A Fateful Beginning

by MerryK

Elrond sighed, and the sound did not disturb the boy he watched. He then cleared his throat, and Aragorn looked up. “This is the moment, Estel.”

“What moment?” asked Aragorn, using his finger to mark the book he had been engrossed by, much to Elrond’s distress as thoughts of unwashed hands flashed through his mind.

But he shook his head and continued: “The moment that I wagered to Glorfindel would never happen. He said it would be a woman, but never, never could we have guessed this.”

“Ada,” groaned Aragorn, leaning back into the comfortable library chair. “Why must Elves be so cryptic?”

“You missed your swordsmanship lessons,” said Elrond with a twitch of his lip.

Aragorn bolted upright. “No!” he cried. “Is it so?”

“Indeed,” said Elrond, “and for a book, no less. What has gripped you so?”

“Oh, it is Narn i Chin Hurin,” said Aragorn, glancing at the book he still held. “I read some of it every day. Do you know what, Ada?”

“No, but please enlighten me,” said his foster-father, sitting down in a nearby cushion with warm eyes.

“I want to be like Turin when I am grown,” said Aragorn, looking into Elrond’s eyes with some gravity mixed with enthusiasm.

The great lord of Rivendell started, and his hand went out involuntarily to rest warningly on Aragorn’s arm. “My son—Turin?”

Aragorn nodded.

Elrond shook his head again, words coming rather slowly. “But—Estel, you must know—do not be enchanted by his marvelous deeds in arms alone. Turin was impulsive, rash, and dangerous to those around him, curse or no.”

“Do not worry, Ada,” said Aragorn with a smile. “I do know all that. I was just thinking, it would be nice to have so many names. Do you know how many he had?”

“I cannot say that I ever set out to count them,” answered Elrond, with a lip twitch again.

“Six, Ada! Turin, Neithan, Agarwaen, Adanedhel, Thurin, and Turambar!” Aragorn sighed happily and leaned back a little more. “What an honor!”

“Confusion would take hold, if I am not mistook,” pondered Elrond.

“That would, of course, be half the enjoyment,” said Aragorn with twinkling eyes. “If you had to give me a name, Ada, what would it be?”

“Trouble,” answered Elrond without pausing. “What else would suffice?”

“Then perhaps I shall have Elladan and Elrohir start calling me Trastan,” said Aragorn.

“Estel,” began Elrond with a sigh.

“Who is this Estel of whom you speak?” asked Aragorn curiously. He then rose, bowed to his father, and left with a chuckle.

Elrond watched him leave, shook his head, and remembered that it would be only five years before the lad’s real name would be revealed. At least then it will be no makeshift one, however fitting, he thought, as he rose to depart himself. Then he paused and turned around. Picking up the book that Aragorn had left, he brushed it off, carefully checked for dirty fingerprints, and then put it back in its place on the shelf. A puff of air to dispel any dust, and Elrond nodded, pronouncing his library fit again. As he returned to his own office, he heard a voice waft up on the breeze that was likely Glorfindel’s:

“Estel! Estel! Are you deaf, boy?”