Tenn’ Enomentielva: A tale of many partings – Chapter One – Beginnings of Silver

by Oct 26, 2004Stories

The first thing Elrohir became aware of when he awoke one morning was his young sister’s pretty face with her dark blue eyes contemplating him with pensive impatience.

“Why are you up so early, my Undómiel?” Elrohir queried groggily, rubbing his eyes.

He was the only one to call her “Undómiel.” In the coming years, when she blossomed into womanhood, many would address her by that name but while she was still a child Elrohir had dubbed her the Evenstar and continued to use that name.

“You promised that you would teach me to wield a sword today,” Arwen replied.

“It’s too early, Tethaer,” (little one[I/]) Elrohir countered, still sleepy.

“Ple-ease?” Arwen begged, using her best beseeching look.

“Oh no…” Elrohir groaned, squeezing his eyes shut.

“You promised,” Arwen wheedled. Elrohir groaned again, daring to screw one eye open a tiny bit. Arwen’s lower lip was quivering and her eyes where pleading.

“Oh, you got me,” Elrohir relented, relaxing. Arwen’s face lit up into a bright grin as she bounced off the bed.

“Hurry, hurry, muinder!” (brother) she cried excitedly, grabbing his hand and trying to drag him.

“Calm down!” Elrohir laughed, pulling his arm back. “Get out of here so I can change.”

Arwen scurried out of the room, and closed the door with a soft thud.

A couple minutes later Elrohir came out, and found Arwen leaning against the opposite wall in the hallway, her arms folded across her chest and her lips molded into an impatient shape.

“Anxious, my pet?” Elrohir asked, ruffling her raven black hair. She was only just past his elbows height-wise, so he could still easily do most of the actions that brothers enjoy doing to make their still diminutive sisters feel small.

“Very,” Arwen replied, ignoring the infringement of her personal space. She was used to it by then, but often found it necessary to climb up onto whichever brother’s shoulders and cover his eyes with her hands to confuse him until he ran into a wall and wobbled around dazedly, waiting just long enough for her to get off until he fell to the ground.

“I was excited when Ada promised that he would teach me,” Elrohir mused, beginning to walk. “Elladan and I couldn’t sleep at all the night before–“

“Elrohir, where are you going?” Arwen queried bluntly.

“To the breakfast hall,” Elrohir replied, enunciating each syllable carefully and giving Arwen one of those are you crazy? looks.

“We’re not eating breakfast,” Arwen said, grasping one of his hands firmly in her own little ones and endeavoring to pull him in the opposite direction.

“Yes we are,” Elrohir said, easily staying quite still. “At least, I am. Come on.” He, in turn, started walking away, Arwen still clutching his hand and trying desperately to stop him.

“Stop right now!” she yelled, planting her feet firmly to the ground but still finding herself sliding after Elrohir. “I’ll tell Elladan to beat up to a pulp if you don’t stop!”

Elrohir and Elladan, while the closest of twins and the best of friends, were known to settle any disagreements with their fists, and Arwen had come to count on them to duke it out for her, as well. Most of the time either brother fought without asking questions.

Elrohir guffawed. “Why should I stop? I’m hungry.”

“Because you’re a pig and when you finish eating you’ll say that you’re too stuffed and I’ll have to wait another hour before we can start!” Arwen replied all in one breath, straining to stop him.

“But if I pass out from starvation where then will you be?” Elrohir said, pausing for a brief moment to give Arwen another one of those brother looks before resuming his walk toward the dining hall.

“You don’t know what hunger is,” Arwen countered, also continuing in her efforts.

“Perhaps not,” Elrohir mused, “but I will if I don’t eat breakfast.”

Eventually Elrohir won out, and Arwen conceded that she too needed something to keep her going until noontime meal.

Unlike what Arwen had fearfully prophesied, Elrohir was true to his word and took her outside to the training ring.

“What about a sword?” Arwen asked.

“I’m getting there,” Elrohir said, drawing his fine rapier. “Before you even lift a blade, you will learn every possible thing there is to know about the anatomy of a sword.”

So Arwen spent the day memorizing each individual part and function of Elrohir’s rapier, until she was sure that nothing could ever erase the detailed information from her brain.

