Story Notes:

 

Written for Ardor in August 2012. Rating up to: R Pairing: Finrod/Maglor or

Erestor/Ecthelion. Story elements: I'd love something Fourth-Age-or-beyond. Does

*NOT* want: Parent/child or sibling incest, non-con, girly Elves.

 

Author's Chapter Notes:

Beta: Marktis

 

Imladris

 

“Be at peace now my friend,” Glorfindel said as he closed Lord Erestor’s eyes.

 

No one had seen the blade that had taken him from them as they were too busy trying to

defeat the orcs invading the valley. Even Lord Elrond had donned his armor again after

many years although Glorfindel had been able to prevent him from breaking his oath to

never pick up a sword again. He and Erestor had been adamant that they would prevent

that from happening even if it cost them their lives. Neither had believed that the fight

would turn so desperate and unfortunately his friend had paid the ultimate sacrifice to

prevent it.

 

“He should never have come,” Lord Elrond said as he covered his friend’s body until it

could be returned to the valley for proper rights. “It has been too long since he fought.

Unlike me, he did not even practice to stay in shape. He was content with his books.”

 

“It was his choice and you do him a disservice to forget his prior status as a scout,”

Glorfindel said as he saw to the cleaning up of the area. “Go, there are wounded to be

seen to and I will stay with him.”

 

“All he ever wanted was to find a love who would not mind his obsession with books,”

Elrond commented as he left to return to the healing halls. There was much work to be

done before they could finally settle for rest.

