36. A Message Home
A week after his meeting with Erestor that set the wheels in motion to finally deal with Lord Carenthir, Elrond leaned on the railing of his private terrace and watching his hin playing a game of hide and seek in the garden below. He smiled as both Elros and Elwing jumped on Eleiann, and all three fell to the ground in a tangled pile laughing and giggling.
“You are it, El Ann,” crowed Elros. “We cotcha! You are it, you are it!”
Amarie joined them and pulled the gwanur off their older gwathel. Setting them aside, she pulled Eleiann to her feet, helped her pluck pieces of twigs and grass from her hair, and straightened her clothes.
Shaking her head, she addressed the two littlest ones in mock exasperation. “Really, you two are the limit. You should not be attacking your gwathel this way. That is not the way the game is played. The idea is to seek her out and touch her, not knock her down.” She turned and looked sternly at Eleiann amusement twinkling in her eyes. “And you penneth are no better. You should not be encouraging them so.”
Eleiann looked at her gwanur and they grinned at one another conspiratorially. All three then chorused, “Ayah, naneth. We will be good, we promise!”
Amarie shook her head and muttered as she returned to her office on the lower level, “Sometimes I wonder who is the adult in the family around here.”
When she disappeared, Eleiann swept the younger ones up into her arms and hugged them tightly. “I am sorry penneth, it is time I returned to the healing hall for my stint of duty. We will have to wait until tomorrow for another game.”
Ah, El Ann, can’t you play just a little longer?” Elwing asked her, her large grey eyes pleading and an adorable pout on her small mouth.
Eleiann shook her head reluctantly. “No little one. I must go or I will be in hot water with Master Maenestad and ada and I do not want to do that.”
Both Elros and Elwing wrinkled their foreheads in confusion. “Hot water, El Ann? Ada will not put you in hot water. That would be cruel.”
Eleiann grinned, “No, he will not do that. It is just an expression. It means I will be in trouble.”
Still confused Elwing looked at her then shrugged as if to say, “It is one of those crazy adult things,” and nodded giving her hug before struggling to get down. Eleiann set Elros down and both ran off to join their naneth.
*Ah, sell nin, they do love you. * Elrond mentally said to her.
Startled she looked up and spotted the smiling face of her ada and waved to him as she started over to the healing hall. *I am very fond of them as well ada, I always wanted gwanur and gwathel and I am most grateful that you have made that possible.”
*Is this strange expression you used one of yours from Earth? *
She stopped and sighed. *I am afraid so, I was careless but I will try to remember better in the future. *
*I do not think you need to worry, mell nin, people will only consider it one that you brought from your distant home. *
*It is a good thing they will not suspect just how far away it really is, hiren. * She added wryly as she entered the healing hall and waved to Master Maenestad. *I must go ada, I am on duty this afternoon. *
*I know mell nin, until later. *
For some time he stood there leaning on the railing and considered how this newest sell of his had appeared in his life. He had no doubt that she missed her naneth and just as surely as her naneth missed her sell and worried about what had happened to her. Unconsciously his hand went to the strange half pendant that Amanda had given him during his brief visit to Earth all those years ago. He smiled. Perhaps he could do something to ease both of their uncertainty.
*Gandalf old friend would the Valar … * He explained his plan.
It had taken some time but he had managed to pull together a small package of items the size of a small slender book. In it were three enamel paintings of Eleiann, Theodore and Owen, framed in slender silver worked in a delicate tracery of leaves not unlike the ones that had been on the knife he had left behind on Earth.
Although the paintings were barely the size of his hand, the artists had managed to include a wealth of details and he was pleased with the results. Each subject was portrayed as they now currently appeared and glowed with good health. Their story was clear to anyone familiar with the Tolkien story.
Eleiann wore an elven dress of deepest rose with flowing sleeves and a silver head circlet set with a single blue sapphire that identified her station and his house. Her hair fell in loose waves nearly to the center of her back and she sat upon a chair in a landscape that clearly showed the elven architecture of Imladris.
Theodore wore elven robes as well and his hair without a trace of gray was neatly trimmed and barely reached his shoulders. He sat at a table with scrolls and books spread before him and the background indicated the area of the library where he often pursues his studies. Clearly, he was a respected scholar or teacher.
