21. Chapter 19
The following morning found Lindir and Maglor in good spirits, Elrond at peace, and Glorfindel brooding…
"What troubles you melon nin?" Elrond asked at breakfast.
"Nothing…just a rough night is all. So, how about you explain last night to us?" By us, the seneschal was referring to himself and Erestor who had also joined them for breakfast.
"That is not something I wish to discuss here; however, you both are welcome to come to my study after breakfast. Lindir and…well, we will get the whole story. As the two of you are my most trusted and dear friends, I would like you to know the whole thing, too."
The two elves nodded in affirmation. Elrond was right. This was not a topic for public ears. The three ate in silence and quickly, anxious to find the underlying cause of all this.
Lindir and Maglor thought it best to keep a low profile until they were able to meet with Elrond. Lindir had food brought to them. They talked a bit about their upcoming meeting with Elrond and decided to give the half-elf the *whole* truth…they only hoped that he did not have them committed as being delusional. Once they had eaten breakfast, the two headed to Elrond's office, hand in hand. Maglor was quite relieved to have encountered no one in the hall.
Lindir knocked on the oak door and waited for permission to enter. When the two elves walked into the room, Lindir stopped abruptly, causing Maglor to nearly walk over him.
"Forgive me my lord. I did not know you were busy."
Elrond waved them in. "Come, come. I asked Glorfindel and Erestor to be present for this. I think it best they also know the story." Looking at a hesitant Maglor, he continued. "They know how to be discreet." With that, Maglor nodded and sat down in a chair next to Lindir. "I suppose formal introductions should be made," the elf lord continued. "My dear friends, this is my foster father…Maglor." If the other two elves were shocked, they did not show it. The only response, really, was Erestor raising his eyebrow. "That being said, Lindir, why do not start this tale."
For the remainder of the morning, Elrond, Erestor and Glorfindel listened to the minstrel's strange tale. Only Glorfindel seemed to accept the interference of the various Valar without reservation. Lindir and Maglor told everything; they left nothing out…well, except the sex; they figured that was not something pertinent to the understanding of the story.
There was a long moment of silence when the two finished. Elrond looked at his friends to gage their reaction before he spoke. "So I am to understand that, Maglor, you were given a new name to go by?" The Noldo nodded. "You wish to use this name?"
Maglor thought for a moment. "No." There was a collective gasp. "I have made peace with those from my past and they know I am here. Let others judge me as they wish; their opinion is of little concern." As an after thought, he turned to Lindir. "If that is alright with you, of course." Lindir flashed a brilliant smile and nodded his agreement.
"Very well. If there are no other questions or objections…" he looked to his friends before continuing, "I say welcome to Imladris, my dear foster-father. Stay as long as you desire." Lindir and Maglor both let out a sigh and smiled. "Once the twins return, I will have them meet you. They are very curious about you."
The small meeting broke up as each elf went to carry out their respective duties. Glorfindel had to figure out whom he was sending to Mirkwood and Lorien for the soldier exchange that would take place in a few days. Erestor had to figure out how to make everyone happy, at least all those involved with the latest trade agreement. Elrond had letters to write, and Lindir wanted to show Maglor the sights…starting with his personal quarters, again.
The twin sons of Elrond rode to meet the delegation coming from Lothlórien. The rendezvous went well. Haldir and his brother along with 10 others met up with them right on schedule. Although they had not ridden overly hard, the horses from Lorien needed a break. The twins lead the group to a small clearing where the river was shallow and ran slowly. As Elrohir walked his horse to the water's edge, an odd sort of mound caught his eye. Cautiously walking closer, just close enough for elven sight, he gasped and yelled for his brother. Not waiting for a response, the younger twin mounted in a swift movement as his horse broke into a gallop. He only had to go a few hundred yards to reach his destination. Dismounting before his horse came to a halt, the young Noldo splashed carelessly through the shallow water and dropped to his knees.
