That must have been quite anti-climatic - Mark seems to have vanished, the seasons turn to the dreary, cool and wet... there's the Christmas time and break to look forward to, but on the other hand it means leaving their special bubble. (At least it always felt like this to me...)
Knitting, however, turned out not to be my strong suit, and Rosie wasn't much better.
“Why does it keep going all boggly?” she asked, staring sadly at her knotted mess of a scarf.
This is so cute! And I'm so happy for Claire that she finally caught Mark at home.
“You've seen him with his trousers off?” Theo's voice leapt up about three octaves.
“Lucky,” smirked Harrison.
Rosie's delicate pink flush deepened into dark coral. “Not all the way off.”
Ahaha! XD The scars sound quite nasty, though.
What a lovely ending to that chapter, too! :o)
Author's Response: Yeah, I was trying to capture that sort of bleak, post-euphoric letdown. And bubble is right, that's exactly what we used to call St Andrews.
Rosie is not the world's most talented knitter, bless her. As for Mark...well, he was probably at home some of the times she's drifted past, just not in much of a state to talk. Too lost in memories.
Those particular scars have a history - if you've read Auld Acquaintance you might be able to join the dots.
Glad you liked the ending! Thank you so much for all these lovely comments, Ysilme; waking up to three new reviews this morning made my day :D
OMG, that tattoo! XD
"My God, does that man know how to work a crowd."
He DOES have some experience with that, too. *g*
It was like he was looking at me for the first time, his silver eyes cataloguing and assessing everything about me, gentle yet intense and deliberate. My forearms prickled and my cheeks heated.
Harrison's musings are certainly interesting. And the suspense is rising. *g* (I can't wait until Claire learns about Maglor's true self; if you're going to reveal that to her, that is. This is such a lovely build-up.)
Drunk Theo is cute, except for the very last part. But that cat is getting more and more intriguing.
Author's Response: I loved that tattoo, that was a sneaky bit of late, inspired silliness. And yeah, Harrison's not as daft as he first appears.
Theo...bless him. He means well.
I feel bad that everyone is so intrigued by the cat, it does have a role, but I don't think it's going to come out in this story (this is one of many, many fics in a Maglor series I've been planning for years).
Lovely, lovely chapter! I adore that bit with the cat!
“It sounds a bit rubbish when you're all just saying the words.”
LOL again. That reminds me of choir rehearsal when we have to chant the text to work at phrasing, breathing and pronunciation rhythm issues, and the Latin text evolving to something like a weird mystic language...
And I love how you describe Maglor, or rather Claire's perception of him. Very fitting! Really cool outfit, too - "Too Jack Sparrow?" *snorfle* Not to mention the later bits down to - or up to? - the leather boots.
And that hidden talent of being able to tame long hair! That scene is very sweet.
And now we also begin to see glimpses into who Mark really is. Very well done, with the right amount of information and the lack thereof, and topped so perfectly with his music, and how it affects Claire.
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Ysilme! Haha, yes, I remember that kind of rehearsal very well indeed.
Glad you like the outfit - a few people were fond of the boots! - and the moment with the hair.
Yes, he's slipping a little around Claire, possibly giving away more than he should...
Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: September 06, 2018 4:14 · For: Take Heart
Oh! And I forgot to mention how well you gave us Claire's story--the desperation and the drudgery of being where you do not want to be, doing what you do not care to do but being driven enough that you have to keep trying to do it well, because that's just what you do. Subsumimg all the joy and feeling the beckoning of the darkness. And Mark recognizes this.
And I think that recognition of that darkness and that depth of despair lets him speak. He needs to share something--he is so desperately alone.
Ok now I'm so sad again thinking it him alone with his memories and how she makes him think of Fingon (could not have given her a higher compliment) and I'm in tears again.
Author's Response: Ahh, thank you! Yes, their experiences are different, but he does "get" it, and then they have a bit of a "truth for truth" moment where he reveals as much of his past as he feels able to do at this point. I'm really glad you're enjoying it, Nelya; I'm flattered it made you cry, but the point of writing this was to give Maglor some happiness, at least for a while.
Oh Narya! What a warm and lovely chapter.
My breath caught at Mark's words about seeing Snow White in the theater--I knew immediately--my father saw it when it first came out too, in the theater and at 92 he still speaks with awe at that memory. Transcendent. But Claire is right-he tries so hard to keep it in but so much spills out of him.
His disclosure to her made me cry-- this part in particular
“My family are gone – I don't know where, not for certain, but what I suspect is terrible. I cannot reach them. I will not see them again.”
