Chapter 65 ended with:
Legolas had no idea what he would have to face once he came back from Minas Tirith. Her sons would make his life a living hell for separating their family like this, especially Oropher, now that he knew he was Legolas' grandfather. Valerie could almost feel pity for him. Almost.
They all could see the coast of Valinor. Cirdan was at the bow of the ship, having decided to sail since there were no elves left in Middle Earth except for Legolas and Mithrellas. The couple had gotten married in Ithilien three months ago, and then had moved to Minas Tirith since they could not live alone in Ithilien. Mithrellas had been too upset to make the journey to the Grey Havens to see her family sailing. Furthermore, Valerie would have been quite worried if the couple had had to travel back to Minas Tirith alone for months. The separation with her daughter had been heartbreaking, but now that Valerie was about to be reunited with Thranduil, she felt her pain lessen.
All her other children were with her, along with Glorfindel, Miniel and her mate, her bodyguards and Elrond's sons, who had decided to leave Middle Earth too, even if their sister Arwen was still alive. They preferred to see her forever as this middle aged woman they had left than witnessing her aging and death once her king would pass. They were also eager to see their naneth and adar after such a lengthy separation.
They were supposed to berth in the port of Alqualondë. It was close to sundown, and the red light of the sun was beautifully illuminating the city, with most of its structures ornate with pearls. It reminded Valerie of drawings of the Ancient Rome, or the Greek temples. This was so different than Greenwood or Ithilien. Was Thranduil living in that city, or had he found a home in the woods of Valinor?
"Do you see your adar?" she asked her daughter, knowing that Finduilas had a keener eyesight than her.
"There are some people on the quay. I cannot recognize anyone yet."
"There will be a lot of people waiting for us," Glorfindel guessed. "Not only Thranduil and Arnor. All the first families of your children will be there, and my own family."
"That will be strange," Valerie mumbled, knowing that being reunited with her mate and Arnor also meant that her children would see their first naneth too. Would they forget about her once they found their first mother? More importantly, Elros and Gil-galad were still considered elflings, even if they were two years away from their coming of age. Would their first parents request to obtain their custody? Both of them would not have a mate waiting for them, that was one less worry for her.
As if she was reading her mind, Finduilas took her arm. "I will make sure Gil-galad will stay with you until he is an adult and can decide who he will live with."
"Thank you," Valerie murmured. She also worried about Oropher's first naneth, who was apparently the most disagreeable elleth alive, and the fact that Oropher had finally remembered his first wife Tialyn. At least, she knew Oropher would remain with his family forever, and it included her, whatever his first naneth had to say about it.
"I see him!" Finduilas suddenly cried! "My adar!"
"Which one?" Valerie asked.
Finduilas turned to her with a look of confusion, and then blushed. "I meant my adar Thranduil. I have not see my adar Orodreth on the quay yet."
Valerie exchanged a glance with Glorfindel. Even Finduilas would have to adapt to her new situation.
"Where is Thranduil?" she asked, and Finduilas pointed an area on the quay.
"See, there is a red-haired ellon standing by him, it is Arnor."
Valerie could not clearly see yet. She sighed with impatience. "Will this ship ever arrive?" she asked louder, making sure Cirdan would hear her. The ellon only smirked in reply.
The ship eventually berthed and a gangway installed. Valerie left the ship with her children ahead and behind her. As if they had agreed on this prior to their arrival, they all went to their second father and Arnor, a good way of showing support to their second set of parents.
Thranduil was there, walking swiftly in Valerie's direction with a determined air, having obviously recovered from his fading. She almost ran to him and threw her arms around his neck while he crushed her against him, lifting her from the grounds while their children were welcomed by Arnor.
"I missed you so much," she whispered to him. "Some days, it was agony to be away from you."
Thranduil replied by pulling her even closer against him. He would never admit such personal things in public. Already, that display of affection was out of character for him.
"Can I please hug my naneth too?" a deep voice asked beside Valerie and she opened her eyes to see Arnor standing there. The sight of him almost hit her. She had missed him so much too. Thranduil let her go and Valerie hugged Arnor forcefully, thanking him for taking care of his adar, while the king welcomed all his children and Glorfindel.
Oropher held Thranduil for a long time. "I am still very confused about my two lives," he murmured only for Thranduil to hear. "I am glad that you finally found happiness after your encounter with the dragon. I was despairing to ever see you smile and find love. There is much we need to talk about. I do not even know if I should call you son or adar!"
"You have been my father much longer than you have been my son, but I will follow your lead once you make your transition." Thranduil looked around. "Your twin sister stayed with Legolas?"
"Yes, and she was not pleased about it. I think she will make him regret his oath more than you ever did."
"And he deserves that. Look who is there," Thranduil said to his son/adar, gently pulling closer a beautiful blonde elleth who had been standing a little behind them. "Mother is here."
