Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lord of the Rings belong to their respective creators, Joss Whedon and J.R.R. Tolkien.
I had not believed the stories.
She is small, this girl, more a child than a woman to the unfamiliar eye. The span of her waist would fit into one of my hands, the top of her head coming barely to the buckle of my quiver. It is hard to associate her with other Men I have seen, those others who are coarse and uncouth, ungainly, utterly lacking in virtue or balance, filled with their own arrogance and lusts.
Not her. Not this creature of effortless grace. Who sits watching you with the stillness of trees, eyes greener than the Loren wood, and then is running, a pale shape in the gloaming, like the mares of seas and nightmares.
They will not tell me where they found her, only that she was found. They will not tell me who her family is, from whence she hails, or even why she seems unable to speak the Common Speech, when all Men speak it. The language she talks to them, to me, is a harsh one, unlike anything I have heard before. But I like to hear it now, for I have become attached to her voice.
She laughs like falling water, though I understand she does not now as much as she did before. They tell me she has grown sad of late, sad and pale with worry, though they have made efforts to cheer and comfort her. They do not say what has caused this, but they do not need to.
It is a...difficult...situation. Unfortunate the Peredhil, to have children so capricious as these. A daughter who loves a mortal, king and kinsman though he may be, and sons who put a Secondborn between them to cause strife. It is the talk of all Elf-kind, such talk that it reached even the ears of the high of Lothlorien.
I did not believe the stories. What insanity, to lose one's wits so thoroughly over what could only be a passingly fair face.
How wrong I was.
I am drawn against my will. The lovely face, the disarming laugh, the quick smile, and beneath it, grief so deep and dark that surely she must be suffocating with it. There is an animal grace, a certain air and practice in her movements that suggest unsettling things, an echo of violence, but when she flinches at some little thing, a breath of apprehension, fear, she is vulnerable and small and I ache to stretch out my arm and protect her.
It is madness. She is a nothing, a no one, with no family, no history, and barely a name. She could be anything, any danger that we have let into our midst, that we have let lead us so easily into infatuation, obsession. What is it about her that pulls us? What is it that pulls me?
Why does Elrond do nothing?
Rumil watches her. I confront him, and he neither denies nor confirms, but keeps his own counsel, counsel that is more often than not writ clear on his face. Once, when we walked out in the wood and came upon Elrohir walking with her, rather inappropriately running his fingers through her loose hair as she shied and stumbled through some protest, I saw Rumil's eyes grow dark and the skin of his knuckles stretch white. I would have been angered at such a show, had he not then looked at me, his brother, whom they call the Hardnosed and think I do not know, and seen the same in my face and my hands.
She is a poison, a madness. She is folly and peril. She causes brothers to war, fathers to pain. And yet, for all of this confusion she has caused, her eyes are young and afraid, and all she wants, as we understand though she cannot yet say the words, is to go home.
I would that she go. She has caused too much anguish already, and she has yet to even leave the safety of Imladris. If she affects us so, what would she wreak among Men? No, she should go. She must go.
And I, who looked into her eyes and was lost, then, perhaps, I, too, could find my way back.