The Tenth Companion
A/N: Don't own, never will.
Chapter 29: The Wedding
It was not easy, waiting for Legolas to come back. Gimli watched the Elves who were waiting with him for Legolas to return. Elrond was just standing there, lost in thought. Elrohir and Elladan were so much alike that Gimli couldn't tell them apart, but one was pacing back and forth while the other idly whittled a short twig to a point. Gimli was sitting on the stairs, watching the direction that Legolas had gone off in. He was also the first to see Legolas return, Elandili at his side.
Gimli stood up, and the movement alerted the others. They all looked at Legolas, and smiles broke out on their faces. Elandili's answer was obvious, and the Elves were happy that she was finally reaching out to take her heart's desire. Elandili ran to her father. She hugged all of them, and then disappeared. Legolas was startled, but before he could go after her, she appeared holding her gift from the Hobbits. She showed it to Legolas, and he liked it.
"So that's why you wore a pale blue dress today, my Lady." said Gimli. Elandili turned to him, and she gave him a hug.
"I am glad to see you here, as well as Legolas, Gimli son of Gloin. You have grown dear to me, and I shall never complain about becoming a Dwarf again, for they are all dear to me now." Gimli could say no more, for a lump had formed in his throat. All he could do was to bob his head and go inside for a glass of water.
Elandili and Legolas had decided to be married in the spring, and a week before they were to be married, Aragorn and Arwen arrived in Rivendell for a visit. Elandili was sitting on a bench, working on some embroidery when they came into view. She got up and ran to throw her arms around Arwen and then Elessar, as Aragorn was now called.
"It's good to see you both." said Elandili. "Have you heard about what's been happening here?" Arwen laughed.
"I have never seen you so happy before." said Elessar. "What has been happening in Rivendell to do this to you?"
"They made me a First! And only a week after I arrived! And then guess what happened? Legolas asked me to marry him, and we're to be wed in a week!" Aragorn and Arwen smiled at the news and wished her luck. By that time, Elrohir and Elladan had come to them and they greeted their sister.
"I heard my daughter telling you what's happened to her, but I would like to hear of yourselves. What has made the Dunadain and his Queen come to Rivendell?"
"We were on our way to Bree, and we decided to stop here for a while. But where is Elrond? We had hoped to see him again, before he left over the sea." Arwen looked around as she said this, hoping to catch sight of her father. But he was nowhere to be seen. He had gone to Lorien, and would return only after Elandili's wedding.
A week later, Arwen and Elessar had gone to Bree, and come back for the wedding. They would stay the night, and then go on. But Elandili didn't mind. She wished that the Hobbits could have been there, but they would not go out of the Shire, busy hoping that Sam's work would restore the Shire. Legolas was with his father and mother, at the end of the corridor, where they would exchange their vows. She checked her reflection once again.
Arwen sighed. "Oh come on, Elandili. If it's not perfect now, it will never be. Now get on out there. Everyone's waiting for you."
Elandili smiled at her aunt. "Thanks for the confidence booster. Father, are you ready?" Elandili looked over at Elrohir, who was looking splendid. He nodded, and gently told Elandili that she looked exactly like her mother. Then he held out his arm, and Elandili put her arm through his. They walked together to where Legolas was, and then Elandili was released to stand by her love. She said her vows, and listened as Legolas said his. They kissed, and Elandili felt that it was the happiest moment of her life. She was aware that her son was grinning, and then she felt a small kick inside of her, which was a big surprise. But she kept quiet.
The feast was one of the grandest ever seen in Rivendell, but Elandili kept on seeing that other feast, right before the council. She could remember how young she had been, inexperienced and even naive. She had grown up on her quest, and she knew that she was only now worthy of her rank, just as Legolas was only now worthy of her. She smiled, and then it was time for the dancing. Legolas danced with her most of the time, but Elessar, Elrohir, Elladan, and even Gimli claimed a dance with her. She used her powers to shrink a bit for Gimli, but she didn't mind.
At last it was time to go, for every one was tired. Elandili and Legolas went to their room, and she told him that she wanted him to sit down. Legolas stared at her, but she said that she had some news for him. He sat down, and Elandili sat next to him, feeling another kick. Elandili took his hand, and laid it against her stomach. He felt the kicking all right, for he looked at her in shock, and then a grin spread across his face. They went to sleep, Legolas gently holding her against his body.
Chapter 30: Elandili's Fate
Elandili was not feeling so good. Her stomach had been tightening all day, and it was starting to get more painful. She hissed as it happened again, and as Legolas came to see what she needed, she realized that it wasn't her stomach tightening. She was about to have her baby. She told Legolas to send for the midwife. It was only a few minutes later when they came back, with her father and Elrond. Legolas lifted her in his arms, and carried her to their room, following the midwife's instructions.