The sky was just beginning to get dusky in the west when at last Elrohir said he was quite satisfied with Arwen’s lengthy and in-depth knowledge, and slid his rapier back into its finely designed sheath.

“I must confess, muinthel,” (sister) he said, “you are a very slow learner. But I promise that this incredibly boring data will aid you tomorrow.”

“Do I get to hold your sword tomorrow?” Arwen asked wearily.

“No,” Elrohir said, and her face darkened. “You get to hold your own sword.” Arwen immediately brightened, her blue eyes sparkling. Elrohir loved it when her eyes sparkled.

“How?” was the only word she could say.

“I had a rapier made for you,” Elrohir said with a grin. “There was not a blade that is small enough for you hands.”

Arwen threw herself into Elrohir’s arms, hugging him fiercely. “Can I see it?” she begged, releasing him and looking pleadingly into his sea grey eyes.

“Of course, my pet,” Elrohir laughed. “Come. I told the smith to deliver it to the weapons and armor room.”

Arwen clung to his hand as he led her to the weapons room, almost as if she couldn’t believe what she had been told.

“Ah, here it is,” Elrohir said, lifting a sheathed rapier and drawing it. The blade shimmered in the fading torchlight, and the hilt, studded with pale gems, caught the light and threw it back from its many glittering facets.

Arwen gazed mutely at the curved sword, her eyes traveling over it with overwhelmed ardor. She took it with unbroken silence when Elrohir passed it to her, and reverently brushed a soft hand over the blunt edge of the blade.

“Your skin will become callused and rough,” Elrohir said gently, almost unwilling to break Arwen’s stillness. “And the art of swordplay is demanding in more ways than that.”

“The other girls all prefer to stay at home stitching samplers and giggling,” Arwen sighed. “I like to stay at home with Naneth, but I want to learn to brandish a sword.”

“You know, King Thranduil and his family is coming for a long visit in two weeks,” Elrohir said as Arwen lightly sheathed the rapier and placed it back on the table. “He has a son, Legolas.”

Arwen wrinkled her nose. “Another prince,” she snorted. “I’m tired of them. How old is he?” Arwen hadn’t been born the last time the king and queen of Mirkwood had come.

“Just a little older than you,” Elrohir replied, picking Arwen up and carrying her as he often did. “You’re getting heavy, you know.”

“My age?” Arwen cried, ignoring his second comment. “That stinks!”

“Don’t use slang, my pet,” Elrohir admonished, despite the fact that he had used many worse maxims. “Oh, and Legolas has a twin.”

Two of them?” Arwen groaned. “This gets worse and worse by the minute!”

“You didn’t let me finish, Undómiel,” Elrohir said, ruffling her hair again. “His twin is a little lady, like yourself.”

“Oh good!” the dark-haired Elfling exclaimed in joy. “I hope she isn’t stuck-up like everyone else.”

“I don’t think Fëalas will be,” Elrohir said. “You know, it gets worse when the maidens get older. By then they’ve given up sewing and they just giggle.”

“That’s sad,” Arwen said, a look of blank, mild shock on her sweet face. “Wait, did you say her name was Fëalas?”

“Yes, I did,” Elrohir replied. “Legolas and Fëalas. They are twins.” He set his little sister down gently and the twosome continued indoors on foot.

“What a lovely name!” Arwen squealed delightedly. “Has King Thranduil any other children?”

“A maiden my age,” Elrohir said absently.

“Oh,” Arwen said, drawing out the word knowingly. “Very interesting. What’s this maiden’s name?”

Elrohir glanced at her irritatedly. “I don’t remember.”

“I’ll have to ask Naneth,” Arwen replied, dropping the subject. “When shall I wake you tomorrow for more practice?”

Elrohir grinned devilishly as he tweaked Arwen’s little nose. “You shan’t wake me, my Undómiel. I shall lock the door.”

“Muinder!” (Brother!) Arwen cried, distressed. “That’s hardly fair!”

“Fair? Fair?” Elrohir chided. “Was it fair when you shaved my head completely bald?”

“No,” Arwen giggled, “but it was quite funny.”

“And was it fair when you conspired with Elladan to lock me in one of the horse stalls in the far end of the stable, so that I wasn’t found for three days?” Elrohir continued

“No, but was it fair when you and Elladan put frogs in my bed? Or put dirt in my food right at a royal banquet so that I wound up spitting it all over Lord Círdan?” Arwen questioned to refute his argument.

