Elrond raised his head as the door crashed open. He turned to see Rana gripping the door handle, breathing heavily though he didn’t seem winded. Annoyed that his attention was to be pulled from the important matter of the ailing hobbit, Elrond rose to dismiss the younger Elf.
“Grandfather!” Rana interrupted him before he even began. “Please Alenor needs help!”
Elrond forgot about dismissing him immediately. “What’s wrong?” he demanded grabbing the Elf’s shoulders and just restrained himself from shaking Rana senseless.
“She fell to the floor and started screaming in pain,” Rana explained breathlessly. “I didn’t know what to do!”
Elrond looked back to Gandalf who was sitting by the hobbit, eyebrows were raised, wondering what this was about. “Watch the hobbit,” Elrond ordered him. “Rana come on, hurry!”
Alenor didn’t know where she lay, her voice had grown hoarse long since, but agony still ripped down her shoulder and side. Pale shadows were clutching the room, hiding any colors that would give light to pale darkness. Evil voices drifted in and out of the of her mind, lessening pain with evil whisperings that only held lies. Yet even these lies were welcome relief from pain.
She was dimly aware that someone had taken her hand and laid something in it. Faintly and slowly the shadows reduced, until Alenor was left, staring at the archly carved beams of wood above and dull pain echoing in her side and shoulder. Moving her eyes slowly, wondering if this was another trick, she sighted her Grandfather. There was great worry in his eyes and he was clutching her hand? Was that what he had done to call her back? No, Alenor felt the sharp edges of the jewel in the closed hand and berated herself for leaving it on the other dress. Obviously seeing that she was awake, relief spread across the Lord of Rivendell’s face.
“Rana go find some water,” he ordered gently. Behind her Alenor heard the door close leaving her alone with her Grandfather. “Are you okay?”
“Yes,” Alenor croaked, her free hand went to her shoulder to massage it and noticed Elrond’s frown. “What’s wrong?”
“I think you’d better tell me what happened Alenor,” he said gravely. “Everything.”
Taking a breath she licked her dried lips and proceeded to tell him of every detail she could remember about the strange event.
When she had finished her narrative of the events Rana reentered room, kneeling beside Alenor who was still sprawled on the floor. Cupping the back of her head he gently lifted her head to the cup. Irritated slightly about being treated like a newborn baby, Alenor frowned. Rana shook his head and nodded at her hands. Looking at them Alenor could see that they were white and trembling. She understood why Rana was personally making her drink the water.
After three satisfying draining gulps Alenor motioned the cup away. Rana politely handed the cup to Elrond and settled Alenor into her bed.
“I’m sure Grandfather and you have something to discuss over the attack upon you,” Rana murmured. “I’ll leave you alone.”
Alenor wanted to protest, but knew better, she could feel her grandfather’s warning eyes upon her. Standing Rana left the room.
“Alenor, I’m speaking to Arwen tonight, so I want to lay this bare,” Elrond said once the door had shut again. “I don’t care if you want to remain silent! I’ll torture it out of you if I have to.”
Alenor looked at her hands, they were still white and trembling. She moved one to touch the jewel as if afraid that it was gone. “Go one,” she whispered barely audible.
“First of all it concerns the manner in which you found my Celebrian’s gem,” there was raw hurt and sadness lay exposed in the last few words. Alenor gulped hard, Elrond noticed for he plowed on. “How did you come by it Alenor? And why are you so closed when I mentioned my son in our last talk that you seemed frightened?” Alenor shifted and looked at the door. There was no Legolas guarding it this time, she could run. . . “Erestor’s outside.”
“I’m just nervous, I don’t like to speak of my father,” Alenor whispered and forced herself not to swallow another lump. She could feel Elrond’s disapproving eye on her.
“You were never a good liar Alenor,” Elrond said an air of annoyance around him. “It is best that you tell.”
Alenor looked around and noticed the balcony doors. Jump off them? She scorned the thought. A lot of good that will do! “I’m not saying anything,” Alenor said, deciding to rely on her stubbornness from this point on. She sat up slowly catching her arms about her knees.
“Alenor, I order you to speak!” Elrond was getting upset she could tell. Alenor set her mouth in a straight line and looked at the sheets, willing herself to quietness. “Would it help were you to know that my son has spoken to me?” If it was a trick, it worked well. The sentence startled Alenor out of her thoughts.
“When?” she cried forgetting to stay quiet. “Where?”
