****** = Change of character
+++++++= Time skip
I let my keen elvish eyes scan the horizon. As
Arrow, my falcon, landed lightly on my shoulder, I spotted a
figure running towards me. I recognized the sprinting style of
my sister, and I soon caught the shine of her pale golden
hair against the noonday sun. As Leleni came up, I waited for
her to catch her breath.
“How far?” I let Arrow fly off
“We should be there by sundown unless…”
“No,” I said, sharply cutting her off.
“No,” I repeated, “Elrond doesn’t know and I want
to make a good impression. It’s our first time in Rivendell.”
“If you insist,” she said, but could not help but
add, “I don’t see how you can make a good impression. At
least I am wearing a dress.” Despite her haughty tone, I
knew she that was joking, but I still looked down at my deep
blue tunic and silver-gray leggings. She had on a light green
dress; not too formal, but better than my outfit was. She
normally dressed as I did, but she liked to dress up for
occasions. I may be a girl, but I sure don’t care for dressing
like one. I found it complete torture to be in a dress and I
felt helpless; at least in a tunic I could carry all my weapons.
We set off at a run toward Imladris. My long-
legged-lope may not be good for sprinting but I could beat
Lel at long distance. She happily sped behind me.
It was early evening when we arrived at Rivendell. I thought
we might not be welcome, but we had no where else to go.
We met a guard and I stepped back slightly to let Leleni talk.
She was always better with that sort of thing.
“I and my sister, Adriel, wish to speak with Lord
“On what accord?” the guard asked grumpily.
“Our business is of no importance to you.” That was apparently the wrong thing to say, because the guard puffed out his chest and said,
“Then you may not pass.”
I thought things had gone a little too far, so I put my hands up, stretched my fingers, and let the magic flow through me. I blinked and the whole world froze. The time freeze was only temporary, however. I quickly tapped Leleni on the shoulder. Where I touched a golden light appeared and rippled out; in moments, she was in the time freeze with me.
“I was wondering when you would do that,” she said with a smirk.
“Come on,” I said, a little disgruntled, as I stepped around the guard and started up the steps behind him. I looked around me and instantly wanted to explore; it all looked so beautiful. I quickly undid the time freeze and turned back. I yelled thank you to the very confused guard and kept walking up the steps.
As we reached the top, Adriel turned to me and said. “I am going to explore, so you find Elrond.”
“Were will I find you?” I asked.
“I’ll meet you in the forest north of here. I think you’ll find Elrond that way.” She said calmly pointing over my shoulder.
“How do you know?” I asked, not bothering to look.
“Because here he comes, goodbye.” With that she turned and ran off in the other direction. I was left to explain everything as usual.
I turned to confront Elrond. The memories of what I had to tell started to flood back and all traces of a smile left my face.
“Lord Elrond” I said at his approach with a bow. “I am Leleni Felende of Keldor.”
“What brings you so far, Leleni?” He asked kindly
“Our kingdom was attacked by Sauron’s forces.” I said, desperately trying to keep my face strait. “All our people were killed. My sister and I are the only survivors.” A single tear fell from my eye and slowly rolled down my cheek soon to be followed by many more.
“This is troubling news” he said his face was grave. “Please follow me.”
We walked into a private chamber over looking beautiful gardens and I started my tale.
“…So we came to Rivendell.” I finished, tears streaming down my face silently.
“Where is your sister?” He asked his voice full of concern and worry.
“Out wandering. She will be fine,” I stated. He did not look reassured. I started to wipe my eyes. I was embarrassed that I had broken down like that. I had cried a lot these past few months. Adriel always seemed fine, and on the outside, she remained strong. She still had that glazed over look in her eyes; a hidden sadness that she didn’t want to share. She never did show her emotions any more. “She is to meet me in the woods north of here.” I said after a moment. My tears had stopped and my tone was level.
As we approached the forest’ Elrond turned to me and said
“Where is she?” I shrugged but turned as a figure dropped quickly to the ground with a small thud.
“Lord Elrond, my Lord, what brings you here?” said the elf.
“We are searching for a Lady who is supposed to be here.” His tone was level and unfeeling.
“Lord, I can assure you that there is no one in this part of the forest.”
“Are you certain?”
I ignored them and gave a low whistle and soon heard the slightest rustle from above.
“You called,” Adriel said with a small smile at the shocked looks on Elrond and the Elf’s faces. They looked up to see a she-elf sitting contentedly on a tree branch. She was wearing a tunic with twin sword hilts poking out over her shoulders. Her brown hair with startling streaks of gold in a loose bun at the nape of her neck. She slid in a single fluid motion to the ground, her landing not even making a sound, and crossed lightly to where we stood. Adriel was always the quiet one, and even by elvish standards she was undetectable. She was light on her feet and very, very fast.
“My Lord, I…” said the elf Elrond cut him off with a small hand gesture.
“You must be Adriel.”
“Lord,” she responded with a bow.
“Daeron, please show them to the guest rooms.” He said turning to the elf.
“Yes, of course, my Lord.” He was still shocked by Adriel’s sudden appearance. I heard his thoughts echoing in my head. `Who are they? I could not even here the second elf’s coming and she comes dressed like a warrior. The other is noble and very proper. Who can they be?’ I smiled at this. I could rarely pick up thoughts this clearly. We walked through the halls until we came upon a pair of doors.
