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Written for Lbilover's birthday, prompted from a question she posed in her LJ some time ago: Why was Sam able to see the Elven rings at the Grey Havens? Was it because he had been a Ring-bearer, or because the rings had faded in power? I offered a third possibility and have finally been able to write a fic for it.
From ‘A Short Cut to Mushrooms’:
‘Do you feel any need to leave the Shire now – now that your wish to see [the Elves] has come true already?’ [Frodo] asked.
‘Yes, sir. I don’t know how to say it, but after last night I feel different. I seem to see ahead, in a kind of way.’
From 'The Mirror of Galadriel':
'And did you not see and recognize the ring upon my finger? Did you see my ring?' she asked turning again to Sam.
'No, Lady,' he answered. `To tell you the truth, I wondered what you were talking about. I saw a star through your finger.'
From ‘Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbits’:
[Sam] was reminded suddenly of Frodo as he had lain, asleep in the house of Elrond, after his deadly wound. Then as he had kept watch Sam had noticed that at times a light seemed to be shining faintly within; but now the light was even clearer and stronger.
From 'The Grey Havens':
Elrond wore a mantle of grey and had a star upon his forehead, and a silver harp was in his hand, and upon his finger was a ring of gold with a great blue stone, Vilya, mightiest of the Three. But Galadriel sat upon a white palfrey and was robed all in glimmering white, like clouds about the Moon; for she herself seemed to shine with a soft light. On her finger was Nenya, the ring wrought of mithril, that bore a single white stone flickering like a frosty star.
For Eyes To See That Can
25 Halimath, 1418 SR
Gildor waited until the hobbits were asleep before gathering his people together. Of his company, only Faeglin lingered behind. The others watched as he stood over the hobbits, stooped and touched the one named Samwise upon his brow. Faeglin said some words before rising and joining the others. Gildor lifted an eyebrow and waited.
“His love of his master is great,” Faeglin said. “To us he swore never to leave his master’s side, though I deem he needed not our request to do so. I foresee that his path will be much entwined with that of our new Elf-friend.”
“It will be a dark road for ones so light of heart,” Gildor said.
“Indeed,” Faeglin said, nodding as he remembered the determination in Samwise. “His fëa is strong, and his will resolved. There will be little that can sway him from his path. For him to be companion to the Ring-bearer, he will need to see beyond what is plain to him now. I asked for Elbereth to watch over him and lift the veil from his eyes, so that he may see what he must.”
Gildor startled at this but remained silent as they proceeded down the road. He had been too preoccupied with Frodo to pay much mind to the other perian. If Faeglin sensed something within Samwise to call upon the favor of Elbereth, then he would trust to Faeglin’s judgement. Still, he doubted Samwise’s ability to bear such a gift, if granted.
“He will need to be trained,” Faeglin said, speaking aloud Gildor’s own thoughts. “He is a simple creature at heart and not one to see himself as grand or important. The Lady will be careful in her teaching.”
“It may be a lesson he is incapable of learning,” Gildor said.
“Perhaps, but I deem he is willing, for the love of his master,” Faeglin said.
“So it is with all of us for our masters,” Gildor said. “It is in the Lady’s hands now, and his. Come. We must not tarry. Estel awaits us.”
Autumn 1482 SR
Faeglin did not see Samwise again until some years later, when the last of the Ring-bearers arrived upon the shores of Tol Erresëa. He was not surprised to see a light shining out of the old hobbit’s wrinkled face, nor was he surprised to discover that Samwise had heard the Sea Calling for many years, only succumbing to its call after the passing of his beloved wife. After hearing of Samwise’s many deeds during the final days of the Ring War, he knew that Elbereth had answered his request and that Samwise had proven a good pupil.
He was surprised however when Sam came up to him during his homecoming feast and greeted him as an old friend.
“You remember me, Panthael?” Faeglin asked.
“Remember you I do,” Sam said. “You were one of the first Elves I’d ever seen. I’ve never forgotten it.”
“Nor have I forgotten you. You were one of the first Hobbits I had ever seen,” Faeglin said. “Is Elven Home as you imagined it?”
Sam nodded enthusiastically. “I thought as Rivendell and Lothlorien were paradises beyond imagining, but I was wrong. There’s naught like this in Middle-earth! I think I can even hear the Sea singing!”
Faeglin smiled with delight. “You can hear the Song of Illúvatar?”
“Is it real then? I thought I was just having a fancy,” Sam said. “I don’t hear so good anymore, so I can never be sure.”
“Never doubt your ears when it comes to the Sea, Panthael,” Faeglin said, raising his voice to be better heard.
“Nor my eyes,” Sam said with a wink. “Gandalf, or Olórin as you folk call him, told me about what you did, asking Elbereth to see after me.” He blushed but chuckled with amusement rather than embarrassment. “I don’t know what made you do it, but I thank you. I’m not sure as it did any good, but it certainly didn’t hurt!”
Faeglin studied the perian closely. Is it possible that after all these years, accomplishing all that he had and holding a position that among his own people was considered prestigious, that Sam was still the same, unassuming hobbit he had met that night in the Woody End? Simple and humble he was indeed!
“You do not think Elbereth aided you?”
“Her help would have been poorly wasted on me, but I think now, after learning all I have, that she helped Frodo a good deal,” Sam said. “He had a light about him. I first noticed it in Rivendell when he was recovering from his wound. I thought then that mayhap it was something that Lord Elrond did to heal him, but after we left I knew as there was something more to it. He always seemed more alert and energized whenever I saw that light.”
Faeglin wondered if Sam was aware of his own inner light; he doubted it.
“I had time after luncheon to flip through some of Frodo’s journals that he left me,” Sam said. “He mentioned you many times. Thanks for helping him get settled here.”
“It was my greatest honor,” Faeglin said.
Sam yawned and looked up at the stars. “They seem closer here,” he said musingly, then laughed. “Closer than my bed even. I could curl up and sleep right here on the balcony. I think I’ll take a stroll along the beach first though.”
Faeglin offered to accompany him, seeing that Sam was indeed quite tired after a day of travel and merriment, but Sam declined. Faeglin thought to persuade him, but he could sense the Mayor of the Shire squaring his shoulders against him. Though Samwise was ever jovial, the spark in his eyes told Faeglin there was little point in pressing the matter.
“Rose and I would walk by the moonlight, you know,” Sam said in the end. He sighed and stretched his bent back. “It was the only time we had to ourselves. It seems right somehow that the stars are closer here. It makes her feel closer anyhow. Good night, Master Faeglin.”
“Good night, Panthael.” Faeglin watched him go, a small figure against the vastness of the night sky, a faint silver light shining from within him. Sam might be too humble to see it, but Faeglin had no doubts: Elbereth smiled upon him still.
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