44. It Is Time!
Turin/Iorlas paused on the steps leading down into the private garden of his host, Lord Elrond. He grinned as the youngest members of Elrond’s family danced around their sister before tearing off in what was obvious a game of hide and seek. Eleiann turned and with an elaborate show of hiding her eyes started counting out as she waited for the twins to find a safe hiding place.
“Min…Tad…Nel…Canad…Leben…Eneg…Odog…Toloth…Neder…Caer. Here I come, ready or not!”
As she swung about, she caught sight of Turin and stopped short. Struggling to contain his amusement he signalled to her to just ignore him and continue with the game. Nodding she grinned back and started to search for her brother and sister.
“Hmmmm…now where can they have got to?” She exclaimed loudly.
Moving down the path towards the far side of the garden she pointed at a nearby bush and looked back at Turin with a lifted questioning eyebrow. Smiling he shook his head and indicated a big rock just beyond. Grinning, she bit her lip and with an exaggerated show of not looking at the rock began to poke and push at the low bushes opposite. After a short time she sighed noisily.
“Well, where ever they are they are really and truly hidden. I guess I will just have to give up and admit I cannot find them.” There were several giggles and a rustle from a nearby tree.
“Oh hello Turin, you have not seen Elros and Elwing have you?”
“No, hiril nin. I have not. Are they lost?” He grinned at her again and descended down to join her. “Perhaps I can help search for them?”
She paused as if giving that serious thought. “It is certainly possible. Perhaps I had best go find ada and ask his help. We may need the warriors as well to search all of Imladris to make sure they are alright.”
The giggles grew louder.
“That might be wise hiril nin. They may have been kidnapped or gotten injured.”
“Oh no, you do not really think so?” Eli said in an exaggerated worried tone and looked about wildly after winking at the other elf.
“Orlas, we not lost, just hiding,” chirped Elros’s voice from the tree. His face appeared from behind a bushy limb and he fell into the arms of Turin.
Shaking his head, Turin gently lowered the elfling to the ground and smiled at the giggling hen. “I almost did not catch you. You should be more careful. You could have hurt yourself.”
Eli frowned and made to continue the search for the other hen. “Well you did a magnificent job of hiding penneth! I would never have found you! Now we must find Elwing. I must soon report to the Healing Hall and you must join your naneth for the noon meal.”
“Orlas is here, he can play with us!” Elwing emerged from behind the rock and joined her brother.
“Sorry, penneth, I have other plans for this afternoon.” Turin shook his head, his voice suddenly very serious.
Eli finally noticed the sword he wore. It was a beautifully crafted weapon with a large green stone mounted in the hilt. A frisson of fear teased along her spine and she looked at him wide eyed silently asking the question. ‘Was today the day?’
He caught the look and nodded slightly before continuing. “I will be leaving for my new home very soon, but I will find some time before that and we can have a picnic. Will that be satisfactory?”
The hin exchanged gleeful glances and nodded their heads. Dancing with excitement, they failed to see their naneth approaching until she spoke firmly to them.
“It is time for you to come in and get cleaned up for your lunch and after that your naps. Eleiann and Lord Turin have adult things to do today and do not have time to play games with you.” She looked pointedly at Turin.
He bowed his head in acknowledgement before turning his face back to a white faced Eleiann who now stood there with tightly clasped hands. Their eyes locked together almost desperately.
Amarie smiled sadly. These two had much to yet overcome. Today could be pivotal in both their futures if they only had the courage to talk to each other. Taking the small hands of the twins in hers Amarie guided them up the path into the house and out of sight.
Turin reached out and took one of Eli’s hands in his. “There is much I would say now, hiril, before I face Carenthir, but I have not yet earned the right to do so fully.” He paused and studied her face for some sign of encouragement. At her silent nod he took a deep breath and gently pulled her unresisting into his arms. “You cannot have missed my interest in you since that first day, but I had nothing then to offer to a daughter of this house. Since the Valar have revealed the truth of my parentage and offered me the opportunity to avenge my parents, I can rebuild the House of Hador and offer a proper place to an elleth. If I am successful this afternoon, then I will have to undertake the responsibilities as the Lord Hador for my people. When that is done and the holding is secure, may I return here and explore a closer friendship with you? By then I hope to have proven my worthiness to your ada and gain his approval for an eventual betrothal. If this does not please you then I beg you to say so now and we will speak no more about it.”
