24. Conversations and Conclusions
Elrond continued to glare at Eleiann until Elros patted his adar on the cheek. “Ada, please do not be angry with her too, I am sorry I was a bad ellon. If you decide I must go to Valinor, you will have someone to take my place and love after I am gone. Both naneth and Elwing will need someone too.”
With a start, Elrond turned his attention to his smallest ion. Seeing his tear ravaged face he groaned and hugged him tight. “Ion nin, you will not be sent to Valinor ahead of the rest of your family. You cannot be replaced. I was very upset with you because you have once again done something without thinking and this time someone was injured. I know you do not mean to do these things but we must find a way to deal with your impulsiveness so that someone else does not get hurt.”
“I am really sorry, ada.”
“I know you are ion nin, but now I want you to go with Ildris, while I talk with Eleiann. If I promise not to be angry with her will you go with Ildris and wait for me in your chamber?”
Elros nodded and kissed his adar on the cheek. Elrond set his ion down and watched as he walked over to Eleiann. He looked up at her hopefully, “I like you, and I hope you will be my gwathel. Please say you will.”
Eleiann knelt down and hugged him. “Lord Elrond and I will discuss it penneth, but I will not make promises I cannot keep.”
Elros was silent for a moment then nodded his understanding and joined Ildris on the stairs. Before she took his hand she addressed both the elf lord and Eli with sadness, “I regret my actions have caused you much discomfort. I hope you will forgive my thoughtlessness. I truly did not intend any harm.”
Elrond smiled wryly. “All of us have been thoughtless at one time or another Ildris, and it would appear that this was intended to happen, perhaps just not in this manner.”
Eleiann nodded in agreement. “Do not be concerned, Ildris, we will talk about it later.” With that Ildris bowed and taking Elros in tow disappeared into the house.
In the long silence that followed the elf lord turned back towards Eleiann and studied her. Eli stood there stiffly and studied her feet intently. “Well, Mistress Eleiann, what have you to say for yourself in this matter?” He finally spoke quietly.
She raised her head and looked him unflinchingly but white faced and determinedly. “I make no claim on your house hiren. Everything I said before remains unchanged. When I find answers to my questions I will be able to make some decisions as to my future and plan accordingly then depart. You need have no concern that I would expect anything from you or your family.”
“You expect me to simply ignore what has been said here today?” His voice was dangerously neutral.
“Yes, I believe it would be best for everyone hiren.”
“Well, I do not, so let us return to the discussion. Who is your mother and under what circumstance am I supposed to have sired you?”
Eli sighed and her shoulders slumped. “Very well, hiren.” She slowly walked over to a nearby bench and sat down heavily and indicated the bench beside her. “Please hiren, will you not sit here? You can be most intimidating standing over me.” Elrond smiled slightly and nodded as he adjusted his cloak and settled next to her. Silanor woofed softly then curled up at their feet. Elrond reached down and rubbed the canine’s ears as he waited quietly for her to begin.
“Several years ago, hiren, during a hunting trip you were lost in a snow storm for over a week...” Elrond stiffened and turned to face her. “One night you took shelter in a cave in the high meadows campsite where we first met your ions and the next day when you sought to find your way back to your party you found you had been transported to a strange place called Earth. The snow continued to be threatening and you sought shelter in a cabin where your hostess was a human female whose name was…”
“Amanda.” He interjected reflectively, his face sad.
Eli nodded, “During the time you were there you had a relationship with her and then found you were able to return the same way you had arrived, except you returned with two new items, a pair of half wolf cubs, the progeny of her pet golden retriever named after Glorfindel and a wild wolf, and a piece of her family history, half of a silver memory charm. You left behind two things, a knife in the cave where you sheltered, and me.”
“You can prove this?” He looked pensive but he knew she was telling the truth.
“Yes, hiren. I have both the knife and the other half of the memory charm.”
He nodded. “I believe you.” He fell silent as he considered what she had said. “This is all so very strange yet there is clearly a purpose for this. Amanda and I wondered at the time what it all meant.”
“I know, I only wish I understood what it meant as well.”
Elrond rose and began pacing back and forth finally stopping to ask.
“How did you know you could cross and why did you choose to do so?”
“I can not answer those questions truthfully hiren, because it just sort of happened. I did not know the full story of my conception until just a couple of years ago although I certainly understood I was different. My elven traits started to become more prominent then, and my mother became concerned what would lay ahead for me if I had inherited elven immortality. I know your children will be given the choice sometime in the future but we simply did not know what would happen with me.”
“I understand the concerns, I have had more then a few myself.”
