To Dream - Ch19: Best Laid Plans...

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.
`*' signals a footnote

A/N: sorry it took so long. I don't think my mind will work in "short-chapter" mode. If I can ever spit a quick one out though, I most certainly will! = )


Chapter 19: Best Laid Plans...

"He raves, or through some moody passage creeps
Plotting new mischief - out again he leaps"

- William Wordsworth

Recap: Kallindo is planning to tell Oloriel of his love and Elrohir is helping to plot revenge on Hallandakil for his impudent remarks about Nessúlë.

"Hold!" Lantél whispered urgently. Elrohir and Alarkelú froze in position as an unconscious Hallandakil stirred slightly. The three were holding the sleeping elf in a sheet as they attempted to transport him beyond the public gardens without waking him up.

It was early morning, the watery sun just making its presence known. The three schemers did not have much time to lose before the risk of meeting other elves along the paths became too great. And yet, they did not want to be too hasty, for fear of awakening their quarry before the time was right.

When Hallandakil settled back into his sleep, everyone breathed a sigh of relief and Elrohir signaled that they should start moving forward again.

After several minutes, the trio of elves finally made it to their chosen destination. Carefully they lowered Hallandakil to the ground and maneuvered him off of the sheet. All was in readiness now. Each elf grinned with suppressed glee - this revenge would be very sweet indeed.


Elladan smiled politely at the maidens that were streaming out along the garden paths. The elleths were gathering, as they had every year for countless generations, to go out into the woods and glean some of the new flowers that had burst forth mid the slightly frosted air of winter. It was a ritual of sorts. They would come home soon after lunch with armloads of snowdrops, hellebore, narcissus, holly, and others to form into bouquets, potpourri, and perfumes. For a few days the halls and rooms of the elven dwellings would be as alive as a garden.

Meanwhile, while the women were away, every elf who had a lady, or who desired one, would be preparing a small token of his affection. There would be a dance that evening, and if an elf was so fortunate as to obtain the favor of his chosen lady, he would bestow his trinket on her, and she would in turn give him a newly plucked flower from her hair. For the rest of the evening, the couple would be designated as each other's.

Many of the pairings would be impetuous and harmless; Elladan himself had chosen several maidens before in friendship and good spirit. But this year would be different. There was only one maiden on his mind, and sadly, she was not among the many elleths that were passing him in the garden.

Elladan sighed softly as he thought of her then shook his head in amusement. He had been completely vanquished by a small, shy, stubborn maiden... and he couldn't be happier about it. He had fallen prey to the age-old sickness; indeed, the one sickness that Elves were not immune to: love. It filled him with a great comfort to think on this. Not only did he feel incredibly wanted and needed, but he also felt a certain camaraderie with those who were taken by the same spell. Suddenly the world did not seem quite so confusing, people not nearly so threatening. Countless others had loved before him, and countless others would do so after him - and he would understand exactly how they felt. It was as if love had brought the world back into focus, and he discovered - for the first time in a long while - that it was a very beautiful place.

Elladan laughed softly. He was turning into a poet. With a last glance around the gardens, he stepped indoors and made his way toward his study, where no doubt there would be several tasks waiting for him.


Oloriel laughed recklessly for the third time that morning. The bubbling energy inside her could not get out any other way. Ignoring her breakfast, the elleth sprang up from her chair and walked back out onto her balcony. The light of the morning sun was dazzling as it fell through the rustling leaves and swaying branches above her, dappling the ground in splashes of molten gold. Oloriel grinned brightly at the lovely sight; it's beauty seeming to harmonize with the melody in her spirit.

Elladan had brought very good news with him the night before.

A giddy pulse wound its way up her spine as she thought of the way that Elladan had held her in his arms, leaning into her slightly to whisper the fair tidings into her delicate ear. He had only kissed her once, lightly, after that, but the warmth and security of his arms was enough to make her feel cherished.

An overwhelming sense of awe washed over Oloriel then, as she realized how much her life had changed in such a few short months. Light and hope and taken deep root in her heart, where none had dwelt before. The loneliness of centuries had melted away so completely that she sometimes wondered whether they had ever been.

Of course, this feeling would not last for long. She would remember her brother and miss him terribly and wish that he were with her - wish that he had always been with her. But at least now this sadness was tempered with the thought that, had he been alive, Karnélas would have liked Elladan immensely. This thought always brought a smile to her face.

