1. The Last Page
The chair was huge- she felt like a child sitting in it sometimes. It was soft and warm and familiar- if she turned her face to one of its huge leather wings and breathed in deeply it almost felt as though when she opened her eyes she would be a little girl again, and none of this would ever have happened.
A tear betrayed her, and she brushed it away savagely.
This was not a place of sadness. This was a good place, a kind place- of warmth and happiness and safety- an impregnable palace no invading outside world could touch. She would not cry, not here.
She would not.
Turning her attention back to the book, the princess (for princess she was, though she should have been more, and though she would have been happier as a shepherd's daughter, she more often than not found herself thinking in these dark and dismal days)- tried to re-immerse herself in the tale she had been reading, but found it impossible.
Black thoughts roiled like stormclouds in her head- awful thoughts, evil thoughts, traitorous treasonous thoughts- poison thoughts.
Perhaps she could flee- perhaps she could cut off all her hair, cast off her fine dresses and pose as a boy, perhaps she could steal a horse and find her way to a boat.
Perhaps she could strike back- perhaps she could arm herself, like the heroes of old, and take back what had been stolen- a bright and beautiful avenging angel at the head of an army of the Faithful, who would with strong arms and stout hearts cast down the Usurper, who would fight with tooth and nail to the very last breath to purge the filth and foulness that had so corrupted her land and blighted her life.
It was no use.
Wishes only came true in stories, and this was no story.
If wishes came true, she thought ruefully, this would just have been another day and she would just have been a girl sitting in her favourite armchair- the one she had always sat in, the one by the window where she could look out from the tower and see all the way across the island- just a girl and her favourite book and her whole life stretched before her.
If wishes came true…
There was a knock at the door, and she stifled a sob, the book falling forgotten from her hands, clattering to the floor like a bird pierced through by the hunter's cruel arrows.
The princess rubbed savagely at her eyes again.
Her voice betrayed not a single shred of the emotions that boiled within her breast as the door opened and her cousin stepped in to the library- tall and handsome and hateful as the blackest pit.
She would not cry, she vowed.
"Are you ready?"
Not in front of him.
"Aye. I am ready."
He smiled- a hateful smile, a serpent's smile.
"Good. Then let us waste no more time."
Míriel stood from the chair, the book forgotten on the floor.
She would not cry.
Not on her wedding day.
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.