“Legolas!” Alenor gasped. She could feel his breath on her face from when he had fallen on top of her. Legolas his face quite close to hers was about to respond, when an angry voice interrupted them.
“Legolas! Alenor! What are you doing?” Then another voice.
“Legolas get off her! What are you two doing?” At that time two sets of feet came and they were hauled to their feet and apart. Feeling the grips on her arms Alenor knew that it was Elrond who held her, he was shaking and with obvious fury. Thranduil gripping onto Legolas’s arms so tight the Elf Prince was wincing, was glowering so hard he could have set a forest on fire. Legolas’s and Alenor’s eyes met for one moment and they understood what was going. Elrond and Thranduil entering in the wrong moment immediately came to conclusions that they were bedding each other, or near enough and Legolas in answering Alenor looked as if he were about to kiss. That was all it took, Alenor younger and Legolas older and they were not even courting each other. It was strictly forbidden to bed anyone until marriage in Elven law. This was going to be bad and even worse to explain.
“Father. . .” Legolas stammered as the grip tightened, he was going to have ugly bruises when Thranduil released his son. “It’s not what you think.”
“Oh I know what was going on,” Elrond grated from behind Alenor. His grip tightened slightly. “In all my years I never saw something more improper than this!” Alenor winced as did Legolas.
“Grandfather please, Legolas and I were just fooling around,” Alenor tried to explain and knew that as she said it that `fooling around’ was not the way to put it.
“I will hear none of the excuses,” Thranduil said hotly. “You’re going home and will promptly see to hard duties for three months!”
“Father,” Legolas said once again. “Please Alenor and I were just playing, it was my fault we ended up on the floor.”
“And doing what?” Thrnaduil asked his voice hot with anger.
“Nothing!” Alenor cried. She pulled at Elrond’s hands as he held her.
“Nothing my foot!” Elrond said venomously. “Alenor you will attain the same amount of work as Legolas.” Alenor hung her head, why couldn’t they see through? She knew the answer, two high people, on the floor with a blanket on top of them. She saw Legolas’s face of stubbornness.
“Lord Elrond with all respect,” Legolas said, with forced calm. “Alenor and I were having a bit of fun. It was entirely a mistake that we ended up as we were. If there is anyone to blame it is I, for starting the whole thing.” She felt Elrond’s hand loosen their hold to a more comfortable tightening. Thranduil lessened his hold too from the look of relief upon Legolas’s face.
“Legolas and I just accepted we were both wrong in our arguments,” Alenor added. “He was cradling me as I cried,” Alenor said in a slower voice. “He just made a comment and we were just goofing off and it was my fault that we landed on the floor.
“Legolas?” his father asked. Legolas nodded his head.
“It was just that, not all the details of how it started, but that,” he confirmed. Elrond released Alenor although Thranduil was slightly more hesitant with his son.
“Okay,” Elrond said carefully. “Alenor would not lie, and had she done so I would have noticed. Furthermore I could not see her disrespecting our culture, I release any anger in hasty thinking that I put against her.” Thranduil nodded once and roughly issuing Legolas out of the room with a mumbled sorry as he passed Alenor and Elrond.
When they had left Elrond went and sat down on Rana’s bed while Alenor distractedly went and repaired the mess of her bed. While she worked Alenor could feel his eyes slowly watching her every movement, unsure of whether to speak and if he did, whether it would be appropriate.
“Alenor,” he said at last as she was setting the last pillow in place.
“Yes?” Alenor asked softly, fearing otherwise to have Elrond upset once more. She stood to look at Elrond then sat upon her own bed.
“I’m very sorry,” Elrond began. “We didn’t see much when we walked in and were quite startled. Second I want to give you this.” Reaching over he grasped Alenor’s right hand and placed something in it. “Celebrian would have liked you to have it.” Rising silently then he left the room while Alenor uncurled her hand. In it was the odd blue stone, set upon a silver pin. With a gentle sigh Alenor was about to say something when she remembered that Elrond had left. Standing she went to her closet and took her grey, Lorien cloak, that Galadriel had gifted her on her fiftieth birthday and swung it around her shoulders. With gentleness Alenor took off the mallorn leaf pin and set in the stone. Smiling at herself she turned and left the room.
