Fallen: 24. Chapter Twenty-Four

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24. Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Four

No dreams. The next day, when Maglor awoke alone, he felt unaccountably cold. He roused himself, kicked dirt over the remains of the fire, and gathered the few things that Legolas had left with him. He faced the cold, grey morning and the world already defeated. He stood for long minutes looking in the direction he must go, in the direction he should go. For the first time in thousands of years, his fate belonged to him, or so he thought, and it wasn’t a welcome change. It must be a change for the better though. His mind reminded him that every step he took would be a step closer to home, closer to leaving behind all the nightmares and once more being himself. Yet he didn’t move.

He didn’t understand his feelings. After everything, he had gained his freedom! But instead of the joy he expected to feel at the thought, he was dispirited and lonely. Even in the loneliest days of his imprisonment in Barad-Dûr, his life had been determined, his suffering measured and his reactions expected. His loneliness there had been engineered; it wasn’t like this crushing emptiness. There wasn’t a thing Sauron had done to him that made him fear like this. The possibility for good and evil was terrifying, and suddenly he appreciated just how structured his existence had been before. Maglor found that freedom meant responsibility, and it had been so long that he couldn’t be comfortable with the thought, especially considering what that very freedom had led to before.

He stood still for long minutes, with his back to the sunrise, and eventually he realised he wasn’t going to do it. He couldn’t take one step in that direction, even though his heart and soul demanded it. There was no guarantee that he was forgiven, even after all this time, and Maglor dreaded the refusal so much that he couldn’t bring himself to step forward, and to ask. What did that leave? Maglor turned back towards the distant mountains, and everything in him screamed against it, but it was inevitable. Slowly, hating himself for every step, Maglor began walking back.

When night fell he found himself at the same place he and Legolas had camped the night before last. He remembered Sauron then, and a more familiar, welcoming fear rippled through him. He denied it, even to himself, his consciousness insisting that he hoped he wasn’t disturbed, but in truth he desperately desired for Sauron to do what he had threatened before, and take him back.

He sat on a rock, not bothering to light a fire or to eat, and stayed there until the twilight deepened into night and he couldn’t see into the empty dark. He finally admitted he was waiting when the stars began to fade with the approaching dawn. He stood and walked forward, then he held his arms out in supplication.

“Please, Herdir. Are you out there?” That was a silly question, wasn’t it? Of course he was. But then Maglor drew in a shocked breath, and considered for the first time something unthinkable. What if Sauron had been following Legolas all this time? What reason would he have for such a thing? Suddenly the need to see Sauron became much more important than it already was, and Maglor voice was strained when he spoke. “Please, speak to me.” He fell to his knees. “Please…” He was begging a merciless being, but Maglor only wanted one thing. “Take me back.” Forgive me. There was no answer.

Faced by the silence, Maglor despaired. He didn’t want this anymore! He only wanted to be back in his place, the place Sauron had given him. Nothing else mattered. Not freedom, not home, not forgiveness, and not choice. Endless, impossible choice. Maglor did the one thing that might make Sauron pay attention to him again, the one thing he knew how to do, and the one thing he probably shouldn’t do considering what this was. Maglor began to sing.

Sauron stood tall and unmoving in the darkness. He was naked, having come forward from the form of the wolf, but there were none to see him. Still as a statue, he stood and listened to the song that carried through the still night air. Maglor was singing for him.

A smile of true pleasure curved his lips as the song continued, every phrase and every turn of the melody expressive of Maglor’s love for Sauron, and for the dark things they did. It wasn’t natural, and it wasn’t meant to be, but it was the most beautiful thing Sauron had ever heard. It really was an unexpected surprise, and Sauron treasured every single line of the lament, savouring Maglor’s longing and dedication.

He listened carefully until the last poignant notes disappeared, watching the lonely figure through the lightening gloom. He was seized by the sudden desperate need to take what was his, and he almost gave in to it, seeing Maglor beneath him in his mind’s eye so clearly that he almost moaned. He remembered what he had done a few nights ago, and he knew that temptation was something that could ruin even his plans. But he wanted more than this from Maglor, much more.

The elf was still a prisoner, still trapped by the games Sauron had used on his mind, and he wanted something much more important. When Maglor came back of his own free will, although everything would appear the same, everything would be subtly different. When Maglor returned he would still be a slave, but he would no longer be a captive, he would be a companion. In time, he might even become an accomplice. Oh, there was a world of difference. And yet… there was the slightest doubt. Truly, Maglor would be beyond his reach soon, and he had no say then in what happened. What if he did sail, despite everything? What if he was wrong about some things? Could he be wrong about their reaction?

