It was night.
Not the ordinary kind of night, where small creatures still moved through the forest, but an eerie night, as the wind howled through the trees and fallen leaves eddied and swirled across the forest floor.
In the distance, wolves bayed at the full moon, but nothing was out in the forest here – except for one thing.
The ‘ thing’ was an Elf, bedraggled and emaciated, with dark eyes that looked enormous in his pale thin face.
He stumbled and limped slightly as he walked, dragging his left foot and looking as though the next violent breeze to blow in his direction would sweep him off his feet and carry him with it.
Finally, he slumped down against a tree, one hand clutching onto his battered lyre protectively, and the other drawing his cloak tighter around his thin shoulders to keep the chill wind out.
He looked up on a sudden impulse. He could see the stars twinkling, just barely visible through the leaves. The sight of them made him feel happier, more complete somehow, and, for a few silent seconds, he was content.
A light footfall sounded behind the Elf. A few leaves rustled, and he felt the faint shadow of someone standing behind him.
He spun around and squinted into the blackness.
Was that a person standing there?
Then a well-remembered voice called his name.
“ Daeron!” she called softly, and the Elf gave a start. He knew that voice.
Oh, yes, he knew it. The number of times he had heard that voice speak his name in that manner were beyond count. While he played and sang, she had spoken soft words to him, like a true lady from a long-forgotten tale, who now was remembered only in the minds of the minstrels.
She had spoken to him, and he had not forgotten it, and he saw her and wished for nothing more.
But she was gone. Surely, she was no more now.
He remembered the man, Beren, who had stumbled into his king's halls; and something had told him, all those years ago, that he foretold something greater and yet more terrible, an end for Doriath.
But she was here. Here, where she could not be, but was.
He did not stop to wonder why, nor to suspect that this might be a trick. He knew, somehow, that it was real.
She had come back. Back, to him.
"Lúthien," he breathed, moving now towards the place where he could see the faint shadow of a person.
He crept, half-walking, half-running, and suddenly it seemed as if there was a flare of brilliant light and he could see clearly.
The wind died suddenly, and the forest stilled and fell silent. Daeron looked around, but his eyes were drawn back to her.
"Daeron," she whispered again, and smiled, and to Daeron it was as though the sun had suddenly risen and the whole forest seemed flooded with radiance.
A string of Daeron's lyre snapped, but he did not notice that.
She extended a hand, and Daeron took it, marvelling inwardly at how small and perfect it was, how like the hand he remembered…
And then the light died, and the trees rustled angrily. The wind rose again, and she faded.
Faded, until nothing was left but a whisper on the wind and a faint presence in the air.
And Daeron's eyes stung with hot tears.
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.