A grey figure was sat curled by a pillar at the top of an imposing black tower. The figure was that of a man, his grey robes dirty and hanging off his body, his face old, wrinkled and dirty from the many days without a bath. His usually twinkling blue eyes were dull, but a defiant fire still burned, however it was suppressed by the many burdens the man carried. How long had he been there, the man wondered. He had been betrayed by someone who he used to call friend, Saruman, the White, had been corrupted and was now fighting against the free people. Times had changed, the winds no longer sang beautiful songs of hope and light, now it carried the sorrows of the people who lost their families and the darkness that was threatening to consume everything he held dear.
It was night, and the stars shined above the tower, but not as bright as he had seen before, even the stars seemed to grow weary. The man closed his eyes, drawing on the last slip of energy and wished for a sign to renew his hope before falling into the clutches of sleep.
He awoke to the feeling of something beating against his nose and resisted the urge to swat it away. Slowly opening his eyes he saw a small butterfly fluttering around his nose, his bushy eyebrows rose at the sight. The butterfly wasn’t the most beautiful and did not have the flashing colours as the other butterflies had, it was a light grey with silver spots on its wings that seemed to shimmer with each beat of its wings. He lifted his fingers and the butterfly landed on in softly, fluttering its wings a few more times before settling down.
“Bring me help, my friend.” He whispered, the foreign language rolling off his tongue. The delicate creature wasted no time and was soon fluttering away. Gandalf sighed and closed his eyes once more. Now all he had to do was wait.
Elrond was sat at his desk in the study, the candles were almost burning out and but he still had a lot to do. He placed the quill he held down and leaned back into his chair. Never had he looked as old as he did now, the lines of worry and stress were finally starting to leave its prints on his face. He leaned his elbow on the arm of the chair and raised his hand to pinch the bridge of his nose, usually a sign of his irritation or weariness.
Suddenly a burst of wind swept through the study, yet by the time it reached the Elf Lord it was but a breeze. He looked up at the window, which was now open, and saw the moon and stars shining in the night’s sky.
‘Curious’ Elrond thought for he was sure that the window had been closed minutes before. He stood and walked towards said window and looking out. His study overlooked a small garden, which was covered with grass with a few white stones forming a path to a fountain in the middle. The fountain was quite simple in design, not many embellishments, just a few carvings of vines around its base and in the centre, sprouting water were two bowl shaped levels, one larger at the bottom and a smaller one at the top. Both bowls had small flowers carved onto the rims.
The whole thing was made of a white marble and when the moon shined on it you could see the vines and flowers glow silver.
He made to go back to his desk when another, and more insistent, burst of wind came through the window, efficiently snuffling out the candles leaving the study in the dark, except for the silver glow from the stars and moon that washed in through the window. He looked out the window, eyes searching the garden for any signs of life. He stepped through the door a little ways from the window and walked slowly to the bench he knew was located just behind the fountain he looked at before.
Once he passed the fountain he saw a hooded figure sitting on the bench. Its silhouette completely covered by the dark cape it wore. He could see nothing under the hood, yet he didn’t need to, this figure was someone he trusted and cared for.
“Old friend,” He said, coming to a halt in front of the mysterious figure.
“I’m not old” The figure spoke. Elrond might not have been able to see its face, but he could almost hear the scowl the person in front of him most likely had on his face and because of it he raised an amused eyebrow.
“Of course not” Both then lapsed into silence, the only things that could be heard was the faint rustle of leaves, the crickets chirping and the distant sound of gurgling water. Elrond sighed, the amused expression on his face melted away, giving way to a more serious and somber look. “There is to be a council soon…”
“I’ll be there” The figure interrupted him. Once again his eyebrows rose, this seemed to be a constant occurrence when this person was around. The question in his eyes was clear. “You wouldn’t tell me about it if you didn’t expect me to be there.” The elf chuckled and shook his head the statement was true enough.
Looking up at the moon he recalled moments between him and the smaller figure. Like their first meeting in a forest not very far from Imladris, or Rivendell in the common tongue, he had been hunting and he saw the figure standing beside a pure white stag with golden horns. It had been an entrancing sight and the person was but a child, yet even then he could see the wisdom in its emerald eyes. He also recalled fighting alongside said child in the war of the ring so many years ago. And finally he remembered his last encounter with the figure at Dol Guldur fighting alongside Saruman and himself against the wraiths and helping Gandalf escape. The figure had been wounded and from where he had been he had thought it was a mortal wound in the chest. The figure didn’t seek help afterwards, simply disappearing so he thought that his friend had passed. He never heard news of their whereabouts after that day .
“How have you-“ He started asking, turning his head towards the figure once more only to find it gone. After glancing around and confirming that the figure had indeed disappeared again he sighed and walked slowly back to the door that led to his study.
It was the early in the afternoon of the next day that Elrond saw the figure again. His daughter, Arwen, had come running to find him with an injured hobbit in her arms. When he was just about to heal the fading hobbit, Frodo Baggins, his friend appeared at the window of the room perching itself on the window ledge.
“He has been stabbed by a Morgul Blade” He told the once again hooded figure, almost spitting out the name of the cursed blade. Not taking his eyes off the small figure lying on the bed.
“I noticed. I can help, if you’ll allow me.” The figure said, leaning forward.
“Who are you?” A third voice asked. It was Arwen, his youngest that had just appeared at the door with herbs, fresh water and clean bandages. Elrond didn't raise his head and continued to work on his patient, but he could feel eyes on him, without sparing much more than a quick glance at the person at the window he gave a quick nod.
