2. Up a Tree
1910 S. A.
Elrond had hoped his visit to Lindorinand would be restful, and it had been. After the horror of the war with Sauron and the long labor of building and fortifying Imladris, Amdir's hospitality and perpetual good cheer were as a refreshing breeze.
But at the moment, he was up a tree. Not that he disliked climbing trees, but usually it did not involve such sombre matters as he must now face. The heir of his host faced him in this strange 'talan', looking half-crazed.
"Amroth, she does not love you. Not truly. That is the beginning and the end of it."
"How would you know, Elrond? Wise as you are, do you know her mind?"
"No, but her actions are plain enough for all save yourself to read. Your love for her blinds you."
Amroth looked angry enough to throw him from the tree, and since he possessed both the physical strength and the temper of his parents, Elrond felt more than a little fear. But Amroth made no move - just sat and fixed a hostile glare on his guest. The Prince had Galadriel's eyes, to be sure, so this too was most uncomfortable.
Elrond sighed. "Friend, do you remember Aldarion in his latter years? He indeed wed Erendis after accepting her many conditions, but he gained little from it. Fate prevented him from keeping the promises he had made, and Erendis cared little for the reasons. That marriage should never have been."
Amroth's glare only intensified. "The hearts of Elves are not so fickle."
At this point, Elrond thanked the Valar for giving him patience, an even greater gift than wisdom, truth be told. The Prince was fey, and so this insult to Elros's descendants must be excused. So he merely replied "Be not so sure, friend. It would be wise to consult your parents on this matter. Both would tell you otherwise, I think, as would most who remember the tumult of the last Age."
"Amdir bids me be patient with her."
Quietly and gently Elrond replied "Your blood-parents, Amroth. What grievance lies between them and you, I do not know, nor do I care to. But you will acknowledge at least that I have some experience with such matters. I would have much to say to my own blood-parents were they still on this side of the Sea, but they are not."
The fire left Amroth's eyes. "I am sorry, Elrond. My parents' advice is like to yours. Ada has told me several times of Daeron and Luthien. Forgive me if I insult your family once more, but I merely repeat Celeborn's own words. For all her heroism, Luthien's caprice and thoughtlessness cost the Sindar their greatest loremaster. For that, Ada still has not forgiven her."
"I have heard the same. I cannot comment, for I was not there, but such is life. Some gain, others lose. But let us return to the present, and look to the future! Hearts may be mended. Not all wed who they wish, but the wise go on. I do not think Nimrodel will ever wed you. And even if she does, I am minded again of the bitter words Aldarion spoke of Erendis, his wife."
"She loves herself, with Numenor as a setting."
"Such hearts are to be found in Elves as well as Men. I must tell you, I think Nimrodel's is one."
Amroth's fair face contorted into an ugly mask. "What know you of women, who have never wed or even had a sweetheart? You cannot know, and your cold words of 'wisdom' are like to those which have driven me away from my own mother. Get you gone!"
Elrond dutifully departed, climbing down as swiftly as he could, leaping the last twenty feet. Oh, but what I could tell you, not-so-young fool, if only you would listen! Have I never had a sweetheart? I know your pain, but I at least had the sense to flee it, and so retain some chance for a new beginning! Sad that you will not...
As his heart cooled, he remembered the wonder that had been Silmarien of Numenor. Beautiful, enchanting, and possessed of a mind to match his own, yet never to be his. She had loved him indeed, but knowing she was of the mortal branch of Peredhil, had refused his hand. Firmly and with unmistakeable finality. In that, Silmarien had been a thousand times better than Nimrodel, yet she had died, her fea forever lost to Arda, while Nimrodel would live on indefinitely. An injustice.
But he put both women out of his mind as he considered the prospect of reporting this failure to Celeborn and Galadriel. He could bear it, so long as their daughter was not present. That ellyth, beautiful and graceful as her name, unnerved him.
A/N: Elrond might well have visited Numenor in the 8th-9th centuries of the Second Age, when Silmarien was a princess of that land, a male-line descendant of Elros. The 'She loves herself' quote is from UT.
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