“ A portrait would last longer.” Lord Maedhros snapped, the first time he caught me eyeing it. “Though for you that does a lot less good. There are papers on the table there, letters to write and accounts to go over. If you really mean to be useless you can damned well take some other service. I don’t know what they were thinking anyway, bringing you here, but as you are, well you might well be of some…”
“My lord I meant not to…” Clearly this ground was dangerous, plied with many defenses naked to any eyes but his own. Clearly I must tread softly, but what less could one expect of a son of Feanor?
“Oh you did.” Lord Maedhros interrupted with a shake of the fiery hair that somehow seemed as nothing when matched against his spirit. “Say whatever else you will to me, Scribe, save for those lies that none have ever meant. Do not dare tell me you are unlike those others who look to me and only see the flaw. Perhaps it is more visible than any you posses.” He added, glaring as I crossed towards my desk and stumbled on the rug, “But most of yours are stronger as I have seen so far.”
“I…” What did one say to this, I wondered, settling into the chair and glancing over my shoulder at his tall foreboding figure, the severed arm he wished I had not seen and the way that even now, in the heat of Summer he kept it hidden in the folds of a flowing sleeve. Somehow one could not help but watch it, when his attempts to hide the maiming were made so obvious, as though he dared me to stare, to note the severed bone and…
“Surely taking notes is easier than being discharged,” He spoke quickly, turning to glare with all that he was worth. “Though of course if you would rather that, I’ll write the paper up myself. Despite what a stupid girl and my foolish brothers may believe, I am still” Crossing the room with long strides, he picked up a quill himself, nudging the pot of ink over with his other elbow before I could even think to pass it along, “capable of these,” briefly he picked the quill up with his teeth, as he unscrewed the ink pot’s cover then dipped it down inside, reaching across the desk once more for a sheaf of parchment, elbow moving swiftly, making up the loss of fingers in a way that seemed remarkable.
“And you have only been this way some months.” I mumbled, thinking my speech soft enough, avoiding notice, until he caught my eye. I saw even then, every careless word, every awkward turn of phrase was known to him.
“Which way?” he interrupted, quill scratching to a halt as his eyes began to flash with…anger? No, something more, then held me there, demanding that I answer.
“I…Lord Maedhros…I merely meant that you are, it’s remarkable to see someone in your position who…”
“In my position.” And he laughed now, shaking that hair out of his face as though somehow, he liked the word game. “And which position may that be? Feanorian? Outcast, or something much more subtle? Maimed maybe, though you dare not say it now that I have heard you? A crippled hroa makes for a crippled fea? Is that your way of it?”
"No. My Lord I've simply never seen..."
"So I am entertainment for you? Something to gawk and gape at, or be coddled as though I were your prized pet?"
"Nn...no I..." It was hard to do anything but watch and wait and swallow, hoping the knots in my stomach would go down a bit as he stood there next to me, though Lord Maedhros did not need to raise his voice in order to be heard or understood.
"Then what? You would have further proof? would you care to watch me wash, or wield a sword? Or see you gone without my brothers' help? Or do you truly believe," He flopped the arm in question before me on the desk, as if inviting me to give the reddened lines, the flush of newly formed skin, a closer inspection. "That this was anything more than a minor setback?"
"So this is where...I'm sorry my Lord." I cut in, shocked to hear the words come out of my mouth. "If you would prefer for me to leave you now I..."
"That is where." He agreed, taking my hand in his left and guiding it to feel that healing tissue. "Go on if you would like to know. Though I hoped it would not come to this if I may satisfy your curiosity, your fear, your disgust or whatever it is that drives you now, then by all means ask me, tell me, shy away or run if I am so repulsive. But let something other than your gaping now fall on this."
"I cannot help it, Lord." I managed, craning my head upwards, and trying what I hoped could pass as something like a nervous smile as my fingers moved away from the dead stump of his wrist and took the quill he had now laid aside.
"Can you not?" Lord Maedhros sighed, and shook his head. "I should expect of course, yet all the same...Your reason I suppose is clear so you need not worry when your excuse is..."
"No indeed." I answered, as my smile and something like respect began to grow. "I hope with time you can forgive me, though there is little doubt that you will take some getting used to. After all My Lord, these things are strange to me. For you see,"
And here it seemed impossible not to grin, to offer him some proof that I was willing, if even a little to accept the things one could not change. As strange as they seemed I owed him that, though loyalty and love would come with time, the first seeds at least were planted as I now pushed back my chair and stood before him, proving fact was nothing more than simply that now.
"I find you much too tall."
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.