Author: Athea (
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Bindings of Love, part 8
Summary: The attack is sudden and puzzling.
Date: April 23, 2005
********* Bluebird *********

I had to cry, the sound was so bad - worse than the mean ol' Dynast, worse than the pain when I shut my finger in the door accidentally, worse than Miriel's labor. Mama picked me up and rocked me, his hands checking to see if my diaper pin was sticking me. I shook my head and held onto him hard while the bad noise slowly went away.

Pharin's call told me there was even more trouble. Her mama was hurt and so was Gampa Lor. That made me quit crying 'cause we'd all be needed to heal the inside-pain. "Mama Leg is hurt. Go fix now."

********* Merry *********

Blue never cried like that. Pip and I were both panicking a bit when we couldn't find anything wrong with her but then Bilbo appeared at the door with tears of his own and told us that Lorrin and Legolas were hurt. I only stopped to grab my sword before heading across the hall to find out what was wrong. Frodo was shaking his head and had a frown on his face as if he had a headache while Elanor crooned into his ear. Sam was looking real mad and clutching Sting while we left for our friend's room.

Their door was standing open and I saw Lorrin and Legolas crumpled on the floor with blood running from their noses. Gimli was painstakingly checking each of Legolas' limbs before straightening it out while tears ran down his cheeks and into his beard. Gloin was doing the same to the healer.

"Down, Mama," Bluebird demanded but Pip just held her tighter. "Is all right now. Bad man not here."

Pharin was crouched by Legolas' head with Glimmer beside her. Bilbo and Elanor went straight to Lorrin's head. Once Pip reluctantly let our daughter down to the floor, she went straight as a bee to honey between the pairs of twins. Together, they linked hands with Pharin's free hand holding onto her mama and Elanor's onto Lorrin. A soft humming arose around us and for just a moment, I'd swear I saw gold all around the seven of them before the scent of roses wafted by us.

Legolas groaned and opened his eyes to gaze dazedly into Gimli's. "Beloved . . . what happened?"

Lorrin opened his eyes too but his gaze went to the door. "I've not felt that sort of blow for three thousand years." Gloin helped him sit up and he winced when his nose started bleeding again. "My thanks, little ones; I hope you need never do that again."

Blue crawled into his lap and hugged him tight. "Bad song. Worse than Dynast."

Lorrin's eyes softened above the handkerchief Gloin was holding to his nose. "You're right, it was a very bad song, Bluebird. Put away your swords, my friends. This enemy fights with sound and magic rather than steel. He will not find us so unprepared again."

King Eomer looked like he was going to explode any minute now. "What enemy?" His eyes mostly stayed on Legolas and I kind of had the idea he'd really like to be the one holding him close, the way Gimli was. "And how could he use magic?"

"Good questions, Sire, but why don't we get off the floor first?" Lorrin half-bowed and Gloin made a little growly noise in the back of his throat. "I am fine, beloved. Truly I've taken no lasting hurt. But I do want to check on the babies to make sure they are all right."

"Lorrin, Jerdal just cried for no reason," Gandalf's voice preceded him into the common room. "Oh dear."

We were going to need a bigger space if everybody from the Fellowship showed up. And Eomer must have thought the same thing because he thought hard for a moment before nodding decisively and beckoning one of the Men, who was taking care of us, to him. They whispered for a moment then the servant left.

"My friends," Eomer raised his voice over the little side conversations going on. We looked at him and he smiled. "We have a smaller banquet hall at the end of this corridor. I think we should move down there so there is room for all who must speak. Food and drink will be there shortly and some of my men will stand guard at the door to make sure we stay private. Is this agreeable?"

Everyone nodded and I hugged Pip closer. We knew Blue was special but what in the world had she gotten into this time? And who was the 'bad man'? Dropping a kiss on Pip's head, I went to collect our daughter from Lorrin. I didn't think I was going to like what I found out in the next few hours.

********* Perri *********

Hard stone was my bed and I raised a trembling hand to my aching head with questions about why I was here. Opening eyes that smarted, I sent a wavering look about to see what or who could have struck me. But there was no one around. I had come here to say a prayer for the Elves lost in the battle of Helm's Deep. Could it have been a ghostly impression left from that time?

'Odder things have happened' I muttered to myself and knelt up, preparing to stand once the world stopped spinning. A jingling sound came from the courtyard below and I staggered to the parapet in time to see some of my former friends in King Thranduil's guard lead their horses to the stables. I didn't see the King himself or his advisors and I suddenly feared what might be happening below. My love and son were alone in our rooms.

