1. The Doorway
Celebrimbor watched with undisguised fascination as Narvi put his chisel to the large stone and gave it a few delicate taps. It was interesting to watch a Dwarf work with stone; though the squat, gruff beings seemed to be harsh people, when they worked with stone, they were as careful and gentle as gardeners.
“There,” coughed Narvi, straightening himself. “It’s finished. Now all it needs is the spell, and then you can do your decorating.”
Celebrimbor frowned. “Decorating? You say that as if you think that the ornamentation is unimportant. The door is to be used by Elves, and therefore it has to be a thing of beauty.”
Something that could almost be called a smile flickered across Narvi’s gnarled face. “I think it’s already beautiful, Master Elf.” He set aside his tools and then stepped forward to place his gloved hands on the stone door. “Go away while I cast the spell, and I’ll call you when I’m ready.”
Celebrimbor bristled. “What?”
“You’re an Elf, Lord Celebrimbor. I can’t have an Elf around when I cast the spell.”
“And why not?” demanded the Elf, his ire rising. “I assure you, Master Narvi, a Dwarvish spell is hardly too difficult for me to understand.”
“It’s not about understanding,” explained Narvi, a pained expression on his face. His patience was obviously wearing thin. “Dwarvish spells are for Dwarvish ears and eyes alone.”
“I really must protest…”
“Lord Celebrimbor!” The gruff voice interrupted Celebrimbor’s argument. “Do you want me to finish this doorway or not?”
Celebrimbor bit back the retort that sprang to his mind. It had been trying enough to arrange for the door to be made, and the members of Eregion’s council would have his head if he let the whole agreement fall to pieces because of an argument. “Yes, go ahead.” He reluctantly walked away, a few feet down the Sirannon. “Is this far enough?” he called back.
Narvi waved a hand. “Stay there. What did you want the opening word to be?”
“Mellon,” Celebrimbor answered. “It means ‘friend.’”
“Right. Friend.” From a distance, it was hard to tell whether Narvi had said “friend” to simply repeat the definition, or to address Celebrimbor as his friend. Dwarves were so hard to figure out sometimes.
Celebrimbor sat down on a nearby boulder to wait. He could hear Narvi talking to the stone, but the Dwarvish language was so coarse and guttural that he quickly stopped listening. Maybe it was a good thing that Narvi had sent him away.
He gazed up at the blue sky, and the random thought came to him that his father would be very displeased if he could see him right now. Not only was he sitting back while someone else was working on a project, but he was working with a Dwarf. In spite of his annoyed mood, Celebrimbor felt a small smile creep across his face. Oh, his father would be very displeased indeed.
Narvi’s voice interrupted his thoughts. “I’m finished,” the Dwarvish smith called.
The smile did not fade from Celebrimbor’s face as he walked back to the unfinished doorway. “Already?”
Narvi shrugged. “I did what I had to do. Do you want to see it work?”
“Of course I do,” answered the eager craftsman in Celebrimbor’s heart, before the reluctant politician could react. “Mellon.”
There was the sound of grinding stone. A crack appeared in the rock, and then the outline of a door, and then the side of the mountain swung open wide, revealing the shadows and flickering torches of Khazad-dum inside.
Narvi laughed beside him. “You’ve never seen a Dwarven door work before?” He chuckled again as Celebrimbor faintly shook his head. “Well then, I don’t fault you for your shock. Stone is a powerful thing in a Dwarf’s hands.”
Celebrimbor swallowed. “For once, Master Narvi, I think we are in agreement.”
The Dwarf grunted, unable to keep the pride and amusement from his voice, and gathered up his tools. “Well, I’m finished here, so you can add your decorations. I’ll be back to help with the lines along the bottom, if you want.”
Celebrimbor nodded mutely, still awed by the door in front of him.
“Then, Master Elf,” said Narvi as he turned to smile before walking back into Khazad-dum, “I hope we meet again soon.”
The thudding of Narvi’s boots echoed and then died into silence.
Celebrimbor shook his head. It was almost impossible. A grandson of Fëanor awed by another’s craft… and by Dwarvish craft, no less!
He shook his head again and went to get his own tools. The medium would have to be mithril, of course, and he already had an idea about the design…
Carven in the side of a seemingly impregnable mountain, the doorway stood, and perhaps it would lead to more than Khazad-dum.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.