23. Heart of Elvendom
The Fellowship of the Ring, "Lothlórien."
They halted well before dusk so they could set up camp, care for the horses, and refresh themselves before it grew dark. After Lothíriel led her mare to drink, relieved her of her tack and curried her, she walked a short distance upstream to wash off the dust of the road. She stopped far enough away to be out of sight of the company, but to still able hear the gentle rise and fall of their voices and an occasional crack of laughter from the youngest member of the Dúnedain.
Crouching next to a small, woodland stream in the waning sunlight, Lothíriel dipped a handkerchief in the cool water. She loosened the lacings on the front of her tunic and cleansed her face, neck and chest. Just then the crack of a twig behind her caused her to turn. Elladan stood a few feet from her.
"Either you are a poor woodsman, indeed, or you actually chose to warn me before invading my brief moment of privacy," she scolded.
"Or perhaps I assumed that such an invasion would not be entirely unwelcome." She opened her mouth to respond, but was briefly distracted by the challenge that shone in his eyes offset by the sweet, boyish smile that curved his lips. The sight of him--slender and beautiful before the backdrop of the verdant forest, his dark hair loosened, damp around his temples and forehead--elicited a surprising surge of warmth within her. From Lothíriel's altered perspective his legs appeared even longer and his shoulders broader than she remembered.
Managing to collect herself enough to speak, she asked, "You deal easily in assumptions do you not, Elladan?"
"For which you should be grateful, Lothíriel, since you prefer to not recognize my responses to you, much less your own to me." Quickly closing the distance between them, he dropped to one knee and took the cloth from her hand. He dabbed at the end of her nose.
"You missed a spot, my lady," he said, with an annoying, self-satisfied grin at his success in discomforting her. She teetered in her precarious position, nearly losing her balance. Meanwhile, he rose effortlessly, taking her by the arm and pulling her to her feet. He began lacing up the front of her tunic. Slapping half-heartedly at his hand, instead of giving him the frown she thought he deserved, she smiled up at him, while permitting him to finish tying her laces.
"Why did you come after me?"
"Lothíriel, has no one told you what an inveterate flirt and a tease you are?"
"What is wrong with me asking you why you were sneaking up on me?" He really is insufferable.
"But I did not sneak up on you. Will it disappoint you if I tell you that I came to tell you that Elrohir has tea ready? Was there something else you would rather hear?" he asked, still grinning.
Lothíriel attempted to sweep by him, hurrying off in the direction of the campsite. She stumbled on a root, stopped and stamped her foot in frustration. Melodic Elven laughter echoed from behind her. Turning abruptly, she blocked his path, causing him to nearly run into her.
"Elladan..." she began.
"You are delightful," he said. "You make me feel half an Age younger at least." He took her by the shoulders and dropped the lightest of kisses upon her partially parted lips. "Elrohir will be annoyed if we do not arrive soon. He is very serious about his tea being appreciated while it is still hot."
Later that evening Elrohir arranged Lothíriel's bedroll lengthwise in front of the fire. He justified its placement by explaining that, among all of them, Lothíriel, least accustomed to sleeping in the wild, needed its heat the most. She thought of telling him that perhaps the Dúnedain suffered more from the evening chill, but did not. The calming sounds and earthy smells of the early summer forest soothed her, but sleep would not come.
Elrohir took the first watch. She would have known exactly where Elladan rested, even if he had not thrown an occasional twig or pebble in her direction, knowing she could not respond. So old and still such a child. The thought that he shared the trait of such Elvish playfulness with her brothers inexplicably comforted her. Finally, his missives ceased. Still awake when his brother returned, she heard Elrohir quietly wake him and Elladan's soft grumbling whispers in response. Only when she heard him leave, did she at last drift into reverie, musing on his beguiling contrast of lightness and darkness.
The temperate breeze that blew Lothíriel's hair across her face rustled golden and yellow leaves beneath a cloudless morning sky. The travelers had at last reached the valley between the great rivers Celebrant and Anduin.
With a easy sweep of his hand, Elladan pointed to the golden splendor of ancient Malloryn and said, "Lothíriel, here we enter the forest of the Galadhrim, the heart of Elvendom in Arda."
"We will have been noticed already. Members of the forest guard will greet us soon. I would not be surprised if Haldir the Marchwarden of Lórien welcomes us personally," he continued.
