Title: Memories of a Peredhil

Disclaimer: I do not own any of Tolkien's places or people, and am making no money off of this story. I believe that Estel (Aragorn) grew up in Rivendell as a son of Elrond.

Summary: Elrond reminisces of days passed with his beloved Celebrian.

Even though this work of fanfiction is not all that great, I would love feedback, but please, no flames. It is a reply to a fic challenge sent out some time ago, and includes a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. This has not been beta'ed, so please forgive the errors that you will surely find. Thanks a bunch! : )

// Denotes flashback //

Elrond Peridhil, bearer of Vilya, and the Lord of Rivendell rose most mornings with the sun. One morning, opening his eyes to find that the sun had risen many hours before, he turned out of habit to wish Celebrian, his wife a good morning.
Like every other morning, she wasn't there.
His head fell back against the pillow, the ache in his heart surfacing yet again. Though it had been nearly half a millennia since her departure to the undying lands, he still thought of her daily. For a time he lay there, lost in the memories of days long passed.

// The sun was beginning to rise, and the land was still covered in the silent mist of fading twilight. The steady, even breathing of his wife filled his ears. Glancing over at her, Elrond's heart filled with love.
With her golden hair splayed over the pillow and on her face, and her warm blue eyes, she looked like an angel, and for Elrond, she was the only person on Arda.
Half sitting up on one elbow, he gently brushed a few strands of golden hair from off of her cheek. For an unmeasured length of time, he just sat there, lightly caressing her forehead. She sighed deeply in contentment, and smiled in her sleep, causing Elrond to smile as well.
He softly kissed her forehead, and slid quietly out of bed. After getting dressed, he silently opened the door, being careful not to wake Celebrian. He quietly closed the door behind himself, and headed down the hall.
Opening the door of his study, he glanced despairingly at the pile of paperwork. He sat determinedly down at the desk, and began to fill them out one by one. He was nearly halfway done them, when there came a soft knock at the door, which then slowly opened.
Celebrian entered, smiling brightly at Elrond. "The paperwork can wait." he thought.
Then stood and walked over to her, taking her hand and leading her to a small couch near the balcony.
"Good morning love," said Elrond with a smile, "how was your sleep?"
"Fine my dear, and yours?"
"Just wonderful." He replied sincerely.
By this time, they were both seated on the couch, facing each other. The conversation continued along this course for some time, before, seemingly out of nowhere, Celebrian asked, "Elrond, how much do you love me?"
Without even the slightest pause, the Lord of Rivendell looked up at the light of his life, all the joy and love in the world shining in his eyes.
"How do I love thee, let me count the ways:
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach,
When feeling out of sight," he said with conviction, again taking her hand, and standing up with her. "For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use in my old griefs,
And with my childhood's faith." and with that he lifted her lightly by the waist, spinning her around in a circle through the air, and setting her softly back onto her feet. Then growing somber again continued.
"I love thee with a love I seemed to loose with my lost saints-
I love thee with the breath, smiles, and tears of all my life- "while saying this, he went down on one knee before her.
"And if Eru should choose, I shall but love thee better after death." Then he took her hand and kissed it.
She laughed, and he stood up. "Elrond, I was serious." she said with a small grin.
"As was I, my dear. I meant every word of it." said Elrond.
She laughed again, then turned solemn, "I too love thee, more then the light of the stars, or the sound of the wind in the trees, more then life or sight, your arms are my shelter, and your love is my strength. And with every day that goes past, my love for you increases, and will continue to do so for all eternity."
They embraced, then laughed again and began to dance to a music that they alone could hear.

(Some years later, when Celebrian departs to the Havens)
The stars were out, and the night was calm and quiet, unlike Elrond's heart, which raged with all the turmoil of the sea on a stormy day.
Celebrian lay upon the bed that they would bear her out to the ship on. Her hair limp and lifeless, her skin pale and eyes hollow and empty of the life that they once possessed. But to Elrond, she was still as beautiful as ever. He knelt beside her holding her hand, silver tears streaming down both his face and hers.
"I am sorry my love. I should have been stronger." she said weakly.
"No, no" said Elrond soothingly, "Do not be sorry, it is I who have failed."
"Dearest, no. It is not so. Let us not speak of such things."
There was a brief moment of silence. Then he looked at her and repeated slowly the words he had said to her on one beautiful spring day, what seemed ages ago.
"Celebrian, I love thee with the passion put to use in my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to loose with my lost saints - I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears of all my life - and if Eru should choose..." He couldn't finish, for sobs began to shake his body, and he kissed her hand, just the way he had done so many years ago.
"I love thee more then the light of the stars," she replied, some small measure of strength returning to her as she raised one hand to indicate the sky, where millions of lights happily shone. "Or the sound of the wind in the trees." As if on cue a warm, sweet smelling breeze began to blow, causing tears again to fall.
"Never will I stop thinking of you, heart of my heart, you will be with me always." said Elrond, hands shaking."
"Nor I you love, nor I you." She had meant to say more, but just then someone came up behind Elrond and said tentatively,
"We depart soon, my lord, I am sorry."
"Thank you." replied Elrond through his tears.
After the man had left, Celebrian said, "I shall await your arrival, every minute being a day, and every day a year..." she stopped abruptly, overtaken by a bout of coughing. "I shall await my departure, Celebrian... I..." words failed him, for he had so many things he needed and wanted to say that he couldn't say anything at all.

Celebrian glanced over to where her children stood. Having already said their farewells, they had given their parents a few last moments together. "Tell the children the I love them all. And keep Elladan and Elrohir happy and out of mischief and make sure that Arwen's life is full of joy, and never has reason not to smile. Elrond, I love you so much..." She said and he clasped her hand tighter.
"I know dear, and I will, worry not about us we shall be alright in time. a long time. Though we will miss you deeply. Celebrian, my love. "
They said a few more tearful words of farewell, before the Elves came and bore Celebrian on board. Elrond stood there, unable to move, watching, while the ship slowly faded out of sight. He silently joined his children, and together they started back to Rivendell. //

Elrond was pulled abruptly out of his daydream by a small Estel leaping through the air and landing directly on his stomach. The little raven-haired boy looked up at him with a smile.
"Come on Ada!! Time to get up! We're gonna eat breakfast now! Hurry!" Estel begged.
Elrond looked at the small boy with a smile. "I shall be right there." he said. Estel ran to the door, and before leaving, turned around and said, "I love you Ada."
"I love you too Estel," replied Elrond, "Now, go on, I promise not to be long."
Estel kept him busy and filled nearly every waking moment. Keeping him out of mischief was a full time job. That young boy was almost as much trouble as Elladan and Elrohir were when they were his size. Almost. Before he had arrived, Elrond wasn't sure what his real purpose in life had actually been. Now, while getting dressed, he thought of all the laughs he had with Estel, and how much the boy needed him. No. How much he needed the boy.
As he headed to the dining room, he thought of how Estel filled up his life, and held a special place in his heart. "Celebrian would have loved him too." he thought. And there was no doubt in his mind, that, if she could somehow see all this from Valinor, that Celebrian would be smiling.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote the beautiful poem that was used, as Lord Elrond's love speech, and all credit for it goes to her.