The Golden and the Black

Hands That Heal

Ow!! Watch it, peredhel!” said Glorfindel, wincing.

“You felt that? Hmmm. Sorry,” said Elrond, continuing his needlework unperturbed. Glorfindel had come in with a nasty shoulder wound from an orc blade, and Elrond was stitching him up.

Ow! Felt that? Elrond, what happened to the painkiller?”

“Did Lómiel not give you any?”

“She applied something—Ow!”

“That smells like wound disinfectant rather than anaesthetic ointment,” said Elrond, giving it a sniff.

“Well, apply it now.”

“It is too late for an anaesthetic. Might as well just finish it off.”

“It is never too late for painkillers!”

“You can take this. It is merely like ant bites.”

Why do they always say that? I’d like to know what kind of ant bites like that! Fire ants from the Harad?”

“Come, come, be a hero.”

“Elrond, I have just had twenty stitches with no painkiller. I have had enough of being heroic for one day!”

Eighteen stitches. It is your fault. Whatever possessed you to go out riding alone into the Rhudaur without armour?”

“It was a hot day.”

“You would give a verbal lashing to any of your warriors who used that as an excuse to wander into dangerous territory without armour.”

“Keep stitching, Elrond. Please. Let’s get this over with.”

“I thought balrog slayers were tough.”

Peredhel, the balrog killed me in far less time than you are taking—Oww!”

Lord Elrond was not being a sadist. He had been patching up the elf sitting in the chair before him for five thousand years, and had seen the warrior take injuries far much more horrendous with unflinching stoicism. Glorfindel would have kept fighting through pain many times more excruciating than this, but sitting still in a chair and being stitched always tried his patience so sorely—especially without painkillers—that he tended to indulge his inner child and whinge like a big baby.

Most ellith healers would have fought each other for the privilege of stitching the golden lord’s wound, but the Lord of Imladris usually opted to do it himself, out of affection and friendship. Elrond and his Commander were fairly formal with each other in public, but in the treatment room, the familiarity of five thousand years of friendship kicked in, and they fell into a colloquial variant of Sindarin with a smattering of Westron thrown in, and Glorfindel would jokingly call Elrond “peredhel”.

Around the corner from the treatment room, in the preparation area of the healing hall, a black-haired young maiden sat rolling bandages, her shoulders shaking with silent mirth as she listened to the voices carrying loud and clear from the treatment room, an unholy smile on her lovely face. It was so delicious hearing the Lord of the Golden Flower being tortured.

This was the first time Maeglin had heard Glorfindel and Elrond converse in this informal manner, and she did sit up and take notice of one word. Peredhel.


Maeglin knew of one half-elf.

Maeglin had tried to throw him down from a city wall.

It was summer. Maeglin had been in Imladris for almost a month now. If she was still sullenly resentful of her new body, she had adapted to it fairly well. Though she still cursed and grumbled under her breath whenever she had to take a piss, there had been no accidents in the privy. She still walked with a long, manly stride if she was certain none were looking, but she had quickly mastered the dainty, gliding steps of the other ellith in the house.

Thalanes had welcomed the foundling maiden at the healing hall as an apprentice gladly. Maeglin learned how to gather and prepare herbs, measure and prepare them for medicines, bandage wounds, and do simple suturing. Enough minor injuries came in each week to give the apprentice practice for her new skills. In addition to the occasional kitchen help with a burned hand, broken fingers from swordfighting practice, or elves who had fallen out of trees or twisted an ankle dancing, there were not-too-infrequent skirmishes with orcs and wargs in the surrounding countryside. There were also daily hunting expeditions sent out, on which accidents could happen.

Unfortunately for Maeglin, Glorfindel came into the hall frequently. Sometimes it was to tend warriors who were wounded. Once or twice, he himself was wounded. When Estel came to learn herbal lore and wound dressing, Glorfindel always accompanied him. Whenever Elrond came by to treat patients, Glorfindel would be at his side as well. The golden lord would extend to Maeglin only the most commonplace of courtesies, then keep his distance from her.

Maeglin yawned. There are few things more mind-numbingly boring than rolling bandages, and she had been glad of the entertainment from the treatment room. Still, boring is peaceful. She would endure all this a while longer, till she could figure out her next move.

Anyway… Peredhel?

Maeglin felt uneasy. Rather than comb through history books, she took a simpler route.

