Day with Daeradar
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Everything belongs to Tolkien.
Summary: Oneshot. Though there was no greater joy than the birth of his daughter, Celeborn's heart was renewed when his grandsons were born. Watching them for a day was another matter entirely as Haldir also gets a taste of parenting.
Characters: Celeborn, Elladan/Elrohir, and Haldir, features Glorfindel, Erestor, Elrond, Celebrían, Rúmil, and Galadriel
Author's Note: And it's Celeborn's turn! Much love to the Elf lord of Lothlórien. Just a fun, fluffy story to bring a smile to your faces. This one was mainly written not just because Celeborn is one of my favorite characters, but because there aren't too many family fics with him out there. It's main focus, by the title, is bonding with his troublemaking grandsons, but there's also a bit of focus on his relationship with Celebrían. My experiences with babysitting two boys, as well as my little cousin, have really been helpful for this story, lol! No slash in any respects. Read, review, but just no flames please. Enjoy!
hír-nín- my lord
elleth- Elf maiden
meleth-nín- my love
iel-nín- my daughter
talan- Elvish tree house, flet
penneth- young one
híril-nín- my lady
ion-nín- my son
Celeborn dismounted his horse, the couple archers who had accompanied him on the journey to Rivendell doing the same behind him as dark-haired guards approached them to take their horses. The Elf lord smiled as he cast his light eyes to the house of Elrond before him, glad he had traveled to Imladris for a pleasurable occasion. Such matters were far and few between in this time of darkness. He then turned to the gray-cloaked archers waiting patiently behind him, his smile lingering.
"We are prepared when you are, hír-nín," Haldir, the young guard in his patrol, said with a slight but respectful nod. When he met Celeborn's gaze, a matching smile graced his fair features.
The Elf lord returned the nod. He had been anticipating this visit since Galadriel had made the same journey, and he wished not to delay. Celeborn led the way up the steps, Haldir and the remaining two archers following close behind, and the wooden door was opened once they reached the porch.
Golden-haired Glorfindel stepped through, a smile on his handsome face, with Erestor, the lord of Imladris' chief advisor, a step behind him. They both bowed respectfully to their guests. "Suilaid, Lord Celeborn," the twice-born warrior greeted once they straightened again. "You are expected by the Lord and Lady."
"Right this way," the thinner, dark-haired Elf added.
Celeborn nodded to them before he stepped into the house with Glorfindel beside him, Erestor, Haldir, and the archers following behind. The golden-haired warrior turned to his companion as he led them down the hall, an excited gleam in his light eyes.
"It was an honor to have Lady Galadriel with us," he said, his smile lingering. "She truly loved them, as I am certain you will."
"She has told me all about them," Celeborn replied with a smile of his own. "I could hardly wait to see them for myself. She was captivated."
Glorfindel chuckled quietly. "They are precious," he muttered. "They have won the heart of every elleth who has set eyes on them." He paused as Celeborn's smile broadened. "They are a blessing in this house."
Celeborn nodded, unsure of what else he could say since he had yet to see them. They reached the staircase, though only the two Elf lords proceeded to climb them. Erestor, Haldir, and the archers remained behind, wishing to give the lord of Lothlórien a private moment with the two newest additions to his family.
Once they reached the top of the staircase, they found Lord Elrond waiting for them. He nodded in respect to the older Elf, and Celeborn returned it before he stepped forward and clasped the arms of the son he had gained through marriage. Elrond smiled as he returned the greeting before he led the way down the hall, Glorfindel opting to stay behind as well.
"I still have not become completely accustomed to being a father," the dark-haired Elf lord said quietly as they slowed their pace a bit. "It is unfamiliar for me to have two beings who rely on me completely for every need. However, I love them even more than my own life."
Celeborn smiled at the similar feelings he had experienced when his own daughter had been born. "You will learn," he told him, setting his hand on his shoulder. "There is no greater joy than taking your child into your arms for the first time, for it is a great love shared at that very moment." He turned his light gaze to Elrond. "Or children."
Elrond met his gaze, his smile returning. "Aye," he agreed quietly with a nod. "I have never felt such a love."
As they neared a door at the end of the hall, Celeborn slowed his pace even more, this feeling of anticipation all too familiar. He had felt it once, long ago, on the beautiful night that had changed his life completely.
