Snow on Rivendell

by llamajoy

Peredhil, Elrond Half-Elven, turns his head to the frost-touched window: not to glimpse the swiftly drifting snowflakes catching in the linden trees, but that his children might not catch him watching them. As they creep carefully into the Last Homely House, Elladan and Elrohir shake snow from their boots, sharing a secret smile. He thinks they are certainly old enough to know better, for elves, not least of all for the sons of the lord of Imladris.

Perhaps it is the company they keep that makes their heartsblood warmer, makes their laughter just too exuberant in the hushed halls of rivendell. Not that he blames young Estel; he has known enough of men to recognize the quality of him, even if the first snow of the winter casts its magic upon him, as though he were a child.

In truth, it enchants them all; his own sons seem no better than elflings, with the cold a flush on their cheeks and their eyes too bright.

At this moment, there is a winter-blooming flower cupped in Estel's hands-- a gift, Elrond presumes, for his daughter. He doubts not that it may light her pensive face with a smile, that she might sweep back the dark hair from her face and grace him with quiet thanks in the ancient tongue.

Though she might be charmed to laughter first, he thinks, for Estel, ungainly human youth, is soaked with snow, and wet to the waist. Elladan shakes his head, himself not quite so awkward... But still, Elrond sees that there is snow melting in Elrohir's hair, and the brothers' shoulders are silvered with snowflakes.

Memory has ever been the gift of elves, though there are moments when Elrond believes it is less a benison than a burden. Unbidden, he remembers another hand atop his own, and snowflakes melting in the valleys between their skin.

It was different then, not just for the time and generations passed. Watching the winter fall, Elrond thought of life quiescent and buried; with the promise of the coming spring, he did not mind the waiting, nor heed the cold. And Elros, brother of his same blood, seeing the same snow-covered trees, had eyes only for the frozen beauty, the brief and bitter sweetness of mortality. The distances which started slight spread ever outwards as the brothers grew: acorns planted side by side, their branches stretching wide and far apart.

Now, these long ages later, Elrohir and Elladan are leaning one on the other, whispering something that makes Estel splutter and protest-- and Elrond finds that there is some satisfaction in thinking that his sons, whatever their choice, might make it together.


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