Legolas and Alenor entered the room on the heels of three other younger Rangers. The one that had knocked Legolas down was in a state of trying to explain everything, while still of or breath to Lord Elrond. Elrond kept waving a hand for him to slow down, but he continued in his fast pace not noticing the waving hand. When the door opened relief was evident on his face to enter Alenor and Legolas.
“Alenor, I’m glad to see you’re up,” he smiled gently standing and giving Alenor a hug, as she tried a little to evade his grasp.
“Some Ranger barreled Legolas down in the halls, talking about horses, we came to see what was wrong,” Alenor explained as Elrond released her.
“Well you’re just in time,” he whispered under his breath. “One of them is talking with every crammed together, I can’t understand a word that he’s saying.”
Alenor smiled gently and hugged Elrond back. “I’ll help I guess,” she agreed. “Legolas is here to.”
Elrond looked past him and nodded his head, Legolas responding politely to the gesture. He gave Alenor a serious look and went to turn to the others.
“I’m sure all of you know how to write?” he asked. The Rangers nodded, the young one tried bowing in his seat. “Write me a report and we’ll see to it there. Dismissed!” Looking thoroughly dumbfounded the young Rangers got up and left the room. “Reports by this evening.” A chorus of `yes my lord’ followed it. Once the door had shut Elrond sunk into his chair chuckling. “Gondor nobles who have never seen an Elf. I wonder how they ever managed to come here. Is there any other reason why you came?”
Alenor nodded sitting in a vacant chair. “How’s Arwen?” she asked quietly. “Legolas and I were going to see her, but that young Gondor noble ran into us.”
Legolas, came and sat in another chair.
“Well,” Elrond replied to Alenor’s question. “It was nothing more then a solid bump to the head and a nasty bump, thank goodness.”
“I was worried, it being my fault,” Alenor admitted.
“I’m sure my daughter would have other things to say according to that,” Elrond told her raising an eyebrow.
“I told her the exact thing, or close enough,” Legolas commented from where he sat. “She wouldn’t hear it.”
“That was just after you had unceremoniously dumped me from a very comfortable bed!”
“You were fully awake,” Legolas objected.
Perhaps seeing an argument about to start and unsure whether it would be an argument out of fun or anger, Elrond quickly forestalled it. “Why don’t you go see Arwen right now?” he suggested. “She’s in the Healing Houses until tomorrow, and complaining in loud sort of delicate way about it.”
“Expected,” Alenor smiled, feeling much better. “I guess I should go see her now?” Elrond nodded agreeing with Alenor. “Legolas you coming?”
“I want to talk to Lord Elrond,” Legolas answered her. Frowning slightly at this, Alenor sighed.
“Okay,” saying a goodbye she left the room and headed towards the Healing Houses, leaving Legolas to talk with Elrond.
Arwen was sitting in her bed, arms crossed and a dark frown on her delicate face. A healer ringing her hands was trying to explain why she had to stay. Coming into the room Alenor had to smile broadly at the scene in front of her eyes.
“Auntie you okay?” she asked coming to her side. Arwen turned her attention from the healer and drew Alenor into a warm embrace.
“Get me out of here,” she whispered into Alenor’s ear. “I hate being stuck in the Healing Houses.”
Pushing down a laugh Alenor looked sternly at Arwen. “Auntie, Arwen, you have to stay, maybe something’s wrong and we don’t know about it,” she said letting worry slip into her voice. “Maybe. . maybe I pushed you too hard and something happened?”
She saw the lines of anger fall from Arwen’s face and she sighed. “You put up a very persuasive argument,” she noted. “And how can I resist my own niece? One day I’ll stay, one day, or I’ll die to just sit here.”
Satisfied Alenor drew Arwen into another deep hug. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, getting down to the real reason she was there at all.
“Oh don’t be Alenor,” Arwen replied. “It was nothing more then a fall.”
“Arwen I still. . .” Alenor was cut short by Arwen’s raised hand.
“I will hear nothing more of this,” she said firmly. “It was just an accident!”
“Arwen. . .all right,” Alenor admitted her defeat sitting on the edge of the bed. “I still feel bad though.”
“Expected Alenor,” Arwen said softening up. “I would feel bad as well. But you did the right thing though saving my life that way.”
