Return to Rivendell


Tree and Flower Awards, Post-Lord of the Rings, Second Place
2015 Tree and Flower Awards

 Title: Treasure Trove


Author Name: Linda Hoyland

Prompt: For many people, summertime brings the chance to travel for pleasure. Take your character on a trip to a place he or she has always wanted to visit. Write or create art about what happens. Also inspired by an idea of Shirebound’s.


Summary: Aragorn shows Faramir around the library at Rivendell

Rating: G

Warnings: none

Beta: none

Author's Notes: For Shirebound as a token of gratitude for all her support during this BTMEchallenge. This is the first in a series of short stories that take place when Aragorn, Faramir and their wives and children visit Rivendell, which I intend to publish as a single story.


Disclaimer: The characters are the property of the Tolkien Estate. No profit has been, nor will be made from this story.

Faramir stood on the threshold and looked round him in amazement. He had long dreamed of visiting Master Elrond’s library. Today he was actually standing within its walls.

Aragorn nudged him gently, “There is no need to hold your breath! Enjoy exploring my foster father’s collection.”

“I hardly know where to begin,” said Faramir. He finally dared to take a deep breath.

“I will show you around,” Aragorn said. He smiled indulgently at the younger man’s obvious delight in his surroundings. He walked over to a cabinet at the far side of the room and opened it. He carefully lifted out some ancient, yellowing parchments and placed them on a low table. “These are scrolls that Elendil brought with him from Númenor,” he said.

“These came from the Star Island?” Faramir sounded amazed.

They did indeed. I believe some even came from Valinor and were brought to Númenor by the Elves.”

“How wondrous!”

“You can touch them if you wish. I know you will be careful.”

Faramir reverently ran a fingertip along the edge of one of the scrolls, an expression of sheer reverence upon his face.

Aragorn watched his friend’s joy with considerable satisfaction. “You can spend as long in the library as you wish during your stay here,” he said. “Feel free to treat it as your own. There are many manuscripts here that are found nowhere else, such as the story of the tragedy of Gladden Fields. There are also many books of Elven lore and of First Age history. When I was a boy, I used to love the illustrations of the Two Trees in one of the scrolls.”

“And I thought my father’s library was extensive!” said Faramir, finally tearing his attention away from the ancient scrolls.”

“It is indeed the greatest library in the South,” Aragorn replied.

“You were so fortunate to grow up surrounded by these priceless treasures,” said Faramir.

“I suppose I was, but I fear I just took it for granted,” Aragorn replied ruefully. “When I first left Rivendell, I was shocked to find how few books most folk owned. I am thinking of creating public libraries in Minas Tirith and Annúminas to give more of my folk a chance to enjoy books.”

“An excellent idea!” said Faramir. “Maybe we could employ some of the soldiers who were maimed in the war to copy books.”

“We could indeed,” said Aragorn. “Many books here and in Minas Tirith could be made widely available to all who wished to read them.”

“It was so kind of Master Elrond to leave his library behind,” said Faramir.

“He only took anything that had sentimental value to him when he sailed,” said Aragorn. “He can easily replace books and scrolls in the Blessed Realm. He felt that many of the volumes here, such as his books about healing, could yet do much good on Middle-earth long after he departed. He cared deeply for Men as well as Elves. I was honoured to have been raised by him and to know him well. One day, I shall have these books moved to a new home in Annúminas, but for the time being they are better off remaining here, at least until the rebuilding is complete. As you know, I have brought a few of the books with me in Minas Tirith, especially those about healing and a handful about lore.”

“You have often lent those to me and those few volumes filled me with awe,” said Faramir. “To think, though that I am standing today in Master Elrond’s library! I have dreamed of visiting here for years. I shall spend most of my time here while I am at Rivendell.”

Aragorn laughed. “You can indeed come here whenever you want, but do not forget that Éowyn and your little ones might wish to see you occasionally!”

“I have promised Éowyn to go riding with her on the morrow,” said Faramir. “Maybe I can find new lore here to share with the children?”

“There is a feast of stories on these shelves,” said Aragorn. “I shall leave you now to enjoy them.” Still smiling, he went in search of his lady. Faramir was so engrossed in a volume of First Age history that he hardly noticed the King’s departure.

