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Far Beyond Mirkwood, Epilogue

Authors: Mary A and Malinornë
Warnings: This is it. The real end of this long story. Thank you for keeping on reading until the end!
Disclaimer: This is a work of amateur fanfiction of the parody type and is meant solely for entertainment purposes, no profit is made.

~ Mal ~

Now, many years later, I find it hard to believe that I was once the concubine of a king, and an elf at that. Re-reading the diary I kept together with Mary has become a monthly habit, a ritual even. This is my battle with reason, my fight against the realities of modern life, so bleak in comparison with Middle-earth. I refuse to surrender, and yet I realized long ago that I am losing this war. The more time that goes by, the more likely I find it that it was all a dream, the feverish ramblings caused by the chronic disease I was diagnosed with after my return.

I fetch the scrolls and notebooks I found in my bag one morning after waking up in a tent in the glade outside my home with no memory of going camping. I sit down at my kitchen table with a cup of tea, and spread out the various writings before me. Thaladir's meticulous notes make me smile wistfully every time I look at them. For some reason, the old elf has come to symbolize Thranduil's kingdom more than even the Elvenking himself. Perhaps because I have no personal item to remember him by, only what I and others have written about him.

I sip my tea and begin to slowly list through the diary pages, again submerging myself in the wondrous world I lost by attempting to save it. To this day I do not know if Thranduil's quest was real in truth. I never found out whether the Valar had anything to do with it, or if my royal tour sleeping around in the elven realms was just a figment of Thranduil's oversexed mind, his idea of a suitable symbolic transferral of power. If it even happened at all, that is. I sigh and take another sip of tea. Rhubarb and cream, my favourite.

I guess I could give up, just put these writings in my bookshelf beside the collected works of J.R.R. Tolkien and let it be. If I am lucky, I will have these dreams again, or if not, there will be elves in my heaven.

Yet I hang on to the physical evidence of my visit with Thranduil. His seneschal's scrolls are not written in my hand, and neither are the various notes from Mary. Multiple personalities are not part of my ailment. And so, I stubbornly choose to hope beyond reason that everything indeed happened as in these texts. I have survived losing the love of my life. I do not know if I could take realizing that he has never even existed.

A knock on the door penetrates my musings, the intensity of the repeated sounds increasing until I can ignore it no longer. Slowly, I rise from the chair and make my way to the front door.

"Open!" The voice is distinct, harsh even, but also familiar. I feel no fear as I do its bidding.

The person standing outside is an elf. This I register calmly, without the slightest hint of surprise. I know him well.

"His Majesty is sailing," Thaladir says gravely as he steps over the threshold. "He demands the presence of his concubine." The words from his mouth are commands, but I see a rare display of emotion in his eyes. They are smiling.

"Yes, Your Excellency." I curtsey reverently, falling into my old role with ease. Then I add playfully, "Cirdan must have lowered the fare considerably, then."

The seneschal's purses his lips into his infamous lemony-sour expression.

"It was a joke," I tell him, and when his features soften somewhat I can no longer contain my feelings. My happy kiss surprises him at first, but when I embrace him, hiding my face in the curve of his throat, he wraps his arms around me. We remain standing like this for what seems an eternity as wave upon wave of emotion washes over me. All that I saw in Middle-earth, everything I read in those notes was true. And now, I am on my way back. Before long, to my astonishment and inexpressible joy, I will again be at the Elvenking's side, in his bed and part of his life. Wordlessly, I hug Thaladir closer.

"Do not tarry," he admonishes softly and pats my back.

I kiss his cheek fleetingly and then scramble to collect some necessities. I pick up an item here and there, only to discard them moments later and resume my frantic search. My mind is in turmoil. I end up bringing nothing but this diary as I head for the door again. Then I stop in my tracks and return to the kitchen table to scribble these last notes before I leave the book behind with the others. I feel Thaladir's reassuring presence behind me as I add these final words:



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Chapter posted: October 28, 2011

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"Long live Thranduil, great Elf-king of Greenwood!"