| Hanging beside Eowyn in the shadow-creatures
massive arms, Legolas squeezed her hand. He had no idea what the
thing was, nor where it might be taking them, but his elven instincts
told him that, repulsive as it seemed, it did not mean to harm them.
He felt Eowyns fingers move in response to his caress,
and he turned to her with a reassuring smile.
Her eyes were bright with tears. Look, Lassui, she
said, nodding at something lying far below them.
They were hovering over a bedchamberlittle Meldons,
he quickly realisedand, as they gazed, the chamber door
opened and the elfling, with a squeal of joy, leaped from his
bed and ran towards an unseen visitor.
Legolas smiled, but there were tears in his eyes, too. He
is safe, melmenya, he whispered, gently. Safe and
happy. He does not need us now.
I know, she answered, bravely.
At once, the vision faded; and then they were looking down, through
the boughs of a mighty carantaur tree, upon a small, open flet,
with a table and chairs at its centre, and a romantic, canopied
bed tucked in a corner.
Our garden, said Legolas.
Our home, said Eowyn. She wiped her eyes.
Do you think that it is still safe, Lassui? What if the
drow have invaded our world, too? And, as she spoke,
the shadow-creature descended through the red trees, and set them
down in a clearing. Where are we?
I think, said Legolas, examining the trampled ground,
that we are where it all began, melmenya; in Eryn Laeg,
close to where the bodies were foundyeslisten.
Behind them, unnoticed, the shadow-creature was dissolving into
I cannot hear anything, said Eowyn, but her hand
automatically reached for her sword.
The elf smiled at her. Border guards, melmenya, he
said. Nibenon and Eruvelui, if I am not mistakenin
the trees, over there.
The shadow Legolas reached for the door latch. He did not know
why he was standing in a corridor in Minas Tirith, he did not
know what was inside the chamber, but his heart told him to open
And he did.
There was a cry of surprise, then a long wail of delightAdaaaaaa!and
a tiny blond elfling scrambled from his bed, and flew into his
Legolas lifted his little son onto his shoulder, and held him
tightly, burying his face in the boys soft, pale hair; he
smelled of fresh, green leaves.
Where is Nana? asked the child.
Nana? Legolas sniffed back his tears. I do
not know ion nín,his voice waveredbut
we will find her, and we will take her home to live with us.
He felt the child relax against him, and he smiled.
Then, Can Eldarion come and live with us, too? asked
Meldon. And Nana Arwen?
The shadow Eowyn turned to Lord Fingolfin. I must go through
that door, my Lord, she said. There is something in
there that I must see.
She lifted the door latch and pushed open the door.
From inside the chamber, Fingolfin heard a sharp intake of breath,
then a child’s voice, crying, Nana! Nana!
I will wait out here, he said, smiling.
You have found him, said the shadow Eowyn, softly.
Legolas, still hugging little Meldon, turned to face her. Something
brought me to him, Eowyn, he said. Something that
means us to be togetherall three of usas a family.
And what of Ala She stopped short, partly in
response to Legolas warning frown but also because her own
maternal instincts had suddenly asserted themselves.
You must know, said Legolas, carefully, that
that no longer stands between us. Meldon is coming home
with me, and we want you to come with us.
Eowyn shook her head. I must return to Emyn Arnen,
she said. When my duty is done, and my people are safely
back in the City on the Hills,she smiled at the little
elflingwhen your mummy has done what she must do,
Meldon, she will come and see you,she looked at Legolasand
we will talk.
She turned to leave.
Eowyn, said Legolas, gently but firmly, come
here. Come and hold your son.
Legolas and Eowyn were escorted into Orodreths encampment.
My Lord, said the Mirkwood elf, greeting his commander
with a formal bow, I was told that you had gone into The
Aelvorn, to rescue Lady Eowyn.
I did, said Legolas. And that tells
me that we are home. He smiled at Eowyn.
Orodreth gave him a brief report. There has been no sign
of the dark people since that second attack, he explained.
And all but the March Warden, the boy from Newhome, and
Mistress Wilawen have been returned.
Haldir died in the caves, Legolas, said Orophin,
suddenly. He drowned, trying to save the boy.
No, cried Eowyn. No, Orophin! We have
seen Haldir! He is alive!
Floating above Meldons bedchamber, Haldir gazed down at
the small familyEowyn hugging her little son whilst shadow
Legolas stood beside them, tears streaming down his fair face.
The big elf’s heart was torn with conflicting emotions, forthough
he would have served her faithfully and, in time, a deep, true
love might have blossomed between themEowyn was reunited
with her child, and he would no longer have to choose between
the shadow and her double
Come on, said an annoying voice, think of something
Haldir glared at the boy hanging beside him. What do you
It is as Mistress Wilawen said, said Arador. Thisthing,he
jerked his head over his shoulder at the shadow-creature that
held themwill take us wherever we want to go. So think
of something else.