 


(http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=4467&picture=spiders-web)

Chapter Two - Dew Drops
Aragorn was awakened by an early sunbeam streaming through the window. For a few moments, he lay there without moving, listening to the soothing sounds of the distant waterfall and birds singing outside the window.

It was too perfect an autumn morning to lie abed for long, though, and Aragorn desired to make the most of this rare visit to his childhood home. He slid from the bed, taking care not to disturb his still peacefully sleeping wife. There was no sign of the children being awake yet. No doubt, they were still tired out after the long journey.

Aragorn swiftly dressed and went outside into the gardens. They were not as he recalled them from his childhood, having fallen somewhat into neglect since Master Elrond’s departure. He found their current wild beauty more to his taste, though. He had too many childhood memories of being scolded for accidentally damaging some carefully tended flowerbed while playing outside.

His footsteps crunched the autumn leaves that strewed the paths. It was a perfect autumn morning with a clear blue sky, high fluffy white clouds and just a hint of frost in the clear air. The dew bedecked grass and bushes sparkled like diamonds in the morning sunlight.

Aragorn rounded a bend in the path and realised he was not alone. Faramir had also risen early and was standing contemplating a hawthorn bush intently. He spun round when he heard the leaves crunching beneath Aragorn’s feet.

“Good morning, my friend,” said Aragorn. “I see you are up with the sun too. I hope you slept well?”

“I fell asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow last night,” said Faramir. “I can still hardly believe that I am actually visiting Rivendell.”

“It gladdens my heart that I could bring you,” said Aragorn. “Gondor should fare well enough in your Uncle’s care for a few weeks.”

“I did not wish to waste a single moment of my visit here,” said Faramir. “I have left Éowyn and the children to sleep a little longer while I took a walk before breakfast.” He returned to his contemplation of the bush.

“What has caught your attention there?” Aragorn asked.

Faramir stood aside so Aragorn could see what he had been looking at. “I was admiring the spider’s web,” he said. “Is it not most fair? I love the way the dewdrops glisten upon it. Is it not wondrous that so small and ugly a creature as a spider can create such a marvel?”

Aragorn studied the web for a few moments before replying. “It is indeed. I envy you that you can see beauty in a spider’s web. I remember too well the hideous spiders’ webs I saw at Mirkwood when I delivered Gollum there, and the tales Frodo and Sam told me of Shelob’s lair. Then there was that monstrous spider we slew that stung you in Lossarnach.”

“I know full well of evil spiders,” said Faramir. “But I believe that when the Great Music was created, Eru intended spiders only for good purposes. It was Melkor, who corrupted them to his purpose. These humble common spiders do much good by catching flies, while their webs are surely as intricate as anything Vairë might weave in her tapestries. Gossamer silk adorned with dewdrops sparkling brighter than twinkling stars! ”

Aragorn smiled and clapped his friend affectionately on the shoulder. “You are always quite the poet, melon nîn. Only you could wax so lyrical about a spider’s web!”

“I shall show it to the children after breakfast,” said Faramir. “I hope the sun will not have melted the dew by then.”

“This talk of breakfast makes me hungry,” said Aragorn. “Unlike the spider, I have no desire to catch my own this morning.”

“I smelled bread baking when I passed the kitchens,” said Faramir. “And I have heard the chickens here lay especially tasty eggs.”

“Then let us go and break our fast,” said Aragorn. “Our ladies should be up and about by now.”

Side by side, the two friends strolled back to the Last Homely House.
 

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=26775&picture=autumn-forest


Chapter Three - Falling Leaves

When Aragorn awoke the on the second morning of their visit, Arwen was not in their chamber. He quickly dressed and went in search of her. He had expected to find his lady with their children, or maybe with her brothers and grandsire. When she was nowhere to be found, he assumed that she must have gone riding with Faramir and Éowyn, but when the Steward and his lady returned from their morning ride, the Queen was not with them.

