5. Satisfied All Three
Ithilien, early Fourth Age
Legolas and Rowanna walked the pastures of Dor Ararych together, making sure all was well with the herds before darkness fell. The sun was beginning to drop towards the horizon, and the chatter of birds could be heard from the nearby woods as they began to roost.
"All right, Bron?" Rowanna enquired of the lad who sat at the foot of a lone oak tree, whittling a bit of wood, a brindled lurcher dog dozing at his feet. He looked up and grinned.
"Aye, mistress - I'm on watch till moonrise, then Maegened's coming out. If there's so much as a sniff of that wolf who's been hanging around then Feril here will let me know, fear you not!"
"Got your sling?" Rowanna warned. "And plenty of pebbles?"
Bron nodded. "If he tries anything clever, he'll regret it - and Feril will soon have half the farm roused! Goodnight to ye, mistress, Master Legolas."
Satisfied, they turned back towards the stables and the house. As they reached the trees, there was a sudden rustle in the foliage; Legolas looked up sharply, then leapt for a branch and pulled himself up.
"What is it?" Rowanna called after a moment. The Elf dropped easily to the ground once again.
"They're nearly here - they've passed the clearing north of the last stream. They'll be with us before dark."
Elladan and Elrohir's first visit to Gondor since the end of the War had been promised ever since the news, the previous leaf-fall, that their sister was with child and would deliver in the spring. Despite the survey and repair work on Gondor and Arnor's roads swiftly put in train by Aragorn after his coronation, a journey from Rivendell to Minas Tirith even on Elven steeds was a matter of some four to six weeks, and not undertaken lightly. Three weeks after baby Eldarion's birth, the Peredhil had arrived in the White City; now, having spent a few days as Faramir and Eowyn's guests at Emyn Arnen, they had sent word to expect them at Dor Ararych.
Rowanna nodded. "Well, we'd best get back, then! The grooms and the stable-lads may be fairly used to you these days, but the Sons of Elrond might be a different matter..."
"Surely they will be on their best behaviour?" Legolas teased as he vaulted easily over a gate and opened it for Rowanna.
"I'm not sure Elrohir has such a thing!" she retorted. As she reached to fasten the gate behind her, Legolas saw her bite her lip.
"What is it, melethen?"
"Only that –" She leant against the gate, looking anxiously at him. "Elrohir was never particularly warm towards you, as I recall. And remember, he hasn't seen me since Aragorn and Arwen's wedding-feast; and two nights before that..."
"You what?" At first, as Rowanna sobbed out her tale on his shoulder, Elrohir had looked thunderstruck; then his voice had taken on a furious edge. "With Legolas? What in Morgoth's name is Thranduilion thinking of? Just wait till we get back to Minas Tirith! I'll–"
"No, Elrohir!" Rowanna had protested through her sobs. "None of this is Legolas' fault! He–"
"Oh, isn't it!" Elrohir had scowled, before he was quelled by Elladan. "We'll see about that–"
"He was vowing to run me through?" Legolas' eyes now glittered. "He came close to threatening it the night you got back to the City. But he has written civilly enough this last year and more with news of the North. Do you truly think, rohiril, this is anything more than a visit of old friends?" He stepped close in the twilight and took her gently by the shoulders, gazing into her eyes. "Was he in love with you?"
"I... no. No, I never believed so." Rowanna shook her head. "He was fond of me, he teased me, when I was recovering in Rivendell he took me under his wing; but it was the fondness of a brother, I always felt, for an indulged little sister." She took Legolas' proffered hand as they turned once more towards the stables and the house. "I was like a fosterling, almost a kind of pet – that used to infuriate me; he never could accept that I was truly capable of thinking for myself, let alone that I had the temerity to give my heart to you without his prior approval!"
"He made that clear enough at the time, as I remember. Never mind running me through, I thought he was going to punch me – as Béodred had already tried to." Legolas smiled ruefully. "Perhaps I should be grateful they never joined forces..."
Rowanna chuckled. "Hardly likely! Béodred was jealous enough of Elrohir himself back in Rivendell – not surprising, given how mercilessly Elrohir tweaked his tail!"
The lights of the house were glowing through the twilight as Legolas stopped, for a moment, at the edge of the trees.
"I hate to see you anxious, melethen, and I know Elrohir's tongue can cut like a blade when he wishes," he said softly. "But I would not for the world insult you by offering to protect you, or threatening Elrohir the moment he looks in your direction! You can fight your own battles, I know well enough. And so, I assure you, can I. Only –" he brushed an escaping tendril of dark hair back from her face – "if you do need me, promise me you will let me know?"
