Mithrandir stood in the doorway, leaning over his gnarled staff like some beggar. His breathing was harsh and ragged as if he had run long miles. Oddly enough his hat was still topped neatly open his head.
“It seems our door guardian didn’t do his job,” Elrond observed raising an eyebrow looking away from Alenor.
“Who Legolas?” Gandalf gasped. “I knocked him over, I think he’s still recovering on the floor.”
Elrond frowned. “Alenor and I were having a talk,” he told the wizard with a disapproving air. Gandalf nodded his head in apology, his breathing still hard.
“Apologies,” he said gasping for air still. “Lord Elrond you’d best come quick though! Frodo’s having another fit!” Elrond tensed.
“Hurry!” he cried and ran from the room. Alenor barely stifled a smile on her face as she heard Gandalf groan. After a deep breath he left the room quickly. Picking herself up from the chair, happily knowing that the ominous conversation was over for some time. The though bothered her on how he knew of Elladan however. Drawing a ragged sigh Alenor decided to find Legolas and persuade him into a balancing contest upon a fallen tree over frigid pond. They had often done it enough times when they were upset about something and often purposefully jumping off to cool themselves off.
“Arwen you’re not watching yourself!” Shaking her head Arwen lowered her blade and gazed helplessly into Glorfindel’s eyes. Erestor was watching disapprovingly from the stands.
“I’m sorry,” she sighed. “I’m just worried about the Hobbit. I thought some good sword practice would help, but it’s not.” Closing her eyes Arwen listened to the wind and sighing leaves. Every things had a story to tell, whether it was a stone or a tree, there was always a story of the passing years.
“I’m sure he will fine,” Erestor spoke from the stands. “I’m sure Glorfindel has told you as well.” Arwen sighed, that was it! What were these assurances other then empty words?
“You don’t know yourselves, and are only hoping to buoy me,” Arwen said flatly sheathing her long, slender blade with a ring. She was pleased to see the knowing glances passed between the two older Elves.
“Arwen,” Glorfindel began. A smile tugging on the corners of her mouth Arwen raised a hand stalling his words.
“There is something you can do to help me,” she said grinning mischievously now.
“Oh no!” Erestor sighed. “Run, there comes that look.” Arwen grinned wider. There were only a few who knew about her wilder side. These two were some and she was pleased at it right now.
“What does Aragorn fear?” she asked in an interested voice.
“Preying now after your lovers?” Glorfindel teased. A relaxed smile drew away her grin. Arwen was happy that when she needed comfort, when her father openly told her would not allow such love, she could count on them to make her feel better and even encourage the love between them when it was needed most.
“Well he made me really upset and. . .” Arwen began, Erestor cut her off.
“Crickets, or grasshoppers,” he said with a smug smile. “You know how gullible that poor child was! When he was young some Elf terrified him with some story about man-eating crickets and showed him one that would as the young Aragorn later claimed, `would grow larger and eat me at night.’ He’s never got over it. Most probably because at the time the Elf said it the cricket chirped and jumped right into the poor kid’s face. He can listen to them, but any one time he noticed them on his boots or hand, anything you’ll hear him scream like a girl.” Glorfindel shook with silent laughter. Arwen crossed her arms.
“Okay, Glorfindel, Erestor,” she said. “Do you know where any are?”
“Check the meadows,” Glorfindel answered. “They might be there, or just check around. For best results dump them in his bed in early morning, when some Elves are awake and the rest will awaken to the screams. They’ll hear him screaming. Heir to Isildur screaming like a child!” Glorfindel choked on suppressed laughter. Arwen herself was finding it hard to keep a straight face.
“Thanks,” she thanked them. With a wave she departed, wiping dark strands of hair from her face with an elegant hand. For a few hours she would have something to occupy herself with something other then brooding over the poor hobbit. She hardly heard Glorfindel’s last words to her: `Don’t forget of your meeting with your father tonight!’
Alenor huddled over herself, pulling hers and Legolas’s cloak tighter around her. Against herself Alenor’s teeth were chattering hard and she was frozen. Legolas was looking down at her, a worried and laughing expression upon his face.
