Hey everyone! Thank you for your reviews! I'm glad you all liked my story so much. This is the final chapter, I'm sad to say. I think it might be a little rushed, but I was running out of ideas, and this all kind of fell together. Like I said before I'm working on another story and I've got the first two chapters done. I'll be posting it soon. I hope you like this chapter and thank you again!
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with Lord of the Rings.
The days passed and Hildoreg returned to Rohan and Estel, or Aragorn she had come to learn was his given name, once again left Rivendell. The days slowly turned into weeks and the weeks into months and the months into years. Elenion was nearing twenty summers and Aragorn had returned to Rivendell once again. Mandawen sat in her and Glorfindel's room tears in her eyes and one of Elenion's old baby blankets in her hands. She sighed quietly as she looked down at her aged hands. She was only forty-two summers but she felt so old. The door opened and Glorfindel walked into the room and at seeing his wife, he smiled but his smile turned into a frown when he saw the teas in her eyes.
"Mandawen?" he asked gently as he moved to her quickly. "What is wrong?" he asked taking her hands into his and a quiet sob escaped her lips.
"Oh, Glorfindel, I feel so old," she told him and he laughed softly before he stood and pulled her to her feet.
"My love, I am many thousands of years older than you and you make me feel so young," he told her as he ran his hand down her face that showed some signs of her age, but the gray strands of hair that shined in her dark waves showed it this most.
"I may be younger but I look so much older. How can you still look at me and see the woman you love and married all those years ago?" she asked and Glorfindel leaned in and kissed her lips gently.
"You are more beautiful than that day, Mandawen," he told her softly and Mandawen laughed softly.
"You, my dear, are so skilled in your lies that I actually believe you," she said and Glorfindel smiled as he shook his head.
"You believe it because it is no lie," he told her kindly and pulled her lips to his for one more kiss. A swift knock was at the door and Glorfindel sighed quietly as he pulled his lips away from hers. "Enter!" he called as he turned from Mandawen and looked at the door. Elenion came into the room and Mandawen smiled at seeing her son standing there tall and proud. He looked nearly identical to Heldreg and Mandawen couldn't have been more proud of her son.
"I'm sorry to interrupt, but Aragorn and I are about to leave," Elenion said his voice deep and soft. Mandawen sighed and walked over to her son and embraced him tightly. Elenion smiled and returned his mother's embrace. "Are you and Ada going to come and saw farewell?" he asked and Mandawen nodded as she pulled back from him.
"Yes," she told him before she turned and held out her hand to Glorfindel, who was at her side and took her arm in a second. The three left the chamber and walked in silence to the gateway where there were two waiting horses and the ranger stood next to one of them. "Elenion," Mandawen said as they came to a stop near the horses and the young man looked at his mother with a small smile. Mandawen sighed as she walked over to him and embraced him once again. "Do be careful in your travels, my son, I do not wish to get word that you fallen."
"I shall be careful mother," Elenion told her. "And I shall write to you the moment I am able to." She pulled back and put her hands on his face.
"Be sure that you do, I want to know all of your travels," she said and Elenion smiled as he leaned in and kissed her cheek.
"I love you, mama," he whispered to her and Mandawen hugged him once more.
"I love you too, Elenion," she said and the man stepped away from her. Glorfindel stepped forward and smiled at Elenion. Elenion smiled and Glorfindel before he embraced him tightly. Glorfindel chuckled and returned Elenion's embrace. Mandawen stepped away from Glorfindel and Elenion as the pulled apart and talked quietly and she walked to Aragorn who was fastening satchels on his horse. "Aragorn," she said softly and the man looked at her with a small smile. "I trust you will watch over him for me," she said and Aragorn put his hand on her shoulder.
"I will, I promise, Mandawen," Aragorn said.
"Thank you," she said quietly.
"You underestimate his skill with a blade, and I am certain that if any trouble comes our way he shall be just fine," Aragorn told her and Mandawen nodded as she looked at Elenion.
"He has never been away from me save for a few hours while he went hunting with Glorfindel a few times," Mandawen said.
"He'll be fine, Mandawen," Aragorn said and she looked at him again with a nod and a small smile as Elenion walked over to them. "Let's be off then," Aragorn said and the two men mounted there horses.
"Write me, Elenion," Mandawen told him again and the young man nodded as he stood on top of his horse. She smiled when she saw that he wore his father's cloak that she had given him two winters earlier.
"I will, mama," Elenion said as he turned his horse around. "Good bye!" he called before he followed Aragorn through the gateway and down the path and out of Mandawen's sight. She sighed and raised her hand to her mouth as tears fell from her eyes. Glorfindel took her into his arms and she buried her face in his chest as she cried quietly.
"Mandawen, do not weep," Glorfindel said into her hair.
"I am sorry," she said as she sniffed and looked up at him, but Glorfindel just smiled at her and ran his fingers through her hair.
"Come, let us enjoy the day."
"What do you wish to do?" she asked as she wiped away her tears.