“I am Estella, otherwise known as the silver huntress or quicksilver.” The woman had now lowered her hood and gave a slight bow to Arwen, who stood shocked.
“You’re alive! But father had said…” Arwen’s eyes were wide as she studied the features of the woman in front of her. She was tall and lithe but she could see the defining curves of a woman’s body under the cloak that was now open revealing a white tunic and dark grey leggings and black riding boots. The woman was undeniably beautiful, though Arwen knew that she wasn’t an elf, with pale skin and long wavy hair that reached just under her breasts, her hair was of a dark golden colour with lighter more vibrant gold streaks on the top layers. But what really caught Arwen’s attention were the shocking emerald green eyes that seemed to shimmer in the light of the room.
“It seems like I was wrong.” Elrond commented, amusement coloured his tone. He had already seen too many loved ones pass away, and to know that one he had considered dead was quite alive was an inspiring thought. “Now lets concentrate on the task at hand.” He said, his tone making it clear that this conversation could be held later.
The morning after Frodo’s arrival, Estella found herself walking alongside an old friend, and Frodo’s uncle, Bilbo Baggins. The pair was walking through one of the many gardens of Rivendell and were sharing their new adventures when Bilbo suddenly exclaimed “Gandalf!”
“Bilbo Baggins!” Gandalf answered chuckling at the hobbit who was now moving quickly, or as quickly as a greying hobbit could, towards him. “Estella, my heart lifts to know that you are still well.” Estella rose her eyebrows at that but a quick look from the wizard and she understood that they would talk later.
For now she just offered a bright smile “Good to see you as well, mellon nîn.” The trio then walked for a few minutes in silence before coming to a halt in front of a gazebo. The gazebo had fifteen pointy arches that were all connected by a sea of vines with flowers and leaves forming a dome with once again a pointy top. The vines were not those of an actual tree but rather were made of a golden metal while the arches were made of light grey marble. The flowers and leaves were also made of metal, but instead of being golden were made of silver and were spread across the vines. At the center of the gazebo there were two white loveseats and a small wooden table in between. They then proceeded to settle down on the seats, Gandalf on one and Estella and Bilbo on the opposite side of the table.
“If I do recall correctly, the last time we all sat here together was when I first visited Rivendell with Thorin’s company of Dwarves.” Bilbo stated with a fond smile on his face.
“Yes, I recall that as well. You had been exploring the valley and had gotten lost. You also tried to talk with me using wild gestures.” Estella recalled glancing towards the hobbit who chuckled and blushed at the memory.
“Only because I thought you an Elf!” The trio laughed together, moments like these were becoming more and more rare as the darkness grew and whenever they were presented you had to grab hold of them and keep them close to your heart. “It is also where Thorin found me. You had by then already started talking to me and we were having some tea and lemon cake.”
“Ah, yes, he was furious! I remember him marching past me and Elrond grumbling about elves corrupting the minds of his company with food and fake friendship.” Gandalf pitched in a bit more of the story
“Ha! And his face when you helped us get out of Goblin Town and helped convince Beorn to shelter us!” Bilbo guffawed
“The best part was when he discovered that I wasn’t an elf at all!” Estella recalled their laughter continued, fueled by more memories of their joint adventures. After a couple of hours a stomach growling interrupted them. “It seems like some things never change.” She said chuckling
“Well, I’ll take my leave. Hopefully there will be something available in the kitchens” Bilbo then rose from his seat and walked away. The two figures that were left chuckled. Gandalf then rose from his seat and offered his arm to the lady.
“Lets go on a walk, shall we, my dear?” Estella looked up at the wizard and nodded, looping her arms with his.
“We shall” They walked steadily through the valley of Imladris a comfortable silence between them. It was Gandalf that broke the silence after a few minutes.
“Saruman has betrayed us.” He stated, glancing down at the woman. He could only see her profile, but he could tell that her eyes were troubled. Estella was very good at keeping all emotions from showing on her face when she wanted, but her eyes, at least to who knew her well, were easy to read. “But you knew that.”
“I had my suspicions.” She said stiffly, her mother tongue sounding much smoother on her tongue than his.
“Which is why you sent help.” He concluded. “The griffons that flew me out of Isengard were beautiful.” He continued “And a species that was considered extinct long ago.”
“They still exist.” She said, not giving anything away. Gandalf raises his eyebrows and sent a questioning look her way. Estella glanced at him and sighed. “There are a quite few left. In the lost kingdom. ” He sighed. He knew that she wouldn’t give much more away.
The lost kingdom, otherwise known as Kingdom of Eazudal, was where Estella was originally from. The location of this land was a bit of a mystery. Many Eazudals were said to roam the lands of Middle Earth, doing much the same as Estella, helping those in need, but where they came from was always a mystery. Legends say that magical borders select who can enter the kingdom; other cultures don’t even believe it exists. There was no doubt in Gandalf’s mind that the country existed, for even though he never walked its streets, Estella had introduced him to others of her kind and brought books from her lands. She even taught Elrond and him and a few others her language, just as Elrond taught her several dialects of elvish.
“I’m glad to see that you have reunited.” A voiced sounded from behind them. Both turned around to see Elrond in long robes with his crown on his head. Estella bowed to the Elven Lord. “I’m afraid I must steal Gandalf’s attention for now, my dear.”
“That’s alright. We’ll talk more later.” She bowed to both men and continued on her walk.
She stopped at her room to pick up a leather bound book and writing implements. She then proceeded to walk back to the gazebo she was at earlier, but instead of sitting on the comfortable white velvet seats she sat at the base of a tree nearby, leaning on the trunk and proceeded to draw the peaceful scenery around her.