An Eye For An Eye
Rating: Uhm, I dunno, what about PG-13 for future chapters? It's my first fic, so if anybody thinks this should have a different rating, please let me know.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in Middle Earth, every recognizable character, setting, place and so on belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien, except for the rest, which is to blame on my unstable state of mind. I do not have permission to use any of the above, but I do so anyway. Evil, hm? Oh, and yes, this little story was written just for fun, and I _certainly_ will receive no money for it.
Summary: When someone from the past resurfaces and threatens Rivendell and its inhabitants, can Elrond with the help of Legolas protect his sons and especially Aragorn from falling victim to his plans? Or will they all get caught in the crossfire of revenge and retribution?
Additional disclaimers: I have decided to follow Cassia and Sio's lead and pretend that Gilraen was killed with Arathorn, not because I don't like her, no, but because this is my first fic ever and I didn't want it to be more complicated than it is already anyway. And before I can write a complicated female character, I will have to write a lot more fics . A lot!!Some people have told me that this is an AU, and I think they are correct, in a way. I totally ignore the fact that Aragorn's supposed to have met Arwen just after he had been told of his heritage, and I am aware of the fact that I am not Tolkien, and therefore do not even begin to sound like him. I could never write as well as he does, so well, you'll have to bear with me.
Please also note that I have chosen to use "mellonamin" and not " mellon-nin" or "nin mellon", it's just because the dictionary I use does it this way and I wanted to stick with one version. So, if this bothers you, just read " nin mellon" every time "mellonamin" is used, okay?
This is the first story I have ever written, so please don't be too hard on me! English is not even my first language!! If there are some really bad mistakes (and I don't doubt that!), please send me an email and tell me! I will be most happy to correct them!
And, last but not least, I would like to dedicate this story to Lina Skye and Halo Son.
That I should write a story was their idea in the first place, and they have given me lots of support and – in Halo's case – the power to zap my characters so they can't escape in between chapters. Thank you Thank you Thank you!! *hugs both of them*
When Elrond Peredhil, Lord of Imladris, entered the Hall of Fire on a sunny autumn morning, he didn't really expect to see one of his children up this early.
Much to his surprise, his two younger sons were already sitting at one of the tables, talking quietly to each other and looking – for Elrond's liking – far too peaceful and innocent.
'Yes', Elrond mused while studying them closely, 'especially Estel is looking positively angelic today. I wonder what…' His thoughts were interrupted when the boy in question lifted his head and, silver eyes sparkling with mischief, called out a greeting.
"Good morning, ada, did you sleep well?"
Elrohir greeted his father as well, but couldn't quite hide the grin that was forming at the corners of his lips. Elrond suppressed a shudder. This was not a good sign.
"Good morning, my sons, what are you doing here this early in the morning?"
Elrond decided that, whatever the two of them had been planning, he was probably safer a good deal away from them, so he seated himself in a stuffy armchair some distance away from where the boys were sitting on one of the long benches that lined the carved wooden tables.
Looking from one innocent face to the other, he asked himself – not for the first time – why the Valar had decided that the twins weren't enough trouble on their own. Rubbing his forehead, he mentally sighed and wondered why he had accepted Glorfindel's bet.
He should have known that Estel's indifference to Elladan's teasing about what had happened during their hunt last evening was but one stage of one of his human son's elaborate plans to revenge himself on his elven brother. Later that evening, Glorfindel had suggested that Elrond keep a close eye on his youngest, while Elrond merely voiced his hope that Estel was finally achieving some degree of maturity. At which his golden haired advisor had unsuccessfully tried to stifle his laughter and bet Elrond that before two days were over, Estel would have managed to come up with a plan to get his own back on his elder brother.
'And,' Elrond mused, contemplating the foolishness of his actions, 'I had to accept, of course. Sweet Eru, what have they done this time?'
Raising his eyes to meet his son's, he decided to at least try to give them a chance to explain themselves.
"Very well, you two, what have you done to him?"
"Done to whom, father?" replied Estel, a look of pure innocence on his face that made Elrond's blood run cold.
"You know of whom I speak, my son!! I am talking about your…"
Elrond never had a chance to finish the sentence, for at that moment a shout rang out that shook the Last Homely House to its very foundations. Closing his eyes and trying to get rid of the ringing that still sounded in his ears, he noted with surprise that he had never known an Elf's voice could reach these volumes.
