From Shadow to Shadow
Year 3293 of the Second Age
This happened in a troubled time, when Ar-Pharazôn the Golden was King of Númenor, but he had been enchanted by Sauron, once his prisoner, now his closest adviser. Sacrifices of blood burned on an altar of Morgoth, and the smoke blackened the sky.
Those who are less familiar with ancient histories may understand the situation better if they hear it was as if, instead of sending Grima Wormtongue, Saruman himself had come to advise Théoden to attack Gondor.
For Sauron aimed to send Númenor against Valinór.
Middle-Earth was more or less silent and at peace.
Rivendell was as it always has been, a haven of song and story, rest and joy.
On a midsummer evening, a maiden danced in a garden lit by fireflies, and fireflies only.
She danced for an audience of one, one only, her heart's beloved. His name was Gladhír, which is a shorter form of Galadh-hír, Lord of Trees. He was a nobleman of the Sindar, a relative of King Thranduil of Greenwood the Great.
The maiden was very young, only in her second hundred. Her name was Lindál, which suited her well; Song-foot is a poetic name for a dancer. She had never left Rivendell in her life.
Suddenly they hear a sound other than the music drifting from the open balconies and the more crowded, brigtly lit gardens, other than the call of any bird they knew, closer than any elf they saw.
It seemed to come from a flowerbed. Lindál pointed at it.
'But surely no-one can hide in a flowerbed?' Gladhír asked, already walking there nonetheless. He parted the stalks gently, and gasped.
Among the soft leaves there lay a baby elf less than a year old. The child was wrapped in a soft, ragged brown cloth. When Gladhír lifted it up, the tiny face smiled at him.
'Looks like someone has misplaced a priceless treasure.' He spoke softly and gestured Lindál to come closer.
'A baby! Elbereth! What…'
Gladhír hushed her.
'Do not frighten the child. Also, this is a very tricky situtation. No woman of Rivendell would forget her child anywhere, most certainly not in a flowerbed. The child could of course have crawled there, but nobody has announced a search for a lost baby, as ought to have been done this late in the evening. This baby was left there for a purpose. These are the 'Gardens of Moonlight', where couples spend time alone. The mother, or whoever left the child here, meant it to be found by someone who could adopt it.'
Lindál wanted to say a hundred things. She would love to adopt the baby. They were a couple too, weren't they? Maybe it was destiny, the will of the Valar, the ultimate seal of their relationship, a sign. But she didn't dare. Gladhír had sounded so old and wise… and distant.
'So what shall we do?' she asked instead.
'We shall take the child to Lord Elrond. I am but a guest in his realm, and this child is one of his people.'
'How… sensible. Is it a boy or a girl, by the way?'
'Let me look… a little girl it is. Looks healthy, don't you, sweetie?'
Gladhír tickled the baby's toes, then wrapped her in the cloth again.
Again, the baby had smiled at him. As if it wanted to say: take me, keep me, hold me.
Maybe he should suggest it be named Lindál. The maiden had seemed wery eager to get some credit out of this, as far as he could understand. Neither of them could adopt it, of course. He was not staying in Rivendell and she was too young to be tied up like that. How she had danced! Maybe he could write a poem for her, before he left. Yes, that would be nice. Fireflies, moon, stars, flowers and Lindál Songfoot dancing to the tune of 'Wilwarín'...
They found Lord Elrond alone in the library. He had retired there as soon as he could, they were told. He was studying a map of Númenor, of all things.
'Glahír? What is the matter?'
He told him, then let Lindál describe where exactly they had found the child.
'Nothing like this has ever happened in Rivendell', Elrond said gravely.
He opened the baby's mouth and counted her teeth.
'She is Noldorin. They are born with a full mouth of teeth, unlike you Sindar.'
'You mean she is on solid food already?' Lindál asked, eager to show her knowledge about babies.
'Yes, probably. You could take care of her, if you want to.'
'Oh, I do!'
'You understand this is a temporary arrangement, Lindál?' Gladhír asked.
'Yes, my lords.' Lindál took the child from Gladhír and was about to leave the room, when Elrond stopped her.
'One thing more. Name her Imladviel. A daughter of the Valley.'
Elrond did not explain.
Lindál left, holding the baby perhaps a bit too tight, wishing goodnight only to Elrond.
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.