In the years of the early Third Age, Elrond, Lord of Rivendell, was given a daughter, but not one of his own. The pure-blooded Elven girl had been abandoned on his front steps, given up and immortally abandoned. She had been in a rough wooden cradle, stuffed with blankets, and she was nearly all skin and bones. She had been malnourished and sickly. In the folds of the many blankets, lay two notes, wrapped in one envelope together. One note had been for Elrond, telling the Lord the abandoned girl's name, date of birth and that was all that had been said. The other note had been for the baby girl to read when her age was right.
Lord Elrond's twin sons and his daughter had quickly adapted to the new family member. And as they got older, they grew close, as if they were actually related. The girl, whose name was Aelinea, had the brown hair of the Noldor; for this was a good coincidence because with that said, she'd be considered one of Lord Elrond's own, not looking much different from the Peredhils. But the facts remained: she was not one of Elrond's children and she was not his children's sister. She had a real family out there, but as time went on, she'd decided not to even look for them. If they hadn't cared for her, why should she care for them?
Now, many years have passed and Aelinea is older. She has moved on from the forgotten memory of her family not wanting her and came into reality to a family that did want her.
= = = = = = = = =
Aelinea walked, flanked by her twin brothers, and smiled. Today was the marking of the month before Hrive, or in the common tongue: Winter. Every year at this exact time, the twins and their sister would go on a camping trip/vacation. Arwen never did like these little adventures, so when the twins and her sister went, she headed for Lorien to see her Grandmother until her siblings came back. This would leave Elrond time to do his work. He loved his children dearly and missed them when they left, but fathers need a break too.
Aelinea's light chestnut hair came to her mid-back, almost the same length as her sister's. Arwen's hair was way darker, more wavy and somewhat longer than Aelinea's. Aelinea had a pretty face, but she would not be considered the prettiest of all Middle-Earth. "Did you bring everything, 'Lina?" Elrohir was the youngest of the twins and flanked his sister on the right. The younger twin had been unable to say 'Aelinea' when he was younger, so he just gave his foster sister a nickname.
"Valar, 'Ro, one would think I've never been out of Rivendell! How many times have I done this?" She said, a smile gracing her face.
The younger twin laughed. "A lot, dear sister, but if I recall our last trip out..."
"'Ro," Aelinea warned.
"...a certain girl, about so high with brown hair and silver-gray-green eyes..."
"I mean it 'Ro, if you say it, I'll have to tell El' about the time you and I went out of the borders without him and you..." Aelinea smiled, knowing she had him.
"My lips are shut." 'Ro said and Aelinea nodded, satisfied.
The three siblings crossed the Ford and then the Bruinen before nightfall, seeing as they hadn't left Rivendell early. When night fell on the seventh day, they made camp in Minhiriath and sat around a small fire, hovering over a map. "We went there last time, El', remember? How about we head southwards towards Enedwaith?" Aelinea pointed to the name on the map.
"Sounds good. We can make camp along the North-South road when we get there. Unless you want to camp near the Greyflood?" Elladan asked, looking at the other two Elves.
"Greyflood." Elrohir said.
"North-South road." Aelinea said at the same time and then the two looked at each other.
Elladan raised his eyes to the starry sky and sighed. "'Ro, why do you say that?" He asked wearily.
"Because we might find danger if we camp too near the Road." Elrohir nudged Aelinea, who nudged her brother harder.
"I rest my case, 'Ro, we will go camp by the Roads." Elladan shook his head.
"But we have to stay away from the forest." Elrohir shot a quick look at his sister, who nudged him in the same spot, hurting the ribs and making 'Ro double-over slightly.
"How old are you two?" Elladan asked, sighing slightly.
"I lost count." Aelinea smiled, holding back a laugh.
"If El' tells me how old he is, I can remember how old I am." Elrohir smirked.
"Alright, we make for Enedwaith in the morning. I'll take tonight's first watch." Elladan said, standing.
"I'll take the second." Aelinea said quickly.
"Third," Elrohir said.