Then again, perhaps he had been mistaken. On second though, it sounded more like a horde of attacking orcs than anything else.
Very big, very angry orcs.
Estel seemed to have noticed that as well, his dark eyes nervously darting to the exits, and his grin suddenly seemed to have frozen in place.
Before anyone got the chance to utter a single word, Elladan rushed down the stone stairs, skidding to a halt at the bottom of the staircase.
Elrond sighed and decided that he could as well face the inevitable, and opened his eyes so he could see his eldest son, desperately wishing to be somewhere else.
Elladan stood at the bottom of the stairs, clad only in a pair of breeches, which, at any other time, would have seemed a highly inappropriate attire for a son of Elrond, even in his own house. But before Elrond could find his voice to demand an explanation, his eyes trailed up to Elladan's face, which was tinged an interesting shade of red up to the tips of his elegantly pointed ears.
"See, little brother," gasped Elrohir while his body shook with silent laughter, "I told you this wasn't a good idea."
"Don't try to shift the blame on me, brother, it was you who got me the sleeping potion," Aragorn answered, his eyes never leaving his brother as Elladan slowly came closer.
"Explain. This." he hissed in a tone of voice that would've made a nazgûl stop dead in its tracks.
"Explain what, dear brother?" Aragorn queried in what he hoped was an innocent voice.
"My hair. It is …" Elladan replied in a deceivingly patient voice, slowly rounding the table that separated him from his siblings.
"Yes?" Estel prompted, the grin returning to his face while Elrohir was howling with laughter.
"GREEN! That's what it is!" yelled the older twin, losing the last shreds of his calm composure.
Yes, Elrond silently agreed, that it certainly was. He didn't really know what Estel had used to dye Elladan's once raven black hair this exquisite bright green colour, and, on second thought, he wasn't sure he wanted to either. But 'green' was as good a term as any.
"Don't worry, Elladan," Aragorn said, grinning broadly while slowly sliding backwards on the bench, trying to get as far away from his irate elven brother as possible. "'Tis nothing but a little calenril. It will wash out."
"Right. In a few weeks nobody will know there was anything wrong with your hair at all," Elrohir ground out between his teeth, gasping for air.
"Weeks??" Elladan bellowed, and quickly closed the distance that still lay between him and his human brother, who, not to be cornered by someone, brother or not, who was so clearly after his blood, quickly jumped behind one of the intricately carved pillars, trying to keep his brother at bay.
"That's it, little brother, you are going to pay. Wait till I'm finished with you and your hair!"
"You practically asked for it, brother. I asked you not to talk about that little incident, but you wouldn't listen…" Aragorn replied, unconsciously touching his own black hair, but stopped in mid-sentence, nimbly avoiding Elladan, who had used the opportunity to lunge at his brother.
Quickly jumping to the right out of his brother's reach, he tried to get closer to the door, using another pillar as a shield.
"No one is here to help you now, you little brat!" Elrond's oldest son stated menacingly, clearly forgetting about their father, who was still sitting in his armchair trying very hard to restrain his own laughter.
Aragorn tried to reach the next pillar to his right, but Elladan quickly stepped forward, barring his way.
Backing away from his now quickly advancing brother, Estel desperately looked around him for help.
"Elrohir, do something! You cannot let him kill me!"
Elrohir raised his hands which had grabbed the desk in an attempt to keep himself from sliding off the bench and onto the floor, shaking with laughter.
"D-Don't draw me into this, little brother, it was all your idea!"
Taking a look at Aragorn's panicked expression as Elladan slowly closed the distance between them, Elrohir burst out laughing again.
"Father! Help me!" Estel pleaded in desperation, not daring to take his eyes off Elladan's scowling face.
Elrond shook his head and didn't even try to hide his smile.
"No, my son, I don't think I will. When you pull a prank like this, you must be willing to face the consequences."
Not even waiting for his father to finish the sentence, Elladan threw himself forward, trying to grab Aragorn grey shirt sleeve.
Only his quick, elven-trained reflexes saved him, and, side-stepping his brother, he turned tail and raced out of the hall, a cursing Elladan on his heels.
