Legolas’ cordial invitation to them to join his people in their Spring Festival had been like a slap in the face. What had been worse was Faramir’s delighted acceptance of it; when Éowyn had protested later, he’d firmly told her that Legolas had obviously decided to bury the hatchet and express his forgiveness of her, and if she was going to act at all like a noble lady she’d do the same, and be gratefully courteous. Éowyn flinched at the memory. His disappointment in her had been palpable, humiliating, debasing; he’d said things that made her squirm so uncomfortably she blushed to even think of it. He’d never said the word rape, thank Eru; Éowyn knew it would look that way to him, though she told herself it had not gone that far (A woman raping a man? Ridiculous!). But the hurt and disillusioned look on her beloved’s face had driven her mad with mortification and shame.
She was glad Arwen and Aragorn were not there. She had long since ceased to look upon Aragorn in a romantic fashion, but she still did not like him to see her so distended and ungainly, and Arwen, since the revelation of her acts upon Legolas, had been cold and unfriendly to her. She supposed that was to be expected; Arwen and Legolas were both Elves, after all, and it was predictable that she would take his part over hers.
She shifted uncomfortably upon the cushions and tried to smooth the yellow fabric of her dress over her stomach. It was richly embroidered with green leaves and white flowers, and the collar was a frothy fluff of the finest lace; she thought to herself that if she had to face Legolas and his people in this condition she might as well look as rich and stately as possible. Not that Legolas had even seemed to notice; he’d greeted her in a friendly fashion, smiling guilelessly, and introduced them to some of his other visitors: March-wardens from Lórien, tall and broad-shouldered, with unpronounceable names, that couldn’t even speak Westron properly.
The feast had been ample, varied and prolonged; Éowyn was used to the richer, heavier foods of her people and had been dissatisfied with the dishes of white bread and lean meats and fruit, but Faramir had enjoyed everything, sampling all the different types of savories and roasts and ragouts, drinking the Elves’ strong purple-red wine and talking animatedly with his hosts, many of whom were friends from previous visits. Legolas had flitted from one grouping to another, resplendent in a white doublet and hose, his golden head crowned with a circlet of silver leaves that flashed in the firelight, its pale gems sparkling. He seemed almost to glow, infusing the air about him with a clear unwavering light, and his contagious laughter pealed throughout the clearing as he spoke.
Then, when the plates and silver had been collected, the musicians came out, and Faramir rubbed his hands together delightedly, listening to them play. Most of the Elves got up to dance, weaving in and out in the intricate patterns, their feet flickering upon the leaves, seeming not even to touch the ground. And Legolas danced too, unbound by convention, his feet light and nimble, swinging his partners around with his pale hair spread out behind him like a gleaming fan. One female in particular seemed his especial favorite, a tawny-haired Elf woman in a green dress, with whom he danced three times, smiling into her dark grey eyes. Éowyn scowled at him, resentful that every woman – indeed, every man – in the clearing was far lovelier than she. She put a self-conscious hand on her stomach. That was probably why Legolas had invited them; he was rubbing it into her face that the Elven women’s beauty was far superior to her own.
Faramir interrupted her bitter thoughts by laying a hand on her arm and asking excitedly, “Éowyn, do you want to dance?” She started; the musicians had changed the tune to a song written by a minstrel from Gondor, and the dance that accompanied it would be one she knew. She shook her head, trying to smile politely.
“No, I’m too tired,” she lied, spreading her fingers on her belly. Faramir smiled and put his hand over hers; he opened his mouth to speak, but before he could say anything a dark-haired Elf woman touched Faramir on the shoulder and said, in a rich, dulcet voice, “My Lord Faramir, if your wife is willing, would you like to dance this turn with me?”
Faramir looked up at her in surprise and delight; Éowyn’s stomach twisted so wrenchingly she almost felt sick. But it would look selfish to deny Faramir this pleasure, so she forced her voice into an agreeable tone and said, “Please, my love, do! It will be enchanting for me to just watch you.”
The Elf woman seemed satisfied, and took Faramir’s hand, leading him out into the clearing. Gnashing her teeth, Éowyn watched her husband take the woman in his arms. She was dark, like Arwen, with the radiant skin and eyes characteristic of the Elven people; her bare arms were long and slender, and girt with silver bands, and about her pale throat was a collar set with abalone. When they danced she seemed to float alongside Faramir, mocking his wife with her elegance and splendor.
