Forgotten Allies: part iii
"We don't know when our name
came into being or how some
distant ancestor acquired it.
We don't understand our name
at all; we don't know its history,
and yet we bear it with exalted
fidelity. We merge with it,
we like it, we are ridiculously
proud of it, as if we had thought
it up ourselves in a moment of
Milan Kundera. Immortality
Elrond sat in a stunned silence as Kate disappeared up
the stairs. They heard the bedroom door close behind her,
and still Elrond sat in silence. Finally, his gaze turned
towards Gandalf, who sat contentedly eating his Danish, as
if nothing were out of the ordinary. Legolas watched the
two in a battle of wills, amused. When Elrond could take it
no longer, he broke the silence,
"You should have told me." Elrond said. "She is a
direct descendent then?"
Gandalf nodded. "One of your great grand children.
Though the greats are far too numerous to count." He sipped
"Why? Why keep it from me?" he said.
"For fear that it would have caused unforeseen
problems." Gandalf said.
"It would have only steeled my resolve to join this
conflict." Elrond said.
"Exactly, and when I had come to you, I had not yet
asked the Valar for permission. But it all turned out for
the best." Gandalf said.
The conversation lapsed into silence, which was not at
all uncommon for Elves. Being immortal granted you certain
quirks, and pondering questions long before speaking was one
"You have kept watch on them all these years?" Elrond
"It was not hard. I have followed father's and first
born sons through many a generation." Gandalf said. "I
have had the patience and the time."
"Why?" Legolas asked. In all his years, he still found
that one question was always the most puzzling of all and
usually the hardest one to answer.
"It is not uncommon for those in his line to change the
world. Isildur did, for the worse. Aragorn did, for the
better. Though years have past, that burden must fall to
his descendants." Gandalf said.
"The many generations you have watched." Elrond said,
quietly, almost to himself. His eyes rose to meet
Gandalf's, "So Elladan and Elrohir are with Colin, the
first born son?"
"No, and that troubles me. This is the first generation
that did not have a son as eldest child." Gandalf said.
"Though perhaps I was wrong in believing that only the sons
were of importance."
"Kate?" Elrond asked, looking up towards the stairs
that she had ascended. "She is first born, and the rightful
Gandalf laughed. "If there was a throne for her to
inherit and Gondor still stood. Yes. But those days are
long since gone."
"That is true. But not the power of the first born
child. Perhaps that is why the mission failed." Elrond
"I fear you may be right. In my error I foolishly
allowed Colin to go. But the true quest may be yet to be
uncovered. There are things greater than sighting the
evil." Gandalf said.
"You should have insisted that she go." Elrond said.
"Insisted?" Gandalf said, with a grin. "And how did
you feel when I insisted you send Arwen to ride out and look
for Frodo with the Ring Wraiths on the prowl?"
Elrond smiled. "Point taken."
"Exactly. And Arwen was trained in battle at that.
Kate is not a warrior." Gandalf said.
"I think you are wrong." Legolas said.
Elrond and Gandalf turned to Legolas, as if noticing
him for the first time.
"She is a warrior. Perhaps not one for hand-to-hand
combat, but there is a strength in her. You cannot deny
that, for even I felt it." Legolas said.
Gandalf nodded. "She has always been strong willed. But
before this is over, more than strong wills are needed to
defeat this evil."
"What more did Frodo have, than the will?" Legolas
"What did I tell you Legolas? Wisdom. You have it
already and do not realize it." Gandalf said.
Legolas smiled. "It is not wisdom, I speak, but of
"That is the best kind of wisdom." Gandalf said.
And so they spent the day in quiet reflection, waiting
for Kate to awake. Elrond's thoughts of the past combined
with the face to face meeting of the future, and he felt the
weight of the years on his shoulders. He walked through the
house, looking at photographs that hung from the walls.
Colin was tall, his eyes were strong, his shoulders broad.
Kate was his opposite, though she too had the same dark
hair, she was not tall, nor did she look strong. Elrond
lifted a family photo from the mantel and gazed at it a long
Legolas came up beside him.
