Disclaimer: Elladan, Elrohir, Elrond, Celebrian and all other related characters belong to JRR Tolkien. No intentional copyright infringement is intended through their use.
Im melin le
The birth of the two sons of Elrond Half-elven and his lady Celebrian was an event that was much celebrated and looked for. For too long, there had been no new births even after the building of the sanctuary of Imladris, for the shadow still lingered then, and many Elves worried in their hearts that the fair valley would be discovered by the Enemy and destroyed.
After the birth of Elladan and Elrohir, many followed their Lord and Lady’s example, and the Hidden Valley was filled with the delightful cries and voices of the many Elflings.
The twins loved their plays with Celebrian, and oft begged her to chase them, or hug them and place them in her lap, singing to them songs in her fair Elvish voice, when they should have been learning the lore of Arda or taking lessons in archery, riding, story-telling or singing.
The Elfling Elladan was especially protective of Celebrian, even at that young age. No one in the Valley would harm her, nor do any wish to, but he would follow her everywhere she went: to the Hall of Fire for songs and lore (though he did not like it much); to the kitchen; and even when she walked amongst the trees, he would hold her hand tightly, as if afraid that the trees themselves would harm her.
So when Celebrian spoke of her wish of starting her trips to Lórien again–she had not gone there for many years, choosing to remain in Imladris to take care and watch her children grow older–Elladan was not happy about it.
“Naneth…” He whined. “Can I not go too?”
“Nay, Elladan.” Celebrian ruffled her son’s dark hair. “The road is too long, and you are but little Elflings. The journey will be arduous. I shall not be gone for long.”
“Why are you going there for, mother?” Elrohir asked, seeing his brother’s distress. “Could it not wait?”
“I am visiting your grandparents: Celeborn and Galadriel of the Galadhrim.”
Elladan frowned. “Why can’t they come to visit us?”
Celebrian laughed, her voice clear as a rippling brook. “No, my little ones. It is a child’s duty to go to her parents. You have your father here as well, and he can take care of you.”
“No, Elladan, you cannot go with me until you have grown older,” Celebrian said firmly. “Say no more of this. Your ada shall do as good a job playing with you as I have.”
Elladan sighed. “Yes, mother.”
They stood at the pass leading out of Imladris, a party of Elves horsed on Elvish horses. The others had already mounted, and only Celebrian was still unhorsed, standing with her family.
“Be careful, meleth nîn, for the passes of Redhorn are treacherous,” Elrond said.
“Oh, stop worrying, Elrond!” She teased. “I have been over the passes for many times uncountable. You are just like your son!”
Elrond knew that she spoke of Elladan, and smiled. “Or my son like me.”
Celebrian shook her head and bent to hug her children, kissing them on their foreheads. “Namárië, my little Elflings. I shall return soon.”
Elladan hugged her. “Namárië, naneth. Im melin le.” (1)
“Im melin le, Elladan.”
She smiled at them, mounted her steed, and rode away.
They stood at the shore of the Grey Havens now: Elrond, Celebrian, Elrohir, Elladan, and Arwen, the last having been born some few hundred years after the twins.
All of them were grave of face, Elrond trying not to weep before his lady. Celebrian’s face was still and tight, the laughter having been taken from her.
A little less than a year earlier, Celebrian had been traveling to Lórien to visit her parents again, having once more made it a habbit. They knew not that the Shadow grew again, and the traveling Elves were waylaid by Orcs and killed, leaving few to live.
Celebrian they took and tortured, and when the remaining Elves hastened back to Imladris to tell the news, Elladan and Elrohir had taken a party of their warriors to Caradhras, and there they had fought and rescued her.
But although Elrond had been able to heal her wounds of flesh, she could no longer see any beauty in the lands of Middle Earth, and wished to leave for the Blessed Land to find healing.
“Do not weep, my Lord,” Celebrian said softly. “I shall find at least healing in Valinor, when I could not do so here.”
Elrond nodded and kissed her on the lips. She smiled and touched his face gently ere she turned to her unmoving children. “We will meet again, my children, when you come to Valinor. If you would.”
“Naneth!” Arwen cried, hugging her mother.
Elrohir did so as well, and Elladan, who could not speak.
At last, she boarded the ship of Círdan and his people, and as it sailed away from the shore, Elladan whispered, “Namárië, naneth. Im melin le.”
(1) I used the Quenya form for farewell for the first time because it held a deeper feeling than Navaer (farewell in Sindarin), and had been used by the Elves for a long time to wish them blessings. For the second time, it’s also for the same reason, as well as it meaning `thou shalt find.’