A Daughter of the King - Chapter Thirty-Nine

Tethcelebel, Mandy, and Elwen stole silently into the garden of Bag End. They had left their horses in the forest, knowing that the yard of Bag End would not be able to contain three full-grown horses, ponies maybe but not Elf horses.

"What do we do now?" Mandy asked, "Should we wake Frodo or just wait in the shadows till morning?"

"I say we wake him up," Elwen grinned.

"I am not sure," Tethcelebel thought aloud, "we are going to startle him either way, but it might be better to do it in the morning light instead of in the dark."

"I agree with you, Celebel," Mandy agreed, "let's just wait in the garden."

"Alright," Elwen nodded, "it would be best that way."

So they faded back into the shadows, waiting for the morning.

Sam whistled as he walked up the path towards Frodo's garden. He was excited and nervous, for tomorrow was his wedding day. He picked up the spade and rake, going over to the potato row.

"Good morning, Sam," a soft voice called to him.

"Good morning, Aarien," Sam said, walking past her.

Suddenly he whipped around and raced back. "Aarien!" he yelled out in surprise.

"Yes," Mandy laughed, stepping out of the shadows with Elwen and Tethcelebel.

"And Lady Tethcelebel and Lady Elwen!" Sam said, grabbing hold of a tree in shock, "what are you doing here?"

"Well, that's a fine welcome!" Elwen teased him, "We ride all this way and you can only ask `what are you doing here'?"

"I'm sorry," Sam shook his head, "it's just that...I wasn't...why are you here?"

"We came to wander the Shire with you, Sam," Mandy answered, "and we heard you were getting married. We wouldn't miss that!"

"Does Frodo know you're here?" Sam asked.

"No," Tethcelebel told him, "we arrived in the night and decided twould be better if we wait until morning."

"I'm going to go tell him!" Sam ran to the door and pounded on it, "Mr. Frodo! Mr. Frodo!"

"What is it, Sam?" Frodo yawned, opening the door. He became wide-awake when he saw how agitated Sam was, "What is wrong, Sam? Come in!"

Sam went into Bag End. "Mr. Frodo! There are Elves in the garden....night...morning...wouldn't miss it!"

Frodo looked at him in amusement. "Have you been drinking the Gaffer's ale again?" he asked.

"No!" Sam said hurtfully, "Well, maybe a little last night, but that's not..."

Suddenly he was interrupted by a knock on the door. Frodo shook his head slightly and went to the back door. He opened it and his eyes widened.

"Good morning, Frodo," Tethcelebel smiled amusedly, "we came to show that Sam is indeed telling the truth."

"Well," Frodo motioned for them to come in, "I owe you an apology, Sam. You were telling the truth."

"I'd best get back to the garden, Mr. Frodo," Sam said, going out the door. He paused and turned back to the Elves, "Thanks for coming. This...this makes it even better."
Mandy smiled at him, nodding.

"Well," Frodo went to the kitchen, "are you hungry?"

"Yes, a little," Elwen said, ducking her head to avoid the ceiling.

"Go sit in the living room," Frodo called, "Just down the hall."

The girls walked down the hall, slightly stooped. Mandy and Elwen found the couch and sat down when all of a sudden they heard a painful grunt. Tethcelebel came over to them, rubbing her head, and sat down in one of the big armchairs.

"Hit your head, Cousin?" Elwen asked teasingly. She and Mandy laughed merrily.

"Yes," Tethcelebel said, "those beams hurt!"

"Very good observation," Mandy ducked as Tethcelebel threw a pillow at her.

Frodo walked in, carrying a tray of food that steamed deliciously. They ate for several minutes without talking, and then Frodo started asking them about Gondor, Lorien, Aragorn, and Bilbo. They told him all the news they knew and in their turn, asked him about the Shire. Several hours passed with them talking together as old friends.

"You can stay here," Frodo said as the afternoon waned on, "and get up early to go to the wedding."

"That would be good," Mandy agreed, "but I still have to wander the Shire with you, Frodo. You promised to show me all of your old paths."

"That I did," Frodo laughed, "but that is best done at night so you don't scare the others. They don't believe in Elves anymore, and I don't think it would be good to suddenly appear with one."

"I know." Tethcelebel smiled, "and we would like to come with you, if that's alright."

"Of course it is!" Frodo returned the smile.

Mandy, Tethcelebel, and Elwen retrieved their packs from their horses and each chose a room in the Hobbit hole.

Later that night, Frodo led them out of the hole and over the hedge, much like he once did a long night ago. They walked with him, picking up Sam along the way. Frodo and Sam showed them all of the nightly paths they used to walk on, through meadows and forests. Once they entered the forest, Tethcelebel started singing, her voice rising and falling with the breeze. Elwen joined her, her clear voice singing out strongly.

"A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
silivren penna , míriel
o menel aglar elenath!
Na-chaered palan-díriel
o galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
nef aear, sí nef aearon!"

The Hobbits and Mandy listened, entranced by the song and the words. Suddenly, they heard more voices singing the same song and soon saw a procession of Elves coming through the forest. Some rode on horses, others walked: all raised their voices in song. They shimmered slightly, the light of the stars reflected in their eyes and dress.

"That is some of my kindred of Imladris!" Tethcelebel said softly, walking forward to greet them.

The others stood back, allowing Tethcelebel to talk. The voices rose and fell like music and laughter. Sam glanced at Frodo out of the corner of his eye, seeing him concentrating. He could tell that he was trying to find out what they were talking about. Sam turned his gaze back onto the Elves, his heart saddened for he knew they were leaving Middle-earth.

