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Hope in the Healing (PG-13) Print

Written by Susana

14 February 2011 | 36497 words | Work in Progress

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Title: Hope in the Healing, Part IV
Author: Susana
Series: Desperate Hours; Young Estel story
Feedback: rosasusana7@…
Rating: PG-13, to be safe.
Warning: AU; discussion of a future spanking.
Beta: Thanks to Holly and Kaylee for their kind assistance, and thanks to everyone who has reviewed earlier parts. Remaining mistakes are mine.
Disclaimer: All recognizable elements are Tolkien’s.

Summary: Arathorn’s death was a tragedy for Gilraen and Aragorn. But it was also a tragedy for the rangers, and for their comrades in arms, the Lord Elrond’s twin sons. In this part, Melpomaen and his newly-returned friends discuss their plans for the immediate future.

A/N: Part I of this story is 26803, Part II is 27521, Part III is 27524. Several parts of this story also indirectly refer to events referenced in Counting by Nines, 25082. Estel reappears in the next part, the twins’ first morning back at Imladris.

Part IV

Third Age 2934, About two days before Yule, Imladris

Melpomaen joined his gwedyr in the bathing pool, and the three spoke of very little, for a short time. They often didn’t need to speak, amongst one another, so long had they been friends. Elladan was a chatterbox, Elrohir quite a talker himself when he was in a mood, and Mel could rival Erestor for speed of speech when he was interested in something. But between the three of them, so many conversations had already been held, that they knew what one another would say, more often than they didn’t. There was no need to say anything aloud, when the twins were so tired. The three of them had been friends for the better part of three thousand years, and it showed. If the twins were to die, Mel did not know how he would go on living. Knowing that Drystan had once been Aran Ereinion’s gwador, Mel did not know how Drystan had survived Gil-galad’s death. But Mel was grateful he had, and that he had later married Siana, and helped to save Mel from an increasingly precarious situation in his grieving, mind-sick biological father’s home. And fathered Eilunwen, one of Mel’s best friends.

Mel did end the silence to advise the twins that, based on his experience with the trolls, it might be best to just tell their father everything about the fireboat incident from the beginning. Erestor had not been best pleased to learn that Mel had been purposely attracting the trolls, to distract them from the wounded Dunedain. Glorfindel had thought it was a sound enough strategy, but maintained that Mel should have realized how close they were to the troll, much sooner.

“You’re annoyed with us, too.” Elladan made a face and flicked water at Melpomaen. “The burning bridge was a good idea, Mel, really it was.”

Mel looked heavenward and was silent for long enough that Elrohir thought he was probably appealing to Eru and the Valar for patience. “It was very…you, Elladan.” Mel supplied at last, “And I did worry for my tithen gwedyr, when I heard. But I know how capable you two are, and we’re of an age, so you’re not my elflings, the way you are our fathers’ and Glor’s.” Mel gave his friends a sympathetic look, “And I know that they are going to make their disapproval quite clear to you.”

“After the council meeting tomorrow.” Elrohir supplied softly, “so we’ve some grace period. ‘Twill be nice sleeping without a sore backside tonight, our first night in weeks in a warm bed instead of a cold camp.”

Elladan disagreed, “tonight we would have hardly noticed it, we’re so tired. Its their cruel plan to make us wait until tomorrow, when we’re better rested, and will lie awake cursing our fate.”

Elrohir rolled his eyes at his twin’s over-dramatic wording, and called him on his accusation with a chuckle. “‘Dan, I’m sure if you had asked Ada to please spank you tonight, he would have obliged you.” Elrohir tried to be fair to his father and Glorfindel, most of the time, anyway.

“After the council meeting should work well enough.” Melpomaen commented sympathetically but somewhat absently, thinking more of Estel’s normal schedule, “It will be good to have it over, and you two will have the chance to see Estel in the morning, and again at dinner, even though the council meeting and those discussions will take up the better part of the afternoon.”

Elladan winced. He did not like the idea of sitting through their first dinner back at Imladris after facing a session over their Ada’s knee and their Captain’s desk. Squirming like naughty elflings at the table would be embarrassing enough, but only those elves who knew the twins were in trouble, and why, would suspect the reason for their discomfort. Given how much danger the twins had been in when the explosives did not alight promptly, and that they had needed to go closer to the trap in order to spring it, Elladan was somewhat concerned that they would not even be able to sit for dinner. There was nothing worse than standing at the table, for that usually made it quite obvious what had happened to the poor blushing elf in question.

