1. Reach For The Stars
The skies over Imladris are clear this night. Not only can I look down upon its master; but its master can see me. Or at least Elrond can see my ship.
He has not seen my person for so long that I am lost to his memory as well as his waking mind.
I try each eve and morn to send forth my own hope, along with the Silmaril's glow, to all the free-hearted folk of Middle-earth, those who look beyond Sauron's tyranny and those who fight it. And I try oft times to bestow something more than the Jewel's brightness, to send forth my own love to those I had to leave behind.Can you hear me, my son?
I see Elrond now, so far below me but clearly visible to my enhanced sight. He is tall and both Elven-fair and handsome in the fashion of Men. His visage resembles Turgon's more than mine, an echo of my lost grandsire. And he is more than that. Elrond has his mother's eyes, said to be the eyes of Dior the Beautiful, inherited from Lúthien herself; starlit eyes that gentle the lean Noldorin lines of his face.
He has my hands: powerful, long-fingered mariner's hands. I have watched him use them to kill and to heal. These days, Elrond devotes himself gladly to the healer's art, while fostering Dúnedain princes and welcoming travelers.
Do you know how proud I am of you, my son?
How can he know? The old bitterness rises. I tell myself once more that if I had not sailed away from Middle-earth to seek the Valar's aid, both my sons and countless others would have eventually fallen to Morgoth's forces. I tell myself that Elros and Elrond were reared well by others, and have had good lives. I can even believe what the songs say; that I brought Hope to men. Yet even while doing my part to save the Elves and Men threatened by Morgoth, I did not do right by my sons. They should not have had to learn so young that some choices, while necessary, are cruel.
But this wound is ancient and will never heal. I take my thoughts away from it to look upon my son. The Ages pass; and Elrond remains a tower of strength to the Free Peoples. He lifts his eyes up, and pulls something out from under his cloak. I sharpen the resolution of the scope; to better see him. Why, it is a child!
Elrond has brought many children to the cliff above Imladris, from his own twin sons and daughter to his brother's distant heirs. This is the first time since the infancy of Valandil Isildurion that Elrond has taken in this young a lad. So Celebrían told me herself of Elrond's relations with his brother's distant kin. The child wears Elven-woven vestments rather than the coarser garb of the proud Dúnedain. I watched, only a few months past, the evening-time arrival in Imladris of the same small boy and his sad-eyed young mother, escorted by my grandsons.
Elrond lifts the lad high in his arms and points to the sky. Though I cannot hear, I see the kindness on Elrond's face. He holds the child gently but firmly. Where did he learn how? Not from me; I was not home long enough for my little sons to know me. Perhaps from Maglor, the kinslayer who held Elros and Elrond in his sheltering arms. I know that it is my ship Elrond sees, my ship of which he speaks to the young one. They call it Gil-Estel, the star of High Hope.
The child struggles; I think he wants something. Elrond laughs, then shifts his grip on the boy and raises him up above his head, saying something. The boy lifts his hands, looking intently up toward me. His arms straighten and stretch, as if he would pull the Star of Hope down into them.
Reach, son of my son! I cannot bring you an army of the Valar to battle Sauron. I cannot give you a mighty sword or even a song. But I will give you hope, and pray it will light all of your days!
I whisper a prayer to Varda and make the necessary calculations. The ship trembles as I manipulate the dials, causing the Flammifer to draw on the inexhaustible power of the Silmaril. The Flammifer flashes a beacon of sustained Silmaril-light across the northern skies, if only for a few minutes. I turn quickly back to the scope and smile through sudden tears at the little boy's wonder and the grin on my son's face. For a moment, I glimpse the laughing infant that Elrond once was.
There is still hope, my son. And I will always watch over you.
I envision Eärendil's craft as something a bit more high-tech than a sailing ship; and the Flammifer as some kind of mechanism for the exterior dispersal of Silmaril-light.
I am not sure if the title has been used before by another fanfiction writer; if anyone knows of such a story, please let me know.
Special thanks to Linda Hoyland, Vilwarin, Clodia, Fishpaste, and Nieriel Raina (who also can be found at http://inthehalloffire.proboards.com/index.cgi) for editorial assistance.
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.