Avnean awoke the next morning with the events of the night before still painted clearly in her mind. She closed her eyes and felt the wind brushed across her face and the faint trill of morning larks. Someone had opened the balcony doors again; Avnean hated it when the doors were open because some form of nature would always wake her up. Avnean loved the nature and birds but she could not stand it when they woke her up in the morning. Groaning she groped with hand to throw back the blankets so she could close the doors.
“Don’t bother sister I’ve got it,” Legolas’s voice drifted across the room. She heard his footsteps and the click as the doors were closed. “You had another nightmare last night Avnean?”
“No,” she lied quickly but was slow to cover it up with her thoughts as she was still half-asleep.
“Don’t lie Avnean,” Legolas said sternly. His footsteps echoed familiarly across the room as he came and sat down beside her on the bed. “You almost screamed and then you left for a long time.”
“You were sleeping,” Avnean mumbled.
“Yes,” Legolas nodded. “I was but I noticed it all the same.”
“Oh,” Avnean shifted under her blankets and cracked one eye open. “It was nothing Legolas, it just scared me a bit.”
“What are you so guilty about?” Legolas asked her. “Is it something about the Lady?”
“You’ve caught me,” Avnean sighed. “Yes I’ve been thinking about it. I’m worried about it Legolas. I think maybe we should try and see how it goes? I mean….”
“I agree Avnean,” Legolas nodded. “What changed you mind? Celeborn?”
“Well sort of,” Avnean wriggled uncomfortably opening both eyes. She didn’t want Legolas to know about Thenil quite yet, afraid of how he might react to it.”
Legolas frowned slightly. “You met someone else?” he asked. “I would like to meet this person.”
Avnean sighed. “You know me too well,” she groaned. “Yes….a friend I guess. His name is Thenil, an Elf from Rohan. He….He used to have a twin.”
“Used to?” Legolas asked and swallowed. Wordlessly but bursting with emotion Legolas stood up and gently held Avnean against him.
“Everything’s all right Legolas,” she whispered. “He’s doing well. Let me get dressed so we can go talk to the Lady.” Legolas released and shifted back but he was still having trouble understanding how someone could have possibly survived with their twin lost.
Awake now Avnean didn’t have any trouble getting dressed and dressed faster at Legolas’s goading that she was a slow old toad. It was exactly the thing that prompted a mad dash through the Lady’s home as soon as Avnean was finished dressing, not bothering to unknot her hair.
Avnean spun around a corner and crashed into a form and fell back, stars obscuring her eyes for a moment as her head collided against the wooden floor. From the horror Legolas was feeling Avnean got the distinct impression that she had just run into someone of great importance.
“Avnean? What are you doing? How did you manage to get Legolas to chase you?”
“Lord Celeborn?” Avnean demanded groggily and groaned. She lifted her head and massaged the back expecting to find a goose egg back there. Her kneading fingers only found a sore spot, Legolas wincing in his own sympathy as he felt similar pain if slightly less. “Watch where you’re going next time.”
There was laughter. “And I suggest Avnean you watch where you’re going next time. Here let me help you up.”
Avnean felt his warm hand clasp hers and he righted her quickly, while she let her dead weight drag against the floor. For a moment after coming to her feet the carpeted hallway swayed but it passed quickly. “I’m sorry my Lord Celeborn,” she muttered. “I wasn’t watching where I was going.” She looked up into his face and saw that he was amused.
“The Lady’s in her sitting room, doing embroidery Avnean. You may get a few lessons from her,” Celeborn told her.
Avnean glared at Celeborn’s bribe. “I hate embroidery,” she said, her voice deep with anger towards the useless skill. Legolas was laughing away behind her. “I don’t want lessons.” She faltered and remembered that she was going to be stuck with those skills when she returned home. Not if I have anything to say about it Avnean resolved getting back to the problem at hand. Celeborn was looking solemnly down at her. “Thank you Celeborn,” she nodded her head politely. “See you later?”
Celeborn nodded his head and shaking his and smiling he left them, striding on. Avnean could have sworn he had shaken his head and laughed when he passed them. “How did he know we were going there?” Avnean asked Legolas, glancing down the hall after he’d left.
Legolas shrugged, although he was uncomfortable with the thought of Celeborn knowing what they were up to. “I don’t know,” he answered. “Avnean….let’s just get this over with?”
Avnean looked behind to her brother, shifting uncomfortably in the hallway. “Don’t feel guilty about yesterday,” Avnean soothed. “Don’t. We had every reason to rebuke her the way we did.”
Legolas smiled. “Avnean when did you get so adept at reading my mind?”
“It’s all in your head,” Avnean tapped her forehead, an age-long habit. “You’re making me feel guilty and that’s the last thing I want to feel.”
“Sorry,” Legolas muttered and looked down the carpeted hall. “Well are we going to go or no?”
“Gentleman first,” Avnean told her wryly. She looked up the corridor and waved Legolas forward.
Legolas balked and shook his head. “I thought it was ladies first,” he stalled. “Avnean after you.”
Glaring at her brother Avnean strode down the hall. She wasn’t truly mad with her brother and he knew it, she was just making a point of not liking to be the first to confront the Lady. Her whole body shivered as she thought of the Lady of the Galadhrim, definitely one woman she didn’t get along with.
