Galadriel pinched the bridge of her nose; she was getting a headache. The whole thing turned out to be a disaster! She had planned it meticulously. A nice simple meal outside in the pretty little glade next to the palace was all she'd asked for. She'd even gotten Celeborn and her brothers to promise to behave. Of course, she hadn't made any of them swear on their swords or anything else that they'd take seriously.
She looked over to where Celeborn sat, laughing.
"I suppose you feel that everything has gone off splendidly and according to plan? My love," she couldn't help but make that sound more like a curse than an endearment, "you do realize that my brothers found none of this amusing, don't you?"
Celeborn laughed for a few moments longer, then tried to control himself.
"Yes, my dear, I saw their faces. I think you're underestimating their anger, actually. I believe I will take care not to meet them alone for some time." He couldn't help it. He began laughing again, to the point tears were running down his face. Galadriel snorted and stalked out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
Celeborn laughed even harder, falling off his chair in the process.
Earlier that day
No one in Doriath was used to seeing Galadriel in any state but serene and tranquil. That's why it was so strange to see her practically running between the kitchens and the small garden outside, and looking very flustered. She just wasn't her normal self at all. She didn't know if she was more nervous about Celeborn meeting her brothers, or about her brothers meeting Celeborn. It was so important to her that they all liked each other, or at least got along. It would be so much easier if they liked each other though. Of course, the fact that Celeborn and Galadriel would be announcing their intention to bond only added to her flustered state.
She finally had the meal all planned and had checked and re-checked that all the other arrangements were made. Now all she needed to do was get dressed and make sure Celeborn was ready.
Celeborn wasn't really all that concerned about meeting them. After all, they were the visitors here. This was Celeborn's home. However, he supposed he'd put a good face on and be nice since it was important to Galadriel, and that made it important to him. In any case, she'd probably make him regret it if he didn't behave. He didn't protest when she swept into his room and chose his stuffiest, most formal robes to wear. He even stayed silent as she braided, then re-braided his hair so it was perfect. And he only grunted when she made him put on the circlet that marked him as a Prince of Doriath. When she told, not asked, him to speak Quenya though, he raised one eyebrow and kissed her.
"No, my lady. I will not speak Quenya here, in my home. If they wish to speak to me, they will do so in my own language. I learned Quenya for your sake, but I will not use it in my own home."
She frowned, but didn't push. She knew he'd given in on everything else and she'd asked quite a lot of him. "Yes, I shouldn't have asked you to do that, but please, my lord, do be tolerant of my brothers, for they only wish to protect me, and see that I am happy."
Even Celeborn had to laugh a bit at that. "You need protection? Are you sure it is your brothers who won't need protecting? You are very capable of defending yourself against four older brothers, I get the feeling."
Her brothers arrived a bit early, probably thinking that they'd have to meet with Elu Thingol. Galadriel had decided against that, since they'd all met him previously, and she didn't want this particular visit to get off on the wrong foot. Celeborn had always been away when they'd visited, so this was the first time they'd all meet. The inherent tension between the two groups of elves was bad enough, but when you added the announcement they meant to make, and Galadriel was sure there would be bloodshed.
Celeborn held no affection for any of the Noldor, except for Galadriel herself. And she knew that her brothers found the Silvan people to be inferior. She must have been insane to insist on this meeting. She and Celeborn should have just bonded, and then told their families. Or at least her family. They couldn't have stopped them after the fact.
They all managed to stay polite, if reserved, for the first part of the meal. When things started going badly, though, Galadriel could only watch in horror, she couldn't stop it from happening, no matter how much she might have wanted to do so.
Celeborn stood up, carrying the wine decanter with him, refilling everyone's glass. For some reason, Aegnor was gesturing wildly while telling a story and just as Celeborn was leaning over to get his glass, he swung his arm up, knocking the mostly full decanter of wine into the air. It twisted and turned, wine spraying out, all over Aegnor, Angrod, Finrod, and Orodreth. Celeborn jumped back out of the way of any spillage. He didn't miss a moment of it though. He started laughing as soon as the wine left his hands and kept on laughing for the rest of the day, each time he pictured their faces as the dark burgundy wine soaked into their clothes and hair.
Always ready to take offense, Aegnor was sure Celeborn did it on purpose. Finrod tried to make peace and thought that Aegnor had actually hit the flask on purpose. That didn't calm Aegnor's temper at all, especially when the heavy decanter had glanced off the side of his head, then landed in his soup, causing that to splatter his shirt front and face.
The catastrophe may have ended there, had Aegnor not stood up. He grabbed for his napkin to wipe his face, but missed and got the tablecloth instead. As he continued to pull, dishes began to slide off the other side, many of them ending up in Galadriel's lap.
She jumped up, her face red with anger and shrieked at them.
Celeborn wisely gave her a few minutes to cool off before he hurried inside to find her.
Having been on the receiving end of her wrath more than once, her brothers took the opportunity to hasten their own departure as well, leaving their goodbyes with the doorwardens.
Galadriel never quite got over the notion that her brothers and Celeborn had all done something to ruin her party, though in a few centuries, she at least smiled about it. A tight, dry smile, but still a smile. And Celeborn still managed to laugh loudly about it, even when Aegnor presented them with a flask of burgundy wine every year on the anniversary of their bonding.
"It's no wonder I fell in love with you, Celeborn. I didn't know any decent or proper elves. All I had to compare to were my brothers. And you were all scoundrels."
Her face contradicted her words. She looked at him with love—a love that endured all time.
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