“Now that first one was fair because that was revenge for when you dumped rotten eggs on Elladan and I,” Elrohir defended.

They were inside the buildings now, and the soft silken rustle of skirts made the siblings turn as one to face their mother, Celebrían.

Her pale silver dress complimented her golden, wavy locks of smooth hair, and her girdle of deep blue perfectly matched her eyes. The smile of quiet contentment that graced her ethereal face welcomed Arwen into an embrace which soon included Elrohir, though Celebrían was rather torn in which way to hug because of the two’s height difference.

“Why did my favorite daughter and my favorite brother of Elladan miss the midday meal?” she queried, her voice not deep, but neither shrill nor harsh. It was a melodious sound, like a stream passing over smooth stones, a voice that could both sing to sleep and rebuke while instilling the knowledge that every action was done out of love and joyful sacrifice.

“I took Arwen out to the sword-practice area to learn swordplay,” Elrohir replied. “I’m surprised Elladan didn’t come out and practice. Come to think of it, where is Elladan?”

A shadow of a smile passed onto Celebrían’s face. “He had a little trouble trying get out of bed.”

“Oh…that,” Elrohir laughed nervously. “You know, I’m pretty hungry, so I’ll go get something to eat. Loveyoubothbye!” He sprinted away down the hall.

Arwen turned her confused gaze up to Celebrían. “Naneth, how did Elladan hurt himself?”

“Apparently Elrohir tied him to the bed whilst your older brother slept. Elladan hadn’t a knife in reach and so it took a good deal of pulling to get loose. In fact, he got free several hours after he woke up. Your father and I just assumed he was sleeping in,” Celebrían replied, lightly placing a pale hand on Arwen’s back and guiding her towards the little Elfling’s chambers so that she could wash the dust from her skin.

“Why did he not call for aid?” Arwen wondered aloud.

“You know Elladan,” Celebrían replied mildly, her faint smile widening. “He’s very self-sufficient.”

Elladan growled softly in frustration as he lightly ran a finger over the rope burns on his wrists. There were advantages in being a twin when seeking revenge, because he knew Elrohir perfectly enough to know that his younger brother would be coming directly to the dinner table.

Well, Elladan reflected with gritted teeth, he’s going to get there with a few new bruises.

Sure enough, Elrohir rounded the corner with a satisfied and slightly smug expression on his face. He looked rather dusty and sweaty, but suave despite this untidy condition. Elladan just stayed where he was, arms crossed. Elrohir would see him soon enough.

“Muinder,” (brother) he said brightly when he caught sight of Elladan. “You’re not too angry–” he never got a chance to finish, for Elladan had already thrown the first punch and before three seconds had elapsed a full-blown fight had ensued.

Arwen came dashing down the hall, hair dripping wet from her swift bath, with her skirts all awry and cheeks flushed from running.

“Stop it!” she cried, grabbing Elladan’s arm and tugging on it. The two brothers paused for only a brief instant, long enough for Elrohir to gently pick his small sister up and carry her several paces away before coming back with a sprinting tackle at Elladan.

“Naneth! Ada!” Arwen yelled, racing madly away. “Elladan and Elrohir are fighting again!”

Now, before my reader believes that Arwen was being tattlesome, you must understand that very often things – most times bones – were broken when the twins fought, and Arwen was under strict orders to report any such offenses while they were still young.

Celebrían hastened up, her silver-golden hair slightly windblown and her eyes flashing. Elrond, too, came at Arwen’s distraught cries, and Celebrían gently caught her daughter in her arms as Elrond went forward and, with a weary sigh, proceeded to charge into the fray. That was the only way to separate them on most occasions – they were too occupied to pay heed to pleading or even harsh commands.
Several seconds later found Arwen clutching Celebrían’s skirts, wondering fearfully whose arm or nose or jaw would be broken this time. Elrond had managed to pin Elladan down, and once they were separated the two young men calmed sufficiently to listen.

“You two should be ashamed,” Celebrían said softly in reproof. Her quiet tones were enough to break anyone’s heart, so sorrowed and disappointed were the words.

“You both are one hundred and twenty-seven,” Elrond said reprovingly, rising from the ground where he had pinioned his eldest son. “Can you not settle your disputes some other way?”

