The cool breeze blew through the trees making them whisper to each other. The stars shone brightly through the trees, catching any small opening to shine their light. It was over Annienna was laid to rest that night. A quiet procession with only a few quiet words and a soft song. No lamenting that night, for the Elves who had assembled knew that it was her time and she was laid beside her husband’s grave to live finally with him again.
Now only Alenor stayed there shivering slightly in the cool evening. Rana had been the first to leave, Alenor had thought he would understand, but the young Elf seemed not to. He seemed angry and confused as one. Much like Alenor, for though she lived inside her grandfather’s house she was a mother of some sorts. Her heart called though for her to play still like a child of which she had missed much of.
“You’re cold.” Alenor felt a heavy cloak fall across her shoulders. She looked up into Legolas’s face.
“You knew I was still here?” she asked.
“I knew. I saw you never left,” Legolas said kneeling beside her. “Rana’s upset. I tried to talk with him, but he slammed the door in my face.”
“I don’t understand,” Alenor said, unable to bring in a child’s point of view, for she never lived from that view. Legolas gazed at her with pity.
“So much you missed when you were young,” he said gently cupping her face with his hands. Alenor pulled away from it.
“I had no choice,” she said bitterly.
“Rana’s upset,” Legolas explained. “Because he doesn’t understand. He never knew his father and he feels his mother has abandoned him, you were always his second mother, but Annienna was his first.” Alenor looked up at the stars through the shifting trees.
“There is always this wind here Legolas,” she said softly. “When I come down here everything can be so still, and then this wind comes up from no where.” She pulled his cloak close about her form.
“Are you going to stay here all night?” Legolas asked her. Alenor looked at him.
“I cannot go to Rana,” she said. “I could not explain to him why mother left.”
“Then say nothing, he will understand in the end,” Legolas suggested. Alenor felt to weary to start an argument and sighed heavily.
“He will ask me questions,” she told him letting the cloak drop from her shoulders to feel the wind and the chill again. She began to walk away ignoring Legolas. Gratefully she did not hear his footsteps following after her.
Alenor would have gone to the secret pond, but she knew that Legolas would probably go there himself to see if she was there. Alenor paused for a second in the retreat and thought how in the world did he know about it? Unable to come up with an answer Alenor trudged on, soon coming into the airy corridors of Elrond’s House. It was only then that she realized were her feet were taking her and she instantly tried to turn around. Instead as if her feet had been given their own minds she was dragged along.
The room was tidy, there was no dust, but everything was there just the way it had been when Elladan had moved to the larger room.
Silently closing the door Alenor tread over the cold ground letting go of gasps as her feet touched the floor. Even though she wore shoes the cold still seeped through. She bent down at the hearth and struck up a fire in the long unused fireplace.
As the light cast around the room Alenor looked around the room of her father that she had never seen before. As her eyes past a bedside table with drapes fluttering hiding an opened window Alenor spotted a book. Instantly curious she crossed the floor, it was now bearable to tread upon with thinking your feet would turn to ice.
Carefully shutting the window so the cool air wouldn’t blow away the warmth of the room, Alenor then picked up the book. Elladan’s name was scrawled across in a flowing hand of Elvish writing. Taking the book in one hand and dragging a chair to the hearth in another Alenor found herself wondering what was in it. At the same time she had the feeling she was prying in Elladan’s former life, for this was his private journal.
Alenor curled open tightly in the chair, taking all the warmth she could from the fireplace and her own body. She opened the book cautiously and dust floated up, it hadn’t been opened for a while. Alenor flicked through the first few entries without interest, Alenor noticed that her father hadn’t written often in it only if there was something he wanted to keep in his memory for other times.
As Alenor was about to flip another uninteresting page she noticed an entry that caught her eye The Elvish script was written more neatly as if another hand had written it instead of the other ones. She brought the book closer to her face so she could read it easier and her face went red at the thought of reading her father’s journal. Alenor examined the date in the right had corner, it had been crossed out three times before the date had been put down permanently, as if Elladan couldn’t bring to mind what the day was and then her eyes followed the entry. Soon she found herself in another time, with a cool spring’s breeze floating through the open window and her father, young at the time writing away, his eyes sparkling with love.
I met a girl down at my secret place this night. I thought I and Elrohir had only known about it since we were children. The girl and me had a long argument about who had found the place first, we fought until we could no further go back in time. That was when I looked at her and asked her name. The name was like the sweetest voice singing and I knew I like this girl a lot. Her name is Annienna and she said she came from Lothlorien. There was a feast this evening and her family had come down to attend, they are leaving the next morning. I am hoping that I can steal a goodbye kiss from her, though it is not likely. I hope I can think of an excuse that is good enough so that I will be able to see her fair face again. We talked a long time on that beach and the stairs seemed to shine brighter then they had ever done, as if they were shining just for us. I don’t believe in love at first sight, but could I be wrong? Have I fallen in love? I do not wish to tell father about this meeting, nor will I speak to Elrohir. Maybe I will talk to Arwen, I mean she is a girl and can help me out. Annienna I love her name . . . .
Alenor found herself scrubbing away tears as not to mess up the record. So that was how they had met. Whenever Alenor had asked with childlike innocence they would look at each other in a funny way and respond `somewhere’. Alenor had learned the secret of their meeting and she wondered if Elladan had gotten his goodbye kiss. The note on the next page didn’t say anything else and the date was far from where the one where he and Annienna had met.
