17. Far from the Home I love
"Is there anything you need, my lady?"
Gilraen shook her head wearily.
As soon as the Elf closed the door behind him, Gilraen sat down heavily on the bed. Everything in this room was strange; the large windows and elaborate furniture;the soft rugs beneath her feet even the delicate colours everywhere, reflecting the hues of the natural world.
They had everything here, but could give her nothing that her heart truly desired.
She wanted her husband, now buried in an unmarked grave, so Orcs might not despoil his body, she wanted her mother and the rest of her kin, she wanted her friends, and her familiar home, and her neighbours. Even the solace of the company of her own kind was now denied to her. Of the inhabitants of Imladris, she knew only the sons of Elrond and they had been Arathorn's friends, not hers.
Her home had been modest compared with these splendours, but it had been her own. Here she was welcomed as an honoured guest, but knew that in truth she and her son were now refugees, dependant upon Master Elrond's charity.
Her child awoke in his crib and started to cry. She arose and picked up Aragorn, or "Estel" as she must now learn to call him,and cradled him tenderly in her arms.
"Want to go home!" the little boy fretted.
Gilraen blinked back tears.
"This is our home now, dearest one."
"You will soon grow accustomed to it here, dearest. Master Elrond will see that you have everything you want."
"Ada has had to go away, far beyond the stars, where he is watching over us."
"Want him here!"
"So do I,child, but he cannot come to us."
Aragorn burst into tears. Unable to contain her feelings any longer, Gilraen did likewise. Clutching her child to her, they both wept, though the little boy was too young to comprehend the scale of his loss. When his tears were finally spent he slept. Gilraen studied this face, each perfect feature so like Arathorn's.
This child was his precious gift to her and no price was too high to pay if it kept him safe. His youth was a blessing for soon he would forget that he had known any home save this. Gilraen, though, feared she would forever feel a refugee here.