A Daughter of the King - Chapter Forty-Eight


Two days later, they arrived at the Grey Havens. Mandy breathed in the Sea air, her horse shuffling about uneasily. She saw everyone dismount and did the same and suddenly realized that Gandalf was waiting for them near the docks. She watched as the Elves started boarding the boats. One by one the boats set sail until only one remained; and Elrond, Galadriel, Gandalf, Frodo, Bilbo, Sam, and she were left. Elrond came to her.

"Namaarie, Erusenwen," he kissed her hand, "May the Valar watch over you and see you safely to Valinor."

"Hanta lle, Lord Elrond," Mandy curtsied, "for everything."

"Well," Bilbo walked steadily up to her, "it was good meeting you, Child. I will not forget you easily."

"Nor I you, Bilbo Baggins," Mandy smiled, giving him a hug.

Mandy watched as Elrond helped him over the ramp, into the boat, and heard Elrond murmur the words: I Aear can vên na mar. (The sea calls us home.).

She laughed as Bilbo replied, "I think I'm quite ready for another adventure."

Then Galadriel walked to Frodo. She murmured words too soft for Mandy to hear and then did the same to Sam. After she had spoken, Sam brightened a little bit. She turned to Mandy.

"Farewell, Aarien," Galadriel smiled, "be at peace whatever happens."

"I will, Lady Galadriel," Mandy replied, curtsying, "thank you for..."

"You are most welcome," Galadriel lifted Mandy's chin and gazed into her eyes, "May Illuvitar always guide and protect you, Mandy."

"Hanta lle," Mandy closed her eyes as tears flowed unchecked. She then opened them to see Galadriel standing on the deck of the ship. Suddenly she heard the sound of horses. Pippin and Merry galloped into the Havens just in time.

"You tried to give us the slip once before, Frodo," Merry said.

"Only it wasn't Sam who gave you away this time," Pippin laughed amid his tears, "It was Gandalf."

Mandy watched from the side as Gandalf said goodbye to each of the Hobbits. Then he turned to her. His eyes gazed into hers, and he nodded. She smiled. Not one of the Hobbits knew what he said to her. He then boarded the ship, waiting for Frodo. Frodo kissed each of the Hobbits and bid them farewell. He came up to Mandy. She knelt so that he could look her in the eyes.

"We meet again, Frodo Baggins," Mandy brushed her tears away.

"To say goodbye," Frodo whispered, hugging her, "I will miss you, Aarien of Gondor."

"I will miss you as well," Mandy said softly, "I do not know if we will meet again, but you will always be in my prayers."

"Hanta lle," Frodo looked at her, "I will think of you often as well." He turned and went aboard the ship. The sails unfurled and filled with wind. It started to move forward as Frodo stood on the deck, his eyes watching the dock fade away. Suddenly on the wind he heard Mandy's voice singing: it was the song she had sung long ago on their journey to Rohan.


*****************
Mandy's voice rose higher in volume as she sang. She felt an even stronger longing than she had before, with the Sea right before her and the gulls crying.

"Lay down your sweet and weary head,
Night is falling, you have come to journey's end.
Sleep now, and dream of the ones who came before,
They are calling from across a distant shore.
Why do you weep? What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see, all of your fears will pass away.
Sail for miles, you're only sleeping.

What can you see on the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea a pale moon rises,
The ships have come to carry you home.
And all will turn to silver glass,
A light on the water, all souls pass.

Hope fades into the world of night,
Through shadows falling out of memory and time.
Don't say, "We have come now to the end."
White shores are calling, you and I will meet again
And you'll be here in my arms, just sleeping.

What can you see on the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea a pale moon rises,
The ships have come to carry you home.
And all will turn to silver glass
A light on the water, Grey Ships pass into the west.
"


************
The last words of the song quivered on the wind as the ship sailed. Frodo took one last glance backward, seeing a small flash. He raised his hand, thinking that perhaps they left on the shore could see him. Then he turned and faced forward, his eyes searching for Valinor.


****************
Mandy finished, her eyes opening. Sam, Pippin, and Merry stood next to her, silent. She knelt and let sand run through her fingers. Sighing she stood and turned to the Hobbits.

"Come," she said, "I will ride at least part of the way with you." So saying, they mounted and turned their horses back towards the Shire. Mandy took one last glance at the Havens, knowing that she would never sail.


*****************
A couple days later, Mandy bid farewell to the Hobbits. She knew that this was the last time she would see them.

"I have something for each of you," she said and brought out the gifts. To Sam she gave a new blanket with a Star of David woven into the middle of it.

"For Elanor," she smiled.

"Thank you, Lady Aarien," Sam breathed out.

To Pippin she took a small box and held it out to him. "For Diamond," she laughed at his look as he saw the ring, "Gimli's relatives were kind enough to make it for me." Pippin just nodded, too shocked to speak.

