A/N: Here you go! Hope you like! I do not own any of the works of Tolkein, or Whedon. Fandoms: LoTR and BtVS. Sorry for the long wait on the next installment, hope it doesn't disappoint! Drop me a line on the way out with your opinion! love xx Shezzi
Dawn sat in front of her father on his horse, the many times decendent of the stallion and mare they had owned before she was kidnapped, he had told her. He had woken her, his face tight, well before dawn, and bundled her into some of his own hastily cut down clothing, wrapping her in his cloak before putting her before him, more or less side saddle and cradled against his chest, on the horse.
“What's wrong, Ada?” she asked softly, looking up into his face.
“I don't know anything for sure yet, but to confirm my suspicions of what has happened...I am going to have to leave you for a while, my darling,” he said softly.
The part of Mith'mir that was Dawn balked at this, wanting to throw a screaming tantrum to make him stay, or take her with him, while the part that was Mith'mir, which was coming to the surface and blending more strongly with Dawn, tried to be understanding. She knew that he would never leave her without an excellent reason, particularly not now, when they had just found each other again.
Squashing the 'Dawn' part of herself, she smiled bravely at him. “So, where am I staying? Why not here, with Frodo?” she asked, curious.
Gandalf's face blanched at that thought, the thought of his only child, who was nearly as powerful as he was, left alone with the corrupting power of the Ring. “That just...wouldn't be a good idea, Miri,” he said, pressing a soft kiss against her hair. “Go back to sleep now, baby,” she said softly, and started humming a soft tune. She soon fell asleep against him and he held her tightly, pushing his stallion to greater speeds, rushing on towards Rivendell. He was going to leave Mith'mir there, the thought tearing his heart, but he had to know that she was safe, and among her relatives there, she would be. Her mother had been a cousin to Elrond's wife, and she had always loved to spend time with her Elvish family.
Riding the Elven stallion, he would make it in a few hours, although travelling at that speed would mean that he had to leave the horse to the care of the elves and take another mount. He revelled in having his daughter close, knowing that he would soon be forced to relinquish her to the care of others, he breathed the scent of her hair, locking it in his memory. He pressed another kiss to the top of her head and rode on. ~~~@@@~~~
Dawn woke as they crossed the River Bruinin, eyes widening as she realised where they were. “Rivendell?” she asked, eyes bright.
“Yes. You will be staying there,” he told her.
Dawn sighed and snuggled closer to her father’s chest, looking up at his face and committing the moment to memory; the smell, the feel, his expression, everything. He smiled down at her, then touched a heel to the horse’s flank and moved them up the final ridge before the valley of Imladris.
Too soon, for both of them, they were at the bottom of the steps and it was time to dismount. As Dawn’s feet touched the ground, she heard running feet, and turned to be enveloped in two pairs of strong arms.
“Mith’mir!” two identical voices cried, joy so strong it was almost overpowering. “Cousin, you found your way home!”
“Elrohir, Elladan!” she cried, her joy matching theirs. “Cousins, how I have missed you!”
They split apart when a pointed cough broke through their joy, and just as Dawn was turning in the direction it came from, she was caught in another pair of male arms, and crushed against yet another chest.
“Hiya, Uncle Elrond,” she said, grinning teasingly at him. Their relationship was too complicated to put into a clearly defined category, so, since she called his children cousins and her second cousin, his wife, was dead, she had adopted him as her uncle. “How?”
he asked, eyes wide.
“There will be time for explanations later,” Gandalf said. “Now I must request your council. Mith’mir, if you would stay with the twins? I will come and see you before I leave.”
Dawn sighed but nodded, turning back to her cousins, who were still staring at her with identical expressions of incredulous joy. “Where’s Arwen?”
she asked, glancing around.
“Ahhh,” said Elrohir carefully.”Estel is here,”
added Elladan.“They’re hiding somewhere,”
finished Elladan. “They will…”“Be there for dinner,”
Elrohir explained.“Who is Estel?”
asked Mith’mir, curious. “Is it possible that Arwen has found the one who calls her Faer, finally?”
The twins exchanged a speaking glance. “You may draw your own conclusions on that at supper,”
they said in unison. “So, what shall we do until then?”
asked Mith’mir, eyes dancing with amusement. “We would like to hear where you have been, and what happened to bring you back to us,”
replied Elladan, getting the whole sentence out on his own as his brother nodded agreement.
“Then let’s chat,” said Dawn, slipping into Common, her Valley girl accent coming through and overriding the softer Elvish one. They made their way into the garden, avoiding others for the time being, and sat by one of the pools, Dawn dipping her bare feet into the water.