“Lord Elrond and Glorfindel have known each other a long time, it seems,” Maeglin remarked to Thalanes, as she ground herbs to powder.

“Oh yes, ever since the year 961 in the Second Age. Glorfindel was sent by the Valar, you know,” –there was a reverent hush in the healer’s voice—“to serve and help Lord Elrond. Just as he once served Lord Elrond’s great-grandfather, many years before.”

That was the beauty of asking Thalanes any question; she kept going with little prompting. Because of Maeglin’s youth, and because it was assumed by most that she might be of one of the Nandorin tribes from some remote forest or mountain region, the healer was eager to inform her about everything. Rather than ask the obvious follow-up question, Maeglin simply waited. She already anticipated the answer.

“That was in Gondolin, of course. Glorfindel not only served King Turgon, he was the adopted son of the King’s daughter, Princess Idril. That makes him the adopted brother of Lord Elrond’s father.”

Maeglin was silent and kept grinding her herbs.

The brat’s son. Elrond was that brat’s son.

Maeglin should have guessed; that sense of the familiar that had haunted her when she first saw Elrond was now explained. She would never have thought of Eärendil when she looked at Elrond, but she could see the likeness to King Turgon: the dark-haired dignity and aura of authority, the calm strength. Even the shadow in the eyes from the loss of a beloved wife.

Should Maeglin leave? She looked out of the windows of the healing halls at the fair green valley, the cascading waterfalls, and the early summer blossoms in the meadows. Imladris. An unfamiliar emotion swept through her as she looked at this place. A sense of rest and rightness at being here that she had felt nowhere else. She did not want to leave. At least for now.

As long as Glorfindel kept out of her way.

The beds of herbs looked as though marauding orcs had rampaged through them.

“Most likely elflings enacting a battle with a balrog,” said Elrond with a sigh, surveying the devastation.

“No—apparently it was the Dagor Bragollach,” said Glorfindel, swinging the garden gate open and herding in Estel and twelve elflings aged between ten and twenty-five: all the children left in Imladris. There had been no new elven births in the past ten years, and an average birth rate of one elfling per year in Imladris in the years before that. The thirteen of them formed a close-knit circle of friends. Inspired by the tales in the great Hall of Fire, they would act out the great deeds of yore for days afterwards. On this morning, the Battle of the Sudden Flame had been waged through the precious beds of athelas and lissuin and other healing herb essentials.

Díheno ammen, Hîr Elrond,” chorused Estel and the elflings penitently.

The ten-year-old, who barely reached Glorfindel’s knee, clung on to the golden lord’s leg and refused to let go. “Come on, pen dithen, time to clean up this mess you made,” said Glorfindel, gently detaching the tot. Soon all the children were at work under the supervision of Maeglin, who was a stern taskmaster.

“We need a taller fence and a lock on the garden gate. We’ve been saying that for the last few centuries. It’s time to do it,” said Glorfindel to Elrond.

“It is a sad thing, but the days of elflings in the valley are numbered. Within twenty years, there will be need for neither fence nor lock. I would rather teach them to do right than shut them out.”

Thalanes frowned. “We don’t have the seeds for some of these herbs. And some of them grow best from cuttings. It is time to go out of the valley to gather.”

“Wait a few days. Patrols report some orc and warg activity outside the borders,” said Glorfindel.

“We may miss the season for planting. And our stocks for some of these are running lower than they should.”

“All right. You will go with a few warriors,” said Elrond. “And bring Lómiel with you.”

Glorfindel decided that he would accompany them himself, together with two of the guard, Emlindir and Beril. As much of the terrain would be too mountainous or the growth would be too dense for horses, they went on foot. He guarded the rear in his white tunic and grey leggings, his two great swords strapped to his back, and as they hiked, besides scanning the area for danger he was looking at Maeglin’s back, the shining waterfall of black hair, and occasional glimpses of her profile.

The past two months had been torture.

In the first few days, Glorfindel had attempted to watch Maeglin closely. The strain on him had been tremendous, because of the effect she always had on him. His heart would race, he would go weak with longing and hot with desire, and often he would begin to blush, beginning with the tips of his ears. Dismayed as he had been when Maeglin began to work at the healing halls, at least he knew where she would be for much of each day. He told himself he would focus on guarding Idril’s four descendants, and keep away from her.

