Rana smoothed back Alenor’s hair from her brow as he listened to the wind. He had never thought in all his years how good it was to be home. Everything, to his eyes seemed to be new, seemed as if everything had changed thoroughly though nothing had changed much. The best of the whole thing was that he was with his sister again. His love for her went deeper then words even when he was upset with her.
“She tired?” Rana lifted his hand pushing away the damp black hair from his face and smiled slightly at Aragorn.
“She talked herself out,” Rana explained as his older sister stirred from where she slept. “I didn’t have hardly a word in the conversation and she couldn’t be quiet. I loved every moment of it though.”
Aragorn took a seat on the edge of the wooden bench and looked at Rana. “You love her a lot don’t you?” he asked.
Rana looked to his sister’s sleeping face and then the glimmering jewel she had clasped with her hand tightly, he wanted to loosen her hold in case she cut herself, but was afraid to do so, for he might awaken her. “Like she were my own mother,” Rana answered quietly. “I never realized how much I missed her until I saw her. It’s funny I’ve always felt like I were the older one instead of her.” Rana smiled gently. He could remember when he was a small Elf and his sister had fallen into a mud puddle when she was walking with him down a forest trail:
Rana looked to the dirt away from his sister’s gaze.
“I didn’t do anything Alenor,” he said quietly pushing his foot through the dirt. Overhead wind sighed through the branches of the trees. He peered up into his sister’s face. Her eyes were narrowed in anger and her hands were clenched around a soaked dress. His small mind remembered that it had rained the night before. He could also remember the argument she had with his mommy.
“You cursed child!” she cried. “I hate you!” Her words with Rana, were just that he was the only object that she could vent her anger upon at the moment. The words hit him like a knife and Rana began to cry.
“I don’t want you to hate me,” he whispered, somehow ignoring the instinct or feeling that he should run away, or face major consequences. “I only want to help you. I love you.” He was proud to see her face relax and fold her legs, still sitting the in puddle.
“I don’t hate you Rana,” she smiled. “Come sit down on my lap and we both will get wet and make grandfather mad?” Rana smiled and plopped down on his sister’s lap resting his head against hers.
“Good memories?” Rana lifted his head to Aragorn. He nodded. Aragorn looked up a beautiful statue guiding the pathway.
It was a woman with a fair hair that rippled past her shoulders and stone eyes smiled and danced as her hands spread out in welcome. Her Elven features shone out and she had a crown of flowers about her fair head and wreathes down her dress. Rana looked at Aragorn again and was about to answer when Alenor screamed and sat up bolt right her whole body rigid while shaking. Her face was paler then it should be and her eyes looked haunted.
Alenor smiled gently feeling the wind teasing her hair as she made a garland of flowers that lay about her feet. She was in a giant meadow of green grass and beautiful flowers. As she worked Alenor hummed, not ready to awaken herself from the sleep that she had fallen into after speaking with her brother She had a deep spring green dress that exposed her shoulders to the warm sun above.
“Hey!” she laughed as a wind picked up strongly out of no where. Standing lightly upon her feet Alenor opened her hands and the crown swirled away. With a laugh she went to dart after it, but to her dismay it crumbled to dust as her fingers went to touch the flower crown. With a cry of shock, Alenor looked to her feet to see the grass grow black with decay and the flowers droop their heads turning to sickly colors. The sun was shielded and everything was plagued in blackness, Alenor cried out again in panic and fell to her knees. She felt odd all of a sudden as if something inside her was dying some part of her. Her face lifted when she saw the black shoes of someone before her. Her face lifted to reveal someone. His frame melted in with the shadows that were around her dreamscape, but she could tell there was a horrible cruel smile upon his face. There was great wrench inside her as if something were being pulled away from her, like losing a limb forcefully and Alenor felt as if she had died, that something had died. With a cry she fell upon the sickly grass and flowers and heard his harsh ringing laugh over her dreamscape before all was black.