Just as he was pondering the likelihood of a mistake, Maglor saw him. Sauron stood still, watching his slave’s eyes, knowing every thought in his mind, but for a moment struck by the need to possess him. Once, centuries ago, when the elf was newly broken, Sauron had been surprised that the desire didn’t wane. But it didn’t. It was still there, and it took every ounce of self-control he possessed not to simply take what was offered. Despite everything he had done to the elf, every subversive need he had implanted in his mind, every warped desire he had given to Maglor, something still called to him. There was no resistance anymore, and so that wasn’t it. Maybe it was his beauty. But there were many beautiful things in Arda, and Sauron didn’t feel the need to possess them. Even Legolas had been easy to let go.

Maglor walked uncertainly forward, encouraged by Sauron’s silence, and sank to his knees without saying a word. Was this it? Maglor was so very moulded to his every wish and desire that his actions could be predicted, but that didn’t make them uninteresting. Quite the opposite. Sauron was many things, but he was not ignorant, and he likened Maglor at this moment to a favourite book. No matter how well you knew every action and every piece of dialogue, you were never unhappy to read it. Or perhaps it was the very history they shared? As if the elf’s mind and soul were a sculpture and his reactions were a reflection of that. Sauron could trace every line and curve, and remember what had helped to shape this part or that.

The elf looked up, made unsure by his Master’s silence and stillness, and even that was a pleasure to behold. But there was an imperfection there. Sauron looked down at Maglor, searching for it, and saw it again. Hope. It was something Sauron couldn’t take from him; it was something that would have to play out without him. All he could do was ready Maglor for the confrontation in such a way that the outcome would be in his favour. All these changes and dependencies were unacceptable to them. He had to chance that Maglor would not want to let them go.

But he considered that imperfection now, saw it shining with the elf, and Sauron became coldly angry. Maglor was not asking to return because it was his will, he was treating this as an escape. Despite his annoyance, Sauron smirked a little at the idea that Barad-Dûr could be considered a place to hide by anyone. This was not what he wanted. Still, he desired, and he commanded Maglor to rise to his feet with a single sharp backwards tilt of his head.

When the elf stood before him, Sauron found his hands naturally reaching around to cup the elf’s buttocks and draw Maglor close to him. His slave stood on tiptoe to wind his arms around Sauron’s neck just at the perfect time for Sauron to lean forward and kiss his neck. He inhaled the familiar scent, enough of the wolf remaining that the action made him want to be violent. The kiss turned into a bite, and Maglor moaned, tilting his head to one side to make it easier. Even in imperfection, he was bewitching. Sauron drew back, and became transfixed by the sight of Maglor’s lips. The elf trembled in his arms, and for a single moment he was completely irresistible.

They kissed, the elf opening up to his questing tongue and surrendering before him so perfectly that Sauron forgot where they were and closed his eyes in pleasure, groaning into Maglor’s open mouth in appreciation. Every response was perfect, every sound, every movement. Until he felt the imperfection again. There it was, behind the kiss, beneath the submission, something that should be eagerness was reticence. Barely noticable except to someone who knew Maglor as well as he knew himself, and it wasn’t enough. Sauron drew back, Maglor moaned longingly as the slight movement disturbed the easy way they had rested against one another, and Sauron’s hardness nudged his.

Slowly, Sauron ran his hands up over Maglor, making the elf shiver in his arms. He covered well known territory, bringing all the secrets of Maglor’s body to mind again as he did so, until he had his hands on the elf’s upper arms where they were raised up to encircle him. And then, very slowly, he dislodged his hands and pushed the elf away from him.

Hîr nín?” asked Maglor cautiously, his eyes expressive of hurt the way they had been before Sauron so many times. But this wasn’t a new lesson he wanted to teach, this had to be an ending.

“I will not accept you back like this, Maglor.” He saw the hurt but carried on, determined to make the elf face his past, and embrace his future. “If you return to Barad-Dûr, you will die. My servants have been instructed to kill you on sight just as they would any other.” Maglor shook his head. It was clear he was trying to understand what he was supposed to learn.

“Please, Herdir.” Maglor reached out towards him, and Sauron didn’t even think twice. He lashed out at the elf, catching him on the jaw, and watching in satisfaction as he fell heavily onto the hard ground. Sauron walked to stand over him.

