As the sun was rising the stranger packed his few belongings and his bread, his flute hung from his belt as though a knife, his cloak had been the bed on which he lay. We watched him sling his bundle over his shoulder, as small as the burden on his mind was large, though unspoken.
"Friend singer, will not thee stay with us?" our leader asked. "For thy song we will holdest thee as part of us. Though we will soon have no need of food we will even givest thee what thy needs are."
"No, I can not stay. I must not stay. I will become a curse to you."
"Why? Who art thou?"
"I am Daeron-'the Shadowed'".
"By what art thou cursed?"
"Nay, my friend, I am just Shadowed. The shadow I have is memory and knowledge. The Knowledge is that the one Elf in all Middle-earth I hate and I am twinned. We both desired beyond reason. We both captured what we desired by destroying others. We both had to give away our desires to save ourselves. We both wander to seek forgiveness for our crimes. Here the memory comes in as torture, for Maglor is permitted to wander the shores mind dulled by the depths of insanity, while I wander the lands fully sane and going mad, ever going mad, and my madness will inflict you."
The fea of the leader glowed in sympathy with Daeron's fate. "Thou will not even fade?"
'I have not faded. I do not know. I often think that wandering forever is but my proper penalty."
Then The Shadowed sang again, voice alone, and Luthien again dances beneath the trees with Beren as her partner. Though the song ended in glory, the sadness of the singer served as counterpoint.
After he finished one of the People around listening said, "Thou did releasest her. Thee let her leave and did not try to destroy her for wanting to leave.
"That is my greatest shadow."
At that the one named the Shadowed pricked up his outside burden and settled into his inside one. He walked past we Avari and gave his sad farewell as he walked toward the settlement of Men who no longer could see an Elf.
That night we listened to his evensong on the wind.
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.