34. A Tale Partly Told
Eleiann watched from the windows of the upper hall as the Galadrim warriors entered the main courtyard of the last homely house. Led by the slender figure of her half sister Arwen, they made an impressive show as they saluted the waiting Lord Elrond and the Lady Amarie. The drama below came to a swift conclusion as Elrond thanked the Lothlorien escort and their leader dismissed them from their formation. Eleiann grinned as Elros and Elwing jumped up and down excitedly when Arwen dismounted and quickly swept them up in her arms in a welcoming hug before turning to greet her father. She found herself studying the dark haired beauty curiously. There was certainly a strong resemblance with her gwanur and their father but Arwen’s features were more delicate and her eyes more expressive. She was dressed in a deep green riding outfit and somewhat incongruously wore a sword at her waist. Eleiann had little doubt that she knew how to use it
Eleiann grimaced. Arwen’s reputation as a great beauty was well deserved. She certainly would never be able to compete with her “older” half sister, that was certain. She saw her father glance up at her window and knew he felt her presence there. Sighing, she turned away knowing he intended to introduce her to the rest of the family that evening acknowledging their relationship. Resigned to it as she was, she was still nervous as to their reaction. How was she going to let them all know she had no wish to force a relationship with her eldar family if they had the slightest doubt about the rightness of her to do so.
Her attention was drawn back to the window and the scene below as Elladan and Elrohir noisily announced their arrival and pulled Arwen into a group embrace laughing as she protested their exuberance. The youngest members of the family added to the excitement by charging about their older siblings shouting and jumping. Amarie managed to grasp and pick up a wiggling Elros while Elwing danced delightedly at her ada’s side.
Elrond chuckled but finally raised a hand in exasperation. “Enough! Allow Arwen to start her visit with some dignity hin nin! Let us adjourn to our apartment and where we can relax and hear the tale of her journey. We have some chilled wine and juice for refreshment.” With that, he picked up Elwing and gestured toward the stairs. Arwen and Amarie grinned at each other and moved up the stairs chatting followed by Elladan and Elrohir. Elrond followed and sent a brief look up to the window at Eleiann.
*Do not be late, sell nin. It is time we welcome you in truth to the family. *
*Yes ada, I will be there as you ordered. * Eli sighed.
Elrond frowned then sighed also. *It is time Eleiann, and you will understand more when it is finished. You are sell nin. It is important that we acknowledged you as such. * He climbed the stairs after the others and set Elwing down smiling as she skipped off following after the others.
*I wish we could wait a little longer, hiren. *
Elrond smiled. *Is it such a terrible thing to be sell nin? * He entered the hall and nodded at a passing elf.
*Of course not! * Eli’s eyes widened in shock. *I just do not want to cause any problems for anyone. Is it not enough to remain your foster until we know something about my future? If I am not offered the same choice your other children will face then as one of the second born I will have a very shorten life time and after a while pass beyond the circles of middle earth to what ever the future holds for all of my fellow men. Compared to the rest of you I would leave barely a memory. *
Elrond smiled affectionately. He had come to love this prickly sell of his. Her insistence that he not be burdened by a relationship that could not be more explicitly explained and her stubbornness that she would not discuss the future as she knew it, only made him more determined to see that she take her rightful place in his family. *It would matter little either way, sell nin. I would still insist that I be able to help fashion your future. I seek to insure your happiness and security to the best of my ability regardless of which way it lay. *
Eli blinked hard as she found tears clouding her eyes as she sensed the tenderness in his thoughts. *I…am…grateful, hiren…ada. *
*Just be there Eleiann. *
*Yes, ada, I will. *
* * * * *
Amarie finished wiping Elwing’s mouth with the corner of a spit-dampened napkin and then finger combed her dark hair. “There penneth, next time do not be so eager to eat the whole thing!”
Elwing pouted and scrubbed at her mouth, “Naneth, I did not want Elros to have any, he got it all last time and did not leave any for me!”
“Shoving a large sweet role into your mouth and having the jam spread all over your face and dress does not seem a very good way to do that penneth. It looks like you lost far more then you were able to eat.”
“But Elros did not get any,” Elwing said with great satisfaction.
Amarie shook her head in exasperation and looked over at her hervenn who was silently laughing behind his hand. Elros was snuggled on his lap struggling to stay awake. “I think it is time for the little ones to retire lirimaer, the others should be here shortly.” Elrond chuckled.
Amarie nodded and crossed to Elrond lifting the now sleeping form of their ion from his lap. “Come Elwing, let us find Tanthar and prepare you for bed. I will be in to read to you in a little while.”
“They are delightful hin, Elrond.” Gandalf knocked his pipe against the railing of the outer balcony and entered the sitting room from the balcony.
