Change One Thing, See What Happens

Paradox of the Fourth Age

22. Chapter 21 ~ Namárië

A/N Thanks to Viv for her beta and advice. There is a long quote in the middle that is taken directly from the book. I gave credit in the end but I didn't want anyone think as they were reading it that I copied it without giving credit!! Oh and despite the name this isn't the end, I promise!

"I think it is time for you to accept that there is a possibility that Glorfindel and Indil are not meant for each other," Elrohir whispered. Laurëanna tensed beside him at his comment and reluctantly followed his line of sight to see her mother laughing at something Elladan was saying. The two were standing very close, too close for her comfort.

"They are. He is just so stubborn." She could not help but want to strangle her father after the past few weeks. She had done everything but throw Indil at him, and although he was always polite and kind to her, he continued to be elusive toward her. Elladan, on the other hand, was charming, friendly, and entertaining. Even Laurëanna had to admit that he was everything an elleth would wish a suitor to be. But he was not her father, and she would not give up hope that her father would realize finally how wonderful her mother was.

Glorfindel stood near the couple, deep in thought, and Laurëanna snuck a peak at him. She noticed that he was subtly watching Indil through lowered lashes and she smiled. Her father obviously had some interest in her mother.

"We should go. We have a long ride before nightfall if we want to reach Isengard by midday tomorrow," Elrond said.

They were en route back to Rivendell, and the Mithlond and Lothlorien elves were on the journey with them as well as the members of Fellowship. Since leaving Arwen in Edoras, Elrond had been driven to return to Imladris as soon as possible.

Elladan and Indil approached them, and Laurëanna turned to her husband. "Elrohir," she said, threading her voice with concern. "Maybe you and Elladan should ride with your father. I think he could use some comfort that only his children can provide."

The twins both watched their father mount his horse. "I do not think even we can provide the comfort he needs." Elladan turned to his brother, looking uncharacteristically solemn. "But she is right; we should try."

"I will stay with Laurëanna and Indil," Glorfindel reassured them. "Do not be concerned."

Elrohir kissed Laurëanna lovingly before helping her mount, and then he turned to mount his own horse, following his brother to ride by his father's side.

Glorfindel helped Indil before mounting his own horse. Laurëanna noticed the way his hand lingered on his mother's waist a little longer than necessary causing her mother to blush softly.

Laurëanna kept trying to put a little more distance between herself and her parents and finally sped up to ride beside Legolas. Seeing her smile, he glanced over his shoulder at her parents and smiled back at her, saying nothing since Gimli was there.

"It seems fitting that we should say our farewells to you in Rohan," Gimli said, glancing at her.

"Yes, we have come full circle, I suppose," she said thoughtfully. "I cannot believe how much has happened since we first met."

"Aye, miss. Things long overdue by all rights," he agreed. "Now is time to watch these lands and our own prospering."

"After all that time spent in Minas Tirith, I miss the forests, walking amongst the leaves, breathing in the fresh air." Legolas inhaled deeply. "I enjoy seeing these new lands, but they make me yearn for home as well. I see now why my father rarely leaves."

"I miss home, too. The city lights and gardens, the view from the mountains near the sea," Laurëanna replied then bit her lip, realizing what she had just said.

There was a long pause. She did not even look at Legolas, knowing Gimli would see the terror on her face. "Are there many mountain views of the sea from Mirkwood?" Gimli asked quietly.

Unable to answer, she looked at him pleadingly. Gimli was quiet another moment, which seemed painfully long to her. "I do not know why you have lied about where you come from, but my trust in Legolas is strong enough to believe that he has kept your secrets for a good reason," Gimli said at last. "I see in you no evil, nor do I believe you capable of it, so I must assume that there are things I do not know or understand involved or you would tell me the truth." Laurëanna nodded solemnly. "I worry for you, miss, because a person who is as sensitive and caring as you are cannot continue to deceive those you love without paying a price of her own."

"I am, but it is a price I am willing to pay," Laurëanna reassured him. "It was not my choice to keep secrets, but I have to keep them in order to be able to protect others."

"We are paying the price for our silence. Will you keep yours as well?" Legolas asked Gimli.

Thoughtful a moment, the dwarf answered. "Aye, I will."

"You are a loyal friend, Gimli, to Legolas as well as to me." Laurëanna smiled affectionately at the dwarf.

"That is a totally unexpected state of affairs is it not?" Legolas laughed, looking at the dwarf. "Whoever would have thought the day we left Imladris that this would happen?"

