A Father's Love
This story is a MATURE-THEMED, Elven one, focussing on Elrond of the Lord of the Rings, and his quiet mastery. This site is not meant to disrespect or cause offense to anyone, I make no money from this, I simply don't want Tolkien's great stories and characters to ever end.
Paring: Elladen/Elrohir Elrond/Glorfindel
Warnings: This is a sincere, character-driven story, but does contain violence, Non-con, twincest, the works.
Summary: Elrond doesn’t understand his sons. What’s a very disturbed father to do?
Late afternoon, on the Elven day of Mettarë, all was not as well as it appeared in the deep fortress of Imladris. It was a special day, marking the last one of the Elven year, and fell in the middle of their spring celebrations. Though a gentle sun bestowed its blessing upon every jeweled brow on this occasion, and soft breezes issued from the west through crystalline skies, something was not right, and everyone felt it.
But perhaps no one felt it more than the elf standing alone at the edge of a great field. Clusters of jovial elves surrounded him, but were careful to respect their distances, which his every step seemed to displace and keep perpetual about him. He stood apart, and this was accepted.
However, he wasn’t supposed to be standing at all, not on the grass with the civilian populace and guests. But rather, a terrace seat among the nobles had been prepared for him, cushioned between shaded pillars above all the excitement. That centermost chair, he quickly abandoned the minute he sensed something was wrong.
His gray eyes scanned the field, parting the far distance between him and his targets, as if it were a curtain of clear gossamer. A dark light could be seen in those eyes, if anyone had wanted to stare openly at him. Now was their chance, as his focus remained possessed and uneasy. Anyone who wanted to, could behold the Half-Elven without risk of censure. After all, there was no other of his like in Middle-Earth, save for his children, but even their divine inheritance, which was considerable, paled to his. Prominent, was the mingling of divinity and flesh seen in his presence. Even among his own kind, Elrond Peredhil, existed as a singular entity, for in him was preserved the distinction of both Maiar and Firstborn upon Arda. This mark, at once both dark and splendorous, shone in the depths of his ancient eyes.
In secret, some marveled to themselves, thinking they could spy qualities about him, qualities that once walked in the world, but were now guarded by the western sea.
Today those watching him could have their fill, for Elrond stared at the spectacle taking place before him, unblinking. And what he saw that day did not please him. Not at all.
As customary, he presided over the yearly Elven celebration of Thaliontur, a celebration of sportsmanship, held in honor to all Elven warriors. Elrond’s status as a wise healer, loremaster, and the once warrior, who fought and established the stronghold of Imladris in the Second Age, solidified his role in today’s affairs, as well as the respect of his fellow leaders, as far as Mirkwood and Lothlorien, who joined him today.
Presently, the event they were all waiting on, with considerable curiosity, was currently unfolding. Even he, erudite in his restraint, bristled beneath his normal composure. He may have been a majestic lord on this glorious day, in his wine-colored robes and a shimmering circlet resting above his severe brow, but he was a father first. Simply a proud father, or would’ve been, of twin sons displaying sporting skills of battle, worthy of their Eldar and Edain ancestry.
Unfortunately, today’s tournament in the three-week games, pitted the brothers against each other, but that wasn’t the problem. It should only have made the game more exciting to watch, the compatible strengths of the two elf princes, but it did not. As Elrond watched the competition unfold, he quickly recognized the stiff manner in which his sons regarded one another when they met on the field.
The entire population of Imladris and guests decorated the parameters of the playing fields in bright cheerful robes. But smiles disappeared from their radiant faces almost the instant the brothers clashed weapons.
The sport, called Angacuru, utilized flat spears and knives that were never meant to touch an opponent with deadly intent, that were nevertheless real. Between advanced opponents it was an exercise of speed and technique, its emphasis being to counter-attack through athletic maneuvers, rather than delivering assaults that would finalize the game too quickly. But somewhere at the very beginning, something did not sit well.
The sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir were known to be imposing warriors in spite of their youth. Just past their majority, they were exalted for having a mastery that seemed beyond their years. But today, they did not ally their strengths for the delight of their audience. Instead, it appeared they were trying to kill each other, the lord observed. Or at least, Elladan was trying to kill Elrohir.
A blow delivered by Elladan, with the blunt end of his spear, was fueled with excessive force. Not what the game was about. It left Elrohir struggling to get back to his feet. Definitely not the proudest moment in Elrond’s long, and disproportionately bittersweet life. Discord among the siblings was one thing, but marring the gaiety of Imladris’ guests, for their own petty grievances, he surmised, was another. Whatever was the matter with the two now? Obviously, a personal issue between them tainted their sportmanship. They appeared to give no thought to those who watched. This was self-absorbtion and conceit, to Elrond's thinking. Imladris was a refuge, a haven of peace and preservation of Elven values, not a stronghold for arrogant princes.
The loremaster crossed his arms. Perhaps it was time. No doubt Glorfindel, High Lord and respected friend, as well as Thranduil, the noble Lord of Mirkwood, both present for the games, thought it was long past time. They had as much told him so, imploring him to take the boys in hand, as if the twins were still children. Both lords were experts in Elrond’s shortcomings as a father, Glorfindel kindly, Thranduil, critically. Elrond would’ve dismissed both their counsel, unasked for, easily had it not been for the tiny ring of truth he heard echoing in their words.
He had never been an indulgent father, not overly so. Not with the boys. Well, perhaps on rare occasions. But he’d always known it was in their best interest to raise them with a stern hand, to prepare them for a world they would one day have to face, as perilous as it was beautiful. The memory of his absent wife, Celebrian, was the only thing that stayed his temper whenever trouble arose. He’d spent an age being true to her, and exercising great gentleness with his boys. They had been sweet children, how could he not, with their dark eyes holding so much light, and their smiles uninhibited with joy.
His wife, her soul wounded beyond his skill, sailed to the uttermost West without him, to the Undying Lands of Valinor so long ago. He’d always been loath to go against her wisdom, in spite of his own. Through all the distance that separated them now, such was their connection that her heart could still be broken, he feared. Still, she’d understood the need for their firm guidance. She simply did not like it. And now, were she present, she surely would’ve turned from the side of her husband and wept, knowing his thoughts, and what was to come.
Elrond’s mind was made. He would deal with Elladan. The oldest of the twins by mere minutes, Elladan had always been slightly stronger, and just a hair quicker than his brother. He lorded this over Elrohir, needing to prove it constantly, it seemed to Elrond. That was now apparent to all at the celebration. However, it was nothing new.
Being twins, they were well matched in skill with both blade and physical prowess.
Ordinarily, there could not have been a more pleasing sight among festive warriors. Elrond couldn’t help but overhear the remarks of admiration from his guests, and approved of them. Through these remarks, he was given a vision of his sons as his people beheld them, even if somewhat slanted by the more openly speculative females.
They were two handsome warriors, dressed in the regal arms of their House, their backs straight, and shoulders proud. From their tapered waists and hips, hung long cloth panels of identically, embroidered surcoats. Elven-mail peeked from the split panels. Their adroit bodies were forged not just by Elven blood, but also by athletic endurance. Their hair swept from their temples to rise into intricate ties, then fall, jet and straight down their backs.
Most onlookers supposed them to be equal in strength, sinew, and skill. Only Elrond knew they were not, exactly. But their identical deception held onlookers in awe, Elrond included.
Still, he knew before any, that something was wrong between his sons, who normally competed with great joy. Their delight was usually not to be hidden, even at the swing of a blade. The loremaster, watching his sons, stood off to the side of the field, arms folded in a kind of perpetual judgment. His sharp features found momentary relaxation when his sons began their fight. But now his brow and mouth set as heavy as granite, and just as grim.
Elladan’s blows were a little too harsh. The young warrior turned and jabbed with his elbows and forearms, using his fists least of all. It was the Elven way of skill, not to completely subdue an enemy with the stun of a fisted punch, but to draw the fight out, giving and taking as much from one another as possible. Of course, with a real enemy, the task would be to finish as swiftly as possible. But the eldest of the two twins slammed into his brother with an impact befitting a true enemy. Elrond raised an eyebrow.
