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People of the Ice by Fadesintothewest Mature
Hi I am back!!!The Fëanorians find that their kin who crossed the Ice have been utterly changed. Fingon is utterly changed...
A Feast of Ashes by Kalendeer General Audiences
In Barad Eithel, High King Fingolfin lives under the shadow of his half-brother, dead on the very spot where the fortress...
Little Maia by astorey_91 Explicit
A certain Maia of Mandos makes a bad decision. And a certain prisoner takes pleasure in tormenting him.
A Star by astorey_91 Explicit
Random Fëanor/Fingolfin short drabble. Fingolfin's thoughts as he crosses the Helcaraxe.
Half-brothers in heart, full brothers in blood by FirstAmazon Mature
My (rather optimistic) view on the complicated relationship between Fëanor & Fingolfin.   Warning: this story...
Legolas in Esgaroth by ziggy General Audiences
The story of Esgaroth in which Legolas disgraces himself, but enjoys himself immensely. Ch7:In which Legolas does something...
Quill and Steel. Chronicles of a rebellion by Lumeriel Explicit
During a battle against the Dark God, Fingolfin is seriously injured. Faced with the possibility of losing him, Fëanor discovers...

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Spiced Wine
03/31/20 10:16 am
Yes, the health workers all across the world are absolute heroes!
03/31/20 12:50 am
Definitely lots of real heroes. I am anticipating much more work going live here soon than teaching in person, gulp. Here here to all the health care workers and people supporting their efforts!
03/30/20 11:22 pm
I've also been online teaching, which means my voice is long gone lol but yes, there are lots of real heroes out there!
03/30/20 10:34 pm
Hilarious stories (sorry- ran out of characters) but also some really stressed NHS workers - we are proud to be looking after their children so they can work. Heroic NHS!
03/30/20 10:33 pm
Fadestothewest- yes, we've all been doing online teaching for the past week- good management from our leadership has settled nerves though- but parents homeschooling- hilarious!
03/30/20 09:53 pm
*waves to everyone* I’m working from home and also busy. I’m keeping well as are my family, although I miss them. Hope you’re all well.
Spiced Wine
03/30/20 12:43 pm
Well, I’m working from home but really, really busy! So I’v got even less writing time now
03/30/20 08:16 am
Ziggy it is scary and FirstAmazon, definitely terrifying. Ill be updating a story here, but am also hoping to catch upon reading. Online teaching soon, though. Yikes!
03/30/20 04:22 am
Terrifying, really! Wishing everyone's ok in this crazy new reality
03/30/20 04:04 am
Terrifying, really! Wishing everyone's ok in this crazy new reality
Shout Archive

Reviews For Return of The Key

Name: Ysilme (Signed) · Date: September 11, 2015 11:05 · For: Chapter 1

(Now let's see if giving a second review works...)

I've started to read this story again last night, and had so much fun again at Dawn's perception of her new surroundings, with angels called Elroy, and God, the Snowy-white guy... it's awesome to revisit all this after having read the entirety of your Returnverse so far; the beginning is just as aweseome as it was the first time.

Author's Response:

Seems to work!  Thank you for taking the time for a second review :)

It is really good to know that you have come back to re-read and that it still really works for you.

I remember writing these early chapters when it seemed as if I would be able to tell the whole story in maybe 10 chapters, and it was such fun trying to work out everyone's impressions of what was going on around them, especially Dawn's.

Name: Merin (Signed) · Date: August 02, 2013 21:37 · For: Epilogue
Great story. Really enjoyed the 21st c 'language' making its way into ME. Cause for some confusion! Glad that Tindome and Buffy could keep up some contact in the end. Of course, having read the start of the latest book already (oops) I know what's going to (start!) to happen next!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking the time to review - I really do appreciate it. And I'm pleased that you are happy with the way the two 'sisters' were able to keep in touch. Glad to hear you are enjoying the newest one, too!

Name: Merin (Signed) · Date: August 02, 2013 21:01 · For: Chapter 15
Braid-eater= haha, what a great name!

Really enjoyed this chapter! Some good laughs:

Buffy calling the elves 'buff'; the twins' immediate reactions of wanting to bed everyone; Faith's tight leather pants; Andrew's entire journal-entry sections! I love how he capitalises important adjectives! Written in a portentous style: like a 19th c scholar!

Author's Response: I must admit that this chapter was fun to write - especially Andrew's bit. You are absolutely right about him writing like a 19th century scholar - and he would be so pleased if he knew you thought so, too, as that is really the sort of style he would regard as perfect for a Watcher.

Name: Merin (Signed) · Date: August 02, 2013 20:16 · For: Chapter 13
Fascinating idea of the enchantment being laid on Buffy to 'protect the key'.

“I was kinda glad, really,” Tind

Name: Merin (Signed) · Date: August 02, 2013 19:34 · For: Chapter 11
Buffy held out a bra but Tind

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 30, 2013 0:47 · For: Chapter 16

Cultural exchange ahead! :o)

Although the majority of the buildings were all, or for the most part, wood Giles thought they were unlike any examples he had seen of pioneer log cabins. These were graceful buildings, mostly single storey, some with an upper floor; some built at ground level, and some set up higher amongst the trees with stairs leading to them. The trees seemed to make room for the buildings, or the buildings embraced the trees. It was quite beautiful.
This sounds very exciting. I wish I were better at drawing, because it itches me to draw this kind of housing and to make it beautiful in elven fashion.

“Your sister is much too tiny to appeal to an elf anyway,” he continued, “although she might appeal to Gimli… or a hobbit…”
*g* Hmm, but if Buffy would be interested in either of them....

“How long have I been gone?” she asked.
“Nearly four months,” Rumil answered, “no time, but a life time.”

Well said. Tindómë's well-justified fears become very clear here again. How awful it must have been if the same time lapse had happened again... *shudders *

‘I had no appetite; I had a hole in me that nothing would fill.’
Re: your answer to my review to the last chapter and the soul-bond thing:  I hadn't realised that you meant that so literally, and I understand some things now even better. It makes absolute sense, of course. Rumil's answer here is just typical, though! *lol*

It's good to see the "technical" issues around the creating of the different portals now made clear.

Haldirin needed his father at all times if he was not to suffer great trauma at the breaking of the bond with his mother.
This is the other side oft the soul-bonding which so often gets neglected in stories; yours is the first one I've read where the soul-bond plays a large role, and all of its consequences are taken fully into consideration. I'm very glad for Haldirin!

“Well that was simple,” the mage said loudly and very firmly, reminding Giles distinctly of Brian Blessed. “She is soul-bonded! Rumil’s soul and hers are as one – she holds part of his, and he holds part of hers. One simply has to find the missing part of the soul of whichever one you have.”
I suppose the importance of the soul-bond hadn't really hit home sufficiently with the Californians before. Very understandable, of course; I think to most modern minds this must sound rather bizarre as a concept.

Reminds me of Legolas when he was an elfling; bright and curious but willing to do what he was told.”
Aww! ♥

Legolas had clearly been ‘Lording,’
*ggg* I love it when you call it that!

and then I want to see at least a little of the world that produces such strong, brave women,” he finished, waving his hand to encompass all the females from Kennedy to Althanea.

...and the Exceedingly Handsome King Thranduil of Eryn Lasgalen – his son looks like him, but the King looks even more Regal. 

One of these Famous Ancient warriors told Lord Legolas they had seen and done things he would not be able to imagine, and some things that he would. I do not know exactly what he meant but I am sure that I saw His Lordship roll his eyes!

The elves were very interested in the car, but thought it was much less responsive than a horse would be, and saw no need for such speed. Especially at the cost of the ‘poisoned air’.
I love this! Very sensible of them, too.

There, I'm done! ;o) Thank you again for sharing your wonderful creatures and creations with your readers, and for giving me such a great time with it.

