Rivendell, in a time before the Great Ring's rediscovery ...
Simmering in shades of gold and russet, the leaves in the trees along the cliffs were slowly turning brown in the cooling air and shortening days of Firith, or the fading time before cold winter set in. They danced in the slanting rays of the setting sun as the evening breeze drifted among the branches. The deep green of the pines that clung to the cliff side were a shadowy contrast to these fiery shades. The long grasses in the meadows were pale and tan and they flowed like an ocean wave as the wind stirred the long blades. Elrond walked along the meadows with his fingertips dragging among the plumes and tips of the swirling tide. Their warm fragrance was released as he moved among the shifting grasses. He stirred little clouds of dust as he kicked along the path like a child, carefree and unhurried. Elrond liked this flat open space; he could be alone with his thoughts here.
The wind stirred his hair and he paused and turned to catch the last of the sun's rays on his face, enjoying the fading warmth. Curious about his presence in their field, tall and dappled Elven horses came along in a line behind him, seeking an apple or a scratch behind the ears. He obliged his favorite with soft words and a gentle touch. They stood forehead-to-forehead and communed silently in respect and affection. This one was very large, even for the breed, and he arched his neck and sought another apple buried in the pockets before him. The swish of his tail and the sigh of the breeze were the only sounds around them until the dinner bells rang out along the valley walls.
The sound of the bells was faint, as he had walked a long way away in the open spaces, enjoying the solitude and peace he found in the meadows. Complaining to the attentive ears that pricked forward, he discussed the merits of dining with guests versus a quiet meal in his study. Large brown eyes watched him through long white lashes, but no comment was offered to resolve his dilemma. With a hand on its neck he turned the horse around to face towards the houses stacked along the heights.
Taking a handful of its long mane and getting a good grip on its broad back, he hoisted himself up with a jump and they slowly walked towards the stables, and home. The others followed along in quiet companionship. He enjoyed the slow pace and rolling gait of the giant animal, no racing for them tonight. His thoughts turned back over his years of experience with horses, hours spent as one with the powerful beasts, and to the dark gray mare that was his first and favorite at Gil-galad's court. Slender and small for the breed, she had been as fast as the wind and responsive to a thought and a word.
He had had many horses there, and the best of the breed. Racing was a popular pastime in those days. In the back of his mind he could hear hooves crunching in the beach shingle as they raced along the foamy tide line along the wide sweep of the outer bay. He could smell the sea and hear the cries of the sea birds overhead. He shook his head and shut that line of thinking right down. No ghosts were allowed near him today. He was, for a rare instant, deliberately living in the moment today. This was his favorite mount now, and he was home at Imladris where he belonged. He looked up at the rising rooflines in front of him.
The slanting rays caught the stacked roofs and porches and formed patterns and designs of light and shadow with the pillars, columns and stairways that formed the outer layers of the Great House and the other buildings clustered around it. He never tired of looking at it from any angle. The complex had grown over the centuries and formed an organic mass as it clung to its arched foundations over the rushing river, and wound down into this side valley.
The green houses were to his right along the cliff face and the sun glinted off rows of ancient hand blown glass windows in a scintillating flash of rainbow hues. Medical students leaving the main building waved at him as they crossed the arching footbridge over a deep cleft, and he saw others moving towards the Great House and the dining hall as the evening meal bells called the residents together for the evening meal.
It was one time of the day that all could enjoy the feeling of community and catch up with news at home and from outside. Guests were frequent these days, and news of the outside world was of interest. Trade flourished and life was rich and comfortable in the spiritual refuge. Hard work behind the scenes kept it that way. While legends preserved the restful and welcoming serenity in story, the managers and residents worked daily to maintain the peace and plenty against a growing darkness beyond the borders.
Arriving at the rambling stable complex, Elrond slipped off his mount with a grateful pat and a final scratch and passed through the ornate side gate as the grooms called the horses inside for the night. With a word and a wave to them he mounted the steps that led up to the Great House. Pausing in the courtyard he debated his next move. He looked down at his dusty boots and dirty hands. He knew he was sunburned and his hair was a tangle from being in the wind all day.
Brushing himself off in a cloud of dust he considered everything he would have to do to become presentable. He had amused himself all day with a walk-about of the paths along the river, swimming, a tour through the greenhouses, and then finally an aimless stroll in the meadows with the horses as silent companions. He was a mess because of it now, a contented, rested, windblown mess. He looked at his boots again and pondered.
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Coranar 6. The Perfect Day by The Tired Scribe
Story notes: m/f, m/m, group, this series uses movie and books as basic canon-with embellishments. ;>
OK OK -Elrond gets a day off finally, and Glorfindal comes home too.
SERIES NOTE: This is story # 6 in the seasonal series now called "Coranar", or "sun-round" in Elvish. (A solar year of 6 seasons). To catch up seek out: The Cleft in the Curve, Coranar #1, A Good Thing, Coranar #2, Shooting Stars, Coranar #3, and Days of Harvest and Pain, Coranar #4, The Abyss, Coranar #5.
The Coranar series:
1. The Cleft in the Curve
2. A Good Thing
3. Shooting Stars
4. Days of Harvest and Pain
5. The Abyss
6. The Perfect Day
7. Winter Joinings
8. Gifts from the South
9. Rings of Power
10. Distant Evenings
11. Friends and Lovers
12. Fiery Circles