"Certainly not I," Gimli replied, gruffly.

Laurëanna rode beside them smiling and laughing, listening to their banter. Every once in awhile she would look over her shoulder at her parents and was encouraged to see them talking quite a bit. She knew she had come dangerously close to trouble by revealing herself to Gimli. Kicking herself mentally for her stupidity, she wondered how she would continue to keep up this charade for the rest of her time in Middle-earth. She had already slipped a few times the past few months, and she had many more months, if not years or decades, remaining here. It seemed a hopeless task to avoid exposure.

~*~

Elrond walked quietly onto the balcony, listening to the sounds of the sea, confused about where he was. This was not the shores of The Havens.

Realizing he was not alone, he turned to look back into the room. Indil was braiding Laurëanna's hair as Celebrian sat nearby talking to the two of them. Stunned, he said nothing, and they appeared not to notice him. Elrond walked to them and gently placed his hand on his wife's cheek. Celebrian rose and he took her in his arms, kissing her tenderly, touching her hair to make sure she was real.

"My love, we have been waiting for you. What took you so long?" she murmured.

Elrond's eyes filled with tears, and a lump formed in the throat, leaving him unable to speak as Celebrian held him close. He inhaled the scent of her hair and clung to her.

"You are well now?" he finally managed to whisper.

"I am. I have missed my family though. At least now I know you are all are coming. Almost all of you," Celebrian answered with a smile.

"Arwen…"

"I know. Our daughter will not step on these shores, but she followed her heart, as she had to do. She would not be happy here without Estel, and I would rather her live out the rest of her days happily as a mother and wife with the man she loves than to be miserable and fading here unable to love again."

Hearing a noise, Elrond turned to see Glorfindel coming to sit beside Indil. He kissed her lovingly before sitting beside her. Seeing the three of them together so intimately, Elrond suddenly knew what must be true, even though he did not understand it. Laurëanna was Glorfindel and Indil's daughter. But how was that possible? Confused, he glanced toward Celebrian for answers. His wife simply smiled before saying, "Perhaps you should sit down."

After Elrond sat down, he was hit by visions, one after the other. Soon they were coming fast and furious, each one more horrible than the last. He clutched Celebrian's hand tightly as his heart raced. Finally, when he thought he could take no more, the visions stopped, leaving him breathless. His heart pounded so hard in his chest that he leaned forward in pain.

"No, this cannot be!" he finally cried out.

"It is not," Celebrian said. "But it once was."

When he looked up at her again, he saw someone else with her. He did not need to be told who was before him, and he sank to the ground, humbled by his presence.

"Elrond, please rise." Manwe's rich voice caressed his fea. "There is not much time."

Elrond did as he was asked and struggled with the desire to ask him so many things, but he was afraid.

"In moments, you will understand," Manwe went on. "First I must explain why you were chosen to be given this knowledge earlier than intended. You must be entrusted with Laurëanna's care when she is parted from Legolas"

"Elrohir will allow no harm to come to her," Elrond answered, confused. "What does Laurëanna have to do with these visions of destruction of Middle-earth?"

Once again Elrond was overwhelmed with visions. Most were joyous visions of his family as well as Laurëanna and hers. Until the day she stepped through time back to the Third Age of Middle-earth. The visions ended and once again he was faced with Manwe.

"Laureanna will be parted from Legolas soon. She can never go to Mirkwood or the story she told about King Thranduil sending her to Rohan would be revealed. Plus the residents of that realm would know that she did not grow up there as she has said. Legolas has protected her and her secrets until now. Now the task must be entrusted with you, for she is growing weaker in her resolve as she grows more anxious to reunite her family. If she slips and her secret is revealed, it might affect the future unexpectedly creating a paradox. When we sent her through time we knew of the risk of the paradox before the ring was destroyed, but we did not realize how strong the risk would be in her future. Her history was the future, but things have changed and now she could try to affect the current future and inadvertently cause others to deviate from their true path. The balance lies within her and, though she is strong, she is young and does not see how she can affect these things. She is using her strength of will to reunite her parents, not maintain the stability between her past and the future." Manwe explained. "You must separate her from her parents. Send Glorfindel with Indil to Mithlond. He must remain there until you depart Middle-earth."

"What if she chooses to go to Mithlond as well?" Elrond asked.

