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Spiced Wine
03/17/19 10:40 am
Settling down and getting much nicer after tomorrow, Ziggy!
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Anyone else fed up with this awful weather?? At least it means we snuggle up and read and write:)
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03/01/19 10:11 am
Happy Friday! :)
Shout Archive

Bright Dreams of the Past by Alquien

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Story notes:
Beta: IgnobleBard. Many thanks for all the time and patience spent on this. Any/all remaining mistakes are mine.
Chapter notes:
A 2017 Ardor in August gift for lynndyre.

It seems so long ago, Glorfindel thought to himself, as he prepared to escort Elrond to the Grey Havens. After attending Arwen’s wedding in Minas Tirith, Elrond had decided it was time to sail.

“You may stay or come as you please,” Elrond told Glorfindel and the rest of the household. “But it is time for me to leave.”

There had been a flurry of packing and good-byes to be made, as well as getting things ready for the twins – or rather Erestor and Glorfindel – to oversee the hidden realm.

“I will miss this a great deal, Elrond said. “I remember the first time I came here was with Gil. It was he who named the waterfall ‘Rainbow Song’…” Elrond turned away from the windows and back to his personal library, making sure that the last books had been cleared from the shelves.

But the days moved past and soon it was time to leave. Glorfindel and Celeborn had ridden beside Elrond at first but he soon rode ahead of them. It was clear that Elrond had no wish for company, so Glorfindel and Celeborn rode on together silence for a time.

“I remember the first time I met you,” Glorfindel said at last in a thoughtful tone. “You had been sent with a message for the Noldor king…”


Who are you and what do you want?” Glorfindel asked the silver-haired Teleri who clutched a piece of parchment in his hand.

“I am to deliver this to the Noldor king,” the Teleri replied. “My name is Celeborn.”

Glorfindel looked to the tent where the rival branches of Finwë’s house were arguing that very question, of who exactly was to be High King. There had been no clear line of succession, for no-one could have imagined the murder of Finwë. Upon his father’s death, Fëanor had disappeared briefly before reclaiming what was rightfully his, despite the fact that the Valar had appointed Fingolfin as regent in Finwë’s absence.

Now, with the death of Fëanor, his sons believed the crown was Maedhros’ with Maglor acting as his regent, while Fingolfin (and his sons) insisted the crown belonged to him, as the second-born son of Finwë. It was quieter now, but their loud arguments were easily heard through the camp. Glorfindel made his escape early, offering to stand guard during the meeting and Turgon looked enviously after him as he exited the tent.

“And I am Glorfindel,” Glorfindel finally said. “If you give it to me, I will deliver it personally.”

“I’m afraid I can’t do that. My uncle charged me to deliver it into the hands of the king and none other.”

“You will have a long wait then.” Glorfindel sighed as he gestured to a pile of small boxes. “Here, be seated.”

Celeborn sat down, feeling quite put out. He was not used to being ignored or having to wait on anyone’s whim. He was not fond of these strange Noldor, as they called themselves, and the gossip he had heard from others made him most uneasy. Still, this blond Vanya seemed polite enough.

“Did you travel very far?” Glorfindel asked. “It is time for the noon meal and I would be happy to share what I have with you.”

“I have no wish to impose,” Celeborn began.

“It is no imposition, believe me,” Glorfindel replied as he reached for a nearby basket and placed a clean cloth on one of the taller boxes. “I didn’t know how long I would be here, so I snagged a few things before I left the meal tent.”

Soon, they were enjoying a light meal of bread, cheese, fruit and wine. They spoke of many things: how soon the season would change, what sort of game and fruits were to be found. They also found out a few personal things as well – how Celeborn was Sindar, not Teleri, and that he had a slightly older cousin, Oropher. Celeborn discovered that Glorfindel was one of the few Vanya to follow Fingolfin.

Glorfindel also noticed that the Sinda’s gaze was often fixed on his bright golden locks, though the man was too polite to say anything. His hair was definitely a mixed blessing, Glorfindel thought, for it seemed have a life of its own that entranced people. Also, Glorfindel knew he was far more approachable than his cousin Artanis, who often had an aloof, regal air about her that kept many at arm’s length.

