“Man nar ellë?” The man repeated his strange-sounding question, for that it was an interrogation of sorts was very apparent to Adrien. He stood as tall as he could with this stranger gripping his arm and brandishing with his other fist and looked him over.
“I have no idea what you are saying, dude, but you need to back off!” and with these last words he jerked away from the man. This caused both of the men to whip out long, golden-feathered arrows, notch them into their bows, and point them at Adrien, and all in less than five seconds. Adrien knew there was no fighting them, so he slowly raised his hands and stood there trying not to look too dejected. There was a sudden soft sound behind him, and he realized that Ellery had just awakened.
“Oh–!” she gasped as she realized the scene that was taking place in front of her. She quickly took in the two men with bows pointed at Adrien. They were both wearing muted green tunics with brown leather belts and leggings, and brown leather boots that came just to their knees. They each had a quiver-full of arrows and two daggers tucked blade-down in a sheath hanging from their backs. They also had a short cloak thrown back from their shoulders, and a leaf-shaped brooch clasping the cloaks together. One of the Elves, for that is what they were, was about an inch shorter than the other, and this one had shoulder-length silvery-blonde hair, which she vaguely noted was the exact colour as her own. The taller Elf had jet hair, which was longer and was held back from his face with two small braids at each ear. They both had very stern looks on their faces, and they had just noticed her. She rose from her bed and stepped lightly to the floor, trying to straighten her clothes, which she had had no choice but to sleep in. She was a little uncomfortable and slightly embarrassed to be seen in such a rumpled condition in front of these impressive-looking Elves, let alone any Elves.
At her movement, the two Elves moved to cover her with their bows as well. The jet-haired Elf repeated his question for the third time, but this time he received a response.
“He wants to know who we are, Adrien,” Ellery whispered to her infuriated boyfriend. The Elves started at her voice and moved in closer with their bows, glancing to each other in obvious curiosity.
“You know what he just said?” he retorted.
Ellery nodded. “Hold on, I think I can answer them in their language…” she closed her eyes, apparently attempting to recover some words from the back of her mind. “Ah,” she said after a few seconds. She now turned to the Elves.
“Elmë nar meldor….Essenya Ellery, esserya Adrien.”
The Elves brightened with recognition of their language, but did not lower the bows any. Ellery repeated her first sentence: “Elmë nar meldor…meldë,” she gestured to herself, emphasizing the last word. “And that’s all I know…” she finished lamely to herself.
The Elves were caught slightly off-guard by this declaration in their language by this strange-looking girl, but they could not make out anything else she said. The blonde Elf looked at his accomplice, who had lowered his bow ever so slightly, and took that one step more. He un-notched his arrow and put it back into the quiver. He took one step closer to the scared couple and pointed to himself. “Veru,” he said. He pointed to Adrien. “Ay-dreen?” he pronounced the name slowly. Adrien nodded and repeated the Elf’s name. The Elf appeared happy with himself, and rambled off something to the other Elf, and then gestured to the couple again. The other Elf looked at Veru darkly for half a minute, and then looked back at the couple. “Arandur,” he said.
Ellery nodded and then paused as if remembering something else. She brightened and looked at Arandur. “Hanyalyë i lambë númenya?” she asked. He looked slightly confused, and shook his head.
“Lambë númenya?” he replied, shaking his head again.
“Oh, that’s not exactly right,” Ellery said exasperatedly. “I said “western” language, not Westron.”
At that last word, Veru’s eyes lit up. “Westron? The Common Speech?” he asked.
“Then you can understand us?” Adrien asked.
Arandur stepped forward. “Obviously,” he said, not a little arrogantly. “We were unsure of your dialect at first, but when the lady said the word “Westron”, we were able to identify the dialect. For the Noldor are skilled in languages. But we also knew who you were when we heard the lady speak the High Tongue, for we were told to watch for those wearing strange clothing but speaking our tongue.”
