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Chapter 9-2 years later

 

                  The betrothal announcement did not surprise anyone.  Imladris became the center of attention as the time grew near.  Círdan rode up, dismounting.  Glorfindel quickly greeted him

                  “ I find you in propriety for once,” Círdan laughed, “ And away from Êlenrana.”

Glorfindel grinned, giving the Elf a hug.

                  “ I am glad you could make it,” Glorfindel said.

                  “ After such a short time compared to some, I am glad to see this finally between you two.  Who have you chosen to act as your father?” Círdan asked.

                  “ I know it is on very short notice, Círdan,” Glorfindel began, but Círdan held up a hand.

                  “ Say no more.  It would be an honor.  Elrond told me to come prepared since you were undecided between him and me,” Círdan said, “ Are her parents here?”

                  “ They arrived here earlier.  This way,” Glorfindel replied.

                  Glorfindel walked with Círdan down the halls, smiling cordially to guests.  His pure white robes rippled behind him as they walked briskly.  Manwë let them into Êlenrana’s chambers where the families were gathering.

                  “ This is Círdan.  He is to act as my father since my parents are in Valinor,” Glorfindel explained.

                  “ Pleased to meet you.  You remind me of someone,” Círdan replied, “ Someone in Valinor, but it eludes my memory.”

                  “ Where is Êlenrana?  The feast is about to begin.  Is she ready yet?” Varda entered with Celebrian, the twins and Elrond not too far behind, “ Círdan, the shipwright.  I knew not that you had a son.”

                  All in the room froze as Varda realized her mistake.  The tense silence was palpable in the room.

                  “ How dost thou know my name?” Círdan asked.

                  “ They were there before the Firstborn,” Glorfindel answered gently.

                  “ You are Maiar?” Círdan asked.

                  “ I am Lord Manwë, and this is my wife, Varda,” Manwë answered, “ Êlenrana is our only child.”

Círdan bowed low, his golden hair falling over his shoulders to join with his beard.

                  “ Please forgive my discourtesy.  I should have recognized you.  And to answer your question, Lady Varda, Glorfindel is not my son.  I will act as his though for this occasion,” Círdan said.

                  Êlenrana entered, causing all to be silent.  She wore no hood now, showing off the dress she wore.  It was white, like Glorfindel’s, but unlike his, hers fell off her shoulders and draped loosely around her frame in a princess line cut.

*You look beautiful, princess.

*As do you, love.

Êlenrana took his hand, their eyes connected to each other’s.

                  “ We will be waiting for you,” Celebrian shooed out all but the couple, Varda and Círdan.

                  Varda smiled as she began the gift she had brought Glorfindel as asked in custom.

                  “ Tis in the likeness of the star, Luinil.  It will be a light when darkness comes,” Varda said softly, pulling the delicate necklace chain attached to the aquamarine colored stone, never seen before or after this one, to place around his neck. 

Glorfindel smiled, giving her a hug.

                  Círdan slowly unwrapped his gift to give Êlenrana also.           

                  “ Tis a stone Fëanor made, not a Silmaril, but one of the first he wrought,” Círdan pulled out a circlet of mithril.

The mithril twisted and turned in an intricate design, encrusted with tiny blue and violet stones and in the middle, a colorless teardrop shaped stone descended from the mithril to lay on the wearer’s forehead.  Círdan placed it upon her head and then extended an arm to Varda to escort her out.

                  Glorfindel gazed at his bride.  She looked like a vision one would see only in the heavenliest of dreams.  Old fear seized him, making him wonder if she really wanted to go through with this.  Êlenrana looked up at him and it died away.  She truly loved him.  It shone in her eyes coupled with the gray in her eyes.

                  “ This is it,” she whispered.

                  “ Aye,” he said.

She sensed a strange peace around him.

                  “ You are not a bit like Elrond was.  Not even worried,” Êlenrana commented.

                  “ I have no need to be.  I will have the one I love by my side forever soon enough,” Glorfindel said.

                  “ And then I am yours,” Êlenrana kissed him softly.

                  “ And then you are mine,” Glorfindel returned the kiss.

~*~

                  The festival came and the customary ceremony began.  Varda and Círdan joined the hands of the two and Círdan began the blessings in Sindarin.

                  Manwë Súlimo, alae i erthad uin Glorfindel a Êlenrana iell ned…”Círdan paused, “ Elbereth.”

A few murmurs came as Varda stepped forward, a slight smile on her face.

                  Elbereth Gilthoniel, alae i erthad uin Glorfindel ned Gondolin a Êlenrana ned…” Varda paused, “ Lorien.”

                  Ilúvatar, galu am i erthad,” Glorfindel began.

                  Eru, aen manadhpant,” Êlenrana began.

                  A uireb,” they finished together.

                  The couple then removed their silver betrothal rings, handing them to each other in exchange for a ring of gold.  Glorfindel slipped hers onto her right index finger, and then let her do the same, their eyes never wavering from each other’s.  Glorfindel captured her lips in a sealing kiss as a great cheer went up.  Varda smiled up at Manwë with almost a sad look.

                  “ She is happy, wife.  Truly happy,” Manwë put a reassuring arm around her, pulling her closely in a gesture of reassurance.

                  “ But happiness will fade,” Varda replied, sadness on her face, “ Im mathon ha galo. (I feel it grow).”

                  “ I feel it too, Varda.  I feel it too.”

~*~

                  Glorfindel and Êlenrana escaped from the after wedding festivities to the gardens.  The stars shone even brighter than the nights before with their laughter.  The 2 entered the silent and dark room that was now theirs to share.  Êlenrana moved closer to him, waiting for his soft touch.

