Paradox of the Fourth Age
21. Chapter 20 ~ Drawn Together
Thanks so much to my wonderful betas, Viv and Gwynnyd. A chocolate covered ranger for each of you!
Elrohir smiled when Laurëanna's laughter drifted over the wind. The festivities following his sister's wedding to the king were in full swing but the two of them had retreated to a quiet section of the lush green lawn near the back of the Citadel. It seemed that they had not had time alone together since arriving back in Minas Tirith other than at night. And at night, they sated their passion until both fell into an exhausted sleep. Today her husband had made sure that they had time alone together merely to enjoy each other's company snuggling on a blanket. She felt so refreshed by the beautiful day, with a warm breeze blowing through the freshly bloomed trees.
"You are making that up," Laurëanna insisted. "I know Erestor is…well, reserved. But surely he has laughed at some point since you have known him."
"He has not. I would remember. Elladan and I have had a bet for centuries. If Erestor laughs I have to give Elladan my horse."
"I suppose that explains why Elladan always acts like a fool around Erestor," Laurëanna smiled. She lay on her back with her head in his lap listening to the distant sounds of the townspeople enjoying the most recent games and festivities. Although she treasured the time with her friends and family, she was enjoying the time alone with her husband so much that she wished they could hide here for days.
"Elladan acts like a fool because he is one," Elrohir chuckled. Lightly stroking her hair, he lounged beneath her in apparent contentment, a feeling that she knew was unfamiliar to him.
"What are you thinking?" she asked.
"How long this peaceful existence will last. Perhaps when we return to Imladris, we could consider…" Elrohir paused, his face suddenly uneasy.
He stared off into the distance for a few minutes before answering. "A child. But perhaps it is too soon. I do not know if I am able to commit to settling down in Imladris for long periods of time. I do not wish to have a child that I never see."
Laurëanna's heart skipped a beat. In Aman, they had discussed children many times but enjoyed their peace together so much that they had decided to wait a few more years. Now, of course, she had so much to do before they sailed to Valinor. She worried that, if they had a child, she would not be able to explore Middle-earth with her husband and reunite her parents. But she had always yearned to have a child, their child.
"Perhaps it is too soon, perhaps not. I would like to be settled in one place first, however, so we have plenty of time to consider it." Sitting up, she kissed him, wrapping her arms around his neck and losing herself in his embrace. When he released her lips, he smiled.
"Until then we can also practice making a child. I think we need a lot of practice, to make certain that our, er, methods are effective. Although I am certain it will be sheer torment, we both must sacrifice for the greater good of our child." His eyes gleamed with mischief, causing her to giggle.
Suddenly distracted, he looked over her shoulder at something, and she turned around to see Elladan walking toward them with a woman. He said something that made his companion laugh out loud, and Laurëanna stiffened. When the woman brushed the reddish blonde hair from her face, Laurëanna's heart started racing.
"What is it?" Elrohir said, and she realized she was trembling.
"Naneth," she whispered without thought. As the pair drew closer, she tried to gather her wits and, seeing his confused and concerned face, stutter out some type of explanation. "She…sh…she reminds me so much of my mother." Elrohir held her hand tightly as they stood up to greet the new arrivals.
Elladan smiled brightly at the two of them, apparently not noticing Laurëanna's shock. "Lady Indil, please allow me to introduce my brother Elrohir and his wife, Laurëanna. Indil has come with the emissaries from the Havens."
Laurëanna did not trust herself to speak, so she merely placed her hand over her heart and bowed slightly.
"Greetings and welcome to Minas Tirith." Elrohir bowed his head to her. "Has Lord Cirdan come as well? I have not seen him for many years now."
"It is a pleasure to meet both of you. Elladan tells me you are recently married. Your father must be overjoyed with two marriages in his house." Indil smiled warmly at them. "Lord Cirdan did not come. He felt that now that Sauron has been defeated and things are less dangerous, more elves will be traveling to the Havens and he wishes to be ready for them. We have not had many to sail in the previous years due to the dangers along the way."
"I am surprised he could spare you for such a long journey," Elladan said, in an overly charming manner that annoyed Laurëanna.
Indil laughed and waved away his comment. "I am merely one of his many historians. Curiosity brought me. There are many parchments that have been here since the Second Age, and they called to me. I am afraid I will spend a good deal of my time here covered in dust and buried in the records of Men's past."
"Well, I insist that I be allowed to show you to the festivities here as well. The King of Gondor's wedding ceremony may be over, but the celebrations have just begun." Elladan grinned. Holding out his arm for Indil, he said, "Now you would not want to be rude to our host and forgo all of this celebration, would you? Allow me to show you the way."