“Thought you would come here.” Alenor ignored him and tossed another rock into the water from where she sat upon the stone. The rock landed with a sploosh and gentle ripples faded as they reached for the shore rocky shore. She wasn’t in oblivious state and had heard him coming, the tell-a-tale sign also was the sudden burst of cursing she had heard.
“Lose your balance?” she asked. “It is not usual for Elves to lose their balance.”
“Nor is it usual for them not to hear,” Legolas shot back as he sat beside her and took the stone that she was about to throw from her hand. “Stop, I prefer the peace at this time.”
“So would I, but it’s the only thing that allows me to sink into oblivion,” Alenor replied sourly. “And I don’t want that to happen!” Legolas sighed.
“They’re both sorry Alenor you know that,” Legolas said gently. “What would you have done?” Alenor stayed silent gazing at the silent water. A few autumn leaves floated on its surface from where the wind had carried them. She shivered slightly and pulled her cloak tighter.
“It’s chill,” she said, hoping to change the subject.
“It’s fine,” Legolas said looking at her with a strange expression. “What do you mean Alenor? It’s not cold, nor chill, it is a fine day.” Alenor glared at him as she pulled her knees to her chest.
“It’s chill,” she protested. “I’m chill and so it’s cold!” Legolas looked at her with an odd expression. When he caught Alenor staring at him he quickly looked away to the water.
“All right,” he gave in. “Its chill. I don’t feel it though.” Alenor sighed. “I haven’t seen Arwen.” Legolas who had been looking out of the corner of her eyes noticed her shoulders stiffen.
“Arwen’s gone,” Alenor responded, aware that her voice was stiff as well. “She’ll be back soon though.” I hope she added privately to herself.
“Where?” Legolas pushed. Alenor felt irritation rise, did he have to know everything? Determined not to break the newly built fragile bond Alenor pushed her voice to calm.
“She’s chasing Nazgul to find Aragorn and his companions,” she said bluntly. “So I have no idea whether she’s coming home or not.” There was a slight flickering of shock upon her friend’s face as she said that.
“Then I hope the Valar bring her home,” Legolas said to the air. Alenor nodded.
“So I heard that you two were caught?” They both raised there heads to see Elrohir standing with his arms crossed and he was trying to seem serious and upset, but a grin had already made a permanent hold on his face. Legolas and Alenor opened their mouths to respond when Elrohir plowed on. “Anyway I need your help. I want to go away for few days and will be alone till I get to my destination. I know you don’t want to trust me, but I must go.” He looked at them, the grin was still there much to their irritation, as he came and sat on the other side of Legolas.
“Who is it Uncle?” Alenor asked. She wasn’t letting him go anywhere, since that night five years ago that he had betrayed her, to anyplace without knowing who and where. Elrohir matched Alenor’s stubborn look eye-for-eye and his grin slipped away to a hard line as Legolas leaned back on his hands as if allowing the staring contest to go on.
“A good lass,” Elrohir muttered at last breaking eye contact and turning his gaze toward the water. “We’re friends and that’s it. I haven’t seen her for two years. I would like to go.”
“How do you know she will be there?” Alenor pushed further.
“I know, she doesn’t leave, she watches the Mountains Passes from Mirkwood to Rivendell,” Elrohir answered. “She kills all the goblins she finds.” Alenor was silent.
“Is it dangerous?” she questioned.
“Aye,” Elrohir agreed. “But she will watch for me. She watches and helps every Elf who crosses over those mountains.”
“She could have helped those Dwarves over the cliffs a few years back,” Legolas muttered darkly from where he sat. Elrohir shot him a reproachful glare.
“It’s not her fault. They were fine to pass and had Mithrandir,” he said hotly. “Anyway she’d rather throw you off when she hears what you said.”
“Enough!” Alenor broke through before a fight happened. She felt the need to cuff Legolas in the back of the head for bringing him off subject. “How long?”
“Stop interrogating him!” Legolas said, Alenor could tell that the Elf was in a black mood. “He wants to kill himself, go. I’m sure if he said the word she’d throw him off the cliffs.”
“ENOUGH!!!” Alenor raised her voice to shouting level and authority, it was enough thankfully to shut the Elf up. “Now.” She turned her attention back to her Uncle. “How long? Does grandfather know?” Elrohir was silent for a long while.