Oloriel sighed softly as she turned away from the balcony railing. She had been in a dreamy state all morning but now it was time to awaken and get on with the day. She would be heading out with Kallindo soon after lunch, and wanted to make sure that she was finished with all her tasks here before she left. With this thought in mind, Oloriel snatched a light cloak from her closet and descended from her flet.


Hallandakil awoke to a strangely cold sensation. Had his blankets slipped off of him in the night? With eyes still closed, he shifted his body to the right and reached his arm out to see if he could locate the missing covers. His muscled tensed when his hand came in contact with... grass? Hallandakil sat up quickly. He found him self sitting in the middle of a clearing filled with winter flowers. As he took in his surroundings a quivering breeze blew across the small meadow, sending a shiver down his spine. His muscles tensed again. Looking down, Hallandakil finally realized why he had felt so cold: he had absolutely no clothes on. His mind seemed to stop functioning at that point. He could not make sense of all this: was it a dream? And if not, who had done this, and how was he to get back to his room? While still trying to make sense of the situation, his mind was ripped out of its lethargy by a truly dreadful sound... female laughter.

Horror shook the foundations of his reason as he grasped what was about to take place. Any moment now a group of she-elves would come bursting through the tree-line in search of winter-flowers, the very flowers that he was sitting in, the very ones that were at present not doing a very good job of covering his unclothed form.

As his shock and embarrassment reached its height, a pink bundle with a note attached to it came hurling at him from the trees to his left, accompanied by a masculine chuckle. Snatching it up, Hallandakil read these words: Since you seem to have so little respect for the fairer sex, I thought you might enjoy a little lesson in perspectives. - I'm sure that the `mares' will find this absolutely fetching...I hope it fits... P.S. If you value your manhood, stay away from my sister.

With a blanched face and growing trepidation, Hallandakil unrolled the bundle of cloth. To his utter humiliation he found before him a pink, flowing, lacy gown. He pulled his arm back with every intention of throwing it back, when another bout of feminine laughter caught his ear. His hand dropped lifelessly to his side. There was nothing else he could do; the maidens were blocking his only path of escape, and it was unthinkable that they should see him in such an exposed state. With a groan of frustration he brought the dress up for a closer examination. Just how did one put this thing on anyway?


Elladan looked up from his desk as a flash of bright pink caught his eye. Looking up toward his expansive windows, he was struck dumb by the sight that confronted him. Was that Hallandakil... in a dress? At first Elladan was simply amazed at what he saw, but then a slight smirk crept in at the corners of his mouth. He had never been very fond of Hallandakil, and the sight of him storming along the path, eyes blazing and skirts swirling was in his mind priceless.

With a soft chuckle, Elladan turned from the window and tried to focus his mind back on the task at hand. He had almost achieved this goal when his train of thought was interrupted again by the sound of unrestrained laughter.

Looking back up toward the windows, Elladan saw three very jubilant elves walking by. Elrohir and Lantél were leaning on each other to keep from falling over with their laughter and Alarkelú, in a rare display of unbounded enthusiasm, was making grand gesticulations and talking and chuckling and patting Elrohir on the back. The only words that Elladan could make out for sure were things like "marvelous... a better plan than mine... nice of her to lend the dress... and pink!" It was enough. Elladan's grin widened as he realized the implications. Apparently his brother was not yet mature enough to leave off mischief making. He shook his head in amusement. Perhaps in another few millennia or so Elrohir would finally grow out of that tendency... but then again, maybe not.


Oloriel laughed with sheer delight as the wind whipped past her face, throwing her hair into a swirling dance. It had been quite some time since she had been on a horse and she was enjoying every minute of it. At first she had been rather shaky, but she quickly grew re-accustomed to the rhythm of the gaits, becoming more comfortable with each passing moment

A flash of movement on her right told her that Kallindo had come up beside her. She ignored him as she reveled in the feel of the wind and the horse beneath her. She was abruptly shaken from her reverie, however, when Kallindo called out to her horse in Elvish, urging him into a faster gait. Oloriel instinctively clutched at the horse's mane with wide eyes as the speed increased. She might have remained in this shocked, tentative state had not the sound of Kallindo's laughter floated to her on the wind from up ahead. Apparently he wanted to race. With narrowed eyes, Oloriel leaned in over her horse's neck, whispering her own words of encouragement to him. Looking back on the event, it might have been a foolish thing to do, but it was done none the less. Oloriel found herself blazing through the forest with little or no control over where she was going. Thankfully, her horse seemed to be following the one ahead of it and Oloriel could devote all of her attention to just staying on the horse.

