A Sad Day
Elrond stood up in his study waiting and watching for any sign, any word from any one of his boys. Earlier he had started feeling something wrong with one of them at first he had merely brushed it aside thinking he was only being paranoid but slowly the intuition had grown stronger. He had begun to feel an immense amount of sorrow, though from what he never knew, that was fallowed by a sudden cold feeling and numbness in the middle of his back and lower neck.
Elrond was now pacing the floor of his study he walked past the window looked out, circled the room until he came back to the window, and then he would look out and circle again. It was an unending process that Erestor watched with concern. Lord Elrond had been acting this way ever since mid-afternoon, it was now only an hour past dinner, when he had felt something wrong with one or more of his sons. He could not yet pin point the exact problem, but that didn't stop him from sending Glorfindel out with small patrol to check on them and offer aid if needed.
Erestor was becoming dizzy with his lord's continual pacing. "Lord Elrond, will you please sit down, pacing can be hard on the floors."
Elrond turned to his advisor with fire in his eyes, "My sons are out there and something has happened." his voice softened when he saw the dark haired elf flinch from his harsh tone "My apologies Erestor I did not mean to yell at you."
Erestor sighed and forgave his friend, "I understand mellon nin, but you can not stand here pacing back and forth, it wont make them arrive any faster."
Elrond went back to his place at the window and stared out into the quickly falling darkness of night, "I know, but I can do nothing else when I worry so. I truly do fear for them my friend, I fear something awful has befallen them and nothing I do can stop it."
Erestor nodded in understanding.
The Bruinen River
Glorfindel rode atop his white mare along side the river bank searching for sighs of the three brothers. He had ridden out of the Homely House only hours before and had been searching along side the path the children had taken and the river they had been near. He sent the guards back home when it starting to become dark, they were needed at their posts, but they had all promised to take different routes so as to cover more ground in hope they would come across Elrond's twins and adopted son.
'They should be around here, but they aren't. Where can they be?' He thought getting off his horse it would be easier to track them in the dark on foot then on horse back. It the distance he saw something in a heap pilled on the ground near the woods where he was standing; looking closer he instantly recognized it to be the twins. Elladan's and Elrohir's tunics were pilled next to the picnic basket, fishing supplies, and Estel's shoes. It was then he saw one of them lying unmoving on the ground. Running to the first fallen figure he saw what he dreaded to see. It was one of the twins, Elladan he guessed, but he could not be sure. Checking the unconscious twin over he found no visible wounds, but he did find the note on the elf's waist. Taking out the parchment there in bright red letter read "Lord Elrond Of Rivendell". Glorfindel tucked it away in his breast pocket lining the inside of his tunic. Turning back to the unconscious elf he shook the dark haired elf hoping for some sort of reaction.
"Come on El." he said using the nickname when they had trouble telling the twins apart. "Come on wake up; don't send me back to your father with grave news." Panic began to set in as he looked around for signs of the other two. He spotted Elrohir near the woods.
Giving Elladan one final look he ran the younger twins side only to have his hope cast aside as he found him in a similar, if not worse condition. The younger twin was cold to the touch and the Balrog slayer feared the worst as he searched for the live giving pulse. He breathed a sigh of relief when he felt the beat beneath his figures. But something about it was off, it seemed wrong to him, but he could not be sure. He lifted Elrohir off the ground and moved him beside his mirror image. Now all he needed was the youngest son of Elrond for his job to be complete, but where to start looking.
The boy was no where in sight and the blonde elf loathed leaving the twins alone for even a moment. 'But if Estel is nearby then I would leave him, when he most certainly is in the same predicament as the twins.' Looking to the woods where he had found Elrohir, he looked as far as he could see hoping for some glimpse of the child he strained his ears search for a sound from Estel's movements.
Finding nothing he whistled for his horse, she came almost instantly. Glorfindel placed the twins on the horses back along with their belongings and set off leading the horse at hurried pace back to the Last Homely House. He was saddened by his findings, for the twins hand not made so much of a sound the whole time and their half naked bodies had become cold to the touch, which elves should never feel, while the youngest son of Elrond was missing.