Elrohir had already accepted that their fate would be whatever their father and Captain decreed, his concern had moved on to another issue. “Ada has taken Estel to his heart, has he not?” He said, not really asking. Elrohir could see that it was the case.

Elladan seemed confused. “Of course he has, gwanur-nin. Aragorn…Estel, is a lovely child. Ada is very fond of children. Why would he not?”

Mel and Elrohir exchanged a look. Sometimes Elladan missed things. Mel started, “Lord Elrond is treating Estel like a son in fact, rather than a favored fosterling, ‘Dan.” He explained gently.

“Oh, my.” Elladan said, realizing that such was in fact the case, just from the little interaction he had seen between the two that night. “Oh, Ada has such…such, troubles, when those he loves leave, as all humans must, within not much more than a century’s time. It is good that he is acting as father in truth to our lost Arathorn’s child, but,” Elladan did not finish, but they all knew. Oh the price Lord Elrond would pay, when Estel passed on.

Melpomaen sighed, before adding. “There’s another thing that has me worried.You should ask him, tomorrow, but I think there’s something your Adar isn’t telling us, about Estel. That we are closer to the end of this age, and whatever confrontation looms before us, than we realize, and that Estel is part of all of that.”

The twins exchanged serious looks. Those amongst the Dunedain with the gift of sight had been prophesying similar things. If Lord Elrond thought so, too, then the beginning of the end might truly be upon them. But Estel was still just a child.

“He’s a small child.” Elrohir remarked, “not a vessel of prophecy. I do not begrudge him our father’s love,” which was true, the twins had happily shared Lord Elrond with Andreth, Belemir, and Arwen, as well as their distant cousins the Dunedain fosterlings, for many years, “but we must needs be about our duties, in the spring. And we want you to come with us, Mel. Erestor and Glor have had enough time to sulk about the troll incident.”

Mel paused a moment in thought, and pulled himself out of the tub, wrapping a towel around himself, and grabbing several for the twins, before answering, “No,” in a soft and regretful, but nonetheless firm, voice.

Elrohir paused a moment in silent shock. Mel was their gwador, their own sworn retainer, and, Mel has never said no to us before, and meant it, like this. He signed to Elladan.

Elladan shrugged in silent resignation, explaining He has to me. He told me no, I could not go about my knight errantry alone, when you were in Greenwood.

Elrohir gave his twin an annoyed, concerned look. Well, good. At least Mel has some sense, and you the sense to heed him. Honestly, Elladan.

Elladan rolled his eyes at his brother. I knew you’d say that. I don’t know why he won’t come with us, though. Aloud, Elladan asked, “Why not, iaur gwador-nin?”

Mel handed Elladan a towel, “I will if you or Elrohir order me to, or if you really need me, for you are my Lords as well as my gwedyr. I will even agree to come for short trips, without that. But I am needed here, tithen-gwedyr-nin. Your little foster-brother Estel needs me right now, more than you do. And he could use your companionship and tutelage as well. I think…I think it may be more important, that Estel has the benefit of every advantage we can give him, growing up, than that we spend all of the fighting seasons with his people the Dunedain, during these upcoming years.”

Elrohir and Elladan exchanged a confused look. Of course Isildur’s heir would play a role in whatever confrontation was coming, when that time arrived. But surely others would play a role as well. Still, Melpomean’s judgment was generally sound. Elrohir frowned, “Why do you think so, Melpomaen?”

Mel struggled to put his thoughts into words, as he gave Elrohir a hand to help him out of the water. “Estel is … he’s, there’s something…more awake, aware, about Estel, than any human or elf I’ve ever known. He’s special, but he’s hurting. My life has been the richer, for having become your friend. I might even call becoming your friend the best thing that ever happened to me, because without having become your friend, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to say yes, when Erestor asked me to be his son. I think Estel needs you, in these years, more than his people. I think – I think if Estel could, he’d make all of us his people. Humans, elves, everyone.”

The twins were quiet at first, thinking over their advisor’s words. Then Elrohir sighed and signed to Elladan, We’ll need him for at least helping the Dunedain reconstruct the books keeping their bloodlines.

Elladan nodded, silently elaborating, Yes, but perhaps you can stay, to help Ada and Estel, whilst Mel and I visit those resettled villages.

Elrohir frowned. He didn’t like the idea of sending Elladan and Mel away from Imladris on that mission without him. They were both capable warriors, and Elladan’s latest injury, the one their father had learned of that night, probably would have happened even if Elrohir had been there. After all, Mel had once been terribly wounded, protecting Elrohir. Still, though, Elrohir did not like it. He was the most vigilant, of the three of them.