“It earned me a headache,” Alenor replied, in a slightly grimly way. Raising her head she saw that the healer had left the room, leaving them to a private conversation. She turned back and saw a devilish gleam in Arwen’s eyes. “Auntie?” Alenor swallowed, what had sparked the sudden and unexpected gleam?
“I’ve heard,” Arwen supplied. cautiously. “That the Council has been held off until tomorrow, on note that Elrohir interrupted the Council in panic when you tried to contact him. If it does, you know the big tree that overshadows the Council Ring don’t you?”
“Of course,” Alenor answered. “From the back of the ring to the middle of the council ring, where that pedestal stands.”
Arwen nodded. “Well Alenor I just thought of something. When we were younger kids, we used to hide in the branches and watch in on father’s councils. He never caught once, almost a couple times though,” she said in a low voice. “Find out for sure and hide and listen in on in the Council. I know you were very eager about knowing about it earlier.”
“Auntie I could never!” Alenor breathed shocked at the thought. “Auntie.”
“I myself cannot its, not proper for a lady to be eavesdropping in on Councils,” she winked. “But you can, you’re still child enough be looked over for such a small thing.”
Despite herself Alenor felt the thought catching hold of her at her Auntie’s careful words and the thrill of it was trailing up and down her spine. “All right, but when?” she agreed.
Smiling wickedly Arwen leaned closer. “Father always arrives early in the council ring, around seven-thirty, the council commences at eight, get before him and the others or you’re caught,” she instructed. “When you climb the tree you’ll find that some way up, there’s a nook far out on the branch, where other’s dip to make a natural seat. Stay there and listen you can hear everything from up there and it nearly right over the middle of the council ring so, try not to fall.”
“Arwen, I don’t know what you’re doing to me,” Alenor sighed, knowing she was caught. “Okay let’s just get this over with. Do you want to know anything?”
“Everything,” Arwen answered.
Alenor nodded and stood. “I guess I’d better go and let you rest up a bit?” she said. “Anyway Rest up well auntie, I want to see you out of here by tomorrow.” She was about to leave, when Arwen halted her.
“Alenor, try not to get caught, you couldn’t lie if your life depended upon it,” she called. “And if you do please try not to bring me into it, I don’t want my life forfeited because you can’t lie.”
Feeling a blush creep up her cheeks Alenor nodded. “I’ll try Auntie,” she answered quietly. “See you after the Council tomorrow.”
“Goodbye,” Arwen said herself. Feeling guilty Alenor hastened away, before anyone could notice the faint bloom of red on her cheeks and wonder what happened to cause it.
Leaving the room Alenor didn’t see the figure leaning against the door until he spoke. “You weren’t in there long, Lady Arwen chase you out with a fit?” Startled Alenor looked up to see Aragorn. There was a slight frown creasing his forehead and he was leaning against the wall crossing his arms, all with an air of a very unAragorn like way.
“Cousin what are you doing?” Alenor had to asked.
“Nothing,” he shrugged, somehow he managed to accomplish this without unfolding his arms. “Debating of whether to annoy Arwen or just sit here and wonder how long I can be mad at her.”
A smile quirked on the corner’s of Alenor’s lips and she raised an eyebrow skeptically. “Oh,” she said. “I heard that you and Arwen are just seeing how long you can `hate’ each other.”
Aragorn bowed deeply. “True enough,” he praised her. “But I must see how the Lady is doing today. I have decided to annoy my Lady.” He winked at her. “It wouldn’t be nice for a gentleman of high standards to forget the charming Lady that lies beyond this doorway and I must gift her with my charms.”
Stilling a burst of laughter Alenor shook her head. “You’ll get her mad enough Aragorn,” she told him. “You’re not acting like yourself at all and that in itself is scary.”
“Of course not!” he laughed. “Oh and by the way Alenor I’ll cover for you tomorrow if you get caught.”
“What??” Alenor asked dumbfounded.
Aragorn winked again. “I just happened to be eavesdropping now,” he grinned and slipped into the room.
Alenor shook her head, either her cousin was drunk or he had one too many sweets. Deciding the latter, she turned and left the Healing Houses, her mind mulling over what Aragorn had said. She prayed that he would cover her for sure. Eavesdropping though! And him being grown man in all! Well Alenor thought to herself. I’m a near-grown Elf and I still eavesdrop! A smile brightened her features as she turned to the find the library to read.
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.