Fairer Than Ivory, Silver, or Pearls
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Down Like Rain: 1. Down Like Rain
Down Like Rain
The tale of Melkor Morgoth and Luthien Tinuviel
Author’s obligatory comment: Rating is for sexual content. Some knowledge of the Silmarillion and especially the “Tale of Beren and Luthien’ is needed to understand some of the situations within.
“Her voice came dropping down like rain into pools, profound and dark. She cast her cloak before his eyes and set upon him a dream.”
-Tolkien, ‘The Silmarillion’,
From his dark throne in his dark hall deep inside the tortured land of Angband, Melkor Morgoth watched alone as time passed and the world grew old. Even while he still dwelled on Middle Earth his name had passed into legend. His evil was so great and his name so feared that never before and never again shall such a mighty figure rise to shake the foundations of the heavens as he had done. But great power demanded a great price.
Once he had been counted with the Valar. Once he had been the mightiest of them all, in the Beginning. In the Beginning when there was only Illuvatar and the Ainur and himself he had been great, second only the Creator, the Imperishable Flame. Once, but no longer.
Now he was the Lord of Darkness and evil. Sworn enemy of the Valar and all who served them, the only time he would ever again see the land of Valinor and stand on the peak of Taniquetil to look upon the face of his brother Manwe would be when he was defeated. Only when he would be brought in chains before his brethren to be judged would he ever see any of the Valar again.
There must be some universal law, born in drama, which decrees that greatness and power can only burn for a short while before the fall, and when the fall comes, it must come quickly and violently. Over and over, time and again this has happened to many before and shall happen to many again, yet the fall of Melkor to Morgoth was the first and the most terrible of all.
Alone he dwelled in his dark realm and from his dark throne he ordered wars to be waged and nations to fall. He had no true physical form, as was true of all Ainur. His power lay in the magic and strength of the forces that had made the world. Although he was no longer counted amongst the Valar, changing his name could not change who he was. The power of the mightiest of all the Valar still burned inside him and at first none could have ever been his equal in magic or strength or intellect. As the ages passed and time relentlessly drove forward, the endless fighting between Morgoth and the Valar had caused his power to slowly drain away. Little by little he had lost his strength until he was only a part of what he had once been. Even so the only creature stronger than the part of Morgoth that remained on the face of Arda was Manwe himself.
Manwe and Morgoth, twin brothers in the mind of Illuvatar, neither could ever kill the other.
There was a sound at one end of the hall and he turned to the noise, angered at being disturbed in his reverie. One of his servants scuttled forth, hissing about a woman come to see him. He turned his terrible glare on the dark servant and it dashed away before any punishment could be dealt. Satisfied Morgoth closed his dark eyes. He knew no women and he did not want to know any. He wished to be left alone and his servants had learned to judge his moods quickly over the time they served him. Otherwise they did not last very long.
He rose from his throne and glanced to the window behind. His black eyes, flat and cold, the eyes of one who has lived too long and known darkness too well, flickered over the tortured landscape of the thrusting mountains, plummeting cliffs and broken valleys. The setting sun had tinted the sky red and the stones of the mountains were turning black as darkness came. Red and black, colors of blood and death, colors of Angband. Colors of his land.
Another sound in the hall and he turned once more, anger making his cruel face even more terrible. Yet it was not one of his servants who stood in front of the great doors, it was the woman the servant had spoken of. Clothed under a pale cloak and hood she seemed at odds with the dark and gruesome surroundings of Angband. Behind her walked a wolf, larger than most, keeping close to her heels. He spared the creature a single glance before returning to stare at the woman. There was something about her that drew his attention. She met his eyes and stopped her advance, the wolf halting behind her.
There were few that could meet the stare of the Dark Lord. Some of the Valar, Sauron the Maia and a few of the Valaraukar, but that was all. This woman looked back at him with large dark eyes that seemed too big for her oval face. Her eyes were too innocent to belong to one of the Ainur. A Child of Illuvatar then, most likely an elf judging from her delicate features. Although his face did not change he snarled inwardly. Flinging out one hand so that his own cloak of night rose behind him he walked to her.
“Who are you?” He demanded in one of his darkest tones, sounding more like a beast than a man. The woman continued to stare, her dark eyes flickering with more emotions that he could follow. His patience was wearing thin before the wolf finally nudged her with its head. She blinked as if she had been lost in a trance before pursing her lips in a small smile.
“Luthien Tinuviel,” she said softly. Morgoth knew the name. He drew himself up to his full height and crossed his arms over his chest. As an afterthought he tilted his head slightly so that his large horns were more prominent.
“Luthien Tinuviel,” he said thickly, his dark eyes never leaving her face. “The same Luthien Tinuviel who defeated my apprentice Sauron?” His eyes slid back to the wolf. He recalled Sauron had been defeated by both Luthien and Huan, a wolfhound of the Valar. Had they come to defeat him now? His eyes looked back at her and violence burned in his stare.
