Carpe Diem: 1. The Winter Festival

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1. The Winter Festival

“Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero." (Seize the present day, trusting the morrow as little as may be.)

Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize--- It all belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien or New Line Cinema.

Author's Note: This is fan fiction and if you spot any time, fact or event mistakes/differences, it means I have manipulated it to flow with my story. I will try to stay true to events and characters but I have taken liberty with them in certain places. I apologize for any grammar/Sindarin/spelling mistakes--- I am only human. :) Saying this, reviews are of course most welcome! So is constructive criticism. The setting is roughly many years after the departure of Celebrian but many years before the arrival of Aragorn. Enjoy the story.

Does anyone notice somewhere in this chapter where I have taken something from J.K. Rowling? Ten points to anyone who spots it!

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Chapter 1: The Winter Festival
"Every beginning has an ending, every life shall fade away. Every story has a hero, every darkness dies with day." -Anonymous

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"Adar isn't very pleased with you," Elrohir tapped the shoulder of his twin brother. "Elladan, you better go help."

"I hate setting up the field and the warrior presentations aren't until tomorrow," scowled Elladan. "All right, I'm coming---"

Elladan followed his younger twin brother to a clear snow-covered field surrounded by trees, and seats and places for spectators. The winter festival was tonight and the brothers, at the request of their father, was to help prepare for one of the most important celebrations of the year. Elrohir, the younger, more rational one, obeyed Lord Elrond without a complaint. But Elladan, the older twin and the more bold of the two, tried putting off the work as long as possible.

Elladan and Elrohir were identical and only Elrond, Arwen, Glorfindel, their grandparents, and several friends could tell them apart. At least they never dressed the same unless necessary. The twins had the fair hair of their father--- as dark as midnight, deep grey eyes framed by dark lashes, and over six feet in height. They were slim cut and graceful in movement, something that blessed them as warriors. Their senses were extremely sharp, even for elves. This may be seen as a blessing or a curse; but the two young adults attracted plenty of she-elves, though they were unsure if it were because of their fair looks or their rankings.

"'Dan, toss me a target," Elrohir shouted as he leaped gracefully, caught a high branch of a tree with one hand and swung himself smoothly over to a higher branch. He got there just as Elladan casually tossed him a target. He attached it to the tree and jumped off.

They took turns attaching targets and throwing them.

"All done," Elladan said, clapping his hands together. "Hey, 'Ro, we're allowed to shoot a few right now aren't we? Come on, Father won't mind, let's get our bows!"

"Sure," replied Elrohir.

Twang! The combined sound of the bows rang in the silent area and before you can blink, two arrows hit bullseye in a target half hidden by snow-covered branches.

"Well if it aren't the little show-offs," sneered an unpleasant voice behind the twins. Elladan and Elrohir whirled around.

"Mae govannen, Rastaban, Celebros," Elrohir greet them sarcastically while rolling his eyes at his twin.

"How nice to see you too," said Elladan. "I'm glad you decided to come and show us exactly what we're not missing… Wait, are you here to ask us for archery lessons?"

"Dream on, Peredhil," Celebros snarled. "We could beat you any day."

"Oh, and is that why we are of one of the highest rank in the Imladris Guard, while you two are so wonderful that you can't be accepted on dangerous missions?" Elladan retorted with a smirk. His younger twin smiled at him.

"That's because Glorfindel favours you, everyone knows!" Rabastan disputed though his face was red. "We just came to tell you that you better watch your backs becau---"

"Is there a problem?" a new voice approached.

"None, my lord," Elrohir flashed Glorfindel an innocent smile that deceived no one.

"Absolutely not, Glorfy, mellon-nin," Elladan said brightly while Glorfindel scowled at the use of his old nickname.

Glorfindel turned to Rabastan and Celebros. "Well?" he asked. "Is there a problem?"

"Well they---" began Celebros.

"None, sir," interrupted Rabastan.

"Well then," Glorfindel said pleasantly, "Lord Elrond requests that the two princes come with me--- after they retrieve their arrows." He added hastily.