It wasn’t that Elrohir couldn’t take it. Elrohir fought well. Fought honorably. It was just that Elladan’s force was much too unnecessary.
In the game, the first one to fall flat to the ground would be the loser. Elrohir had already fallen to his knees and caught himself twice under his brother’s demanding blows.
If Elladan wanted to end the tournament and achieve victory, he could have. But he waited for Elrohir to regain confidence, and then struck him a series of blows with his bar that clearly compromised Elrohir’s skill with his own weapon. The sound of the poles hitting together, conveyed the jarring force with which they were swung. The weapons resembled the halberds of Men, but were crafted of composite metals, allowing for a smaller size, yet greater strength.
Many moves between the brothers became illegal. But so pensive was the standing crowd of elves, as well as the noble judges in high, canopied seats, that no one dared to interrupt. All were captivated.
The excitement elicited from the onlookers was exquisite. No one was going to stop this match, however unsavory it had become.
But Elrond had a mind to do so. He was after all, the most appropriate official to do it. And yet he did not wish to be overly protective where his children were concerned, in spite of the promise to his scarred wife. Warriors cannot afford to be coddled. It could cost them their lives to look for gentleness or mercy from their opponent. So compassion was not the strongest quality in his eldest.
Elladan was fire; a great thing to be in war. And Elrohir was water, equally masterful, yet much slower to reach the searing temperature of his brother. Elrohir was more levelheaded. Elladan rushed his goal always.
Others had said it was as if the qualities of Master Elrond himself were divided between the two. What one had, the other seemed in need of. Where Elladan rushed, Elrohir sometimes hesitated a bit too long.
Perhaps this is why the two are bonded so tightly together, a thing not obvious at the moment.
Elrond asked himself, was this so with him and his own twin, Elros?
The next series of blows delivered against Elrohir were the cruelest of the match. Now the youngest twin had gone to one knee again, holding his side. His immaculate clothing was now dusted and stained with dirt and grass. His head bent away from the crowd, his face hidden by his hair.
Elrond recognized that particular bend of his youngest’s head, the way his shoulders seemed to narrow, their broadness humbled. While the crowd assessed Elrohir’s physical hurt and pain, Elrond knew that wasn’t the problem at all. That wasn’t the reason Elrohir wasn’t moving. Only he knew that Elrohir was making a fierce effort to conceal his tears. No doubt Elladan of course knew.
Young Elrohir knew how to hide it, knew how to hold onto his integrity in the face of defeat, Elrond understood. But this wasn’t about mere defeat. Surely, something more rendered the prince inactive. To anyone who did not know Elrohir as well as he did, it would appear the elf was only suppressing the hurt of his injuries, re-grouping his wits.
Elrohir lifted his head and stood. He held his bar poised for his brother’s next attack.
Elladan’s nostrils flared, as if his standing brother were somehow an insult to him.
Elrond marked the true rage in Elladan’s eyes. In Elrohir’s, simple hurt.
Why are they doing this?
At least Elladan was the one fighting a private war, in this place of public celebration, Elrond could see that. Just then, Elladan’s attack came swiftly.
Finish it my son. Finish it with honor.
But what Elrond saw next ended his plea for honor. Elladan swung with all his might and no reserve, bringing his weapon to bear upon his brother mercilessly. Elrohir could only lift his pole in defense, blocking what he could of Elladan’s force. But that force knew not the brother it beat to the ground. Elrohir could’ve been an orc for all Elladan’s effort. Heaves and malicious growls drove the younger from one knee to the support of his elbow only, as he defended himself with outstretched arm and torso.
But Elrohir could not stay his brother. Elladan’s pole slipped past Elrohir’s and met with a telling crack against his ribs. Elrohir’s ragged scream tore through the air, renting Elrond‘s heart.
Commotion ensued, but without applause or smiles. The noise that went up from the crowd was exclamations of shock, and guilty murmurs for having allowed the tournament to stray so far.
