Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Lord of the Rings. It all belongs to the House of Tolkien.
A/N I hope you all enjoy this sequel to Words Will Break My Spirit.Chapter 1: Walking
It's alright to make mistakes,
You're only human,
Inside everyone's hiding something.
Sixteen-year-old Estel walked through the forest, humming happily to himself. He was thrilled to get out of the house and walk alone for a while. His brothers were on patrol and he had been left home alone with their father. As much as he enjoyed talking to Lord Elrond, Estel had decided that he would rather go to the lake for a swim.
Of course, he wasn't supposed to have left the house. He was on punishment for taking Elladan's knife and then breaking it. His father hadn't been too pleased, and Elladan had been furious.
Estel continued on his way to the lake, hoping against hope that he didn't run into one of his brothers. He didn't know where they were positioned and he hoped that he didn't walk close to their posts.
Estel tripped over a root and was suddenly brought out of his daydreaming. He looked at the forest and noticed that he had wandered off the path. "Ada is going to kill me!" he groaned. Grumbling to himself, he continued on his way, hoping that he would wander back onto the path.
After three hours of walking aimlessly he figured out where he was. He muttered a curse and looked around. There was a field to his left and a dirt track to his right. He had wandered out of Imladris' borders. "Wonderful," he muttered, disgruntled.
The sun was still high in the sky, so he had plenty of time to get home. The only problem was that he would have to retrace his steps, and he didn't want to do that. Sighing, he turned around and began to work his way back home.
Estel turned when he heard the girl's scream.
He looked out into the meadow to see a girl around his age standing in the meadow alone. He quickly made his way over to her and smiled. "Is something wrong?" he asked kindly.
The girl looked up at him, tears streaming down her face. Her dress was in tatters and she was trying hard to hold it together. "I can't find my brother," she sobbed.
Estel frowned. He was concerned about what might have happened to separate her from her brother. "How did you get separated? I will help you look for him," he offered. He draped his cloak around her shoulders. The cloak reached passed her knees, but it covered most of her.
She nodded gratefully and pinned the cloak in place with the broach Estel provided for her. "Please. Fialoh and I were heading to the river to collect water. Our younger sister is sick so he came in her place; normally he would have been hunting." She wanted to make it clear that her brother didn't do 'girl tasks' all the time. "I made him angry somehow and he stormed off. I went looking for him and tore my dress. I've been searching for hours and I haven't found him! I even went home to look but he wasn't there!" She wailed.
Estel felt badly for the girl. He knew she must be worried about her brother and he also knew the village was far away. Even though it was very close to Rivendell's borders, the village named Poln was a good three miles. "Perhaps he went back to where you were collecting water. He might have gone to look for you."
She nodded mutely. "I hope he didn't go into the elven territory."
Estel stiffened. They were barely out of Imladris' borders and it wasn't impossible that Fialoh had wandered there. "He would be safe in Rivendell," Estel stated calmly.
The girl shrugged. "Father wouldn't be happy if Fialoh was there."
"Oh," Estel muttered. He didn't understand why most humans were nervous where elves were concerned. "It is a possibility that he wandered into elven lands, though."
She nodded. "Yeah, he goes into their lands to hide sometimes. He tries not to bother them, but if he's hurt no one will know!"
"What is your name?" Estel asked. He had just realized that he didn't know her name.
"I'm Fernia," she replied. "Who are you?"
"I'm Estel," Estel told her. "How old are you?"
"Fourteen," she replied. "You?
"Sixteen," Estel said absently. "Where did you last see Fialoh?"
"I saw him running through this meadow before I lost sight of him," Fernia replied. "When I noticed he had left the water I ran through the brush and ripped my dress up." She looked disdainfully down at her tattered purple and blue dress. "He ran into those woods…I think."
Estel looked at the spot in the forest that she was talking about before closing his eyes and sighing. It was elven territory, and close to one of the border patrol posts if he wasn't mistaken. "Why don't we start looking for him at the river? We might be able to track him."
Fernia smiled at him. "Thank you."
Estel shrugged. "It is my pleasure."
Fernia led him to the river she and her brother had been collecting water at. "I was over there," she pointed, "and he was over here."
Estel nodded and went to where she pointed. He looked for the marks that someone had recently walked over the ground. When he finally decided he had a good idea of which way the person had gone he looked up at Fernia. "He went towards the meadow, you were right."
"It is getting late; I hope we can find him soon." She was so worried about her brother, and it was evident in both her facial expression and the tone of her voice.
Estel looked up at the sky and his eyes widened when he realized how much time had passed. If he didn't head home soon he would be in a lot of trouble with his father. "It will be dark soon," he muttered.
Fernia looked at him worriedly. "You're not going to leave, are you?" Her voice was pleading with him to stay and tears were welling up in her eyes again.
Estel shook his head and smiled at her comfortingly. "Of course not; I will help you find your brother." He didn't want to leave the girl alone; he would feel horrible if he left her in this panicked state.
"Do you think he is in the elven territory?" Fernia asked with a quaver in her voice.
Estel nodded. "Yes," he said gently. "I do think he has gone in there."