Owen wore the uniform of a Dunedine Ranger with a gold star on his shoulder. He carried his weapons and the landscape behind him was of a forest. At his feet lay the hound, now full grown, that he had acquired from Durfin, the villager who raised them. At Gandalf’s suggestion, the shadowy figure of a woman stood just behind his right shoulder with a child in her arms. That had puzzled Elrond, but the maia had chuckled and refused to elaborate.
Elrond set the paintings aside and picked up the remaining item wrapped in a twist of silk. Unwrapping it, a small duplicate of the yin/yang pendants that both he and Eleiann now wore dropped into his hand. This version was made of gold and etched in each half was a symbol, one was of the house of Elrond and he smiled rubbing a finger over the other. He hoped his guess would prove correct. Attached to it was a delicate double length of chain that could separate with the two parts and be worn as intended in the original.
When Elrond had requested they sit for their portraits, he was, as yet, unable to tell them why he was asking them to do so. Now that he had the permission of the Valar to proceed with his plan, he would inform them of his intentions. He also had other information to pass on which he hoped would please both Theodore and Owen. They had been granted the life span of the Dunedine!
He had not had much opportunity to become acquainted with Owen before now, but both ‘Roh and ‘Dan had expressed approval of his progress in training and assimilation into the Dunedine culture. They liked the young man and were happy to deliver Eleiann’s care packages whenever she sent them up to him. Later that week after Owen accompanied his gwanur from the north the elf lord was looking forward to forming his own opinion of him.
Eleiann hugged her cousin and pulled him through the door into her chamber. He stood just a bit taller now and his shoulders were much broader then she remembered. She last seen him nearly three years ago and she exclaimed with delight hugging him again.
“Why Owen Cameron, you are a bonified hottie. Those actors that played the heroes in the Lord of The Rings movies pale in comparison next to your gorgeous self. Too bad you are my cousin, cause I could go for you myself! Being a ranger suits you.”
Grinning he hugged her back and swung her around several times before setting her down. Looking at her, he shook his head. “I don’t think so hiril, you are quite the beauty yourself and look every inch the elven princess.”
Eleiann shook her head. “You should meet Arwen, she is the real beauty and princess around here. Elwing will run a close second when she grows up.”
“Is she here now or due any time soon?”
“Unfortunately no, I seldom see any of the older ones. ‘Roh and ‘Dan are mostly out on patrol and you see more of them then I do. Arwen spends most of her time in Lothlorien with her daer odhron. I have only met her three or four times.”
He nodded. “Probably just as well. The less opportunity for any of us to come to their attention the better.” He paused and frowned. “ There hasn’t been any interest on their part over us has there?”
“I do not think so. Ada suggested rather strongly that Arwen not discuss any of us too much over there. Not dissemble or anything, just kind of ignore our presence.”
“Where is pop? Is he here or at the cottage?”
“He is here. He spends most of his time here these days. He is really intent on getting as much done as he can before the end.”
Owen frowned. “How has he been? I worry that I am not spending enough time with him and he will be gone before we know it.”
Eleiann grinned, “Something must be in the water here because I swear he looks twenty years younger. Imladris has been good for him.”
They both turned as a knock sounded at the door. “Eleiann, may I come in?’
Owen looked at Eli questioningly and she smiled. “It is Ildris, probably my best friend here. Come in Ildris.”
As the door opened, Ildris paused in surprised when she saw Eli’s visitor. “I am sorry to interrupt you Eleiann, but your uncle has joined Lord Elrond in his office and asked that you join them also. They only await your cousin’s arrival and expect him momentarily since the young lords have returned.”
“Well he is here now. Ildris, this is my cousin Owen, a Ranger of the Northern Dunedine.”
Ildris gave him a flirtatious glance before responding with a formal bow of welcome. Smiling she swept his figure with an approving look. “My I be the first to welcome you to Imladris Master Owen? It is clear that you share the same pleasing looks as your cousin. You will have no problem finding companions among our ellyth during your visit. I will be happy to introduce you to several if you so desire.”
