Snaga of Mordor - The tale of an Elf-child raised in Mordor (by Nawyn)

The sun was setting behind the Ered Lithui, but Galadwen's eyes burned with a fire greater than the sun's. She climbed the stairs of the tower of Dol Guldur slowly, clutching a small bundle greedily to her chest. She held her head high, but her eyes often flicked down to the bundle, glee seething in them.

"At last," she murmured in a voice filled with too-soft satin and rotting roses. "At last I have given My Lord what he asked for." Sick triumph flared from her once-blue eyes, which now resembled twin rubies. Galadwen had reached her room now, and she wrenched aside the curtain that separated it from the stairs and walked in. She placed the bundle down on the bed with great care, then with a cry of impatience ripped away the blanket that hid it. Her red eyes kindled again as her long-nailed finger trailed down the soft pale cheek of her newborn daughter. "Good," Galadwen cooed, her mouth smiling but her eyes sneering, "you have your father's eyes." The eyes blinked up at her from the child's face, large and blue, as her own had once been. As her sister's were still.

Galadwen cursed, grabbed a chair, and flung it against the stone wall. It struck the wall and smashed to pieces. She took heaving breaths, an insane smile flickering on her face as she imagined her sister lying in pieces instead of the chair. But then Elrond would grieve so...

"Why you, Celebrian?" she asked, her voice furious. She got up and started to pace. "I wanted him too. I could have made him so happy. What have you done for him, Celebrian? He bears Vilya - he could have been a king! And all you have let him do is become a doddering housekeeper!"

Galadwen could remember perfectly the visit Elrond had paid to Lothlorien, and how he and Celebrian, her elder sister, had fallen instantly in love. But she had loved Elrond as well, too much to hold it painfully inside her. Her face flushed with shame and anger as she remembered the visit she had made to him the night before his marriage to her sister. She did resemble Celebrian, but not enough to fool Elrond. He had refused her love, and had turned her parents' minds against her. If only he had seen me first, not Celebrian! she thought. He would have loved me. I would have made him love me.

Galadriel and Celeborn had quickly learned the truth and banished their younger daughter from Lothlorien. She had wandered, friendless and defenseless, and had finally come to Mordor, nearly dead with hunger and exhaustion.

Galadwen could remember her first audience with Him. Lacking a form, he was nevertheless still powerful in spirit, even without the Great Ring he had made. "So this is my Lorien fugitive," he had hissed. She could almost feel phantom fingers playing with her hair, stroking her neck. "So pretty...I could use you as a consort, Elfling."

She had fought free of the unwelcome fingers, but a part of her had still craved the warmth they brought. But her heart was still bleeding from Elrond's refusal, and she replied steadily, "I am no one's consort, no man's, no Elf's - not even yours." She thought again of Elrond, but this time she blamed not him, but Celebrian's influence.

He had laughed harshly. "You have spirit, Elfling. Such a pity I cannot have you...but I desire no one whose heart longs for another." She had gasped, and he had merely laughed again. "Think you your daughters will be as fair as you?"

"I see no reason why not."

Again that laugh. "Then your daughter shall be my consort. Pick any of my servants and get with child by him. Raise her obedient to me and you - but to no one else. When she is old enough, she shall rule Mordor by my side." His voice lost interest. "Go then. Go!" She had obeyed, terrified and exhilarated at once.

It had been hard, but she had finally located an Elf to give her a child. His name was Enrion, and he was younger than she was. He felt a sense of awe that she had chosen him, which Galadwen manipulated easily. But years had gone by, and she had not once conceived. Her Lord had grown restless, waiting for the birth of his consort, and Galadwen, desperate, had even contemplated trying an Orc before Enrion had finally given her a child. She was so relieved that she could even spare a moment to feel sorry for him when he died a month later by falling off a cliff.

She rewrapped the baby with shaking fingers. For all she pretended that she was not afraid of Sauron, she knew she was. "Come, my little treasure," she whispered, her tone mocking. "We must go see your master now."

He lived in a small room near the top of the tower. Even from the stairs, his aura of power was palpable. Galadwen gritted her teeth and tightened her grip on the baby, her salvation, heedless of the infant's sudden cry of pain. Galadwen climbed the stairs until she reached his room, and then she simply walked in.

His presence surrounded her like a thundercloud. "Ah, Galadwen," he said, his voice mockingly gentle and solicitous. "What have you brought me? But even he could not conceal his eagerness. Galadwen hid a smirk and pulled aside the blanket.

"Your consort, My Lord," she said.

She could feel his longing to touch the baby, and his annoyance that he could not. "She is as lovely as you, Galadwen. You have done well." She could hear the satisfaction that was her assurance of life in his voice, and she relaxed. "What do you wish to name her?"

Galadwen froze. So, a final test before my life is secure? she thought, her mind racing for a name that would please Sauron. In that case, no Elvish name would do, although she could think of many nice ones. It had to be something that He would like, something that would make him laugh...Galadwen's face cracked into a pleased smile as she thought of it, the perfect name. "Her name, My Lord, is Snaga." She smiled ferally as the baby thrust her fist out and waved it desperately in the air, as if begging for a different name.

He would have smiled, if he had had a shape. Instead, he could only laugh, but he laughed in a pleased way. "An Elf-child named Slave," he commented. "You please me, Galadwen. I think I must give you and Snaga new rooms." Then he lost interest. "You may go."

Trembling with relief, the tiny Snaga held so tightly to her that she could barely breathe, Galadwen descended the stairs.

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