Author's Response:

I am not good at drawing either - so I can visualise the settlement in Ithilien - but not show it in anything other than words.

The soul-bond as something real and tangible made the story work - to be honest I had read some stories which had described it like this and it worked so well for this idea that I saw no reason to underplay it! I rather liked the idea that they would be three or four days whilst it 'took' where they needed to be in constant contact - and so they were closeted up in their house as a sort of honeymoon... and whilst Rumil was being very him when he answers her about the hole nothing could fill, all the elves saw 'joining' as essential to renew the bond, as it is formed whilst the two elves are joined sexually. So he was also being sensible - ish!

I am glad you like this glimpse of tiny Legolas, and the idea that, although he is usually 'ust one of the lads' he can become 'Prince Legolas, Lord of Ithilien' with no problem at all when he needs to.

And of course Andrew sees everyone amongst the elves as a heroic figure - every one of the elves would have expected no less of the Els than what they did in that time with Faith - in effect expressing all elements of their personalities, we know from You Gotta Have Faith, as warriors, explorers, healers and good-time guys. But Andrew...

I liked the idea, too, that the modern Californians would have expected the elves to be incredibly impressed and envious of the amazing things they saw - the cinema, cars, showers and so on. And they weren't. Well, except for the hair-dryer.

Thank yoo so much for taking the time to write the chapter by chapter reviews - I have really enjoyed the dialogue.

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 29, 2013 12:12 · For: Chapter 15

Ah, what a relief, they have come! :o)
Elves recorded with a camcorder! *drools* Do you know where one can watch this? ;o) I'm sure he snatched at least some shots!

...by the (crossed out; incredibly beautiful guys) Ancient, but less technologically advanced, Edhel
:o)))) Love the capitalisations in the journal entry! Very revealing. *g*

One, who was Fairest of Face and I later found to be the Great Elven Lord Legolas,

Then Tindómë suddenly looked straight at His Lordship and with no sign of fear, nor any smile, she said to him ‘Le abdollen.’

Elves do not use a great deal of bodily contact but, even so, I was surprised that Rumil made no attempt to embrace his Wife from whom he had been parted for we knew not how long. Instead he took both her hands in his, and then leant forward until his forehead touched hers.
This fits to their culture so well, like the kind of bodily contact for comfort. Once again, my own imagining of these things runs very close to yours.

He didn’t think he had ever seen such cold, hard, faces – looking at him from the portal was a party of cold-blooded killers. He actually thought it might be some sort of attack unrelated to the Key problem, because he could not believe that these were the ‘beautiful, strong, good,’ beings that Dawn had described –
Hahaha, I can imagine that! Unfortunately, I don't know the Pratchett's elves, so I can't follow closely, but it became clear enough from your descriptions.
It's a very interesting stlyistical device to now see everything happening through the eyes of the Buffyverse characters, and different ones, too.

...who thought that he could not have felt any more unimportant and worthless had he been a piece of shit on the sole of someone’s shoe.
*g* Very understandable reaction by Rumil, but poor Giles!

Suddenly Giles realised that this was the tenderest moment he had ever witnessed between two people.

For the first time it occurred to Giles that, when Dawn had spoken of elves being ‘soul-bonded’ and the shareable strength this gave to both, she had been speaking much more literally than he had understood.
Yes, YES, exactly that! Also, how awesome must it be to feel that soulbound to your kids? The bond between parents and children is something that highly fascinates me, particularly since I never could experience it first-hand, but have bonds of different degrees with my nieces and nephew, and used to have with my two au-pair-sons who I cared for for two years, and after their father's death.

“She is a very tiny warrior,” he said to Tindómë, “but she is certainly strong.”
Yay for the Els being the Els! :o)))

...where an imposing figure in Brown Robes (just like Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi)
Hahaha, priceless! He would have made an awesome Radagast, of course.

...he was clearly not a great deal older than he had been, and he still knew her.
That makes so painfully clear what could have been...

The Edhel took up quite a lot of room – not one of them seemed to be less than six foot four and, although all seemed quite slender, the assorted bows and swords, along with their air of untouchability, meant that each one seemed to require quite lot of personal space.
Of course they do! When I'm wearing my medievalish cloak it's always a learning process for those walking with me remembering to keep a certain distance, because otherwise they step onto it and strangle me. And I haven't even worn any weapons which doubtlessyl would increase the need for space. The fact that clothing and/or gear changes the amount of personal space one needs, or wants, is something very fascinating.

Giles, and Althanea, wanted very much to know what magic had been used to open the portal so accurately, when they had not been able even to find the other dimension.
I bet!

Cool, that "babelfish" spell of Radagast!

It took Faith less than five minutes to arrive, wearing the tightest leather pants Tindómë had ever seen, and offer her services to the twins.
*giggle* Even without knowing about Faith, this is most entertaining! :O)

Author's Response:

AARGH! I had written a long reply but managed to accidentally refresh before submitting and it has disappeared. Now to try to remember it!

Andrew and his camcorder were infamous in the last series of Buffy, where he went around filming everything and doing a commentary - the style of his written record is in the style of that commentary because you just knew that is how he would write things down! Sadly all his recordings will be kept under lock and key in the archives of the Watchers' Council.

Up until this point in the story there were only two point of view characters - Dawn/Tind

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 29, 2013 1:12 · For: Chapter 14

"Rumil will have hot-footed it off to get your major league white wizard guy to do a spell to get you back. They’ll turn up any day now!”
 :o) Nicely said. Though Tindómë's reasons are very valid, of course. Thankfully, there was still Radagast, but I fully agree to Xander's suggestions as valid alternatives, even though they increase Tindómë's distress even more.

“Did you have bridesmaids in big puffy dresses?”
*giggle* I'm just trying to visualise ellyth in big puffy dresses in bright candy colours...

Rumil had told her that as he had had many years to play the field it would have been very wrong of him to give Tindómë no chance to do the same thing.
This is actually a very cool and sensible part of your elven culture! ♥ the different binding ceremonies, and her dress sounds particularly beautiful. Do you imagine the headdress similar to the one Arwen wore in the film?

No matter how hard she tried Tindómë found she was becoming less and less interested in what was going on around her. She felt as if she didn’t have the energy to even shower or dress, unless Buffy came and persuaded her, even running the shower and offering to shampoo her hair for her.
This is such a good description of the process of fading, and it makes my heart break for Tindómë.

Spike and Buffy persuaded her to get into the car one evening and drove miles to take her to the nearest patch of forest. It helped. She walked between the trees and leaned against their strong trunks; quietly talking to them and listening, as Legolas, Orophin and Rumil had taught her, hearing at least faint murmurs that they were happy to see her.
*sniffle* Also it is somewhat consoling to imagine even the trees in our time and such surroundings still being awake enough to communicate.

“She’s not just depressed, she’s becoming almost translucent. Tindómë is ‘fading’.”
Oh my... very interesting, though, that she is fading despite not wanting it. So far, I have seen that concept more like the afflicted person not even having the mental energy to resist that any more, not even wanting not to fade; I had imagined it more of a kind of "extreme depression" where the body follows the mind which is simply unable to go on.
At least something good is coming out of this: Buffy and Tindómë finally feeling like true sisters.

Even Faith dropped in a couple of times, and persuaded Tindómë to talk about ‘the hotness of elves’ and ‘how good is a guy going to be who’s been practicing for fucking centuries, or hey, even been practicing fucking for centuries!’