Oropher and Tialyn stared at each other. "You remember her, do you?" Thranduil asked worriedly.
"I mostly remember you, Thranduil," Oropher admitted. "Although you look familiar to me," he said to the elleth.
If Tialyn was disappointed, she hid it well. She had been warned that the memories would be slow to reappear. "I am glad to see you again, Oropher," she said softly.
The way Oropher was observing her made it clear that he liked what he saw. Valerie knew it would not be long before he found his way to her bed, whether he fully remembered her or not. It would be their second chance to fall in love.
While Valerie was being introduced to Tialyn, Elros had gone to see Elrond and his wife Celebrian, who were already with Elladan and Elrohir. Glorfindel seemed to be with his parents while Finduilas and Gil-galad were with a couple a little further away on the quay. Mithrandir was there, talking to everyone, looking much younger than before.
"What happened to you?" Valerie asked him after hugging the wizard she had always considered a father.
"This is my real look. In Middle Earth, I gave myself the appearance of an old man to ensure people would trust me."
"If he had had his true appearance in Middle Earth, I would never have let him be around you," the Elvenking jested. It was true that Mithrandir had a glow to him and a physical appearance that was even more attractive than an elf's.
Valerie looked around and saw a very pregnant Ninaelil patiently waiting for her queen to finally notice her. She was standing with Bronadon and Gwelwen, who all had been greeted with joy by the now adult children they had helped raise back in Middle Earth.
"Nina! You finally are with child!" Valerie cried, happy to see that the former housekeeper had finally deemed the time right to create a new life with her mate Bronadon.
"Yes, your Majesty. I am so glad that you are finally here with the children. The king is not the same without you by his side," she murmured. "He recovered quickly, and then started preparing your arrival. Everything is ready to welcome you in our realm."
"Nina, where is his first wife?" Valerie whispered. She wanted reassurance that her relationship with Thranduil would not be questioned by the people of Valinor.
"She lives with her family in Tirion. She met with the king once, and they agreed that her passing had dissolved their marriage. She wants nothing to do with him. They never loved each other, you know that. We may see a little more of her once Legolas sails, but I would not worry about her until then."
"I am so glad to see you both," Valerie said to Nina and Gwelwen while Miniel finally arrived near the two ellith with whom she had worked has a team for many years.
Valerie let them greet each other and walked back to Thranduil. She was exhausted, and the excess of happiness was taking its toll. Her mate realized it, and told their children around them that he had reserved rooms for them at an inn, unless they wanted to spend time with their other family. He took Valerie's arm and walked in the direction of the inn, showing her the most beautiful constructions of the city.
The inn was a very decent one, and their room quite luxurious. When she made the comment out loud, he replied that he was one of the kings living in Valinor, and it gave him a certain status when he traveled around Valinor.
"Where do you live?"
"My naneth has been living in Greenwood, a realm she founded with the people who used to live in our realm in Middle Earth. The city looks somewhere between Lothlorien and Imladris. Some have built their home in the trees, others built houses on the ground. It creates a perfect balance, and our people are happy. I spent the last three years building a large manor with a great flower garden, since I suspected you would not like to live in the trees."
"I admit the last three years in Ithilien have been difficult. I prefer a certain level of comfort, and living in a tree house is not my idea of a comfortable home!"
"I knew that very well, so I made sure my queen would have a deluxe suite in her home."
"Are you still king, Thranduil? I mean, with Oropher back, who will be the king of Greenwood?"
"We can both hold the title. However, I am the reigning king."
"I know you love it. You told me once that Oropher never liked being king, that it was a burden to him."
"Then there will be no issue."
"My love, Oropher remembers your encounter with the dragon," she reminded him. "He remembers everything, and told the others," she warned. "It made such a lasting impression on him that he recalls all the events surrounding that while he barely remembers his own mate. All the children know now, and they will want to talk about it with you."
"I expected it. However… there is something you must know. When I arrived here three years ago, the Vala Tulkas was waiting for me. I had to follow him to his palace, where the Valar were waiting for us. They told me I could not remain in Valinor unless I accepted to be cured. They could not let me wander freely in Valinor with the darkness in my fëa."
"What? They wanted you to go back to Middle Earth?"
"Unless I accepted to let them clean my soul, to allow them to remove all this dragon darkness I still had in me. I accepted. What they did to me, I cannot tell. The Vala Namo touched my forehead and all became black. However, when I woke… the peace in my mind was indescribable. A peacefulness I had not felt since being a young ellon… Furthermore… they mended my flesh and skin, my love."
"They did?" she asked, touching his cheek.
"I no longer have to maintain an enchantment. This is my skin, my real skin."
