Alenor entered the eating hall, feeling completely like a fool. There was no reason for it, just the reason that she didn’t want to be there one bit. The silver circlet set upon her brow, by order of her grandfather, felt chill and she wanted to toss it off. The soft material of the dark green dress with silver leaves felt smooth beneath her trembling fingers. The gentle waves of hair the spread across her back and shoulders framed her face and brown eyes. Despite being pretty, she was so worried over what would happen that night that she nearly tripped on her dress coming into the hall.
As she sat herself upon Arwen’s right, which used to be Elladan’s chair she looked to see Lindir. Their gazes met for a fraction of a second before he bent his head towards his plate. Elrond stood and spoke the ritual of good words for the family and ended it with `Now let us eat and be merry!’ the words hardly from his mouth before the hall erupted into talk and laughter, and proof that some Elves hadn’t waited for the wine bottle to make its first round. She caught her aunt’s eyes and they shared a smile.
“So who do you think is going to get drunk the most tonight?” she asked, glimmers of a wicked smile on her lips. Elves may have thought that Arwen was the well brought up princess she should be, but past that somehow she had picked up her brother’s tricks and wickedness. Alenor was sure that it was so carefully hidden that not even her own father knew of it.
“Well,” Alenor answered frowning, she could feel the cold metal circlet slip down. “I think . . . What’s that elf’s name? You can literally find him drinking from the barrels. . . oh, um . . . I can’t get it!”
“I agree in a sense of way,” Arwen nodded. “But if you haven’t heard, father banded him off wine for a whole month, poor guy I think he’ll die by then. No, Lindir the over merry fool is going to get drunk for sure.” Alenor caught the devilish gleam in her eye.
“Aunty no!” Alenor gasped then thoughts drifted into her mind of him acting stupid and a grin flashed across her face. “Cheers!” she laughed. Their wine glasses clinked and they both took a sip.
“Ah, I thought I would give you a hand in getting that guy off your tail,” Arwen said turning to food. “I heard you this noon and after thought to myself: `Fifty years he’s been watching her and fifty years she’s rebuked him, I ought to do something to fix him straight!’ And so I have, as you will see later. If father comes beating at your door though just tell him it was his little daughter. By tomorrow you’ll see he has such a headache you can torment him till he agrees to leave you alone!”
“I’ll do more then that!” Alenor vowed. “I’ll think of something Auntie. Where on earth did you inherit some of Elrohir?”
“After I got pulled into a few of his pranks when I was a child. It helps passes the time you know, ever since. . . since he’s dead,” Arwen finished with her head dipped towards he wine glass. Alenor pushed the circlet up and in a slow voice she explained everything to Arwen.
When she had finished Arwen was looking down as if consulting her plate on what to do. Alenor was silent as well, pushing things around on her plate not feeling very hungry anymore. On the other side of her Aunt the chair was empty indicating that Elrohir had not yet come for the feast, if ever. Alenor didn’t see Rana either.
“All right,” Arwen said at last, still talking to her plate. “He said something that by no hand could they meet again, but by their own will. They will be reborn, I think as mortals otherwise everyone would recognize them. So. . .I would be quiet about it, not mention it to anyone, even your grandfather or Uncle.” She looked up and gave a wan smile. “Let us hope that he will remember us.” Alenor nodded shoving her plate away, green cloth rustling.
“I’m not hungry,” she said miserably. Arwen reached over and shoved the plate back.
“You haven’t eaten all day, you must keep up your strength for dancing,” her eyes were dancing themselves. “I was hearing some rumors that Legolas wanted to snatch a dance with you.” Alenor sighed shoving the cool band of the circlet up again. She stood up her chair making a scraping noise.
“Tell him that I am unavailable,” she announced. “I retired early wishing for no bad luck. I am to be left alone.” Arwen nodded.
“I’ll do that and tell father that you were suddenly ill,” she promised. Alenor nodded and left the hall, but not before she heard Arwen’s last comment: `Beware! He is to know that you will you wish to leave! I’ll do my best!’
Alenor arrayed some more flowers upon her father’s grave and her mother’s grave. The gentle breeze stirred her hair lifting it to swirl into her face.
“Oh father,” she murmured kneeling beside his grave. She took the circlet and set it upon the head of the brown earth that covered his burial place. The circlet glinted reflecting the gentle rays of moonlight and starlight that glinted through the spaces of the trees. She set the circlet on the head with careful fingers. As her fingers released it a fierce breeze came making her hair dance and swirl in its own way.