 

~~~~~~

 

New Imladris, Valinor

 

Celebrían watched her husband sleep as the moon highlighted his face. For so long she

had believed he would never come that she had given up hope. Then had come the day

he arrived and she had been shocked at what she beheld. Elrond had been within days of

fading and had been taken straight to Loríen to heal. Her mother had not been in much

better shape and had been whisked off by her own father. She had been angry at first

as none had taken the time to explain to her where her children were. Lords Glorfindel

and Erestor also seemed to be missing. It was days before Elrond’s many times great

grandmother had come to explain why none of her children were on the ship. She also

explained about Lord Glorfindel staying with the twins and Lord Erestor’s death.

 

After many centuries Elrond had finally healed enough to take short trips away from

Lorien’s’ Gardens. They had found this little valley beside a swift river in the mountains

to the west and been delighted to learn that the Valar would gladly give them the valley

and surrounding forest and meadows to settle in. Upon their return to the Gardens,

Elrond had disappeared with Lord Irmo to heal further and she had begun to put in place

what was needed to settle their new home. It had taken several centuries of healing and

building but they now called the valley home. Soon, their sons would be healed enough

to join them and make their family as complete as it would ever be.

 

“He looks peaceful,” came a deep voice from the open balcony doors.

 

Startled, Celebrían jumped waking her husband.

 

“Huh,” he said as he sensed another presence in their bedroom.

 

“I see you still retain the guardedness of the outer lands,” Lord Námo said pointing to the

knife Elrond had pulled from under his pillow as he stepped out of the shadows.

 

“Forgive me my Lord,” Elrond pleaded as he replaced the knife and bowed from the

waist at the same time.

 

“No offense is taken as I would probably do the same if someone dared to enter my bed

chamber after dark,” Námo said as he came and sat at the end of the bed.

 

“How may I help you my Lord?” Elrond asked as he didn’t know what else to do and felt

decidedly uncomfortable with the Lord of Mandos sitting at the end of his bed.

 

“We have a little problem that we would like your help with,” Námo began as he tried

to keep from smiling as Celebrían pulled the sheets away from her husband to cover

herself. “It came to our attention some time ago that you basically ran an orphanage in

Imladris.”

 

“Yes,” was all Elrond could think to say as he had no idea where this conversation was

going or why it was taking place in his bedroom.

 

“Well, I have some elves that need homes as they have no family here,” came the cryptic

answer.

 

“And these elves are unclaimed elflings I take it,” Celebrían asked as she remained

hidden behind her husband.

 

“In a way,” Námo answered.

 

*Quit playing games with them Námo,* Manwë said in his brother’s ear as he watched

the proceedings through Námo’s eyes. He was rather protective of his Peredhil as

Elrond’s chosen road was more pure than most despite his upbringing.

 

“I have some fëa who are ready to be reborn but they have no family here in Valinor to

accept and help them,” he began to explain.

 

“I would never turn my back on an elf in need and all know that,” Elrond explained

defensively as he sensed that something was off with this explanation.

 

“Even if it means you have to not only raise them but birth them,” Námo asked.

 

“Explain yourself, what exactly are you asking?” Celebrían ventured from behind her

husband. This was making no sense to her.

 

“These fëa are all from Middle-earth,” the Vala began. “Most have no family here as

those prior to them chose to refuse the call and have faded away totally. It is time for

them to be reborn and they have no families to help them adjust.”

 

“But what did you mean about birth,” Elrond asked confused.

 

“Many of these fëa had rough, sad childhoods that left them scarred,” he answered. “We

would like to give them a second chance at what should have been at time in the hopes

that it helps heal some of the sadness that will result from being here alone. What I am

asking is if you would be interested in helping.”

 

“Helping how exactly?” Celebrían asked as she began to suspect what was going to be

asked.

 

“We would like to know if you would consider birthing and raising a reborn fëa or two?”

came the quiet response.

 

Elrond and Celebrían were shocked and just looked at each other.

 

“You could even choose who you would wish to give birth to and raise from a list I

would provide you,” Námo added to help entice them.

 

“Has this ever been done before?” Elrond asked as he considered what was being asked.

 

“We tried it once before with disastrous results,” the dark Vala informed them. “The

couple that agreed to try this were from Aman and could not cope with the odd behavior

which seemed natural to the child or with the returned memories. We were hoping that

having someone from Middle-earth try might have better results.”

 

“But why us?” Celebrían wanted to know.

 

“Because of who I am,” Elrond answered as he thought about it. “My Maia blood would

give me advantages in helping the fëa that others do not have.”

 

“That and other various reasons,” Námo admitted.

 

“When do you need an answer by?” Elrond asked.

 

“I will return in two days time for an answer,” Mandos answered as he rose to

leave. “This is strictly a request, not an order from us.”

 

“We understand,” Elrond answered as they watched the Vala fade away.

 

Elrond and his wife just looked at each other for a minute before shrugging their

shoulders and going back to sleep.

 

“He will come for an answer tonight,” Elrond said to his wife who had been shying from

a discussion of what the Valar wanted them to do. “To be honest, I am willing to do it.

I miss the sound of elflings in the house and I suspect that it will some time before the

twins provide us with little ones to pamper.”

 

“I do not think I could raise another girl after having lost my own,” came the quiet

answer.

 

“So we choose only ellon,” he said as he came and held his wife. “I too am not sure I

could handle having another ellith even now.”

 

Hearing a pop behind them, they turned to discover a scroll sitting on the bed. Elrond just

rolled his eyes when he retrieved it and upon opening discovered a list of names and short

histories for ellon.

 

“Our list?” Celebrían asked with a laugh.

 

“They do not waste time when they want something, do they?” Elrond commented as

they sat down and started reading the list of entries.

 

“Look, there is Haldir,” Celebrían exclaimed in surprise as they neared the bottom of the

page. “Oh, I would love to see my foster-brother be reborn.”

 

“That might get a bit awkward,” Elrond commented. “Maybe we should tell your parents

about his name being on the list when they come next week.”

 

“Why?” she asked out of curiosity.

 

“Do you not think they might agree to do what we have been asked to do at least when it

concerns their foster children?” her husband answered.

 

“My Naneth always wanted more children but was unable to have any others,” she told

him.

 

“Maybe the Valar can help if she agrees to birth them,” he suggested.

 

“But would she want to after all of this time?” Celebrían answered as they continued

perusing the list. Finally they came to the last name on the list, Erestor. After one look

into each other’s eyes, they knew they had made their choice. Who better to bring back

than one of their best friends who had given his life for their land.

 

“The Valar wasted no time with this rebirthing of fëa, I see,” Galadriel said to her

daughter as she helped her clip flowers in the garden. “Have you told Elrond yet?”

 

“No, I thought I would wait and see how long it takes him to notice,” Celebrían

laughingly answered. “He can be so dense when it comes to these things in me.”

 

Smiling, her mother just nodded her head in agreement before she continued. “Your Ada

keeps looking at Haldir’s name on the list.”

 

“Oh Nana, I never told you we did not decide on him as it just seemed too awkward,”

the silver haired ellith said. She hoped her Naneth would take that well as she knew how

much her parents had loved Haldir and his brothers.

 

“Well, I guess that is a good thing then as I have decided to take Elrond up on his hint to

intercede for me in asking for that privilege.” Galadriel comment as she looked away.

 

“How will Ada take that news?” Celebrían asked as she knew that once her mind was

made up, her Naneth would not change it.

 

“He is secretly hoping you will consider it,” Lord Námo said as he appeared through the

bushes. “He is just too afraid of what you will say if he asks. For me, I am glad you have

decided to take this path as it is a perfect solution for Haldir and his brothers.”

 

Galadriel’s eyes widen as she took in Lord Námo’s meaning. “I will agree to them but no

others,” she made clear.

 

Námo just nodded at her as he faded away.

 

Both pregnancies went well and soon there were two new additions to the household as

Celebrian’s parents had decided to stay in the Valley for now with their daughter and her

family. The twins joined them from Loríen several years later and were shocked at first

but soon adjusted to the situation. Their only problem seemed to come in that they tended

to torment the two little ellon frequently in an attempt to get back at their former mentors.

A threat of a trip to the court of Ingwe and the waiting ladies solved that problem easily

enough.

 

Oromë himself came and taught Erestor and Haldir woodcraft after they reached their

thirtieth begetting days. Afterwards, Tulkas stopped by and gave them and any others

interested lessons in weapons. Many Maiar came with their lords to help with lessons

and many stayed as they enjoyed the beauty of the land and the interaction with the elves

formerly from Middle-earth. It was during the weapons training that Erestor declared that

once taught he would relinquish his sword for the interest he held in the growing library

of New Imladris. Olorin, with Lord Tulkas’s help, was able to convince Erestor that it

would not hurt to keep practicing if for no other reason than to stay in shape. Haldir just

told him he was crazy to settle for books as he began spending most of his time in the

woods with the Maiar.

 

Just after their forty-third begetting day the two ellon began having flashbacks and

dreams of their former lives. Lord Glorfindel, who had finally retrieved his family from

their Amanian relatives, had settled down in the valley and was able to help guide Elrond

and Galadriel in what they would need to know and do to help the ellon adjust as their

former memories returned. It was on their forty-fourth birthday that the two were sat

down with their foster parents and told of their former identities. Both left the meeting

and ran to the library where they helped each other learn as much about their former

selves as they were able to find. With the knowledge gained both from the library and

from picking various people’s brains the two ellon were as prepared as they could be for

the night of their majority when all of their memories returned. They woke that morning

as their former selves and conducted their lives accordingly with Haldir returning to

Celeborn’s side as his most trusted March warden and Erestor stepping into the role of

chief counselor for Elrond.

 