As they returned to the Last Homely House, Glorfindel finally asked, "Were those two bothering you?"

"No more than usual," Elrohir replied indifferently.

"They were just being their usual idiot selves, teasing us with ‘peredhil’," added Elladan.

"There's nothing wrong with being half-elven," Glorfindel said shortly.

"We know that," Elladan grinned. "Try telling them."

"Well, I'll be having words with those two," muttered Glorfindel. "Teasing others with "peredhil", hmph..."

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"Why must the ruling family wear the same outfit? I hate it when we dress alike!" Elladan grumbled in front of the mirror.

"Well, Adar is wearing the same formal wear as us too," Elrohir reasoned. "Plus, we can trick people and switch places---"

Elladan suddenly gave a wicked grin.

Elrohir sighed as he plopped down and began combing his hair.

"It feels sort of odd without our warrior braids in our hair," he said. "It feels different to have it combed out."

"Yes," cried Elladan. "And we also have to wear our crowns! I never wear it if I could help it and I don't want to."

"Makes me feel too self-conscious and separated," agreed Elrohir. "Thank goodness we don't wear the crowns of flowers and leaves the elves of Mirkwood wear!"

"I know!" exclaimed Elladan. "Poor Legolas... I definitely prefer our silver circlets as opposed to a crown of daisies!"

They both snorted with laughter.

Looking into the mirrors, the twins knew that a stranger would never be able to tell them apart. Their dark hair flowed down instead of being in their normal warrior braids. They wore tunics of the darkest blue that shimmered under light, trousers of smooth black with a silver belt. The boots they wore were of fine quality leather, also black. Over it all, they wore a black cloak of fine material with silver fastenings. On their shoulders were the small silver designs of the star of Earendil to show their family and rank, and a bow and sword to show they were warriors of the Imladris Guard. Finally, the last piece was put on: the silver circlet that was the crown of Imladris. Embedded on the circlet was the star of Earendil, symbolizing the ruling family of Imladris and the Peredhil.

"Looking sharp," they commented to each other at the same time.

"I see…" said a voice by the doorway.

"Good evening, Father," the twins said at the same time.

"Are you ready, ion-nin?" asked Lord Elrond, stepping into the room.

"Yes, Adar," replied Elrohir.

Lord Elrond was wearing the identical outfit as the twins except for his crown--- which was a larger circlet to display him as the Lord of Imladris.

"I hope you two are not up to any mischief," Elrond said warily, looking at the mirror images in front of him.

"Now honestly, Father, why would you think that?" asked Elladan, pretending to look hurt. "Do you not trust your own sons at all?"

"We always behave nicely for you," added Elrohir.

Elrond rolled his eyes, knowing it was hopeless.

"Well then," he clapped his hands together. "Shall we go down? Our guests have arrived. Your grandparents are here with Arwen and a delegate from Lorien. Your friend, Legolas has come with King Thranduil of Mirkwood."

"All right! Let's go," Elladan said eagerly.

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Elrohir nudged his brother sharply. "Mind your manners, will you?" he hissed. "Adar is watching."

Elladan bit his lip to contain his laughter. The elves of Mirkwood had crowns of flowers in their hair, ranging from sun-stars to daisies. Now, he was even more thankful of his father's practical choice of a silver circlet.

"Mae Govannen, King Thranduil, Prince Legolas, and guests of Mirkwood," Elrond greeted them with a smile. "We are happy to have you here." Then, he gave short bow to the King and the Prince.

Elladan and Elrohir bowed also. They found this formality ridiculous as they were good friends with the elves of Mirkwood. As Legolas bowed back, Elladan gave a wide smile.

The Mirkwood elves left and entered the dining hall and the delegate from Lorien arrived.

"Mae Govannen, Daeradar and Daernaneth," greeted the twins. Celeborn gave them both a short hug and the twins kissed Galadriel's hand. Arwen grinned delightedly at them.

At dinner, the twins were seated beside Legolas.

"So which is which again?" Legolas finally asked. “I believe I’m seeing double.”