Galadriel sat with the sun warming her as she pulled the silver needle through the cloth. Quietly and distractedly she hummed a tune that she had learned as child, still young in Valinor, the remembrance of home nearly brought to her eyes even all these years later. However, her mind was not occupied on a long-lost home or on the growing pattern before her eyes, it was upon two certain Elves.
Sighing Galadriel sent her embroidery down on the divan beside her and drew her feet up under the skirt of her dress. She lent back, tipping her head so that sun’s warm rays drifted across her features. Never once, since she could remember was she hopeless as to a solution. The only certain facts that she could come across was that Avnean was too stubborn to listen. Well that doesn’t help she reminded herself dryly. She opened her eyes slowly and nestled herself more comfortably against the wall that the divan was resting against. Her fingers absently trailed over her needle-work as she thought.
“Ouch!” Galadriel hissed drawing her hand away as it pricked upon her needle. She brought finger, oozing blood and sucked on it for a moment. When she drew it away Galadriel stared at it and sighed once more, hopelessly unable to come up with a solution. As she stared she became aware of two troubled minds on the other side of the sitting room door, standing there and nervous to enter. Wondering who could be coming, and feeling frustrated that she couldn’t discern who it was she called them in.
Avnean and Legolas both stepped into the room slowly, their feet dragging against the light rug of birds and trees. Galadriel had to force herself to hide the startled expression on her face; well that was why she couldn’t tell who it was!
“What it is children?” she asked them, calmly although thoroughly mystified.
“I’ve….” Avnean shifted and her eyes flickered to her twin for a brief moment. “Well what exactly my lady do you have in mind?”
Galadriel smiled slightly and picked up her embroidery again. She was silent, working quietly on her pattern until she heard the twins start to shift uncomfortably. “I have in mind,” she started slowly, afraid of another disastrous attempt at getting them to understand. “Mind blocks….don’t need to ask Legolas, for perhaps a day?”
“A day?” Avnean spluttered. “My lady….”
“Once we have worked up to that level,” Galadriel ignored her. “It is important that you can hold it for a long period of time. It will make separation easier.” She eyed the twins as they conversed silently, both obviously not liking her idea of things at all.
“My lady,” Legolas said slowly. “What are you trying to teach us? To look beyond ourselves for help sometimes and to others?”
Galadriel nearly lost her composure when her lips nearly twisted into a grim line. Celeborn, she thought. What have you been filling their heads with? They weren’t supposed to know that much! “Well,” Galadriel said, sticking her needle in the fabric and setting it beside her. “I guess that is what I will be trying to teach you.”
“Then why not tell us clearer?” Avnean demanded. “And what did you see in your mirror that caused this much fear?”
Galadriel couldn’t help it this time, she physically jolted and her eyes looked up into the twins’, cold and calm. “There is nothing about my mirror that is in this. I am merely worried,” she replied coolly, although rather shaking inside.
“Then why did you jump?” Avnean continued relentlessly, her eyes had narrowed dangerously; the perfect picture of her father before he started a fit of anger.
“You surprised me that was all,” Galadriel told them. She folded her hands upon her dress and looked at them. “Have you decided?”
Avnean looked at Legolas for a long moment; Galadriel could tell that they were conversing quietly by the way their facial expressions changed. She watched them openly not bothering to hide her actions from them.
Finally Avnean turned back. “We’ll try,” she told Galadriel tersely. “We’ll try my lady. Once! If we don’t like we will go back home.” Avnean crossed her arms and stared a challenge at Galadriel.
Please and relieved Galadriel leaned back again and watched the two. Minutely she tested their thoughts and was startled to find that she could not feel anything from them. The two never ceased to elude her somehow. “Very well,” she told them. “I agree, when you leave if you can find Celeborn? I wish to speak with him.”
“We aren’t your personal maids,” Avnean growled but she turned anyway with Legolas and left the room.
After the door had closed Galadriel allowed her lips to turn up a fraction, Avnean’s mood humoring her. It was however short lived as her mind swept over what Avnean said. Celeborn had talked to her? I thought I was going to speak with her and figure this out! What did he tell her that changed her mind so fast? Galadriel thought frowning, not liking the situation at all. Or was it Thenil she talked to? Feeling thoroughly vexed and not having the best of days to begin with, Galadriel allowed herself to look absolutely upset and ready to tear down walls. Something that she hadn’t done since her younger years.
“My lady can you tell me where my own lady is? She is gone and I cannot find her.”
The comfort of Celeborn’s voice calmed Galadriel and she relaxed looking up into his familiar face, not having heard him enter. “Ah Celeborn,” she murmured. “Celeborn what did you speak to Avnean about? She had agreed to what I wished and I did not expect it. I was feeling failure and now she tells me differently. What did you say to charge her stubborn mind?”
“I said only what a friend could say to another,” Celeborn returned, throwing evasion fully in Galadriel’s face. “It was Thenil who rightly changed her mind. I planted the thought and he sowed.”
“You are evading me,” Galadriel said a bit hurt. “Why is that?”
“It is something I wish not revealed,” Celeborn replied gently. “I do not mean to harm you.” he stepped forward and took her hand. “Let’s go for a walk so you can relax?”
Galadriel rested her head gently against his chest as he drew her up. For the first time that day she was feeling both relieved and very young again. “Let’s,” she agreed and Celeborn drew her away from her seat.