~~~~~~~~~

 

Several hundred years later:

 

Erestor considered the implications of the message one of the Maia living in the woods

surrounding the valley had passed to him just five minutes ago. King Turgon had been

reborn and had decided to move to New Imladris and make it his home. With him was

coming a growing parade of his former subjects. Erestor decided to question Glorfindel

before passing this news on to his Lord.

 

“It will all depend on what King Turgon decides to do,” Glorfindel told his friend. “If he

demands to be leader of this valley, or his people push him to replace Lord Elrond, there

could be trouble.”

 

“Do you really think it will come down to that?” Erestor wanted to know. “If what I have

heard about his realms in Middle-earth is true, then many of us will have to find a new

home.”

 

“You are referring to your preference of your own sex,” Glorfindel stated rather than

asked. “I had not thought of that but you are correct. It will not be easy for those like you

to find a new home either as most of Aman share King Turgon’s attitude.”

 

“New Imladris is the only realm that does not have rules regarding that issue

specifically,” Erestor continued. “Elrond’s rules of tolerance are one of the reasons this

land has grown and prospered so quickly. He does not judge someone until they have

done something wrong here, and believes in a second chance for all. We will lose all of

that if we must leave.”

 

“Have you considered that maybe Elrond will just move and create another haven

somewhere that all of you can join,” Glorfindel answered as he considered the situation.

This could be a nightmare in the making he began to realize.

 

“And what is to prevent someone else from coming in and stealing that land also,”

Erestor asked.

 

“We need to talk to Elrond and prepare him for what might happen,” Glorfindel said as

he rose and pulled Erestor from his chair. “Did the Maia say how long we had until King

Turgon arrives?”

 

“The first group should arrive by tomorrow night if they do not speed up or slow down,”

came the wary answer.

 

As they stood before Lord Elrond’s study door Glorfindel stopped and thought for

a minute. “Go warn the house staff to start preparing rooms and give the kitchens a

warning. Elrond will not deny them shelter regardless of the outcome of our discussions.

I will go and clear his schedule and notify the counsel of the in prompt meeting. It is libel

to be a long night depending on how stubborn Elrond and the others will be.”

 

Erestor rushed off to prepare everything as Glorfindel walked into Elrond’s study only to

find him standing on the balcony looking over as much of his home as he could see.

 

“Is Erestor warning the house staff?” the dark haired half elf asked without turning

around. At Glorfindel’s sigh he continued, “I sent Elrohir off to gather the counsel for

an emergency meeting, and order our dinner brought there. Celebrían is checking that

everyone else is ready for a big influx of people also.”

 

“The Maia warned you also?” Glorfindel inquired.

 

“No, Lord Eönwë did,” Elrond answered as he turned and faced his friend. “The Valar

realized what might happen when Turgon and his followers join us here and wanted me

to know that they would rather not interfere in this.

 

“But they gave you this land themselves,” came the protest.

 

“Eönwë said he did not understand either,” Lord Elrond commented. “He has told me in

confidence that if we find we have to move that he knows of a really nice valley similar

to this one near the Western Sea. He said it is in Lord Tulkas’s domain and to the north.

