17. Chapter 16
***In the Golden Wood***
Maglor stood with a bowed head before the rulers of Lothlorien. "My Lord and Lady," he greeted timidly.
Galadriel came to stand before the Noldo. Using two fingers, she lifted the lowered head and gazed into the deep eyes. Maglor opened his mind and let all defensive walls crumble before her probing.
"You have suffered greatly and repented your ways; however, you have not come to see me…" She stepped aside and allowed Celeborn to advance. The remorseful Noldo could not look the great lord in the eyes, instead staring at the floor.
"Look at me, Son of Feanor!" the Silver Lord commanded.
Lindir took a supportive step forward but was stayed by Galadriel. In his mind the minstrel heard her gentle voice, 'This is between them alone.'
"Why have you come here? Your kin is responsible for the destruction of my home and kin. Furthermore, you brought the Doom of the Noldor unto my wife."
Maglor looked up into the steel-blue eyes. "I regret those actions, had I your wisdom, perhaps I would have been able to sway my kin. As it was, my voice was ignored. I mourn my deeds and those of my kin always; to say 'I am sorry' seems too little to offer you. I do not dare ask your forgiveness for I certainly do not deserve it. I do wish to stand before you, accountable for past action, mine and my brothers."
Celeborn's gaze softened at the admission. Here stood a broken elf, willing to take the blame for his wrongs and the wrongs of his kin, for which he was not accountable. "Tell me, why do you come now? Millennia have passed."
Glancing quickly at his lover, Maglor turned back to the silver-haired lord. "My guilt and mourning held me prisoner. It was not that I feared your wrath, as it is justly due. I could not bear to accept my lot and face those I had wronged. Since then, I have met my rock, one who has given me the strength to face my past and get over it. I wish to start anew and cannot do that so long as the past smothers me like a blanket."
Celeborn looked at his wife. There was a silent conversation going on between them, but it was missed by Maglor. With a sigh, Celeborn responded. "You did not come here seeking forgiveness, but my heart has healed. Though I still mourn the loss, I am wise enough to know that elves can change. When I look upon you, I see remorse and a calmed spirit. You saved the one that became my daughter's husband, standing against your kin. You came here knowing you may well face the end of my sword…you did not ask it, but I will give it…I accept your apology. I cannot forget the past; however, I do not count you as an enemy. You are welcome in the Golden Wood."
Maglor dared a small smile, "You are most kind. That is more than I had hoped for." Glancing at Lindir for affirmation, he continued. "We do not plan to stay more that one night as we wish to cross the mountains before the snows come."
"Very well," Galadriel replied. "A servant will show you to lodging and see that you have a warm bath and food. I invite you to join Celeborn and myself for the evening meal." With that, a young elleth appeared to escort the weary elves to their room.
Celeborn stared after them. "It took great courage for him to stand before me. Yet, I saw the blessings of the Valar in his eyes. It is time to let go of the past. A greater darkness still lurks in this world."
Galadriel moved forward and embraced her husband. "I am proud of you, my love." She kissed him on the cheek and moved out of his arms. With a coy smile, she left the chamber.
Lindir and Maglor relished the feel of the warm water. They gently cleaned each others hair and things would have progressed to a far less innocent situation if not for the interruption of the servant, bringing clean robes and removing their dirty travel-stained ones.
"Dinner will be in an hour, my lords," she called as she quickly left the room.
Lindir giggled and left the tub. "I think we embarrassed her."
The elves dried off and dressed. They braided each other's hair, which Maglor found extremely calming. He was worried about dinner.
"Relax melethron." The silver haired elf said as he tied off the last braid. "All will be well."
Lindir was correct. The meal was pleasant and the conversation light. They retired early, for they planned to leave at dawn. That night Maglor slept in the protective embrace of his lover and all felt right in the world.
Elrond stared out the window, a parade of emotions going through him. Glorfindel had alerted him of Lindir's impending return. While he was happy to have the young elf back safely, he could not help the foreboding feeling he had. He had been assailed with memories for the last few weeks; memories that had long been buried. His unease continued as he saw the minstrel arrive with a companion. He had sent Glorfindel to greet the silver-haired elf. He would speak with Lindir once the penneth had time to clean up and eat. He wondered who was traveling with his minstrel; there was something about the stranger…
"Welcome home, Lindir!" Glorfindel called as he descended the steps.
Lindir dismounted and accepted the warrior's embrace. "It is good to be home." The bard replied. "I have brought a special someone with me and we would like to see Lord Elrond, now."
"Why not eat and rest? Elrond does not expect to speak with you until later."
"Please Glorfindel, if he isn't busy, I wish to speak to him immediately. It is important."
Glorfindel eyed the minstrel and the now dismounted 'guest'. There was something odd going on, but it was not his place to inquire. "He is in his study. I am sure he has time for you. Come." The golden warrior lead the two elves to his Lord's study.
Knocking on the partially closed door the Vanya stuck his head in. "Elrond, Lindir needs to see you if you have a moment."
Elrond looked up questioningly. "Alright." Glorfindel opened the door to admit the pair of elves. A nod from Elrond sent his chief counselor and seneschal from the room, closing the door behind them. Elrond advanced and hugged the minstrel. "I am happy to have you home safe. I hope your adventure was fruitful." At this he eyed the still hooded stranger.
"Aye, my Lord, it was. I found someone very special and I asked them to return with me…" Lindir looked to Maglor and gave a small nod. Elrond stared in disbelief as the hood was lowered.
"Hello, Elrond," Maglor said. He was not at all prepared for the dark-haired elf lord's reaction. Elrond took a step back, a look of disbelief on his fair feature.
