1. Chapter One
Aragorn sat in his favorite chair in the family quarters, staring down at his children. His son, his heir, Eldarion, sat behind his three smaller siblings, watching over them as he was wont to do. His warm, brown eyes stared back at him, the reflection of his mother, Arwen, in them. The second oldest of his children, Gelladar, was seated to his right, her hair of black braided half way down her back. Her eyes were much like his own, a pale green-grey that hinted of seriousness. The third born child, another daughter, Melannen, sat in the middle, directly in front of her brother, her hero. She too, had hair of black, and eyes that bore resemblance to her father's. His third daughter, the youngest of his children, the apple of his eye, Amrûn, perched close to him on his left, her tiny hand not more than a few inches from his knee. She was the mirror image of Arwen, looking much the way he imagined Arwen herself had been as a child.
They were waiting patiently for him to begin. The story was always the same. How he had first met their mother. They never tired of hearing the tale, not even Eldarion, who was now approaching his tenth year. The younger children had heard the tale many times as well, their ages being of eight, six and four, respectively, but still they begged for the telling, for none could tell a tale such as their father.
Aragorn waited, giving the children a moment to get comfortable. Just as he was about to begin, his Lady, Arwen, joined them. Frowning slightly, Aragorn cleared his throat. Arwen never sat in on the tale. This was highly unusual.
"Ada....please....." begged Amrûn, her eyes silently seeking his.
Aragorn smiled, placing his hand upon her silken hair. "Of course, hên nín¹."
Forgetting that his beloved was present in the room, Aragorn began his tale.
"My tale begins many, many years ago, when times were fraught with danger and Elves were counted as friends among Men. I was living in Imladris at the time, in the House of Elrond Half- Elven, who I counted as Father."
Aragorn caught Arwen's warm gaze and smiled. She had never heard this part before, at least not from him.
"I had just returned from a long journey into the Wilds of Rhovanion with Elladan and Elrohir, my brothers. We had been hunting Orcs with some of their friends, the Rangers of the Dúnedain. Once Adar knew I had returned, he sent for me...."
Aragorn closed his eyes and lost himself in the memory of that fateful day. The day he had learned who he truly was and what destiny had in store for him.
"Estel? Your Father wishes to speak with you," Glorfindel told him as he walked through the house. "He's in his study."
Estel frowned. No one was to enter Father's study. Only a few privileged persons were allowed to enter his inner sanctum. His children were not of those select few. With quick strides, he traversed the hallways of his Father's home and found himself outside the door to the study. With heart hammering in his chest, he raised his hand to knock, only to hear his Father calling out his name.
Slowly, Estel opened the heavy wooden door and peered inside. The room was just as he had imagined, books lining the shelves on the walls, the heavy drapes parted slightly so the afternoon sun could shine through, a musty scent of wisdom in the air.
Estel entered the room, his feet soft upon the wood floors.
"Close the door, ion nín²," Elrond said, his back turned.
Once he heard the door latch, he turned and faced his son. Maybe not born of his blood, but his son nonetheless. He'd had a hard time allowing him to go off hunting Orcs with Elladan and Elrohir, fear for Estel coursing through his veins. But the boy that stood before him now had reached manhood. His son was no longer a child.
"Estel...there is much we need to discuss," he said, heading for the desk that graced the space in front of the window. "When you were but an infant, your Mother brought you here, out of harm's way. I have kept her secret these last eighteen years, though at first unselfishly. As time progressed, you became a son to me. I could not love you more if you were my own flesh and blood."
"Ada? I do not understand. I am your son. I have known no other as Father."
Elrond sighed. He had known this day would come. He just never counted on it arriving so soon and with him so unprepared. He opened the drawer of the desk and retrieved something from it. Something small enough that it occupied just the center of his hand.
He crossed the study and stood before Estel, a small smile displayed across his lips.
"This is yours, my son. An heirloom from your Father's house. The ring of Barahir. You are Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Heir to Isildur's throne and Lord of the Dúnedain," he said, opening his hand to reveal the ring of silver serpents, a green stone nestled in the center of the piece.
Estel searched his Father's eyes and found truth in them. "You have deceived me, kept this from me all these years? But why?"
"For your own protection, my son. For you are the hope for the age of Men," he said, placing the ring in the center of Estel's hand, closing his son's fingers around it. "I also have the shards of Narsil, the sword that was broken. It shall be made again, so when you have need of it, it shall be ready," Elrond said, gesturing to the pieces of the sword that lie upon the desk.