Celeborn restlessly paced outside the room. He had never been so anxious. This moment was one he had been anticipating for what he felt had been a long time, though now that it had arrived, his nerves were higher than they had ever been. He was concerned about how Galadriel was faring, if there were any complications, if he would be an able father to their child, if...
His racing thoughts trailed off when the door opened, and he abruptly stopped. The midwife who had assisted them stepped out into the hallway, and Celeborn set his hand on her arm.
"How fares my wife?" he immediately asked. "And... and my child?" The words were unfamiliar to him, and he found he still hesitated on them.
The midwife smiled as she brushed some of her dark hair back from her face. "It would be better to see for yourself," she answered quietly.
Her words did nothing to calm him, and Celeborn quickly stepped around her and pushed through the door of the dark room. "Galadriel-!" But the rest of his statement went unsaid as he gazed curiously at the sight before him.
Galadriel looked up at him from where she was sitting on the bed, the faint moonlight reflecting off her slightly paler face. Though she appeared exhausted, she was still as beautiful as always to him as she brushed some golden hair behind her ear. A small smile appeared on her face as she turned her proud gaze to the small bundle she held in her arms.
"It is all right, Celeborn. She is healthy. Come see your daughter."
Daughter. His wife had given birth to a healthy infant girl. That was truly a blessing.
Celeborn closed the door quietly behind him before he slowly crossed the room, almost cautiously sitting on the bed beside his wife. Galadriel looked at him expectantly before she rose her hand and carefully moved the blanket away from the small Elfling she held close to her. His eyes widened with wonder when he found himself gazing upon the most remarkable sight he had ever seen.
The sleeping child in her arms was the most beautiful he had ever set his eyes on. Her smooth features reminded him greatly of his wife beside him, and he marveled at how small she truly was. Celeborn slowly raised his hand and carefully brushed her tiny fingers that gripped the blanket before running his thumb lightly over her cheek and the thin traces of her fair hair. Galadriel's eyes gleamed as she watched the cautious yet affectionate display from her husband.
"She is yours, meleth-nín," she murmured.
His. Celeborn felt a small, proud smile appear on his own face, unable to move his eyes from the infant's peaceful expression. Their daughter. She was his.
Galadriel then slowly moved the small Elfling toward him, and Celeborn met his wife's gaze with confusion. When she gave him a reassuring nod, he slowly held his arms out, hesitantly taking the delicate bundle when she handed their daughter to him. He cradled her close to his chest, fascinated by how light she was.
"She... she's beautiful," he said, though he knew the one word was not enough. However, there were no words he could use to describe how he felt about the child resting peacefully in his arms or the joy it gave him. Galadriel merely gave him a knowing smile.
Then, Celeborn gazed at the infant in amazement when she slowly opened her eyes, moving her light gaze to his face. He slowly reached his finger out and touched her hand, captivated by the striking blue orbs that were so similar to his wife's. His smile returned when her tiny hand wrapped around his larger finger, holding it securely, and a thin line of tears formed in his eyes when she made a quiet sound of content. He already loved his daughter more than he could say.
Celeborn was brought out of his memories when he reached the door Elrond had stopped before. The lord of Imladris knocked quietly before pushing it open and looking inside, and the older Elf found himself beginning to feel slightly nervous. Elrond then turned to face him, a smile on his face as he gestured for him to enter. The lord of Lothlórien took a deep breath as he stepped into the dark room, Elrond staying behind in the hallway as he shut the door behind him to give them some privacy.
The sight before him was familiar, though very different. Celebrían turned to the door, brushing some of her light hair behind her ear as she moved her gaze away from the cradle she was standing beside, and a broad smile appeared on her face.
Celeborn returned the smile as she crossed the room to him, wrapping his arms around her securely and holding her close when she approached. "It brings me great joy to see you, iel-nín," he said, kissing her forehead when she pulled away a little though still remained in his arms. "Your beauty grows with each passing sun."
Celebrían laughed quietly before she kissed her father's cheek. "It is wonderful to see you, Ada," she replied, her light eyes gleaming. "I miss you and Naneth."
"As we miss you," Celeborn told her, his smile lingering.