Elrond rushed onto the field, followed by others serving as officials. He had not intended to preside over the events as a healer, but he wasn’t going to hold back his skills now, for all had clearly heard the breaking of Elrohir’s rib cage, and all perceived in the final release of his cry, more damage not apparent.
As Healer, he knelt over his son with several others. Elladan remained standing, staring as if the uproar had nothing to do with him.
Pain forced unchecked tears from Elrohir. His body quivered. Sweat drenched his hair so that it clung to his face. Eyes squeezed shut, he could only gasp for breath. Bruises and lacerations left by the spear covered him. His bleeding hands drew into fists, clutching at himself.
Elrond had to use force to remove them. A healer from the Mirkwood side helped, holding Elrohir’s arms to the ground. Elrond did his best to contain his son’s writhing body, but pressure to keep Elrohir still enough for examination, only elicited more cries from the elf.
It was well into the night before Elrond’s ministrations allowed his son any rest. The healer was certain that exhaustion played the larger part in quieting him. That, and a strong sleeping drought. Nothing more could be done for the injuries. Those would heal quickly enough. Only rest was needed.
By noon the next day, Elrond felt ready to face his eldest son. He didn’t trust himself to speak to Elladan until his own blind anger abated a little. He’d taken no rest during the night.
He saw Glorfindel in the hazy morning sunlight. His old friend walked leisurely across the courtyard. Elrond stopped him and questioned, “Where is my son?”
The blunt inquiry was not a surprise. Glorfindel, of course, did know. He’d been waiting for Elrond to demand this knowledge all morning.
“He is taking the morning feast with the other warriors, my Lord.”
“Do you know if he’s been to see his brother this morning?”
“No. He has not”
“I see.” Elrond grimaced. The appreciative nod he gave the other lord, would’ve gone unnoticed by anyone else, but Glorfindel noted its subtle grace and watched Elrond turn away.
Glorfindel smiled to himself, lingering to hold his gaze upon the lord. It wasn’t until a moment later he noticed storm clouds gathering in the distance, though the day was fairly bright. He wondered at the approaching storm, before glancing back in the direction Elrond had gone.
In the feast Hall, many of the warriors were finishing their meals. Mirth and cheer hung in the air despite the unfortunate events of last night.
Elrond found Elladan sitting in the middle of it all, playing host to Imladris’ festival guests.
Elrond stood in the arch of two pillars, just inside the entrance of the hall. The morning light behind him cast him in silhouette to all those who were seated inside. But when Elrond spoke, they all knew who the darkened figure was.
The young warrior looked up at his father’s presence. Fresh into elven-manhood, Elladan was loath to confront his father in front of his fellow comrades. He knew what this was about. The Hall fell silent. He would not show disrespect, he had no wish to test his father’s patience. But neither would he cower under the doom of Elrond’s razor-sharp brow as it leveled down at him.
“I wish to speak with you,” Elrond said. Then turned and walked from the Hall. Elladan stood, throwing down his linen. He made no excuses, his fellows understood.
Elrond said nothing more to his son until they were near the gear-house, on the ravaged field where the two brothers fought the night before.
“Tell me, Elladan, how goes it with you?”
“Were you on the field practicing this morning?”
Elladan appeared surprised by this question.
“No, father. Why?”
“Pity. I would think that, second only to seeing about your brother, would be further mastering your talents, my son.”
Elladan barely concealed his annoyance, letting his eyes roll.
“I knew that Elrohir was fine in your care father. I decided to ease my practice today.”
“Yes, last night must’ve been quite taxing. You gave it everything.”
“Do you not commend me father? Are you not proud?”
“I’m proud of the honor that resides within you. Which I did not see last night. Why did you deliver such cruelty to your brother?”
His father’s reprimand was the perfect excuse to let his annoyance show fully. “That is the nature of the sport. Elrohir knows that.”
Elladan matched his tone to Elrond’s, a thing others would not dare to do.
“And he knows me well enough, he’s not a child father. The sport is not for those who whish to play, but for those who wish to fight. He tested his skill against me and lost. What would you have the finest warrior’s competition to be, if not cruel?”
