Interrupting Gimlis story in mid axe-swing, the elf peered
around his friends stout frame. Melmenya?
Yes. She laughed. Yes!
Legolas glanced at Eomer. The man was staring up at his sister,
dumbfounded. Legolas rose from his seat and took his wife in his
arms. What is it, melmenya?
Eowyn laughed again. It was you, she said.
Then, still in his embrace, she came up on tiptoe and, looking
over his shoulder, she smiled broadly at their guests. It
What was me, meleth nín? he asked, softly.
Sit down,gently, he set her back in her chairand
tell us all about it.
Eomer was talking about the Yuletide Horse Fairour
father took us there when we were childrenand I remembered.
She described her encounter with the elf. It was you, Lassui!
You were only two years old, said Eomer, doubtfully.
You remember an elf. But you cannot possibly know that it
Yes I can! said Eowyn. It was Legolas.
I am sure of it.
It may well have been, said Faramir, loyally.
Gimli grunted in agreement.
Well, it does sound like Legolas, said Hentmirë.
But Legolas, kneeling at Eowyns feet, said nothing.
Their friends had retired for the night.
Eowyn was still overjoyedshe found herself smiling at every
little thingbut Legolas seemed restless; and Eowyn knew
that, once she had fallen asleep, he would leave her, as was his
custom, to find tranquility walking beneath the stars.
And, tonight, of all nights, she did not want to be parted from
him. Shall we go for a walk? she asked.
It is snowing, Eowyn nín, he said.
That will make it more fun.
Legolas smiled, but there was sadness in his eyes. You
must wrap up warm, then.
Eowyn pulled on her fur-lined boots and slipped on her velvet
They meandered along the snow-covered walkway, under the frosted
branches, past windows glowing with candlelight. It is so
beautiful tonight, said Eowyn.
You are beautiful, melmenya. He brushed a
snowflake from her cheek. You look happy.
I am happy.
She smiled. My memoryit
means that I have always known you. It means,she searched
for the right wordsit feels as though you have always
Legolas raised her hand to his lips, and kissed it.
But it has troubled you, said Eowyn.
Yes. That is why I brought you out here. They
carried on walking. Do you remember me, Lassui?
Eowyn clapped her hands together.
I had not realised that it was you, he admitted,
but I remember the little girl with her puppet, reaching
out to me. I remember it as though it were yesterday. He
drew her to the edge of the walkway, and they stood beside the
carved wooden rail, gazing down upon the rest of the city. Twenty-six
years is not long, melmenya.
For an elf who has lived three thousand years, said
Eowyn. I know that, Lassui. But the difference in our ages
has never troubled you before. It used to upset me
I never thought of you as a child before, said Legolas.
Knowing that I saw you, spoke to you, as a child,
feelsstrangeit makes the difference real. Oh
melmenya, I thank the Valar that you were changed! I could not
have borne it!
My love! She grasped his hands.
I told myself that if I tried hard enoughif I lived
every moment as though it were a year, never looking to the future,
never regretting what had passedI could make it last. But,
the truth is, I would have lost you so quickly
But not now! You will not lose me now, Lassui!
Her eyes filled with tears. Why did you never tell me this
It was not real to me before, said Legolas, honestly.
Her heart ached for him, for she could never bear to see him
unhappy, but neither could sheespecially tonightbear
to have her own happiness shattered. Must you be sad now?
Her voice quavered.
The elf turned to her in surprise. Oh! He drew her
into his arms. I am sorry!
Lord Fingolfin, she said, has given me a book
to readin Sindarin. It says that the love between an elf
and a woman can never end well. She hugged him. But
we are different, Lassui; we have been blessed.
Come home with me now, my love,she knew that she was
gambling, asking him to seek his peace of mind with her instead
of his beloved trees; she knew that the stakes were high, and
she prayed she would not losecome home with me, stay
with me, and I will make you forget all those fears.
When he said nothing, she began to tremble.
But then she felt his arms tighten around her, and his hands
rub her back (for he thought that she was cold).
I am such a lucky elf, he whispered.
And her heart sang.