“Thank you, hiril, that is indeed most kind of you but that would be better put off until my next visit when I hope to be able to spend more time getting to know the beauties of Imladris…all of the beauties. Unfortunately this is a short visit and I must return north in the next day or two.”
Ildris smiled regretfully and bowed her head in acknowledgment. “When you return, I will be pleased to act as your guide. Until then.” She turned back to Eli, “Your ada would like you to join them at once.”
“We will, hannon le Ildris.”
Ildris nodded and with a final lingering look at Owen, she left them to return to her duties.
Eli erupted in giggles when the door closed after the elleth. She looked at her cousin who was chuckling as well. “See, I told you, you were a hottie! You may wind up giving my gwanur a run for their money.“
“Ah Eli, don’t be silly. No real elleth would really be interested in me, I will not be alive long enough for them to take me seriously. Besides my interest lies in someone in the north.”
Eli immediately turned serious. “You have found her?”
He nodded. “I think so but I won’t know for a while yet. She is still a bit young and her family has had a rough time.”
Eli smiled, “Well if she is the one, we will have the most wonderful wedding we can throw you.”
He grinned. “Having the daughter of Lord Elrond doing that for me will certainly enhance my reputation.”
“Glad to be of some use, coz! We best get this show on the road and see what ada has wants. Leave your stuff here for the moment” She tugged his cloak and pack from his shoulder and threw them on the bed. “Best leave off your weapons, Owen. Glorfindel does not like people to carry them around Elrond.”
Owen was amazed at what he saw as they traversed the halls of Imladris. Eli’s letters had been full of descriptions, but they fell far short of the reality. His father’s letters had been more about his discoveries then about life as it existed there as well.
When they reached Elrond’s office, Owen found himself eager to finally meet the illustrious father of his cousin and of the twin elf lords he had come to like and admire. But when he followed Eli into the chamber he was stunned at the presence he felt emanating from the fabled Lord of Imladris. He was also amused to see that his father had obviously ceased to be intimidated in the elf lord's presence and was deep in discussion with him over some point of elven law he had come across in his research. Elrond glanced up and noting their entrance waved them on into the room.
Ted turned and upon seeing his son and Eli grinned. “About time you got here son.” He turned back to Elrond. “Hiren, may I introduce ion nin to you? As your own ionnath have informed you, he has chosen to join the Northern Dunedine Rangers and has been accepted by them recently as a full member of their group.”
Owen made a formal bow and then stood straight as the elf lord studied him silently. When he had finished, he nodded and smiled. “Welcome to Imladris Owen neth, Ionnath nin have often provided news on your progress for Eleiann’s benefit and I have been appraised as well. They have indicated that you have proven a good addition to the ranks of the Rangers and I am pleased you have completed your training successfully. Their chieftain has also commented on how pleased he has been with your progress. You are aware of course that Argonul is descended from my brother’s line?”
Owen nodded. “Yes hiren, and I know that the heir who will reclaim Gondor will spring from his line.” He glanced at his father and grinned before returning his regard to the elf lord.
Elrond caught the exchange and asked curiously. “Is there something that you can share with me?”
Embarrassed, Owen shook his head. “It is only a dream I have had hiren. It would have to be a true foretelling and that is rare among humans.”
“Oh for Pete’s sake, Owen, tell him enough to give him the clue.” Eli snorted at her tall cousin.
Intrigued, Elrond looked at him and waited with interest.
Owen exchanged glances with his father then he faced the elf lord. “Over several nights I dreamed the same dream. In it the maid I marry and the daughter she bears me is tied to the line which will produce the heir that will eventually reclaim the throne of Gondor and lead the forces that defeat Sauron.”
Whatever Elrond expected to hear that was not it and he sat down heavily in his chair. “When? He demanded eagerly.
“I am sorry, hiren.” Ted interjected. “That we cannot tell you. Since Amanda has already told you that Sauron will eventually be overcome, and you will survive to sail to the Undying lands, what this adds is general enough not to influence any decisions that will be made. That is of course if it is a true fore telling and not just the wishful dreaming of someone who desires to justify his reason for coming to Middle Earth.“
Elrond studied both Owen and Ted. “But you believe it to be true.”
