Rest

Altril Narmolanya

Disclaimer: This is just an expansion of Tolkien's work. None of it belongs to me.

The rain kept dripping off Gilrain's hood down into her eyes. Cold penetrated all the way through her body, but she could not feel anything. Gilrain was numb in body and mind. It was only a week ago that her husband, Arathorn, had gone out hunting Orc's with some the Dúnadian and two Elves she had never met before. Then two days ago, had it only been two days? Yes, two days ago the Elves had brought her beloved Arathorn home, shot through the eye. The only comfort for Gilrain was her two year old son, Aragorn. Gilrain glanced down at the precious bundle she held closely. Through all her sorrow she managed to smile, Aragorn was asleep and had his thumb in his mouth. Arathorn had been trying to break his son of this habit, but he just didn't have the heart to do it.

Once again the tears ran down Gilrain's' face, mingle with rain. A tear splashed off Aragorn's nose. His eyebrows furled, but he just snuggled closer to his mother's breast. Gilrain was glad that little Aragorn did not wake from his long overdue nap. Elladan, who is the oldest son of Elrond, had set the company at a pace where neither mother nor son had been able to get very much sleep. They were making for the hidden valley of Rivendell. Elrohir, the younger twin of Elladan, had offered the Elf-haven to protect Aragorn. Because Aragorn was the heir of Isildur all dark things would want him dead. Rivendell was the safest place for both Gilrain and Aragorn.

Finally they paused for a temporary halt in the journey. Gilrain struggled to dismount without disturbing her son. "Milady, hand me your son." It was one of the twins. Elladan and Elrohir looked so much alike that Gilrain was always at a loss to tell them apart. Reluctantly she handed her son over the Elf's waiting arms, and then stiffly climbed off of her horse. Expecting to have her son handed back to her Gilrain stared in amazement as the Elf began to walk towards the fire.

"Lady Gilrain," the other twin walked up, "take some rest. You are your son are well protected. I know Elrohir will let no harm befall Aragorn." Then he turned and left. There weren't many options for Gilrain to choose from. As she approached the fire, she stumbled in her weariness; one of the Dúnadian supported her. Someone had laid some cloaks together and made a dry pallet. Gilrain let the sleepy warmth spread over her as she drifted into a world of dreams.

Scenes flashed by in front of Gilrain, scenes from her life. She relived her wedding, then Aragorn's birth, and finally Arathorn's death. It was like watching a play, but being part of it all at the same time. Then she was in a place more beautiful than she could ever imagine. A small boy ran out crying, "Ada, Ada, Ada!" Flying through the air he was caught by an older Elf who smiled down at him. Next the boy was much older, around twenty or so, this time he was being told something by the same Elf. The Elf reached into his desk and pulled out an object, it was the ring of Barahir. Gilrain gasped, the young man must be Aragorn and the Elf Elrond. Aragorn was standing with a beautiful maiden in her next vision. She knew this be her son's future. Then everything went dark, bitter fear clenched at her heart. A black shape flew in front of her. "Frodo!" Someone came racing by with a brand of fire; he was rugged in a handsome way. It struck Gilrain how much looked like Arathorn.

"I give you Aragorn Elessar, the Elfstone, King of Gondor!" A man dressed all in white introduced the new King to the people. They let out a roar as he accepted the winged crown. They short little person her son had saved was standing with him. Then the scene skipped to the next chapter in Aragorn's life. The beautiful Elf Gilrain had seen her son standing with under the trees was holding a newborn babe. "Estel, come see your first-born son." Gingerly he touched the babies face. "Here, take him."

"No Arwen, I-I…" But she gave him the tiny bundle anyways. "He's so small," Aragorn held the fingers of his new son.

Crystal laughter broke the moment, "Of course he is meleth-nin. You need to decide on a name for him." She took the baby back and let him suckle at her breast.

"Eldarion. That is what my mother said we should name our son." Gently Aragorn bestowed kisses upon his wife and child. Then the baby began to wail at the top of his lungs.

Finally Gilrain awakened from her dream to the realization that her son was the one screaming. "Elrohir, I told you, the child does not like me. Take him to his mother."

            Elrohir sighed, his gwaihir was hopeless. He picked up Aragorn and immediately the babe stopped crying. Gilrain may not have been able to tell the difference between the twins, but Aragorn could. Gilrain smiled as Elrohir cuddled her tiny son, Aragorn seemed to have bonded with him. Elrohir handed the child back to Gilrain. "My brother says we will be starting for Imladris in a few hours. I suggest that you take son nourishment, Milady."

