Sailor to the Grey Havens - Sequel to "Mother of the Evenstar," epilogue

The boats were coming fast now, one upon the other. The only reason Celebrian could think of why this might be was that the time of the Elves was over. Her people were leaving Middle-earth and coming to Valinor. That meant that she would see Elrond again.

A boat landed on the beach Celebrian stood on. Other Elves were there too, Elves who, like her, had sailed over Sea before their time was over and who now awaited the return of their beloved ones. Along with these Elves, Celebrian scanned the faces of the Elves climbing out of the boat, searchng for a familiar face. Sunlight caught on golden hair..."Mother!" Celebrian cried, racing towards Galadriel and throwing her arms around her. The Lady of Lothlorien hugged her daughter back. It was unutterably wonderful to be back in her mother's arms, as though she were still a child.

As Celebrian let go of Galadriel, another boat beached on the sand. The two dark heads were quite plain amidst the more overpowering golden hair. Elladan and Elrohir had come to Valinor.

She saw Elladan's eyes widen, and heard him cry out, "Elrohir! Mother's here!" Then she was seized from both sides by her grinning, laughing sons. Did Mother feel like this a minute ago, when I hugged her? Celebrian wondered amusedly as she smiled back and hugged her sons, who were behaving for all the world like young children. When they finally allowed her to escape, she looked among the other faces in the boat. She had expected her daughter to be with Elladan and Elrohir. "Where's Arwen?" she asked. In many things the twins and their sisters were inseparable, and it was something of a shock to realize that Arwen was not with them.

Elladan's face clouded. In a soft voice, Elrohir said, "She made the choice of Luthien."

Celebrian's heart twinged, but she did not feel any great pain. If she has made that final choice, Celebrian thought, she has found love. Namarie, Arwen, my daughter. May you be happy.

Over Elrohir's shoulder, Celebrian could see another boat approaching. It beached on the sand, and many Elves poured out of it, but Celebrian saw only one of them. She walked into the shallows toward Elrond, and he came toward her.

After so many years... It was the only thought that came into her mind, and she brushed it away. No thoughts, no words, were needed now. Celebrian gave Elrond her hands, and his eyes met hers.

"You came. You followed me," Celebrian finally said.

Elrond smiled, a smile with an age of love and longing in it. "Did you think that I would not?" he asked softly.

Celebrian smiled back. "I did not."

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