Silver in sunlight. It almost blinded him. He was more accustomed to deep, dark colors and the warm comfort of shadows, and twilight. She smiled at him. He smiled back. How had he gotten here? He was a child of darkness, and of bloodshed. She was nothing like that.
An unspecified number of centuries earlier.
She smiled at him. He was terrified. It was all he could do to stand there and make polite talk with her parents when he really wanted to run away. Ereinion had told him that Celebrian was like her mother, but unlike her too. Elrond had lifted an eyebrow in askance at what he meant exactly, but the King had only shrugged.
"Celebrian is what she is. You'll see soon enough."
He had seen. She was beautiful. He knew she would be. And she was an odd amalgam of her mother and father. From her mother she got an insight into people, not the kind that allowed her to manipulate, but the kind that gave her the ability to understand what others wanted, or needed, even if they didn't know it themselves. Her father provided her with wisdom, and solid sense of her silvan roots, and a deep love of the land. Elrond hoped that she was not as stubborn as Celeborn, nor as single-minded as her mother.
After getting to know Celebrian a bit better, Elrond had to admit that she too, could be quite single-minded. Rather like an animal protecting her young. Yes, Celebrian could fight, but she was more like her father—defending hearth and home instead of like her mother—finding new worlds to conquer.
The longer they knew each other, the closer they became. Elrond had never felt so welcomed, so comfortable. And Celebrian had never met another elf that gave off the solid sense of security and kindness that Elrond did. It didn't take them long to realize that they were meant for each other.
However, duty called and they were separated for decades at a time.
Celebrian eventually ended up in Lorien with her parents, and Elrond founded Imladris. When travel between the two locations became somewhat safer, despite protests from her parents, Celebrian would not be stopped from visiting Elrond in his new refuge. She was already in love with the Lord of Imladris, now she fell in love with the land itself. It was more rugged than Lothlorien, but just as beautiful, in Celebrian's mind.
Elrond would never say why, but he hesitated to make their match permanent. It was as if he was waiting for something to happen. Celebrian never had doubts that it would happen though—they would wed.
Second Age 3441
They came back, battle-weary, with far lesser numbers than they'd left with. The Last Alliance had cost both the men and elves dearly. What the war didn't take, the aftermath nearly did. Many of the remaining elves left Middle Earth, and sailed west. Thranduil and Galadriel kept hope alive in their respective realms. Their people wanted, needed to stay. Elrond was sick of death, and dying, and watching those he cared about lying bloodied and broken. He did not want to be a king, he wanted only to find peace. Imladris had been founded as a refuge and Elrond was determined it would remain so. If he sat on a throne there, it would make the valley a target, and so he refused.
But still, no matter how much good he thought he was doing, no matter how he felt needed by his people, he felt more than ever that he needed something more to feel whole. He'd lost his parents, his brother, his mentor. He needed someone there just for him. He just didn't know if he deserved this someone. Especially since everyone he had needed before ended up dead, or gone. Celebrian had no such doubts. She knew that whatever happened, both she and Elrond would be better together.
She didn't have to work too hard to convince Elrond. He felt at peace and at home when she was with him. He couldn't bear the thought of living without her, no matter if he deserved her or not.
Third Age, 100
Silver in sunlight. It almost blinded him. He was more accustomed to deep, dark colors and the warm comfort of shadows, and twilight. She smiled at him. He smiled back. How had he gotten here? He was a child of darkness, and of bloodshed. She was nothing like that. Celeborn smiled at his daughter, then at Elrond, and returned to Galadriel, standing to one side of the couple.
Elrond felt that his life, no matter how difficult it had been up to now, was changing for the better. He was whole. He was out of the darkness, and basking in the light of his silver queen, his hope for the future, and the soft blue glow of Vilya. His life had begun again.
Go to the companion piece: When You Can Rest
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