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Chapter 4

 

                  Elrond entered with Celebrian.  Already the singing lit the dusk air.  He spied 2 blonde heads amidst the dark ones and ushered Celebrian towards them, a mischievous smile upon his face.

                  “ The stars will be out soon.  Will you join us to lead the singing, Glorfindel?” Elrond asked.

Glorfindel may be reckless and fearless when it came to military maneuvers and such, but in the matters of singing and love, the lord was actually shy.  He’d been blessed with a beautiful voice that was rarely used save special occasions.

                  “ Why not?  Your voice always is a gift to aid ours,” Celebrian pouted, sensing where Elrond was going with this, “ Êlenrana, tell him he must sing.”

                  “ Please do,” Êlenrana said softly, “ They speak highly of your talent and you would not want to displease a guest, would you?”

                  Elrond and Celebrian led the way towards the front.  Glorfindel surprisingly enough rose reluctantly to join them.  Many voiced their surprise seeing the lord joining the others and waited in anticipation.

                  “ I can’t believe you did that,” Glorfindel muttered to them.

                  “ At least we have found a way to make you sing,” Celebrian teased with a coy smile.

                  A flush lit his face.  Elrond motioned for him to lead the song.

                  A Elbereth Gilthoniel, silivren penna míriel…” Glorfindel began in a strong tenor voice.

One by one, the other Elves congregated in there began to join in.  Êlenrana sang softly, not to draw attention to her heavenly voice or to cause nature to herald her.  Against her will, the stars brightened into beautiful Silmarils sparkling in the sky.  Many migrated out to the balconies to watch the stars almost seem to dance in the firmament.

                  Glorfindel slipped off the stage and returned to his seat.  A strange light lit her face as the song to Varda went on.

                  “ You are not one of us,” he said softly with a sigh, “ The stars dance hearing your voice.”

                  “ Varda is my mother,” Êlenrana whispered for his ears only.

                  “ I knew you were far too beautiful and wise to be one of us,” Glorfindel looked away in disappointment.

She would leave for Valinor and never look back, nor remember him.

                  Êlenrana gently pulled his face to look at her, her light gray eyes mirroring his when they met.

*Rivendell is where I shall remain.  I will not leave its boundaries to pass over the Sea until it is deemed.  Elrond told me you travel much.  He said you leave soon.

*To Lindon.  I will be but a week or so, if all goes well.

                  “ Twould please me it you would write when you arrive at your destination so I know you are safe,” Êlenrana blushed slightly, “ Evil slowly awakes and you would not want me to worry needlessly.”

A smile stretched Glorfindel’s lips.  Êlenrana dared to look up, half biting her lip.  She felt the sorrow drain away when she was with him. 

“ Of course not, M’lady,” he whispered.

An Elf tapped him on the shoulder, motioning to a waiting man.  Glorfindel sent her an apologetic look, gently kissing the top of her hand before leaving.  Glorfindel sighed.  Sometimes he hated his position.  Êlenrana watched him go in disappointment.  In that moment, her fate was chosen.

                  Celebrian leaned over to Elrond.

                  “ Dratted messenger.  I wanted to see what would happen,” she whispered, “ Glorfindel’s obviously sweet on her and I would hate to see him hurt when this one time he reaches out.”

                  “ Êlenrana knows and feels the same.  She cannot conceal it as much as she wishes, but cannot express it either.  Tis impossible for a daughter of the Valar to wed a Firstborn,” Elrond murmured.

                  “ A daughter of the Valar?” Celebrian exclaimed.

                  Many Elves glanced at them curiously wondering why the usually even-tempered maiden had raised her voice.  Celeborn caught his daughter’s rare outburst, sending Elrond a warning look.  Elrond immediately nudged Celebrian, who in turn shook her head at her father.

                  “ Come, let us go outside,” Elrond gently led her away, “ I wish to speak to you alone.”

Celebrian nodded, letting him lead her out.

~*~

                  Êlenrana actually appeared at breakfast the next morning.  Glorfindel stood, pulling out the chair beside him for her, and then reseating himself.

                  “ Elrond has asked Celebrian to marry him,” Glorfindel reported with a smile.

                  “ Aye, Celebrian told me herself.  She needed someone to talk to in the middle of the night when she could not sleep,” Êlenrana yawned behind her hand.

                  “ I am happy for them.  Celebrian will take Elrond’s mind off Gil-Galad’s death,” Glorfindel replied.

                  A nameless Elf laid a hand on Êlenrana’s shoulder.  Êlenrana almost darted up, had not Glorfindel put a hand to her arm to still her movement.  The Elf watched the whole exchange in interest.

                  “ You must be ecstatic.  I mean, your sister is to be wed to one of the finest Elf-lords and rumor has it that you and our other fine Elf-lord residing here in Imladris will soon follow their example.”

                  Glorfindel watched Êlenrana flush, and then turned his laughing eyes away.  The Elf began to talk on as he felt Êlenrana’s gaze on him.  He finally lifted his eyes to meet her amused and questioning gaze.

* Elrond needed a way to explain you since no Elves that came here from Eriador had blonde hair.  Celeborn said to tell everyone that you are their long lost daughter.

* Should not you, o fine Elf-lord bachelor, have told me?”

                  Glorfindel actually blushed.  One side of Êlenrana’s mouth turned up, finding it quite amusing and cute.  A grin crossed her face when he reddened even more, catching her smile.