No sooner than Elladan finished speaking, when three grey-clad, pale blond Elven archers stepped silently from among the trees, accompanied by a tall, strongly built, silver-haired Elf.
"Mae govannen, Elladan! Mae govannen, Elrohir!" the tallest Elf said, his stern, handsome features melting immediately into frank, almost boyish, pleasure at the sight of them. "We have received reports of your progress for two days now."
Both Elrohir and Elladan slid gracefully from their mounts to greet and embrace him.
"We thought of you and yours many times over the past weeks, Haldir," said Elrohir.
"It is gratifying to find you unharmed," Elladan said, completing his brother's thought. "And your brothers, how do they fare?"
"They are sound. Your safety has been in our thoughts as well," Haldir responded, grasping first one and then the other of the brothers in a warrior's hand clasp.
Nodding in the direction of Lothíriel, Haldir said "Mae govannen, my lady," with a solemn quizzical smile.
"Mae govannen, Haldir of Lórien. I am Lothíriel of Dol Amroth. It is an honor and a privilege to visit your renowned wood."
"My lady, the honor is mine," Haldir said. "I am sorry if I was staring. I was told to expect a princess of the Edain, but..."
Lothíriel laughed, "No, apologies, please, Haldir. My father, brothers, and I often hear that we appear not wholly of the Secondborn. My good friend Legolas Thranduilion assures me that he for one is certain that we have Elven blood."
"Legolas is well, my lady?" Haldir asked.
"He is. Having passed through great trials, he enjoys, for the moment at least, some well-deserved rest. Please call me Lothíriel if I may call you Haldir," Lothíriel said. She slipped to her feet and patted her mare's neck, murmuring soft endearments in the horse's ear in the way of the Rohirrim and the Elves.
Turning her attention back to Haldir, Lothíriel said, "I feel enchantment in the air, the trees, and even the sounds of the forest. It is like walking into a vision."
"It has not yet begun to fade," said Haldir, his brow wrinkling momentarily.
As the last rays of strong sunlight glimmered through the trees, they arrived in the center of the Elven city of Caras Galadhon. The illustrious City of Trees appeared far larger than Lothíriel expected and, to her amazement, even more magical and dreamlike.
Lothíriel, Elladan and Elrohir climbed the long winding stairs leading to the chamber of the Lord and Lady of Lórien at the top of a giant Mallorn. When they finally reached a wide platform they paused in front of a doorway covered by light shimmering drapes. Points of lights flickered on throughout the darkening leaves looking as though the stars had come down from the heavens to rest among them. Lothíriel was suddenly conscious of her dusty riding clothes. She took a deep breath, straightened her shoulders, and raised her chin reflexively.
"Come along," Elladan said, "I assure you they do not bite." She saw that he took a mischievous pleasure in detecting the cracks in her usually unflappable assurance. She forgave him instantly when he took her hand, placed it through the crook of his elbow, and covered it warmly with his own.
"Remember, they are only our grandparents, and indulgent ones at that," Elrohir said.
When the three entered the chamber, both Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel stood to greet them. Elrohir and Elladan immediately approached them and were pulled in turn into strong embraces by each of their grandparents.
Lothíriel waited quietly. She still felt slightly flustered by her own travel-worn garb and less than pristine appearance, but dismissed the emotion quickly. Galadriel and Celeborn showed no squeamishness at all in embracing their grandsons, grimy and smelling of horse.
The extraordinarily handsome visage of the silver-haired Lord and the radiant fairness of the Lady of the famed tresses of multi-colored gold were beyond merely beautiful; they were stunningly complimentary. He is impossibly perfect, but with an edge of the earthly. No light of Aman on this ancient Elf, but his own natural luminescence outshines even that of Legolas. On the other hand, the slightly eerie glow of Valinor about Galadriel was unmistakable to Lothíriel and more than a little disconcerting.
Seeing them reminded her of her first impressions of Legolas and the twins, so splendid and yet so alien. She mused that if she had grown so accustomed to them that she could adapt to Galadriel and Celeborn as well. The legendary Lord and Lady of the Golden Wood were simultaneously more and less than she expected. They seemed less imperious, but warmer, more vital, and, despite what she had heard, approachable.