“Did you think that I would be so easily defeated?” His voice was deadly dangerous.
“I did not come to do battle with you,” said Luthien, flinching once under the violence she saw in his cold eyes. She stood her ground against him for she was nervous, but not fearful. This both surprised and intrigued him enough so that some his annoyance vanished. He wished to speak to the girl. As for the wolf, be it Huan or not, he wanted it gone.
“Tell your ‘pet’ to wait outside,” he ordered. She hesitated and the wolf seemed to glare at him. In return Morgoth raised his palm preparing to send forth fire to burn the creature from his presence.
The girl turned around just in time. She placed a single pale hand on the wolf’s shoulder, tenderly brushing through the rough fur, causing the wolf to glance up at her with worried eyes.
Some kind of silent communication passed between them and then the wolf turned and left. Using his mind Morgoth slammed the great doors shut behind the animal and the girl spun around to face him once more, her face slightly flushed.
“Tell me then, Luthien Tinuviel,” he questioned, his voice akin to both ice in its strength and fire in its power. “If you did not come here to fight me, what then is your purpose here?”
She looked at him again, for the first time seeing more beyond his horrible burning black eyes that were hypnotic and horrible in their power. He was tall, but she had known he would be. Not as tall as legend made him, but taller than any other man she had ever seen. His height was only emphasized by two black horns that curved back from his forehead to stab obscenely into the sky like the horns of a stag-king of the wood. Each horn was easily as big as a fangtooth of one of the Great Dragons and likely just as sharp. He had wild black hair that flew about his pale face like the mane of a lion and tumbled down to his shoulder blades. He wore only a simple black robe that clasped on one shoulder, exposing the other. Well muscled and physically strong, but she had known the slayer of Fingolfin would be no weakling.
Now she was able to look directly upon the face of the greatest evil the world had ever known. It was a frightening face, to be true, but not as frightening as the stories made him seem. The face might have been set in stone for all the emotion it displayed, the eyes could have been black pools of ice for all the warmth they revealed, yet it was not a terrible face nor an ugly one. Once it had been a beautiful and fair face, but now that would be going too far. Remotely handsome perhaps, if it was not so cold. Simply the face of one whom has known much of cruelty, suffering and evil.
The only bit of color and light radiated from the three Silmaril jewels that had been burnt into the heavy iron crown he wore. Most pure and rare of all gems, the Silmarils shone above his brow with the light of the long dead Trees of Valinor, each one reflecting and glorifying the light of the others. As bright as three stars fallen from the heavens, stars doomed forever to dwell in the shadows of earth, but stars that still shone in hope of one day returning to the heavens from whence they had come. Although such hope was impossible. Their maker Feanor (an elf who had been both great in power and rebellious in spirit and had more in common with Morgoth than either would like to admit) had died long ago, as had the Tree from which their light had come. Now the Silmarils would be destined to know only the darkness of Morgoth. For Morgoth had stolen them from Valinor when the world had still be young and since then he had guarded them jealously.
Bring me in your hand a jewel from Morgoth’s crown and then the hand of Luthien will be set in yours, her father had said to Beren. The word of Thingol was binding and unbreakable. Her father had never thought such a thing could be accomplished, certainly not by a mortal man.
But he had underestimated the love Beren felt for her. And her love for him.
“I have come here to sing and dance for you, mighty Morgoth Bauglir.” She whispered, wishing her voice would sound stronger so she could better act the part of an experienced temptress.
Although his face did not change she could tell he was surprised. Maybe his black eyes had flickered with some kind of emotion, maybe his stance had changed, maybe his fingers had flexed. All she knew was that he had not expected her to say that to him.
“Are you not a princess?” He asked, his tone not as sharp as it had been. He spread out his arms, flexing his shoulders and gloved hands. For the first time she noticed he wore gloves, and that seemed odd to her.
“Yes,” she said in reply, knowing he was trying to intimidate her and deciding she would not let herself be intimidated. Beren was waiting for her and this was the only way they could ever be together.
“Princesses are not dancing girls,” he told her, his smile mocking her. She could see the tips of his canine teeth pierce his lower lip as he smiled.
He was some kind of strange mix between animal and man. She had never seen another of the Valar, but she knew that they could change forms at will. Why, she wondered, did he choose this form?
Her next words took courage, for once said they could not be taken back. The plan she and Beren had so carefully worked out together seemed to be in danger of falling apart. She had never been skilled at seduction; she had been raised alone in the forest, kept away from men and had not realized her beauty until Beren had found her. When Beren had mentioned her using her magic to seduce and then cast a spell over Morgoth she had been wary at first. How could she seduce anyone, she had asked him, blushing. She was still a maiden, not a practiced woman who used her charms for her own benefit. Beren had said that was what would make her seductive to Morgoth, her innocence and her beauty. He was lacking both and to him she would be irresistible. She had listened to his words then but now she was not so sure.