"Let's go to the waterfall," he said and Mandawen smiled. They had made weekly trips to one of the many waterfalls since their union. They made so many trips that waterfall they started to call it 'their waterfall.'
"Okay," she whispered and he laced his fingers with her and they walked through the gardens and the trees to their spot where they spent the afternoon together in peace.
Mandawen laughed as she read through Elenion's latest letter. Her son had been away for two years and she could not believe the words she read on the page. Quickly, she stood and rushed from her chamber and down the corridor to Glorfindel's study. She knocked and entered the room. Glorfindel looked up from his report to see his wife rushing into the room with a flushed but smiling face.
"Glorfindel, you're never going to believe this," Mandawen said happily. He stood and couldn't help the smile that broke out on his face when he looked at her and the excitement that was in her eyes. "Elenion has met a woman and he writes to me of her now because he is love and they are to be wed, well they are wed as of last Saturday. He's going to be bringing her here, she's a woman of Rohan and he says he's never been happier. Oh, Glorfindel isn't that wonderful?" she asked as she looked up at him a smile. Glorfindel nodded and chuckled as he pushed her hair from her face.
"It is wonderful," he told her softly.
"I wish I would have been there for their union," she said quietly as she turned her eyes back to the page. "He says he wished the two of us could have been there, but they had wished to marry soon and he wanted to present her to us as his wife. They should be here within two weeks then judging by his letter." Mandawen laughed as she shook her head. "I cannot believe my son is married, it seems as though he was just a little boy only a few weeks ago."
"Time passes quickly," he said and she looked up at him. "Far too quickly." Mandawen raised up and kissed his cheek before she settled into his arms.
"That it does, my dear," she said quietly and he closed his eyes as he just held her in his arms loving every second of it.
A week later, Elenion arrived with his wife in tow on the back of his horse. Mandawen smiled when she saw her. Her hair was long, blonde, and braided thickly down her back. She dressed in a simple brown riding dress and her pale blue eyes were wide with curiosity as she looked at the city around her. Mandawen let go of Glorfindel's arm and walked to her son as he helped his wife from the horse.
"Elenion!" Mandawen said happily and as he sat the other woman on the ground he turned around and smiled at her.
"Mama," he said happily and she embraced her son tightly.
"It is so good to have you home again," she said and Elenion laughed when he saw Glorfindel walking to them.
"It is good to be home," Elenion said as he pulled away and Mandawen once again looked at Glorfindel and took her own husband's arm. "Mama, Ada, this is my wife, Mariel." Mandawen smiled at the woman whose eyes were on Glorfindel in wonder before they moved to her.
"I am happy to finally meet you although I know so little of you," Mandawen said. Mariel bowed her head and smiled at Mandawen. "Come, come, there is much to talk about," Mandawen said as she once again let go of Glorfindel and took Mariel's arm. "Now tell me how you met my son," she said as she led Mariel to the dining hall. Glorfindel chuckled and looked at Elenion who was laughing as well at the surprised and rather overwhelmed look that had been on his wife's face.
"I think we should save your wife from mine," Glorfindel said. "She has done nothing but plan her questions for her since she received your letter." Elenion laughed a little harder and shook his head.
"Mariel was warned," Elenion said. "I told her that mama would have many questions for her and she said she would be more than able to handle a few questions."
After spending the winter and most of the spring in Rivendell, Elenion and Mariel left and returned to Rohan and as another winter came to a close, Mandawen had grown very ill. She had caught a nasty cold after slipping into the freezing water while walking along with Glorfindel. Elrond stepped from Glorfindel and Mandawen's chamber with a frown on his face. "Glorfindel, she is growing worse," Elrond told him softly and Glorfindel felt his heart fall.
"What is wrong with her?" Glorfindel asked and Elrond sighed.
"From what I am able to determine, her breathing is being obstructed from what I know not. The herbs are not working and my magic and herbs has done little to help her."
"Is there anything we can do for her?" Glorfindel asked hopefully as worry settled in, but the sad and forlorn look that was on Lord Elrond's face had already given him his answer.
"Only to make her comfortable." Glorfindel frowned and walked past Elrond and walked into his chamber to see Mandawen laying on the bed, her eyes closed, but her breathing labored and heavy. He moved quickly to her and sat down on the bed. As his weight settled onto the bed, she opened her eyes and smiled at him as she reached out and took his hand.
"I look," she paused and took a deep breath, "dreadful, don't I?" she asked and Glorfindel smiled as he pushed her hair from her face.
"You look lovely, my love," he said sadly.
"I am not," she took another deep breath, "doing well." Glorfindel frowned and squeezed her hand. "Lord Elrond does not think," she paused once again and closed her eyes as she took a deep breath, "that I shall last much longer," she finished as she opened her eyes.
"Please don't talk that way, Mandawen," he said pained, but Mandawen squeezed his hand.
"You told me that you would be strong," she said before she coughed. Glorfindel grabbed a glass of water for her quickly and she took a deep drink. "You will not fade. You promised."
"Mandawen," he said as he took the glass and sat it on the table.