Rushing to the chiseled out steps, I absentmindedly wiped the blood from my nose onto my sleeve. I had to get to Gandalf . . . now. My fear grew especially when I heard many voices in our corridor. Luckily, no one tried to stop me from entering Legolas' rooms. My eyes found Gandalf with Jer in his arms and I stopped so suddenly I swayed. Blue eyes met mine and I saw my wizard's eyes widen.

"Perri!" He immediately crossed to my side, the Hobbits moving out of the way. "Dear Havens, we must get you cleaned up, too. Where were you when the blow fell?"

It was a blow? I swayed a little more and felt strong arms slide around me. Baby hands patted my face and Jer's coo made part of the lingering pain dissipate even more. "Thank you, sweetheart, that feels much better."

"Has anyone seen Elrond or Glorfindel?" My love suddenly asked sharply. "If it attacked all Elves then they will be in trouble, too." Gandalf guided me out the door and down the hall while two guards from the hall joined us at a signal from King Eomer.

We were sharing a suite of rooms with the Lord of Rivendell and his consort a few doors down from Gimli and Legolas. When we entered, they were both sitting on the floor near the fire sporting the same bloody noses that I had. The guards helped them to the benches by the center table and little Fala, still slung across her mother's chest finally stopped sniffling. Her little eyes met our son's and I had the oddest feeling they were silently discussing what had just happened.

Gandalf organized hot water and clean cloths to wipe our faces. He also brewed a pot of feverfew tea and made us each drink a cup to ward off the slight fever the attack had left behind. Elrond rubbed his temple irritably, his dark eyes flashing in frustration while he fussed a bit over his little girl. Glorfindel had a sharp edged look to him, rather like a finely honed blade. Who ever this assailant was, he would regret hurting our families.

I knew that because my own silent vow promised death and destruction to whoever would harm my beloveds. There would be no quarter given and when my gaze met Glorfindel's, we nodded to each other. Our bondeds would think and plan then we would act.

"Come and change clothes, my love. We mustn't let on that anything out of the way has happened." Gandalf smoothed back one of my braids, his eyes worried at my silence.

"Of course, Dalf," I rose and clutched the table for a moment when the world swirled. His big hand slid into mine and I clung to it gratefully while he led me into our sleeping chamber. "I'm fine, beloved . . . truly."

He nodded but the shadow didn't leave his eyes and I hated that. I was going to carve out our attacker's black heart and feed it to him for worrying Gandalf so. And if Thranduil was the one, no former loyalty would save him, I decided coldly while changing my tunic for another. This time, I strapped on my hidden knives when Dalf was busy changing Jerdal.

If I could see it coming, it would be dead before it got near him or our son.

********* Pharin *********

Mama still didn't feel well and Dada was really mad. King Eo was mad too but he was trying hard to calm everyone else down. Gampa Lor made everybody drink some minty tea that tasted like a mountain stream and cleared away the cobwebs. It would take a little while for the tea to get to the new babies so I sent them some energy to soothe away the ache.

Dada held me close but held Mama even closer. Dalf was fussing over Perri while El kept one hand on Glor's sleeve. Everybody was really angry and I was too, a little bit. Why would someone hurt so many people? Dada had told us about the big war he and Mama had fought in and the bad men who'd tried to make everybody do what they wanted.

I just couldn't understand why they would want to do that. Snuggling closer to Dada, I knew I was safe here and now. But we were going to have to do something about the bad man. Mama always said we had to take care of each other and Glimmer and I wouldn't let the bad person hurt anybody else.

********* Gimli *********

The berserker rage was slowly leaching away from me into the stone beneath my feet. I wouldn't let it touch my beloved or our children so I had to get rid of it. But it would still be there when I needed to rend the bastard, who'd attacked my beloved, limb from limb. My dreams would be haunted for some time to come. As if being attacked weren't enough, Legolas was still shivering a little.

The fire was just now beginning to catch so I let him go reluctantly and edged our bench a little closer to the dancing flames of red and gold. He smiled down at me before dropping a kiss onto my cheek. "I am well, beloved. I shiver more from anger than from the aftereffects of the attack. Lorrin seems to know the 'how' of it but not the who."

I thought back over the last hour and realized he was right. "Right again, my love. But I would lay you odds; it's a member of Mirkwood's court." I couldn't bring myself to say the king's name but I expect Legolas knew of whom I thought. "I wonder if every elf in the keep was affected?"

Lorrin was close enough to hear my question and he nodded. "All elves, even those who share only partial elf-heritage, would have been stricken. It was a form of mind magic perfected by my people back in the First Age. It strikes against the part of our brains that controls our consciousness. The black out would have lasted about a quarter of an hour."