Before either of them could say anything more, there was a quiet sound from the cradle near the window. Celebrían slowly pulled out of Celeborn's embrace as she glanced over her shoulder when a sound similar to the first was heard. Then, her smile returning, she took her father's hands in hers as she looked at him with excitement.
"Come see them, Ada," she muttered.
Celeborn nodded, allowing his daughter to bring him across the room. Celebrían released his hands when they approached the cradle, and the Elf lord's eyes widened slightly. Though there was plenty of room to fit them both, the dark-haired twins were lying close beside each other toward the center of the crib, one of each of their small hands touching the other. They were sleeping, tough they both appeared to be growing wakeful.
"They are never separated when they are in here," Celebrían breathed, a smile lighting up her face as she watched her sons. "And even when they are not, one must remain within sight of the other." She then turned to Celeborn, who was watching the young Elflings with wonder. "They are beautiful, are they not, Ada?"
A moment passed before a smile appeared on the Elf lord's face. Galadriel had told him how captivating the twins were, but it was nothing compared to seeing them for himself. "Aye, Celebrían," he agreed, wrapping an arm around his daughter. "They are beautiful."
Celebrían's smile broadened as she leaned into her father, both watching as one by one, the twins opened their eyes as they gazed up at the two faces looking down on them. "Would you like to hold them, Ada?" she asked.
Celeborn turned to her, and a small smile appeared on his face. "I would," he answered. He sat in a chair beside the cradle, his smile lingering as he watched Celebrían reach down and take one of her dark-haired sons into her arms and kissed his forehead before doing the same to the second. It was a foreign feeling to him, watching his own child hold her children. But it was also a feeling that warmed his heart.
Once the Elflings were a bit more wakeful and cheerful, Celebrían approached her father. "This is your daeradar," she told them, and their gray eyes, which they had inherited from Elrond, moved to Celeborn with interest. "Ada, this is Elladan." She held the twin in her right arm out to the Elf lord.
"Elladan." Celeborn gently took the small Elf and held him close to his chest in a supportive way. A smile graced his fair features as the older twin met his gaze, reaching a small hand out and getting his fingers tangled in his light hair.
Celeborn then looked up when he heard an impatient noise from the second twin, seeing he was reaching his tiny hands out to him. Celebrían chuckled, holding her younger son out to her father. "And this is Elrohir."
The lord of Lothlórien carefully took the second Elfling into his other arm, laughing a little when the twins appeared to communicate through indistinguishable murmurings. At the deep but quiet sound, Elrohir looked up at his grandfather curiously, and as his brother had done, he reached a small hand out and got his fingers tangled in Celeborn's light hair.
Though unlike his twin, Elrohir pulled.
Celeborn winced slightly as both dark-haired Elflings laughed, and Celebrían's eyes widened as she reached out to take her younger son. "I apologize, Ada," she said with concern.
However, Celeborn only chuckled as he shook his head to stop her. "It is all right, Celebrían," he replied. "Elflings will always be curious. You have even pulled my hair on many occasions." He smiled when his daughter appeared slightly embarrassed at this reminder.
The Elf lord's attention was then returned to Elrohir when he noticed his small hand moving toward his hair again. He lightly touched his hand to stop him, the younger twin's tiny fingers wrapping around his larger one instead. Celeborn glanced up at Celebrían, seeing a smile was on her face as she watched them.
Soon, Elladan and Elrohir grew tired once more, and they fell asleep resting against their grandfather's chest. Celebrían knelt beside her father, leaning forward on his knee as she watched them sleep. "I love them so much," she whispered. "They seem to grow with each passing sun, always learning something new. It is astounding."
Celeborn smiled down on his daughter. "They will learn quickly," he told her. "Soon they will be able to speak to you." Celebrían's smile broadened. "And they will walk, then run. Watching them grow is a blessing."
Celebrían reached up and wrapped her hand around the Elf lord's, who tightened his fingers around hers. "It brings me great joy that you were able to see them, Ada," she said.
"I would dare not miss this," Celeborn replied, moving his light eyes back to the sleeping twins in his arms, his love for them clear in his gaze. He had known the day he would hold his grandchildren would come, though he had not known it would come so soon.
"You cannot catch us, daeradar!"
