24. Grace Obtained
For the LiveJournal tolkien_weekly "Water: Fountains" challenge.
"Go on." Legolas nudges the hesitating Dwarf forward.
She sits beneath the cherry-tree's falling fronds, watching light and leaf-shadow playing across white stone. Gimli approaches, bows so low his beard brushes the ground.
"Lady, I-I-" he stammers; then remembers the crystal next his heart, and brings it out.
"Many years have I borne this faithfully –" now his long-dammed-up yearning fountains joyfully forth – "yet it is to radiant reality as those dancing light-flecks to the Sun herself."
Galadriel laughs, the unexpectedly-deep music he so loved.
"Your courtesy is undimmed, Gimli son of Gloin," she remarks; and his happiness is complete.
"…it is strange indeed that a Dwarf should be willing to leave Middle-earth for any love, or that the Eldar should receive him, or that the Lords of the West should permit it. But it is said that Gimli went also out of desire to see again the beauty of Galadriel; and it may be that she, being mighty among the Eldar, obtained this grace for him." – LoTR Appendix A.
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