Celeborn studied her with a hint of teasing in his smile, reminiscent of his grandsons. Galadriel, more direct, met her eyes with a bold, unconcealed, feminine curiosity. Lothíriel's first impulse upon finding herself face-to-face with the Elven couple was to drop into a deep, formal Gondorian curtsey, but she reassessed the situation. They stand to greet us. This is nothing like a court of Men. She wondered if perhaps Aragorn's impatience with the stiff ceremony and protocol practiced by Mortal nobility manifested traces of his Elven sensibilities.
Instead of performing the obsequious gesture of deference, she placed her hand over her heart, inclined her head slightly in imitation of the far less formal, shallow Elven bow. She always had admired its concise elegance when she watched Legolas or the twins execute it. I hope this is properly done by a female. She was relieved with her choice when she saw the Lord and Lady's welcoming smiles widen and discerned glances of encouragement from Elladan and Elrohir.
"Welcome to Caras Galadhon, Lothíriel of Belfalas," Celeborn said.
"Come closer, Princess Lothíriel," Galadriel said, extending both her hands. "Sit next to me."
"Thank you, Lady Galadriel, Lord Celeborn," Lothíriel answered, allowing the Lady to take her hands, "I am overwhelmed-to meet you, to be here. This land is like a reflection of my dreams or nearly forgotten treasured memories brought suddenly to life."
"Young lady, your speech will entrance my husband as it mirrors the accent and inflection of his roots," Galadriel said. "We received a letter of introduction to you from Aragorn."
Lothíriel felt herself blushing. "King Elessar knows me rather too well, my lady."
"He said nothing unkind," Galadriel said, her eyes softening with affection. "He recommended you to us as the highest ranking woman in Gondor, noting only that your father is the ruling Prince of Dol Amroth of Belfalas and that you are betrothed to the King of Rohan."
Switching to High Elvish Galadriel asked, "Do you speak my native tongue as well?"
"Yes, my Lady, I value it greatly and have studied it so that I may read the ancient lore," she answered carefully in High Elvish with the slightest Sindarin lilt.
"You speak it exceptionally well," Galadriel said approvingly. "And I would guess by looking at you that your mother is of Silvan or Sindarin heritage."
Lothíriel could not control a glance in the direction of the brothers. Uncharacteristically it was Elladan who registered surprise, with his eyebrows arching up and his mouth dropping open slightly, while Elrohir's face remained impassive.
"I did not know my mother, Lady Galadriel. My father still grieves her loss and speaks little of her," Lothíriel said. She felt the light touch of the Lady upon her mind and opened herself to her with only the slightest trepidation.
Lord Celeborn, looked from his grandsons to Lothíriel, and said, "It grows late. You traveled far and hard these last few days. Tomorrow is soon enough for you to be greeted properly. Others are arriving as we speak and all will be as tired from travel as you are. Arwen, in particular, will be eager to see you, but you must refresh yourselves and rest tonight."
"Yes, Elladan, Elrohir, go now and bathe and change. We will see that Lothíriel is shown to her lodgings shortly." Each of the brothers kissed Galadriel, then Celeborn and quickly rose to leave. Elladan stopped at doorway, looking as though he wanted to speak, before turning and following his brother.
"Please accept my apologies, Lothíriel," Galadriel said smiling. "I did not realize that my grandsons did not know that you are half-elven. My powers are not as strong as they once were. I am still accustoming myself to their diminishment."
"My lady's penchant for speaking her mind rivals my own, which is unfortunately notorious," Celeborn said, a comforting smile parting his lips.
"Let us offer you a light refreshment before you leave and you can tell more about yourself. I also received a charming letter from Legolas mentioning, among other things, that you are young and I should look after you," Galadriel said.
At twilight, Lothíriel, having bathed and eaten, walked alone, lost in the enchantment of the wondrous trees, thinking of her conversation with the Lord and Lady, when she heard the sound of a footfall, and a familiar voice. "I have been looking for you," said Elladan.
She turned to Elladan who appeared astonishingly beautiful to her eyes under the rapidly fading light shining through the canopy of the Malloryn. She would never again be able to look upon his face without seeing Celeborn in the curve of his jaw, in the arch of his high, sculpted cheekbones. "Thank you for showing me all of this," she said quietly, taking his hands and pulling him close to her.
"I wish I could accept your gratitude, but I cannot. You may thank Estel for sending you here when we return to the White City. What did Galadriel want to speak with you about?"
"Things I have never discussed with anyone before..."
"But that you will tell me, I hope," Elladan said.
