A/N: This may not be pure Tolkien, but I hope that it will pass as close enough.
Two things you need to know about this story…
1.) In this story elves are generally in some control of their dreams.
2.) While I hold to the idea that Elves can see dream-images or shadows of other elves/people on the Olóre Mallë (Path of Dreams), for purposes of this story they normally don’t, and perhaps never do, actually meet others in their dreams. But something is going to happen in this story which is not normal.
Names/Pronuciations and any Translation will come at the end of each chatper. ( ) signals a footnote
The spell-checker on my word processer is being stupid – I hope I caught all the mis-spells!
“Thank You!” to everyone who reviewed – you all made my day! = ) Don’t worry, there is not major cliffy in this chapter… but I won’t say there won’t be one in the next! *tries to stiffle and evil chuckle…*
Chapter 2.) Strange Mornings
“All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream.” – E.A. Poe
Elladan woke with a start. His heart was racing, and he shivered as wind from the south blew over his sweat-covered brow. `What in all of Arda(1) was that!’ he wondered. His mind seemed to reel for a few moments, and then it all came clearly back to him. Everything had seemed so real – too real. The fire and the rain and… those eyes. He could still feel the weight of her in his arms, feel the dampness of her hair under his chin, and feel the searching gaze of those those two perfect green eyes…
`Snap out of it Elladan!’ he chided himself, `I don’t need to be swooning over imaginary women with green eyes.’
He turned on his side under the blanket. He was now staring at the fire, hoping to fall back to sleep, or at least to rest his body. But the small campfire only reminded him of his dream. The blazing fire sweeping through the valley, the beating rain that followed, the girl in white, and those eyes…
Elladan groaned, `I must be more exhausted then I thought… losing control of my mind.’ He got up, realizing that sleep would not come to him again, and went back to his brother on the outskirts of the encampment. When he walked up from behind Elrohir and sat down next to him, Elrohir gave him a knowing smile.
“What are you doing awake? Here I am taking the rest of your watch in a cheerfully sacrificial mood, and you spurn my devotion by not sleeping when I tell you to. Brothers!” He let out an exasperated sigh. “This upsets my plans entirely. I was sure that if I took your watch this night I could talk you into to taking mine tomorrow.” Elrohir ended with a playful twinkle in his eyes.
“The best laid plans of Elves and Men… Sorry to disapoint you brother, but – “
“You couldn’t sleep. I didn’t think you would last long. You went to bed in such an odd mood.”
Elladan gave him a dry smile, “My own foul mood may, as you implied earlier, fortell the end of the world, but it did not cause the end of my sleep. I had a rather distrubing… and intriguing dream. Nothing like I’ve ever had before. It ended rather abruptly, and… I started awake.”
“And it was so disturbing that you could not find sleep again?” Elrohir looked doubtful, and then with mock horror proclaimed, “What?! Were you reliving our confrontation with the angry Lord Erestor!”
Elladan smacked his brother on the back of the head.
“Ouch!” Elrohir rubbed the back of his head, “Now who’s disturbing whom from their watch? If you keep that up we may never see the light of day, but instead be slaughtered in the night by a roving pack of Orcs. And it will be all your fault.”
Elladan smirked at his brother
“And I’ll gladly accept the blame. I haven’t hit you over the head for at least a century – I find the action to be quite soothing.”
Elrohir glared at his brother.
“So what were you dreaming about? Not,” he hesitated, “…mother again?”
The twin’s mother, Celebrian, had passed across the Sundering Sea into Valinor(2) several hundred years before.
“No.” There was a pause for several moments, and then Elladan seemed to shake himself of his pensive mood. “In fact, I dreamt of rescuing a particularly lovely young maiden from a ravenous forest fire and pelting rain.”
Elrohir eyed his brother for several seconds in silence, trying to sort something out in his brain.
“Why is that a bad thing?” he finally asked with a quizzical expression on his face.
Elladan chuckled softly. “Just because it envolves a maiden does not automatically make it a good dream, Elrohir. Does it not seem strange that I should be experiencing forest fires, and rain that beats so hard it burns along the Olóre Mallë?”
“Well, I suppose so, but even then, why should you not be able to sleep again. Surely it did not actually hurt you, and it is not likely that you would experience such again.”
“Well, if you must know, the maiden is distracting my thoughts quite a bit. I cannot see any meaning in it. Why was she in danger? Why was I there to help her? She was so beautiful and strong at the same time, but also sad. I would have helped her more if I could.”
Elrohir had to use a great deal of self-control to keep from laughing out loud.
“What? Smitten with an imaginary dream-maiden, are we! Why you haven’t looked at any girl twice, in Rivendell or LothLorien, for far too long, and you pick this figment of your imagination to become infatuated with?”
Elladan gave his brother an annoyed glare.
“I did not say I was smitten with her. I said she was intriguing. I am fully aware that she is not real, but she must represent something – there must be some meaning behind it all. And trying to find a meaning is what is keeping my mind so awake.” Elladan knew that wasn’t a complete lie.
“Well, well. Whatever you say, brother.”
Elrohir was not convinced. `My brother is so introspective he probably could only fall in love with someone in his own mind.’
Oloriel sighed contentedly as she re-emerged into consciousness. She had felt so secure in the stranger’s embrace. And he had made the storm go away. She opened her eyes on the world with a newfound sense of peace.