"I shall wield it with honor, Ada. But it shall no longer be named Narsil, but Andúril."
Elrond nodded, pleased. "I have yet one more thing, Aragorn, to pass to you. The Scepter of Annúminas, which I shall withhold until that time which you have earned it. You have many great deeds to perform, my son. And a lifetime of hardships to endure. But your life span is long, many times that of a normal man. You shall accomplish your tasks, unless evil befalls you or you fail at your test."
Estel nodded solemnly, tracing his hand upon the shards of his sword. If the words of his Father rang true, then he was a King. And he had never known Ada to be untrue. "I shall do these things, Father and make you proud."
"You have much to think about, Aragorn. And I have much to mourn. For today, I have lost a son."
Aragorn reached out and placed a warm hand across his Father's shoulder. "Never, Ada. You have not lost a son. Nor shall you ever. I love you as I did before, if not more so now. You have given me love in childhood and now as a man, I have gained a birthright."
And with those parting words, Aragorn walked out of the study.
"And the next day, you met Nana³?" Gelladar asked, her eyes shining brightly, for she loved this part best.
Aragorn smiled down at his daughter. "Yes. The next day I met your Mother."
"Tell us the story again, Ada. Please?" Melannen begged.
"It was fast approaching sunset and I was walking amongst the trees, thinking of what my Father had revealed. I was feeling hope and was in high spirits. Enough so that I was singing."
"The Lay of Lúthien, right Father?" Eldarion asked, already knowing the answer.
"Yes. I had been singing that song. And when I saw your Mother, I thought I was seeing Lúthien. I was stunned by her beauty, but then as she moved away, I cried out her name. 'Tinúviel, Tinúviel!'"
"And that's when Mother turned around. And you knew it was not Lúthien Tinúviel," Gelladar concluded.
"That's right," Aragorn laughed. "The four of you know the story almost better than I. Perhaps you should do the telling of it."
Eldarion stood and continued. "Mother asked you why you called her by that name..."
"And you told her that she was as beautiful as the woman you had named and surely if that were not her name, then it should be," Melannen added.
Aragorn smiled, watching a pale blush creep over Arwen's cheeks. She was still as beautiful now as she had been that day. The first day he had met her.
"Mother asked who you were, and you answered..." Gelladar said.
"Hence forth I shall be named Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Isildur's Heir, Lord of the Dúnedain. For a time, I was Estel, son of Elrond Half-elven," Aragorn stated with pride.
"Then we are kin, though distant, for I am Arwen, daughter to Elrond," Melannen said, continuing with the story.
"I was surprised to learn of this. Father had a daughter that he had hidden away? And yet, as I look upon my own daughters, I see why he had done so. For as beautiful as she, are my own, and I would do much to protect them."
"But Mother wasn't hidden away. She was visiting Lothlórien," exclaimed Amrûn.
Aragorn laughed at her enthusiasm. "Yes, she was. And from that moment, I realized that she was Elf and I loved her."
His daughters sighed and Aragorn had to hold back a small laugh. It never failed; they always like this part best. His son, however, enjoyed his tales of fighting more so now than those of his romantic encounters with his Mother.
"Tell us more, Ada. We want to hear the rest," Gelladar said, knowing that her Mother would soon call for an end to the evening.
"Come, children. It is time for bed," Arwen said, standing from her chair by the fire. "We have much to do tomorrow."
All four children groaned their displeasure. It was too early for bed and Father had yet to finish his tale.
"We are just getting to the good part," complained Melannen.
"Time enough for another story tomorrow," Aragorn said, leaning down to kiss Melannen's forehead. "Now off with you. Listen to your Mother."
The children stood, and the three youngest each gave him a kiss on the cheek before trudging off reluctantly to bed. Aragorn stared at Eldarion, then smiled softly as the young man determined whether he was too big to give him a kiss as well. After a small amount of debate, he threw his arms around his Father's neck, hugging him tightly.
"Goodnight, ion nín²," Aragorn whispered.
Ada (Daddy) Gelladar (joy of the father)
hên nín¹ (my child) Melannen (beloved)
ion nín² (my son) Amrûn (dawn)
Nana³ (Mom) Eldarion (son of the Eldar)
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.