A/N: I've been typing this story up for a while pretty much out of boredom because it's summer and I don't have a car or a job. (But I have a laptop, whee!) I never particularly had any plans for it, but after I had a few chapters written it started feeling a little pointless since I was writing it and didn't have anyone else's thoughts on it since no one was reading it.
I'm not really sure where I'm going with it yet, but I thought I'd publish a little bit here so I could get some feedback.
Knock yourselves out with that charming little review button. c:
Miraleth was the last daughter and child to be born of Celebrian of Lothlórien and Elrond of Rivendell. Like her two brothers and sister, she had inherited her father's dark hair, which grew to fall in curls down her back, clear, gray eyes the color of rain, and an uncanny sense of her surroundings. But her smile…she had her mother's smile, lovely and sparkling.
And from the moment she was born, she was loved dearly. Her brothers had already begun planning her fighting lessons and spoke of how they were going to scare all the suitors away when she came of age—because there were going to be suitors, Celebrian could promise that much. Elrond scolded his sons, but it would hardly do any good. When Elrohir and Elladan were determined, there wasn't much they couldn't do. They had taught Arwen how to wield a blade as soon as she could hold one, and Elrond didn't doubt they were going to teach Miraleth even earlier.
For a number of years, Miraleth not only grew, but flourished in her lively city of Rivendell. Her mother took her riding, her father taught her from texts of elf, man, dwarf, and hobbit alike. Her sister taught her to listen to the trees and her brothers taught her how to hold a bow and hide daggers in the silken folds of her gowns.
But she didn't learn about danger until the fall of her mother. The rise of the orcs had come during her 900th year and with it, attacks on lone travelers passing through the vast wilderness. She remembered Elrohir and Elladan galloping out of Imladris on Elrond's fastest horses to Caradhras Pass with her father's urgent yelling. "Ride with haste! Ride fast!" She remembered her mother being rushed up to her bed—she remembered the pasty white of her skin, the circles under her eyes, the purple of her veins. She remembered the sickness. The poison. Yes, her mother had healed, but she had never been the same. She had forgotten how to laugh, and how to smile, and how to love her children. It was almost as if she had left some crucial part of herself back in the cruel mountains of Caradhras Pass.
Hardly a year had passed before she left for the Grey Havens. There was a ship waiting to take her to the West. They would see each other again though, she said. They would meet again in Valinor after the end of all things, after Miraleth learned to see with her heart, mind, and soul instead of with her eyes.
Miraleth had not thought to find out exactly what that meant.
And years later, she would pay for it.
It started with the hobbit.
Her Sight had never been so strong and it scared her half to death the first time she had brushed his skin. She had been there with her father healing the halfling and as she ran a rag over his forehead, her skin had brushed his—the tinest bit, the tiniest square millimeter, but it was enough for her to suddenly be somewhere else.
—There was a face—whose face? Whose face?
A dark mass traveling quickly across the skies.
A burning place that looked like Isengard, monstrous forms on fire.
A ring. Golden. Elvish engraved in flame along the insides.
The One Ring.—
She had fallen back off her feet, her eyes rolling back into her head. Arwen told her she had broken out in a feverish sweat, trembling and shivering like a mortal on the brink of death. Elrohir had picked her up like a babe, taken her to her own room, and held her until the tremors subsided, smoothing her curls and murmuring nonsense about the smell of the soil in spring and the frostberries in winter.
"The One Ring," she had gasped when she could speak again. "The hobbit brings the One Ring."
Once the hobbit was healed, Miraleth settled herself into a cushioned chair across from his bed and waited the days away until he awoke, leaving only to eat and sleep, trying her best to ignore the golden ring on the bedside table.
It whispered to her. It murmured her name. Miraleth. Like a scorned lover it begged to be held, to be worn. To be satisfied and powerful once more. She covered it with a dark blanket when the whispers turned into insistent mutters that wormed their way into her mind.
She was still sitting, staring, waiting, when Galdalf came in. "Mithrandir." She greeted coolly.
"Miraleth. How lovely to see you. It's been too long." Gandalf ignored her cool air and smiled warmly, his ageless eyes twinkling.
Miraleth glared at him. "Leave me be, I'm angry."
"But why would you be angry, my dear? I always see such happiness on your face."
"Do not do that."
"That. That thing where you pretend to be an innocent old man." She muttered irritably. "Why would you send that thing here?" She pointed to the bedside table, where the dark blanket was still piled over the Ring.
Gandalf's face fell slightly and he went to take a seat by the hobbit's bedside. He whistled a tune as he pulled out his faithful, wooden pipe and lit it. He took a long drag on the end and smoke spilled from his lips. His eyes fell on the hobbit, who moaned and fidgeted in his sleep. The Nazgûl wound was never going to fully heal. "There was no other choice."
"Wasn't there? Somewhere. Anywhere. My home, Gandalf. Why?" She clenched the silk of her gown in her fists.
Galdalf gazed at her, his eyebrows raised. "These are dark times we are entering. Nowhere is safe. Where would I have brought it?" He puffed on his pipe. "To the kingdoms of Men? Where the Ring would have manipulated them to the point of destruction?"
She stayed quiet. Nearly 1,500 years old and an old man still managed to make her feel like a mere child.
Gandalf smiled. "In some ways you are a child."
"Do not do that either."
He guffawed. "In any case, my dear, dark times are approaching." He paused. "You've Seen it."
Her eyes snapped to his face. "What have I Seen?" This time it was Gandalf who didn't answer. "Gandalf, please. What have I Seen?" She was desperate for answers. Her Sight had always been stronger than any of her siblings', but it had never shown her anything as clearly as when she had touched the hobbit. Since that day her dreams had been riddled with things that were yet to come. Horrid things.
"You've been gifted very fortunately. Or unfortunately, some might say."