"Elladan, you will scare her away if you keep falling all over her," Laurëanna said, attempting to seem as if she were joking, but her voice had a sharp edge to it. "Surely after a long journey she would prefer to rest and get settled. Would you like me to show you to the guest accommodations?"
Laurëanna watched Indil's eyes flicker between her and Elladan, most likely wondering about the sudden tension. But then, as was typical for her mother, she soothed the situation by saying, "Yes, please. Perhaps I will see you later, Elladan."
Laurëanna kissed Elrohir on the cheek and said, "I will see you before dinner."
After the two ladies had walked away, Elladan looked at his brother with confusion. "What has come over her? She acted like…well, she acted jealous of me paying attention to Indil."
"I do not think it has much to do with you, Elladan," Elrohir explained. "She was shocked by Lady Indil's arrival. Apparently she reminds Laurëanna of her mother quite a bit."
His twin shook his head after a moment. "It must be hard for her to have no family. I sometimes take for granted that we always have each other even when we are parted from the rest of our family."
"Laurëanna has family now. We are her family and she will never be alone again," Elrohir replied. Starting to walk away, he called over his shoulder, "Come, let us find some thing more productive to do than stand around talking about how you could not survive a day without me by your side."
"I would like to test that theory," Elladan muttered as he followed his brother.
Laurëanna led her on in silence for a moment before Indil asked her, "Have you enjoyed your time in Gondor? Elladan said you come from Mirkwood."
"Yes, I have, and I do. I find Men unusual because I had no exposure to them before," Laurëanna replied, nervous she would let some small detail slip. "I mean…Men rarely came to Mirkwood and when they did, I had no contact with them. Ara…Elessar has been there as well, but I did not meet him."
"You came with other representatives from Mirkwood?"
"No, I have been with Legolas since after the battle at Helm's Deep. I traveled from Rohan to Gondor with him and the others," Laurëanna explained leaving out most of the details.
Indil gasped and stopped walking, turning towards her in surprise. "You rode with the Dúnedain on the Paths of the Dead? I have heard tales of this journey they took and the battle they faced both for the Corsairs' ships and here, at Pelennor. You must be very brave to have faced all of that with them."
Laurëanna blushed and shook her head. "Not brave, I assure you. I had no choice about most of the things I faced. Not like they did. They are the heroes. I merely had to stay with them for protection. It was not as if I could have changed my mind half way through the Paths of the Dead and gone back to Mirkwood alone. Although if I had been given that choice, I might have."
"No real heroes ever think of themselves as heroic," Indil smiled at her so warmly that it took every ounce of restraint Laurëanna had to not throw herself into her mother's arms and tell her how horribly frightened she had been and the terrible things she had seen.
"Laurëanna." Turning, she saw Legolas, who had called her name, along with Celeborn and Glorfindel approaching them. She took a deep breath before smiling at them.
"Legolas, Lord Glorfindel, and Lord Celeborn, allow me to introduce Lady Indil of Mithlond. She is one of Lord Cirdan's most trusted historians and was sent here by him."
Legolas' eyes held a flicker of recognition to the name before glancing at the petite elleth. She laughed and shook her head. "Only Elladan claims I am Lord Cirdan's most trusted. I am, however, a historian, so I am greatly honored to meet you, Legolas and Lord Celeborn. Lord Glorfindel, we met once before in Mithlond, but I doubt you recall me."
"So fortunate that Cirdan sent you to Minas Tirith for such a momentous occasion: the marriage of my granddaughter," Celeborn replied and beamed.
"He is completely forgetting that it was also the return of the King of Gondor," Glorfindel smiled. "It is a pleasure, Indil. I do not remember meeting you before, and I rarely forget meeting people."
"We did not speak, but I saw you and asked someone who you were," Indil said, then blushed furiously.
Laurëanna smirked at Glorfindel but said nothing. She, of course, knew that her mother had been immediately drawn to her father, decades before they would finally meet. After seeing him, she had claimed that no other could compare. Like mother, like daughter: they both had known their future husbands on first sight.
Glorfindel studied the elleth, feeling a spark of recognition. Seeing her standing there with Laurëanna brought such a feeling of familiarity, it frustrated him immensely. It happened often lately whenever he was with Elrohir's new wife. He had considered going to Elrond or Galadriel to help him make sense of these feelings, but in the end he had decided he preferred to discover things on his own. He watched as Celeborn, Indil, and Legolas continued to speak while Laurëanna stole glances at him. Something in her eyes made him realize that she knew more than she would admit to, possibly something of why he felt this connection to Indil.