Celeborn sighed as he watched the two, dark-haired Elflings run through the trees, closing his eyes for a moment to regain his patience as their laughter echoed in his ears. He respected Elrond for putting his wife's needs before his own, granting Celebrían a slight reprieve from their high-spirited children when he brought them to Lothlórien with him to seek counsel with Galadriel, but he had not anticipated to be the one to watch over them. His own wife had assured him they would not be long, for she knew keeping an eye on the twins alone was challenging, but the Elf lord was fully aware the meetings she held could last longer than she intended. Usually, it did not bother him.
"Elladan! Elrohir!" Celeborn called as he followed them away from the talan he shared with Galadriel. His initial plan had been to keep them inside after he fed them lunch, but their game of Elves and Orcs was not meant for indoors. After one of his wife's favorite vases had nearly been broken while the twins chased each other, Celeborn had brought them outside where nothing of value would be threatened. However, this proved to be a mistake, for now they expected him to catch them, and the woods of Lothlórien was their playground.
The Elf lord was unsure why he had expected them to answer his call, their almost mocking laughter the only response he received, and Celeborn hurried his pace when he saw a flash of dark hair disappear behind some bushes on his left. He stopped in front of them, hearing their quiet snickers, before he bent over and pushed the branches aside. A small smile appeared on his face when he was met with identical pairs of wide, gray eyes.
"There you are, Elflings," Celeborn muttered, raising an eyebrow.
Elladan and Elrohir exchanged quick looks. "You found us!" the older twin exclaimed as he and his brother climbed out to stand before their grandfather.
"Aye," Celeborn agreed. "Now-!"
"Catch us again, daeradar!" Elrohir said with a smile.
Celeborn watched as the twins hurried off again, passing his hand over his face. Surely they must have to tire at some point. He reflected on when Celebrían had been a child, but raising his daughter had been nothing like watching the twins for even an hour.
After some more searching, the Elf lord found his grandsons perched in the taller branches of a tree further in Lothlórien's woods. He crossed his arms over his chest, attempting the sternest expression he could. "Elladan. Elrohir," he said, calmly but firmly. "Come down now."
"Why?" Elladan asked. "We want to continue playing, daeradar!"
But Celeborn did not relent his steady gaze. "This has gone on long enough," he answered, just as stern as he was before. "You both will come down from the tree now, or there will be consequences."
"'Tis just a game, daeradar!" Elrohir protested. Like his twin, he wanted to keep playing what they had begun. But he also did not want to make their grandfather angry, and he was beginning to feel a bit nervous when he caught the hints of frustration in the Elf lord's tone.
Celeborn unfolded his arms, and his gaze became impassive. He could tell the younger twin was beginning to have second thoughts about continuing their game, and Elladan would be sure to follow. But before he could say anything more, he was startled when the older twin suddenly began to climb to some of the higher branches while Elrohir lingered behind.
"Elladan! Elrohir!" Celeborn sighed, his frustration beginning to slip through, before he reached out and grabbed onto the lowest branch, about to pull himself up.
"What is happening here, hír-nín? The forest was quiet until now."
Celeborn paused, looking over his shoulder to find Haldir, one of the most trusted guards in his patrol, was standing behind him, an amused look passing over his fair face as he watched his lord about to climb the tree. "Elladan and Elrohir have come to Lórien with their father," he explained quietly, turning to face the younger Elf. "I am watching my grandsons while he meets with Lady Galadriel."
"Ah." Haldir raised his light gaze to the branches above him, spotting the twins as they continued to climb higher. "Having difficulty?" He had first met Elladan and Elrohir when they were infants, as captivated by them as any who had set eyes on them. But now that they were older, their reputation for causing trouble was infamous.
"Nay," Celeborn said, to which Haldir turned back to him with a raised eyebrow.
"That could be disputed," the young guard muttered to himself, causing an irritated look to cross Celeborn's face. Haldir chuckled quietly. "I remember when Rúmil was this age and uncooperative. Orophin and I learned how to handle him."
Celeborn watched as Haldir stopped at the base of the tree, casting his gaze up to the twins sitting in the higher branches. "Elladan! Elrohir!" he called, a smile on his face as he kept his tone friendly. "What say you to having pastries?"
"They had lunch a short time ago," Celeborn muttered as he approached the younger Elf. "Surely that will-!"