A smile spread across Rowanna's face.
"You see, that's exactly why I fell in love with you and not with Elrohir. After that one time with Caradhras and the saddle – do you remember? – you never again treated me as a child or a fool. In fact –" her arms went about his waist – "did you ever realise exactly when I lost my heart to you? Though I'm not sure I knew it myself at the time..."
He cocked his head on one side, questioning.
"When you found me in the crowd below the Golden Hall in Edoras, just before you all rode out to Helm's Deep. You guessed I was going to try to get to Minas Tirith, to find Mother, and as we stood there I was certain you were going to try to stop me – that you'd tell Aragorn, or Théoden King..."
"I knew better by then than to try it!" Legolas retorted, laughing. "Though in that moment I did wish, more than anything in Middle-earth, that I was not sworn to Aragorn and to the Quest and could have gone with you – so instead I did the best I could..."
"You gave me your cloak, and your blessing with it." Rowanna drew him close, hugged him tightly, and then drew his head down for a swift kiss. "I'd like to see Elrohir take us on – I suspect he has no idea what he is in for! Come, then, meleth nin – that haunch of venison Faeldis was going to roast should be ready in time for supper, and there's plenty of Bowdyn's mead; or jars of your father's wine, if Elladan and Elrohir prefer."
As they crossed the open space beyond the trees, dew-damp grass whispering against their boots, Legolas drew in a breath. "They're here."
Rowanna squinted for a moment into the gathering darkness – then caught the pale flicker of two shapes, and the faint clopping of shifting hooves. "They're still riding greys, then," she observed with a flash of nostalgia. "Come on – they're probably setting the whole yard by the ears already!"
There was indeed commotion in the stable-yard as several of the younger lads crowded around, fussing over the perfectly-matched pair of Elven beasts and exclaiming over their form. Only Elves could pair two stallions up and have them behave like the quietest geldings! The horses' immaculate white coats seemed to glow in the twilight; almost like their riders, Rowanna observed with amusement. One of the Peredhil – Elladan? was talking quietly to Malgalad the head groom; a moment later her guess was confirmed, as a familiar drawl drifted over from the other dark-haired figure haranguing Faeldis, the housekeeper, at the house-door:
"... really, you'd think after we've ridden a few hundred leagues the mistress of Dor Ararych might have been here to greet us; but I realise how low we must rank in –"
"Stop it, Elrohir," Rowanna called firmly, marching across the yard to rescue her flustered housekeeper. "You haven't changed a jot, I see. Faeldis, take no notice, he's teasing – he's always thus, I'm afraid..."
"I am wounded. Wounded!" protested the son of Elrond, sweeping her an elaborate bow – and then pulling her into his arms and, before she had a chance to react, kissing her soundly. She felt a flicker of amusement from Legolas, watching from the sidelines: Does he seek to discomfit you, do you think, beloved, or me?
No matter – he won't succeed in either! she thought back, returning Elrohir's embrace with interest. To her delight, when she broke off it was he who looked, just for an instant, taken aback.
"I was going to say you had not changed either – still marching around with hay in your hair ordering everyone about; but I don't recall ever being greeted with quite such enthusiasm before!" he remarked. "Anyone would think you were pleased to see me..."
"But of course, Elrohir; I'm delighted to see both of you." Rowanna turned to the chuckling Elladan, and found herself enveloped in a rather more brotherly hug. "As is Legolas!"
The Elf stepped forward, one eyebrow very slightly arched, and for a moment Rowanna wondered just how mischievous he would be; but if he was tempted to make a point by kissing Elrohir himself, he resisted, contenting himself with offering each brother a clasp of arms. It did not escape Rowanna's notice that Elrohir locked eyes with him for just a moment longer than Elladan had done.
"Has Malgalad arranged everything you need?" she enquired. "He probably wants to get that beautiful pair into stalls before the hands pet them to death! Did you leave Nimloss and Nimfaun at home?"
Elladan nodded. "They're largely retired, now; we'd ridden them for nigh on a twelve-year, through many an Orc-hunt and then the War, and they're getting a little long in the tooth to carry us all the way from Eriador to Gondor. Not that they think so – we were severely out of favour for leaving them behind; I don't think Nimfaun will speak to me again for a twelvemonth! Is Gelion still hale and well?"
