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Taking Readings II by Himring

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Author's Chapter Notes:

Celebrian's first encounter with Este in Lorien.

Written as a gift for FandomStocking 2016 for DeCarabas, who had requested a story about Este.

Rating: Teens, for references to what canonically happened to Celebrian.

'The pain came between me and everything', said Celebrian. 'I knew I was loved but could not feel it. I could not reach out to those who loved me. I was left alone in the dark.'

Este nodded.

Celebrian had been afraid of going to Lorien. She had feared Irmo or Este might do something Valarin--major and incomprehensible--that removed all the pain and fear as simply and quickly as a wizard waving a staff and muttering a spell. The idea should have been appealing, but she could not imagine how she would recognize herself afterwards.

She had shared her fear with her uncle and he had promised to come with her and watch over her as long as she needed him to. He had made good on his promise, too. He was sitting behind her, by the window, silent, discreet and observant as a hawk.

But Este, so far, was not intimidating or had made herself not to be so, for Celebrian's sake. The elegant, but simple grey dress, the long single string of pearls, the room that was furnished almost like a private parlour in Tirion--it could almost have been a select tea party. Not quite, of course.

But there was tea, in a black iron teapot. Este poured a cup and handed it to Celebrian. Celebrian accepted the cup and saucer, bowing her head, inhaling the scent and wondering what kind of tea it was and what to say next. She could not identify the scent, but it smelt of home. Suddenly, she was very homesick. That should have felt bad, but it didn't. Missing Imladris so violently, so purely, came as a kind of relief.

'We'll talk about what happened to you again, later,' said Este. 'Tell me about yourself, about the ones who love you.'

'Yes,' agreed Celebrian. 'Yes. Elrond...'

Chapter End Notes:

The uncle referred to is Finrod Felagund, Galadriel's brother, who has a special relationship with Celebrian in Himring 'verse, as is explained in my story "Taking the Bruise".

The resemblance between Celebrian's first sentences and what Frodo says to Sam in Mordor (Return of the King, chapter: Mount Doom) is intentional.

Other of my stories featuring Celebrian:

Forward and Back

Taking the Bruise

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