They walked alongside the gear-house. Now the Elf Lord stopped. He answered his son. “I would have you lift your weapon in sport, not in anger, at your brother.”
“It was not real anger, father.”
“Yet it did real harm.”
“I know, the nature of the game.”
Elladan tore his eyes away. He would rather look upon the clouding sky than his father‘s accusing eyes. Elrond held the weight of the past great Ages in his eyes, glinting dark passages that they were. Elladan had always felt their direct focus upon him to be a burden under which he could not stand for long.
Elrond’s hands were clasped behind his back. Now they came forward and settled in their usual place, folding across his chest. Facing his son, he too noticed how rapidly the shadow of rain clouds were falling over the land, darkening the sky. The brilliance of morning appeared to be fleeing from them.
“It seems to me that you are ever seeking victory over your brother. Sport is one thing, but you play for dominance, and the game ceases to end. I have long seen this quality in you. We have spoken of this before, you and I. But only last night did I reckon your flaw to be as grievous as it is.”
“My brother will heal perfectly.”
“That is not the point.”
“Then what is?” Elladan grew bold. Standing as tall as his father, he challenged wills.
Elrond allowed himself a subtle smile, to stroke and calm his own growing anger. If he hadn’t had a plan, he would’ve slapped his son for such an insolent tone of voice.
Just wait, he told himself. My plan was not made in heat and anger, though I am vexed to wrath now. The plan is still sound, and shall accommodate my displeasure sufficiently.
“The point is, you are oppressive to your brother.”
“He can take care of himself. He knows how to stand up to me.”
“Again my son, it is not that he can’t take care of himself. It is that you crave dominion over him at all. You have ever done so. You chase away those who would win Elrohir’s friendship, and yet you deny him the full respect of your own.”
“My brother and I are content.”
“Nothing about you is content.”
“I’m afraid you would not understand our relationship father. It is not for others to understand.”
This hit Elrond on a deeply personal level.
“Do you forget that I too shared the womb with my brother?”
“No, father. It’s just that...”
“Elrohir and I are agreed in certain matters. His deferment to my will is merely his consent. It’s a game of sorts.”
Elrond saw the color rise in Elladan’s face. He interpreted this as anger, but Elladan felt it as something else. Something he wasn’t ready to share with his father.
“Why must you play games that keep your foot upon Elrohir’s head? Eru has bestowed grace upon you both, in equal measure, yet you are not happy unless yours is the greater.”
“I do not deny it. But if Elrohir has no problem with it, why do you? It is only our sport, rough though it may seem.”
It was time. Elrond wasn’t deterred by the first drop of rain hitting his cheek.
It will be under a gray sky that my son learns this lesson.
Elrond took up one of the two spear-poles standing just inside the gate of the gear-house.
“Sport is it? Then let’s you and I have some sport, Master Elladan.” He tossed the weapon to his son, who caught it in surprise. "This will be a great game, for it will not end until I think you understand my concern. Until it has truly sunk in.”
Elladan’s mouth fell open as Elrond removed his outer raiment, revealing the full, formal attire of an Imladris warrior.
It pleased Elrond to see the color now drain from Elladan’s face. Though the healer was ancient in experience and wisdom, he was not old. The dark cloth covering his mail, conformed to a frame very similar to that of his son’s. Perhaps there was a fuller girth to his torso, but it was the fullness and stature of maturity. His was still the characteristic, slender unique to Elven-kind, but sturdier and broader than his son’s more elongated physique.
The panels of his surcoat, formal warrior’s attire, conformed to his torso, gripped about his waist and hips in a wrap, then hung from the flat, plain of his stomach. There were knives sheathed in pockets, and other accoutrements of war fastened unobtrusively along his sides and arms.
Elrond clutched his weapon. “'Tis a pity you did not practice this morning. After last night, you should’ve had the wit to see what lay before you.”
“Command your weapon, my son. Your father is ready to for sport.”