After several minutes, the horse began slowly of its own accord, finally arriving in a glade where Kallindo was waiting.

"Well done, Aiwë," he called to her cheerfully, "I'd say that what you lack in skill is certainly made up for in fearlessness. But, if you don't my, try not to kill yourself next time."

Oloriel chuckled. "My steed would not have let me come to any harm. All I had to do was stay on his back."

Kallindo just smiled, then changed the subject entirely. "In case you were wondering, we have arrived at our destination."

"Have we already?" Oloriel questioned.

"We have been riding for several hours, Aiwë. Did you not notice? A few more minutes and you would have been riding underneath the watchful eyes of the border guard, right out into the northern plains of the Anduin."

Oloriel smiled. "I was a little preoccupied I suppose. Where shall we start our tour then?"

Bowing slightly with mock formality, Kallindo hold out his arm and replied. "If the lady will accept my humble company, I will be glad to show her all the wonders of the northern wood... starting with the guard flets."

"Well, since I am completely lost out here, anyway," Oloriel began cheerfully, "I suppose that I have no choice but to humbly accept your humble company."

Kallindo inclined his head in agreement, and watched with delight as Oloriel took his proffered arm. At that moment, he wanted nothing better than to lean down and kiss her softly, but he knew that, in such a precarious situation, patience was always a virtue.


Oloriel sighed with contentment. Her personal tour had just ended, as the stars were beginning to make their appearance in the night sky. Kallindo had been a wonderful guide, showing her all there was to see and telling her all there was to know about the northeastern quadrant of LothLorien. To add to the positive experience, Oloriel had felt at perfect ease with her companion throughout the entire afternoon, and was now more convinced than ever that their friendship was back to its normal, comfortable parameters. Little did she know of the storm that was brewing on the horizon.

As she was musing, Kallindo descended from the tree where he had been aloft. He jumped down from a few feet up on the ladder and came over to her with an enthusiastic stride.

"You must be hungry, Aiwë. Shall we take a bite to eat before we return to Caras Galadhon?"

"That sounds lovely, Kallindo. I didn't really think about packing any food; I suppose that wasn't very resourceful of me. Do you have enough for the both of us?"

Kallindo favored her with a wide grin, but did not speak. Instead he motioned to the ladder that he had just descended.

Taking this to mean that there was food up in the flet, Oloriel followed his tacit instructions quite willingly.

She was not quite prepared for the sight that met her. Laid out beneath several hanging, silver lamps was a perfect picnic for two. There was a surprising array of food, and somehow Kallindo had even managed to procure several flowers to set in the middle of the spread. Oloriel took in a sharp breath, not knowing quite how she should react. In the end, no reaction was needed, as Kallindo came up deftly behind her and gentle placed his hand against the small of her back, leading her to where the food was laid out.

Finally, Oloriel regained her power of speech. "Kallindo... what is this?"

"I thought that, since this was the first step on your way to taking up a patrol with me, a celebration was in order."

Oloriel bit her lip nervously. The explanation seemed innocent enough, but for some reason warnings were eating away at the edge of her consciousness. "This really wasn't necessary, Kallindo," she chided. "How did you smuggle all of this out here, anyway? I'm sure it wasn't worth the effort."

Kallindo took her hand softly, giving it a gentle squeeze. "For you, the effort was very worthwhile."

Oloriel's eyes widened slightly. The warnings in her mind were beginning to tug more urgently now. Not wanting to appear rude, but not wanting to respond, Oloriel quickly extracted her hand from Kallindo's hold, and sat down before the food. Kallindo joined her and they began eating in silence.

The conversation eventually revived, taking very common, safe routes, but Oloriel was still on guard. Something was up; she knew it.

When the meal had ended, Oloriel watched as Kallindo packed away the remains. She had tried to help him, but he has brushed her off, telling her to go and enjoy the view. Having nothing else to do, Oloriel followed his advice. The stars were brilliant that night and she sat on the ledge of the flet, looking out on the gently lit plains.

The influence of the starlight had done a good deal to calm Oloriel's nerves, but the peace was broken when Kallindo sat down next to her... a little too close for comfort.

"Thank you for indulging me, Aiwë," he began softly, "I hope that you enjoyed the meal."

