Alenor huddled together. She ignored Legolas’s voice from below the tree. He was trying to put something without reason into words. It was really messed. Alenor ignored him trying to keep away from the searching fingers of the wind in her nightgown. She wondered why she had climbed a tree; it seemed quite inane at this point in time. She thought now that it was the first safe place she had seen. She played with the white cloth of her dress from where her hands rested around her knees.
“Alenor are you listening to me?” Legolas demanded from at the bottom. Alenor ignored him. “If you don’t answer I’ll climb up!”
“I’ll shove you down,” Alenor responded. “Your father’s an uncontrollable maniac!” the words were meant to drive her friend away, it seemed not work.
“Alenor, do you realize how many times I have listened to those words?” Legolas asked he sounded like he was explaining to two year old. “Now come down! Or are you going to perch up their all night like a bird? Either way I will come and get you!”
“You try I’ll slam my foot in your face!” she threatened.
“Really Alenor, let’s try to modest,” Legolas said. “Father doesn’t mean to hurt anyone. He just gets frustrated easy! Now I’ve been covered from head to toe in bruises trying to calm him down sometimes you experienced nothing!”
“Nothing?” Alenor laughed hysterically. “Nothing? He looked like a raging madman! You think that is nothing?” She heard a frustrated sigh.
“I’m not going anywhere you know Alenor,” Legolas said. “I’m staying here till you come down. I mean come down! Or I’ll push you out!” Alenor buried her head into her knees and didn’t answer. “Alenor I’m warning you!”
“Go away!” she shouted. “I don’t want you here!” There was a drawn sigh below her.
“Think reason will you girl?” Legolas said. “I’m coming up. I don’t care what you do, but I refuse to let you perch in a tree!” she heard him scrambling up. Alenor didn’t move even though she wanted to go through with her threats and waited. In a few seconds he was sitting next to her on the tree branch. “You’re cold.” Alenor looked away.
“Am not,” she said.
“Will you quit being stubborn?” Legolas asked. “This is driving me mad!”
“I don’t care,” Alenor said coolly. Legolas shook his head in frustration.
“Alenor enough of this okay?” he asked. “You’re cold, don’t deny it. You’re perching in this tree like a bird. I’m taking you down.” She felt his arms try to take hold of her, but Alenor jerked away, swaying dangerously on her branch.
“Go away,” she said. “I don’t want to go down. I don’t want to see your father.”
“He’ll want to say sorry,” Legolas urged. “Come on get down.” Alenor buried her face again.
“No,” her words muffled. “Go away leave me alone!”
“I’m not going anywhere,” Legolas said his voice tight and driving the words across. “You can push me down, scream or whatever you wish to do, but I won’t let you stay up here! I stress that you are most definitely not a bird.”
“And you’re not my guardian,” Alenor said drawing her point across, a thin ice to her words. “And since you are not my guardian you have no right to be here.”
“Alenor!” Legolas cried. “I am your friend. Friends have every right to be here!”
“No they don’t,” Alenor grumbled. She rubbed her arms as best she could. The searching wind seemed to take no pity upon her.
“I asked you to quit being stubborn!” Legolas said tensely.
“And I said I don’t care,” Alenor repeated. “Now go back and live with that madman of a father. You must be like him somewhere? No? Hmm, keep trying I think you’re getting it.” Alenor saw the stinging horror on Legolas’s face at her words, but she kept her face smooth, she knew if she could see him, he could see her.
“Fine,” he choked out after a couple of seconds. “Fine then I’m just as bad as my father. That’s what you want right? If it is then that is the end of friendship isn’t? I guess so.” He got up and left. Alenor had heard enough in his voice to know that her words ran deep, like poison that drives the body to delirium. She sat quietly mulling her words over, she came to no solution, and finally decided to climb down and seek warmer refuge.
“Alenor the Prince and King are leaving,” Rana said, he had been trying for the past three minutes to coax her from the room. First insisting he wanted to show her something and finally admitting his reason. Alenor ignored him continuing with her embroidery. She was really horrible at it and wondered why she had attempted at trying. The picture was beginning to look like a mangled horse.
“Rana please leave me in peace?” she said looking up from the work. She was sitting tucked in a chair near her bed, her knees were starting to protest to the small space.
“What is it?” he demanded. His eyes suddenly narrowing as if he had an abrupt conclusion. “You hate embroidery. You would have been begging for Legolas to stay longer, probably just to shove him into a pond. You’re not telling me something. I want no more fights, but one will occur if you don’t tell me.” Alenor sighed and set the needlework down upon the bed carefully turning it over so the mangled work wouldn’t be as noticeable. She smoothed out the folds of the grayish-greenish dress that Elrond despised.
“Rana,” she said carefully. “Why don’t you go down and see him off? They won’t wait much longer.” She paused for a couple seconds looking up into her brother’s face knowing that she should have seen him noticing it. “Me and Legolas had a fight. We’ve ended our friendship. Okay?” Rana looked stunned.