Sighing, her hand came up to the clasp of the pale cloak at her neck. Timid as a doe caught under the wicked eye of a predator, she raised her eyes to the dark fire of Morgoth. She pulled back the hood of the cloak and undid the clasp so that the cloak fell to the floor. Now she was clothed only in a light gown that clung tightly to her form, made from a material so sheer that she felt naked before him. Her long dark hair cascaded down past her waist, a few stray strands falling over her shoulders to curl between her breasts.
He had been wrong to think her a mere girl, he saw now, for although her years were few in comparison to his, she was not young. In her eyes he could tell that she seen generations of mortals come and go. A woman full grown, but one with the wanton innocence of youth still lingering deep in her dark eyes.
“Am I not the most beautiful woman in all the world?” She whispered, her courage dropping to her feet with the cloak. “Do I not deserve to dance for you, Dark Lord? I only wish to prove my beauty to the one of whom it is said has no heart.”
His eyes had narrowed to slits while he watched her. He stood motionless, save for one hand subconsciously curling into a fist at his side. She feared he was going to order her to leave, or worse, call in the guards to take her to the dungeon. Instead, he simply crossed his hands over his chest once more. He tilted his head to one side to make her all the more aware of his careful study of her body.
“Come closer,” he finally said. “From where I stand you do not seem so beautiful.” She took a step to him, her legs feeling heavy and awkward. How was she supposed to dance like this, with nervousness fluttering through her stomach? How was she supposed to sing with fear repeatedly clenching her throat? He must have noticed her hesitation for he smiled wickedly at her. “Closer,” he commanded, hissing ever so slightly as he spoke. “Or are you frightened of me, Princess?”
“I do not fear you,” she said, a note of defiance in her voice. She walked to him until he stood only a hand span away. When she stopped he was so close she had to tilt her head back to look him in the eye.
He was looking straight at her face. Yes, she was beautiful; he had never seen one so beautiful who was not numbered among the Ainur. How was it possible for one of the Children of Illuvatar to have such beauty? Then he remembered from some distant place and time who her mother was.
“Melian the Maia is your mother.” He stated.
It wasn’t a question. She nodded.
Knowing she was reluctant to have come so close to him, he played on what could develop into fear by reaching out to take a lock of dark hair that had fallen between her breasts. She flinched but she did not turn away nor did she try to run. She simply stood, a touch of pride in the set of her shoulders, a stiffness in the arch of her throat. Not letting his disappointment show and growing more intrigued with her by the moment, he ran his fingers through her hair. Hair that was neither black nor brown but a soft mixture of both. “I never understood how one of the Ainur could fall in love with a weak creature like an elf, much less decide to spend her immortal life with him.”
“They love each other,” Luthien said honestly. Finally she tried to tilt her head so that he would release her hair, but instead his hand merely curled into a fist around the strands. Wondering what his intention was, she stood still once more.
“Love,” he snorted, waving his other hand in dismissal. “When you have lived as long as I have, Princess, you will come to understand that there is no such thing as love. There is lust, desire and passion, but no love.” He released her hair and moved away, his eyes growing dull and distant. He walked to his dark throne and sat down facing her. “Dance,” he said flatly, gesturing elegantly with one gloved hand, “if that is what you wish to do.”
Placing her clasped hands before her face she bowed low before him, showing him more respect than she had ever shown another king. She knew it would not be wasted on him. “Yes, Dark Lord, I wish to dance for you.” She raised her hands and using a little magic, music filtered into the hall. He raised his horned head for a moment, sensing the magic she had used. He knew it was of no threat to him, just weak elvish magic, nothing compared to what he could do. His attention turned back to Luthien. She began to dance, her movements slow and graceful like a wild creature of the forest in which she had been raised.
He would let the girl dance; he enjoyed looking at her. Her beauty could even be compared to the ethereal beauty of Varda but she did not have the harsh wisdom that Varda had in her eyes. Once he had desired Varda until he understood where that wisdom came from and she had desired him until she came to understand the depths to which his soul could sink. She had found comfort in the willing arms of his brother and he had watched her go. As happened with many, love turned to bitter hate between them and of all the Valar it was Varda who Morgoth hated the most.
He watched Tinuviel dance and his passion grew and his dark thoughts lingered on her alone now. Let her dance, let her be wild and free for a while, she was enchanting to watch. There were not many things he valued in the world, but he valued wildness because he had walked upon the world before the rivers and mountains had names. Long before the land had been tamed, first under the will of Aule, then the elves and finally men. The world was no longer as wild as it had once been. Or as free. He valued freedom almost as much as he valued power, for he had once been chained and broken, his fate placed in the hands of others. Once, but never again would he be chained like a mindless beast. He would rather die, if death were even possible for him, than live that Fate again.
