Celeborn was seldom shaken but the words he had just heard spoken by Elrond left him hanging somewhere between joy and disbelief.
"You are certain, it was she. You have no doubts?"
"None. It was Celebrian. We were allowed just a short conversation, but it was she. I recognised her faer both here and here." Elrond gestured towards his head and his heart. "Our bond may never have formed, but we were together too long for me to fail to recognize her. She has healed and has found her true mate. It seems we both have received the blessings of the Valar for all our sacrifices."
Celeborn smiled as he felt the warm golden joy of his mate blossom and flood his mind. 'You heard, meleth nin? Our sell is well and whole. She sends her love.'
Elrond chuckled as he too felt the touch of Galadriel's joy overwhelm her mate's faer. He turned away to allow some privacy between his two friends only to stop when Galadriel addressed him directly. 'Elrond nin I thank you for sharing this with us,' There was a pause, 'Despite your separation from Celebrian, both Celeborn and I have always regarded you as part of our family. We have sorrowed for the many losses and burdens you have been given through the millennia. We have watched with both pride and sadness as you have dealt with them without consideration of the consequences for yourself. We are truly happy that you have been given one who will be your other half and we wish you both the joy of a bond like ours.'
Elrond bowed his head and closed his eyes against the tears that threatened there. 'My Lady, I thank you for that. While I have friends I consider brothers, you are my family. I have never regretted my marriage to Celebrian. How could I? She gave me three beautiful hin. I have regretted that my skills as a healer were inadequate to complete the healing that she so desperately needed.' He felt Celeborn's hand on his shoulder and a gentle squeeze. Meeting his gaze he noted with some surprise that he was not the only one with the glint of tears.
Amarie returned to the main house from the workshops early that afternoon and sought the quiet of Elrond's private garden. She had first taken refuge in her office hoping that work would order her jumbled nerves but found all she could think of was the visit of the maia the night before and the news she had imparted. Amarie sat there all morning with a gentle smile on her face and from time to time she would place her hand on the curve of stomach. With a sigh she addressed the elfling resting there.
"Little one, you are still too small to hear your naneth, and your ada says it will be a while before we know whether you are an elleth or an ellon, but nonetheless you are a most welcome surprise."
The artisans of Bar-Meneg-Mir-Lain kept dropping by to congratulate her when the word of the impending betrothal ceremony spread throughout the last homely house complex like a wildfire. Their delight and amazement that their Mistress was to become the Lady of Imladris was all too clear. There was also much speculation and eager discussion over the wind and shaking that had occurred the night before. With much shaking of heads, they all agreed that something momentous had occurred but just couldn't figure it out. Finally Amarie gave up trying to dodge the questions and fled the workshops after thanking everyone for their good wishes.
Upon entering the garden she felt an enormous sense of relief. Seeking the far end she sat on a stone bench that overlooked the waterfalls of the nearby river. Their rumble filtered out the sounds that floated down from the house adding to the peaceful atmosphere. Closing her eyes she tilted her head back and savored the solitude.
'Amarie,' a voice sounded in her mind. Startled, she looked about searching for its source.
'No child, I am not a maia, I am Galadriel,' came the amused voice again and sensing Amarie's immediate panic she added. 'You need not fear my anger, I only wish to welcome you our family. Celeborn has told me what has happened and of the visit last evening of the real maia. He has also shared the joyful words of our sell.'
'My lady, I do not know what to say.'
'Then say nothing, Elrond is our ion. His happiness means a great deal to us. He has always treated us with respect and affection and so earned ours in return. That our sell was not to be his helpmate was not his fault. Yet he accepted the necessity for their union and treated her always with respect and affection. Both Celeborn and I are happy that he has now found his true mate.' There was another pause, 'Ahhh…so that gift too has been given. Your union has truly been blessed by the Valar.'
Sadi stared across at Erestor and tossed her hands up in frustration.
"This is impossible, we will never get this organized while the numbers keep changing."
"I agree, but everyone wants to be there. What would you suggest?"
Sadi sat there chewing her lip. "Well," she paused. "Betrothals are a family matter, and while I know everyone here considers themselves family, I think we can clearly draw a line on actual family and maybe main members of the staff." At Erestor's frown, Sadi lifted her hands to stop his exclamation. "I know, I know, the others want to be included too."
Both sat in silence for a long time before they grinned at each other. "You first." Sadi said laughing at his smug face.
"What if we announce the betrothal will be for just the family and personal close friends now, then announce that so everyone can participate in the good news we are combining a celebration with the Harvest Festival early next month for everyone else. That way even those who live further out can make their way in and it won't exclude anyone or disrupt harvest. It will even let some of the other kingdom representatives attend and meet Amarie since they usually send someone to the festival."
Sadi nodded thoughtfully. "I agree, that seems like the best approach. We can tell the staff to plan for between forty-five and fifty elves then for this evening. There should be a message sent out immediately to the elves here at Imladris to that effect and then followed by a more formal one as soon as possible to everyone else."
"I will draft up the messages at once if you will work with the kitchen staff on a buffet for after wards and then, with Arwen, oversee setting up the room. I will also contact those we are inviting personally to make sure they are the only ones who show up."
"Of course, but what room do you think we should use?"
"The Hall of Fire is the most obvious choice, but we could even do it out on the terrace just off of the family wing. Talk to Arwen and see what she recommends."
Satisfied that they had resolved the major point of contention they both separated to do the agreed upon chores.
Bar-Meneg-Mir-Lain -house of a thousand jewelled threads
ion - son