"These. . . photographs." Legolas said the word as if
his tongue were not used to pronouncing it. "They deceive
the eyes. For you do not feel their spirits."
"True. But how I would love to have one of Arwen, I
would not need to feel her spirit for it resides within my
own." Elrond said.
"It was brilliant, like the star-filled sky." Legolas
"It was." Elrond said.
The sun was high overhead, when Kate woke and rose
from her bed. Her sleep had been restful and she felt
refreshed. Better than she had in the days since the air
raids had begun. She stretched and was debating what to do
for lunch when the events of the morning came back to her.
Gandalf, two strangers, something about Colin. In her half-
asleep state she had assumed they were figments of her
imagination. Something her exhausted mind had invented as
she drifted off to sleep. As she headed down the stairs and
heard voices, she realized it was real.
They stopped talking when she walked into the living
room. Again, she noticed the intense stares from Elrond and
Legolas. Gandalf smiled at her and motioned for her to join
them. But having a good nights sleep and feeling like
herself for the first time in weeks, she was in no mood for
his patronizing mannerisms.
She walked towards them but did not sit down. They
waited for her to speak.
"What is going on Gandalf?" she asked. "Where is
"I don't know where he is." Gandalf said.
"But you know something about it. My mother said the
letter was from you. But I couldn't read it." Kate said.
Gandalf nodded. "The note was from me. I will admit
that. But you will not like what I have to say."
"Where is he?" Kate asked.
"He has gone to look into the face of evil." Gandalf
said. "To see Hitler."
"And my sons are with him." Elrond said.
"Hitler?" Kate said. "Great joke. Where is he
Kate glanced from face to face, but neither Elrond or
Legolas made a move to contradict Gandalf.
"He went with Elrond's sons, to see Hitler. But it is
not as you think. He was not to speak with him. Indeed,
all he needed do was be in view of him. Perhaps in an
audience, I hear that Hitler is often seen speaking to
thousands." Gandalf said.
Kate tried to make sense of what Gandalf was saying, but
she could not. "Hitler? He's gone to see Hitler?" she
repeated the words to herself as if saying it aloud would
make it seem real to her. Make it make some sort of sense.
But it didn't. Before she could reach any rational
conclusions, the phone rang. She answered it. It was her
mother, asking her to bring some of her father's things to
the hospital. She hung up and started up the stairs.
"Wait." Gandalf said. "We are not finished here."
"Oh, we're finished here." Kate said, her voice
dripping with contempt. She was gone only a few moments and
came back with a small bag filled with her father's
"Kate. Please, let's sit down and talk about this."
"Sit down?? You want me to sit down and talk about
this?" Kate asked, incredulously, anger rising in her
voice. "There is nothing to talk about. You are all
obviously out of your minds. You've sent my brother off
with two crazy people to see Hitler!!!"
"You will not speak to Gandalf in this fashion! Sit
down!" Elrond spoke loudly, his voice echoed throughout the
house. She jumped, obviously startled at his commanding
voice and glared at him. To Legolas and Gandalf's surprise,
Kate held Elrond's gaze and did not waver.
"You come into my house as guests. Tell me that my
brother has gone off on some fool's errand to Germany to see
Hitler, for reasons I can't possibly fathom and don't care
to. And you have the nerve to yell at me in my own house!"
"You have no idea who we are, or why we came here. You
should not be so swift in doling out judgements until you
have heard the whole story." Elrond said.
"You are absolutely right. I don't know who you are.
And frankly, I don't care. My mother is waiting for me,"
she said. And with those words, she picked up the bag and
walked out the door, slamming it behind her.
Elrond sighed. "That could have been handled better."
"Indeed. But her thoughts are consumed with desire to
protect her loved ones. She does not realize the part she
and her brother play may be more important than all the
decisions of the great generals of her time." Gandalf said.
Only Legolas did not seem overly concerned by the
events of the day. If anything, a small grin of amusement
spread across his face, for it was not every day, a young
girl, a mortal at that, bested Elrond in a battle of wills.
And win. He looked out the window and watched Kate walk up
the sidewalk until she disappeared from sight.
| index |
| part iv |