1. Chapter 1
Disclaimer: Lindir and the other canon characters and places do not belong to me, but belong to J.R.R Tolkien. I am not making any money from this, just simply for enjoyment. I do own my original characters; Olora, Nengion, Carandra, and Cenwen.
Time line: Alternate Universe, November 3019
Summary: Lindir tries to uplift a maiden from a broken heart. Will he succeed?
Author(s) Note: The information about Rivendell and Bree came from http://www.tuckborough.net. I created my original characters' names with a name generator: http://www.myprecious.us/name_generator.php. Part of the lyrics that Lindir sings in this story is from A Rose Is Still A Rose by Aretha Franklin.
Rivendell was a deep valley with a steep zig-zagging path leading down into it, in Eastern Eriador near the Misty Mountains. It was hidden from view in the heather-covered moors. Fir trees grew on the higher slopes and beech and oak trees farther down in the glen.
The southernmost of the two mountain streams that formed the River Bruinen flowed westward through the valley. A narrow stone bridge spanned the river, and on the north bank stood the Last Homely House of Lord Elrond. There were gardens around the house and a terrace overlooking the river, where Olora stood gazing over the beautiful scenery. Many elves dwelled in Rivendell as well as many visitors that came to seek a place of refuge, counsel, and lore.
Refuge and counsel, Olora sighed wearily, for it was why she had come to Rivendell, to seek counsel for her "wounded heart," as Lord Elrond had stated, and "refuge for her weary soul." She closed her eyes and inhaled, taking in the scent of flowers and freshness of the river intermingled as one, allowing her mind to shift back to the event that had led her to the present state.
The Prancing Pony Inn in Bree was busy as usual with the bustling of Bree-folk and travelers that came in from the Great East Road and the Greenway. The inn was a place to hear news of the outside world and was frequented by men, hobbits, dwarves, the occasional wizard and now elves.
Olora dried a mug with a cloth as she half listened to two patrons talking about the latest gossip in the village of Bree. It was centered around a man named Bill Ferny, one of the local villagers. She shook her head in disbelief at the notion of the patrons to think that Bill could have been anything other than a quiet, peaceful man. He was always polite to Olora and always lent a helping hand whenever she needed it without charging her a penny, so therefore it was hard for her to accept that he had been a leader of a group that was once called the ruffians.
"Oh believe it, my lady," the first patron said to Olora when he spied her shaking her head in disbelief. "Bill Ferny was not all he seemed to be and you would have done well to avoid that man. He is rotten on the inside . . . "
"And sneering," the second patron added, which caused the first patron to nod in agreement.
"The only thing he cared about was making money and mischief. I am just glad he left. Wherever he is, I say good riddance to him. Now that he is gone, the town is more peaceful." The first patron winked at Olora. The ruffians were men that were known as 'Sharkey Men.' They oppressed the hobbits of the Shire for their former leader Saruman. When the hobbits had returned home after the war of the ring, they had ordered Bill to leave the Shire and he was never heard from again.
Moving her attention away from the conversation, she focused on wiping the bar counter. After she was done, she decided to take a break from her work and called out to Barliman Butterbur, who was the proprietor of the Prancing Pony, to inform him. "I am going to take my break now. If I am needed sooner, I will be right outside, getting some fresh air."
"Very well, dear. Take your time, for you have earned it. You worked very hard today," he replied, pleased, while looking around the place and then he winked at her. Barliman was a short fat man, with a red face and a half bald head. He was pleasant to work for, and loved to talk.
He was a father figure to Olora, who had never known her biological father. She came to Bree at the young age of two with her mother. Little did she know about her father and their homeland. When her mother died, she left her in the care of Barliman because she trusted him to care for her daughter.
Olora stepped out into the clear evening air and sat down on a wooden bench on the left side of the entrance. She had not been sitting long when she saw a hooded figure riding into town on a black stallion. The stranger stopped in front of the inn and dismounted with a cat-like move. Olora watched with interest as he handed the rein of his horse to the stableman. He glanced around and saw the young woman eyeing him curiously.