"In his prime – he was a youngling when I brought him from Rivendell, of course. He's in the second stall from the end, if you want to give him your greeting. So what are this new pair called?"
"Elin and Tinu – and yes," as Rowanna looked puzzled, "they do both mean 'star'; they are twins! The first twin greys born in Imladris for nearly a Great Year..."
"So of course," Elrohir put in, "they had to be ours. And it's time we got them stabled; I don't know whether they're famished, but I certainly am now that I can smell that venison..."
Over a long and convivial dinner, news was exchanged of Imladris, Ithilien and of Minas Tirith.
"So what did you make of your nephew?" Rowanna enquired. Elrohir leant back in his chair.
"Oh, he seems to have the requisite number of fingers and toes – he is adequate, don't you think, brother?"
"Given the way you melted when you held him and he gurgled at you," suggested Elladan, "you seemed to think him rather more than adequate."
"I did no such thing!" Elrohir retorted. "Obviously, one has to show oneself sufficiently doting in front of the proud parents – really, I haven't seen Estel so besotted since the first time he was allowed a kitten when he was four..."
Taking great care to sound careless, thought Rowanna, as you've been all evening... Elrohir's edginess, she reflected, ironically showed more clearly refracted through the open-hearted Elladan, who inevitably picked up his twin's every mood. Glancing at Legolas, she knew his thoughts were tending along similar lines.
The conversation moved on to the reconstruction of Ithilien; the cleansing of the soil, the replanting of trees, the gradual growth of the Elven colony. Legolas described its construction and layout for the curious Peredhil; the central clearing where all met of an evening to share fire and food, the small telain for sleeping and the larger ones for crafts, the woodturner and armourer and bowyer –
"Still keeping your hand in with blade and bow, then," Elrohir observed idly. "Would you believe, we actually have to make time for practice these days; Eriador is far too quiet! Care for a bout tomorrow?" Elladan shot him a sharp look; Elrohir affected not to notice.
"Of course, if you wish," Legolas agreed evenly. "I've no practice blades with me – but Angbrannon the smith keeps a full set, does he not, Rowanna?"
"He does; all males who are of age are still required to keep in training, by the Steward's order, and a fair few of the women do too. Everyone in this part of Ithilien remembers the days of orc-raids..."
"That's settled, then." Elrohir yawned and stretched. "Morning or afternoon?"
Legolas considered. "Morning for sword-work, I think, if swords are your choice; the wind's getting up now and it will still be blustery at daybreak. It'll die down after noon, so that'll be the time for a fair contest with the bow."
"Never doubt the weather-wisdom of a Wood-elf!" Elladan laughed. "I sparred with Aragorn this morning – fatherhood has slowed him down, or that was his excuse when I put him flat on his back inside a minute! – so you take Elrohir on with the blade, and then we'll all shoot after lunch."
Later, in Rowanna's rooms, firelight danced across the hangings on the walls. Rowanna had got up from her chair by the hearth, where she had sat to let Legolas unbraid and brush out her hair in one of their favourite evening rituals, and was now sitting up in bed hugging her knees. The Elf, though, was still staring into the fire, and she could feel his fretful uncertainty.
"Meleth nin? What's wrong?"
When he did not answer at once, she probed gently at his thoughts, but found them a shifting confusion of images: Elrohir; herself sitting by another hearth she did not recognise; a tall blond Rohir whose face she could not see... She scrambled off the bed and, taking Legolas' hands, drew him gently down into the chair in his turn, and stood behind him kneading the tension out of his shoulders. With the contact, her sense of his unhappiness and anxiety grew stronger, but still she could not unravel it.
"You're going to have to help me, my love; I can't read this riddle..."
He sighed, arching gratefully into her touch.
"I... I know you are right about Elrohir, his feelings for you – and yours for him; I have no fears on that score, believe me. But I still think back, from time to time, to that stinging lecture he gave me the night before Aragorn and Arwen's wedding; to all those arguments he laid on me like blows I could not dodge. That you should have a Mortal husband, one who could give you home and hearth, who could grow old beside you..." He twisted in the chair, laying his cheek along her waiting hand. "And I cannot help but wonder; was he right?"
"Oh, beloved." She slid both arms about his neck, hugged him: then moved around to kneel in front of him on the hearthrug, taking both his hands again in hers.