Attempting to refrain from laughing and rubbing his forehead again, Elrond made a mental note to ask his son where exactly he had picked up these specific Quenya and Dwarven curses, and gestured at his younger elven son, who was still snickering helplessly.
"Don't act so innocently, Elrohir, I know you are as much to blame as Estel. Now would you please go and see to it that they don't kill each other, I really do not want to patch up one or both of them again."
Swallowing the laughter that still threatened to overtake him, Elrohir merely nodded and left the hall, smiling merrily and silently thanking the Valar that his twin brother wasn't after him this time.
Elrond sat back in his chair, enjoying the momentary peace and tranquillity, which was only now and then interrupted by shouts and laughter from the gardens.
Sensing a presence behind him, he turned and looked into the face of his closest advisor, who was obviously trying very hard not to let his mirth show.
"Don't." he warned Glorfindel as he stepped closer, light blue and silver robes softly rustling over the stone floor.
"Good morning to you too, my lord! May I inquire where your sons might be? I think I heard a shout earlier," the golden haired elf replied, his clear voice ringing with suppressed laughter.
"Not. A. Word." Elrond muttered, massaging his now aching head.
At the sound of his friend's laughter he suppressed a groan and buried his face in his hands.
"O Ilúvatar," he asked himself. "Why me?"
hours later, everything was returning back to normal, well, as normal as
it ever was in Rivendell when all three of Lord Elrond's sons were staying
under her roof.
Elrohir had found his brothers shortly before Elladan could drown Estel in one of the small pools that dotted the gardens, and had persuaded his brother, with some difficulty, not to kill the young human this way, for it would spoil the beautiful, clear water for the next few centuries.
Finally convinced, Elladan had let Aragorn go, but not before vowing to take revenge in the bloodiest, most gruesome way possible.
Breakfast however was an unusually strained affair with everyone desperately trying not to look at Elladan's hair too openly, which did not improve the once dark haired elf's mood in the slightest.
Now, with everyone in the hunting party ready to leave, Elrond allowed himself to breathe a slow sigh of relief.
'It could have been worse,' he told himself, 'At least they're still alive.'
An amused smile adorning his fair features, he stood on the balcony outside his library and watched his eldest scowl at a passing servant girl, who couldn't help but stare at him. Although Elladan had spent quite some time in his private quarters washing his hair time and again, it still was tinged a remarkable light green colour.
A voice behind him interrupted his train of thought.
"It didn't wash out, did it?"
Elrond tensed slightly and turned, fully prepared for another dose of Glorfindel's I'm-the-slayer-of-balrogs-I'm-always-right-smugness.
"No, it did not. And, if it truly was calenril that Estel used, I doubt it will for some time."
Elrond motioned his friend to come closer, gazing down into the courtyard, where everyone was waiting for Elrohir to make his appearance, Estel as far away from his older brother as possible.
Sighing again, he turned to look at the fair haired elf at his side.
"Well, actually, it is rather satisfactory to see that Estel has paid attention to at least some of my lessons. I didn't think he would remember the specific qualities of the plant when combined with salt water, I can't even remember having mentioned it at all."
He shot his now grinning friend a warning look.
"Don't. This is not funny. Pray tell, how is it that you never had any children and still best me when predicting what they're up to next?"
With some difficulty, Glorfindel regained control of his facial features and spread his hands in mock ignorance.
"Why, my lord, I have no idea! I only assume the worst and somehow it always comes true. You are far too trusting, mellonamin."
Elrond smiled and watches Elrohir finally arrive, mount his horse and nimbly avoid a smack that Elladan had aimed for his head for keeping them waiting.
"Besides, I believe they are merely bored. As soon as Prince Legolas arrives, they should calm down."
Elrond turned to his advisor incredulously, suddenly questioning his own wisdom when he had appointed such an obviously unstable person such a responsible role in his household.
"Calm down?" he asked, eying his friend for signs of illness, "Do I have to remind you of what happened last time the prince decided to honour this fair house with his presence?"
"No," he turned back to the courtyard, watching the twin's antics, "Every time young Thranduilion visits, the four of them leave a trail of destruction in their wake. Either he or Estel always end up dragging the other back here half-dead out of some deadly peril or other."