He seemed to think that its location would be a deterrent to other’s attempts to take it

from us.”

 

“He probably knows elves more that most of his brethren but I fear in this he is wrong.

There is always someone there willing to take over someone else’s work because they

are too lazy to do it themselves,” came the troubled reply. “You have decided then that if

many are forced to leave you will go with them?

 

“Oh, Glorfindel,” Elrond began with a smile as Erestor walked up behind him. “Your

belief in the good of Aman never changes. You refuse to see that one of the reasons we

settled here was because there are many who think the Peredhel have less of a place in

Aman than most others who are considered strange and unworthy. Come now, let us go

to council and make a plan for what we will do in various situations.”

 

The counsel session went long into the night as many believed that Lord Elrond should

fight for this valley being his. Finally a course of action was decided on and they all went

to rest before making the final preparations for the incoming crowd.

 

Lords Glorfindel and Erestor were waiting at the gates when King Turgon and his

contingent of people arrived. Upon his dismount Lord Glorfindel greeted King Turgon

with a salute and a hug before stepping back beside Erestor. King Turgon gave him a

curious look before he noticed the arrival of twin ellon on horseback.

 

“Great-grandfather, welcome to our humble home,” Elladan said as he gave a bow with

his twin. “I am Elladan and this is my twin Elrohir.”

 

“You are Elrond’s sons then,” came the answer and the King sized up the two ellon

before him. He looked to see what made them different but could find little that was

obvious.

 

“Come,” Elrohir called after he saw that the King would say no more. “All are welcome

and rooms have been prepared. A meal will be served in the Hall for all of you within

two hours so you will want to settle.”

 

There was grumbling from behind the King but Turgon silenced it with a raise of his

hand before remounting his horse. They proceeded to the house where Lord Elrond and

his wife were waiting to greet them. As the others came into the courtyard before the

house, those who were not known to be lords were led away to waiting houses or rooms.

 

“Welcome to my home great-grandfather,” Lord Elrond said with a bow as King Turgon

dismounted and approached him.

 

“Well met child, I have heard much about you,” Turgon replied as he took the time to

look Elrond over. He saw the obvious differences between the twins and their father even

though their coloring and build were the same. He marveled at how little Elrond looked

like his father Earnindil, and more like the few pictures and descriptions he had heard of

Luthien. Then he turned and looked Celebrían over with a smile.

 

“You have the silver hair of your Ada but the face of your mother my dear,” Turgon

stated as he raised her hand to kiss. Secretly, he wondered what had attracted such a

 

beautiful lady to the Peredhil. Elrond may have inherited some of Luthien’s looks but he

was still too different.

 

“I have rooms prepared for all of you if you will follow the servants,” Elrond said as he

signaled the servants forward. “I will escort you to your rooms,” he stated to his great-

grandfather.

 

Turgon and his people settled into the valley quietly at first but it soon it became apparent

that the new people would not tolerate the beliefs of the original residents. As the year

progressed small fights began to break out and clear divisions were seen at workplaces

and in the halls. Then, slowly, rumors began to circulate that King Turgon would be a

better leader for the valley. As time passed the rumors were less discreet with many of

Turgon’s people becoming derisive to Lord Elrond and his family. King Turgon never

made an effort to stop the rumors or his people’s behavior. Amongst all of this Lord

Erestor realized that he was being followed by Lord Ecthelion. He would try to avoid him

but it never seemed to work. Finally being fed up with the behavior, Erestor asked Lord

Glorfindel to talk with the dark hair Lord.

 

Glorfindel waited until after they had sparred one day and caught Ecthelion by himself in

the armory.

 

“I have a question for you my friend,” Glorfindel began. “What is your interest in Lord

Erestor?”

 

“What are you talking about Glorfindel?” Ecthelion asked as he tried to laugh off the

question.

 

“You have been following him around for weeks now,” Glorfindel stated as he let it be

know he would not be blown off. “I should warn you that he is a good friend of mine

also. I will not stand for you hurting him.”

 

“I have been asked to watch him,” Ecthelion finally admitted. “It is not known how loyal

he is to Elrond and I was asked to ascertain that information. King Turgon thinks he will

make a good addition to his counsel which is quiet a compliment.”

 

“He will never join with you Ecthelion; he is totally devoted to Lord Elrond and his

family. He sacrificed his life once for him and Erestor would do it again in a heartbeat.”

 

“King Turgon has many incentives to entice him to stay,” was the only reply Ecthelion

would give. “Besides, I like him and you will be here also.”

 

“So it has been decided then to take the land from Lord Elrond?” Glorfindel asked gently.

 

“Of course, that was the plan all along,” Ecthelion stated like it was a well know fact. “It

helped of course that you were already here and would be able to solve any of the

problems that arose or provide any missing information we might need. Of course the

Maia being here was always an attraction also. It ads prestige to the area.”