"Shall I tell you, my love, where I would be now if things had fallen out differently - if we had never found one another? Do you think I did not ask it of myself, all that year we were parted after the end of the War, when I tried Minas Tirith and Dol Amroth and Rohan, and could not find anywhere I felt I belonged?" She took a breath, gathering her thoughts, as a log shifted in the fire and a shower of sparks went up.
"I could be back in the Riddermark; back on the farmstead with Aelstan, yes, with my work and my beasts, but constantly itching to put right the likes of Gytha with their nonsense about Elven witches in the Golden Wood; chafing because no-one seemed to understand why I felt bereft at the news that the Firstborn are taking ship, or constantly wanted to talk about Rivendell or Hobbits or Dwarves or Elves, and wondering at the unhappiness I could never quite name. I could be fending off Béodred, or any other good solid Rohir who wanted to make me his wife, and who wouldn't understand that I could not and would not sit quiet by a hearth, darning shirts or feeding and washing children! Or even worse, I could have given in and married one of them – or any one of those courteous, worthy, naval types from Dol Amroth or a stuffed-doublet nobleman of the White City – and be going half-mad with frustration at having shut myself into a gilded cage and thrown away the key!" She gripped his hands tighter.
"Elrohir, and Béodred, and all the others were convinced I was out of my mind to want to walk this path, because they all thought they knew what was good for me – and for you. How many of your folk thought – whether or not they would say so to your face – that a few brief years of loving a Mortal woman, however brightly that flame burned, could never be enough to sustain you through the rest of Arda's Ages? I asked that a thousand times myself! Were they right?"
He shook his head vehemently. "No, melethen. You know it."
"Neither of us would ever have dreamed we would be as we are," she said more softly. "But be it through the Powers or the simple chances of this world – our hearts found one another, and knew themselves complete. We took this path, beloved, and no other, and even could it be undone, I would never do it at any price."
"Nor I, I swear it." He slid from the chair on to the rug beside her, wrapping her tightly in his arms, sealing the promise with a kiss. "Nor I."
Morning, as promised, found the Peredhil with Legolas out on Dor Ararych's exercise-ground, watched by excited little knots of murmuring stable-boys. Since it was habitually used for lungeing the young stock, the packed earth was regularly swept free of loose stones and other hazards; Elladan, nonetheless, inspected it minutely while Elrohir and Legolas hefted the various practice blades, testing weight and grip and balance till each found one to his satisfaction. They wore their leather jerkins, bracers and greaves – even practice blades, Rowanna knew, would bruise badly if either landed a blow – but no helms: "Neck-down only?" Elrohir enquired, and Legolas nodded agreement.
They warmed up for a few minutes, Legolas with Elladan and Elrohir with a somewhat overawed Angbrannon; then each nodded to their opposite number, and the ground was swiftly cleared. Elladan came to lean against the fence alongside Rowanna, watching closely. Elf and Peredhel walked to the centre of the ring, the wind whipping at their tunics and braided hair; suddenly, the tension in their stance made Rowanna shiver. She took a deep breath as the pair bowed, hands on hearts, to one another and took guard.
"Lay on!" called Elladan. For a few moments Elrohir and Legolas circled each other, neither rushing into the combat, watching intently; then out of nowhere a flurry of blows exploded, and the fight began.
Not since her months in Rivendell had Rowanna seen an Elven sword-bout – the Wood-elves of Ithilien practised with knife and bow – and she had forgotten just how impossibly fast it would be, a blur of movement she could barely follow. The pair flowed first away from the watchers at the fence, then back towards them; for an instant, Rowanna caught the expression in Elrohir's eyes as he struck at Legolas like summer lightning, and could not suppress a gasp.
"He – he is in earnest!"
"Entirely in earnest," Elladan murmured in her ear. "Though not, I think, in deadly earnest." Seeing Rowanna's horrified expression, he added hastily, "They truly are using blunted blades, you know... I checked."
"But why?" Rowanna whispered. "You're not truly telling me he – is jealous of Legolas? I was always sure he was just offended that I had given my heart away, and to one of the Firstborn at that, over all his warnings and objections!"
"He has something to prove to himself, I think," Elladan said softly, without taking his eyes from the pair on the field. "Not that he should have called Legolas to account that day – what, are we mortals, to draw sword over a woman's affections? No; rather that he did not forswear the fight out of fear."
"How could he possibly think so?" Rowanna hissed, watching Legolas parry, duck, weave, counter-attack. "You two must be two of the most renowned warriors in Middle-earth, even by Elven standards!"