Éowyn looked away, and spied Legolas across the clearing from her; he was speaking to some of the serving Elves, animated and eager, his slim white hands weaving in front of his face. The servants were smiling and nodding, their shining hair gleaming in the firelight, and when Legolas playfully shooed them away, they vanished up into the trees. In a few moments, sparkling lanterns began to be lit up in the branches of the circle, twinkling down upon the heads of the dancers, and many of the Elves laughed and gestured upward in delight. Faramir was gazing up at the lanterns, his face wreathed in smiles, and his partner clapped her hands gleefully. When the lanterns were all lit, and illuminated the branches of the trees like stars, the song wound down, and Legolas stepped into the middle of the circle, smiling. All the dancers stopped and stepped back away from him.
He stood between the two great fire pits, his white clothing glowing yellow-orange in the light. When he moved his head, sparkles flashed from his circlet and strands of his golden hair caught the light. Then he raised his arms out straight, palms upward, and spoke one word clearly into the air. He clapped his hands together once above his head, and the fires went out.
Éowyn bit back a cry of fear. She hadn’t known the Elf had such magic in him; it was intimidating even to think of his reweaving her hymen, as he’d done so long ago. But now the sudden darkness made the swinging lanterns glitter like stars over the heads of the revelers; the Elf Lord was edged in silver and moonlight, the gems on his doublet glinting. He gestured to his people, and they all sat on the ground around him, looking up at him. Faramir returned to Éowyn and sat beside her, taking her hand.
Two servants came forward, bearing a huge, steaming silver cauldron on a pole between them, setting it at Legolas’ feet. All of the Elves sat up very straight and looked alert; some gave small murmurs of excitement. Legolas spoke and clapped his hands again, and a green fire awoke beneath the cauldron; the contents began to seethe, and the smell of mulled wine filled the clearing. He reached out his left hand, and a servant put a small bowl into it; he reached out his right hand, and another servant gave him a little phial filled with green powder. Éowyn looked around at the Elves. They all looked very agitated and pleased, and some were trembling with anticipation.
Legolas poured the powder into the bowl and handed the phial back to the servant, who took it with shaking hands, shining eyes fixed upon the bowl. Legolas took a knife and stirred the concoction together carefully, making sure to scrape the sides so it was thoroughly mixed. When he lifted the knife from the bowl and tapped it on the side, Éowyn realized it was filled with honey.
Her breath caught in her throat. The green powder must be ground oak leaves; he was preparing the philter!
Legolas held the bowl over the top of the cauldron and tipped it on its side. The glutinous, golden mass came sliding out into the bubbling wine, sheeting down like translucent sunshine; when it slowed to a stringy trickle Legolas put his knife in the bowl and scraped all of it out. He carefully wiped the sides of his knife on the edge of the cauldron, handed it to his servant, and taking up a long, elegantly curved ladle began to stir the liquid in the cauldron.
The Elves were hardly breathing, unblinking eyes fixed upon the Lord of Doro Lanthiron. Even the march-wardens of Lórien were leaning forward eagerly, hands moving restlessly in their cloaks. The only sound was the bubbling, gurgling noise of the wine as it boiled and churned. After a few moments Legolas stopped stirring and raised his eyes to the breathless crowd around him, his face tense with suppressed excitement. He held out his left hand to his servant, who gave him a crystal flagon, cut so that it sparkled like a diamond in the dim light. Legolas held it up and said in a clear voice,
“Who will fill my cup for me?”
They were obviously words of ritual, for he repeated them in Sindarin, and the crowd stirred, eyes searching. Then an Elf woman rose to her feet. Éowyn saw it was the same one Legolas had danced with before, the one with the honey-colored hair in the green dress. It must have been made of some thin, clinging fabric, because in the moonlight and under the twinkling lights of the lanterns it adhered to her so closely Éowyn could see her nipples beneath the gossamer cloth. She stepped over her companions and approached the cauldron, facing Legolas with a queer smile.