...the air seemed to part, and Giles found himself looking up the shafts of a forest of arrows pointed into the room. Behind the arrows he could see the coldest, hardest, faces he could ever imagine – looking out of a portal was a party of cold-blooded killers.
Yesss! Elves to the rescue! *highfives*

Author's Response:

Xander was a fairly practical guy - he worked as a carpenter on a construction site (or a joiner n a building site in UK English!), but also played D&D, read comics and so on - so he his solution was a sensible and logical one, whereas the others were thinking 'we were powerful enough to bring her, we must be powerful enough to send her back', and also, although it isn't stipulated, 'if anyone there was powerful enough to break the barriers between dimensions they would have sent her straight back in the first place'. Of course we know, Tind

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 28, 2013 2:14 · For: Chapter 13

Giles was relieved to find that Althanea, the head of one of the world’s most powerful and respected covens, agreed with his own assessment of Buffy’s plan to ‘help’ her sister by obliterating all her memories of life in Middle Earth.
This is really hitting home only now for me. It sounds atrocious, but you're doubtlessly having good reasons for putting this in! And that is not even taking the possible consequences into considertion. *shudders* But this really seems to direct to some supernatural reason to it.

I'm afraid you're losing me with any D&D allusions, as I only know this by name, nothing more. Still, the wordplay works well all the same! *g*

“Although they still kept it up in the middle of what the Chinese would call ‘interesting times’.
Very fitting! *snort*

...because they can’t believe that little guys or beardless guys can drink them under the table, is just ridiculous!”

And now, one of my favourite scenes ever in your stories, and probably even in fanfiction in general. THAT book! *giggles* I have, in fact read the Laws and Customs of the Eldar just shortly before I read this chapter for the first time, and your take on it simply blew my mind. I literally laughed so hard I fell out of the bed and woke the poor Winterwizard who was rather grumpy about it. (Have I already said that I so love how your elves can sprawl and lounge so elegantly? ♥ And I love the idea of Rumil illustrating a pillow book! ;o))) ) And of course, there is so much in it that doesn't really add up... but now I also know that our Norwegian Forest cats really are elves in disguise! *lol* We had suspected them forever for the way they sometimes gaze at us and the way they move, their beautiful, long hair/fur (complete with hair/fur complex) and, of course, their affinity for trees. But they also grow and mature much slower, and are fully grown and "adult" only when five years old. This must have rubbed off when they still dwelt in Valinor or at least Middle-earth! ;o)

BTW, may I ask you a cultural/lingual question: what does the 101 in "XY class 101" stand for? I have seen this repeatedly, but I have no idea what the 101 is supposed to mean.

“Uh-huh…” Tindómë had answered slowly, “I guess when I thought about immortality I only thought about going forward, not about how far back…
*g*  Very understandable! I must say, some aspects of immortality I only really realised reading your stories.

“I remember Haldir as an elfling,” Elrohir had said suddenly. “He could look down his nose at me when he was only about chest height, somehow, even though I was already three or four yéni and a young warrior.”
“Ah, but we were only the Imladris bred grandsons of the Lord and Lady, not Galadhrim…” Elladan had said, grinning.
Hahaha, I can imgagine that so well! :o))))

Tindómë laughed suddenly and said “It’s a good job elves don’t all hang on to their gweneth until they bind, or poor Glorfindel would be pretty frustrated by now!”
:o)))) I imagine!

...swayed by the desires of the body
I've come to love that phrase, wherever you're using it. It's such a deligthful running gag!

How sad, tough, that Tindómë seems to be stuck in 21st century California...

Author's Response:

In an earlier season of 'Buffy' Willow decides to 'solve' problems by using a spell involving lethes' bramble which takes away memories. It is used, in the show, as a sign that she has become much more powerful than anyone had expected, and that she is beginning to do things for what she sees as good reasons, but are really for her own benefit. So - if my girlfriend forgets the arguments we had, and the bad things I did, she will not have any worries about staying with me', and so on.

The '...101' is an Americanism - it is the designation of the first course in any subject taught at a college or university in America (and Canada, Australia and South Africa I gather), and so it has come to mean the basics of any subject.

I loved writing the scene where they do a critique of LaCE - and that Tolkien phrase of "swayed by the desires of the body" really did lend itself to becoming their phrase of choice! I think you must be right about your cats - elves slowly evolved into Norwegian Forest cats.

And yes, poor Tind

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 26, 2013 22:03 · For: Chapter 12

It's interesting for me to get some more glimpses of the Buffyverse, helping me to understand some things better, particularly Buffy's motivations and her relationship to Dawn.

...whereas part of her wanted to go ‘Nephew? I have a nephew? Yay! Let’s hit the mall!’

...if they’d been running package tours this would have been the slogan!)

...and those ‘talans’ themselves, like the world’s most fantastic tree-houses and then some.
 That is a very cool image!

I can well relate to Tindómë's feeling suffocated inside the modern house! We're living in a house constructed from wood framed walls and with a controlled airing system since over eight years. There is a continual moving of air - not that you feel it, like a draught, but I strongly feel the absence in any other house, as well as the different feeling a house from stone, brick, or concrete gives. I always feel "stuffed" in regular houses now, and as if I couldn't get enough air. I have often thought lately that it must feeling somewhat similar for an elf being used to telain to be inside a stone house.
I like your take on Eryn Ithil very much, you bring it alive in a very beautiful, well-rounded way. But what do you exactly mean with "open, talan-like rooms" - open, as in open to the outside, or open inside like a modern, open-spaced flat/living space?

...even if the great orgasms were only a small part of the reason.
:o))) Tindómë's description of Rumil is so sweet.

“Legolas says he has never seen such a haughty looking elf as Haldir

...they never have bad hair days, and they hate being dirty or sweaty, they take more baths by the power of ten than the men do, and they like their clothes to be clean and fit nicely. ‘Course the end result is that, when we venture amongst men, they get hit on as gay!”

Author's Response:

That Buffy might be under some magical compulsion to protect Dawn is my own interpretation - in canon it always seemed as if she had more or less forgotten her sister - unless she was in danger or needed to be rescued, and this is my take on why it was that way.

Buffy loves shopping - so hitting the mall would be her idea of fun - except that she doesn't want to think that Dawn is anything other than a month older than when she fell down the Hellmouth, and so her just 17 year old sister who needs looking after.

I am interested in your description of living in a wood panel building and how it feels to be in a stone one- it sounds as if I have the effect on Tind

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 26, 2013 1:17 · For: Chapter 11

And on we go with the examination of several major cultural differences. It was a delight to read, and also very satisfying to finally learn something about The Key, and getting answers to some of the questions coming up about Dawn.

...and they have a major hair complex.”
This is SO funny! :o))) Particularly as it's one of the descriptive things that comes to her mind so easily! *g*

“A few months over twenty-two years.”
This dimension difference hits really home with this, I think. It must have been even more of a shock for her old friends to realise this than to have her coming back from another dimension. This is such a sweet way to put it, though: *ggg*
“M’kay, so Dawnie’s strand of yarn has been out of the basket, rolled across the floor, and been played with by the cat?”
Buffy said “Your nightdress? It looks like some sort of Amish wedding dress, uh, or something!”

She randomly opened the drawers and stripped off the nightdress without any thought for modesty – and then realised that Buffy looked a little surprised.
“Bodies are natural, they are the gift of Iluvatar, and there is no need to hide them from one another,” Tindómë found herself saying, as if repeating a lecture, whilst wondering what Buffy would make of the bathing pools in Caras Galadhon.
*g* I can SO well see that! The breast part is quite awesome, of course.

She could remember so clearly the look on Rumil’s face – his eyes had blazed at her, showing some of that flood of relief and happiness that had just hit Dawn, but outwardly he had worn the patented elven dead-pan expression, and he had said something in an equally dead-pan voice, which Dawn had thought she understood, and Legolas, equally straight faced by now, had translated, “Rumil says, actually, he rather likes your ears…”
Awwww... ♥

Author's Response:

The whole cultural differences thing was one reason I began to write this as I had played with 'filling in the gaps' of Tolkien's cultures in my mind for quite a while. I have to admit to being influenced visually by the films - hence the elven major hair complex as it seemed to be their most memorable feature!

