Orphan Eyes - Farewell, Rivendell
It was nearing the end of December. It had been almost a month since the Council and Maegwen's talk with her father. Since then, the lord and his adopted child did not speak much. Maegwen avoided him all together, feeling her self want to explode whenever she saw him. She still loved him. She did not mean all the things that she had said. But she did feel as though Elrond was controlling her. Was she not old enough to have her own life?
So another week went by, when she was approached by Legolas. Maegwen was in her room, staring up at the sky and absent-mindedly rubbing her stomach. It had grown quite a bit in the last two months, and things she had not thought of before began to spring up. What if she was not fit to be a good mother? What happened if something happened to her after the birth, or during it? What if she never made it to Lorien, and-
"Maegwen?" the voice rung clear through her thoughts, and she looked over.
"Legolas, hello. Come in." Maegwen sat up and smiled. Legolas walked over, but did not sit down. He stood up straight. He sighed. Legolas looked troubled, but he also looked fearless and brave.
"What is it?"
Legolas looked at her, speaking quickly. "The Company will be setting out tomorrow. We will be leaving. I thought perhaps you would like to know, though to tell you is against Lord Elrond's wishes."
Maegwen's jaw dropped, and she flung her arms around him not for the first time, and certainly not that last. "Legolas!" She could not find the words to express herself, so she hoped her uttering his name in a really odd moan might help.
The elf chuckled. "Do not worry. I will be fine. I have many big strong men to look after me." He said the last part as a joke and in a rougher and hardy voice. They both laughed.
"You do not need anyone to look after you." Maegwen said. She sighed. "I only wish I was going with you."
"You must remain here. We do not know what danger we might come onto. It is safer this way."
Maegwen nodded. She was not in the arguing mood. They talked about what might happen, and what things would be like once the Ring was destroyed. Legolas talked about all his dreams he wished to fulfill, and the places he wished to visit. Maegwen just wanted to be back in Lorien. After a while, Legolas left, and Maegwen sat and thought. But she could only think about her baby and its father. And she knew that if she went with the Fellowship to Lorien, then she would be protected. And that was all that Elrond was really worried about.
So she went to him. She was through asking. She was through arguing. Maegwen was going to tell him. The moment she entered his chambers, Elrond's soft gaze fell, and he seemed suddenly older and care-ridden.
"Elrond." Maegwen said curtly.
"Maegwen." Her father returned the greeting in the same tone of voice.
They met in the middle of the room and stared at eachother for a while. They knew eachother's grounds and wishes. What they wanted. The argument was going to stop there in that room. They were going to make an agreement. Elrond shook his head, then it was as though two greatly trained warriors were sparing; each blow not even seconds after the other.
"You can not go."
"I will not let you."
"I am going."
"You are not."
"You can not stop me."
"While you are under my rule, you will do as I bid." Elrond said commandingly. "You are not going."
"Are you going to treat me as though a child forever?" Maegwen asked bitterly. Elrond's hand clenched into a white ball.
"I am doing this in your best interests. Please trust me. I would never do anything to make you suffer --"
"But I am suffering. Let me go. Please, Elrond, let me go."
Elrond looked at the ground, then up. He had the most determined, yet annoyed and angry expression she had ever seen.
"No." then he erupted. "Will you just do as you are told, Maegwen? For once? Can you not see that this is frustrating, trying, irritating, and painful on others than just yourself? Can you think about what others are going through now? The... the One Ring is here. It will destroy all of us if not annihilated. That is what I have had to think about everyday. What if it's hiding place was discovered? Imladris would not stand a chance against what the Dark Lord would send here, and I worry that He will find it here. That is more than the weight of the world, and must you add to the weight with your bickering? Be silent, and do as I say!" he went and sat down heavily on a chair. "Sometimes you can be such a burden."
Maegwen bit her lip and closed her eyes to blink away the tears. She did not know Elrond felt that way about her. She knew sometimes she was trying, but a burden? A weight? Unwanted? What she said next she said without thinking, but once it was said, there was no turning back.
"Then I free you of that burden." She said with a trembling voice and body. Elrond's forehead creased, as he looked at her in utter confusion: like he did not want to believe what she was saying. He did not totally understand. Nor did Maegwen, for a moment.
"What do you..." his voice died.
"You know what I said. I free you of it. I free you of my weight. The burden. I free you of me. I am leaving and there is nothing that you say that will stop me. No longer will I live under your roof to abide by your rules and word. From now and on forget me. Forget I am your daughter. Forget... forget everything. I am not truthfully your daughter, and you know this. I know this. And now no longer do I wish to be your daughter." Maegwen squeezed her eyes together so tight she could see white dots as she tried to free her vision of teardrops. Her words slurred in her mind, and did not make sense. Had she said that? Had she just told Elrond that she no longer wanted to be his daughter? To no longer have his love she would give up anything for, except perhaps Haldir? She would even die for him, if the cause was right. Yes, she had said she no longer wanted his love and his wisdom and his help. Elrond was breathing rashly, his hand covering his mouth. He was crying. Not sobbing. He was silent. But tears trolled down his cheeks. Maegwen bowed.
"And I will now take leave of you, Master Elrond." She said. It sounded weird. She had never called him 'master' or 'lord'. It was Elrond. She had never called him 'father' outright. And she never would.