“I suggest you make sure you are far away from here by daybreak,” he said coldly, and then kicked Maglor hard in the stomach, so that he doubled over, wheezing and throwing his arms around himself to protect his body from any more as he tried to move back from the dark lord’s feet.

Advancing, Sauron kicked him again, viciously, only closing his eyes briefly when he heard Maglor begin to sob. Losing patience then, he dragged Maglor up so that they were at eye level. “Are you stupid?” he hissed. “Run away from me!” He threw Maglor back down to the ground, fully intending to carry on kicking him, and Sauron achieved with Maglor what the elf hadn’t been able to achieve with Legolas the night before. He made his lover flee from him into the night.

Maglor ran until the sun was high in the sky, and he was exhausted. His lack of sleep made him sink into a heap on the ground, and he looked towards the mountains for a few minutes. He thought he could see the suggestion of Barad-Dûr beyond them, but that was probably his imagination. He rested until he felt able to move again, remembering what Sauron had said.

Maglor turned away from Barad-Dûr, admitting for the first time how utterly lost he felt without Sauron to command and to guide him. His fate, it seemed, was in his own hands for the first time in thousands of years, and he simply didn’t know what to do with it.

He considered what he had said to Legolas, and when he thought of Valinor he felt a homesickness he had never experienced while in Sauron’s thrall. Now, the chance of returning home was possible, and his heart begged him to do it. He would return to the western shore, at least. Finally making his mind up, Maglor wasted no more time. He began to walk.

It took weeks to cross to the western edge of Middle-Earth. Maglor travelled at night, keeping clear of strangers on the road, and speaking to no-one. He stole or killed what he needed to survive, and after perhaps six weeks or so, when the second moon was full, he came upon the shore. He had been following a river, which opened into a great bay where it met the sea. He wondered even now if he had the nerve to try, and realised that after all this time he did.

Away from Sauron’s influence, and the need to endure his punishments, he found himself thinking clearly, and what he found was not what he expected. There was still guilt, but when Maglor looked back over his life, he considered that what happened to him could have happened to anyone. He didn’t take his crimes lightly, but he realised he understood the circumstances that had led to them, and he couldn’t continue to hate himself. He forgave himself, and in that, he found the courage to dare the anger of those who could grant him true forgiveness.

The dark lord gazed into the Palantír, searching for something. He spent long hours in this room, occupied with the same activity, but this time was different. A rare smile lit his features, a genuine smile, when he beheld what the swirling depths of the stone showed him.

A lone elf worked on the beach. He was building a small boat. It was obvious he had laboured for long hours. It was not grand and intricate, like the ships the elves usually sailed in, but it was enough to carry him over the sea, that much was certain.

“Do you know how captivating you are? Feed all my desires to the end of time, and I’ll make this world a place for you to run from me.”

The elf on the shore stopped for a moment. His long, red hair shone in the sun as he sat down and leaned back against a tree to rest for a while. Absently, he stroked his hand against the bark of the tree, and a fleeting look of lost sadness darkened his blue eyes even as he smiled.

“Yes, I see the beautiful scars that I have created, scars on your mind and your soul, and I can’t regret them. They make you love me, make you desire and obey me. All things I have come to expect from you, and yet knowing this does not diminish the need to possess you.”

Letting his head fall back against the tree at last, he closed his eyes. It was a perfect vision of peace; he was so beautiful he looked as though he slept the sleep of the innocent. Although for him, nothing could be further from the truth.

“Where is your place but by my side? Would you truly leave me to sleep endlessly on the shores of Valinor? I can’t let you go, my beautiful slave, it’s no better than suicide. Elves! Do you think you will be able to rest when you dream of me so far away, where I can’t make your dreams and nightmares a reality?”

Abruptly, the elf stood up. It seemed he couldn’t rest after all. He walked back to the beach and stood looking out to sea thoughtfully, with something in his eyes that could be called longing.

“When you think back, and I know you do, you feel that jewel in your hand again.”

As if directed, he looked at his palm. He looked and it seemed he saw something else there. He closed his fist tightly and once more gazed out to the horizon.

“Do you really think they want you over there? Unforgiven, forgotten by all but me, and I believe as you once did – that you were right. You could be someone else, if you ever made the choice. And I would be with you forever.”

Now he was back at his work. It was nearly done, and he stopped to sigh and shake his head. He mumbled something to himself.

“Why don’t you give in? Make the decision you made once before, and belong to me in truth. How many centuries will I need to convince you of who and what you are? Mine.”

