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Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or the world this is set in. They are the creations of J.R.R. Tolkien.

I woke up with the basic premise for this fic already in my mind, and just felt I had to write it down somewhere. We don't ever really find out what happens to the Ringbearers once they leave Middle-earth, but it struck me that Galadriel, at least, had a lot to face.

Many, many thanks to lady_rilwen, who betaed this and pointed out my goofs.

The sound of the waves was soothing, but one of the travellers was more anxious than was apparent. The ship had set sail only a few days ago, but they were already nearing their destination; the shores of Valinor were in sight. To any who looked towards the stern of the vessel, the Lady Galadriel appeared serene as ever, standing enfolded in her white cloak as she gazed at the great mountain that rose up ahead of them. They assumed she wished for a little peace, and so none disturbed her as they prepared for arrival.
In truth, she was grateful for the peace; she feared any attempts to talk would reveal her inner turmoil. Middle-earth, where she had spent so many long years, was behind her for good, but the memories of everything she had left there were strong. Her brothers and cousins and uncles had been lost before the First Age of the Sun was ended, and their graves lay beneath the seas in drowned Beleriand. Only one had escaped that fate, but Macalaurë too was lost to them, perhaps until the end of time.
Galadriel blinked back a tear that threatened to escape; she had almost forgotten how much she missed the family she had lost. Almost unaware of the shore drawing ever closer, her thoughts turned to the family that had come to her after the uproar of the War of Wrath. Celeborn, her beloved, had willingly joined her in trying to find a land they could guide and protect together, and in the end they had come to Lothlórien. They had worked together to keep it safe, and there, their only child had grown into a beautiful woman. Her little Celebrían…
The golden-haired woman blinked back more tears. Today she would finally see her daughter again, and could only hope that the memory of her suffering had eased a little. All too well Galadriel remembered receiving the news of Celebrían’s kidnapping, and hurrying to Rivendell; the vigil by her bedside, trusting in Elrond’s knowledge of healing to drive the poison from her; the heartwrenching day her only child bade farewell to them all and left to cross the Sea.
Let her be healed. Please, let me see the light I remember in her face.
A movement from nearby caught Galadriel’s attention, and she looked over to see Elrond, who was now talking with Bilbo and Frodo. The Lord of Rivendell had left as much behind as she - perhaps more so. While she had the hope of seeing Celeborn again some day when he finally crossed the Sea, and would be reunited with her daughter today, Elrond had left behind all three of his children… one of whom he would not see again until the end of Arda itself.
The waves grew a little livelier as they approached the harbour, and at last Galadriel moved to join the other Ringbearers, though she remained silent. The sound of silver trumpets arose from the shore, and she looked across to see from whence they came.
Her breath almost caught in her throat. The High King of the Noldor himself awaited them. Arafinwë, her own father, was standing there upon the shore with members of his court gathered around him.
Unbidden, the memory of their last meeting rose up. He had asked her to come home with him, on the shores of devastated Alqualondë after the first Kinslaying. He had pleaded with her and her brothers to give up this madness, and return to Tirion instead of following Fëanor. She had - they all had - defied him out of pride and stubbornness, and followed the host without a backwards glance.
Father, after all this time, can you forgive me for the things I said to you?
The sailors were mooring the ship as it finally docked. Galadriel could hardly bear to look towards the shore now. She gave Frodo a faint smile as he glanced up at her nervously, and he seemed to relax a little. The touch of a gentle hand on her shoulder made her turn to look; it was Mithrandir, smiling gently. Even without a single word, the look of kindness and encouragement he gave her was enough, and she took her place in the group. Head held high, she followed Elrond down the gangplank, and for the first time in thousands of years, the Lady of Light set foot on the shores of Aman.
First to step from the gathered throng was a silver-haired woman, heedless of dignity as she fiercely embraced Elrond with tears of mingled joy and sorrow. Galadriel waited in silence, for once not quite sure what to say, until Celebrían turned to embrace her and suddenly there was no need for words. Galadriel gazed into her daughter’s eyes as they held each other close, and felt her heart leap. Valinor had indeed renewed Celebrían’s spirit; the light in her eyes was as bright as it had been on her wedding day, and her smile brought the same joy to her mother as it had always done.
They could have stood there for ever, but others were approaching, wishing to talk to them. Almost reluctantly, Galadriel relinquished Celebrían to Elrond’s arms again and turned to face the golden-haired High King of the Noldor.
She looked up at him hesitantly, unable to help noticing as she did the minute changes time and grief had wrought on him. So long had passed, and their parting had been so angry -
“Father, I…”
“All is forgiven, Artanis,” he said softly, and her eyes widened. She had no chance to speak before he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly. “All is forgiven,” he repeated, his voice thick with the emotions he was trying to hold back. “Welcome home, my child.”
She returned the embrace just as tightly, hardly able to believe it. After this long…
Yes. She was home.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2011 12:31 pm (UTC)
Short, but sweet. Mind commenting on my story (Non-LotR, except for some names) as well?
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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