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Hope in the Healing (PG-13) Print

Written by Susana

14 February 2011 | 36497 words | Work in Progress

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Hope in the Healing Part III

Third Age 2934, About two days before Yule, Imladris

“A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay and swift and free, like a country dance of Mozart’s. To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern and freeze the movement, to check the endlessly changing beauty of its unfolding. There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand; only the barest touch in passing. Now arm in arm, now face to face, now back to back — it does not matter which. Because they know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together, and being invisibly nourished by it.

The joy of such a pattern is not only the joy of creation or the joy of participation, it is also the joy of living in the moment. Lightness of touch and living in the moment are intertwined. One cannot dance well unless one is completely in time with the music, not leaning back to the last step or pressing forward to the next one, but poised directly on the present step as it comes. Perfect poise on the beat is what gives good dancing its sense of ease, of timelessness, of the eternal.”

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, in Gift from the Sea

“If you think you’re being sneaky,” observed Elladan with some asperity, “Helping us to bathe that you may see we conceal no wound or new scars, well, you’re not.”

“Calmly, ‘Dan.” Elrohir soothed, “If Ada means to talk of why the orcs have decided to decamp, we’ll need the bath. And the salve.”

“Not tonight, ionnath-nin.” Lord Elrond reassured them gently, as he turned the knob to set the level of the water in the bathtub, which was closer to the size of a small pond. The same human engineer who had once designed the famous baths at Osgiliath had assisted the elves of Imladris to re-design their plumbing system, so that the nearby hot springs ran through most of the dwellings in their valley. The bathtubs were built into pipes carrying a circular flow of water from the hot springs, such that clean hot water kept flowing in, and old water flowing out, constantly. The knobs were used first to start the water flowing, then to set the level.

The twins shared a six room suite in their father’s home, and had since they first came of age, although the configuration of the rooms had changed several times. Now and for the past several centuries, the two shared a bedroom, the large bathing chamber, a privy, and a sitting room, but each had their own study. They had found that they preferred to have their own individual work space to retreat into, though Elrohir also frequently worked in the map room of the archives, and Elladan in the labs with the alchemists and engineers.

“You are angry, though, aren’t you, Ada?” Elladan asked softly. He didn’t explain further; if Erestor and Drystan knew about the fireboat incident, then their father surely did as well.

“Not angry. Worried, relieved, frustrated… maybe a little angry.” Lord Elrond explained, embracing his more verbose son, and then helping first Elladan and then Elrohir to strip off their sweat-soaked riding leathers. “But there shall be no unpleasantness tonight, ionnath-nin. Tomorrow is soon enough to talk of such matters.” Lord Elrond smiled wryly, “As a yule-tide gift, perhaps we should talk of your inability to not do things which terrify me after the council meeting.”

Elrohir snorted in laughter, then smiled. “That would be preferable, certainly.” The meetings of Imladris’ council did not last so long as those of Lothlorien’s rulers and their advisors, or anywhere near so long as those of Aran Ereinion had when Elrond had been younger, but they were long enough, if one were sitting on a sore bottom.

Elrond helped his exhausted sons into the deep bathing pool, and then helped them to wash, first Elladan, who hated to be dirty, and then Elrohir, who normally didn’t much care. Elladan pulled himself onto one of the carved stone seats on the inside of the pool, sighing in bliss as he relaxed, water nearly up to his chin. “I’ve missed this. Lord Dirhael’s house is comfortable enough, but we were mostly in the forest, or in the smallest and most poverty stricken of villages.”

Smiling at playing squire to his own sons, Elrond offered, “It gives me great joy to have you home as well,” then teasingly, “even if you are happier to see your bathing chamber than your Adar.”

Elrohir laughed. “Ha. I said so, did I not, Ada?”

Elladan idly splashed warm water at both of them. “Just because you’re a heathen, gwanur, is no reason for me not to enjoy life’s civilized pleasures.”