“I will fill your cup for you, my lord,” she said in a velvety voice. Legolas held out the cup to her, and she took the ladle, filled it with hot wine, and poured it into the flagon to the brim.
Legolas smiled at her. “Who will help me drink from the cup?” he asked, again in both Westron and Sindarin.
“I will help you drink from the cup, my lord,” the woman responded, wrapping the fingers of one hand around the goblet, and entwining the fingers of her other hand in the diaphanous hair at the back of his head. She guided the flagon to his lips, and he drank deeply, his eyes closed, until half of the wine was gone. She took the goblet from his mouth and waited. Legolas stood still for a moment, eyes shut and lips parted; then his tongue flicked out to catch a stray drop of wine upon them, and he shuddered. One of the Elves across the clearing gave a low whimper, and Legolas smiled again and opened his eyes, gazing at his partner.
“Who will drain my cup for me?” he asked in both languages, his voice unsteady.
“I will drain your cup for you, my lord,” the woman whispered, taking the cup in both hands. Legolas put one hand over hers and slid his other hand into her hair, tipping the flagon to her mouth. She emptied the goblet in one draught, head tilted back, leaning into Legolas’ hand. When he took it from her mouth, she too quivered, and opening her eyes leaned into his chest.
Their lips touched lightly, hands entwined in each other’s hair; the silence was so deep Éowyn could hear the sound of their mouths meeting and parting. They kissed for a few moments, tenderly and slowly, hands stroking faces and throats, and all the Elves sat motionless, watching them.
Then Legolas raised a languorous hand to the side of her head, and with two fingers very lightly brushed the tip of her ear.
She jolted in his arms and gave a great gasp, and several of the Elves in the clearing groaned or whispered; Éowyn glanced around and saw them looking at each other, searching each other out; some had already reached for a partner beside them and were embracing or kissing. Then someone rose behind her and came forward to the cauldron, her skirts swishing on the grass; she had silvery hair and wore a blue gown. She took the ladle and her own goblet and turned to face the rest of the crowd.
“Who will fill my cup for me?” she asked.
A deep-chested Elf with dark blond hair rose immediately across from her; it was one of the march-wardens. “I will fill your cup for you, Fíriel,” he said, taking the ladle and filling the goblet. She gazed up at him with gleaming eyes, a smile on her lips.
“Who will help me drink from the cup?” she asked him shakily.
“I will help you drink from the cup, Fíriel,” he answered, smiling; he wound his hand in her hair and helped her drink.
When she had swallowed her body gave a great quake; her knees buckled, and the march-warden supported her, lowering her gently to the earth. She took a deep breath and moaned: “Who – who will – drain my cup – for me?” she gasped, clutching at his grey cloak.
The march-warden knelt beside her and wrapped his hands about hers, which were still grasping the cup. He whispered in Sindarin, but Éowyn could tell what he’d said, for she brought the cup to his lips and he drank. By the time he had drained the cup his hands were quivering; he set it impatiently aside and claimed her mouth with his own.
Éowyn tried to look away, but then her eyes fell upon Legolas and his partner; he had leaned her up against a convenient tree and was feasting on the pale column of her throat, and she had unfastened the lacings at the front of his doublet and was sliding it off his shoulders. She watched in incredulity as the woman lay one finger gently upon the edge of his ear, and Legolas arched his back, pulling away from her with a look of ecstasy upon his face; then he dived in again, kissing her more deeply and sliding one hand up her ribcage to cup her breast in his palm.
Another Elf had gone up to the cauldron and started the ritual; he was joined by a laughing Elf woman who embraced him first, then filled his cup for him and brought it to his grinning mouth. “Husband and wife,” Faramir murmured in Éowyn’s ear; she started: She had forgotten he was sitting beside her. She looked over at him; he was watching the couple in the ritual, who could not seem to complete all the steps before beginning to undress each other; by the time she had drained her husband’s goblet he was already suckling upon one of her breasts, pushing the flimsy silk away with impatient fingers. Faramir’s eyes were gleaming, and his lips were turned into a half-smile as he watched them together. After a moment he licked his lower lip and turned to her, ardor in his gaze.