And his words on his cousin did again as well. Oh my heart.
I'm hurting for him but I am glad that this night he had someone's hand to hold.
Author's Response: Thank you Nelya! Yes, this is part of why he keeps people at a distance (most of the time) - if he gets too close he starts to give things away, he almost can't help it. He trusts Claire, and has slipped around her a few times. And writing that line about his family made me choke up too.
i also love that he felt relaxed enough to go to sleep in her company. You don’t do that unless you feel you can trust someone.
Author's Response: Ahh, yeah, I didn't plan that, it just happened - but I figured it made sense. We know from the last couple of chapters (or at least surmise via Claire) that he hasn't been sleeping much, and both of them have just been through an emotional wringer. I liked it because, as you said, it shows trust; I did wonder whether it was too soon for that level of closeness and intimacy, but I'm blaming Maglor, it was his choice ;) I just do what my characters say.
Aww, this was wonderful. I’m so glad that they opened out to one another, at least Mark did a little, probably more than he had thought he would.
And of course he would understand Claire, one morning just waking up crying and not able to face anything, not able to cope. I am sure he’s done that himself, and more than once. And realising that you’ve poured everything you are into something that is eating away at you, destroying parts of you one day at a time...yes, he knows that.
And Mark...he does desperately need to share something, although in a way it sounds like he was involved in some deep cover special ops thing that he can’t talk about, but I believe Claire knows it’s more than that, even if it’s just prowling around the corners of her mind at the moment. And he expected her to be afraid, expected to be told to get out, and was shocked when all she did was offer him a drink, a universal gesture of acceptance. And that what she basically did was tell him to be careful, careful what he said around others.
I think that his comparing her to Fingon is wonderful, because what an accolade. And I could imagine Fingon acting just like this, no matter what his cousins did or did not do, he would always be there to hold onto them and be staunchly comforting.
This was such a gorgeous chapter, I feel like I have been put through the mill reading it, with all the emotion coming up and breaking the surface but it’s perfectly placed; it was needed, and I think Claire and Maglor’s relationship has gone through the briars and reached a new level.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! Yes, I think he would completely "get" her and not judge.
Haha, he chose his language very carefully there ;) but she does suspect on some deep level it's more than that - and of course she has the clues from the last chapter.
The Fingon comparison came out of nowhere when I was writing; the whole scene and the way Claire was behaving reminded me of something in a snippet I haven't found a home for yet, with Fingon and Curufin pre-Tears but post-Nargothrond.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it; it was a tricky one to write, with that mess of emotion and suppression, but you're right that it's shifted their relationship on a notch. Thank you so much for all your lovely, thoughtful comments *hugs*
Another lovely chapter--not sure how I missed the update!
The sense of melancholy emanating from Mark is getting stronger. These old places seem to draw it out if him and the resonances Claire is feeling are getting stronger too. She's so close to putting it together but her rationality isn't letting her.
Ooh I want to see what's in that book.
And you've given her the clue of his ear--she knows, on so many levels she knows. Can't admit it but it's there.
Author's Response: Thanks, Nelya! Yes, she is nearly, nearly there, but it's not an easy thing to believe. (Would you...!?)
Ah, the book...I mean, the key thing at this point was more what's embossed on the cover, but as he grows to trust her more, I'm sure he'll let her see what's in there ;)
And so we get to see a lot more of "Mark". Awesome! :o) I love so much how you're portraying and introducing him, each chapter gets better and better, not only in this regard. Particularly that part with Claire waking up and going for a run, that's so atmospheric and intense, I just feel as if I'm there right inside the story. (Bonus points for the cat, too; I can never get enough of cats in fiction. ^^ )
(I had to google white pudding - ugh. But students are students, I suppose. *lol* Although I have to confess I ate my share of really unhealthy food as well during my uni years....
"Mark is not my date," I said automatically.
If you say so...
(sorry for the formatting fail of my last review; I didn't manage it in one setting, saved it in-between and forgot to uncheck the tinyMCE box *facepalm*)
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Ysilme! And don't worry, it still all made sense :) I'm so glad you're enjoying it; I am weirdly precious over this fic, its characters and the setting, so I'm really pleased that you feel like you're "there."
*He was leaning against the railing behind the keep, limned in amber by the dying light. Plumes of froth crashed against the cliff behind him. Something shifted and rose inside me like cold air-a sense of longing, of loss and grief, but also recognition. I'd seen-or imagined-this strange, melancholy tableau before. I'd felt the same thing at Christmas, and again in the pub, that maddening tease of familiar images that refused to blend and make sense.
