Note: I try to abide to the PG-13 age-thingy I have upped my story to. There is some implied intercourse between two adult Elves, respectively male and female. Inform me if anyone thinks I have exceeded the age-limit (whateveryoucallit), since I have only a vague idea of what it precisely constitutes.
Elrond, who had remained unwed through all his long years, now took to wife Celebrían, daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn of Lórien.
J.R.R. Tolkien, Notes Volume 10 The History of Middle-earth
Chapter 10 Blessings
'And how do I find Imladris, Erestor?' Elrond asked, walking beside his deputy and counsellor, pulling of his riding gloves by the tips of the fingers.
'You find it as you left it my Lord, very well, and rejoicing your forthcoming nuptials. The invitations have all been sent away, and the responses collected in your study.'
'Good,' Elrond replied, noticing Glorfindel descending the steps and coming towards them. 'Ah, meldir*, it is good to see you.' Embracing Glorfindel with a vitality that had been long absent, he seemed to amuse the others.
Glorfindel smiled broadly, turning Elrond towards the Elf that had joined them.
'I wish you to meet an old acquaintance of ours…'
Elrond raised his eyebrows with a grin.
'Gildor! What brings you to Imladris?' They caught each others hands.
The golden-haired Elf smiled, and bowed shortly.
'Well, Master Elrond, it appears we have fallen in with good tidings. But I must confess your wedding was not the main reason for our coming. I join my kin as they travel to the Grey Havens… Yet I expect some will linger here and take advantage of your hospitality.'
'Our kinsmen of the House of Finrod are welcome, for whatever reason they decided to travel here. Tonight we shall have speech and merriment!' Elrond replied, his face shining, releasing Gildor and continuing his way into the house. Glorfindel and Erestor followed.
In the study, Elrond, with an amused look on his face, inspected several Elvish well-wishes.
'We expected you back before winter, but since you decided to stay in Lórien, the messages continued to accumulate…' Glorfindel said, smiling.
'Yes…' Elrond said, appearing to attentively study one of the letters. '…I couldn't very well cross the mountains during winter…'
For a moment both Erestor and Glorfindel exchanged a glace, more or less imagining what Gil-galad would have commented. Elrond narrowed his eyes, very well aware of what they meant. Glorfindel smiled apologetically.
'He would have enjoyed this.'
'I know.' Elrond returned with a delicate smile, putting down the piece of paper.
During the next weeks, the larger part of wedding guests began arriving. A certain expectancy could be discerned among the household members of the Last Homely House; so many last issues that needed to be discussed, unexpected occurrences. The buzz of activity was all-apparent, never seizing, as voices, singing and talking, rejoiced in meeting those they had not seen due to the Days of Flight*. The only peaceful place seemed to be the Master's own part of the House; his rooms, library and study.
There, Erestor, under the impression he was experiencing problems with appointing quarters for certain guests, was un-amused by Elrond's lack of interest for his dilemma.
'My Lord, by no means can I give King Thranduil quarters close to those of my Lord Celeborn…'
Elrond leant against the windowsill of one of the smaller windows in his library.
'The guests will behave themselves on this occasion, surely?' His tone was light.
Erestor looked at the Master of Imladris with a certain dissatisfaction.
'And King Valandil, I cannot give him rooms near any of the other Men, since he will be attending the actual ceremony, and they will not…'
'You will find a solution, Erestor, perhaps you can relinquish your own rooms… Some things go above and beyond the call of duty…' Elrond teased absently. Erestor seemed to imitate one of his own stares towards Gil-galad years ago.
An exception had been made for Valandil, who Elrond held almost as dear as a son. No mortal had ever heard the blessing of an Elvish marriage, and Elrond had no intention on making Valandil the first, but he would be closer than any other of the younger Children of Ilúvatar had previously been. Celebrían had not minded, somehow sensing the importance of the request. Like she sensed most of his moods.
He missed her. Somehow this seemed strange, as they had been apart for so many years.
Elrond's anticipation for her arrival only subsided when, three days before the wedding, Valandil arrived, together with his wife and young son Eldacar. Almost ruling Arnor for a century, the pressure could be seen in his eyes; though not yet showing in his face. Elrond embraced him and shook hands with Eldacar, before welcoming the rest of the company. He hadn't seen the young man before, almost an adult, and was surprised to find a pair of blue eyes, as a strong hand caught his.