Maglor went back to his work with a weary sigh. He had spent so long staring out to sea, praying for them to speak to him, so that he could ask for their forgiveness. He was beginning to believe that they would never answer. Perhaps in their eyes, he didn’t deserve anything more than ignorance. If he died trying to cross the sea, then so be it. He would find himself in Mandos, and would have to pay for his mistakes there. Eventually, one way or another, and however long it took, he would return home.

Then, so slowly he couldn’t say for sure when he first noticed it, he became aware of a quiet whispering. It was barely audible over the sound of the gentle waves that broke onto the sand a short distance away. The tide was fully in now, and Maglor closed his eyes to listen better, feeling a kind of peace steal over him when the whisperings became definite voices in his mind.

The voices were no louder though, and it gave Maglor the disturbing impression that it was they who had been waiting for him to listen, rather than him listening for them to speak. He shook his head, trying to shake off the feeling, and listened.

Makalaurë, we have been waiting for you… He hears us at last!… There is forgiveness in his heart… Yes, listen, and ask…

In his mind a great image rose unbidden as he tried to formulate the words he wanted to say. That after all he had done, he was so desperately sorry for his crimes, that he took the responsibility for them upon himself, and that he wished only for peace in his soul. It seemed they didn’t need to hear his words to see his desire. But then, why should they? It was written on his heart and soul for them to see.

You are tired… He wishes to rest… He wishes for forgiveness…Come home to us, Makalaurë…

Maglor cried out in ecstasy as a vision came to him of home. After all this time! And he remembered it so well; every tree and leaf and blade of grass. But not well enough. He had forgotten how glorious it was, how perfect, how peaceful. Oh, so peaceful! He fell to his knees, and felt the warm sand beneath him as something else. He sank into cool, green grass. When he looked up he saw the perfect sky above him. Please, let me return, his soul begged.

This was always yours… We waited for you… For you to hear us…For you to have mercy on your own heart…

Maglor became confused, even in his happiness. There was an unspoken question in their words. As if commanded, his mind gave them the answer, and Maglor moaned in regret as the first thoughts of Sauron came to his mind. For a while he had completely forgotten about his time with the dark lord. Now everything came flooding back for their perusal. Every hour of every day of every year of every century. “Please,” he gasped. They couldn’t want to see all this, surely? They had seen it before… hadn’t they?

So alone, Makalaurë… So lonely there… He hurts!… He suffers so!

Maglor moaned as the visions continued. One after the other, until he was sure he must lose consciousness or go mad. And always, there was Sauron, taking pleasure from him in every way he could. Taking his body, tormenting his mind, playing with his emotions. “No more…” Maglor moaned helplessly beneath it all. For a moment the hope he had kept and treasured even during the darkest moments of his imprisonment shone in him, and then, quite suddenly, the visions stopped.

How could you believe we required such a sacrifice?… We would not see this happen to you… We would take you as you were…We loved Makalaurë before…

Maglor began to cry at this simple assurance, feeling the weight of his guilt lifted from him, and he only became aware of himself speaking after a few minutes. His lips moved without his knowledge, and he found himself thanking them over and over again. So relieved, and yet so sad. He felt their sympathy for him. They shared his pain.

Makalaurë… Let us take these things away from you… They are too heavy for your soul… Forget what you have suffered…You were never meant to live through such things…

In a part of himself, he recognised what they were trying to offer him, and he reached out with his soul and his heart to take it gladly, but his mind wasn’t in it. Maglor shivered in the throes of the vision he was being given, as he became conscious of something he already knew, but didn’t want to admit.

He really had been alone!

There is no need to be alone anymore… Come back home… Allow us to heal you… We can take the pain away…

There was no trick in their words, there was nothing hidden, but Maglor couldn’t reach out to them anymore. His mind circled around one thought, even when he was given the dream of Valinor again. He saw everything they promised, and still he couldn’t be rid of the hesitation. I have been all alone. He thought back over all his time with Sauron, and saw it all as it was. No one had been watching him. He saw himself caught in the web of some giant spider, and no one would have saved him from the monster. He had not only been left to die, he had been left to that. Forever.