She started to explain everything that she understood of what happened, pausing several times as tears and grief overwhelmed her, and followed Lewis Carrol’s age old advice: Start at the beginning, go on until you reach the end, and then stop.
By the time she finished the three of them were no longer sitting on the bench, but sprawled on the grass, Mith’mir held snugly between her two Elven cousins, who soothed her final tears and hugged her tightly. “We are glad that…”
“You have returned to us, but…”
“Saddened that it brings…”
They told her in their broken sentences.
“I know that you two are perfectly capable of not doing that, you know,” she pointed out, faking frustration.“But where…”
“Would be the fun in that?”
they asked, grinning identical, mischief laden grins.
Dawn just laughed at them both. They stopped laughing when they heard two sets of footsteps approaching, and turned to find Arwen and a man Dawn didn’t recognise, who must have been the mysterious Estel, came around a corner.
They froze on seeing the three on the grass, the man’s expression somewhat annoyed at the interruption, and curious as he looked at Dawn, who he had never seen there before.
Arwen’s expression, on the other hand, was incredulous, joyful and horrified at the same time. Mith’mir had no trouble discerning the reason for her cousin’s horror; the clothing she wore was definitely not, in Arwen’s mind, suitable clothing for any Elf of royal standing, never mind an elleth!
“Mith’mir,” she choked out, as Dawn untangled herself from the twins, and then they were running for each other, arms outstretched, and caught each other in a tight embrace, Arwen murmuring Elvish endearments into the ears of the girl she had helped raise after her own mother’s cousin, Mir’bein, died. She had been the one to come to the rescue of the bewildered wizard left alone with his tiny daughter and no idea of what he was supposed to do. “Oh, little one, how I have missed you!”
She stepped back and held her cousin at arms length. “But those clothes will simply not do. Come on, you’re not walking around looking like that!” Arwen switched to common, her tone consigned Dawn’s current clothing to the dustbin.
“It was all Ada had, he wasn’t exactly ready for me to drop out of the sky, literally,” Dawn replied. Seeing Arwen’s expression, she groaned. “Can we at least work while we talk? I would like to be in some more decent garments myself,” she admitted.
“Of course,” replied Arwen. “But first, I would like you to meet someone. This is Aragorn, also called Estel,” she introduced them. “Aragorn, this is our cousin, Mith’mir, the daughter of Mithrandir.”
“Hail and well met, fair lady,” said Aragorn, bowing lightly to her.
“Hail and well met, keeper of my cousin’s heart,” she replied, her eyes dancing and daring him to deny it. Both Arwen and Aragorn blushed, but said nothing, and Mith’mir laughed delightedly.
“That is quite enough of that, young lady,” said Arwen, although her tone was kind. “Come on, let’s get you some clothes. Aragorn, why don’t you stay here with the twins,” she suggested.
“Come on, brother, we’ll explain everything,” Elladan said, reaching up and pulling Aragorn down onto the grass by the sleeve of his tunic.
Arwen towed Mith’mir inside and up to her rooms, where she started pulling clothes from the closet. The two were very close in both size and colouring, so Mith’mir would be able to wear Arwen’s things until she her own were made up, which was something of a relief, really. The only problem that Dawn could see was that all Arwen had were dresses. She made a note to get clothes suitable for sparring and riding made first, even as she accepted, without complaint, a silvery grey undergown with a green overgown that laced up the back, and allowed Arwen to start playing with her hair, the whole time explaining everything she understood of what happened.
Arwen finished dressing Mith’mir’s hair in the Elven fashion, identical to her own, and then stood back to survey her handywork. Where before had been a rather uncouth looking individual in ill fitting, inappropriate clothing, there now sat a member of what could only be termed the Elvish royalty. Arwen blinked back the tears she had been holding in since she first saw Mith’mir sprawled on the ground with her bothers, and smiled at her cousin. “You are beautiful,” she told her.
“Thank you,” said Mith’mir, ducking her head slightly. There was a knock at the door then, and Mith’mir opened it to reveal her father. She grabbed his cloak from the bed and returned it to him, and he smiled at her before pulling her into a tight hug. He held her for several long moments, then pulled back.
“I will return as soon as I am able, as soon as I have found the answers I seek. Until then, I trust you to obey your uncle in all things as you would me, and to make as little trouble as is possible with the gwynen.”
Dawn laughed, and nodded. “Yes, father. I will do my best.” In an abrupt change in behaviour, she threw herself at him and hugged him tightly. “Hurry back,” she whispered into his tunic, before whirling away, not wanting to allow him to see her tears.
Gandalf brushed one hand over her hair, then left, wiping a hand under his own suspiciously moist eyes.