Darkness blanketed the sweet valley of Imladris, the stars shining brightly over the roofs. Fair Elvish singing pierced the cloak of twilight, and the flames sent merrily dancing shadows against the walls in the Hall of Fire. The shadows weren’t the only things dancing, for many of the Elves were making use of their light feet.
Arwen and Fëalas were sitting calmly near the door, watching the dancing with disinterest as they talked together. Legolas had complained of weariness and retired early, while Hírilasea lounged with almost feline grace on one of the fluid couches situated in the hall.
She reclined her head back, closing her eyes to let the music wash away the stains of travel from her mind. The light of Imladris was most refreshing after many years under the canopy of trees in Greenwood.
Greenwood. The word in of itself was enough to draw a smile to her lips, and she let her mind wander back down the paths of the beautiful forest. It was indeed called Greenwood the Great, and for good reason, Hírilasea reflected.
The sounds of a slight scuffle hailed her ears, and she opened her intense green eyes to see Elrohir shoving a furiously protesting Elladan in her direction.
“Stop!” Elladan hissed.
“Only if you will ask her,” Elrohir insisted.
“No!” came the snapped reply.
The princess from Mirkwood smirked a little bit, not a haughty expression but one of faint, gentle amusement.
“I swear I will kill you later,” Elladan growled through clenched teeth.
“If you don’t ask, I will,” Elrohir threatened, forced to put his shoulder into Elladan’s back to counter his brother’s added resistance.
It didn’t take much more effort to get Elladan positioned directly in front of Hírilasea, and Elrohir grinned brilliantly at her before giving his twin an extra little shove. Elladan threw a fuming glare at Elrohir before turning his gaze, now much softened, to Hírilasea.
He dropped to one knee and held a hand out as he bowed his head, the traditional way of requesting a dance. Hírilasea’s feathery touch, the embodiment of the brush of light, met Elladan’s callused hand and she stood, her movements a wonder to behold. Elladan also rose, his grey eyes filled with the smile that didn’t enter his somber face, and led his partner to the dance floor.
Elrohir watched in satisfaction as the two danced. Hírilasea was a quiet, serious maiden whose prowess with a bow was formidable, as they had seen displayed that afternoon. Her fiery green eyes were the only things that belied her ethereal, pale beauty, with the silver hair and white skin.
Truth be told, she looked much like Celebrían, with the exception of her eyes. Elrohir smiled at this let his thoughts wander, focussing on Arwen, who was sitting with Fëalas across the room. It appeared that the two young princesses were getting to know each other further by relating ballroom horror stories. Elrohir sidled over without them noticing.
“I remember once when I knocked over a whole table of wine,” Fëalas was stating candidly. “Legolas laughed at me for days. Hírilasea told him to shut up or she’d kill him but he paid no attention.”
Elrohir forcefully stifled a chuckle. He’d have to remember that and ask Hírilasea about it later. Maybe the princess of Mirkwood had a temper that not many saw?
Meanwhile, Elladan was conversing with Hírilasea.
“My Lady, if I may ask, why did you wear green when the rest of the guard wore brown?” he questioned, very much desiring to know more about the woman whom he had not seen in forty years.
“In Mirkwood the royal guard, such as accompanied my family, never enter the tops of the trees and hence must blend with the wood of the trunks or the fallen, brown leaves on the forest floor. I am under Captain Tauremardo, and we stay at the tops of the trees, where we must blend with the living leaves. Hence my horse, Lasseo, is brown.”
“Do you often use your mount when patrolling?” Elladan knew little of Mirkwood traditions and was hungry for information.
“Yes,” Hírilasea replied. “Lasseo and I speak to each other to each other and are very proficient at working together.”
“You speak to your horse?” Elladan said incredulously. Was this fair maiden playing with him?
“I am fluent in the language of equines,” Hírilasea returned with the faint light of a smile brushing her lips. “Lasseo understands and responds.”
Elladan blinked at this knowledge, before shaking him dark head and deciding that Hírilasea was not as ordinary as she looked. Clearly, this one was a dreamer, born to. . .born to what? Elladan had a measure of foresight, developed early, and he sensed something about the lithe she-Elf that he could not lay a finger on. She was born to do something, but. . .what?
“You are quiet,” Hírilasea observed, a faint sliver of a smile again gracing her lips.
“Pardon, Lady,” Elladan said quickly. “I was lost in my thoughts.”
“Yes, it’s easy to go astray in uncharted territory,” Hírilasea teased, and the song was ended so she left him before he could come up with a suitable riposte.