*Slipped my mind, o fine unwed daughter of Varda..

The Elf had already left by the time they finished their conversation.  Êlenrana giggled softly.  She met his eyes, seeing the sadness in them and couldn’t release her gaze from his.  Almost in desperation to loose his eyes form hers, Glorfindel glanced behind her.  Êlenrana turned to see what he did.

                  A beaming Celebrian and somewhat less stern Elrond entered the hall, gliding towards them.

                  “ I am so happy for you,” Êlenrana’s eyes glinted mischievously, “ My sister.”

For but a moment they saw an inkling of what she must have been like in Valinor, when she had joy.  Elrond nudged Celebrian, slightly jutting his chin towards the other couple.  Glorfindel’s gaze was fastened to her and Êlenrana could barely keep her own eyes off him.  Celebrian tried to hide her growing smile.

                  “ We forgot to tell her,” Celebrian said with a soft shrug.

                  “ I certainly had other things on my mind, so I requested that a certain Elf-lord tell her,” Elrond replied, “ But that Elf-lord seems to forget everything I say nowadays.”

                  Elrond gently kissed the top of Celebrian’s hand intertwined with his.  The gentle look that passed between them did not go unnoticed by Êlenrana or Glorfindel.  The couple moved on to receive congratulations from other Elves.

                  Glorfindel noticed Êlenrana’s eyes lose their luster as she stared at nothing.  He simply took one of her hands into the both of his.  It was cold, too cold, he noted with a frown.  Êlenrana’s eyes returned to life, feeling his warm touch.  Her other hand caressed his cheek with a warmth in her eyes far warmer than the noonday sun in the summer.

                  “ I do believe your sister will be wed not too soon after you,” an Elf commented to Celebrian.

                  Both Celebrian and Elrond turned in time to see Êlenrana gently caress Glorfindel’s cheek and him in turn kiss the top of her hand.  They had fallen and fallen hard for each other.  It was obvious to everyone; everyone except them.

                  “ My heart breaks for them,” Celebrian whispered as they walked to their seats, “ To love and know it can never be.  I was afraid that was what would become of us.”

                  “ They have until the last Elf sails over the Sea and then forever in the Blessed Realm, but,” Elrond sighed, “ I know that is not what you mean.”

                  “ Melian wed Thingol.  Êlenrana could-” Celebrian began.

                  “ Manwë would never allow it.”

~*~

                  The fall leaves rustled in the soft wind.  Glorfindel unhappily checked the saddle on the horse again, his gaze fixed on the entryway the whole time.  Where was Êlenrana?  He had told Elrond to tell her he had to leave early.  The soft clatter of footsteps made him come alive in anticipation.  She came into view, causing him to smile.  Her long waves flew after her as she struggled to run in one of Celebrian’s dresses, which were all too long and big for her.  Êlenrana slid to a stop, her hair flying haphazardly over her head and face.  Glorfindel grinned, gently helping her smooth it back into place.

                  “ Elrond just told me now that you were leaving.  He is becoming a scatterbrain with the upcoming wedding.  I was afraid I had missed you,” Êlenrana said.

                  “ Are you sure you cannot come?” Glorfindel asked.

                  “ Celebrian leaves for Lorien and Elrond has no need for me,” Êlenrana pulled a small pack from behind her back.

                  A grin spread over his discouraged face.

                  “ Come on then,” he took her pack to secure to the horse.

He let her mount first, and then swung up in front of her.  Her arms encircled his thin middle.  Her face buried against his back and body close to his, Glorfindel could almost feel her sorrow fall away as they galloped into the forest.

~*~

                  It was nightfall, 2 days later when they arrived in Lindon.  Glorfindel gently lifted Êlenrana down to Círdan, before dismounting himself.

                  “ I’ll be waiting for you downstairs.  I expected you to bring Elrond, but it seems you found better company,” Círdan laid the sleeping girl back in Glorfindel’s arms.

                  “ Indeed I did,” Glorfindel replied.

Êlenrana stirred only slightly when Glorfindel laid her down on the bed.  A flurry of handmaidens shooed him out, shutting the door behind him.  Glorfindel stared at the shut door, then left with a shrug for the stairs.

~*~

                  A woman dressed in a hood of pale blue slipped into the Havens almost silently.  Her bight eyes surveyed the almost empty room from under the hood.  A tall blonde Elf descended down the stairs towards another more distinguished one.  She cast off the hood, waiting for them to notice her.

                  “ Come, Glorfindel.  Let me see what Elrond…” Círdan finally noticed the woman, his jaw wide open.

                  This woman was gorgeous, with a soft light seeming to emit from her.  Glorfindel scrutinized her.  She looked somewhat like Êlenrana.  Círdan reverently pressed his lips to her hand.

                  “ I will ready you a room.  The earliest ship that leaves to go over the Sea is in the morning.  You do wish to leave, do you not?” Círdan asked, regaining use of his mouth.

                  “ No, I came here in search of my daughter.  She should have passed through here, I hope,” the woman answered, “ Her name is Êlenrana.”

                  Glorfindel choked on nothing, coughing violently in surprise.  His eyes stared at her like she was a Balrog or something.  Círdan turned to send the golden haired warrior a look of disapproval.  Glorfindel merely attempted to regain his dignity.  The woman stepped forward with a smile.

                  “ You know Êlenrana?” she asked.

                  “ You could say that.”