He thought further, about what exactly they wanted him to forget, and Maglor had no use for the millennia he had spent as Sauron’s plaything. Or did he? Something in his heart demanded that he not let it go so easily, and he tried to understand why. He didn’t really love Sauron, did he? No, it wasn’t that. And he didn’t need those memories, did he? A little uncertainty. The memories themselves were painful, and useless, but it was what they meant. Maglor for the first time considered the fact that he had forgiven himself. What had led to it? And all of a sudden he knew. What he had endured at Sauron’s hands was so absolute. It was beyond any punishment he would have chosen for himself. They might not require the sacrifice, but he did. And he knew that were he to allow them to take away these experiences, they would fall silent to him anyway. He had to make a choice between his own forgiveness, and theirs. And if he chose theirs, nothing would change. He would still wander, unable to return home. Alone, forgotten, and unforgiven.

Suddenly Maglor saw it in all its perfection; he saw the trap Sauron had set for them all. He couldn’t afford to let his past go; and as their voices began again, Maglor silenced them with a single, thundering shout. “No!”

Maglor collapsed fully onto the ground, sobbing. Slowly, the outside world came back. He realised he was lying on the warm sand in the heated caress of the sun. The voices had gone; all that remained was the sound of the sea, and the whispering of the waves on the shoreline. He knew he would not hear the voices again. They were still there, probably trying to catch his attention even now, but he couldn’t listen. He wouldn’t hear them again unless he forgave them for leaving him alone, and even then he would not be free to return. Maglor had always believed that he would eventually return home, but now he knew the truth was never certain. Despite wanting him to hear them, they hadn’t been watching. He would have remained with Sauron until the end of the world if it had been up to them. Alone, lost and forgotten. And without a doubt he knew they would do it again. Whatever he did now, and wherever he went, they would not intervene. He was forgotten.

The elf on the beach was crying He was on his knees at the side of the boat that would never take him anywhere, crying in the afternoon sun, alone and forgotten.

“One day you will give in to me. And how they will fear you, Maglor. They will never forget you again.”

With tears still in his eyes, he looked away from the sea and the boat and his plans. He looked towards the beginning of the woods, as if he was already there. He knew how far away his prison and home was, how much distance he had covered. Still, he looked as though he was waiting for someone to appear from the shadow of the trees. Or something.

“Come back where I can reach you, melethron nín…” Sauron breathed, waving his hands over the crystal, making his magic carry his very words to a beach where a lonely figure waited.

Suddenly Maglor tensed and he closed his eyes as though he were listening. Slowly he stood again and made his way to the trees, his work and his dream of sleep as forgotten as he was. He truly was going home.

“Come back to me.”

But he wasn’t forgotten, not completely, not by everyone.

Wordlessly, Maglor knelt at Sauron’s feet. He had heard the summons and had given in to it. Come back to me. He looked down. He had travelled so far, all the way back here, to him. And now he waited patiently.

“Choose it for yourself, mûl nín,” came the amused voice. Maglor looked up then, and as always caught his breath at the sight of the dark lord looking down at him. He truly did deserve to be worshipped. But he had something to say first, before his punishment. Something he wanted Sauron to know, something he intended to remember, even before the will of his Master.

“I don’t deserve this.” Sauron simply smiled at him, and there was something of long-awaited victory and triumph in it. Maglor looked away, confused.

“No, you don’t,” Sauron agreed enigmatically. He reached down and lifted Maglor’s chin, forcing him to make eye contact again. “Choose it for yourself,” he repeated, and Maglor began to cry silently in understanding. He knew what had happened, knew how the Valar had allowed Sauron to trap him, and he wasn’t sure whose side he was on. But he realised what Sauron had made him into – a slave. His slave. The dark lord had decided and created all of his desires, needs, and even his comforts. Sauron would spend forever giving him exactly what he had been taught to want, and sometimes exactly what he didn’t. But still, Maglor had chosen, by returning to this place; Sauron knew that just as well as he did. Never any secrets, not with him. Still, it felt so right to be on his knees before the dark lord, as always. Sauron waited for an answer.

“I could play for you, Herdir,” Maglor suggested eventually.

“Yes, I think I will enjoy that. You will suffer for my pleasure alone, as you always did.” Sauron pulled him to his feet, and then there was a kiss. The strange tenderness always felt like such a contradiction, coming from him. But it didn’t last, nothing did. He wore the clothes he found waiting for him on his return, after he had cleaned and prepared himself to face his Master. They were the same sheer and flimsy garments that Sauron had allowed him to wear before. It was the work of moments for Sauron to take them from him. He stood before the dark lord, unsure and certain at the same time, feeling that gaze move over him. He couldn’t help but be excited by his regard and Sauron smirked.