Fernia was terrified of elves. Like most humans, she feared what she didn't understand. "The sun is setting!" she cried, scared. She looked towards the west as the sun disappeared.
Estel gently touched her shoulder. "Don't worry, we will find your brother." He was sure he would be able to; he knew the woods quite well.
Fernia smiled, trying to summon the courage to go into the elven territory. She pulled Estel's cloak closer and followed him towards the trees. Darkness would fall soon and she knew that they would be in the woods when it came.
Estel wanted to get into Imladris as quickly as possible. He knew that the sooner they found Fialoh the sooner he could go home. "I think he went this way, Fernia."
Fernia quickly went to Estel's side and followed him closely as they walked through the forest.
Night was falling quickly and soon the stars were out. The moon was full and it lit their path, but the light was still poor.
Estel looked up at the sky and groaned inwardly. It would take him hours to find his way home in the dark, no matter how well he knew the forest. Clouds were covering the clouds and it was close to impossible for him to find Fialoh. "Fernia, do you know which direction he went in? It would help."
Fernia was looking around as if something was going to jump on her. "I…I think he went that way." She pointed to the left.
Estel held in another groan. They were heading directly towards a border patrol post. "Well, let's hurry."
Fernia agreed and followed Estel. She didn't want to be in the forest where the elves lived, and was walking slowly.
Estel was grabbed from behind with a blade pressed sharply against his neck.
"Who is it that travels under the cover of darkness whilst in Rivendell's borders?" a lethal voice demanded in Elvish.
Fernia saw Estel being grabbed and froze in place, terrified. She didn't hear the Elvish words in her terror.
Estel let out a sigh of relief and leaned against his attacker. "Elladan, it is I! It is Estel!"
The person turned Estel around sharply and looked him over. "You are in trouble," he said angrily.
Estel looked up at his brother; he was surprised at the tone in Elladan's voice. "I was helping Fernia locate her brother."
"Who?" Elladan demanded. He was looking his brother over, scrutinizing every new scratch and bruise he had received when he had walked through the brush.
Estel motioned to the terrified girl standing behind a tree, her eyes wide. "She is looking for her brother; I have been trying to help her."
Elladan nodded. He was furious with his brother for leaving their house. He was even more furious that Estel was walking through the forest in the dead of night. "I will help you look for him, but you are coming home with me as soon as he is located."
Estel knew that tone in Elladan's voice; it was a tone he didn't mess with or bother to argue with. "Fernia," he called.
Fernia quickly came to Estel's side. She didn't notice that Elladan was an elf. She was too worried to notice much at that moment.
"Elladan!" Elrohir was calling his twin. He walked from the trees with a boy in front of him. "I found him hiding in a hollowed out tree. He says he cannot find his sister."
"Fialoh!" Fernia went to the boy and hugged him tightly. She was so relieved to see her brother that she forgot all about everyone else in the clearing.
Fialoh hugged his sister back and frowned when he noticed her clothing. "What happened to you?"
"I was crawling through the brush looking for you," she muttered.
"We need to go home," Fialoh said to his sister. He was about seventeen years old and was tall with muddy brown hair and bright hazel eyes. He put an arm around his little sister and removed the cloak from her shoulders. "Is this yours?" he asked Estel.
Estel nodded and took his cloak back. "Thank you."
Fialoh nodded and stared at Estel for a moment. He wondered why he had never seen this boy before. Just before he could ask where they lived, Elladan locked eyes with the boy.
Elladan nodded to Fialoh. "I must take him home." He gave Estel a very pointed look that made the boy wince.
Fialoh and Fernia nodded.
"Come visit us some time, Estel," Fernia invited. She had enjoyed Estel's company and she hoped that he would visit.
"I'll try," Estel said sighing. He knew he was going to be in trouble for a long time.
She nodded. "Good night."
Elrohir looked at the two. "I will walk you to the village; it is not safe for you to be out this late."
"Thank you," Fialoh said.
Elrohir nodded and escorted the two away.
Elladan rounded on Estel. "Why did you leave the house?" he demanded.
"I was tired of being there. I just wanted to go for a swim. I was not going to be gone long, but then I found Fernia and I had to help her find her brother. It would not have been right to leave her!" Estel pleaded with his brother.
Elladan's eyes softened as he looked at Estel's worried expression and the scared look in his eyes. "You are right, it would not have been right to leave her. That is still no excuse for why you are not at home, though!"
Estel nodded. He deserved the scolding from his brother and he listened. "I am sorry, Elladan. I did not mean to scare you when you found me in the forest."
Elladan pulled his brother into a hug. "You are lucky I did not shoot you. I could have killed you, Estel!"
Estel finally understood why Elladan was so worked up. "You did not kill me, though. I am fine, I am right here."
Elladan nodded and walked into the courtyard of the Last Homely House. "You need to speak with Ada. I am sure he is worried about you," Elladan chided.
Estel nodded and walked up the stairs towards the house. It was late, but he knew his father would be awake. He turned and watched as his brother walked back into the woods. He knew Elladan wasn't allowed to abandon his post for too long.
Sighing heavily, Estel walked into the house and headed towards his father's study.