 

“I see,” was all Glorfindel said at first. “And what is to become of Lord Elrond and his

family?”

 

“Oh, they will be allowed to stay of course but it a much junior capacity,” Ecthelion said

as if that was obvious. “After all, he is only a Peredhil despite the fact that he is related to

the King.”

 

“And the others?” Glorfindel asked being careful to not to sound too interested.

 

“Oh,” Ecthelion answered quickly, “They will be thrown out of course. This will be a

pure land like it was in Gondolin.”

 

“I thought we always agreed that the laws were too strict before,” Glorfindel said

jokingly to avoid giving his true feelings away.

 

“It is the way it is,” was the only answer Ecthelion gave as they walked out the door and

headed for the main house. “See you at dinner? Have Erestor sit with us if you can. It will

enable me to come to know him better. ”

 

“But of course,” came the friendly answer as Glorfindel decided that he needed to warn

Elrond right after his bath.

 

“So it has begun,” Lord Elrond said as he considered what Glorfindel had told him. “I

was hoping that we at least would have a year or two.”

 

“So what is our course of action?” came the interested reply.

 

Elrond looked at Glorfindel searchingly before he decided that to ask his question

bluntly. “I need to know my friend, what of you?”

 

“What do you mean, what of me?” Glorfindel asked confused.

 

“Will you stay with King Turgon or will you go with me and my family?” Elrond asked

quietly.

 

“I have served King Turgon for many years,” Glorfindel answered quietly. “to him I was

only one of his captains and one of many lords of his realm. With you it is different. I

have always felt that you considered me and mine as part of your family. Was I wrong in

this?”

 

“No, you are not. I would be glad to call you brother any day because that is what you

have become to me,” Elrond said as he pulled Glorfindel into a hug. Once they had

broken apart, Elrond thought for a minute and decided on a course of action. “I will send

the twins to Lord Eönwë to ascertain the location of that valley he spoke of. They can

check out the area, and find the easiest mode of travel between here and there on their

way back. I will have Erestor discreetly begin to order supplies and foodstuffs to be

shipped to our new home. When the twins return, I will keep them here as a distraction

 

and begin to send people to the new valley slowly. I will pick those who I know are loyal

first. Then as we see people leave as they realize that King Turgon is taking over and

enforcing his biased rules, we can direct them to our new valley.”

 

“They plan on trying to steal Erestor from you,” Glorfindel said as he began planning

logistics for what was ahead.

 

“Have they really not realized the truth about him,” Elrond asked in surprise. “Then I

guess it is a good thing he will not stay because of his preferences. I can use this though

as a distraction to cover some the other activities that we will have to undertake to move

smoothly. I will let you tell him what is going on as I brief the twins and Celebrían.

I will have to discuss with her at what point we will need to leave and let her arrange

everything for our family.”

 

“What about Celeborn and Galadriel?” Glorfindel wanted to know.

 

“I will have Celebrían talk with her parents,” came the thoughtful answer. “I am not sure

what they will do but I do know they won’t stay here. Rumil had finally told them of his

preferences and the family will not stay somewhere he is not welcome.”

 

Erestor did not like it but fell in with Elrond and Glorfindel’s plan to keep King Turgon

interested in him. It had the side effect that he spent a lot of time with Lord Ecthelion

whom he discovered had a great personality. He was surprised to learn that the Lord had

no wife or family and finally asked him how he avoided Turgon’s attempts to marry him

off.

 

“I made a solemn vow in front of him to only marry for love regardless what he said,”

Ecthelion answered. “I am afraid that it will never happen in a realm run by King

Turgon.”

 

Erestor stopped writing in the ledger he was working on and took a deep look at his new

friend. What exactly was Ecthelion saying? Was it an effort to find out the truth about

his own preferences? Erestor decided to play it safe and not answer at all. He would not

jeopardize Lord Elrond’s plans or endanger any of his friends. Already there had been

instances of those deemed undesirable being beaten and chased away from the valley. He

knew it was only a matter of time before the truth of his own preferences was found out.

His major problem now was not letting Ecthelion know that he was attracted to him as he

doubted that his feelings were returned.

 

Finally, as Yule approached, came the day that Elrond had feared and anticipated, King

Turgon walked into his study and ask every one else to leave. Closing the door behind

Erestor as he finally departed at Elrond’s nod, Turgon came over and signaled Elrond to

come from behind his desk and sit beside the fire with him.

 

“You wish to speak with me?” Elrond asked as he poured them both a cup of tea before

sitting.

 

“You are smart Elrond,” Turgon began, “I think you know why I am here.”

 

“You wish to take over rule of the valley,” Elrond stated after deciding not to make hard

but to gain the most his could from his great-grandfather.

