Reunion in Lorien
Just to be clear, the songs are 100% Tolkien, not me.
Buffy smiled from her perch nestled amidst the trees. She was slowly starting to feel like she fit in here, instead of being some strange hybrid that was neither Edain nor Eldar. She had actually bested her brothers in archery this morning- though they had been at some pains to point out that she had only hit a target
, not an actual moving being such as an orc. Buffy had dignified that with the only response it deserved- she stuck her tongue out at them.
She wasn’t sure if it was the archery, or something else entirely, but her grandparents had decided they needed a party. Maybe it had been to offer other elves the chance to sample ice cream, which Galadriel, Tara, and their willing assistants had finally perfected, producing a good dozen flavors. So here they were, enjoying food, drink, singing, dancing, and general merriment. It was the best atmosphere she’d ever experienced.
She was also mulling over the unexpected news that her parents and sisters would soon be joining them in Lothlorien. Elrohir had told her about it yesterday, looking very pleased with himself for being the one who got the news to her first.
She was actually looking forward to the whole family being in one place, even if it wouldn’t last very long. Ada had responsibilities in Imladris, and Galadriel virtually never left Lothlorien- there was a creepy place nearby that she had to watch over, with a Big Bad who had supposedly been defeated long time ago. Buffy could understand that. She also understood more than her brothers suspected about the current ‘peace’.
Celeborn and Galadriel had not seen any point in reticence about the growing shadow in the East and the threat of Dol Guldur, not once they had heard the full story of how she had lived in California. For her part, Buffy had held nothing back from them- she wasn’t entirely sure she could hold anything back from her grandmother even if she wanted to. Galadriel, in her rare unguarded moments, radiated power in a way Buffy had never encountered before.
She wasn’t sure how to describe the feeling of Galadriel’s power, though she had tried to put it into words for the gwenyn. Anti-demon was the best she had been able to come up with to describe that sensation of goodness that was the complete opposite of the things she fought, but that was insufficient, since her brothers’ only reference for what she meant by demon were yrch, and yrch were low grade minions. She’d ended up frustrated, knowing that what they understood was far short of what she meant. Her grandmother was closer to an anti-Glory than an anti-orc, but that would mean nothing to her brothers.
Haldir dropped down to sit next to her. She had forgiven him his snootiness when she first caught sight of Caras Galadhon fully lit and echoing with music. It was as amazing as he thought it was, and she now that she'd seen it herself, she could understand him taking pride in it.
“You are far too serious for a night of feasting and singing such as this,” he told her. “Look, even your friends are making merry.”
She looked, and discovered that Willow and Tara were with a group of ellith who were teaching them one of the more complicated dances. Anya was in conversation with one of the cooks, while Xander was watching intently as another elf sketched the scene.
“You’re right,” she replied. “They’re all having fun.”
It was one of the things she sometimes worried about- that having followed her to Arda, her friends regretted their choice. That no matter how delighted the elves were to show them any crafts they took an interest in, or take them to the places the elves found most beautiful, it would not make up for the harsh fact that they were now set apart by their mortality- and she didn’t know how to confess to them that while she had apparently once had the choice of whether to be mortal or not, that choice had been unknowingly made in the Master’s lair.
“They are. But you are not,” Haldir said, sounding disappointed. “You are sitting here on the hillside alone and quiet.”
“Just thinking,” she said.
“You are very like the Lady,” he said. “But even she is making merry tonight. Why are you are not singing, my lady?”
“Me and the singing are not really of the good,” she said ruefully. “Ask Tindomiel when she gets here. She’ll tell you.”
Haldir laughed that off.
“Yes, but she is your younger sister. I am sure if you were to ask my own younger brothers, they would tell you I croak like frog, yet still I sing.”
Buffy rolled her eyes.
“Right, cause I’ve heard Orophin and Rumil rag on you so much…”
“It would give the Lady great joy to hear you singing,” Haldir said softly.
Buffy sighed. She knew he was right. Galadriel was always so pleased whenever Buffy learned any of the skills most elves took for granted- or even better, the rare occasions when she remembered something from before California.
It had only happened a few times, unexpected bits and pieces surfacing like a submarine, but when it did, Buffy was relieved, because it meant that all her mother had told her was real. This wasn’t one more crazy trick of the powers, something beautiful and good that might be yanked away from her the second she let herself believe it. This was where she belonged. She knew her family treasured those flashes of memory, too- her brothers had been as enthusiastic about her remembering Caradhras as they had been about her returning to Arda in the first place.
“I can’t even if I want to. I don’t know the words.”
“Not even to this one?” Haldir asked, his tone daring her to admit to not knowing it as he began to sing quietly.
“A Elbereth Gilthoniel
“Silivren penna míriel
,” Buffy joined in, surprising even herself.
She did remember- it was a short song, and one even the youngest elflings knew. One of the first they learned, Buffy realized.
“O menel aglar elenath! Na-chaered palan-díriel, o galadhremmin ennorath, Fanuilos, le linnathon nef aear, sí nef aearon!
It wasn’t until the last line that she realized Haldir had stopped once she picked up the tune. Galadhrim all over the square had fallen silent and turned to listen. But the faces Buffy cared most about were at the far end of the square- her grandparents and her brothers.
And the night held one more surprise- it wasn’t just her grandparents and the gwynen beaming at her, Ada and Nana were there, along with Dawn and Arwen.
Dawn smirked, and never one to be outdone, started a new song.
“Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear! O Queen beyond the Western Seas!”
As Buffy walked toward them, she joined in- as did Arwen and their brothers. She heard first Ada, then Nana, and Galadriel and Celeborn’s voices join them.
“O Light to us that wander here, amid the world of woven trees!”
Haldir’s was the next voice she recognized, followed immediately by his brothers. Buffy realized to her surprise that Willow, Tara, Xander and even Anya were singing, too. She wasn’t sure when they’d learned the song- she had a sudden suspicion that Haldir had been very sneaky. Quite possibly her brothers had been in on it, too.
“Gilthoniel! O Elbereth! Clear are thy eyes and bright thy breath!”
By the time she reached her family, it sounded like every elf in Caras Galadhon was singing. Lothlorien rang with song, building to a crescendo as they reached the final line.
“Snow-white! Snow-white! We sing to thee, in a far land beyond the Sea.”