                  Glorfindel had discarded his outer tunic easily before finding her in the dark.  All the barriers that had once separated them before now lay in a jumbled heap.  They were truly lost in each other for the first time, in the touch, the feel; the exploration of the other as all newlyweds are.  There in his room, the indissoluble bond of marriage was made complete in bodily union.

                  “ Where are you going?” Êlenrana asked, feeling him begin to move.

                  “ We should return,” Glorfindel sat up, letting the cool sheets pool in his lap.

                  “ Must we?” Êlenrana pulled the tunic he had picked up from his grasp.

                  “ Êlenrana,” Glorfindel groaned as she embraced his mouth with a sensual kiss, her hands resting on his still warm body.

                  “ Do you really want to return?” Êlenrana asked, “ You only said that we should.”

                  “ And as of now, I am not one to disagree with the daughter of Varda,” Glorfindel replied.

~*~

                  “ Just a second there, Elladan,” Glorfindel sprinted after the boy, catching the young boy by his waist, “ Where have you been?”

                  “ Outside,” Elladan’s stern and silent disposition matched Elrond’s perfectly.

                  “ And you, Elrohir, you best come here also,” Glorfindel caught the other twin’s soft laughter.

                  Elrohir grinned sheepishly as he approached, more of a sunny temperament like Celebrian, though Glorfindel was sure that the lady did not have the joker side that Elrohir did.  Elrohir’s lighter brown hair whipped in the soft wind that blew through the house, out of the braids that Êlenrana had done that morning, while Elladan’s were still as perfect as before.

                  “ Are we in trouble?” Elrohir asked.

                  “ You will be if I do not get you cleaned up and then I too will be in trouble,” Glorfindel answered.

                  “ Because you lost us?” Elladan asked.

                  Glorfindel grimaced.  That morning when he had agreed to take them for a walk, he had forgotten how slippery 2 young boys could be.  Glorfindel squatted in front of them.

                  “ Let’s not tell anyone that.  It’ll be our little secret,” Glorfindel answered.

                  “ Oh, really?” Êlenrana rounded the corner, “ Glorfindel, what did you do?  Let them run through a mud bath?  Celebrian and Elrond are due back at any moment.”

                  “ They’re washable,” Glorfindel shrugged, “ Come on, guys, let’s…”

                  Glorfindel ran a hand over the back of his neck in frustration.  Elrond and Celebrian stood at the far end of the hall, conversing with another Elf.  Elrond caught sight of them, doing a double take as a grin spread across his face.  He briskly walked towards them, seeing Êlenrana about to lecture again.

                  “ Well, well, what do we have here?  2, actually 3, very muddy boys,” Elrond stooped in front of his sons, sending a laughing glance up at the twice as muddy Glorfindel.

                  “ Daddy,” the 2 boys ran into Elrond’s arms, soiling his traveling clothes further.

                  “ Glorfindel, I cannot believe you let them run in the mud,” Celebrian admonished, walking up, “ Look at how dirty they are.”

                  “ They are boys, Celebrian.  They will come home dirtier than this.  I know I did,” Elrond replied, “ The boys aren’t hurt.  Did you 2 have fun?”

                  “ Yeah, Glorfindel lost us and we got to play hide and go seek and run in the mud and-” Elrohir began.

Elladan elbowed his outgoing brother, “ We weren’t supposed to tell.”

                  Elrond chuckled glancing up at Glorfindel.  Elrohir bit his lip, looking up also.

                  “ I’m sorry.  I forgot,” he said.

                  “ It’s fine.  They would have known sooner or later, though I would rather have had later,” Glorfindel replied.

                  “ You 2 stink.  It’s bath time,” Celebrian wrinkled her nose.

                  “ Dad, do we have to?” both twins chorused.

                  “ If you want dinner, you will listen to your mother,” Elrond replied, “ Go on ahead with her.  I’ll be there after I speak to these 2.”

                  “ Glorfindel’s in trouble,” Elrohir grinned.

Elrond playfully swatted at his son, who turned and ran after his mother and older brother.

                  Elrond crossed his arms, looking at Glorfindel expectantly.

                  “ Twas an accident, Elrond.  I didn’t mean to lose them.  They were ripping Imladris to pieces, so I thought a walk might do them good and-” Glorfindel was cut of by Elrond’s laughter.

Elrond clapped Glorfindel’s shoulder, trying to get a rein back on his laughter.

                  “ But you have found them.  Those boys have eluded even I at times.  They enjoyed having you chase them probably because you do not get cross like I do.  Thank you for watching them.  You too, Êlenrana,” Elrond turned to walk off, then turned back, mischief dancing in his eyes, “ I cannot wait to see what adventures await you with your own children.  Now excuse me.  I have a bath session to attend.”

The lord disappeared down the corridor his wife and children had.

                  Êlenrana wrinkled her nose.

                  “ I think you need a bath too.  You’re twice as muddy and stinky as the boys,” she said.

His muddy hands encircled her waist, drawing her close to sully the pale material she wore.  Êlenrana looked up, surprised.

                  “ Someone else seems to be just as stinky and in need of a bath also,” Glorfindel murmured.

                  A smile lit her face as she took his hand to lead towards their room.  Elrond watched from his place peeking around the wall with a grin.  And he had thought Celebrian and him were bad before the days of children.  Celebrian’s hasty call along with joyful splashing and giggles sent him towards their room quickly.

 

AN: Thanks to Nemis for the elvish vows.  They are taken from her story, ‘The tale of Elrond and Celebrian’ and are totally hers, not mine.  Only the way I put the wedding customs is mine.