Eleiann swallowed hard and reached up to gently touched his face. “I never thought to wed once I was here Iorlas…My own past is somewhat complicated as is my future and there is a great deal I am not free to discuss. I have yet to make the choice whether to accept the world of men or that of the elves. Until recently I did not know if I would even be offered that choice.”
She paused and lowered her head and rested it briefly against his broad chest. Looking back up at him she continued more subdued. “Among my mother’s people I am termed a bastard and that is certainly something you should consider before making any decisions. As a descendent of the high king’s house and that of Lord Hador, you represent the best of the elvish race and there will be those who would not approve of such a union. Further there are parts of my past that can never be revealed except to you and a very few others if you should chose to go forward with it. Ada knows it all and has welcomed me as a member of his house, but it may not be enough to convince others of my worthiness as a future lady for Hador.”
“I also must complete my education as a healer here and there is also a yet unknown task set on me by the Valar that must be completed and may prevent our bonding. I have very grave knowledge that could affect the future of Middle Earth and it may come about that I can never leave the shelter of Imladris to prevent it falling into the hands of our enemies. If after considering this you still wish to pursue a betrothal with me and a qualified yes will suffice for the time being, then yes, such a possible future does please me and I would be happy for the opportunity to explore a possible relationship.”
He smiled ruefully. “It is indeed a complex situation, hiril nin. It is enough for now that you would find such a future pleasing.” He tucked a length of her hair behind her ear and gently touched the ear it exposed.
The sound of footsteps alerted them to approaching company and both turned to greet the solemn figures of Elrohir and Elladan. Elrohir nodded to Eleiann regretfully before turning his attention to Turin. “It is time, meldir nin. Glorfindel is escorting Carenthir to the Field of Honor and we should be there within a short time of his arrival.”
Turin nodded. “I am ready, give me but a few moments, meldis nin, I will join you outside in the courtyard shortly.”
The gwanur exchanged glances and smiled knowingly before nodding and returning the way they had come.
“It appears muindor, that our muinthel and Turin have finally addressed their mutual future.” ‘Roh laughed.
“I hope this afternoon goes well. They both deserve a good life.” ‘Dan glanced back and jabbed ‘Roh in the arm and gestured back at the couple. “Look, muindor.”
Eleiann and Turin were locked in a tight embrace and sharing a passionate kiss. Both gwanur smiled ruefully.
“Come, muindor, let them have a few moments in private. It may well be all they have!” ‘Dan looked regretful as he entered the lower hall leading to the courtyard.
Roh stopped and faced his muindor. “Do you have concerns about his ability to deal with Carenthir?”
‘Dan shook his head. “No, but Carenthir is devious and capable of something sneaky. He could do something that unsettles Turin and leaves him vulnerable to his attack.”
“Well, we will just have to see that he does not!” ‘Roh retorted.
They exchanged grim looks and gripped their swords firmly as they emerged into the sunlight of the early afternoon.
Turin released a slightly dazed Eleiann from his embrace and step back. “I must go now ind nin. I hope to return with this matter settled and Carenthir no longer a threat.”
Eleiann swayed slightly and closed her eyes momentarily. “Iorlas…I know you must do this but I wish it were not so.”
He nodded, “I know, but he must pay for what he did and I have the right and obligation to be the instrument of that justice. How could I ever lead my house if I failed to do so?”
She lowered her head. “You are right and I do understand…but I fear…”
“Do not, lirimaer. I cannot believe the Valar have brought us this far without preparing the outcome in our favor.”
“I…” She paused unwilling to speak of her distrust of the Valar at this moment when he needed to be focused on the trial ahead and substituted instead. “I pray you return swiftly and safely, hiren nin. I will wait here until it is over.”
He smiled and shook his head. Lifting her chin, he placed a kiss on her nose. “You are on duty in the Healing Hall. I would rather know you are occupied there. Who knows I may even have need of your skills later.”
“As you wish, Iorlas but I hope you are wrong.”
Once more he nodded and then squaring his shoulders he touched her cheek then turned to leave. “It is time.”
Eleiann watched him leave her face twisted with worry then with a deep sigh she turned towards the Healing Halls. Perhaps it would be best if she kept busy until it was over.
Hiril nin-my lady
Meldir nin-my friend
Meldis nin-my friends
Gwanur-brothers-a set of twins
Ind nin-my heart
Hiren nin-my lord