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Crossroads of Time

Chapter 14: Chapter 14

by ellie

Betas: Fianna, GeorgiaPiper, Vicki, and Marcia

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters. They belong to JRR Tolkien and I am only borrowing them for a while. I make no money from this.

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Ariella spent the night before her wedding wrapped in Glorfindel’s arms, awaiting the dawn from atop the walls of Gondolin. The entire city was gathered to begin the festival with ancient songs of welcome and wonder. As the first shades of orange and yellow appeared, Ariella could feel the excitement in the air and in those around her. The birthing of the sun was beautiful to behold as the complicated elven melodies rang in harmony with the visual display which spilled forth across the sky. The scent of flowers in the warm air only served to enhance the beauty of the dawn, making it so tangible Ariella could almost taste the colors. The festivals she had attended in Imladris had been nothing like this.

She leaned back against Glorfindel with his arms clasped around her waist, holding her close throughout the song. She could feel his lovely rich voice resonating in his chest. As soon as the song was complete, Glorfindel lifted Ariella’s right hand and kissed the silver betrothal ring that glinted on her index finger. Then he turned her in his arms and kissed her lightly upon the lips.

“We need to go home and break our fast so we can prepare for the wedding,” he said softly. He smiled and kissed her again. “Although, I would be quite content to remain here and feast upon your lips.”

Ariella giggled in response and nuzzled her head against the side of his neck. He held her close and she could feel his cheek resting on her head.

“I could stand here all day holding you,” he sighed.

“You already stood here all night holding me,” she reminded him contentedly.

“I know. And I look forward to holding you all night tonight, preferably lying down in my bed and maybe on the bearskin rug by the fireplace, too, with no visitors to interrupt us.” He gently pushed her away smiling mischievously.

Heat rose in her cheeks at the thought of spending this night with him. She quickly bowed her head to try to hide the blush, but it was too late. Softly chuckling with that little laugh he seemed to reserve for the times when she amused him without meaning to, he tipped her chin with his finger and gently kissed her lips.

“Let us be off my love,” he said.

Glorfindel elegantly bowed to her and made a show of offering her his arm, which she took laughingly, and they made their way through the crowd back to his house.

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Ariella was too nervous to eat very much, so she contented herself with bathing and washing her hair. Idril, Linanna, and Elianna arrived a short time later to help her dress.

After drying Ariella’s hair, they helped garb her in her new pale lavender wedding gown. The shimmering gauzy fabric flowed about her as if the dress had been poured over her with the layered skirts pooling around her feet. The long wispy sleeves made each movement of her arms elegant and enchanting. The cut of the neckline was low enough to be tempting, but not too revealing. Idril and Elianna had designed it, and judging by their approving smiles as she twirled about the room, seemed quite pleased with the results.

Settling on her bed, Ariella watched in fascination as Linanna and Elianna, chatting merrily, wove the crown of ribbons and flowers she was to wear in her hair. The flowers were the same fragrant variety that Ariella had awoken to find in her room nearly a year ago. She had since discovered that they were the actual golden flower for which the house was named, and that they came in two varieties: one with golden petals and a center of the same hue and the other with golden petals and a purple center.

She felt wonderful, but a little absurd, too, with all of the attention she was receiving. The way her friends teased and fussed over her made her feel like she was some beloved younger sister.

She rubbed the fabric of her dress between her thumb and first finger as a great sadness suddenly took hold of her. She really was a younger sister, and others should have been there that day to fuss over her. She had two older sisters and three younger ones, not to mention the wives of her brothers, all of whom should have been the ones preparing her for her wedding – not three beings that weren’t even of her race.

Tears stung her eyes as she thought of her family. They should have been here today celebrating with her. She could so easily picture her mother smiling, amidst proud tears, at her little girl all grown up and finally marrying. Mother had smiled that way when her older sisters were wed. But Ariella was never going to see that smile directed toward her. She longed to see her mother’s face again and feel one of those wonderful, all-encompassing hugs one more time. What she wouldn’t give just to hear her mother say “I love you” once more. But she was never going to hear that again.