She noticed that not only was the dismounting of the horse done gracefully, but the tall figure walked toward her with an air of confidence. She was spellbound for a moment, unmoving until he spoke.
"Good evening my lady," he greeted her with a deep melodic voice.
"Good evening sir," Olora stammered in reply. She cleared her throat and then continued, "Welcome to the Prancing Pony. Will you need a room for the night?" While she asked, she tried to peer at the mysterious face from underneath the hood, but failed.
"Yes, if you can accommodate me," came the reply.
"I hope that you will find the lodging hospitable and pleasant here. Follow me, sir." She stood up and led the stranger into the inn.
Once inside, she assisted him with lodging and whatever else he needed. "I would like food and beer," he requested. Olora nodded with a look of consternation on her face as she wrote in a ledger.
The stranger studied her. She wasn't short nor tall, but willowy. She was beautiful with swarthy skin and long dark lashes that brought out her brown round eyes. Her hair flowed in dark curls past her shoulders. She was looking very appetizing to his eyes as she licked her tongue around her full lips, still writing. He had the urge to take her and lavish her with hot kisses, but thought better to wait, knowing that he would have plenty of time for dallying.
"What is your name Mr?" She said, bringing him out of his lustful daydream.
"The name is Nengion."
"And how long will you be staying?"
"A fortnight," he replied.
She mumbled his name as she wrote it down and then closed the ledger. She asked him if he would be dining in the large common room or in one of the private parlors. He chose the latter and was led there by Olora. She left him for a few minutes and then returned with his food and drink.
"If there is anything else that you need, let me know," Olora said.
"There is one thing," he purred. "I would like for you to keep me company, if you don't mind." He pushed his hood away, revealing his face that was fair beyond the measure of men. The pointy ears, long silky blond hair and those crystal blue eyes. Olora smiled; she was always taken with the very presence of elves whenever they would come to the inn to visit. They had an air of special power and sanctity about them that made her want to draw closer to them.
Olora accepted and took a seat across from him. "What is your name, fair lady?" He asked before taking a sip of his beer.
"Olora," she replied, smiling.
"Such a beautiful smile," Nengion complimented her.
"Thank you," she giggled.
They talked well into the night. For the next few days, they spent time together, learning about each other. They would take walks through the village and have a private dinner in her home when he was tired of the noisy, crowded inn. When they were alone, he would hold her hand tenderly, while gazing into her eyes.
One night, two days before Nengion was to leave, he persuaded Olora to take their rendezvous to another level. He would not return until the following year. He cozened her with false love, while dallying with her innocence. Unaware of his slick games, and because she was guileless, Olora acquiesced to his cunning words.
A year passed since they shared a night of passion together. Olora had waited for him, but he never came back into town. She tried to come up with an explanation for his delay, but found only empty answers. Slowly, the realization dawned on her that he was not to return. 'Did he not intend to return?' She thought with a sick feeling. Oh, what had she done! She wondered as tears seeped down her dark cheeks.
She grasped her stomach to halt the nausea that had made temporary residence there, and slowly slid down on the floor behind the bar. It was late and she was the only one working the night shift as the customers had long gone. Her body shook as she sobbed bitterly over this guileful man who had bewitched her with his false sense of love.
Olora's days were filled with sadness and tears. She would not eat or sleep and her strength was failing. Barliman became concerned when he saw her stagger toward one of the tables. Taking her by the hand, he led her to a table in a far off corner. He handed her a cup of broth. "Drink this," he urged her gently.
Getting no response from her, he took a spoon and dipped it in the broth. Steadying it so no liquid would spill, he lifted it, bringing it to Olora's closed lips. "Open," he demanded gently. She opened her mouth slightly as he spooned the broth into her mouth. "Good," he said softly. He repeated the gesture again, but the third time she refused to accept any more.