"By all that is sacred." He whispered. Face down on the rocky bank was an elf. At first, Elrohir thought the elf was dead, however, moving slowly, he turned the body over. By this time, Elladan with Haldir and Orophin in tow arrived. The older twin dropped beside his brother.
"Ro, is he…"
"No. How he lives, I know not. Look at the damage! This has to be the work of orcs."
"You had best get him to you Adar." Haldir said from his mount. "Orophin and I will ride ahead and alert him. Follow swiftly; Rumil can get the rest to Imladris." With that, the two Silvan elves took off toward the Last Homely House.
The twins carefully moved the injured elf to the dry grass. Elladan gave his brother his cloak. "Wrap him in this. Then ride like the wind. I will return with Rumil." With a soft command, the young elf ordered his horse to her knees. He mounted and then had Elladan help him slide the unknown elf in front of him. They did not want to cause too much jostling or physical contact as the injuries were so severe. Slowly the horse rose, knowing she carried a precious cargo. Elladan mounted as well and the two raced back the way they had come. Elladan stopped once they reached the group, which was already back on the path. The elves parted as they heard the hoof beats pounding after them. Elrohir raced past like the Dark Lord himself followed. Elladan slowed and moved along side of Rumil.
"Haldir said you found an injured elf. Should we not scout to see if we can find the pack that did this?"
Elladan looked at the younger elf. He had Haldir's strength and Orophin's wisdom, however, he was easy to rile and too quick to jump into action. That will change with time, the older twin thought.
"No. We need to alert Glorfindel and organize scouting parties." Receiving an incredulous glare from Rumil, Elladan continued. "I really do not want to tell my grandmother that her favorite warden met an untimely demise. Come…there will be plenty of opportunities to hunt orc."
Not bothering to wait for the stable hands, Haldir and his brother left their mounts in the courtyard and bolted up the steps. "Lord Elrond, where?" He shouted to the first elf they encountered. The startled elf pointed in the direction of their lord's office, and then said a silent prayer that no harm had come to the valley's young lords.
Reaching the closed door, Haldir knocked violently and burst in without waiting for a reply. Glorfindel was on his feet with his sword already half out of the sheath, ready to defend his lord. Elrond stood and as he realized who stood before him, his heart began to beat wildly.
"My…" Before the elf lord could finished, Haldir cut him off
"Not the…*pant* the twins…" Haldir's adrenalin was in over drive. "Sons found…*pant*…"
Orophin took over. Being a message runner, this little sprint barely caused his breathing to increase. "They found a severely injured elf. Elrohir is coming ahead of the others with him." Haldir gave his little brother an annoyed look. Orophin just continued, "They think it might have been orcs but are not sure."
Glorfindel found his voice, "Please say that Elladan did not do something so in character, such as to go after these orcs?" There was reproach in the warriors voice; apparently, it would not have been the first time that had happened.
"No." Haldir said, finally breathing normally. "He would not endanger others." The small group heard the horse's gallop first, followed by the frantic calls for Elrond. Wasting no more time, the elf lord ran to the courtyard, followed by his seneschal and the two guardians.
Coming to a stop at his father, Elrohir gingerly passed his charge to two healers that had heard his call. With one taking the legs and the other under the arms, they carefully made their way to the healing wing while Elrond shouted orders along the way. Elrohir dismounted and followed his father; he knew Elrond would need help. Haldir made to follow but was stopped by Glorfindel.
"Come with me. I want to know what happened." The two Silvan elves walked with Glorfindel to his office. If there were orcs this close, he wanted to decimate them as quickly as possible.
Elrond came to a stop at the side of the bed. Healers were busy cutting the tattered clothing while Elrohir prepared a potion to apply to the badly burned skin. As Elrond studied his patient, he eyes widened. 'It can not be,' he thought. However, in all his long life, he only met one elf with such rich mahogany hair, hair that shone with deep burgundy highlights when it danced in the sun. 'No, it could not be, he is long dead, and this elf has both his hands.' Elrond did not know if he was relieved, or disappointed.
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