The Fellowship - Arrivals
by Meimi


Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with J.R.R. Tolkien or anyone who hold rights to Lord of the Rings. It isn't mine, I'm just playing with it.

Note #1: This story is basically Alternate Universe, though, perhaps I should say Alternate Timeline since it is still based in the same world, events just happen differently.

Note #2: Remember, if you're planning to kill me for what happened in the prologue, please go look up the story title in a dictionary. Trust me, there will be more than enough other things to kill me for.

Note #3: Movie canon is doing something unmentionable to book canon right now, so it's mostly in control at the moment. We'll just have to see how it goes on whether that'll change or not.


Rivendell changed very little from year to year. No matter how long a person strayed from the valley, years, decades, perhaps even centuries -he still had a ways to go before he knew whether that was true or not-, the Last Homely House was much the same upon their return. It was always beautiful and serene, warm and welcoming. The residents were always courteous and good-humored and its lord was always kind and affable, even if a permanent air of distraction seemed to hover over the stately elf. But all in all, it was home and Aragorn desperately needed the balm it provided to his spirit.

He had been gone from home for far too long. The years had passed quickly amongst the Dunedain and his own wanderings had typically taken far longer than he had usually planned for them. Though, the little 'errands' Gandalf came up with every now and then were the worst. They always took forever to get through and there were always far too many complications that would invariably crop up during them for his peace of mind. As if tracking down Gollum hadn't been bad enough, he had also had to drag the little wretched monster into Mirkwood. The Silvan elves of Mirkwood had to be the most brusque, rude and downright uncivil elves he had ever come across. He could well understand now the reason why the men of Lake-town avoided any and all contact with said elves.

Of course, typical to form, it hadn't ended there. Oh no, on his way out of that woebegone forest he had gotten a very oddly delivered missive from the Grey Wizard -if he had not ducked at the last minute that eagle probably would have taken off his head-, which had directed him back over the Misty Mountains and to Bree. He didn't mind Bree all that much, there were worse towns to go to, but it had been a very, very long and miserable trek from Mirkwood to get to Bree. And to add insult to injury, there had been absolutely no sign of Gandalf once he had arrived.

Thankfully, the wizard had sent word to keep an eye out for a pair of hobbits -though it had turned out to be four instead of just two-, and the reason why Aragorn should keep a watch out for them. Aragorn fought back a shudder at the thought of just what little Frodo was hauling around. No, he didn't really want to think about that right now. What else? Ah yes, Gandalf's offhand warning to 'watch out for Black Riders who were probably hunting the little ones' hadn't quite cut it. 'Watch out for most of the Nazgul' would most likely have been a better warning. 'Beware of biting insects, mystifying little creatures that eat twenty times their body weight a day, and Glorfindel scaring the wits out of you' would probably have helped as well.

He really ought to make Gandalf pay for his last two 'errands', perhaps badgering some decent pipe-weed out of the old man would be a good start. He hadn't managed to get his hands on any decent leaves since even before entering Mirkwood, and there certainly hadn't been time enough to scrounge any up since then. Yes, pipe-weed would be a good start.

Deciding on that course of action, Aragorn nodded resolutely and turned back towards the main house. He had wandered through the gardens long enough, and though he felt like he could wander quite a while longer, he really should get back so he could check on Frodo before the evening meal. Frodo had been healed by his father, the Lord Elrond, -as much as any such wound could be healed- and the little one's color was improving everyday, but Aragorn still felt inclined to check on him and make sure. He had been responsible for their well-being, after all, and while no one blamed him for what had occurred, he still harbored some guilt and self-recrimination about it.

The walk back to the Last Homely House was tranquil and serene, to outsiders the pervading silence might have hinted at a misplaced complacency, but he knew better. The elves of Rivendell were a cheerful lot for the most part, as any elves ought to be, but they weren't fool enough to not keep a watchful eye out for any creeping dangers. Aragorn knew that several of them had lost much to the darkness that continued to fester in Middle- earth, too much to not be cautious. His father and brother included.