So let her dance. Sweet, seductive, the dance of one who was innocent and pure, who knew more of love than hate, more of happiness than suffering. So beautiful, so strange that such beauty lay in one not of divine origins. He would enjoy stripping away that innocence, destroy that purity as he destroyed all things wrought by the Valar and the elves.
The desire reaching up from inside was rare for him, and it was a kind of sweet torture that soothed his ravaged mind. Yes, let her dance; watch her until the torture became too much. Then he would take her, beloved child of purity, only daughter of Thingol and Melian the Maia. Now, gazing upon Luthien as she danced before him, her body clad only in a thin gown and nothing more, he could understand where physical desire came from.
Desire to hold her under him, thrusting deep into her small body as he took her over and over. Her cries would only urge him on, cries of pain at first, but he knew they would be cries of pleasure eventually. And her dark eyes would grow even darker in passion and she would cling to him, beg him for release while he would continue to torture her body with more pleasure than it would be possible for her to bear.
She rolled her hips suggestively and tossed her head back, exposing her throat. Her actions caused him to smile inwardly, picturing his hands holding onto her hips, his teeth sinking into the place where neck met shoulder.
Then she began to sing and her voice was so beautiful and sad it seemed to even make the howling of the wind outside fall silent.
At first he was too lost in his dark thoughts of his desire for her to listen too deeply and the notes were sung with such purity that they effortlessly blended in with the music. Only when he listened carefully did he hear and the words slowly made him tilt his head.
She did not sing of love, as most young maidens would have done. Nor did she sing of desire, even though she was doing its dance. She did not sing any song he knew of, but she sang of something he knew very well.
She sang of loneliness.
She sang of the dark void within all creatures, mortal or immortal, first created and secondborn. She sang of the dark mourning of night and the cold warmth of the stars and the clear eye of the moon.
She sang of sadness.
Sadness for all things that could never be, must never be, would never be. Sadness that burns deep, sadness that destroys, sadness that lingers long after the cause has gone. Sadness that remains forever as a dull throbbing ache that clenches the heart.
And then she sang of hope. Hope that begins only as a faint whisper, hope that is born from deepest despair and broken dreams. For only the darkest of all dark places, only when one is truly lost inside oneself, can one find the first dawn of hope. Only when one surrenders to the sadness can one begin to heal.
She had moved closer to him and unconsciously he had bent his head forward a little to better hear her words. No magic was needed to enhance her tone, her voice was too pure for that. She sang and all the while she looked into his eyes. She sang for him, she danced for him, she spoke to him.
The song was his.
“Touch me,” he commanded quietly. He leaned back on his dark throne, his soft voice husky with desire. Had Luthien really been the seductress she was attempting to be she would have realized this, but as it were she took no notice. Instead she merely flashed him a secret smile that she hoped looked somewhat seductive as she danced directly before him, cautiously moving in a way that made her thigh repeatedly brush his leg. He remained as still and immoveable as stone.
Confusion whirled through her mind. What did he want now? This was wrong, wrong, she did not know what she was doing, not really. He was not nearly as entranced by her song as she had hoped he would be, and therefore it was impossible for her to use magic now without him sensing it. She had hoped it would not have to come this far and had not thought beyond what she would do if she actually would have to touch him. She had planned on seducing him from afar, but then again she had also planned on Beren being with her.
Beren. No, she could not fail. For Beren, for herself, she could not fail. She was nervous, that was all, she told herself. It cannot be too difficult to make him want me enough so that I can use my magic. Once more she smiled at him from under lowered lashes. A look that was both erotic and innocent at the same time. Daring to do so because she did not know what else to do, and because he had asked her to touch him, she knelt down before him like a pleading servant. While on her knees she allowed her hands to trail up the inside of his legs. Even though he could only barely feel her touch from underneath his dark robes, the movement and the implied sexuality behind it was not lost on him.
Enough, he told himself, and reached for her.
She felt his hand touch her thigh, grasp her waist, both pushing and lifting her forward until she sat on his lap and he was still watching her like a hungry predator. The hand around her waist did move to reach down to take her own hand in his. His dark eyes mocked her as he raised her hand to his lips and lightly kissed the center of her palm, as if he were paying homage to some great lady. It would have been an elegant gesture if not for his eyes, if she did not have to know that he was mocking her, playing with her.
Not to be outdone, for she sensed this was some kind of game to him, she touched his other hand to hers. He lifted his hand obediently to her, wanting to see what she was going to do. Deftly she removed the glove, revealing pale hands with long and well-defined fingers. His hand slid free and then he took the glove from her, tossing it carelessly to one side without bothering to watch where it fell. She touched his hand, feeling how cold his skin was against hers. Strangest of all it seemed to grow warm where she touched him, as if he was absorbing her heat.
