Login

Lost Password?

Create New Account

Crossroads of Time

Chapter 11: Chapter 11

by ellie

Betas: Fianna, Vicki, Marcia, and GeorgiaPiper
Rating: PG for now
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters. They belong to JRR Tolkien and I am only borrowing them for a while. I make no money from this.
Cast: Glorfindel, Ecthelion, Idril, Turgon, OFCs and OMCs

Feedback: Please let me know what you think. This is quite a long tale I'm telling.

~~~~~~~~~~~*************~~~~~~~~~~~

The triplets took their time making their appearance, not seeing fit to arrive until noon the next day. A beautiful frosty white world greeted them as their father took each one in turn to the window to show them the loveliness of Arda. Ariella watched this ritual curiously. When she had the opportunity, she asked the midwife about it.

The midwife seemed rather surprised at the question and replied, “Ariella, they are Sindarin. It is their custom. Being a Sinda, I would have expected you to know this.”

Ariella mentally kicked herself for making such a potentially grave error. She had never read about such a custom before, and in spite of their many conversations, Celeborn had never mentioned it her. She tried to cover for the mistake. “Are they from Doriath?” she asked back.

“No. They were of Cirdan’s people,” the midwife replied.

“Ah,” Ariella replied sagely, quite relieved as she realized her cover story would still work. “Menegroth, where Prince Celeborn and Princes Artanis dwell is an extensive series of caves. It is completely underground. There is little of the beauty of Arda to show a child without going outside of the caves.”

“Yes, of course,” answered the midwife. “I had forgotten. I am sorry Ariella.”

Ariella and the midwife remained with the family for the rest of the week, helping with housework and caring for the babies, each of which seemed to wish to be on a different schedule. The grateful parents were most distraught when Ariella and the midwife departed, but the midwife promised to send word to the family’s kin that some help would be most appreciated.

The ride across the snowy farmland was breathtaking, and Ariella lost herself in the beauty of it in spite of the frigidity of the air. The thought of returning to a warm house and some good books thrilled her. Ariella eventually parted ways with the midwife, returned home, and stabled the horse. When Ariella entered the house, Glorfindel was the first person she saw, but the chill in his gaze pierced her far more deeply than the cold that had numbed her fingers, toes, and nose on the ride home.

“I will speak with you in my study now,” he commanded.

She hurriedly hung up her cloak and carried her bag with her as she followed him into the room. She wondered what was wrong. What could possibly have happened to make him so angry?

He closed the door behind them, rather harder than necessary, and motioned for her to sit down near his desk. She did so, setting the bag by her feet and folding her hands in her lap. She stared at him curiously, waiting for him to explain what was going on. He walked over and stood in front of her, his face a mask of fury.

“Ariella, I do not pretend to know or even understand the ways of the Moriquendi, but there are obviously some things that you fail to understand about the ways of the Calaquendi,” he said haughtily.

She was bewildered. What had she done? Why was he so angry with her?

“My lord,” she asked confused. “What have I done that has offended you so?”

“What have you done? What have you done?!” he spat, gesturing toward her with his good arm and pacing as he spoke. “How can you even ask that? You sit there looking so beautiful and innocent. That is how you lured them all, us all, is it not? You toy with our affections. You use us as if we are nothing but pieces in a game, a rather elaborate game played purely for your amusement. Well the pieces took the game seriously, but they have figured it out now. Your sweet little game is over, Ariella! Perhaps you Moriquendi are so primitive that you care little for feelings and emotions and commitment. But the Calaquendi are not that way!”

She was really confused now. What was he talking about? Games? And why was he, of all people, insulting her?

“Glorfindel, I have no idea what you are talking about, and I do not appreciate your insults. Would you please tell me what this is about?”

“It is about lies and deceit and playing around with people’s hearts and lives. That is what it is about, Ariella!”

She continued to watch him in confusion, hoping for some useful explanation to make its way into the conversation.

He threw up his hand seemingly in exasperation, pacing away from her, then turned sharply and gestured toward her again. “By the Valar, Ariella, how can you sit there pretending to look so innocent and uncomprehending? I know all about what you have been doing these last several weeks and with whom. How could you Ariella? I thought we had…” He turned away, taking a deep breath, and running his hand through his hair, then turned back. “Maybe you do not know what how far things have gone.”

His voice was deadly calm as he continued. “Ariella, the morning after you left, Lhûnedhel came to me and asked my permission to court you. Then a few hours later, Istadan came and asked the same thing. They are both in love with you and want to marry you.”

Anger returned to his voice accompanied by a pained expression on his face. “I trusted you and believed you when you said you were going to them to learn their crafts. I thought you really wanted to know more about our lore and our ways of healing. I trusted you and this is how you ...” His voice started to break. “I thought you held me as dear as I held you, and now this. Is nothing sacred to you and your stone heart?” He turned away again breathing heavily, his hand on his forehead.

Ariella was stunned.

Lhûnedhel AND Istadan? Lhûnedhel had confessed his feelings, but Istadan too? ISTADAN? She thought he was her friend! She was horrified. How had things come to this? All she had wanted was friendship and to learn what they knew. She did not think she had ever given either of them any indication that she had wanted something more or felt anything more.

And what of Glorfindel? How could he be saying this to her when the last time they were together he was confessing his love for another? Why does he think it is all right for him to have other loves, but not her? Not that she had any other loves, but still ... This simply could not be happening to her. It just could not!

Ariella stared at Glorfindel with her mouth hanging open, slowly shaking her head. She started to speak a couple of times, but only managed, “I... I...”

Glorfindel exhaled loudly, still with his back to her. When he spoke again, his voice was very quiet and filled with bitterness. “Why did you have to include me in this too? Why me too?” She watched his back go rigid as he took a deep shuddering breath. “Leave my sight. I do not care where you go, but leave now.”

Ariella was still at a loss. How could this have happened? She never meant for any of it to happen. She fumbled for her bag with trembling hands, slowly getting to her feet and making her way across the room. Her hand shook as she reached for the handle of the door and exited the room. As the door closed, she heard a loud growl and something solid crash against something else very hard. Clutching her bag close to her, she ran all the way up to her room and slammed the door on the world.

