waylay you for a short time. I think that I speak for my father when I tell you that you are most welcome to our hospitality, and that to stay here, at least until the heavy snows on the mountain have begun to recede, would set our hearts and minds more at ease."

Nessúlë sat for a moment considering this offer and then replied, "That is a happy compromise. If Lord Elrond does indeed agree with your sentiments we will stay - at least until the grip of winter has begun to ease."

Elrond smiled. "Nothing could please us more; Imladris welcomes you with open arms. And since you will be staying, I invite you to join us in our celebrations tonight as our honored guest. Your condition may prevent you from being able to join the dancing, but at least you will be able to join in the cheer."

"Thank you my lord, that is most kind of you."

With that, Nessúlë took her leave and slowly made her way from the room on the arm of Elrohir.

*~*~*~ Evening of the same day ~*~*~*

"Oh my dear, it is simply lovely. You will look splendid tonight."

Írima was admiring Oloriel's new dress as the younger woman held it up against herself in front of the mirror.

"I am so glad that Marilla was able to finish it in time," she continued.

Meanwhile, Oloriel was casting a very critical eye upon herself. She had felt rather ignorant when it came to ordering a formal dress and so she had let Írima take a large role in the process. The result was certainly beautiful, but also a little overwhelming.

"I do not think that I shall look like myself in this dress," she said reluctantly.

"Oh nonsense! You will look like a beautiful songbird of the Golden Wood, just as you should," Írima replied with the greatest conviction. "Now come, we must begin to get you ready."

"But Írima, it is three hours before the festivities begin!"

The older lady rolled her eyes. "Yes. And in that time we shall have to get you in and out of a bath, dry and comb your hair, fix it, and put on the dress; after that, you will have to help me with my own hair and dress. Three hours will give us just enough time to accomplish all of this without having to scramble around in haste."

Oloriel sighed. "Oh very well, lead on."


Elladan tugged slightly at his collar. The formal robes that he wore were slightly stiff, and the tunic underneath seemed a bit too constricting. Elrohir chuckled when he noticed his brother's uncomfortable pose.

"Don't worry, brother, they will loosen up quickly enough."

Elladan smiled wryly. "Aye, I know. You would think after a few millennia of formal feasts I would have become used to the routine." He tugged at his collar again.

His brother smiled back at him and winked. "But tonight you won't be following the same routine. As much as I enjoy watching you squirm in your garments, if you keep it up much longer you'll be late in getting to Lúnyellë's house."

Elladan started. "I had almost forgotten about that. You are right, I must hurry."

With that Elladan sped form his apartments to the sound of his brother's unrestrained laughter.


Kallindo was not sure what he had expected, but it certainly wasn't this.

He had arrived at Írima's flet, where he knew Oloriel would be getting ready, and stood waiting at the doorway while Nimfallë gathered up the women. As he waited, he turned to look out among the trees, and down upon the blazing lights below. When he heard Oloriel's voice behind him he turned, expecting to see the same maiden that he saw everyday, but instead he was confronted with a vision of loveliness that, in his eyes, rivaled that of the Lady Galadriel herself. For several moments he just stood there, gazing silently at her.

Oloriel was swathed in silky fabric of a gentle shade of green that was laced through with silver threads. The ample skirt was split down the front to show a creamy underskirt, which held golden threads, embroidered as trailing vines and leaves. The fitted bodice enhanced her figure admirably, and the sleeves, which were fitted to the elbow before flaring out, made her strong arms and hands look delicate and soft. At her throat hung her mother's necklace, and above it all shown her clear, bright eyes, framed in elaborately braided hair. Those eyes were now turned on him with an almost timid look.

"Kallindo, please don't look at me that way. I do not look so different, do I?" she asked.

Kallindo cleared his throat slightly and then replied, "You are still my Aiwë; it's just that I have never seen you plume your beautiful feathers before. Not like this, anyway... it's... you look stunning."

Oloriel blushed slightly under Kallindo's intense gaze. Both of them stood there for a few moments, not knowing what to say or do next. If it had not been for Írima and Nimfallë's presence of mind, the two younger elves might still be standing there now.

Írima came up behind Oloriel, tucking a few stray hairs into place, and saying something about how hungry she was, and shouldn't they be making their way to the feast, while Nimfallë, with his newborn child in one arm, used the other to prod Kallindo forward into action. The younger elf seemed to understand the implication. With gentlemanly grace he stepped to Oloriel's side and offered his arm to her. She took it silently and then the four of them made their way toward to music, and dancing, and lights.