"This is wonderful news," Valerie said, happy tears on her face. "You are finally at peace. I had hoped that I would find you completely recovered, but never to that extent! I am so grateful to the Valar for curing you completely."
"Tomorrow, we must leave to go to the palace of Lord Tulkas."
"I promised the Valar I would bring you there immediately after your arrival. I did not want you to be frightened by them showing up on the quay to immediately bring you to the palace."
"But why do I have to go? What have I done?"
"It is not what you have done, but what I did to you when we truly bound to each other. I may no longer have darkness in my fëa, but you still do. Now that I have none left in me, I can feel yours. It is there, latent, waiting to create havoc. It must be removed from your soul too, so we can both be at peace."
"Do we really have to go tomorrow? This city is so beautiful, I would like to visit it in daylight."
"I promise to bring you back to Alqualondë. However, we have no choice, we must leave tomorrow morning or risk to see Lord Tulkas extremely displeased with us. This would not be a good thing, believe me, my love."
"Fine," she sighed. And then yawned.
"You are exhausted. Do you want to go to bed?"
The bed looked very comfortable, especially compared to the cot she had been sleeping on in her cabin on the ship.
"Will you go to bed with me?"
"Did you doubt it?" he asked, his voice dropping an octave. Since they had been reunited, they had hugged and kissed, but there had been no physical contacts of an amorous nature.
"I was wondering if you still found me attractive," Valerie said lightly, knowing it was the complete opposite. "I mean, we have been reunited for two hours, and you still have not-"
She was interrupted when he grabbed her and possessively started kissing her while his hands reacquainted themselves with the shape of her body. He lifted her and put her gently on the bed. They gazed into each other's eyes.
"You wear too much clothes, and so do I," she said. They both started undressing, in a hurry to lie skin against skin, to feel their mate's body against theirs once more.
"I need to take you now," he almost apologized, his elfhood already at her entrance, waiting, hoping she would not mind his uncontrollable desire to have her immediately.
"Open up for me then," he said, grabbing her leg and putting it around his waist. He deeply groaned when he entered her inch by inch, Valerie feeling the fullness she had missed all this time. Once he was sheathed to the hilt, he promised her they would never be apart, ever again.
Some of their family and other guests of the inn heard them throughout the night.
So did they for Tialyn and Oropher, who had felt his bond with his fëa-mate and was embracing it, even if he did not fully remember his first life her. After millennia apart, Tialyn could only thank the Valar that her mate had decided to resume his life with her. His memories would eventually resurface. In the meantime, they would make new ones, and from how passionate he was with her, they would be some very interesting ones.
The next morning, Thranduil and Valerie were having breakfast in the common room with Oropher and Tialyn, Arnor and Elros, who had decided to stay with his second parents rather than with Elrond.
Gil-galad and Finduilas entered with Glorfindel, and Valerie stood to welcome them.
"You look like you expected never to see us again," Gil-galad said, half jesting when he saw his naneth's relief. Finduilas sent him a glare.
"Your naneth and I have a trip to make to Valmar," Thranduil announced. "We will then go to Greenwood, where I have a vast manor. You are all welcomed to visit us, or even stay with us permanently," he added. "Most of our people live there. Bronadon and Ninaelil, Gwelwen and her mate, Ellavon..."
"Our other parents live in Valmar," Finduilas said, "and so are Glorfindel's parents. We are not certain where we will live at the moment, but we can travel to Valmar with you. When were you planning to leave?"
"Now?" Finduilas asked. "What is the rush? Alqualondë seems like a beautiful city, I would like to visit it while we are here!"
"The Valar probably want to see your mother. She is a half-elf, they probably are curious about her," Glorfindel explained, saving them from an explanation they may not like, although he suspected why Thranduil needed to rush to Valmar with Valerie. He knew her darkness would not be tolerated for long.
"How long will you stay in Valmar? Maybe we can follow later and stay there with you for a few days?"
"Certainly we can stay there for a week or so?" Valerie asked, wanting to spend time with Gil-galad and Finduilas.
"Of course," the Elvenking accepted. "Oropher and Tialyn can bring the people who traveled with you directly to Greenwood. I was in such a hurry to welcome you all back, I did not even greet Miniel, and Brannor, Cadworon and Brethilon."
"Where are you planning to go?" Valerie asked Elros.
"Elrond founded a new realm called New Imladris. I do not feel comfortable living with him, at least not immediately, not until I turn 50 in two years from now. I will go to Greenwood with Oropher and will wait for you there."
"Until I come of age, I would like to alternate between my two sets of parents," Gil-galad said.
"As long as Finduilas remains with you," Valerie said, thinking it was a good enough compromise.
Gil-galad turned to Elros. "Why not stay with me and alternate between the two cities?" Elros was his reborn twin after all, just as close as he had been with Elrond in his first life.