Yet he found himself drawn to the halls. He would bring in snacks for the healers from the kitchens. He would help prepare herbal mixes and chat with everyone except Maeglin. Though he kept his distance, just knowing she was in the same room gave him both comfort and torture. For the first two weeks, he watched her like a hawk during mealtimes as he still feared poison, especially once she had full access to a whole range of herbs and knowledge of how to use them.

The ability to rationalize and believe what one wants to believe is tremendous, however. Elven memory does not fade, but interpretation of memory can alter.

After three days of following Maeglin down corridors and gazing adoringly at her over the dining table, he began to doubt. At times she would smile. On a few occasions a joke from Elrohir even caused her to laugh (causing him to feel a darkly murderous impulse towards the younger peredhel twin that shocked himself). How could this possibly be the dour traitor, who had worn a perpetual frown or a scowl for much of his time in Gondolin? How could this delicate and lovely maid be Maeglin Lómion? As for the name, the name must be a coincidence. And perhaps, in some remote Avarin tribes cut off from the Eldar since Cuiviénen, such mysterious, long black eyes were commonplace, and hardly unique to a certain murderous smith and his son.

Then there was the nightmare. . .Glorfindel had lain awake each night for the first week, wondering if it would recur. But there had been no more screams in the night, and each morning, Maeglin’s impassive face told him nothing. And Glorfindel began to convince himself, over time, that the dream must have been his own fantasy: his own dark memories of Gondolin’s fall combined with his memories of the War of Wrath, and the tales of horror related to him in the gardens of Estë by some of the thralls released from the pits.

Watching Lómiel quietly grinding medicines and bandaging patients, he told himself, I must have been insane. This is not the prince of Gondolin, this is just a maid.

And he began to hope and dream. He would be patient. His maiden would come of age. Then he would court her, and make her his. The mystery of her origins still haunted him. He had ridden out alone into the dark southern forests of the Rhudaur, hoping to uncover some clue. But there had been no trace of her in the woods beyond the area where the warg had attacked her. Attacked by a band of ten orcs, he had returned with nothing to show for his expedition but a shoulder wound.

Their foraging for herbs went well. Following a map that detailed where each type grew, they managed to collect seeds, uproot several good specimens, and get cuttings of others. Their bags were quite full as they turned back home.

“We should be home before dusk,” said Glorfindel. Then his senses warned him of danger. A well-known scent on the wind, a familiar prickling at the nape of his neck. “Yrch! Hurry, run! Now!”

The ambush was quick and vicious.

The orcs came down upon them from both sides, about twenty of them. “Keep close to me!” Glorfindel commanded Maeglin, while Emlindir and Beril protected Thalanes. Pushing Maeglin behind him, Glorfindel slashed through an orc to his right, cleaving it open from throat to groin. One down.

The most recent breed of orc to enter this region was far more aggressive and fearless, and his light seemed to act like a magnet to them. Two down. Three. So now he found himself up against a horde of them. Having to keep Maeglin close to him was a handicap, for he could not use one of his greatest advantages, his nimble swiftness of movement, to evade and attack his foes. Five.

He was ringed by orcs and Maeglin had disappeared from his side. Sudden fear seized him. “Lómiel!” he shouted as he slashed at the orcs about him, scanning the surroundings desperately for her. Eight.

He spun round to slash at two large orcs leaping upon him from behind. As he thrust through the first, to his surprise the other began to crumple even before his blade struck it.

The orc’s body toppled to the ground, and Maeglin stood behind, a golden battle fire flickering in her black eyes. In her two hands she wielded an orcish sword. Her eyes were already searching for the next orc, feet planted apart, knees slightly bent, blade raised and ready.

Two ages ago, in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, the Houses of the Golden Flower and the Mole had been pushed together as the battle raged. As he fought, Glorfindel had seen the black blade Anguirel go flying, and the Lord of the Mole, weaponless, was using all his agility and speed to dodge the blades of the orcs attacking him, slashing at them with his dirk whilst he tried futilely to retrieve his sword. But the orcs were only pushing him further away from where it lay.

“Lómion! Catch!”

Glorfindel often fought with two swords, one in each hand. In that split-second, Lómion turned, their eyes met, and Glorfindel flung the blade in his right hand to him, which Lómion skillfully caught by the hilt, just in time to parry a blow by an orcish axe that would have severed his princely neck.

Glorfindel eyes met the black ones of his maiden. “Catch!” He threw one of his swords to Maeglin. Casting away the orcish blade in disgust, she caught his sword with ease. They fought side by side, back to back, and what she lacked of the grace and power of his strokes, she made up for with sheer ferocity.