Elrond shook his head, enjoying the tired banter between the twins, a predictable, soothing patter, like gentle rain falling onto new leaves. It was amazing to Elrond to have them home again, his elflings, his knights errant. He was sad to see them so slender and tired, though they were otherwise in good health. And they were not as slender as Mel frequently came home from such field excursions- neither Mel nor Elladan thought much of field rations. Elrohir, so far as Elrond could ever tell, had the impressive digestive capabilities of a goat.

Elrond frowned as Elladan raised an arm above his head, making a rude gesture at his brother. “Where is that scar from, ion-nin, on your chest?” He asked Elladan worriedly.

“That was from awhile ago,” Elrohir answered for his twin, who had slid under the water to rinse his hair again. “From when he and Mel were coming back from lake Evendim, when I was in Greenwood. They ran into bandits, and ‘Dan took a slash.”

Elladan nodded, yawning. He was glad his brother had volunteered that information. Elrohir was a poor liar, and their father knew that. Just as he knew that Elladan could lie to his face, and get away with it, at least for awhile. That scar was actually from the first errand Elladan had run for Gandalf, before Mel joined him. But Elrohir had told their Ada the story that Elladan and Melpomaen had agreed to, so Elrond never suspected a lie.

Having finished scrubbing Elrohir’s back, Elrond quickly washed himself for the third time that day – the joys of having a toddler about – and then joined his sons, relaxing in the warm, flowing water. For a time, all three dozed, happy to be together again.

Elrohir opened one eye a slit as the door to the bathing chamber opened and closed, to admit his golden-haired honorary grandfather, or great-grandfather, depending on how old Glorfindel was feeling on any given day.

Glorfindel, observing his young Lord and his sons, thought for a moment that they looked almost the same. Elrond did look a bit older, having more human blood, and being twice the twins’ age. But all three were marked by many scars, evidence of a life lived in opposition to Morgoth, and then Sauron his servant.

“Its nice to see the three of you not getting into trouble.” Glorfindel joked, as he stripped and joined them, splashing Elrond in the process.

Elrond merely sighed. Such a small, mild attempt to provoke a response was best ignored. He watched, as Elrohir raised an eyebrow at the balrog slayer. Then Elrond blinked, because in that moment Elrohir had looked very much like an older version of Elrond’s twin brother Elros.

Glorfindel nodded in reply, causing Elrohir to nod in satisfaction, and Elrond to sigh in a mixture of relief and wistful resignation. Glorfindel and Elros would have gotten along like a house afire, and Elrond when that occurred to him, experienced both relief and regret that the world had never had to deal with the two of them together. Raising his own brow at his Captain and his heir, Elrond asked, “translation?”

“The wargs that were following your sons are dead.” Glorfindel said with a proud, tight, grin.

“You’d better have taken several guards with you, vorondanya.” Elrond said, in a light, mostly teasing threat. He was about 93% percent sure Glorfindel had, but the balrog slayer was a remarkably poor liar. If he’d gone off to kill wargs himself, it would be obvious.

“Of course I did.” Glorfindel responded, not even opening an eye. “I’m not an idiot, Elrond.”

“Hmm.” Elrond replied, a teasing smile playing about his lips.

“That means sometimes he thinks you are, Glor.” Elladan translated, helpfully. Elrohir shook his head, smiling. His twin loved causing trouble amongst the elder elves.

“Sometimes I think you have too much time and energy on your hands, Elladan.” Glorfindel said, opening one eye to glare at the younger twin. “I also think you don’t practice enough singly, without your twin. Maybe we could get up early the day after Yule, you and I, and every morning therafter for the winter months, and spend several hours each day rectifying that?”

Elladan made a face, and created a diversion. “I can’t believe Ada called you an idiot, Glor. Shame on you, Ada.”

“Keep me out of this, ion-nin.” Elrond lectured gently, as Glorfindel’s eagle eyes turned to his lord.

