A/N: Here is the final chapter of this story. I'm really sorry it took me so long to put it up, but I'd forgotten it wasn't here and when someone reminded me of it, I discovered I didn't have it anymore. My best friend still had her copy of the story, so here it is!
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Else, Erestor and Glorfindel would have had a very large role in the movies!
The leaves outside were beginning to change color. Every once in a while, one could be seen falling to the ground already, though most trees were still proudly wearing their red, yellow or brown crown.
Although the sun was shining a little less brightly now that fall was rapidly approaching, it was still nicely warm outside.
But the small congregation standing beneath two very large and very old oak trees with another ancient ash tree almost completely hidden behind them, as not paying any attention to the weather. They only had eyes for the beautiful pair in front of them.
There was no division in rows, as the number of Elves present was slightly too small. Instead, they were all gathered side by side.
Elladan and Elrohir were standing next to each other, holding hands. A couple of weeks after the fight they had had in the corridor a little over a year ago, Erestor had figured out they were in love, and that that had been the reason they had been arguing. By reminding the both of them that everything you wanted was something that was worth fighting for, he had helped them realize there was no reason to keep hiding.
Lindir was holding Melpomaen's hand. Exactly two months ago, they had confessed their love to one another. Glorfindel had suggested they came to the binding ceremony together instead of separately, pretending they were not a couple. Erestor had thanked him for his intellect, as Melpomaen was rather shy and would have never dared to ask his newfound lover to accompany him.
At the far right side, however, were two amazingly beautiful Elves none of the others had ever seen before. They had arrived that morning, and Glorfindel and Erestor had said they had been invited and should be treated with the utmost respect. As Elrond had seen the obviously surprised and happy expression on their faces, he had allowed for the two to stay.
There was only one Elf who was alone. That Elf was Legolas, son of King Thranduil of Mirkwood. They had met this younger Elf a long time ago, and had often met him during his visits here. And Elrond had taken quite a liking to him. They were hoping this would be a good way of making the two admit their feelings.
At that moment, Elrond was smiling brightly at his two best friends, who were standing right in front of him, holding each other's hand lovingly.
Erestor was dressed in blue robe, still rather dark but already quite a stretch from the heavy black robes he had been known to wear every day until about two months ago. When Elrond had spoken to him about it, Erestor had told him the robes were an indication he was ready to move forward, away from being bound to the memories and continue making a new life with the one he loved. At any rate, the color complemented his dark hair, which seemed to shine even more brightly than normal. And in those tresses were some delicately placed beats, which was an enchanting sight to behold.
Glorfindel was wearing a green robe, darker than the ones he had been accustomed to wearing before he and Erestor had started to date. It was his way of fitting in with his hervenn, he had said to Elrond when they had looked at the roe the day before. His hair had been braided, but not in the usual warrior braids he had been wearing for the biggest part of his life. He and the Lord of the Imladris Valley had drawn the patters out, delicate yet with a hidden strength and absolutely gracious and beautiful.
With one last look to the sky, Elrond judged it was time.
"My dear family and friends," he began. "We are gathered here today to join two people who have expressed their mutual desire to spend their lives together."
He looked at the others, the twinkle in his eyes betraying how happy he was to see so much love and devotion surround him, brought to his home by his friends and family.
"These two are Erestor and Glorfindel. Both of them are honorable Elves, who have walked in the light during all the long years they have lived so far. And together, I am certain they will continue to walk the same road," he said.
Glorfindel squeezed his lover's hand to let him know he shared his friend's feeling. His smile was bright enough to blind anyone looking at him.
Erestor squeezed back, just to let his husband know he was so glad this was really happening. He had waited for a whole year before Glorfindel had finally asked him to have a real, official binding ceremony in front of the people they loves, Elrond and his sons who were like a family to them, and their friends Melpomaen and Lindir. And of course their two special guests. And after they had gotten engaged, it had taken them another year to completely arrange their wedding.
"Before we can begin the official binding part of the ceremony, there is one important question I need to ask. I do not at all believe it is necessary, but they insisted I put it in. They said they wanted things to be done properly," he said.
The twins laughed softly as they heard their father speak those words. Melpomaen gently nudges Lindir to do the same, as they were not supposed to interrupt the ceremony in any way.
"That question is of course: does anyone object to these two Elves being united, sharing their soul with one another? If your answer is yes, speak now or forever hold your peace," Elrond said.
As was required at this time in the ceremony, Glorfindel and Erestor turned towards the Elves they had invited to the marriage. They kept holding hands the entire time.