"Laurëanna was kind enough to take me to find my room so I can prepare for tonight's festivities," Indil said to the men. "Legolas, I would love to hear your tales of the Fellowship, and Lord Celeborn, perhaps you can tell me more about the destruction of Dol Guldur. As an historian, I feel I could to stay here all day and night listening to everyone and still not know the whole story."
"At the feast tonight, you must meet Frodo and Bilbo. They will be able to add greatly to your knowledge," Legolas replied.
"It would be a great honor to meet them!" Indil replied. "Even in the Havens we have already heard some tales of Frodo and the Fellowship."
"For now, let us allow her time to rest before supper," Laurëanna interjected.
Although tired, Indil's deep love of knowledge had her thirsting for every drop she could drink while here in Gondor. "Yes, she is probably right," she nodded. She had only been in Minas Tirith for a few hours, yet there was so much to learn here. Would she bother to study the parchments of past ages when she could hear the tales of the Fellowship first hand? Her cheeks grew warm when she realized that Glorfindel had continued to watch her though her through her animated discussion with the other two elves.
After bidding farewell to them, the ladies continued on their way. "Do you know Lord Glorfindel well?" Indil asked innocently. When she looked at Laurëanna, she saw the mirth in her eyes before the two of them burst into laughter.
"I have only known him for a short time but it seems like forever. He is…unique and wonderful." Laurëanna seemed very proud of her friend. "I cannot explain how special he is."
"You seem terribly fond of him."
"Oh I am," Laurëanna answered then added, "He has been Elrohir's friend and mentor since he was a child. He trained most of the young warriors in Imladris in some form but of course he was close to Elrond and his family especially."
Reaching Indil's door, Laurëanna turned to her. "He must have made quite an impression on you if you remember seeing him one time."
Indil blushed again, but something about Laurëanna made her feel more willing to share her feelings. "I cannot explain it but after seeing him that one time…I knew. I knew we would meet again and he would change my life somehow."
"You were right, you did meet again," Laurëanna smiled. "And I have a feeling he will change both our lives for the better."
Bidding the elleth farewell, Indil wondered what she had meant by her last comment. How would Glorfindel change both their lives? She could not help but smile, feeling butterflies in her stomach about seeing him here again. Perhaps it was fate.
"You are a vision," Elrohir whispered in her ear as he came up behind her. They were dressing for supper and he was struck once again by desire for his wife. He seemed unable to slake his passion for her for any length of time. Seeing golden hair falling on her pale luminous shoulders, the length of her elegant neck, the curve of her hip, and the swell of her breasts under navy blue silk, all inflamed his desire.
When she turned in his embrace, he saw desire in her eyes as well, and he pulled her tight to him. Smothering her gasp with his mouth, his tongue massaged hers as his hands clutched her to him. He then kissed along her jaw line and down her neck causing her to moan.
"Elrohir, we will be late," she whispered half-heartedly.
"I do not care." Elrohir picked her up and carried her to the bed.
Too heated to waste time undressing, he pulled the skirt of her gown up to her waist as he unlaced his leggings, kissing her deeply the whole time. He moved between her legs then plunged deep inside her in one stroke causing her to cry out. Feeling her moving up to his downward thrusts as she moaned and writhed below him pushed him quickly to the edge, but he restrained himself, waiting for her release. He teased her, keeping them both on the edge until finally she arched her back, a lustful wail escaping her lips.
"Open your eyes," he commanded, and she complied. The hunger in her eyes urged him to drive into her repeatedly until he moaned his release.
Trying not to collapse on her, Elrohir caught his breath and asked, "Did I hurt you?"
Kissing him, she wrapped her leg around his hips, pulling him to her again. "No but I want more," she answered.
Moving inside of her, Elrohir was amazed at how easily she could restore him to take her again. He took his time and drove her to two more climaxes before his own.
"Do you think everyone will know why we are late?" Laurëanna giggled as they rushed towards the dining hall later.
Elrohir looked at her flushed cheeks and smiled. "Most likely, but we are newlyweds so it is to be expected."
They entered the hall and were surprised to find people still standing around talking. Considering that supper was to be served some time ago, Laurëanna had assumed everyone would already be seated and eating. Legolas smirked at the two of them as they entered, but Laurëanna tried to appear calm and serene. Before they could speak, they heard the doors to the hall open again and saw Arwen and Aragorn rushing in. The glow on their faces made it obvious why they had been late as well.
