Disclaimer: Copyright of Tolkien.

An Essential Note:
This story is told in two parts: partially in present-time (the first section of each chapter), and partially in past-time ('flashbacks' are in italics) -- both parts are individually chronological. The purpose is that the last flashback (chapter 6, second section) finishes right before the story started in present-time (chapter 1, first section). In this way, the story is a circle, ending just prior to where it began. It also echoes itself, but that I leave up to reader exegesis. =)

Fun Fact:
If so inclined, this story can be read in more than one way, and still make a coherent tale (intentional? very). You may read it as posted, beginning to finish. Or you may read only the present-time sections, then only the past-time sections, or vice versa.


Here upon a pier, the adjacent gulf was a shadow of the ocean's fury; milder the water's punishment of ship and harbor, quieter the sea's whispered and seductive song. Tedious and unending, so thought the watcher this night, pondering with little interest the constant contest of element against earth, wherein conquest would never be known.

"Hello, stranger." Now this newcomer's steps fell lightly as he approached, but his voice was heavy with restrained emotion. "Have you great affinity for the sea that you look after it with a lover's intensity?"

"I do not hate the sea," came the stranger's answer as his head lowered. "Though I loved dearly all it has taken from me. And more that will be ere the end, I foretell."

The one behind paused, gauging this reply and the cloaked figure whose voice was as unmistakable as his own. But his heart told him not to tarry; hearkening to that demand his feet closed the final distance. Neither now could his excitement be contained, and he blurted, "Turn about so I may see you!"

The stranger obeyed, who was no more strange in flesh than the one he faced. "As you wish, but 'tis naught different than some years ago, or even this day if you own a mirror." Thus turned, he amended with, "My brother."

"Aie!" Elros embraced his twin. "Of course I own a mirror, though 'tis no less wondrous to look upon you now, my dear brother arrived at last. Be welcome!" He swept his hand behind, where a city beyond the harbor slept under moonlight. "Welcome to the Grey Havens of Mithlond!" Laughing through tears of joy he initiated another embrace, glad that his strength was returned.

Any watching from afar might have guessed them locked in a wrestling match initially, only to see that neither strove but for firmer nearness. Indeed some did watch amid shadows, curious about this person arrived unlooked for, and Elros' enthusiastic greeting. He had gone to see about an armed stranger, and unbeknownst to them, found much else.

"Do you weep, brother?" Elrond fingered wetness upon his twin's cheek, feeling his own neck dampened.

"Not all tears are an evil!" They stepped apart by a reluctant foot or two. "It was relayed to me that a fell warrior had been espied," Elros arched to look at the other's garb, and whistled. His brother resembled a terrible Elf-lord indeed, adorned in armor fit for a king, only partially concealed under a cloak of deep blue. "And well, I agree! Save for the Guardsmen, wargear is seldom donned outside of ceremony. Would you believe that many feared to approach you? None must have seen your face!" Shaking his head he laughed again, and cuffed his twin's shoulder in good humor. "Elrond, Elrond, wherever have you been, my little brother?"


Under a sky of smoke, dawn rose dark as night, the air still thick with dust from fallen Thangorodrim. Heart racing faster than feet he ran from one end of the encampment to the other – but despite haste and foresight he came too late.

Before Eonwe's own tent was a crescent of dried blood and Elves knelt to mourn slain kin. Candles only remained to symbolize the dead, whose bodies had since been cremated: stuff of earth reduced by flame to vapors, and water washes the ash away. But not the pain.

Betrayal and failure blended impossibly, forming a hotness that seized his heart. Elrond merely clenched his fists, so tight that blood ran freely from under his nails, streaking the stains of a healer's work over warrior calluses. "Are they gone?" he demanded to know.

An answer came from behind, "Alas! yes, the Silmarils were taken."

Elrond turned on this speaker with the anger of a lifetime. Even in the jewels' absence did their light so easily blind? "I spoke of the Feanorions. But your reply answers both questions." The Elf flinched, first in bafflement, then again as the taller Half-elf moved to loom over him. "You saw them leave – which way?"

As poor substitution for bravery, the Elf grew affronted. "Read not from my eyes unless I permit you. But I did see them flee, fey and sobbing, each in separate directions." Towards the northern ruins of Anfauglith he pointed, then south where now stretched vast marshes.

Elrond strode past and did not look back. A little courage was to be had at the sight of his back, and the Elf called, "They killed my brother, you know! They deserve no better."

"They saved my brother." Elrond walked on. "They deserve no less."