 

“It is what most wish for,” he answered. “You have no need to worry for yourself and

your family if that is what you think. I would like you to stay as a counselor since you

initially built this valley. Your expertise would be invaluable.”

 

Elrond looked away into the fire for a few minutes as he digested the words that had

been spoken to him. His own great-grandfather had not even offered him a Lordship but

a reduction to merely a counselor. It let him know exactly where he stood here. Now his

only concern became how to ease a transfer of power while ensuring the safety of all who

would or could not stay. Finally, he came to a decision.

 

“It is almost Yule grandfather,” Elrond began as he prayed to the Valar to help his

plea. “Can you see it within you to wait until closer to the spring? I would like one last

season to ensure a smooth transfer. I know there are many who will be unwelcome

under your rule and would like to see that they are gone myself so they do not cause you

disruption when you take over. My family and I had planned a trip before spring anyway

and that would seem like a great time to hand over the realm.”

 

Turgon was surprised by the ease with which Elrond was agreeing to the transition; he

had expected a lot of yelling and arguing. Since Elrond was being so agreeable, he was

inclined to grant this young one his request. His counselors could adjust his timeline

easily enough and he did like the idea of not having to deal with all of the undesirables.

Besides, his people had still not been able to wrangle an agreement from Lord Erestor to

stay by his side as he really wanted.

 

“What about my counselors and Lords?” Elrond asked as he cut into Turgon’s thoughts.

 

“They are welcome to stay of course just as you are if they wish,” came the return as

Turgon began to look over the study better. Yes this was an idea office for him but he

would need to have new furniture made as he did not like what was presently there. He

had time to do this if he agreed to Elrond’s request to wait until closer to spring. “I would

especially like your help in recruiting Lord Erestor to my counselors as he seems to be so

helpful.”

 

“He already knows you are interested and I have told him it is his choice,” was the only

response Elrond gave.

 

“Before spring it is then,” Turgon said as he made his way out of the room. “We can wait

until after Yule to make the announcement.

 

Elrond sat back down in front of the fire as he heard the balcony doors open. He knew

Glorfindel had rushed around to listen in on the conversation.

 

“So he has made it official,” Glorfindel said as he poured himself a cup of tea. “I am

angry though at his treatment of you.”

 

“It does not surprise me though as it is an attitude shared among many here,” came the

quiet answer.

 

“When will you leave then?” Glorfindel asked the question that could no longer be

avoided.

 

“Only after the last of those who will be unwelcome here leave,” Elrond answered.

 

That was exactly what he expected so Glorfindel just nodded as he watched Erestor enter

from his office.

 

“I have arranged for the last of those to leave right after Yule,” Erestor informed them.

 

“So soon?” came the surprised answer.

 

“It will only become harder for them once the announcement is made,” he explained. “I

think we all wish to avoid that. There are others who might wish to leave once you are

gone but they will have to manage on their own. It is too dangerous to ask everyone what

their wish is in this instant.”

 

“As much as I don’t like it I agree,” Elrond said as Glorfindel nodded his head in

agreement. Turning to Glorfindel he asked, “Have you decided how you are going to

carry through with your plans?”

 

“I have already been asked to resume my role on the Counsel of Lords,” he informed

them. “I will go ahead and step into that role now. I have already gained permission to

travel after Yule because I have errands in that direction anyway, and permission has

been granted. I will just never come back. Ecthelion will inform King Turgon upon his

return as he has asked to travel with me. I will tell him the truth once we are free and

clear of the area.”

 

“Do you really trust him?” Erestor asked.

 

“I do, why do you ask?” Glorfindel wanted to know.

 

“There is something off about him,” came the careful reply. “He is hiding something and

afraid of being discovered.”

 

“Are you sure Erestor?” Elrond asked as he finally commented. “We do not need

additional complications.”

 

“I am sure. He has brought up hints and made little innuendos about never finding love

and happiness under Turgon,” Erestor informed them.

 

“You think they may suspect the truth and he is trying to draw you out,” Elrond said as

he thought about the situation. “Can you prevent them from finding out the truth or does

he already suspect?”

 

“He does not suspect yet,” was the only answer Erestor could give presently.

 

“I will take him for a ride tomorrow afternoon and ask him bluntly what is going on,”

Glorfindel said. “I like this not and will not have you hurt. They can make your life

miserable if they try.”

 

“I can only protect you so much from now on Erestor,” Elrond said as he nodded his

agreement with Glorfindel’s plan. “Be careful and let me know if you feel pressured. I

will send you on an errand from which you can choose not to return if I must.”

 

“That might be better anyway,” Erestor said quietly as he turned to leave for the night. “I

can have everything completed for the turn over before Yule and you can use the excuse

that I am retrieving an undelivered package as cover. By the way, Turgon’s counselors

have asked to be taken to the treasury first thing tomorrow morning and for a full

inventory. They will be rather shocked to find it almost empty as Eönwë and Olorin left

me a message this morning saying they transferred almost all of it to your new treasury

last night. ”

 

“What is all of that about?” Elrond wanted to know.