"Alright, good night you two, and no 'Ro, don't even attempt to put any living creature in 'Lina's sleeping bag." Elladan said, raising an eyebrow at the younger twin.
Aelinea crawled into her sleeping bag and rested her head on her pillow, staring at the stars. Elrohir's sleeping bag was five feet away and he lay on his side, facing away from his little sister. Elladan had climbed a tree, seeking any possible threat coming from where Rangers were not patrolling. The land was covered with the long darkness of the night that stretched as far as the Elven eye could see.
The elder twin looked down at the still forms on the ground far below. They slept peacefully, warm in their sleeping-bags, and from a distance, they would appear to be dead. Elladan looked back at the long stretch of land and saw movement out of the corner of his eye. He blinked and then there was nothing. No movement, save the wind moving throughout the trees.
He searched slowly, unblinkingly, into the night. "I know you're there." He whispered softly. He knew he had seen something, but in the dark it was impossible to see what. He jumped down the tree, branch-by-branch until he was close enough to jump, landing with cat-like grace into the dirt floor; his footsteps soft as he landed, not waking the other Elves who slept.
He walked over to his siblings and kneeled in the space between their sleeping-bags. "'Ro, 'Lina, something draws near, but what exactly I do not know. It is too dark to tell and they must wear dark tunics." Elladan put his hands on their shoulders. They woke quickly and got out of their sleeping-bags. The three Elves drew their weapons, which were matching Elven swords with curved blades and a metal-wood handle.
"Stay together." Elladan spoke quietly.
Something moved in the darkness, camouflaged expertly, and the movements were different, so the Elves concluded that there had to be more than one. Aelinea stood with her brothers on either side of her, swords raised and Elven eyes searching the night. Suddenly there was movement again and again. Those who sought after the Elves moved quickly, blending into the dark air like chameleons.
And then there were loud screams...screeches, to be more precise, like someone scratching their nails on metal. The screeches came from every direction and the Elves turned their heads, trying to find what hunted them. And then...
"There!" Elrohir pointed, his siblings looking that way.
"And there!" Aelinea pointed.
"There and there also!" Elladan pointed two different ways.
Four figures moved towards the Elves, hissing and screeching like animals. They were dressed in black and had bulky figures. The Peredhil and the fostered girl didn't see any weapons, whether it be sword or bow. The figures were much taller than the Elves, looming over them by nearly two inches. They walked slowly towards the Elves, coming from everywhere, as they had formed a spaced circle around the Elves. And then the figures produced fist-sized objects. The Elves tried to get a glimpse at them, but the creatures threw the objects onto the ground and there was a loud, ear- splitting BOOM!
The Elves were nearly thrown off their feet, but they held onto one another to stop themselves. An ugly yellowish-white gas appeared, outlining the creatures, but blinding and choking the Elves. Elladan and Elrohir made their way out of the spreading fumes and coughed, breathing in fresh air. Aelinea couldn't make it because the creatures lunged for the girl as if they were about to dive into a water source.
She defended herself, even if she was blind and her eyes stung like hell, she could protect herself until she got help from her brothers. She spun, but every time she was about to connect with flesh, there was that pop sound and her blade went through air. "'LINA!" One of the twins screamed and then there was another loud BOOM!
Aelinea was thrown off her feet and felt the creatures on her, but she swung her sword and heard the popping sound. She took the moment to stand and when she opened her eyes, she was met with more pain, but she could hazily see figures. Six of them. Her brothers were here! Her vision became more hazy and painful.
Two more of those exploding objects hit the earth, shaking the ground and knocking the girl back onto the ground, and she dropped her weapon. The smoke was heavier and she was coughing so hard her lungs hurt. She could hear El' and 'Ro somewhere and they were coughing like her. Aelinea stood and opened her eyes, hissing in pain, and realized that the smoke was so bad that she could hardly see anything. She coughed and looked around frantically, finally deciding to depend on her hearing to find her brothers.
There was another loud boom and the smoke thickened and Aelinea dropped to her knees, coughing. This time, her brothers weren't coughing and she panicked. Were they alright? Where were they? What happened? And then there were swoosh sounds and she heard the twins calling for her. She dug her palms into her eyes, the pain stinging like a million needles.