"You must convince her not to. When you and the other ring bearers return to these shores, so will her memories of her past. We cannot risk the paradox. She will remember a life that did not exist; the one that she has told Elrohir and others was her past. To rip her memories away from her suddenly could be very dangerous, so we will slowly have her past fade away as well as Legolas's knowledge of her past. When she returns to Undying Lands, her memories will return as they will for the rest of her family and Legolas, as was promised before she was sent to Middle-earth. All of their memories, the two alternate futures they lived, will be gift to them when they sail to the Undying Lands."

Elrond nodded but thought to himself how cruel it seemed to take her memories from her. He understood the reason, but he wished it did not have to be so.

Manwe knew what he was thinking and smiled gently, placing his hand on Elrond's shoulder. "This will be easier for Laurëanna than you realize. She does not like to lie and keep secrets. It is against who she is. Plus she tries very hard to right the things that are wrong. When she starts affecting the free will of others, her actions could become very perilous in the future."

Celebrian put her arm around Elrond's waist, and he turned to her again. She kissed him, lingering a few precious moments before whispering, "Farewell, my love. I will count the moments until I hold you again."


~ * ~

Elrond woke up with a start. He could still smell Celebrian's scent and feared if he moved, he would disturb the air around him. Finally when he could no longer smell it, he rolled over on his back contemplating the dream. Was it truly a dream? No. He knew it was not. He felt sick, his stomach turning over with the visions he had seen. His daughter…no! He would not think of what had been, he could not think of it or it would drive him mad. Arwen was alive, safe, and happy now. He sat up, trying not to disturb Elladan sleeping beside him. Quietly rising, he walked away from the others.

At the edge of the camp, he saw Legolas keeping watch, and he walked toward the younger elf. Legolas seemed to study him as he approached.

Sitting beside him, Elrond said bluntly, "I know about Laurëanna."

Legolas's face remained blank, but Elrond sensed him tensing beside him slightly. He was impressed with the wood-elf's control.

"What about Laurëanna?" Legolas did not make eye contact.

"I know who she is, why she is here." Elrond swallowed hard. "I know what she stopped from happening to Middle-earth." Legolas was silent for a long time before he nodded. Elrond placed a hand gently on Legolas's shoulder. "You need not worry about who will protect her secrets in Imladris. The Valar have entrusted me with this burden, so you are relieved of it."

"It was never a burden. It was an honor," Legolas smiled. "Besides, she is the reason I am alive now. If she had failed, I would be dead."

"True," Elrond admitted. "When I saw the visions of the things from her past, I…"

When he did not continue, Legolas looked at him curiously. Seeing the horror in Elrond's face shocked him. Elrond had seen such vile things in the First and Second Ages that Legolas could not imagine him being horrified by anything after living through those events. Remembering what Laurëanna had told him about Arwen's death, he knew that Elrond had seen it all, including hers and Legolas's death. "I was blessed to never have to see what happened. Hearing it was hard enough for me to bear." Legolas shuddered.

Neither spoke for a long time. Finally Legolas broke the silence. "How will you keep this from Lady Galadriel? She knows something, she saw something that first day she met Laurëanna."

"We can only see the future if Ilúvatar wills it. She cannot force it from my mind or Laurëanna's, nor would she. Otherwise she would already know what the two of you are hiding. Does Elrohir know anything?"

"He suspects something but does not understand it all. I think this is beyond something anyone could guess to be true in their wildest imagination." Legolas shook his head. "At least not in my wildest imagination."

"It was definitely a shock." Elrond turned toward where Laurëanna and Elrohir slept. The night had been so beautiful that they'd slept without a tent. But as the night had gotten cooler, they had sought warmth in each other's embrace. Elrohir's dark hair was intertwined with her golden hair as he sheltered her from the cold.

Elrond could not help but feel a sense of betrayal to his son by not telling him what he now knew about Laurëanna. He understood he could not, but that understanding did not soothe away all his guilt. He would talk to Laurëanna before she was separated from Legolas.

"I know you will protect her, Lord Elrond, but…it does not feel any less my obligation to protect her as well," Legolas said.

Elrond nodded. "I understand, but unless you plan to spend the rest of your days following her and my son from place to place, this is the only option." He did not mention the fact that their memories would be altered, perhaps beginning very soon for Legolas. He did not doubt this was the best thing for them, but he did not know if either would appreciate the fact they had no choice in the matter. "I will watch over her, Legolas. You have done enough."

~*~

The next morning, Elrond took Glorfindel aside and told him that when the elves from Mithlond left Imladris, he would go with them. At first, Glorfindel looked surprised, then confused, but he said nothing, knowing that Elrond would tell him what he needed to know.