On his other side, Arwen snorted with laughter. "The one directly on your right is Elrohir and on his right is Elladan," she said, half laughing. "Having trouble aren't you?"

Legolas was about to reply when a loud clang! was heard. The glass chandelier dropped several feet from the ceiling, dangerously close to the food and then bounced back with a deafening bang! A Lorien she-elf gave a loud shriek and knocked over her chair. Lord Elrond turned and glared at his sons who were trying hard to look innocent while containing their laughter.

As soon as he looked away, the twins looked at each other and mouthed, "Oops."

"I apologize," Elrond gestured a hand and gave his sons a hard look. "The chandelier has never been very stable but I assure you it will not drop."

The elves muttered suspicions amongst each other but returned to their food. Elrond however, spent most of his time, staring at his sons.

"So, uh, let me guess," smirked Legolas. "It was one of you right?"

"What would make you think that?" Elladan asked and gave a very fake sigh.

"They're my brothers, what do you expect?" Arwen retorted and rolled her eyes.

"My dear sister," Elrohir said sweetly. "Surely you know I have no part in this. Ouch!"

Elladan poked him hard. "You deserved it."

"Elrohir, brother dear," Arwen replied. "I believe you. But as for Elladan---"

"Hey!" Elladan disputed, but he was interrupted.

"Shall we adjourn dinner for the ball," announced Elrond.

A few minutes later, the elves were spilling on the dance floor. Legolas asked Arwen for a dance and she accepted, leaving Elladan and Elrohir behind.

"Are you looking for her?" Elladan asked meaningly.

Elrohir was just about to reply when a she-elf, batting her eyelashes, strode up to them. He felt Elladan groan beside him.

"Elladan, my lord," she giggled at Elrohir. "Will join me for a dance?"

“I am Elrohir,” corrected Elrohir. “That is Elladan.” He pointed to his brother.

For that moment, Elladan looked like he wished to thud his head against something but Elrohir gave a distinguished cough beside him. He gave him a look that said, Elladan, mind your manners because Adar would want you to behave. Now go!

"Of course, my lady," mumbled Elladan, glaring at his brother who looked like on the verge of laughing. "It's Alcarin, isn't it?"

"Yes, that's my name," she replied flirtatiously. "Of course we all know you're the gorgeous Elladan."

Elrohir quickly walked to a corner and burst out laughing. Suddenly, a voice stopped his laughter.

"Oh look, little Prince Elrohir can't find a dance partner," mocked Rastaban. "What is it? Are you really that much of an ugly peredhel that no one wants you?"

"Peredhel I am," replied Elrohir calmly. He paused, "But the ugly part, I'm sure you're describing your own mirror reflection."

Rabastan looked furious.

"You stupid brat of Elrond's son," Celebros babbled. "Your father isn't even a pure elf! He's part edain!"

He said edain like it was a bad word. If Elladan was here, he would have started a fist fight--- he hated it when someone insulted their father. But Elrohir would not embarrass himself or his father. He chose to smile like it didn't bother him.

"Watch your back, Elrohir Peredhel," said Rastaban.

"Likewise," replied Elrohir coldly.

When the two cronies left, he suddenly paused and remembered what Rastaban said, Watch your back, Elrohir Peredhel. It sounded strange because only his father was ever referred as "Elrond Peredhel", never himself or Elladan.

"Deep in thought?" a soft voice whispered behind him.

The frown and discomfort disappeared all at once as Elrohir turned around, a huge smile on his face.

"Elanor," he smiled. He looked at the girl in front of him. She was tall, though shorter than him, her golden-brown hair gleamed, her fair face pleasant, and her green eyes showed her happiness. The first impression you got would be strength and warmth. She was beautiful, yet sharp and bold at the same time. She can be fair-faced and warm, but intimidating and cold at once.

"Are you going to ask me to dance?" teased Elanor.

"Of course, my lady," said Elrohir. "May I have this dance, Elanor?"

"It would be my pleasure," she replied.