She stopped coughing as the smoke thinned and she heard her brothers come to her. "'Lina? 'Lina, are you alright?" One of the twins said. Aelinea reached out towards the sound of his voice, her eyes closed, and felt his face. His nose and mouth were wrapped in cloth. That's the reason they weren't coughing! "'Lina, open your eyes."
She did and noticed the smoke was still around her and her vision was dark and grayish. She looked at her brother as he talked and frowned. "I wonder what kind of smoke this is. It's still here." She said, shaking her head.
Elladan frowned to Elrohir. "How many fingers am I holding up?" Elladan asked.
"It's like you are oblivious to this smoke. Silly brother, you know I don't know." She said.
"'Lina, the smoke is thinning. We can see you just fine." Elladan said gently.
"Very funny, as if I haven't known you two long..." Her voice died down. "I can't see!" She wiped her eyes frantically. Elladan grabbed her arms.
"Who am I?" He asked. He needed to know how badly her vision was damaged.
"I-I don't know..." She whispered. Her vision was bad. She had grown up with the twins and she had never confused them! Not once!
"It's alright. Tell me what your vision is like." Elladan said.
"Like I was just in a bright room and walked into a pitch-black room and my eyes haven't adjusted. I'm seeing dark gray...not black, but really dark gray. I can't see your outline or anything." She said. Elladan noticed that her pupils had dilated to nearly nothing and her eyes were just plain color. She had a glazed-confused look in her eyes and she hadn't looked at Elladan, but rather she looked slightly past him.
"Alright, we need to get you to the river and flush your eyes with water. And then we have to get home so Ada can help you." Elladan and Elrohir helped their sister to her feet, each holding her by the elbow. Elrohir grabbed their stuff back at the camp, leaving only the sleeping-bags and then went back to his sister's side.
Elrohir patted his sister's wrist and said, "I'm Elrohir.".
She nodded and grasped Elrohir's hand, and gave it a gentle squeeze. She took Elladan's hand and did the same, holding her brothers' hands as she was led down towards the river, which was nearly an hour's walk. "What was happening back there?" She asked.
"They were Vampires. You know how they looked all bulky? Well, those were huge bat-wings. They left because the sun was coming up. It's daytime now." Elrohir said.
"Is the sky purple and pink?" She asked.
"And orange and blue." Elladan said softly. He frowned over to Elrohir, who mirrored it and nodded. Aelinea laughed and laid her head on the younger twin's shoulder, closing her eyes. She hummed an old Elvish tune softly.
= = = = =
The siblings made it to the river in an hour and a half, stopping when Aelinea's eyes burned. Once at the river, Elladan and Elrohir helped Aelinea lie down close enough to the water that she could dip her fingers in and hum to herself while the twins got water and boiled it until it was fresh. Once an hour had passed, the water was surely clean and Elladan took the pot off the fire and let it cool by dipping just the bottom of the boiling pot into the cool river, making steam rise. He set the pot in the grass and let it cool more for a little while. Luckily, the weather was cooler due to the coming of Winter and the pot was cooled quickly.
Elrohir was sitting by Aelinea, talking about anything they found interesting. Elladan watched them while he stirred the water just to make it cooler and he smiled. An Elf to loose their sight was a death-sentence, but Aelinea was handling it well. The water had cooled and Elladan brought it over to the others, sitting by Aelinea's head. "Keep your eyes open." Elladan said.
"'Ro?" She asked, confused as the twins had not told her where they were.
"No, it's El'. Now keep your eyes open while I rinse the chemicals from your eyes." Elladan spoke gently, laying two fingers on his sister's temple to indicate that he was here.
She nodded and stared up, as if she could see the sky. Elladan ladled small portions of water into her eyes and she blinked. Elrohir had taken his sister's hand and was whispering softly to her. "Did you get my sword? I seem to have dropped it during battle." She asked, blinking as Elladan rinsed her eyes.
"We did. 'Ro, get my pack."
