A/N: Okay, this is my first fic, but I think it's a pretty good go so far. Tell me what you think. This takes place sometime after Celebrian goes west, but long before Aragorn ever comes into the picture. Main characters will be the twins, Glorfindel, Elrond, Erestor, and maybe guest appearances by Legolas, Haldir or the glorious Silver One, Celeborn.

DISCLAIMER: I make no profit by writing this, and I own NONE repeat: NONE of the characters mentioned in this fic. Please don't sue me. On with the story:


They rode together, so much alike few could tell them apart. Elladan and Elrohir, the twin sons of Elrond Peredhil, dressed in twilight blue and the silver of the early morning mists that settled over their valley home. They protected their home, riding forever out into the wilderness, clearing the mountains and plains of the infestations of orcs that were far too many in these dark years.

Elrohir raised himself on the back of his horse, sighing in the late winter air. He was glad to be out of the snow of the mountains and on his way home.

"A warm fire and a meal I did not have to hunt myself will be welcome, brother," Elladan laughed at Elrohir's eagerness. The twins lived too closely and too long together not to be able to read each other's mind with the barest gesture.

"We are still two days' ride from Imladris, though I daresay we could make it by next sunset if we rode through the night," Elrohir replied.

Elladan gazed west as the sun sank lower on the horizon. "These woods are not safe after dark, but I believe that it would not be wise to camp. Let us ride on."

They lapsed into silence as their mounts surged on, surefooted even on the stony mountain path. The night hemmed them in. Elrohir's horse whinnied as he pulled her up.

"Elladan, something is wrong. The stars are not out tonight, and the dark is unnatural. Let us go back and find a safer path that we know home." He turned his mare away and began to ride back, trusting his brother to follow. The night air split in a scream as a spear whistled through the air.

Elrohir turned to see his twin's horse rear and twist to fall on its side, a spear embedded in its flesh. Elladan was trapped under the dying horse, desperately pulling his right leg free. Elrohir could see the shadow of orcs in the trees, waiting for them in ambush.

"Ride, Elrohir!" Elladan cried. He had managed to free himself, though his leg was broken. He drew his sword to defend himself from the oncoming orcs. Elrohir's horse reared as a hoard of orcs appeared in front of it, between him and his brother. He struggled to regain control of his mount as he drew his sword to fend off the attackers. Several orcs fell victim to the elvish steel, though more appeared to take their place. He could hear Elladan, not far away as his blade clashed with the crude weapons of the orcs.

"Ride, Elrohir! By Elbereth, ride while you still have a mount beneath you!"

Elrohir saw that there were too many orcs, the trap was too well-set as still more orcs attempted to cut off his escape route. If he were to flee, it would have to be now.

"Be strong, brother! I will come back for you!" he cried as he spurred his horse away, cutting down the orcs that tried to bar his path. "May Grandfather's light keep you in this darkness, Elladan," he prayed to the starless night.

The soft mid-morning light slanted through the open windows as Lord Elrond sat in his study, bent over a Dwarvish translation he had been working on for the last season. It was almost complete, and the Lore Master wished to be done with it before preparations for the New Year had to be under way. He distantly heard the soft sound of elvish feet in the hallway outside, but waited for the knock that was sure to come. There was no knock as someone burst through his door. He looked up to see Glorfindel, his expression grave.

"Lord Elrond, Elrohir has returned without Elladan."

Elrond stood so quickly that his hand knocked over the small ink pot, sending a black flood down the volume. It lay forgotten.

"Where is Elrohir! What happened?" he demanded.

Glorfindel quickly led Elrond to Elrohir's room. "There was an orc ambush, two days out of the borders, though Elrohir made it back in a night and half a morning." There was a grim pride in Glorfindel's voice for his student's riding skills.

They entered Elrohir's room to find him sitting in chair. Erestor was standing above him, pressing him to drink tea and tending to a wound on his arm. "Father!" he said, nearly dropping the teacup if Erestor hadn't caught his hands. He looked pale and exhausted.

Elrond fell to his knees in front of his son, wrapping him in a strong embrace. Tears streamed down Elrohir's face. "I couldn't…I tried, Ada."

"Hush now, Elrohir. You're safe here. We'll get him back," Elrond reassured him. "Glorfindel," he addressed his captain while still holding his son. "Assemble the swiftest riders and the finest horses. We leave as soon as preparations are made."

Elrond rose and Elrohir just after. The twin wiped his now resolute eyes with his sleeve, and bent to retrieve his mail where it rested on another chair.

"No, Elrohir," Elrond stopped him. "You to stay here with Erestor. I will not lose another son."

Elrohir squared his shoulders, bringing his noble heritage to bear and looking like the young elf lord he was. "And I…I will not lose a brother. I promised him I would return. I will not fail Elladan." Not like I failed our mother, the comment was left unvoiced.

Elrond nodded. He understood oaths sworn in battle and kept long after. "Very well. Hurry! We have no time to tarry."