When she turned his hand over to press her lips to his palm as he had done to her, she froze. Now she saw why he wore gloves, the palm of his hand from his wrist to the tip of each finger had been burned. Burned so badly that the skin had turned black and never healed.
“It is from the Silmarils,” he told her, and she jumped at how close his voice was to her. Meekly she looked up at him, but he was looking down at his palm. “Only one of a pure heart can touch them without getting burned. When I stole them from Valinor I had to carry them in my hands.” He smiled was bitter while his eyes flickered in remembered pain.
She blinked; his hands had been burned like that for almost an entire age? Destined to remain forever then, and a part of her thought it was only fitting. A curse brought upon him by his own greed. Still, something about the way he had spoken, the way he smiled, the flicker in his eyes stirred something within her.
No longer sure if she was still acting the part or doing it because she wanted to heal the hurt she thought she heard, she raised his hand to her lips as he had done with her. At the last moment he curled his long fingers so that his thumb alone touched her lower lip. Smiling inwardly, she parted her lips to flick her tongue over the pad of the thumb. He blinked and tilted his head back while narrowing his eyes until they became half moons of darkness watching her from behind the curtain of his thick lashes
He ran his forefinger along her jaw before raising it to run over her lips. As she had done with the thumb she caught and licked that finger as well. When he paused to let her do so, curling his finger so that the tip could slide into her mouth, it seemed the logical next step would be for her to close her lips around it. His nostrils flared and taking a chance she sucked softly on the trapped finger, running her tongue up one side and down the other before licking the soft pad at the tip once more.
Glancing at his face, she finally thought she saw what she had been looking for the entire time. His unfathomably dark eyes, to dark to read, burned down at her. She knew that he wanted her. She used her tongue once more to tease him and the muscles in his face flinched as they tightened for a moment. Finally she opened her mouth to release his hand and he let it slide down the front of her body, doing no more than lightly brush over the cusp of her breasts before coming to rest on her thigh.
She felt a stab of desire pass through her as she rolled her hips once more, brushing against him as she did so. The desire she was feeling made her confused until she attributed it to merely being caught in the moment of her dance and song. Certainly not due to the fact that she had seen his black eyes crack for a moment with red fire, promising in that single look everything he was going to do to her.
The circumstances seemed close to spinning out of control. When she felt his muscles move under her as he prepared to hold her, she jumped back and out of his lap. Dancing backwards with the grace of a deer she called forth more magic and a curtain of darkness descended between them. Making her voice as light as air, for she feared he might be angry, she called out to him.
“It is not that easy, mighty Morgoth. You must catch me first,” she ended with a laugh, moving away from the spot he had last been as quickly as possible. Now was the time to spin the final part of the spell.
“I do not wish to play games with a child,” he snarled at her from the dark in a violent tone. She was right about him being angry. She would have felt fear but she was confident that he was far away, his voice had sounded slightly distorted.
She began to sing and in her words she wove her spell. Of Death she now sang. Death, opposite of love, for in death the emotions vanish. Death was the opposite of lust as well, for what dead body could possibly burn with the fire of lust and passion?
And then she did sing of love for a while but only because she sensed no love in him. She had not intended to speak of love but his dark eyes had been so cold. She knew love for him was just as distant as death, and as he could never die so to could he never love.
How peaceful the world could be if only he could submit to one or the other.
Raising her voice to a higher note she spun through the dark, a shadow amongst shadows.
Who wants to dwell in the dark void forever? Who truly wishes to never know the light of another soul? Who honestly yearns to live without ever caring for another? What soul is truly made of ice, when all are created from fire?
We are all born with hearts. Some are bigger than others, some have grown small and trampled upon, some are buried deep under emotions long dead and gone, but the heart is there, always. The body is the physical, the brain is the mental, but it is in heart that the soul sleeps.
And the soul is the only thing that lives forever. The soul is what binds us to each other and therefore can never be destroyed, not with words, not with knives, not with bullets, not with fire, not even with hate.
All too easy, she thought proudly, the spell almost complete. One would have thought Morgoth Bauglir would have been more of a challenge. Smiling in her victory she spun around once more in glee, right into Morgoth who had been watching her for some time.
“Did you forget that I am the Lord of the Dark?” He sneered at her while one hand reached out to grab her shoulder.
“No,” she stuttered trying to pull away. How could he have seen through her magic so quickly? A smile came to his lips; the cold, mocking smile he always gave and he pulled her against him.
