2. Chapter Two
The cool of evening is settling over the valley of Rivendell when a slender hand grips the windowsill. My rooms are on the third floor of my father’s house, but this visitor is hardly unexpected; weary with sorrow and weeping, I do not even look up. The owner of the hand silently draws himself up, and there is Elladan, perched on the sill, gazing down at me.
"She has told you," he says. There is no need to answer, and indeed no need for him to have sought confirmation in the first place. A look at my grief-stained face, and he sighs. "I feared that you would not take to it well."
"Well?" My ragged whisper seems to explode in the quiet of the room. "Elladan, she will die!"
He slips swiftly from the window, coming to sit on the bed beside me. I bury my eyes in the bedclothes – I know he is hurting as much as I, and I cannot stand to see him in pain. "Dear my brother." His voice is at once hoarse and tender. "If she loves him…"
"Him." Even to my own ears, it sounds dangerously near a hiss. "Estel has betrayed us."
"No!" Elladan protests. His fingers, gentle but inexorable, grip my chin, forcing me to meet his eyes. "You must not think so," he says emphatically. "Estel is our brother. That is ever true, regardless of the ways of his heart."
"The ways of his heart…?" I wrench myself away, standing, staring at him aghast. "Even when that heart seeks to part us from our sister?"
"It is not his fault," my brother says, softly, sadly. "Father knew the peril inherent in their meeting. It is why he sent Arwen to Lórien. You know that. But he could not keep her from here forever…nor from Estel. And now she has chosen her fate, and Father accepts it, so long as the Man proves himself worthy of such a bride."
My whole being rebels against the calm words. I lean against the wall, resting my flushed forehead on the cool stone. "She thinks she is Lúthien," I say harshly, trying to conceal my anguish with scornful sarcasm. But a light hand descends on my shoulder, the most gentle, understanding caress, and pulls away the sardonic veil, leaving me with only my unadulterated grief. With a choking sob, I turn to my twin and embrace him fiercely. "Tell me you will never do this thing!" I demand. "Never!"
"I will not," he promises softly. His arms are around my waist; I wonder if I could even stand on my own, should he withdraw his support. "You know I could never bear to be parted from you."
I feel my tears begin to overflow again. "Brother mine," whispers Elladan, his tone rough with emotion. "You are more precious to me than the earth and wind and stars. I would sooner live an age without seeing the sun than a day without hearing your voice."
A long sigh of a breath steals from my lips, inexplicably soothing, carrying away with it a welter of pain and a quiet pledge: "And so would I." I raise a hand to wipe my eyes, but Elladan grasps my wrist. He settles a kiss, no more than a feather, a grazing breeze, on my cheek: an affectionate, symbolic gesture, sharing my grief by tasting my tears. And, mysteriously, the token does seem to allay my sorrow. I draw a deep breath and release it slowly. "I must find Arwen," I say, "and apologise to her."
"Good," Elladan replies with a smile. "I would not have a rift between any of my siblings." He hesitates. "What of Estel?…"
I pull away. "I love my sister, Elladan," I answer, low. "I do not know."
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.