“Alenor,” he gave a weak protest then shut his mouth. “All right then. I’ll tell him goodbye.” He started walking to the door and paused with a hand resting on the door handle. “Is Uncle alright?” Alenor shook her head.
“I’m not sure, I couldn’t see him,” she gave him a sheepish smile. “I’m afraid I’ll start yelling at him.” Rana shook his head.
“My good sister,” he said, his eyes lingered upon her horrible attempt at needlework. “Perhaps you should find a book? You’re better at that then what you were doing a moment ago?” he raised an eyebrow and was gone. Alenor got up and did as her brother suggested.
Once he left Alenor hauled herself from the chair and walked to one of the many libraries in Rivendell. She decided to find a good book and curl up, spend the day reading. Calm herself down, so much had happened over the past few days that Alenor was quite out of her reckoning. Her mother dead, Elrohir wounded probably dead now, her meeting with her father, the events after the feast and her argument with Legolas. It was enough that Alenor had her fill of excitement for awhile. It was the perfect excuse to dig into a book until Elrond snapped it shut on her and literally hauled her from the chair.
The library was quiet and cool. The rows of shelved books marched in formation down the aisles and wall. Window seats awash with golden sunlight nestled snugly in the windows. A few chairs, of rush were placed here and there, resting quietly to the dark polished, wood of some tables. On a few tables some books lay where some careless Elf left them. There was no one there as Alenor walked through the aisles to pick a book.
She finally settled on a favorite. It wasn’t a history book, just a story, fictional. Alenor cradled it gently in her arms as she sat down in a window seat curling up. The book was old, but because of the care of her Grandfather the book looked hardly two days old. The cover lifted for her fingers and Alenor forgot time and thought as she wandered through the pages of the book and lost herself in that world.
Alenor wasn’t sure how long she had sat there and read; taking breaks only to stretch and yawn. Her head was craned over reading when the book shut over her hand, lightly, but with a snap that made her jump.
“You didn’t say farewell.” Alenor raised her head taking her free hand as the other was still trapped within the pages of the book and rubbed her eyes. Elrond was looking down at her with that firm, almost angry look. Anyone in Rivendell would have known to step light around here.
“Rana didn’t tell you?” she asked. Elrond stayed quiet taking the book and placing it on an empty table. His answer was enough to let her know. Alenor stayed quiet herself, perhaps it was not the best judgment for Elrond did not speak as well. A long silence wound around the room as the two Elves waited for the other to speak. Elrond stood looking regal in his robes a finger absently tracing over the title of the book, waiting for the younger elf to speak. Alenor sitting curled in her window seat watching Elrond’s back waiting for her grandfather to speak.
“Well?” he asked at last. His voice indicated that he was not exactly pleased at speaking first. Alenor was glad he had spoken, she near to bursting from the silence. She looked up into his face. Grey, wise eyes regarding her youthful ones, they seemed to know already however, just waiting until she had admitted, his arms hung loosely at his sides and he had the look of one who could wait forever until she spoke. Alenor nearly screamed at him to not look like that.
“You know,” she mumbled and looked away from him. Sometimes it seemed that her grandfather wasn’t her grandfather, but some strange lord.
“I do not,” Elrond’s tone, brooked no excuses or beating around the bushes.
“Then you guess?” Alenor said.
“Alenor I do not guess, why were you not there?” Elrond asked his voice remained neutral; it was not dull, just that of a patient lord that would get the answer out by silence. It worked most of the time. Alenor looked up into his eyes and quickly looked away again. Her strategy was not to look into his eyes. Elrond spoke up as if guessing her intent. “Alenor, granddaughter, look at me.” Alenor looked up into his eyes.
“Thranduil’s a madman,” she said, skipping around the truth, even though it was hard with that gaze upon her.
“Really?” Elrond asked patiently. “Is that it?”
“Ye. . . Yes,” Alenor stammered looking away once more.
“I said look at me,” Elrond said in a calm, commanding tone. Alenor looked up again, feeling different from last night’s game of cat and mouse. She felt like the mouse already caught and about to be eaten. “Are you sure that’s all?” Alenor nodded, watching Elrond like that was going to drive her mad.
“That’s it,” she said. Elrond stood without saying anything. Patiently standing, and watching her. For what? Signs of giving in?
“Legolas and you had a fight?” he asked his voice carefully neutral. Alenor nearly started. How did he do it?
“Perhaps,” Alenor said carefully, her hands moved for the book, but Elrond quickly caught her hands.
“Perhaps what?” he asked. He released her hands after setting it back in her lap.
“We had a fight,” Alenor said quietly. “That’s it.”
“That’s it?” Elrond asked. “Look at me Alenor.” She moved her eyes up again.
“We’re not friends anymore,” she whispered and looked away. Sometimes she could strangle him; Elrond should have been a torture master! It was horrible when you wanted to keep something quiet. She heard a noise and something settling in her lap.