As they danced, Elrohir saw his brother who gave him a huge smile and then make a face to signal his displeasure at being stuck with Alcarin. Elrohir laughed and told Elanor.

"I pity him," she said, shaking his head, still dancing in rhythm with Elrohir. "Alcarin may be pretty, but she is that and nothing else. Her head is empty and she sits at home doing useless things."

"Useless things?" Elrohir raised an eyebrow. "Like sewing, cooking, and reading?"

"Yes," Elanor replied indifferently. "I pity Alcarin. Women like her will never see the world out there, and never understand the true meaning of life. You cannot teach simply through books. The best teaching is making the pupil understand, and what better way to understand than through experience?"

"I admire you, my lady," Elrohir smiled gently. "What do you wish to be, a shieldmaiden?" He meant is as a joke.

"I cannot dwell in waste at home," she said with a faraway look in her eyes. "I chose to be part of the Imladris Guard. My relatives tell me often that I should have been born a man. I chose to be a warrior."

"You chose a difficult life then," said Elrohir.

"No," Elanor shook her head. "I chose freedom."

They fell silent. Then, Elrohir leaned in, just as Elanor did at the same time. Their lips found each others' and kissed sweetly in the middle of the dance floor, oblivious to their surroundings.

Meanwhile...

Elladan couldn't stand it anymore. His partner was dancing way too close to him for his liking. Elladan steered them close to Arwen and Legolas.

"Excuse me, Alcarin," he interrupted and strode over to Arwen.

"Do you mind if I cut in?" Elladan gave Legolas a meaningful glance. Then he turned to his sister, "Arwen, may I have this dance?"

Arwen gave a short giggle and smiled. "Of course, my brother," she smiled.

"Thank you," Elladan breathed a sigh of relief. He saw that Legolas had made a quick escape before Alcarin could pin him.

"Girls like you," Arwen said simply.

"You also?" Elladan cocked his head.

"Nay, brother, at least not in that way!" she said indignantly.

"'Twas only an innocent question," Elladan raised a eyebrow. "Besides, you have plenty of admirers yourself, Arwen. So, what is between you and Legolas?"

"Nothing," Arwen replied flatly but Elladan did not miss the flush in her cheeks. "But he's a good dancer and I would much rather dance with him than a mumbling elf who cannot stop staring at me."

"Like Andunnumen?" teased Elladan, and he was rewarded with a sharp hit in the shoulder. "Ouch!" he grimaced.

"Served you right," said Arwen, still blushing. Andunnumen was an Imladris elf who fancied Arwen and he often sent love letters to Lorien. Elladan and Elrohir had intercepted one and read it. Afterwards, Arwen never heard the end of it.

Stupid insensible gits! she thought. Too bad I don't have a sister! But secretly, she adored both of her brothers. They were the ones who taught her tricks and mischief when she was a young elfling. They comforted her when she had nightmares or had a rough day. Her brothers scared the bullies away and stood up for her. Her brothers shared the pain with her when their mother--- No, she told herself, I must not think of that. Today is a happy day.

"A star for your thoughts, Undomiel," Elladan said, snapping her out of her thoughts.

"Oh, sorry," stammered Arwen. "I was just thinking about you and Elrohir."

"How lovely," commented Elladan with a cheeky smile and Arwen scowled.

Someone tapped Elladan on the shoulder. He turned around, it was Elrond.

"Good evening, Father," Elladan said, trying not to smile as he thought about the chandelier.

"Ada," Arwen said, nodding an acknowledgement.

"Are you enjoying yourselves?" asked Elrond and Elladan and Arwen nodded. "I want a dance from my prettiest daughter before the night is over."

"Ada," protested Arwen, "I am your only daughter!"

"That's not the point," teased Elrond, leading his daughter into another dance.

Elladan glanced around and bumped into Legolas.

"Did you see, Elrohir?" asked Legolas.

"He's occupied," replied Elladan with a smirk.

"Oh, who?" asked Legolas curiously, catching on.

Elladan pointed to his brother and Elanor, as Elrohir led them into the gardens.

