1. Final Farewell
Note: this is mostly book-verse, the rest somewhat movie-verse.
Written for HASA’s Quickie Qtr 1 2005 challenge.
It was dusk, and the Company was ready to depart.
The doors leading out from Rivendell were thrown wide open, presenting the greenery-lined and worn path that led to the bridge, that marked the start of their journey…
The elves of Rivendell were whispering farewell in their melodic voices, yet it seemed cold, and distant, as though they were being sent to their doom. The shadows slowly lengthened from where the Company stood. Anar was slowly retreating into her home behind the mountain-tops, and Isil was ready to rise, even as they readied themselves for the long journey ahead.
The chill wind whistled through the wind with the ferocity of a sharp sword, stinging their cheeks red in its hurry. Even the hobbits, usually full of cheer, were unnaturally quiet, randomly stamping their feet upon the ground, or clutching their coats closer to themselves, warding off the cold.
Much as he tried to prevent it, his eyes kept straying towards where Elrond’s household stood. Their faces were hidden in the shadows, and to any passing eyes all looked like one, and one looked like everyone else. But he knew the household, having grown up among them, yet now, it seemed that he was a stranger among them. Grey eyes slowly surveyed the small group gathered there, watching as they looked back with eyes that seem to hold the world in their depths.
No, he was not looking at them, but for one of them.
They had already said their farewells privately in the hall of fire, their silent whispers unheard by anyone but the other. Near the roaring heat of the flames, their feelings had been but the exact opposite of it, more matching to the chill outside. She had pressed her pendant into his palm, and bade him keep it.
“I will always be with you through your journey, so that you need not be alone, meleth,” she had told him, covering the fragile chain with his fingers.
He now wore it around his neck, a symbol of their love, and what the undertaking of this journey would finally mean to them. As ardous as the journey of the Ring may sound, it was incomparable to the battles they underwent to be together.
She should be here.
His eyes ran through the crowd another time, hoping to see a flash of sable among the sea of gold, yet there was none, and his heart sank. The light did naught to help either, its lengthening of shadows playing tricks on his eyes, making things shift and move all at the same time, confusing him. Perhaps she had decided not to come after all, for this final farewell. Perhaps.
His head turned back slowly to the opened doors, somewhere within him still carrying the hope that she was among the crowd that was Elrond’s household.
She saw the faint hope being extinguished as he looked back towards the doors of Rivendell, watching as he took careless steps back to the rest of the Fellowship. She had seen him looking through the crowd, and she knew, knew that he was hoping to find her among them. She saw as the hope in his eyes slowly went away bit by bit whenever he failed to find her among them.
She wanted so much to run up to him, and hold him. To reassure him that he would return, and that they would have the ending they wanted for so many years. But she did not. Perhaps it was best, if he thought she did not come for this. Perhaps he would go with more strength of heart, than he would if he knew.
He had perhaps doubted his abilities as a leader, but she did not. He would definitely make it back, he had too. And reclaim the throne of the Reunited Kingdoms. All that matter was this journey, and everything would be fulfilled.
Standing apart from the household, more hidden than them within the shadows, she forced herself not to think of the journey. Sure, she had been separated from him many times over the years that they had been together –some longer than this –but nothing compared to the pain of saying farewell to him now.
The thought was heart-wrenching enough, so much that she almost believed she would not be able to withstand it, and she almost wanted to run to him, and plead with him to stay.
But he would still go on, for both their sakes.
She watched silently as her father traded words with Gimli, before crying farewell to the Fellowship, his voice cutting the unending harmony of the wind.
She watched as the Company slowly, solemnly filed out of Rivendell to the chorus of sad good-byes.
She watched as they approached the bend, and went out of sight, fading into the dusk.
And the great doors were shut.
The muffled sound it made when closed seemed like a hammer striking her heart, as though it had been wrenched out from her. The elves were protected within those doors, with their powers to protect them. But her worry was not for herself, but for them. Beyond those doors lay their journey, and their path. Beyond the doors were the wilderness untouched and unprotected by the Elves.
With tears marring her vision, she fled to the sanctuary of her quarters. And as she ran, the cover of night fell upon the world, shadows melded with darkness, and she was unseen under its cover. Yet she wondered for them, and especially for him –her hope. The creatures of the night would be awakening from their slumber, and though they were protected from the eyes and ears of Sauron, they may not be protected from the menace that nature held.
Estel, wherever you are, I will be with you…
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.