Anna - The Gift of A Soul
4. Chapter Four: The Son
Yes, of course I am dead - but how many times you have seen the dead walking? The Nine Riders. The Wight in the Barrow. And among your allies? Glorfindel. Gandalf. The Men of Dunharrow you heard of.
You won't see me walking, Nine-Finger. But you'll hear me speaking. In your nightmares. And you have no choice but to listen.
Do you think I was proud of myself when I escaped the army of the valar? Ashamed is what I was. It might please you to think of me as a rat, but rats, I imagine, take pride in hiding and that is something I have never done.
I did not betray my master, even when I feared he had betrayed himself and sided with the valar. It is true I did little but waited, but I was faithful in my wait.
And he came! His voice called us - for others were faithful, too - with the urgency of despair. I sent the balrogs to his aid and they overcame the ally that had dared to betray him. In my deepest heart I was jealous that he had confided in such a creature instead of me. Now he entered his realm without a word of thanks for all I had done to keep his servants at the ready. He had gained a priceless treasure: the Silmarilli. Now he crowned himself King of Arda and inserted the three jewels into his iron crown.
Was I jealous? Did I desire that crown upon my own head, did I yearn to touch the stones made of light? Not once, Nine-Finger, not once. You who betrayed your own may find it hard to believe, you who fell to the lure of a mere trinket compared to what the Silmarilli were! I never betrayed mine, I never let my enemies gain ground in my heart. I see you do believe me, Nine-Finger, I see how the knowledge pains you. Feel the finger you lost?
I had nine fingers too, you know, when I still had fingers. Thanks for that belong to the backstabber Isildur, not to my faithlessness. We are alike and yet not alike. In another wise I also had Nine that I called my Fingers sometimes, the fingers of the Black Hands... yes, the Wraiths... feel the cold in your shoulder?
You wake - yet you shall dream again...