"I am unable to explain now, but we will discuss this in Imladris."

Glorfindel nodded and replied, "Yes, Master Elrond." He turned and went to prepare for the day's ride, and Elrond took advantage of Laurëanna's solitude as Elrohir packed their horses the next morning. She smiled as he walked up and greeted him warmly.

"Good morning to you as well," he said gently. "May I speak with you a moment?"

Her brow wrinkled in concern as she nodded. Elrond took a deep breath and tried to be more sensitive to her than he had been to Legolas. He took her arm, and the two walked slowly away from the others in silence.

Finally he turned to her and said, "Laurëanna, I know you have been in a horrible situation since Helm's Deep, but others do not realize the sacrifices you made. And I now know." Elrond watched as her blue eyes widened in surprise, and then she turned away. He went on, "You lost so much and were so brave. I am grateful for your deeds. I saw what would have happened, and it took my breath away. It is unimaginable. Your parents would have been proud of you."

Tears flooded Laurëanna's eyes, and she tried to blink them back. Her gaze flickered between Glorfindel and Elrohir, avoiding Elrond's completely.

"Legolas has been a loyal protector of you and your past for this time, but the Valar felt that you would need my aid in Imladris. I assure you, I will do whatever is required to help you, but you must remain strong in your will. I can support you, but I cannot do this for you," Elrond continued. Reaching out he put his finger under her chin and turned her to face him. "I have no doubt that you can do this, Laurëanna. After all you have done, this should not be as difficult."

"I hate lying to Elrohir all of the time. I never lied to him until I came here, nor did I lie to my parents. It is so hard. I see my father making foolish mistakes with my mother and I just want to throttle him. And seeing her get closer to Elladan scares me," Laurëanna replied. "I want my parents to be together again. They belong together."

"You must not let this upset you so. What will be, will be. But do not worry about Elladan any longer. When Indil leaves with her people, Glorfindel will be escorting them to The Havens and will remain there for a time. If they are meant to…"

"I wish to go with them as well. Elrohir and I could…" Laurëanna exclaimed, excitedly.

"No. You need to remain in Imladris for a while. I know this is disappointing to you, but I do have your best interests at heart. You must trust me," Elrond said sternly. He saw in her eyes the desire to argue with him, but he knew she would not, out of respect for his position. "Trust me. That is all that I ask of you."

Laurëanna nodded solemnly. They walked back to the group. When Elrohir asked if something was amiss, Elrond assured him he was merely getting to know his new daughter better.

~*~

When they reached Isengard, Laurëanna was impressed with the work the ents had done in a short time. As Treebeard discussed Saruman with Gandalf and the others, Legolas and Laurëanna stepped away from them and took a few moments alone.

"Lord Elrond is sending my father away when we reach Imladris," Laurëanna said quietly. "Legolas, he knows…"

"I know. He told me. Maybe it is for the best that you are separated from your parents," Legolas suggested. Seeing a flicker of anger in her eyes, he quickly added, "They will also be separated from Elladan, so they will have plenty of time alone. It will allow events to unfold as they were meant to."

Laurëanna glanced over at her parents and nodded. "I know you both mean well, and I must trust in Lord Elrond's wisdom. And I do, but it does not stop me from wanting to be close to them."

"This is your chance to spend time alone with your husband and perhaps see more of these lands, learn all you wished to know about Middle-earth." Legolas hugged her tightly. "I feel much better knowing that Lord Elrond knows of your past. I was worried about leaving you, especially after you slipped to Gimli, after all this time."

"I know. I need to be much more careful, but it is hard to be constantly on guard. I will do better, I promise you." Laurëanna smiled at Legolas then placed her hand on his cheek. "How can I ever thank you for all you have done, my friend?"

Legolas chuckled before kissing her hand. "Because of you, I am still alive. I think we are even."

They hugged again before walking back to the others. Everyone began to say their farewells, and Aragorn came to Laurëanna and took her hands in his.

"You have my eternal gratitude," he said solemnly. "Not only for your assistance and bravery but for being with Halbarad when he left this world. It brings me comfort to know he did not die alone."

"His death was honorable and he did not regret following you," Laurëanna replied with a catch in her throat. Aragorn had spoken with her about Halbarad's final moments before, but she knew how strongly he felt about his kin and friend. The two hugged tightly and he whispered, "Take good care of Elrohir."

Laurëanna laughed and nodded. As they parted she said, "And you take good care of Arwen." She winked at him before she walked back to Elrohir.

