Chapter Ten - Aragorn's Shock
I’m so sorry for the delay! I haven’t been able to on my computer nearly as much for the past month or so, but hopefully RL will be slower now. Thanks for being patient with me!
“Mellon nîn” means “good friend” in Sindarin, btw. DISCLAIMER
I don’t own anything canon from Star Wars
or Lord of the Rings
Aragorn sat on the edge of the ring around the White Tree, watching the sun rising over the Ephel Dúath. They were still a dark and dangerous place, but in the morning when the sun rose over the mountaintops, they were beautiful.
It was silent and still. Even so, the king smirked and said, “Good morning, mellon nîn.”
“You are getting better at that,” Legolas remarked from behind him. “We may awaken that tiny bit of Elvish blood in you yet.”
Legolas nodded and sat beside Aragorn. Together, they watched the sun climb higher and higher, illuminating the ruins at Osgiliath and the Pelennor fields. “Something troubles you, old friend,” Legolas finally said.
Aragorn sighed. “I have never been fond of revenge, Legolas. You know that. But I always believed that if I could somehow punish someone for everything that happened, it would hurt less.”
Legolas looked at him sympathetically. “And now that you have punished someone?”
“It has done nothing but drag up old memories,” Aragorn admitted. “Good and bad.” He looked at the sky. “It has been nearly forty years. I know in my heart that Hyarion is dead But Mara and Alar – they would be adults now. If they were not also dead, would I even recognize them?”
Quietly, Legolas said, “You know that they have not returned, Estel. Skywalker’s son and the girl are the only ones to come from the stars since the last time Hyarion came.”
Aragorn shook his head. “Skywalker’s son. I was so angry when I could finally face someone for taking my children, but now I fear that I was too rash.”
Legolas hesitated, then said slowly, “When I met Anakin Skywalker, he felt a friend, but shallow. Luke Skywalker has felt a wary visitor, but genuine. He is a good man, true to the same law and code that Obi-Wan once was.”
Closing his eyes, Aragorn whispered, “Hyarion.” When he opened his eyes again, there were tears shining in them. “I miss him, Legolas. I wish he was here. He would know what to do.”
The sounds of the city rose softly around them, but the two old friends stayed quiet. “Please say nothing to Arwen,” Aragorn said after a minute. “I have never hidden the fact that Hyarion was my true love, but I see no good in causing her pain.” Then he frowned. “She has told me many times that it is safe to let Skywalker’s servant wander loose in the city, but I have doubts.”
“Jade?” Legolas asked.
Aragorn nodded. “What’s your feeling of her?”
“She has a sharp tongue,” the Elf replied. “And there is darkness that has not yet been completely purged from her.”
Alarmed, Aragorn said, “Elladan and Elrohir found her in the gardens with Eldarion! If she did anything – ”
“No, my friend. Don’t worry. There is something else that keeps Jade from returning to the darkness.”
“And that is?”
“Love,” said Legolas simply. “She is in love with Skywalker.”
The king frowned. “In love with him? No wonder she begged for his life. Does he return the feeling?”
Legolas shrugged – a gesture of familiarity that Aragorn knew he only made when around close friends. “But I do know that they are in constant contact. I can feel the energy passing between them, like some kind of communication.”
“So they are both Jedi?” Aragorn asked.
“They are both blessed with the Power of the Elves,” Legolas said.
This new information put Aragorn on edge. A powerful girl prone to darkness who he had found talking to his only son? How could he let Jade remain free?
Suddenly he realized the nature of his thoughts and felt his heart break again. Eldarion was not his only son.
Legolas was watching him. “What is wrong, Aragorn?”
“I love Eldarion,” Aragorn said. “I love him as my son and as my heir and as the Prince of Gondor. And I love my daughters.” He sighed. “But I fear that at times I love Mara and Alar more.” His voice became choked. “Or at least the memory of them.”
Putting a comforting hand on his friend’s shoulder, Legolas said, “Do not feel guilty, Aragorn. Your love for your firstborn son and daughter is of a different nature than that for the Gondorian Prince and Princesses.”
“Do you think that it has been wrong not to tell them?” Aragorn asked. “Do you think that Eldarion and the girls should know?”
Legolas shook his golden head. “Not now. Someday when they are older and can understand.”
Aragorn smiled sadly. “You are truly wise. What would I ever do without you?”
Glancing at the sun climbing up in the sky, Legolas said, “You would miss holding court this morning for one. Were you planning on hearing from your subjects today?”
Aragorn groaned. “I suppose.” With Legolas at his side, he stood up and trudged toward the entrance of the White Hall. “Honestly I am not in the mood to pass judgment on anything right now.”
“Understandable. But if you want, you have enthusiastic help. Master Brandybuck and Thain Took have expressed their willingness to assist in any way during their time here. As am I, as always.”
“The Lord of Ithilien’s input is always appreciated,” Aragorn replied. “Please tell Merry and Pippin that they are welcome in the White Hall in an hour’s time.”
Legolas nodded and left Aragorn at the colossal doors of the Citadel. The king looked up at his palace, suddenly longing for the organic arches of Elrond’s Last Homely House. But Rivendell had stood silent and empty for many years. There was no going back there.
He let the servants prepare him and dress him in his official raiment, but try as he might, he could not let go of the memories of his missing son and daughter. Since he had gotten Legolas’s message about Skywalker’s arrival, it seemed like all he did was long to hold his twin children again or see his long-gone lover. The two years that Obi-Wan had lived with him in Rivendell under the name Hyarion had been the best time of his life.
An hour later, Aragorn reluctantly sat on his throne high above the floor of his court, Arwen already seated at his side. He despised being so far above the others in the court. It made him feel falsely superior. Even Legolas, Merry, and Pippin stood below him, flanking Faramir’s black throne.
He heard land disputes and construction contracts. One man came forward proposing a more elaborate memorial at the Pelennor. A messenger brought the monthly report from Dol Amroth. It seemed as though the day would never end.
Aragorn had turned to speak quietly with his wife when he heard Faramir say, “Back again?”
Aragorn recognized the voice and looked down to see Jade standing alone in the middle of the hall, still wrapped in the same cloak that she had worn when she arrived. “What business do you have here?” he asked.
“I have come again to ask for the release of my master,” she said.
Aragorn sighed and rubbed his temples. “I will hear no more on this.”
Jade took another step forward. “Please.”
“What could possibly bind a servant so tightly to her master?” Faramir asked.
She glared at him. “I am not a servant!” she said hotly as her temper flared. Throwing back her cloak, she revealed a lightsaber hanging at her belt. “I am Jedi Knight Mara Jade Skywalker and you have wrongfully imprisoned my husband.”
Aragorn felt his heart stop. He heard Legolas’s sharp gasp and Arwen’s murmured shock. It was not possible. But that fiery red hair and those bright green eyes…
Finally, he whispered, “Mara?”