Elrohir nodded and stood to go get his brother's pack. Once he'd thrown it to his brother, Elrohir sat back down by his sister as Elladan rummaged through his pack and finally pulled a cloth from it. He dried the girl's eyes carefully, asking her if he hurt her at all. She shook her head and felt the cloth lying over her eyes. "I'm going to take the cloth off and you tell me what you see, alright?" Elladan took hold of one of the corners.
"Alright," she nodded slightly.
Elladan took the cloth off and her eyes were closed, but she slowly opened them and blinked heavily before sighing. "I see nothing. Absolutely nothing." She whispered. "I'm no good anymore. A blind Elf," She snorted, "what good is that?"
Elrohir stopped Elladan before he could say anything, mouthing something about wanting to comfort her. Elladan nodded and sat back. "'Lina, an Elf is an Elf. Your vision doesn't make you an Elf, your hearing doesn't make you an Elf, but your blood makes you an Elf. Who says that to be an Elf, you have to have perfect everything? Being blind doesn't make you any less of one. Only if you were born to Humans would you not be an Elf."
She lifted her hand to feel his face, running her hand over his forehead, nose, eyes, mouth and cheeks. "...'Ro, I'm still no good, racial thinking aside. I can't see danger and I can't tell which brother I am talking to. I'm as good as dead."
"Not with us here you aren't. And we're only in danger until we reach the Ford. Once we are there, we will be near the Rangers. I don't think the Vampires will follow us there." Elrohir watched as Aelinea's eyes stared slightly passed him. She could focus well on voices and the direction they came from, but she would always be somewhat off. "And when we get home, Ada will be able to bring your sight back."
"We don't know that 'Ro. He might not be able to fix it."
"We don't know anything right now, but we have to hold onto hope." The younger twin took Aelinea's chin and turned her head so she was facing him directly, but not seeing him.
To this, the girl had no answer, but she smiled.
Elladan smiled at the two. "We should..."
"Something's coming!" Aelinea's eyes darted around wildly, seeing nothing. She heard something coming in the distance, but couldn't quite place her finger on it.
Elladan and Elrohir looked around. Whatever was coming was very far away, but Aelinea seemed to hear it already when the twins heard nothing. "Look at that 'Lina, your other senses have become stronger since your sight was taken! Not to mention you are full Elven and we are Half."
Aelinea shook her head. "An Elf is an Elf." She smiled.
= = = = = = = = =
The three Elves had taken refuge in the thick branches of a nearby tree. The twins scanned the area for the longest time before they finally saw a pack of Wolves running fast from the West. "I hear them coming. Are they Wolves?" Aelinea asked. Elrohir was sitting by his sister, his arm around her shoulders, making sure she wouldn't fall. The girl was safe, for she was held by her brother and sat with her left shoulder pressed to the thick trunk of the tall tree.
"Yes. A whole pack of them too. About thirteen maybe." Elladan said from the branch above his twin.
Aelinea closed her eyes. "I hear many of them. I can hear them coming closer." She clung to her brother, her fingers wrapped in the folds of his tunic.
"They are yet some leagues away. Not as close as they might sound to you." Elladan stood on the branch just above his younger siblings, his hand forming a visor over his gray eyes.
"Some leagues away? They sound so close though!" Aelinea said, frustration evident in her voice. All her Elven senses had been heightened and it made her irritated at the fact that she was hearing differently from her brothers. "They smell of fish and...blood. They've just hunted. We should be safe then!"
"How can you smell that? Even if they just hunted, there are cubs present. The leaders and adults might think we're trying to hurt the little ones." Elrohir said, scanning the pack as they came closer.
"We're still safe in the tree." Aelinea pointed out.
"Unless they see us of course." Elladan mused, causing Aelinea and Elrohir to snort.
The pack came forward, closer and closer, and the twins watched while Aelinea listened. "I don't think they ate recently my brothers. The fish smells old." Aelinea breathed in deeply, smelling the crisp air. Winter was definitely coming.
"That cannot be good." Elrohir shifted to watch the on coming Wolves.
