Strangers From a Distant Land

Farewell to Lothlorien

(Sarah POV)

Sarah stood up with a yawn. They had spent what seemed like a few days in Lorien. She knew intellectually that the time had been much longer, as Maggie was almost completely healed. Once the shock was gone, Sarah had actually scolded her rather badly about putting herself in the way of weapons. First the knife, now the club. Aragorn had come to them that morning, telling them to pack and get ready to leave.

Sarah sighed. She liked it here, and didn't want to go. It had helped her forget for a while. With another sigh she returned to packing.

(Maggie POV)

Maggie stood in a line with the rest of the Fellowship as gray-clad elves fastened cloaks about their necks, her own being fastened by Christopher's adopted mother, Silmewen. It was still profoundly weird to think of him – not as the small seven-year-old that she had left – but as the tall young elf, only a year younger than her.

"…unfriendly eyes." Drat! She had completely missed what Lord Celeborn was saying. She went to shake her head, and barely stopped herself. She often forgot that only her family and her best friends were not offended by her shaking her head at them. It was probably not a good idea to do so at one of the last elven Lords. Belatedly Maggie realized that Lord Celeborn was speaking again.

"Come, dine with us once before you take your leave."

They trooped after him.

As they drew near the swan-ship, where they were to dine, they heard a clear voice singing. Maggie only caught the tail end of the song, but from that she recognized her mom's favorite.

"But if of ships I now should sing, what ship would come to me,
What ship would bear me ever back across so wide a Sea?"

Lady Galadriel laid aside her harp as the company boarded the ship. The meal passed in a blur for Maggie. It was so peaceful, though there were several harps and flutes playing, and much talking. Maggie found herself wanting to talk less and think more, both of which seemed to worry Sarah. Honestly, she didn't understand, it wasn't like she didn't know what happened. All too soon, the meal came to a close.

Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel lead them to three boats, all laden with their various bags, as well as some additions, like lembas and rope. Merry and Pippin found out the properties of the former the hard way.

Maggie stifled a laugh as they a multiple waifers. They sat heavily in their boat, both getting used to the motion of the watercraft, and also letting their two large meals settle.

Legolas's face lit up as he saw the leaf-wrapped food. "Lembas!" he exclaimed. "Elvish waybread. One small bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man." He turned away to inspect the contents of his own and Gimli's boat. Somehow, over the course of the stay, those two had become fast friends, though they hadn't given up insulting each other at every opportunity.

"How many did you eat?" Merry asked Pippin when he judged that Legolas was out of earshot.

"Four," Pippin answered with a small burb.

Maggie saw Legolas give a small smile. She leaned over to the terrible two. "Elves have super hearing," she whispered. Both blushed a bright red.

"Come," Aragorn got their attention, coming up from talking to Aragorn. "The Lady has summoned us." He stepped into Maggie's boat as Legolas helped Sam and Frodo in as well. In the next boat over, Sarah sat in the prow with Legolas and Gimli behind her. Boromir heaved himself in to the last boat, already containing Merry and Pippin.

Dipping their paddles in the water, Legolas, Boromir, and Aragorn directed the boats towards the opposite shore, a little ways down the Celebrant. Waiting for them was Galadriel. Strong arms reached down and lifted first Maggie, then Frodo and Sam out of the boat.

"Thank you, Strider," she said to the owner of the arms.

The Fellowship stood in a line before Lady Galadriel to receive the gifts she had prepared for them.

"My gift for you, Legolas," she began, "is a bow of the Galadhrim, worthy of the skill of our woodland kin."

Legolas ran his hand up and down the length of the bow, and bowed his head. "Hannon le," he replied, "Thank you."

She handed Merry and Pippin two elegant daggers. "These are the daggers of the Noldori. They have already seen service in war." Pippin looked up, and swallowed hard. "Do not fear, young Peregrin Took," she told him gently, "you will find your courage."

Next was Sam. "For you, little gardener and lover of trees, I have only a small gift." She gave him a little plain grey box with a silver G-rune on the lid. "In this box is set earth from my orchard, and such blessing as I have still to bestow is upon it. It will not keep you on your road, nor defend you against any peril; but if you keep it and see our home again at last, then perhaps it may reward you."

Lady Galadriel now stood before Gimli, who had his head bowed. "And what gift would a dwarf ask of the Elves?" she inquired.

"Nothing," Gimli said gruffly. Now he looked up. "Except to look upon the Lady of the Galadhrim one last time, for she is fairer than all the jewels beneath the earth."

Galadriel laughed merrily, and Gimli started to turn away, growing red under his beard, but then he paused. "Actually, there was one thing." He started mumbling, and Galadriel smiled, and then moved on to Sarah, but not before speaking quietly with a maiden behind her.

"My gift for you, Sarah Hodgson, is a healing cordial, made from the waters of Lorien in Valinor. It will give your friends relief in times of great pain. One drop will heal any wound." Galadriel handed Sarah a red belt with a small crystal flask hanging in a pouch from it, filled with a clear liquid. Sarah fingered the stopper, and then fastened it to her waist, slipping her dagger onto her left side on the same belt.

"For you, Maggie Rivers, sister of Anessen, I have a small sword, for there are time that you may not be able to use your sling."

She moved on to Aragorn, who was standing next in line after the Ringbearer. "I have nothing greater to give than the gift you already bear." She reached up a hand and touched the jewel around the Dunedain's neck. She continued in elvish, and Aragorn replied in the same language. Towards the end she handed him a beautiful scabbard, entwined with runes and golden flowers.

When Lady Galadriel moved onto Frodo she spoke no word, just handed him a clear phial, filled with a white light. Frodo gave her a slight nod, and she bent down and kissed him gently on the top of his head.

The Fellowship then took their leave, once again climbing into their boats, and as the current carried them away Lady Galadriel once again took up her harp and sang, this time in Quenya.

"Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,
yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!
Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier
mi oromardi lisse-miruvóreva
Andúnë pella, Vardo tellumar
nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
ómaryo airetári-lírinen.

Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva?

An sí Tintallë Varda Oiolossëo
ve fanyar máryat Elentári ortanë,
ar ilyë tier undulávë lumbulë;
ar sindanóriello caita mornië
i falmalinnar imbë met, ar hísië
untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë.
Sí vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar!

Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.
Nai elyë hiruva. Namárië!"

She raised one hand in farewell, and the Fellowship rounded the corner, turning into the Anduin. It was the last time that Maggie ever saw Lothlorien, the dream-flower.

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