12. Chapter 11
She fell to her knees and wept. As she did, a troop of the guard came out from the trees to retrieve her; Rúmil and Haldir among them. When they drew near her she lifted her eyes to them. The light they saw there was, to them, no less than that of the Silmarilli and an answer to the reverent prayers they had said for her. Rúmil lifted her from the ground, his eyes wet with joyful tears. “Most overjoyed am I to catch you now sister," he whispered in her ear. He laughed with delight through his tears and said, “Did I not tell you so!" Ethuiel clung to him in a warm embrace.
They walked with her to Caras Galadon and to the giant mallorn of the Lord and Lady. The two were standing at the entrance as Ethuiel arrived. She stood motionless before them unable to speak or move. Galadriel too seemed paralyzed when she saw her beloved champion and friend healed at long last. At length Celeborn came forward and kissed her eyes. He embraced her strongly and held her out to behold her once more. With a blissful smile and voice he said to all, “Ah, but the blood of Ecthelion runs thick! And the sweetness of Sílriel lives on as well!" He looked to the sky and spoke once more. “We praise you, Ilúvatar for this blessing," and he made a gesture of humble gratitude to the western heavens.
As Celeborn stood aside, the eyes of Ethuiel and the Lady met again. Ethuiel then rushed to her queen and they embraced with tears of love and gladness. The champion, though, then became distressed as she spoke to her Lady, “I am sorry only that my revival comes now, at the end of our days in Lothlórien. Also I fear that it is moot, for now my dearest love is gone into Shadow. Is this a penalty that I must pay for all my years of rage and late recovery?"
A voice came from the staircase of the palace. It sounded frail and weary, yet it spoke with courageous conviction. “No, dear Archer, daughter of mighty Ecthelion. You pay no price for tardiness. Tardy you are not. It is simply that this was the only way by which you could be whole, and this is simply how long it took. The One extracts no such payment from His children."
With that, Ethuiel turned to find the owner of the voice approaching her. Clad in robes of white, the light surroundeding him, was Gandalf. He drew her near him and wrapped her in his raiment. In his arms, she wept, for the grace of The One was in him. For three days and nights thereafter, Gandalf and the Elves of Lórien prayed for the triumph and safe return of the Company from Rivendell; and for strength and hope as well.
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