Annienna held Alenor’s hand firmly in her own even though the small child yanked and pulled in her mother’s grasp. It had rained in Rivendell and seemed to give life to sun parched vale and Alenor like most children wanted to jump in collected rain puddles and get soaked by running under trees with leaves that held water ready to dump upon some unsuspecting elf.
For the better half of yesterday unable to go outside because of the rain, Alenor had tormented her mother asking when Elladan was coming home. Annienna would calmly explain a hundred times that she wasn’t sure. Without the rain this day Alenor had most likely forgotten about Elladan and wanted to explore the wet world.
A horn sounded in the vale at the moment and Annienna reined Alenor in again.
“Mommy,” she complained.
“Hush child,” Annienna said softly lifting Alenor into her arms. “Father’s coming home.” She saw the child’s eyes light up.
“Father!” she squealed in delight. Annienna nodded looking out and noticed something terribly wrong. Elrohir was coming into the vale Legolas the Prince of Mirkwood on his left and Midnight riderless on his left. Fearing the worst Annienna set down the child.
“Go play,” she urged. The child’s mind though was now focused on seeing her father and had no wish to play any more.
“I want to see father,” she said stubbornly and darted to Elrohir’s horse and Annienna unable to hold herself in followed quickly after her. As if fearing the worst as well Elves cleared a path for mother and daughter.
When Alenor saw the stranger she immediately and naturally forgot everything else and went up to him. Legolas swung down from his horse and wearily answered the pelted questions that came to him. Normally Annienna would have stopped Alenor, but she felt weak in the knees and too nervous to stop her.
“Elrohir?” she whispered her voice cracked.
“I’m sorry my lady,” he tried to place on a brave face and failed. “I’m sorry. He said he loved you.” Tears of anguish slipped down Annienna’s face. Elrohir took her hand gently and led her to a cart where a white cloth covered the form of a still Elf.
With trembling hands Annienna moved it away to see Elladan. His eyes gazed sightlessly up at her, and unmoving. Annienna sat down on the edge of the cart and trailed her hands over his cold lifeless face her tears falling onto him.
“Mommy,” she heard Alenor behind her, she had given up talking to the stranger as he wasn’t giving very many answers to her questions. “Why isn’t father waking up?” Annienna squeezed her eyes shut and was about to answer when Elrohir answered for her.
“Alenor,” he said quietly. “You have to understand that your father won’t wake up again.”
“Again?” the child asked not understanding the force of his words. “I don’t understand.”
“He won’t wake up. You remember the Valar?” Elrohir asked trying his best to explain to the confused child.
“Yes,” Alenor answered.
“Well he’s gone to join them,” Elrohir told her. “He’s watching you, but he will never again walk or smile. He’s gone to sleep forever.”
Annienna felt unfamiliar hand on her shoulder.
“My lady,” it was the Prince she noticed he was favoring his right leg. “Come, you wish to mourn, me and Elrohir can take care of your child.”
“Thank you,” Annienna whispered brokenly and let her hands fall from her husbands face. She stood up and walked away. As she passed Elves gave her their sorries and wept for her and Elladan. Annienna tried to look brave but couldn’t pull herself together.
That night as Annienna lay alone in bed she wept as hard as she could. By morning and the day of Elladan’s funeral, her pillow was thoroughly soaked with her tears.
Rising Annienna donned herself in black and hid her face behind a veil. As if expecting her husband to be still in bed she turned around and remembered he would never be there again. Annienna left the room, wondering if she could ever pull herself together.
Upon entering Alenor’s room she noticed the bed had not been slept in. Inwardly she thanked Elorhir and left the room her head lowered. She couldn’t leave this world, not with the unborn child that she had meant to tell Elladan when he had returned. She wouldn’t leave at all though her heart called to join her husband in Mandos’s Halls. Even though with all her heart she wanted to join him Annienna knew that was not what Elladan had wished for her to do.
Elves lowered their heads graciously and whispered soothing comments to her as she past, as if that could have possibly eased her hearts pain. The sun was shining that day and birds were talking to each other in the trees, it was as if nothing had happened at all yesterday. It seemed as if there was no wounded to take care of and no dead to bury. Annienna knew better and so to did most of Rivendell.
She was the last to arrive to her husband’s burial and everything was silent as she came forth to say a final goodbye. Stepping away Annienna went to Elrohir’s side and saw Alenor holding Elrohir’s hand and there were marks on her face where she had been crying. Annienna mourned her small child for the death that came to her father that Elrohir had explained and she mourned for the child inside her that would never know his or her father.
Elrohir took her hand comfortingly, but Annienna felt nothing from it and she felt tears sliding down her cheeks and she stood there. A soft breeze much like the one the last day that they had been together rose gently in the stillness of the mourning Elves. Annienna kept her composure only to comfort her child who she could hear sniffling and on the verge of tears again.
Much was passed around the grieving Elves as the burial took place and when everything was silent, Annienna rose her voice in song and mourning, slowly the voices of the elves joined in with her and she watched as she sang the elves that bore her husband to his final resting place. Unable to contain herself any longer Annienna turned and began to weep harder breaking her voice in song, and she pressed her head against Elrohir’s chest. She felt one of his arms slide around her back and hold her up, the other was still holding onto Alenor’s tiny hand.
*Hope you enjoyed this part! Thank you for reading!