The hunting party turned and headed for the main gates, the three brothers bidding their father farewell in laughing voices.
"May the Valar watch over them, it is a miracle they are still alive considering the pranks they are constantly pulling. One of these days they will get into real trouble this way."
muttered darkly, much to his fair haired friend's amusement.
"Come, my friend, we have to talk about the things that need to be done on your way to Lothlórien," the Lord of Imladris said and turned back inside the Last Homely House, closely followed by his snickering advisor.
Little did he know that said trouble was already brewing in the east, stretching its dark tendrils in the direction of Rivendell and her inhabitants.
Nólad watched as the sun slowly climbed up on her path across the sky.
He loved this time of morning, when nature seemed to wake up from sleep and you believed you could hear Arda greet the new day with joy.
'Perhaps one could,' he mused, playing with an arrow he had repaired earlier that morning, when the sun had just risen over the horizon and you could still see the stars, blinking faintly.
'When all you've been hearing for such a long time are the sounds of the forest and the soft voices of your companions, perhaps you learn to listen to things a normal elf would not even notice.'
Noting the sound of waking men behind him, he frowned, disgust clearly written on his features.
'Everything is changing,' he thought, turning back to his home.
'It is yet to be seen if it's a turn for the better or for worse.'
Walking past the men, Nólad headed for the small wooden shed that served as a stable for their horses. Not surprisingly, he found his friend there, checking for one last time if he had packed everything he needed to complete his self-appointed mission.
"So you still intend to do this yourself," he stated, stepping closer to the horse and stroking its nose gently. The horse whinnied softly, clearly enjoying the elf's touch.
"Yes," answered the voice of his friend, with a note of finality that stopped all arguments right from the beginning. A tone of voice, Nólad thought, which had been very much present ever since a single question had been answered a year or so ago.
"Yes. He is finally going to pay, pay for all the deaths, the pain, and the countless years of exile he has forced upon us. Because of him we have been forced to live in the wilderness, our numbers ever decreasing, to the point where only you and I remain, my friend."
Nólad looked at his dark haired companion, who had mounted his horse while speaking and was now adjusting the packs behind him. He looked up and met the other elf's eye.
With a sudden shudder of fear he noted that, while the deadness in his friend's eyes had not diminished, and probably never would, their dark orbs were now filled with something else: Anger, determination, and a hate so black and consuming that it made his skin crawl. He hadn't seen that look in his friend's eyes for a long time, a very long time, not since that dreadful day nearly 3000 years ago. And he had hoped never to see it again.
Drawn against his will to keep looking at the fire in his companion's gaze, he realized with a start that nothing he could say would dissuade his friend and lord now; it was far to late for that.
Mutely he nodded, not able to tear his eyes away from the other elf's face.
His friend smiled down at him, and, for a moment, it seemed that the fiery hate had abated somewhat, but when one looked closer, it was still there: The swirling emotions kept burning in the background, biding their time, like an animal waiting for the right moment to pounce.
"Soon, mellonamin. The time of our vengeance draws near, and we will avenge those we lost to an undeserved fate. We will teach them that some things can never be forgotten."
Breaking the eye contact, he took up the reigns and studied the sun's position in the sky.
"It is time for me to leave. We will rendezvous at Amon Siril ten days from now. Bring all of the edain ," at this word his forehead wrinkled in distaste, "with you. We will need them."
Nólad stepped back, giving the dark haired elf room to manoeuvre.
"We will be there, my lord. Namárië and
may the Valar watch over your path."
His friend laughed, a cold, humourless sound that didn't reach his eyes.
"I seriously doubt that, my friend. I do not think they would agree with our plans."
He spurred his horse on, leaving the fair haired elf and the men behind, making for the High Pass that would take him to the borders of the Elf-haven known among men as Rivendell.
Nólad didn't move for a while, the image of the hate in his friend's eyes still fresh in his mind. Finally shaking himself, he turned from the stables and went back to the little glade where the men were camping, his passing through the small wood not making a sound.
At the edge of the wood he stopped, watching the sun rise at last over the Misty Mountains .
"Everything is changing, indeed. And I do not think for the better," he murmured softly, walking down to the men to inform them of his lord's orders.
Mellonamin – my friend
Ada – father (daddy)
Edain – men, humans
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