Their impromptu picnic had been put away and the discussion had turned to the fish that were to be found in the lake and some of the best places to catch them when a new, louder argument began to rise from the tent.

Glorfindel turned his attention to the raised voices and felt his stomach begin to roil.

“Is all well?” Celeborn asked in a low, tense voice. “What exactly is going on?”

“It’s complicated,” Glorfindel managed to say, just as the sons of Fëanor stormed out of the tent.

Maglor swept past them without a glance, his brothers following close behind, and Celeborn noticed the thin silver circlet he wore. A quick look at the tent revealed Fingolfin standing just outside the entrance, wearing what appeared to be an identical silver circlet and scowling at his errant nephews.

Seeing Celeborn’s clearly astonished expression, Glorfindel sat down on the nearest box and gestured for the Sinda to be seated as well.

“Are you comfortable?” Glorfindel asked. At Celeborn’s nod, he began. “You see, it all started when…”

As Glorfindel told the story, Celeborn sat and listened intently. While it was clear from the variety of his facial expressions that he had many questions, he did not interrupt even once. Glorfindel was surprised at this; most of his friends and companions would be asking questions and freely making their own observations as he spoke but not the Sinda.

Once Glorfindel finished, they sat in silence for a time. A tiny wren flew by and landed on a low branch, pausing to stare at them and sing her little song. Celeborn smiled, whistling a trill of notes. The little wren cocked her head and sang once more before flying off.

“I am afraid I must leave now, friend,” Celeborn said as he stood up and stretched, the parchment safely tucked in his belt. “I was only to deliver a message; I was due back long ago. I will return when I can.”

“I will look for you,” Glorfindel replied as he also stood and offered his hand. After a moment, Celeborn reached out to shake his hand. Belatedly, Glorfindel realized shaking hands must not be a Sindar custom, as Celeborn quickly disappeared into the nearby treeline.


Two weeks later, Celeborn returned, surprising Glorfindel who had just returned from a failed hunting trip.

“I could have told you you would be unsuccessful,” Celeborn remarked as he took in Glorfindel’s bedraggled appearance and empty hands.

“We need food,” Glorfindel shrugged tiredly. “The supplies are nearly gone.”

“Come, I will show you a good place to fish. Are there any nets handy?” There were, so Celeborn led Glorfindel a short distance from the main camp to a quieter and more secluded spot. Glorfindel looked slightly askance at the silent woods and wondered if Celeborn had other sport in mind.

“Now this is the best place to fish at this time of day,” Celeborn began in a brisk tone. “There are several other spots but this is the closest for now.”

They fished for some time, with Glorfindel quickly learning to cast the net properly. After catching the nets full, they started back.

Their friendship began as simply as that and it wasn’t long before they developed deeper feelings for each other. In the spring, Glorfindel and Celeborn went on an extended fishing trip. Celeborn explained that Glorfindel needed to explore the land further and Glorfindel agreed.

The days passed quickly as they went ever farther afield, with Celeborn explaining about the land and its history while Glorfindel took copious notes and sketched rough maps. There were archery lessons as well and Glorfindel’s skill with the bow quickly improved.

One day, while they were fishing, Glorfindel slipped on a wet rock, banged his head and slid slowly under the water.

“Glorfindel!” Celeborn screamed in shock as he witnessed his friend go under. He dropped his own pole and waded into the lake before diving in himself when he saw Glorfindel break the surface. He swam swiftly to his unconscious body and towed him to shore. He wasn’t breathing! Celeborn rolled the Vanya onto his side to clear his airway then rolled him onto his back and lifted his arms over his head then brought them back down again. He repeated this action until Glorfindel coughed and took a breath on his own.

Celeborn then assessed Glorfindel’s head injury and saw how serious it was. He took Glorfindel’s hand in his own and closed his eyes. Murmuring a soft chant, his body began to glow as he sent healing energy into Glorfindel’s body.

