That night he heard a tap on his door.
"Who is it?" he asked although he knew already.
"'Tis I, Binya," she called. He reached under his mattress, then slowly withdrew his hand.
"Come in," he said suavely. The door flew open. Nothing hesitant about that girl. Shameless.
She wore black, the usual bracelets dripping from her arms, her hair taking fire in the candlelight.
"I missed you at dinner," he said with elaborate charm. She came and sat on the edge of his bed.
"What happened to Rimbrion?" she demanded.
"How would I know?" he said still in soft and smooth tones. "You said you were going to him. Did you make a nice meal of him?"
He shuddered inwardly even as he spoke.
"I did not see him last night," she said. "I said what I did, to provoke you."
"Did you?" he said even more softly. "So why do you care what became of him?"
"Because I think you had something to do with it," she said.
"Then why are you here?"
"To ask you."
"I had naught to do with anything that happened to him. He left, that's all I know. I know not where he is, and what's more, I care not. Now if you will excuse me, I'd like to get some sleep. I've a journey to begin tomorrow. Why don't you go follow Sauron around for a while."
She glared at him. "You said I belonged to you."
"And you said you were free," he retorted, looking her straight in the eye. "So. You are free to go anywhere you please and do what you like. So go and do it."
"Why do you hate me?" she asked looking a little sad. Sad puppy eyes. Shameless.
"Do not flatter yourself," he said. "You are not worth the trouble. I thought of killing you tonight. But I changed my mind. I have no feelings at all for you, neither love nor hate. Only indifference. Now go, before I change my mind again."
Then he noticed that she had let one strap of her gown fall down over her shoulder, and her left breast was almost all exposed.
"So you truly do not want me now?" she asked, low and seductive.
"Nay, I do not," he said. "Now or ever. And I know who and what you are, so your enticements will not work with me, if you were to let your gown fall and stand all naked before me. I am not such a fool as you think. Not now."
"Who and what I am?" She stood up now, and the other strap fell away also. She laughed a little.
"Aye," he said. "I know now why it is you and Drauglir are never in the room at the same time. Why it is he studies me so closely. Why your eyes seem so predatory sometimes. I thought he was a male...well, perhaps he is, but he can shift his shape into whatever he pleases, as I can with the cloak. You had me fooled, but I am not fooled any more. You are he. I suppose Sauron commanded you to seduce me in order to keep me here so he could turn me into a lesser version of himself. So. If you want to kill me, you may try, but I have something you cannot approach."
And he reached under the mattress for the dagger. Much to his chagrin, it was either not there or it was out of his reach. She stood staring at him, stunned, while he groped, looking most foolish, very likely.
"You think me Drauglir?" she said after a moment. Then, greatly to his relief, his hand touched the silver hilt.
"I know you are," he said brandishing the dagger dramatically. She drew back, baring her teeth a little, like a cat confronted with a dog. "I read the Book, you see. The wolves of this isle cannot shift their shapes...save for Drauglir. He was bred by Melkor, you see, who gave him the ability to shift. I see how you shrink from this dagger, which is mithril. You cannot tolerate it. That alone gives you away."
She laughed. "That is Rimbrion's dagger. That gives YOU away. You stole it from him."
"Aye, I stole it," he admitted. "But I did not send him to his fate. He left it here."
She laughed more, shrilly, almost as she had done in his nightmare. "Oh Gaergath," she gasped, "you little fool. I am not Drauglir. Although yes, I can shift my shape."
And before his eyes, she began to change, her face growing hairy and silvery, her eyes long and pointed, her arms covered with silvery fur. Her gown disappeared, and she had a long tail, and soon before him, on all fours, stood a magnificent she-wolf.
But she was not so big as Drauglir.
"Shall I call him in now?" she asked him, in a bestial version of her true voice.
He gripped the dagger, saying half-hysterically, "Get out of here! Before I slice you to bits!"
He lunged at the wolf, brandishing the weapon, and the beast backed off, snarling.
And then suddenly, Binya stood before him once more...stark naked save for the bracelets on her arms, the black gown lying at her feet. The pale beauty of her body was an obscene white flame before him.
"Drauglir is my father," she said.
And picking up the gown, she exited the room, slamming the door behind her, leaving him standing there with the dagger still in his uplifted hand.
"So, are you ready for your journey?" Sauron asked him in the morning. Drauglir was nowhere in sight.
"As ready as I'll ever be, I suppose," Gaergath said sullenly. He noticed Sauron holding a cloak on his arm.
There was something familiar about it. Something in the scent.
"You will need this," Sauron said. "Your cloak will not get you to Angband, if you do not know the way."
"But...you know the way," Gaergath stammered, and he knew why the cloak seemed familiar.
"I do," Sauron said smiling a little, "but I shall not be going with you. You will make the journey alone."
"Aye. If you wear this, it will take you right to Angband. However, you will have to find your way back on foot. It does not get you back here automatically." Sauron took something from his doublet, a folded piece of parchment. "You will need this. It is a map that will lead you back here. I made it myself, so it will not be difficult to follow. I am having some viands packed for you for the trip back."
Gaergath was scarcely listening for looking at the cloak. Which was identical to Sauron's...with the claws hanging on the hem.
"This is hers," he said.
"It WAS hers," Sauron said with twinkling eyes. "It is yours now. See that you take care of it."
Drauglir came into the room.
"How did you get it?" Gaergath asked rather stupidly.
"I have ways," Sauron said loftily. "I went out there last night. I made love to Celirwen quite nicely, and then changed your cloak for hers. She did not notice, and likely will not until tonight, and she will be very angry and throw some nasty fits, of course, but you needn't worry on that score. You will be long gone by then."
The depraved have no shame, Gaergath thought, looking first at his father and then at Drauglir. Perhaps Drauglir was a she-wolf after all. Perhaps Sauron was Binya's father. Which meant she was Gaergath's sister. And Sauron knew it.
Gaergath took the cloak. It seemed almost alive in his arms. He caressed it as though it were an animal with soft fur.
"Is the food ready?" he asked.
"It is," Binya said as she entered the room smiling...the bag of Rimbrion's lembas cakes dangling in her hands, as Drauglir looked at her with fond pride in his red-gold eyes.
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.