1. Twins Reunite
Note: This is a second fic for Soledad’s birthday (Oct 9). Hers comes first. Mine is a fic of her fic with a slight change and emphasis on characters. Check out Soledad’s Twisted Paths of Fate. Since she based her story partially on Deborah’s As Little Might Be Thought, I did as well. But I kept Elros and Elrond as twins.
[Mithlond, in the year 442 of the Second Age]
The preparations for the Sea Festival began weeks before the opening of the festival itself, and many also began their merriment before the appointed day of midsummer, for there was joy in their work: the decorating of the great Sea Palace on the Gulf of Lune, the catching of fishes and shellfishes from the waters, the sewing of bright and new raiment, the stringing of pearls and other fine jewelry, and many more labors of pleasure. Elrond was, however, not able to partake in these crafts and preparations, for his days were spent in the Library of the Eglain, where he and Pengolod oversaw the transcription of scrolls and books for the library that would be in Gil-galad’s palace. The evening before the opening of the Sea Festival, Elrond was still in the library when most of the other scholars had already retired for the night to fully rest for the next day’s celebration. A servant boy came to fetch Elrond. Cirdan requested his presence. The boy led Elrond to the great fountain before the Sea Palace, where the Lord of Mithlond watched the sun set.
“Elrond Peredhel,” Cirdan greeted him.
“Lord Cirdan.” Elrond bowed.
“Come. Let us watch the sunset at the shores.” Cirdan said nothing else, but there was a faint smile that danced on his lips. The Sea Palace was on the water’s edge, so they did not have far to go. Elrond could not enjoy the sunset’s light flickering over the faint ripples of water. For days now, he had been feeling a growing dread, inexplicable yet smothering, as the Sea Festival neared. Thus, Elrond was lost in his thoughts and did not notice the approaching ship until it was close to shore. The ship was that of the Egladhrim. It was fleet, swift, and shaped like a great swan.
“Are you expecting guests so late in the day?” Elrond asked. The Elf-lords had long gathered at the Sea Palace, for they would not miss the Opening Ceremony of the Sea Festival unless Morgoth should arise again. Even the Silvan Elves who wished to attend the festival had arrived weeks before. The guestrooms of the massive palace were all filled, and some guests were even forced to share quarters with others, though none minded doing so as they were often lodged with their immediate family or close friends.
Cirdan smiled. “I do not wish to spoil the moment for you. Wait but a little longer, and all will be made clear to you.”
The swanship moored in the second quay, and Cirdan and Elrond went down the pier to meet the mariners. Much to Elrond’s delight, the three elves stepping off the white ship were Falathar, Erellont, and Aerandir. The loyal mariners had accompanied Earendil to the Blessed Realm and then returned to Middle Earth, but after the War of Wrath, they had left the shores of Middle Earth and settled on Tol Eressea, as had many of the Elves of Middle Earth. Although the Eressean Elves often visited the Isle of Elenna, they rarely sailed as far east as Middle Earth. Having Elves from the West attend the Sea Festival was unusual but a very pleasant surprise. Elrond moved to embrace one or all of them, he knew not which, but the disembarking of a fourth mariner stopped him.
“Elerondo,” greeted the fourth mariner, a man neither old nor young and as beautiful as the night. His raven hair gleamed iridescent in the sunset, and in his smile was the Light of Aman that was before the rising of the sun and the moon.
“Elerosse!” Elrond called out the name of his brother in Quenya only because Elros had done so first. It didn't matter. Elrond hardly knew what he said. He didn’t notice the appearance of a fifth mariner. He closed the short distance between him and his twin brother, and the meeting of the brothers on the shores of Mithlond, with the last rays of the golden-orange sun streaming out across the waters of the long Firth of Lune, was very glad. They embraced and held each other until the sun at last disappeared under the horizon and the myriad colors of the sky faded into darkening shades of blue.
"We should be getting back," Cirdan said. "Tomorrow will be a very long day."
"Of course, Lord Cirdan," Elrond said. He put an arm around his brother's waist, and Elros did the same. Together with their companions, they returned to the Sea Palace. "Surely it is not mere coincidence that brings you to these lands the very day before the Opening Ceremony for the Sea Festival."
"Indeed it is not," Elros said. "However, although it is true that I did not wish to miss tomorrow's appointment, I came first and foremost because I wished to see you, Elrond."
Elrond smiled and squeezed his brother around the waist. "The Sea Palace is overflowing with guests. Why don't you stay with me in my quarters?"
Elros bumped hips with Elrond. "Nothing would please me more."
"I'll have a cot brought to your quarters," Cirdan said.
"Thank you for the offer, Lord Cirdan, but it's not necessary," Elros said. "I want to spend the night close to my brother. It's been a long time since Elrond and I have shared a bed." Elros pulled Elrond closer to him, yet they managed to keep in step with each other without tripping.
Elrond kissed Elros on the cheek without breaking their strides. "My dear, dear brother. I have missed you."
