The journey to Lorien was quiet and easy which was very surprising, though they did not complain of course. They were now leading their horses beneath the eaves of Lorien; Eleniel’s horse neighed with delight. She was a very perceptive horse, and knew that this place held something, something good. Eleniel patted Celebnaur on the nose. “I’m sure we will be there soon my friend.” Whispered Eleniel to the horse.
Elrohir turned back when he heard her speak, “Indeed we will. And I am very sure that the wood elves have been watching us for a while now.” He looked to Elladan and smiled, there was a glint of mischief in his eyes, and Elladan returned the look. Then Elladan looked up to the trees, and spoke to Elrohir though loud enough for anyone around to hear.
“Well, if we were orcs we could have come to the city by now! Lucky they have lazy march-wardens.” Elrohir laughed quietly and went along with Elladan. “Yes I know, but I wouldn’t speak like that, you wouldn’t want to enrage these simple wood elves.” There was a light laughter up in the trees, “Ah! There we are.” Whispered Elladan. Then an arrow whistled among the leaves and struck the ground at the twin’s feet. Eleniel smiled and shook her head. Then from above they heard a deep and clear voice, “If you were orcs you would be dead by now.” There was more laughter.
Elladan bent down and pulled the arrow from the ground. “Not with that aim we wouldn’t” He said with a laugh. There was a rustle in trees above and an elf jumped down in front of them. “We wouldn’t harm the sons of Lady Celebrian and Lord Elrond.” Said the tall, smiling elf. “Welcome, Elladan and Elrohir. And who is this young girl?”
Eleniel chocked back a laugh. She could tell Elladan and Elrohir found this funny also. “Young girl I am not. I am barely a year younger than Elladan and Elrohir here. Do you consider them little boys? My name is Eleniel.”
He smiled pleasantly, “No, I guess not. Forgive me. I am Haldir, pleased to meet you Eleniel.” He gave her a little bow. “Come follow me.” He walked over to the trunk of the tree he had jumped down from and a ladder made of rope was lowered. “It is getting late into the evening, sleep here tonight with us tonight and then tomorrow I will take you to the city.” They tied their horses to low hanging branches, and then climbed up the ladder after Haldir. They came up and Eleniel was introduced to Haldir’s brothers Orophin and Rumil. The talan was large enough for all six elves to sleep there comfortably, the elves gave them food and drink, and an extra blanket. They talked together for a while, but Eleniel became bored and decided to sleep.
She woke the next morning to someone nudging her shoulder and saying her name softly, it was becoming very annoying. She mumbled and hit the hand away, then decided there was no choice than to get up. She sat up and it was Elladan who had been nudging her. He laughed, “Maybe a bucket of water will be more useful next time, and a lot less annoying for you.”
She just smiled and shrugged her shoulders, “Doesn’t bother me. The water would be cool and refreshing.” Elladan raised and eyebrow, “Yes, you would find it refreshing. But I think you might tear me to threads before you came to realize that.” He laughed. “Now eat with us and then we will go to the city.” Elladan turned shoved Elrohir roughly to wake up. “Oh, brotherly love.” Said Eleniel, she smiled. Elrohir sat up and shot an angry look at Elladan, Elladan just smiled pleasantly and sat beside Haldir and began to eat. Elrohir just shrugged his shoulders and crawled over beside his brother and ate as well. Eleniel just sat and looked at them for a second, they were strange weren’t they. She didn’t always understand brothers and sisters and how they acted, but these two were always excellent to be around. Haldir held out a piece of bread to her, she came and sat with them and ate. “Where have your brothers gone?” Asked Eleniel, just realizing that they weren’t here.
“They left for the city earlier, they took your horses ahead and to bring word of your coming to the Lady and the Lord.” Replied Haldir. “Now come, we have all eaten. We will leave for the city, and should arrive there tonight.” Haldir got up and disappeared down the ladder, Eleniel and the twins followed down after him.
They walked for a long while at a good pace, they had all been well rested the night before and Lothlorien was such a beautiful place that it could not dampen anyone’s spirits, it made you feel more alive just to be there. Early that afternoon, they came to Cerin Amroth.
