Estel's Day out

Chapter 3

Continued and Finished 3

Thanks for reading ;) Now for Estel's whereabouts!

Lord Elrond and the five other Elves beside him stared transfixed at the pubs on the street, which by that time of the night were filled with humans who were drinking, singing and laughing loudly. The merriment of these individuals did not calm the Elves though, for their mind was focus into finding Estel, their little prince.

The Elves surveyed the area quietly until Erestor spoke beside them.

"These men are so loud… I always wonder if they ever know what we call 'peace of mind'."

"Men will be Men." Glorfindel answered, "They will know nothing about 'peace' no matter how hard they try to seek it."

"Noisy beings." Erestor added.

"Enough." Elrond's eyes glinted as he turned to look at his Councilor and the Balrog slayer, "It is not time to criticize them. We must track Estel down before he does something out of his limit."

"I do not see his tracks around…" Legolas whispered suddenly.

Elrond turned abruptly and concentrated on the ground. The other Elves did the same until they were looking at one another because they all agreed, and feared it, that there were no tracks around.

"Where is he?" Erestor gritted his teeth as all at once the six hooded Elves came out of their hiding place to check the surrounding. Elrond knelt on the ground but couldn't find the familiar steps of his child. Legolas went to the left side to see if he can find any, Elrohir and Elladan both went straight the street to see if there were anything there. Erestor went to the right side while Glorfindel remained standing behind Elrond.

"This is impossible…" the Elf Lord whispered, his eyes rounding each moment, "There are plenty of tracks, but none belongs to my little one…"

Glorfindel did not speak but tapped Elrond by the shoulder and helped him to stand up.

"We will find him, mellon nin," the Balrog slayer said when he and Elrond eyed each other, "I swear to you, we will." He nodded at the Elf Lord.

Elrond found strength in his friend's voice and he breathed a sigh. Moments later Erestor came back, followed by Elrohir and Elladan.

"He's not here. He's never been here." Elladan's tone was hard.

"What if he did not make it here, Elrond?" Erestor said with a note of fear in his voice, "We should have followed his tracks from the market place before running here swiftly."

"We should do that now then." Legolas appeared on their right looking serious and solemn, "I found something disturbing around… and if I wasn't in a hurry to find Estel I would have done something that could delay our search."

"What is the matter, princeling?" Glorfindel spoke asked.

Legolas' gaze hardened.

"These pubs, they are really making little ones work for them… without any compensation."

Elrond and the others stared at the Prince and at that moment they felt what he was feeling.

"I will settle this after I found my child." Elrond turned his head quietly away and started walking back where they came from. The others followed silently, until a commotion made them all turn back.

On the street, a pub door burst open and something flew out from the inside and came crashing on the ground. People started to crowd around the commotion and make fuzzy noises. The Elves fought their way toward the heart of the circle and saw what was occurring.

A little boy with a black hair was coughing on the ground and moaning in pain. He was wounded from the sudden throw, with scratches and bruises on his little arms and face. Elrond recognized his dress made of silk. It was Estel's.

Without thinking the Elf Lord leapt forward and embraced the child protectively in his arms.

"Estel!" He turned the little boy to face him gently and found it was not his child. It was another human boy who was bleeding and unconscious and wearing his son's dress. Elrond bit his lower lip.

A flying chair came next from the pub but Elrond did not turn. The people around gasped for he was going to be hit until the chair was cut into pieces in a blink. The people around gasped again for in swift movements five hooded figures were already standing protectively around the Elf Lord.

"The audacity of these humans…" grumbled Erestor as he stood firmly before Elrond.

Elladan and Elrohir turned to their father to see the child. A passing disappointment came over the twins when they saw that it wasn't their little brother. Elrond did not speak.

"What are y'all doing?" said a voice.

Legolas and Glorfindel eyed the door way of the pub where a man was emerging out. He was a tall, large, beefy man whose beard was a mess around his face. His eyes were barely visible from his fat and rather red cheeks and he seemed to be drunk.

"I hate these humans…" Erestor grumbled from behind, "They easily get drunk."

"Get outta my way, you meddlin' sticks!" the man was roaring madly, "That idiot's poured drinks on me! Em' gonna chew his little limbs! Outta the way!"

Another man who was wearing an apron came out of the pub too looking rather sulky.

"The kid's all yours! I don't need any good for nothings who don't do their jobs properly as workers in my pub. Imagine losing a bottle of imported ale? Serves you right!" He shouted.