"Yes, it was very good thank you. You brought some of my favorite dishes."

Kallindo cleared his throat softly then, rubbing his hands along his thighs in a nervous gesture. "I was not speaking only of the food... what did you think of the company?"

Oloriel stiffened slightly. Not knowing how to safely reply to that question she remained silent.

"Aiwë?" Kallindo whispered softly as he leant slightly toward her.

Oloriel still did not answer.

"Please... say something," he begged, lightly brushing her cheek with his fingers.

Oloriel shrank back from the contact. She could easily read the pain that darted through his eyes as she did so.

"Aiwë, why do you always retreat from me? Am I that repulsive?"

Sucking a sharp breath Oloriel turned away from his quickly, not wanting to meet his eyes. "Oh Kallindo, it's not that, it's just... I... I can't..."

"Why not," he interjected vehemently. "I know that you have always frightened of love... don't look at me like that, Oloriel, you and I both know it's true. But a life without love is empty; it's not worth living. Just give me a chance. I love you," he whispered earnestly, tilting her head towards him with his hand, "and I will do anything... I promise I'll do anything I can to make you happy." Without warning her leant down a laid a quick light kiss on her mouth.

Oloriel couldn't think clearly enough to react before the kiss was over. She just sat there staring at Kallindo with wide, unbelieving eyes, wondering why life was so cruel.

Unfortunately, Kallindo took her apparently calm state as acceptance. With a soft smile tugging at the corners of his lip, he dipped down for another kiss. It was at this moment that Oloriel finally woke up. Just before his lips touched hers she turned her head sharply away, Kallindo's mouth just barely grazing the edge of hers.

"No!" She managed to blurt out. Then, softening a little, she pushed him back gently and continued. "No... you can't. You can't love me that way, Kallindo. I am not the one for you."

Kallindo's eyes fell to the ground, his breath coming in shallow starts. After some time he finally choked out, "How can you say that? I love you..."

Oloriel shook her head slowly. "I cannot return that love. I am not the one who will complete you. Please Kallindo, do not ask it of me."

"Im ú-tha lasto an maerist... Im thanglle {I cannot listen to wisdom*... I need you}. "

Tears sprung into Oloriel's then. "Amin hiraetha... lle ú-tha garnín {I am sorry... you cannot have me}." In anguish and frustration, Oloriel leapt up from where she was sitting and climbed quickly down to the forest floor. Calling to her horse, she mounted him and urged him into a gallop, never looking back. The forest was quite dark, and the tears streaming down her face effectively blinded her. It was merciful that she made it home at all, let alone safely.

Kallindo was left behind with an aching heart and an empty picnic basket.


Nessúlë greeted her brother with an affectionate kiss on the cheek. "Have you heard about our excitement this morning while we were out gathering flowers, brother?"

Lantél grinned broadly. "It didn't have anything to do with a certain arrogant elf in a lovely pink dress, now did it?"

Nessúlë laughed. "Well yes, I suppose that this elf might fit with your description. He's certainly not a very humble soul, though I doubt that he will raise his head very high tonight. But I must say, that dress was certainly most... oh, shall we say, becoming?"

At this, Elrohir and Alarkelú, who were sitting at a nearby table playing chess, broke out laughing. Lantél turned to them with sparkling eyes. "Yes... that is one way of looking at it, I suppose," Lantél chuckled.

Nessúlë looked shrewdly between the three gleeful elves and furrowed her brow slightly. "The three of you didn't by any chance have something to do with that lovely pink dress, now did you?"

Elrohir sobered up immediately. "Lady Nessúlë, I'm surprised that you would believe us capable of such a thing."

Somehow, Alarkelú's poorly restrained laughter didn't help to convince her of their innocence.


1. I couldn't find an actual Sindarin word for `wisdom', so I use `good knowledge' (maer ist) as a substitute.

Things to Know:

Oloriel: "dream daughter"
Nessúlë: "young spirit"
Hallandakil: "tall victor"
Lantél: "shooting star"
Alarkelú: "swift stream"
Kallindo: "noble heart"
elleth: `she-elf'

***It's an encore of the "Win a Random Cute Elf Raffle"!!!! Review now and get a chance to win your very own elf. Other prizes include a coil of elven rope (Sam has always found that very useful), a bottle of miruvor (elven cordial), and boxes of e-cookies! Don't miss out!!!***

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