The Man in the hooded cloak stood quietly at the
open Hall door, waiting. A woman came out to him,
young and very beautiful with long dark hair tied back
and a face flushed from kitchen heat.

 "I am Morwen daughter of Baragund," she said
politely, "how may I serve you kinsman?"

 "Impossible!" the Man said solemnly. "Morwen
daughter of Baragund is a skinny little girl with eyes
too big for her face and freckles on her nose!"

 The Woman's eyes, which were indeed very large and 
beautiful, widened in shock. "Beren!"

 And the Man laughed and pushed back his hood. There
were grey threads in the golden brown hair and beard,
and lines that would have become the face of a much
older Man but the smile, like the voice, belonged to
the cousin she remembered. She put out her hands to
feel if he was real. "Is it truly you?"

 "None other." he brushed away a tear with a gentle
finger then tapped her nose playfully. "But what about
those freckles? I'm sure I remember freckles."

 "Buttermilk does wonders for the complexion." she
answered drily, then: "Oh, Beren, we feared you were

 He frowned in concern. "Didn't you get my letter?"

 "Yes indeed, two full years ago! And not a word

 "I'm sorry," he apologized, "but I had things to
do." smiled. "Courting my wife for one."

 Following the direction of his nod Morwen saw a
sleander cloaked figure by the opening in the stockade
fence, a giant hound at her side. "And you leave her
standing at the gate," she said scandalized, "what
will she think of us?"

 "At the moment she's much more nervous about what
you will think of her." Beren's mouth quirked in
tender amusement. Dropping his voice he added 
confidentially. "She's terrified of meeting Mother"

 Morwen snorted gently. "I don't blame her,
anybody'd be afraid of Aunt Emeldir."

 He nodded ruefully. "I shouldn't have told Luthien
so much about her."

 Morwen disagreed. "She had to be warned. Well don't
leave her standing out there, Beren, bring her in."

 "Forgive me, little Cousin, but I am impatient to
see Mother and the rest of the family. Do they live
close enough for us to make it there by nightfall?" 

 Her face softened. "Of course I understand. The
homestead is about five leagues from here, you should
make it easily. Just follow the road, cross the bridge
over the Nen Lalaith and a mile or so beyond that the
path forks into four tracks, take the westernmost."

 "Thank you, Morwen." he kissed her.

 "I expect to see you both again very soon," she
warned, "not tomorrow perhaps, but no longer than the
second day after!"

 Beren smiled. "You have my word."
 "What if your mother doesn't like me?" Luthien

 Beren sighed. "She's going love you." he said
patiently for the hundreth time.

 "I don't see why she should." added drily: "After
all my father didn't like you."

 Beren grinned. Now there was an understatement if
ever there was one. His Elven wife was developing an
almost Mortal sense of humor. "You saved her son's
life three times over, or is it four? she'll adore you
for that alone."

 "Even when she learns it's my fault you were in
danger in the first place?"

 Beren deliberately avoided reopening the old
argument. "Mother's never minded danger, for herself
or her children." 
 Huan thrust his great head under Luthien's hand,
she stroked it smiling wanly. "Yes, Huan, I
understand. Worrying does no good but I can't seem to
help myself."

 "Can this be the heroine who confronted Sauron and
the Dark Lord himself?" Beren teased.

 "That was quite different," she said crisply. "I
wasn't proposing to become their daughter and live in
their house."

 "I should hope not!" her husband laughed, continued
tenderly. "Dearling, I admit you're not exactly what
my mother had in mind for a daughter-in-law, but I
don't think she'll have any strong objection to the

 "I hope you're right." Luthien replied, but went on
worrying silently.

 If only she didn't feel so hopelessly inadequate.
She'd made Beren teach her the rudiments of the
Beorian tongue on their journey to Dor-Lomin but she
couldn't really claim to speak it. And her husband was
the only Mortal Man she'd ever known. She knew nothing
of their ways or customs, neither what a Mortal mother
would expect of her son's wife nor how to live in a
household of Men. But she was sure everything she did
know; music and dance and the ways of power, would be
useless to her now. 

 She blinked back tears of frustration, grateful for
the hood overshadowing her face. Beren on the other
hand had known exactly how to conduct himself at the
court of Menegroth. Dispite the Northern Sindarin her
father so despised his manners had been perfect, equal
to those of any Eldarin Lord, she'd been so proud of
him. She could only pray she'd be able to make him as
proud of her.