Aragorn had never gotten the whole story out of either Elladan or Lord Elrond -or anyone else to be perfectly honest-, but it didn't take much to read between the lines what with Elladan's mother not being there and never being mentioned. And... he wasn't completely sure about it, but he had always had the niggling sense that it wasn't just that that was wrong with his family. No, there had to be something else, as well, but what that could be he couldn't even begin to guess. There was so much about them that he just didn't know, even though he had been raised as a member of the family.

He'd asked Gandalf about it once long ago, the Grey Wizard was an old friend of the family so surely he'd know, and had gotten a rather unhelpful comment that hadn't told him anything at all. "It isn't always the wounds on the outside that cause the most pain, little Estel." Really, that part was obvious. What he had actually wanted to know, and still did, was what had caused said wounds. He had never gotten an answer for that question, neither from Gandalf or anyone else.

Aragorn wondered briefly whether Gandalf and Elrond were somehow related, they could both be mystifyingly obtuse when they would rather change the subject than talk to you about something. It had been quite infuriating when he was child, though he supposed he should be thankful for it now, the patience he had learned off of their occasional strange behavior had helped him deal with more than a few rather unsavory individuals over the years.

His train of thought came to a rather indelicate, stuttering halt as Aragorn made his way through the last stand of trees before the house and he got his first good view of the courtyard and what apparently had just arrived, rather who had just arrived. He had been witness to many stunning visages of beauty in his life, both human and elven alike, but Aragorn had never been told that Luthien Tinuviel had been returned to life in Arda. It was the only likely explanation, for the elf maiden standing amidst a cadre of travel weary elven warriors, Galadhrim by the look of them, was too divinely alluring to not be a gift of the Valar returned to the land.

Again, his thoughts came to a stuttering halt as his brother, Elladan, appeared in the doorway of the Last Homely House and was instantly swept into a tight embrace by the ethereal beauty. They appeared to know each other, and know each other quite well by the looks of it. Aragorn wiped the shocked expression off of his face, with no small amount of effort, before surreptitiously stepping closer to the courtyard and what seemed to be turning out to be a reunion of some sorts.

"It has been too long since you have graced this hall with your presence, little one," Elladan spoke softly in elvish, almost too quiet for his eavesdropping younger brother to hear. His eyes were closed in contentment, his cheek resting gently atop hair the color of a pure, night sky. He looked so at peace in that moment, a peace Aragorn had never known his brother had been missing.

The elf maiden tightened her embrace, her voice light and musical as she chuckled, "Aye, it has been too long a time since I have been home, my brother, and I fear I have been gone from you for far too long," She leaned back then, gazing up at him thoughtfully as he returned her regard quizzically. "You have not changed from the image I have kept guarded in my mind's eyes the past few centuries. You haven't changed in the least."

Elladan frowned slightly as he shrugged out of her grasp, "Does this disappoint you?"

The elf maiden blinked, a hurt expression flitting across her face, before she settled back into a weak smile, "Nay, of course not. It is a joyous occasion to see you, Elladan, no matter what the reason may be for it. Nay," she shook her head at the last, her eyes glittering with unending affection, "even in spite of such a reason."

Elladan gifted her with a small smile before leaning down and placing a chaste kiss upon her brow, "Go inside, precious Evenstar, father is waiting for you." He pressed a finger against her lips when it looked as if she would argue with him over his abrupt dismissal and his eyes slid off to the side, alighting upon Aragorn, "Go on, I have something I must take care of."

She scowled darkly at this, but gave Aragorn a courteous, if cursory, nod of acknowledgement before stepping around the other elf and heading into the house. Aragorn blinked at the odd exchange before turning a bewildered look upon Elladan, "Brother?"

"Aye, she is my younger sister, Arwen," the elf smirked in amusement at the poleaxed expression on Aragorn's face, "Undomiel, the Evenstar of our people."

"I didn't know we... you had a sister," Aragorn muttered, feeling some hurt at the knowledge that he had never known something as important as that.

"We, Estel, and yes, we do," Elladan grinned widely as he clapped his little brother on the shoulder, "however, she has dwelt within Caras Galadhon for the past three centuries in the care of our grandparents."