Sauron lifted him, and sat him on the desk. Maglor hardly dared breathe when the dark lord began to stroke his hardness with his hand, kissing his neck, and then suckling on his nipples. Maglor let his head fall back and tried desperately to ignore what was happening to him, aware that he wasn’t allowed to find release. But it was impossible to be ignorant when Sauron moved lower, now placing gentle kisses on his ribs and stomach, making him shiver and moan.

“Shh…” Sauron hushed him, and he concentrated on keeping silent, closing his eyes. So he didn’t see what was happening, and he couldn’t help but cry out when he felt Sauron’s lips and tongue replacing his hand. His eyes flew open and he looked down, just in time to see the dark lord taking him fully into his mouth. Hot, and slick. He felt the dark lord’s tongue sliding over his length again, and again. And his mouth, so welcoming, so perfectly tight when he sucked like that. He trembled now with the force of his desire, seeing his Master’s lips moving up and down his shaft, feeling his tongue running over him. It was too much! But then a familiar voice came into his mind.

*Not yet… * the voice warned. *Stay exactly as you are, mûl nín.*

Maglor moaned inarticulately, unable to tear his eyes away from Sauron and what he was doing. He automatically raised his hands until he could twist his fingers in Sauron’s hair, not quite daring enough to pull him closer. That perfectly soft, black hair. And then he felt one of Sauron’s hands reaching beneath him, his fingers searching for entry inside him. He felt Sauron moan around his shaft when his first finger slipped in easily, because Maglor had prepared himself before coming here.

Herdir… Aulendil, please…” Maglor gasped in excruciating need as Sauron began to massage him inside, the sensations so intense that the holding back began to hurt. But the dark lord didn’t let up, he carried on sucking and licking, taking Maglor deep into his throat each time. Carried on massaging, rhythmic and sustained. Maglor was moving mindlessly now, alternately thrusting into his Master’s mouth, and then moving back, only to feel Sauron’s fingers rubbing deep inside him. He tried desperately to hold back, afraid of the punishment, but he couldn’t. And he felt his orgasm rising in him, completely out of his control, despite Sauron’s order to wait. All he was and ever would be was centred in one place, his existence narrowed to a single point. It was as though Sauron wanted him to disobey. He did!

His climax came then, and he cried out, finally passing that smallest instant of time. Too late! He thought incoherently, and then realised it didn’t matter. As soon as he had the thought, he surrendered himself, almost unaware of Sauron encouraging him, swallowing his seed greedily. He called out Sauron’s true name over and over, feeling each wave of pleasure washing over him as it slowly dimmed, leaving him floating and breathless, weakened and barely conscious. He had fallen back, and now his weight rested entirely on Sauron’s arm. It felt as though his blood had been replaced with warm honey, and it moved through his veins slowly, lazy and languid. He half opened his eyes just in time to see the dark lord licking the last traces of his essence from his lips, still kneeling before him at the desk, and the sight made him groan. For a long minute or two there was silence, and Maglor was the first to break it.

“Thank you, Herdir,” he breathed, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had made the right decision, surprised that he could still form the words. Things were different now. Maglor almost looked forward to forever. He thought back to their very first meeting on the beach. Perspective – hadn’t that been a promise too?

Sauron smirked at him, amused, and now he remembered Sauron’s threat, but Maglor didn’t have the strength left in him to react. He simply watched, and then listened, finally understanding how this would work from now on.

“Thank you?” he asked mockingly, deliberately taking his words the wrong way. “Did I give you permission?”

“No, Hîr nín,” he returned, already sorry for it.

“And what is the punishment for that?” Sauron asked, cruelly taunting him.

Now Maglor did shiver, it was fitting to do so. But he wordlessly held out the hands that felt heavy and useless, giving himself over to his Master, choosing it. He had no God; by rejecting the Valar and his home, he had rejected Ilúvatar. He had no friends, and no enemies. He had no sins to be forgiven for, and no guilt. Why didn’t it feel like freedom? Sauron took his hands and he knew. He did have a God, and a friend, and an enemy. Someone to please or anger with his deeds. He would never be free, but he didn’t want to be. Not anymore. He was being given a comfort that Sauron would never bestow on the world. The dark lord stood up and chuckled, seemingly satisfied to take that as a reply, and led Maglor slowly away to the fate he had planned for him from the beginning, when he had heard the question: “Are you my punishment?”

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.

Story Information

Author: pippychick

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Drama

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 11/01/06

Original Post: 10/18/06

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