The soft swirling notes of a harp floated into the air to mingle with the gentle breeze that brushed through the forests that were so reminiscent of the vale of Imladris now found in Valinor. Lindir smiled as he let his head fall back, allowing the wind to blow his pale hair in time to his notes. Tilting his head to the side, he gazed softly at the plant that stood before him, swaying softly in the breeze that swept through the clean air around them. ‘Aye, you sense the peace and joy on the air as well. Dû'waloth linnad of our people…you always knew of peace,’ he thought serenely as he gazed at the plant. (Singing midnight blossom)
“Your music travels even to the heights of Aman, Lindir of Arda. Yet I sense sadness in its tones, even on this lovely day.” A rich voice floated over as a figure appeared from the woods. Clothed in white silk and gold mingling with maroon brocade, the Elf held a presence about him that was amplified by the almost unearthly glow that seemed to originate from his golden head and flow down. His eyes were as soft as the sky at dawn and held a fire that showed how he had lived in Valinor and had seen the light of the Two Trees, but his smile was as warm and cheerful as Anor’s shining rays.
Standing swiftly and bowing deeply, Lindir flushed at the words spoken. “Hîren! I… I did not hear you approach!” the minstrel cried in embarrassment, looking up as he heard soft chuckles in amusement. (My Lord!)
“Nay, that is not a problem, Lindir. I came silently, as I heard your music and wondered at its tones,” the Lord said with a smile as he came over. He stood before the raised dais on which Lindir sat, and then bowed his golden head. “May I come forward, pen-neth?” he asked teasingly, eyes and mouth crinkling with his playful demeanor. (Young one)
“Aye! Oh, my manners! Of course you may come forward!” Lindir cried in mortification, and then hastily offered the nearby chair for the Vanya Lord. Chuckling softly as he walked, Ingwë glided up the stairs and sat down gracefully; he smiled at Lindir as the minstrel sat down, flushed with his embarrassment. “I apologize, hîren… my mind was lost in memories as I played,” he said in quietly, glancing up guiltily at the golden leader
seated across from him.
“So I noticed,” Ingwë replied in amusement before reaching over and placing a gentle hand upon Lindir’s own harp callused one. “There is no need to be embarrassed, Lindir. I was as entranced by your music. Tell me, the song you played… what was it?” he asked, settling back in his seat.
Sighing softly, Lindir smiled and gazed up, turning his eyes once more to the plant that stood near him. “It was one of the songs that we played often at Imladris. Especially at joyous times. It was Lady Celebrian’s favorite, and one that had always been much appreciated for it meant peace was around us and that the blossoms would soon be there.” He sighed sadly, his pale blue eyes turning inward with memories and sorrow. “But it was no longer played after she left us and the Dû'waloth Linnad has not bloomed since.”
“Is this the plant of which you speak? This Dû'waloth Linnad?” Ingwë asked softly, his eyes gently going over the plant that trembled within the breeze before them.
“Aye, it is. It would only bloom when true peace was around and this song was played, for what reason we never truly guessed,” Lindir said with a sad grin, gazing down at his harp. “It would carpet the forests surrounding the vale with pale blue trillium blossoms, fringed with midnight blue. It was a sign of prosperity and light. One would take the blossoms and present it to their soul mate and use it for their binding wreathes.” He turned suddenly, flashing blue eyes full of mirth on the Vanya Lord. “It was said that if you caught the wreath of the bride, you would find bliss within a year’s time. Whether it is family, love, or prosperity, it would be found,” he said, grinning as Lord Ingwë laughed softly.
“That sounds to be a wonderful tradition! Did you ever catch such a wreath?” Ingwë asked in curiosity, his darker blue eyes twinkling with warmth and merriment.
“Aye, once. Long ago… I caught Lady Celebrian’s wreath. I found my calling in music not much later,” Lindir replied as he stared at the plant before him once more. His eyes filled with bittersweet remembrance while he reflected on the memories of that day. “I served her and her family with all my heart. And in the end, she left when the joy was taken away. Peace left with her.” He whispered painfully.
“But now you are with her again. She is here… with what family she has and all your people. Do you not think the time has come for peace to rule once more in all our hearts and for this flower to spread once again?” the Golden Lord asked gently, tenderly watching the pale-haired minstrel.
Turning slowly to gaze at the Vanya Lord, Lindir’s mouth firmed with sudden realization. “Aye, hîren. That it is. My thanks to you,” he said softly as he bowed his head to Ingwë in respect.
Standing with the fluid grace of all Firstborn, Ingwë smiled and bowed his head to Lindir. “I look forward, then, to hearing of your success,” he said before turning and leaving for the pathway.
“Hîren! Wait!” Lindir’s voice stopped the Vanya Lord. The minstrel ran over, delicately cradling something in his hands. He held the item before him and took Ingwë’s hand. Gently, he placed a small pod in the center of the Lord’s palm, smiling as the golden Elf looked at him in curiosity. “Plant this outside of your palace, amongst the trees,” Lindir explained. “When the night is full of Ithil’s sacred light, go to the place you planted it and place something that you cherish above it. Make a wish then of what you would like and it shall come back to you in three days’ time when you retrieve your charm.” Lindir grinned as he placed his hands behind his back and bounced on the balls of his feet, looking extremely pleased with himself.
