Elrond went alone. He was angry. It had been long since the elf-lord felt such frustration. His youngest son had rejected his birthright, avoided him for two days, then audaciously strode into his hall looking, by the Valar, like Elendil himself and boldly sang the Lay of Luthien to Arwen Evenstar. Audacious pup!
Elrond needed to get away from the light and song to think. He saddled his own horse, making sure there was a pair of elven knives slid into place at the pommel. He swung up and bid his horse to move silently. The Lord of Rivendell rode out alone rarely but tonight he urged his horse up the ridge pathway to his favorite spot amid the tumbled ruins of Rhudaur. He dismounted at a spot where once the world was fuller, in past times lost when there was commerce between men and elves. There were signs here of a recent campfire. He kindled another and sat against the stone. He had left his guests to think and think he must.
During his last visit to Lothlorien, he had looked into Galadriel's basin and saw the path that will be and the path that could be. In such treacherous times, it was difficult to see clearly which was which. He had seen Aragorn crowned king and he had seen Aragorn in chains before Sauron.
"Galadriel, I have given our young king the tools to be the most powerful of men." He believed the choices they had made with the youngster had set him on the right path. He heard her voice whisper back on the night wind.
"There is the possibility that like Isildur he will be lured by power. If we have guessed wrong, we have created the most powerful of Sauron's minions, far greater than the Morgul Lord." Her voice carried doom.
"You don't know Estel!" Elrond defended his foster son. "He would choose death before such treachery."
"Then why do you fear your other visions?" the voice taunted back.
"You sent her home, didn't you? To be here at this time?" In the fountain, Elrond had seen Arwen taking the swan carved ship into the West, into the setting sun, at his side. He had also seen Arwen as a mortal queen sitting next to Aragorn, the King Elessar, in Gondor. Long ago, at her birth, Galadriel had predicted their paths would cross and when they met, the future would be decided.
"Does this mere man reach too high? The heir of your good friend Elendil reach too high? The descendent of your own house, of your brother Elros, is not worthy?" Galadriel asked. "The boy you love as equal to one of your blood sons is not worthy?" He heard her mocking laugh. "One who now feels betrayed by you?"
Elrond, in horror, realized now how in his passion he had said too much to young Estel. He'd laid out the whole of it, ---a heavy mantel for that fine spring day when a boy became a man. Elrond had nurtured Estel's sensitive nature, seeking to make him a more compassionate king than many leaders of men had been. Laying the entire burden out could have driven him from his destiny.
This burden was heavy for one so young. Elrond understood such burdens. He was ever conscious of the weight of a ring on a chain round his neck---Vilya, ring of air, mightiest of the elf rings, its stone the deepest blue. Elrond touched it now.
"There is still time." He heard the wind whisper.
Nay, they were out of time. The waiting that had lasted for time out of mind was at an end. They had planned for thousands of years, and it had all come down to this: he must sacrifice his own for the salvation of Middle Earth. It suddenly came to him he was as unwilling to accept his role as his son had been. Elrond's guilt tasted like copper in his mouth.
"My lord." Estel stepped out of the darkness. 'Perhaps we have trained this one to be too much elf if he can so secretly approach me,' Elrond thought. "May I sit with you?"
"I rode out to view the stars alone." He answered Estel coldly, rising.
"Ada, I beg pardon but we must speak." The note of pleading in his voice and the Elvish diminutive startled Elrond more than Estel's sudden appearance.
"But, I welcome your company, Estel," he relented. The boy came to stand near Elrond and the elf-lord felt the heat of his body and felt his fear that the only father he had ever known would reject him.
"I came to speak of dragons and trolls, and my vow to uphold what is right and good. I will obey you. I will do what you have guided and protected me to do," Estel said resolutely. "I do not desire such fame or power, but I will do this thing because I must." The light of Elbereth reflected in his eyes.
"We all must follow our destiny." Elrond's words sounded hollow even to his own ears.
"This thing has come between us and I never meant it to, Ada. To divide you and me is the Evilness itself at work." Estel stood before him, head bowed. "I accept this because I love my father. I do this to fulfill my vow to you to protect our lands from all dragons and trolls…for which Sauron qualifies," Estel looked up at him through his shock of dark hair and grinned. "If being king will do this, then glad I am to be king." Elrond reached out to his son but Estel stepped away. He looked at Elrond shyly.
"I am not done. I apologize to you for the indiscretion of my song tonight. Though, Father, I find I love Arwen," he said softly. Elrond wondered if he would have been as honest at Estel's age.
"That is discussion for a later time," Elrond said. He smiled at his son. "Knowing my daughter as I do, I don't know that either of us will have much to say in the matter if she returns your affection."
Elrond finally embraced the boy, the man, his son. And Aragorn, nearly the height of the elf-lord, laid his head on the strong shoulder, as he was wont to do when just a child and some suffered injustice had laid him low."True heart," Mithrandir had said to Elrond one summer evening while secretly watching the boy at play in the moonlit courtyard. "That one, never doubt, my old friend, is the one we have sought."
********** Elvish Translations (All in this story are Sinadrin) Ada: father; dad. Periannath: hobbits Edain: men Edhel: Elves le hannon: thank you buion na 'ell: I serve with joy (You're welcome) maethor edhellen: Elvish warrior Thanks, everyone at COE Sindarin forum!
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.