Aragorn began to feel a little worried. Though he never questioned her, his lady usually told him where she was going. It was also most unlike her to rise before him. His common sense told him that there were few dangers lurking at Rivendell.  Nevertheless, he decided to go in search of her. What if some sort of accident had befallen his beloved wife?

He donned his cloak, went outside, and looked around him, listening intently. His keen hearing detected no cries of distress. He stood for a few moments trying to think where she might be. He directed his footsteps to where he had first beheld his beloved beneath the birches.

It was there that he found Arwen, just as he had done so long ago. Today, though, she was not singing. Her head was bowed and her footsteps dragged as she walked along the leaf- strewn path. A chill wind blew through the orange- clad birch trees and falling leaves swirled around her feet.

“Arwen, vanimelda!” he cried. She lifted her head to look at him and he could see that she was weeping. He stretched out his arms and she buried herself in his embrace. He gently stroked her hair.

“What ails you?” he asked her after a few moments.

“Summer is past and the leaves are falling,” she replied. “Winter will soon be here.”

“Rivendell is fair in every season,” Aragorn replied.

“My mother loved to walk here in the springtime,” said Arwen. “We would watch for the first primroses. Then later, we would gather daffodils, great armfuls of them to decorate the Hall of Fire with.”

“I recall my mother liked to gather lavender from the gardens,” said Aragorn. “How I wish we could show both our mothers the spring flowers in the Citadel or in Ithilien!”

“I remember one summer before I departed to Lothlórien, I would walk here with my father,” said Arwen. “Little then did I think I would I would never see my mother and father again.” Her voice trembled slightly.

“I miss my parents too,” said Aragorn.

“You, though, will one day be reunited beyond the Circles of the World,” said Arwen.

Aragorn’s heart lurched violently. “Do you regret the choice you made, beloved?” he asked. His voice was unsteady now.

How could I regret our love and the children you have given me?” Arwen said fiercely. “Never!”

“Maybe it was a mistake to return here if it brings you such pain,” said Aragorn.

Arwen shook her head. “It has given me such joy to see our children explore my childhood haunts,” she said. “I would not have missed witnessing Faramir’s joy in my father’s library for the world, nor Éowyn’s delight in the stables. It makes me happy too to see my brothers and my grandsire here with the children.”

“Then what troubles your heart, my love?” asked Aragorn.

Arwen gestured towards the carpet of fallen leaves, swirling in the breeze. “My people are fading, even like scattered leaves. Slowly, Rivendell is decaying and the gardens returning to the wild. One day my brothers and grandsire will sail and their household with them. There will be none left who even recall Imladris in their songs and stories. We too will fade and die and be blown away upon the wind even as these fallen leaves are swept away before our eyes.”

Aragorn gripped her hands and looked into her eyes. “We will not be forgotten, vanimelda,” he said. “Be comforted, for we will leave our children behind with the memories we have given them. And those memories will be glorious as these autumn hues! Know too, that Ilúvatar gave Men a gift and not a curse. There is more than memory beyond the Circles of the World. The generations of Men are like the leaves, fresh and new with each spring.”

Arwen reflected on his words for a few moments. Then she smiled through her tears. “You are indeed elven-wise, Estel,” she said.

“I would need an elven lifespan to be truly elven-wise,” Aragorn said ruefully. “Maybe Men reflect more on the passing seasons as they mirror the seasons of our lives. Your folk dwell forever in spring or high summer. I used to love autumn as a boy. I would walk amongst the leaves with my mother and enjoy the crunching sound they made underfoot. Then my mother would  tell me  to  try and catch one as it fell.”

Arwen reached out her hand and almost immediately caught a falling birch leaf.

Aragorn laughed. “You are much better at the game than I!”

“You try now,” said Arwen.

000

Later that morning, Faramir became concerned that the King and Queen had not appeared for the noonday meal and went in search of them. He was surprised to find them both engrossed in trying to catch the falling leaves. He was about to slip away quietly when Aragorn caught sight of him.

“Come and see if you can catch a leaf, Faramir!” the King cried.

“I used to play that game with Boromir,” said Faramir. “I have many happy memories. I should love to revisit my youth but the noonday meal awaits us.”

“You will not escape my challenge so easily!” said Aragorn. “We will return here after we have eaten.”