“Your room, Lady Leleni,” Daeron said pointing to the first of the doors, “and yours, Lady Adriel.” I saw her cringe at the `lady’ but we both thanked him and stepped into our separate rooms.
I gasped as I stepped into the room; it was breath-taking. It had been almost two years since I had slept in a bedroom, or even a bed for that matter. I looked over the beautiful canopy bed. Then I looked to my right to see a small door. I opened it to see Adriel in her room looking around at the blue and green ceiling and walls. After a quick smile she came over to see my room, which was identical except it was soft white and ivory instead of blue and green.
There was a soft knock on the door. Leleni crossed to open it. It was a lady who said there were baths awaiting us. We glanced at each other before following her.
The bath was wonderful. I was actually clean. Though I was much less enthusiastic when I saw the dark green dress that awaited me. I thought of when Mother had had to beg and plead to get me into one. It would rude to simply ignore it.
As I stepped into it, I shifted nervously. I didn’t like the openness feel to it, unprotected. I went quickly back to my room and carefully folded my tunic and leggings, placing my light boots on the pile. I hugged my cloak close before setting it down. I t seemed like a simple light, black cloak but someone special had given it to me. I was almost invisible in the shadows with it on. I turned to see Leleni in the small doorway connecting our rooms. She was smirking at my dress, looking perfectly content in her blue one. I just groaned and went to answer my door as a soft knock sounded again.
The elf-lady was back. She announced the evening meal. We entered the hall to see Elrond sitting at a small table with three other elves. One glance told me they must be his sons and daughter. Elrond smiled at us and bid us come to dine with them. We crossed the hall and sat in the empty chairs. I looked at each of the elves individually. Elrond was slightly nervous and a little anxious. His daughter was puzzled but intrigued. His sons were both confused. I realized Elrond had told them of our situation but they were still a little shocked by it all. As Leleni could read thoughts, I could read feelings. I looked down, not wanting to make them feel watched. It was a common effect I had on people. Leleni simply beamed around at them. She was still laughing inside about my discomfort in a dress.
Elrond cleared his throat and said “Adriel, Leleni, I would like you to meet my children.
My sons Elladan and Elrohir, and my daughter Arwen.” We all smiled nervously.
Leleni took to them right away and made pleasant conversation while we ate. I remained silent, but I got many funny looks. After what seemed like forever to me the table was cleared and Elrond rose. We thanked him for a wonderful evening. As soon as I got out of the hall, I went directly to my room.
Once I reached my room, I threw off my dress and, ignoring the white bed dress that awaited me, I jumped into my tunic strapped, on my weapons, and crossed to the window. There was a small balcony that led into the forest. I vaulted it and took off.
I sat on a tree branch watching the stars and listening to their song as it ranged through the heavens. They twinkled down at me as if greeting an old friend. I smiled, letting their song fill my heart.
I was soon interrupted, when I heard the footsteps of approach. In reaction I drew my cloak tightly around me and sat farther back in the tree melding with the shadows. It was Elladan. I decided not to disturb him. I thought it would be rude to intrude and since he did not feel my presence, I was perfectly happy watching.
As light rain began to fall I drew up my hood. I normally loved the rain, but if Leleni found out I had been `playing’ out in the rain she would go ballistic. She was trying her best to act like our mother, they always had been similar. I turned to watch Elladan and saw that he had drawn his sword. He started to practice simple moves: a few parries and a couple strokes. I had a knack for finding flaws and saw almost immediately that he was weak on his high left. After a few moments I realized no one else was coming, so I dropped down to offer my advice. I stepped forward.
“You’re weak on your high left.” Automatically he spun and struck where I had been a split second ago. I had dodged to the right and I instinctively drew one of my swords. Since my cloak was drawn up, he could not see my face. He thought I was attacking him so he charged. This time I blocked. After a few movements and a couple spins, I decided to prove my point. I hit him a slow but powerful low right. Then with a fast high left. This was a move he had not expected and my blade found his throat in the blink of an eye. He froze. I lowered my blade and sheathed it. Then I lifted back my hood.
“It’s you!?” he said, his voice wreathed in shock and disbelief. Then after a moment of realization he added, “I am sorry.”
“Don’t be,” I retorted quickly “You acted only in self defense.”
“You never attacked me,” he said, almost angry with himself.
“Good point.” I said, but I could not help but laugh. “You’re good” I added once my laughter subsided.
“You beat me,” his voice full of disappointment.
“That is only because I spotted your weakness. The key to winning a battle is not strength our speed. It is knowing your opponent’s flaws, but not letting them know yours.”
“I never thought of it like that.” he said. I heard footsteps drawing close and said quickly.
“I had best be off.” With that I swung into the nearest tree and was gone.
I made my way back through the forest and dropped to the clearing in front of my balcony. I ran towards the wall to the right of it and sprung lightly off it, propelling myself upwards. I reached up, grabbed the ledge, and swung myself over the edge of it. I landed on one knee facing my room. I heard a soft clapping sound from within and looked up to see Leleni sitting on my bed. I stood and took a mock bow with a flourish.
“Out at night again, Ari,” she said. “I suppose old habits are hard to break.” I gave a small laugh and crossed towards her.
“Good night, Lel.” I said, giving her a tight squeeze. She returned it and left to her own room.
I changed and climbed into the large comfortable bed. Within seconds I was asleep.