For Julchen and Sivan for their birthdays. Thanks so much to RiverOtter for the beta.
Celeborn, formerly Lord of Lothlórien, watched as Eldarion, the son of the Lord King Elessar Envinyatar Telcontar, practiced his archery under the tutelage of Legolas Thranduilion in the court behind the King’s Retreat at Annúminas. Nearby the older daughter of this King of Men sparred with Elrohir, while behind them her sister had her fingering on her harp corrected by Elladan.
Did these realize how blessed they were, to know the love and last tutelage of the Eldar? Did they realize that when their father at last slept with his ancestors, they and their descendants, alone among the children of Men, would keep alive the memory of Elves within the Mortal Lands of Arda?
He heard laughter, like mithril bells ringing in the clear air of mountain snowfields, and his eyes were drawn to his granddaughter. In spite of the darkness of her hair and the grey of her eyes, yet in her he saw reflected his own beloved as well as the gentle implacability of his daughter, this one’s mother.
Could he linger here, linger to see her at last fade when the one she loved at last accepted the Gift of Men? But, without her beloved beside her, here within this world, she could not long remain. And without either her or her consort, there was nothing left within Ennor to hold those of his own household or people to the Mortal Lands.
Perhaps it would be wise to speak with Círdan. But for now, he would join with his grandsons and the King’s Friend in seeing to it that not all of the wisdom and skills of the Elves was lost when the last of them sailed. He rose and moved to Elladan’s side, seeing the gladness arise in the eyes of his granddaughter’s daughter as he sat beside her.
Nay, he would linger yet a time longer, for life in the Mortal Lands yet remained sweet….