Elrond's ears perked up.

It was at the moment that the drunkard swayed his right hand violently which was holding a bottle toward the group. Legolas, Glorfindel and Erestor readied for the attack but an alarming feeling made them all look behind them.

What they saw made them all gasp.

Elrond had stand up with the boy on his arms; his hood fell backward, revealing a black hair and pointy ears. The people around cried as they recognized him. Elrond's hair was flying behind, and his aura was very strong. The wind around started to catch the power and it made a very strong gust of wind that sent the people crowding around running. The Elf Lord's eyes were close.

"Elrond!" Glorfindel shouted as he stood firmly on his ground.

"Ada!" Elrohir and Elladan shouted.

"Lord Elrond…" Legolas watched the Elf Lord with sadness for out of this strong power Elrond's emotion was also being loose. The Elves could feel his sadness and their hearts were with him.

"Legolas!" Erestor called and the Elf Prince knew what was going to happen next. The three Elves in front jumped away as Elrond opened his eyes and sent his powers toward the drunken fellow.

"Gyaa!" he flew away and hit his back on the pub behind him that knocked him unconscious. The wall behind him broke into pieces and the pub owner came running away in fright.

Up the sky a mighty lightning broke the dark clouds of the night. Elrond's power slowly went to normal and he let out a short sigh. He had closed his eyes, and when he opened them his companions were already surrounding him. The three Elves saw the unconscious boy and realized that it wasn't Estel. If they were disappointed, they did not hide it well.

"Very unlike you to lose patience, Elrond." Erestor remarked a few minutes later when Elrond was tending to the small boy's wounds. They took shelter in a small and empty shack while the rain, probably caused by Elrond's power, poured outside. "But indeed, well deserved by that drunken fellow." Erestor continued.

"Agreed." The twins called out from beside Legolas.

"He was going to kill him." Elladan noted darkly.

"He was going to chew his limbs." Elrohir shook his head disapprovingly.

"Still…" came Glorfindel's voice, "How come this boy is wearing Estel's dress?"

"That is what I want to find out."Elrond said as he silently touched the boy's face gently and revived him from his unconscious state. They watched as the boy blinked slowly.

"..What… where is… ahh he's going to kill me!" the boy looked around frantically as if someone was going to eat him. He was surprised to see six hooded figures before him, but at least, not a drunk customer.

"Easy… you are safe now…we won't harm you." Elrond spoke gently that made the boy somehow believe him.

"Who are you?" the boy asked.

Elrond merely shook his head. "How do you fair, little one?"

The boy sat up slowly and shook his head a little.

"Where am I? Where's my mother?"

The Elves looked at each other and Elrond was glad to hear the boy still has a guardian.

"I assure you your mother is where you last saw her." Elrond started quietly, "It is I who want to ask you, and please tell me honestly… where you acquired this dress?"

Elrond touched the hem of the silky dress of the boy. The little boy stared at the dress then back at the hooded being before he answered,

"A boy traded it to me, sir… for a bottle of ale."

Elrond rose a little higher with a frown on his face. "Can you tell me more about this boy?"

"I was doing my work," continued the boy, shifting uncomfortably after feeling the intent eyes of all the hooded figures before him. "I was delivering bottles of ales… when he appeared beside me and asked me many things."

"What did he asked?" Elrond pressed on.

"He asked… he asked if I could tell him where I work because he wants to work too… I say to him, I say 'why do you want to work for when you have a nice dress', because I saw his dress and it was very nice… and he told me, he say 'I need to have a bottle of ale so I need to work.' I looked at him and saw he didn't have shoes so he's probably just another stray, so I told him, I say 'If you give me your dress I will give you a bottle of ale. So he gave me his dress, sir, he gave me. I did not take it. I was thinking since master barman is not paying me I should take something from him… so I traded a bottle of his ale for this dress…"

The boy's statement was followed by a deafening silent from the tall, hooded figures. Elrond watched the boy and knew he wasn't lying.

"It really shows how eager Estel is to acquire a bottle of ale, Elrond." Erestor broke the silence at once, "I cannot comprehend why so…"

"Have you ever asked for a bottle of ale, my Lord?" Legolas asked quietly, "Maybe Estel thought…"

"I did not ask for any…" Elrond shook his head as he looked at the child and remembering his own boy. "I could not ask for anything more than him…"

"Most importantly here, more than any ales in the world," Glorfindel's voice was loud and clear from the nonstop rain outside, "is the fact that Estel is walking under this weather with nothing to protect his delicate body save his pants! We ought to find him, and quick!"