“Let us bring the children here this afternoon,” said Arwen. “We shall have a contest to see who can catch the most leaves.”  She laughed merrily, her melancholy blown away like the leaves upon the autumn breeze. 

Back to Middle-earth Month 2014 Participant

 By My Loss

 

B2MeM Challenge: Rivendell, something falls out of the pages of a book.

Format: short story

Genre: angst

Rating: PG

Warnings: none

Characters: Aragorn, Arwen, Faramir, Elrond, Celebrian

Pairings: Aragorn/Arwen, Elrond/Celebrian

Summary: Aragorn makes an unexpected discovery in the library at Rivendell.

“Maybe, it has been appointed so, that by my loss the kingship of Men may be restored.” - Tolkien



The nights were drawing in and it was already growing dark when Aragorn entered the library. He paused at the threshold for a few moments, his eyes drinking in the familiar room bathed in the welcoming glow of lamplight. How many happy hours he had whiled away here in his youth. Here he had devoured the tales of Kings of old; little knowing that he was their latest scion. Here too, he had perused the “Lay of Lúthien, studying it until he knew every word by heart. Singing that Lay had led him to the maiden who was now his beloved wife.

A rustling of pages startled him out of his reverie and Aragorn realised that he was not alone. Faramir was sitting by the window the better to catch the last fading rays of the setting sun which augmented the light from the lamp that fell across the page he was reading.

Not wishing to startle his friend too much, Aragorn coughed.

Faramir looked up and smiled. “I just wished to finish this account of Lady Yavanna’s travels in Middle-earth before suppertime,” he said. “I hope Éowyn is not angry with me for being late.”

“I left her in the nursery playing with the children and talking to Arwen,” said Aragorn. “You still have an hour before suppertime.”

Faramir sighed with relief. “It is easy to lose track of time in this magnificent library,” he said.

“I know all too well,” Aragorn replied smiling. “I shall leave you in peace to your reading. I came here in search of one of Master Elrond’s books that I do not have a copy of, ‘Healing Diseases of the Spirit’. I recall seeing the title in my youth, but I never found time to study it. I asked Glorfindel if it were still here. He said it should be, but he doubted if it had been read in centuries.”

“Maybe Master Elrond felt the lore had failed him when Lady Celebrian sailed because he could not heal her spirit?” said Faramir.

“Perhaps,” said Aragorn. “He never chose to study it with me. I hope it might help me better treat the wounded spirits of my fellow men.” He took up a lamp from the table and went over to the section of the library where the healing books were kept. The volume he sought was on the top shelf and although free of dust, smelt musty when he lifted it down. He carried it over to a desk beside Faramir’s. “I will look through it before deciding whether I should take it back to Minas Tirith with me or not,” he told his friend.

He began the turn the pages and noticed a loose sheet of parchment nestled between them. It was in Master Elrond’s familiar handwriting. He began to read.

‘My dearest Celebrian,

I know it is unlikely that you will ever receive this unless one of my household chooses to sail soon, which does not seem likely.

I feel, though, I must share with you the tidings I received today, as my heart is heavy- burdened with grief. Maybe you can sense my sorrow on the distant shore where you now dwell.

My beloved, today I learned that our daughter has chosen a mortal life with one of my foster sons, Aragorn son of Arathorn. They have plighted their troth to one another, and are determined to be wed, though I have told Aragorn he cannot have her hand until he can make her Queen of both Arnor and Gondor.

I can see you smiling at me and saying that will never come to pass and our beloved daughter is safe, yet my foresight tells me that it might well come to be. Despite my anger at Arathorn’s son in desiring to take our daughter from us, I cannot deny that he is exceptionable amongst the children of Men, like unto Elendil, or even my beloved brother, Elros. He is mighty with the sword, yet can be as gentle as a dove. He is elven wise and had the hands of a healer. I fostered him since he was two years old and gave him the name of “Estel”.

I blame myself for this ill- starred romance. Since you sailed, Arwen has not been happy in Imladris and has spent much of her time with your mother and father. I wrote and asked her to return, though, as I missed her and she arrived home just as Aragorn came of age. As soon as he espied her, his heart was lost to her.