Ted smiled. “If it is, we both are truly honored to be able to be a part of your history in such a manner. I cannot think of any finer legacy then to be tied to both your brother’s line and yours hiren.”
Elrond smiled. “It would seem there is more to your journey than just the purpose allotted to Eleiann.”
“If it is a true fore telling, hiren.”
“If it is a true fore telling.” The elf lord agreed.
“Now let us turn to the reason I have asked you here. As you know, I asked you to sit for your portraits a few weeks back. At the time I was not sure if what I wish to do would be allowed, but the Valar have agreed to my request.”
The three looked at one another in confusion. What did he mean?
Elrond smiled and then continued. “It seemed unnecessarily cruel that those you left behind would never know whether you were successful in crossing the bridge. For your own safety, and that of your world, the bridge was permanently closed once you completed the crossing. It was intended that no further contact would be allowed after that. After much consideration, I believed I had found a way that would accomplish letting Amanda and Theodore’s first born son know what had happen to you yet leave others unaware even if they were to see the message.”
Chuckling at their sudden interest, he removed their portraits from his desk drawer and handed each one theirs. “If you look at these they tell a story that will be clear to your families yet appear to be only pictures of you appearing in dress that is based on your Tolkien’s writing or the moving pictures Eleiann has told me of. Since Theodore was a scholar of Tolkien and Middle Earth, what would be more natural then he might have commissioned such portraits? They are done with materials which are common to your world so no question will be raised by the use of unfamiliar ones.”
Eli looked at hers with delight. “Mom will know I am here and that ada welcomed me.”
Theodore looked up at Elrond with tears running down his cheeks. “It is clear that I have reached your library and doing what I most wanted to do. Thank you hiren, Donald will be much relieved.”
Owen studied his in shock. “Hiren, the woman?”
“That was Gandalf’s suggestion, penneth and it appears to confirm your dreams.”
Ted gently placed his portrait on the desk and studied Eli’s and Owen’s. “It is a masterful solution worthy of you hiren. How do you intend to see it delivered?”
“The bridge will open one last time and one of the golden wolves will carry them to the cabin, hopefully to Amanda but at least to your son.”
“May I ask when?” Owen watched as his father returned the other two portraits to the desk.
“I do not know, Owen, once I have prepared the package and given it to the wolf, it will be in the hands of the Valar.”
All three nodded their understanding. Ted lowered his head and in a voice heavy with emotion, spoke for all three of them. “Lord Elrond, we do not know your Valar nor truly understand their purpose as to why we are here. I ask that you share with them our gratitude for letting our family on Earth know that we are safe and well and that we have a future here even if it remains hidden from us.”
Elrond nodded. “I too am grateful mellon nin. You have become part of my family and I would ease what pain of yours I can."
After a long silence in which each considered what the message home would mean to those left behind, smiles bloomed across their faces.
Elrond wrapped the portraits once more and returned them to the drawer. "Amarie has invited you to join us for dinner. I think she is curious about Owen and wishes to see if he is like either of you. Perhaps Owen would like to see something of Imladris before we gather for the evening meal? Theodore would you have some time to do the honors? I have some things I must discuss with Eleiann.”
Ted grinned and put his arm around the younger man’s shoulder. “Son, come on, let me show you the library…..”
Eli and her father chuckled as the two disappeared into the hallway. “Somehow I do not think your cousin will have the same regard for the library your uncle does, sell nin.”
“Neither do I hiren.”
"Eleiann, the reason I asked you to stay behind is that there is one more thing I intend to include for your naneth.” He passed the gold yin/yang pendent to her then continued. “By this she will know for sure that you and I have found one another. I am not sending back the one each of us wears because I believed you would wish to keep something of your world here with you. Was I right?”
Mutely she nodded and passed it back to him then flung herself into his arms. “Hannon le ada, hannon le.”
Elrond tightened his arms around his sell and hugged her tightly. “Hannon le, hen nin. ” He whispered softly in turn.
Hin nin-my chikdren
Gwanur-brother, a pair of twins
Sell nin-my daughter
Mell nin-my dear
Ion nin-my son
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.