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44
On the Naming of Twins

For Jay of Lasgalen, who loves stories of the twin sons of Elrond and Celebrían. Happy birthday.


~~~

On the Naming of Twins


She’d wished to give birth under the stars, “Even as our ancestors woke there, so long ago, on the shores of Cuiviénen under the first lights to these lands,” she’d explained.

Elrond had agreed, so a bed was set on one of the many wide porches of the place, one from which he was accustomed to watch the stars. And there it was, on a midsummer night of no moon, that the Lady Celebrían gave birth for the first time.

Now she rested, enjoying the fruits of her labors. “Twins,” she breathed, looking from the bundle in her arms to that her husband held. “And identical!” She looked up to catch her lord’s eyes. “Our own Ambarussa?” she suggested.

Elrond shuddered at the thought of that name given their sons. “Nay,” he said, shaking his head. “Never that--not again! Nay, for even now they are subtly different one from the other.” For even as the first one to be born beneath the light of stars stared upward in fascination at the glory of the Wilwarin overhead, the one held by Celebrían was even now seeking the comfort of his mother’s breast.

Beyond the bulk of the place they heard the noise of horses entering the vale of Imladris. “Glorfindel has returned from Annúminas with the King of Arnor,” he commented. “They will be grieved to know they have arrived after the event, I fear.”

She gave a tired laugh. “Ah, but they do not have to fret through the long hours of the labor, do they? It will be enough for them to see the babes already come, or so I would think.”

He smiled at her. “Even so,” he agreed.

They could hear from afar the voices of those set by Erestor to greet the newcomers. “They will soon be brought here,” she said, to which he nodded thoughtfully.

They heard the deeper, rougher timbre of the voice of the King of Men as he responded to the report of Erestor, and the child in Elrond’s arms turned its head that way, intrigued by the sound of this new voice. “An Elf with the awareness of Men,” Celebrían noted, watching her firstborn’s reaction.

Just then one of the horses neighed loudly, at which the infant in her arms startled, turning his head also. Elrond considered his second son with interest. “And that one is already drawn by horses,” he answered.

They exchanged looks. “I do believe,” she said, “that they are now named.”

“Indeed,” he agreed. “Then they shall be known ever as Elladan and Elrohir.”

Her answering smile challenged the very stars for brightness.

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