66. Can't We Just Elope?
“Why have they given us all of these things? We certainly don’t need it and some of it is really terrible. What will we do with it all?”
Arwen and Sadi chuckled as following her from table to table.
“You are marrying a great elven lord, penneth, and there are those who hope to curry his favor with a gift.” Sadi explained.
Arwen nodded as she scanned the various piles. “Well, some of them are thoughtful and practical and come from those who know ada well. He will gladly add most of the books and scrolls to the library. One or two are very rare. There are a few which can be shared with other libraries ‘on loan’, permanently. The rare herbs and other medicinal plants will go to the Healing Hall and the gardens for their use.” Arwen poked through the other various piles and sniffed. “Some of these things will quietly be disposed of after a while and others will be given to those who can use them.”
“These weapons are quite fine antiques and will make a nice addition to the library collection or even presented as awards to deserving recipients and there is even a beautiful tapestry or two which will find their way to a wall somewhere in Imladris.”
She continued, pausing to pick up an occasional small box and then putting it back. “There are some very nice items here for your personal use, Amari. Luckily the jewelry is mostly unset gems. You will be able to have pieces made to your own design. I have received some terrible things through the years. The furs and fabric will make some lovely clothing for both you and ada. All in all it could have been a lot worse.”
Amarie sighed. “I hope the wedding won’t be like this.”
“I doubt it. Ada has made it clear that it will be a small family affair, so everyone is using the betrothal to be seen and heard.”
Erestor hurried down the hall to Elrond’s private rooms. Pausing at the doors leading to the sitting room, he nodded at the guards posted on either side and raised a hand to knock. Celeborn opened the door before his hand struck it. Responding to Erestor’s querying look he chuckled.
“I am standing guard. A few of the guests managed to work their way past the usual barriers and tracked Elrond down in his office and library. He is hiding out for the moment seeking peace and quiet so he can get some work done.”
Erestor nodded. “Amarie was out in the workshops for a while, but she too was trapped by some of the less then desirable well wishers. Arwen rescued her because she was needed to greet some guests.”
Celeborn waved him into the room and called to Elrond on the balcony where he sat at a table filled with papers and reports.
“Elrond, Erestor has managed to track us down.”
Elrond looked up and gestured at the table. “At least he doesn’t want something from me other than the usual.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure, meldir nin, he has a harried look about him.”
Elrond leaned back in his chair and studied his chief councilor, “Problems?”
Erestor sighed, “Nothing that won’t go away when our guests depart day after tomorrow. When Sadi and I suggested handling the official part of your betrothal as part of the Harvest Festival celebration, neither of us expected that it would create such chaos. I had hoped it would be a simple joyful event with everyone relaxed and no protocol issues to be dealt with. It has not. That pompous jackass from Mirkwood has been complaining that he has not received quarters suitable to his rank and Haldir got in between a couple of inebriated dwarfs and wound up with a black eye and badly bruised shins.”
Elrond chuckled, “Dwarfs can be dangerous at that level. Is he alright or do I need to see to him?”
He shook his head. “He saw a healer. He was more amused then hurt. I had this vision of him standing there with a hand on each forehead holding them apart while they swung at each other with their fists. He got the black eye when one of the other dwarfs tried to help him calm the other two down and his elbow was pointed in the wrong direction.”
Elrond nodded and turned back to his paperwork.
Celeborn frowned, “I would go check on him, but someone needs to act as a watchdog here.”
“I will remain, I need to discuss some details of the banquet tonight anyway. If you run into Glorfindel, ask him to place guards on the gate leading to Elrond’s private garden and the wing leading to Amarie’s rooms. If the guests made it past the outer guards, they just may try for the private rooms as well.”
“I agree. If I don’t see him I will send a couple of my warriors until Glorfindel can do so. I will return in a short while.”
Erestor nodded and watched as Celeborn closed the door behind him before turning his attention to his lord.
Later that afternoon, Sadi was checking over last minute details before the coming celebration that evening. She was pleased to note that everything had gone smoothly on those arrangements within the last homely house itself. The large number of guests had exceeded earlier estimates and had required some last minute rearrangement of both quarters and seating arrangements at a number of dinners. With Arwen’s help that had been accomplished relatively painlessly but one or two guests had caused some difficulty and she had worried that they might again. She turned as she heard Erestor’s voice on the terrace beyond the small office that had become their planning center for of the various events. Rising from her chair she crossed to the door and joined him as he looked down over the railing at the bustle below.
A huge banquet was spread in the largest of the gardens adjoining the last homely house awaiting the arrival of the official guests to honor and celebrate the recent betrothal of Elrond, Lord of Imladris and the Lady Amarie, Mistress of Bar-Meneg-Mir-Lain. Armies of house elves bolstered by volunteers from the surrounding settlements were waiting to descend from the kitchens with the mountains of food that had kept the cooks and bakers busy for days.
He looked at Sadi with a wide smile. “Lirimaer, it looks like the final event is just about ready. Just think, in two days we can get back to normal and start planning our betrothal and wedding.”
Sadi looked at him in horror, “Can’t we just elope?”
Bar-Meneg-Mir-Lain -house of a thousand jeweled threads
Penneth – young one
Meldir nin –my friend