Elrohir aimed his bow and fired without hesitation, taking down the orc, while his brother, Elladan took down the warg that the orc was riding on with his bow and arrow. They dismounted their houses and inspected the orc that they had just killed.
“This is no way that this is a scout.” Elladan said as he knelt down and inspected the orc. “This orc was tracking something.”
“Or someone…” Elrohir said as he lifted his head and look around the valley that surrounded Imladris. He listened closely to what was around him and his brother. That was when a soft whimper reached his ears. “Over there,” he motioned to his brother. “Do you hear it?”
Elladan turned his focus to where his twin had motioned. That was when he heard it was well. He turned back to look at his brother and nodded in agreement. They both locked an arrow into place as they slowly made their way towards a clump of bushes that were nearby. The closer they got, the more the sound became apparent to both twins.
A child whimpering.
Putting down their arrows, the twins gently pulled back the bush where the whimpering was coming from. To their surprise, they found a middle-aged woman lying up against a rock, her body ravaged from some sort of sickness. And sitting next to her, whimpering in fear were her children – a boy and a girl, both who looked to be no more than 2 or 3. The boy clutched his sister tightly in an embrace from the strangers who had found them, while the girl whimpered against her brother.
“We need to get them to ada,” Elladan whispered to his brother.
“I agree. Their nana does not look well.”
Elladan knelt down to the boy and girl. “I am Elladan and this is my brother Elrohir. We are elves from Imladris.”
“Mama said we were looking for the elves,” the little boy said looking up at Elladan.
“Good.” Elrohir said. “But your mother is very sick. And we need to get her help. Can we take you with us so that we can help your mother?”
The little boy nodded.
Lord Elrond gently ran a hand along the side of the face of the woman who his twin sons had brought to him. She was in a near delirious state from a fever that was ravaging her body. He had done all that he could for her fever. Now all she needed was to rest.
“Please my Lord,” the young woman begged as she opened her eyes. “My twins. They are all I have. Please protect them.”
“I will do all I can for them. But who is their father?” Elrond gently asked, not wanting the young woman to use too much of her energy.
“Arathorn, the nine and thirtieth heir in the right line from Isildur,” the woman breathed as an Elf healer gently ran another cold cloth along her forehead to try and break her fever. When the Elf Lord heard the name Isildur, he turned and looked at the twin children who were sitting down the hallway from his location. His own twin sons were watching over them.
“Rest now,” Elrond said, standing up and leaving the healer with the woman. He slowly moved towards the two children who sat huddled next to each other on a bench. It was late and obviously past these children’s bed times. The girl, who was much smaller than her brother, lay curled against his shoulder sleeping, while her brother fought off sleep. He knelt down in front of the twins as the boy looked up at him with light grey eyes.
“Come little one,” Elrond said as he picked up the sleeping little girl from her brother’s lap. “You need to sleep.”
The little boy stood up and took Elrond’s hand as they walked silently through the hallways of Imladris. Elladan and Elrohir fell in step behind their father.
“Where’s mama?” the little girl groggily asked, waking up as she was carried by the Elf Lord. She looked up at Elrond with her large grey eyes – the same shade as her brothers.
“Resting, iell nin.”
She nodded and placed her head back onto his shoulder. “Are you going to be our papa?” she then asked.
“We shall see,” the Elf Lord said, reaching the bedroom that had been prepared for the twins. “Tomorrow is a new day with new beginnings. Until then, sleep.”
He gently placed the little girl into the bed then helped her brother in as well. Both children were fast asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillows. He stood there and watched over the children for a few more minutes, with his own twins.
Their father had been killed by orcs. Their mother was ill and being tended to by his best healers. And she had intentionally sought him out. She had known that her children would be safe in the protection of his household. True that these weren’t just any children, for they were both Dúnedain. The boy was also the rightful heir to the throne of Gondor. And they even had a bit of elvish blood deep in their veins.
Their mother had been right. He was the best one to protect them all.
“Ada, you look like you have seen something that you should not have.” Elrohir whispered.
“These children are kin of my brother and the rightful rulers of Gondor.” Elrond said answering. “That is why they were being hunted.”
He turned and left the room where the sleeping twins were. His own twins were now full of questions of their own. But Elladan asked the only one that mattered once they were in the hallway. “What happens to them now?”
It had been a simple decision. The children would be raised in Elrond’s house, treated as his own and even have their names changed until they came of age and the truth of their past could be revealed to them – more so the boy than the girl.
The boy would change his name to Estel and the girl would change her name to Elin. That was his only condition for staying in his home. And he was sure that their mother would not care if it were for their own protection. He knew that darkness was slowly creeping back into Middle Earth. From where and from whom he did not yet know. Yet he could already tell that these two children would play a role in vanquishing this encroaching darkness.