20. APoM II, The Wrath of Elrond
I grimaced as I woke up and opened my eyes, glancing around the room. The open architecture, the beautifully intricate carvings; there was only one place I could be. Son of a bitch! I thought irately, I'm still freaking here.
Rivendell, Imladris, the Last Homely House, was starting to grate on my last nerve.
I mean, come on. Everybody and their brother wandered into my room whenever they pleased, which somehow always happened to be in the middle of the night, or so it seemed.
Ok, perhaps I get cranky when I don't get enough sleep. But, nonetheless, if I remembered correctly, I would soon be graced with the presence of Fëanor. Again. And I didn't wish to meet him on an empty stomach. I searched the room for something with which to write a note, worried what might happen if he showed up and I was gone. I found nothing and decided that it really didn't matter. If I wasn't there when he arrived he could just fashion a palantír out of the wine glass on my dressing table, or some other such object, and find me that way.
Luckily, I still wore my clothes from the day before, having cried myself to sleep, so I left the room to go in search of breakfast.
I realized fairly quickly that I had no idea where to go, since food always seemed to have been brought to me in the past. I wondered why Legolas hadn't done so this morning. That thought lasted all of a second before I burst out laughing. Somehow I'd managed to skip right over the courtship period with Legolas that I had so often fangirled about, right to being the nagging wife. He never brings me breakfast in bed anymore.
A voice behind me startled me out of my mirth. "I'm glad to see you in good spirits this morning."
I spun around. "Good morning, Fëanor."
He walked over and handed me some sort of pastry. Apparently now Fëanor brought me my breakfast. That one I did not see coming.
"I trust you slept well after we spoke."
I tilted my head and gave him my best skeptical look. "Do you really expect me to believe you want to make small talk?" I bit into the pastry and an appreciative mmm escaped my lips; it tasted amazing. "Although this is fantastic. Thank you so much for it."
He waved away my gratitude and extended his arm, indicating for me to walk with him down the corridor. "My satchels are packed and my horse awaits us at the edge of the forest. Have you made your own necessary preparations?"
I ignored his question, for the moment. "Your horse? Is it the same one? Is he ok?"
Fëanor raised an eyebrow. "I do not have available to me an endless supply of animals, so yes, on both counts." One corner of his mouth pulled up. "Again you seem overly concerned about the beast."
"I'm sorry," I said, annoyed at his disdain. "That horse saved my life. I can't help it if I feel some kind of fondness for him."
He scoffed and stepped towards me, his face now dangerously close to mine. "The horse saved your life?" He leaned in even more. "Have you no partiality for the elf that actually did?"
Uncomfortable with the intimacy of his breath against my cheek, I put my hands on his chest and extended my arms, trying to push him away. He didn't budge and I only succeeded in distancing us by taking a few steps backwards.
"I am not your wife, Fëanor." I gritted my teeth and prayed that he hadn't felt how my hands shook when they were pressed against him. I could not afford for him to notice any weakness.
"Oh, but you are much like her." He smirked, but then his expression turned thoughtful. "It has been far too long since I've had company with whom I've felt comfortable enough to engage with in raillery."
So Fëanor liked me enough to tease me. Terrific; this was everything I'd always wanted from a surprise trip to Middle Earth: to be the source of his amusement.
"I'm flattered and all… I think… but I need to go speak with Elrond before I go anywhere." And probably find my husband too, I thought, dreading the latter more.
"Very well," he said, sounding like a petulant child. "I shall accompany you to his chambers, but I think it wise for me to wait outside."
I laughed despite myself. "That's probably true."
We walked in silence through the corridors and then the gardens towards Elrond's study. (I most certainly was not going to disturb him is his "chambers"). I remained quiet because I was eating the rest of my small but delicious breakfast. Fëanor did for who knows what reason; I may have looked like his wife, but I certainly did not even pretend to understand him.
When we reached the entrance, I knocked on the large door, not really even expecting anyone to answer. I mean, what were the chances that he would be in there? So when I heard him call, "Enter," from within, I jumped.
Fëanor raised his eyebrow but made no comment and reached out to open the heavy door. I gaped at him; surprised by the courtesy, although I should probably have stopped being shocked by anything he did by that point.
I crossed the threshold and stopped, surveying the scene in front of me. Elrond sat at one of the tables with two men, for they were definitely men and not elves. As one they swiveled their heads to look at me, turning away from the maps spread out on the table in front of them. I did not recognize either of them; I hadn't seen them around Rivendell before. I wondered if one was Éomer. That would be awesome.
"Arandil," Elrond said, sounding surprised. "I thought you might be Glorfindel." He stood and the two men rose as well.
I glanced behind me; Fëanor was nowhere in sight. "Nope, sorry." I inclined my head to indicate the papers spread across the table. "I can come back if you're busy…"
"Not at all," Elrond said with a wave of his hand. "We can continue our discussion later." My stomach flipped. Elrond was making time for me. The small rational part of my brain beat the fangirl down with a stick.
The men stepped away from the table, pushing in their chairs. "We shall find you after the midday meal," the taller one said to Elrond. As he walked past me he nodded his head once, his companion following and doing the same. I watched them leave and turned back to Elrond.
"I'm sorry; I didn't mean to interrupt."
"Do not worry yourself," Elrond said, granting me one of his glorious, pulse-increasing smiles. "Boromir and Súlimir do not set out for several weeks; there is plenty of time for us to review their route."