A sharp gust blew in off the sea and lifted his hair from his face, revealing one pale, pointed ear.*
'shifting to the edge of my seat and leaning forward. A tiny squeal of triumph gathering strength in my throat.'
*Strands of excitement swirled inside me, knotting together, like my instincts were matching up a pieces of a puzzle faster than my mind could follow. Again I felt that unearthly prickling in the air, smelled the scent of the earth after rain-but despite the clouds it had been dry all day. My heart pounded against my ribs, and my breath caught like the wind eddying through the cathedral spires. For one frozen moment I forgot the halogen lights behind me, the rubber boots on my feet, the mobile phone in my pocket. I'd slipped into a world beyond time and story, and it rolled over me and through me like a spell, a wave of enchantment, more real than anything I've ever felt, elemental, essential, terrible, ancient- starlight and silver and wine and blood and magic and stone and song.
The wind fell. His hair dropped back into place. The electricity and the scent of petrichor were gone, and the air settled and the world seemed to breathe again.
He isn't human.*
Narya! *Mouth agape*
You did such a beautiful job with this chapter.
It was as if I had walked into a fairytale. Like I had walked into some ancient world that had passed out of all knowledge yet co-existing alongside this one.
That moment she catches a glimpse of his ear. I was as excited as Claire. I felt I was Claire. The feelings, the taste, the smells. Oh wow! Gees I love your stories!
I felt that at any moment Feanor and Fingolfin would walk out of legend-all the elves of old. And that the Lotr movie they had been watching wasn't just fantasy-it really happened. :D
I hope I made sense 'above'. Sometimes when I go to review, I have it all worked out in my mind what to say but when I go to write it, it tends to come out differently or I can't quite find the right words. Sorry babbling.
Anyway, I don't know what else to say, Narya, except, I really love this sort of story. I love all stories, but this type in particular. :)
Author's Response: I am so so glad you liked it - your feedback was so helpful in getting it to where it is :-) I'm really happy it put you in the moment, and that it gave you that feeling of drifting into legend for a moment - that's exactly the effect I wanted. Thank you for all the support and cheerleading!
I helped him clear his things away to make space for drinks and sandwiches. One of the books was a beautiful, heavy volume with old thick yellow pages, bound in indigo leather and embossed with a design of eight-pointed stars. Something stirred in the depths of my mind, a kind of tentative recognition, like a familiar figure glimpsed through fog. For some reason I thought of Mark's burned hand, though I forced myself not to look at it. I remembered the image from my dream, the fist grasping a fierce white light, and the hairs stood up along my arms like they did when the Bilberry gave me a static shock.
You know, it is so frustrating because she is so, so close! *Bites nails* It is almost as if something is hiding the knowledge from her.
Something shifted and rose inside me like cold air – a sense of longing, of loss and grief, but also recognition. I'd seen – or imagined – this strange, melancholy tableau before. I'd felt the same thing at Christmas, and again in the pub, that maddening tease of familiar images that refused to blend and make sense. A sharp gust blew in off the sea and lifted his hair from his face, revealing one pale, pointed ear. Strands of excitement swirled inside me, knotting together, like my instincts were matching up pieces of a puzzle faster than my mind could follow. Again I felt that unearthly prickling in the air, smelled the scent of the earth after rain – but despite the clouds it had been dry all day. My heart pounded against my ribs, and my breath caught like the wind eddying through the cathedral spires. For one frozen moment I forgot the halogen lights behind me, the rubber boots on my feet, the mobile phone in my pocket. I'd slipped into a world beyond time and story, and it rolled over me and through me like a spell, a wave of enchantment, more real than anything I've ever felt, elemental, essential, terrible, ancient – starlight and silver and wine and blood and magic and stone and song... The wind fell. His hair dropped back into place. The electricity and the scent of petrichor were gone, and the air settled and the world seemed to breathe again. He isn't human. The idea entered my thoughts like a whispered secret – and yet it was mad, impossible, beyond reason. Like Catherine Morland, my imagination was being led down ridiculous paths by my surroundings. But it wasn't the first time I'd considered the notion, I admitted to myself, or at least strayed near it. I couldn't entirely blame the castle and the sea and the strange glowing light. I'd toyed with it at breakfast on the morning Harrison and I had left for Christmas, and drifted towards it again in the bookshop in Alnwick, before my cousin's common sense and the promise of toasted crumpets in the tea room had squashed my fanciful thoughts. And then there was the way I felt when he played, the things I saw, that deep, piercing look he'd given me more than once – and the uncanny way he often seemed to answer my thoughts rather than my words...