"I am afraid things just do not work that way..." he said, breathing heavily. This was worse than if she had died. Because he knew that she would still be out there, pretending as if the last 17 years hadn't mattered. And they did matter. They were some of the best years he had ever had, even when she was younger and in her rebellious and adventurous stages. Even when she had been trying and a burden. Elrond shook his head. He had not meant what he said.
"Thank you, Lord Elrond, for your hospitality." Maegwen said, turned on her heel, and walked out as calmly as she could. Her father -- no, just Elrond now -- had not the strength to follow her out or to call for her. All energy had been sucked from his limbs. He sat staring at the air in front of him. Maegwen was leaving him. Yet he was not going to try to talk her out of it. Both he and Maegwen were stubborn. Elrond figured that Maegwen would calm down in the night and come to her senses.
By Eru was he wrong.
Arwen looked at the tears on her sister's face as she passed. Arwen had heard yelling and screaming and had come to investigate. Gilgnalad had been with her, but looked into Elrond's chambers and saw the lord looking pained. Legolas was walking down the hall too, now. Maegwen and Elrond's fight had attracted many people.
"Maegwen?" called Arwen ash she jogged to catch up. Maegwen, though, was now in an all out run. "Maegwen! What is it? Talk to me!"
Maegwen left Arwen calling to her, the Evenstar's voice echoing in the halls and throughout the House of Elrond.
It was the next day, and Maegwen sat on the bed, staring out the window. It was no longer her bed, or her room, or her window. It was just a room. It didn't matter. She felt nothing. Nothing but pain. Nothing but regret. But she was not going to back down. She was going to show Elrond that she could take care of herself and was independent if it was the last thing she did. Just the same, everything seemed to hurt. And it was about to get worse.
"Maegwen!" Legolas said, flinging the door open and flying like a mad bird. If the orphan had bothered to look up, she might have been frightened. Legolas's eyes were ablaze with such a terrible fire of horror and perplexity. "How could you?" His voice was radiating with disappointment.
"How could I what?" she asked lamely, as if nothing could register in her mind. Legolas looked very angry.
"Lord Elrond told me exactly what you said to him. How could you?" Legolas's eyes were so furious Maegwen had to look away.
"Legolas, please do not yell at me." She pleaded, crying softly. It seemed impossible to shed tears after all she had last night. Legolas might have known what she said, but he had not been there when it happened. He did not know how she felt.
"You are being ungrateful for all that he has done for you," the elf continued. "And all this for what? Tell me."
"I must see him, Legolas. Why can you not understand that? I thought you of all people might know how I feel. I need to see Haldir. I love him."
"Do you not love Elrond?" Legolas asked.
"He... he was my father." Maegwen still couldn't say it without bringing to herself pain. "Of course I loved him. But I love Haldir and I am having his child. You do not know what it's like to have... to have something growing inside you." she patted her stomach. She sighed. "Besides, you might as well not speak so harsh with me, for I am accompanying the Fellowship. Nothing you say or do will change my decision."
Legolas looked away in defeat. "Do as you wish. I am not your lord. I have no say as to what you should do."
"Please do not be angry." Maegwen said. She sat up and went to the elf's side. She put her arms around him and laughed softly. "You will know how I feel someday, Legolas. Or at least I would hope. You will find a woman who you will love and do anything for. You deserve one."
Maegwen had the hood of her cape up, and she stared at the ground as Elrond stood before them that evening. He looked as though he wanted to say something to her, but couldn't. Arwen was looking at her bitterly. She did not understand. No one did.
"This is my last word," said the lord to the others. Maegwen held back so he would not see her, eyes red and puffy. "The Ring-bearer is setting out on the Quest of Mount Doom. On him alone is any charge laid: neither to cast away the Ring, nor to deliver it to any servant of the Enemy nor indeed to let any handle it, save members of the Company of the Council, and only then in gravest need. The others go with him as free companions, to help him on his way. You may tarry, or come back, or turn aside into other paths, as chance allows. The further you go, the less easy it will be to withdraw; yet no oath or bond is laid on you to go further than you will. For you do not yet know the strength of your hearts, and you cannot foresee that what each may meet upon the road."
Elrond looked directly at her past the others when he said that. Maegwen turned her back to him and stared out onto the path. She could not believe she was actually going through with this.
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens." Gimli the dwarf said. He was a stout dwarf, and the son of Gloin. His eyes glimmered under the stars above.
"Maybe," Elrond said. "But let him not vow to walk im the dark, who has not yet seen the nightfall."
"Yet sworn word may strengthen quaking heart." Gimli said.
"Or break it," Elrond said. "Look not too far ahead! But go now with good hearts! Farewell, and may the blessings of Elves and Men and all Free Folk go with you. May the stars shine upon your faces!"
Maegwen took one last look upon her home. So many memories of old, of when she was a child. Many of Figwit. Much of when she was young and would play with her father, or try to act grown up like her big sister Awewen (she had trouble pronouncing 'r's when she was younger). Under the stars, Elrond too thought of these things as he stood there and tried to catch Maegwen's eye, but she refused to look at him. The orphan, feeling so alone and cold then, sighed.
"Good bye." she whispered, and turned to follow the others.