“He knows,” Elrohir said at last. “But he does not want me leaving without escort. Please Alenor she will watch for me and help me to her home.” He looked at her with pleading eyes. “I’ll be gone for a few days at most. Can’t stay to long you know?” Alenor was silent then dropping into her thoughts, welcome that Legolas was being quiet and shooting no more comments in Elrohir’s way. She lined up what she had heard. She believed, against herself that Elrohir was telling the truth, the girl would be waiting. If she watched the passes then her home must be safe and she must have good fighting skills.
“All right,” she said at last. “Go.” Elrohir’s face lifted and he looked so relieved at her words that Alenor could have laughed, had she felt the mood to. “On one condition Uncle, that you will never leave her side unless she knows what time and where you are going and you will take Midnight.” Elrohir who had nodded consent at her first words jerked when she told him to take Midnight.
“Why?” he asked.
“Elrohir,” Alenor explained. “If you are to take Midnight and if I were to stay out of sight it would be assumed that I was going for a ride. Since you ride Sunrise they’ll notice that he’s still there and it will only be later that you are found. Be quick!”
“You are too wise sometimes Alenor,” Elrohir muttered to himself though Alenor heard his words. “I leave tonight then, it will easiest. Midnight will bear me and so I will go along with your plan.”
“You’re both mad,” Legolas announced standing. “But I will say nothing, Eru’s word.” Elrohir stood and hugged Legolas thanking him.
“No harm will come of me,” he promised. “I’ll be careful. Can you not trust me more?” Alenor frowned giving him her answer. Elrohir in turn sighed.
“Alenor how many more times must I say sorry and…” He was cut off.
“And I glare and tell you that you betrayed me? Fifty more million times, when I’m old and withered even for an elf,” Alenor interjected and Legolas shook his head.
“Where did you get that jewel?” he asked purposefully. Alenor was sure that he noted it all along and waited for the right moment to ask. Perhaps he had known all along that this would come do to Alenor and Elrohir having a spat. That happened often these days, the burning of betrayal had never quite left Alenor and often when she was worked up and there was nothing that she could do to vent it Alenor would turn in Elrohir accusing him over and over again of that night.
Alenor’s hand strayed over to the blue jewel, wondering was color it had turned in the sun’s rays. A shiver ran up her spine, she was sure that Elladan had come and gifted her with it. How had he come into possession, why couldn’t she remember?
“I found it,” Alenor replied. “I fell off Midnight and found it.”
“It was mother’s you know Legolas, I am sure you know that,” Elrohir said. Legolas nodded.
“It is a surprise that it comes to you and not their Lady Undomeil,” Legolas mused aloud. Alenor was beginning to feel uncomfortable in this line of talk.
“I have to go,” she said quickly hoping to shoulder past the two men, if that didn’t work Alenor would swim to the shore and run. As if guessing similar intent Legolas moved beside Elrohir and crossed his arms, she was trapped. “Men, please. I have to go.”
“Where?” Elrohir asked.
“Read a book?” Alenor said unsure of what else to say. Elrohir snorted he moved aside however.
“Meet me in the stables this night Alenor and keep those stable hands busy. Thwack them over the head like the sentries if you have to!” Alenor frowned.
“That was Arwen,” she said in a blunt voice. “Arwen thwacked them; I just placed them in a comfortable position.”
“Should have known,” Elrohir muttered. “How on earth does that woman manage to keep it hidden from our father?”
“I heard one time,” Legolas supplied. “That she threw the marchwarden of the flet on the borders of Lothlorien. She tied him in his blanket tied it to a branch and flung him off. Rumil and Orophin were off doing something off checking the borders and were away at the time.”
“I was there,” Elrohir supplied grimly. “I just came to see Arwen, I had a nasty bump the next for trying to stop her and fell out myself.” Alenor shook her head and laughed.
“I won’t hit them, I’ll introduce them to the storage cupboard and wine in their food, lots of it.” Elrohir chuckled while Legolas shook his head.
“Alenor you are going to be as bad as your Aunt if you keep this up,” Elrohir commented. Then straightening he came back on track. “Stables tonight after supper, if I miss supper father will wonder.”
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.