However, no-one spoke up. They had not expected anyone to, yet they had wanted to have the question in the ceremony because they had not had the possibility of doing things properly the first time, and they wanted to make up for that now. They wanted everything to be perfect.
Elrond glanced at everyone once, very quickly. Seeing only warm feelings in their eyes, he focused his attention on the couple again.
"Then, I will continue," he said.
He gestured for his sons, who came forward. Stepping behind their father, they picked up the small, silver bands with one stone each that had been laying on a dark red cushion wrapped in satin.
As Elladan stepped into place next to Glorfindel and Elrohir appeared at Erestor's side, Elrond said:
"You are now joined by your witnesses. In times of trouble, when the road before you grows dark and you cannot seem to find a reason to keep fighting, they are the ones that will help you recall why you were here today. Why you wanted to bond with each other. Though you will remind one another of that every day, they will be there to do it of either one of you is unable to," he said.
Elladan and Elrohir lifted their hands, placing them onto the shoulder of Erestor and Glorfindel. The warrior's hand came to rest on top of Elladan's, as the Chief Advisors came to rest on that of his twin.
"To seal your promise to one another, there is only one thing missing. You need to tell your beloved how much you love him. Do the two of you have your vows ready?" he asked.
Glorfindel nodded as Erestor spoke.
"Aye, we do," said the Chief Advisor.
"Then you may now complete the last step in getting married. Remember, once you have said the words, there is no turning back. You will be united until you are parted by death or the ending of Arda," he said.
Glorfindel and Erestor nodded. Elladan and Elrohir removed their hands now, allowing the two Elves to turn towards one another completely.
Glorfindel looked at Erestor questioningly. With a slit shake of his head, he indicated that Glorfindel was to start.
The warrior took one last, deep breath, and began to speak.
"I, Glorfindel, take you, Erestor, to be my husband, my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live."
They were touching words, spoken from the heart. And although no words would ever by able to help him explain how much he loved his husband, these words were the closest he could get.
Erestor smiled at him. The raven haired beauty was somewhat calmer than his husband, but he was glad when Glorfindel mouthed 'I love you' just before he began to speak.
"I, Erestor, take you, Glorfindel, to be my husband, my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live."
Erestor had long thought that words would never be sufficient to explain how he felt about Glorfindel. But he had chosen these words because they were the most suited ones.
And the both of them knew they did not needs words. A simple touch to a knee, or a back or a single look could convey more than a thousand words.
"I now declare you bonded. You may kiss each other to seal your union," Elrond said.
And when Glorfindel felt Erestor smile against his lips, the ceremony was over and they had been granted everything they had ever wanted.
"And now, for the first time, you may head to the dance floor to dance as a married couple," Elrond laughed.
When they walked towards their friends, Lindir began to sing. A couple of other minstrels had arrived just in time to begin playing a soft tune suited to dance to.
Glorfindel rested his hand on Erestor's head as they began to dance. His arms encircles his waist and Erestor sighed contently.
"Look. The others are joining in," Glorfindel suddenly whispered into his ear.
Erestor looked up. Lindir and Melpomaen were walking onto the dance floor, as were the twins. And even Elrond had taken a hold of Legolas' hand and was guiding him towards the open space.
Only their two special guest were not coming. They were very slowly, inch by inch, making their way to the ash tree and the seclusion it provided.
"I think they are about to leave," Erestor stated.
A single look told Glorfindel that he was right.
"Then we should talk to them before they go," he said.
Erestor nodded. Without even paying attention to the other dancers, he pulled Glorfindel with him.
The she-Elf and her husband stood right behind the oak tree, waiting patiently for them to arrive.
"We knew you would see us take our leave. We would like to stay longer, but unfortunately, duty calls," Varda apologized.
Glorfindel and Erestor bowed their head in respect.
"My Lord, my Lady, we are honored you have stood by us for so long. Being given your blessing was unexpected, incredible. The offer we made to you, Lord Manwë, still stands. If ever you wish for something in return, you need but ask and you shall have it," Glorfindel said.
Erestor nodded in agreement.
Varda smiled, grabbing the hand her husband extended towards her before speaking.
"We only need you to keep doing as well as you have. That way, we will all be happy," she said.
And they began to fade, their bodies seemingly dissolving and being carried away on the wind.
Glorfindel pulled Erestor towards him, kissing the top of his head as they continued to stare at the spot where the two Valar had previously stood.
Yes, we have been doing pretty well, Glorfindel thought, tightening his hold on Erestor for a second. And together, we will keep doing pretty well. From now until the world's ending.