Celeborn and Galadriel
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Silver and Gold : 8. Chapter 8
[Some quick notes –
To Ringwraith – thanks for keeping me on my toes! Let me defend on one count, though… The Lorien to which Melian refers, way back
in chapter 2, is not Galadriel and Celeborn’s later realm of Lothlorien, or
Laurelindorean. She is referring to the
Lorien she knows, the forest of Irmo of the Valar, in Valinor, where Melian
dwelt before she went to Middle-Earth and fell in love with Elwë.
And yes, you’re quite right - Luthien is far too young.
But she’s so freaking cute.
*ahem* That is to say, I was already a number of chapters
into the story when that occurred to me, and by then, I was attached.]
[that said, on to the story, which I made you wait all
summer for… *blush*]
“Hush. Pain builds character.”
gave her mother a reproachful look through a veil of wet, half brushed
hair. “Who made that up?”
did. Now hold still,” Melian replied,
setting her daughter’s head in an erect, forward position, and pulling the comb
through the damp tangles of her raven hair.
smiled at Luthien’s long-suffering expression, as she deftly wound her own
plaits into a neat crown and pinned them in place.
you do that?” Luthien asked sharply.
hair up. You should leave it down, it
looks prettier that way…”
though I am to admit that the Princess of Tangles here should give anyone
advice about their hair,” Melian added, tugging at the comb, while Luthien
winced, “she does have a point. Your
hair looks much more becoming when it has room to shimmer.”
paused, then hesitantly reached up to take the pins out, and unplait her
waves. She always put her hair up for
formal functions, ever since she was barely more than a child.
Fëanor might be there.
might find it difficult to explain to her hostess the origin of her habit. My
father’s half-brother liked to touch my hair… And it scared her. Why,
she wasn’t sure, quite. Other people
touched her hair. Father stroked her
hair when she cried. Mother loved to
twine strings of pearls into it, and braid and fuss, much as Melian was doing
with Luthien’s mane. And her brothers and
cousins pulled it when they wanted to tease her, much as they did Aredhel’s and
later, Finrod’s little friend Amarië’s.
But it was
different, somehow. A different that
made her freeze like a startled rabbit.
remembered the day she learned to write, in particular. All of Finwë’s grandchildren, and his two
younger sons, were gathered to learn the letters Fëanor had made. The letters had so pleased Aulë, who
rejoiced in all the creations of his pupils, and now Fëanor taught them, as
Aulë often taught the children. He was
patient, but restless, as though ready to begin a new project. But he taught them.
through the ranks of bent heads, and uncertainly moving quills, Fëanor paused
by each of his students, to check their progress, and provide an appropriate
word of encouragement. Out of the
corner of her eye, she saw him pat Aredhel’s cheek, clap a hand on Finrod’s
his fingers in her hair, and her ink-laden quill halted. It was a few heartbeats, him pushing his
fingers through her glossy waves all the while, until he spoke.
going. How I am to see if you’re doing
well?” Galadriel managed to get the
quill moving again, shivering as he rubbed his thumb across her temple. “Good girl.”
Valinor?” Melian asked dryly.
blinked, and brought two sets of very curious, very insightful eyes into focus
as they fixed firmly on her.
put it that way,” she replied, not bothering to try to smile.
her daughter’s hair an appraising glance.
“I think that’s all we can accomplish for now. Go make a nuisance of yourself until your hair is a little drier.
pouted. “Now you’re just trying to get
rid of me.”
laughed. “I need to talk to Galadriel,
little one. So go play and get your
hair into more wretched tangles, all right?”
“I’ll do my
best,” Luthien said solemnly, and then stood and scampered off.
turned to Galadriel, her expression intent.
Galadriel did her best not to shift uncomfortably like a guilty child.
your brother is full of plans for a hidden kingdom of his own. Do you mean to accompany him to the Narog?”
she asked directly.
Galadriel said with a nod.
cocked her head. “How set are you on
Galadriel replied forcefully. “It is
not a ‘decision’ in the least. He is my
brother, and his ambitions are very close to my own.”
Melian mused, “I imagine you came to Middle-earth for very much that purpose.”
“I, like my brothers, came to
oppose Morgoth, and to help protect our brethren who dwell here already,”
Galadriel retorted icily.
why, or course, the Noldor build their own cities and nations, instead of
putting their forces relentlessly against Angband,” Melian answered dryly.
gratitude of the Sindar is duly noted.”
Galadriel’s anger flared, but not without an element of guilt. The Noldor were indeed making them selves
quite comfortable in Middle-earth. Come
what may of the battle against Morgoth, Beleriand and its realms would be their
home until Arda was no more…
me,” Melian said softly, reaching out a hand to Galadriel’s clenched fist. “I did not mean to accuse.”
foolish of me to be mistaken,” Galadriel said curtly.
