14. Chapter 13
Maglor looked down at his now sleeping lover. 'I wish I could go with you, but it is just not possible.' He thought. With a sigh, he let himself drift into what he expected to be a restless sleep.
Maglor found himself in Irmo's garden again.
"Never made it to the stream did you?"
Maglor turned to find the Vala of Dreams perched on the lowest branch of a mighty oak tree. The Vala had shed his robes in favor of pewter leggings and a silver shirt. His opalescent hair and eyes unnerved the Noldo, so Maglor quickly bowed his head. Irmo smiled.
"I've had enough of this cloak-and-dagger business." In one swift movement, Irmo jumped from the tree, landing soundlessly before the startled elf. Maglor looked up into the shining eyes.
"I know, you do not understand. Well, let me explain it to you… without all the mystical stuff." He waved his hand in the air. Irmo gently touched the confused elf, indicating that Maglor should walk with the Vala.
"You have a problem: How to stay with your soul mate and make everyone happy." Maglor nodded in agreement. The Vala continued without pause. "You were supposed to figure all this out yourself. The young minstrel did. Unfortunately for you, he woke you before you could refresh yourself at my stream, thereby gaining this knowledge. Moreover, you decided to avoid the subject by making intense love to him. Now, the little one's solution is for you to accompany him back to Imladris. To him it is as clear as day, but you never gave him a chance to explain how this plan would work."
"His solution is not possible." Maglor interrupted. The Lord of Dreams stopped and rolled his eyes.
"And why is that?" He asked sarcastically.
Maglor began to loose his patience with the Vala and it showed in his voice. "You know exactly why!"
"No," Irmo said, "I do not. Explain it to me."
Maglor's eyes went wide. He could not be having this conversation. With a heavy sigh, Maglor answered, "I am a Kinslayer. I will not be welcome in any elven realm; it would only bring Lindir more heartache."
Irmo sighed dramatically. "You know you are the Son of Feanor, as does Lindir. Tell me who else has such knowledge?"
Maglor stared dumbfounded.
"By Manwe's eagles, child, think! Who, on all of Arda, is left that could recognize you?" When Maglor did not respond, the exasperated Vala began to spell it out very slowly. 'And these are supposed to be the wise children...?' He thought to himself.
"All right. Sit, and I will make it very simple for you." The Vala gracefully dropped to the grass; Maglor followed suit.
"Now, I can tell you all this because *if* you had drank from the stream, this conversation would not need to happen. The only people left on Arda who would know the Sons of Feanor are Cirdan, the shipwright, a generous soul who understands that *all* things happen in accordance with Ilúvatar song. Then there is the one now called Galadrial, she is as innocent as you in the whole rebellion-kinslaying matter, and she married, of all people, the Prince of Doriath and rules a realm. Furthermore, she gave her daughter in marriage to a Noldo, Elrond Half-elven. Which brings me to the last person…" here the Vala paused, cocked his head and thought for a moment, "…well, almost last person, but we will not bother with Gildor. He minds his own business. Therefore, as I was saying, Elrond is left. The child you saved after the sack on the havens. The one you taught and loved as your own; you know, you were more of a father than Earendil ever was. Elrond loved you as a son would his father. He never forgot that love and saw the goodness deep within your heart. You know, he still misses you. He would have stayed with you all those millennia ago if you had bothered to ask his feelings on the matter. Ah, well, what is done is done."
Maglor tried to follow Irmo's words. He knew there was a solution in all of this, somewhere; if the Vala would just slow down!
Irmo fixed the dark-haired elf with a stare. "You still do not see the solution?" He asked incredulously. Maglor hung his head and mumbled a soft "no." The opal eyes regarded the creature before him. Irmo's heart bled. The poor elf was so distraught that the clever mind Ilúvatar gifted him with did not work properly. The Vala reached out, gently raised Maglor's chin with his finger and was shocked to see tears shimmering. Taking pity on the elf, Irmo gave the elf a reassuring smile.
"Those who knew you, Son of Feanor, will know of your repentance and subsequent forgiveness. None shall question the word of the Valar. You are no longer the person you were. Look deep inside and you will know that to be true. Therefore, I give you a new name. Hmmm… what to call you? Ah! I know, Gaerlinn! I like it. Now, your background… Ah yes, you are a minstrel that Lindir studied with. That is true enough. You burned your hand when you picked up a hot item and it was not tended too properly… again true. Your family has left Arda; which is also…" The Vala paused and winked at the elf. He could see Maglor's mind processing everything.
"True," Maglor finished. A brilliant smile lit Maglor's face as he finally caught on.
"They are not lies, just ambiguous facts!" Maglor was amazed at the relative simplicity of it all. "I go by a new name and leave the past cloudy. I will confront those from my past if the need arises. I can return with Lindir to Imladris! I can bind with him!"
"Well…" Irmo had the grace to blush.
Maglor eyed the Vala suspiciously. "Well what?"
With a sheepish grin Irmo replied, "You already, well, are, in a manner of speaking, bound to the minstrel."
Before Maglor could respond, he found himself engulfed in cool mist and soon drifted into darkness.
When Maglor's eyes gained awareness, he was back in his cave. His precious lover lay safe in his embrace. And he finally found, well, more like was told, the solution… he chuckled as he thought of his, very one-sided, conversation with the Vala of Dreams. His chuckling woke Lindir.
With a yawn and a stretch Lindir glanced up at his lover's beaming face. "Good morning."
"Yes it is!" was all Maglor said before claiming Lindir's lips in a bruising kiss. All Lindir could do was moan and melt into the embrace.
Gently rolling the slighter elf onto his back, Maglor settled above him and kissed the minstrel breathless. Lindir's periwinkle eyes stared up into aquamarine orbs filled with joy.
"What has happened to bring you such joy?"
Maglor smirked, "You prefer me sad?"
"No!" Lindir shook his head vehemently, "I just never thought to see joy truly shine from you eyes."
"Well, what happened to bring me such joy is *you* my lovely young elf." He gave a lopsided grin and continued, "Okay, the Valar had a part in it as well." He bent down again to capture rose-petal-soft lips again. The kiss was gentle and sweet; Maglor poured every ounce of love he could into the kiss. When he pulled away, he saw total bliss reflected on his lover's face.
Lindir reached a hesitant hand out to stroke a soft cheek. His movements were slow and the touch no more than a butterfly's kiss. He so feared that this was a dream and soon reality would awaken him. But no, what he felt physically and emotionally was real. He could feel Maglor's honest joy.
"I am confused. What exactly does all this mean?" He asked.
The older elf studied the younger a moment before answering. "It means that I care deeply for you and would like to pursue these feelings. Also, if the offer still stands, I would like to return with you."
Lindir stared, awestruck. Maglor had just agreed to return to Imladris with him. He had definitely slept through something. Seeing the stunned confusion on the minstrel's face, Maglor began to explain. He told of his conversation with Irmo and the solution the Vala had given and the new name. The only thing he left out was the part about being bound together; he was not quite sure what that exactly Irmo meant. With each sentence, the minstrel's smile grew bigger until, by the end of Maglor's tale, Lindir had a ridiculously silly smile plastered on his face. Reaching up with both hands, the younger elf grabbed hold of the midnight tresses on either side of Maglor's head and painfully pulled the Noldo down for a very possessive kiss. When they broke for air, the pair was laughing.