'Mae govannen*, Eldacar.' He said, as he smiled down and observed an innocent face, trustingly looking back.
'It is good to see you like this.' Valandil said quietly to Elrond as they walked to the rooms Erestor had assigned them to. 'If you don't mind me saying.'
'Not at all.' Elrond returned. 'It seems everyone agrees.'
Could it be possible he was nervous?
Elrond became increasingly aware of it… As if his stomach had rotated… Anxiety… Wondering why he had Erestor invite so many…
'Get a grip…' He reprimanded himself.
Círdan, who had arrived the day before, cast a somewhat worried look towards him, but joined it with a smile of understanding. They stood waiting, the entire household and guests, as the first of the group from Lórien began to arrive. Almost entirely at the back of the large group, half a length behind her parents, dressed in white, Celebrían emerged. A grey cloak around her shoulders, and like her mother, bearing white gems in her hair.
By tradition the bride was to receive a gift from the bridegroom's father, but since Eärendil had not left any such object, this tradition had been slightly altered; Celebrían carried a jewel, once a gift from Gil-galad to Elrond, around her neck. Much as Elrond himself wore a pendant Galadriel had given him upon his departure from Lórien.
Coming forward, shaking back his robes to free his hands, Elrond smiled.
'Imladris welcomes you all.'
Celeborn, guiding his daughter, bowed. Celebrían gave her most enchanting smile to Elrond, as all began to make their way to the banks of the Bruinen, where what had started so long ago would be sealed.
Here was where custom began to take the upper hand. Only Elves were allowed close proximity, while other guests, with the exception of Valandil, who was allowed to stand amongst the furthest Elves, stood somewhat removed.
Elrond was one of the first to arrive, Celebrían the last, led towards the river by her father.
Standing there together, both removed the silver rings they had worn for a year, and exchanged them. Stepping forward, Galadriel, her expression one of delight, joined the couple's right hands.
'Elbereth Gilthoniel, alae i erthad uin Elrond Peredhil a Celebrían ned Lórien.*'
Glorfindel raised his melodious voice, acting as father of the bridegroom.
'Manwë Súlimo, alae i erthad uin Elrond iôn ned Eärendil a Celebrían iell ned Celeborn.*'
Elrond looked down at Celebrían for a moment, raising his other hand and, with his index-and middle finger, moved a strand of silver hair out of her face. Then he took the golden ring Erestor presented, and placed it upon Celebrían's index-finger.
'Ilúvatar, galu am i erthad…*'
Celebrían took the other ring from Erestor, and took Elrond's hand.
'Eru, aen manadhpant…*' Her soft voice returned, sliding the ring on his finger.
Elrond smiled captivatingly.
Celebrían placed her hand on Elrond's cheek as he bent downwards to kiss her at last, after waiting so long… Upon merging, their lips were warm, and Elrond felt her cold fingers on his skin, making him even more aware. Celebrían's hand lingered as he pulled back, their eyes not yet ready to break away. Then, their faces beaming, they both turned towards the gathering and around them the cheering began, together with enthusiastic singing and music.
Elrond caught Celebrían's hand and folded it under his arm as he had done so often the last months, the closest they could be without… He playfully told himself off. Not yet, wait a little, have patience… Celebrían gave his hand a short squeeze, suggesting to him she felt the same. He smiled and bit his lip, as she returned a mischievous smile.
All began making their way back towards the Last Homely House, where the festivities were waiting to commence. And even in Imladris, there had never before been so much singing and laughter, dancing and storytelling as on that day. Even during the dinner, few kept silent. An even smaller amount of people stayed at the table, so when Elrond finally rose from his seat and guided Celebrían to the Hall of Fire, many were already present, going before them, their singing and chanting echoing against the walls.
As the celebrations in Imladris continued well into the night, Celebrían offered her husband her hand, and quick and light, they left their guests, before they would be missed.
'Come herven*…' She spoke softly to him, as they entered the gardens, keeping off the paths where many others stayed, pulling him closer, allowing him to kiss her, his hands flying over her body, touching and moving on… How often had they stood like this, fully aware that they would have to stop at a certain point… But not now, not anymore…
'Celebrían, do not tempt me so…' Elrond spoke, his voice hushed, his eyes glimmering, before bestowing his kisses on her face, her neck.
