5. From the Ashes a Fire Has Been Woken
I am not a stupid person. Really, I'm not. But sometimes, usually in the midst of a strong emotion like anger, I do stupid things; such as storm out into the cold October night, wearing nothing but a thin pair of pajama pants and a tank top. I didn't even have anything on my feet.
Yes, I said pajama pants. Yes, we're still in Rivendell. Ok, look, if you can see the plot hole, walk around it. Seriously, it will close up in a little while. Trust me. I've created enough of them in my time to know.
Anyway, the cold did nothing to dispel my anger. It's really hard to forgive someone when you're standing in the freezing cold and blaming them for it. I hugged myself to try and stay warm and stubbornly decided that I was not going back to my room until Justin came to find me. No, I'm not a stupid person, but like I said, sometimes I make stupid choices.
I was just about to reconsider, since I could no longer feel my toes and I could barely stand I was shaking so hard, when I felt someone place a blanket over my shoulders. I knew it was Justin, and although I was thankful he had come so I could get out of the cold, I wasn't about to forgive him so easily. When I turned around, to my surprise, it was not Justin who stood there, but the elf who had caused our argument in the first place.
I didn't know what to say at first, feeling a little awkward about facing this guy, outside in the middle of the night. Luckily for me, he spoke first.
"You ought to go inside. The night has grown chill." I answered him with a shiver, proving his point. He rubbed his hands up and down my arms in an apparent effort to warm me up. It sent chills down my spine that had nothing to do with the temperature, but when I looked up at him, his expression was completely innocent. This was merely a friendly gesture. It only lasted a few moments, though, before we heard a threatening voice coming from the trees nearby.
"Remove your hands from my wife, Avari."
Two words jumped out at me. 'wife' and 'Avari.' My brain whirled in overdrive trying to reconcile this statement. There was only one person who would call me his wife. And yet, he would never use the word Avari. He wouldn't even know what the word Avari meant.
Out of the trees stepped an elf, for he could only be an elf. He was far more fey than any of the other elves I had met so far, or even seen around Rivendell. His eyes were brighter than Legolas's, and he seemed almost mystical, for lack of a better word.
At a quick glance, if you didn't know better, you might mistake Elrond for a Man. You may even mistake Legolas, if he was at a good distance and wasn't looking at you. Nobody in their right mind could ever make the mistake to think this creature in front of us was a Man.
Legolas slowly backed away from me, looking at the newcomer warily, as one might view a wild animal – a dangerous wild animal who, for some reason, just mistakenly called Legolas a dark elf.
"Who are you?" I asked, feigning a bravery I did not feel. The elf's eyes widened and he regarded me with either anger or shock, I couldn't tell. I fought hard not to drop his gaze, fearing he would see me as weak, and then who knew what would happen. His expression changed to one that almost resembled tenderness; if tenderness could have that hard an edge to it.
"Have I changed so much that you no longer recognize my face?" He advanced towards me and it took everything I had not to back away. I felt Legolas step behind me and place protective hands on my shoulders. The elf narrowed his eyes and looked over my shoulder. "You dare touch her again, half-breed?"
I turned my head to see if Legolas had been replaced by Elrond or one of his sons, which to me would have been the only explanation for that last insult. No, Legolas still stood behind me, jaw clenched and eyes narrowed. Half breed? I looked back at the elf who was now in a staring match with Legolas.
"Look, whoever you are," I tried to reason with him. "There's been some mistake. I'm not your wife; there's no need for all this. You obviously think we are someone else." I grinned hopefully, and for a brief second I was delusional enough to believe it would be that easy.
After one final stare at Legolas, he took me into his sight. "I will return for you in three days time." He spoke those words as if it were a certainty; I had no say in the matter. "Until then, if this son of a traitor comes near you again, know that I will kill him."
Before I could even react, somehow Legolas was now in front of me.
"I will bear no more insult from you, stranger." Legolas practically growled at him.
To my immense surprise, the elf laughed a wild, throaty laugh. I poked my head out from behind Legolas to glimpse what he was up to. "You are one of Thranduil's brood, are you not?" Legolas made no response, but I saw him slowly reaching for his knife. This was turning from bad to worse. "It would have been bad enough had you been fully Telerin."
He shrugged, as if Legolas was no more concern to him and then looked to me. "Namarie, Nerdanel." And without anything further, he ran back into the trees from whence he came.
If I had my full wits about me, even then I would have had a tough time soothing Legolas, who looked ready to kill just about anything in the absence of the strange elf who had come upon us so suddenly and departed just as unexpectedly. As it was, my full wits were nowhere around.
"Did you hear what he called me?" I practically shouted at the Mirkwood elf.
"I shall avenge us both." With a determined set to his jaw he made to follow the other elf into the woods.
"No, Legolas!" I cried. "I don't need to be avenged." When he looked at me, his features were a perfect calm, but in his eyes I could see anger boiling just beneath the surface. Well, at least he stopped walking. "He called me 'wife' and then he called me 'Nerdanel'."
"Calling you his wife is insult enough for me to avenge."
"No, I don't think you get it. Don't you know whose wife Nerdanel was?"
In a fluid motion Legolas's knife was in his hand and he cocked an eyebrow at me. "It is of no particular importance to me at the moment."
