59. Two, (Er, Three?) Are One (or Two?), Nearly ,
Two, (Er, Three?) Are One (or Two?), Nearly , Oh This Can Be So Confusing!
Earlier that afternoon, Celeborn sought out Amarie and asked if she would allow him to stand as one of her witnesses. He had discussed it with Galadriel and they both wanted to make it clear that they approved and supported this betrothal. While deeply touched Amarie had at first hesitated briefly, than agreed when the request was further supported by a gentle mental touch from Galadriel. Amarie was still finding it difficult to understand their generosity towards her. It was Galadriel's reaffirmation of her earlier message that removed Amarie's last doubts.
It was now time for the start of the formal ceremony. Erestor and Sadi paused at the hall door entrance to the Hall of Fire and watched the group of family and close friends congregate around Elrond and Amarie when they arrived.
"Soon it will be our turn, liramaer." Erestor placed an arm around Sadi's shoulder and pulled her tight against his side and nuzzled her ear.
Sadi sighed a deep sigh of contentment and looked up. "In spite of it being so rushed, it looks quite lovely, does it not meleth? "
The Hall of Fire was decorated with explosions of colorful late summer flowers from the gardens. The fire burned briskly and there was a scent of warm spices mingling with the perfume of the flowers. Earlier that afternoon Arwen had arranged them into glowing fountains of fire red, burning orange and gold along with deep maroons and creams and placed them on all of the tables. Two huge "trees" fashioned from colorful trailing vines of the same fiery colors were placed on either side of the open balcony doors creating a frame for the backdrop of the silvery water falls beyond. It was here that the betrothal vows would be repeated later followed by the banquet.
They both turned back and looked at Elrond and Amarie. Amarie wore a russet silk gown layered under a brown velvet over robe embroidered with gold and spangled with small jewels of ruby, emerald, and topaz. The sleeves of the gown were folded back over the long sleeves of the velvet over robe. Her hair was piled in a loose knot on the back of her head and jewelled threads of gold were woven about and through it and linked to a series of graduated topazes across her brow.
At her side Elrond wore a pale brown silk under tunic and full trousers tucked into soft brown leather boots and a loose robe of the same pale brown silk woven with a cream pattern of leaves and vines and cinched with a wide belt of richly embroidered silk. And finally over all, a dark chocolate brown velvet robe with a pattern of leaves and scrolls worked through in silver. The wide sweeping sleeves were lined with the pale brown silk of the under robe. He wore his mithril head-dress over his warrior braids and his hair fell to his waist in the back. Though unseen, Vilya pulsed with blue light upon his hand as if reflecting his joy. For once his usually grave face bore a wide smile and he kept an arm around Amarie's waist, tucking her close to his side.
Sadi chuckled, "When I went back to my rooms earlier this evening I was afraid we had a major disaster on our hands. It seems Amarie had an attack of nerves and had spent quite some time crying on Arwen's shoulder. But you would never know it now, would you. She is positively glowing and that russet silk looks beautiful on her." At his silence, Sadi turned towards him puzzled. He was watching her with a besotted expression on his face. "Erestor, I just asked you a question."
"To me, you are far more beautiful and I am glad to be able at last to look at you in public. I am enjoying the fact that you are mine."
Sadi blushed and softly punched him in the shoulder. "Not yet, ind nin, but soon." He grinned down and hugged her again.
Turning his attention back to the gathering he sighed, "It is time to start the betrothal ceremony." At Sadi's nod they moved further into the room and he caught Elrond's eye. Receiving an acknowledgement, Erestor cleared his throat and clapped his hands.
"Friends, thank you for joining us this evening and helping us celebrate the betrothal of our Lord, Elrond of Imladris and the Lady Amarie, Mistress of Bar-Meneg-Mir-Lain. This is a joyous occasion and after last evening's unusual occurrence we know that the Lord Manwe and the Lady Varda themselves bless it. Elrond, if you and Amarie will take your places by the balcony doors we will make it official."
At this there was much laughter and jostling among the elves as they moved and arranged themselves in front of the open balcony doors. With a gentle chuckle Elrond took Amarie by the hand and led her to the balcony doors closely followed by Elladan, Elrohir, Arwen, Sadi, and Celeborn, who were standing as the formal witnesses for the ceremony as representatives of the respective families. Facing each other, Elrond and Amarie repeated their vows once more and replaced their silver rings upon their finger. In turn each of the witnesses acknowledged their approval and watched with great amusement as Elrond swept Amarie up in his arms and kissed her long and hard. There were cheers and shouts of approval from their guests until Elrond finally broke off the kiss and set her blushing back on her feet while he grinned from ear to ear.
Chuckling, Erestor announced that food and wine were now ready to be served and please, would they all be seated? It was a noisy few moments while all of the guests watched the "newly" betrothed couple and other family members move to one table located near the fireplace before turning and choosing their own table. Erestor quickly joined Sadi, and at his signal, the house elves streamed from the kitchens laden with the wealth of food. It wasn't long before the weight of the food and the great jugs of wine placed upon the tables caused them to groan. It proved a challenge to all to do justice to the spread but there was not much left at the end of the evening.
It was not until much later that it was noted that the twins had indeed been on their best behavior!
Ind nin-my heart
Bar-Meneg-Mir-Lain -house of a thousand jeweled threads
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