The Spirit of Giving by Paranoidangel

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Baranur had worried everyone by giving birth to twin foals. No one was sure if they would survive the night, but in the morning they were both hale and hearty and already running rings around their mother. Elrond smiled and chatted with the stable hand before returning to the house.

He'd had a plan for Baranur's foal before she'd given birth, but twins were something special and his sons had been eyeing up the ponies for a while now, wanting one of their own. Another foal would replace Baranur's and he could give Elladan and Elrohir a special foal each.

There were many who disliked having thirteen dwarves, a hobbit and Gandalf staying in Rivendell. They were different to what most of the residents were used to these days: they ate a lot, they were loud and their stories were often bawdy. Worst of all, Gandalf encouraged them. It almost seemed as if there were dwarves everywhere in the Last Homely House.

But Elrond welcomed them. He had seen mostly elves for many years, so he was delighted to meet dwarves again and to make the acquaintance of a hobbit. Rivendell would get used to their guests, he was sure.

Elrond stood in the shadows of a nearby balcony watching Aragorn take his leave of Arwen. He'd had high hopes for them both, but separately. Now the time drew near when Aragorn would either be king or would fall and Arwen was bound up in his fate.

She was more precious to him than anything else in Middle-earth, save for his sons. Yet he knew he would give her up in the end, for Aragorn would need her at his side. And if Elrond took her from him she would never forgive him and he would still lose his daughter.

There were still too many people around, so when Elrond spied a chance, he excused himself, grabbed Celebrían's hand and pulled her into a dark corner. "I want you all to myself," he said, once he'd reminded himself how much he liked kissing her.

She smiled. "You will later."

His only reply was a sigh.

"You are the Lord of Rivendell. All desire to share in your wedding day. And," she added, when he opened his mouth to protest, "you want to share your joy with them."

"You are wise," he agreed. But the night was still too far off.

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