Mother of the Evenstar - Sequel to "Daughter of the Golden Wood," part one

Celebrian's favorite part of Rivendell was Imladris. The beautiful wood was the best place to wander in and think. It reminded her a little of Lothlorien, but not so much that she would get homesick for the Golden Wood: just enough to make her very fond of Imladris.

On this particular day, Celebrian had managed to slip out of the palace alone, to walk by herself. For the past month, she and Elrond had been planning a new wing for the palace, but today, somehow, she did not want to help design it.

Celebrian caught a tree branch and climbed up into the tree. One of its branches had a perfect sitting crook, and she slipped into it. The light branch moved slightly under her, swaying back and forth in the wind and with her weight.

Suddenly Celebrian felt incredibly ill. She gasped for breath. She felt as though she had to throw up. The height of the tree was making her head swim. Celebrian eased herself down from the tree and tried to stand, but she couldn't make herself get up, so she crawled a few feet over the ground, her stomach rolling queasily.

Then she slipped into unconsciousness before she could even call for someone.

***

Celebrian woke in her bed. She stirred, feeling woozy. She tried again to get up, but felt horrible.

A hand gently pushed her down. "No, love," said Elrond's voice beside her. Obediently, Celebrian sank back into the bed.

"What happened?" she asked slowly, her eyes closed.

"It would seem, Celebrian, that you fainted." Elrond sounded amused, but he held her hand gently. "Mannaurwen found you and brought you back."

Celebrian opened her eyes and saw Mannaurwen, her lady in waiting since her arrival at Rivendell, standing by her bedside. She opened her mouth to speak and thank Mannaurwen, but the Elf-woman held up a hand to silence her. "No, my lady," she said. "Just rest. Get your strength back. You'll need it." She left the room, closing the door behind her.

"Elrond?" Celebrian slowly turned her head to look at her husband. "What did she mean, 'get my strength back'?"

A smile broke out on Elrond's face. "It means, Celebrian, that we are going to have a baby!" He grinned, then amended, "Well, you're the one who will actually have it."

Celebrian stared at Elrond. "Mannaurwen said that?" He nodded. Then she smiled, too, and said, "Then I think that that new wing we're adding had better be a nursery!"

"As you command, Lady," Elrond answered. "Now, try to sleep." He got up and left, pulling curtains around the terrace of their room to darken it a little.

With the contented smile still on her face, Celebrian fell asleep.

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