"Does my family history really matter to you? It is respectable I assure you, if somewhat unusual, although not as illustrious as yours." She looked up into his face, her eyes wide and questioning.
"It matters not at all to me what the answer to the mystery of you is. But I would know everything about you, since I have asked myself who and what you are since the first day I saw you."
"And I would tell, especially since you ask so nicely and look at me that way," she answered, reaching up to touch his cheek and softly kissing him, for the first time on her own initiative. "But it is hard to speak of it. Do you know what it is like to always wonder who you are and why you are different?"
"Of course, I know, sweetheart. I have never known who or what I was, although I did have a brother and sister who felt exactly the same way," he said, laughing.
"How silly of me not to have seen that. My brothers never seemed troubled. They always appeared to me to be perfectly happy to be who they were."
"Like my father I suppose. Wait until you meet him. He feels far more surely Elven and yet looks more of the Edain than any of his children. So did my grandmother confront you with some knowledge heedlessly and without regard for your readiness to hear it?" he said, feeling a familiar irritation with what he perceived as Galadriel's often imperious manner.
"No. It was not like that at all. She first apologized for surprising me and then told me that she knew immediately that I was at least half-Elven. I presumed you knew as much as I did, if not more. But you looked shocked when she spoke. Legolas has dropped hints to me that he knew something of my heritage since I met him." Elladan moved closer to her, taking her by the waist with both hands.
"He liked to speculate. But I avoided talking about you with Legolas. I feared you liked him too well," Elladan said. She laughed shaking her head as though in disbelief. "That surprises you?" he asked.
"Frankly, yes. I am flattered yet mistrustful of such declarations. You always hold the upper hand with me."
"I would have had you think that, but it never has been true. I will not push like Galadriel. You may tell me what you wish, when you wish," he whispered into Lothíriel's ear and then ran his tongue slowly over its tip.
"Elladan, how wicked. I have told you how that feels," she gasped in mock complaint, while encircling his waist with her arms and pulling him hard against her.
"No, Lothíriel. I well remember that you mulishly refused to admit it."
He studied her as though he could read the future there, or as though she contained a new lesson he must learn, but he saw only the same well-memorized features that he had studied so many times over the last few months, smiling up at him tenderly. He took her face between his hands, kissed her, opening his lips gradually as she responded to him, and then pulled away. He heard a tiny protesting moan over the distant sound of fair Elven voices raised in song.
"Lothíriel, I must confess that my plan was to let you wander alone for an hour beneath these blessed trees. I wanted to let the magic wrought by Nenya and the music of the Galadhrim seduce you for me. Then I would find you and make you mine. My intent was that you would never forget this night or me," he whispered. "But now I find I cannot continue. I can only take you with your eyes open and your full consent."
"Elladan, Elladan, you dim Elf-man. Look at me. Are not my eyes wide open? Do you not leave me breathless with a single chaste kiss? Have I not suffered enough from your black moods, your arrogance, and your haunted ancient eyes? Do not deny that you knowingly twist my heart with your every smile?" she said. Her voice, silky with its slight Belfalas accent, which always held for him a hint of the erotic, dropped lower than before but remained clear and resolute.
"Lothlórien is our place and this is our night, Elladan," she said her voice filled with rapture.
"Yes, melamin, then we will share this night," he whispered.
His heart clenched in his chest as a soft whimper escaped her as his lips took hers again.
"I must have you," he said grabbing her shoulders roughly, the tremor in his voice revealing the intensity of barely restrained passion.
"You will be mine, for tonight at least," he added. "And, of course, you can have whatever you want of me," he said.
"Then I will take all of you," she answered. She moved her hands under his tunic onto his chest.
"What would you have of me first?" he asked.
"I want to look at you," she answered surely. He held her eyes with his, as he pulled his tunic over his head and dropped it onto the mossy ground.
"Ai, vanimelda, I fear I am not so interesting to look upon. I think you must be far more fascinating."
She moved closer to him and rubbed her cheek against his warm bare chest. She kissed and tasted his skin. He exhaled sharply. "Elladan, I can hardly believe that anyone can have skin so smooth, you are surely the most beautiful of all the Firstborn of Ilúvatar."
"Lothíriel," he answered quietly, smiling again, as he looked into her face, luminous now with the first moonlight.