After several long minutes, Glorfindel at last began to come around. He coughed several times before spitting out a mouthful of the lake water. He looked around in a daze before his eyes focused on Celeborn.

“Celeborn? Is it really you?”

“Yes, it’s me. Are you alright, Glorfindel?”

“I’m sorry I got you drowned too,” Glorfindel said before his face crumpled into tears. “Forgive me?”

“Glorfindel, we did not drown,”Celeborn replied as he gave him a quick hug and squeezed Glorfindel’s hand reassuringly. “We are both still alive.”

“Are you certain?” Glorfindel asked worriedly. “I saw so many go under the ice… they could never be found or helped in any way.”

“We are fine,” Celeborn said in a kind but firm tone. “But we need to make camp now and get out of these wet clothes. We don’t want to catch a chill.”

Glorfindel agreed and Celeborn helped him peel off his wet clothing before removing his own. They dressed in dry clothing they pulled from their packs and Celeborn had a small campfire going in minutes. He busily boiled some water for a hot drink. Glorfindel was wrapped in a warm blanket, feeding small branches to the fire as needed. He still trembled slightly and Celeborn wasn’t sure if it was from nervousness, the cold river water or both.

Celeborn quickly added some herbs mixed with a dark powder to the water and let it steep a few minutes before pouring it into a cup.

“Drink it all,” he said. “It is one of my grandmother’s favored recipes for warding off chills.”

“Is she a healer then?” Glorfindel asked as he sipped at the tasty drink.

“Yes,” Celeborn replied, pouring a smaller cup for himself. “She awakened at Cuiviénen and has great knowledge.”

“It would be an honor to meet her,” Glorfindel said reverently as Celeborn refilled his cup.

“Drink all you can, Glorfindel. It will keep the chill from your belly too.”

Glorfindel continued sipping at his drink and Celeborn began to finish setting up the camp. As he did so, he noticed that Glorfindel’s hair was beginning to dry in places.

“If I may, Glorfindel,” he said diffidently, “I would like to brush you hair out. I fear it will mat and snarl if it continues to dry as it is.”

“Very well,” the Vanya nodded. “You will find my brush in my pack.”

Celeborn quickly found the brush and began to carefully work it though Glorfindel’s long locks. He had ached to be able to touch such beautiful hair, and he was soon lost in his work, making sure he did not pull or yank it by accident. Luckily the few snarls he found were easily loosened and soon he was able to run the brush freely through the long mane.

“That feels wonderful,” Glorfindel said, breaking into Celeborn’s trance. “Would you mind braiding it for me please?”

“How would you like it?” replied Celeborn. “Side plaits, or a single down the back?”

“Just a single one, thank you. It will save time when we rise tomorrow.”

They sat quietly beside the fire, simply enjoying the pleasure of each other’s company. Finally Celeborn stood up.

“I need to gather more wood,” he told Glorfindel. “Why don’t you lay our blankets near the fire? I think we would be warmer if we shared them.”

“Alright,” said Glorfindel as he stretched his arms. “You will not be far?”

“Not far at all,” Celeborn reassured him. “Just beyond the firelight.”

Glorfindel frowned, worried. He had been taught as a child to never stray from the fire into the dark but it was probably an old superstition handed down from his parents. He turned to the packs as Celeborn left and began to lay down the groundsheet, carefully adding some heavy stones at each corner to keep it from moving. As he went to unroll the blankets, he heard a sudden cry.

“Celeborn!” he exclaimed as he quickly snatched up his bow and two arrows from his quiver. He ran quickly into the forest, following Celeborn’s trail with ease. Within moments, he found Celeborn flat on his back, pinned down by a lone warg. Glorfindel wasted no time in firing his first arrow, which hit the warg in the flank. Enraged, the beast turned quickly to face Glorfindel but his second arrow was the fatal one and the beast fell at Celeborn’s feet.

“Are you all right?” Glorfindel said worriedly. “Were there any others? Did he bite you anywhere? Let me see.”

“He only clawed me; he didn’t have a chance to bite,” Celeborn replied as he pulled his tunic off, but even in the dim light they could see the scratches were turning red and discolored. “There were no others though.”