Putting in that big difference in time gaps helped the plot work, of course, but also would explain why Dawn had no thought at all of the Buffy dimension being 'home' whereas the family/friends who had brought her back were still seeing it as an urgent, immediate, mission.

Things like the different attitude to nudity is part of the same thing - as well as fun!

That her immortality would be something he would keep close to his chest, and not mention immediately he realised that (A) it was so, and (B) she didn't know, seemed to me to be a rather Gandalf thing to do... but it must have been such a relief to Rumil in particular. His personality was already clear in my mind by this stage - and a very dry sounding remark was so much more him that leaping up and down and shouting with glee!

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 25, 2013 0:57 · For: Chapter 10

This certainly was one of the most - no, the most painful chapter. Poor Dawn! Being torn out of her life, and in this way, must have been the horror of horrors, even if she knew the people where she went... (not knowing that fandom at all makes it easy for me, of course, to be totally on the Middle-earth side! ;o) ) Still, this had me giggling:
...oddly, she seemed to be worried about ironing.

The jump in the story comes as a surprise. Very understandable and well-working, from the storytelling point of view, and the flashback way works really well. Yet I'm going to miss the parts you didn't tell, as it would have been so awesome to read them told in your unique way. You see how much of a fan you already have in me! ;o)

‘Oh my goodness!’ thought Giles. ‘What have we done? She looks like Dawn, certainly, but perhaps it is an alternate Dawn from an alternate dimension. If this is Dawn, then what on Earth can have happened to make her so distressed to see Buffy?’
*snort* Well, obviously, most of you didn't have done much thinking at all at possible consequences of this...

Eventually Aragorn, who had – much to Dawn’s amusement – a more classical elven education than Legolas,
*lol*! I really love the name, it's very beautiful.

“I really am here, aren’t I?” Dawn, or rather Tindómë, said in a resigned tone. “This is not a nightmare. I am not going to wake up in my own home in a few minutes. You really have brought me back to this hellish dimension.”
I so want to hug her at this moment!

Galadriel had been something of a shock when the newly renamed Tindómë had first met her. Somehow the twins having a grandmother who looked no more than four or five years older than them had really brought home to her the whole immortality thing.
I can imagine! :o)) It's nice to see Galadriel and Celeborn taking Tindómë under her wings.

...and pizza! One of the elven bakers had perfected pizza, after it had been described to him, and it had quickly become a favourite of many.
Hahaha, this is priceless! :o))))

Green amber for a Sylvan elf, moonstones for the last pale light of the moon in the early morning – Rumil and Tindómë entwined.

She took a big mouthful, without thinking about it, and then almost spat it out again.
“What on Earth is that?” she spluttered, as the bitter fluid made her mouth pucker up.
“Coffee. Cream, no sugar. Isn’t that right?” Kennedy asked.
*lol* Ah well, how preferences change...

in what Tindómë remembered as his ‘automatic Buffy-correcting voice’,

“Sweet Elbereth, no!” The girl who used to be Dawn seemed quite surprised at the idea that her husband might be human. Buffy’s mouth was gaping in a most unbecoming way and everyone else looked equally surprised. “He’s Edhel, of course!”
*lol* What a lovely line!

Author's Response:

**Yet I'm going to miss the parts you didn't tell, as it would have been so awesome to read them told in your unique way.**

I actually felt much the same, as did a lot of the early readers - which is why I wrote Starlight Bathing, Brotherhood, Stormy nights in Imladris, and some of those short ones like Strawberry Kisses. And, actually, Educating

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 23, 2013 23:06 · For: Chapter 9

That dimensions touching-tangled wool comparison is awesome!

Gandalf nodded and smiled, as they sat in Aragorn’s private rooms later, and said that it was much more believable that she was an elf than that she came from another dimension – and so much safer for her.
Wise man, Gandalf, he is.

Rumil was at least smiling at her some of the time now. A few nights after that evening he had sat with Orophin and nodded in agreement as Orophin had explained that they were both ‘missing their home and the trees, which had made them sad and bad tempered.’
Awww... ♥ Rumil is really sweet. But then, I've always had a thing for the taciturn, language barriers or not.

Surely there would be someone else whose fëa would be in tune with his, sometime, at least as long as he and Dawn never got to the duet stage!
Nicely said! And very perceptive of her to realise the problem of her leaving and the fea-singing right away. It's nice to see, too, that Dawn is slowly changing her attitude on this and now thinks about staying, and very funny how she tries to match up old and new friends! :o) Even without knowing the "other" characters this is very fun to read.

...and apparently both the twins’ father and grandfather had big libraries too.
Hee, hee... ;o) I am wondering, though, how they managed keeping the content in good condition, weather- and climate-wise, what with living in the trees and such. Probably in particularly tight boxes, which would mean quite a lot of them, wouldn't it?

As for Anya – she deserved fun and cosseting, and someone who would not be embarrassed if she said they were a stallion between the sheets… Got it! The twins; both of them.

...but ‘she will be gone in no time because she is mortal’. Oh no! No wonder he is frightened that I might be the person meant for him!
Indeed. Well spotted, dear Dawn! ;o)

‘That would totally be a good name for a metal band, ‘Fellowship of the Ring’,

... one of them spoke.
“Well, what have we here? It’s one of the pretty elf boys, Tam!”
Ah, I love this. Looks can be SO decieving! *g* And yay to Dawn dealing with these guys. I bet they got the surprise of their lives. Too bad they're obviously so used to pain. ;o) This is also a very cool moment to witness her experiencing the fea bond, and to have Rumil coming to her rescue. Awesome job!

Then she was being very firmly held by an elf who was saying all kinds of things to her in Sindarin that she didn’t understand, with the odd phrase or word she did such as ‘little warrior’, ‘brave’, beautiful’, and ‘fëa’ all in there.

...and Rumil looked both pleased and shocked at the news that the emotion thing was working both ways.
I bet he is! ;o)

Author's Response:

I'm really glad you liked the tangled wool description of how different dimensions work, as I thought of it completely by myself. Glad, too, that you like Rumil's personality; he is so much more interesting to write than someone who would be all chatty and smiley.

Dawn is beginning to learn that the course of true love doesn't run smooth, as they say - and there are most certainly possible pitfalls in this romance that she had never thought of before.

I really enjoyed writing the 'pairing up' bit - I have, more than once, read crossover fic where the writers went out of their way to basically pair almost every character from each thread with one from the other - and having Dawn mentally doing the same was such fun, even if it was poking gentle fun at a particular genre! And, of course, it gave me the right place for it to finally occur to her that she is looking, as far as she knows, at a mortal/immortal romance - which she knows is really not good.

The fight scene with Tam and Gil was actually the first proper fight scene I ever wrote without the aid of my husband (who is renowned for his fight scenes) - and I was so pleased when first he, and then other people, said it worked well. It was the point where it occurred to me that, in the Tolkien world, writing fight scenes was just like playing D&D! And, again, it gave me the chance to make it clear to all those involved that the f

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 22, 2013 12:39 · For: Chapter 8

Ah, how happy Dawn must be to be out of the splint at last! Thank you for the thorough explanation in your other answer, by the way; I hadn't known that. My only experience was the broken femur of a school friend in primary school, and she had a plaster for six weeks and then was good as new. You've also made me curious: how could a healer/physician feel the state of healing of the bone, in the time before X-rays? Had they to rely on experience, or is it possible to actually feel how well a bone has knit?

“She seems to need more exercise since her name was changed,” Pippin observed,
*g* Indeed! It's a beautiful name, by the way.

...and Gimli had brought her a small canvas bag, filled with sand and fitted with a leather strap to hold it onto her foot, so that she could do ‘weight training’ on her bed;
Ha! I love the inventiveness of your characters.