"Elrond will not like this.' he thought grimly. As he walked through the woods with the horse in tow he was bombarded with memories of the past ranging from a time when the twins were young to when Estel had entered their lives. If one looked close enough they would see the mighty elf's eyes fill with tears at the thought of loosing one or mare of the three. But he would not let those tears fall, not before there was a reason to mourn. And he prayed that that moment would not come.
Elrond felt his heart seize in his chest at the sight of Glorfindel leading his horse with the twins lying lifeless against the horse's neck. He took note of the blonde elf's walk it was not hurried as it would be if the twins were injured, but it was not a slow mournful walk either. It was almost a cross between the two Elrond didn't know how to react.
Elrond ran through the house as fast as legs could carry him taking every stair way in twos and threes until he reached the front yard. Coming to a halt before his military advisor he allowed little time for the Gondolin elf to explain before he ran to his sons.
"What happened?" he asked panic evident in his voice, his fatherly instinct taking hold instantly. He took the first one off the horses back and set him on the ground to look him over. He was too worried to bring them inside before knowing what was wrong with them.
They were cold to his touch, their eyes were tightly closed, and a light purple tinge was added to their pale pink lips. Elrond was almost afraid to touch them out of fear of their aliment and the unknown of their place on the delicate balance between life and death.
Erestor skidded to a halt beside Elrond and gasped at what he saw. He was the fist to act shaking the elf lord's shoulder he spoke "Elrond we need to get them inside."
"Yes, they need to be inside." said Elrond coming out of his shock. He picked up Elladan and cradled him close as they rushed up the main stairs and the healer ward. Glorfindel holding Elrohir tightly in his grasp followed not far behind.
They entered the Hall of Healing and put the twins on beds right next to each other. The beds only a few feet apart enough room for one healer to move comfortable and work between the two. Since normally when one twin was injured the other was, more often than not, also injured these beds were almost called their own.
"What happened?" asked Elrond his emotions were pushed back as the healer in him took control of the situation.
"They were like this when I found them." said Glorfindel as Elrond began his examination. "They were near the river like they were suppose to when I found them they were like this and cold. And Elrond I could not find Estel." Elrond instantly stopped his inspection at once.
"Elrond there was a note also." said Glorfindel handing the note that he found on Elladan to Elrond, who all but ripped the envelope open. His eyes grew wide as he read the letter inside.
By now your twin sons are in your custody, but they will not rise, which I'm sure you have found to be true. To make thing easier on you I will tell you what ails them. It is ancient poison called Lillie's Breath, a slow acting poison that kills from the inside, eating away at the various organs before finally consuming the heart. There is only one cure for such a poison and it is in my possession. I also have your youngest in my custody, of whom an interesting discovery has been made. Have you ever been told he is an uncanny likeness to the late Arathorn, king of Gondor?
A since of panic filled Elronds being at this point as several questions entered Elrond's mind. Does he know who Estel is? Will he turn him over to the Dark Lord? What does he know? How did he find out? Elrond read on in fear of what questions would be answered as to Estel's blood line and future. He let out a breath he did know he was holding at the next line.
Do not mistaken I have no interest in the whelp nor his history, but he does make the bargain I wish to make all the more reason for you to hand what I want over to me. That brings me to my next point. I want Vilya, the elven ring of air. In four days I will make the trade the ring for the antidote and the young pup. I will be waiting by the old rocks you call Weathertop. If you refuse, well do I really need to tell you the consequences?
Rain, of the Wolf clan.
Elrond's hands trembled as he read the letter his mind couldn't comprehend what it was saying he didn't want believe a word of it. But it was true and he knew it he just couldn't believe it. After reading it twice through he collapsed into the chair Glorfindel placed behind him. It was all too much for him all his mind kept telling him was the same the same thing repeated over and over. His twin sons lie dying beside him while his other son was in enemy hands and might die or worse already dead.