“It’s bad enough,” Glorfindel said. “We need to get back to camp now.”

They hurried back to camp and once again, they were building up the fire to boil water.

“I will clean it as best I can,” Glorfindel told him. “I have a bit of athelas that might help.”

“That is excellent,” Celeborn replied as Glorfindel carefully washed the scratches. The redness lessened almost instantly. Glorfindel had also had the foresight to save back a cup of athelas water for Celeborn to drink. The taste was bitter but he managed to swallow it all.

“That should do it,” Glorfindel said. I wish I had salve to bandage it with – wait a moment.” The Vanya rummaged through his pack and unwrapped a small container of honey. “I thought we had used this up but there is enough left to use as a salve.”

“You use it as a salve?” Celeborn exclaimed.

“Yes, it works wonders,” Glorfindel replied as he began to smear the honey on the scratches. Celeborn twitched slightly for it felt strange on his skin but when Glorfindel covered the paste with strips from his last clean shirt, that feeling soon went away.

They washed up quickly and found a few odd chunks of wood close by that would help keep the fire going through the night. Then they unrolled their blankets, placing them on the ground sheet and undressing before crawling underneath. They lay quietly side-by-side for a time, each lost in his own thoughts.

Almost as one, each turned to the other saying: “Will you? Do you?” before embracing with slow, soft kisses that took little to become much more passionate.

They made love to the song of the nightingales and after a time fell asleep, only to be woken by the song of the larks.

“Is it morn already?” Glorfindel asked, throwing his arm across his eyes. “Surely not.”

“I’m afraid so, for the lark is the herald of the morn. None can mistake her song,” Celeborn said with a sigh. “We must go back now.”

“Yes, I know.” Glorfindel said as he pulled Celeborn close once again. “But I would rather stay with you.”

“It is at least a week’s journey to your camp,” Celeborn murmured as he wrapped his arms around the golden Vanya, breathing in his scent. “We will have that much.”

Upon their return to the Noldor camp, Glorfindel and Celeborn parted once more. They fully expected to see each other again but it was not to be. Turgon had decided to move his followers away from Mithrim while Doriath closed its borders to the Noldor.


The two had fallen silent, each lost in their memories of the past.

Glorfindel saw that Celeborn was smiling and said, "I see you remember too."

Celeborn's smile turned wistful. "It is one of my favorites," he replied.

As they watched the ship begin to sail into the sunset, Glorfindel let out a melancholy sigh. He turned to the silver-haired elf at his side.

“I thought you planned to go with them.”

“I did,” Celeborn replied. “But I feel that I am still needed here, as I am sure you know.”

The ship became smaller and smaller before disappearing in a brief flash of light. Turning back to the quay, they were surprised to notice that the hobbits had already left with a silence that was almost elf-like. Glorfindel and Celeborn quietly mounted their horses, riding away at a slow trot.

“What are your plans?” Glorfindel asked.

“I have promised to meet Thranduil soon. We are planning to see how much of the damage to the woods can be undone.” Celeborn rode in silence for a time before speaking again. “But first I will come to Imladris and help with what I can.”

“Yes,” said Glorfindel. “There is still a great deal to be done at the main house. Erestor is determined to take every last book, scroll and keepsake with him before he leaves.”

“And the cats.”

“He would never forget his beloved cats, though I am certain some will stay behind.” Glorfindel chuckled for the first time in many days.

“There is that,” Celeborn said, smiling. “But now, we have no further obligations for the future. This time is for us.”

He stretched out his hand to Glorfindel, and Glorfindel grasped it easily in his own. The days ahead promised much happiness for them.

Chapter end notes:
Let Fate do her worst, there are relics of joy,
Bright dreams of the past, which she cannot destroy;
Which come in the night-time of sorrow and care,
And bring back the features that joy used to wear.
Long, long be my heart with such memories fill'd!
Like the vase, in which roses have once been distill'd --
You may break, you may shatter the vase, if you will,
But the scent of the roses will hang round it still.
--Thomas Moore
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