"No really 'Ro?" Elladan asked, sarcasm dripping from his voice. He threw a few leaves down onto Elrohir's head, making Aelinea jump slightly. Her sense of smell and hearing had heightened from her loss of sight.
"How close are they? It seems like they're right next to us."
"Less than a league away."
"Alright, give me my sword." Aelinea held out her hand. Elrohir couldn't object; she'd need it if they were spotted. He took her sword, which he'd been carrying, and gave it to his sister.
The wolves approached quickly and stopped to smell the air. They obviously knew Elves were close. "They are here are they not?" Aelinea could hear them and smell them as if they were sitting beside her.
"Behind us...a little less than fifty-feet from our refuge." Elrohir said quietly.
"They know we are present." It wasn't a question.
"Yes, they can smell our scent." Elladan answered quietly from above. Suddenly a small animal, possibly a squirrel, scrambled out from somewhere, taking Elladan by surprise and making the eldest Peredhil fall from the branch. Aelinea turned at the sudden cry from Elladan and the rustling of leaves and Elrohir turned in time to see his brother catch hold of the last branch available before he would have hit the ground. Wolves barred their teeth, howling, as they charged to get to Elladan. They jumped, barking loudly and in fierce tones, trying to grab at Elladan.
"Elladan!" Elrohir cried, grabbing the branch above him to hold while he stood up. "Sit there 'Lina, I'm coming back." He jumped down from branch to branch until he got to Elladan. Elrohir grabbed his brother's hand, desperately trying to get Elladan up to safety. The leader of the pack, a big wolf with long, sharp teeth, grabbed a hold of Elladan's ankle, eliciting a cry of surprised pain from the elder twin. Elrohir pulled his twin up by his right arm, causing the sharp teeth of the wolf to slide down painfully through Elladan's skin. Elrohir helped his brother up onto the branch, letting Elladan rest against the trunk of the tree.
"El'?" Aelinea cried out in alarm.
"I'm alright, 'Lina!" Elladan answered, biting back pain as Elrohir sat, as if on horseback, in front of Elladan and began removing his brother's boot from his injured foot. The wolves continued to bark and whine at the Elves.
The wound on Elladan's foot was terrible. There were nearly ten scratches that entered at the ankle and slid all the way down Elladan's foot, but there were four main ones that Elrohir was concerned about. They were the deepest and the most severe. Blood seeped through Elladan's pant leg near his ankle and rained down in a fast, uneven flow. Blood covered the branch, darkening the wood. The wolves kept barking, trying to get at the twins.
Abruptly, an object shot passed Elrohir's head at a downward angle and hit a wolf in the neck, ending the beast's life. The twins looked up to see Aelinea sitting on the branch she had originally been in, but she had turned towards the chaos and had thrown her sword. "Did I miss?" She asked.
"No..." Elladan's voice was filled with pain.
"Oh good." She smiled. Her smile quickly faded as she heard Elladan's pain- filled voice. "You're injured!" Her blind eyes searched.
"'Lina, I need you to toss down a canteen. Aim it towards my voice." Elrohir hummed an made-up tune as Aelinea felt around for one of the canteens. She found one and centered on Elrohir's tune, her eyes closed. She tossed it and heard a thud as it landed in Elrohir's hands.
"Did you get it?" She had to make sure.
"Yes, stay there." Elrohir replied, opening the canteen and pouring the fresh, cold water over Elladan's ankle and foot. Their canteens hadn't been full after the attack form the Vampires so they couldn't have used water then.
"I can go nowhere else." She said, leaning shakily against the tree trunk.
Soon the wolves began to understand that they would not get the twins or Aelinea and they went off. "The wolves have gone now." Aelinea whispered, hearing the noise fading and the beats of their feet hitting the ground as they left.
"Yes." Elrohir stood up on the branch and made his way to Aelinea. Slowly, he helped her to the very last branch where Elladan was and told her that the ground was just below. "I need you to jump."
Aelinea nodded, frowning slightly, but trusting her brother and she jumped from the branch, landing somewhat with grace. Minutes later she heard the twins jump down also.