 

“I know not but will question Ecthelion tomorrow,” Glorfindel answered as he poured

them more wine. “He will know what is going on as he is an incurable gossip.”

 

“I will be so glad when this is all over with,” Elrond mentioned as he set up the chess

board. “This was supposed to be a place of peace and rest.”

 

Ecthelion enjoyed the mornings ride as he had not spent much time with his friend lately.

Without Glorfindel even having to ask he informed him of the treasury inventory. It

seems that Turgon did not trust Elrond and thought to prevent him from stealing it. He

was rather shocked to discover how little was actually in the treasury and had begun

to make despairing comments on Elrond’s management style because of it, as well as

referring to him as a poor relation who would have to remain to sponge off of him.

Finally, Ecthelion talked himself out and Glorfindel took his chance to find out what was

going on.

 

“Ecthelion my friend,” he began. “Why are you so interested in Lord Erestor? You are

making him extremely uncomfortable with all of your comments and he has approached

me asking if perhaps you were unnatural.”

 

Ecthelion slowed his horse to a stop and waited for Glorfindel to turn and come by his

side.

 

“I am not unnatural,” he began with a hesitant pause. He stopped and looked his

friend over well for a few minutes before continuing. “I find I am attracted to Erestor,

Glorfindel and it confuses me.”

 

“In what way does it confuse you?” the blonde encouraged.

 

“I know that what I am feeling is wrong but it is still there despite what I do to the

contrary,” the dark haired elf answered. “I know not what to do.”

 

“You know that Turgon will not accept this behavior,” Glorfindel led.

 

“But you will accept it as you have aligned yourself with Elrond,” Ecthelion answered.

Seeing the panic in Glorfindel’s eyes he put his friend at ease. “Be at peace my friend, I

will not tell where your true loyalties lie. The others are fools to not see it and I will not

enlighten them. I had begun to believe that maybe Erestor was one who preferred his own

kind since I have never seen him date or talk of a special person.”

 

“I know not Erestor’s preferences as he has shown no interest in either sex,” Glorfindel

answered. “You must be careful until you figure out what you truly feel. While not the

death sentence it once was, you know Turgon’s punishment would be harsh if he thought

you preferred your own kind.”

 

“There is no where else for me to go if I find that it is the case,” cam the glum

answer. “Elrond’s realm was the only truly tolerant one in the land and now that he is

turning it over to Turgon, even that will be gone.”

 

“I suggest you speak with Lord Erestor,” Glorfindel tried to advise his friend. “You can

trust him with the truth. He deserves not to think he has done something wrong.”

 

“I will think about it,” Ecthelion answered evasively before changing the subject. “You

should convince Elrond to move with his family. He will be tolerated at first but in the

end Turgon will drive him out.”

 

“I do not understand that as he accepted Tuor and Eärendil’s,” Glorfindel said confused.

 

“It is his Telri blood and traits that Turgon cannot stand,” he said. “They remind him of

Eol, and his sister’s death. I also think Turgon believes that the rumors of Elrond having

some of the abilities of a Maia are a false claim he makes to enhance his reputation. You

know he could never stand anyone who might show him up.”

 

Glorfindel nodded as he realized how volatile the situation could become the longer they

stayed. He wondered if he could convince Elrond to head out before the Yule holiday.

But then again, maybe it would be fun to rub the truth into Turgon’s nose one last time

before they left. He would have to have a talk with Olorin when he stopped by again

tomorrow to give an update on the new valley. If he agreed to Glorfindel’s plan then they

only had to convince Elrond.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The morning of the Yule festival dawned cold and clear. They had received a massive

snow fall the preceding two days and had only managed to finish digging out the evening

before. As the cooks began the festivities with a Telrin Yule breakfast the first of the

Maia began to drop in and add their charm and light to the celebrations. This continued

for the next 24 hours with the elflings being showered with loads of gifts and goodies

from them. King Turgon was seen to be beaming with pride and has been overheard

saying that this was being done in acknowledgement of the valley becoming his. This

angered the Maiar who attended and they decided to show Turgon just how arrogant

he was in a delayed way. He would think twice when his crops failed, the creatures

disappeared from the forest, and no Maia showed his face in the realm again once Elrond

had left. It was clear it was a lesson long past due.

 

Four days before Yule, Glorfindel informed Erestor in front of several of Turgon’s

counselors that Elrond was ordering him to Loríen to pick up a package that could not

be shipped in time. Erestor played his part and grumbled much. Ecthelion volunteered

to prepare his horse while he gathered what he would take with him. Once in the stables

Erestor decided that this was his last chance to show Ecthelion how he felt about him as

he had no intentions of coming back. Just before he mounted his horse, Erestor pulled

Ecthelion close and kissed him putting all of his feelings into it. He was surprised when

he broke away only to have Ecthelion pull him close for another kiss. Finally Erestor

mounted his horse and rode away without stopping or looking back.