Gandalf just seemed to have built-in whiteness aura that repelled dirt and odours as if he had been coated in Scotchgard™.
*lol* Again, I so love the practical aspects of Middle-earth life you're addressing here with the clothes situation for all, and the solution for it. It's this kind of detail I love in any story, and which is to be found in abundance in yours. Like the cultural differences between Gondorian and elven woman peeking up here... though I'm wondering a bit how exactly an elven dress needs to be cut to be able to easily climb a tree in. I nearly only ever wear skirts myself, most of them long and flowing, and often meet astonished glances about what I all can do easily in a skirt or long dress (though taking a three-year-old to a portable loo in a medieval-style dress with movement-inhibiting laces and long trumpet sleeves IS a challenge! *g* ). Do you see ellyth in dresses actually climbing the trees, or rather using ladder ropes, stairs and walkways?

The bathroom was surprisingly civilised; there was an enormous tub with proper faucets and, screened in a corner, a proper flushing toilet. She remembered Gimli explaining to her at some time that the water supply was gravity fed from springs in the mountains and the King’s House had a system to heat it that was fairly efficient but which, given time, he could improve on.
♥ Gimli!

Then there were a series of studies on one piece of paper of one elf – he looked like Orophin and Rumil, but slightly broader in both the face and body – it had to be Haldir, Dawn realised. She turned to the next picture and gasped. It showed Haldir again but there was a sense of total stillness and emptiness. Dawn knew he was dead.
Oh my. *sniffs* But to be able to show that difference, or death at all, in a drawing is really a feat. I had wondered, over the course of reading your stories, how Rumil managed to remember a scene/facial expression so well he could draw them afterwards so well, as he continuously does. But I've come to the part in your stories about the eidetic elven memory, so know I know.
I have been thinking myself a lot about immortality and memory, mainly for elves, and what that must mean, and how much of a burden this can become - and probably often is. Very likely also one of the reasons some elves fade, I think.

That episode with the drawings and Dawn watching at them is very beautiful.

Legolas came over, put a finger under her chin, and tilted it upwards. “What is wrong, nethig?”
“Nethig?” Dawn asked.
“It is what an elf might call his young sister,” Legolas explained,
♥ And he's  a really, really good older brother! Your way to go into detail about the fea thing, bonding, and the soul-bond between elves is terrific, and works perfectly well for me.

“I also think perhaps we are coming to a place in this conversation where we talk about sex, and it might come better from an elleth – but we do not have one, and so I will continue as a slightly embarrassed brother
*gg* *remembers similar discussions with younger sisters* I also see, or rather think, that the relationship between Dawn and Rumil would have been different if she were European, talking of age of consent and customs and such... woudn't it? Still, this taboo of yours is certainly a good idea for your elven society, and it's a nice twist to the story to have Rumil act like he does here.

Author's Response:

It is surprising how useful that time spent in orthopaedics, in the days when conservative treatment was still common, had been when writing - especially when I was thinking about Dawn's injuries here!

I allow the elves to be able to 'feel' healing better than most - and Aragorn has been trained by the best of the elven healers an has some mysterious healing powers anyway - but it is certainly possible to feel whether the bone is properly aligned and, with experience, the callous formation.

I have to admit to Gimli inventing something our physiotherapists used back then, too!

**I'm wondering a bit how exactly an elven dress needs to be cut to be able to easily climb a tree in.** That fascinated me, too - I couldn't see JRRT visualising females always wearing trousers, neither could PJ by the look of it - and yet wood-elves must surely need to be able to take to the trees. After much though, I came up with my answer in chapter 3 of Starlight Bathing!

I'm not sure if it is canon or fanon that elves remember... everything. But I can see it being a burden for many over the years.

When I began this story, that grew into a series, I was determined not to do a Dawn/Legolas romance. There were a few at Twisting the Hellmouth, then, and I wanted something different. But he seemed to fit the image of a big brother well, especially as in so many stories he is an only son, and in others he seems to almost always be the youngest if he has siblings, and so I thought he might rather like to fall into the role of big brother. Which, of course, gave me a way, as you have realised, to explain some of what is going on for the reader!

As for if Dawn had been a European - yes, things would have been a little different. However as she is, according to Buffy canon, meant to be a couple of weeks short of her seventeenth birthday at the end of the series (which is when Return of The Key' branches off - at a point about 15 minutes from the end of the very last episode ever) then she would regard herself as not only not of age from the point of view of being able to vote etc, but also as under-age for legal sex. And, as you've realised, this actually worked quite well for me as the writer!

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 22, 2013 1:39 · For: Chapter 7

Reading that large Buffy part at the beginning of this chapter makes me realise how foreign that world feels to me in comparison to Tolkien's world, even if in theory, it should be more familiar, since it's from my own time and culture. More or less, at least. ;o) In any case, it makes Dawn's change of situation much more palpable to me.
I've also just realised that Dawn still believes to be only temporarily in Middle earth at that point - having read on so much further by now I had forgotten about that.

...and eat the bread and cheese that Rumil, his face deadpan, removed from the drawer of the end table.
:o)))) I SO want to see that!

It would take bravery to wield such a close-combat weapon in the face of an enemy with great strength and murderous teeth. I fear we do not have a warrior braid to signify such a brave combat style!”
That is indeed brave! I find it also very refreshing to have your character have these abilities, though you don't use them as the main characterisation or action-inducing feature of the character, but they just exist and have formed her. And I looove the practical way Gimli, Legolas & Co go about suggesting improvements to the stake technique. That is simply so typical, and so cute because of it... ♥

Given time she could probably teach someone how to make pizza.

“The weaponsmith takes pride in his work, and makes it a thing of beauty in honour of the Valar, whose work it then does. An elf’s sword is only ever used against the forces of evil; no elf would use his sword against another elf, or against anyone who honours the Valar,” Elrohir said from beside his brother.
♥ This is so beautifully said. Though I wonder where the brothers place the kinslayings in this worldview, for themselves?

“Uh – doesn’t the gore get into the engraving and make cleaning it hard, guys?” Dawn asked.
*gg* I love that! And Gimli's answer to it, too.

Dawn wondered what an elven grandma would look like

He had an awful lot of ruling to do,
:o))) I seem to be quoting an awful lot of parts that make me all giggle, chuckle, or mostly laugh out loud. I really, really do love your humour. Samburgers indeed! :o) I also love the way you make Legolas such a skilled (and, of course, very obvious) "gardening and nature" consultant. It's a great thread evolving through your stories, I like that very, very much.
So sweet how Dawn's beginning feelings to Rumil are now shown, and his to her!

Author's Response:

The story was written, in the first instance, to be posted at Twisting the Hellmouth - a Buffyverse cross-over archive, as, at the time, I had only written within the Buffyverse. But very quickly I, too, felt more at home in the world of Middle Earth!

Dawn was pretty sure that her sister and her friend, Willow, who was a very naturally gifted witch, would try to rescue her - and had a lot of faith in their ability to do so. So we get the transition from 'when Buffy takes me home,' to 'when Buffy tries to persuade me to go back there,' to 'I hope they have forgotten all about me...' happening to her over time.

The weapon of The Slayer is simply a stake - and all the people who were her friends and knew about vampires and things carried a stake, just in case they needed it. And i began to wonder what the ME warriors would think of it...

**Though I wonder where the brothers place the kinslayings in this worldview, for themselves? ** I think it is what they have been taught BECAUSE of the horrors of the kinslaying that took place over the silmarils before they were born.

I'm always happy that others share my sense of where humour can be found!