“This is yours father,” she whispered stroking a silver band of the circlet, as if it could take her possibly past the grave and once again into her father’s arms. She did not pay much attention to Annienna’s grave, for her death only brought comfort to Alenor. Had she taken care to look, she might have seen the transparent forms of a tall and proud lord and a lady fair and bright, her parents. They held hands looking at their daughter, their eyes laughing and happy in death. Alenor saw them naught, but she had the distinct impression she was being watched, but it was comforting not something that made her want to run.
“Alenor.” The shapes disappeared as Alenor turned to the voice. The only thing now that remained of their presence was the tinge of cold hardly known by the two.
“You seem the most annoying person to show up at unexpected times! Did you see me leave and decide to put spiders in my hair? Or is it something viler? Such as squirrel insides?” a smile threatened to break through the mocking hurt in her voice. Legolas spread his arms wide and came beside her.
“As you see I have nothing,” he said truthfully, in a hurt voice. “Arwen said that you came ill.” At that he broke off and began to go into wild fits of laughter, leaving Alenor with a very bemused expression.
“Legolas,” she said tensely carrying her voice so it would be heard. “Why are you laughing? Is there something on my face?” Legolas shook his head and sat beside her leaning in the grass to look at the spattered sky framed by waving tree branches and leaves. It was a very nice night.
“You should have seen the look on Lord Elrond’s face,” Legolas choked, he was still fighting off laughter. “It was somewhere between anger and humor. He got up made ten steps to the door turned around came and sat down and drained three cups of wine before he calmed.” Alenor looked at him drawing her knees to her chest and looked at Legolas. He smiling and she could tell that he was about to start laughing once more.
“My grandfather drinking that much wine?” Alenor said in amused tone, she remembered suddenly what Arwen had said. “So how is Lindir holding up?”
“Finally changed your opinion on him now?” Legolas asked his eyes were closed and face awash with light that glinted off the circlet on his brow as well. He opened one eye to her and then closed it.
“No,” Alenor said choosing her words carefully. “I just wanted to know if he was drunk yet.” A smile cracked Legolas’s face for a moment.
“Lady Arwen did something didn’t she?” he asked.
“How would you know?” Alenor demanded her eyes narrowing. Legolas gave a wry chuckle.
“How would I not after that woman dumped two buckets of wine on my head, I am sure that was from her brothers. Put live mice in my bed? Threw my clothes in a wet heap on me while I was asleep? Well brought up woman.,” he snorted loudly. “No way! That woman’s as worse as Elrohir was once.” He fell silent as if knowing he had treaded on thin ice. Alenor looked to the stars and then to him once more.
“Aye,” she agreed softly. “I think she did something to Lindir to get him really drunk.” Legolas chuckled softly.
“And if I know anything from her tricks, he’ll have a massive headache, in which you will torture him until he agrees to leave you alone. Don’t ask me how I know Alenor. It is something she would do. They really messed with her when she was a child!”
“Now that is unjust,” Alenor said defending her aunt. “They did nothing wrong! They only pulled her into a few of their tricks!”
“Just so,” Legolas said defending his cause.
“Are we going to sit here all night and argue?” Alenor asked throwing a green piece of grass at him. It floated away however on the light breeze missing the target. Legolas shuffled on the ground.
“I did not say that,” he said, his lips parted to make a pout that would have rivaled that of a child. “How dare you accuse me of such thing!”
“You look like a pouting baby,” Alenor said with a frown. “If I didn’t know any better and had a bucket of water I would dump it over your head to wash it away.” Legolas smiled as he sat up and looked at her in mock horror.
“But a Lady such as yourself doing such a thing?” he gasped.
“Oh come here!” Alenor cried and lunged at him. He quickly got up and danced away, but not before Alenor caught onto his ankle and refused to let go. Legolas laughed trying to shake her off.
“Ai help!” he cried laughing. “There is a leech attached to me!” Alenor let go as she began laughing so hard. Legolas collapsed beside her and they both laughed together.
“I’m leaving tomorrow,” Legolas said once he found air. Alenor snapped back to sternness.
“But Legolas you only just arrived!” she protested. Legolas opened his mouth to say something, but a bloodcurdling scream shook Rivendell.