3. Cat and Mice
**This in mind speech**
''This is visions''
""This is thoughts ""
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Cat and Mice
The sound of a lock being thrown and a door banging against stone woke Kestrel from a sound reverie. Blinking her eyes back into focus, she was afraid that her mind was not working correctly. Squeezing her eyes shut, and then reopening them several times did not alleviate the problem. There were two!! Identical in every way, from the long dark hair braided, in the fashion of warriors, that allowed their pointed ears to show to the huskier built and well muscled frames found normally within the realms of men to the identical scowls that graced their fair features. All in all, they were beautiful in a fierce and feral way.
Swallowing hard, the girl sat up warily, clutching the sheet tightly to her throat, as a flush rose to her cover her cheeks and ears. Trying hard to think how to react, Kestrel kept muttering silently, "act helpless," in the confines of her befuddled brain. Smelling hot food nearly made her whimper. It had been longer then she could remember, since the last hot thing she had enjoyed eating. If they let her eat in peace, she could go then to her doom happily. The sound of a voice broke through the almost hypnotic trance the sweet, gooey confection caused. The heavenly scent of cinnamon was overwhelming and Kestrel's self control was slipping badly. Dragging herself back to the reality of her situation, the hungry girl stared wide eyed at the identical warriors that were still frowning at her. Hearing the warrior repeat his comment more forcefully this time, she tried to make sense of exactly what was said. Her perplexed look must have registered, because one of the twins moved forward and handed her the plate of hot sticky cinnamon buns. Without even a second thought, Kestrel snatched the plate from his hand and proceeded to devour them as quickly as she could; in the event that they tried to take them back from her.
Elrohir watched the young girl eating the buns as if she had not eaten in weeks. Judging by her condition upon arrival, the younger twin figured that was exactly the reason she was wolfing her food down. At least the girl was now looking and smelling much better, then when she arrived. The girl's bruising and cuts were healing well and she did seem relatively alert, but still slightly dazed. Her appetite seemed fine, though her manners and grace were sadly lacking. Her hair was a wild tangle of dark, honey brown and her eyes matched in a swirl of deep rich brown sprinkled with golden highlights. She was slightly built, but under eating had given her a sunken, overly gaunt appearance. She was shorter then most elves, or men and Elrohir figured her head would reach about shoulder height on him. The younger twin resisted the urge to smile as he watched her finish the food. She popped the last piece in her mouth then proceeded to run her fingers through the sweetened goop left on the plate, like a small child would.
Licking the last of the gooey mess off her fingers, the girl became aware of the intense stares of the two males in the room. Flushing guiltily, Kestrel wiped her fingers on the sleeping gown and handed the plate to the same male that had given it to her, or at least she thought it was the same one. Watching the identical twins with a sense of unrestrained curiosity, she tried to fathom if she had ever heard of this unusual birth type happening before back home. A frown fluttered over her features when she realized she was not sure where home was exactly. She closed her eyes and concentrated on bringing a picture of home into focus. There were lots of big trees and, sadly she knew, that darkness was a continual, heavy presence beneath the trees. The feeling of danger lurked in her mind when she tried to conjure a picture of home. She began to panic again. She knew her name was Kestrel. She was named for the small raptors that were sometimes used as hunters and message bringers. She tried to think of family, but the only image she could get was a large bonfire with lots of elves twirling to the erratic beat of music and the feeling of intense pain radiating from her back and arms. Unconsciously Kestrel rubbed her arms where she had felt the pain in the memory; something about that image was extremely vital. She should know about the pain and that place where the music called to her soul, but her mind refused to show her anymore. The blankness frightened her, even more then being captured by the strange oddities standing before her. Turning wide terrified eyes towards the elf twins, Kestrel's sheer panic took hold.
Elladan observed the girl as his twin offered her the food. She had appeared not to have heard a single word either elf had spoken and was completely mesmerized by the sight of the cinnamon confection. She had taken the plate warily at first, but her hunger overrode her caution. Though she was definitely of elf kind, she seemed quite young and innocent. The older twin figured she was only a few hundred years past her majority, yet there was a nagging feeling he was missing something crucial. He scanned her face as she ate and nearly laughed at the total bliss that gripped her features at every bite. A part of him felt sorry for this small elleth, but a larger, more cynical piece of him wondered at the coincidence of her arrival, which came so close to the Fellowship's departure. The enemy had many spies and the twin knew well that appearances could be decieving. Elladan decided he would withhold judgment, until they had gotten the elleth to talk.
It was the markings that worried him most, as Elves did not mar their bodies in such a way. It was not only her upper arms that bore the Dark Lord's symbols, but across her back, over her heart and around her navel as well. The application of such detailed work must have been extremely painful to endure. The application process had to have taken weeks to do, even if more then one person worked on the patterns. The twins had gotten a decent look at some of the symbols when they helped the healer care for the unconscious elleth, but a more in depth study would have to be made, so they could hopefully decipher what dark meaning they invoked. If it had not been for the markings and the timing of her arrival, the twins would have had her placed in one of the guest suites. Dangerous times called for caution, so they had instead incarcerated her in the most secure room available. When all of their questions were fully answered, then they would treat her accordingly. If she was innocent of wrong doing then the older twin would apologize, and beg her forgiveness. If the elleth refused to answer their questions, was uncooperative in any way or they uncovered any signs of malice or danger, then she could rot in the gray room until the Dark Lord and his minions were defeated!
Elladan looked to Elrohir when the elleth's eyes went out of focus, as she furrowed her forehead in concentration. Staring off into nothingness, she looked slightly haunted. Emotions swirled in her eyes as she looked at the unseen gray walls of the holding cell. Confusion, pain, uncertainty and panic all marched through her eyes until focus returned and the small female looked to the twins with a look of absolute horror. Something was wrong with her, but the twins could not fathom the cause. The look held a depth of panic and terror that sent chills down their spines. She began shaking her head again and again in protest, of whatever thought had crowded into her mind. Her body trembled in shock and fear as the twins watched closely. Without a sound, the elleth drew her knees to her chest, wrapping her arms around herself tightly. Tears streamed unheeded down her cheeks and she dropped her head to conceal her face in the folds of the coverlet.
The twins quirked eyebrows at each other in confusion, before returning their gazes to the huddled figure. She made no sound, at all, to alert them of her pain, but her pose screamed of her complete misery. Elrohir, taking pity on the hurting female, slowly walked over to the edge of the bed and sat down, as he reached out a hand to comfort her. The elleth felt the brush of his hand and the dip of the bed as he sat. She drew away from the touch as if it burned. Scuttling as far away as she could get, the girl stared at the twin in a mixture of fear and anger. As he tentatively reached out again, the girl tried to bite his hand, as she pressed herself back against the wall by the head of the bed with wary eyes. Deciding to let her alone, Elrohir rose once more and returned to his place by his twin's side. Nodding at each other in perfect understanding, the two turned on their heels and left the room to Kestrel's great relief. She needed time to come to terms with her new found discovery. Of all the things she had dealt with so far, memory loss had not even entered her head.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.