"Ah, but we are not Elves, we are Peredhil," Elladan murmured back, as the two blades locked once more. "Neither human nor wholly Quendi. Perhaps that causes us, at our very core, to be just a little unsure of who – what – we are. Some, Father among them, might say that is what has always driven the pair of us to feats fabled among Elves and Men; to prove ourselves worthy of either..."
A furious volley of thrust and counter-thrust ended with Legolas twisting neatly away from Elrohir's blade, and for a moment the two broke apart, breathing hard. We don't exist, Rowanna realised; the entire farm could go up in flames around them and they wouldn't blink.
"Will he win?"
"He ought to," his brother said judiciously. "Legolas could disarm just about any Mortal inside a minute, I grant you, except perhaps Estel – and stars know, he's quick on his feet and I swear he can see behind him – but this isn't his first-choice weapon, nor even his second. Elrohir's barely gone a day without sword in hand for five centuries..."
Moments later, he was proven right: Elrohir feinted, twisted under Legolas' guard, there was a flash of movement –
– and a collective gasp as Legolas' blade flew across the yard and Elrohir's sword-point stopped at his throat.
For a long moment, only the wind whipped round them as the watchers held their breath. Blunted blades, Rowanna reminded herself. Blunted blades...
Elrohir dropped one word clearly into the deathly quiet.
Legolas hesitated for an instant; then Rowanna, heart in mouth, felt the warrior's guard drop away from him like a discarded mail-shirt, and slowly he smiled.
He bowed gracefully to the Peredhel and strolled across the scuffed earth to retrieve his sword; then, loping to the fence, vaulted it one-handed and passed the blade to the waiting Angbrannon. As Elrohir strode back to the gate, Legolas slid his arm around Rowanna's waist, drew her close and kissed her.
"Thank you, Elrohir, my friend," he proclaimed enthusiastically, "a win well-deserved."
Behave yourself! Rowanna warned. Even if it is Elrohir – do not tease! One of Malgalad's lads offered the combatants water-skins, which they accepted, and towels, which neither appeared to need.
Elves, thought Rowanna; they both went at that as though their lives depended on it, and yet to look at them now you wouldn't think either had broken sweat!
"Will you take a turn, Elladan?" Legolas offered.
"I fought yesterday," Elladan reminded him, "I'll hold off till we shoot this afternoon. Though if Master Angbrannon would care to spar some time while we are here, 'twould be my honour to practise with him." Angbrannon flushed, seemingly caught between delight and dread at the prospect.
"I have a couple of mares in foal to check on in the fields before the noon-meal," Rowanna announced. "Legolas, once you're out of your gear, you wanted Elladan and Angbrannon to look at those new knives your smith's been forging?" You do now!
The Elf, deftly unlacing his bracers, did not miss a beat. "Of course, I remember. Elladan, shall we?..." They wandered away in the direction of the smithy, leaving Rowanna with Elrohir as the stable-boys reluctantly dispersed to the rather less exciting chores of feeding and mucking out.
"So are you going to give me the tour of your domain, rohiril?" the Peredhel enquired as he shrugged out of his heavy jerkin. "Show me what the Prince of Ithilien's Mistress of Horse has been up to?"
"Gladly." They strolled out to the pastures, where the breeze was running in waves through the grass, and for an hour or so talked of bloodlines and breeding, foaling and training. Only as the sun was nearing noon, and they were making a fuss of a group of colts who had come nosing hopefully up in search of treats, did Rowanna turn and ask:
"So what was that all about, then?" As Elrohir gazed innocently back at her she added, "You know perfectly well. This morning."
Elrohir said nothing for a moment, scratching a normally-boisterous chestnut between the ears so that the horse relaxed happily into his touch.
"I thought that bout would put all to rest," he said eventually. "But now, I find, it does not answer, for I was asking the wrong question… Ever since that Midsummer's Eve – you knew I went to find Legolas, as I swore I would, that night? That I charged him, as I had begged you, to think again?" She nodded. "It wore and wore away at me, once I heard that after all you had chosen, in the end, to bind yourselves – should I have challenged him? Why did I not?" He looked away, caressing the horse's flank.
"So I beat him... and it turns out it makes no difference. He still wins."
"I am not a prize in some kind of contest, Elrohir!" Rowanna's voice rose, causing the chestnut to huff indignantly and sidestep. "When will you get it through your apparently dense Peredhel head that I have some say in the matter? You never wanted my heart in any case!"