"Elanor is her name," explained Elladan. "They met a long time ago when we were in training for the Imladris Guard. Elanor was the only girl and the boys didn't take too kindly to her participation. Elrohir stood up for her fiercely, mind you, not that Lady Elanor needed any help. She's quite imposing herself. However, this--- ahem, love interest is a more recent thing."

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Elanor strolled into the garden with Elrohir.

"Elrohir---"

"Elanor---" They said at the same time.

They both laughed.

"Sorry, you first," said Elrohir.

"I want you to make me a promise," she said.

"What is it?" he asked softly.


~*I was waiting for so long*~

~*For a miracle to come*~

~*Everyone told me to be strong*~

~*Hold on and don't shed a tear*~


Elanor released the hand that was holding Elrohir's and slid a ring off her other hand. It was a golden ring with a flower, the elanor or otherwise known as the sun-star flower.

"Elrohir," she said, "I was you to have this--- as a promise ring."

"Please," Elanor added.


~*So through darkness and good times*~

~*I knew I'd make it through*~

~*And the world thought I had it all*~

~*But I was waiting for you*~


"I will," nodded Elrohir. "But a promise for what, Elanor?"

"That you'll always be there," she said simply. "That when the time comes, you will take my hand and we can be together from then on, forever. Will you?"

"I promise," Elrohir took her hand and placed it over his heart. "I promise, Elanor." And he slid the ring on his finger, which glowed brightly in the moonlight.


~*Hush now*~

~*I see a light in the sky*~

~*Oh it's almost blinding me*~

~*I can't believe I've been touched by an angel with love*~


Then he slid a ring from his finger, a silver ring with the star of Earendil embedded on it.

"And will you promise me in return?" he asked.

"Of course," replied Elanor, smiling. "I promise you, Elrohir. I will always wait for you, no matter how long."


~*Let the rain come down*~

~*And wash away my tears*~

~*Let it fill my soul*~

~*And drown my fears*~

~*Let it shatter the walls*~

~*For a new sun*~

~*A new day has come*~ ~*A new day has come*~


A gentle wind blew. The moonlight shone down on them and the snow glittered beautifully. The trees looked as if crystals and diamonds covered them and snowflakes floated gently around them. Then, there was the soft tinkling music from the distance. They kissed under the night sky and wished the moment would last forever. When their eyes opened again, Elanor's green eyes met Elrohir's grey ones. And each held the other in them.


~*Where it was dark now there's light*~

~*Where there was pain, now there's joy*~

~*Where there was weakness, I found my strength*~

~*All in the eyes of a boy*~


"Let's go back," she finally said as they reluctantly walked back to the dance hall.

"Tomorrow will be a big day with the warrior presentations," Elanor added. "We have our little show, don't we?"

"Yes," said Elrohir pleasantly. "No one knows yet, just my father. Elladan and I also have a show. My father wasn't thrilled about my dueling a lady though. Even though I said you were part of the Imladris Guard and you might as well be a man will your fighting prowess."

Elanor laughed and Elrohir felt the sound tickle his spine.

"I shall never allow a man to out duel me," her voice had a hard edge to it.

Elrohir just shook his head. "I know," he said. I know too well, he thought.

"Elanor," he said suddenly.

"Yes?" she replied.


~*Hush now*~

~*I see a light in the sky*~

~*Oh it's almost blinding me*~

~*I can't believe I've been touched by an angel with love*~


"A goodnight kiss?" Elrohir asked tentatively.

"Anything," she replied.


~*Let the rain come down*~

~*And wash away my tears*~

~*Let it fill my soul*~

~*And drown my fears*~

~*Let it shatter the walls*~

~*For a new sun*~

~*A new day has come*~

~*A new day has come*~


From the shadows, Elladan watched as Elrohir gave her a short kiss. And he wondered, when had his brother ever felt this way about a girl before? If ever...

After Elanor left the ball, Elrohir rejoined his brother, Arwen, and Legolas.

"You're back, Peredhel," smirked Legolas.

