39. It Is Only a Dinner Isn't It?
Eleiann stood for a long moment before she opened her chamber door and swept out into the hall where Elrohir awaited her. He looked her up and down and with a most uncharacteristic whistle grinned his approval.
“Well, tithen thel nin, you certainly clean up nicely!”
She grinned back at him and twirled in a circle the full silk skirts swirling out in soft rippling waves before dropping back into graceful folds. “Does that mean you finally approve of your latest weird relation?” She responded mischievously.
He grew serious and looked at her with troubled eyes before responding. “I wish you would not say such things Eleiann. We are all proud to have you join us. All of us regret that you continue to feel like an outsider. What have we done that makes you feel so?”
Eleiann sighed, “It is not you, ‘Roh, or any of the family. I have always been an outsider and I guess I find it hard to accept that I have finally ‘come home’. I keep feeling like such a fraud and sooner or later someone is going to find out and expose me for it.”
Elrohir smiled and taking her hand led her to a large mirror hanging just outside the entry to the main hallway. Standing behind her he turned her so she faced it and resting his hands on her shoulders he smiled. “Look Eleiann, what do you see?”
She glanced at him before concentrating on the image reflected in the mirror. Elrohir was dress in a silver tunic over black leggings and boots and wore a long flowing outer robe of silver and blue velvet. His hair was dressed in traditional warrior’s braids and a silver circlet lay upon his brow. She remained silent for some time before she finally answered him hesitantly. “I see a gorgeous ellon who is the envy of nearly every other ellyn currently in Middle Earth. Both you and Elladan are the desired mates of every unmarried ellyth and you both know it. You both hold great status among the eldar as the ionnath of Lord Elrond.”
“I refer to the lovely elleth standing in front of this paragon you refer to.” Elrohir said dryly. “Who does she remind you of?”
Eleiann turned back to the mirror and studied her image. The mirror reflected a tall elleth dressed in a deep rose silk gown trimmed in silver lace and belted with a heavy silver chain set with rose stones. Her hair lay in dark heavy waves about her shoulders and upon her brow lay a circlet in silver set with the same stones. Her gray blue eyes were duplicates of Elrohir and their sire and she had the same up swept eyebrows as they.
“I know I resemble the rest of you but I do not have the fineness of features you all have. Somehow I look like a poorer copy. Arwen is beautiful. She will marry a…” She stopped before she revealed her sister’s true future. “She will marry a powerful and mighty lord and live a good and happy life.” She continued hurriedly.
“You know her future do you not? And ours? ‘Dan and I?” His hands tightened on her shoulders and his eyes blazed back at her from the mirror.
She hung her head before raising her troubled eyes to his reflected ones. “Yes I know hers, but only part of yours. Much remains hidden and changed from what we expected to find. Please ‘Roh, do not press me for more, I cannot tell you.”
He nodded reluctantly and turned his attention back to the images in the mirror. “You know what I see? I see gwathel nin whom I will have to protect from the many unwanted and undeserving suitors who will soon swarm around the beautiful new sell of the Lord of Imladris. I have no doubt she will do just as well as Arwen and eventually join the rest of our family in Valinor.”
Eleiann smiled wryly. “Well we can hope, but you better be aware I am not like the rest of your eldar ellyth. I am independent and will never fit into the traditional role that is expected of them.”
He grinned at her. “Well you can hardly compare daernaneth or Amarie or even Arwen to the typical elleth for that matter. They are all strong independent ellyth who have or will chart their own path.”
“The Lady Galadriel is in a class all of her own, ‘Roh. I would never expect to be compared to her. She would be insulted if someone tried. Please do not even allude to such a thing. The less she knows about me, the safer I will feel.”
“You fear her.” He smiled.
“Yes and with good reason. She is one of the oldest of the eldar remaining in Middle Earth and will remain the most powerful until she returns to Valinor. Oh dam, that cannot happen for a long time yet.”
“She cannot return until her banishment is lifted. You believe she will be forgiven?” He turned her to face him, a strange look on his face.
“There is always hope, ‘Roh. The Valar may yet do so if they feel she is worthy of such a gift.” Eleiann hedged. “Should we not be joining ada and Amarie in their quarters before we all parade down into the gathering. We should not be late.”
Elrohir looked at her knowingly. “You do not want to discuss any of this. I understand. But Eleiann, it will have to be addressed at some point. Every so often you let slip a small piece of what ever it is you are protecting. If is comes out piece meal, it may be wrongly interpreted and prove to more dangerous then if it all were known.” She nodded but remained stubbornly silent. He frowned and sighed in exasperation. “Very well, let us join the others before they come seeking us. It is nearly time for the start of this evening’s festivities and the beginning of the Harvest Festival.”
As they moved down the hallway he tried to lighten the atmosphere by asking her if she planned on joining the rest of the family females in attending the vendors setting up down in the smaller of the training fields beyond the barracks,
“If you do, I had best warn ada, so that he can provide enough silver and gold for you all. I have the feeling that the traders and artisans will do very well this year!” He teased.
Eleiann smothered a grin and then admitted she had given some thought to doing so. She had not attended any of the larger festivals over the years preferring instead to do so only for the smaller and family ones. She had not wanted to call attention to her presence among the family and had been concentrating on her studies. That was no longer a real concern now that she was to officially join the rest of the family. Eleiann acknowledged it might be fun to break loose and enjoy being a female member of the ruling house.