What would her father say if he knew she was to be married? She smiled to herself, despite the tears now streaming freely down her cheeks, at the thought of how horrified he would be to know that Glorfindel, who had had a romantic relationship with her mother before she had met him, was going to be his son-in-law. But her father had always been proud of her and never missed an opportunity to tell her so or to tell her that he loved her.

Warm arms enveloped her as Idril softly said, “He would have been proud of you this day, Ariella. I feel certain of that. Your mother would have been proud of you, too. You have done such good since you have arrived here and learned so very much. From what you have told me of your parents, I think they both would have been pleased with the way in which your love for our people will be rewarded today.” Idril pulled back and smiled at Ariella as she continued, “I also think they would have been pleased with the ellon you managed to capture for a husband. There are not that many lords available for beguiling and marrying, you know.”

Ariella sniffled and smiled back at her. “And I am about to reduce that number by one.” She hugged Idril again then added, “Thank you … for everything.”

Idril withdrew her arms and shook her finger at Ariella accusingly. “Just remember that you only get to keep your handsome lord on the stipulation that you endeavor to increase the number of new lords and ladies in the near future.”

Ariella wiped her face with a cool damp cloth that Elianna had just handed to her and laughed. “I intend to begin work toward undertaking that endeavor quite soon.”

Elianna gave her a knowing smile. “If my brother’s reaction to and great affection for my son has been any indication, then I will not be surprised if you are pregnant before the year is out.”

Linanna patted Ariella on the shoulder and added, “I, for one, am looking forward to caring for all of the little lords and ladies that will be added unto this house by you. My heart tells me that there will be many.”

Ariella blushed brightly and bowed her head at the thought that not only would those children be hers, but also because of what would be involved in creating them AND the fact that everybody else knew how it would happen. She was simply too embarrassed by the reality of the situation to say anything more. The other three ellith laughed gleefully, clapping their hands and shaking their heads.

“Poor child,” Linanna sagely observed amidst her giggles. “Poor naive elleth.”

Once the gales of laughter had died down to occasional snorts and shaking of the shoulders accompanied by knowing smiles directed toward Ariella, Linanna and Elianna combed her hair once more. Idril placed the now completed crown of flowers on Ariella’s head, adjusting it to her satisfaction. Warm mothering, sistering, befriending arms suddenly engulfed Ariella from all sides. Such great love and joy emanated from that embrace that she felt a sense in her mind that she would be a welcome part of their family, completing her bond of friendship with them as she bound herself to her beloved Glorfindel.

As they all pulled back, straightening Ariella’s dress and crown again, Elianna said, “It is time to depart. Shall we go?”

“Yes!” Ariella beamed, having somewhat recovered, but her fingers betrayed her nervousness by immediately fidgeting with the fabric of her dress again. The four made their way to the door of the house where they were met by the wives of Glorfindel’s brothers. The group made its way through the city past the festivities of the Gates of Summer to the Place of Weddings which was on the highest point in the city, and overlooked the King’s palace. Many gaily dressed people stopped and stared or toasted the group amiably or shouted their wishes of happiness to Ariella, but none waylaid her entourage.


When they arrived at the Place of Weddings, Ariella halted in awe. The entire place was adorned with golden flowers, green and gold streamers, and the banner of the House of the Golden Flower.

Suddenly she doubted that it was such a good idea to marry Glorfindel. She hadn’t considered the fact that she would be introducing a strain of alien blood with some non-elvish traits into a noble house of the Noldor. She also hadn’t considered the fact that Glorfindel’s Vanyarin ancestry came through his mother Inarie, the daughter of Ingwe, so the strain would be introduced into the line of the high king of all the elves as well. Unfortunately, it was a little late to be making such realizations now.

Ariella immediately felt Idril speaking in her mind. 'You have already made this choice, Ariella. You cannot back out now because of fear of what your influence will cause. As far as your past is concerned, this union already took place. You are simply confirming history happens the way it already did for you. It would destroy you both if you abandoned him now.

Ariella mutely nodded her acquiescence and started fidgeting with the material of her dress. Elianna grabbed her hand and held it still by her side as the procession continued once again toward the site of the ceremony.

They were met shortly thereafter by Glorfindel, his entourage of family and friends, and King Turgon who would invoke the blessing of Eru on the happy couple.