"So she has returned home now?" Aragorn asked curiously, an almost boyish glee lighting in him at the possibility of becoming acquainted with such a gorgeous woman, and one who may come to consider him a brother, no less.

"Only for a short time, I'm afraid," Elladan explained mournfully as he glanced back at the house, "She plans to travels to the Havens within the year and sail. She has grown weary of the world and wishes to find her peace across the sea."

"Oh," Aragorn whispered, dropping his gaze to the cobbled ground of the courtyard. He knew well of the elves who traveled to the Grey Havens to journey to Valinor, perhaps better than most. He knew of the grief and hopelessness that drove most to sail, and the pure longing for a better life that drove others. And then there was the weariness, the soul deep exhaustion that beat down upon many, those who had lingered behind for too long in the lands still governed by death. He could not fault them for it, he himself grew tired of it at times. But still, he could not help but feel a looming depression over the fact that he would lose this lady to such a fate when he had just now made her acquaintance.

"Estel," Elladan called as he took Aragorn by the shoulders and literally shook his little brother out of the descending despair, "Forgive me for not meeting you earlier, I'm afraid father and Erestor have kept me quite busy today."

"Oh, that's fine," Aragorn waved airily indicating that no slight had been taken, "It is just as well, I needed a very long soak after I got home."

Elladan laughed gaily at that, "Estel, you are a dirt and grime magnet. That is all there is to it. However, I shall send my thanks to the Valar that I missed your rather pungent return home."

"Ha ha," Aragorn grumbled and punched his brother lightly in the arm, "I wasn't that bad. Now Merry, on the other hand, I think Merry dragged some of the sewage from Bree the entire way, and if I'm not mistaken, I think somewhere in there it fermented into something even more vile."

"Ah, so that is why the others were whispering about the little ones' continued requests for hot water," Elladan nodded in dawning understanding and chuckled.

"Indeed," Aragorn laughed outright, "I wouldn't be surprised if that was not a factor in driving off the Nazgul." He froze and winced a second later when he realized what he had just said.

"Nazgul?" Elladan asked evenly after a moment of utter silence. He cocked an eyebrow as Aragorn practically blanched at his query and folded his arms together as he waited for the explanation to that.


After nearly a week spent relaxing and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of Rivendell, or getting into all sorts of mischief in the case of the hobbits, Aragorn found himself ensconced in Erestor's office discussing some of the more pressing issues of the upcoming council with the Chief Advisor and Glorfindel. When a lull came into the conversation following a rather heated, if amusing, trade of offhand insults between the two elves, Aragorn dug out his pipe and the pouch of Longbottom Leaf he had 'borrowed' from Gandalf, whom he was sure was missing it, and proceeded to prepare and light it up.

The Grey Wizard had finally arrived a few days ago, looking more bedraggled than usual thanks to Saruman's hospitality, and had spent most of his time since conversing with Frodo and thus effectively avoiding most of Elrond and Elladan's ire over the subject of the Nazgul. This had, of course, allowed Aragorn free reign to rifle through Gandalf's things looking for the ever elusive pipe-weed. He had discovered a veritable treasure trove of Old Toby, Southern Star and Longbottom Leaf in his search and had helped himself to a generous amount. It would have served the old wizard right if he had absconded with all of it, but Aragorn had been afflicted with a brief attack of conscience, Gandalf had suffered through Saruman's wrath, after all, and he had ultimately only taken a little less than half of the stock.

"Honestly, Estel," Erestor bemoaned, attempting to spear the offensive pipe with a withering glare and being ignored in turn by its owner, "I cannot fathom why you have not given up that deplorable habit of yours yet. It is disgusting."

"Of course he has not given it up, Erestor," Glorfindel snorted, a twinkle of mirth aglow in his eyes, "Estel has never given up a bad habit, in fact, I do not think he could do so even if his very life depended upon it."

