Disclaimer: All of the places, events and most of the characters are the property of JRR Tolkien.
Authors’ Note: The hour has come…. Elceleb and Lalaith have been plotting this story for quite some time and now, we wish to share it with you all!
It is a tale set after the Last Alliance, dealing with grief and acceptance of that grief. The main characters are our own: Araelin, an Elfling whose father has gone to fight in the Last Alliance, and Nîndorien, the wife of Gil-galad. We have written alternate chapters, more or less, but we will credit the primary writer at the foot of each chapter. Chapter Two is quite special in that we co-wrote the exchange at the end over MSN. We both think it has worked out quite well!
We appreciate feedback and all that is left for me to say is: “Happy reading!”
Nîndorien sighed as she leafed listlessly through the sheafs of correspondence that sat on the desk in front of her in the Long Room of Imladris. Occasionally, her eyes would fall on a particular phrase, written hurriedly in Gil-galad’s strong hand.
Ai meleth nín; what I have seen on these desolate plains! It is beyond my worst imaginings.
I am all the more determined, loth nín…
…suffered a minor injury…
…until I hold you in my arms again…
With all my heart’s love…
Perhaps the tide is turning…
Ill-winds blow, yet still the memory of you gives me hope…
…Gorthaur must surely show his face…
Know this, loth-nín: I shall love you always.
Nîndorien’s vision blurred at this point, and she wiped at her eyes. The Last Alliance had marched from Imladris almost seven years ago and these brief dispatches, scribbled and with minimal detail, comprised the sole contact she had had with Gil-galad since that day.
With one exception.
A number of weeks previously, she had been stricken by the sensation of burning and agony, as though a great fiery hand was tightening around her heart. She had tried desperately to reach out with her mind, but her efforts proved futile. Fearing the worst, yet hoping against hope for the best, Nîndorien could only sift through old missives and dream of happier times.
She was startled from her reverie by a light tap on the door, and the sound of small feet running lightly across the floor of the Long Room.
“Nîn!” came a youthful voice, which trailed into uncertainty. “Are you crying?”
“I was, Araelin,” admitted Nîndorien, unable to hide her tearfilled eyes from the Elfling who stood a few feet away. The Elf-lady held out her arms. “But I have stopped now, see? Now that you are here.” The Elfling beamed proudly, her grey eyes brightening up considerably when Nîndorien gathered the child onto her lap.
“Can I have a story?” she asked, as she made herself comfortable. “One about the twins?”
Nîndorien laughed, surprising herself. She rarely laughed these days, but she found little Araelin’s requests for the tales of Elrond and Elros’ youth amusing and diverting.
“Very well,” she smiled, earning a gleeful giggle from the Elfling. “On one particularly wet day, the High King…”
“That’s Gil-galad!” proclaimed Araelin with pride. Nîndorien smiled and nodded.
“Yes, Araelin,” she murmured.
“And my adar is with him now, isn’t he?”
Nîndorien felt a slight tightening around her heart. I hope not, she thought as she smiled wanly.
“More story,” prompted the Elfling.
“Yes, of course, gil-dithen nín,” responded Nîndorien automatically. “The High King was looking for the two little boys, the sons of Elwing. They were nowhere to be found this day…”
Suddenly, her tale was cut short, as two things happened almost simultaneously. The sound of trumpets could be heard carrying into the valley of Imladris and Araelin leaped from her perch on Nîndorien’s knee.
“They’re here!” cried the Elfling with joy. “They’ve come home! I must find Nana!”
Nîndorien sat still for a moment, watching the child running from the room. Filled with dread, she rose slowly and made her way down through the buildings of Imladris to meet the survivors of the Last Alliance.
meleth nín – My love
loth nín – My flower
gil dithen nín – My little star
Written by Lalaith