The Elves questioned Tethcelebel, who answered softly. They talked for a few moments longer, voices raised in laughter, and then Tethcelebel bid farewell to them. As the Elves began to leave, she paused for a moment: her head lowered as if she was thinking. Then she closed her eyes and began to sing, her voice full of yearning and grief.

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

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!"

The Elves listened reverently to her as she sang, lowering their heads in respect. They seemed to glide along the path, half-turning back to watch her, eyes full of sorrow but full of joy as well to be going to Valimar. Tethcelebel raised her head, gazing at the stars. Her eyes glistened with tears as she sang the last verse, her voice shaking.

Mandy listened to the song with awe. In all of the songs she had heard Tethcelebel sing, this one was by far the most beautiful. The Elvish was an Ancient tongue, so she had no idea what Tethcelebel had said. All she knew was that it echoed in her mind for the rest of the night. As she had listened, she thought she could see Valimar in the distance, shining brightly. It filled her with a pining and a hope against all hope that one day she would go there: that Lady Galadriel would get pardon, and her friend would go to Valanor along with Celeborn.

Elwen murmured soft words in Elvish, watching Tethcelebel. She alone out of the group knew what the song meant, having heard it sung once before by Galadriel. She could not imagine how they must feel, the Noldor, being ever forbidden to return to Valimar. Elwen sighed, her heart aching for her cousin.

Frodo blinked away tears: the song had caused him to remember Galadriel singing it as they left Lorien. He decided that he would somehow translate it into the Common Tongue...

After the last notes of the song disappeared, Tethcelebel came back and simply said that they were riding to the Grey Havens. They walked back to Bag End, each thinking their own thoughts about Valamar.

The morning of the wedding dawned clear and warm. Sam was very nervous, fumbling with his tie and jacket.

"Where are Aarien, Elwen, and Tethcelebel?" he asked as Frodo retied the tie once more.

"They are in the woods just outside the clearing. They are going to watch the wedding and then leave to go back to Lorien." Frodo answered, guiding Sam out the door and to the clearing.

The wedding was as happy as one you could hope for. Rosie and Sam had many guests. Frodo provided the food, so naturally it was great food as well and in bountiful numbers.
The Elves watched the wedding from the shadows of the trees, wishing the couple many years of happiness. Frodo walked over to the forest.

"We will see you again soon, Frodo," Tethcelebel told him, "when you least expect it, but be looking!"
Frodo looked at her, eyes thoughtful.

"It was good seeing you again, Frodo," Mandy hugged him.

"And it was good to see you again," Frodo waved goodbye to them.

"Frodo," Mandy called to him while the others mounted their horses, "Give this to Sam. A wedding present from Gondor."

Frodo took the box and waved goodbye to the Elves, watching
them ride away. He brought the box to Sam and whispered that the Elves had gone. Sam opened the box and saw a soft woven blanket that was a pale blue. It had a picture of a baby woven into it with curly blond hair and playing in a field of wildflowers. It also had elvish script flowing up and down the edges of the blanket. There was a note lying on top of the blanket, and this is what it read:

For Sam and Rosie.
Woven by Queen Arwen and her ladies.
May the Valar bless you with many children.
From King Elessar and the realm of Gondor.

Rosie looked at it in awe, fingering it.

"Who on earth would give us such a beautiful wedding gift?" she wondered.

Sam just smiled, "A friend, Rosie, a friend."

Mandy, Tethcelebel, and Elwen rode silently out of the Shire. They crossed the Brandywine and continued on. Tethcelebel was leading the way, with Mandy and Elwen following close behind. A couple days of riding and Mandy realized they were going a different way than she had gone before.

"Celebel?" she questioned, guiding Ilma up by her, "Where are we going?"

"We are going back to Lorien," Tethcelebel said, looking at her with a puzzled look.

"But this isn't the way I've gone before," Mandy said in confusion.

"We are bypassing Imladris this time," Tethcelebel answered, her eyes meeting Elwen's, "We are going over a pass called the Angle."

Mandy nodded, and they rode in silence. Soon they had entered the mountains and were passing over the Angle. As night started to fall, they decided to camp. They lit a fire and ate some food.

Mandy took the first watch. She gazed in the darkness, watching for any sign of trouble. She thought she heard a faint footstep but then dismissed it after staying still and listening. She suddenly heard Ilma shuffle around uneasily. She walked over to him and stroked him, whispering words of ease and comfort. She heard a sound coming from the woods and walked slowly into the trees, her hand on her sword. She smiled as she saw a doe and baby deer come walking through.

"Hello," she said softly. She stroked the doe when suddenly they sprang away. Mandy felt the cold tip of a sword against her neck. "Stupid, stupid, stupid!" Mandy thought to herself, "Haven't you learned your lesson yet?"

"Well, well, well," a voice said, "an Elf caught off her guard."

**Author's Note**
hey guys!! this is a longer chapter and probably a lot of stuff happened again....kinda anywhoo...i didn't make the songs up this time (as you can probably tell) i also couldn't find a translation for the song to Elbereth...i hope you enjoyed it! sorry there isn't more with merry and pippin it just didn't work out that way...

* Ah! like the gold fall the leaves in the wind, long years numberless as the wings of trees! the years have passed like swift draughts of the sweet mead in lofty halls beyond the West, beneath the blue vaults of Varda wherein the stars tremble in the song of her voice, holy and queenly. Who now shall refill the cup for me? For now the Kindler, Varda, and Queen of the Stars, from Mount Everwhite has uplifted her hands like clouds, paths are drowned deep in shadow; and out of a grey country darkness lies on the foaming waves between us, and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya forever. Now lost, lost to those from the East is Valamar! Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar. Maybe even thou shalt find it. Farewell!
p. 368 FOTR

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