'I will not much longer…' She responded, pulling him along.
Their laughter sounded through the gardens as they sped through them, but none that heard gave much notice. And indeed when their absence was detected, it was decided not to seek them.
If it had, they would have been found on the highest of terraces, where once they had shared their first kiss, and there it was, far from everything, but close to the stars, that they shared all, completing their unbreakable bond.
Resting in each others arms afterwards, Celebrían whispered to him.
'When did you know you loved me?
Elrond's laugh sparkled.
'I knew, as soon as I rested my eyes on you for the very first time…'
Celebrían placed her head on her hand and looked at her lover.
'Were you afraid that if you confessed to love me, and I didn't return it, our houses would be un-friends? As happened when Fëanor begged my mother for a strand of her hair, and she would not yield it?'
'It is said he made the Silmarils with her hair in mind.' Elrond whispered, evading her question as he ran his fingers through her hair, shining in the moonlight.
'Rather the Two Trees, Laurelin and Telperion, I believe,' Celebrían countered, 'but it is told her hair resembled them greatly.'
'Nevertheless…' Elrond spoke, his lips finding hers once more, stealing her breath, before pulling away again.
She smiled and caught the small pendant she had given him years earlier.
'You still wear it?'
'Hmm… Yes…' Elrond confessed, catching her hand. 'I never take it off for long.'
Celebrían sighed and rested her head on his shoulder, after pressing her lips against his body, which was now rapidly cooling down.
'You truly caught my heart when you came to find me in the forest…'
'That early?' He posed, brushing his fingers against her skin.
'Didn't you notice, when you came to Edhellond?' Celebrían laughed up at him, as she wound a strand of his hair around her finger and softly pulled it. 'I was as enthusiastic as a young maid.'
'You were a young maid.' Elrond provoked playfully, only to be rewarded with another mischievous tug at his hair. He continued, almost whispering. 'But even if I was not aware of it, Gil-galad was…'
'He perceived it from the starting out.' Celebrían nodded, slowly sitting up, touching his face. 'Shall we go back, my love?'
Elrond nodded in support of her appeal, and ended up fastening the back of her dress, which he had so carelessly undone before. Celebrían sat between his legs, her back towards him, and held her hair out of his way. As his precise fingers finished the last hook and eye, he bent forward to kiss her bare neck. Dropping her hair, Celebrían turned around and caught his face, pressing her lips against his forehead, before teasingly sweeping them along his lips. Hungrily he pulled her against him, falling back onto the pillowed bench.
Laughing loudly, Celebrían pulled him back up.
'Later, my Lord.'
Elrond gave her a good-humoured disappointed look, and she returned a teasing smile, rising.
Hand in hand they retraced their way back down, more serene then earlier.
The festivities went on for many days, and nights, a celebration of young lovers, of old ways. But deep down it was also a farewell to the glory of the Elves, for many realised, if they had not before, that their waning days had started.
It was a thought Elrond pushed away constantly, and while he had previously buried his thoughts in work, now he occupied himself with Celebrían, drawing from a zeal for life and merriment he had never before allowed.
Their devotion to each other was an open one, more evident and unofficial than in most Elvish unions.
Celebrían, possessing by far the most leeway with the Master of Imladris, would not shy from public showings of affection, and, at first to much surprise, since he was known for his reserve among many, Elrond never failed to answer.
Elrond had, quite early in their relationship, discovered Celebrían was a very tactile person. Finding himself in his study he would watch her enter, not yet aware of him, her hands sliding along the walls, bookcases, the delicate fingers lightly touching, her perceptive eyes ultimately finding and staying on him.
She would, in the same peaceful pace, come nearer, her eyes lighting up, and finally, touch him, his face, his hair; making him love her more than he ever considered possible. And while her hands would continue their search, her lips would find his, taking his breath away, together with his concentration.
'Come, herven…' She would whisper, just as that first time, and take him away, to the gardens, into the mountains, back to bed…
And all his reserve, all his wisdom and self-restraint would disappear like snow in spring. Beneath the cool white sheets of their bed, she would look at him, her blue eyes deeper every time he lost himself in them, and with her finger follow the outline of his forehead.
'Sometimes you scare me, because it seems you are two people.' She had once said.
