Thanks reviewers :) I knew you could do it *gives proud look*.That was really fast by the way; I was expecting reviews to come in only after a week or so!
On a totally unrelated note, I have 'Happy Together' by Simple Plan stuck in my head xD. And I told someone to act their age and not their shoe size! How clever =P
Glorfindel had his head poked into the antechamber of Elrond's study.
Elrond remained standing by the door.
Elrohir was discreetly sampling some of his father's wine.
Elladan was tying his hair back and removing any jewellery.
All of them were eying the little human plonked in the middle of the floor. Whenever the boy made any sudden movements, Elladan made a subtle squeak of alarm and shifted away slightly. "Are you quite all right, dearest son?" inquired Elrond with false concern. Elladan smiled nervously at Aragorn, ignoring his father. Elrond sighed. "This has gone on long enough."
The frozen tableau of terror that Aragorn had created. Elrohir was in silent awe. Glorfindel smiled at Elladan. "Yes, elfling. We will have to work on your fear of human children tomorrow. Come, your brother and I shall protect you on your way to your room." Elladan spluttered and felt his eyes pop out. "Protect?! What are you talking about?!" Elrohir and Glorfindel carefully steered him out into the hallway, ignoring his indignant ramblings.
Elrond looked back at Aragorn. "I suppose that leaves you with- " He cut himself off. The toddler was no longer there! He quickly hurried into his inner chamber and was greeted by the sight of a delighted - and squealing - baby climbing all over his bed. With shoes on! How dare he! Although his own children had been just as adventurous in their youth. Elrond sighed ruefully, then straightened up when he heard quiet knocking. "Who is it?" he called out.
Gilraen listened carefully, and relaxed as she heard delighted squeals. "It's Gilraen." Elrond opened the door and smiled at her. "You are most welcome, Lady Gilraen." More than you know, I think. What exactly did you teach this...this boy?! A patter of little footsteps announced Aragorn's arrival. "Mammee!" He held out his arms to his mother, and she picked him up. "How have you behaved today?" Aragorn gave her a impenetrable look of baby innocence. "I be good!"
Elrond looked at the boy in disbelief, then shook his head. "Lady Gilraen-" He was quickly interrupted.
"Oh, please, call me Gilraen." He nodded at her, inwardly wondering if she was anything like her offspring. "I think it would be wise if Aragorn were known by another name while he is here in Rivendell. It would not do for the Enemy to learn that he has survived." He watched Gilraen and tentatively wondered if he should get out of hair-pulling range. It could be quite upsetting, he mused, to have to give up your son's name. She nodded and bit her lip. "Is there anything else, Lord Elrond?"
Elrond looked at her sternly. She quickly realized her mistake." Oh...um...Elrond?" He smiled at her.
"I understand if this is hard for you...but you need to promise me that he will not go spreading around Imladris that his father was called Arathorn. That could be disastrous, for all of us." Gilraen gasped softly. " But - he's just a child...The only way to do that is if he completely forgets everything, his heritage, his name, everything!" Elrond's eyes looked sad, but unyielding.
"I am sorry." I don't know how else to protect him. Although he doesn't seem to need much protection.. She sighed, defeated. Aragorn watched her, oblivious to her distress. "Mammee play?"
And he poked her nose. Gilraen chuckled unwillingly." Elrond? What shall we name him? Something elvish?"
"Yes, something in the Sindarin tongue."As he watched the boy poking his mother's face and pulling her hair, he decided on something. "Estel. It means Hope." Gilraen thought about it, and nodded slowly.
"He is the one thing that remains for me right now. Estel is most appropriate." Elrond put a hand on her shoulder sympathetically.
As he watched the two of them disappear into their rooms for breakfast, Elrond could not help but find some dark humour in Estel's new name. The residents of Imladris were going to find new meaning in the word with that human child around. And he was going to leave Estel in the care of his sons for the day...Yes. Hope. They must not lose sight of it...