She touched one small plait of several that began at his temple, while her other hand caressed the tip of his ear, "Let us sit on the grass. I would unbraid your hair." He caught his breath at the simple perceptive intimacy of both gestures.
"You surprise me, Lothíriel, that you know so much of Elves."
"I know only you, Elladan, but I can deduce what may arouse you. You know the Knights of Dol Amroth wear the same braids, but only for battle. You have seen my brothers. Sit." She pulled him down onto the grass facing away from her between her legs. "May I undo your hair?"
"It would please me greatly," he answered. "We call them warrior braids. What name do you have for them in Dol Amroth?"
"We call them the same. But in Minas Tirith they are considered strange, foreign, and are referred to as Elf locks," she laughed.
"Elves consider unbraiding another's hair among the most personal of attentions," he said shivering under her ministrations.
"Humpf. In Dol Amroth it is thought completely wanton for a girl to do this for a man who not her close kinsman or husband. I hope you appreciate my offer."
"Ai, Lothíriel, you combine the innocence of a child, with the most seductive manner."
He leaned his head back to look up at her, seeing that her eyes sparkled. With unshed tears?
"Hardly so innocent anymore. But you accept me as I am?" she asked. Her hands dropped to her sides.
"You realize you hurt me before in Minas Tirith," Elladan said, stroking her cheek.
"You frightened me. Overwhelmed me. And Éomer was there," she said, her voice dropping so low he strained to hear her.
"You thought making love to Éomer would drive me from your thoughts, did you?" He turned around, knelt between her legs, now looking down into her face. I did not intend to start this discussion.
"In the end it was his idea, although I suggested it before," her voice lifted. Struggling to sound straightforward?
"Then he thought it would make you forget me? And did it?"
"What do you think? For the moment! But then when I saw you after that, it was oft times worse."
Lothíriel moved as though to stand up, but he put his arms around her and held her close to his chest, buried his face in her hair.
"Ai, curiosity built on experience, rather than longing based in innocence," he said in a low voice.
"Elladan, you can be so cruel to me," she said, "I thought you cared for me." He thought that she sounded as if she felt less judged than unfairly punished by his words.
"I have told you that I love you," he said, feeling as petulant as a child. He let go of her and turned back around, again facing away from her. "Please finish what you started. There is one more braid. The large one in the back."
Completely ignoring his grumpiness, she returned to unplaiting his hair. "There--the last one. That must feel better now," she said, massaging his scalp and running her fingers through his hair, as he sighed in appreciation. "Elladan, your hair falls down your back so long and shiny."
He laughed and pulled her down to lie next to him on the grass. "It is identical to your own." She continued to play with his hair.
"No. You have more of it and yours is not so fine," she said, laughing back at him. He brought one hand to her hair and stroked it, to test her assertion.
"Does that feel as good to you as it does to me?" she breathed.
"Open your mind to me and you will know and can stop asking silly questions," he said.
"You had only to ask, oh wise Elf-man. I did not want to be forward."
Elladan pulled her into an impassioned kiss, leaving her breathless and him surprised at his own urgent need. Suddenly the bright wave of her fëa surged upon him, flowing with her tenderness and desire, but with a steely core. Yours is a frighteningly powerful fëa, young one.
"And you, Elladan, are nothing like the charming Elf princes of every young girl's daydreams. You are far too male, dangerous, flawed, and terrifyingly irresistible."
Lightly tracing her fingertips across his lips, she said, "Those who claim that Elves are more ethereal, less sensual than Mortals, or less capable of erotic transport, have been fooled by that exterior of pale, seemingly bloodless, perfection, and certainly have never been kissed by you."
"You talk too much," he said, his voice low and hoarse. He sat up and swiftly undid the fastenings at the back of her gown. He pushed it down past her waist and pulled her to him again, bare skin against bare skin.
The feel of the defined muscles of Elladan's broad chest, his smooth pale skin, luminescent in the moonlight, his strong arms holding her firmly affected her far more strongly that she might have imagined. Thoroughly enchanted yet overwhelmed half with fear and half astonished joy, she shuddered in his longed-for embrace, speechless at last.
"Now, I will torture you with words, my love, as you torment me," he said. He proceeded to whisper into her ear, in deliciously explicit terms, numerous ways he would give her pleasure. He began to describe, among increasingly inflated claims, that he knew things that would drive her crazy with desire, that would surprise and amaze her, that Elves could last longer than Men and recuperate sooner, even peredhil, or, he amended, especially peredhil. She remained stubbornly self-possessed and he valiantly restrained, although not without labored breathing on both their parts, until they both broke down into helpless laughter.