A smile of triumph spread across Elrond’s face. He stood slowly going to one on the balcony doors and looked out. “I could judge your enthusiasm Alenor,” he began not looking at her, “to be joy. All the while though I see an underlying current that he has already spoken to you. Is it not that short years ago you ask about him and say his memory is slipping? I have heard nothing of that. Then this jewel Alenor. From how or when did you know that it would help you?”
Alenor lowered her head cursing herself for stupidity. A thought dawned on her. He knew didn’t he? So it was alright to tell him right?
“I met him,” she admitted at last. “Twice. He saved me from the Eye, told me to always have it with me. I think that he gave the brooch to me as well.”
Elrond sighed from where he stood and moved back to the seat. “Ah Alenor,” he said a smile was on his face. “As I thought.”
“What happened though Grandfather?” Alenor asked him. Turning her head she looked into his grey eyes.
“The dream?” he said. “From what I see you need to find some way of taking that brooch into your dreams to halt them. The recent attack? Somehow or other Alenor you linked with Frodo, the hobbit.” Alenor frowned. There was that word again hobbit. Still seeing her confused Elrond nodded. “Ask them.”
“I will,” Alenor assured him, uncertainly. “Have you met my father?”
Elrond smiled grimly and nodded. “Once,” he told her. “He said we would meet again.” Alenor nodded hiding her face hoping shock hadn’t showed. Elrond said nothing though. She felt his hand on her head. “You should rest Alenor if you can. Try bringing the jewel into yours dreams.”
“Yes grandfather,” she whispered. Bending down Elrond kissed her brow and left the room. After he left, though Alenor went to one of Rivendell’s libraries for some good reading.
“You know how father hates when you lock yourself up and read Alenor right?” With a startled jump Alenor lifted her head to see a grinning Elrohir. “Alenor you are deaf.”
She glowered and looked at the page she was reading. Before her eyes the words turned to be written in blood, the pages coated with grime and filth. With a scream she tossed the book from her lap it landed on the floor, bending pages and perhaps ripping a few.
“You shouldn’t damage the books Alenor.” She looked up to see Elrohir. His face was leering down at her and she saw the glint of a ring upon one of his fingers. One of the nine Rings she saw it was.
“Elrohir!” she cried pushing back against the window with frightened horror. Looking behind her Alenor saw Rivendell falling into decay, trees dying and leaning over. Their black twisted roots grinding up the once beautiful stonework. The waterfalls were dirty and unwholesome. With a cry she doubled over in pain as she wrenching feeling as if something were dying came again. With pain hanging over Alenor lifted her eyes.
Elrohir was grinning down at her with an inhuman look. He
looked insubstantial. The Ring was on his finger, marking him a wraith. A cruel, disgusting laugh came from him. “You paid,” he said, his voice not his own. “You refused to bow. You paid. You paid Alenor. Arda died because of you. Long live Sauron ruler forever!”
Crying in pain Alenor doubled over and fell to the floor and the pain of the dying earth gnawed inside her. The last she heard was the wraith’s, her Uncle’s, taunting voice and his accusations. The brooch was no where in sight.
Alenor was jarred awake as she felt a tiny finger prodding her shoulder. She gave a grasp and grabbed the child’s finger in her own. Turning and catching her breath Alenor looked at the young Elf. Golden curls were piled around the top her head, a bright pink dress that was too large for her fell on the floor. Small bare feet peeked from underneath. She had ocean blue eyes, and now they were on the verge of tears. Alenor realized she was squeezing the girl’s fingers.
“Who sent you?” she asked gently releasing them. She nodded tearfully. “Oh come here I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Alenor got down from the window seat, carefully making sure that the book didn’t tumble from her lap.
“Aragorn,” she answered scrubbing away the tears. “Now will you go to him so I’ll get my sweets?”
Alenor smiled, a drawn smile. “Be patient chi. . .” she stopped looking down at the girl, reminded how she hated being called child herself. “What’s your name?”
“Anethia,” she answered proudly at being able to say her name. “I want my sweets so let’s hurry!”
Alenor laughed gathering the book into her arms, shaking off the awful dream; she went to the marching columns of bookstands to replace the book, Anethia doggedly on her heels. After replacing the book she scooped the child into her arms and sent off the find Aragorn, find what he wanted then. . . regrettably find Elrond and tell her about her dream. Something she didn’t want to do anymore then the first.