How long the journey took, none could tell, for it was beyond the measurement of time they had reckoned it in Middle Earth. The ship was filled with light and song, and even though Nîndorien never thought she would weary of the sound, she often stood at the prow of the ship, frequently joined by Frodo. Bilbo generally stayed below deck in his cabin, saying that he did not have Brandybuck blood in his veins, and ships were a little foreign to him. When reminded of his journey by barrel, he merely laughed and said that, at the age of fifty, he had been ready for anything, but now that he had passed the Old Took, he believed he should be allowed a few eccentricities.
Nîndorien laughed as she listened to the old hobbit's protests, and moved up to the deck of the great white ship of Círdan. In her hand, she held a small white flower - simbelmynë. Glorfindel had given it to her in Edoras, on the return journey to Rivendell after the wedding of Elessar to Undomiel. "It is Uilos; Evermind," he had said. "It used to grow in Gondolin, ere its fall. It shall not wither. Keep it well, hiril nín, as a reminder when you come to depart these shores," here he touched each of the petals in turn, "A reminder of love, of faith, of sacrifice, of hope, of loss and of peace."
Nîndorien had wept when she had parted from Glorfindel and the sons of Elrond, even though she believed that they would meet again on a distant shore. It had been a strange reversal of roles, departing Rivendell while Glorfindel, Elladan and Elrohir remained. She recalled looking back at the Last Homely House, as the company of Ringbearers began their final journey in Middle Earth. The Lord Glorfindel had stood, glowing white, an image of splendour and power, between the grave dark-haired sons of Elrond. That image would be engraved in her mind until they met again. She sighed and turned her thoughts to what lay ahead. She felt no trepidation or nervousness; simply a desire to reach the Blessed Realm and feel complete again.
As they neared the journey's end, mists hung about the ship, preventing even Elvish eyes from seeing what lay ahead. This did not dissuade Nîndorien from assuming her usual position at the front of the ship, and with the dawning of a new day, she was certain that shapes were beginning to emerge from the mists. She softly called to Frodo, and he came forward in the ship, and strained to see. After a while, he cried out for the unmistakable shape of land appeared ahead. He held aloft the phial of Galadriel, and its light pierced the mists. And so, the ship came into the Bay of Eldamar, a great light shining from its prow like a star of radiance and hope. They drew up to the harbour, and were amazed to see the throngs of people who waited at the harbourside. Nîndorien's eyes ever searched through the crowds, and she heeded not the joyful cries of Elrond and Galadriel when they saw Celebrían at the front of the crowd.
Then her eyes lit upon the face she most longed to behold. In the midst of the crowd stood Ereinion Gil-galad and in his face shone the light of Valinor. It seemed that the crowd parted and a path led straight to him. Nîndorien set out at a walk, her strides becoming swifter until she was running. All the faces in the crowd seemed to merge into one, and then disappear altogether, when he swept her up in his arms and kissed her. She pulled back and looked upon him, eyes drinking in every detail. He seemed different but she could not see any obvious change to the Ereinion Gil-galad she had known and loved in Middle Earth. His fair face, as she had remembered, was framed by nightblack hair and his dark eyes danced as they watched her, lit by an unseen source. She placed her fingers on his lips, tracing their outline, noting that, as always, they hovered between regal solemnity and captivating joy. He kissed her fingertips and she smiled, although her eyebrows drew together in confusion.
"It is strange, aran nín,” she whispered, “It is as though I am seeing you for the first time."
"You are," he replied simply as he kissed her again. Then, holding on to one another, they left the crowds far behind, and all that was lost was found.
hiril nín – my lady
aran nín - my king
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.