Elladan could only stare dumbly at the mature elf, who only vaguely resembled his father, moving around him, beckoning him onto the field.
The field lay empty of warriors and their practice all that morning. The calm served as a much needed intermission from the over zealousness of the night before.
Only a few archers were practicing at the far end of it. They were distracted from their targets by the sight of the loremaster preparing to duel with his son. None of them were accustomed to seeing this great lord in the gear of a common warrior, though warrior he was reputed to be.
Elladan’s feet felt laden with chains as he followed Elrond.
“I do not want to do this father!”
“But this is your game. You were eager enough to wield your might last night.”
“It’s not the same thing.”
When they reached the center of the field, Elrond faced his son squarely, crossing his arm over his chest in a ritual gesture to his opponent.
Light drizzle now sprinkled around them, beginning to muddy the field.
“Yes, isn’t it splendid? It will add challenge to our game.”
Elladan brooded. “Don’t do this father.”
Elrond was now a stranger to his son. As if to shake Elladan out of his piteous stupor of disbelief, Elrond delivered the first assault, smacking the flat end of the pole’s spear against the side of Elladan’s face.
This was real. The young elf had never fought his father before, never wanted to. Only in jest, or training had he ever dared to lift a weapon in the general direction of Elrond. Elladan held the side of his face, his head ringing, blood already flowing.
Elrond crouched in a position to spring. “You would do well to defend yourself Elladan. As you forced your brother to defend himself last night.”
With that, he did spring, brandishing his weapon across Elladan’s shoulder, and spinning to catch the elf with his elbow, in the ribs.
On the ground, Elladan clutched his own weapon. The blinding heat that pushed wetness to his eyes came more from confusion than from pain. Though the pain was ample.
Getting to his feet, it was all he could do to block Elrond’s descent upon him. His legs had not had time to steady themselves and he stumbled backwards from a succession of quick assaults. But he managed to block them this time, everyone. Still, the black gleam in his father’s eyes didn’t improve his confidence very much. He barely had time to catch his breath when Elrond’s pole forced him into action again. It was only under the deluge of his father’s blunt force, the impact of pole on pole, that he was left beyond any doubt that he was unequal in his father’s strength.
The third time he picked himself up from the ground, he decided that he could, and would, match this ancient warrior, if nothing else, in ferocity. He seethed as he spoke.
“This has nothing to do with honor! You seek to punish me for besting your favorite son.”
He lunged, scoring his first direct hit upon Elrond since beginning. But Elrond was sturdier than Elladan. Athletic excellence was refined in Elrond, whereas, his son’s athleticism was still subject to the sporadic energy of residual adolescence. There was instability in Elladan’s form, over excitement. Fear perhaps.
Elrond’s smiled a genuine smile. “Are you not enjoying this game?”
“This is unfair father. My brother is my match in strength and skill.” Elladan said, ducking under Elrond’s swing.
“But your inferior in deserving respect and honor?”
Elrond’s pole caught Elladan’s back. The pain blurred his vision. His pole flew from his hands.
“Wait! Please father.”
Elrond kicked the pole back to him.
Elladan didn’t want to retrieve it from the mud at first. He wondered if his father would hit him unarmed. Was his chance safer without the weapon?
A crowd formed on the outskirts of the field. Necks strained to get a better look through the rain at the warriors.
Everyone knew what was happening. Master Elrond was dealing a harsh lesson to his eldest. A hushed quiet wavered throughout, for people knew they should not watch Elladan’s punishment, out of respect, affording him some dignity. It was no light thing to shame an elf. And this wasn’t at all like the gentle Healer they were used to.
Some whispered, “The boy is mature. He is too old to be punished.”
Others said, “That is why he faces the punishment of a mature elf, and not the proper discipline of a child.”
All shook their heads, but could not look away. On the field the rain poured. Elladan’s spirit sagged as heavily as his drenched clothes. Still he mustered and strove to protect himself from his father.
Why was Ada doing this to him?
Elladan did well, but he grew tired. Only in real battle had he endured the duress of long and intense conflict. He had been ready in those times, prepared. And never was he on the opposite side of Elrond’s love.