= = = = = = =
They traveled for days on end, resting only when they had to. Elladan's foot was really bad and Aelinea needed to get home to her father before her vision was ruined forever. The area around the girl's eyes was becoming red and irritated. They would be home in less than an hour, for they had just crossed the Ford. "We're almost there." Elrohir told them.
"We see that 'Ro." Elladan said, pain obvious in his voice.
"I don't." Aelinea replied.
"Oh, that's right." Elladan's foot hurt so much that he had forgotten his sister's dilemma.
"Ada isn't going to be happy with us." Aelinea remembered their past accidents.
"He's used to it. We've made it a habit to find trouble." Elrohir reconciled.
Aelinea nodded, it was true. There was the time she had stabbed herself in the shoulder during sword practice, Elladan fell off the roof, Elrohir was attacked by wild animals, she fell into the river, and the list went on.
= = = = =
The guards had let them in quickly and Elrohir helped his injured siblings to their home. "Ada!" Elrohir asked loudly.
"Elrohir, what is going on? You weren't supposed to...what happened this time?" Elrond walked out of his office. He couldn't immediately find anything wrong with Aelinea or Elrohir, but it was obvious that the elder twin was injured. Elladan was taken to the Houses of Healing with the help of Elrond and Elrohir, who also held Aelinea's hand to lead her along.
"Well, at least it is only Elladan this time, but I'd rather you were not hurt. Last time, you were all near death." Elrond said as he took off the rough bandage that Elrohir had wrapped hastily. "Aelinea, Elrohir, go get me towels, a basin of water and my bag of herbs."
"Ada, Aelinea is hurt too." Elrohir said as he led his sister to a bed.
Elrond frowned. He hadn't noticed anything wrong with her. "What happened to her?"
"We...encountered a few Vampires. They had these exploding objects that let off a gaseous substance. She was blinded by it." Elrohir chose his words carefully.
Elrond stood up to go take a look at Aelinea. "Elrohir, go get me what I need. Bring bandages too." He looked down at his daughter and sighed. Her eyes were red and irritated and she looked as if she had no pupils at all. There was only one treatment he could give her and if that didn't work, nothing would. Her eyes gazed just inches past him.
Elrohir came back with the materials and set them on a table for his father. "Alright, Elrohir, I need you to clean and bandage Elladan's foot while I give your sister her sight back." Elrond said and the younger twin nodded, obeying his father's words.
Elrond got up and mixed a liquid substance with water and herbs. He hoped to Valar this would work. He sat back down by Aelinea's side. "Once I give this to you, I need you to close your eyes until I tell you to open them."
Aelinea nodded. "Alright." And a few seconds later she felt a water-like matter enter her eyes. She remembered her father's words and closed her eyes. The water substance was thicker than normal water and it cooled her eyes. Aelinea felt her father lay a cloth over her eyes. She relaxed and prayed that her sight would come back to normal.
"Careful Elrohir!" Elladan snapped at his twin. Elrohir had cleaned the foot and was now bandaging it.
"I am being careful!"
"If that's careful, then I'd hate to see what your version of careless is!" Elladan argued.
"I can show you if you want!" Elrohir fired back.
"Elladan, Elrohir, I will not have you two give me a headache." Elrond warned and the twins quickly sobered.
"Or me! My hearing has become way better since I lost my sight and your bickering gives me a headache." Aelinea said from her bed and Elrond smiled, patting her head. She smiled and laughed a bit.
"Don't encourage him." Elrohir said to his sister.
"Alright Aelinea. I want you to open your eyes now." Elrond said, sitting back on the edge of the girl's bed.
"My eyes are open." She said.
"I'm going to take the cloth off your eyes and I want you to tell me what you see." Elrond instructed and Aelinea nodded. Elrond took the cloth off and set it on the nightstand, turning back to Aelinea, who blinked a few times.
"I can see you Ada! A-and I can see the twins! I can see!" She rejoiced and hugged her father. Elrohir came over too and hugged her. She had her sight back.
She had the best family in the world, but she wanted to see them.
A/N: This story is the first in a series that will be called "Immortally Abandoned".