“Wait–you know us?” Adrien was completely surprised. “Is there something we don’t know? I’ve never been here before, and I certainly have never seen you two before. Ellery, do you know what’s going on?”
Ellery was looking hard at the two Elves, as if again trying to remember something. She looked at Adrien only when he finished speaking. “I’m not sure. I feel as if this has something to do with what the Lady Arwen said to me, but I don’t know…”
Veru stepped closer to Ellery. “You saw the Queen, my lady? We had heard tell of her coming to this land again, but we were not on watch for her, but rather for you. We do know who you both are, and why you are here, though it seems that you do not. But I suppose they would have no remembrance of these lands, for the spell to be effective,” he finished to Arandur, who nodded in sullen agreement.
“Spell?” Adrien asked suspiciously. He was still feeling rather uncomfortable with the whole situation, and the attitude of the dark-haired Elf was irritating him; not to mention that sleeping on the floor of a platform high in a tree had given him a very stiff neck and shoulders.
“Aye, a spell of the Valar,” Veru replied. This affirmation was met with blank looks, so he went on. “This will take a while to explain, to be sure, so shall we not all go up to the second storey of the flet, where there is some food, for I am sure that you two are probably hungry.”
“Yes, as you have already made yourselves quite at home here in our watchtower,” added Arandur in a still-sullen tone, looking darkly at Ellery, who was slowly realizing that she had slept in his bed.
“Hey,” Adrien stepped in front of Ellery and faced Arandur. “You back off, alright? There’s no need to start any problems. So just chill!”
Arandur went blank for a moment; clearly unused to such treatment, and with no idea of why this tall, brash young man asked him to become cold (he had not the power to do such a thing, anyways), but he regained his composure after a couple of seconds, and answered by brushing past Adrien with only the slightest bow of his head, and headed toward the stair leading to the second storey, where Veru had already ascended.
Ellery followed after the elves, gesturing for Adrien to do the same thing. He glowered in Arandur’s direction, and then changed his look to that of exasperation when Ellery glared at him. “Do you know what’s going on?” he whispered to her.
“I’m not sure, but I trust them,” she whispered back, seeing the look on his face. “The dark-haired one may be a bit much, but surely he must have a reason. Did you hear him say that he was Noldorin? He’s really old, then, and the Noldor were rather elitist, or at least some of them were.”
“Ummm…yeah.” Adrien replied, eyebrow raised teasingly. “I only understood half of what you said, dear. Remember, I do not have time for such devotion to these things. I was busy serving you coffee while you read your books.”
Ellery laughed quietly and wrapped her arm around Adrien’s as they ascended to the next flet.
“Chai tea latte for…um…Ell-er-ee? Did I get that right?”
Her grey eyes flashed smilingly through white-blonde hair as she took the hot drink. “Yes, you got it right. Thank you.” She took the drink back to her corner where she sat with her overstuffed book bag. The dark-haired boy behind the counter was watching her, and she knew it. She smiled inwardly and pulled out a very worn and dog-eared copy of The Silmarillion and flipped open to somewhere in the middle. She also pulled out a notebook and pencil and began to take notes as she was writing.
The boy worked behind the counter, alternating between taking orders, making drinks and watching the girl. She became completely absorbed in her book and notes, and did not notice as the light outside diminished and turned from afternoon to dusk, and then finally evening. Fog began to roll in as it always did and only when the music stopped did she look up.
“I’m sorry, but we’re closed now,” a sour-faced girl announced, standing over the girl where she sat. “That means you have to leave,” she finished flatly.
“Oh–” the girl began to stuff the books back into her bag and stand up when the boy came over, holding a mop.
“Here–” he shoved the mop in the sour girl’s face. “She was waiting for me; I’m her ride.” He grabbed his coat from the counter and the blonde girl followed him toward the door, looking slightly puzzled and also amused. At the door, the boy turned back. “I’m already clocked out. Have fun closing, Brit!”
“You don’t have to take me home, I have my bike,” the girl began.
