The House of the Golden Flower

I do not own any of it, nor do I claim to. The only part of it that is in any way mine is the personality of the character Laurind. The rest belongs to JRR Tolkien – or, more specifically, his estate. No copyright infringement is intended. (So please don't sue.)

Author's Note:
Bet you thought I'd never finish it, hey? Well, to be honest, this story was actually already finished. I realized that when I went back and re-read it not long ago. I had taken the story through the plot I wanted to, and anything beyond that was superficial. I could follow Laurind, Thranduil and Glorfindel through seperation, wedding, the Last Alliance, the birth of Legolas and any other siblings I cared to give the nancy elf, but...that wasn't the story. The story was about Laurind and Glorfindel being reunited, and the House of the Golden Flower living once more, even if it is only to be married into the Greenwood royal line.

This epilogue is really just a wrap-up, to bring things more in line with the way Tolkien put things in his books. It's mostly character-based, since I haven't done anything on Lord of the Rings in so long that I've forgotten pretty much everything I knew. Plus I'm writing it at work and, unfortunately, we've already chucked our copy of the trilogy (along with all the other books).

Epilogue: When You Just Can't Keep A Goodbye Serious
The year 2510 of the Third Age

Two golden-haired elves stood at the beginning of the dock, watching those moving at its end. No voice disturbed the saddened silence, but the two elves spoke their sorrowful goodbyes to one another.

::He is hurt, but he seems to understand.:: Laurind said softly in her twin's mind. ::I worry, though, about how the darkness of Mirkwood will affect him without me there to shield him.::

::He is a strong elf – I'm sure he'll manage.:: Glorfindel replied.

::Perhaps.:: Laurind said uncertainly, then turned to look at her brother. ::Watch him for me, Glorfindel. Be there for him when I cannot. I do not fear weakness in him, but over confidence has been the undoing of Silvan elves too many times.::

::I do not know how much I can do – you know he has hardly spoken to me since...Oropher...:: Glorfindel replied after a pause.

::He is still hurt by his father's death, yes – but you are still his friend, despite that, and you are my brother. Watch him, Glorfindel.:: Laurind pleaded. ::Watch him as I watch your lord's lady.:: Glorfindel nodded.

::I will.:: he said, then cast his gaze towards the boat at the end of the dock, seeing that only a few elves still remained at the end of the dock, watching those in the boat itself. ::It is time for you to go.::

::I know.:: Laurind said with a sigh. ::Watch Thranduil, Glorfindel. Watch Legolas. Do not let them fall into the mistakes of the past.::

::I promise I shall only let them make new mistakes.:: Glorfindel said with a small smile, pulling his sister to him in a hug.

::No! No mistakes!:: Laurind countered with a mental laugh. ::You must follow them around everywhere and prevent them from ever doing anything wrong! You must spoil your nephew rotten, and his father even worse!::

::Hmm, I can try, but Lord Elrond may object to me neglecting my duties to that degree.:: Glorfindel teased back as the two siblings drew away from each other. They grew solemn as they looked at each other, knowing it would be the last time they saw one another for many years. ::Take care of yourself, and our House.::

::So long as you do. If you find your way to Mandos' Halls again, I will wait for you to emerge before sending you right back with my own bare hands.:: Laurind threatened half-heartedly. ::I will miss you greatly.::

::More than after Gondolin?:: Glorfindel asked lightly, and Laurind nodded seriously.

::Yes, much more, for I will know you are still out here, and that I could see you again if I merely tried.:: she said.

::Aye. I will miss you, as well.:: Glorfindel said with a soft sigh. ::In this, I am not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing that your son looks so much like you, for every time I see Legolas, I will think of you, in Valinor.:: Laurind smiled, then stepped away from her brother, glancing down the dock to see the sailors impatiently beginning to ready the boat for sailing.

::I'd best hurry before they leave with my things, but not me.:: Laurind said.

::I'm sure Thranduil would gladly replace your things if you were to stay.:: Glorfindel said seriously.

::You're the one who asked me to do this, Glorfindel.:: Laurind said warningly. ::If you change your mind and ask me to stay, I might just listen.::

::No...I have not changed my mind. Go. Celebrían needs you, and truthfully, you need the peace of Valinor.:: Glorfindel said, then smiled sadly at Laurind's scowl. ::You were strong while I was in the Halls of Mandos, but do not think I haven't noticed that you have never been quite the same, even once I returned. Grief such as you had to bear leaves a mark on ones soul, a mark that only Valinor can soothe.:: Laurind remained silent for a moment, then nodded.

Abruptly, she stepped over to Glorfindel again and wrapped him in a warm hug, both physically and mentally, before releasing him, picking up her skirts, and dashing down to the end of the dock, where she jumped nimbly into the boat. There were a few brief smiles at her antics, but they faded quickly as Glorfindel followed at a more sedate pace, coming to stand at the end of the dock with Elrond and his three children. Together, the five of them watched as the sailors cast off, and the boat began moving away from the dock.

As it slowly moved out of view, two figures appeared at the bow, one with golden hair, the other with silver. They stayed there, watching, as the boat slid through the water, away from the dock, and eventually out of sight. And just as the five elves on the dock turned to leave, two of them felt light brushes on their minds, full of love, each of a different kind, and longing for when they would meet again.

In Mirkwood, Thranduil could only stare west over his woods, feeling that last caress echoing through him, before he turned and returned to his duties with a sigh. His son followed close behind, watchful of his father's grief.