When Fala awakened again, it was the sweet and familiar singing of an elf lady that roused her from dreamless depths. “Maya?” she whispered before even having to open her eyes. She rolled to her side and glanced lazily about the room. “Mithrandir is not here?”
Maya smiled her familiar and enchanting smile. “Mithrandir was yesterday. Today, I am afraid it is only unremarkable and un-magical me.” she said lovingly as she helped Fala to sitting position.
Fala flung her arms about Maya and held her close. She realized that another day had been slept away. “Forgive my disappointment, but I thought it was yet yesterday.” She pulled away and smiled. “I think Mithrandir spelt me to sleep. His was the last face I beheld before drifting off. But yours is a face that my heart is more than overjoyed to waken to, my father’s sister.”
“And yours is a face that my heart is overjoyed to see wakened once again, my brother’s only child.” Maya whispered shakily and on the verge of tears. She ran a hand tenderly atop Fala’s cheek then leaned near and kissed her forehead. “You are far too adventurous for your own good, my brave Fala. Far too much like your father.” Maya said with an even more apparent sadness. “But Mithrandir said it is fortunate for all that you are who you are.”
Fala grinned at the mention of the Mithrandir.
“He said you would be fine. As fine as fine can be, were his precise words.” Maya continued. “And so his prophecy appears to have been fullfilled. How do you feel?”
“I feel absolutely…fine. Fine and firey enough to to take on The Nine by myself.” she anwered absently. For echoes of Nazgul laughter suddenly sliced into her thoughts.
“Do not say such a thing!” Maya gasped as her face paled.
Realizing the distress she was causing and had already caused Maya, Fala embraced her aunt again. “Forgive me my dearest Mayanin. I did not mean to upset you so. I never ever intended to become such a hurt upon your heart.”
“I know.” Maya said quietly.
There came a quick rapping at the door and the two elves broke apart.
“You had best get yourself dressed Fala. I have a feeling that there will be many visitors this day.” Maya said as she floated out of the room.
And Maya had been right. Many elves came and went that morning. Most were sent to make sure that she had healed fully. Others were merely overcome by curiousity. It had been a morning that was most hectic and hustling. Elves brought news of this and that and these and those…but no news came concerning her burden from the Shire.
Then came Glorfindel carrying a neatly folded grey cloth. He stood before Maya and bowed deeply. “Lady Mayanin. I have come with word that the sons of Elrond are returning. They will be here before the sun falls.” He smiled gently and stood again. “Nevindel, your son, returns with them.”
Maya’s eyes grew soft. “Thank you Lord Glorfindel, for relaying such great tidings to my very doorstep,” she said graciously. “Now, all the remnants of my family shall be recovered.”
Glorfindel then looked to Fala. “I had heard of your awakening. You are radiant this day, Lady Fala. I should very much like to speak with you. But not right this moment. There will be a gathering in the Hall of Fire later tonight. I shall seek for you there. But only if you would choose to grace the hall with your radiance…of course.”
She only nodded, for the mere sight of Glorfindel’s face brought back vivid recollections of the day at the Ford. Her thoughts bent for the darker.
Glorfindel then handed the folded cloth to Fala. He bowed again before the two ladies. “Farewell until the Hall of Fire then,” he said with a regal grin…then was gone.
Fala held up the cloth and let it drape down to the floor. It was her cloak. She shuddered as she stared at it, recalling the irrational rage that had taken possesion of her the day she had ripped it off and charged with brandished sword towards the Nazgul.
Maya turned to Fala when they were alone. “Now there is a most noble elf, Fala. Lucky is the lady who wins a heart such as His.”
Fala did not understand at first what Maya was alluding to, for her thoughts had returned to a darker day. As she refolded her cloak, her thoughts fell back to Frodo. She prayed that he was healing. Then she became irritated that no one brought her any word of his condition.
“Do you not agree?” Maya’s voice tugged Fala back.
“Agree?” she asked in a bemused way.
“About Lord Glorfindel.”
Fala then called back what it was Maya had said before she had let her thoughts be caught by concern for Frodo. Fala felt her face grow warm when she came to understand her aunt’s meaning. “Oh yes Maya. Lucky is the lady who wins the love of an elf as noble as Lord Glorfindel. But it I will not try to be that lady, for I am afraid my heart is held captive by another…”
Maya’s head shyly tilted to one side and a curious look encaptured her eyes. “I had no idea,” she said apologetically.
“Nor did I. Not until just recently.” Fala said with soft surrender. “I will find him soon. And I will offer to him…my entire heart…” Fala’s voice trailed off and she strolled silently away into her own room. When alone she revelled in the sweet warmth brought by the mere thought of her beloved. A small nagging part of her knew that such a love might be looked upon as odd…or might even be forbidden. But she mostly did not care. Desire had taken possession of her at last. And she would not let unapproving stares or secretive whispers waylay her love.
In dwindling afternoon, Fala and Maya set out. Maya was eager to welcome back her ever absent son, Nevindel. Fala was eager to hear word of the world beyond Rivendell. Her cousin Nevin was an exceptional tale teller. And though he never spilled a word of what their business was abroad, Fala would always fall completely into Nevin’s descriptions of the far away places and faces he had beheld. The things he described were always magnificent and magestic and magical to her. But Fala knew that the world beyond hers was darkening quickly. She did not fully understand how quickly though until she had nearly stood face to face with The Nine right on the very fringes of Rivendell. She would never again be able to listen to one of Nevin’s tales without wondering what dark things actually haunted the shadows of his stories.
A few others had gathered at the gate to await the arrival of Elrohir and Elladan. Fala scanned the sparce group of faces and immediately caught sight of one very familiar face. It was the ranger from The Ford. The one that had been there with Glorfindel. When finally he glanced across to her, his eyes betrayed surprise and he smiled. She raised her hand in greeting. He nodded in return. Their attention was suddenly stolen away from one another as the sons of Elrond arrived. Their small company gathered together in a close group for a few moments and held a discussion using some secret language of the hands. None looked too happy as they finally split apart and spread out into different directions. Elrohir and Elladan moved to greet the ranger, and they three immediately departed.
Nevindel dismounted and made way to his family. Weariness was weighted in his eyes but he managed to smile a rather brilliant greeting. And he did not speak, but embraced his mother gently, and then Fala.
“My old heart is full again.” Maya said with tears in her eyes. “Here and now we stand…the lingering few of Falonir. Let me take the both of you into my arms, and hold close and together to me the last of our line. May any farewells be left until far into the future.”
Fala glanced to Nevindil as they were clasped tight in Maya’s embrace. His coal colored eyes told her that farewells would come much sooner rather than far later. Maya then released them.
Together, through subtle and low lying mists, the trio silently made for home.
The final few of Falohir’s family kept to their house and to themselves that night, for Nevendil confessed that he would leave again before the morrow’s sun had set. And making their togetherness all the more treasured was the fact that Mayanin and Fala would, very soon, make their journey to the Gray Havens. The three of them clung to what precious few hours they had together, for they knew not when Nevindel would return next…or if he even would return.
They talked of the past and the present but Maya forbade her son or her neice to speak of the future, and told them, “The future is a fortune teller’s toy. The present is for us to enjoy. Rather than trying to unlock a regrettable yet, I beg of thee to stay locked with me in the enjoyable now.”
And so they stayed locked in the too rapid present.