10. Chapter 9
With the lack of a sunset, Lindir did not realize how late it had become; he had been writing in his journal. He looked up briefly and saw the gray day had given way to the blackest night the young minstrel ever encountered. Maglor had not returned yet and Lindir grew worried; Maglor had eaten little for breakfast and missed lunch altogether. The silver haired elf carefully placed his writing things in his pack and stood. He was not about to let Maglor miss another meal…or avoid him as he had today.
With confident strides, Lindir headed to the jetty. At first, he could not see Maglor and his heart dropped as panic seized him. Running to cover the distance, the young elf was relieved to see a huddled form at the point. Slowing down and carefully picking his way across the wet stones, Lindir’s panic returned. Maglor was on his knees, curled into a tight ball, shaking like a leaf. Something was not right. In the past week, he had seen many moods come over the dark haired elf; he knew Maglor mourned and cried each day, but not once did he ever stay out so late, or look so distraught. Making his way as quickly as possible, Lindir came upon the sobbing elf. Without thought, the minstrel dropped to his knees and enveloped Maglor in a tight embrace. Whatever lament Maglor was saying was drowned out by the roar of the ocean.
“Maglor,” Lindir whispered into a delicate ear. “Shhh, Maglor, it is me. Come, it is cold and wet.” Lindir made to stand, but the older elf held him in place, shaking his head vehemently. In a voice that would have made Lord Erestor proud, Lindir gave the elf a little shake. “Maglor, look at me.”
Maglor lifted tear-filled eyes to look into the eyes of a Teler. He was not seeing, or thinking clearly. Reality had fled. Grabbing at Lindir’s clothing, he began to beg,
“Forgive me. Please, I beg of you. I tried…I tried to stop the madness but could not. Please forgive me.” The troubled elf had reached hysteria by this point.
“Maglor, it is me…” Lindir tried to get the elf to focus; however, Maglor’s eyes were seeing only the past.
Letting go of the silver elf, Maglor fell prostrate before the stunned minstrel.
“I beg you to be swift and end it. But please forgive me.” Maglor repeated this continuously, like a mantra. Lindir did not know what to do. He stood and attempted to grab Maglor’s arm. The darkling elf shied away, lost in the past. Lindir thought to smack him across the face but figured, given the situation, it would not help. Closing his eyes, he sent a prayer for guidance.
‘Forgive him…’ a female’s voice whispered in his head. ‘You have the ability to heal him…show him forgiveness.’
‘But there is nothing for me to forgive!’ Lindir thought.
‘Not in *your* mind or heart, but in his…’ Lindir felt a small gust of wind as he opened up his eyes. Maglor had not moved and continued to beg for forgiveness.
Taking a deep breath, Lindir spoke, “I forgive you.” He repeated it louder to make certain the devastated elf heard him. “I FORGIVE YOU!”
Maglor looked up in shock. The pain and guilt reflected there caused tears to sting the young ones eyes; it took all of Lindir’s will power to not let them fall. Crouching down and helping a stunned Maglor to his knees, Lindir repeated himself again. “You are forgiven.” He locked eyes with Maglor and poured all the peace, affection, care and forgiveness into his words.
Maglor cocked his head, “Forgiven?’ he whispered.
Maglor reached out his hand to gently caress Lindir cheek before he closed his eyes and fell forward into Lindir’s arms.
“Maglor?” He shook the elf…nothing. “Maglor!?” he called again louder…nothing. ‘No…NO’ he thought. He held the unconscious elf tightly. ‘You cannot die. Please do not die.’ As an emotional wave hit him, the tears finally left the violet eyes. Using all the strength and determination he had, Lindir managed to carry his charge back to the cave.
Setting Maglor down gently, Lindir turned to stoke the small fire. Looking down at the unconscious elf, Lindir gently reached for the ties at the darkling elf’s throat. He removed Maglor’s wet cloak and hung it to dry. Maglor’s shirt was also wet and since he began to shiver, Lindir thought it best to remove it; the wet pants would have to go as well.
Lindir’s hands shook was he gently manipulated the other elf. Maglor neither made a sound nor woke as he carefully pulled the shirt over the dark head. Laying the elf back down, he hesitated before reaching for the laces on Maglor’s pants. Pulling them off, he could not help taking an appreciating look at the body before him. Lindir felt that heat and tingling sensation again seeing Maglor lying in only his loin cloth. All he wanted was to run his hands over the strong thighs and up the lean stomach…under different circumstances, he reminded himself.
Maglor was beautiful. This thought made Lindir blush. Maglor had seen him in the same state. The minstrel was not a warrior. He was lean, much more suited to running than swordplay. He did not have a defined physique and thought his body average. Still he wondered what went through Maglor’s mind at the time. ‘Probably something along the lines of - this child should go home to his mother,’ Lindir’s mind teased.
Why would a prince…up until now, Lindir had completely forgotten that Maglor was technically a prince of the Noldor…why would he want someone like you when he could have the likes of Lord Glorfindel? That thought put a stop to all other, more enjoyable thoughts. He rolled Maglor on his side, facing the fire, and covered him with both blankets.