Oh, Claire, either Maglor needs to say something, to you need a good long time to think about it. This is wonderful, Narya, really compelling reading.
Author's Response: Aww, thank you so much :) she isn't that far away - she doesn't need Maglor to tell her, she's smart enough on her own ;) it's so funny, I am almost frustrated writing it, because *I* want her to work it out, but at the moment she is stubbornly refusing to see it. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, Spiced. I genuinely don't think I'd still be in fandom if it wasn't for you.
Awww, this is such a wonderful chapter, as well as hilariously funny where the boys are concerned. ^^ I really love how you introduce "Mark" and his singing and voice, and Claire's perception of him.
<i> “Why the hell didn't you ring me?”
“It was early." An anxious, somehow pathetic silence. "We didn't want to get you up.”</i>
*snort* As if! This is so adorably typical.
<i>“Can you sing?”</i>
<i>“Er.” He shuffled. “I kind of haven't told Mum yet. She'll freak.”</i>
*ggg* You bet she will!
<i>It was definitely a tenor voice, but it was unlike any tenor I'd ever heard. It was warm, deep, rich, pure. I thought of the sea on a summer's day – but at the same time I felt a curl of melancholy in my gut, a desperate yearning for something I could no longer remember. </i>
<i> “There's a bit of sword fighting, but you can always just jump about and wave the sword around if you get stuck.”
Mark laughed, a wonderful, melodic sound with a soft dark echo. “How hard can it be?”</i>
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Ysilme! I'm glad you like "Mark" - and the boys are such a pair of dipsticks. Poor Claire has her work cut out keeping them in order!
Love the ending- it sort of grounds it. And the bitter-sweet yearning of 'Mark' is so poignant. Love this. Hope it's not ended yet.
Author's Response: It isn't, don't worry ;) although it will probably be Sept before I post the next chapter. My August suddenly grew arms and legs and went crazy. Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed it!
For a moment there, I was afraid it might already be over, with Maglor drifting away into his memories. I'm glad it's not!
Author's Response: :D no, we're not done yet. I'm glad you're glad! Thank you for continuing to follow and comment :)
This is awesome! I love elves through the ages stories, I love Maglor, and I'm a sucker for well-written, evocative and imagery inspiring storytelling in general, all of which you're providing in a promising manner. I'm really looking forward to read more of this story, and your other stories as well.
(The only thing I don't understand is how I managed to completely miss your lovely storytelling so far!)
Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much! Glad you're liking it so far :) I have a soft spot for Maglor too (really, who doesn't love Maglor!?)
I didn't think anyone would buy into the concept at all!
Oh, I love it, because it merges the two elements so very well, and I can believe in the story.
Author's Response: Awww, you're so kind. Thank you.
Wow! This chapter was very melancholy.
On the one hand, I felt sorry for Claire for thinking she'd done something wrong. Her obvious discomfort at not seeing Mark at the usual haunts, adding to it.
And on the other, I felt sorry for Mags for having something someone said offset the ancient loss and grief. I just wish Claire knew him well enough to offer a hug to ease his pain. But I doubt that would do much, with memory being something elves relive everyday. :(
On the upside though, I loved your plug for the "Fellowship of the Ring' and how it reminded Claire of Mark. If only she knew, right?
Lovely written chapter. :)
Author's Response: Thank you, Gabriel :) you're right about Maglor reliving his memories; it doesn't fade for Elves like it does for us, although they can be distracted from it and enjoy other things, as we've seen with Mark and pirates. It might help, though, for him to have someone to confide him, and Claire isn't a long way from becoming that someone. She just needs to put a few pieces together first!
Nice to see a new chapter! There was such a bittersweet sense of melancholy in this chapter. From the frosty weather, to the sound of the sea and the chill air, a sense of loneliness underlying the story--in Claire and then in Mark.
I'm worried about him--his reclusiveness, his haggard and haunted look, so many things unsaid here.
I loved the scars--how Harrison is trying to make sense of it all and how they are all so far off on their assumptions.
Claire has truly made a connection with Mark and the way he preoccupies her thoughts is telling. There is a thread that binds them--his music and his memories affect her far more than any of the others.
I love that they are watching The Fellowship. Pensive nostalgia-what a perfect description.