 

Lord Erestor had not returned to the valley before Yule and it was assumed that the

snow had delayed him. When Elrond announced that he and his family would be leaving

on a vacation the following week Turgon again just thought that it was ill planning on

Elrond’s part and that it would only speed up the transition. Elrond promised to have his

family’s furniture and belongs placed into storage so that Turgon could move into the

family rooms while they were gone. He smiled quietly to himself as he heard Turgon’s

counselors continue to make their plans his coronation upon Elrond’s return knowing that

he would never be coming back to officially turn over the realm. Let Turgon work that

out with the Valar.

 

Glorfindel and Ecthelion joined Elrond and his family in the stables as they mounted

their horses. Nothing was said but they all took a final look at their one time home as

they left the valley. After six hours of riding at a fast clip they came to the crossroads

that branched off to Loríen. Elrond signaled for a stop as he saw the fresh horses he had

ordered tethered just beside the road. Glorfindel drew Ecthelion to the side as the twins

moved the family’s belongings to the fresh horses.

 

“What is going on Glorfindel?” Ecthelion wanted to know as he watched what was going

on. He suspected he was not going to like what he was told.

 

“We are leaving from here to go to our new home,” the blonde ellon told his friend. “The

valley has ceased to be home and we are leaving it for good.”

 

“But what about your oath to Turgon?” Ecthelion said although he guessed that deep

inside he was not really surprised.

 

“My oath to Turgon ended with my death back outside of Gondolin,” came the forceful

answer. “I am now bound to Lord Elrond both as my liege and as a brother.”

 

“This was all a ruse to leave the valley then?” Ecthelion asked even though he already

knew the answer.

 

“Yes,” was the only answer given. “You are to tell Turgon that we will not be returning.”

 

“And Erestor?” Ecthelion asked.

 

“He went on ahead to ensure everything was ready for us as have many others,” Elrond

answered as he approached. “Has the mass exodus from the valley really been that much

of a surprise?”

 

“Tell me friend I will miss him,” Ecthelion said as he turned to mount his horse.

 

“Come with us Ecthelion,” Elrond said as he tried to reach the ellon. “You know in your

heart that the restrictions Turgon imposes is wrong. You know we will accept you and

that you can be happy with us.”

 

When Ecthelion made no response but mounted his horse, Glorfindel tried one last plea.

 

“I have suspected what is truly in your heart my friend, join us. Erestor will be happy to

see you and you can never tell what will happen between you.”

 

Ecthelion just looked thoughtful for a moment before turning and heading back to the

valley.

 

“Come,” Elrond said. “It is time to go. We have planted the seeds; they will need time to

grow.”

 

“I hope that is foresight speaking,” was the only answer as they mounted their horses and

made their way north to their new home.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Several decades later

 

The valley flourished and the Maia who seemed to have transplanted with Elrond and

his family kept the valley free of unwanted persons who thought to cause trouble or try

to take over. There was a steady stream of visitors from all realms except King Turgon’s

who had still not forgiven Elrond fro ‘stealing’ his people and treasury. When he tried

to publically protest to the Valar during a festival he was firmly informed that the Valar

did not acknowledge his theft of the realm or people as no one had the right to restrict or

dictate others actions. He was also informed that he had no right to what little Elrond had

 

left in his treasury as it was him personal wealth that Turgon had no claim on. There were

few problems for the valley after that.

 

About three centuries after the move a Maia approached Elrond with the news that

Ecthelion was approaching the valley. Elrond took a chance and called to Erestor.

 

“There is an ellon approaching the valley that I want you to personally meet,” he ordered.

 

“Elrond, it is pouring buckets of rain,” Erestor protested. “Can I not meet him when he

enters the house?”

 

“No, it is important that he be met before then,” came the response.

 

“Send Glorfindel, it is his turn to get soaked,” Erestor said tersely before turning to leave.

 

“This is an order Lord Erestor,” Elrond ordered.

 

Erestor turned and looked at Elrond with wide eyes as he was rarely spoken to this way.

Finally deciding that he was not being told something, he nodded his assent and made his

way to his rooms to retrieve a cloak.

 

It was only upon meeting the strange ellon at the gates that Erestor realized who it was.

 

“Why do you come here?” he asked.

 

“I come looking for a home where I may be accepted,” Ecthelion answered. “And with a

hope to see if a past friendship could possibly develop into something more.”

 

Erestor looked into Ecthelion’s eyes before turning away. He put his hand out and

Ecthelion grasped it as they headed into the valley and house. Maybe it was time for love

after all.

 

Finis