Disclaimer: I do not own anything in this wonderful universe. Believe me, if I did, I'd be one of the happiest people alive.

A/N: Dedicated to my dear onónë, Avadhani. Consider it part of your Christmas gift, dearie. To my other readers: I have a tendency to write when and what I please. So apologies ahead of time, for all of you who have followed my other stories in other fandoms. I go with what has snagged my interest at the moment, and sometimes leave longer stories untended. In all likelihood, I'll circumvent my way back to them at some later point. For now, please enjoy this story, and if you so choose, R&R.

Best Regards,

Sentimental Star

'Sindarin (Elvish)'

"Westron (Common)"

/Personal Thoughts/

.:A Man Called Hope:.

By Sentimental Star

Prologue: Heartache

(Present Time—1541, S.R.)

"I knew him first as Estel," Legolas advised his Dwarven companion softly with a wan smile. "He knew me first as Lirimaer."

The night winds were strong, but not too chill, and kept the course of the small vessel straight. Far above, the Eagles—last of Gwaihir's kin—called to each other beneath the stars.

They had taken up this habit of sharing stories to pass the time as they took the Straight Way to Valinor. Gimli mostly because he did not wish the Elf to dwell on King Elessar's all-too-recent death, and Legolas because he could not think of anything but

Tonight the Dwarf had felt brave enough to venture an inquiry into the prince's past—one he had shared with said king.

"Hope, eh?" Gimli remarked gruffly, a twinkle in his eyes. Ever since Helm's Deep all those long years ago, he had known Aragorn (later known as King Elessar)'s Elven name of 'Estel' to mean just that. Somehow, that Legolas knew the Man first as "Hope," did not surprise him. "Lirimaer, though, I am unfamiliar with."

Tiredly, Legolas (where he was sitting) leaned against the main mast and gave a sigh, dropping his head lightly against the knees he had pulled to his chest. In the light of the fire on deck, Gimli winced.

"Lirimaer is Elvish for 'lovely singer.' 'Tis an endearment, usually only used between the closest of kin or lovers. There is also another meaning, more archaic than the first—it means 'Angel.'"

"'Angel,' he called you?" the Dwarf gave his friend—who assuredly looked like something the Valar had sent down—a rakish grin. "Aye, I can see that." The twinkle turned fond as he regarded the Wood-Elf, outlined with the glow of the stars this evening as brightly as he ever had been. "And what age would our friend Ranger have been when he called you that?"

Legolas smiled painfully into his leggings, eyes shut tight as he hid his tears and his agony from his Dwarven friend. "A mere babe of five summers and no more…"


Elvish Translations:

Lirimaer (lovely singer)

Estel (Hope; one of Aragorn's many names, given to him by Lord Elrond)