There was a clash of metal as two broad swords met in midair. Colleen was panting, the day was warm and sweat dripped off of her body like rain water.
Suddenly Glorfindel gave a sharp twist and a shove with his sword and Colleen’s sword went flying through the air. Colleen sat down hard.
Colleen grinned up at the elf who was looking at her with concern. ” That was great! You have got to show me how to do that.”
He laughed.” You are the only maiden I have ever met who is delighted by being thrust to the ground.”
“Well that means that you have more to teach me, either that or you’re considerably stronger than me!”
Isilya sat with her son Aldamir watching the fencing match from a safe distance. Both were laughing. In the two weeks Colleen had stayed with them she had discovered that elves laughed long and often, and in such a way that it did not seem that they were laughing at you, but with you.
Aldamir and Glorfindel took turns teaching the human sword play and both were delighted at how fast she learned.
The bow was another matter, her aim, Aldamir had said, was beyond hope, but he made her practice for an hour each day anyhow and they soon learned that she was not quite beyond hope, though she was close.
Colleen also found herself growing closer to Glorfindel and his wife and son, as though they were her own family. She swallowed the lump in her throat and tried to forget that Glorfidel was going to die. Tried to forget that he was becoming like a second father to her and concentrated on blocking Glorfindel’s sword.
Caleb sat on the window seat and looked out over the scenery that made Rivendell so beautiful . His sister was still out cold, just as she had been when Legolas had carried her in four days ago and he was worried.
According to Gandalf there was no reason she should be out still, they had found the splinter in her shoulder and removed it last night when he came back from his room. He shuddered at the memory of Elrond gently probing Colleen’s shoulder with a long white elf knife and how ugly the piece of the knife had looked.
Tears started down his face as a feeling of hopelessness settled over him. Then there was a knock at the door and Caleb quickly wiped his eyes .
A curly golden brown head poked through the door followed by a pair of green-blue eyes and a small grin. “May I come in?” Pippin asked.
“Sure, why not.”
The hobbit trotted in and sat down next to Caleb. “Merry and I were wonderin’ if you wanted to have some pie and maybe a few apples and some seed cakes and then go and explore the Valley? You look like you could use some fresh air.”
“Sorry, no, maybe after my sister wakes up.”
“Frodo is up and about now, your sister shouldn’t be too far behind. Don’t worry so much, she’s in the best of care, if anyone can heal her, it is Elrond and Gandalf.”
” I know, but I shouldn’t be running around while Colleen’s like this.”
Pippin put his arm around the boy’s shoulder’s and hugged as he would have Merry.” She wouldn’t want you to sit here and be miserable would she? Come, let’s just go get something to eat and take a little walk. It will do you a world of good.” And without waiting for a reply he pulled Alcarin off of the window seat and tugged him to the door.
Caleb followed slowly, at the end of the hall there stood another hobbit, Merry, Caleb rightly guessed. He was holding a pie and a few large round things that looked like cakes. Caleb grinned, there were three leather flasks around his waist.
“Oh good, he’s coming! Lets go, I got the cooks to give me these flasks, the elves make the best cider in the world.”
The cheer of the two hobbits was very contagious and the sight of cider pie and cakes went far in raising the boys spirits. He smiled and skipped off with the two hobbits, feeling a strange reassurance that his sister would be all right.
Colleen stood still while Isily braided her hair in elven fashion and wove golden flowers into the braids.
*Great,not ony do I have to wear a dress, but I also have to wear dandelions in my hair*
Isilya smiled and placed a wreath of the same kind of flowers on top. It really didn’t look too bad, her dress was white trimmed with gold. She was wearing two pairs of gold hoops in her ears and gold chains on her wrists.
*If I’m not careful I might actually get to liking these floor length dresses.*
Isilya smiled,” Now you’re ready to go to the summer festival. Let us go, Glorfindel and I have a surprise for you when we get there.” Colleen looked at her oddly, but the elf woman just laughed and led her out of the room.
When they got to the Gates of Summer Glorfindel was smiling broadly, Isilya led her up to the top of the gate and Aldamir lifted first her and than Isilya up.
“Colleen Isilya, Aldamir and I have made a decision. As most of you know three weeks ago I found the maiden, Colleen the Sirrionon and I brought her to live among us, now I would like to make an announcement, we have decided to make her a part of the House of the Golden Flower by adopting her as my daughter.”
Colleen choked and tears stung her eyes, Glorfindel’s daughter, her? Glorfindel took out a golden pendant from one of his pockets. It was shaped like a golden flower that looked like a cross between a rose and a tiger lilly, in the center was a deep bright green beryl.
” Will you be my daughter Colleen? I have grown to love you as if you were my own daughter. As you know mine are wed. I would be hounered if you would accept.”
All she could do was nod, she was so overcome. Glofindel smiled and gently slipped the pendant around her neck.
” My daughter, Adulya.” And with that he pulled her into a warm embrace.