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Releasing the Butterflies

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            Title: Releasing the Butterflies.

 

Author:  washow

 

Rating:  G

 

Summary:  Elrond is faced with a dilemma upon the return of his youngest son; should he interfere in the lives of his children or should he allow them to do as they see fit. 

 

Disclaimer:  I do not own Lord of the Rings nor am I making any profit from this story.  Any similarities to other fan fiction are purely coincidental.  I tried to remain as true to the books as I could but there may be a few discrepancies.  This is not slash but a tale of friendship and family love.

 

 

Releasing the Butterflies

 

It was the first day of spring in Imladris and most of the elves were outside taking advantage of the beautiful day.  However, not all elves could neglect their duties so tucked away in the interior of the house were two elven lords discussing the defenses of the road to Mithlond.  To be honest both of the elves would have rather been outside enjoying the day but because more elves were leaving the shores of Middle Earth everyday it was important to discuss how they could defend themselves along the journey.  These elves were in the midst of cataloging the defensible positions along the last hundred leagues of the road when there was a knock at the door.

 

            Glad for a reprieve Elrond called, “enter”

 

            The door opened and a courier from Lorien rushed into the room, bowed respectfully to both lords then handed Elrond a scroll and quickly departed.  Elrond cast a worried glance at the Lorien seal on the scroll while wondering what news Galadriel had which required such haste.  He opened the message with much apprehension but a few seconds later a huge smile broke out on the lord’s face, “Galadriel says Estel has recently spent some time in Lorien and will heading home very shortly.”  Glorfindel also beamed at this news for the mortal son of Elrond was well loved by all the inhabitants of Imladris.  As Elrond continued to read his smile was quickly replace by a frown and he narrowed his eyes as he read the message a second time before handing it to his old friend. 

 

            Glorfindel quickly read the message than reached up for the glass of wine Elrond brought him, “They have sealed their betrothal, have they?  What are you going to do?”

 

            Elrond took a sip of his wine and sighed, “What can I do?  I suppose I could force them to annul the betrothal but I could never change their hearts.”  Elrond sighed and settled into a chair, “When I first learned of Estel’s infatuation thirty years ago I insisted that he go out into the wild and learn about the world of men so he would be prepared to unite them one day.  He did what I asked and has traveled around Middle Earth learning about men, aiding them where he could and suffering an incredible number of hardships.  He finally returned after thirty years and had the love of his life pledge herself to him.  How could I possibly fault him for doing what I asked and finding true love?”  Elrond paused and looked out into the gardens, “If only I had made Isildur throw the ring of power into mount doom; Aragorn would not have had to suffer and he wouldn’t have fallen in love with my daughter.”

 

            Glorfindel shook his head, “You should not regret your choices my friend for every one of them have made you the elf you are now and I for one would have you no other way.  We don’t have the luxury of knowing what affect our choices will have when we make them, we just have to do the best we can and hope that we did well.”

 

            Elrond sighed, “You are right my friend concentrating on the past will get us nowhere but that does not change the fact that Estel has suffered greatly and will continue to suffer until evil is gone from the world.   However, I know that marrying Arwen would allow him to find joy and happiness in this world which is why I’ll allow them to marry.”

 

Glorfindel looked in surprise at his friend, “I always knew you had a kind heart Peredhil I just never realized the true depth of your love for your children.”

 

Elrond sighed, “I love them more than life itself so if I can make two of them happy by sacrificing my happiness than so be it.  Unfortunately the time is not yet right for Aragorn to settle down because I fear a war is coming in which he will need to play an integral role or Middle Earth will fall to the power of Sauron.  Therefore I must find a way to keep his mind on the task before him and away from the thoughts of marring my daughter until evil has been destroyed.” 

 

Glorfindel smiled at his friend, “I pity you in that task my friend because there is nothing more difficult than turning a heart away from love and toward strife.”  Elrond just nodded and silently took leave of his friend to contemplate the problem facing him. 

