Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me, more's the pity. It all belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien, the man who dreamt all this up – I'm only borrowing everything for a short story.

A/N: This is my first LOTR fanfic – actually my first every fanfic, although I enjoy writing original fiction. So please be nice when you read this ;)

The wind whispered softly in the branches of the willow, ruffling the dark hair of the figures sitting there. The tallest one ignored the wind, although the two small ones next to him shivered slightly.

"There. Do you see that star? The bright one?" the elf asked, pointing a long slender finger heavenwards.

The two children peered up at the starry sky, and at the twinkling light. "Yes, we see it," one of them said, somehow knowing without thinking that the other did as well.

"That star is your grandfather." Elrond Peredhil, Lord of Imladris, closed his eyes for a moment.

^^^It was a beautiful night, not a cloud in the sky. A young child stared almost hungrily at a star hanging low in the sky, so close it seemed he could reach and touch it. But Elrond knew that that was just imagination, that the star was far, far above him, too far to do more than watch it longingly. He knew with his mind that Father was never coming back, that no matter how hard he stared at the star it would remain just that, a silver- glowing point of light, and not turn into the man the child wished for. Eärendil was gone, and perhaps it was worse to be able to see his star in the night sky, re-opening the wound of loss every time his son saw it.^^^

Long time had passed since then, and the sight of elen atarwa– father's star, as he liked to call it – no longer pained Elrond, but comforted him somehow, a reminder of his past and origins.

The voice of one of the twins interrupted his musings. "How did he get up there, Ada? Did he grow wings like the birds?"

Elrond could imagine the wide-eyed look on his sons' faces and had to stifle a laugh at their wild imagination, forcing away the memories of one who *had* grown wings... "No, he is on a ship, sailing in the night sky. The reason he is glowing like that is because he has one of the Silmarils."

"What are the Silmarils?"

"They are three jewels that glow with the light of the two Trees, but their story is long and sad. One for another day, perhaps."

Silence fell as the three stared up at the sky, then the other twin broke the quiet. "Ada, can he see us? Does he know we are talking about him?"

Elrond nearly gasped. What had possessed them to ask that exact question, the same as the one he had asked so long ago?

^^^(A/N: This flashback picks up where the other left off.) Elrond heard soft footsteps, and someone sat down next to him. "You should be in bed with your brother, istyarinya piinëa," the other said, voice chiding gently.

"He's asleep," Elrond said softly, voice somehow showing the sorrow he'd witnessed, sorrow no child should have to see. "I wanted to see Father."

The adult next to him sighed softly. "You are right, Eärendil is bright tonight."

Elrond watched the star. He had some memories of his father – a smiling face peering down at him, picking up his brother Elros, mother standing next to a tall figure, both of them beaming – yet those were from when he was very young. Elros didn't remember him at all. But, somehow, after Mother had turned into a seagull and flown away, after Sirion had burned, while he was running through the forest carrying his brother, panting with exertion and fear… a fantasy had started to grow in his mind. A fantasy of his father coming back, picking him up and holding him, telling him everything would be all right… of Mother reappearing with him, smiling like she used to do before everything went wrong, starting with the letter from the sons of Fëanor. The appearance of that star had buried that fantasy. Father would never come for him. But he wasn't dead, he was just so far away… "Can he hear us? Does he know we are talking about him?"

Elrond felt himself being pulled into a warm embrace. "I do not know. But I am sure that on nights like these, if you look at that star and think of him very hard, he will know it and think of you as well." ^^^

Elladan and Elrohir were waiting for an answer, and the only one Elrond felt capable of giving was the one Gil-galad had given him. "I do not know. But I am sure that on nights like these, if you look at that star and think of him very hard, he will know it and think of you as well," he repeated, silently thanking Gil-galad for the answer, which had been exactly the right thing to say to a lonely half-elven child.

They sat outside a while longer, each immersed in thought. Then a voice floated through the silence. "Elrond, Elladan, Elrohir? Please come in, it's getting cold out."

Elrond smiled at the sound of the voice. "Coming, Celebrían!" he called back. "Let's go inside," he said to the twins as he took them by the hand and stood up.

A short time later the clearing was empty and still save for the voices of crickets and birds. Far above the place the father and his sons had been sitting, an owl soared on night winds… and far above that, a man leaned against the prow of a ship, weeping unheard.


A/N: I hope you liked it, please review … if I get some nice reviews I may write Elrond's flashback from Gil-galad's pov, an idea that's playing around in my mind at the moment – I'm fascinated by the relationship between Elrond and Gil-galad. I know that Elrond should have gone to Maglos as a child, but I don't think I'm up to the challenge of describing Fëanor's son. So, slightly A/U. Also, I beg forgiveness for any other inconsistencies (not that there should be any as the fic is kind of short) as I haven't actually *read* the Silmarillion but have taken all my information on Elrond's childhood from Sil-based fanfics here…

Translations from Sindarin/Quenya:

Ada: daddy

elen atarwa: as said, father's star (or should it be elen ataro? I'm not sure.) It's Quenya because a) I imagine they spoke Quenya as more than a formal language when Elrond was young b) if they didn't, young Elrond must have felt that he was giving his dad's star a "special" name by putting it in the old language and c) I don't speak Sindarin, but I've started learning Quenya.

istyarinya piinëa: According to various sources and my own knowledge of Quenya grammar, this should be "my little scholar" – Gil-galad's nickname for Elrond, at least in this fic. I beg pardon for any grammatical mistakes I made.

Hm… anything else that needs saying? Don't think so.