Signaling the servants, Aragorn led Arwen to the table, and everyone followed. Laurëanna tried to find her parents but frowned when she saw that Elladan had once again managed to occupy her mother. Grabbing Elrohir's hand, she led them to the seats beside Elladan and Indil. Merry was seated beside Indil, and unless she was willing to make a scene by pushing him out of the way, Laurëanna had to sit beside Elladan.
"You two were rather late," Elladan chuckled.
"Jealous?" Elrohir said dryly.
"Have you been hogging all of Indil's time Elladan? Perhaps she wishes to meet others as well," Laurëanna said with icy sarcasm.
Elladan glanced at her, as if trying to decide how to react. He finally shrugged and answered, "She is not complaining about my company. Perhaps you should let her enjoy it."
Laurëanna glared at him and then realized that she was acting irrational for anyone who did not know her secrets. She tried to swallow her frustration and just keep her comments limited during dinner.
As they drank wine after the meal, Elrohir whispered, "Are you not feeling well, my love? You did not eat very much and seem as if you are somewhere else."
"I am fine." She smiled weakly. "I think I am just tired." Drawing her hand to his mouth, he kissed it affectionately.
"We can return to our room if you are too tired to stay for the dancing and songs after supper," Elrohir offered.
"No. I want to stay." She spent the whole meal watching her father and her mother and wondering what she was going to do about the fact that Elladan was clearly trying to charm her mother.
When Aragorn and Arwen stood up and left the dining room, everyone followed to the ballroom where musicians began to play as soon as the king entered. The king and queen led the first dance before others began joining them on the dance floor. Laurëanna felt her pulse speed up when Glorfindel began walking in Indil's direction. "May I have this dance?" Elladan said politely, bowing towards Indil, who glanced up at Glorfindel then at Laurëanna before she nodded.
Before she could stop herself, Laurëanna walked in between the pair and said, "Elladan, you cad! You promised me the first dance tonight." Dragging him to the dance floor where the women were lining up opposite of their partner
"What are you doing? Have you gone mad?" Elladan said through gritted teeth as they came together, then he spun Laurëanna around the floor. She avoided his eyes and twirled away. She watched Glorfindel stopping to talk to Elrohir as Indil stood alone.
As Elladan's hand slid on her waist, she watched her father and whispered, "What a stubborn fool."
"I am a stubborn fool? You are a complete…"
"Not you, Elladan. Elrohir is right. You think everything is about you?" Laurëanna asked and then giggled when he gasped indignantly. "I was talking to myself. Besides, do you not want to dance with your new sister? Am I that horrible to bear?"
"You are fine when you are not acting like a crazed fool," Elladan retorted. "I am beginning to think you deserve my brother and I never thought I would say that."
Throughout their dancing, Laurëanna tried to glance in her parents' direction as often as possible, without seeming obvious. Before long she wanted to throttle her father for not only not asking her mother to dance. In fact, he seemed to be all but ignoring Indil. Laurëanna almost tripped over her own feet when she saw Erestor approach Indil and bring her to the dance floor.
"I do not believe it," she said. "Could this possibly be any worse?"
"Who are you talking to now? Me or someone in your head again?" Elladan chuckled. Then, seeing what she was looking at, he shook his head. "I do not believe it myself. I cannot remember Erestor dancing. Adar must have forced him to ask her, since you embarrassed her by leaving her standing there all alone."
"I did not embarrass her!" Laurëanna argued then stopped, realizing how she must have made Indil feel. "Oh Valar, I did not mean to embarrass her. I was trying to help."
"Help her how exactly?" Elladan said.
"Oh, never mind. This is hopeless," Laurëanna said as they walked off the dance floor. As Elladan went to rejoin his brother and Indil, she allowed the dancers leaving the floor to separate them so she could move away without drawing any attention.
Not wanting to talk to anyone for a few minutes, she snuck out the side door to the room and walked down the hallway to exit the building. She just needed some fresh air, to gather her thoughts. After a few minutes, she heard the door open and turned around, relieved to see Legolas.
"I am making a mess of things," she blurted, relieved that she could finally talk to somebody about all this.
Legolas smiled gently and nodded. "Perhaps it is best that you allow things to happen as they will. You cannot force them together."
"But they are meant to be together!" she reminded him.
"At one time, they were. But times have changed. People have changed." Legolas put his arm around her shoulders and squeezed her reassuringly. "As hard as it is to face this, they may not be meant to fall in love this time."
"So I should stand by and let my mother fall in love with Elladan?" Laurëanna's eyes widened.
Legolas chuckled. "I do not know if she will fall in love with him, but it could be worse."