What about you, countered Haldir, angrily, have
you nowhere to go?
My parents house? No, thank you. The vision
of Eowyn and her son had suddenly changed to one of a sparse forest,
choked with fallen trees and backed by a line of jagged rocks.
I will come to the colony with you. I have developed a taste
No, absolutely not, said Haldir, your parents
would flay me alive.
But they were already approaching the ground.
I have been missing forwhata week? Aradors
feet touched the grass. So, if my father is in a flaying
mood, you are already doomed. But Prince Legolas will soon talk
Legolas will send you straight back home, said Haldir.
We shall see.
There he is! Haldir! cried Eowyn, running
to the big elf.
Haldir caught her hands and raised them to his lips. Eowyn!
You are safe and sound! He turned to her husband. Legolas!
His friend embraced him, human-fashion. It is good to see
you, too, March Warden.
Is Wilawen here?
Wilawen? Legolas looked from the March Warden to
Orodreth and back again. Was she with you?
Yesin Minas Tirith. It was she who arranged our escape.
He explained the bargain the woman had made with the drow Mage.
It seems he did not keep his word, said Haldir, looking
round. I knew that he was reluctant to let her go.
Though if he has sent her back, said Arador,
suddenly, she will not be here. Do you not remember
what she said?
Master Arador wants to join the colony, said the
Yes, sir. I am a scholar, said the boy to Legolas,
bowing slightly. I work hard and learn quickly. I am sure
that I can earn my keep here.
Legolas smiled. We will see what your father says,
he said, holding up a hand when Arador tried to protest. But
tell us, he added, where will we find Mistress Wilawen?
The boy shrugged. With Valandil; wherever he is.
Lying in the haven of the healing tent, Valandil snatched a sudden
breath, opened his eyes, and smiled up at the woman who was quietly
watching over him. Good morning, Faer Vara, he muttered.
Wilawen laughed. It is the middle of the afternoon, as
near as I can tell, she said, but that does not matter,she
grasped his hand and raised it to her cheekbecause
we are both safe, my love, and we are together, at last. That
is all that matters.
The elf stretched out his fingers, and gently caught the tear
running down her face.
Legolaaas! Hentmirë crashed to the ground.
Gwendithen! The elf bounded over to her, lifted her
into his arms and hugged her tightly. Thank the Valar that
you are back too! Are you all right?
Yes, she mumbled.
Legolas looked around, suddenly. Is there any sign of Gimli?
The Grey Havens
Soaring high over Mithlond, shielding his eyes from the evening
sun, Gimli stared into the West.
Time I went home, he sighed.
He thought of the Glittering Caves, of their gems and crystals
and veins of precious ore; of the light glowing through
folded marbles; of the columns of white and saffron
Then he thought of Legolas and Eowyn, of the March Warden and
of little Hentmirë, of evenings spent merrily, before a cheery
Put me down, you crazy elf!
Berryn son of Hador watched the girl with the red-gold hair wrap
her mantle round her shoulders, pick up her basket of bread, cheese,
and other comforts for the poor, and leave her fathers mead
hall, followed by her faithful servant.
Something told him that, were he to say the word, the shadow-creature
would set him down beside her.
But, no, he thought. I made Gunnhildr a promise; and
I will keep it.
Deep in the tunnels surrounding Menzoberranzan, Drizzt DoUrden
set an onyx figurine on the ground, and called to Guenhwyvar.
Sometime soon, he would have to deal with the second statuette.
He could not destroy it, for he had no idea what that might do
to the cat, but nor could he let it fall into unscrupulous hands.
He would have to find somewhere to hide itsomewhere where
it would never be found.
Come, Guenhwyvar, he said, we have the Dark
Dominion to patrol.
He slipped the first figurine back into his pouch, and his fingers
brushed against something cold and hardthe coin that Wilawen
had given him as a keepsake; he smiled, fondly.
Pharaun Mizzrym folded back his elegant cuffs.
One of her friends! Who would have thought it?
Despite the magical energy it had taken to power Wilawens
relocation spell, the Mage did not feel tired at allrather,
infused with excitement. He lit the candles on his desk, extracted
a folded handkerchief from one of his pockets, and opened it.
A dozen pale brown hairs lay shining on the black fabric. Smiling,
he removed six and laid them on his desk. Then he refolded the
handkerchief and returned it to his pocketif he took the
extra half-dozen hairs down to the Bazaar, and sold them to the
right people, he would make more than enough money to pay off
his tailor, his wine merchant, and to purchase a few exotic supplies
From the chosen six hairs, he separated five, coiled them, and
popped them into a glass storage jar.
Now I must be quick, he thought, taking up the remaining
hair, in case she changes her mind.
He wound the filament around his little finger, knotted it, and
set it aside. Then he selected a lump of soft, pinkish-white wax
and, with all the dexterity that had made him one of the most
capable Wizards in Menzoberranzan, he fashioned a tiny female