Celebrían closed her eyes, finding a center of peace in the pre-dawn grey of Imladris, the whisper of the breeze stirring the hem of her nightgown, and the gentle strokes of a brush through her silver-tinted hair.
Her moment of serenity was mere charade, for although the sun had not yet graced the sky, the air was filled with the sounds of bustle and preparation and an unmistakably elvish haste that sought nothing less than absolute perfection. But 'twas not the racket that shattered her calm so much as the roiling of her own stomach. Fear? Anticipation? She could not tell. She sighed and opened her eyes again, allowing herself a small smile at the beauty of the valley, now lit pink by the first moments of sunrise.
"Galu, naneth-nín she whispered as her mother placed the brush on a nearby table and began an intricate braiding. They were seated together on the balcony of the finest guest chamber of the Last Homely House. Kings of men and elves had contemplated the stunning view, but this morning it had been reserved for the lord's most precious guest, his betrothed.
The reborn morning seemed to rejoice in the beauty that had gathered, and for a time the household stilled as elves breathed the glory of the day and sang out for the joy of it. Mother and daughter sat in silence for a time, Galadriel braiding and remembering the past, Celebrían looking to the future. The ascent of anor had crowned the heavens in brilliant blue before either spoke again.
"A sapphire sky" Galadriel murmured.
An appropriate hue for the nuptials of the wielder of Vilya, a voice spoke in her mind. Galadriel stopped her hands for a moment and enjoyed the caressing presence of her husband's thoughts, sent to her from the opposite side of the valley.
Indeed, she replied. And speaking of Elrond, are you not supposed to be helping him attend to the details of the celebration?
Mhmm, he is rather distracted.
All the more reason for you to remain focused rather than lazing here in the sunshine with me. Out, back to work! she returned, playfully pushing him from her mind.
Bereth balch …
She returned to herself and smiled at her daughter, who had pulled away slightly to observe her mother's face.
"You were talking to Adar" Celebrían asked.
"Mmm. Yes. Hold still and let me finish your hair."
"You always have the most serene look on your face when he speaks with you … will it be … will Elrond and I have that unity" she asked, pulling away again.
Galadriel frowned. "I know not. Not all elves have the gift, or for some it only grows with time. You probably have it, but Elrond? Between the blood of Eldar, Edain, Maia, and … other forces working in his life, I cannot say."
Overcome at last by her bubbling agitation, Celebrían jumped up, moving to the edge of the veranda, her eyes sweeping across the haven that would soon be her home. For all the beauty of the mountains and the water, Galadriel knew that her daughter was looking for a fairer vision in the form of a certain elf-lord.
Shaking her head and despairing of the braids, Galadriel stood and joined her. "Ai, sell-nín" she said, her voice warm with a chuckle of understanding. "Nervous"
Celebrían look away for a moment, her left hand idly fingering the hair near the nape of her neck, her eyes on some distant point. She brought her hand around to her mouth to hide the upward quirk of her lips, a response to some inward mischief, before ruefully looking back at her mother.
"Nervous, excited, terrified. I know not! Wishing that this day had never come, longing for it to begin, hoping above all that it will pass quickly into the first night I will spend in his arms." Celebrían looked away again, utterly unable to stop the smile that danced across her face, before turning back with a laugh. "NanaI do not even know what to expect in regard to … the last."
Galadriel struggled to school her features to the appropriate solemnity expected of the Lady of the Galadhrim, but was not entirely successful. "'Twill be joyous, sell-nín. Beyond that, I can not say, for I suppose it is somewhat different for all lovers." The lady smiled and looked across the valley. "I fear I can be of little help to you in your concerns for this day. I am not … entirely familiar with the apprehension of wedding-night inexperience" she confided.
"Naneth" Celebrían managed to be scandalized and amused in the same moment. "Middle-earth would be rocked to its core if it knew of that revelation."
Galadriel gestured eloquently. "What can I say? 'Twas a different age. Frowned upon, yes, but … I usually get what I want, and I wanted your father, and could see little point in patience. Besides, he was not in much of a condition to refuse me at the time, if I recall correctly. Come, let us make you radiant this day, and Elrond will be equally conquered."
The morn was in its elder hours when Celeborn walked to the balcony to inform his daughter that all was prepared. He knew not what to expect, for he had never delivered such news, but was surprised when he was greeted by an amused glance between the women of his life. "What have you two been plotting" he asked, pausing at the threshold. His answer was a mischievous kiss on the cheek from his only daughter.
"Tell me I look exquisite, Ada" she cried, grasping his hands and drawing him into the light with her.
"You docelebrían-nín" he answered fervently.
"Then all is well! Come"
As Celebrían danced out of the room in front of her parents Celeborn looked suspiciously across at his wife and brushed her mind. What have you been telling her, Alatáriel? he asked.
Galadriel slipped to his side and twined her arm under his. He smiled at her touch, but her innocent look did nothing to quell his suspicion, nor did her answer: Nothing at all, melethron.
Ada/adar – father, daddy
Ai, sell-nín - Ah, daughter mine
Alatáriel - An ancient form of the name Galadriel
Anor – the sun
Bereth balch – cruel queen/spouse
celebrían-nín – my silver queen
Galu, naneth-nín - Blessings, mother mine
melethron - lover
Naneth/nana – mother