A/N: These wonderful characters are all the property of J. R. R. Tolkien.

This story is listed as a LotR/Silmarillion crossover, but the material and references are also drawn from Unfinished Tales, Morgoth's Ring, The Lay of Leithian, and The Children of Hurin . . . and I think I can probably work in a Hobbit reference or two. ;) As always, thanks for your reviews and constructive criticism!

I had really hoped to stay out of this.

There are a few among us who still like to keep an eye on Arda, even if they have given up their places in it. Nothing wrong with that, but I do sometimes wish they'd keep the news to themselves. I had enough horror while I was there. As for this inter-net, this world-wide-web, I was happy enough when I believed it had something to do with giant spiders and was therefore Thranduil's problem. Indeed, it turned out to be Thranduil's problem, but it became mine.

He appeared one day with an expression as black as Morgoth's hands, raging about "Legolas" and "mortal stories" and "depravity"; and it was a long time before he could calm himself enough to explain. How Thranduil got his hands on any of these unfortunate tales is a mystery (although Olorin guesses he must have heard Nienna mourning about them); but he didn't hesitate to inform Elrond, Glorfindel, Haldir, and a few others that if they looked upon the writings, they would soon be (almost) as wrathful as himself. Galadriel cautioned them against it, but they were too curious.

Therefore it came to pass that, after a few hours of vengeful target practice and the wholesale slaughter of innocent hay-bales (which greatly annoyed the Rohirrim), there was a council of-well, not war, but you would never know it. And Thranduil swore by all the leaves of Eryn Lasgalen that if the word fan-fiction ever came to his son's ears, he would imprison us forever in barrels that smelt of apples. And Elrond added quietly that if the word was so much as breathed in the presence of his sons, he would have us all cast into the Bruinen, where beautiful water-horses would trample upon our faces. And finally Olorin said "Enough! Is it not clear that something must be written to counter this madness?"

"But who is the writer to be? And what are they to write? That's what this Council has to decide, and all it has to decide!" said a voice from somewhere around our knees. Bilbo had been making notes, as usual. "And if you think I'm volunteering this time, you're mad," he muttered.

The shadow of doom fell upon my heart as soon as they decided that the writing needed to come from "a mortal perspective." And it only grew darker when Erestor pointed out that the author should be "someone who has won the heart of an Elf."

Well, the excuses began flying thicker than snowflakes on Caradhras. Aragorn was going to be "striding" somewhere (he would only say that it was very far away). Tuor had to attend a meeting of the Society for the Differentiation of Characters with Frustratingly Similar Names (whose officers included Fingolfin, Finarfin, Fingon, Finrod, Huor, Hurin, and most of Thorin's Company). Andreth was silent, but nobody had the heart to ask her. And Turin . . . well, Turin can write romance about as easily as he can stick to one name.

Then Luthien smiled at me and said, "Who could do better than Beren?" And all was lost. I always intend to speak to her about that smile, because it gives her an unfair advantage; but I always forget until it's too late.

"Indeed, I admit I had Beren in mind," said Olorin, giving me his inscrutable stare. "After all, if elvish romance is what these mortals are seeking, he could certainly explain what is involved."

"But, my lord," I said, "all I know is that Luthien and I were destined for one another; her father declared we could not marry unless I brought him a Silmaril from the Iron Crown of Morgoth; after great perils, we managed to steal the Silmaril, but it was lost; I died hunting the wolf who devoured it; Luthien died of grief and brought both of us back from the dead; and finally, we lived for a short time together and then died again."

"Exactly." And suddenly there was a twinkle in Olorin's eyes. "If that doesn't discourage people, nothing will."

So here I am.

Since I have been instructed to write what I know, the following is a guide for those who wish to learn elvish courtship for their own sake or the sake of their fictional characters. Should you find that any of this advice seems contradictory, impossible, or nonsensical, return to Step One. If anything is too difficult to understand, save yourself the trouble and return to Step One. If all else fails, return to Step One. I can say nothing of greater wisdom in this guide.

Legolas has just arrived, looking startled. I had best relocate for the present, in case Thranduil is about.