Elrond summoned an elf to escort Tae to her new quarters, as she left Elladan turned expectantly to his father. “Well?”
“Well what?” replied his Ada innocently.
“Oh don’t play games Ada, I think we all noticed that Tae is not from around here. Who is she? Where does she hail from?” asked Elrohir, just as curious as his brother but for entirely different reasons.
Eager to cease his son’s incessant pestering Elrond confessed. “Have you heard of Palermo before?”
“Figures. Yes Ada I have. She was a mage who lived in Lothlórien, didn’t she just disappear one day?”
“Sort of ‘Ro, she grew tired of this land and journeyed to a distant world; a world where only humans live. She dwelt there for about a century and it was in this land of men that she gave birth to a child; Tae.”
“Then why is Palermo’s daughter here now? asked Glorfindel who had recovered by now but still sat on the floor listening to Elrond’s story.
“Tae’s father has recently passed away, Palermo went to Valinor four years ago, and therefore we elves of middle earth are the only kin she has left. I thought it best that she came to live with us.” Elrond didn’t consider himself a liar; he just wasn’t telling them everything.
“Now please” he continued, ushering his sons and the resident balrog-slayer out of his study so he could finally have some peace.
“Are you coming to visit our new guest, help her settle in?” asked Elladan with a grin.
“No I’m meeting Gilwen in the garden, can’t you give her a moments peace while she settles in herself. Also I think you should delay to allow your testosterone levels to drop, you looked like you’d been caged up for millennia and only just released back there. Your eyes glazed over and you had a permanent leer on your face, no wonder father intervened to make you leave her alone.” teased Elrohir
“Ahh but if I wait she won’t experience the full ‘Elladan-experience’ brother” One look at his brothers face told Elrohir that there was no stopping him; he sighed and walked away towards his rendezvous in the gardens with a certain female elf.
Elladan thought again about the mysterious new visitor; remembering every detail of their encounter he smiled to himself and went off in search of her room.
Tae knew what to expect from her elven room yet she still found herself marvelling at the beauty of her quarters and the buildings they were set in. The helpful elf who had escorted her had shown her a few of the sights, she’d seen the hall of fire and the kitchens and the last stop before her room was the dining hall. The whole atmosphere was so new to Tae, peaceful, old; but not smelling of cat urine, altogether Rivendell was infused with the majesty and grace of the people who called it their home.
Dropping her backpack unceremoniously onto the floor Tae took in the beauty of her bedroom, comprising of a large four poster bed with sumptuous looking covers, a dark wood dressing table, wardrobe and full length mirror, en-suite bathroom and the crowning point was a full balcony overlooking the mature gardens of Imladris.
“All to your satisfaction my lady?” asked the elf who had shown Tae the way.
“And more my friend and more”
“I will leave you now then, you have a few hours before the dinner bell will chime summoning you to the dining hall. Now you remember where that is now don’t you?” she asked with a smile.
“Yes, I think.turn left and left again at the bottom of the staircase to the right of my room”
Nodding in agreement the elf (named Celwen) bowed and left Tae alone. Tae walked out onto the balcony and stood for a moment lost in thought. So much had happened in the last few years, with her mother leaving for the havens or god knows where, Tae’s father dying of cancer and now she had been transported to a place which until today Tae thought was just of myth and legend. Maybe it just hadn’t sunk in yet.
“I’m in middle earth. Rivendell to be exact. living with some elves” Tae said to herself in a low whisper. “My mother was an elf, she used to live in Lorien. my mother was an elf. my mother was an elf.” Tae kept repeating those last five words. Moments later the bomb hit.
“Oh my word” cried Tae in realisation “I’m a half.”
Tae whirled around to see the dark haired elf from before leaning casually against the balcony rail next to her.
‘Damn elves and their light feet’
“The door was open, I thought you might like some company. I can only imagine how hard it is for you to have been uprooted and brought here. I suppose my world is going to take a lot of getting used to”
Tae knew full well that the door had not been open but she kept quiet, it was nice to have company even if it was this randy elf.
“Thank you Elladan, how thoughtful of you. You are right, my head is in the clouds and I have no idea when it’s going to come down”
“If you say so my la..”
“Oh and the name’s Tae, there’s no need for the formalities if we’re gonna be friends right?”
“If you say so Tae. I was rather hoping you would satisfy me” said Elladan with a smile and a glint in his eyes
“W..what?” asked Tae, speechless that Elrond’s eldest was coming on to her so blatantly.
Realising quickly that Tae’s world must be no stranger to innuendo Elladan re-phrased himself.
“Would you satisfy my curiosity about your world?”
“Ohhh, right” said Tae relived that she didn’t have a sticky situation to pick herself out of. “Well what do you want to hear master elf?”
“What’s it like where you lived, the weather, the scenery, whatever you want to divulge. But please, can we go and sit down? Training yesterday proved eventful”
Elladan’s limp to the bed was convincing, she would give him that. The slow pace gave Tae time to think about what to tell him, she did not have the energy to get into an explanation about automobiles or how guns work and why there aren’t any Orcs in her land.
“Our worlds are vastly different Elladan. For a start there are no elves, istari, goblins, hobbits or any other race other than humans. The only variety within our species is down to where they live” Tae proceeded to take out her notepad and sketched a rough outline of Earth, pointing to England she said “This is my country, as well as the native English the people there are a mix of everyone from around the world, from Africa, Asia, Australia and America” she pointed to the location of each continent in turn. My father was African; this is where my dark skin tone comes from. Like the Easterlings of this world I suppose.”
“Whereas in your world people use horses as a means of transport. About a century ago man invented the motor, this is a device which could generate the power and speed of several thousand horses at once.” Tae drew a picture of a car describing where you would sit and about the wheels. The rectangle box on four circles with a stickman grinning inanely inside was a bit of a crap effort but the feeling was there.
“Put it this way, my world is an industrial, metal jungle, man made and man destroyed. Middle Earth is about a thousand years behind my world in terms of inventions and industry yet your world has retained its beauty and natural attraction. There are only a few places that man has not reached and fiddled with on Earth, only a few sanctuaries, unlike how it is here.”
Elladan sat and listened to Tae’s soft voice whilst she told him about her world. He swiftly decided that it was a place he didn’t want to visit and concentrated on her soft chocolate coloured skin and the steady rise and fall of her chest. He heard the dinner chime.
“We must continue this conversation another time Tae, for now we must go for dinner.” With that Elladan took Tae’s unresisting arm and led her out of the room.