Legolas could feel Elandili's pain as he set her down on the bed. Several Elf maids shooed Elrond, Elladan, and Elrohir out, all of them grinning at being shooed out, but Elandili insisted that Legolas stay. The contractions were coming even closer together as her clothing was removed and a blanket was placed over her so that she wouldn't catch a chill. Legolas just held her, which was all she needed at first, but then a very painful contraction came, and she cried out for her father. He came in, and so did Elrond. Elrohir took her hand, wincing as her fingers bit into his. Legolas had her other hand, and from the look on his face, her grip was strong over there as well.
Elandili was breathing hard. This hurt far more than she had remembered. But she did know that it would soon stop. She could barely hear the midwife, but she knew what she should do. She kept on pushing, helping her child come into the world. One last push, and suddenly the pain was gone. As she sagged down in relief, she could hear her baby's first cry. She held out her hands, and her baby was passed to her. A daughter, it was a daughter. She was so happy that tears of joy came to her eyes as Legolas kissed her. She soon fell asleep, and the others left, save for the midwife, who stayed to make sure her patient was doing fine.
A few days later, Elandili was able to get out of bed again. She took her daughter with her and went into the gardens. Legolas found her there, and he hugged her. "Elrond wants to see you, if it's all right. I think that they are going to go to the Havens soon."
Elandili nodded. "I have said that I will at least ride as far as the Shire with them, and maybe even to the Havens. But for now I will not sail over the sea. I will wait for you, and we shall go with our children together." Legolas nodded and then they went to see Elrond.
Elrond looked up as they came into his study, but Bilbo didn't turn around. He was writing a list, which had a great deal of food on it, and not much of anything else. He was almost one hundred and thirty one years old, and this would be his last journey. She knew that he was looking forward to seeing Frodo again, but she would not be going all the way yet. She had served Elrond, and after this journey, she would be in the service of Gondor until Elessar died. Then she would go to the Havens and at last set sail over the sea, never to be seen again in Middle Earth.
She listened to Elrond's orders, and she felt her heart break. After she left on this journey, she would never see Rivendell again, save for in her thoughts. She spent most of her time sketching pictures of Rivendell, and by the time they were to leave, she not only had all of her things, which wasn't all that much, but she also had Rivendell on paper to look at when she felt homesick. She had come to think of Rivendell as her home, and leaving it was painful for her. But she went on with the others, and she knew that her heart would always remain in Rivendell.
Elandili had been thinking of her new life when she saw Frodo and Sam in the distance. They were riding, and Frodo was singing a variation on a song that Bilbo would sing. Frodo's song stopped, and she burst out singing with the others as if in answer to Frodo's song. Elandili listened to the Hobbits, and she rode next to them after a while. They caught up on all that had happened while they had been parted. Elandili showed off her daughter, whom she had named Liarwen, in honor of Arwen. They were happy to see her again, but Frodo was grieved that she would not sail with him at that time. He asked her why she was not coming.
"I made a promise to Strider that I would serve him till the end of his days, after my folk had left Middle-earth. I will keep my promise, and then I will join you in the land beyond the sea. Also, Legolas will come with me, and our children. But for now, ride on, as it is the destiny of all to go forward, and none may stay behind, no matter how much they wish to do so." The Hobbits agreed, and they rode on in silence.
At last they came to the Havens. Elandili could feel her heart breaking, but she had managed to sketch Elrond, Elladan, and Elrohir. She said goodbye to them and the others who were leaving, but she could not keep back her tears. She sang a song of parting, and meetings beyond the mists. She said one last farewell, and turned to go.
Elandili clapped her heels to the sides of her horse, which she had ridden ever since she had left Lorien. She rode to Gondor, and only looked back once. She saw the ships sailing, and the waving hands. She waved to them, and then turned to face her road, and her future. But she could not keep the tears from falling down her face.
She finally came to Minas Tirith, following a road that ran from the Havens nearly straight to Gondor. She was hailed, and a guard of honor led her to Elessar's throne room. She bowed to Elessar and Arwen, and then waved one of Liarwen's hands and set her down. Arwen smiled and Elessar stood to clasp Elandili's forearm in a greeting of equals. Elandili was amazed at this but Elessar said: "You are indeed my equal, for you have fought by my side, and are the daughter of one greater than even I. You are also my kin, and I welcome you to Gondor."
Elandili rolled her eyes at the formality, but she did mind her manners. "I have come to fulfill my promise to you at the end of the war. What will you have me do to serve you? Liarwen get out of there! Hang on a moment."
Elandili hurried over to her daughter, who was busy trying to get into the weapons that were stored in the throne room. Liarwen had actually managed to unsheathe a small dagger by the time her mother picked her up. She squirmed to be let back down, and once set down; she crawled over to the cabinet again. She got out a long knife and began stabbing at an imaginary enemy. Then she sat down on the floor and offered the knife to Elandili, who picked it up and put it away, a smile of pride on her face. Liarwen was going to be just like her. Oh dear.
A/N: The next chapter will be the last, and I will post the alternate ending at the same time. Thanks everyone for sticking with me!