“You know, Elrond, you could stand to get a real night’s sleep on a regular basis, and to spend more time outside.” Glorfindel said critically, although his eyes twinkled.

“More time outside? Its winter, you daft elf.” Elrond disagreed fondly, shaking his head, “and I’m fine.”

Realizing that he had been distracted from lecturing Elladan by a clever verbal ploy, again, Glorfindel sighed, and directed a comment to both of the twins. “Sometimes I think the two of you may be the best in Arda at whatever it is that you do.”

Elladan, who could not bear to not understand what was going on, wrinkled his nose. “What does that mean, Glor?”

Elrohir frowned. “It means we’re really, really annoying.”

Glorfindel grinned cheerfully at them. “But no one wants to be your enemy, oh saviours of Bree, heroes of the second siege of Imladris.”

Elladan preened while Elrohir sighed. The older twin preferred to win acclaim through brave feats of arms, and it had been more Elladan’s cleverness in the chemistry lab and with discouraging tactics that had helped to foil the Witch- king’s forces during that siege. Still, Elrohir suppposed, a win was a win, and their enemies hardly ever anticipated his twin’s schemes.

Demonstrating this, Elladan frowned, looking concerned. “Ada, are you sure Glor isn’t right, about you not getting enough sleep? You do look tired.”

“I’m fine, Elladan.” Elrond said warningly. He was very proud that his second son had become one of the healers Elrond was most willing to trust to take over his own patients, if Elrond could not care for them, but sometimes Elladan-the-healer was more than Elrond could take.

Glorfindel got out of the pool, pausing to to shove the younger twin under the water, and then to press a gentle, fatherly kiss to the top of Elrond’s dark head, murmuring softly in Quenya, ““Fine,” of course you are, my stubborn elfling Lord,” before picking up a towel.

Elrohir chuckled, then explained what Glorfindel had said to Elladan, who knew Quenya scientific and medical terms backwards and forwards, but routinely forgot other vocabulary and mangled grammar beyond all recognition.

A quiet knock sounded, and Erestor entered, trailed by Melpomaen, at Elladan’s soft call of “Come in.”

“Sorry to bother you, iaur gwador, but Estel has awoken again, and now he wants Ada El.” Erestor explained to Elrond.

“Ionnath-nin,” Elrond excused himself, getting up, “I must…”

“Go to Estel, Ada.” Elrohir urged. “It is allright. We understand.”

“Come, my elflings.” Glorfindel called, collecting Erestor and Elrond. “Inyo,” he told Erestor firmly, “You should sleep, and Guren,” this to Elrond, “You should take something yourself, if you cannot sleep, once we have our Estel settled again.”

“Yes, Glor.” Elrond agreed meekly.

“Ada must be tired,” Elrohir noted, concerned.

Melpomaen snorted, “He is tired. But he’s also humoring Glor.”

“Its the only way.” Elladan said sagely. Then Elrond’s heirs and Erestor’s grinned at eachother, happy beyond words to be reunited.

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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Brandie , Robbie , Robbie , Callum , Houston , Kellye , Rena , Luz , Lauri , Tamela , Venus , Treedweller

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1 Comment(s)

NB: Comments span all chapters and may contain spoilers!

I really enjoyed this fic. I stumbled across it completely by accident when looking for a translation for “mellon muin nin” (which incidentally I read in another of your fics) The first chapter was my favorite because Faramir was in it. I LOVE your characterization of Faramir. I have been reading all your stories that contain Faramir over and over since I first discovered them last week.

One thing I think that you could do to make them better is to translate any elvish you use at the end of your chapters or at least put a glossary of terms somewhere. I don’t know about your other readers but I am not all that familiar with elvish. I can recognize a very few words and even those confuse me when they are used outside of the context with which I am familiar. I really want to know what all those terms of endearment mean exactly. :) Other than that, I love your stories and I love that you update so often! I can’t wait to read the rest of your series. (especially the stories about Faramir)

— firstar28    3 September 2011, 04:39    #

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