Barliman got right to the point of the matter concerning Olora. "Oh dear child, what is the matter with you? I notice you haven't been eating and it looks like you haven't slept in ages."
Before she could reply to his question, he continued, "I saw what was going on between you and that elf that came into town. Not to say that I was pleased about it, but you seemed so happy so I said to myself, 'what harm will it do?' There is nothing wrong with falling in love. If you fail at it the first time then maybe true love will come around the second time."
Olora snorted bitterly and shook her head at Barliman's words of inspiration. "There will be no true love for me, Barliman," she said sadly.
"Oh?" He raised a furry brow in surprise. "Why do you suppose that, young lady?"
"Because I gave myself to him. Now, what man do you think would want to marry someone like me? I am not innocent anymore, because I allowed him to take it from me with his deceitful words. I am only fit to be a courtesan now," she whispered, hanging her head down in shame.
Barliman frowned at Olora's impression of herself. She missed the look of shock on his face because her eyes were cast down. "Courtesan? Courtesan?" He bellowed in frustration. "Look here, young lady . . . you are not a courtesan and don't you even compare yourself to one. What makes you think that you are one of those loose women? Just because you make one mistake does not make you any less of a woman. I assure you, missy, you are a lady indeed. A proper lady that will be deemed fit for a wonderful man that will love and cherish you. I will hear no more of this unfit stuff!" he rebuked her. His face had turned a deep crimson, as he had worked himself up into a frenzy.
He calmed down long enough to comfort her. "Olora," he said calmly, "This whole ordeal has taken a great toil on you and put more gray hairs among the few ones that I have left." He chuckled. "I made a decision . . . I know that I promised your mother that I would take care of you. You are now of an age at which you can take care of yourself." He looked at her warily. 'She would be able to take care of herself if she was not in so much despair,' he thought eyeing her carefully. "So I decided to send you away to Rivendell for a time."
Olora tensed at the mention of Rivendell, where elves lived. Seeing this, Barliman assured her that it was for the best. She could get the healing and counsel she needed, that she could not get there in Bree. If she continued to stay, he worried that she would die of grief the way her mother did. "Please, it is for the best," he pleaded. "Trust me when I tell you that when you are fully healed, you can come back."
"I don't doubt you or your words," she sighed wearily. "I just don't look at elves the same way as I use to." Tears silently slid from her eyes and she smiled, but it did not reach her eyes.
"Don't let a mistake with one elf change your mind about them all. There are still some good intentions of elves as well as mischief, just like there are some good intentions of humans and they come with mischief too." He patted her hand and rose from his seat, but before he walked away, he studied her and then smiled. "True love will come your way, missy, you must believe it. It is important that you believe it." It was an urgent plea for her not to give up on love and to make sure that she did not, he made her promise and she vowed to give love another chance. She just could not do it right now and it would take time for her to trust any man or elf, and Barliman understood.
Olora was brought out of her reverie when she heard a soft voice from behind her. She turned and found a red-haired elleth standing in the entrance way of the terrace. "It is time to get ready for the evening meal," she announced.
Olora walked back to her bedroom chamber. The room had a flat ceiling with richly carved wooden beams. The bed was draped with an olive green and gold silk bedspread along with matching pillows. The elleth was about to assist Olora with her wardrobe, but was suddenly stopped.
"No, I will pick out my own clothing," Olora said in a tense tone, which startled the wide-eyed elleth. "But . . . " The elleth started, but was interrupted.
"I said that I will do it myself." Olora's tone remained firm. She had always been independent when it came to caring for her own needs. After working in an inn serving people, she saw herself as a lowly servant, so therefore she did not feel that it was proper for another servant to serve one of the same kind. "Now," she said with a softer tone. "You may be dismissed. Thank you, Carandra." Olora smiled shakily, trying not to let the tears fall again, but failing miserably. She wiped the irritating drops away from her eyes. She hated how she felt right now, alone and hurt. Not knowing what else to say or do, Carandra left Olora alone to get dressed.
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.