"May I say that you dance as well as you sing?" Elladan asked as he brought Lúnyellë back to the table. They had just spent the last three dances in each other's arms, and were now ready to sit down and relax a little while.

"You may, my lord," Lúnyellë replied laughing.

"And will you also allow me to bring you a drink?"

"I wouldn't dream of stopping you."

After pulling out her chair for her, Elladan made his way over to one of the numerous refreshment tables. As he was filling up a piece of delicate stemware his brother approached on the same errand.

"And how are you enjoying the evening?" Elrohir asked enthusiastically.

"Very well, Lady Lúnyellë is, as always, a pleasant companion."

"Aye, I knew you would get along with her well, brother."

Elladan cocked an eyebrow, "And what about you? It seems that you are also enjoying time spent with a certain maiden. I think I've seen you sitting with our fair and honored guest more than I've seen you dancing with anyone else. Usually you mingle all night, and every time I turn around you have a new maiden on your arm. What has happened to the brother I know?"

"I am simply being courteous. Nessúlë's leg is not yet strong enough to dance even slowly, and I would not want her to sit there all alone."

"I do not doubt the courteousness of your action, brother," Elladan replied with merriment in his eyes, "I just want to know whether your actions are motivated primarily by duty or by desire."

Elrohir looked slightly sheepish when he replied, "To tell you the truth, I haven't quite decided yet... but I think I'm leaning toward the latter."

Elladan grinned. "Ah, that's what I thought. Well, I wish you luck then."

Elrohir smiled back and then both brothers left to find their respective ladies.


After its rather awkward beginning, Oloriel's evening began to take a turn for the better. Kallindo seemed to get over the shock of her dazzling appearance, returning to his normal easy ways, and the two of them finally were able to relax and enjoy each other's company. As he had claimed several days ago, Kallindo did turn out to be a fine dancer, and Oloriel didn't have any qualms about frequently visiting the dance floor. When she wasn't standing up with him, Oloriel relieved Írima and Nimfallë of their child, so that the married couple could enjoy some time together as well. Over all, the evening was turning out to be quite a success.

"I think I must sit down, Kallindo - I am simply running out of breath." Oloriel cried merrily.

It was now very late into the night, and the merriment had spread out under the trees. Music could be heard wafting through the air, but there was no one place in which all the elves were congregated. She and Kallindo had recently broken off from a larger group of merry-makers and he had been leading her in a lively dance down a wide path, farther away from the lights.

"Very well then, we shall rest in that clearing up ahead." Kallindo took her hand and drew her out into the starlight. Oloriel tilted her head back to get a better view of the stars. They shone brilliantly out of the inky black sky, a sliver of moon accompanying them. She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply the cool night air.

As she stood there, relaxing under the gentle rays of the moon, a new song was taken up somewhere nearby. It was ethereal and haunting, and though she was still very tired, she could not help swaying softly along with its rhythm. Her eyes were still closed as she began to move; after a few moments she felt Kallindo gently put his arm around her waist.

Until now Oloriel had been very successful in avoiding any of the slower dances. As much as she was enjoying her time with Kallindo, there was still a soft voice in the back of her mind telling her to be very careful. But she seemed to be under some sort of enchantment at the moment, and so when Kallindo began to move with her and the music, she did not stop him.

Looking back on that time, Oloriel could never remember how long they remained like this. Minutes, hours? She really couldn't say. But when Kallindo's arm tightened around her waist, pressing her more firmly against himself, the moment was broken. Her eyes flew open as her mind came back to life; abruptly she stopped in her tracks. She tried to step away, but Kallindo would not loosen his hold on her.

"Aiwë." He murmured softly and with deep longing.

She looked up at him with wide eyes, and then watched as he slowly leaned his head toward hers. She wanted to back away, she wanted to turn her face from him, but she couldn't. It was as if time was frozen, and her with it. Only when Kallindo's lips had actually met her own did she regain the use of her limbs. Before he had the chance to deepen the kiss she shoved against his chest with all her might. He stumbled backward, and then raised eyes to hers that were full of pain and confusion. Oloriel wanted to cry when she saw those eyes.

"Amin hiraetha, Kallindo... amin ikotanë sai-hiraetha {I'm sorry, Kallindo... I am so very sorry}." She blurted out. In the next moment she ran from him; ran from the lights; ran from everything. "Oh Elladan," she whispered, "Where are you when I need you?"