When the last orc had fallen, they stood side by side, blood-spattered, and exchanged looks, seeing the battle light die down in each other’s eyes, hers golden, his white.

Glorfindel’s heart was breaking from despair.

“How many did you get?” Maeglin asked him.

“Twelve,” he said. “You?”

“Four,” Maeglin replied, and scowled. She wiped his blade clean on the grass, and held the hilt of the sword to him. “My thanks.”

As she had done over six thousand years ago.

He took it and sheathed it.

Emlindir, Beril and Thalanes were staring at her.

“Let’s go,” said Glorfindel, ignoring their looks.

Maeglin took a step forward, and collapsed to the ground.

Adrenalin and the reflexes of almost a century of vigorous military training in a previous life had seen her through the battle, but now every muscle in her body, over-fatigued, had seized into spasm. She tried to get to her feet, but her body refused to obey her. And she was trembling from head to foot. She gritted her teeth, hating to be weak. Especially before him.

Glorfindel lifted Maeglin into his arms and began the walk back to Imladris.

“Put me down,” she muttered weakly, her head against his shoulder.

“Why? So you can crawl back?”

“I hate not seeing where I’m going.”

“I can carry you like this, or you can ride on my back. Choose.”

So they went back with Glorfindel feeling Maeglin’s warm body against his back, her legs around his hips, her breath against his left ear and her arms wrapped around his neck.

Torn between bliss and torment, Glorfindel thought that he would die.

Elrond pursed his lips as he treated Maeglin. A wrenched shoulder. Several pulled muscles. Sore and swollen wrists, the right one sprained. Masses of blisters on her hands. She had taken cuts on her arms, broken two fingers, and her knuckles were raw. Her forehead and cheek had caught the edge of a blade, and a tear slid down her stoic, expressionless face as Elrond stitched the gashes.

Glorfindel had vanished, waving off all who wanted to dress his cuts.

“I hear you were very brave, and fought very well today,” Elrond said. “Can you remember anything of who taught you?”

Glorfindel did, Maeglin thought, and kept silent.

“Are any memories stirring?” Elrond asked, for traumatic events such as these often served as a catalyst for remembering the past.

Maeglin knew this as well, and decided it might be useful to start recollecting a few things. “I remember some lessons. My father.”

“Aha,” said Elrond, heartened by this breakthrough. “And do you see your home? Have you any idea where your parents and family might be?”

Maeglin was silent for a long while. “I saw my parents. They are dead. They were killed.”

Elrond saw truth in her steady gaze. “I am sorry, child.”

“Wherever my home might be, I do not know and I do not care. I have no one there. I wish to stay here.”

“And you are most welcome to. Would you like to train with the guard?” She would probably be a better warrior than a healer, Elrond thought.

Maeglin made a wry face. With Glorfindel?

“I shall think about it,” she replied.

Going straight from the healing halls to the stables, Glorfindel jumped onto Asfaloth and rode as fast and as hard as he could away from the house. Then dismounting, he climbed the slopes of the encircling hills like one pursued by wargs, ascended past the cascading waters of the falls, and in the middle of the wilderness, roared out in misery to the cruel heavens: “Why, Eru!? Why!?”

He loved Maeglin Lómion. Utterly. Desperately.

And there was no longer any shadow of doubt in his heart that it was Maeglin Lómion whom he had fought side by side with today, and carried on his back ten miles to the healing halls. He could still feel her weight on his back, her warmth, her arms and legs wrapped around him. He could still see her fierce face as she had stood with the orcish blade in her hands. The face and blazing eyes of the Lord of the Mole.

Glorfindel sat on the rocks of the mountainside, buried his head in his hands, and wept.

It was autumn. Glorfindel strode grimly towards the healing halls. He was missing a few of his newest cadets, and he knew where to find them. They were below the age of majority, new to the discipline of his training, and as frisky and silly as puppies.

As he opened the door to the healing halls, he could hear voices coming from one of the treatment rooms.

“Come with us to gather apples, our sweet!”

“Or let us take a walk into the hills!”

“The autumn festival is next week! Will you dance with us?”

“Oh yes, my blossom—save one dance for me!” At which jeers and the sounds of a scuffle broke out among the cadets.

Glorfindel moved until he could see into the open door.