"Maybe for a visit, but they are your first parents, not mine," Elros reminded his brother. "I prefer to stay in Greenwood." It was clear that Elros was not ready to leave his second family, that he felt anxious about this new life in Valinor.
It would be a very delicate balance in the future, Thranduil realized, but he would make sure his family would live in harmony between all these families.
Now if only Legolas and Mithrellas could join them soon. Would Elessar finally decide to pass away? Thranduil knew it was not a proper thought to have, but the king of Gondor was nothing to him, while he was missing his two children.
They only sailed 76 years later, arriving on a flimsy boat Legolas had built that could have sank anytime during their journey, as per everyone's assessment of its structure and solidity. The dwarf Gimli was with them, which made Thranduil roll his eyes.
"I had never thought the price to pay to be with my children would be to have to live with a dwarf," the king said loudly.
"Stop it, Adar," Mithrellas said, hugging her father. "Gimli has been a great comfort to us all these years. I missed you both so much," she said, hugging Valerie too.
She observed her parents with tears in her eyes for a long time, repeating over and over again how she had missed them every day. She felt a hand on her arm and say that Legolas was waiting for his turn to greet his father and stepmother. Legolas hugged them both at once.
"I am so glad to finally be here. I have regretted my oath for so long, but I feel that I accomplished what I owed to the people of Middle Earth. And now, I can be at peace here. I owe it to the sacrifice that you made, to be separated for three years to allow me to be with Mithrellas. I will be forever grateful to you both."
"As much as it pains me to admit, you did the right thing," Thranduil admitted, hugging his son back. "Let us put this behind us and start again. All your siblings have been impatient to see you both. Minus the dwarf."
Gimli smiled, knowing he was in for years of teasing.
Mithrellas turned to see Finduilas, who was impatient to greet her. "Who is this little one?" Mithrellas asked, seeing a little blond elfling sitting on Finduilas' hip. "Finduilas, you had a baby?"
"Quite frankly, I expected you to have one too!"
"No, I wanted to be here in Valinor with my family, before I started my own. Can I take her?" she asked, grabbing her little niece with an eagerness that made them all think that it would not be long before Legolas and Mithrellas had an heir of their own.
And they did, a year later, when Mithrellas gave birth to an ellon who looked very much like her. Thranduil was now the proud grandfather of two elflings, and could not have been happier, until Valerie told him that they would soon welcome too a new addition to their family.
First the first time in his life, Thranduil cried. He blamed it on the fact that his soul was now pure. When Mithrandir gave him his congratulations, the Elvenking thanked him profusely. After a few bottles of the most excellent wine the Elvenking could find, he admitted to the White Wizard that without the Istari bringing Valerie to Middle Earth and Mithrandir himself supporting his claim when the original plan of the Valar had derailed, he would not have found such happiness.
The wizard smiled smugly. "I chose you, Thranduil. I derailed the Valar's plan myself. I knew all along that Valerie and you were meeting in the gardens of Isengard. I am sure the prophecy was more successful my way than any other plan the Valar had made. You made my daughter more happy than any other ellon could have, and I have to thank you for that."
Thranduil stared at Mithrandir.
"And now, it is time for you to promise me my daughter will be the happiest elleth living in Valinor."
"She will be," Thranduil declared, "but I do not have to promise you anything, you meddling wizard!"
The royal family of Greenwood grew over the following centuries, known in Valinor for their uncommon yet entertaining characters, the most popular ones being the heads of the family, the Elvenking Thranduil and his fiery queen Valerie. Without them, Valinor would have been a quieter yet more monotonous place…
Well, this is it, the end of the Thranduil version of the prophecy. Valerie and Thranduil got their happy ending after all… I hope you enjoyed it like the others, and that you liked the ficlets format rather than long chapters with longer posting time…
I would like to thank all the readers who took the time to send me reviews, comments and who asked questions. I really appreciated that interaction with you guys. Please don't forget to send me one last note to give me your last feedback!
Thrndlwood: I hope you liked the epilogue.
Philosophie88: All is forgiven, Thranduil was finally able to admit that Legolas did the right thing…
W: I always thought she had faded in the woods, after escaping a life that she did not particularly like as an elf… although I admit leaving her children behind is not something I can understand… what is the name of your fanfic?
Firerosedreamer6: they all found peace despite the oath, and now they all have their happy ending…
Aralinn: I think Valerie and Thranduil did a good job when raising them, and they never went back to fighting like they did in their first lives…
glassary: Thranduil got even more than he thought, now that he has a pure soul and a perfect face again. This allowed him to truly get his happy ending, without the constant presence of darkness in his soul!
Ayanamifaerudo: that would definitely be a darker story, taking place during the time of the Silmarillion rather than LOTR. I admit I am not as familiar with that book than with LOTR.