Aragorn (he wondered how long it would take to get used to that name) was walking through the gardens of Rivendell when Sermë walked up behind him and threw her arms around him. Aragorn whipped around and practically knocked her down with his fastness.
“Good grief Sermë, don’t scare a guy like that!”
“Oh, still so easy to scare brother.”
“Oh yeah, well maybe sisters should be nicer to future kings.” He retorted, and then got serious again. “Sermë can you see me as a king?”
Sermë smirked but grew serious when she saw how intently he was looking at her. “Oh Est…. Aragorn you will be great at whatever you do.”
“You just say that because you are my sister.”
“I only say it because I have grown up right beside you. I have seen how you are when you put your mind to something. You are determined to be the best you could ever possibly be at that thing. I have also seen you come through some awful things. You have always come out the better.”
“I can tell you something private, right?”
“Aragorn it’s me you are talking to. I am the keeper of your secrets. Some even Elladan and Elrohir don’t know.”
Aragorn smiled, “No one can know this, not even Elrohir, ok?”
“Alright” she looked at him sideways not sure what to expect.
“I love someone.”
Seremë was stunned by that announcement. She did not know what say. She had no idea how Arwen’s family would take the news. Aragorn was considered family but he was human after all. How would they take such news? “I don’t know what to say.”
“Don’t say anything. I guess you can’t understand.”
“Aragorn that is not fair. You know I love you and would do anything for you but this is heavy that’s all.”
“I know. It is for me too but I can’t stop it. I have seen her every evening here for the past 3 days. She does not know how I feel and if she does know then she does not return the feeling. I know I can tell.” He said in a dejected voice.
“Est… Aragorn don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Who can predict what the future will bring? I never thought my little girl crush on Elrohir would go anywhere but look at me now. You have to have faith that your life will work out perfectly for you.”
“Did I ever tell you that you are the best sister a guy could ask for and that I love you?”
“I know,” Sermë answered smugly, but then she softened and added, “I love you too Aragorn.”
Later that night Elrond was sitting on his balcony watching the world as it seemed to sparkle in the moonlight. To his surprise, he saw something that shocked him. Aragorn and Arwen were walking in the gardens together and talking. Alarm bells seemed to blare off in his head. He wanted to rush down there and rip those two apart, but he had to think rationally. It would do no good for him to get either of his children mad at him. Plus just because they were walking in the gardens at night did not mean anything. Arwen has a level head and she would not fall for a mortal. Well, he would talk to Aragorn in the morning.
The next afternoon Aragorn came rushing into the house. “Where is momma?” he asked Sermë.
She looked at him and saw he was upset about something. “What’s wrong?”
“Just tell me where momma is!” he practically yelled at her.
“She is in the Garden with the Linwë.”
Aragorn went to the garden and found Gilraen swinging with Linwë on her lap. She was laughing at something Linwë said to her. Aragorn came and leaned against the tree silently but Gilraen knew something was wrong. She looked at him and slowed the swing down and said, “Linwë would you like to go find Ada.”
“Son I will be back soon.” She left to find Raion. It did not take long and she was back soon. “What’s wrong, son?”
“It’s father. He is being unreasonable.”
“Elrond is many things, but unreasonable is not usually one of them.”
“He is making me leave.”
” He’s making me leave. He says I need to take my place among men. Learn to be a man, so that I can lead them well one day. I don’t want to go.”
Gilraen looked at Aragorn and suddenly understood something that had eluded her since she had seen him come in 4 days earlier with a silly grin on his face.
“You are in love someone aren’t you?”
Aragorn smiled, but then became dejected. “She does not know. At least I don’t think she knows.”
“Who is it?”
Then she knew and understood fully what was going on. “OH Aragorn this is an impossible endeavor.”
Aragorn jumped up angrily and paced around the garden. “Why?! Why is it so impossible? A lot of Elves have Loved and married humans. Look at you and Raion.”
“Son Raion does not stand to loose his life. Elrond is being a parent. If she were to fall in love with you Elrond would loose her forever. She would become mortal never go to the undying lands and she would die. No parent wants his child to die. For us humans it is our nature to die. To us, it is as natural as life. Death is unnatural to an elf. Elrond would live forever in the undying lands knowing his daughter will or has died. Would you ask her to die? Would ask her to give up her immortality for you? This is what you would be doing. If she were to give it up willingly that would be different because it would be her choice. You even said she does not know you love her. If you force her to make such a decision you would only be thinking of yourself and that is not true love.”
Aragorn was silent for a while thinking this over. “Well, I am not that selfish, momma. I just feel all jumbled up inside. Why can`t everything just fall into place?”
“Aragorn look at my life. I have never had it easy. I truly and deeply loved your father, but he died very early in our life together. If I had my way, I would have grown old and died with him. Maybe he would have been king. Eru had other plans for me, and he brought Raion into my life. I laughed in his face about that for too many years but we got together in spite of me. I thought disaster happened when we lost your sister but then we were given Linwe. She is our gift from Eru. So learn something from my life Eru will always care for you and your life will fall into place in his time and in his will. Trust him. He will never steer you wrong.”
Aragorn sighed, and asked, “Do I still need to leave?”
Gilraen sighed sadly, “I do agree with Elrond in the fact that he is sending you away to learn how to be a good leader of men. You need to learn the ways of men, and to gain their trust before you go and become their King. This will take time, and I think it is only right to do. I love you but you are a man now and it is time to pursue your destiny.”
“I still don’t want to leave here. It has been my home all these years.”
“Son no one ever likes the idea of leaving home and becoming a grown up but it is a fact of life. I will always be here for you to return to, but I am no longer your protector. I must give you over to the capable hands of the All Knowing One. He is your guide now. But Never forget one thing, ok?”
“I love you.”
Aragorn hugged his mom and a tear rolled down her cheek as he held her but it was the only one. She did not want him to feel sad about leaving her. As he walked away though, her tears flowed freely and unchecked because she was watching her baby boy leave to become a man. Raion came and found her crying he just held her knowing there was nothing he could say to make her feel better. His touch helped relieve her pain some and for that she was grateful.
Aragorn packed and said good-bye to his family. Before he ventured out though, he made things right between Elrond and himself. Aragorn just could not leave without Elronds true and loving blessing. Aragorn stood on the threshold of Rivendell surveying all he had known, his eyes traveled from the building to his family and lastly to the most beautiful person he had ever met. He looked at Arwen for a long time trying to imprint her face upon his heart. It was an image he would never forget and he would keep it safely hidden in his heart for always.