Author's Response: "A sense of loneliness underlying the story--in Claire and then in Mark" - it's funny, this is one of those themes I didn't even realise was there until I started typing up the story and teasing things out, but you're quite right. Obviously any story about Maglor is going to at least touch on loss and loneliness, unless you're writing very early in his timeline or in a canon-divergent 'verse, but it was a surprise to me how much it affects the other characters too. It wasn't intended, it just found its way in there.
Glad you liked the touch of the scars; they're mentioned in Auld Acquaintance too, but Claire, at least, will eventually find out what they're from. They're a long way off at the moment, but in all fairness, if you meet someone mysterious you don't immediately assume that they must be a character from a book!
br> Thank you so much, Nelya, for continuing to read and comment.
Oh, poor Maglor, what has he been doing to or with himself for weeks to make him look so haggard? Like Claire, I want to protect him!
This is such a lovely story, Narya, it’s so engrossing, with such a great cast of characters. I was so sad, though, to think of Maglor alone for Christmas :(
And I am just wondering if watching FOTR would somehow jog Claire’s thoughts, not that Maglor is mentioned, but....
Author's Response: I know, it made me sad too, but they don't know him well enough (yet) to ask him back with them, and I don't think he'd have said yes anyway.
Well, she got some of the way there - the soundtrack made her think of him - but obviously she was too full of turkey and Christmas pudding to make the connection. (I can't believe I'm writing about Christmas at this time of year.)
Thank you so much, as always. I'm so pleased people seem to be enjoying this. I didn't think anyone would buy into the concept at all!
I am really enjoying this Narya and I was so pleased to see an update.
The way he elevates the production, the subtle details he brings in, the way his enthusiasm and skill motivates the others--its just brilliant. The tattoo made me laugh. But there truly is a riveting component to him--for all of them. This line is perfect My God, does that man know how to work a crowd. oh yes, yes he does.
They are picking up on his mysteriousness. More and more, even as they get to know him. His lack of internet footprint, the few vague generically whitewashed tidbits he does strategically reveal. He's been down this road before but he is slipping a bit with Claire--she's either very attuned to him or exceedingly empathetic or her lineage somehow traces back in some way to explain the affinity.
I knew instantly that the mention of Enjolras was not a good one. He's been in that position--too many times. Against terrible odds, valiantly trying to rouse a flagging army with the power of his voice and will. Insurmountable odds, a desperate position, his companions dying around him. No there is no way he would comfortably inhabit that role. Yes there were some poignant moments as the Pirate King but nothing like the heartache of Les Mis.
I'm wildly curious on where this goes next and if she seeks him out!
Lovely writing, Narya, and a thoroughly engrossing story.
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Nelya :) yes, he is opening up a little with Claire. I see her as sensitive and fairly good at reading people (something she practised during her days as a lawyer), but also grown up enough not to press someone who doesn't want to talk, and not to get silly over "Mark" as some of the others are. She's lonely too, in her way, since her friends in the town are mostly younger than she is, and she's coming at this potential friendship with no agenda or pre-judgement. I think he senses that - and despite trying to keep his distance most of the time, he needs friendship too, so does periodically "slip" as you put it, letting someone in closer than he normally would.
Waffling now...but I'm pleased you're enjoying it. As for whether she seeks him out...well, wouldn't you? ;)
Claire is bound to get there soon. Her dream an ancient white light under the waves , her visions of Maglor’s brothers and Fingon. And the emotions that come with these...Maglor is either ‘leaking’ or Claire is incredibly empathic, and sensitive, perhaps both. And if she was ‘feeling’ his sorrow and near-despair that is dreadful. It’s why I’m glad to see him enjoy doing something with people, but I keep thinking of him going back to his little house, or walking by the waves with no-once to share this with.
Author's Response: She tends to pick up more when she is listening to him play - as Nelya beautifully put it, there's still power in his song. I think her subconscious has figured it out already, hence the dream, but her conscious thought process hasn't got there yet. Thank you so much for your lovely, thoughtful comments.
This was fantastic, Narya, I so loved it. I felt like I was experiencing al of Claire’s emotions. Maglor knows how to work a crowd, all-right!
This was so electric, and after, it just hit, Maglor’s rapid withdrawal after the mention of Enjolras, although of course it was the words not the name or character, that caused it. Then the conversation that he is a ‘ghost’, and their suppositions, which, by their lights are correct enough, a terrible war being not far off the mark.
But this cat...who and what...? I keep thinking of Tevildo... And don’t tell me well-read Claire has not read The Silmarillion! Perhaps as the holidays approach and she has more time to relax...