`The Valar did answer my prayer! I don’t know why they sent the vision of an elf into my dreams. But they did send him to bring peace to the storm – I am sure of it. I think my nightmares are gone for good!’
With the relief that came from this realization she sprang from her bed – and then, promptly flopped back down. In was still night – hours before dawn in fact. But could she go back to sleep? She decided that it wouldn’t hurt to try. She rolled back into the sheets and blankets, curling herself up into a fetal position. Everything was so warm and comforting. The smells of the trees drifting in through her window fell like a healing balm on her heart. It smelled like… well, it smelled like him! In the warmth of her blankets she could feel his arms around her again – smell his leafy scent. A slight smile curled the edges of her mouth. But it didn’t last for long. `What are you doing you silly little elfling? For that is how you are acting – just like a silly young she-elf! You’re not supposed to dream about your imaginary dream-rescuers; it’s very bad for your health!’ She had to laugh at herself.
But her laugh soon died away. Even considering the charming attributes of her dream-elf, she wondered why she would smile at the memory. It had been so long since she let anyone help her – she usually pushed people away. There were a few exceptions. She could not close herself off from the Lady of the Golden Wood, but at the same time, the Lady did not often choose to give her counsel or aid beyond what was fitting for one of her handmaidens. Oloriel’s heart had been alone ever since her brother died – and she wanted it that way. And yet… it had felt good to collapse into the arms of the stranger. It felt good to not have to struggle or fight or be brave. She had to admit that she enjoyed feeling protected, and this dream vision had protected her. Of course he wasn’t real, but she was glad that she had been able to feel so secure… for at least a moment.
With these contented thoughts she fell back to sleep. Her dreams, very peaceful and calm, were filled with the scent of trees…
Later that morning, after completing all her pressing duties in the House of Healing, she was on her way to the Great Talan – the house of the Lord and Lady of the Golden Wood. She thought that she would inquire if there were anything else that the Lady wished of her that day. She did not work with a needle well, but sometimes the Lady’s other handmaidens would enjoy a few of her songs while they worked. On her way to find out if her services were needed, Kallindo pounced on her once again.
“Aiwe! You won’t get away so easily this time. Poking me in the ribs will get you nowhere, for I have something much sharper to poke you back with!” Kallindo weaved one of the two swords he carried through the air with expert precision. “Since you seemed so cast down yesterday by your lack of genius not only in the art of healing but also in that of swordplay, I thought to help you remedy the latter malady.” He flashed a wide grin at her, and tossed one of the swords her way. “You are coming to spar with me.”
Oloriel caught the sword deftly and then gave him a doubtful look. “I was going to go ask the Lady if she required my attendance.”
“Oh, but I am one step ahead of you, my dear Aiwe. I have already asked the Lady, and your whole day is now devoted to my tender instruction.”
With that, Kallindo took the flat side of the sword he still carried and swatted her on the backside. With a yelp, Oloriel swing around, kicked his shin, and placed her sword tip against the skin of his neck.
“See Aiwe,” Kallindo spoke cautiously, though with a twinkle in his eye, “you are not as helpless as you claim – you just need the proper provocation!”
“I have not yet said that I would spar with you.” Oloriel declared firmly as she lowered the sword from under his chin.
“Oh come now, Aiwe, it will be fun. Besides, you should never pass up the opportunity to hone any of your skills.”
Memories of her thoughts last night flew into her mind – `to be more useful’. She wasn’t sure that she wanted Kallindo teaching her, but she made a split-second decision.
“Alright, you win. Where shall we go to practice.”
Oloriel could not ignore the shocked look on Kallindo’s face.
“My my, I didn’t think I would actually talk you into it. That was easier than I thought it would be. You usually won’t let me help you with anything!”
A slight dart of guilt flew into Oloriel’s heart. Perhaps making yourself needed was not the only way to be useful. Making others feel as if they were needed could also be a good skill – one well worth honing.
Oloriel smiled faintly, “I am sorry if I am cold towards you. At least I don’t single you out personally. I usually don’t let anyone help me!” She tried to laugh, but it was a faint attempt. Choosing instead the road of jest she declared quite solemnly, “But, in recompense for the dishonorable act of poking a certain unarmed man in the ribs last night… I will be glad to indulge you this day.”
Kallindo flashed her another wide grin. “This way!” he called enthusiastically, then set off towards one of the training grounds with Oloriel in tow.
1. The world – including Middle Earth and Valinor
2. The Undying Lands, where all the elves will reside someday
Names of Note:
Oloriel: “dream daughter”
Aiwe (her nickname): “small bird”
Kallindo: “noble heart”
Olóre Mallë: Path of Dreams
Another A/N: A thank you goes out to Blade-singer (Cathol-lin) at tolkienonline.com. She doesn’t know it yet, but she inspired a lot of my thoughts about the path of dreams (check out her story, “Legolas and the Olore Malle). And also, I hope you don’t mind my borrowing inspiration from you, Blade-singer! I don’t think you would, but I also would have asked and gotten your input on Elven dreams, accept my e-mail program is being stupid.
Another story that sparked my interest was “Elven Dreams and Misadventures” on fanfiction.net. It’s not the most serious of fanfictions, but it did have a very intersting take on dreams during the Gil-Galad chapters.
EVERYONE REVIEW!!! This is my first fanfic, and my second attempt at any kind of fiction… do I rival the great drama of Sophocles? Do I stink worse than Limburger(sp?) cheese? Tell me tell me – I gotta know!