4. A Meeting of the Minds
The reason he was called back troubled him. To teach the ways of the long bow to an elf-maiden raised by men? He had never heard of such a thing! He would perform his task because he was asked, but he had no idea what would come out of it. As he approached the White City, Legolas looked up toward the Citadel. His elven sight caught something that others might have missed from that distance. He saw a maiden standing on one of the many balconies that faced the Anduin. Her face was unfamiliar to him, but somehow he knew that would change once he entered the city.
As Legolas approached the Great Gate of Minas Tirith, the guard opened it for the elf and welcomed him. Legolas only nodded in response, his mind focused at the task at hand. It didn't take him long to travel through the city to the Citadel. He found Arwen waiting for him on the step, just as she had for Rowena. He jumped off his horse, ran up the stairs, and spun Arwen around until she thought she'd never walk upright again. "It's good to see you too Legolas," Arwen finally managed to say after he had set her back on the ground.
"And I you Arwen. Tell me, how is Aragorn fairing? Is he well?"
"Aragorn is in a perfect state of health. This assignment has given him something to look forward to. All the duties of being a king have finally begun to wear on his spirit. I think Rowena has done him good already."
Legolas gave Arwen a confused look. "Rowena? Who is she?"
"Your student, my dear woodland cousin. You'll have the pleasure of meeting her later tonight. For now, I must take you to the library. Gandalf requested that you, Aragorn, and I make the necessary plans to help Rowena on her journey." Arwen began to lead Legolas into the fortress. "Of course you can have some time beforehand to settle in. Your room has already been prepared for you, just the way you like it."
“That’s wonderful, thank you.” They entered the fortress, Legolas walking behind Arwen as she led him to the room he occupied while at Minas Tirith. No one could dispute who stayed there, with the crest of Eryn Lasgalen on the carved door.
Arwen opened the door to Legolas’ home away from home. “Everything should be how it was when you left. If anything is amiss, please let Aragorn or I know. When you are ready, we will be waiting for you in the library.”
“I will be there shortly, it should not take long.”
“I will let the others know.” Arwen left Legolas alone in his room when she closed the door behind her. Legolas looked around his room, remembering the times he spent there. He took off his quiver and set it on his bed, along with his long bow. His elven sense of smell picked up the faint scent of the forest; fallen leaves, moist soil, and the faint charge that growing things gave off. It reminded him of his beloved Eryn Lasgalen, it was a good feeling. Legolas almost lost himself in the memories of the forest before he remembered he was wanted in the library. Before leaving his room, he made sure there was a knife stuck in his boot, for one can never be too prepared to sacrifice ones self for their friend and king.
“She is quite a gift Aragorn. I didn’t expect her to arrive so late, but she is a gift, a very special gift.”
Gandalf was rambling and Aragorn didn’t understand. “A gift? For Middle Earth? For Gondor? What is she a gift for?”
“Not for Elessar, who. She is a gift for the prince of Eryn Lasgalen. It was foreseen long ago and is finally coming to pass.”
“But I’ve read every elven text there was, there was no mention of her at all. Why all the secrecy Gandalf?”
“To keep the secret safe from Legolas. How would you like it if your destiny was foreseen ages before you were ever born? It would have hindered Legolas in ways we can only imagine. No, it’s better that this knowledge is kept from both Rowena and Legolas. Their bond may have been foreseen since before the creation of Arda, but they still have to find each other on their own.”
Aragorn was astounded at what he was hearing. “Since before the creation of Arda? So Rowena was part of the Music of the Ainur?”
“Not exactly Elessar. Her existence was a part of the song, as was Legolas in some form, but she was not given to Arda until she was found by Adrahil 177 years ago.”
“Does she have any family? Anyone to connect her to Middle Earth at all?”
“In elven terms, she would be of the Noldor line, but she has no family. No, in all sincerity, she could be described as new sister to add to the numerous Children of Iluvatar. She possesses a power that few elves even in Valinor have seen; abilities given to her by Iluvatar himself through the Valar.”
