thanks to Guest, MaxRideandPercyJackson4ever and Counting Sinful Stars for your reviews!
Well this is it guys, i wanted to give you all a big thanks for all of you sticking it out, and i hope you all have enjoyed this tale, i know i did.
on a side note: Sorry to those who tired to vote in the poll and couldn't find it, i forgot to put it on the 'yes post to profile' but now its up and you guys can find it. I really need your thoughts on what to do for a side project next!
Also... still no beta reader and this is the last thing i have that is beta so... till i find some one to help me well...
Anyway Enjoy the last installment of The Light-Footed Wanderer!
In the five decades I had walked and lived on this earth, I had never seen the ocean. Today, that fact had changed. The sea was dark and gray and roaring with life, its gentle waves rocking the lone boat as gently as a mother does for a newborn.
This was the first time I had ever seen the Gray Havens, the once mighty elven city now almost empty, save a few stray boat makers. I stood tall, looking over the harbor from my spot on the look out ledge, far above the ground with a hollow feeling that I could not quite place.
Below I watched as elves began to file into the one lonely boat, the last that meant to travel to the undying lands for years to come. Among them were Lord Elrond, Lord Celeborn, and the Lady of Light, Galadriel. The three mightily rulers were leaving these lands, though not quite at that moment, as they waited for the last of the passengers.
Behind them, on the docks, my eyes lingered on one of the elves that laid in waiting for their leaders. Rúmil caught my gaze again, even with such a distance between us, and smiled slightly. I had not thought, that if only one of my uncles would leave, that it would be the carefree one of the two. Truly, I had thought they would both leave, now that all of the Golden Woods had emptied.
Orophin had found new purpose in Middle Earth, as of now he was helping with the preparation to build in Ithilien, a plot of land given to the remaining elves in hopes that they could bring it back to its glory. In the next few years, Legolas and I would move there, to over look its growth and the live as the rulers of the last of the elves besides those who still lived in Mirkwood, or Greenwood as it was slowly becoming again.
Slowly, I reached up and brushed my hair back from my face at the wind caught it, my fingers brushing over the old scar there and the smooth silver circlet. The crown was a simple one, which I had been thankful after seeing Thranduil's crown and fretting. It held a single green gem that hung down the middle, between my brows.
Rúmil reached a hand up and placed it over his heart for a moment, and I nodded slightly and watched him as his gaze turned away.
"You will see him again."
Tuning slightly I eyed Legolas, who had been silent since our goodbyes to the elves below. His hands were behind him, his own crown gleaming almost as brightly as his eyes.
"I know." I shifted slightly to look upon the scene again. It was still odd to think about it, that one day I would come back here and leave this land, for the time of the elves was fading, and fading fast. "Your time has already come." I pointed out, remembering when he had told me of the sea longing. "Why do you stay when you could go?"
His hand came up and rested on my shoulder as he stepped closer to me. "Because there I things that must be done, and because so many of my friends are still on this side of the sea." His hand squeezed my shoulder and I looked at him again. "Because it is not your time, and I will not leave you."
I grinned looking down at my feet for a moment before reaching up with my left hand and placing it on his, our mithril rings – a gift from Gimli – clicking together.
"Good." As I spoke, I followed the line of a horse drawn wagon, with Gandalf at the reins. The wizard pulled to a stop near the docks and uprooted himself from the bench. From out of the covered wagon four young hobbits jumped out, the dark haired one – Frodo – helping his elderly uncle down.
I had met all the remaining fellowship around the time of the wedding between Legolas and myself, and much like everyone else, enjoyed their company.
"Are you sure you do not wish to go say hello?" I asked the prince – my husband. Legolas shook his head slightly as the group walked up to the elven leaders and Rúmil came forward to help Bilbo onto the ship. I was not sure when I would see him again.
"I think it is best they do not know of our coming. We would never get out of hear in an orderly fashion."
I raised my eyebrows at him.
"Since when do you care?"
He smirked at me.
"Since Gimli decided that teasing me about being late was the best way to get back at me for his loss at the wedding drinking game."
I rolled my eyes. Honestly, they were such children some times. I do not think I had ever seen so much wine at a party before. Then again, his father did like to celebrate. I am rather sure no one was sober by the end of it.
Looking back out at the docks I saw Frodo hugging his friends good bye. I was not that surprised that he was leaving, but I felt for the other hobbits. Saying good-bye was never easy. As the ring barer walked towards Gandalf, and the last of the elves got on bored the ship, I saw the wizard' old gray gaze look up at us and lock with mine.
From under his beard I saw a smile and he raised a hand at us, making it look like he was sweeping a hand over Frodo's shoulders. I smiled and raised my hand back at him, waving at my old teacher and friend.
Yet another person I would not see for a long time to come.
Slowly, I let my arm fall back to my side and Legolas pulled me close and wrapped his arms around me. We stood there, watching for a long while, watching as the boat set sail and then the wind carried it off to the horizon. Not long after the boat became little more then a speck in the distance, the three remaining hobbits left as well, back to their home.
Somehow all of this seemed like an ending, yet, I felt as if life was still far out in front of me.