"No," Elrohir said with devastating frankness. "But I did not lie, Rowanna, that last night out from Minas Tirith when I called you both kin and friend. I wanted your happiness. And I could not see, and still am not convinced, how Legolas Thranduilion could stand surety for it." He gently pushed away the nose of another colt who was lipping at his pocket. "Tell me, truly – is this what you wanted?"
"Which part?" Rowanna demanded, throwing wide an arm which encompassed the pastures, the horses, the low cluster of stables and dwellings. "My own herds and farm and lands, held in the trust of the Steward whom I am honoured to serve? My life to make my own, unfettered by the expectations of Gondor or Rohan? All that, I wanted, all my life, and there were times when I couldn't see how it was ever to be done. As for Legolas..." She lifted her chin and met Elrohir's gaze.
"I could never have said that I wanted the love of an Elf – how could I ever have imagined such a thing? Neither of us ever drew bow at the other; the Quest and the War tangled our paths together, and we'd each given our heart long before we realised it, I think. But I do not love him because he is Firstborn – nor despite his being Firstborn! I love him because he is Legolas, and he loves me, entirely as I am and not as any other would have me be. He is the other half of my heart, and I will never lose that, not even if he sails over Sea in my lifetime. And even if he took ship tomorrow –" she gulped, but took a deep inbreath – "that would be enough."
Elrohir gazed at her steadily.
"It's true, isn't it?" he said softly. "Rohiril, you have never ceased to surprise me, from the morning you first woke in our care in Imladris. And I really should have learnt by now not to underestimate you..."
He held out his arms; without hesitation, she walked into them and hugged him tightly.
"For a being the best part of an Age old, Elrohir Elrondion, sometimes you are a fool."
After the noon-meal back at the house, the wind had dropped as Legolas had predicted, and they went out to an empty paddock for a shooting-match. Watched by Bron, Maegened and several of the other lads with their eyes popping from their heads, Legolas beat first Elladan, and then Elrohir, convincingly. Rowanna arrived from the fields just in time to see Legolas split Elrohir's last arrow in mid-air; and then the four of them wandered laughing back to the house as the sun was going down.
The Twins spent another fortnight in Ithilien; part of it at Dor Ararych, part among the Wood-Elves of Legolas' growing colony, or journeying with him around the lands he and his folk were attempting to cleanse and replant.
"He's got work there for at least a lifetime of Men," Elrohir observed to Rowanna on their last morning, as he and Elladan prepared to mount up for the ride back to Minas Tirith. "And from what we hear from Thranduil's halls, no shortage of his father's folk still contemplating coming south to join him – there will be more telain built in that forest yet!"
"He swore to Yavanna herself that he would make the Orcs' ravages good," Rowanna agreed. "With all of that, and planning and planting gardens for Aragorn in the White City, and coming back and forth to Dor Ararych, every season is more than full!... And he's happy."
"So I've seen." Elrohir took her by the hands. "And so, I've also seen, are you – and my heart is the lighter for it." He smiled ruefully as Rowanna raised an eyebrow at him. "Truly."
"And for the knowledge that you could best him in a fair fight?"
He chuckled. "That too. A sword-fight, at least. And the other fight I thought I'd lost... turned out not to be one at all."
They embraced; he turned away, not bothering with the mounting-block, and vaulted onto Elin's back. Elladan too hugged her, mounted up, and leant down from the saddle to clasp arms with Legolas.
"Till the next time, my friends. Good fortune, and the Powers speed all your labours!"
"Go safely," Rowanna and Legolas echoed in unison. They stood side by side, an arm raised each in farewell, until the Peredhil vanished among the trees. Rowanna turned to Legolas.
"Come, then, meleth nin. Work to do."
The various references this story makes to Legolas and Rowanna's backstory are told in Amid the Powers and Chances of the World. In the order in which they come up in the present story:
"two nights before Aragorn and Arwen's wedding" in Chapter 42, Until the Stars are All Alight;
Elrohir's confrontation with Legolas the following night in Chapter 43, Wake and Hear Me Calling;
Rowanna's time in Rivendell in Chapters 1-16, particularly Beodred's jealousy of Elrohir in Chapter 4, I'll Linger Here, Beneath the Sun;
"that time with Caradhras and the saddle" in Chapter 14, The Horse and the Rider;
Rowanna and Legolas' meeting in Edoras in Chapter 23, Farewell we Call to Hearth and Hall; and the year they were parted immediately after the War, in Chapters 45 and 46.
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.