Author’s notes: The previous chapter can be found here.
As always, I am really looking forward to comments!
Disclaimer: The entire world of Eä belongs to JRRT.
“Aurelin, please! Gwingloth, you will get well! Elrond will heal you, stay with me!”
Gilgaer brushed a few stray strands of hair from her face and turned his misery-filled eyes to Amon Sûl looming on the horizon.
It was the start of a new year. All of Menegroth was filled with voices and the soft step of Elven feet. Calenloth was making last-minute adjustments to her hair and dress. To celebrate the New Year, a great feast had been announced weeks before.
Calen pushed some last stray locks of hair to their right place and stepped out of her room. She was wearing a beautiful dress of sky-blue with a red underdress. The bodice and upper sleeves of the dress were embroidered with green and depicted wines twining around her arms and neckline, cascading down. The sleeves were of red silk and flowed like the wings of a butterfly with her every movement. The dress’ skirt was of a sheer material so it let the red glow through the blue. Calen’s slippers matched her dress and her hair was in an elaborate hairdo with gems sparkling amidst the silver of her hair.
She proceeded towards the great hall, where the feast had already started, a smile on her lips and eyes looking from right to left. She was searching for Belegorn who was supposed to meet her.
The years had gone by quickly: from children playing together the two had grown into two young Elves, from best friends to Elves in love. It had all happened very smoothly, one day both had understood that they loved each other.
When Calen finally saw Belegorn, she quickened her steps.
“You are as beautiful as always, more so than the stars and the Moon!” he greeted her.
“And so are you, but also you are late, I thought you had disappeared somewhere.”
“No, it just took awhile to get ready. I can’t look like someone just out of the woods if I’m to accompany you to a party, my love!”
Calen looked away from his face and eyed his clothes: jerkin and leggings a little different shade of blue than her dress, a grey long-sleeved shirt, all embroidered in curling Elvish patterns. All of a sudden she ran into his arms.
“What was that for?” Belegorn grinned.
“I missed you!”
“You only had to be alone for one afternoon and already you missed me. But if I get a hug for every time you miss me, then I’ll try to leave you alone more often,” he teased her. “You truly are stunning!” He kissed her forehead and reluctantly unwrapped himself from her embrace,
“Now let’s go! You didn’t want to be late, I thought.”
The two walked to the hall and through the doors. Because they were late, everyone’s eyes turned to the door when these were opened. Calenloth assumed a gliding pace down the stairs, smiling radiantly at Belegorn, who matched her smile, and at all the others in the big hall. Belegorn led her to their seats and Thingol announced the New Year feast having begun for the second time (for the late-comers). He and Melian sat at the more decorated chairs with Lúthien next to them at the head of the long table.
The evening passed with good food and wine, accompanied by a lot of talk. Calen chatted with her sister and friends across the table from her and whispered the usual lovers’ nonsense with Belegorn.
When the time came for dancing, the King and Queen of Doriath were the first on the floor – Melian wonderful in her Maia gracefulness, complemented by Thingol’s matching steps. But the most awaited moment came when Lúthien appeared in the middle of the hall. It may have been minutes or hours but everyone looked as the most beautiful of the Elves wove steps in intricate patterns around the room.
At last she stopped and it was as if a dream had been cut short. Shaking themselves out of the drowning feeling took some time but soon the floor was occupied by dancing Elves.
Belegorn rose and asked Calen for a dance and she was delighted. He lead her to the whirling couples, put his hand on her waist and twined his fingers around Calen’s. She was beaming because she loved to dance and with Belegorn it was as effortless as breathing. They matched each other in the steps, her dress and sleeves flowing with the movement, hair catching the light.
“It’s so wonderful!” Calen told Belegorn.
“We dance well together but it’s not difficult with you, my sweet.”
Belegorn looked down into Calenloth’s incredible green eyes and saw the love her heart held for him. He thanked Elbereth every day for that. Calenloth was his best friend, she knew him like no one else did and she had fallen in love with him. He knew all there was to know about her as well, all their time together as children and youngsters had taken care of that. He had learned of her love for dancing a long time ago and so he twirled her around the floor the whole night.
Calen was exstatic, overbrimming with her adoration for dance and love for Belegorn and she did nothing to hide it. Not even thinking about it, the two moved through the dance-steps, all the while talking or simply smiling at each other. They had a lot to talk about: from declaring their love to discussing the coming of the Secondborn to Beleriand. It was felt that their awaking had changed something, that things would be different now than before their arrival but no one knew how. Or maybe Melian had some clue. When the news had first come to Doriath of them, both Melian and Lúthien had for some days been distant and in their thoughts. But at least Morgoth was held back behind the Siege and the land knew relative peace again.
The night slipped away and Elves were retiring from the hall with the rising of the Sun. Before the end of the feast Calen and Belegorn had reluctantly changed dancing partners because others wanted to dance with both but the same magic wasn’t there when the two were separated. Calenloth had also danced with Nimloth, the sisters both graceful and nimble-footed.
“My slipper-soles are ruined,” Calen grimaced. “It’s all your fault!”.
She made a face at Belegorn who was leading her away from the feasting hall and out to the bridge over Esgalduin.
“But how can I be mad at you?” she still had the grin on her face. Tired of the night filled with entertainment, she was leaning on Belegorn or at least that was one of the reasons, if not the main one.
“My poor Lady! And if your soles are thin then what of my boots? These were a pair of good boots and look at them now – ruined because of you, beyond any hope of saving!” Belegorn didn’t leave Calen’s joking unanswered. “I could have gone hunting but now I have to tell everyone that because of Calenloth Dúril, the Little Princess, I can’t.”
“Oh, yes, I can see you hunting in those boots! You won’t get a mile out of the Thousand Caves.” Calen knew that these boots were made of very soft leather and covered with too much decorative patterns to be of any use besides wearing on feastdays.
They had come unnoticeably to the bridge, busy having a mock-quarrel. Calen stopped by the railing, Belegorn took her hands into his and stood only inches from her.
“And still when they’d ask why I did dance so much then the answer I would give them is that I love you. More than my life, more than anything!”
“And I love you. Every day I wake up happy that your father brought you here and that we met. You have to know that I’d die if anything happened to you, Lasbelin Díndal.”
“I know but don’t talk of such things. You are my star and flower, my Green Blossom, Swanfoot! I would do anything for you, my everything, Annavír, my Gift of Jewels!” He drew her closer into his embrace and looking into her eyes, that blazed green and full of love, lowered his head to kiss her and express all that he felt for her and she answered him.