Aragorn quietly approached Elrond. "Ada, may I have a word?"
Elrond looked back at his human fosterling. "Yes, Aragorn."
"It has come to my attention that the Lady Arwen is your daughter."
Elronds eyebrows snapped together, his pleasant mood with his child evaporating. "Yes, she has recently returned from Lothlorien, where she has spent quite a bit of time with her grandmother."
"She is most beautiful and kind, Ada. You must treasure her as your daughter." Aragorn's voice was reverent. Elrond was displeased. Aragorn was like a son, after all...but Arwen was his daughter.
"She is beautiful beyond belief." Elrond agreed quietly. He intended to make his viewpoints on Arwen's availability crystal clear. "She will be the treasure of all the lands, and is fit only for a king."
Elrond saw the flicker that passed over Aragorn's face and knew he was being unfair, bordering on cruel. But an image of a little girl, inhumanely perfect, looking up at him and laughing while she finger painted came to him. He continued.
"There is no hope for romance between you, or between any. She is young, yet, for an Elf. She will not follow in her ancestors footsteps." The thought of Arwen dying nearly broke him. It could not happen.
Aragorn's face became unreadable, and he nodded. "I will do my best to think of her as a sister, Ada."
Elrond nodded. He should encourage this side. Aragorn could be a fearsome older brother to protect Arwen. It was for the best.
A week later Arwen came to Elrond. He heard her approach with mild anticipation. She was being very noisy, for an Elf.
"Ada, I wish to speak with you." Unlike the boys, Arwen had never felt the need to step around Elrond. He would never seriously admonish her.
"Of course, Arwen. What is on your mind?"
"It has come to my attention that you spoke with Aragorn about me." Arwen's lips were a little tighter than normal. Elrond mentally winced, while maintaining his Elvish dignity.
"My foster son often speaks to me about a myriad of subjects." His emphasis on the word son was completely accidental, of course.
"He seemed to have the impression I was unattainable for him, and that he should not try and court me." Arwen was implacable.
Elrond looked at her. He did see a bit of the little girl left, his little baby, but he saw a resolve there he did not like. "Arwen, he is your brother. I wish you to view him as you would your other brothers. He is also mortal, not of our kind."
Arwen looked at her father. "He is not my brother, I was not raised beside him and we do not share the same parents. Mortal blood runs through my veins, as it does yours."
"Arwen, you are an Elf. He is a man. Your paths are separate."
"My ancestor has long proven that wrong."
"Your ancestor is dead."
Arwen stared at Elrond, her eyes almost narrowing. "I wish this man to have an equal chance with the Elves at my hand. Please allow him to."
"Arwen...." Elrond allowed a long pause, collecting carefully what he was about to say. His daughter was indeed rather strong willed.
"Arwen, I do not wish you to die. I do not wish this man an equal chance, he who should be your brother, not court you." Elrond made it quite clear, he felt.
Arwen simply looked at him. "Forbidden love has always attracted me, Father." She emphasized the human word, and walked out of the room.
The next day, Aragorn watched Arwen for a few moments from a distance before softly approaching. "About what did you speak to Elrond?"
Arwen smiled at Aragorn. "That does not matter now. What lies heavy on your mind?"
Aragorn debated telling her of Elrond's odd visitation, of his Ada finally telling him about his destiny to become king, and his reminder that he would not release Arwen to less than a king. He also caught the faint air of disapproval, as if Elrond had somehow been tricked into having this conversation at all. Especially when he removed his definite order against courting Arwen, and let it be known that it was disliked, but allowed. Aragorn was still contemplating that one.
Instead he turned to Arwen and smiled. "Only fair mornings, and nothing is so fair on this morning then you."
Though he loved his Ada, Arwen was after all very pretty, and had made her interest clear.
Up high on a balcony of Rivendell, Elrond scowled. Who had raised that child, anyway, attempting to court his baby girl? He was going to have words...
Years later, when Aragorn was crowned King and Arwen, his little girl had given up immortality and herself to this stranger (but thankfully in that order or Gondor would still have no king), Elrond asked her why. Aragorn had never been forbidden to her, so why such a strong pull to such a man?
Arwen smiled. Her smile was bright and happy. "Because he is such a mortal, Ada. He truly feels for the people and carries the moment with him. He is a good man. I would rather be happy for the time I have, then miss this experience forever."
Elrond looked at his little girl sadly. She was so young to be binding herself to a human. She should be coming to Valinor, he thought. She should be with me when I go.
Arwen leaned a little bit closer and laughed gently. "Be pleased, Ada, for I stay for a man I truly love, in the path of my ancestors. Legolas is staying for a platonic friend, and he still hasn't found a woman."
Elrond, while still feeling utterly wretched about this whole matter, felt a small twinge of satisfaction. His grandchildren would be born of Kings, in the most noble line of men and Elves that existed. Legolas's father would have to strive to get Legolas even remotely interested in creating some grandchildren. Elves were not quite above pride, after all.
Arwen hugged her father, and kissed him gently on the cheek. "All my children will know of you, and our kin. It will be all right, Ada."
As Elrond exited, he caught sight of Aragorn. He stopped him briefly. "I don't know why she is attracted to you. You love her for the rest of your lives, or I will find a way to get a ship back here, and speak to you."
Aragorn paled a little. Ada had only once used that quiet intense tone with him, and that was when he was quite small, and thought it would be brave to go and vanquish the demons in Mordor. Elrond had caught him heading that way on his horse when he was about an hour out. Aragorn had regretted that incident ever since, and had in fact utterly avoided riding that way if he could help it.
Aragorn mutely nodded and Elrond swished off, his long garment looking almost menacing the way he was snapping it.
The sound of a sharp tone discoursing in Elvish on the idiocy of mortals could be heard along Elrond's path out.