Aralorn slipped a pale pink dress on, then grabbed her hairbrush, and began to tame her long hair. She grimaced as the brushed pushed through her thick, dark hair, refusing to ease up. A knock came from door.
“It is Gwenneth,” came a muffled voice from the other side.
“Come in,” Aralorn said through her twisted face. Gwenneth slowly opened the door, and then smiled.
“Let me help you,” she said, and she took the brush from Aralorn’s hand. “We must hurry if you wish to walk the garden with me before your lesson.” Gwenneth moved her hands slowly, and the pain eased.
“I am sorry,” Aralorn began, “I was trying, but this hair of mine never wants to make haste.”
“We can leave you hair down today,” Gwenneth said, “Come.”
“You still do not seem well of mind,” Gwenneth remarked as they slowly made their way through the beautiful, quiet gardens. It hadn’t been too long ago that the sun had woken. Droplets of water sat quietly, and daintily on the flowers, and the birds sang their beautiful song to announce the arrival of the morning.
“I am trying to be, but I am still quite stunned and dazed,” Aralorn began, “All I wanted was to know who I was, but now…I sometimes find myself yearning for the yellow plains of the Westfold, the simple life, where no problems, or confusions occurred.”
“Then, are you at least content?” Gwenneth asked hopefully. Aralorn smiled and looked down at the path under her feet.
“I am,” She said, even though she wasn’t quite sure. “Aragorn is a wonderful brother. We have been spending much time together. But oh, how I wish I could skip my lesson today.”
“This is only your third one,” Gwenneth began, “You have many miles to go, my friend.”
“I will also have to learn how to use a sword incase I am in a need to defend myself.”
“Who is to teach you?” Gwenneth asked.
“Lord Ambar,” Aralorn said. Gwenneth nodded.
“He is a good instructor,” she said.
“I know nothing about him, but I dearly hope so.”
“Are you the Lady Aralorn?” An elf man asked Aralorn as she walked towards him.
“I am,” she replied. Aralorn had finished her lesson with Lord Elrond earlier that morning, and a while later, had gone to the small, flat field where her training would take place. There were targets all around, for the usage arrows, and elves were already scattered around, polishing off their skills.
“I am Ambar,” he bowed. “And I am pleased to see you.” Aralorn bowed her head in respect. This man was quite charming, and Aralorn found herself taking a liking in him.
Ambar was a good instructor. First, he taught her how to hold the sword properly, and then showed her some of the basic moves. His words were rarely critical, but encouraging. He focused on the times that she had gotten it right, and when correcting, used a kind voice. After telling her that she had done well, and giving her permission to leave, Aralorn left to seek refuge in her room.
While lying on her soft bed, with the cool sheets below her, Aralorn thought back over what Lord Elrond had taught her that day. It was mostly of her family, and what had happened to them. Isildur. That name came back to her head. Now, her brother’s words did make sense. She started to feel the shame that Aragorn had felt when he had asked her if knowing your past family indeed mattered. And the One Ring. Elrond had only told her little of it. But how could Isildur treasure a small ring so highly? A ring crafted by this Dark Lord Sauron? He must have been mad. Would she fail the same way? Would she some day become mad? She forced her thoughts elsewhere, and came to the reality of herself being the daughter of the King of Gondor. Aralorn had thought about this many a time. How could it be, that an orphan who had grown up in the quiet, rugged Westfold be a princess of Gondor?
“Can I hold up this title of mine? Am I able?” Aralorn whispered to herself as tears slid down her cheek. But then, she thought, I am not the ruler of Gondor. Aragorn is…or will become. He will be a good King. Though, he must feel terribly afraid. Afraid of making the same mistake as Isildur did. What a weight it would be to carry.
That night, Aralorn walked down to the stables, for she had missed the company of a horse. They were such sacred and beautiful creatures. And, maybe, if she asked the right way, permission would be given to her to ride one of them. What a lovely thought that was!
Instead of seeing one of the stablemen there, she saw her own brother Aragorn, stroking the neck of a chestnut horse. He turned around and smiled.
“I thought I would find you here sometime,” he said.
“Yes,” Aralorn reflected his smile, “There is a special hole in my heart, that only the presence of a horse can fill.” She walked to the horse and touched his velvet nose. “He’s such a beauty.”
“Yes, he is,” Aragorn said. Then she heard a nicker from the stall at the end of the isle.
