Daughter of the Golden Wood - Celebrian's story, last part

Celebrian glanced at Elrond beside her. She had still not fully conquered her homesickness. and she was glad that she and her new husband were at least near Rivendell, so she could get used to a new home. As if he read her thoughts, Elrond took her hand in his, the most affectionate gesture he could make on horseback. "When we get to the top of this hill, look to your right - not that you can miss it," he told her, an excited smile on his face. Celebrian tried to smile back, but it wasn't a very good smile.

It wasn't that she doubted her love for Elrond. That was still as fresh as morning dew. But he was coming home, while she had left hers behind. Celebrian kept hold of his hand for comfort as they topped the hill, their escort behind them. Elrond indicated the direction he wanted her to look in, and Celebrian gasped.

Rivendell was like a small, secret grove, all greens and browns and muted soft golds, with an occasional blue for the waterfall pouring down under a bridge. The sunlight gently kissed the green rooftops of the many small houses nestled in amidst the trees. It was like a haven, a safe, beautiful place tucked in a pocket of beautiful illusions. Celebrian blinked back a few tears that came to her eyes at its beauty.

Elrond touched her cheek. "It's beautiful, but it will be perfect once you are there." He bent his head to see her face. "Celebrian? Do you like it?"

"Yes," she whispered. "Yes, it's beautiful." Then she smiled up into his face, and this time the smile was real. "It's perfect." Joy shone out of Elrond's face, and he answered her smile with one just as brilliant. Then Celebrian nudged her horse forward. "Come on!" she urged Elrond. "I want to see it from up close!" Elrond laughed and raced her down the hill, losing the race by a very narrow margin. He was still laughing when he came to the bottom of the hill and turned his horse's head toward Rivendell.

They rode in to great cheers. The Rivendell Elves had heard that their lord was bringing home a bride, and not just any bride, but Lady Galadriel's daughter. They had gotten very excited, and once they saw Celebrian riding at Elrond's side they abandoned all Elvish restraint and cheered her enthusiastically. Even Elrond seemed taken aback by the warmth of their greeting. Celebrian, who had lived all her life among reserved Lothlorien Elves, was overwhelmed.

Later, in the room she now shared with Elrond, Celebrian walked to the little terrace (all rooms had them, as walls were not a part of Rivendell architecture) and looked out at the waterfall and the far side of the hill the palace was built on. Everything was so different from Lothlorien, and yet everything was so beautiful. Celebrian felt no more teary homesickness. She felt content.

Elrond came up behind her and put his arms around her, She turned in them to face him, and set her own arms around his neck. "Well?" Elrond asked. "Is Rivendell satisfactory, my lady?"

Celebrian smiled. "Very much so, my lord." She held him close, her heart fit to burst with love and happiness. "Very much so," she repeated, and meant every word. If she was going to be a Rivendell Elf, she might as well start being honest all the time.

She turned again, her back to Elrond now, and leaned against him. The sun was setting behind the hill, coloring the Last Homely House in shades of pink and blushing golden. It's setting on my life in Lothlorien, Celebrian thought, but she was not sad. Now was a time to be happy, to rejoice in her new life, the one the sun would rise on tomorrow. Now was her beautiful new home, the warmth of Elrond's arms around her, and the hopes and promises of a new day.

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