2. Chapter 2
He groaned in pure exhaustion as the last council of the day ended. Enviously, he thought of his dear friend Elrond, who had a highly capable co-ruler in Erestor. The same held true for his kinsman, Amroth, who had Galadriel's experience to bolster his rule. But Thranduil Oropherion was alone.
"Ada," he muttered as he stretched to relieve his cramped muscles, "I do wonder whatever possessed you with a need to build a kingdom in a forest. The seashore would have been infinitely better."
The seashore, he sighed, his father had lain with his mother only once. On the seashore. He took a deep drink of the leftover wine on the council table and then hurried off to his father's chambers. After throwing cursory glances about, he barricaded himself within and went over to sit at Oropher's desk.
I have seen Lord Ingwion. He refused to let me meet the lady, his daughter. However, I was able to gain permission to see the elfling.
She has named him Thranduil. Celeborn, you know how unaffected I am by elflings and their antics. But this babe is different. I was shocked when I saw those bright, inquisitive, emerald eyes regarded me for the first time, unafraid and fiery. It snapped some long held barricade within my soul. I reached out to touch those golden curls so reverently that I am sure none of my friends would have recognized me. The child resembles Oropher, I daresay. Yet in him is a curious mix of bloodlines. I have seen Ingwë, High-King before the great waters of the Awakening. Thranduil has something of Ingwë's spirit.
Seeing the child smile at me toothlessly was probably the crowning moment of my happiness. I was so relieved that he was not scared of my beard, indeed, he seemed to find it extremely amusing! And I was warmed by his fearlessness. Suffice it to say that I am sure Ingwë will forgive them when he sees the babe.
But there is one thing I am worried about. The child cannot sleep in peace. Nightmares. Why would so young a soul have nightmares? Pray, do not tell Oropher this, for I am worried for him as it is. For now, I must rush to my ships. Lady Carnilótë has been absolved of her marriage vows by the Valar. So she is returning west. While her daughter, is of an age to understand the matters, she has a newborn babe too. She leaves without even giving him a name, for that keen she is to be rid of her former spouse, Maglor Fëanorion. I am not sure if he knows of his son's existence. But I am holding true to the promise I have made to his brother and I shall foster the child as mine.
Thranduil smiled wistfully at Círdan's description of the babe. Maybe that explained why the mariner had always held a soft spot for him. And he cursed Erestor's mother once again. How could she leave as she had? Círdan had been an excellent foster-father, but Thranduil suspected that desertion by both the parents had a great part in Menelwen's unhappiness. Of Erestor, he had no inkling of what the chief-counsellor thought of the matter. But his friend had always held hidden depths.
He proceeded onwards to the next letter, which bore a seal that he well knew.
"To The Prince Oropher of Doriath
I have the gravest reservations about your marriage proposal to my granddaughter. I have lost both my grandsons in this war and I shall not abide losing my granddaughter. That you have bonded to her in secret, without informing her kith or kin is an injustice indeed. But that she carried within her life you had created! I cannot possibly forgive you for this, I will never understand how presumptuous you are, to dare to love the fairest flower of Valinor; to keep her away from what is home? I shall not allow this. She comes with her father to my realm. Bury your love and bonds as you care, if you stay in Middle Earth. If you cross the sea, with your offspring, I cannot promise you acceptance, or the custody of your child. No heir of mine shall be brought up by Moriquendi, if I have yet a say.
Thranduil pressed his fingers to his closed eyes and massaged them wearily. Ingwë's displeasure, he could well understand. Thranduil was fairly sure that if he had a child, who had bonded to another in secret, he would react the same way. But if Ingwë had threatened less, perhaps…
"I write this under grave circumstances. I leave at sunrise tomorrow. Oropher, I can never beg your forgiveness. But I have no choice. They threaten to separate you from our son forever. I cannot let them do that. Our child is as much a part of you as of me. Even if you sail now, when you do not have the seacall, they might not let us live together. I could not bear it. Seeing you, not touching you. Meeting your gaze, but never smiling. And our child, our child shall not grow up as an orphan, cloistered within my family, knowing neither father nor mother.
For the best of us all, I beg of you. Take our son, raise him as befits a scion of Elu Thingol and Melian, and of Ingwë. Let him be the reason why my kin shall seek our forgiveness for this turmoil they cause us. Let him be a beacon amongst our races. Let him be the best of you and I.
At each sunrise, I shall wait upon the harbours of Alqualonde, keeping watch for a ship that shall bear me my love and my son. Come to me when your work here is done. For me there shall ever be only you.
It was but one night, but to my aching soul, the memories shall last an eternity and more.
Thranduil pressed the rich parchment to his nostrils as if seeking to capture some long-buried scent. The paper had known his mother's tears, the paper had known his mother's touch. A hastily stifled harsh, choking sound escaped him.
The sun rose slowly above the trees, bathing the miserably huddled figure seated at the desk in golden warmth. Yet even the heat of the sun could not warm his soul.
"I shall never watch a sunrise again", he cursed as he rose to his feet and stormed out.
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.