But all save Legolas said that they must now take their leave and depart, either south or west. "Come, Gimli!" said Legolas. "Now by Fangorn's leave I will visit the deep places of the Entwood and see such trees as are nowhere else to be found in Middle-earth. You shall come with me and keep your word; and thus we will journey on together to our own lands in Mirkwood and beyond."

To this Gimli agreed, though with no great delight, it seemed.

"Here then at last comes the ending of the Fellowship of the Ring," said Aragorn. "Yet I hope that ere long you will return to my land with the help that you promised."

"We will come, if our own lords allow it," said Gimli. "Well, farewell, my hobbits! You should come safe to your own homes now, and I shall not be kept awake for fear of your peril. We will send word when we may, and some of us may yet meet at times; but I fear that we shall not all be gathered together ever again."

Then Treebeard said farewell to each of them in turn, and he bowed three times slowly and with great reverence to Celeborn and Galadriel. "It is long, long since we met by stock or by stone, A vanimar, vanimálion nostari!" he said. "It is sad that we should meet only thus at the ending. For the world is changing: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, and I smell it in the air. I do not think we shall meet again."

And Celeborn said, "I do not know, Eldest."

But Galadriel said, "Not in Middle-earth, nor until the lands that lie under the wave are lifted up again. Then in the willow-meads of Tasarinan we may meet in the Spring. Farewell!"

Laurëanna could not help the tears that welled in her eyes. She would miss her friends greatly, but she knew that for a time they would be parted. And soon she would also say farewell to her mother and father again. Elrohir reached over and squeezed her hand and smiled. At least she had her husband with her.

~*~

By the time they had said their farewell to Celeborn and Galadriel with promises to visit soon, Laurëanna felt exhausted from their long journey as well as the parting from so many she cared about. They were one day away from Imladris when Elrohir took her away from where the others were resting and led her into a small copse of trees near a brook. Gathering her in his arms, he held her tightly.

"I want time alone with my wife," he whispered. "You seem so unsettled today."

Sighing loudly, Laurëanna nodded. "I am ready for this journey to end and settle in one place for a long time." She was answered with a drawn out silence so she pulled back to look at his face, seeing his guilty expression. "What now?"

"Aragorn asked Elladan and me to travel with the remaining Dunedain to help Síróma establish order again after Halbarad's death," he answered reluctantly.

"I do not want to travel any more for a while, Elrohir." When he looked even guiltier, she realized he did not intend for her to go with them. "No. We are newly married and…no. I want you to stay with me in Imladris. We need to establish a home and..."

"I know but…"

"Please, do not leave me so soon. I know that was your life for many centuries, but all of the dangers lessened with the fall of Sauron anyway, right? I want you to show me all of Middle–earth, but first I want us to make a home and settle for awhile. I want to continue to wake up with you by my side every day." Laurëanna worried that she was being unreasonable but it did not seem fair that he would consider leaving her so soon.

Elrohir ran his hands through his hair in frustration. "My father said the same thing, but I feel like I owe it to the men to aid them."

"And you will again. But do you not owe something to me as well? If you had to go, and there was no other to go in your place, I would never ask you to remain behind. But Elladan can help Síróma and I am certain others from Imladris would be willing to go if asked. I am not trying to force you to choose between me and Elladan or your duty, but there is no reason why you need to go, especially if your father agreed with me. Perhaps he wishes one of his children to remain nearby as well, considering his parting from Arwen."

Glancing off into the distance, he was silent for a long time. She knew he was weighing all options and trying to decide the right thing to do. Her husband's firm sense of values was unquestionable, but often his loyalties pulled him in two directions. Laurëanna had learned early in their marriage to allow him time to make up his own mind rather than pushing him for a decision, so she walked to the stream and sat down, watching the water bubbling over the rocks. Breathing deeply, she inhaled the fresh scent in the air. This journey was so different from her journey from Rohan to Gondor before the war. Everywhere she looked, she could see signs of recovery to the land. It was not the beauty of Undying Lands, but it was greatly improved.

Elrohir laid a hand on her head, stroking her hair back before sitting beside her. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder, and she snuggled against his side.

"I will talk to Elladan when we are in Imladris and explain that I need to stay there for some time. Perhaps he will not be needed that long anyway."

Laurëanna looked up at him and kissed him along his jaw line. "Thank you. I know it will be hard to adjust to being away from Elladan for long periods of time."

