It was near dawn over the glade where the twain were camped, and Legolas was standing guard while Gimli slept. A particularly loud snore came from the direction of the dwarf, and Legolas winced. He had traveled with Gimli for-it must be over three years now-but still had not grown accustomed to his snoring. They were traveling to Mirkwood now, to Legolas’s home in the heart of the great forest.
He and Gimli had promised Aragorn that they would bring some of their own folk to Gondor. The Elves to bring birds and plant fair trees that would not die, and the Dwarves to work the stones of Minas Tirith.
It was the year 1321 of the Fourth Age, in the late. they had been leisurely journeying for 4 months now, and were very close to one of their goals: Thranduil’s place.
Gimli muttered something into his beard and rolled over in his sleep. Legolas smiled fondly and began to prepare a breakfast: some fruit and dried meat. He sang in his native tongue as he worked, a song to Elbereth.
“A Elbereth Gilthoniel!
silivren penna miriel
o menel aglar elenath!
o galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
Nef aear, si nef aearon!“
Gimli woke just as the sun peeped in through the tangled leaves overhead. He shot a glare at Legolas, which the Elf ignored, smiling cheerfully at him.
“Good morning, Gimli. I have good news as well. We are less than a day from my home. We should reach ir three hours after the noon meal, going swiftly.”
“It was a good morning, until you woke me with your singing,” Gimli grumbled as he ate. “Why do Elves sing all the time anyway?” Legolas began to put the food away, answering.
“I’ll give you two guesses.”
Gimli rolled up his bedroll, strapped it to his pack, and slung the whole thing across his back. He hurried to catch up with Legolas, who was already walking along the broad pathway.
“Just to annoy anyone you happen to be travelling with?”
“No. One more.”
“You think it helps the digestion?”
“Well? Why do you sing all the time?” Gimli growled as he stalked alongside his tall friend.
“It makes the trees grow tall. Here, I’ll teach it to you.” Cheerfully ignoring the Dwarf’s protest that he most certainly did not wish to learn any Elvish song, Legolas began to sing again, this time in the Common Tongue so that Gimli could understand him.
“O Elbereth Gilthoniel!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees,
Thy starlight on the Western Seas.
Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western seas!
O Light to us that wander here,
Amid the world of woven trees!“
After the strange pair had walked for several hours, Gimli spotted an Elf coming slowly down the path towards them.
“Legolas! Look!” At the Dwarf’s hissed warning, Legolas looked up. His face brightened, and he ran towards the Elf, crying as he did so, “Maedhros!” The other elf seemed to recognize him, and he also began running.
“Ai! Navedui, Legolas! Mae govannen!” They met about halfway and embraced one another with unabashed warmth. Legolas began walking back towards Gimli, speaking rapidly in Sindarin as he walked. When the Elves had reached an impatient Gimli, Legolas turned to him.
“Gimli, this is my younger brother Maedhros. Maedhros, nin mellon Gimli Gloinen.” Gimli bowed and greeted the blond Elf in heavily accented Sindarin.
“Mae govannen, Maedhros.” Maedhros looked surprised, then laughed good-naturedly.
“Legolas, how did you manage to teach a Dwarf Sindarin? Do you now speak Khuzdul?” Gimli spoke before Legolas, who looked nearly as astonished as his brother, could respond.
“He didn’t. I merely picked that up as we traveled.”
*Ai! Navedui, Legolas! Mae govannen! ~ Ah! There you are at last, Legolas! Well met indeed!
*Maedhros, nin mellon Gimli Gloinen. ~ Maedhros, my friend Gimli son of Gloin.
*Mae govannen, Maedhros. ~ Well met indeed, Maedhros.