nrgburst: (tauriel)
[personal profile] nrgburst
Title: Where all past years are
Fandom: The Hobbit (Jackson films)
Characters: Tauriel/Kili, Bilbo Baggins/Thorin Oakenshield (implied), Legolas & Gimli
Rating/Warnings: G, none
Word Count: 983
Summary: It's easier not to lose hope when standing next to friends.

They’ve waited long for the world to be remade, for Arda’s music to be sung true and pure.

For unlike mortals, they are bound to Middle Earth. She still grieves those long lost—Sigrid and Bard and Tilda. She last saw them buried; last saw their grandchildren before she joined her dear friends and crossed the sea to the West, knowing their souls had passed far beyond.

Having made their way to the Valar, their bodies have endured to the end of the Last Age. And she wonders, as many of their kin do, if this new world can truly be created free from Melkor’s corruption. Many among them have fought wars; lived through horrors and grief that still scars the minds of many of their kin.

But perhaps without discord woven into the fabric of things, evil will remain only memory. And surely those who dwell here now love the light all the fiercer for having tasted darkness. So she adds her voice to the others when they rejoice for this beautiful new world.

And she tries to ignore the disquiet that lingers. Melkor and Sauron had loved the light in the beginning as well.

Besides, there is still hope; those who she must believe still dwell within the Halls of Mandos.

Surely this place would not have doors if they were not meant to open. Lord Aüle —Mahal—had made his secret children a promise. And their craft and love of all that lies under the ground will surely be a necessary harmony to those children who dwell above.

Alas, the decision is not in her hands. Perhaps their waiting has been in vain, and dwarven souls have passed beyond this world as other mortals have. Even the great ones among them – Gandalf, Galadriel and Elrond—have confirmed nothing, urging them merely to trust that what is right will be done.

But it’s easier not to lose hope when standing next to friends.

And with Legolas on one side and Bilbo Baggins on the other, remaining resolute is no unbearable task. Perhaps it was meant to be so, for three sided shapes are surely the firmest.

She’d glimpsed Thorin Oakenshield only once in battle and then in death. But Kili’s stories and Bilbo’s fill in much about the dwarf beyond the legend. Bilbo may talk about how eager he is to see all his companions of old, but they all understand the real reason he stands here with them, hoping and waiting.

And Gimli had played a great part in the final routing of darkness, but to their dismay, not one that had tempered his soul as it had the Ringbearers. He had been Legolas’ faithful companion while Middle Earth settled into the age of Mortals, so intrepid and true that he’d insisted on joining them when they’d been compelled to go on that long voyage over the Western Sea, though his people had a natural fear of deep water.

Having lived so long among dwarves, his presence had been a great comfort to her on their journey from the home she could no longer bear to live in. Between him and Legolas, she’d remained strong enough to continue on despite her grief. Strong enough to learn to sing again, to smile.

And she can still recall the joyous wonder upon his face as they’d passed the Veil and the lands beyond had come into view. That exultant, “Well what are we waiting for?” before he’d vaulted over the bow—and turned to mist, mere ether on the wind. Legolas had reached out with a horrified shout and snatched back three golden hairs from mid-air.

He’s held them close for over a thousand years, ready to return them to their true owner.

And so they wait, Bilbo with an acorn and she with a runestone with markings rubbed smooth for that same purpose. She believes the message inscribed cannot be mere coincidence, though she had not understood it for years.

Innikh dȇ

He must. They must.

“Tauriel! Bilbo!” Legolas says suddenly, and Tauriel gasps and grips his arm as she too, sights the figure on the horizon.

Bilbo looks slightly peeved. “The two of you have spotted something in the dark?”

“Lord Aüle approaches the hall,” Tauriel says tremulously, clutching at the stone she keeps tucked next to her heart.

That brings Bilbo to full attention, and he stands on his toes and strains to see into the half-light of false dawn. “You don’t say.”

The tension is interminable as he approaches the door, unhurried, bearing a hammer. And even Bilbo’s eyes can see the doors swing open to admit him into inky darkness.

The doors continue to stand silently open, but nothing else occurs.

Bilbo frowns. “What does that mean? So he goes in and that’s it? Can we go in now?”

“Patience,” Legolas admonishes, and Tauriel reaches out a hand to steady the hobbit. She too can feel how painfully sharp hope has now become.

“Patience? Are you honestly-? We’ve waited a thousand years! I think I know patience, thank you very much! And what’s more-”

But he stops when the hall beyond the doorway suddenly glows, as if all the lights within have ignited.

It’s the music that emerges first, sung at a familiar low pitch.

The sound of hundreds of feet come next, and finally Lord Aüle and Lord Mandos emerge at the head of a procession of dwarves.

Hundreds upon thousands of dwarves.

Tauriel doesn’t realize she’s started forward until she's dragged Bilbo a dozen feet. He doesn't complain- he's too preoccupied.

They've done this before, a desperate search on a mountain now destroyed and remade.

But there’s no fear as she calls out this time, her heart racing as fast as her feet.

There’s only joy when she hears him answer at long last.


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August 2017

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