"Hey now, I resent that remark," Aragorn pointed a finger warningly at the amused elf and puffed proudly upon his pipe, "Besides, it was Gandalf who introduced me to the satisfaction of a good smoke. How can it be a bad habit if I learned it from a wizard?"

"Because it is Mithrandir that you have learned it from," Erestor explained, his nose curled up slightly in disgust as he stood and walked over to the windows, cinching back the drapes even more so that his office would be aired out more readily, "That Istar is a walking bad habit."

"If you think Gandalf and I are bad, wait until the dwarves arrive," Aragorn couldn't help a malicious little grin when both elves grimaced and shuddered in sync at that little reminder.

"Ah yes, the dwarves," Erestor chuckled nervously and made his way back towards his desk. "It has been quite some time since we have been blessed with a visitation from them."

"Not since Thorin and his motley group of audacious fellows," Glorfindel muttered sourly, "Which was also Mithrandir's fault, if I remember correctly."

"Too true," Erestor groaned as he settled back down in his chair and primly folded his hands together in his lap, "The Grey Pilgrim does seems to be in the habit of visiting disasters upon our poor unsuspecting valley."

"I suppose I should do something about him one of these days," Glorfindel sighed as he looked up at the ceiling, as if he were searching for some sign from the Valar, "It is my duty to oversee the safety and defense of our beloved Imladris, allowing Mithrandir to continuously disturb the peace, even if he is one of the Istari, is a bit of a black mark on my record."

"Indeed," Erestor nodded sagely in agreement, "It is something of an embarrassment, but I'm sure Lord Elrond will forgive you of this one minor failing, especially if you deal with it discreetly."

Aragorn nearly choked on a guffaw as he was inhaling an admirable pull of smoke and proceeded to nearly hack up a lung as Erestor tsked disapprovingly at him. "Planning the death of an irritating wizard still doesn't absolve you of having to figure out where to stick all of your guests," Aragorn rebuked acidly when he finally managed to get the coughing under control.

"It is not that we do not have anywhere to put them, we have more than enough room, it is that a particular problem has cropped up," Erestor sighed, reaching up to rub the bridge of his nose as he continued, "This particular problem is called the Galadhrim, who have been commanded by their Lord and Lady to escort the Lady Arwen to the Grey Havens and thus will be bestowing upon us their gracious company until such time as she chooses to continue her journey. I don't think I need to stress just how much all of us hope that that is not for a very long time to come. Unfortunately, our kin like the dwarves even less than we do, which is to say not at all, thus they cannot be housed anywhere near each other, not without bloodshed."

"Don't forget the men," Glorfindel added smugly, knowing the response his comment would garner.

"Ai Valar! The men," Erestor lamented as he slid his hand up and began to massage at his temple, "I have been informed that there is a substantial group of them traveling north from Gondor even as we speak. All we need now is a party of orcs to descend upon us and demand food and board to make this catastrophe complete."

"Now wait just a minute," Aragorn sputtered, gesturing with his pipe to emphasize his point, "Men aren't anywhere near as bad as orcs."

"What are you getting insulted for?" Erestor scowled caustically at Aragorn, "You are not a man, you are an Estel. You don't count."

"What is that sound?" Glorfindel asked, cutting in before he knew they would begin something that could easily turn into a night's long argument. He himself was quite familiar with the indicators of that which would birth a very heated row between the two.

"Hmm?" Erestor hummed inquisitively, tilting his head slightly to the side as he listened.

Aragorn frowned as he focused his attention on what they had all been hearing for awhile now but had simply been ignoring in favor of verbally poking at each other. It was the sound of branches swaying and brushing against each other, bark crackling at the contact, trunks creaking as roots shifted and a countless number of leaves rustling in the wind. It sounded almost as if a storm surge was whipping through the trees, but only a light breeze was wafting in from the windows.

"It is the trees," Erestor murmured, oblivious to the fact that he was stating the obvious, and rose, walking back over to the windows so that he could look out, "They are speaking to each other, though I suppose babbling would be the proper term to use. Something has excited them greatly. I wonder what it could be. How intriguing."

