The wedding was held a few days later under the beautiful starlight. Dressed in a simple green robe, Tauriel presented a lovely picture. Kili finally watched her really and truly walk in the starlight as she had told him she did, and it was certainly a sight to behold! Tauriel thought he looked as handsome as ever in a simple brown tunic and pants set. Fili was the best man and Sigrid the maid of honour. Legolas could not bring himself to attend (he stayed in his room to brood and pet his cat, which suited the feline just fine; he had not gotten nearly enough attention lately and missed his master), but King Thranduil agreed to officiate the ceremony. Two guards stood by as witnesses.
The happy couple said their vows and shared the most tender and sweet kiss yet, looking forward to the joys of married life. Sparks also began to fly between Sigrid and Fili.
After a short honeymoon of three days within the halls of the palace, the quartet was ready to seek Fili and Kili’s mother. She was last located in the Blue Mountains, well beyond Mirkwood, the Misty Mountains, and even the Shire. Their journey would be long and hard, but Kili had to return to his mother because he had promised. Besides, she would be thrilled to learn both her boys were either married or in the process of getting there; she longed for grandchildren, someone to carry on their family legacy since Thorin never saw fit to marry. Tauriel loved how the dwarves remained dedicated to their only living family and chose to keep their promises, no matter how much of a journey it meant for everyone; they expected it to take at least a year to get there and back, perhaps longer.
The men were not worried about themselves or even Tauriel, but Sigrid had spent her whole life in Esgaroth so they were concerned about her making the trip.
“Sigrid, our journey to the Blue Mountains will take around a year or so, and that is if we are lucky and do not run into too many problems. There are still spiders in Mirkwood and orcs in the Misty Mountains, not to mention the possibility of trolls and other creatures once we get closer to our destination. So it is your choice if you want to continue with us, or I believe King Thranduil would allow you to stay here in his palace until Bard feels you are safe. Tell me, sweetheart, what would you like to do?” Fili inquired, extremely concerned about his friend.
“Fili, I want to go with you! How could I stay behind and worry about all those dangers of which you told me? If we are to die, I want us to be together. You belong with your brother and sister-in-law so I cannot ask you to stay with me, even though I feel sure you would. I will send word to my father that I shall remain in your company.” They shared their first hug, short and sweet.
“I am so glad! You are right, I would remain here with you if you so desired, even though my loyalties between you and Kili and my mother would be torn. I shall strive to keep you as safe as possible. However, we must see if there is a small weapon you can carry, perhaps a dagger.”
“That sounds lovely, even though I have no idea how to use anything like that. Dale is a fairly peaceful place and none of us are trained in the use of weaponry. Actually, they did not allow weapons when we lived in Lake-Town so I only learned to use knives in the kitchen!”
“I shall teach you to use whatever we find!” Fili would ensure his true love could protect herself; yes, he was beginning to know she was just that and they were destined to marry when the two years of courtship were up. Loath to wait that long, he knew he had to respect Bard’s wishes and realized that two years really is not that long in the life of a dwarf.
The quartet packed up and prepared to leave early the following morning. The Elvenking made sure they had enough food and anything else they might need along the way, for which they were quite grateful. Tauriel found an old dirk she never used and presented it to Sigrid. “This is my dirk, but you may have it. It served me well in my younger days. It is one of the finest weapons you could ask for, and, like any other elven blade, it glows blue when goblins are about.”
“Thank you! It is lovely! Fili, will you show me how to use it?”
The dwarf complied, and Sigrid was a natural at handling it. Its leather-bound hilt fit her hand perfectly, and the blade, which was around a foot long, ended up the perfect length and gave it enough weight while also being light enough for her to wield with ease. She loved its simple design with the elvish patterns engraved on it. Fili and Sigrid would still work together to perfect her techniques along the way, but she knew enough by the time they were ready to leave to hold her own for a few minutes if worse came to worse.
The company set off along the elven path. With Tauriel among them, who knew the woods like the back of her hand, their journey seemed so simple when compared to Fili and Kili’s trip through them before with Bilbo and company. The dwarves wondered how they could have missed the path and lost it but were unconcerned about this now.
They spent days and days among the trees and saw some spiders, which thankfully avoided them. Sigrid was frightened of them at first, but Tauriel assured her she had killed more spiders than she could count and they would be safe with her amongst them.
However, the human soon grew tired of seeing nothing but trees all around her. As much as she loved the forest, she also liked to be able to see the sunlight and admire trees from a distance. She discovered once inside its bounds, it really was not a friendly sort of woods, but almost menacing due to its dark thickness; Sauron’s minions had corrupted it and the elves would spend many years restoring it to its former glory. They were still several days from the edge of the forest, and thankfully the scenery changed slightly as they neared it. The Enchanted River helped Sigrid see something different, although she feared crossing it when she learned of its magical powers that would cause a person to basically go into a coma for several days. Fili and Kili told the women about Bombur’s fall into the water, and Sigrid was worried but trusted her companions. They used the same little boat as before, and thankfully all four fit inside just fine. Needless to say, the human was relieved when everyone made it safely to the other side.
Once they were finally through the Forest of Mirkwood, they decided to stop at the Carrock and visit Beorn, thanking him for all his help. They had to travel along the banks of the Great River for a few days before they would arrive at the house of the skin-changer.
Once they arrived in the mid-afternoon, Kili nervously knocked at the door, wondering if they would find a man or a bear. The door opened and a tall man stepped out, a bit hairy and sweaty but kind-looking, in a wild sort of way. “Yes?” he asked.
“Hello, Beorn! Remember Fili and I from our stay with you a while back? We had Gandalf, eleven other dwarves, and a hobbit with us.”
“Ah yes, I remember you. What do you want now?” he asked gruffly, for he did not care for visitors and disliked dwarves, even if he knew them.
Tauriel presented him with some fine elven wares. “Sir, here is a gift from Mirkwood. We were wondering if you would be so kind as to give us a place to rest for the night?” she smiled sweetly, hoping to win him over with some feminine charm and signalling for Sigrid to help her. She complied and also grinned at him, at the same time trying not to show her fear and wonder at the strange creature before her; he seemed so tall and scary when compared to dwarves or even elves.
“Thank you,” he replied gruffly. “I suppose you can spend the night, although I ask that you bolt the doors tightly in the dark.” Thus he graciously welcomed them and served them delicious honey from his own hives and sweet cream from his goats and cows.
They stayed with him two days, at his own insistence when he was completely overcome by the womenfolk, and then left quite refreshed.