Elladan joined his applause with the rest of the audience. They had just been favored with a very complex harp-piece by one of Imladris' most notable musicians. Elladan sighed as a thought swept through his head from nowhere: `I wonder if Oloriel plays an instrument.' Such thoughts had been spinning through his head for most of the night.

Despite the pleasant company he was keeping, he could not seem to drag his mind away from the green-eyed elleth. After being on speaking terms with her for around three weeks he was beginning to truly get to know her. And the more he came to know her, the more he wanted to know. `What would she say? I wish she could hear this? Has she ever done that before?' No matter where he turned, there seemed to be a reason to think of her. He rubbed a hand across his face; perhaps he had had too much wine.

"My lord, are you feeling well?" Lúnyellë had been off speaking with some of her friends and had just now returned to her seat.

"Yes, thank you. I am perhaps a little tired."

"Well that is not surprising," she replied smiling, "It is at least two hours past midnight, and we have both danced probably more than is good for us."

Elladan smiled. He was thankful for Lúnyellë's practical manner at this moment. She did not try to wake him up, nor did she try to urge him to bed, she simply took things as they were. He was about to reply to her when a sensation that was becoming all too familiar came over him. It was not so overwhelming this time, but he could sense what was coming. A slight blurring of his vision, a rushing sound in his ears, and then in the calm that ensued, a voice. //Elladan, where are you when I need you?// This time the voice was also accompanied with a feeling of anxiety. Something was wrong.

He turned to Lúnyellë; her focus had been on the musicians and so she hadn't notice anything amiss.

"My lady," he caught her attention, "I think that perhaps the night has worn on me more than I believed. I am very tired. Would you mind terribly if I retired for the night? I could have my brother escort you home whenever you wish to leave."

"Certainly, my lord. I will not keep you here." She replied graciously. "I hope that you find the rest you need."

"Thank you."

With that, Elladan made haste to his chambers. When he arrived he dropped onto the bed fully clothed and pressed his mind toward sleep.

The dreamscape blossomed into a well-known glade in Imladris. It was nighttime there; the stars twinkled merrily above him.

Anxious to find Oloriel quickly, he called out her name, hoping that she was there and that she could hear him. He called out to her several times, but nothing happened; sighing heavily he turned back to a stone bench, which he had seen nestled beneath a tree. There, sitting at its base was Oloriel; she had just fallen asleep.

"Here I am," she whispered.

He walked over to her and knelt down. "What happened?" he inquired gently.

That seemed to open the floodgate. "Oh Elladan, I have hurt him so much! And I... I didn't mean to, but it happened... we were dancing in a glade like this one and then he just... he kissed me... I never wanted him to, but he did... but I couldn't... I just couldn't... I pushed him away, and... oh, Elladan, his eyes... I have brought so much confusion to him... Ai! All I've done is hurt him."

As her torrent of words came to an end, Oloriel did not resist when Elladan gathered her up into his arms. He rocked her slowly and whispered back, "I am sorry. It is my fault."

She looked up at him, confused. "What? How could it be your fault?"

Elladan chuckled. "Aren't you the one who is always telling me it's my fault. I distinctly remember you saying that if the new year was begun on a sour note you would know who to blame." Elladan grew serious as he continued. "And you were right. Was it not my counsel that got you into this mess?"

Oloriel lifted her hand to cradle his face. "Yes, but you are still around to get me out of it, so I shall forgive you. You only wanted to see me happy - I cannot fault you for that."

Elladan smiled. "Well then, how can I get you out of this mess? How can we make this night a happy one?"

Oloriel smirked and replied sarcastically, "By forgetting it?"

"No, no... that will never do. Come now, I have an idea." Elladan gently shifted her out of his arms and stood. Then, leaning down to offer his hand, he asked, "Shall we dance?"

Oloriel knit her brows in confusion. "What will that accomplish?"

"Well, you said that you danced with Kallindo in a glade. Here we are in a glade, and if you will dance with me we can make a better memory - that way you won't have to forget tonight."

She smiled up at him, then took his hand. "Very well."

Elladan led her to the middle of the clearing and then inquired, "What were you dancing to?"

"A soft, melancholy tune."

"Ah yes, I can hear it now." Elladan cleared his throat. "I am no songbird, but here we go."

Trying very hard to look serious, he began to hum a meandering tune that they could dance to. Oloriel could not help but laugh at him. Elladan looked down at her in mock out-rage. "What? You don't like my humming? I don't hum well enough for you? Would you like to do the humming?"