Ariella was stunned when she saw Glorfindel. He was dressed in tunic, shirt, and leggings of white trimmed with gold. His white robes were heavily embroidered with vines of golden flowers. On his head he wore an intertwined circlet of gold, symbol of his lordship. He was radiant, and very soon he would be all hers.

Turgon, robed in white and wearing his coronet of silver and garnets, took his place as the crowd of kin, friends, and the lords and ladies of the court of Gondolin gathered around. With Ariella’s mother and Glorfindel’s father both absent, others had been chosen to fulfill their parental duties in the ceremony. Idril led Ariella forward before Turgon to meet Glorfindel who was escorted by his brother Celoril. She placed Ariella’s hands in Glorfindel’s and invoked the blessings of Varda upon the couple. When Idril withdrew, Celoril laid his hands upon their joined hands, invoking the blessings of Manwe. Turgon then laid his hands upon the bride and groom’s joined hands and invoked the blessings of Eru the God of All whose name is seldom spoken for the elves great reverence of Him.

With the final blessing complete, Turgon instructed them to remove and return their betrothal rings. Ariella’s hands were quivering so much; she could not take off her ring. Glorfindel grinned sympathetically as he helped her to remove the stubborn silver band. He handed the band to Celoril, then gave her his own silver ring which she handed to Idril. Glorfindel brought forth a gold ring with tiny vines of golden flowers meticulously engraved around it. He kissed the gold band before placing it on the index finger of Ariella’s right hand. She was shaking so badly, he had to hold tightly to her hand in order to slide the ring in place. Taking a steadying breath, she gently kissed Glorfindel’s gold ring, the match of hers, before placing it on his finger. They joined hands again and Ariella realized that Glorfindel’s hands were trembling, too.

Idril then approached Glorfindel and placed about his neck a collar made of intertwining leaves of gold that came together in the blossom of a golden flower with an amethyst at its heart. When she stepped back, Celoril came forward and placed a similar golden leafed necklace around Ariella’s neck, only her flower was made of amethysts encompassing a golden center. Smiling broadly, Turgon pronounced the couple married. Ariella blushed as Glorfindel whispered, “I love you with all of my heart” before his lips met hers for a chaste kiss, hinting at the promise of so much more. The crowd cheered and parted as the happy couple made their way out of the Place of Weddings and down the street toward Glorfindel’s house where the party and feast would begin.

After many hours of countless dances, well wishes, and bountiful food, Glorfindel took her hand and they slipped away to his room. Their first night together was passionate and beautiful, though they were both exhausted. As they lay in each other’s arms awaiting the embrace of sleep, Glorfindel pulled her even closer and whispered, “I can feel you in my mind and in my heart. Our binding is complete.”

Ariella was quite startled to discover that she could feel him in her head and heart, too. She had totally forgotten about that aspect of elvish marriage! She realized, with great anxiety that she would need to explore just how much access he had to her mind to be sure she could keep him away from thoughts and memories to which she did not want him to have access.

He chuckled softly and kissed her forehead. “I will not probe deeply into your thoughts, my love, if you will not probe into mine. You will keep your separate identity as I will keep mine. But, I believe we will always be able to feel each other’s emotions. It will be interesting exploring all of the possibilities here, will it not? And just think, neither of us will ever be wholly alone again.” He yawned loudly. “My dear Ariella, you have brought me my greatest joy. Good night, my beloved.”

Ariella looked inside of him, sensing his great contentment as his thoughts drifted into dreams. It saddened her that she would be leaving him all alone forever in a few years. She erected her mental barriers and realized that they were incomplete now. Her bond with him flowed through them like a vine through a hole in a fence. As she succumbed to her own blessed weariness, she hoped for the sake of her history and his future that he would respect her privacy of thought as she would respect his.

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Notes:
Noldor custom of giving of gifts and the elder wedding customs were mostly taken from the History of Middle Earth Series Volume X by Christopher Tolkien.
ellith – Sindarin for “females”
It is my invention that Glorfindel is the grandson of Ingwe as well as the name of Glorfindel’s mother being named Inarie.

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Chapter name
Chapter 14
Created
11 Mar 2005
Last Edited
11 Mar 2005
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