'Who am I now?' Elrond had asked her, smiling sweetly down, his fingers following the sharp edge of her ear.
'Now you are my Elrond, my lover, my life…'
'And who is the other?'
'He is Imladris, my Master, my protector, stern and wise…'
'Am I not wise?' He had rebuked, laughing at her dreamy words, feigning offence.
Celebrían had kissed him before smiling back.
'You are kind as summer…'
And he could do nothing but take her in his arms and press himself against her, desperately wanting to fulfil her every wish. Then the whisper, her lips near his ear.
'Come to me…'
And he could do nothing but comply.
Urging him on, her hands through his hair, he had called out her name, not able to contain it, her voice afterwards whispering to him, her breath, as his own, quick and deep. Under him, close to his, her heart beating equally fast
Still, there were even moments when Imladris succumbed to her.
When his preconceptions of old, running deep through the years, made him turn away from the many who asked for his help, she would come and sway him. Her hands, her very touch, making him calm down, his skin tingling, as if it were the first time.
Especially in the beginning there were moments too, when Celebrían knew he remembered Gil-galad. Something came over him mainly when he was alone, tending to the business of Imladris and its responsibilities.
A blankness crossing his face, his eyes staring beyond, coldly, unseeing. His mind carefully guarded, not a hint trickling out to her. Perhaps it was this unusual lack of sharing that made her immediately aware of it.
Seeking him out, and joining him, he would lower his guard after a while and she learned what was in his heart, and they shared it.
Their marriage was still, by Elvish standards, in its early stages, when Elrond, one late spring morning after attending his duties, found Celebrían silently at the window, her thoughts, apparently, on higher plains. Careful not to startle her, he embraced her from behind.
'What troubles you, meleth-nîn?'
Celebrían smiled and, leaning back, sought his body for support.
'I thought you might have guessed already.'
Elrond carefully rotated around her, facing her for a moment before smiling.
'Only for a little while. I will send word to my mother, for I will not visit her now.' She moved her hand along his collar, pulling him closer.
Celebrían, during nearly every spring since their marriage, visited Lórien. Sometimes he had gone with her, but they had decided he would not this year. Now, they would not separate, since it went against the customs of the Eldar to be apart during the bearing of a child.
'From great delight and joy, the days of the children shall come.' Elrond smiled, as he placed his hand on her abdomen. Then he raised his eyebrows, and when he spoke his voice was a whisper. 'Gwanûn*?'
Celebrían had waited for him to make the discovery himself, and now observed him with great pleasure in her eyes.
'If it pleases my Lord.'
'It pleases me…' Elrond responded, kissing her deeply. '…very much.'
And almost a year later Celebrían gave birth to twin boys, and they were called Elladan and Elrohir.
Elrond could never get enough of watching them, asleep besides each other, between him and Celebrían, their faces relaxed, small fists clenched, eyes closed, not a fear in the world. Their dark hair and grey eyes were his, yet their appearance was Celebrían's, more beautiful to him than anything in the world.
Before the end of their first year they would have learned to speak and walk; elf-children were soon to master their bodies. But for now, if awake, they only seemed to listen, when their parents spoke of what lay in the future. For Elrond knew; there would come a time when they too had to make a decision.
meldir = friend (masc.)
the Days of Flight = the period when Sauron attempted to scatter the Elves in certain parts of Middle-earth
Mae govannen = Sindarin 'well met'
'Elbereth Gilthoniel, alae i erthad uin Elrond Peredhil a Celebrían ned Lórien.' = 'Elbereth Gilthoniel, behold the union of Elrond Halfelven and Celebrían of Lórien.'
'Manwë Súlimo, alae i erthad uin Elrond iôn ned Eärendil a Celebrían iell ned Celeborn.' = 'Manwë Súlimo, behold the union of Elrond son of Earendil and Celebrían daughter of Celeborn.'
'Ilúvatar, galu am i erthad…' = 'Ilúvatar, blessings upon the union…'
'Eru, aen manadhpant…' = Eru, may it be blissful…'
'…a uireb.' = '…and eternal.'
The customs described here are loosely based upon those given in Volume 10 of the History of Middle-earth, by Christopher Tolkien. The blessings are my own, as is any mistake that lies within them.
herven = husband
meleth-nîn = my love
gwanûn = a pair of twins
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.