“Ellery–it’s Ellery, right? It’s all good. It’s too dark and foggy anyways, and it’s my pleasure.” He grinned crookedly and bowed, arms spread out on either side of him. He then unlocked her bike from its place and stuffed it into the trunk of his ’65 Ford Mustang.
She looked at him quizzically. “You’re Adrien, right? We have a couple of classes together, I think.”
“Yeah, we do. Creative Writing and Advanced Poetry. So what do you think of Mrs. Becker, anyways? She doesn’t seem to really know her stuff….”
They continued in like conversation until they reached Ellery’s house. As Ellery got out of the car, she leaned back in and looked at Adrien.
“Would you like to come inside and get warmed up before you go home?”
“Naw,” he replied. “I’ll be fine. I’ll see you tomorrow in class.”
She nodded and shut the car door. As she walked up the pathway Adrien rolled his window down.
“Would you–do you think–well, there’s this poetry reading happening downtown tomorrow night. Um, would you like to go? With me?”
Now she smiled warmly, her grey eyes turning to deep blue. “That would be nice. Yeah,” and she turned and went into her house, deliberately not noticing the ever-widening grin on Adrien’s face as he sped away into the foggy night.
Ellery recalled that night with a smile. It was not the first time they had met, but that night had been the beginning of a wonderful relationship together that had lasted four years and counting.
As they continued up the steps, Ellery wondered what would befall them in this new world, one she knew so much about, and yet she had so much more to discover. She wondered at the fact that the Elves seemed to know who they were, and how that tied into her exchange with Queen Arwen. She knew that the two events were connected, but she did not know how as of yet.
All she knew was that whatever happened, she and Adrien would be together through all of it, and that made her smile once more.
“My lady–” someone was interrupting her reverie. Oh, it was Arandur.
“My lady,” he repeated, “Is something wrong with you? You look….”
“Happy,” she stated abruptly and a little annoyed. “There is nothing wrong with me. And forgive me for sleeping in your bed, which was an obvious annoyance to you, sir,” and she put a sarcastic emphasis on the word `sir’.
“Nay, do not call him `sir’, my lady,” interjected Veru as Arandur’s face began to redden with pride and anger. “For he is but your servant, as am I also,” and here he bowed low.
“Yes, we are both your servants,” Arandur added with slightly clenched teeth. “We were appointed to watch for you both, and we have watched for these very long years; both of us, together, here in Lothlórien, in the same watchtower.”
Adrien and Ellery were beginning to understand that Arandur was not very fond of Veru, and was attempting to make that fact known without appearing undignified.
`Well then,” began Adrien, “You have finally spotted us, so now you may tell us why you have been watching for us all these very long years.”
Veru motioned to a table that had two chairs on opposite ends, and the couple sat down. Veru took another chair that was sitting under a window, but Arandur remained standing, holding his bow and looking very gloomy in countenance.
“Your story began a very long time ago,” began Veru, also motioning to Adrien. “You, my lord, are of the House of Fëanor. You are his eighth son, in fact. You are also his only living son.”
Already rather perplexed, Adrien looked first at Ellery, who was glowing brighter than a 60 watt light bulb and was positively falling out of her chair, then to Arandur, who was looking a little less annoyed and a little more proud. He then looked back at Veru, who was rather pleased at being the one to announce such a great thing.
“What exactly does that mean, Veru?”
“You, my lord, are an Elf. You are of the Noldor, and as you are the last of the House of Fëanor, you are heir to the crown he last possessed and everything else that still resides here in Middle-earth and in Valinor.
“You are King.”
* * * * *
AN: All Elvish is in Quenya.
* Veru~ “like God”
* Arandur~ “king’s servant”
* Elmë nar meldor.~ “We are friends.”
* Essenya Ellery, esserya Adrien.~ “My name is Ellery, his name is Adrien.”
* Hanyalyë i lambë númenya?~ “You know the western tongue?”