Éowyn’s attention was jerked away by another Elf woman starting the ritual at the cauldron, being joined by Legolas’ dark-haired attaché; Galás, was that his name? She watched in stunned amazement as the quiet, articulate representative dragged his sated partner to the earth and lifted her skirts while she spread her legs apart for him.
The area around the cauldron was becoming crowded with writhing, heaving bodies; it was a mass of ivory skin and lustrous hair, twined limbs and lissome fingers, peppered throughout with groans and cries of pleasure. More Elves came to the cauldron, having to carry the ladle to each other; cups were filled and emptied and cast away, to be groped over by those remaining. At last all pretenses of ritual were thrown aside, and various Elves simply dipped their flagons into the wine, drinking and sharing alike, and running together into the woods, or swarming up into the trees. In fact, many couples dispensed with the philter-infused beverage entirely and began coupling upon the ground as they sat. Everywhere Éowyn looked Elves were caressing, kissing, stroking, fondling, and undressing each other in various stages of ardor, some sighing, some crying out, some even grunting rhythmically. She looked about wildly and heaved herself to her feet, intending to run as far away from this nightmare of copulation as she could. Faramir sprang to his feet beside her, taking her by the arms; he was breathing hard, and there was an amorous light in his eye.
“My love,” he whispered, putting his arms about her waist. “My Éowyn . . . “
He lowered his head to kiss her, but she turned her face away from him and his lips found her cheek instead. Over his shoulder she suddenly saw Legolas and his Elf woman, seated upon the ground together; he was holding her on his lap, and her long colorless legs were wrapped about his naked back. They labored and strove together with a feverish pace, lips fastened together; Éowyn could see the steady pulsing of his stomach muscles against hers. Then his cadence quickened and he buried his face in her dangling hair, thrusting against her, and she dropped her head back in elation, tightening her grip with her thighs about him.
Faramir’s lips were traveling from her cheek to her earlobe, nuzzling into her hair and nipping lightly at her skin; he was breathing fast and his hands started to roam about her back. Éowyn’s eyes were fixed on Legolas; he was lunging up into his partner with abandon, his face hidden in her shoulder, and then she dropped her head down to his ear, took the tip of it in her mouth, and sucked on it gently.
Legolas lurched upward, throwing his head back, eyes wide open to the stars; he cried something in Sindarin that made his partner laugh hoarsely, and he seized her back with a spasmodic jerk. He drew in great, jagged breaths, then lowered his head, pressing his forehead against hers, eyes squeezed shut. She crooned and panted to him softly, running a finger along the outside ridge of his ear, until he had spent himself; he looked mischievously into her eyes and started to pulse inside her again.
Faramir had pulled Éowyn close, kneading her buttocks and laving her throat with his tongue; even with her swollen abdomen in the way she could feel his hardness pressed against her thigh. She put her hands on his shoulders, wanting to push him away, but was too distracted by the sight Legolas made, stomach heaving, hands flickering across his partner’s body, hips palpitating against hers. The Elf woman had closed her eyes now, and was leaning back into his hands, an open-mouthed smile on her face, her hair swinging steadily from side to side across her back in time to Legolas’ movements. He was watching her carefully from beneath heavy-lidded eyes, tracking her pleasure, and when she had reached a certain point he took her face in his hands and brought the tips of his fingers over her ears.
It was her turn to cry aloud, though there didn’t seem to be any words; her legs flew apart and scissored madly around him. They heaved together, pressed impossibly close, and she cried out again, and again, and again as Legolas drove into her and stroked the edges of her ears with his fingers.
Faramir pushed up against her leg hard and gave a little moan into her hair; Éowyn wasn’t certain, but she thought perhaps he was reacting to the sound of the Elf woman’s climax. Suddenly she felt physically sick, and she broke away from him, stumbling across the struggling bodies in the clearing, trying to get away. She heard Faramir behind her calling, “Éowyn! Wait!” but she started to run faster, wanting to gain their tent.
She ducked under the flap, grateful no couples had decided to use it in their absence, and threw herself upon the pallet, trying not to sob. Faramir entered a few moments later, panting, and lay down beside her, putting his arms about her and kissing her hungrily. Éowyn pushed him violently away, crying, “Stop! Stop!” until Faramir sat up, looking at her in frustrated amazement.
“What is it?” he asked breathlessly, taking her hand. “I thought you wanted this.”