Both brothers glanced at each other. They each were beginning to sport matching black eyes, and Elladan’s jaw showed faint traces of the start of a bruise. Elrohir’s left ribs were starting to feel rather painful, from where he had received a heavy blow from Elladan.

“Yes, Ada,” Elladan said eventually. “This was my fault. I started it.”

“Then you can help the stablehands tomorrow,” Elrond said firmly.

“I should have stopped when Arwen came,” Elrohir admitted. “There was plenty of opportunity.”

“Then you too have stable chores,” Elrond added.

“Come, my Undómiel,” Celebrían said quietly. “Let us go to the evening meal.”

Arwen obediently took her mother’s hand and went with her to the dining hall.

Later that evening, after dinner had been eaten and Arwen had changed into her nightshift, she silently padded her way to Elrohir’s door. She knocked apprehensively.

“Enter, my little Lúthien,” Elrohir called. Arwen twisted the knob and crept in. Elrohir was sitting in bed, a book in his hands.

“How did you know it was me?” she asked timidly as she crawled onto the bed beside him and settled comfortably in his strong arms. She always felt safe with either one of her beloved brothers.

“I knew you would come,” Elrohir said, moving over a little to give Arwen more space. “I am sorry that I fought today.”

Arwen looked up, and with her feather-light touch traced the outline of his black eye. She hated it when Elrohir grew thoughtful and silent like this. Elladan already had become more and more like their contemplative father, but Arwen liked Elrohir the way he always had been – wild and a little unruly.

“I heard one of the maidens say that you looked dashing with a black eye,” she said, trying to lighten his mood.

“Oh you,” Elrohir laughed, giving her a little squeeze. “You always cheer me up.”

Arwen felt a warm, happy feeling tremble over her. “I don’t like seeing you sad. And I don’t like seeing you with a black eye.”

“Don’t you think it makes me look dashing?” Elrohir said, suppressing a grin.

“No, I don’t,” Arwen replied gravely.

“Just you watch,” Elrohir teased. “You’ll marry some dirty person who has to go off and get black eyes all the time and rarely bathes. I predict it.”

Arwen’s face was utterly aghast. “Don’t say that! I’ll marry someone clean and don’t you say anything otherwise!”

“Very well,” Elrohir said, still grinning. “But if you do marry someone messy, I swear to you that Elladan and I will tie him up and brush his hair by force at least every week. And we’ll lock him in a bathroom for a few days no less than every month.”


The weeks passed. Arwen learned more and more about swordfighting, and Elladan promised her to train her in archery. Each brother had their own respective skill, and were considered by most the best in Rivendell at what they did. Hence, Arwen could find no better teachers.

“Your posture is all wrong, Undómiel,” Elrohir commented one day after easily disarming his young sister. “Yesterday you had no such problems.”

“Sorry, muinder,” Arwen replied. “My thoughts are wandering.”

Elrohir’s smirk was mischievous. “Perhaps my lady fair is daydreaming of charming Prince Legolas?”

Muinder!” Arwen exclaimed, aghast. “I was not even thinking of him!”

“Ah, so your mind is occupied with thoughts of new friends, and you wonder what Lady Fëalas will be like. Am I correct?”

“You are altogether too poetic,” Arwen retorted. “Despite the fact that you are correct.”

“Poetic?” Elrohir said innocently. “That was nothing. Wait until Duinavar begins to write you love letters.”

`Duinavar’ was the name that Elrohir had given Arwen’s scruffy potential suitor, a character that the younger son of Elrond could not give up. The name itself meant `river refuser.’

“You’ll marry some prissy Elf-maiden who faints at the mention of blood and refuses to get her precious white hands dirty,” Arwen growled, brandishing her rapier with clear intentions.

“Oh so that’s how it’s gonna be,” Elrohir said with a grin as he lifted his elegant rapier and fell easily into a defensive stance.

“If that’s the way you want it,” Arwen smirkingly replied. At that moment, their sharp Elven ears caught the faint thud of footsteps, Elven-light. Elladan burst into the training ring, panting somewhat heavily and blinking the sweat from his eyes.

“Let me guess, Balrogs are invading Rivendell and it’s a call to arms?” Elrohir asked brightly.