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 20, 2013 1:42 · For: Chapter 6

I like the way how we can follow the language skills of each party develop. Rumil just knows how to play out his lack of language knowledge yet, doesn't he? *g*
As I'm not a native speaker of English, and have lived for three years in a foreign country (France) finding my way into the culture and, particularly, the lingual intricacies of it, I relate well to this experience, and enjoy the way you address that throughout your stories very much. It's also very satisfying, story-telling-wise (I know that sound weird, but I hope you understand) to see that the cultural shock of her "displacement" suddenly hits on Dawn, making her homesick for things she will never see again, and the homesickness and missing of all this showing so well how scared and alone she must be and feel. For us readers, this probably brings home this feeling the best, of what it really means to change dimensions, for lack of a better word, in this way, and suddenly to be utterly alone. No matter how kind the welcome and how far or not you've travelled, it hits you, invariably, and this is frightening and painful. *wants to hug Dawn*  But then, a friendly soul WILL make all the difference, and it's good to see Dawn having such a nice friendly soul at her side. *smiles*

He looked at her with that elven-copyrighted blank face,

wishing that she’d been brought up in one of those European families where you got wine from childhood, but it still caught in her throat.

...put more on his own plate than Sam would have believed possible,
:o))) It sounds like quite a feast indeed! It's interesting to see what different choices everybody brought. *g* Legolas is such a darling, though, to have thought of bringing her ice-cream! ♥

Fortunately the mention of ‘fairy cakes’ went over Rumil’s head.
‘I wonder if elves call them ‘hobbit cakes’?’ Dawn thought, drowsily.

...she didn’t think she would get drunk on watered wine.
Ah well...

‘It’s really nice,’ she thought, ‘like spicy fruit juice…’
Indeed? ;o)

It was dark, and Gandalf must have left, Dawn thought. An elf was helping her out of her beautiful dress.
“’S a lovely dress, thank you, thank you, pretty dress. Pretty elf…” she told him carefully.
It was still dark. An elf was holding Dawn’s hair away from her face as she barfed.
“’M sorry, ‘m sorry,” she was saying. “Lovely day, ‘s been a lovely day, so sorry, pretty dress, pretty elf, so sorry, would kiss you but I’d taste bad, so sorry, water, drink water, sorry…”
Well, it was inevitable, I suppose. I so  waited for this to happen and laughed so hard when it did, you fit that in so well!

Author's Response:

**Rumil just knows how to play out his lack of language knowledge yet, doesn't he? **

Oh yes - and he developed his own personality through this story even though he has few spoken lines and is never the point of view character.

I didn't want to write a story where everyone spoke the Common Tongue without problems - but it would have been too awkward to have Dawn not understanding anything so I had her 're-setting' because of the Key - but even then there can be misunderstandings, and Rumil and her having almost no common language at all was an interesting challenge! And I didn't want her to seem to immediately feel that Middle Earth was the perfect place to be and never want to see her friends and family, or ever miss anything - hence her home-sickness. I'm glad that seemed realistic for you.

I am so glad, too, that you appreciated the different things from the feast that the characters felt were the best choices for Dawn and Rumil - I had fun deciding that bit. I'm really pleased, to that you liked the idea of elves calling fairy cakes 'hobbit cakes'.

And for Dawn to get rather drunk was 'right' I thought - and I had the perfect model in my own daughter...

Actually that is one of the places where I have to think in a 'foreign' language a bit, too - Dawn is a Californian, and there was also certain ways in which the characters in Buffy spoke - whereas I am a Brit - so remembering that Dawn would 'barf' and so on is a fun part of it for me, too.

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 19, 2013 22:36 · For: Chapter 5

Elrohir had been right, Dawn thought, the dress was very beautiful; elves obviously did have good taste. A pretty good eye for size too; she wondered whether that was just an innate ability, or if they’d all had years of practice. She really wanted to find out how old they all were but she still hadn’t quite worked out how to broach the immortality question without, somehow, seeming rude.
So many lovely parts in this! ♥ And her dress indeed sounds most beautiful.

‘Hmm – I can see what Elrohir meant about elves and taste – no male I’ve ever met at home would be into details like embroidery!’ Dawn thought, as Legolas continued.
*g* Go Legolas! The following discussion about spider silk, its export and the size of the spiders had me laughing so loud that I nearly fell out of the bed while reading.  I would SO love to see the faces of those present, particularly Dawn trying not to ogle... *vbg* The silk itself is quite an awesome invention (of yours?), very useful.

And now Dawn is going to learn more about herself. Quite time! ;o)

“But you would literally stand out clearly amongst dwarves or hobbits, young lady!”
Well, it's elementary, my dear Gandalf... *snort* Though his reasoning is sound indeed. 

...the men of Gondor or Rohan may find this shocking, but elves are strange beings to them, they will eventually convince each other that they even saw the female elf fighting – heroically or badly, depending on their own preconceptions.
*snorts again* The innuendo! Ah, the innuendo!

He replied, with a wry smile, that although he valued the heart and valour of the hobbits above that of all other races, he did not, similarly, value their discretion.
You don't say. *ggg*

...in the baggy panties that Gondorian women apparently wore (which Elladan had once said was a blessing – elven females’ panties would, apparently, not have gone over the splint, Dawn hoped she could get elven ones when the splint came off)
And another one of the details I so love in your stories! ♥

She had been totally embarrassed to start with, once she was fully conscious, but all five elves reassured her that their race just did not get embarrassed by those things. Bodies were simply the outer shell of their fëa and to keep them clean, and working properly, was a sign of respect for Iluvatar who created them.
This is really one of my favourite parts. Not only how you deal with it as far as Dawn is concerned, but the whole cultural and social idea behind it. It makes so much more sense than anything else for an elven society that lives so long and so close together, and also in a very natural way, at least part of the time even for those who lived no longer in the woods later on.

...and twisted a number of braids into it, working in tiny green glass beads and fastening them with silver threads.
I've been wondering about that bead thing, and how you exactly mean it. Are the beads actually are going on the hair, or are they fastened to the end of a braid/strand? I'm having long, thin hair myself, but just the thought of putting small or even tiny beads on single strands or even hairs seems rather daunting.

Sam told her that he would personally make sure that she got a good share of the feast sent up to her, because he didn’t trust the elves to think about making sure she got a taste of everything – “Eat like birds, they do, I don’t know how they have the strength to stand up, so I don’t.”
Oh, bless you, Sam, you're so sweet! :o)

Legolas Thranduilion certainly does cut a beautiful figure, doesn't he? If I were a fanartist I so wanted to draw all these wonderful clothes and costumes you describe!

It's very fitting that Dawn got warrior braids, too. Good boys! :o) Is the three and four strand idea from you, as well as the different braid styles for the elven communities, or if not, do you know where it comes from? I have never head/read it before - but then I also know only a very limited part of the canon lore yet...

‘Wonder how he stops that tiara thing from coming off when he bends forward?’ Dawn found herself thinking, as Legolas stood straight again.
Hahaha! :o))

“Haldir, he like,” he said. “Wine! Women!” he added, with one of those elven smirks.
*g* Does he now?

So, when both elves sat themselves casually on the balustrade, she panicked that they would fall off. Two sets of blue eyes looked at her out of suddenly rather haughty faces.
“We are Galadhrim,” Orophin stated, as if that was the only explanation needed, and pulled both feet up to hug his knees on the six inch wide strip of stone like a gymnast on the beam.

Did I already say that I love all that wagering? The apple throwing bit here is cute. But how did Orophin know that it was Elrohir? Aren't they both wearing silver beads this time?

Author's Response:

That they could use the spider silk for fabric was my own idea - it seemed a logical use for it!

Over the story she will find out more and more about herself, as she learns more of the others, too - like the way it is probably best not to tell Pippin or Merry something that is a major league secret... just in case!