Still laughing, Oloriel replied, "You hum... very prettily, my lord - by all means continue."

Elladan smiled. "Do you call that fellow of yours `my lord'?"

"No. His name is Kallindo."

"Well than you mustn't call me `my lord', for we're trying to recreate the scene with authenticity."

Oloriel laughed merrily again. "Very well, Elladan, I'll try to do better."

"Shall we begin then?"

Oloriel nodded her head in agreement. Elladan counted off and then started to hum again. The two began to gently move to the `music', softly making their way across the grass. Elladan would twirl her under his arm occasionally, but every time he did so he could not wait to reclaim her back against himself. He knew that he was treading on very dangerous ground.

Softly he broke up the humming. "What happened next?"

Oloriel sighed. "It was when he drew me in closer that I first realized what I was doing. It startled me."

"It was like this?" Elladan asked, as he drew her in tightly against himself, continuing to lead her in the dance.


"And does this startle you?"

Oloriel seemed to hesitate ever so slightly, but then she lowered her cheek to rest against his shoulder and replied, "No, not with you."

Elladan's breath caught slightly when she laid her head against him. She was close enough that he could smell the sent of lilacs in her hair, and it was nothing short of intoxicating. Some time past before he spoke again.

"And then what happened?"

Oloriel groaned softly into his tunic. "Well... that is when he kissed me."

Elladan brought the dance to a close. He leaned down to speak softly in her ear. "And do you need a new memory of that as well?"

Oloriel couldn't prevent the slight shiver that ran down her spine when his breath hit the sensitive tip of her ear. Timidly, she raised her head to look up at him but did not speak. He searched her eyes for an answer and his heart ached when all he found there was trust.

Taking this as his answer, he lifted his hand to cradle the nape of her neck, and ever so slowly lowered his face toward hers, giving her plenty of time to back away; he did not want to scare her. As he hovered only centimeters away from her mouth, he paused, sure that this dream was going to fade. Finally, after a breathless and excruciating moment, he closed the remaining gap between them and met her lips with his own.

Her body stiffened slightly and for a brief moment he thought that he would lose her, but quickly her lips softened under the gentle pressure of his own. Her body followed suit, relaxing into the warm support of his arms. His heart sang as she began to respond to the plying of his own mouth, and for several moments, as the kiss deepened, he gave himself over to drowning in the feel and the taste and the smell of her; all a little distorted from reality*, but still very alluring.

Slowly, almost shyly, she brought her arms up around his neck, drawing him in closer. For a few moments they both reveled in this feeling of closeness, bodies pressed tightly together. But soon - too soon for both of them - Elladan came back to his senses. It felt just a little too good, and he didn't want to rush things, especially with a woman who was emotionally fragile at the moment. He didn't want to hurt her. With this thought in mind he gently began to pull away from her embrace. She moaned slightly as he began to draw his lips from hers, and he smiled softly against her, but still he broke the contact.

"Is that a better memory," he whispered breathlessly.

Oloriel nodded slowly and smiled. "Diola lle {thank you}" she whispered. Then, with a longing look in her eyes, she stepped away from him and drew herself from sleep


1. A refresher: For those who didn't catch this before, Merendë Enyalië translates as "Festival to Remember", and it is celebrated at the turn of the year. I really wanted to say `Festival of Remembrance', but I didn't know how to manipulate the verb properly. The idea here is that it's a time to remember the event of the past year, and look forward to the future.

2. This may be important: It struck me that contact in a dream would probably be different from contact in the real world. This may eventually play a role in the plot. For instance, will their first kiss in real life be a totally new experience? Will they look slightly different in real life than they do in the dreamscape? Hmm... no one really knows. ; )

New names to remember:

Nessúlë Ëarwen (NESS-oo-lay / ey-R-wen): "young spirit" "sea maiden"
Lantél: "falling star"
Alarkelú (ah-LAR-kel-oo): "swift stream"

New names you can forget:

Halliantassë (hahl-ee-ahn-TASS-ey): "tall vine"
Melwakú (MEL-wah-koo): "lovely crescent moon"
Marilla (mah-RILL-ah}: "pearl"

**Remember to roll those r's! ,_~

(From chapter 11: the guy that Elladan and Elrohir took with them to go find the three elves was really Pantaquárre, not Pantamá, but they both mean "open hand". And Anarseldo means `sun child')

Now repeat after me "I will be a good reader and review... I will be a good LotR fan and review... I will be a good citizen of Middle-Earth and review..." Got that? Good...

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