The female’s whispered words came back to him, ‘show him forgiveness’. Spooning behind him, the young elf pulled Maglor as close to his chest as possible, tucking the dark head under his chin. When the Noldo woke, Lindir would make certain that Maglor understood he was forgiven. Lindir would do whatever it took to convince him. Maglor’s back felt like fire against Lindir’s chest and the poor minstrel could not help but notice how soft Maglor’s skin felt beneath his fingers. Oh, this was not good…and certainly not right, he chastised himself. Maglor was in some unconscious state and Lindir’s body decided to show its approval at the near nakedness pressed firmly against him. Taking a deep breath to center himself, Lindir emptied his mind and focused on keeping vigil that night, singing or humming softly.
Maglor felt as if a great boulder had been lifted off his chest. He felt warm and safe, free from guilt for the first time in…well, since the Kinslaying. He quickly realized that he was in Lindir’s embrace, clothed only in his loin cloth. The older elf thought hard, but could not remember how he came to be that way. He knew Estë had visited him, but after that, nothing. Closing his eyes, he savored the closeness. He could stay like this forever. Maglor sighed, ‘what was he thinking?’ Lindir probably had a lover waiting for him or maybe he did not like ellyn in that way. Maglor’s sigh woke Lindir.
“Maglor?” Lindir whispered. His breath against Maglor’s ear caused the dark haired elf to shiver. “Are you still chilled? I will fetch your clothing.”
Before Maglor could object, the warm body left him…now, he *was* chilled. Maglor sat up and accepted the clothing. He dressed himself as Lindir prepared breakfast. Lindir tried to focus on the food, but seeing Maglor stand to put on his leggings caused a small gasp to escape.
“Are you alright?” Maglor turned to the minstrel.
“um…Yes… I just…Here, you must be famished.” Lindir stumbled over his words, thrusting a plate at the other elf. Maglor smiled softly and Lindir found his body again responding in a most obvious was.
“I will fetch some fresh water.” He quickly said. “Eat.” The minstrel all but ran from the cave, leaving a rather confused Maglor. Shrugging, the dark haired elf began to devour his breakfast.
Lindir had to get out, get hold of himself. He could not understand what was happening. Actually, yes he could and that was what frightened him. Maglor was such a tormented soul and all Lindir could think about was how wonderful it would feel to be buried deep inside the other elf. Lindir shook his head and mumbled to himself as he made the trek to the fresh water spring. Reaching it, Lindir knelt down to fill the flasks.
‘Great, Lindir,’ he mumbled, ‘develop feelings for someone who would not give you a second look.’
Lindir froze. He did not just hear a giggle. ‘I really need to get my imagination in check’ Lindir said to himself. ‘Maglor is going to think I have lost my mind. Oh, but the images I can envision involving him…’ Lindir was so busy talking to himself he never noticed the presence of another.
*giggle* “And what, pray tell, images of the dark one do you have?”
Lindir stood and spun in one move, then stood there with his mouth open. He swallowed hard. “Who are you?” He hesitantly asked.
The elleth laughed again. It was the purest sound Lindir had ever heard. “I am exactly who you think me to be.”
Lindir eyed her up and down. “If that were the case, then I would have fallen to my…”Lindir’s eyes nearly popped from their sockets. The stunned minstrel found himself gazing into eyes that held the stars of the heaven. He dropped to his knees before the Great Lady.
Varda laughed again. “I told you I was who you thought.” She said, with mirth in her voice. “Get up, penneth. I wish to speak to you.” Lindir stood but kept his eyes lowered. “Am I that unpleasant to look upon?” Lindir looked up in shock and found the fair face…smirking. “Now,” the Lady spoke, “You desire Maglor, yes?”
Too stunned to say anything, the minstrel only nodded.
“Good. He needs someone, although he would deny it to the end.” Lindir continued to stare. “You have a question.” She stated it, not asked it. Again, Lindir could only nod. “Then ask it, pen dithen. It is the only way to get the answers you want.”
Taking a moment to center himself and find the appropriate words, Lindir asked his question. “Why are the Valar so interested in Maglor, and me, for that matter? First your husband sends me a clue; now when I think about it, I believe it was Ulmö who tried to drown me…”
The lady held up a finger, “Not drown you--just get Maglor to respond.” Lindir could not help the skeptical look that found a place on his face. Varda giggled. The Children of Ilúvatar were such emotional creatures.
She picked up were he left off, “Námo refused to let Maglor fade, then Estë visited with Maglor last night giving him rest. She also guided you. Irmo has been weaving his own ideas into Maglor’s dreams.”
Lindir did not know what to do or what to say to all this. It was all so…odd.
“Maglor is hard-headed like his father. Stubbornness runs strong in that family. However, the point is that Maglor has served his penance, self imposed isolation for well over four millennia. The curse of the Noldor no longer applies to him but he refuses to see. Did you know that Manwë sent him an offer of absolution centuries ago and he refused it? Maglor cannot heal until he accepts forgiveness. Then he will be able to forgive himself and love again.”
The gleam in her eye made Lindir blush. She moved to stand directly in front of the minstrel. “Yes, we know your feelings for him.” Lindir was crimson all the way to the points of his ears. The Valië giggled as she walked past him. Stopping briefly, the Lady whispered in Lindir’s ear. “He will not make the first move…” She stepped away and vanished; only her laughter lingered.
Lindir swallowed. Did a Vala just imply he should…His eyes went wide and then he smirked…
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