I'm glad that you agree with me that the elves would be laid back about bodies and bodily functions - I thought that their lifestyle, particularly those who live on flets, would almost dictate such an attitude. And the belief, expressed by the prof himself, that elves are much more f

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 17, 2013 1:00 · For: Chapter 4

And on goes Dawn's cultural acclimatisation. It's very sweet of you to give her so much quality time with her so far favourite elf, particularly as the logical healing times for the period must be frustrating for her - I mean, twelve weeks in bed! Mutual language-learning is a great way to pass time, too, among others. ;o) The method of doing a cast is very interesting - did you invent hat for Middle-earth, or do you base that on some cultural/historic source? (History of medicine is one of my pet issues, I hope you don't mind my questions!)

Dawn knew that Rumil and Orophin had been seeing to all that sort of thing for her to start with, but once she was properly aware of her surroundings she was so embarrassed by the idea that she thought she would die of constipation, until eventually one of the El twins had asked her outright. The maid arrived with a sort of bedpan the next morning!
I love the way you go about that nursing care thing among elves very much, particularly in distinction to the customs of the other societies. This is one of the major points I have wondered and thought about since I read the Hobbit first at age ten, and which made me so happy to find it so similarly addressed in your stories on many points, concepts and general ideas. I'm probably saying this prematurely at this point and hope nobody reads this who will get a spoiler out of it, but pondering about what it really means to be immortal, down to tiny bits of everyday life, has been and is the most sizeable part of my fascination with Tolkien's elven culture. I've already come across so many detail in your stories about these things, so often coming close to my own thoughts and musings, or even meeting them nicely, and all of these were not only a pure delight to read, but also such a joy to find them, and to see another mind runs on such similar paths.
Being so easy about each other's bodies, sex, sexuality, and bodily functions just feels right and the most sensible cultural choice for a people like them. The way you go about sexuality and relationships later is new to my personal head-canon, but fits perfectly; but the general ease and naturalness of an indigenous people is part of my head-canon as well. Event those who have long since "left the trees", so to speak, still remember from personal experience a different kind of life so much closer to nature - one of the aspects of being immortal, and not the result of generations of evolution.

His grasp of Californian Common was improving; he didn’t pause before answering.
:o))) Mine, too, btw.

Cool that Dawn can tell the Els apart so soon, though the bead thing for them as well as the different elven people is very ingenious! Btw, did I already tell another thing I really love in your stories is the distinction between the cultures of each race you are showing? And tiny details like the beads being enamelled! ♥

...and not when our father is around, unless he is likely to appreciate the joke, as he always knows in his heart which son stands before him.”
Of course he would.

Nessy (‘I wonder if she goes home to the Loch at night?’ Dawn thought)

Elbows! I could have elbows! Yay for elbows!”
(By the way, since I can't answer to review-answers: you said it amuses you to see which bits I like. In each chapter, there are many more than I mention/quote, but it would become a bit ridiculous if I listed them all - it could be the better part of a chapter sometimes! *g* I'm just picking my absolute favs here, and must say I haven't had so many bits I loved so much in any fanfic I ever read - and this goes on even continuously through all of the Returnverse stories yet! ;o) )

It will be a beautiful dress,” Elrohir went on, “by mannish standards at least, as elves have very good taste.”
Hahaha - I love these sideblows!

“And he didn’t tell me? He is so dead when I get my hands on him! I’ve been laughing at an actual prince getting chatted up for looking pretty?” Dawn wasn’t sure whether to be angry or laugh.
“Chatted up? Ah, yes I understand,” Elrohir answered. He continued with a deadpan straight face “But just wait until you see him in his circlet and robes – then you will be surprised that more men do not ‘chat him up’.”
This SO made my day when I first read it, and just over again right now.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were royalty?” Dawn asked accusingly.
“Because I dislike all the ‘hîr nín'-ing and ‘ernil nín’-ing, perhaps?” he answered, with an upraised eyebrow that reminded her, for a fleeting moment, of Spike.
:o) ♥ I also love very much Legolas's following explanation who he is when and where.

...The moonlight glinted on tears slowly running down Rumil’s cheeks and Dawn realised the sound had been him, almost silently, crying.
... “Haldir,” he sniffed, “Muindor nín, my brother, I miss him.”
*sniffles* With the movies, I fell in love with Haldir, but it was really your stories who brought his brothers alive for me. I can so feel how they must miss him. How good for Rúmil he's not alone at this moment.

Author's Response:

The history of nursing and of orthopaedics are particular interests of mine. And still, if a fracture of the femur is not treated with insertion of metalware, it will take 12 weeks in traction, followed by 2 or 3 weeks bedrest without traction, months on crutches... and if you are lucky you will walk unaided by 12 months post fracture. So I have the elves basically having invented the Thomas Splint for her femur to apply the 12 weeks traction - just as we still do on occasions.

The concept of a cast to immobilise the arm fractures seemed pretty reasonable - but I thought they would be likely to use a plant-based resin rather than plaster of Paris. And the embarrassment of the young, immobilised, adult about bladder and bowels, when confined to bed in a Thomas splint, is from my experience as an orthopaedic staff-nurse some years ago!

Such everyday details fascinate me too - sometimes I have to be careful not to get so caught up with the details that the story line gets lost!

I am so pleased, though, that you like those little asides like 'Nessy', and just how likely Legolas is to be chatted up when he has robes and a circlet on, or the dress-sense of the male elves...

And you can see what I mean about Haldir's personality being part of the story thread despite him being dead. I'm really glad, too, that you like 'my' version of Rumil and Orophin - who the generous professor left as blank canvases for us to play with!

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 14, 2013 17:36 · For: Chapter 3

*lol* The Hobbits are so sweet with their food thing, particularly Sam... I so love this leaving its trail throughout your stories so far.

The thought of naked elf, particularly Rumil, just one door away tended to make her feel hot and bothered.
Does it now? ;o)

Five elves – that had thrown Dawn a bit. It had taken a couple of strange conversations before Orophin, who spoke somewhat more of the Common Tongue than his brother, had explained that there were two dark haired elves around – Elladan had an identical twin called Elrohir (‘Well, Elroy was pretty close, considering,’ Dawn had thought) but “They like to see how long before people see it, some men never do.”
Of COURSE they would, wouldn't they? This is so sweet about the Els, making them keep this typical twin thing even long into their adult years. (Though I'm often wondering if they really ever are "adult" in the sense their father is, ability to be lords of their domain later on notwithstanding...)

...and introduced themselves properly as “Elladan and Elrohir, sons of Elrond”.
“Hmm, seeing a theme here,” Dawn had said. “You don’t have a sister called Eleanor, do you?”
“No,” one of the twins had said, “she’s called Arwen…”

dwarves (not dwarfs!),

Not knowing the Buffyverse I wanted to ask: the Key thing, does that come from there, or is that your invention? It makes absoulte sense of being created by the Valar, of course. I keep musing, though, if Dawn weren't more correctly described as a "Permaiar"... after all, Gandalf is not referred to as human, despite walking about Middle-earth in human shape, so her having been in elven shape before shouldn't affect that. But that's just academical detail I'm sometimes obsessed with, nothing important - and certainly for the sake of the story, "Peredhel" works better.

In the end Dawn’s closing of the Hellmouth had coincided with ‘Frodo destroying the One Ring’.
That is one cool idea to base a story upon, by the way!

And Rumil smiled and said carefully ‘Very precious’.
♥♥♥ *soppy grin* Awww, I wish I had an elf like him for myself... (hope the WW doesn't see this!) ;O)

“Ask Gimli about the Lady of Lorien”, Legolas suggested, with a smirk – half an hour of listening to the love-struck dwarf later Dawn decided never to trust a smirking elf again.
Hahaha, awesome! :o)

“Many of the brave elves from Lothlorien went that day to the Halls of Mandos,” Legolas explained, “including Haldir.”
*sniff* Generally, I prefer book canon to movie canon, or a healthy mixture like the bits of movie canon you slipped in. This particular bit of movie canon I don't like much, as I've become quite fond of movie Haldir and prefer if he survives... but of course, it's another integral part of making your story work, so I'll simply have to live with it, don't I? I must say, though, that the way that influences and motivates Rúmil and Orophin in your story works splendidly.