I can hear you laughing now, my love. After all, he is far from the first heir of Isildur to fall in love with our daughter. Remember Arahael and the tuneless serenades he used to sing beneath Arwen’s window? I hoped Estel’s infatuation would be as short lived, though maybe my foresight knew even then, as I did not urge the boy to seek a bride from his own people.

Arwen became sad and thoughtful after Estel declared his love for her and soon returned to Lothlórien. It was there, thirty years or so later that she encountered Estel again.

For reasons, I cannot understand, your mother favoured his suit, and Arwen admitted that she shared Estel’s feelings and consented to become his wife.

How I wish now that Arwen had sailed with you and never set eyes upon Aragorn son of Arathorn!

Yet, as I set these thoughts down on parchment, I find my anger is turning to sorrow. How can I be angry towards a man I love as my own son? Were he not destined to receive Eru’s Gift, I could desire no better husband for Arwen. As for our daughter, she is truly happy for the first time since you sailed.

My heart is so torn, I desire our daughter’s happiness, but must it be at the cost of our eternal separation?

Yet, is this union a part of the great music, something that must be to fulfil our Creator’s plan for the Children of Ilúvatar?

I grow weary of Middle-earth and its sorrows, my love. My foresight tells me that this Age will not long endure and then my work here will be done. But how can I join you without our beloved daughter? I wish---‘


The writing ended abruptly with stains on the parchment that looked like tear drops. Aragorn’s own tears began to fall and mingled with those shed long ago by his foster father. 

“What ails you, mellon nîn?”

Aragorn felt Faramir’s hand upon his shoulder and heard the concern in his friend’s voice. Unable to trust himself to speak, he thrust the parchment into Faramir’s hands. He struggled to compose himself while Faramir read Elrond’s words. “I suppose I should not have read this,” he said at last.

“You could not resist a final message from your foster father, even if it were meant for another’s eyes,” said Faramir. “I can well understand.”

“I caused him so much pain,” said Aragorn. He wiped his hand across his eyes.

“You did not intend to,” said Faramir. “How can one help falling in love? I always intended to marry a learned lady from Gondor, but once I met Éowyn, my heart was lost. I could no more not love her than tell my heart not to beat.”

Aragorn nodded. “I felt thus about Arwen since I first beheld her beneath the birches here. My love caused so much sorrow, though!”

“Do not forget it also caused much joy. Master Elrond himself admitted that you made his daughter happy,” said Faramir. He patted Aragorn’s shoulder again. “Please, my friend, do not distress yourself. It is obvious from this letter that Master Elrond loved you and knew you were worthy to wed his daughter.”

“Estel, are you there? It is supper time.” Arwen called as her head appeared round the door. When she espied her husband, her eyes lit up.

“I am coming, vanimelda.” Aragorn forced himself to smile.

“You look sad, my love.”

“I was reminded of past sorrows, but how can I be sad when I behold you?” Aragorn replaced the parchment in the book and returned it to the shelf. He would decide if he needed the volume another day as well as whether to show Arwen the letter or not. This visit to her childhood home had made her somewhat melancholy and he had no wish to lower her spirits further.

“Éowyn is waiting for you too, Faramir,” said Arwen.

The King and the Steward followed her as she led the way to the Hall of Fire. A minstrel was playing a haunting bittersweet melody as they entered. It suited Aragorn’s mood perfectly.

Arwen took his hand and looked into his eyes. Her gaze was filled with love. Even after all these years, it still made his heart soar. Truly, they were destined for one another, maybe since the first notes of the Great Music of Creation sounded.


B2MeM Challenge: A mixture of Prompts. Mostly

Bilbo Baggins, Elrond, other inhabitants of Rivendell; gen, fic or art

How did it come about that Bilbo ended up in retirement in Rivendell? Did Elrond invite him? Did he invite himself? Did Gandalf arrange it? When were the arrangements made--before he left the Shire, or before or after his last journey to Erebor? What were his living quarters like? What did he bring with him from the Shire? Did he adjust easily to living among Elves? And how did the Elves feel about this small, elderly mortal dwelling among them?