"Like Erestor?" she snorted. "You cannot understand. To me, Indil is not just some elleth for Elladan to charm. She is my mother! Can you imagine watching your friends trying to woo your mother?"
Legolas looked very disturbed, and she felt she had made her point to him at least. "It would be uncomfortable, but I do not think your mother is the type to blindly fall for Elladan's charms."
"No she would not. She is too smart for that but still…she has feelings for my father already. She told me earlier today that she had felt drawn to Glorfindel from the moment they met. They have to be together or when they arrive in the Undying Lands and regain all of their memories, they will be destroyed, especially if they have married others."
"I understand, but for your sake, you have to allow things to happen naturally or you will make everyone wonder why you are compelled to react so strangely. You will make everyone involved feel very uncomfortable, and that will not give Glorfindel the right opportunity to seek her out. Your father is already known for his reserve. Just enjoy the time you have with them and your new husband. Soon we will all be parted and you will regret not enjoying it more." Legolas hugged her tightly after she nodded. The two of them returned to the party where Laurëanna sat miserably by watching her father avoiding her mother and her mother dancing with Elladan most of the rest of the night.
"Are you sleeping?" Elrohir kissed Laurëanna's shoulder and she shook her head. "My love, I know that something has bothered you about the attention Indil has been receiving from Elladan. I will not claim to understand why you feel so upset, yet I hope you know that Elladan would do nothing to upset you on purpose."
Laurëanna opened her eyes and sighed. "I know. I wish I could explain it, explain it all to you but…"
"I know. You cannot." He tried not to let the irritation about her secrets show.
Sitting up, Laurëanna looked down at him for a moment. "She told me she is drawn to Glorfindel. I merely wish Glorfindel to have a chance to know her without Elladan's interference."
Elrohir was silent.
"I know…this makes no sense." Laurëanna said, frustrated. "But please, please trust me. I know Glorfindel and Indil belong together. I know this in my heart as much as I know you and I belong together."
Sitting up, he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her forehead. "If they belong together, they will be and nothing Elladan, or you, do will have any affect on it. You must trust this."
Laurëanna nodded. She knew he was right, just as Legolas had been right. It was hard to stand by helplessly. In Valinor, she had never felt helpless, even when she loved Elrohir and thought he would never admit his true feelings for her. But in time, it had happened. She needed to remember that in time, her parents would find their way to each other as well.
"You are right." Lying down, she pulled him to lie beside her, and then snuggled into his arms. At least she had her family with her now. Even if they did not know they were her family.
Eönwë was pacing back and forth when Varda drifted into the room. "What has you so troubled?" she asked serenely.
Looking at her guiltily, he stopped and shook his head. "Nothing."
Varda paused and turned toward him, staring into his eyes. Under her intense scrutiny, he blurted out, "It was supposed to bring them all together in the right place."
"What was?" she asked, suddenly concerned.
"All I did was nudge the situation. I did not actually…"
"Tell me from the beginning what you have done, Eönwë."
Sitting down, he sighed. "Manwë told me what you and Irmo had done for Laurëanna. I pretended I did not know, but I had suspected all along because I too watched her and knew she could only have those dreams if guided by someone higher. He told me of your promises not to interfere again."
"Yes, and we have not," Varda pointed out.
"Well…" Eönwë looked ashamed. "I could not help myself. I saw that Indil intended to sail soon before she would possibly have time to meet Glorfindel. So I woke her desire to see Middle-earth. I might have also influenced her to go to Gondor with Cirdan's envoy."
Laughing joyfully, Varda exclaimed, "But that is wonderful news, Eönwë! That means that she will be there with Laurëanna and meet Glorfindel again. And I did not break my promise to Manwë."
Eönwë smiled weakly for a moment before adding. "But a slight problem has arisen."
"What could possibly…"
"I did not stop to think about the irresistible charm of the other Peredhil," Eönwë answered, clearly disappointed.
"What?" Varda said then realization dawned on her face. "Oh, no."
"I told everyone not to interfere," Manwë said from the doorway.
"But I did not," Varda insisted.
"This time," he answered her and shook his head. "Perhaps Eru is punishing you both for interfering, and Indil will fall in love with Elladan. Then both of you will be forced to deal with the guilt of what your interference has caused." Turning away, he concealed a smile as he walked away. He knew that Eönwë was not normally the type to break any rules, so the guilt would prevent him from interfering again. Maybe everyone would realize that Laurëanna was better off without their help now. Manwe was not worried because he knew Glorfindel's spirit and knew that he would find his way if anyone could and it appeared that his daughter was much like him.
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.