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Spiced Wine
06/23/17 10:45 pm
Thank you and happy Friday :) I am going to buy a cheap laptop soon so I can write properly
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Shout Archive


Emmë by Glorfindel

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Story notes:
Beta by Keiliss - thank you :D

Written for Ansileren - Slashy Valentine 2013.

Disclamier: All rights belong to the Tolkien Estate. No financial reward,or otherwise is sought.
.



There he was. Tall and proud, the ends of his black hair streaming in the gentle wind. Looking out over the dark sea, his proud Fëanorian profile daring even the elements to challenge him for the oath he had sworn so long ago.



Círdan bided his time. He had tracked Maglor for several days now. Vengeance was his. It belonged to him and every other elf who had endured the sacking of the Havens and the terrible events that happened afterwards. He could not forgive the loss of life nor the decimation of his people.



It was well known that Maglor had spent the rest of his life as an itinerant wanderer after the death of Maedhros. He never stayed in one place. He couldn’t. Hatred and ill will followed him; of that he was perfectly aware. In time, he proved to be so elusive that elves gave up trying to catch him, and began to believe the stories of his existence being one of a peripatetic shade instead.



Maglor sat down. It was time to rest. He picked up his small harp. One of the strings was missing. He would have to imagine the sound of that one. It was unlikely he would be able to replace it anytime soon. Plucking the strings, he sang songs of destruction, of war and a certain mariner who managed to save the remnants of his people.



This was too much for Círdan.



“Maglor!” Círdan roared. He ran towards Maglor, his anger uncontained, wanting to kill, needing vengeance.



“You have been tracking me for several days now.” Maglor turned his head away and continued to pluck the strings of his harp. High above in the night sky, a seagull screeched. He turned his head slightly in the direction of the bird and Círdan’s blade missed by the width of an elven hair.



“I must be meant to live,” Maglor said with a grin. He jumped to his feet and pulled his sword free from his belt. “Is it a fight to the death? I need to know because I have plans...”



“So did the elves who died because of you and your brothers.”



Maglor shrugged. “It was war. Elves died. Avenging them does not bring them back. You can kill me but it will make no difference to the anger you carry inside.”



“Your death will mean that you can never rise up against the elves, ever again. Your death will bring closure to the survivors of your family’s madness. They need retribution.You will pay for the suffering your family has visited upon them.”



“Rise up again?” Maglor laughed bitterly. “I wander, reviled and hated, stealing food and eating wild roots and raw meat, not daring to light a fire because the smoke might draw the curious to me. Not daring to have friends even.” He looked towards the sea. Somewhere out in the depths lay the Silmaril. Even now it called to him. Perhaps death was better. “Kill me. I have nothing left to live for.” There, it was said, and the truthfulness of it tore Maglor’s heart apart.



“I am not like you,” Círdan said softly. “I cannot kill in cold blood.”



“Well, you gave it a good try just now.”



Círdan raised his sword. “We will fight to the death.”



“Supposing I win?” Maglor advanced his blade.



“You won’t.” Círdan’s lunged but Maglor deflected the blade with his own.



“I knew you would do that.” Maglor’s smirk changed to a grimace of pain. Círdan’s sword had circled round and thrust upwards, catching the skin to the side of Maglor’s throat and nicking a small hole in the artery. “You have killed me,” he gasped, his eyes wide in horrified realisation as the blood spurted in a thin jet over the rocks a few feet away.



Círdan stood stunned at the swiftness of the battle. How had it been so easy, he wondered.



Maglor held his hand over the cut but the scarlet blood gushed through his fingers. His legs gave way and he fell to his knees. “I can see the Silmaril.” His eyelids fluttered, but his eyes gleamed with joy. Círdan tried to help him by pinching the slashed skin together, but the blood welled up underneath the skin. Maglor would die and that was that. He held the dying elf and reflected that Maglor had been right. His anger was still there and it was accompanied by an emptiness; he had not expected that.



With one last effort of will, Maglor reached his hand towards the sea. “Look. It is in my hand. See how beautiful it looks? Emmë, look at my jewel. Emmë, I can come home now...” He fell forward, his outstretched hand landing on a mussel shell. The advancing tide washed into the ends of his hair. He was dead.



Círdan felt his forehead furrow and he bit his lip while his throat constricted with grief. Maglor had seen his mother just before dying, just as some of the elves who lay dying after the sacking of the Havens had seen theirs too. He wondered how that was so and who he would see when his time came. Perhaps those who awoke at Cuiviénen saw no one.



“He is just an elf,” Círdan mused softly to himself. He looked towards the dark sea. “Lord Eru, forgive me. I am no better than the one I have just killed.”



In the distance, a great light arose. Not enough to dim Ithil or the Starry Veil, but enough to speak to Círdan’s heart. “Bring him to me.”



Assailed by confusion, Círdan wondered if he should act or leave well alone. He remembered a dream he had long ago where he was warned not to sail to Valinor; he had obeyed and stayed where he was. The intent behind the dream was easy to divine so the choice had not been hard, but it seemed there was no purpose to this command at all.



“I was praying to Lord Eru and then the light came up, so maybe he is the one who commands me,” Círdan reasoned to himself. He hefted Maglor over to the rocks to keep him safe from the tide. How innocent his face seemed; maybe that was how he appeared when living in happier times.