“Why are you trying to run?” He asked and now his voice was deadly dangerous. ‘What did you really come here for?” One of his burned hands had grasped hers when he had pulled her against him. With the spell she had woven between them, the close contact of their bodies was dangerous. The spell called for her to bind her soul to his for a brief moment. Usually this would not have mattered at all for it would only be for a short while and if their bodies were separated then their souls could not really touch one another.
It would have to be that the moment he touched her was the same moment when her soul was tied to his. The powerful magic backfired then, and he could feel it, as could she.
A stray thought shot through her mind, a thought not hers and worked its way down to settle against her heart. A thought buried from some part deep inside of him, brought forth by her magic.
For a moment all she saw was darkness, a darkness far deeper than the darkness her magic could caste. A darkness that had never seen light. Through the darkness and shadows moved the one who walked alone, body and features outlined in lines of ghastly white. Eyes that met hers for a moment and burned through the vastness. The vision vanished as quickly as it had appeared, but the terrible power of that memory remained.
“That was the void, wasn‘t it?” She whispered, looking up at him in confusion. “What were you doing there alone?” His eyes cracked, for the memory was his. He had journeyed in that void once and it had been there that he had bent his mind to his dark thoughts of destruction. The power of her song and the strength of that memory made the stone facade of his face crack and his eyes flare. Unaware of her power over him, and ironically, his power over her, their eyes met and each one truly saw the other.
In that moment, a moment that lasted as long as it took a bolt of lightning to flash across the sky, she saw into the soul of the firstborn of the Valar. Made to be the greatest of all living things she saw his broken pride and forsaken honor. Once there had been beauty inside, beauty brighter than the stars, stronger than the night. Beauty that now was only empty and bleak. Forgotten and broken, once long ago he had sought to find the Imperishable Flame in the Void. She saw his sadness; she saw his wound that would never heal, his regret that could never be known, the bleakness of his future. He had been there in the Beginning and he had seen the End.
Not the true end, for only Illuvatar knew that fate, but he saw the ending of the physical world. Each of the Valar saw a part, and he saw the End. He saw how the world would die, he saw who would destroy it and although he possessed much knowledge, he did not understand why it must be so. Illuvatar had not answered his question, and he had gone to seek the answer in the dark of the Void. Surely, he had thought, the Flame Imperishable from which creation had sprung could tell him why creation must end.
Yet the Flame Imperishable does not burn in the Void, it burns inside Illuvatar. It was the choice of the one who created everything to also choose how it all would end.
A unquestionable law, for after all, who would dare to question a God?
Only those who were made to be gods themselves.
Melkor would not be a part of it, not a part of the terrible ending he had seen and so he had made his choice. He was the most powerful of the Ainur and his wisdom great, but not as great as his dreams. He could do better than Illuvatar, he knew. If the world were his, the ending would change; his world would not be destined to end in such a way. His world would last forever. And that was what he sought in the Void and in his despair he allowed the darkness to eat into his heart.
Not even in his great wisdom did he understand that Illuvatar knew all, and therefore knew this as well. The Creator did not make mistakes, but over time Illuvatar had seen that it had been dangerous to give Melkor so much power. In the Beginning Melkor was too similar to the Creator in mind. Moreover, he had been closest in strength to Illuvatar. There could only be one god, not two. Only room for one in the infinite heavens, the other must fall and be devoured by his own power.
Only when it was too late did Melkor come to understand that nothing could be truly changed so that the vision he had seen would not become reality and now Luthien Tinuviel saw as well. She saw what drove him, the immortal soul who could never admit he had been wrong and so hid from everyone and everything, burying himself so deep down inside that not even Morgoth knew Melkor any more.
In his eyes reflected in hers, he saw this and he frowned. The blackness came over his eyes once more and the infinite being behind them once again raised the wall between him and all others.
“What have you done to me?” He growled in anguish, the hand that held hers against his chest threatening to crush her bones between his fingers. His other hand reached up to hold his head. A look of insufferable pain burned his pale face. She closed her eyes and looked away, unable to look into his eyes any longer. She could not comprehend all that she saw there without loosing herself in him.
She had not expected this, not expected him to be this way. Like everyone else she had assumed he was who he had always been, Morgoth Bauglir, evil lord of Angband. Killer. Destroyer. Liar. Betrayer. He had done it all. He had no emotions, no feelings, no soul; he was the very essence of evil, unexplainable, unpredictable and incredibly dangerous.
Somehow when she saw a reason behind the evil, and the man behind the monster, he did not seem so horrible as he did before. He was Morgoth now but he had once been Melkor. He had not always been this way; he had been created to be leader of the Valar, not their sworn enemy.
She had seen his pain and the act of a practiced seductress fell from her shoulders. She was merely Luthien Tinuviel now, dancer of the woods, dweller of the trees, singer to the nightingales and dreamer. Always she had been sensitive to the wild things, for she had lived with them, befriended them, healed their wounds.
There was great pain and sadness in Melkor Morgoth.