Elrond smiled. “The Valar have indeed been generous to me, Gandalf. First Amarie then the gwanur and now Eleiann. I was truly blessed with my older ionnath and sell but I am grateful they have gifted me these others to share the rest of the time here.” He crossed to the table, filled a glass with the potent liquor, and turned toward the Maier questioningly. “Would you join me in a glass of miruvor before the other hin arrive iphant meldir?”
Gandalf studied the elf lord and nodded. “I take it that you intend to tell your older hin about Eleiann this evening and acknowledge her as your sell.” He took the glass from Elrond and both settled back into comfortable chairs.
“I do. I just wish I had some information that would help calm her fears about her future.” Elrond stared into his glass and sighed. “She truly does not care which awaits her, she just want to know which it will be. I have tried to reassure her but she is most impatient.”
“That is the human side in her, meldir nin. They push all their living into such a short lifetime compared to the eldar; they cannot take the long view. Such impatience on her part is understandable.”
“Well since the Valar chose to pursue what ever plans they created for us why…”
Gandalf shook his head. “It was not the Valar who did this, Elrond.”
Elrond stared at the old wizard as he considered his remark. Finally, he answered cautiously. “You mean it was the work of..?” Elrond’s eyes widened as he considered the implication of Ilúvatar himself intervening directly.
Gandalf nodded then smiled. “It appears there were enough serious reasons that such action was considered necessary.” He raised a hand to stay the questions he saw on the elf lord’s face. “I have not been privy to those reasons, but I was allowed to know Eleiann’s future and the purpose of their arrival.”
Elrond sat forward and placed his glass down on a nearby table. “Will we be told soon?”
Gandalf cocked his head. ”It appears you are as anxious as she for such knowledge meldir nin.”
“I have lost much of my family over the millennium Gandalf and I fear I will lose more before this is all over. I am not anxious to loose even one hen now. Of course, I am anxious to know.”
Gandalf sat quietly then smiled, “Then I will tell you this. She will…”
* * * * *
Elrond faced his three oldest hin and smiled at their shocked faces as they tried to absorb what he had just told them.
“You are serious ada, another world? There are other worlds with humans and no eldar?” Elrohir stared at his father. “This human is your sell and she was conceived on this other world? How was it possible for you to travel there? What is the purpose for her to come here?”
“All in good time, hin nin, all in good time.” The elf lord shrugged.
Arwen sat quietly as she considered her father’s comments. Finally, she nodded. “Our family has had many unusual things happen to us over the centuries. We should not be surprised gwanur nin. I suspect she feels confused and probably quite lost. Can you imagine how daunting it must have been for her to even consider making such a journey into a whole new world so different from her own with no expectation of ever seeing her naneth and home again? Or, not knowing if ada would accept her or how and where she would live? It reflects great courage.”
Elladan leaned forward, hands clasped and his elbows on his knees as he remembered their meeting at the high meadows campsite. Shaking his head ruefully, he looked up at his father. “I thought she looked familiar ada. I just could not reason out why. All of them were careful not to reveal any relationships here. She certainly did not identify herself as peredhil.”
“She did not know of the severing of the bonds between your naneth and I, only that Celebrian had sailed for the Undying lands. She was uncertain as to her welcome and sought only to determine what being peredhil meant for her. On her world, she was the only being with the blood of the eldar running through her veins. Both her naneth and she were afraid she would find herself alone after all of her family had passed beyond the circles of their world. When she found out about my marriage to Amarie and the birth of Elros and Elwing, she determined to hide her relationship to me and make no claim on our house. She was afraid you would resent an unknown peredhil doing so.”
“Strictly speaking ‘Dan, she is only a quarter eldar.” Elrohir frowned at his gwanur. “I suppose that would mean she will only live the allotted time for the second born.”
“That would be true in most instances but not necessarily in this one.” Gandalf stirred from the chair where he had been sitting quietly as Elrond and his hin discussed Eleiann’s appearance.
Arwen shifted in her chair and smiled at the grey pilgrim. “I think we have rather overlooked something quite important. A happening of this magnitude certainly reflects the hand of the Valar. What say you Gandalf?”
His gray eyes twinkling, Gandalf shook his head, “It goes higher then that penneth.”
Shocked once more, they all remained silent and wide eyed as Elrond turned towards the still, white faced, figure standing in the doorway, Amarie beside her a steadying arm around her shoulders. Extending his hand, he crossed the room and drew her further inside. “Welcome Eleiann, please join us and meet the rest of your family.”
Eleiann moved trembling after her father and focused her eyes on Gandalf as she tried to steady herself. Elrond squeezed her hand and murmured. “Courage penneth, you have nothing to fear.” Suddenly exasperated, she flashed a look at her ada and glared. “That is easy for you to say hir nin. You have a great deal more experience and thousands of years of practice facing up to frightening situations.” She turned at the sound of laughter.
