3. Epilogue - Celebrían
Whether I should stay here or I should go -
Remaining, my family would divide
But if I sailed that would happen also.
I'm unsure I can't live without my wife
I know in the west I would be welcome.
In this land is my happiness and life
Middle-earth has forever been my home.
Living alone here will not be easy
Nor to my one love if I say farewell.
But I have my responsibility -
The last homely house here in Rivendell.
But now my choice means our sons and daughter
Must choose between their father and mother.
Celebrían could see her husband and children although she couldn't hear what was being said. They stood in a secluded spot near the house where they would not be disturbed and Celebrían had stayed in her bedroom where it was safe. She couldn't bear to hear Elrond say the same words to their sons and daughter that he had said to her. Elrond had his back to her but she knew what the expression on his face was. It had been sad yet hopeful ever since she returned. That hope had faded a little every day until there was nearly none left.
Looking at her husband and children - the only joy left in her life - she wished they could all stay together. But there were people here on Middle-earth that needed Elrond more than she did. Yet if it wasn't for her family she would not have survived this long. Elrond had hardly left her side since she'd been brought here - rescued by their sons. Now they would be parted by a much greater distance than ever before and for how long neither of them knew. She saw Elrond take Arwen into his arms and the twins looked decidedly uncomfortable as they frowned at Elrond, Elrohir frozen in the act of brushing a strand of hair from where it had blown in his face. So, he had told them. She wondered what choice they would make.
Once she was well - or at least somewhat better - Elladan and Elrohir had gone back to find the orcs that took her and held her captive. They had slaughtered the ones they found, but had not been satisfied. There was no doubt that the orcs were evil and Middle-earth would be better off without them but Elladan and Elrohir had decided to personally see to the task. They would stay in Middle-earth, she knew, although their new purpose saddened her. Elrond would be able to stop them with a word before it got out of hand. But he would not because, she suspected, he did not entirely disagree with their mission.
Her thoughts turned to Arwen. Although there were some things a girl needed her mother for, fathers and daughters, in her experience, had a more unique relationship. He did not have favourites but Elrond took great delight in his only daughter and youngest child and he would hate for them to be parted. He had told her how Arwen had been a great comfort to him while they waited for her return. With the twins gone more often than not, Elrond would once again welcome the company of his daughter.
She did not have to be able to hear the words to know what was being said. Nor did Elrond need to tell her when he returned. Entering the room, all he said was her name before she realised she was crying. He took her in his arms and she wondered how she would find the strength to leave and how Elrond would find the strength to let her go.
She had merely been existing until now, sometimes not even being able to find reasons to get out of bed. Until Elrond had suggested Valinor to her she had only been able to see the days stretch before her - each one the same. Now, to ensure her happiness she would have to abandon him. He had known too much loss in his life and yet he still allowed Isildur's heirs to live here, the deaths of each one compounding that loss. This is why I love him, she thought. He has so much strength and compassion he will not rest until everyone around him is content, even at the expense of his own happiness. He would not be joining her soon she realised. But that didn't matter. They had forever and she could wait.
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.