To Merry she held out a cloak. It was held together with a clasp twisted into the shape of the White Tree, and many Stars of David were woven along the hem.

"For the cold nights," she whispered.

"Thank you," Merry put it on.

Mandy kissed each of them and hugged them. They returned the hugs and shyly kissed her back. As she rode away, she turned back and waved goodbye. They waved enthusiastically back, each having their own gifts in their hands. Mandy kicked Ilma who reared and then raced off. She didn't look back.


**************
Tethcelebel rode back to Gondor with Mandy. They didn't speak, each knowing how the other felt. Tethcelebel could hear Mandy singing softly and smiled as she recognized the song.

"Down from the door where it began
And I must follow if I can
The road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began
Now far ahead the road has gone
And I must follow if I can."
Mandy sang, her voice cracking at times. She did not speak about what Gandalf had said to her, but it gave her things to think about. She wished she could have gone with them, but a voice whispered that it wasn't her time yet. She smiled as they approached Minas Tirith.

"Home," she said quietly, meeting Tethcelebel's eyes.


****************
"Mandy!" Elwen called out, her eyes twinkling, "you need to go to the gardens!"

"Why?" Mandy called back, "I have to put Ilma away and change into something nicer."

"Alright," Elwen laughed, "but then go."

"Fine," Mandy rolled her eyes, leaving Tethcelebel and Elwen.


**********
"There you go, Ilma," Mandy finished brushing him, laughing as the horse shook his head and neighed loudly. Mandy left the stables and went up to the palace. She whirled Eldarion around, said hello to her parents, and changed into a white dress with jewels on it. She wore a circlet of jewels, allowing her hair to be free. Legolas's pendent hung about her neck, cool and against her chest. Then she walked swiftly into the gardens, fingering the chain.

"Alright, Elwen," Mandy said out loud, looking around, "what is it I have to see?" She shook her head frustrated, wandering around. She sat down on a bench, thinking about the Grey Havens. Suddenly Mandy heard the sound of approaching footsteps. She stayed back in the shadows, waiting for whoever it was to come into view. Her eyes grew wide as a tall figure came into view dressed in a royal tunic.

"Legolas," Mandy breathed, hardly able to believe her eyes.

Mandy saw him glance about as if looking for someone. She stepped onto the path. He saw her, and they froze, eyes locked on each other. Then Mandy raced towards him. He swooped her up, arms encircling her tightly, and he kissed her.


******************
Suddenly there was a flash of bright light, and Mandy felt herself falling. She screamed in terror, but found herself lying facedown in snow. Mandy looked around confusedly: she seemed to be in the clouds. "Where am I?" she wondered. She raised herself up on her elbows, her eyes taking in the pine-trees and snow. Instantly she recognized where she was at.

"Lord, no!!" Mandy groaned in agony, "Why did you take me back now?!?!"

There was no answer. Mandy moaned, holding her head. She tried to figure out what to do. She glanced down at herself, expecting to find the gown. Instead she was back in her sweatshirt, beanie, and warm-up pants. The only exception was that she had no shoes on, and she also found that she still had Legolas's necklace around her neck. Mandy took it off and looked at it thoughtfully. She put it back on and decided that she had better get back home. She started to stand but when she placed weight on one of her ankles, she gasped in pain. Mandy sat back down hard.

"My ankle is messed up again!" she muttered, "Now what am I to do? I can't get home on a broken ankle."

All of a sudden, Mandy heard the sound of someone approaching and saw a shrouded figure coming up the path, trudging light-heartedly it seemed. Mandy knew that he had seen her because his pace quickened, and soon he was kneeling near her. She studied the man as he approached. He was dressed in black pants, high snowboarder boots, a thick jacket, and a dark beanie. Besides all that he was wearing dark sunglasses, making it impossible to tell where he was looking.

"Are you alright?" a soft voice asked tinged with a British accent.

"No," Mandy said, "I think I broke my ankle. If you would just--" Mandy was cut off as the man started to reach down and lift her up, "No! Stop! If you want to help me, go along the path until you come to the fork. Then go right and pound on the door of the big two-story house."

"You do not want me to help you?" the man questioned, his voice oddly husky and low.

Mandy instantly went on guard. "On second thought," she said, "I think I can manage on my own. Go back to wherever you were going."

"I found where I was going," the man answered, not leaving.

"Look," Mandy growled, gripping a good-sized rock in her hand, "leave me alone."

"Mandy?" the man caught her wrist as she swung up with the rock, his voice oddly questioning. Her eyes widened as he said her name. With his other hand, he took off the sunglasses. Mandy found herself looking into the palest blue eyes she had ever seen and noticed the blond hair coming out from the beanie. She swallowed hard.

"Legolas?" she breathed in disbelief.

**Author's Note**
hi....*cowers behind stone* did you guys like it? now, how many of you guessed that's what was going to happen? anywhoo...talk to you later. hope you liked it! nice twist eh?
celebel

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