“Lothlorien,” Alenor muttered tracing her fingers over the letters for the name. Feeling cold all of a sudden Alenor looked up to see the fire dying away. Groaning Alenor hauled herself out of the chair and added a few more logs that were stacked by the side of fireplace. Not many rooms in Rivendell had a fireplace in the main room, they were mostly in the anterooms, Elladan Alenor noticed had been one of the luckier people.
“Do you like to look through other peoples journals and private words?” the voice made Alenor start. She jumped and looked at the door.
“Grandfather!” she cried out. Elrond moved closer to the fire he was looking at the book in Alenor’s hands. “I’m . . . I’m sorry.”
“There’s nothing wrong,” Elrond said gently sitting in the chair Alenor had just vacated. “I was just surprised that I found someone else in here. I thought I was the only who visited this place.” Alenor stared at the seat that Elrond was seated in. “You’re getting too big for that now young lady, but come over here.” Alenor sat down on her Grandfather’s lap and rested her head on his chest. She was still holding the book tightly.
“Did he ever tell you?” she asked.
“About that first night?” Elrond asked. “Yes he did. I remember it so clearly as if it were yesterday. He came storming into my study, yelling and screaming and looked ready to strangle Elrohir who had meekly followed behind. The whole story came out then, I’m not sure my son wanted me to know, but once he mentioned Elrohir going through it, he just exploded.” Alenor chuckled gently.
“I can’t remember him well, Grandfather,” she said softly. “He’s fading away. I can’t hold on.”
“The passages of time,” Elrond said sighing heavily. “Time does that Alenor. Time does that.” He paused for a long while. “I thank you for what you did to Elrohir today. I thought he was going to kill himself one of these days.”
“I just said a few words,” Alenor said quietly. Elrond chuckled.
“Perhaps,” he murmured. “Perhaps. Sometimes words though can hold great power. Sometimes not always. Now why are up here?”
“I thought my brother would understand,” Alenor explained. “But it seems he doesn’t. I can’t talk to him, I’ll mess everything up. I’m afraid to talk to him and go back to my room.”
“I promise I will talk to him,” Elrond assured her. “I’ll talk to him. You need some rest now; I couldn’t sleep so I’ll stay here.” Alenor smiled for a few seconds and fell asleep soon to the steady rising and falling of Elrond’s chest upon which her head rested.
When the sunlight slanted upon Alenor’s face the next morning, taking away any of the darkness that allowed her to cling the dreaming world, she awoke.
Still half-asleep Alenor stared around the unfamiliar room, every thing was unfamiliar. Where am I? she thought sleepily. Then she remembered the night before and was jolted awake. Yes, Alenor was in Elladan’s room, no mistaking it. Her eyes swept to the bedside table, the journal rested nearly where it had been originally, as if no prying fingers had peered within its pages.
The window was closed and the room was warm despite that only burning embers remained of the fire. Alenor laid back in bed, too lazy to rise and she wondered if her father had ever felt this way in the morning.
“Lothlorien,” she whispered recalling what she had read the night before, prior to Elrond startling her when he had slipped silently in the room. Elrond was almost certainly the only person who knew Alenor was in this room. Elrond was almost certainly the only person who came in here. Alenor knew too well Elrohir wouldn’t be able to set a foot behind on the doorway, she didn’t think Arwen would have the heart to look among her brother’s old things and her cousin Aragorn? He hadn’t known Elladan, except from stories and pictures created from the weavers looms.
Thinking that is was high time to rise Alenor swung her feet out of the bed and slipped on her shoes, neatly placed beside the bed.
“Grandfather,” she whispered to the room. “Oh father if you could hear me and mother too, then I hope you’re happy and I miss you both.” She tied the shoes deliberately slow as if she didn’t want to leave the room that held memories of her father. Finally at long last Alenor straightened and crossed the floor to the door.
The hallway was empty, thankfully and Alenor was able to leave the room without anybody asking why she was there. Alenor took the longest route to her own room, making sure Elrond had gave Rana a good talk before she interrupted.
As Alenor opened the door to the bedroom she shared with Rana she heard her brother sniffling and crying. He didn’t notice that Alenor had entered the room and closed the door behind her. She noticed the impressions on the quilt on Rana’s bed that indicated Elrond had talked to the young Elf already and left him to contemplate what he had said.
“Go away Alenor,” Rana sniffed. “I don’t want any more company.” So he had her! Undaunted Alenor sat on the bed beside her brother, he tried to scoot away from her, but Alenor quickly looped an arm around her brother and pulled him close. Unwilling to hurt his sister, though he wanted to, Rana stayed still and didn’t move.
“Would you like to learn how our parents met?” Alenor whispered.
“How would you know about it?” Rana asked grumpily.
“I have my sources,” Alenor said skirting around the whole truth.
“Alenor, sister, I can tell when you’re not telling me the whole truth,” Rana said resting his head on her lap. “How did they? Grandfather spoke to me this morning. I think I understand now.” Alenor played with his long hair, pulling herself the night before when she sat curled up in the chair before the crackling fire and read and found out for the first time how her parents met.
“Well. . .”
*- Once again hoping you’ve enjoyed! First time I’ve even tried talking about how Elladan met Annienna, hope it’s okay.