1. Fair And Gallant
"And have you marked the brethren Elladan and Elrohir? Less sombre is their gear than the others', and they are fair and gallant as Elven-lords; and that is not to be wondered at in the sons of Elrond of Rivendell."
- Legolas, The Passing Of The Grey Company, The Return Of The King
Imladris, 121 FA
"Elladan," whispered Elrohir, as the messenger sent by the Lady Arwen bowed respectfully to the lords of Imladris. Elrohir reached for Elladan, who held out his arms, allowing Elrohir to grip him tight. Elrohir gazed into his brother's stormy eyes, his own pewter filled with dismay. "Arwen..."
"We will go to her."
The news of the King Elessar's death brought a gloom into the peaceful valley of the Last Homely House, where the twins had lingered with a handful of Elves not yet weary of Middle-earth, after most of their kind had sailed to Valinor. The heirs to the lordship of Imladris had made a recluse in the main manor of the valley, allowing the surrounding houses to return to the earth, slowly falling into peaceful ruin, having neither the manpower nor the powe of a Ring to maintain such a large settlement.
And now, finally, Elladan, the elder, announced his and his brother's intention: they would travel to Minas Tirith to grieve with their sister, and sail from the great river Anduin after, down to the wide Sea, and then to Valinor. The remaining Elves would decide what to do: either sail to Valinor from the Havens, or tarry yet in Middle-earth, perhaps visiting the great forests of Greenwood or Ithilien once more.
"We leave in the morning," he said, his fair face proud and calm, while he held Elrohir's hand, drawing strength from him, as much as Elrohir did. "We will go alone - this grief we cannot share."
The twins prepared swiftly to travel to Minas Tirith, where their sister would be grieving the loss of her husband. Before, their need to be alone in their grief might have been put aside for an escort of guards, but the King had done his job well. Orcs and other fell beasts had been slain, their dens raided and cleared, giving the foul creatures no chances to breed again. Where before, even two such mighty warriors as Elladan and Elrohir might have come to danger, now it was safe to travel through the lands on the well-made roads and paths.
They left at dawn, riding hard, their grey cloaks billowing behind them in the chill wind, and rode on through the day, as the mists lifted, and paused only briefly at noon for a mouthful of miruvor and a bite of dried meat each, before flying on rapidly east.
When finally they stopped again, it was not to sleep, for they would find little peace, but out of concern for their horses. They made camp off the road, and let their horses graze while they sat together, Elladan holding Elrohir, as they ate a more substantial meal of soup, bread, and meat.
"'Dan... what will Arwen do?" Elrohir asked, almost fearfully, as he twisted in Elladan's arms to look up at his brother.
"I don't know, 'Ro." Elladan pressed a soft kiss to his brother's temple, his thumb tracing soothing circles on Elrohir's arm. "Sleep, meleth. We must be ready to move on by dawn." He laid Elrohir down, murmuring that he would join him shortly, and stepped away quietly to clean their small pot in a nearby stream. He rinsed it clean, and returned to their camp, tucking it quietly into their pack, and lay down next to Elrohir, who stirred and pulled him into his arms. Elladan nuzzled up to Elrohir's shoulder, and slept.
A week later, the brothers were riding up the streets of Minas Tirith, ascending the seven levels of the great stone city, the hoofbeats of their horses ringing in the silent streets, as the city mourned their King.
They arrived at the palace of the kings, and left their horses standing outside to graze while they flew through the hallways, seeking out their sister, finding her on a balcony, dressed all in sombre black, her head bowed.
"Arwen," whispered Elrohir, as he went to her, and she turned, her lovely face damp with tears. "Elrohir... Elladan." Her eyes were lost, and she looked old, so old, as one of the Firstborn should not have. She fell into his arms, and Elrohir held her and Elladan ran a hand gently down her dark head.
Eldarion, now King of Gondor, appeared behind them, and Elrohir nodded to him in greeting, while Elladan bowed slightly, hand over heart.
"Naneth... It is time for dinner." Eldarion spoke softly, reluctant to interrupt her. Arwen lifted face to him and shook her head gently. "Nay... I have no reason to eat."
"Arwen, please, you must," said Elladan, ever the protective brother, while Elrohir beseeched her with his eyes.
"I will not. How I wish I could fade... But even that I cannot."
"Come, Arwen. Eat with us, please." Arwen gave in, allowing herself to be led away by Elrohir, but ate nothing as they were served a simple meal in the King's rooms. After dinner, Eldarion retired, while the Elves spoke long into the night.
Arwen had decided to travel to Caras Galadhon again, even though it now surely lay cold and silent, all the Elves of Lothlorien having either sailed or gone to live in Ithilien, where Legolas had created a haven for them.
In the cold light of dawn, Arwen bid her son and daughters farewell, while Elladan held her horse ready, and Elrohir, always Eldarion's favourite uncle, spoke words of encouragement and advice to him.
Last of all, Arwen spoke with her brothers, and embraced them. "I will not see you again, my brothers. I will not linger in the circles of this world much longer; now that I have lost everything I have gained, and all that I had hoped for has come true, and come to ruin in its course, it is my time to die."
And Elladan and Elrohir were overcome with sorrow, and wept openly, even as their sister smiled, for one blessed moment, and seemed again as the fair Evenstar of her people, laughing under the eaves of Lothlorien, or singing in the gardens of Imladris, or weeping with joy as she married Aragorn. "Nay, brothers, do not weep, for all must come to an end, even good." She kissed their cheeks lovingly, and rode away swiftly on her mare.
And finally, Elladan and Elrohir travelled to the River, where they built a ship, proud and grey, readying to sail.
On the dawn of the day that they knew, somehow, that Arwen had passed beyond the curtain of the world, they sailed slowly down the River, their eyes lifted to the West. The pennant, where the symbol of their father's house flew, fluttered as the ship was borne gently down the breast of Anduin.
They sailed long over the Sea, for they did not travel swiftly, but came at last to the blessed isle of Valinor, and their ship drifted silently into the harbour, as the sun rose. And as they looked over the pier, where a small group awaited them, the last Elves to leave Middle-earth, for they had tarried so long over the Sea that the other Elves who had chosen to linger yet in Middle-earth had long since sailed, they wept, for they saw their mother, radiant in her silver beauty once more, leaning on her husband, and their old tutors Erestor and Glorfindel, in each other's arms.
"Naneth!" cried Elrohir, as he all but flung himself into her arms, brushing his mother's silver locks, amazed at her, whole and happy again. "Nana, nana..."
Celebrian embraced her youngest son, and smiled at him. "I am here, Elrohir, my little knight."
"Come, my sons, you are home now," said Elrond. And the twins both knew it to be true.
~ Finis ~
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.