Sunset of the Fellowship

by Orangeblossom Took

note: Peony and her siblings are from my "Blue Book" story and Jasmine's grandmother Rosemary is featured in "Rosemary for Remembrance.

"Then Legolas built a gray ship in Ithilien, and sailed down Anduin and so over the sea; and with him, it is said, went Gimli the Dwarf. And when that ship passed an end was come in Middle Earth of the Fellowship of the Ring." J.R.R. Tolkien, Return of the King, Appendix B

Sunset of the Fellowship

The sun sparkled on the waves and a stiff breeze was blowing towards the west when Gimli looked at the small crowd of middle-aged and elderly hobbits gathered to see both Legolas and himself off to Valinor. He hadn't expected to see so many so far from the Shire. It bothered the dwarf, now gray and bent with age, that these were not the children but the grandchildren of their four little ones. It made him feel very old and like everything he ever knew had disappeared.

Yet, he was glad to see them. Pippin's granddaughters, Peony and Lila, were there. Peony recently lost her husband and she and Lila would be returning to the Shire. Their sister Blossom and their brother Berilac were there from the Shire. The Tooks had always been his favorites. Hadn't he helped Peony's husband pick out her engagment ring? Pippin had been his favorite and he could see parts of him in all four of his grandchildren. It saddened him to think how long the bright, inquisitive hobbit had lain under Rath Dinen.

It was the same with the grandchildren of the other three hobbits. Several Brandybuck grandchildren, bright-eyed and vivacious, conversed with stolid, sensible-looking Gamgee-Gardners. And there, in back of the group, he saw a pair of bright blue eyes. It was Jasmine, the child of Frodo's daughter Iris, whose origins were know only to herself and the Fellowship, and her husband. She was now a handsome, middle-aged hobbit -woman. Did Frodo know? Had she even been born before Sam left? It didn't matter. Frodo would no longer be there to tell.

Contemplating the length of years made him dizzy. She would be there waiting, though, and she was eternal. Gimli fingered the small, flat gold box set with jewel he made to house those three precious hairs. To look on the Lady of Light again would be worth the trouble of this journey, even if he should never see his beloved caverns again.

He wondered if he would see Gandalf or Elrond. Legolas said they would and sang many songs of reunion and the beauty of Valinor. He knew the elf was eager to see his father Thraniduil again. Then a chill gripped his heart. Elrond. He and Legolas would have to tell Elrond that his daughter was gone, faded away after Aragon's death. Gimli's head bowed at the thought. That would be the hardest thing. Gimli had never had children but could imagine how it must feel to lose one of them. It must be even worse after knowing them for thousands of years.

The ship was about to leave and the hobbits crowded around, showering him and Legolas with flowers. Then he saw Jasmine's blue eyes up close.

She handed him a small, engraved wooden box and, In a quiet voice, she said, "Master Dwarf, would you place this on my grandfather's grave? It contains locks of hair from my grandmother, my mother, and myself."

Gimli bowed and said, "I would be honored, Mistress Jasmine."

He took the box from her and offered her a single lavender rose

Peony stepped up and, with tears in her golden eyes, said, "I will miss you both, dearest Gimli and Legolas." They knelt so she could kiss them on their cheeks.

Gimli followed Legolas on to the ship and they both waved to the hobbits as the last of the Fellowship passed into the West.