“It’s not that cold,” he told her.
“Be quiet!” she snapped, her words nearly intelligible by her chattering teeth. “I’m freezing.” It was made worse by the Elf prince standing there in soaking garments and water dripping down his back and face, and he didn’t look the slightest bit cold! Behind him Alenor could see the small, but deep pond where a slender birch bark tree stretched across. This was the method of their balancing game. They attempted to push each other into the frigid waters or just jumped in themselves to help run out their anger. It had worked and Alenor was freezing.
“Alenor we should go back you’re going to freeze,” Legolas said, she saw that he was worried now. Alenor shook her head violently sending water droplets and hair slapped hard against her face. Sighing Legolas bent down and scooped her up into his arms. Alenor tried to get away, but he held her firmly. Regretfully laying her head against his chest Alenor let him take her away to her room. She could hear some Elves with chuckles, knowing what had happened. What made her cheeks flare was that even during summer months and hot weather whenever they played the game Legolas was often made to carry Alenor back to her rooms before she was going to change. She knew that she was going to get a mouthful from Elrond though, the same lecture over and over again. She basically had it memorized by heart. Thinking about that probably meant Rana and Aragorn as well were going to give her the `talk’ about not jumping into the pond. She inwardly groaned.
With a stroke of ill luck Rana happened to be in the room sharpening his sword blade, every once in a while gazing at the mirror image of himself in the polished steel. When he heard the door open Rana didn’t bother to ask why Legolas was holding Alenor, just silently got up and closed the balcony doors.
Legolas set Alenor on her feet and she hugged the cloaks tighter. She was in for it she knew! Still appearing nonchalant Rana headed to the closet they shared selecting a dress he tossed it to Alenor. She nearly didn’t catch it with her numbed fingers. From there he went back to his bed and continued with his work, the distinguishable sound of the sharp edge hissing over the whetstone filled the room, almost covering Alenor’s chattering teeth.
“Put it on sister, you’re going to catch a cold,” Rana said coolly from where he sat. “Legolas if you wish you can stay or go.” Behind her Legolas silently exited the room, allowing Alenor to her cruel fate. After Alenor didn’t move Rana raised an eyebrow, keeping in time with his work. “Do I have to personally take off those wet clothes and shove that dress over your head?”
Alenor shivered. “No,” she managed through chattering teeth and wet to the changing wall. From behind she heard Rana get up and called something to a maid in the hallway.
Still shivering she pulled off her wet garments and threw the spare shift on with the blessedly warm wool dress. She had a few on these dresses, even if they were heavy and coarser then her native wear, it was much better when she was cold. Coming out behind the wall Rana issued her to a chair setting a warm cup of hot wine in her hands. Behind her she could hear him gently ringing water from her hair.
“How many more times do we have to tell you sister that you can’t go in that pond?” Rana asked behind her. Alenor was silent. She knew the answer he knew the answer. “I’m not giving you the talk Alenor. I’m saying really if you want to jump in there and likely drown yourself from shock, please have someone there to carry you back.” Alenor shivered. She was happier that her brother decided not to punish her. “Aragorn and Grandfather though may have a different story,” Rana added behind. Happiness was crushed; did he have to remind her? Shifting uncomfortably in her seat only made Rana laugh.
“I’m cold,” Alenor said hoping to drift off the tender subject, she only succeeded in making her brother laugh. . . for a few seconds.
Alenor wasn’t sure what happened, but she was trying to get warm and listen to her brother, the next she was laying on her back on the floor. Hot searing agony fell down her left shoulder arm and side, the room dissolved into pale shadows and insubstantial in some places. Screaming in the agony that controlled her every thought Alenor writhed pathetically on the floor, despite her brother’s worried orders. She didn’t even notice when he rushed from the room for any aid he could find. Her world was pale shadows and pain.
*- First of all I have been reading my story through and noticed that so many bad things happened to her, my writer’s mind got carried away. So I have to make her happy in some chapter, unfortunately I am already many chapters ahead of that, so please bear with me until that chapter and chapters. I am terribly sorry for what I have done to her!!