 

            It took Elrond many sleepless nights to come up with a way to make Aragorn and Arwen postpone their marriage but he finally found it just hours before Aragorn arrived in Imladris.  Elrond was elated when he heard a horse entering the courtyard at full speed because he knew it had to be his youngest son finally coming home. Aragorn was dirty, tired and by the look in his eyes had seen too many gruesome and terrible things but he was home and Elrond wouldn’t have it any other way.  The elf lord smiled warmly at the ranger before gathering him in a tight embrace.  After long moments Elrond pulled back and visually examined his son for injuries. 

 

“I’m fine ada,” the ranger laughed.

 

            “Am I that obvious?” the elderly elf inquired.

 

            Aragorn wrapped an arm around the elf and started walking them both to the door, “No but you are that predictable.  You have been searching me for injuries since the first time I went out in the wild without you.”

 

            “Yes I suppose I have but you and your brothers have given me reason to be observant when you come home.”  Elrond responded tiredly.

 

            Aragorn laughed again, “I suppose we have but this time I promise you I’m coming home unscathed.  Speaking of my brothers, where are the trouble makers?”

 

            “They went with Glorfindel to inspect the defenses on the north end of the valley as there has been increased orc activity in that area.  Fear not, they should be home tomorrow and the three of you will be able to torment Imladris with your nonsense.  If you are willing I would like us to have dinner alone so you call tell me all about your adventures.”  The elf lord replied as they reached the entryway of the grand house.

 

            Aragorn bowed, “That would please me very much, I shall see you in the dinning room as soon as I bathe”.  True to his word the Dúnedain ranger appeared in the dinning room not an hour later freshly washed and looking much refreshed by being in the peaceful valley.  Father and son shared a delightful meal than retired to Elrond’ study for tales of the ranger’s travels and the antics of the elven twins.

 

            Finally during a break in the flow of conversation Elrond broached a subject, which he was loath to bring up.  “Galadriel said that you spent some time in Lorien before journeying here.”

 

            Aragorn took a deep breath to compose himself and got to the heart of the matter, “You know about the betrothal between Arwen and I?” Elrond nodded and Aragorn continued, “Ada when you first found out about my attraction to Arwen, you said I needed to take on more responsibility and learn about the world outside Imladris.  I have done as you asked and traveled across Middle Earth learning things which will help me be a good king.  When I returned to Lorien and saw Arwen it was as if our hearts called to each other and when the betrothal was done my heart was at peace like it hasn’t been in many a year.”

 

            Elrond gently placed his hands on the man’s shoulders, “I realize that it was my demands that you should experience more of Middle Earth which sent you wandering the wilds these last few years, and I’m sorry that you had to experience the hardships that you have but I’m not sorry that you now understand the ways of men.  I know that you are weary beyond belief in mind, body and spirit and would like nothing better than to settle down and raise a family.”  Aragorn smiled and nodded before Elrond continued.  “I’m afraid I can’t let you have those things.”  Aragorn looked up in shock, “Peace my son, I will allow you to have the hand of my daughter” at this Aragorn beamed, “when you become king of the reunited kingdom.”  Aragorn’s face fell but Elrond continued, “I can not allow my daughter to give up her immortal life for anyone less than the man who is able to reunite the men of middle earth and over come the power of Sauron.”  Elrond paused and gently reached out to tip the ranger’s chin up, “When that day comes I will gladly place her hand in yours although I will find it difficult to leave the two of you behind in Middle Earth but my heart will be lightened by the knowledge of your love”.

 

            Aragorn was genuinely touched by the generosity of his father, “Ada if it was in my power I would keep her from loving me”

 

            Elrond reached out and gently caressed the cheek of his youngest, “I know my son but don’t regret your love for my sake.  I have asked much of you and if my greatest treasure is what you would ask in return than so be it.  I wish for nothing more than to see my children happy no matter if they live forever or if they have a mortal lifetime.”

 

 

The End