When she realised what 'fading' meant Dawn cried.
This is so beautiful - perfectly said.

Dawn looked at them – buff bodies, smooth skinned, not looking as if they’d ever have a bad-hair day, and she spluttered “Oh my God! Yes! If Aragorn is a tidy version of the average male around here, you guys are so going to come over as gay!”
“Well, Legolas’ people do have something of a reputation for singing and dancing, but we were thinking more of…” Elladan said, slowly.
*mwahaha* brilliant!

Author's Response: The hobbits focus on food is probably the thing Dawn remembers best about them as she becomes Tind

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 14, 2013 13:18 · For: Chapter 2

Dawn's realisation of her new surroundings and about details of this world are a delight to read.

I love your referrals to modern culture by dawn, like Gimli as a Disney-type dwarf. He would certainly die of shame if he knew where that came from! *lol* He would much approve of this description, though, I'm sure:
As well as the small, incredibly solid, and hairy figure


Dawn opened her eyes and saw a face that she recognised. “Elroy,” she said.
The tall dark haired ‘angel’ smiled. “Well no, actually I’m Elladan,” he said, “but it is an easy mistake to make.”
“Aladdin?” Dawn queried. ‘How could I have got Elroy from Aladdin?’ she wondered.
*mwahaha* "Elroy" and "Aladdin" - that is priceless!

Author's Response: "Elroy" and "Aladdin" - that is priceless! I'm really glad that you enjoyed that bit - I tried to think what she might make of these strange names, in her only just conscious state - and thought Elrohir would sound so much like 'Elroy here', that it is what she would think she had heard - and from there it was a very short step to hear 'Elladan' as not unlike 'Aladdin'... :)

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 14, 2013 12:56 · For: Chapter 1

I don't know the Buffyverse at all and was rather puzzled by some things happening in this chapter after your writing drew me in. So I felt here quite a bit like Dawn does, just the other way round. *g* You're giving your main character such a  funny, witty voice it's a pleasure to read, even if the events made sense to me only much later. Dawn's musings and comments are hilarious. This is my favourite:

‘Who’d have thought?’ Dawn marvelled. ‘Nuns in Heaven look like nuns on Earth! But they argue with the angels. Heaven is weird."

Author's Response: I used to write in the Buffyverse a bit and this was, originally, a story to fit into that fandom - but it quickly became so much more about Middle Earth as the story grew - and then so did all the other stories... So it is always good to know that Tolkien-folk enjoy it even when the Buffyverse is a bit of a strange place to them. Looking at Tolkien's world through the eyes of a twenty-first century teenager was really good fun!

Name: Winterwitch (Signed) · Date: June 14, 2013 12:38 · For: Epilogue

Darn, one of the downsides of reading fanfic on an E-reader that one doesn't review right away, then can't interrupt the reading because the story is so good, and finally has read it all and doesn't know where to start with the reviewing... *g* And now I have so much to catch up, it's hard to decide where to start and where to put what.... I'm currently at the beginning of "Left behind", and what I'm writing here mostly is also already referring to the later stories in the Returnverse. I hope this is ok, and hope it won't spoil anything for other readers if I put this at the last chapter.

Anyway, I had such tremendous fun with your writing over the last two weeks, and every day I spent literally and virtually in the Returnverse has been nothing but delight and fun, and counts among the most entertaining reads I've ever had. I've fallen totally in love with the culture you created for Tolkien's elves, and how you flesh out your characters, colour your character's life and surroundings, and make them interact and behave. The amount of detail, particularly cultural, makes my bookloving fëa sing, as do the social structures and interactions you created. Many of those hit very closely home to things I've been musing about or assuming myself, or have always been thinking "it should have been like this!", and I find myself continuously nodding and smiling at something you wrote. :o) It's so awesome to find the head-canon of a fanfic author being so close to one's own, as it seems to enhance the joy of reading even more.

You've also brought four characters alive to me which haven't been more than side-characters so far, but have now developed their own firm place in my head, much coloured by your "report" ;o) on them: Rumíl, Orophin and particularly the Els. (Ah, the joys of fandom shared - how could I have missed that with my beloved elves for so many years? I knew there was fanfiction around, didn't I? *whacks herself over the head* )

Then there is Legolas. I liked him well enough in the book, found him delicious eye-candy in the movies, and enjoyed some fanfiction centering around him (it's hard to avoid after all *g* ). He has never been among my main fandom loves, which consist rather of the older generation, Elrond and Celeborn, and lately also Thranduil and Haldir, but he's certainly a character I really like having around, or as main character, if he's staying in character and is nicely done. Your Legolas is something quite different, though, and I completely fell in love with him in the qwador-sense, so to say. You make him such a well-rounded, complex character, so real and true-to-life, it simply all falls into place. He's so kind and loveable, but also every inch the son of a king, the warrior and leader of his men, and, later, the leader of his own small people. And also the best imaginable brother one can have, I think. I never had one, but one like him would have been fantastic.

Tindómë is also one of the best-written own characters I've ever come across. I was rather sceptic at the beginning - I haven't come across any crossover story really working for me so far, and particularly not one with a fandom I have no idea about except that it exists. So the Buffy parts left me rather puzzled at first, but your writing drew me in so fast that it didn't matter, and in the end everything worked well enough for me to understand the motivation behind the Buffyverse characters, and to enjoy the reading. Tindómë has such a wonderful humour and her voice such a dry wit making your "putting a modern character in ME" not only working splendidly, but also hilariously funny.

I think I'll leave it here for the moment and try to find the appropriate places/chapters where to put my other thoughts! ;o) I just want to thank you from the deepest of my heart for sharing your amazing talent with us humble readers. I can't wait to read on in your 'verse and don't know if I should read slower to draw out the pleasure longer, or to read faster so I will know sooner all that happens... *g*

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the lovely, long, review - it is much appreciated. I have enjoyed myself so much creating cultures and social structures for these characters of the early fourth age, and fleshing them out. And it is always so good when someone says 'That is just right; exactly as I thought, too'. I have enjoyed Rumil and Orophin developing their own personalities, as do the Els, over time. And I have grown very fond of them all, as well as of Legolas, and then his father and brother as they come into things a little, later. I must admit that Tind

Name: Merin (Signed) · Date: May 04, 2013 23:22 · For: Chapter 9
Giles must be way over forty, so, too old to think about women anyway – he’d be happy with all those books and scrolls.

LOL. Typical teenager. I am reminded of the Jasper Carrott sketch about teenagers where he says something like 'everyone over the age of 25 is plankton and exist on earth only to give teenagers money'. Ah wish I could find that sketch again!

Author's Response: I'm so glad that you liked that line - it amused me when I wrote it, I must admit. And gosh - Jasper Carrott - I used to really enjoy a lot of his stuff.

Name: Merin (Signed) · Date: May 04, 2013 22:38 · For: Chapter 8
Hi curiouswombat,

I am enjoying your story so far. Actually, I clicked on your most recent one, started reading and realised I might want to come back to the beginning if I am to understand what is going on. :D Haven't seen Buffy for about ten years so that feels like a blast from the past too!

Author's Response: I'm so glad that you are enjoying it - and some Buffy knowledge really does help, especially with this one. And yes - the most recent one would make more sense with a bit of background :)

Name: Melusine (Signed) · Date: October 29, 2012 2:48 · For: Epilogue
What a lovely, though sad, ending. Everyone is where she or he belongs, though you had me wondering how things were going to work out later on. And Tindome will miss Buffy I think. What a beautiful story.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for commenting as you read - I really appreciated it. There are more stories in the series posted here if you are wondering about how things are going to work out and would like to read them.

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