That’s what it felt like. Though his body was cracked and broken, the pain he felt more was his father’s hatred. How else was he supposed to interpret the blows coming at him? Elrond’s teeth bared as though he faced a killer, and not his own son.
Elladan watched, as all of his father’s weight and rage went into the swing aimed at him. He rolled, reaching for his lost weapon. He surprised his father and himself when his pole took a hard crack behind Elrond’s ear.
Elladan made the mistake of stopping to check on his father. Elrond bent, grasping his knee to steady himself.
Elladan’s concern met with cold steel, not the pole Elrond was still holding in his other hand, but a knife. The blade stopped inches from Elladan's white face and wide eyes, blocked by the witless lifting of Elladan’s spear-pole.
Blades were not typically used in the contest. They were only present in the event that master opponents reached a level beyond poles. When strength and poles had not brought one of them down, the most advanced turned to blades and daggers. If the contestants had been human, many deaths would call for the banning of such games. But being elves, mortal wounds were rare, and fools did not dare join in such dangerous competition. This was the highest level of mastery, the level of dodging knives, and spinning off of blades unharmed.
Elladan had seen the Mirkwood prince, Legolas, do it many times, always without so much as a cut upon his clothing. That prince made it look like the most graceful act in the world, using motion and speed in a way that even his own Elven-kind found astounding.
But Elladan was not that blond prince. He was the prince who excelled in traditional combat. His hair, darker than his father’s, hung like a wet, dark veil in the rain, as he warded off Elrond’s blows. Exhaustion pulled at him.
Elrond showed no sign of slowing down. Elladan stumbled, not having a blade of his own. But he held Elrond off with his spear. When he’d gained some distance between himself and his father, in a last effort to give the deadly game his best fight, he threw the spear as it was meant to be thrown, and not merely using it as a secondary weapon. He wasn’t really thinking to kill his father; he was thinking survival. He had to survive the game, after all.
So he, and the crowd, watched with disbelief and horror as the spear soared murderously at the lord. And watched with even more disbelief, when Elrond caught it.
In a real competition, applause would’ve broken out. A few were tempted. But Elrond’s expression was too grave for anyone to breathe a sigh of relief.
Elrond threw the spear back, aiming it at Elladan’s feet. Elladan’s reflexes were taxed, and the weapon met him right were he stood. He closed his eyes, wanting to sink to his knees. He was relieved he had not hurt his father. But he feared what this meant as well.
The younger opened his eyes at his opponent’s commanding shout.
“Meet me well,” Elrond ordered. Elladan grasped the spear returned to him, and summoned the ambition to charge forward.
Many of those peace-loving elves watching, turned away. Many witnessed the tragedy.
Tragic not because any life was lost, but because the golden, bountiful delight that had ever shone in the Elven realms, lingering gifts from the Valar themselves, now grew as dim as slate. And almost unbearable to look upon.
For Elrond was not only the Lord of Imladris, but also bearer of one of the great rings bestowed to the elves, Vilya, the ring of Air. It’s magic was tied to the land of Imladris, as Elrond himself ruled it. This was not commonly known, even to his own people. But the fairness of that day, and that land, faltered under the Lord’s rage.
It was the breaking of Elladan that ruled the moment.
His anguish was as the eclipse of the moon covering the sun, and just as dark. One had to will bravery to look upon Elrond’s punishment, for the young elf was revealed to be only a boy before the ancient stature of his father, as his father beat him down with both spear and flat blade.
Adolescence could still be heard in the strain of Elladan’s cry as he fell to the ground, in stages, under Elrond’s blows. Like his brother, he continued to fight as he dropped at last to his knees, then forced upon his back, then crying out to the heights from which the rain fell as he twisted from his father’s final blows.
He lost consciousness before he could feel that he was in Elrond‘s arms, and those arms were holding him tight.
Hands wrestled. Elrond allowed himself to be pulled away by Celeborn and Thranduil. As they coaxed him away, making room for the other healers who appeared, he forbid himself to look back at what he’d done.
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