"Glorfindel's right," Legolas nodded, "We should be going now… I'm worried about the little one…"

"He's wearing my clothes!"

With an abrupt stop, the Elves looked at the little boy who was still sitting on the stone table they placed him moments ago. Elrond's mind seemed to focus a little…

"What did you say, little one?"

The boy looked from one hooded figure to another before saying, "I gave him my clothes… I did not like to see him go without wearing anything…"

Lord Elrond smiled kindly at the boy and tapped his head.

"What is your name?"

"Tom… Tom Bombadil…"

"Thank you, Tom…. Did he tell you where he was going?"

"He told me he's going back." the boy answered earnestly, "He told me he's going back home."

Lord Elrond's eyes shone and the boy knew he did something good. The hooded being reached for the boy's hands and said, "You are a good man."

Something heavy fell on the Tom's hands, something like a pouch and when he looked inside he realize it was a bag of gold coins. Awestruck, he looked up to thank the hooded figures, only to realize that he was alone.

The beings had vanished like a passing air, quiet and swift.

***T.T.T.T***

The rain was pouring heavily as the six Elves traveled back to Rivendell where they wished and hope Estel would be.

Even though the clouds above were thick and the rain was splashing down on them nonstop they did not falter. Their worry for the little boy who was still out of their reach was weighing them down. They wished Estel had found an easy way to go back, and not travel by feet under this heavy rain.

Elrond felt the air was a hindrance to him. He felt the rain was stopping him. The night was long, and it had been many hours since they started their travel back. It was also past midnight. But he did not give in to tiredness. The idea of his Estel, a small, barely five years old boy, traveling under this unsafe night was making the half Elven worried sick. He would do anything to have Estel back on the safety of his realm. Then after that… he would never let go of his little hands…

The group did not stop their search in the middle of the night. When it seemed that it was impossible to see anything in the dark, they lit up the torches they had on their horses and searched. They could not find any tracks on the ground anymore for it was wet with the heavy rain. The river beside the road they were traveling was also roaring in rage. They were near Rivendell.

Just as Elrond saw the tower of his palace from a far something pulled strength back that caused him to pull his horse into an abrupt stop. If he wasn't an elf, if he wasn't the master of the Elves, and if he wasn't skilled in riding he would have fallen and died, but Elrond knew better and gracefully handled his horse. His stop made the others halt at once.

"Elrond!" Glorfindel shouted.

Lord Elrond felt for his heart with horror reflected on his eyes.

"Ada, what's the matter?" Elladan and Elrohir were beside their father immediately.

"The river…" whispered the Elf Lord, almost out of breath, "its speaking to me…it's Estel!"

Without any hesitation, Elrond kicked his horse toward the raging river on their right. The others followed him without question.

He saw the rage of the river as it created waves continuously once he got there. Immediately, the Elf Lord slid down his horse and looked at the angry river with the others following smoothly behind him.

"He's around here!" he shouted at the others and without further questions they went on their own ways to search. Elrond remained looking at the river, talking to it, pleading it to say that it did not swallow his youngest son.

"Lord Elrond!" Legolas gasped loudly as he sprinted toward the Elf Lord. The Elf Prince showed something that made Elrond stare. It was a bottle of ale.

"ELROND!" Glorfindel's loud and urgent voice made Elrond forget everything. In swift strides he was running to where the Balrog slayer was followed by the Elf Prince, his twins, and Councilor.

"Glorfindel!" he shouted seeing his friend already at the age of the river with the waves pulling him. Glorfindel pointed somewhere on the river, shouting.

"OVER THERE!"

They followed where the Balrog Slayer was pointing and saw a small piece of a log floating amidst the rage of the storm. But as they looked closer they could see something was hanging on the little log, a small, figure with curly locks. His cries for help were barely audible due to the storm. When Elrond saw him, he knew he'd whisk the storm to save him.

At that moment a lightning shaped the sky, and from above the mountains came the roaring sound of something falling down. Legolas, Elladan, Elrohir, Erestor and Glorfindel looked at the source of the sound. They looked in horror as from the nearby falls a huge amount of water was surging, like a tempest ready to swallow everything.

"ESTEL!" Legolas and the rest shouted as they pushed themselves toward the river to save the little one. Estel saw what was coming, and all he could do was to stare in fright.