“Ah, let’s stop and rest!” Spoke Elladan. “Are you tired?” Asked Elrohir. “No, are you? I just love this place. Let’s stop and have a look from up there at least.” He said pointing to the top of the hill to a large tree at the top. Haldir nodded with a smile and walked ahead. And the other three followed. They came to the top, and the first direction she saw was the large shadow of Mirkwood and she shivered. Elladan took her hand, “No look this way.” He turned her to the south. It was a beautiful sight; her mouth was slightly open with a smile upon her face. Elladan looked out in the same direction. At a distance was a hill of many mighty trees, or a city of green towers. Out of it, it seemed to her that the power and light came that held all the land in sway. She suddenly longed to fly like a bird to rest in the green city. “It is beautiful isn’t it?” Elladan asked her, she nodded and did not let her eyes fall from this sight, “it is.”
Then she turned her eyes north and east, her eyes fell upon southern Mirkwood again. It was so dark, nothing like Lorien. It was all a shadow of evil there. She stared and her eyes begun to blur and the shadow was all one about her, and she spoke without knowing it. “Dol Guldur, there he once dwelt and made it an evil place. And all living things struggle one against the other, but the day will be good when the white light throws down those walls and lies bare its pits and it will be cleansed.” Then she felt the pressure of Elladan’s hand upon hers and she blinked with a start. She looked up at him and he had a shocked look upon his face, as did the other two. “I thought I was only thinking that, but by the looks on your faces I did not.”
“No, we heard every word clear. You looked as in a trance and you sounded sure of what was to come.” Spoke Haldir, “Have you the gift of foresight lady?”
She shrugged her shoulders, “If I have it, it has been hidden from me as I have never experienced it before.”
“Well I hope what you say comes to pass.” Elrohir said.
Elladan had not spoken yet, he still looked at her strangely. She looked up at him and smiled, looking into his eyes for some response. He blinked and smiled; “well, and here I was thinking I knew you all to well.”
“Well you could hardly know of this, I didn’t know myself.” She then became aware that her hand was still in his. She let it slip out and she turned and looked west over the tree tops to the mountains, and there beyond was her home Rivendell. She thought both Lothlorien and Rivendell beautiful beyond imagine, she wondered if one was fairer than the other, well she had not seen the city yet, but knew these two places could not be compared. They were too different. But maybe, very alike.
Haldir was looking out to the west as well, she heard him mumble something about the sea. “Have you seen it she asked?” He shook his head, “nay, lady I have not. But I know it in songs and tales of old. Have you seen it?” He asked. She nodded, “I have.” He looked at her, his eyes shinning, “you have seen it? Then how can you heart still dwell here in Middle-earth-,” he stopped for a second, his eyes flickered away to the twins with a smile and then back again. “Did the sea not call you?” He asked. He thought she was in love with one of them, she could tell, by his knowing look. He knows nothing.
“No.” She said simply, “I saw it and cared nothing for it.” Eleniel could tell he wanted to ask more, but he could also tell that she did not want to speak about it because her bluntness of voice and the sorrow in her eyes.
She strode to the rope ladder, “I will go down and walk under the trees till you wish to move on again.” She made her way lightly down the ladder. It was so beautiful here, the trees were so different, everything looked so different here. She walked beneath the trees and hummed sadly to herself, she shook her head, “why does it still make me sad?” She asked herself. Trying to get the tune, out of her head, as well as all thoughts.
Then a voice came from behind her. “What are these things that trouble you?” It was Elladan’s voice. She did not turn around at first, she stood there. She could not process any thoughts, why? She shook her head to try and clear her mind of this nothingness and then turned to see Elladan leaning against a tree, looking at her with so much concern. She just smiled and shook her head, “do not worry yourself, it does not matter.” Eleniel said as though it was the end of the discussion and he need not pursue the topic further. He walked forward, “do not give me that!” He said sternly. Eleniel was a little shocked and stepped back. He sighed, and his shoulders drooped. “Come Eleniel, do not keep me at arms length as you always have.”
“I don’t; you, Elrohir and Arwen are the closest to me. You know that.” She frowned. He shook his head, “ok, yes I believe that well, but it is different with me and you. And none of us know what is here.” He said pointing to her heart. She sighed and shook her head. Then from over his shoulder she saw Elrohir and Haldir descend from the high flet of Cerin Amroth. “I think we are moving on now.” She walked past him, he took her by the arm, she looked around to him, his glance was questioning and with a slight anger that she would not answer what he wanted to know. He sighed, and let go of her. She walked ahead with Elladan a little behind her. They both got strange looks from Haldir and Elrohir, Eleniel ignored them and they began to walk again.
