This is based on an idea that has been...bothering me for quite some time. I've made many changes to the idea, but, overall, it's remained the same as it was originally. It mainly concerns the House of Elrond for the first part of the fic, and will then concern a house of old - a house which had seemingly died out with the death of its remaining member, at the hand of Sauron in the Second Age.
Ahem, well, that's enough information there. I hope things become much clearer as time goes on.
Disclaimer: It all belongs to the wonderful author, Mr. JRR Tolkien. Nothing belongs to me, except for the handful of original characters.
Of Ill-omens and Confusing Visions
Glorfindel stared at his friend, a surprised expression on his face as he watched him. It was not hard for anyone to see that the Elf-lord was troubled.
"Elrond, sit down," commanded Glorfindel, having had enough of his friend's pacing. "Now."
"You are in my office, Glorfindel –I will choose to do whatever I wish in here," retorted the Elf-lord, somewhat sullenly, before he resumed his anxious pacing.
"For the love of-" Glorfindel shook his head in exasperation. "Very well then. Will you at least care to share what it is that has you so…ruffled?"
"Ruffled?" echoed Elrond, stopping to glance at his friend with his eyebrows raised. Glorfindel shrugged. With a sigh, Elrond moved towards his desk, sitting down like he had been told to.
"That's better," muttered Glorfindel, absently checking the polished floor, where the Elf-lord had been pacing up and down, to see if it had been completely worn away.
Resisting the urge to roll his eyes at the golden-haired Elf's behaviour (Elf-lords didn't do such…juvenile things after all. That was what Men were famous for); Elrond leaned back in his chair.
Glorfindel stared at the dark-haired Elf-lord, waiting for him to continue. He was answered with more silence.
"You saw something...?" Elrond nodded, wearily. "Oh, that's good," said Glorfindel, casually. "Am I to understand that the next time you hear something, you will lapse into a coma or something?"
"A...vision, Glorfindel, I saw a vision," he said. That caught the Balrog-slayer's attention.
"A vision?" he questioned, as he sat straighter in his chair.
"Well, a...vision of sorts..." muttered Elrond.
"Did it concern anyone here at Imladris?" The golden-haired Elf was troubled to see Elrond practically sink further into the chair. "Elrond?"
"I am not sure, Glorfindel..." he said, quietly. "It could have been...but then...there was something different about her. If it was her, then I would have been able to tell...but I knew that there was something not quite right...and then, of course, there was the---"
"-Just hold on for a moment, Elrond," interrupted Glorfindel, as he stood up and headed towards the door.
"-You look like you could do with some nice, hot tea," was his friend's answer, before he disappeared from sight. Elrond stared after him for a moment, before turning his attention to one of the many windows in the room. The world outside seemed...as normal as usual, without even a hint of the foreboding feeling he had had in his gut when he had seen...it.
He had spent the whole morning thinking about it, trying to decipher its meaning, but had had no success whatsoever.
"Ai," he said, softly, "I pray that it was not a fell omen..."
When Glorfindel returned, a while later, with freshly brewed tea, Elrond was in a somewhat calmer mood, gratefully accepting the cup of tea his friend poured out for him.
Picking up the second cup, Glorfindel could not help but smile.
"The 2nd patrol will be returning soon," he commented, offhandedly. "Ai, the peace we at Imladris have enjoyed over the last month will be no more."
"It pleases me, to know that the Elves of Imladris fear my sons."
"Fear your sons? Nay, Peredhel, we fear their actions, especially when they are bored." A comfortable silence descended amongst the two friends, as they quietly sipped their tea.
Having almost finished half the tea in his cup, Elrond placed it back on the table in front of him, releasing a heavy sigh as he did so.
The sigh did not go unnoticed to the golden-haired Elf.
"What is it, Elrond?" He observed the dark-haired Elf carefully. "Is it the...vision?"
"Yes," he said. "And no; I sense the presence of evil in the air...and I am afraid that it is getting stronger as every month goes by." Grey eyes narrowed. "The light of Eärendil has been dim of late, and the winds whisper words of warning, of the creatures of Sauron and, recently, of Men."
"Men?" echoed Glorfindel, tilting his head to a side. "The creatures of Sauron, I can understand; for it seems that they are multiplying, even as we kill them." He paused. "But...Men?"
"Aye, Men." His face darkened as his mind unwillingly recalled the image of the elder son of Elendil, as he held a golden ring to him with a strange gleam in his eyes.
"The warnings cannot concern the line of Isildur, for you know better than I do that his heir will never succumb to such...greed," commented Glorfindel, shrewdly guessing his friend's thoughts.
"One can never be sure," replied Elrond, uncertainly. "He has been away for many years now, travelling with those of his kind and learning the ways of the Rangers."
