1. Chapter 1
The fallen leaves of the forest of Doriath blew down the deep steps and into one of the pillared halls of Menegroth. Finrod, son of Finarfin, stopped a moment and gazed with admiration at the vaulted ceiling and graceful carvings that swept across it.
The wind that played with the golden leaves seemed to find similar amusement with the shining strands of Finrod’s companion’s unbound hair as it caught the light of the golden lanterns. An impatient, but affectionate, smile quirked at her lips. “Finrod, they’re waiting…”
“Yes, I’m coming,” he replied, quickening his pace to walk beside his golden-haired sister.
“The ceiling is that interesting?” she asked skeptically.
“It’s magnificent,” Finrod murmured, still gazing at the city being built around them, and unconsciously slowing again.
She sighed, grabbed his arm, and pulled him along with her. “The ceilings aren’t going anywhere, you can come back and gawk to your heart’s content once we’ve greeted Thingol and Melian.”
“I’m not gawking,” Finrod told her indignantly.
“Of course not,” she sighed. She straightened her tunic and stooped briefly to brush some of the mud from her boots. Even in her sensible traveling clothes, there was something graceful and proud about her stance, as if she was arrayed in finery worthy of her loveliness. Her brother, too, was of noble stature – a plainly clad prince.
“Can you imagine what this all will be like when it’s completed?” Finrod asked rhetorically, pulling out of her grasp and hurrying ahead a few steps to admire a delicate staircase curling to the next level.
“I prefer the forest,” she stated, but pausing, smiled softly. “I’m pleased that the dwellings don’t disturb it,” she admitted. The pillars, carved in the likeness of trees, spread cleverly carved leaves onto the ceilings and walls.
“Galadriel, it’s absolutely marvelous. The architechture is ingenious…” Finrod ran his hand along a smooth rail as he walked eagerly on.
Galadriel clasped her hands behind her back as she walked a bit more briskly. “What I find ingenious is the way Thingol used the construction of the city to draw his people together. Their devotion to this place is remarkable - it shows in their work.”
Finrod smiled at his sister’s perception. “I wouldn’t have thought of it in that light,” he mused.
The pattering of bare feet on stone came echoing from an adjoining corridor. A moment later, a dark-haired child in a blue-gray dress scampered across the hall in front of Galadriel and Finrod, and ducked behind a pillar.
Finrod stopped in his tracks and turned back to his sister, who raised an eyebrow.
Galadriel took a few steps towards the pillar. A head poked out from behind it, and a pair of dark grey eyes blinked at her.
“Who are you hiding from?” Galadriel asked the little elf-maid, cocking her head and taking a few steps closer.
“Celeborn,” the child stated, peering down the corridor she’d come from.
“You’re hiding from the silver tree of Tol Eressëa?” Finrod asked skeptically.
The dark-haired girl blinked, and shook her head.
“At any rate,” Finrod continued, his tone businesslike, but a smile pulling at his lips, “that isn’t a very good hiding place. How about up here?” he gestured at the place where the tree-pillar split into two main branches.
The elf-girl blinked. “But I can’t get up there.”
As Finrod was about to offer his assistance, more footsteps sounded in the corridor.
“Luthien! Luthien where….”
The child put a finger to her lips and ducked back behind the pillar.
A beautiful elf-lad stopped abruptly where the corridors connected, and made slight, but graceful bows to Galadriel and Finrod. He had a few books tucked under one arm, and was holding two quills. His bright silver hair fell in a straight, even sheet down his back and over his shoulders.
“Forgive me, but I seem to have misplaced my pupil,” the silver-haired newcomer began, blushing a little.
“Misplaced is perhaps too passive a term. From your pursuit I would guess that she has escaped,” Galadriel ventured, smiling.
“She? You’ve seen her then,” he concluded eagerly.
Galadriel made a subtle gesture towards the pillar, and Finrod gave her a look of mock- indignation.
The child stepped into view. “I’m sorry Celeborn…”
“I told you we would have time to play once your lessons were over,” the silver-haired lad, Celeborn, admonished gently as he knelt by the little girl. “Why did you run off like that?”
“I wanted to see the Lady!” she explained. “The messenger told you that Lady Galadriel and Lord Finrod had arrived, and… I wanted to see them,” Luthien concluded lamely.
Celeborn laughed - a sound as beautiful as he was. “You might’ve asked.”
Luthien grinned and leaned close to Celeborn. “She’s as beautiful as they say she is, isn’t she?” she whispered to her teacher, not so softly as not to be heard.
He looked up at Galadriel, face serious. She felt a very illogical impulse to blush, but restrained it. “It’s very impolite to whisper,” he whispered back to Luthien, making her giggle.
Smiling, Celeborn stood. “Forgive my discourtesy. May I present Luthien, the daughter of Thingol and Melian.” The girl made an endearing little curtsy. “And I’m Celeborn, a nephew of Thingol, and Luthien’s…”
“Nursemaid?” Finrod supplied innocently. Galadriel shot him a disapproving glance.
Celeborn laughed good-naturedly. “Tutor, actually, although at times it seems the former is more accurate,” he concluded with a raised eyebrow at Luthien.
“I said I was sorry!” she protested.
“Do you mean that if given the chance, you wouldn’t do it again?” Galadriel asked her, catching her eye.
Luthien considered this. “I…probably would do it again,” she admitted ruefully.
“You shouldn’t apologize for things you aren’t sorry you did,” Galadriel stated. “If you do, then your apology loses all meaning.”
Luthien looked chastened. “I’m sorry?”
Finrod burst out laughing, and Galadriel shook her head with a half-hearted grin.
“Next time…just ask me, all right?” Celeborn requested of Luthien, smiling.
“Let’s go see Mother and Father,” Luthien suggested, approaching Galadriel, smiling winsomely, and taking her hand to lead her onward.
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.