She saw this and she sought instinctively to heal him for a while, soothe the wounds that burned deep, be the balm of his troubled soul. She wanted to show him that there was still beauty in this world. She fought for release of the hand he held crushed against his chest and then she reached up with the same hand to gently touch his cheek, removing the hand that he held over his face. Her soft palm felt warm against the cold skin of one who had been too long from the light. Her lips parted and her eyes grew soft with compassion and sorrow.
The desire that had been growing for her threatened to break then, even though he had been enjoying the slow torture of the fire that had been building between them. As she had seen into his soul, he had seen into hers. He looked upon her true beauty and fragile innocence and that was far more powerful that the practiced beauty who had danced and flirted before him. No longer did he merely want her; he had to have her now. Now and forever after.
Slowly, gently with exquisite care he slid his hand down her back and he felt her shiver under his touch. The palm of his hand came to rest on her hip, his fingers clenching the hard muscle of her thigh until she moved closer to him, molding her body to his.
Easily he lifted her with one arm, high enough so that he no longer had to look down at her, cradling her against his chest, her head resting on his shoulder. So tender and gentle was he in that gesture that she closed her eyes for a moment, feeling completely comfortable with him, all her nervousness and silly fear gone. She looked up at him and smiled a true smile that reflected in her deep eyes.
He nuzzled the soft skin of her cheek with his lips and when she lifted her face to his, he licked her lips with his tongue. Sighing she parted her mouth for him and he kissed her, soft at first. Soft until he felt her fingers curl into his hair and saw her eyes slide shut. Running his tongue over her lips he brought his other hand up caress the side of her neck. A pause and then his fingers brushed the nape of her neck, his thumb moving back and forth along her jaw line. She moaned softly and her breath passed from her to him. He thrust his tongue possessively inside her mouth to lick the soft parts inside and the implication of that action was not lost on either of them. Even innocent Luthien understood as she brushed her tongue against his and felt his body tighten.
Passion and desire have often been compared and described as fire because in almost no time at all they can become powerful and almost unstoppable emotions. Surely it was fire that burned between them now.
He broke the kiss so that he could look at her face. Using his hand he carefully traced down the front of her body, teasing the areolas of her breasts, repeatedly grazing over one nipple with his thumb until it became a hard point, causing her to inhale sharply. Impatient to feel more, he continued to run his hand lower, brushing over her abdomen, curling over the curve of her hip and finally sliding underneath her legs until his fingers brushed over her inner thigh. The pupils of her eyes dilated at his touch and a small smile moved his lips. He allowed his fingers to deftly caress her soft skin until they found the small nub he sought at the center. He watched her face intently as he erotically rolled the swollen bud between his middle and forefinger, teasing her with more gentleness then it was thought he could possess.
The fire began to burn out of control.
She moaned softly, so softly that if he had not been directly in front of her he would not have heard it. Her own eyes burned into his as she told him without words how she felt. How he was making her feel. She arched along her spine, flung her head back and whimpered. He could feel her tremble a little in his arms, no longer a dark temptress, now merely a young lover.
“Be mine,” he said in a dark whisper as he continued to touch her and she writhed against him. “Dance for me when I wish, love me always and I shall stay by your side until this world ends. Neither of us will ever know the darkness again, Luthien Tinuviel.” He said her name softly, and upon hearing those words she trembled once more, loosing more of the control she once claimed.
For the fire that burned in him burned in her as well.
When his eyes somehow grew darker until they were impossibly black and fathomless, she knew deep inside herself that she was not really doing this for her and Beren alone anymore. A part of her, a small part cried out and told her to forget. Look at what his eyes promise, her mind cried. And when he had touched her, she had never felt desire so overwhelming as she had when his hand had slid down and stroked her body. Not even with Beren had she felt like that just from his touch.
She saw what was in those black eyes now. He needed her, more than anyone else in the entire world he needed her, she knew. And in that moment she needed him just as much. Together none could stand before them, together the world would topple underneath them and they would rule all, if that were what they wished for
There was something stronger than desire behind his eyes, some strong emotion that had made his eyes darken. Deeper within, hidden still, there was that terrible sadness in him, that horrible loneliness and bitterness. Could it ever be taken away? Could those eyes ever shine with laughter, could that stone face ever really smile? Could he ever burn with more than desire for her? Love? Could he ever love her with all his heart like Beren did?
Maybe he could have once, but not now. No one could change him now; he could not even change himself. Always he would be who he was now until he reconciled the part of him that was that holy creature of light with the part of him that reigned and thrived in the dark.
It was too late, she knew, and the thought brought tears to her eyes. She could not change him, he could never really love her. She had already lost a part of her heart to him, yet her destiny and future would not be given away for anything less than pure love.