“Not quite,” Elladan retorted, “but close enough. The entourage of Mirkwood is here. Right now.”

Elrohir and Arwen shared one look of downright terror before exclaiming as one, “that’s worse!” and groaning.

“What’s even shoddier is that Naneth and Adar insist you both come right now,” Elladan added. “As is. So…come on.”

Their steps were resigned as they followed the eldest child towards the gates of Imladris. Arwen and Elrohir sheathed their rapiers, having a place neither to put them nor time to lay them away.

The company of Mirkwood was just entering the courtyard as Elladan, Elrohir, and Arwen hastened up to join their parents, and they noticed Legolas and Fëalas riding behind their parents. They saw no sign of the eldest daughter, whom Celebrían had previously specified, as Hírilasea.
There was a company of guards; all dressed in various forest tones of brown, while one, a woman, wore green. Her hair was silver, a characteristic that few Elves possessed outside of those from Lothlórien, where flaxen hair was in abundance. Her large eyes were a vibrant green of the densest hues, making her skin seem whiter than normal. A bow of silver wood was held loosely in her left hand, the other hand lightly rested upon her brown stallion’s stately, arched neck.

She was, by far, the most enthralling Elf of the guard or even the entire procession, and the Elves of Imladris took this in with their characteristic tranquility.

“Lord Elrond, it has been far too long,” Thranduil declared happily as he dismounted gracefully and went to greet the Lord of Rivendell. Queen Alassea went in similar manner to Celebrían while the two children alighted from their mounts and hung back in shy silence. Celebrían, ever gracious and attentive, noticed this and immediately went to acknowledge their presence while Alassea addressed Arwen.

“Welcome, Legolas and Fëalas,” Celebrián said, and her gentle manner put them at ease. Fëalas’ blue eyes lit up in shining awe at Celebrían’s soft loveliness, while the still reserved Legolas calmly replied with a formal bow.

None of the guard had dismounted their prancing steeds. The silver-haired maiden glanced coolly at her august surroundings, the riveting green eyes pausing at the canopy of trees some hundred yards away.

“I am glad to see you all,” Celebrían was saying, “but where is your eldest? I understood that Hírilasea was going to join you.”
Thranduil beamed proudly. “She has excelled in her bowmanship and has joined our guard. Hírilasea?”

The green-eyed she-Elf turned her gaze from the trees to her father. “I apologize, my lord and lady. I was so busy studying the beauty of Imladris that I failed to greet you. Mae govannen.”

Her dulcet, musical voice was like water running softly over rocks.

“Ú-moe edaved,” (There is nothing to forgive) Celebrían said, a smile gracing her pale face. “Mae govannen.” The conversation resumed between the rest of the company.

Hírilasea’s pastel lips curved into a slender smile before she alighted gracefully from her mount. The horse turned his dished face towards her and with a grin she leant to whisper in the flickering ear. The stallion snorted and shook his long, black mane, cavorting to and fro. Hírilasea’s slender, white hand on his muscled shoulder stilled his dancing hooves long enough for her to whisper one last comment in his ear before the russet mount was led away by a waiting stablehand.

“Hírilasea, show them your bowmanship,” Thranduil commanded. “By your leave, Lord Elrond.”

“Of course,” Elrond consented.

“I noticed a target board, over yonder,” Thranduil said, gesturing to a small point some two hundred yards away.

Silently she lifted the bow, comfortably gripping the seven-foot stave in her left hand, and fitted an arrow to the string. With deadly poise, she took easy aim and fired, the arrow flying faster than even Elven sight. They all saw the target shudder against the impact and the brown of the wooden projectile showed dark against the bright bull’s-eye. Hírilasea lowered her bow, as straight and slender as the arrow itself and bowed to the applause that her skill had drawn.

Author’s Note: {/I]
This is the first series that I have posted in the Reading Room, so please bear with me if the parts are very far between. Hopefully they won’t be few! My intent with this story is to write something with a balanced blend of humor/fun and serious/sad. Please tell me how well I accomplish this! I’d love review. This story will mainly go from Elrohir or Arwen’s point of view, but I promise that Elladan gets some, too. Also, I’d really appreciate it if someone could verify that my Elvish is correct! I don’t use it much but if you notice something weird or misspelled, don’t hesitate to point it out! God bless you all!


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