~~~~~~~~~~~*************~~~~~~~~~~~

Ariella lay on her bed crying for what seemed like hours, until no more tears would come. Mercifully, sleep soon claimed her.

When she woke up, it was dark outside. She still could not believe that Lhûnedhel and Istadan wanted to marry her, but what bothered her the most was Glorfindel and his belief that she had betrayed him. Who was he to talk about toying with people’s hearts when he was just as guilty as he believed her to be? Why did she ever allow herself to have a relationship with him? Why did she love him?

The realization finally struck. She really did love him. And his rejection hurt her more than his confession that he loved another. She could love him at a distance knowing he loved another, but she could not cope with his belief that she had betrayed him. She could never knowingly hurt him like that. And now he hated her. How could she let these feelings go? She had to in order to go on, but for what reason was she continuing?

She let those depressing thoughts go for a moment and briefly considered getting up and getting some food, but the thought of eating made her want to wretch. Instead, she rolled over and mourned silently until sleep took her again. She continued her pattern of sorrowed wakefulness and sleep all the next day and the following night, too depressed to do anything else. Finally she rose, changed her clothes, brushed her hair and decided to seek out Idril in the hopes that she had not turned against her as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~*************~~~~~~~~~~~

As it turned out, Idril was already on her side in this.

Idril greeted Ariella warmly.

“I know why you have come,” she said quietly. “Elianna told me all about what happened after you left to help with the triplets and what she knew about Glorfindel’s conversation with you. I guess you just did not expect to return to your own set of ‘troubled triplets,’ did you?”

In Idril’s private suite, Ariella sat slumped in the chair, her eyes red and puffy, and a handkerchief clutched mercilessly in her hand as Idril spoke. Ariella smiled sadly, shaking her head in response. “No, Idril, I did not. I never expected any of this to happen.”