Although she did not speak her eyes told him everything that could have been, if Fate had been different and more kind to them all. Behind her tears she told him, and he watched all the while.
For him she cried, as Nienna had once wept for him and would weep for him many more times before all was done.
She leaned forward, her face against his, her tears falling onto his skin. He closed his eyes at the sensation and wrapped his other arm around her waist.
“Melkor,” she whispered into his ear, calling him by his true name, a name no longer spoken by anyone. She would have told him she was sorry, but she knew he would not want her pity. She would have even said she would love him forever, but she knew that he would never forget those words and they would only make him more angry and bitter.
All she could say was his name, but it was enough. She liked to think that he understood, somehow. What lies behind a name? His name? In the oldest tongue of all it meant ‘He who arises in Might‘.
He who was doomed to fall into darkness alone.
She kissed him, or maybe he kissed her, she wasn’t sure. It did not really matter. All that mattered was that for a moment their breath mingled, their souls touched and the fire flared. She could taste her tears and knew he could taste them as well. She was the one who broke away.
She curled her hand behind his neck and sang for the last time to him. Their faces so close she watched while the light in his eyes flickered as he looked at her.
She whispered once more, her lips brushing his ear and the spell was complete, the magic done, the web woven and closed. His dark eyes slid shut, but she would not longer think of them as cold after she had seen the burning fire that flickered there. The hand that had been holding her up fell away, but no longer would she think of him as capable of only being cruel. He slowly fell to the ground and she landed on top of him, one hand still clinging to her waist, almost as if he was trying to hold her to him even now and she had to swallow those tears she had shed for him. For him and a love that would never be.
And pain that always will.
All things were still. All slept. For a moment longer than necessary she stayed with him, held against his powerful form as if he could protect her even while he slept. Her own arms, looking frail and weak beside his powerful frame, wrapped once around his neck, her fingers twining through his dark hair and she raised her face to his.
Lips parted by a breath, but she could not kiss him. To kiss him would wake him from the spell. She froze and became as still as he was, her eyes taking in every part of his face, remembering each and every line. Time paused, a memory was made and buried deep inside where it would be kept and hidden from everyone.
The fire that had been made between them flickered before burning itself out.
Her fate decided, come what may, as Melkor had once done, she had made her choice and therefore turned her back forever on what could have been. She stood on weak legs, worn and tired. She had won, she had defeated Morgoth, she had done what none before her had been able to do alone, and yet the thought did not bring with it the great joy she thought it should.
All of Angband slept, her spell had been so powerful, but Beren slept outside the door. She knelt beside Beren and touched his shoulder. He woke and his form changed once more into a man. He looked at her face for a moment and he knew she had been crying. He could only guess why, but he loved her too much to ever question her about it. Whatever it was had hurt her and therefore best left unsaid. Eventually it would be forgotten, or so he thought.
Using his knife he wrested a single Silmaril from the crown of the sleeping Morgoth. When the burning gem came loose and fell into his hand he gasped, but it did not burn. He glanced at Luthien who had a strange look in her eyes and then he looked down at the remaining gems. And although one was all that was needed, in a moment’s greed, he sought to take all three. Yet when he moved to take another the blade shattered and tore into Morgoth’s cheek, making the Dark Lord groan. Dark blood spread from the wound marring his pale skin and Luthien turned away, one hand over her mouth, unable to look any longer.
Beren grabbed her hand and they fled from Angband. And Morgoth when he awoke did not chase them but sat alone in the darkness for a while and bled silently on the stones underneath him while his dark mind raged.
Maybe if Luthien Tinuviel had understood fully what emotion had made his eyes darken and yet flash at the same time, she would have stayed in his arms. Maybe then she would have never given up her immortality and perhaps she would still dwell in the world to this day. But when things are over and done and Fate has moved on, one should not look back and second guess.
But of course, everyone does, in the end.
Some will say that true love can only be found once in a lifetime and that it will be so binding that it will never let go. They become suffocated and smothered by such love and loose all sense of true self. Some will say love can never be found at all. They grow cold and when they do find love they often lose it, as they lost their innocence long ago. Some will say that the love that could have been, but never was, is the greatest love of all. For that is the only love that makes you stronger. The only love that sets you free.
Endnote: I always wondered about this part in the Silmarillion and why Tolkien wrote it the way he did. Why did he choose to have Melkor Morgoth, his own ‘fallen angel’ be defeated by a girl, when for the most part he left females out of his stories altogether? And why did he use Luthien Tinuviel, the purest, most fair creature ever born?
Besides, no one ever writes about Morgoth and he’s just so (for lack of a better word) fucking cool that more people should write about him. Of course this story hardly does him any kind of justice, but all things must start somewhere, eh?
Last but definitely not least, thank you Catherine the Great for straining your eyes and editing (beta-ing, whatever) my writing. There are none cooler than thou!
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