“I meant to
ask,” Melian continued, her expression turning very serious, “If you would
consider remaining in Doriath, as my companion, and my student.”
stared. She, princess of the line of
Finwë, a lady-in-waiting for this…
do you propose to teach me?” Galadriel asked, her voice carefully neutral.
mean to be a leader of Elves, Galadriel?
I would be very much surprised if you did not. There is much you could learn about reading the hearts of those
“I think I
can manage well enough without invading the minds of my people,” she snapped.
head with a half-smile quirking at her lips, Melian snorted. “I did not mean anything so crude. But there will be times when you may have to
do things you would rather not, to protect the kingdom, and those people who’s
privacy you value so highly.” Her eyes
met Galadriel’s, and for an instant, the Noldor princess caught a glimpse of
the power and wisdom that dwelt in Melian.
“Besides,” she went on, after a slight pause, “I would dearly like to
have someone close, who could speak to me of my home in the words of one who has
dwelt countless years there and loves it as I do.” She smiled then – a simple smile that assured Galadriel that her
motives were no more complex than the ones she’d explained. “I do not, propose, however, that you wholly
deprive your brother and your people of your presence. And I think there are yet lessons you have
to learn from Finrod as well.”
blinked. “You truly think me so inept?”
Melian denied vehemently. “You have
potential beyond what I have seen in any, Galadriel. I think, perhaps, you only want a little guidance.”
that, you think I should stay on in Doriath, as you lady-in-waiting?”
not describe it as such. You would be
my disciple and, I could only hope, my friend.” Melian smiled again. And
the light in her eyes was the light of one who had seen Telperion and Laurelin
at their first blooming, and chosen the starlight of Beleriand over their rays.
“I am that
already,” Galadriel replied, smiling at last.
“I appreciate your offer. But,”
her smile faded, and she shook her head, “I have no wish to be parted from my
others from whom she did not wish to be parted, but there was still a chance
she might sway him…
reconsider,” Melian offered gently, “know that you are always welcome in
He did not
stand, but his voice quieted the chatter in the hall. The assembled throng of Menegroth all silently placed their
silverware on the tablecloth, and lifted their heads attentively.
of the Noldor, our nephew, Princess Galadriel, our niece, and their brothers
who were unable to pay their respects to Menegroth as of yet, will be setting
forth to build Menegroth’s sister city with the first light of dawn.”
almost choked. He was announcing it? She’d hoped to draw Celeborn aside after the
meal, and explain – argue her cause.
But now… he’d think she didn’t care enough to tell him before the rest
of the city knew.
promised our kinsmen the aid and good will of Doriath. Now we call upon you, our people to help
show it. If there are architects,
masons, sculptors, and artisans, who feel their skills are up to the challenge
of a new city hewn from the living rock of Beleriand, we beseech you to lend
your hands to Lord Finrod…”
from her plate, Galadriel found herself staring directly into Celeborn’s grey
eyes. She would’ve looked away, but
they held her fast.
you tell me?” he whispered from across the table, trying to keep the hurt out
of his voice.
All of her
“I meant to”s and “I was going to”s sounded feeble in her mind, so she kept
silent. Thingol continued speaking, but
she no longer remotely attended his words.
Celeborn broke their gaze and shifted his chair, as though only his politeness
prevented him from walking out of the hall.
concluded his speech and fell silent.
Galadriel had caught something about the fellowship between the cities,
but was distracted as Celeborn’s manners at last allowed him to flee. She stood to follow.
And at the
same moment, Finrod stood to receive the of craftsman who crowded up to the
place at Thingol’s table where he sat, offering their services and their wishes
of good fortune. With a glance over her
shoulder at Celeborn’s form disappearing through the corridors, Galadriel
joined her brother, and stood at his side.
“As much as
I am pleased with how the arches turned out in the entryways,” an architect was
telling Finrod animatedly, “I have a new idea of how it might work, and would
Finrod interrupted him regretfully, holding up a graceful hand. He turned to Galadriel, looking slightly
annoyed. “Why aren’t you following
pardon?” she replied primly, pointedly not looking at the builder who,
far from being offended at having his speech interrupted, looked extremely
interested in theirs.
Finrod bade her, making it clear that he had no intention of going back to his
conversation until she obeyed him.
[An update at last!
I’m horribly desperately sorry for making everyone wait all summer! I know it was cruel, but I had a nassssty
busy summer of too much summer job and not remotely enough free time, not to
mention an extremely slow dial-up connection.
But I’m back at school, and writing a great deal more consistently
now. Again, I’m sorry this story went
so long between updates! And thanks to
all of you who cared enough to keep nagging me. ^_^ Hope it was worth
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