"Have the Rangers ever been easily corrupted?" Glorfindel shook his head. "The Rangers of the North are a sturdy lot of Men, Elrond. Their hearts are hard, and their minds will not easily be swayed. Fear not for Isildur's heir." A smirk formed on his lips. "Besides, if you had not been so...direct with him, regarding his love for the fair Undomiel, perhaps he would still be with us?"
Elrond scowled across the table.
"It is no laughing matter, Glorfindel," he said, even as his mind turned back to the vision he had had. Glorfindel sobered.
"...I would like to know about this vision, Elrond," he said.
The Half-Elven lord nodded, staring distantly at his cup of tea as he started to speak.
"I saw events that date back to the very early history of our people; the coming of the Elves to Middle-Earth," he said, his voice low. "Thankfully, I did not 'see' the Kinslaying, and I can only guess that that is a good sign." He paused. "I saw Fëanor, the Silmarils and the sons of Fëanor. I...saw Morgoth too –or at least, one who I assume was Morgoth. With him was his ever-faithful Maia, Sauron."
Glorfindel watched as his friend took a deep breath, and didn't interrupt him.
"There was a...small group of Elves, and I am guessing that they were of the Sindar. They seemed to be fleeing some dark force." There was a pained expression on Elrond's face as he continued to recall what he had seen in his vision. "There were dead Elves, scattered everywhere and...and then I saw Maglor..." There was an ever so slight tremor in the Elf's deep voice as he mentioned the name of second son of Fëanor.
"...And?" prodded Glorfindel, gently.
"Wild Men. Nay, I am sure it was the Haradrim...although they appeared to be Easterlings at first..." There was a troubled look on the Elf-lord's face. "There were dead Elves again, a few, but...far too many all the same. I saw you too..."
"You were furious, for some reason." Elrond paused once more. "Perhaps it was because of the slain Elves...?" He shook his head. "That is a mere speculation..."
"Did it end there?" questioned Glorfindel. Elrond shook his head, appearing more troubled than he had before.
"There was an Elf, Glorfindel...she...she..." he swallowed. "I could not see her clearly, but...I remember thinking she was Arwen."
Glorfindel was quiet for a moment.
"What happened to her...?"
"She was...being beaten by the Men. Mayhap they were slave traders? Or just...normal Wild Men...? I could not tell." Elrond sighed, his grey eyes troubled as they looked to his friend. "I saw her with a Silmaril, Glorfindel."
That elicited a gasp from his friend.
"What?" he asked, sharply. "But...there are none left here in Middle-Earth. The one surviving Silmaril is with Eärendil and Elwing. You know this to be true."
"Aye, but we know not the fate of the two that were thrown into fire and water, respectively..."
It was Glorfindel's turn to look troubled.
"This worries me, Elrond," he said, after a while. "We have already been through enough horrors because of the Silmarils. How much more are we supposed to endure?"
"I know not what the meaning of that vision was, Glorfindel, and that is strange...for my visions are usually clear to me..." Elrond picked up his cup of tea once again. "Although it did seem as though it was a...portent of some sort."
"A portent of evil?"
"The Elf that I saw...I do not see any reason for her to be associated with the Silmaril. I have not even seen her likeliness here in Middle-Earth, save for in Arwen..."
"What are you saying?" asked Glorfindel, catching on. Elrond shook his head.
"I do not know..." he said. "I mean, well, I could not see her clearly, but...she seemed to be so much like Arwen, and yet so much unlike her at the same time..."
"Mellon-nin, you are not making much sense," commented Glorfindel.
"I know..." grumbled Elrond, as his frown deepened. "I am at a total...loss as to the meaning of what I saw. And I like it not. Having to deal with Sauron and the current rise of Evil here is bad enough...I do not wish to have to add troubles with the Silmaril and...Morgoth to it all."
Glorfindel nodded, a grimace forming on his face.
"For, this time, I doubt if the Valar will send out a force to help us, like they did before..." He sighed, as memories of his...past life resurfaced in his head. He had long since learned to stop blocking them, as they only worsened when he did so.
Elrond suddenly leant forward in his seat, his face pale as he clutched lightly at his chest.
"Elrond?" Glorfindel watched, concerned, as the dark-haired Elf said nothing, although he noticed a flash of pain passing quickly across his face. "Peredhel, what is it?" Glorfindel, by this time, was out of his seat and was kneeling by his friend's chair.
It took the dark-haired Elf a few moments, but soon he had recovered from whatever it was that had...pained him.
Glorfindel watched as his friend slumped back into his chair, letting out of soft sigh as he did so.
"You said the 2nd Patrol is to return today?"
"Yes," answered Glorfindel. "Sometime today." Elrond nodded.
"How many Elves do you think you can spare, on the spur of the moment?" Glorfindel's brows furrowed in thought.
"A little more than a dozen," he said, after a while. "For the rest are with the 3rd and 4th patrols that are to set out once the 2nd patrol returns."