"Why is everyone calling me that today?" muttered Elrohir, slightly annoyed.

Elladan pulled him away and they headed toward their rooms.

End of Chapter 1. To Be Continued...

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Author's Note: I would like to say that this story is categorized as action/adventure and not romance. There may be bits of it but this story is not centered around it. Also, I don't know how others will view it but from the Fellowship and Return of the King, I had a feeling that the twin sons of Elrond did not have spouses. I do not believe that Elrohir was married at that time. Therefore, I must say (sadly for romance lovers) that he will not marry in this story. Ten points to whoever can guess correctly why Elanor did not marry Elrohir in the end! The reason behind that shall be kept secret for now--- until we reach that part in the story. Elladan will not be married or betrothed either. The twins will remain single when this story is finished and beyond. I can confirm that and I will not change my mind. ;)

Lyrics from A New Day Has Come, by Celine Dion.

Feedback, constructive criticism, and ideas are welcome! You are also welcome to point out any obvious or overlooked mistake! Thanks a bunch!

Coming Up Next: Warriors And A Warrioress: The Warriors Presentation, an essential part of the winter festival. Elladan and Elrohir will have a show, and so will Elrohir and Elanor. Doses of the guests, Celeborn, Galadriel, Thranduil, Legolas, and of course from Imladris, Elrond and Glorfindel.

Sindarin--->English

Adar/Ada--->Father/Dad

Imladris--->Rivendell

Mae Govannen--->Well Met

Peredhel/Peredhil--->Half-Even singular and plural

Mellon-nin--->My Friend

Ion-nin--->My Son(s)

Daeradar--->Grandfather

Daernaneth--->Grandmother

Edain--->Man/Mortal

Names--->Meaning Note: Not neccessarily all Elvish names! Can you tell which one isn't?

Elladan--->Elf-Man

Elrohir--->Elf-Knight

Elrond--->Elf of the Cave

Glorfindel--->Golden-Haired Elf

Thranduil--->Never Given

Legolas--->Greenleaf

Arwen--->Noble Woman

Undomiel--->Evenstar

Galadriel--->Radiant Garland

Celeborn--->(Tall) Silver Tree

Elanor--->Sun-Star (a flower)

Alcarin--->Glorious (referring to her appearance)

Celebros--->Silver Foam

Rastaban--->Eye of the Snake

Chapters Guide:

Chapter 1: The Winter Festival

Chapter 2: About Warriors And A Warrioress

Chapter 3: The Promise Rings

Chapter 4: Unsettling News

Chapter 5: Arrival In Lorien

Chapter 6: A Narrow Escape

Chapter 7: The Things That Change

Chapter 8: I'll Always Be There For You

Chapter 9: Fatherly Advice And A New Mission

Chapter 10: Arrival In Mirkwood

Chapter 11: He Did It! It Was His Fault!

Chapter 12: Peredhil

Chapter 13: Elladan's Loyalty

Chapter 14: Every Day I Think Of Home

Chapter 15: Elladan Speaks, Elrond Ponders

Chapter 16: Speaking To The Red-Eyes

Chapter 17: A Battle At The Home Front

Chapter 18: The Return Of Elrohir

Chapter 19: A Sacrifice

Chapter 20: The Twins Connection

Chapter 21: Dreaming Celebrian

Chapter 22: These Red Eyes

Chapter 23: The Greatest Weapon You'll Ever Have

Chapter 24: Arrival In Imladris

Chapter 25: What It Means To Be Family

Chapter 26: The Next Winter Festival

Epilogue: A New Day Has Come

Feel free to try and guess the chapters from the titles! Note that this is not definite. More chapters may be added and titles may be changed. I'd just like everyone to know that I have a definite plan and layout.

THE FINAL CHAPTER and EPILOGUE has already been written. But I've hidden it in a CAVE, behind LOCKED DOORS, and guarded by DWARVES with AXES!

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: ChasingLiberty

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 3rd Age - The Kings

Genre: Action

Rating: General

Last Updated: 09/07/03

Original Post: 08/26/03

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