Song For Tomorrow

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'Song For Tomorrow I'


Song For Tomorrow


The day had been long and tiring with one small emergency after another, and Elrond Half-elven wanted nothing more than to bathe, change into something comfortable and then perhaps read for a while before seeing if he would be allowed a few hours rest. In the bedroom where Celebrķan, as expected, was already sound asleep, he quietly packed away his outer clothing, collected a comfy robe and went to soak in the long-anticipated bath.


He was toweling himself dry when he heard the first cry, joined moments later by a second little voice. Sighing, he realised it was close to midnight, the time the twins had, made their own over the last couple of weeks. Elf or mortal, young things cutting teeth were all the same; miserable, niggling and demanding of comfort. Pulling on his robe and leaving his hair piled in an untidy bundle atop of his head, he hurried first to close the bedroom door. No need to wake Celebrķan. She was so exhausted she had almost fallen asleep over dinner. He would try to settle them himself.


He had almost reached the nursery when the crying stopped. He paused with his hand on the handle, not wishing to open the door and disturb the twins if they were about to settle down without intervention. He was ready to creep back to the family sitting room, there to wait and see what happened next, when very faintly he heard a voice. Someone was in his sons’ room. Not very much time had passed since Elrond of Imladris had led his king’s forces into battle, and the coldly dangerous warrior he had been at that time returned in an instant at the hint of a threat to his children. Standing a little taller and moving with catlike stealth, he silently opened the door and stepped inside.


And stopped breathing. For a moment he felt as though he stood on a ledge with darkness beneath him; their cribs were empty. Then his eye was drawn over to the window by darkness against the night and a soft voice singing in Quenya.


Curled into the deep window seat from which, in daylight, a wonderful view could be had out over trees and water, was his quietly efficient and utterly unsentimental assistant, Erestor. Like Elrond, he had exchanged his day clothing for a warm-looking casual robe, and his black hair hung loose around him. He held the twins one in each arm, nestled against his chest. Elrond had never heard him sing before; he had a low, slightly husky voice that caressed the melody with a touch like silk. He looked across at Elrond and smiled, shaking his head to indicate silence.


Elrond came to sit on the floor at his feet and listened in company with his sons. Finally, the song ended and Erestor leaned back, carefully settling the now-sleeping babes as he attempted to find a more comfortable position.


“I’m so sorry they disturbed you,” Elrond said very softly. "But oft the unbidden guest proves the best company, as they say. I never realised you knew Quenya. What were you singing about? I caught something about light against darkness….?”


Erestor carefully extracted locks of black hair from beneath a sleeping infant. “I was still awake, and after the last few weeks I thought you and your lady might appreciate a few hours sleep. You don’t mind, do you? And the song was a lament for Glorfindel, lost defending your grandparents in the escape from Gondolin. I learned it in Lindon from a friend who survived that night and saw him fall.”


“It sounded beautiful but sad,” Elrond told him. “I had no idea you sang so well, either. Will you teach it to me some time?” The last thing he had ever imagined asking Erestor to do was teach him a song, but there was a first time for everything.


“Thank you. Yes, it is a lovely song, and not as sad as the tune suggests. It celebrates his life even more than it honours his death.” He looked down at the sleeping babies, his face unexpectedly tender in the moonlight. “They seemed to like it, too. Either that or I bored them to sleep.”


Elrond grinned briefly, then became serious again. “When they are older, we must be sure they learn all about him – his courage, his sacrifice.”


Erestor looked out the window at the stars. “That we have lost so many of the great and the good saddens me. but yes, we must keep his memory alive for them. As you say, he will make a good role model for young princes.” He paused, and then offered Elrond an almost embarrassed smile. “He is something of a hero of mine. I would have loved so much to have met him.”


Song for Tomorrow II

Song for a New Tomorrow