"It cannot be…" He breathed, "you…YOU!" He suddenly yelled, fury in the grey eyes. "You…what are you doing here!" Maglor was shocked but not altogether surprised at the less than warm welcome. Lindir, however, was stunned. Maglor lowered his eyes and braced himself for the forthcoming tirade.
"My Lord…" Lindir began
"Sit down!" Elrond turned to the startled minstrel and pointed to a chair. "I will speak with you in a moment." Lindir, in utter confusion could do nothing but comply. Elrond advanced on the Noldo. "You dare to come back, now? You left us! You said you would come back and you did not. You left us alone!"
"Elrond, I did…"
"You did nothing! You gave us away. What, did you grow tired of us? Is that it?" The elf lord spat. "I believed you loved us. That is what you always said. You said we would be a family! Then you gave us to strangers!"
The elf lord ignored the attempted interruption. "How could you do that? We had already lost one family. You said you would take care of us!" Tears streamed down Elrond's cheeks and it broke Maglor's heart. "You said you would keep us safe, but you did not! You lied." Old pain surfaced and took hold of the normally calm Elda. Elrond was blind in his fury, his mind racing to images of the past…
****Flashback…later part of the first age*****
"I want to stay with you." The young elfling pleaded.
"Not this time. It is not safe."
"Why must you go?"
"Elrond, I explained it to you. When you are older you will understand and see that this was best."
"You are coming back, right?" Elrond's foresight had not yet developed, however he had an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. Today would be a turning point in his and Elros' lives.
Maglor led the twins to the river's edge then followed an almost non-existent path up to a waterfall. Carefully picking his way over the rocks, the older elf led the two into a small cavern. "Alright. Promise me you will stay here and not venture out until someone comes for you."
"Are you not coming for us yourself?" Elrond asked wide-eyed.
"If not me, then I will give my ring to the one who you are to go with. You are to stay with them until a time when either Maedhros or I can come for you. Promise me, you will stay put?"
Elrond looked Maglor long and hard. "But you will come back right?" Maglor ruffled the elfling's hair. It was hard to believe that it had been 10 years since the frightened little twins came into his life and found a place in his heart. As much as he loathed it, the oath hung over Maglor like a shroud. One last time, he and Maedhros would stand by their brothers. It was a fool's plan and Maglor did not foresee surviving it. Actually, he was beginning to hope he did not. He was weary of all this. Regardless, this would be the last time he or Maedhros would try to fulfill the cursed oath. First, however, he had to know the Twins were safe.
"I need you to promise me Elrond, no sneaking out after me. I mean it." Maglor gave the stubborn child a firm look.
"I promise." Elrond finally said quietly.
Elros, who rarely spoke to begin with also answered, "I promise."
"Good, now come here and give me a hug. I love you both so much, never forget that." Maglor held both boys tight before quickly turning away. Without another word, the Noldo left the cavern and vanished into the night.
Elrond eyed the stranger doubtfully. "Who are you?"
"I am Ereinion-Gilgalad. I have come to take you back to your people."
Elros stood next to his brother. "Prove it." He demanded. The stranger produced a ring from a pocket…Maglor's ring.
"Where is Maglor?" Elrond demanded. "Why did he not come?"
Gilgalad looked to his companion for help. The ancient elf smiled sadly. "I do not know little one." The sadness that resonated from the elflings broke Cirdan's heart. "Come, it is time to leave this place."
After a brief hesitation, the twins followed the older elves, certain that Maglor or Maedhros would come for them soon. As the seasons passed, Elrond came to realize that Maglor was not coming back for them. They had been abandoned again. Maglor and Maedhros did not love them. If they did, they would have come for them. Cirdan and Gilgalad tried to explain the whole Fëanor-oath situation to the twins, and why Maglor did what he did. Tried to explain the crimes the sons had done and why it was best that Elros and he stay with Gilgalad. Elrond did not care about past deeds or oaths. Maglor was the Adar he never had. He loved the older elf with all his heart, but Maglor had lied. He did not love them! Elrond would never forgive him for that deception.
The years passed and the twins grew, made their choices and names for themselves. However, the feeling of abandonment did not diminish with the ages and when Elros finally succumbed to mortality, Elrond was left all alone…
"Elrond, please I had to do it," Maglor pleaded.
"Had to? You had to? No Maglor, you survived and should have come back for us as you promised…of course, you did not intend to come back, did you? If you truly cared, you would have asked what I wanted…what we wanted. But that did not matter. All I wanted was to be with you! I had wanted you as a part of my life! Yet, at all the moments in my life that you should have been present, you were not. All the milestones, the choice, my wedding, the birth of my children, the loss of my wife…you never came or even sent word! 'I will always be there fore you', you had said, but you lied! You did not want me in your life; now I do not want you in mine!" Elrond's face was red with anger. There was a deathly silence in the room. Lindir was in total shock at his Lord's behavior and knew not what to say or do. He knew the truth; Maglor had shared with him how he snuck into Imladris to see the wedding and at the presentation of Elrond's children to the people of the Valley. Maglor witnessed everything, but did not feel worthy of coming forward.
Maglor raised his hood as the silent tears of regret trailed down his cheeks. "I told you I could not return with you," he said to Lindir, voice soft and resigned. "That I would not be forgiven." Looking at Elrond, the elf continued. "I am sorry you believe I failed you. I truly did what I thought was best for you. I did not want to drag you into the foolish oath, nor the bloodshed that came with it. I will leave your lands and your life as you ask." With that, he turned, strode to the door and opened it without hesitation. Upon entering the hall, he passed a pair of confused elves and headed towards the main entrance. It seems that he had misinterpreted the Valar. He only hoped that Lindir would find a new love, one more deserving of him.
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.