“She is definitely one of us ada, She may find this meeting unsettling but she is not afraid to speak out when she thinks someone is a bit thick headed, even if it is you.” Elrohir gently hugged her then tugged a lock of her hair gently “Welcome tithen thel. I am sorry you have had such a difficult time finding your way into our midst but I hope we can get to know you more fully now that you have.”
Elladan stood just behind him and grinned at her. “Just think of all the time you could have saved tithen thel if you had just told us who you where when we first met you.”
Eleiann silently considered his comments before shaking her head. “You would have thought me quite mad and never let us close to Imladris at all. And with the knowledge we carry, that would have been deadly.” Both gwanur looked at her with frowns and all three turned to look at their father questioningly.
“They do not know?” Eleiann queried her father.
Elrond shook his head, “I have not informed them of every detail, penneth, there is more then enough time for that in the future.” He looked at Eleiann. “You have refused to tell me a great deal, so I could not in any event.”
“And you know why, hir nin.” She glared at her father before turning her eyes towards her sister who remained seated watching the scene playing before her. “And you my lady, will you not speak your mind? How do you feel to have an elleth appear and claim to be your thel?”
Arwen stood and strode towards her. Upon reaching Eleiann, she looked into her eyes and studied the young woman. “Are you thel nin?”
Surprised Eleiann stared back before answering. “Yes”
Arwen smiled. “Then you are most welcome to our family, tithen thel. May you find happiness and joy within our family circle. Hopefully what ever the purpose for your arrival, it will give you the role you desire and the future you seek.” Arwen drew her into her arms and kissed her on the cheek before continuing. “I think you and I will have more in common then Elwing and I. I love her dearly but she is yet too young to have an adult conversation.”
Eleiann looked around at all the smiling faces and promptly burst into tears. The elves exchanged puzzled glances and Elrond drew her into his arms. “Hush, penneth, I told you had nothing to worry about did I not?”
“Yes… but I did not believe you.” She hiccupped and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.
Arwen pulled out a handkerchief and handed it to Eleiann. “Ada, I doubt very much if you could ever understand the depths of her fears. Even though you lost both your ada and naneth when you and your gwanur were so young, you were on your own world and one of the eldar took you into their care. She faced a very strange new world and no idea if we would welcome her. I think she was brave to even consider it let alone attempt it.”
Gandalf nodded. “I agree. It is one thing to seek a new life among those things you know and quite another to travel from one world to another with limited knowledge of what you will find.” He fastened serious gray blue eyes on Eleiann. “Penneth, you have sought knowledge of your future and the road you must travel to reach it. Part has been revealed and it is written on the changes you wear upon your body. With the wish of Ilúvatar, himself you have been granted the choice of the peredhil for the time you yet remain in middle earth. The decision you make will determine the road you will travel. Have you given thought to what choice you will make in this matter?”
Eleiann nodded. “I have Gandalf, but there is still much to consider. Must I make it now? May we discuss it later?”
“Of course, but it must be your decision, made without undue influence from others.” Gandalf swept the others with a warning glance stopping as he reached Elrond.
*Meldir nin, it is her decision no matter how strongly you desire her to choose the first-born. *
*I know, but please do what you can to ease her concerns and point out what she could gain if she does. I believe our other lost soul has thoughts in her direction and I would find such an arrangement doubly welcome for any number of reasons providing she is also in agreement. *
Gandalf chuckled. *As do my superiors meldir nin. *
Elrond’s hin watched this unspoken communication with great interest and much speculation. The gwanur exchanged glances and Arwen frowned at them through narrowed eyes, warning them to remain silent. Eleiann was too preoccupied with her own thoughts and noticed none of it.
Amarie cleared her throat interrupting all of their thoughts. “This is very welcome news hervenn nin. Perhaps we can leave further discussion until after dinner and we have had time to absorb its implication.”
“You are wise as you are beautiful, hervess nin.” Elrond smiled down at Eleiann reaching up to smooth the long fall of her hair. “Sell nin, we will not trouble you on this matter. Simply know that what ever your decision I will accept it. Take your time and seek what answers you need from Gandalf.”
Eleiann bowed her head then quickly raised it to place a swift kiss on his cheek. “I will ada.”
The elf lord nodded and swept a hand towards the balcony where a table loaded with elven delicacies. “Let us eat!”
Hin nin-my children
Sell nin-my daughter
Miruvor-much desired Imladris cordial
iphant meldir-old friend
Ilúvatar-Eldar name for Eru
Meldir nin-my friend
Gwanur nin-my brothers
Hir nin-my lord
Tithen thel-little sister
Thel non-my sister
Hervenn nin-my husband
Hervess nin-my wife.
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.