Also inspired by

Someone opens the pages of a book and something falls out.

The book is either a volume from the Rivendell library or the personal copy of an inhabitant of Rivendell.

And

Books! Create something from the Library of Rivendell

Any kind of fanwork - story, art, craft - show us or tell us about a book/scroll/manuscript from Elrond’s library. Title, description, summary, cover, binding, endpapers, the art of book-binding, illumination or anything related, or a story about one particular book, be it its creation, history, content, or just playing a major role in any kind of story. It doesn’t have to be a complete work/book either. Anything goes here, provided it centres around anything that has to do with the Library of Rivendell.

Format: Short story

Genre: friendship

Rating: PG

Warnings:brief mention of violence

Characters: Aragorn, Arwen, Faramir , Bilbo

Pairings: Aragorn/Arwen

Summary: A chance discovery awakens old memories.

The characters are the property of the Tolkien Estate. No profit has been nor will be made from this story.

A/n; The words of the poem are by Tolkien. 

For  dreamflower02

Faramir sat at a table by the window in Rivendell’s library engrossed in The Lore of Old Númenor, a weighty tome, which one of Master Elrond’s sons had suggested he might like to read.

At the far side of the library, Aragorn and Arwen were trying to decide which books to take back to Gondor with them that Eldarion might enjoy.

The History of the Kings of Arnor, we certainly should take that one,” said Arwen. “I doubt Eldarion will find it interesting yet, but he ought to read it one day.”

“It is actually quite entertaining,” said Aragorn. “I loved the more gruesome parts as a lad, such as the tale of my namesake who was eaten by wolves. Apparently all that was left of him was a booted foot and a hand with the Ring of Barahir upon it!”

Arwen shuddered. “Such a story would give Eldarion nightmares! I will choose something else.

“I very much doubt it would trouble him once he is a little older,” said Aragorn. “It was my favourite bedtime reading. Of course, at the time, I had no idea that poor Aragorn I was my longfather.”

Arwen looked unconvinced. She selected another volume entitled, Walking in the Northern Kingdoms. “This looks more suitable,” she said. “Look, here are illustrations of all the flora and fauna that one might see in these parts. She turned over the pages, admiring the exquisite illustrations. A loose sheet of manuscript was hidden between two pages depicting a hare and of a rabbit. She held it up and began to read

“Upon the hearth the fire is red,

Beneath the roof there is a bed;

But not yet weary are our feet,

Still round the corner we may meet

A sudden tree or standing stone

That none have seen but we alone.”

Aragorn smiled. “Bilbo’s Travelling Song!” he exclaimed. “I keep finding the old Hobbit’s compositions tucked into the books here. He liked to write in the library, but never knew quite where to keep his finished poems until Master Elrond gave him a book of bound parchment to collect them all in.”

Faramir looked up from his reading. “I always meant to ask you just how Bilbo came to retire to Rivendell,” he said. “Frodo told me that his kinsman lived here for many years.”

Aragorn took Walking in the Northern Kingdoms and Bilbo’s poem from his wife and walked across the room with them. He sat down beside his Steward. Arwen followed him and took a seat opposite. “I was only ten years old when Bilbo first came to Rivendell,” he said. “I remember, though, how much he loved it. He was full of enthusiasm, especially for the Hall of Fire and the Library.”

“I thought you were kept hidden in your youth?” said Faramir.

“Master Elrond mostly concealed my identity rather than my person,” said Aragorn. “He believed it would be harmful for me to see no outsiders at all during my childhood. I later learned that he had it known abroad that I was a foundling, the likely result of some youthful indiscretion of a Ranger and one of the Bree- folk. People are ever willing to believe a scandal!”

Faramir nodded. “So you met Master Bilbo during his first visit?”

“After I caught  a glimpse of him, I sought him out during his stay here with Thorin and his folk. I was pleased to meet one who was smaller than I and less fierce than the Dwarves he travelled with. He seemed to like my company too and told me about his home in the Shire and his dozens of relatives. I was fascinated, believing then that I had only my mother as kin. He was a delightful fellow and I believe Master Elrond enjoyed his company too.”