All three perked up when they heard the tale tell sound of a birdcall echoing down the valley, one that had not been produced by an avian. "Someone is approaching on horseback," Glorfindel announced unnecessarily, they were all quite familiar with the secret signals, and he peeled himself up out of his seat and stretched. "It appears that one of our guests has arrived ahead of schedule."

"Aye, alas," Erestor shook himself imperceptibly and began smoothing down the folds and creases in his robes as he headed for the door, "Let us go greet them. We would not want to appear inhospitable at such an early hour."

"It is not early," Glorfindel said in mock indignation as he followed Erestor out into the hallway, Aragorn trailing silently behind them, "In fact, it is quite rude of them to show up unannounced so late in the afternoon."

"They have been announced, you fool," Erestor snorted derisively, "They were invited by the Lord himself, thus they have already been announced."

Glorfindel was all ready to shoot back a scathing remark on Erestor's 'logic' when one elven resident of the Last Homely House after the next began rushing excitedly past them. "What's going on?" he asked curiously after hooking his arm around an elf maiden, one who looked as if she had just come directly from the kitchens, halting her headlong rush.

"It is the Young Lord, My Lord," the elf maiden frowned slightly at the mild tongue twist before adding, "He has returned." She gave a small bow as she extricated herself from Glorfindel's hold and continued on her way.

"It couldn't possibly be," Glorfindel muttered as he glanced questioningly over at Erestor.

The Chief Advisor simply shrugged and resumed his trek towards the central entryway, "There is only one way to find out."

The Young Lord? Aragorn wondered. Who could that possibly be? He was buzzing now with curiosity, but decided to keep his peace. They were almost to the main doors that led onto the courtyard now, it would be much faster to see for himself than wait for either of his elven companions to explain.

Aragorn hadn't quite figured out what to expect when they finally emerged out into the courtyard, but it certainly hadn't been his brother. But no, that couldn't be Elladan. Elladan never left Rivendell, yet the impossible mirror image of his brother that his eyes now beheld bore the obvious signs of travel wear. Aragorn couldn't help but stare as the incomprehensible apparition dismounted from his horse and was instantly surrounded by a gaggle of chattering elves. That horse was as much of an impossibility as the rider, because if he was not mistaken it was of the Mearas. The Rohirrim would not give a stranger, much less an elf, one of their most prized mounts.

No, that could not be Elladan. Aragorn shivered as ice grey eyes studied him for a moment then shifted over to his companions. There was nothing in Elladan so hard, so desolate as that. Nor had Elladan ever appeared as if he were prepared to step onto a battlefield at any given moment, Aragorn mused upon further observation of this familiar stranger. A sword hung at the side of Elladan's doppelganger and a hunting knife hung from the other hip. A quiver full of arrows could be seen rising over his shoulder and a bow along with it. Another quiver full of arrows was strapped to the horse's saddle and another sword was strapped to the other side. The stranger wore a garb of muted greens and brown, one that sparked a sense of recognition in Aragorn. He had seen that cut of clothing before, but he couldn't quite remember where.

"He bears Mirkwood braids," Erestor hissed over at Glorfindel. Ah, Mirkwood, that's where Aragorn had seen clothing such as that before.

"Aye," Glorfindel agreed absently, "braids that signify command if I am not mistaken." No more was said as he stepped down onto the cobbled stone of the courtyard and strode towards Rivendell's newest arrival.

"Hail, Elrohir, Son of Elrond, Lord of Imladris," Glorfindel called out in Quenya, his tone formal and strict. "Long have you been absent from these halls."

Aragorn stared outright in pure, unadulterated shock at the spectacle unfolding before them all. Elrohir? Son of Elrond? Elrond had another son? He had another... brother? Elladan had a brother? Nay, a twin brother if appearances were to be believed. How was this possible? How had he not known?

"It has been three hundred and forty-six years, to be exact," Elrohir stated in Sindarin, his voice toneless and so glacial that many of the listeners felt shivers crawl up their spines. "I do not forget the passage of time, Glorfindel."

"Of course he would not have forgotten," Aragorn heard Erestor whisper mournfully to himself.