“Like the ability to see the experiences of others among other things; powers not unlike what Galadriel possesses. Even now they are beginning to surface. They will be a great help to her when the time comes.”
“How do you know so much about her situation Gandalf?”
“I was blessed with this knowledge from the council of the Valar. I was told to keep watch during my time in Arda, that before I left for the Undying Lands I was to be a part in the completion of the Song. Like I had mentioned before, I had expected her arrival much sooner than now, seeing as the elves are making their way to the Undying Lands, but as sure as the sun rises and sets, the Valar know how the Song should be sung.” Gandalf became very stern. “Remember Aragorn, not a word of this to either of them.”
“Agreed. This will stay between you and I.”
Gandalf interrupted Aragorn. ”And Arwen. Arwen has a major role to play in this ruse. She needs to help shape Rowena into the princess she was born to be.”
“I am sure Arwen will be up to the task.”
Aragorn heard the door of the library open behind him. He turned around to see Arwen come through the door. “Legolas will be joining us shortly; I told him he could get settled in his room before he met with us.”
“Thank you Arwen,” Gandalf said with a smile. “Please, sit down next to your husband. There is something we must discuss with you before the prince arrives….”
Legolas entered the library to see Arwen sitting next to Elessar. Both of them were in deep conversation with Gandalf, who was sitting across from them. He tried not to eavesdrop on the conversation, but he did manage to pick up some random words, nothing he could make into a coherent thought though. As he approached, Gandalf looked up with a smile on his face. “Welcome Legolas. Please, sit down. Tell me, did you have a pleasant journey?”
“My travel to Minas Tirith was completely uneventful, save for the first night when I was followed by some orcs. I was able to dispose of them without any trouble.”
Arwen took hold of Legolas’ hand. “I’m sure you did, but I still fear for your safety.”
“You shouldn’t Arwen. I’m not an elfling anymore; I can take care of myself.”
Aragorn spoke up. “But that’s the reason we are here, to take care of an elfling. Rowena isn’t even 200 years old and has barely come into her own in the sense of the elves. She needs to be taught so many things.” He turned to Gandalf. “I don’t know how we’ll accomplish it.”
“Have more faith in yourself and in your wife and elven brother. I am sure that with our combined effort we will shape Rowena into the elf she was destined to be.” Gandalf grinned wide; like he was satisfied that he had said what he wanted, but still kept The Secret a secret.
“Have you planned what we are supposed to do with her,” Legolas asked with concern. “I’ve never been asked to be a teacher before.”
“Have no fear prince; I’m sure that you and Rowena will get along splendidly. She has a keen mind, I’m sure that she will be no trouble to you at all.”
Gandalf began to describe to the three the things he expected out of them, all for Rowena’s benefit. Full days would be set aside for private study between the four of them. Plans were made to take Rowena into the wild for excursions with both Aragorn and Legolas at her side, once she had learned the basics of the weapons she would be trained in. Arwen was to give her insight into the ways of elven existence, etiquette, and language. Overall Gandalf had laid out the perfect plan for them to follow.
By the time the quartet had finished their planning, the sun was beginning to set behind the White Mountains. Arwen was the first to notice. “It’s nearly time for the evening meal. Come, we must go and prepare; you Legolas most of all. You will need to look your best for your introductions to your student.”
Legolas bowed. “As you wish my Lady, I will do my best to be easy on the eyes for everyone concerned.”
Arwen smiled. “I’m sure you will do fine.” Aragorn took Arwen’s hand and they left the library together, leaving Legolas and Gandalf alone together.
“Do you think Arwen has something planned for tonight Gandalf?” Legolas asked.
“You never know when it comes to the Evenstar,” Gandalf replied. “She is always full of surprises.”
“That she is. I will see you again at dinner.” With that Legolas left the library as well.
Gandalf returned to the chair he had been sitting in and looked out the window over Minas Tirith. He sat there for some time, deep in thought. What an adventure this will turn out to be, he said to himself before heading to his own chambers to make himself ready for what he knew would be an electrifying introduction.
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.