Suddenly his hands, lips, his tongue seemed to be everywhere. She met him with equal fervor. He kissed her softly on her eyelids, on her breasts. A kiss on her mouth was hard. He parted her lips with his tongue, exploring, probing, caressing.
His hands moved over her, tender yet playful one moment, the next firm, demanding, ardent, but ever generous. Oh Elladan, I was born for your touch, for you He moved his body over hers, guiding her thighs apart, poised to enter her.
Oh, yes, Lothíriel, touch me. Like that, yes. Please wait, slower, stop, or I will finish too soon. Yes, that is sublime.
"Please, please do not stop. I must feel you inside of me," she said, moaning softly as he entered her and again with each inward thrust. Her breath against his ear made it difficult for him not to become instantly undone. But Elladan was resolute and Elvish in his endurance. You move with me so perfectly. No Elleth or woman has ever opened her body, her heart, to me so unconditionally. I love this, love you...
She sensed that he approached his peak. She moved her head so that her mouth met his, then cupped his chin in her hand, and locked her gaze onto his silver eyes. But he held her look only for a moment before he let his eyelids flicker shut. Moving faster, he allowed his need to conquer his restraint, saying, "Come for me now, my love."
Elladan fought to control the urge to bind himself to her. Only his fear that he would pull her with him held him back. At the last possible moment before he climaxed, he barricaded himself from her. She is far too Elven. This is a dangerous game I play, he thought. Then he tenuously, gently reestablished communication with her, fairly certain she did not discern the break.
In the aftermath of their passion, Elladan held her firmly against him, overcome by the heartbreaking certainty that they would not be able to easily leave this night behind them. He knew she felt it too, but in her youthful brashness chose not to ponder the consequences.
Instead, she grasped his face in her hands, said, "I love seeing you like this-out of breath and sweating. Completely done in ... Your face is all splotchy and red. Your hair is everywhere. What a tangled mess. My image of you as a perfect superior Elf lord is gone forever. If you could only see your face..."
His heart was still pounding. He wanted to speak and could not. Finally, he asked, as lightly as he could manage, "You wish to remember me like this?"
She nuzzled closer to him, burying her face between his neck and shoulder. She murmured, "I want to hold this memory of you always."
Then Lothíriel reach up, grabbed a fistful of tousled hair, and playfully pulled his head back looking into his astounding grey eyes, at his flushed handsome face.
He grinned and said, "Good. Then we will imprint it on your memory with indelible Elven clarity before we leave Lothlórien."
"Yes. How will we do that?" she asked.
He responded, almost self-assured again, "How else? Through frequent repetition, of course." Then a shadow passed over his spirit. "Time has little meaning here. All else seems far away. I intend to make the most of it before we must leave and everything alters for us."
Despite it being a glorious summer night, Lothíriel shivered. "Melethron-nín, just hold me. Now you talk too much." Her lips touched his cheek. Her hand smoothed his tumbled hair.
It was late when Elladan accompanied Lothíriel back to talan that had been prepared for her use.
"Do not leave me alone. I am afraid," she said suddenly.
"Shhh, Lothíriel. I do not intend to leave you tonight, or any night while we are here. What do you fear, little one? We are as close to Elvenhome as one can be in Arda. Nowhere could you be safer," he said, enfolding her in his arms.
"I am afraid of leaving here. And, earlier, the first time we made love, you closed yourself off from me. I fear losing you. I fear I may have lost Éomer already," she whispered.
"I did that to protect you and only for a moment. I promise that you will never lose me, not even when you leave me, as I know you must. As for Éomer, I know you have not lost him. He believes strongly that the two of you share a destiny," he sighed. "I think that you and I do as well, although I do not understand what it may be yet."
Hours later in the treetop talan, Elladan held Lothíriel quietly in his arms, first telling her stories, then whispering endearments, and finally singing, almost to himself, songs of the Galadhrim.
When she slept at last, Elladan leaned over and softly kissed her forehead, thanking all the Valar for the gift of this ineffable bittersweet joy. He spooned his body against hers, holding her as closely as he could. Before passing into his own reverie, he murmured, "The world is changing and I have changed already."
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.