"When I was little, my mother would tell me stories," I said suddenly and felt Legolas shift slightly, listening. "I always asked for the same one, the one about the One Ring. I look back on it now, and wonder if I had known some day I would be apart of such a battle, would I have enjoyed it so much?"
"This is part of what makes life what it is. We can not know such things."
I frowned slightly looking out at the sea. "Do you think that they will tell stories about the Fellowship, and the war of the One Ring in the generations to come? Do you think they will remember the people that fought for their freedom?"
Instead of answering my question Legolas lifted a hand and ran it over one of the warrior braids I kept in my hair ever since he had first put them in. "Why do you ask such things? Are you afraid of not being remembered?"
I pondered that for a moment, playing with the end of my single front braid. "Half." I decided. "It is not really that I worry I will not be remembered, but rather that people will not remember what I helped achieve, what my father died to protect. I want to know that somewhere down the line, someone's mother will be telling their children stories about that."
I felt his hand touch mine, forcing me to let go of my hair so he could hold it. "I believe they will." He answered finally. "Even if some day, they forget about the elves, and forget about the war, somewhere, somehow, it will be remembered that people fought to make their lives good ones."
I nodded my head slightly satisfied with his answer. It was something I could believe in and look forward to in the years to come.
Lips pressed to my scalp and then Legolas let go of me. I looked out at the sea once more, promising myself that I would not come back here till my feet touched the boat to guide us across it. Turning away we made our way back to the two horses tethered to a tree behind Gray Haven. Both of them nickered as we approached. Arod was starting to show his age, but Legolas refusing to give him up. Next to the gray horse stood a mostly black one, save for a stripe down his face and a sock on one foot.
Cynric had been a gift from Galadriel the day I had left the Golden Woods, one of the last black horses besides Orophin's that had not been taken by Mordor's armies. I had given him a name from Rohan, meaning 'one of royal might' for the way he had shook his mane and pranced his feet upon meeting me.
"We should have just enough time to make it to the Glittering Caves before the rainy season sets in." Legolas assured me as I placed my folded dress into my saddlebag. I had changed back into riding gear once we had left the havens.
"I think Gimli just wants to show off, probably thinks it is important that we know that dwarfs work faster then elves when it comes to building settlements." I laughed a bit when Legolas rolled his eyes and came up to me.
"You enjoy teasing me just as much as he does," he complained.
"You hardly take it to heart."
In answer he pulled me forward and kissed me. I do not think I will ever get over it, the surprise I feel every time he touches me like that. It reminds me of how we met by chance that day and it makes me thankful to Clara for leading me to him. When he pulled back I reached up and touched his cheek, smiling.
"Where will we go after that? Back home?"
Legolas shrugged his shoulders and turned away, pulling himself back onto Arod and setting his quiver back on, just incase.
"I do not see why we need to hurry back."
I followed suite, pulling myself onto the saddle, never fully comfortable with riding bareback like other elves. Near my right leg and the horn of my saddle, my father's knife hung sheathed and ready. Across the saddlebag were my Shield Maiden Sword and the bow my father had made. Carefully I strapped a quiver on as well. It had taken almost three years for me to be competent with a bow, but now I was able to shoot targets as easily as I could swing a sword.
"Do you intend on us wandering our way back then?" I questioned smiling as we pulled our horses back onto the road. Legolas shrugged placing Arod next to Cynric.
"Do you think that is a bad idea?" He was teasing me, and I could not stop the blush that scattered over my face. I had gotten used to my little title as a wanderer, and for that I had Éomer to thank. I shook my head.
"I do not think it is a bad thing to wander about, as long as you are not lost."
That was what I had been, before I had met him and Gimli in Fangorn, almost four years ago. Lost, and in the wind, wandering about trying to find somewhere to go. In the end it had taken a pack of orcs and a stubborn pair of friends to help me find my way again.
"Are we lost Áriel?"
I tilted my head and looked at him, stared into his blue eyes and then smiled looking ahead. The road was empty, not a soul in sight. Perfect.
"No." I took a deep breath looking up at the sky, as endless as the lives stretched out before us. Legolas smiled at me, and I knew he knew what I was thinking. "Come on."
Kicking our horses into full speed Legolas chased me down the road, my hair whipping behind me. Cynric snorted, holding his head high and I laughed, hearing Arod close behind. I did not look back; I did not have to, for I knew he would catch up. I knew he would always be there, waiting to hold me stead if I ever faltered on my path again. It was with that strength, that knowledge, that I was able to set my sights forward and locked on the journey ahead, one step at a time.
Light-Footed Wanderer extras
Theme: You Raise Me Up – Celtic Women
Áriel's song: Skin and Bones – Beth Crowley
Legolas' song: Long Time Coming – Oliver James
all songs mentioned or used in this story are not mine, they belong to their rightful song writers and singers.
On a side note, it is possible i will be writing some short stories called 'Light Steps' that will cover events that happened between chapter 20 and the ending. Not sure if i will get around to it, but i might. If i do i'll post an announcement on this story.
I hope to see you guys back for Izumi's second installment in her story, as well as my other creations. DOnt forget to vote for the poll!
well thats it guys hope you enjoyed it! Fav and review!