I barely heard the rest of his sentence after the name "Boromir." I gritted my teeth and swallowed hard, trying to bite back any indication that the name had any meaning to me – I remembered how they all responded when Justin mentioned Frodo – and forced a smile.
"Okay," I said, stalling for time to recover from my shock. Although, I'm not sure why it surprised me; I should have known Boromir would be around somewhere.
"Is there something with which I can help you?" Elrond asked, walking to me and placing a hand on my shoulder. He really shouldn't have, I thought. There was no such thing as an innocent touch when you looked like he did.
I ignored the feelings radiating down my arm. "Actually, yes." I paused, gathering my thoughts. "I'm not sure how to say this, or where to begin, so I'm just going to say it."
I took a deep breath. I looked into his eyes. I berated myself for my completely inappropriate reaction and took another breath.
"Fëanor is here; he wants help finding his wife and I told him I'd help him."
"Is that so?" he asked, folding his arms and narrowing his eyes in a way that made him look far too much like his son for my comfort.
"Uh… yes?" I said, unsure how to interpret his answer. I saw movement in my peripheral vision and turned my head. In the corner of the room, partially obscured from view by a large chair, sat Nerdanel. She stood when I caught her eye and walked over to us.
"I'm here," she said, holding her arms out in front of her, palms up, as if offering herself to me.
I heard a gasp from behind me and spun in time to see Fëanor enter the room.
"Nerdanel," he breathed as he walked towards us. Elrond took a step back and leaned against the table. I went to stand next to him.
"Fëanáro," Nerdanel said, her voice even. She put her hands on her hips.
They faced each other without speaking for what seemed like an eternity. I glanced at Elrond. His arms were folded across his chest and his jaw was clenched, but he remained silent. Not that it mattered. The other two were oblivious to all else outside of themselves.
Finally, Nerdanel started chastising Fëanor – or at least I think she did by her tone and gestures; she spoke in Elvish and I didn't recognize any of the words – and I was impressed; he couldn't get a word in edgewise. After a few minutes of berating her husband, Nerdanel stormed out of the study.
Fëanor stared after her for a brief moment before turning to me. "Thank you for helping to locate her." He smiled grimly and added, almost to himself. "I never thought what came after would be easy." With that he followed her out the door, leaving Elrond and me alone.
We both remained where we stood until I turned to him and held my hands out, palms upwards.
"The hell was that?"
"That…" He raised an eyebrow. "…was Fëanor."
Before I could formulate a fitting response – ok, let's be honest, I might never have – we heard a commotion coming from the gardens. Elrond ran outside and I followed. From the balcony I could see Elladan running towards us, carrying an only semi-conscious Elrohir in his arms.
Elrond and I raced down the stairs to meet them. When Elladan reached us he fell to his knees, almost dropping Elrohir to the ground. Elrond helped him lay his brother down on the flagstones.
I stood by, feeling helpless and terrified. So much blood.
"What happened?" Elrond asked, and there was no mistaking the near panic in his voice.
"Orcs," Ellandan said, breathless. He shifted off his knees to sit with one hip on the ground, propping himself up with his arm. "His stomach." He took a deep breath. "An arrow."
Elrond muttered something I did not understand and jumped to his feet. As he ran back towards his study he shouted, "Remove his shirt!"
I looked to Elladan, certain that Elrond meant for him to do it, but he'd scooted backwards and leaned against a nearby tree, breathing heavily. Shit. I examined Elrohir's shirt. I tried not to focus on the blood soaking through the thin material. Instead I concentrated on the laces at the top, unfastening them as quickly as I could.
"Rip it!" Elrond shouted as he emerged from the study, a bag which I hoped contained some kind of magic elvish first aid kit in his hand.
I stopped pulling at the laces. "What?" I yelled back.
Terrified of both Elrond's fury and the fate of the elf bleeding out in front of me, I grabbed two hunks of material and pulled with every ounce of strength I had. The shirt tore open, exposing Elrohir's torso, caked and still-flowing blood mingling together. Without thinking, I pulled off my own shirt and, balling it up, pressed it against the open wound, trying to stem the flow of blood.
Elladan groaned, but I only afforded him a quick glance. Sure, he must be frightened for his twin, but I had bigger worries at the moment. Elrond finally reached us and dropped to his knees, nodding his approval at my makeshift compress. He yanked the bag open and pulled out what looked like bits of plants and a mortar and pestle.
He started crushing the different bits together. "Here," he said, "switch with me." I shifted to the right so he could take over. He applied his poultice to the wound and Elladan moaned again. I turned just in time to see him slump to the ground.
"No!" I gasped, it finally dawning on me that the last time I saw him, he'd been unconscious, and he probably hadn't fully recovered yet. I hurried to where he lay and, kneeling beside him, checked him for vital signs.
"He's not breathing!" I shouted.
I saw the agony in Elrond's eyes. "The venom… If he's been poisoned again… It's too soon…"
I noticed the scratches on his arms and my heart dropped. Could he have been nicked by poison arrows? "Oh no…" I moaned.
Elrohir stirred and turned his head slowly towards me, his pain filled gaze meeting mine. Desperation filled me. I couldn't worry about the scratches now; I needed to get him breathing again, and there was only one way I knew how. Swallowing hard, I looked down at Elladan and tilted his head and pinched his nose the way I was taught in a different life. Kneeling next to him, topless except for my bra, I ignored his brother's and father's frantic stares as I bent over and covered his mouth with my own.
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.