Author's Response: Thank you! Electric is how I always felt when we did productions at school and uni, so that's what I wanted to get across. I'm so glad it worked. And yes, he has had enough of uprisings and rebellions :(
Ah, yes, the cat...when I first put the cat in, it was actually because my own grey tabby has gone missing, and I prefer the idea that he has found himself another family to the alternative. Now, though, the cat has a role, although I'm not sure how and when the reveal will work, I'm adding bits in as I redraft and type up.
Claire has totally read The Silmarillion ;) but it's not an obvious conclusion to leap to - your new friend is a character from a book!
This was so much fun to read, Narya.
I giggled all the way through. I love all your characters so much and the story that's unfolding is superb.
Your stories always shine and are in a class all their own.
I'm such a fan. Looking forward to your next chapter. :)
Author's Response: Aww, thank you so much, Gabriel! I'm really pleased you like the characters; I'm very fond of them all too.
This is you building me up to hope and then dashing it on the rocks of despair! But I know it makes more sense to be honest- he can't settle, there is just too much. But if only for a while, it's good that he had some friends and kindness. Just hope it stretches out a little longer.
Knew that cat would be back!
Author's Response: Oh, we're not done yet ;) and yes, that cat is a persistent little so-and-so! Thank you, Ziggy, for all the lovely things you've said about this story :) I really wasn't sure people would buy into the concept...!
I thought of the bright, fierce light in his eyes the night I'd walked with him towards the library, the carved symmetry of his features, the confident fluidity of his movements. Otherworldly? It seemed the wrong choice of word for someone so centred, so present; there was nothing frail or ethereal about him. “You'll see.”Perfect description.
And I think my squeal was as loud as Rosie's!! She lifted out another white shirt, this one heavy and fluid, like water spun into silk. The sleeves ballooned dramatically before being nipped back into frilled cuffs, and there were more ruffles around the collar. It looked like something David Bowie might wear. “I like this one. Claire?”
“Very piratical.” I gave Mark an amused glance. “Where's it from?”
Rosie showed me the label; I swallowed my gasp at the thought of how much it must be worth. “No, I mean, what did you buy it for? Sorry, that sounded awful!” I added as both Rosie and Mark started laughing. “It's just it doesn't seem very...” I gestured at the simply cut jeans and dark sweatshirt he was wearing. “Very you.”
“It isn't recent,” Rosie said thoughtfully. “Must be vintage – it's in gorgeous condition, though.”
“Thank you. I – the previous owner took good care of it.” He gave me one of his lazy, lopsided smiles. “I went through a glam rock phase. In fact...” He hunted through the pile of trousers and produced a pair of supple black leather leggings. “I used to wear it with these.”
“Oh, yes!” Rosie pounced on them. “Oh my God, these are perfect!” She looked up at him hopefully. “You don't have knee high boots as well, do you?”
His smile widened. “Well, now you come to mention it...”
I covered my ears against her excited squeal.
And then I was in tears with this: But the melody soared up through the octaves, leaving the sweet sadness behind, and now I saw smiling faces, bathed in the dancing glow of firelight. They were all male, all beautiful, and long-haired like Mark – one red-haired, several dark, one silver and one golden. One of the dark-haired ones lay cradled in the arms of the redhead, who was stroking his brow, and the firelight glinted against the golden thread braided through his hair. My heart skittered with a brief, nagging sense that I knew them – not in person, perhaps, but as one might recognise a historical figure from a portrait, or a description of a distinctive feature. Then again, to a greater or lesser degree, they all had a look of Mark – one of the dark-haired ones could easily be his twin – so perhaps that was what I was seeing. I relaxed back into the music. The faces receded as though I was watching through a camera that was panning away, upwards, past marble-white trees that seemed as tall as mountains. Their leaves and branches were silhouetted against a night sky unlike any I'd ever seen – indigo swirled with pinkish blue and silver, like satin reflecting moonlight.
The melody faded into whispered, repeated chords, then died away.
Narya- I am blown away by this fic. JUst so hauntingly beautiful- I am desperate for a happy ending but I suspect you aren't going to give us one.
Author's Response: Ahh, thank you! You're right, unfortunately; I don't think it's spoiling anything to say that no relationship between an Elf and a mortal could have a really happy ending. I don't want this to be depressing, though; I like the idea that Maglor has these brighter interludes in his long life. So - bittersweet, I guess? Hope that's OK and you're still along for the ride!