Idril put a supportive arm around Ariella, consoling, “Please tell me everything.”

Ariella did exactly that, leaving out nothing, including the incident between Lhûnedhel and Istadan the day she left, dinner with Glorfindel that night, and the confrontation with Glorfindel when she returned.

Idril seemed to contemplate what she heard for a while after Ariella finished speaking. She carefully looked Ariella up and down, then asked, “When did you last eat?”

“I do not know. I cannot remember,” Ariella replied mournfully.

Idril got up and left the room for a moment, then returned. “I have ordered food for you. You will eat and drink enough to satisfy me before you leave here. I will not have you waste away over this.”

Ariella nodded. “Idril, please tell me what your thoughts are on all of this?”

Idril took a deep breath, gathering Ariella’s hands in her own. “Ariella, I believe that Glorfindel cares for you very much or he would not have reacted as he has. I do not entirely believe that he has another lover, but he might. He has successfully kept his relationship with you from everyone, so it is possible. However, I find it very hard to believe. I think that you need to talk to him and tell him that the others read more into their relationship with you than was really there. I also think that you need to tell him how you feel about him.”

“Oh, Idril. I cannot tell him that I love him. I cannot love him! I am not supposed to. How much history would I be changing?” Ariella pleaded with Idril.

Idril smiled reassuringly. “Ariella, how do you it would change things? How much do you really know about him? What do the history books say about him? Did he have a wife and children?”

Ariella dabbed her nose and eyes with the handkerchief then recited, “He had a wife and children and he lost all but some daughters when Gondolin …” She clapped her hand to her mouth in horror. She had very nearly told Idril too much about the future!

Idril gave her a sad smile and finished the sentence for her. “When Gondolin falls. I know Ariella. I have dreamt about the fire and someone trying to kill a child – my child, my son – a few times already. I do not know when or how it will happen; only that it will.” She stared into Ariella’s horrified eyes for a moment. “You know the when and the how and who I am going to marry…Please do not tell me. I do not want to know.”

“I could not tell you if I wanted to. That would change the past – your future,” Ariella said.

Idril took Ariella’s hands back in hers and squeezed them for a moment. “How do you know that you are not the one for Glorfindel?” Idril asked. “How do you know?”

Ariella considered this alarming possibility as they sat in silence for a time, when a knock at the door announced the arrival of the food. Idril watched Ariella carefully and made certain she ate ample portions of everything and drank several cups of juice. When Ariella finished eating, Idril ordered a hot scented bath for her. She also fixed Ariella’s hair before sending her back home that evening with a warm hug and instructions to speak with Glorfindel at her earliest opportunity.

~~~~~~~~~~~*************~~~~~~~~~~~

Ariella sought out Glorfindel in his study that evening after he had dinner. She nervously knocked on his study door.

“Enter,” he called.

She steeled herself, opened the door, and walked in.

Glorfindel glanced up, his face haggard, then looked back down at the paper he was working on and scowled. “I have nothing to say to you, Ariella. Did I not command you to leave my sight?”

Ariella was taken aback by the coldness of his voice. “My lord, I …”

“I have no desire to hear your voice either,” he said without looking up. “Leave now.”

“Please,” she pleaded, gesturing in supplication, “give me the chance to explain.”

“There is nothing to explain. You are cold and cruel with no thought for the feelings of others. There is nothing more that I need to know. There is nothing that you could possibly say to me that is worth hearing. Now leave!”

Ariella pressed her lips together and blinked at the tears forming in her eyes. She shook her head, covering her mouth with her hand. Turning, she fled from the room, letting the door close on its own behind her. She ran all the way up to her room, slammed the door, and threw herself on the bed wailing.

Idril had been wrong. He did not care for her at all. He hated her!

Chapters

Jump to chapter

Chapter name
Chapter 11
Created
07 Feb 2005
Last Edited
07 Feb 2005
Hits
978
Words
2535