Mel waited patiently as the twins dressed and talked, accepting a borrowed nightshirt of Elladan’s and a red robe of Elrohir’s. Mel and Erestor suspected that the twins actually communicated mentally, much as Glorfindel could with Erestor and Elrond. Some elves, Mel knew, such as Lord Elrond and Lady Galadriel, could use the mindspeech, called osanwe, with even those who they did not know, but most elves, even powerful elves, could use it only in between close friends and family. Though they were probably speaking mind-to-mind, the twins also made somewhat standardized gestures to one another, whether or not they actually needed them to “speak,” and Mel understood a good share of those gestures, after three thousand years with the twins. So he understood the gist of most of their private conversations, but he was a patient ellon. It didn’t bother him to wait, while the twins worked through their thoughts.

It was Elrohir who replied at last “Your friendship may have been the best thing that ever happened to us, too, Mel.”

Elladan, with a crooked grin, added “Without you, we wouldn’t have survived Bree, I don’t think.”

Elrohir, thinking, added “Or been successful in any of a number of endeavors.”

Elladan concluded “In short, if you think we need to stay, we’ll think on it.”

Elrohir further concluded, “We value your advice like Ada values Erestor’s.”

Mel smiled, wryly, but gently, as he was not upset “Even if you think I’ve just gone gooey over a cute little face, this time.”

The twins chuckled, and Elladan replied “We didn’t say that.”

Elrohir, grinning gently, “And we’ll try to keep an open mind.”

And just like that, all was right again between the twins and their gwador. In a friendship like theirs, there was room for disagreement, and thinking the other friend was wrong. Just as during the first few weeks they’d known one another, the three ellyn found some of the same things funny, even in their disagreement, and harmony was restored. After all, what in the end, does love come to, but this – being able to admit to disagreement, and move on to laughter and joy in your reunion, and knowing that, when with one another, you have come home. No matter where you are.

“Stay with us, tonight?” Elldan asked lightly.

“Of course.” Mel replied, pleased to agree, happy to be held by his best friends and to hold them and know they were truly home, safe and sound. The relationship between them was a brotherly one, not romantic love, but the three elves still found it comforting, to fall asleep safe in oneanother’s embrace. None of the three younger Lords of Imladris had yet found love. The twins had been focused on war, especially since their mother’s death. Mel was very busy with being the twins’ advisor and business manager and Erestor’s and Lord Elrond’s assistant. Mel, who had found brothers and a father and a large extended family so unexpectedly in Imladris, would not have turned away from romance if he found that too, but there were few enough ellith of an age young enough not to be Melpomaen’s grandmother, and he was not activley searching. As a general rule, where the twins went, so too would Mel, and that would have made marriage difficult, at least.

Elrond, checking on the twins after Estel was back abed, smiled, and went to fetch his gwador and Captain. “Come, you must see this, “ Elrond told them.

Erestor and Glorfindel as well smiled to see the three younger elves all curled up in the same bed, walking the path of dreams together. Elrohir slept on the side of his bed nearest the door, with an arm flung around Melpomaen, and Elladan on the far side, his raven head on the sleeping Mel’s chest. Elladan’s bed lay empty beyond them.

“We are lucky in our sons, mellon-nin.” Erestor commented softly.

“We are, though mine may yet drive me to heart failure.” Elrond commented, sighing.

Glorfindel snorted. “I survived, you will too, Guren.”

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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Brandie , Robbie , Robbie , Callum , Houston , Kellye , Rena , Luz , Lauri , Tamela , Venus , Treedweller

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1 Comment(s)

NB: Comments span all chapters and may contain spoilers!

I really enjoyed this fic. I stumbled across it completely by accident when looking for a translation for “mellon muin nin” (which incidentally I read in another of your fics) The first chapter was my favorite because Faramir was in it. I LOVE your characterization of Faramir. I have been reading all your stories that contain Faramir over and over since I first discovered them last week.

One thing I think that you could do to make them better is to translate any elvish you use at the end of your chapters or at least put a glossary of terms somewhere. I don’t know about your other readers but I am not all that familiar with elvish. I can recognize a very few words and even those confuse me when they are used outside of the context with which I am familiar. I really want to know what all those terms of endearment mean exactly. :) Other than that, I love your stories and I love that you update so often! I can’t wait to read the rest of your series. (especially the stories about Faramir)

— firstar28    3 September 2011, 04:39    #

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