“Thalion, my dear boy.” She walked down the aisle of stalls until she reached his stall. “It is good to see you, my friend.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him, breathing in his sent. He nibbled playfully at her unbound hair.
“I have something to show you,” Aragorn said. Aralorn turned around and followed him out of the stable, and to another whole isle of stalls. He nodded to the right side, where about ten horses were. “I would like you to choose one,” he said. Aralorn gasped.
“For myself?” She asked. Aragorn nodded.
Aralorn walked up and down the isle, examining the occupants of every stall. They were all so elegant, and beautiful. Some were different shades of brown, others were black, and one was as white as snow. After looking at each one very closely, Aralorn came back to one of the horses that had caught her eye. She was a small mare, and her coat was silver, like the moon. Her eyes were deep, and had much feeling in them. Aralorn stroked her neck, and the mare shied a little, and her skin flinched where her hand was. Aralorn frowned at this. The elves always tamed their horses with care, and gentleness, but this mare seemed almost frightened of the human touch.
“They’ve just started taming her,” Aragorn said quietly. “She is still young, and needs a gentle hand.” Aralorn smiled softly.
“Can I have her?” she asked, turning around to face her brother.
“Of course you may,” he smiled.
A little later that night, Aralorn took her new mare for a walk. She carefully slipped the soft, leather bridle over her nose and ears, and fastened the buckles. Then she led her out of the stall.
“Would you mind if I joined you?” Aragorn asked.
“Of course not,” Aralorn smiled, “You are more than welcome to come.”
The three of them walked out into the night. It was very dark, but then moon fulfilled its pledge to shine very well. It washed everything in blue, hazy light, making the mare look as an equal to the moon. They walked in silence for a while, listening only to the whisper of their feet fording the tall grass.
“What do you think of Aralorn?” Aragorn asked.
“Her life is very different than Evelird’s. But it is a nice feeling to know that you belong,” Aralorn answered, “I am still adjusting to Elrond’s lessons, the sword training, and knowing that I am a princess of Gondor,” she sighed, and then to her surprise a tear rolled down her cheek. “I must be tired,” she quickly wiped it away. It was no use, more quietly slid down her cheeks. She gave in, “The truth is, I am terribly frightened. Everything is new, and different. I am not used to anything,” she choked on a sob, but tried desperately to hide it, “I am so confused…” Then, to her surprise, Aragorn slipped his arm over her shoulder, and hugged her close. Suddenly, she forgot all about her problems, fears, and worries. Then Aralorn felt something, that she had not felt since her home had been burnt to the ground, along with her life in the Westfold. She felt at home. Maybe it was the presence of Aragorn, who reminded her of Thoro, and how he had held her in his arms when she was frightened. Or perhaps it was the feeling of a horse again, one so much like Fen. It could have been the open field, at which she walked through at this moment, that felt like the yellow plains of the Westfold. Aralorn did not know, and did not let her mind think about her older life, for it would only bring more tears to her eyes. Without knowing it, she rested her head against his shoulder. His arms were so strong, and protecting.
“Soon this will all become second nature to you,” Aragorn said, slowing his pace. “But do not misinterpret my words. I know that this is no simple adjustment for you,” he paused, “Always know, dear sister, that I am here,” he added. Aralorn let out a ragged breath.
“Thank you,” she whispered. She looked back at her new mare, and smiled a little and how lovely she looked. “Do you like the name Moonlight?” Aralorn asked.
“I do,” Aragorn answered. “What about Ithil?”
“What does that mean?” Aralorn lifted her head, and looked at her brother.
“It means Moon,” Aragorn said looking back down at her.
“Ithil,” Aralorn said to herself, “Yes, it fit’s her perfectly.” Then she looked up at the real moon, transfixed by it. Feeling very tired, she laid her head back on Aragorn’s shoulder, and closed her eyes, being careful not to let go of Ithil. With her brother walking next to her, never to forsake her, Aralorn felt more at peace. The knots of life suddenly seemed to come undone, and everything was straight, and more fordable. She felt ready to face anything that came her was. But, the sad thing was, although Aralorn thought she finally had everything under her control, there were things coming in life to which nothing could prepare her for.
hey!!! so did you like it?? Sorry this one took so long. But it was worth it right? Anywhoo, I’ll talk to you all later!