She wanted to look for some presents that might do for Owen and her uncle Ted for the Mid Winter Festival which was the closest thing to a traditional Christmas celebration that occurred in Middle Earth. They had held small, intimate versions over the years at the cottage but had not done so at the last homely house. This year they would do so in the privacy of their rooms and even set up a small tree. She knew at some point their celebrations would eventually end when Ted passed beyond the circles of their new world and Owen became more involved with his own family. Still they would honor it for as long as they could and she would cherish the memories of past family gatherings on Earth when they were no more.
When they reached the stairs leading to Elrond’s private rooms, Arwen and Elladan joined them. Her sister was dressed in a deep silver blue silk dress not unlike her own and she too wore a circlet with a blue stone set in mithril. Elladan was dressed similarly to Elrohir. It would be difficult to tell the difference between the two if one was not familiar with them. She could see how they had often fooled strangers and pulled off elaborate pranks in the process.
Arwen smiled when she saw her younger sister. “Eleiann, you look quite lovely. That rose silk is most becoming. Are you ready for the presentation?”
“As ready as I will ever be, I suppose. I just hope I do not embarrass anyone before the evening is over. There is bound to be a lot of curiosity over my sudden appearance among the family.”
“You should not find it too difficult.” Arwen soothed. “ ‘Roh will lead you forward as ada introduces us and all you need do is bow to ada and Amarie, then a slighter bow to our guests and return to your earlier place. Elros and Elwing will than be presented and Tanthar will take them in hand and lead them back to our table where we will be eating dinner.”
They all turned as Elrond and Amarie followed by their younger siblings and Tanthar descended the stairs from their private chambers. Elrond looked at his children and smiled with pride at the pleasant picture they presented.
“Maer aduial hin nin. You are all most pleasing to look upon and do me proud.” He greeted them with pleasure and kissed both elleth on their cheeks before grasping the arm of each of his ionnath in greeting. “I am looking forward to presenting my whole family for the first time in many years. Always in the past it seems we had to do with one or more of you missing as you traveled far and wide. Now I can show you all off.”
Amarie and Arwen exchanged amused looks while the older gwanur merely shrugged with long suffering sighs. Eleiann watched quietly and smiled tightly as Elrond turned towards his hervess and took her hand in his. With a broad wave, he gestured them all to follow him.
“Erestor will be looking for us if we do not make our way down to the festivities now. For some reason he is overwhelmed with the arrangements this year and worried over the smallest detail. I would do what we can to lighten his burden by insuring we are not late.”
Elrond exchanged looks with his ionnath. “Have you taken care of all the necessary tasks you were allotted?” Both nodded in response and he turned back to continue their trek to the Hall of Fire. Upon reaching a small retiring room off of the main they all paused while awaiting Erestor’s signal to enter. When he bustled through the doors, he looked them all over and glared at a subdued Elros and Elwing before smiling at Elrond.
“Are you all ready mellon nin? I must say you all make a most handsome picture! I will be proud to announce you.” Then he opened the door and bustled out.
Laughing Amarie strode forward and pushed Elrond ahead of her. “Let us get this over so we can sit down and eat. I am starved!”
Elrond chuckled and with one final glance over his noss, he followed his advisor and waved to the Lady Saeldae, Erestor’s hervess as she joined them.
Smiling Sadi hugged Amarie, Arwen and the older twins. She hesitated then grinned at Eleiann before finally enveloping her in a warm embrace.
“It is about time I welcomed you properly penneth. I hope you will consider me your aunt as well since I know how little family you really have here. ”
Eleiann nodded shyly. She sensed the true welcome offered and was glad that there would be someone she might turn to in place of her mother when she had feminine related questions or concerns. The Lady Saeldae would be a valuable resource. Her attention was drawn back to the present as Erestor announced their arrival in a strong voice and the family entered through the main doorway to the Hall of Fire.
“Hir nin, Hiril nin, Mellon nin, Guests, the Lord Elrond and Lady Amarie and their family.”
Elrond led Amarie to the dais smiling and nodding to various friends and family members along the way. Turning as they reached it he waited for his hin to join them and arrange them selves as they had been instructed. Elrond smiled and stepped forward slightly to address his guests.
“Welcome to this year’s Harvest Festival. For the first time in many years, a number of old friends and new family are present and I am delighted to greet them officially. May I present ion nin Elladan and sell nin, Arwen. Next is ion nin Elrohir and sell nin Eleiann.” Each couple stepped forward and bowed in acknowledgement of Elrond’s introduction. There was a pause as a low murmers greeted his last pronouncement.
“Lastly, may Amarie and I present our ion Elros and sell Elwing.” There was some soft merriment as both of the little ones executed awkward but sweet bows and then looked back tensely at their parents for approval. Amarie smiled at them and they beamed with pride before returning to the side of their nurse. Elrond smiled at his youngest before returning his attention to his guests.
“We hope you all will enjoy yourselves here at tonight’s banquet and the rest of the festivities over the next few days. While there are some formal matters that must be dealt with before our celebration ends, tonight is for feasting and dancing. So my friends, Enjoy!!!” With that he waved towards the tables and the crowd erupted with cheers and clapping and dispersed to eat and drink the food and wine supplied by the Lord Of Imladris.
Only Glorfindel noted the intent stare that followed the departure of the family from the dais and watchful eyes focus on the slender figure of Eleiann and the beginning of a thoughtful smirk.
Tithen thel nin- my little sister
Ellon- male elf
Elleth- female elf
Gwathel nin-my sister
Maer aduial hin nin-good evening my children
Gwanur-brothers, a set of twins
Mellon nin-my friends
hir nin-my lords
hiril nin-my ladies
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.