“My uncle Ted…Theodore… was a scholar on Tolkien in our world and was speculating one day on how much better it would be if I were able to come to Middle Earth. No matter which way it turned out I would have a culture to turn to and live out my life. Then the wolves showed up and we knew that it was supposed to happen. Things just sort of grew out of that and we began preparations for him and me to come. Owen joined in later.”
“Why did he decide to come with you?’ Elrond was puzzled. “And why did you not come directly to Imladris?””
Eli grinned, “I could not keep him away. He insisted that I needed him for protection and I knew he was just aching to see the elves and study the elder. He was positively salivating at the thought of your library. The family felt better having someone younger come with us, so Owen volunteered. He wants to be a Ranger.”
She grew serious before continuing, “As to why we did not come here immediately, we were not sure where in the time line Middle Earth was at first, and then I learned you had remarried and had a family. I could not add more pain by showing up on your doorstep when it seemed that you had finally found a measure of happiness to help you through the difficult times that lay ahead. It seemed best to simply find my answers then seek a place where I can be a healer like both you and my mother.”
“You and your uncle know about our future and that of Middle Earth?” His eyes narrowed in speculation. “Of course, he was a student of this Tolkien you mentioned.”
“We thought we did, hiren, but many things are different than that as written by Master Tolkien.” She noted the gleam in his eyes. “You will learn nothing on that subject from us willingly, hiren. Your future judgment and actions must remain uninfluenced by anything we might say. The destiny of Middle earth demands it.”
“Your mother was as stubborn.” He shook his head in disappointment before returning to the discussion. “Have you studied with your mother?”
“Only briefly, I am certainly not a surgeon like she is, but I have picked up enough knowledge in first aid, herbal and medicinal plants to be able to serve as a village’s healer. I had hoped to be able to study here but that appeared to be a slim chance.”
“I think that can be arranged if you still wish it.” He fell silent for a long time and reached out to his hervess.
*Meleth, a situation has arisen and I need to let you know of it…*
Eli watched her sire for some time growing more worried as the moments passed. Finally he smiled and turned to Eleiann.
“Amarie is most unhappy that you would feel so alienated that you would fear to declare yourself to us. She knew of my sojourn to your world and of my relationship, brief though it was, with your mother. Even now she is returning to Imladris and insists that you stay.”
“Hiren,” She started to protest.
He interrupted her imperiously, cutting off any argument. “Eleiann, you are my sell. Do you think I would let you walk away? What your future will be may still be unknown but you will face it as my acknowledged hen.”
“Hiren, your hin may not be so willing to accept me.”
He smiled, “There will be no reluctance, sell nin, Elros has already done so.”
“He is but a penneth hiren. He has still much to learn. Even you have said he is impulsive.”
“Not in matters of family. Amarie will be here in time for dinner. We will eat in our private rooms and I expect you to join us. Introductions had best be in private and we must come to agreement on how much of the truth we will confess to for the others.”
“Hiren, your hervess, can not be expected to accept a….”
“A what, Eleiann?”
“My people would consider me a half breed bastard.”
He flinched at the harsh words. “You are my sell, as such you are part of my family and due the respect they enjoy. There will be no problems, it is not our way.”
Eleiann lowered her head to hide her tears at his words. Elrond pulled her to her feet and lifted her chin. “Eleiann, did you truly fear me so much? Did Amanda give you any reason to believe I would reject you?”
“No hiren, she did not. I only became concerned when we heard about your new family. Master Gandalf tried to reassure us, but we all worried you would find our arrival troublesome. We knew you had a lot to deal with and we had no desire to add to your troubles.”
He paused. “It was you in the village that I sensed, was not it?
She nodded and tried to evade his look.
“You have developed very strong mental shields, Eleiann. It is highly unusual for one so young and inexperienced to do so.”
“Master Gandalf seemed to think so, hiren. He said much the same.”
Elrond shook his head and commented dryly, “I should have known something was up when he sent that message about escorting you to the village…” He paused as a new thought struck him. “Ionnath nin said there was something more about you that seemed somewhat familiar.” He grinned, “They are certainly going to be surprised.” Eli smiled weakly.
Elrond studied her. “I will send Ildris to you to help you dress for dinner. Have you something besides these to wear?” He gestured towards her leggings and tunic.
“Ildris loaned me a dress of her gwathel’s if this is not appropriate.” Eli said hesitantly.
“It is not inappropriate, but I would be delighted to see Eleiann, the sell of Elrond the peredhel. Would you humor me in this matter?”
Eli bowed, “As you wish hiren.”
“Eleiann, there is just one more thing,..” She look up questioningly, “Can you not call me ada as do my other children?”
With trembling lips she nodded and said very softly, “Hannon le…ada.”
Ion nin-my son
Sell nin-my daughter
ionnath nin-my sons
hannon le- thankyou