 But Beren had known many Elves. He'd been fostered
as a boy by Angrod and Aegnor, and often visited
Finrod at Nargothrond. He knew her people as well as
he knew his own. She on the other hand had almost
never set foot outside the bounds of Doriath, until
two years ago, nor known any people but her father's
Sindarin subjects save only for her part Noldo

 Bleakly she admitted she had only herself to blame.
She'd been perfectly happy to dream away the long
years of her life sheltered by the power of her mother
and father. She could have taken more of an interest
in the world beyond Doriath's borders but had chosen
not to. Why she'd never even bothered to exchange a
word with one the Naugrim craftsmen who came from time
to time to make things for her father! What a
self-centered little fool she'd been.

 She raised her head to look at Beren's back as he
walked ahead of her, smiled ruefully. And then the Man
had come and shattered her beautiful, safe, empty
little world. Introducing her to love, anguish,
terror, despair, and a piercing joy that made her
previous happiness look like the pallid, sickly thing
it was. 

 She'd been dreaming all of her life but now she was
awake, not only awake but vividly and vibrantly alive.
These few years with Beren were worth more than all of
the thousands she'd existed without him. She'd given
up her rank, her parents, her home for him and never
regretted it for a moment, nor would she - ever.

 Her chin lifted. Was she not her mother's daughter?
had not Melian the Maia left her country and her
people and subjected herself to the pangs and trials
of living flesh all for the sake of Elu Thingol?
Luthien Tinuviel would do no less. She belonged to the
Folk of Beor now. She would learn how to live as a
Mortal Woman, to be a good daughter to her new family
and good wife to her husband. 

 And they would be happy.

 They reached the homestead before dark, as the
westering sun dyed the land gold and sent the long
black shadows of trees and stockade fence streaming
eastward. To Beren's eye the house, though built of
timber rather than stone like the Lord's Hall at
Ladros, looked pleasant and comfortable but what must
Luthien, Princess of Doriath, think of it?

 "It is not the Halls of Menegroth." he said

 "Nor a brushwood hut with a leaky roof." she
answered with a dry, sidelong look.

 He grinned a little. She was right of course a
proper house, however lacking royal splendor, was a
great improvement over the way they had been living
these past two years.

 A Man came out of the stables, saw them and crossed
the yard towards them. Beren's breath caught and his
heart skipped a beat. For a moment it seemed to him
that Barahir had come back to life, not as the aging
Man he had last seen but in the full glory of his
young manhood, and was coming now to meet his new
daughter. Then sanity returned and he realized who
this must be.

 His younger brother came to a full stop, eyes
widening, breathed: "Beren?"

 He put back his hood, smiled, and Bregon covered
the remaining ground between them in a rush to enfold
his elder brother in a fierce, bone crushing hug.

 Beren returned it on the verge of tears. The slight
stripling of fifteen he remembered was gone forever.
In the six years since he'd last seen him his brother
had grown into a Man as tall as himself with the same
powerful build, but dark haired like their father and
with Barahir's face.

 "Two years!" Bregon was choking. "Two years without
a word! What were you thinking, Brother?"

 "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I was busy."

 "Busy!" Bregon pulled away to glare at him. "With

 With winning myself a wife for one."

 Startled Bregon looked at Luthien. He couldn't see
much of her, between the lenghtening shadows and
enfolding cloak, but he smiled. "In that case all is
forgiven. Welcome, Sister." 

NOTE: The chronology of the First Age is, to say the
least, fluid the Professor never having made a final
decision in the matter. I have chosen to blend the two
chronologies using the earlier dates for Beren's
meeting with Luthien and their quests together and the
later for their return to Doriath and first deaths,
thus making time for a long sojourn among the Beorings
in Dor-Lomin.

My chronology:

460: Barahir and his companions slain, Beren avenges
them by killing the Orc band responsible and carries
on the fight single handed.

462: Major offensive by Morgoth, barely checked by the
Elves and Men of Hithlum and Dor-Lomin. Beren driven
from Dorthonion.

463: Meets Luthien and they fall in love. Their secret
meetings are betrayed by Daeron and Thingol sets his

464: First attempt with Finrod Felagund and a company
of twelve Elves of Nargothrond. Captured by Sauron and
all the company slain except for Beren who is rescued
by Luthien and Huan.

465: Beren and Luthien together venture into Angband
and suceed in cutting a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown
but Beren loses the jewel and his hand to Carcaroth.
Rescued by the Eagles Luthien nurses Beren back to
health. Having fulfilled Thingol's condition, even if
they've lost the Jewel, they consumate their marriage
at last and decide to make their home among Beren's