"It should be of importance to you." I yelled. Legolas pressed his lips into a thin line and with one final dismissive wave turned and began to walk towards the forest. I had no choice. I blurted it out.
"Nerdanel was Fëanor's wife."
Legolas stopped walking and I saw his back stiffen. Slowly he turned to face me. In his eyes I saw confusion mix with the anger that was already there.
"We must seek Lord Elrond's council."
I followed Legolas up to one of the main buildings, through a few halls until we stopped in front of a large wooden door. Finding it strange that this door was closed when all the rest were wide open, I turned to look at Legolas.
"Lord Elrond's private study." he explained. "The door is shut. Lord Elrond must be inside." He turned to walk away. Panicked that he was leaving me, and that he was going in search of the elf who thought he was Fëanor, I reached out and grabbed the back of his tunic.
"Wait!" He gave me an incredulous look. I suppose not many people have the nerve to pull on the clothing of Mirkwood's prince. "You're leaving me here? Alone? After who we just saw?"
He gave me a grave look. "I need not involve my realm in the concerns of Imladris." A corner of his perfect mouth curled into a smile, probably meant to comfort me. "I will be nearby should you need me." With that he left and I turned my attention back to the door.
I stood in place, trying to work up the courage to knock. Before I found my nerve, the door opened and I was almost run down by a very agitated looking Elrond. He caught himself before he slammed into me.
"Arandil, I was just coming to seek you out." He stepped aside and motioned for me to enter the room. I looked around. It was a small study, compared to the other rooms I had seen, with a large curtain covering what I assumed to be a window on the one wall. The other three walls were lined with books, and in the center of the room were a table and several chairs. I did not have a chance to admire the two scrumptious identical elves sitting on the window side of the table because sitting on the other side, looking quite harassed, was Justin.
All thoughts of why I had sought out Lord Elrond temporarily vanished. "Justin! What's going on?" The question was half directed at him and half at the elves in the room.
"I see you've been untruthful to her about your identity as well." I looked at the elf who spoke with narrowed eyes. At this point in time, it did not matter to me that he had the most perfectly sculpted face I had seen since I had looked at his father; or his twin for that matter. All that mattered was that he was harassing my husband. That was my job, and I didn't take well to others stepping into my territory.
"I suggest you support your accusations, elf, or I will have no choice but to…" to what? What could I possibly threaten an elf with? I will bat my eyes at you and due to my self-insertedness, cause you to lose all reason and fall madly in love with me?
Apparently, whichever twin it was I had addressed realized it was an empty threat as well. He stood up and took a step towards me. "Or you will do what, exactly, Engwar?"
"Did you just call me Tengwar?" I asked loudly, putting my hands on my hips.
Elrond move so he was standing between the two of us. "Peace, Elladan. That was not necessary." Elladan bristled, but sat back down, frowning. Elrond turned to me and looked like he was going to continue speaking but I, at that moment, chose to ignore him. Instead I continued to address his rather rude son.
"What is that?" I demanded. "Some kind of Elvish insult to call someone 'letter'." I faced Justin. "Hey, you, you're such a letter!" I said, mocking Elladan.
The half-elf slammed his hands on the table and moved to stand up again when Elrond held his hand out towards his son. "Elladan, Elrohir, why don't you go find our esteemed guest from Mirkwood. Make sure Thranduilion isn't eavesdropping again."
Elladan continued to glare at me, but the other one, Elrohir, stood up and excitedly addressed his father. "If he is, can we hide his bow in the Dwarves' room?"
Suddenly the door flew open and an angry Legolas stormed in. "You will do no such thing!"
With Elladan still glaring at me, Elrohir smiled at his father. "Mission accomplished." His grin widened. "Now we can remain here."
Elrond, looking extraordinarily tired, turned to his other son. "Elladan, please come with me." He turned then to Legolas, "I trust you can find your way back to your chambers, Legolas." The way he said it was a statement and Legolas, after a final glare at Elrohir, exited the room. Elrond followed, his agitated son in tow. As he was stepping through the doorway, he turned to Elrohir. "Please stand outside the door and make sure these two are not disturbed while I am gone."
Elrohir furrowed his brow, looked at me and shrugged. He got up, walked toward the door and with one last glare at Justin, closed the door behind him. After taking a few deep breaths to get my bearings and sooth my nerves, I looked at Justin.
"What is going on?"
He smiled nervously, in that way he did when he knew he was at fault, and in trouble. What could he have possibly done?
"I decided to play along."
I didn't understand. "Play along?"
He took my hands. "If this is important to you, I'll play along. So, since you gave what I can only assume is an elf name as your own, I decided to use an elf name too."
I bit back a laugh. What kind of insulting name could he have come up with? He didn't know any Elvish; this should be interesting.
"So what happened?"
"I ran into an elf, who turned out to be one of Elrond's sons. They asked my name. I could only think of two elf names. One was Legolas, and he's here so I couldn't use that one."
I felt the pit of my stomach clench. The only way Justin would know any elf's name was from the movies, or because I went on about them. Who did I go on about? Legolas… Thranduil…
"Uh oh what?" Now Justin looked really worried.
I bit my lip. "Please say you told them your name was Thranduil." From the look of non-recognition on Justin's face I knew the answer before he gave it.
"I told them my name was Fëanor."
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.