“Why would you think that?” she demanded angrily.
“Well, you ran to the tent,” he said; “I thought you wanted to do it in privacy. We mortals aren’t as cavalier about lovemaking as the Elves.”
“Oh, the Elves!” she said sarcastically, pushing his hand away from her. “Naturally my husband would want to make love to me after seeing the Elves rutting like sheep in season – there would be no other reason for it, would there!?”
Faramir looked hurt. “I admit, their passion inflamed me,” he said, folding his arms across his chest. “Who would it not? It was a stunning sight.”
“Very stunning,” she snapped, starting to pull the combs from her hair and flinging them into her jewel box. “Just as stunning as that Elf-wench who danced with you – and that trollop Legolas is romping with.”
Faramir sat very still, looking at Éowyn with a faint suggestion of alarm in his eyes. “That ‘Elf-wench,’ as you call her,” he said slowly, “is Golorlië, the wife of Baranil; she is a wise woman skilled in agriculture. I know her well from summits in times past. And the ‘trollop’ Legolas finds so attractive is Hírilcullas, a practiced archer, one of the scouts of Doro Lanthiron.” He looked keenly at her. “It isn’t easy, is it, my love,” he said, his voice gentle, “to be so bloated and ungainly amongst the Eldar, especially when you’re used to being the loveliest in the land. And you are lovely,” he said, taking her restless hand, kissing each of her fingers, and rubbing it between his own. “Your hair ripples down your back like liquid sunlight; your lips are pink as columbines, and your throat is a column of porcelain. I love you, I desire you; I want very much to be with you tonight, to give you pleasure, if I can.”
“Well, you can’t,” she muttered, pulling her hand away from his and turning her back to him. “I am too uncomfortable, and the sight of that indecent display out there has turned my stomach. Unlatch my gown for me. It pinches so.”
Wordlessly Faramir unlatched the back of the gown and helped her out of it. He took up her shift and slid it over her arms and head, concealing her engorged breasts, and set up the bank of cushions and pillows she needed to be comfortable as she slept. After she curled up he too undressed and lay down beside her, spooning around her back and draping his arm over her stomach. They were silent for a moment, and then Éowyn said, in a very small voice, “Faramir!”
“Yes, my love?” said Faramir.
“For what, my love?” he asked, kissing her hair.
“For denying you your passion. For accusing you of wanting the Elf women. For being – for being fat and droopy and saggy and irritable and – “
She started to cry, and Faramir wrapped his arms around her securely, nestling his head into her hair and kissing her earlobe. “My love, my love, it is nothing,” he soothed her. “This is only a temporary thing; soon our child will be in our arms and you will be yourself again. It is difficult for a woman to carry such a burden, and I wish I could bear it for you, to ease your discomfort.”
Éowyn wept a little while, then fell quiet again. Faramir was still, his breathing slow and even, his hands twitching a little. She whispered again, “Faramir!”
“Mmm,” he said into her hair.
“You are better with weights and measures than I. How much wine would you say was in that cauldron?”
He stirred a little, saying sleepily: “I don’t know; a tonneau, I think, maybe more. Certainly more than a barrel.”
“And the philter he prepared; how much did it look like, a cup?”
“Maybe two cups,” he said. “But not much more.”
“How much philter would there have been in each goblet?”
Faramir paused, trying to calculate it in his drowsy state. “No more than an eighth of a teaspoon, I am certain,” he said at last. “Very little – the merest drop.”
“Oh,” said Éowyn.
“Anything else, my love?” he asked.
“No, Faramir,” she said. “That’s all. Good-night.”
“Good-night, my Éowyn.”
They fell silent again, and Faramir dropped off to sleep. Éowyn stayed awake for a while, telling herself she hadn’t meant to make Legolas so sick, it wasn’t her fault, the book had told her nothing about how much she should give him, she had just been taking precautions. Then the image flashed before her eyes of his two fingers, barely grazing the tip of his partner’s ear, and in contrast to this she saw her own sallow fingers tearing at the skin and pinching and twisting it cruelly. She bit her lip. The book ought to have told her. There had not been enough information. It was not her fault. She was not to blame. There was absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. It wasn’t her fault at all.
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.