Just as Miraleth was about snap at Gandalf that perhaps he was the only one who appreciated the riddles he spoke in, the small form in the bed stirred. The hobbit's brow creased and he breathed a bit heavier. "Where am I?"
Gandalf leaned back in his chair and puffed on his pipe. "You are in the House of Elrond. And it is ten o'clock in the morning, on October the 24th, if you want to know."
The hobbit opened his eyes and stared at the wizard. "Gandalf!"
"Yes, I am here. And you're lucky to be here, too. A few more hours and you would have been beyond our aid." He scolded before smiling, his eyes wrinkling. "But you had some strength in you, mighty hobbit."
The hobbit gingerly sat up in bed, one hand cradling his hurt shoulder. Elrond himself had healed the wound, but it still caused the poor thing considerable pain. Miraleth was astounded that he was awake at all. The hobbit looked at Gandalf, accusation and abandonment in his eyes. "What happened, Gandalf? Why didn't you meet us?"
"Oh, I am sorry, Frodo." Frodo. The hobbit had a name. Gandalf paused for a moment, his eyes sad as he tried to think of something to say. "I was delayed." Delayed, yes. Delayed, attacked, betrayed by a close friend and ally. Miraleth had Seen it.
"Gandalf? What is it?" Frodo's face was worried when Gandalf stayed quiet, his mind elsewhere.
The old wizard tightened his lips and shook his head. "Nothing, Frodo."
Miraleth's lips parted. "You're not going to tell him." She accused quietly as the realization dawned on her.
"Miraleth," Gandalf warned. "Not now."
Frodo looked between Gandalf and Miraleth, waiting for an explanation. "Tell me what?"
"Ah," Gandalf brightened, thankful for the change in topic. "Frodo, this is Miraleth, daughter of Elrond. One of your gracious hosts. She and her siblings helped Elrond to heal you. You owe her your life."
What you owe me is my sleep back, Miraleth thought irritably.
"Oh." Frodo looked at her, his wide eyes lingering on her pointed ears. "Hello. It's…it's nice to meet you."
Miraleth ignored his greeting, jumping straight to the point. "You have brought great evil with you, little hobbit." Her eyes wandered from Frodo's face to the bedside table, where the Ring lay buried underneath the blanket. As soon as she did so, Frodo quickly reached over and yanked the Ring out from under the blanket and slipped the chain around his neck. His breathing calmed and a sense of tranquility came over his face. Miraleth stood abruptly, watching him. "You best leave that thing on the table, Frodo." She warned.
Before he could respond there was a cry of his name and a red-haired hobbit rushed into the room, followed by Miraleth's father. "Frodo!"
"Sam!" Frodo smiled, reaching for his friend's arm.
Miraleth's father laid a hand on her shoulder. "I hope you did not give him too hard a time when he awoke." He spoke quietly as to not interrupt the happy reunification of the young hobbits.
"I didn't—really, I didn't. But…the way he is so comfortable with that thing around his neck frightens me." She murmured. Elrond only squeezed her shoulder in comfort.
"Run and find Elrohir and Elladan. Your brothers have missed you."
"Yes, Ada." She turned to leave.
"And Miraleth?" Elrond called quietly and she glanced back in the doorway. Elrond feared for his youngest daughter. The Valar were cruel to burden her with such Sight so young, and in such dark times as these. Of all the elves in Imladris, Miraleth was one of the happiest, one of the sweetest. Her smiles were always the first thing Elrohir and Elladan wanted to see when they returned home from a long journey. The last thing Elrond wanted was for her to end up as Galadriel had; wicked in her power and cruel in her knowledge. "Do not be frightened. There is always safety here."
"Yes, Ada." She nodded and swept off.
Yes. Elrond feared for his youngest daughter's future.
Miraleth hadn't been able to find her brothers. One of Arwen's handmaidens informed her they had gone to hunt—Rivendell was expecting company, and with company came an opportunity to feast. After wandering around for a bit looking for Arwen (though she had a pretty good feeling where she was—spending some "quality time" with Elessar, whose mortality had never dulled Arwen's love for him.) she caught sight of a familiar gray cloak. "Gandalf!" She called. "Gandalf!"
"Hello, Miraleth," He called over his shoulder. "Be quick, I'm going to speak with your father. What do you need?"
"You didn't tell Frodo why you didn't meet him in Bree. You didn't tell him about Saruman." Miraleth accused.
"I don't remember telling you about it either." Gandalf's voice was gruff.
Miraleth's eyes narrowed at him. "I've Seen it." She breathed, throwing earlier words of his back at him.
Gandalf had no clever response for that. "He did not need to know, Lady Miraleth of Imladris, and it is not your place to tell him."
"He did need to know. What is he going to do once he finds out you're keeping things from him?"
"It was for his own good!"
"You are trying to protect him, Gandalf, but you have already given him the One Ring. There's no protecting him from that. There's no protecting him from much of anything anymore." Miraleth looked back towards Frodo's rooms and lowered her voice. "His future is dark, Mithrandir."
"Yes." Gandalf agreed. "But he is strong. I trust him with the Ring."
"You trust a hobbit with such power?"
"I trust Frodo with my life." Gandalf declared and turned to leave. He hesitated after a few steps, and turned back to glance at her. He huffed out a little sigh. "Alas, you always have kept me grounded, Miraleth. You worry for Frodo?"
"I fear for him." She quietly voiced.
"Yes, yes, you are right to do so." Gandalf paused. "Perhaps giving young Frodo the Ring was…not one of my finest decisions. Perhaps I have endangered him. But I would not have dared to take it myself."
"There was no one else." It was a statement, not a question, and somewhere deep in her mind Miraleth knew it to be true.
Gandalf's face was solemn. "There was no one else."