“I can’t see it!” Elenanar said impatiently, stretching up as far as she could on horseback.
Mothlin laughed and sat her back down. “You’re not going to be able to see it for a while,” he said. “There happens to be an inconvenient hill in the way.”
She grinned at him. “Can you blame me for trying, though?”
“No,” he conceded, and laughed again as she stretched up again, making her horse whinny in annoyance.
“We will get there eventually,” remarked Elrohir from behind them. Elenanar looked around and slipped back sheepishly into a sitting position – but Elrohir’s smile was kind and friendly, not mocking as she’d feared. “And if we don’t, we will put our trust in your woodcraft, Princess. Mothlin tells me you’re quite good at such things.”
Elenanar smiled. It lifted Mothlin’s spirits to see that her smile was broad, the kind of wide grin she gave him, and not the self-conscious little curve of the lips she’d originally given Elrohir.
He tilted his head up, considering something. It wasn’t that far to the crest of the hill, and if Elenanar wanted to see Rivendell that badly… He twisted around from where he sat on Tari’s back and said, “Can we ride ahead to the hilltop to see it?”
Elenanar’s face lit up, and Cilyawen laughed and said, “Go ahead.” Mothlin grinned at Elenanar, and both of them nudged their horses into a run, racing each other up the hill and laughing.
“Tie?” Mothlin gasped when they reached the crest of the hill. “That was pretty even.”
“Tie,” Elenanar agreed – and then she looked down and lost all faculties of speech. Mothlin smiled and let out a longing sigh as he too looked down at his home.
It was not yet noon, and the cool morning sun was just gilding the roofs of the Last Homely House, turning them pale gold. The trees surrounding the houses were a shady green in the light, and the musical plunge of the waterfall could be heard even from where they sat on horseback. There were a few Elves standing on the bridge with flowers in their hands and songs on their lips. “Are they…?” Elenanar asked tentatively.
Mothlin managed to put an arm around her shoulders, even though they were both mounted. “Yes,” he said. “That’s your first Rivendell welcoming committee.”
“It’s beautiful, Mothlin,” she said wonderingly. “It’s so beautiful here.”
He grinned. “Wait until you see it up close!” he said. “There’s so much to show you – the gardens, and the insides of the houses, and the library, and the whole valley – oh, everything, Elenanar! I think you’re going to love it here!”
“I think I already do,” she said, and took his hand and smiled into his eyes.
So when the rest of the party caught up with them, they rode down together into Rivendell, with the songs of the Elves sparkling in their ears like the golden light of the many years ahead.
Author’s Note: So, this is it for Cilyawen, Mothlin and Elenanar! Sorry it’s so short. I thought about chopping up the last chapter and putting some of it in here, but I decided not to, so the last one was long and this one is short. Thank you to everyone, with a special thank-you to Rana-Minethlos, whose very timely message got me to finish this!