Chuckling Elrohir shook his head. "I was considering that a benefit."

~*~

Laurëanna's breath caught in her throat as she first saw Imladris the following day. It was everything she had dreamed and so much more. She now knew why Elrohir had wanted to recreate part of it in Valinor. Following her husband's lead, she took in all the sights and smells of the lush gardens, the huge waterfalls beating a cadence in the background, soothing away the weariness of the travelers. They rode to the stables where elves took her horse when she dismounted. Elrohir greeted each of them fondly before introducing her to them. Soon many residents came to welcome them, and Elrond suggested they go to the Hall of Fire to greet everyone.

Elrohir took her hand and said, "First I want to show you some place really special to me."

Without saying it, she knew where he was taking her. They strolled along the winding paths arm in arm, greeting people when they saw them. Laurëanna could not help noticing how everyone looked at her very curiously. When they reached the gazebo, she smiled, letting out a contented sigh as she ran her fingers over the elegantly carved wood.

"This spot reminds you of your mother," Laurëanna said.

"Yes. She designed this when she moved here after marrying my father. How did you know?" Leaning against the railing, Elrohir looked like the picture of serenity.

Standing in between his legs, she wrapped her arms around his neck. "I merely sensed it. I know you miss her very much, and of course it makes sense that something so uniquely hers would be special to you and your family."

Glancing around quickly, Elrohir then pulled her to him, kissing her, his lips lingering on hers before he deepened the kiss, his tongue seeking entrance into the heat of her mouth. For a few moments, nothing else in the world mattered to her. Peace filled her heart. This was where she was meant to be: in Elrohir's arms. It did not matter if they were in Imladris or Valinor, as long as they were together.

"Excuse me, brother." Elladan cleared his voice loudly before chuckling. "Father is asking where you have disappeared to. He wants to introduce Laurëanna to everyone. And trust me when I say everyone. I think everyone who remained in Imladris is in the Hall right now. And the curiosity about your new wife is great, almost as great as the relief of the ellith that I did not fall under the spell of a lady of Gondor."

Elrohir smiled at Laurëanna when she rolled her eyes. "Come. Let us put an end to the speculation and show them how disgustingly happy we are," Elrohir said, standing up and pulling her with him to follow Elladan.

"You two are rather disgusting, as a matter of fact. Kissing where everyone could see you like no one was around?" Elladan said and Elrohir slapped him on the back of his head.

Laurëanna laughed when they started playing around. She loved seeing them like this. Although still in awe of Imladris, she quickly felt at home. Elladan had already stepped over the threshold into his father's halls when Laurëanna almost ran into Elrohir, who had stopped dead in his tracks. Turning to see what he was looking at, she almost squealed in glee. Glorfindel and Indis were half-hidden behind a tree, kissing each other most salaciously. Laurëanna couldn't keep the triumphant grin off of her face. Laughing, her husband pulled her inside, putting a finger to his lips, warning her to be quiet, but nothing could contain the joy inside her heart.





A/N The following quote was taken directly from Return of the King because I loved it just the way it was.

But all save Legolas said that they must now take their leave and depart, either south or west. "Come, Gimli!" said Legolas. "Now by Fangorn's leave I will visit the deep places of the Entwood and see such trees as are nowhere else to be found in Middle-earth. You shall come with me and keep your word; and thus we will journey on together to our own lands in Mirkwood and beyond."

To this Gimli agreed, though with no great delight, it seemed.

"Here then at last comes the ending of the Fellowship of the Ring," said Aragorn. "Yet I hope that ere long you will return to my land with the help that you promised."

"We will come, if our own lords allow it," said Gimli. "Well, farewell, my hobbits! You should come safe to your own homes now, and I shall not be kept awake for fear of your peril. We will send word when we may, and some of us may yet meet at times; but I fear that we shall not all be gathered together ever again."

Then Treebeard said farewell to each of them in turn, and he bowed three times slowly and with great reverence to Celeborn and Galadriel. "It is long, long since we met by stock or by stone, A vanimar, vanimálion nostari!" he said. "It is sad that we should meet only thus at the ending. For the world is changing: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, and I smell it in the air. I do not think we shall meet again."

And Celeborn said, "I do not know, Eldest."

But Galadriel said, "Not in Middle-earth, nor until the lands that lie under the wave are lifted up again. Then in the willow-meads of Tasarinan we may meet in the Spring. Farewell!" 


This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

In Challenges

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Author: Alassante

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 02/16/10

Original Post: 03/13/07

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