Time passed in Mirkwood and, for the twins, it was a blessed time, full of laughter and fun. They all but forgot their troubles in the excitement of their new home, it slipping their minds that the home was only temporary. Frequent thoughts went out to their father and mother, wondering how ada was, and if he was getting better. The days dissolved into days, and the days to weeks, as time flew, leading up to the fated day when a letter arrived from Rivendell as the first chilly drafts of fall blew through the trees.
“Elrond has written to say he is well, and ready for your sunshine to come back and grace his home again,” Thranduil said at dinner, holding up the letter in hand as he sat down to dinner.
Elladan and Elrohir stopped their conversation and stared up the table at Thranduil, forks inches from their mouths, frozen in time. The numbers of days they had spent in Mirkwood suddenly caught up with them as the number flashed bright red before their eyes. Time had flown, and the sunshine filled warmth and funny days full of swimming and running, climbing, and cozy evenings by the fire were about to end. But to go home to ada and naneth . . .
“Juriel has said it is best to leave as soon as possible, before snows delay travel,” Thranduil said. “Harune will pack your bags for your departure in a few days time.”
Elladan put down his fork, his appetite lost. It would be nice to go home and see his family again but all the memories he had shoved down throughout the weeks gone by came rushing back. He thought of the happiness he had known here in Mirkwood.
“Are you not excited to go home?” Harune asked gently.
Elladan fiddled with his fork. “I am . . . but I have enjoyed my time here so much.”
“I am sure your parents must miss you,” Thranduil said.
“Yes,” Elladan mumbled.
Thranduil and Harune exchanged glances down the table.
“I know I would miss ada if I went to live in Rivendell for this long,” Legolas volunteered, looking anxiously at Elladan.
“But you have a wonderful home,” Elladan said.
Legolas remembered the funny feelings he had felt in Rivendell, wafting around in the air. “Is your home not happy?”
The twins exchanged glances. “It is a good home,” Elrohir finally volunteered. “But not as wonderful as yours.”
And so the Elrondion twins returned home to Rivendell, feeling a little bit of the sunshine fade from their lives once more. Tears came into their eyes as they looked back, riding away, and saw the royal family of Mirkwood waving to them until the trees blocked them from view.
Bowing their heads to hide the tears in their eyes from the guards, Elladan and Elrohir closed their eyes and wished to come back soon.
The uneventful journey home brought them to the familiar sights of Rivendell. As the horses rode through the valley, past the waving elves glad to see them back, it suddenly occurred to the twins they had, in fact, missed their home more then they had realized until now.
The horses stopped on the stone circle outside Elrond’s house, coming up to the top of the hill by a worn path winding its way through the grass. As the guards dismounted, Lindir came down the steps, walking with smooth grace.
The harpist bowed to the twins. “Welcome back.”
Elladan and Elrohir smiled. “Thank you, Lindir. Is—is ada all right?”
“Yes, his wounds have healed, and he is recovered though he still needs rest and quiet,” Lindir answered. “Come, I will take you to him. He and your mother are most anxious to see you after these many months have gone by.”
“We . . . have missed home,” Elladan replied truthfully. He left the horses and luggage to the servant’s care, and followed Lindir into the familiar halls of his house.
“May I ask if you enjoyed your time away?” Lindir asked.
“We enjoyed it more then you could guess,” Elrohir said, his voice soft.
Lindir nodded, and opened the door to the sitting room, gesturing for the twins to enter. As the elflings walked into the room, Elrond looked up from his position on the sofa against the wall, and his eyes brightened.
“Hello, ada,” Elladan said.
“How I have missed you,” Elrond said, holding out his arms. “Come hug me.”
As they embraced, Celebrian came into the room and her face radiated happiness as she smiled. “Elladan! Elrohir! Lindir told me you had arrived. You have grown.”
The twins sat down on either side of their father as he held onto their hands, and Celebrian came to stand near.
“Thranduil said to give you this,” Elrohir said, and brought the neatly folded letter out his tunic, sealed with red wax.
Elrond took it. “Hannon le, ion nin. I will soon be back to my full strength and life will resume to normal. Ah, how I have missed it!”
“Is the pain gone?” Elrohir asked.
Elrond glanced at him, and ruffled his hair. “Yes, it is. I feel strong and whole again.”
Celebrian looked out the window at the cooling air of evening. “Well, you have arrived late. Dinner will be ready; come eat and share with us your experiences of your time in Mirkwood. We are dying to hear all about it.”
The regal family of Rivendell made their way out to the dining room, and sat down to a filling meal, giving off the scent of goodness. Pleasant chatter and laughter filled the air, but the shadow had returned to the twins minds; a slight, grey cloud hovering at the edge of their vision as they wondered and worried inside, their hearts contracting and knitting, tied into knots over the agonizing question of when they would know the misery they had run away from again. It was hard to avoid it; it came crashing down on them for many things, including the unexpected.
Thank you for reading; I love sharing words with you all.