Maeglin was stitching a gash on the leg of a young cadet with green eyes and brown hair, and four of his friends were gathered around her.

Glorfindel’s blue eyes took on an angry glint. But he stayed where he was, and waited.

“You are standing in my light, young worthies,” Maeglin said in a carefully even voice as she concentrated on her stitches. And truly, the silly pups were blocking much of the light from the window.

“Oh, fair flower, you know not how truly you speak!” said one with an attempt at a meaningful gaze.

“We are indeed standing in your light--!” chimed in one with beautiful silver eyes.

“Such light as comes from eyes so lovely and sweet.”

Glorfindel smiled as he saw a black eyebrow lift and saw a dangerous glint come into the eyes he knew so well. Maeglin was many things. Sweet was not one. He waited for it. One. Two. Three--

“One look from your eyes could slay us, my sweet.”

“But be kind, fair maid! Say you will dance!”

“I never dance,” she said curtly.

Anyone less young and silly would have taken warning from the icy scorn of her voice.

“Ah, but one of such lissom grace was surely made for dancing!”

“As one so fair was surely made for love.”

The suturing needle, held poised in the air, looked as though it wanted to stab someone in the neck. The black eyes had narrowed and golden fire flickered.

Finally. It had taken a lot longer than Glorfindel thought. The prince of Gondolin was getting soft.

“Love,” sneered Maeglin in a voice dripping with contempt. “What do you fools know of love? You are babies playing with pretty words. You know nothing!!”

Glorfindel cringed in dismay. He had expected the Lord of the Mole to send them running out of the room with an eruption of volcanic anger. He was startled by the bitterness, by the mix of mockery and pain in the black eyes. The faces of the young cadets had gone blank with bewilderment.

THERE YOU ARE, YOU LAZY, LUMPISH MISCREANTS!” Glorfindel bawled from the corridor outside, with an eye on that needle in Maeglin’s hand. The black eyes turned and pierced him sharply, but the needle in her hand kept steady. With guilty starts, four cadets went pale.

“Get out of there!!” thundered Glorfindel. “The lot of you!! NOW!!!

The cadets spilled out of the treatment room to stand abjectly before Glorfindel.

“Arasdil fell—“

“He hurt his leg—“

“We had to help him here—he couldn’t walk!”

“We were just going back—honest!“

“Back to training in ten seconds or I’ll have you cleaning the weapons room for the next month!”

The cadets sped away on light, swift feet down the corridor.

The brown haired cadet with green eyes was still in the room with Maeglin.

“Sir—” he said.

Glorfindel came in, had a look at the gash, and said, “Be more careful next time. No more horsing around.”

His eyes met Maeglin’s briefly. The scars on her face from the skirmish in summer had faded to fine lines. His heart ached with tenderness, he wanted to trace them with his finger, to kiss them.

The shadow in her eyes had vanished, but the memory of her words, mocking and bitter, haunted the warrior. After millennia in Mandos, and in this new form, was it possible that the traitor of Gondolin still longed for… still loved…? The thought that what he now felt for Maeglin, Maeglin might still cherish for the princess of Gondolin, for his own Ammë, made him feel sick to the stomach.

“I am sorry to have disturbed your work, maiden,” he said quietly.

He saw the hint of a smile before Maeglin bowed her head again over her suturing. She had not been as cold to him since that day they had fought together.

He could not unsee the face of the prince of Gondolin when he looked at her now. And still he loved and longed. He did not trust himself alone with her. Had the cadet not been there in the room, he would not have dared enter. Or he might have given in to temptation and done what he dreamed nightly. Pulled the prince of Gondolin down onto the couch where the cadet now lay.

Abruptly, he turned and left.

The dark-haired mortal boy sat next to Maeglin as they both ground dried herbs with mortar and pestle.

Estel was the first mortal Maeglin had ever known whom she liked. When he came by to learn about medicines and healing lore, the descendant of Elros Half-elven would quietly pull out from his pocket snacks that he had pilfered from the kitchen, and share them with her. He had the rare gift of being able to talk to her while she worked without annoying her—rare in anyone, let alone a mortal boy of eleven. He had a charisma and gravitas far beyond his years. She wondered what his ancestor Eärendil would have been like at eleven. She remembered the future star only as a seven-year-old – a beautiful but detestable blond brat who had kicked and punched Maeglin as the prince of Gondolin tried to kill him.

