To Follow an Elf
by Etharei

Rating: PG

Summary: "An Account of the Journey of One Legolas son of Thranduil Home after the Great Events of the War of the Ring, as set forth by the faithful hand of Gimli, Gloin's son, his Companion." Some parts in first-person diary style, mostly in third-person narration, all from Gimli's perspective. Non-slash.

Disclaimer: All recognizable characters, names, dates and events belong to Tolkien, and I can assure you that I'm not making any profit off of this.

Author's Notes: I've been working on this piece for a very long time (it was supposed to be ready for posting a year ago) and for some reason, when I'd just about given up on it, it started bugging me during what is supposed to be summer vacation time. For the handful who I've shown it to, I've mostly started over from scratch, and I'm afraid I'm quite, quite rusty after the long break. I will get around to updating my other fanfics, though not having my material here with me on vacation is making that difficult. I always seem to be apologizing at every update, but I know that I must do that now (though I'm sure y'all are tired of hearing it) for keeping all of you waiting for so long. I really do miss writing, but doing the International Baccalaureate course for two years and being an active member of the LOTR Fanatics Plaza left me with virtually no writing time. Many heartfelt thanks to all who've continued reading.

If you enjoy this, I highly recommend 'I Return' by the lovely Coriel, which is an infinitely better written piece on the same theme of home-coming.

Dedicated to Samridhi, who fled the country before I could wish her goodbye and good-luck, and Thundera Tiger, an author I admire to this very day, who made me fall in love with the Legolas-Gimli duo.


Prologue

I am called Gimli, and I am a Dwarf.

And though I suspect that my kinsmen will never let me hear the end of it if they should ever discover this artifact, I have finally surrendered to the cajoling of a certain Elf princeling in order to earn some peace and quiet.

Just so you know, Legolas, I still don't understand the need for this activity, and I shall put it in written record that I think this is a waste of time. After all, who would ever read it? Who would even want to?

As I cannot be certain that you are familiar with my fair-haired companion here, I shall now clarify that he is Legolas son of Thranduil, one of the Nine Walkers who set out from Rivendell in the winter of the year 3018 of the Third Age of the Sun, on an urgent quest to save Middle-Earth from the forces of Darkness. I was also part of that desperate Fellowship. Our roles, sad to say, in the grand scheme of the War were quite minor, and therefore I shall leave the accounting thereof to the Shire-folk, whose hands are undoubtedly fairer and more suited to story-telling than mine. The Elf and I merely represented our respective races, in that last war before our fading.

I suppose you must wonder how a perfectly decent Dwarf and a mostly respectable Elf managed to overcome a couple of Ages' worth of racial enmity whilst accomplishing a task that the White Wizard Gandalf himself described as "a fool's hope"? It was the choice of Elrond that drew our fates together, Legolas and mine, and the War bonded us irrevocably to each other's miserable company. The Hobbits, amongst their more important doings, played a vital role in the development of our friendship by keeping us from each other's throats during the tumultuous first weeks of our acquaintance (usually by ensuring that we were at opposite ends of the walking-line). Gandalf acted as a not-too-happy medium, having known both of us from our youth and being capable of instill our fear of our fathers in us when we became unbearable. Aragorn was a comfort to Legolas even as Boromir and myself shared a practical approach to fate and an initial distrust of Elves.

Legolas, there really is no need to continuously be reading over my shoulder. No, as a matter of fact I do not believe that that lamp is really broken. I think I've gotten the hang of it now, and I'm willing to concede that this is not as arduous a task as I feared it would be. I trust everything I've penned so far has met with your approval? Note my use of the word 'respectable' and the lack of anything even vaguely pejorative? Now, will you please trust me enough to leave me to write in peace?

Elves. Woe betide him if he even thinks of crossing me over the next few days.

After fulfilling our mutual promises- and if I never see a talking Tree in my life again, it will be too soon- we set our eyes towards home. With considerable apprehension on both our parts, we tentatively journeyed Eastwards, to have a look in on the people we represented before the War.