With a scream Alenor pulled herself up right, feeling the brooch dig into her fingers and feeling drops of blood come from the sharp points. She felt intact again as if nothing were dying. She could feel her shoulders shaking and her body tense. She couldn’t hear, she was only focused upon her sudden fear.
“Alenor! Alenor!” she felt warm hands gently loosen her hold of the brooch and others on her shoulders. Slowly she came back to herself and looked into her brother’s eyes. They were filled with worry for her.
“What happened?” he asked earnestly. Alenor breathed deeply.
“Nothing,” she lied horribly, her eyes downcast and the note of fear creeping in.
“You’re lying,” Aragorn said, speaking, she knew, what Rana was about to say. “You’ve cut yourself on that brooch.”
“I know,” Alenor said numbly. “I know.” She could feel the eyes of her brother and cousin watching her intently trying to figure out her lie.
“Never mind,” Rana said at last. Alenor lifted her head once more. “Let’s get you to the healers.”
“Brother I don’t need to. . .” the next words died on Alenor’s lips at the look Aragorn gave her. There was no double-crossing that look, it was even worse then Elrond’s when he wanted it to be.
“Rana’ll take you,” Aragorn confirmed helping Alenor to her feet. Protectively Rana slid an arm about his sister’s waist leading her away to the Healer’s House.
Once Alenor and Rana were beyond sight Aragorn shook his head. What had set Alenor off like that? He wouldn’t forget the look in her eyes as she shot up. Being as Alenor’s head had rested on her brother’s Aragorn had got to her side first. Hiding a shiver Aragorn pulled his travel-worn Ranger’s cloak tighter about his shoulders.
“You need a bath Ranger, the healers will have a fit if they smell you.”
With trained ears to some extent Aragorn had the feeling that someone was coming behind him and had been there for some time. Worried with his sister Aragorn was sure that Rana hadn’t noticed. Turning around he shrugged at Glorfindel. “Can’t do much,” he said. “I’m so used to it by now that I can’t smell anything. Beside I have taken at least twenty.” It was a lie of course he hadn’t found the time yet. Upon reaching Rivendell he had rushed to the hobbit’s side until Elrond waved him away and then came to Rana and talked till the few moments ago when something odd had happened.
“I suggest you have one now,” Glorfindel suggested. “I can aid you to your room if you need to?”
Aragorn chuckled humorlessly. “No, I’m all right Glorfindel. Did you see what passed a moment ago?” he asked. There were no words to be spoken though in answer as Glorfindel’s face darkened.
“Aye,” he said. “I saw everything.”
“Do you know what happened?” Aragorn asked him. “It frightened her.” He watched as the Elf sighed and looked away to a large tree that was sending leaves to the wind in golden and orange hues.
“I cannot say Aragorn,” Glorfindel said turning back to him. The Elf lord had on silvery-grey clothes and light shoes, the color sending long shimmers through his golden hair.
“But you know,” Aragorn pointed out. “You looked away from me.”
“Do you ask advice from me?” he asked. “If so then go to Erestor.”
Aragorn pursed him lips, trying to get anything out of Glorfindel when he was really in the mood to keep it from you, was like trying to get Sauron to surrender. “I do not ask for advice,” Aragorn said carefully. “I ask of what, you know on happened to Alenor.”
“Then that is advice,” Glorfindel said firmly.
“I said I do not ask for advice,” Aragorn said turning to his own tongue aware that he was getting quite frustrated. “I simply ask you to know what happened. Whatever it was surely got Alenor shook and her eyes were not something you would want to live through again.” He was aware of the Elf lord watching him with a measured disproving glance.
“You ask too many questions Estel,” he said. “Go take a bath.”
With a stiff and rigid bow Aragorn turned and left, not wanting to test how long he could check his anger. From the way chatting, smiling Elves quickly grew silent and politely moved aside for him Aragorn knew he had the look of Eru’s wrath on his face. He had once heard once, that when that look was on he could rival Thranduil in a staring contest, it was lucky that he was in a good mood when he overheard it, otherwise he dared not think of the consequences.
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.