"But why wouldn't it affect the castor of such a spell? He would have to be an Elf, too. Wouldn't he?" I asked in the sudden stillness of the meeting hall. Everyone was listening to our quiet talk.

"There are shields that can be raised." Lorrin spoke almost bitterly. "I am out of practice with battle magics. This is my fault."

Papa tugged on a dark braid with an affectionate smile on his face. "It's not your fault, Lor'. You thought yourself the last survivor of your clan."

"Another Varyan?" Elrond was already thinking ahead. "One who escaped and ran rather than fight the Dynast - it's possible, is it not?"

Lorrin shook his head slowly but he was thinking hard. King Eomer and his sister Eowyn came around while we waited for our healer to finish his thoughts. Legolas refused any of the heady wine or beer but accepted another cup of the tea that had soothed us earlier. That just reminded me of the great gift he was carrying within him and the need to protect him grew even stronger.

"Several of our brethren disappeared on journeys south and we assumed they had been destroyed by the evil that stalked us." He shook his head more in resignation than in anger. "It simply never occurred to me they might have survived by running away. I know not if I can even remember their names at this late date. Although one was a healer by the name of Segun who was a member of one of our most powerful circles."

Glorfindel paced forward, his eyes narrowed in anger. "King Thranduil's old tutor is named Negus. Rearrange the letters for yourself."

I growled under my breath and Pharin patted my cheek. "Is all right, Dada. We know him when we meet him. Gampa Lor can teach us how to block him out."

Glimmer nodded from Legolas' lap. "Bad elf not know 'bout us."

Legolas dropped a kiss on his dark hair. "None of us will let him hurt you, Glimmer."

Our son beamed up at him. "We pwotect you too, Mama, and the new babies."

********* Elrond *********

I was going to rip out his lungs through his nose. Taking a quick look at my lover, I was pretty sure he would get to him first so I'd probably have to be content with stomping on him afterwards. I found myself cradling Fala closer and resting my cheek on her baby soft curls. Her crying had been more horrific than any battle I'd ever been in. What if I'd fallen forward onto her and smothered her by accident?

A soft hand patted my cheek and Fala's toothless grin made me finally smile again. She was all right and we'd protect her with all our strength from here on out. Looking up, I found Eomer watching Legolas and Gimli. Hopefully there would be no trouble looming here.

"Eomer, sit down here and let me introduce our daughter." I tugged on the hand holding the wine ewer and he followed it down to the bench beside me. His long blond hair attracted her as I'd known it would. She loved her father's golden curls almost as much as I did.

His blue eyes softened when she reached forward to grab a baby handful. "She is beautiful, my lord Elrond. How old is she?"

"Coming up on four months." I smiled down at her gumming his hair. "And I fear something is missing in her diet since she loves chewing on people's hair."

He chuckled. "I think it is a habit of all children her age. Eowyn would chew on our mother's hair whenever she could." His eyes went back to the quartet in the corner. "The other children seem much older."

It was time he knew more about these special children. "The magic Elder Lorrin spoke of has found a new generation in which to manifest. Of the children in this room, Pharin and Glimmer are incipient water and earth mages. Elanor and Bilbo belong to fire and air respectively while Bluebird embodies the fifth element of spirit. Lorrin calls them the first circle of mages to be born in three millennia."

Eomer's eyes moved from child to child as I named them and the look of respect was just what I'd hoped to see. So I continued. "The second circle now are comprised of Gandalf and Perri's son, Jerdal, a fire mage; my Fala, their water sprite; my grandchildren, Loralin of air and Finidan of earth; and sweet Cerridan, the son of Galadrial and Celeborn is the representative of spirit. Whether or not the new children that Frodo, Legolas and Pippin carry are a third circle, we haven't discovered yet."

His eyes widened. "He carries another child?"

I chuckled. "They all three carry twins. They are sure to be a handful when they're born. I am content with one and one only. Do you understand, Fala?"

She grinned up at me and I swear she winked. It was just a trick of the light, I thought forebodingly. Glorfindel moved to my other side and dropped a kiss on her head. Sharing a smile with me, I thought to myself, it wouldn't be so bad to have one more. Maybe a little boy with my lover's mischievous smile? But that was for the future. We had an enemy here and now to fight so our children would be safe.

I would be damned before I let Thranduil and his advisor hurt Legolas or his children, born and unborn. Looking around the room, I saw my resolve on every face. Negus or Sugen hadn't been up against this kind of battle-trained foe in centuries. He would not prevail.

The end of part 8