            Gilrain walked towards the fire, her son positioned on her hip. One of the Rangers gave their newly widowed queen a plate of food. It wasn't much more than a piece of sausage and some stale bread. Aragorn was awake and read to be fed. Thinking first of her son, Gilrain decide to do without. It was an automatic action for Gilrain to feed her son; she didn't even think about it. Lost in her own world she had accidentally stopped feeding Aragorn.

            Seeing that his mother was no longer paying attention to him, Aragorn took matters into his own hands. Aragorn was still hungry so he grabbed the sausage in his chubby fist. He shoved as much of the food in his mouth. Quickly looking around, Aragorn realized that no one was watching him. He had always been an adventurous child, so he started away from camp. Unbeknownst to Aragorn someone was following him. Spotting some pretty flowers, Aragorn bent down and scooped the up. "Momma will like pitty 'lowers," Aragorn babbled to himself and walked along the paths of the forest.

            The stranger followed the small boy, with all the stealth of a seasoned warrior. It had been a while since he had been around children; much had happened since that time. Many scars, both mental and physical, had been forced upon him. A smile crept upon his lips as he listened the innocent babble of Aragorn. He could remember picking flowers for his mother during a family outing. Hidden memories came back as clear as it had only happened yesterday. When he refocused, Aragorn was not in sight, quickly he ran through the underbrush. Just as he reached a clearing he spotted Aragorn, but his sensitive hearing picked up the unmistakable sound of harsh Orc voices. The stranger skidded to a sudden halt; a large force of Orc's stood in front of him.

            All of the sudden Aragorn felt a pair of strong arms encircle him. At first he thought it was his papa picking him up, but when he looked up it was not who he thought it was. Immediately Aragorn recognized the stranger as Elladan. His first thought was to start screaming, but something held him back. Stealthy Elladan turned, trying his best not to attract the Orc's attention. When Aragorn caught sight of the rabble of Orc's he did start crying. Instantly Elladan sprinted into the woods, trying to out run the multitude of Orc's. If I can reach camp, thought Elladan, then I can ride to Imladris and bring some of the gua- An arrow flew past then interrupting his train of thought. It seriously irked Elladan to flee from the Orc's, because he knew he could win. But right now saving the life of Aragorn was more important.

            Finally Elladan crashed through the brush, rushing into camp. "Get me a horse!" Elladan shouted to no one unparticular. He grabbed the reigns of his horse and swung himself into the saddle. "A band of Orc's draw near. Come, Lady Gilrain, I shall take you and your son. Hurry! We must hurry." Quickly Elladan pulled Gilrain up into the saddle in front of him, and then they were off at a great speed headed towards Imladris.

            Gilrain was thankful that Elladan was an accomplished horseman. Wait, thought Gilrain, or would it be horself? She did not get to ponder on this for long. "Daro!" Shouted Elladan, slipping into his native language. It did not take Gilrain long to figure out what it meant as a black shaft Orc arrow flew passed her head. Elladan leaned forward, pushing his stead to do her best. The mare was running as she could, even though she was growing tired, her master's encouragement drove her on. They rushed head on down a steep path, careless of all safety precautions. Gilrain could hear the screams of Orc's behind them. The mare splashed across a shallow stream, they had finally reached the Elf-haven of Imladris. Aragorn could feel his mother tension go down, but he was still scared.

            Elves ran out to greet their master, but he was in no mood to be coddled. Elladan barked orders out left and right. "Lindir," a young Elf stopped dead in his tracks, "take Lady Gilrain and Lord Aragorn to see Lord Elrond.
            Nervously Lindir bowed to Lord Elladan. He beckoned the two mortals to follow him. The child was so small. Aragorn clutched his mother's skirt tightly in his chubby fist. Gilrain's heart was pounding so hard she imagined that every Elf in all of Rivendell could hear it. In a way she wished that her mother was here so she could hide behind her skirts. But for Gilrain, those times were now gone. She was the queen of a forgotten nation. If only Arathorn hadn't gone –If only… Gilrain let out a heartfelt sigh. Lindir craned his neck to glance at Gilrain, because everyone knows Elves do not sigh.

            Softly, Lindir knocked at the door of Elrond's study. It is true that most of Rivendell is open without walls or doors, but during its construction Elrond had known he would want a private place. Many times during his children's growing up years he had been thankful for such foresight. "Come in," a voice answered from within. Lindir pushed the door open and let Gilrain enter with Aragorn first.

            Elrond looked up, what he saw moved pity in his heart. Standing in the doorway was a young Dúnadian woman, holding her small son by propping him on her hip. She looked tired, but there was a fire in her eyes. "Welcome to Rivendell," Gilrain looked up and met Elrond's compassionate gaze.