Evelird followed Strider into the woman’s house. She immediately looked at everything around her, absorbing her surroundings. It was an elegant looking home with many windows. It was similar to the room she had slept in the night before. The birds sang, and a quiet breeze blew.
“Herelen, I have come to talk with you of a very important matter,” Strider said, as the woman closed the door. Evelird kept still and quiet. She should only speak and move when needed to.
“What is it?” Herelen asked.
Strider took Evelird’s hand, and said, “She has had this ring for as long as her memory serves her.” Herelen looked at it, and then gasped.
“Oh my,” she said, “It is…the ring. Estel, how can it be?” Herelen looked back up at Strider in shock, and her face turned pale. Hundred’s of questions raced through Evelird’s mind at that moment, and she was sure it was the same for Herelen. Her hand trembled, with fear. Had she done something wrong? Or had this ring of her’s done something wrong? Herelen released her grip on her fragile hand, and looked into Evelird’s eyes.
“You think she is…?” Her voice trailed off, then she sighed when Strider nodded. “I do not know. Indeed both of you look alike in appearance, but…”
“She lives in the Westfold. And has for her whole life. She was orphaned as an infant and a widow and her son took her in. She also says that she has never left home,” Strider explained, “Is there any way that you could find out if she is her?”
“Well,” Herelen began, “If you will follow me into the other room, I think we should all sit down.” Evelird did as she was asked, but when she sat down she noticed something different about this room.
“What is that smell?” She asked quietly. Evelird immediately shut her mouth. How could she have asked such an impolite question? She bit her tongue as a punishment for its rudeness. But this smell, it was familiar. It was sweet and soft.
“Forgive me, but what did you say?” Herelen looked puzzled. Evelird thought for a moment. Should she deny that it really mattered?
“I am sorry, I just thought I recognized a smell.” Herelen looked surprised, then her face possessed a mixture of emotions.
“It is the flower of Gondor, that the Lady Gilraen favored most,” She nodded at the lavender colored flower sitting on a small table next to Evelird. “She had one in every room of her home long ago. She loved the smell, and never grew tired of it, and now I keep it here as a reminder of her.”
“Who is the Lady Gilrean?” Evelird asked against her will. She picked up the flower that was sitting in a glass vase, and studied it. Surely she had seen it before.
“She was my mother.” Strider answered. Was. Then she is dead. Thought Evelird. There was silence.
“But,” Herelen began, “You say it is familiar to you? You also say that you have never left home. Therefore, never been to Gondor.” Evelird breathed in sharply. How could that be? Why did matters have to be so confusing?
“Herelen,” Strider said, “Tell her the story.” What story was he speaking of? Thought Evelird. Herelen sighed, and then looked as though she were deep in thought.
“Almost twenty years ago,” Herelen began, “The Lady Gilraen gave birth to a baby girl, and she and her husband Arathorn named her Aralorn. She was the second child of the King and Queen of Gondor, for their first son was named Aragorn.” Herelen cast a glance at Strider, and then continued. “Aralorn was a small baby, but a beautiful one as well. Her parents loved her dearly. But then, when the baby was no more than ten months old, Minas Tirith, the capital city of Gondor, was attacked and Gilraen, little Aragorn-who was only two years old at the time-, baby Aralorn, and I were forced to take refuge in Rivendell.”
“You left as well?” Evelird asked.
“Oh, yes,” Herlen said. “I was the nurse to the two little children.” She smiled at the memory, and then her face grew dark. “The four of us decided to split up and go into three groups: myself with Gilraen, then Aragorn, and then…Aralorn…” Herelen sniffed, and then sighed. “And then by our own ways we would eventually meet in Rivendell. Of course, we had three guards in each group to protect us, but, I suppose guards were not enough,” Herelen sniffed again, but then smiled, trying to disguise her sadness. “Gilraen and I reached Rivendell, and impatiently awaited the arrival of the children. Within a few hours Aragorn’s frightened little face met our eyes, and our worries were gone…or at least, half of our worries. We waited a few more hours. Then a day. Then two days. Then three days. After a week had passed by, we realized that Aralorn was never going to come. Something had happened, but we dared not admit that she was…dead. We denied it so many times, but deep down in our hearts we knew that all hope was lost. A few days later we were given news that Arathorn, the King of Gondor had been slain. He was dead,” Evelird gulped hard at the hot lump that grew in her throat. “Gilraen would barely eat or sleep. I tried to comfort Aragorn as well. For the three of us, it was like being clubbed over the head; we staggered, trying to keep consciousness and keep the blackness from closing in. Finally Gilraen told Lord Elrond that she had decided to search for her daughter. She still would not admit that Aralorn was gone forever. Lord Elrond allowed her to do no such thing, but reassured her that he would send out a party of elves to look for her. After a few months they returned with no word of the princess of Gondor. Gilraen let the blackness of reality take her, the blow of the club snatch all hope away, and from that day on, was never the same again.” There was silence. Even the birds seemed to quiet their merry chirping. Evelird was deeply saddened by this story. How hard it must have been for Herelen. “The ring on your finger…” Herelen said shakily, “It belonged to Aralorn.” Now Evelird’s mind froze. It could not be possible. She…she could not be royalty. Not in her wildest dreams could she ever imagine so. But all of the clues pointed in that direction.
“I am afraid,” Evelird began, “That there is no way to be sure. I do not know how this ring came into my possession.”
“Do you know when and where you were found?” Herelen asked.
“Lorthia, my adopted mother, is not precisely sure how old I was, but she says maybe ten, or eleven months. I was found on the borders of Rohan, with…three dead guards of Gondorm,” Evelird swallowed at the last few words that tumbled out of her mouth. Herelen nodded.
“Now it is understandable.” She said. “Do you remember anything?” Evelird paused at this.
“Your face,” She said. “I think I remember it. After hearing that story, it makes you seem more familiar than you did before.”
“I felt the same about you.” Herelen smiled softly, staring at Evelird.
“Did you ever sing to Aralorn?” Evelird asked.
“Yes,” Herelen said, “I did.” She began to hum a tune that was soft and gentle. Evelird sighed deeply, and closed her eyes. Then Herelen softly added words. Evelird listened in awe.
Sleep, my child,
For I know you are weary,
Your eyes are heavy,
Like the stones at the bottom of the sea.
Sleep, my child,
For I know you are weary,
Dream of the hazy moon above you,
And the twinkling stars smiling upon you,
Sleep my child,
For I know you are weary,
And know that my love,
is with you always.
Evelird joined in on the last few lines. A tear rolled down her cheek, and at that moment she knew that she was no longer Evelird, but that Aralorn, daughter of Arathorn was found, at last.
Hi! I apologize if it’s too short, but a lot of stuff happened, and I didn’t want to over-load you guys. Oh, and the song…I wrote it (in like, 2 minutes ). I hope you liked it. So…I guess I’ll talk to you all later!