But the Elf lord's statement was cut off when Haldir glanced at him. "Wait," he whispered.
Soon, both Elladan and Elrohir climbed down to the forest floor and hurried over to Haldir. "Pastries?" the older twin asked as he grabbed onto the guard's hand to bring their friend down to their level. "What kind?"
Haldir smiled. "Whatever kind you desire," he answered.
"Raspberry?" Elrohir added.
"I believe my brother and I have a supply of both in our talan," Haldir told them.
Elladan smiled with excitement as he climbed up to sit on Haldir's shoulders, the guard keeping a secure hold on his foot so he would not fall as he rose to his feet and began to walk toward his flet upon the older twin's urging. Elrohir rushed over to Celeborn and took his hand, a smile on his face as well.
"Come, daeradar!" he said. "Have pastries with us!"
"Of course, penneth," Celeborn replied as his younger grandson began to lead him after Haldir. He shook his head slightly, marveling at how much these two small beings could consume.
"You are sure Rúmil will not mind?"
Haldir smirked as he set a bowl of raspberries and strawberries on the table in the kitchen of the talan he shared with his younger brother. "Even if he did, I am not expecting him home for some time yet," he said, turning to face his lord. "Besides, he is in charge of the cleaning."
Celeborn smiled slightly, glancing at the excited twins sitting on the other side of the table as they waited expectantly for their treats. "You may want to consider yourself fortunate for that," he muttered.
"I do, hír-nín," Haldir replied as he set a plate of pastry crusts that he and Rúmil had already made beside the fruit. He then grabbed a bowl of finely powdered sugar and set that beside the crusts before turning to the Elflings with a smile. "All right, who wanted which pastry?"
"Raspberry, please!" Elrohir said, leaning forward in his chair. Haldir sat across from the younger twin to make the pastry he wanted while Celeborn sat across from Elladan, starting to put together his strawberry treat.
By some miracle, the two older Elves were able to fill the crusts with each twin's desired fruit, wisely moving these two bowls out of reach once they were finished, without incident, even when Elladan and Elrohir attempted to help them. Haldir then began to reach for the bowl of sugar to add on top of the filled pastries, but the Elflings managed to grab it first.
"I want to put my sugar on!"
Elladan and Elrohir struggled as they each tried to take the bowl away from the other. Haldir and Celeborn reached forward to take it from them, but they were too late. Because of the force the twins were using, the powdered sugar flew from the bowl, all over the guard's face. The Elflings paused, a laugh beginning to escape from them, but it stopped abruptly.
Not only did the sugar cover Haldir's face, but it also tainted the stern features of their grandfather.
The twins quickly set the empty bowl down on the table before they shrunk down in their chairs, afraid to face Celeborn's wrath. Haldir slowly turned to face the older Elf, his light eyes widening when he saw his lord's face covered with the fine powder. Celeborn turned to meet Haldir's horrified gaze, and a moment passed where all was silent in the talan. Then, to their surprise, the lord of Lothlórien began to chuckle.
"Haldir, you look absurd."
Hearing the deep sound and realizing their grandfather truly was not angry with them, Elladan and Elrohir straightened again as they began to laugh themselves. Haldir, who at first appeared taken aback by the Elf lord's rare display of humor, brushed some of the powdered sugar out of his fair hair with his fingers and flicked it in the younger twin's direction while Celeborn rose to his feet to find a damp cloth to rinse his face.
Then, the door to the talan opened as Rúmil stepped inside. He stopped with surprise when he saw the occupied kitchen, smiling at the two small Elflings grinning back at him. "Elladan. Elrohir. A pleasant surprise to see you both," he said. But then, his smile was replaced with a smirk when his gaze moved to his older brother, his face covered in sugar. "This is a familiar sight."
"Do you want to know something, Rúmil?" Haldir retorted, attempting to get the powder out of his eyes as he rose to his feet. Many times had he been on the receiving end of similar circumstances because of the younger Elf. "I loathed every time I was ever forced to watch you."
Rúmil smiled as he crossed the kitchen to the disgruntled captain. "You did not," he replied in jest. "You love me, muindor." He then wrapped an arm around his older brother in an embrace, which Haldir shoved away. But the slight smirk that appeared on his face showed he also was teasing.