Elros said nothing but returned a kiss to Elrond's cheek. As they entered the Sea Palace, the last bit of light slipped away. Only the stars lighted the pitch black sky, and brightest of all shone Gil-estel.
The sun had not set for more than an hour when there was a knock on Glorfindel’s door. Although it was not considered impolite to visit after dark, visits on the night before the Opening Ceremony for the Sea Festival could only mean a tryst, for anyone other than a lover, even a casual one, would be resting for the week of celebrating and feasting. Glorfindel had thought himself immune to such overtures now that he’d returned from the dead and held an odd place in Elven society. He donned an outer robe so that his visitor would not think him open to the idea of a pre-season night of romance. Of course, he had little worry of this once he answered the door. A figure tall and proud and arrayed with diamonds and crystal stood before him.
“Hail Glorfindel, Lord of the Golden Flower and Balrog Slayer Extraordinaire!” cried the fair voice of Ecthelion.
“Ecthelion of the Fountain?” Glorfindel said. “Is it really you?”
“Yay, it is I. The guestrooms of the Sea Palace are filled, so I thought to stay with an old friend.” The smile of Ecthelion in that hour was like the first rising of the silver moon over the world amidst the trumpets of Fingolfin. Ecthelion embraced Glorfindel heartily. “Dear golden-haired Glorfindel. It has been much too long.”
“Indeed it has been.” Glorfindel led Ecthelion into his room. “But how come you here? For were you not slain in that last, fateful fight with Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs? Heh. And you call me a Balrog Slayer Extraordinaire. And let us not forget the slaying of Orcobal in your long list of achievements.”
“That is nothing compared to the slaying of the fire drake by the House of the King or to your achievements in the War of Wrath by the side of Eonwe, Herald of Manwe,” Ecthelion said. “Indeed, I was released from the Halls of Mandos just before the beginning of the Great Battle, and by then, you had already departed for the shores of Beleriand with the Hosts of Valinor. But my part in that war was not to be at the forefront of battle. Believe it or not, my role was to be a flutist by the side of Lord Salmar. Our music was to protect Middle Earth from the great tumult that was wrought by the fighting, but even then, we were not able to save all the lands, and Beleriand was rent asunder and drowned under the waves.”
“A strange fate,” Glorfindel said. He searched his friend’s eyes, bright yet sorrowful. This was ever the way of the Teleri, yet Ecthelion seemed unlike even the Eldar that had seen the Light ere the Death of the Two Trees. “Yet a stranger fate awaits you still, I see.”
“Nay, I think not,” Ecthelion said. “After the Great Battle, Lord Salmar and I aided Osse in the raising of the Isle of Elenna, where the realm of Numenor came to be.” He smiled and put a hand over his friend’s. “Since then, I have been aiding you from afar and protecting Elros Tar-Minyatur, descendant of Tuor and Idril, though, of course, Elros’s descendants will not be of Idril’s lineage. He has come here now, Elros that is. I think this the end of my strange fate.”
“Here? To the Sea Festival? I find it hard to believe, for Elros has not returned to these shores since his departure to Elenna and the founding of Numenor. He has not even come to visit Elrond, and it was Elrond who had to visit his brother.” Glorfindel paused. “And where were you during those visits? I accompanied Elrond and saw you not!”
“I was away by ill-chance. Lord Salmar comes forth very rarely, and although I knew of your visits, I could not deny my duties to the Maker of the Ulumuri. If you would only visit when I was not needed elsewhere, all would be well, but you refused to do so in all these 400 long years!” Ecthelion smiled wanly. The sorrow that Glorfindel had before perceived was now stronger, and at last, the reason for Ecthelion’s visit became apparent.
“What veil was over my eyes?” Glorfindel’s heart sank. “This is not a visit. Elros comes to see his brother one last time.”
Ecthelion nodded gravely. “Elros Peredhel is not like the others of his line. He has not aged, Glorfindel, not like Mortal Men, not even like his sons who were granted a span of life greater than most men. Elros surrendered the scepter to Vardamir Nolimon, but Vardamir abdicated immediately in favor of Tar-Amandil. Vardamir will not live long now upon this world. Elros though…”
“Elros is not a Mortal Man,” Glorfindel finished. “He is one of the Peredhil, even as Elrond is.”
Ecthelion nodded. “He and Elrond are no different physically. But the aging of Elros’s children has saddened him, and he regrets holding the throne beyond Vardamir’s time, for he did not know and could not have known that the lifespan of his children would be much shorter than his, which seems as long as that of the Eldar. He wishes to accept the Gift of Man, as was offered to him now so long ago, not because of old age—indeed, he is tireless—but because he has grown tired of the realm of Arda. He is neither Man nor Elf and feels out of place. He wishes to see what lies beyond Arda and to seek new adventures.”
“Has he told Elrond?” Glorfindel asked in a quiet voice.
“I do not know.” Ecthelion’s eyes shimmered with unshed tears. “But Elros will not be dissuaded from his path even by his brother. With the setting of the sun, he will relinquish his life and pass beyond the confines of Arda.”
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.