Glorfindel hovered nearby. Having completed an inventory of the medications with the healers, he had run out of things to occupy himself here. Part of him felt that he should not leave Estel alone with Maeglin, but they looked as though they were getting along famously. The prince of Gondolin getting chummy with a mortal. Glorfindel would never have thought he would ever see the day.

As his golden-haired swordfighting tutor walked out of the healing halls, Estel looked from the tall warrior to Maeglin with sage eyes and pronounced, “He likes you”.

“He would be one of the rare few then.”

A glimmer of amusement crossed the boy’s face. “You know very well what I mean. I saw his ears turn a little red when he looked at you just now. He has never done that for anyone else. Maybe he is in love with you.”

“Oh? And what would you know of love, young master?”

Giving her his most wise and enigmatic look, the boy had declined to reply and looked away with an expression both dreamy and pensive.

Elrond’s daughter Arwen had arrived a week ago at Imladris to celebrate the autumn festival.

Late autumn.

It was one of those hunting expeditions that had gone quite wrong. The Imladris hunters had become game themselves as an orc ambush landed two of the party in the healing halls, the more gravely injured of whom was Glorfindel, who had taken the brunt of the vicious attack in his effort to defend the others, and who had again not been wearing any armour.

“You are fortunate indeed to still have most of your guts,” said the Lord of Imladris grimly as he finished the final sutures on his Commander’s abdomen. “How are you feeling now?”

“Oh, absolutely marvellous, Elrond,” said the golden-haired warrior to the ceiling as he lay on the bed. “Just marvellous. You know, you are the most wonderful friend in the whole world. The most wonderful friend. I love you so much.”

Elrond frowned. How much painkiller had his assistants given the balrog slayer?

“You’re my best friend ever. I love you so much, Elrond. You should always do your hair that way.”

Elrond left the room before the balrog slayer could tell him again how much he loved him. “How much painkiller did you give Lord Glorfindel?” he demanded of Thalanes the healer.

“Just an extra dram, lord. It was going to be such a long operation. And he was in so much pain.”

Elrond sighed. “Well, it should do him no harm. Come, let’s tend to Emlindir now. I will need your assistance for this.” To the assistant healer nearby, who was preparing disinfectant for the wounds, Elrond said, “Lómiel, please dress Lord Glorfindel’s wounds.”

As Maeglin set her bandages and ointments by the bed, Glorfindel said, “There you are, my lovely. I missed you so much. You look so beautiful.” And she froze as he cheerfully told her in some detail what he would love to do to her that moment if he could only move.

Maeglin replied that she had long, sharp instruments that could do the same to him if he said that again.

After she had slathered disinfectant ointment on his wounds, and was sliding the bandages under his abdominal region and wrapping them around him—a little more roughly than she should have—he told her how wonderful it felt and what would feel even better if she just moved her hands a little lower.

Maeglin told him what he would lose if her hands moved a little lower.

As she trimmed off the ends of the bandages, he told her how beautiful her lips were and where he thought they should go and what he thought they could do.

At which the Lord of the Mole clouted the Lord of the Golden Flower unconscious with a hard blow of her fist to his head, and swept out of the room with burning cheeks.

Just when she had been beginning to think better of him. It confirmed every suspicion of his morals Maeglin had ever had in Gondolin, and cemented her low opinion of him. She loathed him.

And Glorfindel, waking ten hours later, had not the slightest memory of anything that had happened.

Lómiel refused to enter into Glorfindel’s room any more.

I will kill him if I do.

Elrond looked at her, shocked by her insubordination. “As healers, we serve all!” he reprimanded her sternly. “What did Lord Glorfindel do?”

“He did not do anything, my lord,” she said with a stony face.

Elrond remembered the painkiller. “Was it anything he said?”

She did not look at him but her eyes flickered gold and she blushed.

Impossible, thought Elrond. I’ve known him five thousand years and he would never—

There was no point forcing her to do anything.

“Lord Elrond, you have a new assistant now.” An elleth named Neldanna had just joined them. “I think we would all agree I am not suited to this work. I ask to be discharged from my duties in the healing halls.”

Elrond nodded sadly. “I’m afraid I do agree. Thank you for all your labours here. Do you know what you would like to do now?”

“I have something in mind, lord.”

And Maeglin dipped him a curtsey and left.


Díheno ammen (S) – forgive us (lower status to higher status)

Pen dithen (S) – little one

Yrch (S) - orcs

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