The rest of the trip was quite silent, and they came to the city at dusk. They came in the marvelous gates and were lead to the great tree in the middle of the city, which stairs wound up through many other flets, and came finally to a great level and upon which was set a great hall. And in this hall, upon a bench at the other end sat the Lord and the Lady of the Galadhrim.
Lord Celeborn walked forward, “thank you, Haldir.” Haldir bowed to the Lord and the Lady and then left. “Welcome my grandsons”, he embraced the both. “And this must be Eleniel, Welcome to Lothlorien!” She gave him a little bow. “It is more beautiful than I could have imagined here my lord, I am honored.” He smiled pleasantly and led them to the bench. Galadriel stood up and welcomed them, “Greetings Elladan and Elrohir my grandsons. And welcome also Eleniel.” Eleniel bowed her head, “Lady Galadriel.”
The three were seated on another bench in front of the Lady and the Lord, Eleniel told of how the Ring had come to Rivendell (because she had a lot to do with it), and then Elladan and Elrohir talked of all the companions who and what they were and what path Gandalf wished to take, and that he wished that they might come to Lothlorien if fate lets it.
“Well they are welcome, if they do pass into our borders. But I am weary to give the dwarf entrance to these lands.” Spoke Celeborn.
“Nay Lord, he is a good dwarf. He is of the line of Durin, Gimili will bring no harm to your land Lord Celeborn. And his people are friendly with Lord Elrond.” Said Eleniel.
Celeborn nodded, “well I trust in your judgment, and he has the favor of Lord Elrond, he will be allowed admittance to our city.” Celeborn then went on to ask the twins how they were and what of Rivendell. Galadriel turned to Eleniel, and their eyes met. It seemed to Eleniel that Galadriel probed her thoughts into Eleniel’s head. `Strange that you should so willingly turn from love, when it stares you in the face Eleniel.’ Eleniel was quite shocked by this statement, but kept her face calm and collected. And spoke with her thoughts, guessing that the Lady would pick them up. `I am not going to let myself be hurt again.’ The Lady didn’t reply instantly, Galadriel kept the gaze, `but he will not hurt you, can you not trust him? Are these feelings or memories you have so terrible?’ Eleniel frowned, but did not dare drop the Ladies gaze, `I feel they are.’ Galadriel answered, `then I am sorry.’ Galadriel then turned her eyes from Eleniel.
Elladan was amazed, not many could long endure his grandmother’s glance, but Eleniel was amazing, he did not think that she had overcome Galadriel in thought, by no means. But she had held Galadriel’s gaze until the end, and did not turn away. Only the great lords could do that. But he kept his thoughts in his head and continued talking with his grandfather.
Eleniel sat quiet, and spoke when she was spoken to; she was not full of conversation now and became bored. Eleniel noticed Galadriel held Elladan’s eyes for a moment, then he turned his face away, it was a little flushed. As though, he did not want to hear her thoughts.
A little while later they were taken to a higher level of the great tree, and were given each a room to stay in. Eleniel came to her room and the young elf that led to the room left her. She noticed that her saddle-bag had already been brought here, and was sitting on a chair by the bed. Also laid on her bed was a plain white night-dress, `excellent! I forgot mine.’ There was a large window above the bed, draped with silky white material for privacy. Eleniel took her hair from its braid, and combed it; she then slipped into the night-dress and washed the dust from her face and hands. She did not feel like sleep, she went and sat on the bed and pulled back the window drapes. There were elves walking through the trees below, like a shimmer in the moonlight, in dresses of grey, and white, or gold like the mallorn leaves, or green like the grass they walked upon. “So beautiful.” She breathed.
There was a knock at her door; she pulled on her cloak over the night-dress. “Come in!” She called to the door, it opened slowly and Elladan walked in, he closed the door behind himself. She sat back against the frame of the window, “hello.” She said quietly. She looked out the window and focused on the elves below and the silver lights hanging from the trees. Elladan stood and did not speak, he seemed a little uneasy. She moved and sat on the edge of the bed and looked up at him. “What?” She asked simply.