“I’ll light a lamp, don’t miss dinner.” She looked up into Elrond’s face. There was a compassionate look about them. “Read.” Alenor nearly choked, he was usually taking the books away from her! Before she could ask Elrond left the library. The lighted lamp threw away the enfolding shadows of darkness making it easier to read.
The dinner bell must have rung and supper gone. The lamp must have been burning low. The pangs of hunger must have being gnawing at her stomach, but Alenor didn’t notice. The book sat finished in her lap, the cover carefully down. Her fingers gently laying on the top. Her head was turned watching the gathering shadows lie about Rivendell to be sprung back by a sudden lighting of a light. The gentle crashing of waterfalls hummed about penetrating the walls. The golden sun was setting spreading its last rays about splaying everything in golden color. Alenor hardly acknowledged any of it. Her mind was drifting, spreading across the miles that lay between them, wondering if her judgment the day before had been unjust. Perhaps she had been unfair in her words and provoked her friend to say what words he did. But it was complete right? There was no taking it back?
“I told you to come for dinner Alenor. You weren’t there. Why didn’t you come down your book is finished.” Alenor turned her head to see Elrond. He moved her feet and sat on the window seat as well. “Wondering about what you said?” Alenor nodded turning her head away from the window.
“Perhaps I was a little unjust,” she said slowly. “Perhaps I provoked him?” Elrond took her hands.
“They’re cold,” he said there was no worry, her hands were always cold. He rubbed them gently. “Why do you feel bad?”
“I don’t know,” Alenor admitted. She looked away once more and felt his hand brushed a stray hair from her face.
“Because child you still worry about his feelings. It is good not to just worry about yourself,” Elrond said carefully his hands returning to place warmth back into Alenor’s.
“Then what do I do?” Alenor asked miserably. There was a short amused chuckle from Elrond.
“I do not expect you to go running out after him,” he said. “Wait, let him take back his words. Just wait.”
“I hate waiting!” Alenor cried. Elrond shook his head.
“There’s nothing you can do,” he said. “Let’s go to the kitchens to find you something to eat.” He lifted her out of the seat. Alenor gave him a smile, she wasn’t sure what type of smile, but a smile.
“All right,” she agreed and let Elrond escort her to the kitchen.
After a satisfying dinner, in the survey of Elrond keeping the cooks much more quiet, Alenor was able to think clearer, felt the packed days lengthen; perhaps it was just hunger that had caused for her to think so. One thing remained sure, she was worried about what Elrond had said about Legolas saying sorry himself.
Elrond guided Alenor out to the gardens after the dinner. Bright lanterns were glowing, casting away the shadows, the stars shone down brightly. A few Elves were there, welcoming the stars, or to be alone. A rather loud group sounded that some Elves were not entirely somber. Elrond stayed quiet as they past, giving polite nods to the scattered `my lord’. Most Elves hardly noticed they past.
They continued their walk until Elrond led her past a silver gate into a quiet garden. There were no lights in this garden except for the lights of stars and moon. It was small and circular and a gate with pointed spears raised guarded entrance and the only way in was by the gate through which they past. Craftily hewn, white stones parked the paths that wound through the garden, four leading to the middle. In the middle upon a green lawn, there stood a fountain that at which time past have spouted water shimmering into the air and pond. It stood silent now, looking eerily in the moonlight, a figure of long past memories. The woman in the middle standing upon a rock held her arms up high where two bowls sat in her hands. At her feet two children sat their feet extended to the water and faces showing joy as they would have at one time watched the water fall. From where she stood it looked like no signs of time wore upon the stone as of someone had taken care of it. At one time the bowls must have acted as waterfalls and spread before the children’s faces. Though it looked empty and had been so for many years Alenor could tell that someone had tended to the flower beds. There were some blooming and spreading their colors and marching lines of different types. The garden held a peaceful look and was quiet. She wondered why no one ever came here.
“Grandfather where are we?” Alenor whispered in awe. Feeling now like a child standing in front of a mighty king. She was holding Elrond’s hand and could feel it shaking in hers.
“No where,” he said shortly, startling Alenor. “Let’s go.” He reined Alenor around like some disobedient kid and pulled her from the garden. The gate shut quietly on hinges hiding the splendor that lay beyond. Elrond seemed not to notice he dragged Alenor along hauling her up when she tripped till the gate and garden was far behind and they were once again in the well lit areas.
Elrond released her and sank onto a bench and to Alenor’s eyes he looked old, really old.
“Where were we Grandfather, I’ve never been there,” Alenor said standing before him casually brushing herself off.
“No where!” Elrond snapped raising his head. His eyes shone cold and his hands were clenched into fists as if he thought of hitting her. “And you’ll stay away from there as well! Now get to bed!” Alenor stumbled back and quickly hurried off.
Once back in the safety of her room and huddling under the covers Alenor’s thoughts started whirling. Why had Elrond acted like that? What was he hiding?
*-Hope you’ve enjoyed!