“Master Bilbo was very special,” said Arwen. “His presence brightened Rivendell greatly. There is something about the enthusiasm and joy in daily living that mortals experience that we of Elven kind both envy and admire. I remember when Bilbo first made Rivendell his home; every day was filled with new delights for him. Delights I had long forgotten how to experience. The taste of freshly baked bread, the opening of the first daffodils, or the thrush singing for his mate. My father took real pleasure in seeing how he enjoyed the Hobbit sized furniture he had made for his rooms and the joy he took in the clothes we had made for him. Bilbo brought little luggage with him, only two sets of clothes, his pipe, his sword and mail shirt and a few books and other personal possessions.”

“I saw Bilbo a few times between meeting him in my childhood and his retirement to Rivendell,” said Aragorn. “He liked to take long walks and would seek out Elves or Rangers to give him news. When I returned to Rivendell and found him living here, I wondered if it were Gandalf’s doing to help him recover from bearing the One Ring for so long. Maybe Master Elrond and Gandalf put their heads together and decided to issue an invitation, or maybe Elrond had suggested it years before, little thinking the Hobbit would ever leave the Shire.”

“I am so glad that he did,” said Arwen. “He was a good friend to me. He was one of the very few who knew of my betrothal and the banner I was making for Estel in secret. He was so disappointed that he was too old and frail to travel to see our wedding.”

“Bilbo was a good friend to me as well,” Aragorn said. He looked fondly at the parchment in his hand. “He believed in me and my destiny. His poems helped inspire me to become the man I was born to be.”

“I wish I could have known him,” said Faramir.

“I wish you could have too,” said Aragorn. “He made out that he spent his retirement sitting beside the fire and thinking, but he did so much more. He wrote much of the Red Book while he was here, as well as many poems and was a friend and inspiration to all who knew him.”

“Especially the cooks,” said Arwen. “He must have taught them more new recipes during his stay than they had collected in the previous millennia! His mushroom soup and his seedcake with honey, my mouth waters just to think of them!”

“We ought to have a meal comprised exclusively of Bilbo’s recipes,” said Aragorn.

“It would be an excellent way to honour his memory,” said Arwen.

“The children would love that,” said Faramir. “They are fascinated by stories of the Hobbits. I expect the girls would enjoy assisting the cooks with the preparations.”

Aragorn smiled. “Bilbo would love that. He has long since departed from these shores, but his spirit lives on here in Rivendell. If I close my eyes I can still see him in his corner by the fire, writing in his book.”


B2MeM Challenge:Song prompt: "Verdi prati" 
One of the themes in Tolkien's works is the fading of beauty. Write/draw/create another type of fanwork inspired by "Verdi prati" from Handel's opera Alcina. 
Green meadows, pleasant woods,
you will lose your beauty.
Lovely flowers, flowing streams,
your grace and loveliness
will soon change.
And once the beautiful scene is changed,
everything in you will return
to the wildness of your original appearance. (translation Lignota)
Also inspired by my picture prompt .
Flowery Meadow
Format: ficlet
Genre: romance, hurt/comfort
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Characters: Aragorn, Arwen
Pairings: Aragorn/Arwen, brief mentions of Faramir/Éowyn and Lúthien/Beren
Summary: Aragorn consoles a melancholy Arwen.
The characters are the property of the Tolkien Estate. No profit has been nor will be made from this story.
A/n. part of my “Return to Rivendell” series.
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Aragorn returned from his ride in good spirits. It was bliss to be able to appreciate the beauty of the countryside outside Rivendell’s borders without expecting to be ambushed at any time by Orcs or other foul creatures. He had left the side of his still sleeping wife when dawn broke over the valley that morning. He had asked Arwen before they slept if she would care to accompany him, but Arwen had never enjoyed early rising. Instead, he had persuaded Faramir to tear himself away from the library for a time to come out riding with him. Éowyn remained behind with the children. Little Elboron who was somewhat fretful due to a slight cold that ailed him.

The King and the Steward changed out of their riding clothes and went in search of their ladies. Faramir found Éowyn in the nursery with the children. Eldarion was in the library with his grandsire, but Arwen was nowhere to be seen.

