She is made captain of the guard.

It is a great honor, especially for one so young, and she is well deserving of the post. Legolas offers his congratulations and marvels aloud at the speed with which she picked up her battle techniques, how naturally she fights. The guards all agree that she is gifted.

Thranduil knows better. He recognizes every parry, every twirling dodge that sends her red hair flying, the confident, carefree draw of her bow. She is working with a borrowed skillset, one from another lifetime, and he has to bite his tongue and simply nod his congratulations as the girl flashes him a huge grin that makes his heart ache.

He has tried reminding himself that Tauriel is her own person, that the young elleth merely looks like Her. (And talks like her, and fights like her, and smiles like her, and tilts her head like her, and clutches her tunic nervously like her...) However, in trying to differentiate between the two he only notices more and more similarities, so he settles once again for avoidance, drilling the word "ward" into his head like a mantra whenever thoughts of the red-head pop up.

Thranduil offers his congratulations to Tauriel, allows a single moment of weakness and tells her that he is proud of her and knows she is destined for great things, and then strategically retreats before anyone can see the tears gathering behind his icy eyes.