"I suppose I must clean this later," Rúmil muttered, his laughter trailing off when he saw the sugar that was also on the table and floor.
Haldir's smirk broadened. "It is your duty around here," he told him, brushing more of the powder out of his hair and flicking it in his brother's face. Rúmil attempted a glare as he quickly wiped it away.
"We apologize, Rúmil," Elladan suddenly said from where he and Elrohir were still sitting at the table. "We did not mean to create this mess."
"Mayhap you should clean it for him."
Rúmil quickly turned around at the sudden voice, surprised to see Celeborn leaning on the counter behind him with a small smile on his face. Haldir noticed that there was no trace of the fine powder left on him, and he shared a meaningful look with the twins as they silently agreed that the fact sugar had once covered the Elf lord as well would remain their secret.
"I did not expect to see you, hír-nín," Rúmil muttered. "Though I do not mind cleaning this small mess. It is no problem."
Celeborn's smile broadened slightly. "Aye, but my grandsons must learn," he told the young guard, holding up a couple damp rags as he gave the dark-haired Elflings a pointed glance.
Elladan and Elrohir sighed.
Cleaning the kitchen of Haldir and Rúmil's talan wore out the twins, since not only did they wipe up the powdered sugar they had inadvertently spilled on the table and floor, but they also rinsed all the dishes used in making the pastries that evening. Once the room was as clean as it was when they arrived, Haldir accompanied Celeborn and the Elflings to the flet he shared with Galadriel. Elladan and Elrohir played for a short while inside while Celeborn and Haldir watched from the chairs they occupied, but they were soon exhausted and each fell asleep on one of the older Elves' laps.
"When they are asleep, they are almost as innocent as they were when they were infants," Haldir commented quietly with a slight smile, ensuring his arm was securely around Elladan.
Celeborn chuckled as he carefully shifted Elrohir so he was resting more comfortably against him without rousing him. "It would be easier if they would not cause so much trouble," he agreed. "Though it is all part of growing up." Haldir nodded in agreement but otherwise said nothing.
A long moment of silence passed between the captain and the Elf lord, the only sound being the twins' quiet, even breathing. Then, Celeborn glanced at the younger Elf. "Haldir, have you considered having children of your own?" he wondered. "I could not help but observe how comfortable you were around my grandsons today."
Startled, Haldir quickly met Celeborn's gaze. "The thought has crossed my mind on occasion," he admitted softly, his light eyes moving back down to the sleeping Elfling on his lap. "I always wonder how it would feel to be a father." Then, a slight smirk graced his fair features. "Though after today, I believe I have had enough experience of having children to last me for quite some time."
Celeborn smiled, glancing down at Elrohir as well. "Raising a child is one of life's greatest rewards," he muttered as he turned back to the guard. "I hope you will one day experience it for yourself."
Haldir glanced back at him, but before he could say anything in response, both he and Celeborn looked up when the door to the talan opened as Galadriel and Elrond entered. A smile appeared on the Lady's face as she walked toward her husband while the lord of Imladris approached the guard to take the sleeping Elladan.
"I apologize we took longer than I had intended," Galadriel said, leaving a soft kiss on Celeborn's forehead before she ran her thin fingers through his silver hair and looked fondly down on Elrohir. "They were not much trouble, were they?"
"Nay, híril-nín," Haldir replied as he carefully handed the older twin to his father.
"They were no trouble at all," Celeborn added with a small smile. He then handed Elrohir to Elrond as well before meeting his wife's gaze and taking her hand, noticing Galadriel was giving him a curious look.
The twins slowly began to stir at the movement, and surprise filled Elladan and Elrohir's exhausted gazes when they found themselves in Elrond's arms. "Ada?"
Elrond smiled at his sons, lightly kissing each of their heads. "We will be spending tonight here and will begin our return trip home on the morrow," he told them quietly.
Elladan nodded as Elrohir rubbed his eyes. Then, the older twin's face brightened up. "Ada?" he asked.
The Elf lord looked back at him curiously. "Aye, ion-nín?"
A broad smile appeared on Elladan's face as he looked from Haldir to Celeborn and Galadriel before his gaze landed on his father once more. "Can we spend another day with daeradar soon?"