Aragorn went outside and found his lady wandering along a pathway in one of Rivendell’s beautifully tended gardens. Aragorn’s heart sank when he saw the melancholy expression on her face. She had been sad ever since they had arrived here. He had succeeded in cheering her a few days before when they had chased the autumn leaves, but there were no fluttering leaves here, instead she walked amongst a profusion of autumn blooms, many which had had originated in the Undying Lands.

He approached his wife and took her hand, “What ails thee, vanimelda?” he asked.

She turned her face up to look at him. Tears glistened in her eyes. “These gardens have been here for years beyond counting,” she said. “Soon they will be no more. My brothers and my grandsire will sail, then Rivendell will return to the wilderness out of which it was formed.”

“Maybe Eldarion will dwell here sometimes and those who come after him?” Aragorn said after a moment’s thought.

Arwen shook her head. “I doubt it; he belongs to the world of Men rather than that of the Eldar. Rivendell will one day be his, but it is more likely to be a museum rather than a home. Even that will not endure. The gardens my mother so lovingly tended for centuries will soon be overgrown and return to the wild.”

Aragorn kissed her tenderly. “Such is the way of things my love. I have always known this.”

“But how do Men endure it so calmly?”

Aragorn thought for a few moments. “We know nothing else. In the village where I lived during my time as Chieftain; young men and women married, babies were born, and old folk died. These events happened all the time. Change is as constant as the seasons.”

“I, too have observed these things since I lived amongst Men, but I imagined my childhood home would somehow remain unchanged,” Arwen said sadly.

“Change can make us sorrowful, but it can also bring joy,” said Aragorn. “Men realise that without death there could be no new life. The old constantly makes way for the new amongst almost all living beings. If the old trees in a forest lived for ever, there would be no room for the new saplings to grow and thrive.”

“Men see the world in a very different way,” said Arwen. “To the Elves change brings decay and chaos. I close my eyes and imagine this fair garden as a wilderness!”

Aragorn drew her close. “We can but enjoy the gardens while we may,” he said. “Your words, though, make me think of something I saw while out riding earlier. Will you ride out with this afternoon?”

“I will,” said Arwen.

000

After the noonday meal was concluded, the King and Queen saddled their horses and rode out beyond the borders of Rivendell. Aragorn led the way, his horse retracing its steps from earlier that day. When they reached a ruined farmhouse, Aragorn reined in his horse and dismounted. He helped Arwen from her mount.

She looked around in dismay at the ruined farm buildings. “Why have you brought me to this scene of  ruin and decay?” she asked.

“Nothing ill happened here,” Aragorn assured her. “The folk who lived here generations ago moved to a village in the Angle, where their descendants live and thrive to this day. The ruined buildings now serve as a shelter and a nesting place for many wild creatures. Now close your eyes and hold my hand. I have something I want to show you.”

Arwen hesitated a moment then clasped her hand in her husband’s larger one. He led her a little way along an overgrown path until they rounded a bend at the side of the ruined farmhouse. “Now open your eyes, my love,” said Aragorn.

Arwen opened them and gasped. In front of them lay a beautiful meadow filled with pink campions. The afternoon sun streamed through the trees, illuminating the flowers, which danced gently in the breeze. High above, a thrush sang sweetly.

“How wondrous fair!” Arwen exclaimed.

“I thought it would please you. This was once a garden tended by Men, which has returned to nature. Lady Yavanna has made it fairer than ever before.

Arwen bent to pull of her shoes and stockings. “Let us wander here a while even as Luthien wandered through the meadows with her beloved Beren. Alas, flowers will not spring up beneath my feet as they did my foremother’s!”

”We have blossoms enough that Yavanna has strewn here for us my love,” said Aragorn. He pulled off his own boots and stockings.

Hand in hand, they wandered barefoot through the flowery meadow until the sun sank low in the West, turning all the sky to a fiery gold.


You can read another interpretation of the prompt in Virtuella’s lovely story at

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4375104/18/Pebbles-From-Arda

This is the final chapter of this story, but I will add more if the Muse ever inspires me.


 

 

 


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