Lord Elrond clenched his fist with anger etched on his face. His little one was crying in the middle of the storm, he's been through many things. His little one had enough. With power only he can control, he called for the river.

Legolas and the rest could not go near the river anymore for its waves were pushing them back. They watched helplessly as the water created a wall of waves, almost as tall as the mountains around. And it was heading directly to the little boy floating in the middle of its rage. That was when it stopped.

Estel had his eyes tightly closed, with tears spreading down his cheeks, his hands tightly closed around the edge of the log and waiting for the doom that was bestowed on him.

Nothing came.

"Are you alright, tithen pen?"

Estel looked up.

Lord Elrond was standing in the middle of the river with his back on the huge wall of wave suspended from falling down. He was glowing like no Elf has ever glowed before with the use of his innate power. The river around was still raging but the spot where the Elf Lord was standing was as calm as an untouched water.

Elrond saw the fear on the child's eyes, his cold appearance made the Elf Lord feel like he was stabbed, and the boy's tired expression made him want to swear in anger. But instead, he bent down Estel and took him to his arms.

"You are safe now. I'm with you."

"Ada!" Estel snaked his damp arms around his father's neck and cried. Elrond embraced the little body tightly with both arms. He never felt so relieved in his life.

Glorfindel and the rest watched in relief as Elrond walked back the riverbank with Estel on his arms. Each step the Elf Lord take, the river would make way and make its part as solid as a rock. The Elves have never seen a power so beautiful and mighty as that of Elrond.

***T.T.T.T***

Five days later, Estel was happily playing with his brothers and the Elf Prince on the garden of Rivendell, while Elrond was busily sealing his letter to Halbarad in his office. The messenger has finally arrived and was waiting in front of the Elf Lord's office.

"Here," he called to the messenger, "Please give my regards to Halbarad and tell him to take care of his heart… with whatever this letter is containing…"

"Yes, my Lord." answered the Elf messenger as he bowed his respect to the Lord of Imladris.

Elrond stood up and walked near the window where he could see his three sons and the Elf Prince playing around. Finally, he could breathe peacefully again. Why it was only three days ago that he had pushed himself to the limit after Estel's expected fever the night they had saved him from the angry storm by the river… It was also three days ago when his heart had cried to its fullest when he thought he had lost his son… but now everything was back to normal.

The Elf Lord looked back on his table where a bottle of ale was standing, almost half empty. He had taken care of the matter at the Ford about the working children. About the ale, he remembered Estel's answer when he asked him about his running away… Estel had said he read it from the book Prince Legolas had lend him, about how fathers adored good ale, that good fathers are given such when they deserved it. The little one thought of giving his father a gift but do not know where. That was when he heard the conversation of the Elves who was going into a journey. He heard them talk about a fine ale made by the men from Ford. That was why Estel decided to venture the Human lands. That was why he was eager for a bottle of ale. It was for his father.

After hearing this Elrond could not help but embrace his child. He did not know how to respond to the little one's thoughtfulness, yet, he warned him never ever leave Rivendell again. It was a promise between them. He had enclosed all these details in a letter, and sooner or later he knew he would hear from Halbarad.

But no matter, he could hear the tinkling laugh of his son again. He was satisfied.

***T.T.T.T***

Legolas was sitting on a stone chair on the garden and reading his book when Estel sprinted near him. The Elf Prince lowered his book and smiled at the young one.

"Yes, tithen pen?"

"Did you see what ada can do, Legolas?" he asked smartly. The Elf Prince pretended that he did not know the answer.

"I'm afraid I missed it, what did he do, my young friend?"

"He stopped the river! And then he stepped on the water! It was amazing…" the boy's silver eyes shone in amazement and pride. Legolas ruffled Estel's hair gently.

"He is a great Elf, tithen pen, a great Elf indeed."

"Legolas?"

"Yes?"

"If I returned to the river again, would you come with me? Because Dan' said it is dangerous to go alone…"

"Certainly, I will." Legolas looked seriously at the adan. "Promise me Estel, that you won't go looking for an adventure without me. That you would always think of me to come whenever you want to do something. Can I take your word for it?"

Estel grinned at the Elf Prince and nodded his head enthusiastically.

"Yes, I promise, Legolas! But you must promise the same. Can I take your word for it?"

The Elf Prince smiled.

"Yes, you have my word."

END.

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