"Listen to me," she said and took another breath. "I know you shall do just fine." Glorfindel raised her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles. "You can feel that I am slipping away, I can feel it." She closed her eyes and sighed heavily before she took another breath. "I am so tired."
"Sleep then, my Mandawen," Glorfindel said as a tear rolled down his cheek. "Sleep," he whispered as he leaned into her and kissed her lips. Mandawen drifted off and Glorfindel closed his eyes as he held onto her hand. "I love you, Mandawen," he said softly as he heard the door open.
"Glorfindel," Elrond said and he looked at him as Mandawen's breathing slowed dangerously. The both looked to the bed and Glorfindel squeezed her hand. Elrond moved to the bed quickly and put his hand on her forehead. "She is fading," Elrond whispered.
"Elenion has not yet arrived," Glorfindel said.
"She will not last for his arrival," Elrond said as he pulled his hand back. "She will not last the night," he finished and Glorfindel lowered his head as tears fell slowly from his eyes.
Mandawen felt as if she was floating and then her bare feet landed gently on smooth long grass. She opened her eyes and found herself standing yet again in the field surrounded by mountains. However, when she looked down at herself, she found she was as young as the day Heldreg and her had parted and she was dressed in a beautiful white gown that flowed and blew in the wind that whipped around her. Frowning, she looked up and once again saw Heldreg walking towards her, but unlike the times before he was dressed in white and seemed to glow.
"Heldreg?" she asked in a shaking whisper and he smiled to her and held out his hands.
"Hello, my Mada," he said and she felt tears come to her eyes.
"I have passed," she stated more than asked and Heldreg nodded as her tears fell from her eyes.
"He is strong, Mada, and he will live on," Heldreg said as he stepped to her and wiped her tears from her cheeks. "He will sail to Valinor and live out eternity with his people."
"I . . ." she trailed off as she looked up at Heldreg. "I am torn. I don't know whether to be happy that I am with you again, or to morn that I shall never see him again." Heldreg smiled and leaned into her. He kissed her gently and she let more tears fall from her eyes.
"You shall see him," he said gently and understanding in his eyes as she met his gaze. "Time passes so quickly here a day could be a year in life."
"He will be alright? He will not die because he loved me?" she asked and Heldreg nodded his head with a smile.
"He will live on forever, Mada," Heldreg said. "He will love you for all of eternity, and if he were any other ellon, he would have faded, but he is determined."
Mandawen indeed was torn. Part of her was happy that she was once again with Heldreg, but another part of her wanted nothing more than to be in Glorfindel's arms once again. She knew that she could not have both and she felt terrible for loving two men, but there she was and the man that had first captured her heart was slowly pulling her into his arms.
"Time heals all Mada, and you will never forget him but your time in this afterlife will be happy. I shall make sure of it," Heldreg said into her once again dark rich hair. Mandawen smiled and wrapped her arms around him before she buried her face in his chest and he kissed the top of her head. Her life had been good because of Glorfindel and now her afterlife would be good because of Heldreg, but all she wanted to was see Glorfindel one last time.
Mandawen had passed just before the dawn peacefully in her sleep, and a week later Elenion and Mariel had arrived. Mandawen was laid to rest a day after their arrival, and now two weeks after Mandawen's passing, Glorfindel stood before her stone and ran his fingers across the carved words. They had laid her to rest next to Heldreg, a place he knew she would find peace. His light had dimmed since the night of her passing, but he would not fade away. He loved her so much that he would honor her request and live on for her.
"Glorfindel," a soft voice floated around him and he turned quickly, gasping at the sight before him. Mandawen stood, dressed in white and looking as beautiful and young as they day they were married. "You are well," she said softly and Glorfindel moved over to her. However, when he went to pull her close his hands went right through her and he frowned.
"How-," he began but she smiled at him and he was silenced.
"I had to see you," she said.
"Please, do not go," he said and Mandawen shushed him.
"I have to, but you are strong and you must watch over Elenion, Mariel, and that small parcel Mariel carries." Glorfindel smiled and nodded his head as he looked at the goofy grin that was on her face. "I am to be a grandmother, and you are to be a grandfather."
"I miss you," he said and Mandawen frowned.
"And I you, but know that I am always watching," she said and she leaned into him. Surprisingly, a chill went down his spine as her lips brushed his cheek. "Always," she whispered and she was gone. Glorfindel sighed heavily as he looked into the nothing that was once Mandawen.
"Ada?" came a deep voice from behind him and he turned around to see Elenion approaching him. "Are you alright?" Elenion asked and Glorfindel looked at Mandawen's stone.
"Aye," he said in a whisper before he took a deep breath and stood straighter. "I am alright."
"Mariel wished you to have dinner with us," Elenion said quietly and Glorfindel nodded.
"Of course," Glorfindel said and he followed his son from the garden. He felt better somehow and he felt stronger than he had. He would miss her forever, but he would never forget her. No matter how dark times would become he would remember that there is always hope and there is always a chance to love again.