Cocking a pale eyebrow, Ingwë bowed his head in bemusement, smiling warmly at the young minstrel. “I shall do that, Lindir. Until later,” he said softly, then turned and left, holding tightly to the small pod that had been gifted to him.
With a smile, Lindir watched the golden Lord leave, then ran to his home, mind whirling with what he needed to do. Swiftly grabbing his traveling cloak, he headed for Nanlim, the new Imladris for those who had lived in the sacred vale not long past. He needed to speak to Lord Elrond.
A week later
Sipping slowly on his warm mulled wine, Lindir smiled softly and gazed around at the party that he and Lady Celebrian had laboriously planned. The evening was intended to be a celebration of light and life, and it was indeed turning out to be all they had wished.
Nanlim had the same architecture and atmosphere as the now-gone Imladris; its lush forests sparkled with the mists from the multitude of waterfalls that hailed from the great river that surrounded the vale. Pastel-colored morning glories threw up colorful splashes amongst the deep green of the climbing ivies on the ivory columns and archways, while various shrubs and flowering plants brought artistic style to the otherwise forested areas. The most special area close to the forest edge, though, was dedicated to a few plants alone, their teardrop-shaped leaves swaying softly to a silent wind, as if dancing with the revelers nearby.
The guests included those from all of the Elven kingdoms and also included the special attendance of Master Dwarf Gimli and the three Hobbits: Samwise, Bilbo, and Frodo. King Thranduil could be seen chatting with Lords Elrond and Celeborn; all three were laughing over some story that the Wood Elf was regaling them with. The three Lords had become close friends once more, reigniting the friendship that they had all once held so dear.
Lady Galadriel stood with her daughter and grandsons, speaking with some of the Ladies from the other realms before being literally pulled out to dance with Elladan. Elrohir, meanwhile, urged his mother to the grassy clearing for a dance, while Legolas edged over and, to Lindir’s surprise, bowed low and entreated Lord Ingwë’s lovely wife. The minstrel smiled as he saw the Vanya Lord nod his approval, saluting the Princeling, who swirled the fair lady out onto the dance floor.
Lindir himself did not dance. Instead, he watched the party and knew that the special songs that had brought all of this about would soon be played. Tonight was the night of the full moon, when Ithil’s fair light touched Valinor with her full gentleness… and when the magic of prosperity would be at its highest. He remembered these nights well, for always the most potent of music would be coaxed from the instruments, and he and his fellow musicians were ready for it.
Silently, he went over to the band and sat down, taking up his harp to the roaring applause of the crowd. He bowed his head regally to them, smiling softly as he began to pick out the familiar tune. A multitude of gasps rang through the crowd as many of his old comrades recognized the song and cheered, while those who did not know it listened in wonder.
Slowly, the other musicians joined him, swirling their harmonies amongst the ancient hymn of praise and blessing as Ithil rose in the sky. As the music floated into the fragrant air of the evening, a soft glow shown down onto all present, blessing them with light and joy. A new dance began almost of its own accord, swirling, twisting, touching, separating… all those present found themselves gently drawn into the ancient dance as the music led them on.
From the corner of his eye, Lindir watched the plant he held sacred grow straighter, as soft bulbs began to show on its branches. As Ithil rose higher, so did the branches until they finally burst into bloom, covering the dark leaves with a mass light blue blossoms fringed in midnight blue. They seemed to sparkle with their own light as they turned towards the moon and a soft trilling seemed to mingle with the song, enhancing the joy.
At the spell’s peak, the music stopped suddenly, as did the dance. Lord Elrond and Lady Celebrian walked solemnly to the flowering plant. They each picked a delicate blossom, and then faced the crowd who was watching them intently.
“From the time of Imladris’ birth, there was a tradition to ensure that peace and prosperity thrived there. That tradition was sacred and binding to all who held that hope within their hearts and heard the song.” Lord Elrond’s voice floated out, strong, yet gentle as he smiled at the assembled.
“It is the tradition to take a blossom of our most beloved flower, the Dû'waloth Linnad, and give it to another with a wish for luck, prosperity, love, and joy. With these first blooms after centuries of silence, it is our pleasure to wish these blessings upon you all,” Lady Celebrian said, raising up the blossom she held, as Elrond did the same.
“To peace, prosperity, and love!” Elrond called, smiling as he was echoed loudly by the gathered before cheers broke forth. The pair then began gently handing out the fragile blossoms to all those gathered.
Lindir smiled to himself as he watched, then turned his gaze to the trillium plant. He bowed formally to it and smiled as he saw the branches seem to sway, as if bowing in return. He knew then that they had finally brought back to their lives the peace that had been missing.
After that night, on every full moon, the forests of Valinor were blanketed with Dui'welyth Linnaid, keeping the peace, and ensuring prosperity and joy. (Singing midnight blossoms)
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Story notes: For the Lindir Challenge: Use three things given by Orchyd for the basis of the story. Lindir is the main; Ingwë was the person he is interacting with, a plant is the object, and the place at least mentioned is Imladris. Thanks go to my mother for the plant help and to Orchyd for any Elvish and betaing! Enjoy!