Círdan ran to the harbour and made his way to one of the smaller vessels. They were not suitable for the open sea, but the light was not that far out. After loosening the retaining ropes, Círdan rowed to where Maglor lay. Using the side roping, Círdan pulled the boat up the beach before going to the rocks to collect him.



“I hope I am doing the right thing,” Círdan thought to himself as he hefted Maglor’s body onto the boat.



Maglor lay at one end and Círdan sat at the other. The wind picked up into a strong breeze. so he unfurled the single sail.



The small boat made good speed, and after ten minutes or so the light was upon them. With some trepidation, Círdan sailed into the light: he had gone too far to turn back now. He looked around, but there was nothing except the soft glow of light emitting from an indefinable and unseen source. The surface of the water appeared luminous, as if shot with gold.



“Give him to me,” the voice said. The timbre was different. Círdan wondered if the voice was feminine.



“How do I give him to you?” Círdan asked, his voice soft and terrified. He wondered at his wisdom of not bringing anyone with him. He felt shame at killing Maglor, who had nothing left but his regrets and his memories. He had lost nearly everything and Círdan had taken that away from him.



“Give him to me.” The voice took on a pleading tone.



The surface of the sea glowed brighter.



Círdan pulled Maglor towards him. “Be at peace. May Lord Ulmo protect your body and Lord Námo take your soul.” He kissed Maglor’s forehead and gently slipped him over the side of the boat.



The wind dropped and so Círdan furled the sail, positioned the oars in the rowlocks, and made to row home. The light dimmed, enabling Círdan to see the lights along the harbour. He would aim for there.



After rowing a few feet, the sea below where his boat had been welled up, as if something huge was about to break the surface. Large bubbles erupted onto the surface and the sea boiled. “It is a sea monster!” Círdan gasped, his mind filled with terror. He fought the rising bile in his throat and rowed as hard as he could, knowing that escape was futile. His boat would not be fast enough to outpace that which would attack him. He feared that in the violence he would capsize and his disappearance would not be noted until the first rays of dawn.



A single point of light shot through the surface and the disruption stopped dead. Círdan stared in wonder, all thoughts of escape cleared from his mind.



Suspended in mid-air was the Silmaril Maglor had thrown into the sea so many years ago. Such a tiny thing, Círdan thought, as he wondered at the devastation that one family’s descent into madness had caused since they were lost.



“What do I do?” Círdan asked. Surely the stone did not want him to take it back to Mithlond?



The question was academic. From the surface of the water rose two beings lit with gold. One was Maglor. He looked alive and free of the cares of his former life. His black hair reflected the light of the Silmaril, as if Anor had cast a single beam just for him. He looked around and smiled at Círdan before turning away. Beside him, stood a female elf, her red hair burnished with shades of copper and gold from the light of the stone. She held Maglor’s hand and looked back towards Círdan.



“Thank you,” she said. Círdan knew then this was the face of Nerdanel and she was beautiful indeed. Hers had been the voice that summoned him.



Nerdanel took the Silmaril and put it in her pocket. The light dimmed. Círdan watched as the two shining beings moved away from him. His heart felt sad and he had no idea why. He had expected to feel happy, but he did not.



The two figures went a few feet further before rising up in the air. “How can they walk on air?” Círdan wondered as the two elves continued walking away from the curve of the world.



Up above, Vingilot passed over the sky as it always did at that time of night. The ship seemed brighter tonight, but this was not a unique sight. Círdan had often seen the light shine brighter when the souls of the dead were taken after battle.



“Vingilot is shining for Maglor,” Círdan mused to himself. The light shone on the elves as they followed the Straight Road. In the far distance, they were joined by another being. Instinct told Círdan that he had seen Lord Námo himself and his heart rejoiced. Maglor was redeemed; he was going home.



When he could see no more, Círdan unfurled the sail and rode the wind home. Overhead Vingilot lit the course he should follow.



“Thank you,” Círdan said as he reached the dock. The light from Vingilot flickered before assuming a much dimmer glow. Now Eärendil’s ship appeared as no more than one of the stars in Elbereth’s Veil. Círdan sighed as he tied the boat to the mooring post. He wondered if he would tell anyone of what he had seen; somehow it seemed right that he did not.



There was a glint of light at the bottom of the boat, probably a reflection from one of the lanterns hanging from posts along the dock edge, Círdan thought. He climbed back onto the boat to investigate. Maglor’s sword lay at the near end, where he had been sitting. “I saw his sword go over the side,” Círdan thought to himself as he picked it up. “What can it mean?” He left the boat, taking the sword with him.



As he walked back to his stronghold, Círdan felt the grief of years lift from his heart. The anger and fear was replaced with lightness and joy. “You were right, Maglor,” he said softly into the wind, holding the sword tight to his chest. “Your death made no difference at all to the anger I carried inside. Instead, it gave me hope. Hope that one day we will go to a better place and this awfulness will not last forever. Where there is hope, there is no room for grief and anger. One day I will return your sword to you, for I know that this is the device for meeting you again. I wish you peace forever more. Until then.”



Círdan took one last look at the sea, then turned away and followed the road home.
Chapter end notes:
Emm
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