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‘She’s beautiful,’ Sam breathed, staring at the picture. He wasn’t quite sure where he was—he’d got himself thoroughly lost, but it didn’t matter, with Mr. Frodo on the mend, sleeping, no need to hurry back. Gandalf had sent him to his rest, as a matter of fact, but blessed if he could find the rooms where their baggages had been sent. He’d turned into this room, having gone back to the last joining of corridors, and counted doors, and this one had been ajar, and in his weariness he’d stumbled against it, nearly falling into the room. An empty room, fortunately, with none to be bothered by his intrusion.
‘Yes, she is,’ a quiet voice said behind him, and he’d’ve started if his raw, exhausted nerves hadn’t caught the sorrow infusing the tone. Still he spun around, so fast he nearly overbalanced, and bowed.
‘L-lord Elrond, I...’
The Master of the House smiled, kind as summer, reaching out a gentle hand to steady the hobbit.
‘My beloved,’ he said. ‘And that is my favourite rendering.’
‘I-I can see why,’ Samwise said.
‘Come, Master Samwise,’ Elrond murmured, a hand at the hobbit’s back. ‘Let me show you to your quarters.’
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