"Good. If worse comes to worse, I would like you to prepare the Elves, and inform them of the route the 2nd patrol was supposed to take."
"Mellon-nin, why?" Elrond turned his troubled grey eyes to his friend once more.
"I fear...that things have gone awry with the 2nd patrol," he said, quietly. "I know not what, but...I...feel it." Glorfindel, having known the Elf-lord for many a century, nodded, even as he tied Elrond's strange behaviour with this 'feeling'.
If Elrond Peredhel felt that something was not right, something was not right.
"Very well," he said, as he stood up. "But let us first see what condition the 2nd patrol returns in."
"Aye, that would be best."
"How is she?" questioned Elladan, quietly, as he slowed his horse down so that it cantered alongside his brother's chestnut stallion. Deep blue eyes quickly ran over the half-slumped figure of the Elf whom Elrohir had carefully settled in front of him.
"Not good," was his terse reply. "I fear that she is in shock now. We must get her back to Imladris before the shock wears off, or she will feel the rush of pain from everything she has suffered."
"And it will send her unconscious..." finished Elladan, gravely. He didn't need his brother to tell him that, should the Elf fall unconscious, there was a great chance that she would not regain consciousness again. "I cannot imagine what she must have had to go through..." he murmured, as he reached out and brushed a few strands of her blood-splattered black hair from her face.
Elrohir nodded, even as he looked down at the Elf.
"Does she not...remind you of someone?" he questioned, after a while. Elladan shot his brother a startled look, emotion clouding his deep blue eyes, before he shook his head.
Elrohir sent his brother a shrewd look. "She did not remind you of our beloved sister, Elladan? Did you not think that it was Arwen, who the Men were beating?"
Elladan turned his attention ahead of him, an impassive expression on his face for a moment, before he sighed heavily.
"Aye," he admitted. "I did think that she...was Arwen." He glanced briefly at Elf. "Does she not look somewhat like her?"
"I agree, but there is something different about her..." He shook his head. "And she has grey eyes." He looked his brother square in the eye. "She is not Arwen Undomiel, gwador-nin. Our sister is safe in Lothloríen as we speak."
Elladan nodded, a relieved expression flashing across his face.
"Aye, that is a relief."
Whatever Elrohir had been about to say was cut off when the Elf in front of him let out a soft, pain-filled moan. Pulling lightly yet insistently on his reins, he pulled his horse to a stop as he half turned the Elf-maiden to him.
"What is it, my lady?" he questioned, not knowing what else he was to call her. "Are you alright?" Both he and Elladan could see that the Elf was disoriented, and it took a few long, almost agonizingly long moments for her grey eyes to focus.
"W...where am...I?" she whispered, her voice hoarse. She licked her lips and winced as she felt the cracks on them.
Elladan nodded gratefully at the brown-haired Elf as he handed him the water-skin. Moving his stallion closer to his brother's, he uncapped the skin and held it towards the dark-haired Elf's lips. Elrohir cupped a hand underneath her chin as his brother tilted the water skin, enabling the Elf to have the water she so desperately wanted.
"Easy there..." murmured Elladan, making sure to give her small sips, in case her stomach was not able to handle it.
The Elf had not taken more than three sips when she started coughing. Elladan hurriedly removed the water-skin from her lips, as Elrohir began to lightly hit her back. With a panicked expression on her face, the Elf brought an unsteady hand to her mouth as she coughed.
The remaining Elves from the 2nd patrol watched, concerned, as she continued to cough. Thankfully, she stopped after a while, but Elladan and Elrohir exchanged worried glances. Her coughs had sounded...thick to their ears. And when a cough sounded thick, it was usually because something else was being coughed out.
Gently removing her hand away from the Elf's mouth, Elrohir glanced at it and, to his dismay, found his fears justified.
She had coughed out blood.
Elladan knew what was wrong the moment he saw the dismayed expression on his brother's face.
"Lord Elladan, what is it? What is wrong with her?" asked another light-haired Elf, seeing the brothers' expressions.
"She is bleeding internally," said Elrohir, darkly, answering the question for his brother. The Elves around them winced as they glanced at the dark-haired Elf-maiden.
"Ai," whispered one, "how could they be so cruel to one of the Eldar? Nay, how could they be so cruel to a maiden?"
Elrohir said nothing.
"'Rohir, we must ride on," said Elladan, suddenly, as the Elf slumped back onto his brother's chest. "We need to get her to Adar at once. Who knows what else she suffers from?" His brother nodded, as did the rest of the Elves, as they gently nudged their horses into a slightly fast-paced canter once more.
Elrohir spared the Elf wrapped up in his cloak one last, concerned glance.
I hope she will make it to Imladris, without surrendering to the darkness. Adar, we really need your help this time...
There you have it. That was the...prologue of sorts. I know that things probably seem confusing at this point in time, but it'll get clearer as times goes on. Honest!
Well, that's it from me for now.
See ya soon!