2. Chapter 2
“My Lord, Lord Finrod and Lady Galadriel, guests of Doriath,” the sentry at the door to Thingol’s study announced firmly.
Thingol looked up from a table covered in plans and sketches, stood, and smiled as he set his quill down.
“Luthien, my little blossom,” he laughed as the little girl ran up to him and he scooped her up into his arms.
“I see you’ve greeted our guests, Luthien,” Melian, who had also been intent on the drawing, stated as she too got to her feet, looking amused. She raised her eyebrows at Celeborn, who smiled apologetically.
“And we are very grateful for your hospitality,” Galadriel interjected gracefully.
Melian smiled, and it was obvious where Luthien had inherited her remarkable beauty. While Luthien was a lovely child, a tiny flower bud, Melian was a glowing rose in full bloom. “But we have hardly been hospitable, when our guests still stand travel-weary at our threshold.”
“Indeed,” Thingol agreed, putting his daughter down so that she could scamper to her mother. “Though I have many questions for the children of Finarfin, I will wait until you’ve rested, and hopefully, can join us in our evening meal.”
“Come, let me show you your accommodations,” Melian bade, stepping forward. “Architecture wearies me so quickly sometimes.”
Galadriel and Finrod exchanged a quick glance. They must be welcome indeed for the lady of the realm to lead them to their rooms.
“And you, my Luthien,” Melian continued, kneeling to kiss the child’s forehead, “will return to your lessons. And I hope I will not hear of you running away from Celeborn again,” she added with a touch of sternness.
“You won’t, Mother,” Luthien assured her, a bit too quickly. She ran over to plant a kiss on her father’s cheek, then returned docilely to Celeborn’s side and was handed a book and a quill.
“In an hour or so, someone will ready your baths and lay clothes out for you for dinner,” Melian told her guests as she led them down a corridor. “Until then, please rest, and if you need anything, just come back to the study.” Melian smiled warmly at them, indicated a doorway, and turned to return the way she’d come.
“Well that was an unmistakable ‘don’t explore,’wouldn’t you say?” Finrod muttered to Galadriel, a smile quirking at his lips.
His hair shimmered like mithril in the candlelight.
Galadriel blinked, and turned her eyes and attention back the conversation. It was just too easy to stare at the shiny things across the dinner table. But Celeborn was deeply engrossed in the conversation and hadn’t noticed.
“If you would form parties that would venture just outside Doriath, there would be so much less work for the border sentries,” Finrod was explaining animatedly.
“The theory is sound,” Thingol agreed, “but Menegroth’s stance is defensive. Not many other than our own people know we’re here, and I should prefer to keep it that way.”
“If you’ll forgive me, your Majesty,” Finrod began, lips thinning, and golden curls falling into his eyes, “a hole is only so defensible.”
Melian’s eyebrows shot up, and Celeborn picked up a napkin to stifle his chuckle.
Thingol paused. “Be that as it may, it becomes more so when ones enemies don’t know that there is anything hiding in that ‘hole.’”
“My Lord, there always exists the possibility that one’s hole will be discovered,” Finrod pointed out.
“My dear boy,” Thingol said slowly, “Menegroth is not precisely a ‘hole.’”
“You have precautions in the event of an invasion then?” he asked curiously.
Thingol went on to explain them in great detail, and Melian, seated beside Galadriel, with Luthien curled up asleep beside her with her head in her mother’s lap, leaned closer to begin a new conversation.
“Your brother is refreshingly bold. So many defer to my husband even when they disagree with him. It’s pleasant when someone counters his opinions so fearlessly. Even if it does involve calling our kingdom a hole,” she laughed.
Galadriel laughed as well, and shook her head. “I love Finrod dearly, but sometimes he’s not much of a diplomat.”
Melian smiled. “There are more important virtues than diplomacy,” she commented, running her fingers through Luthien’s raven hair. “And what do you think of our city?”
“It’s remarkable,” Galadriel replied easily. “I magnificent tribute to the collaboration of the children of Aüle and the people of Varda. But I must admit…” she added with a hesitant smile, “I find the forest of Doriath more bewitching.”
Melian smiled softly. “It is so like Lorien, and so unlike it,” she said softly. “It breaks my heart and soothes my soul. But there is a wildness in it that Lorien did not have. Much like my Luthien,” she added, smiling at the child, peaceful and angelic in sleep.
“Milady Galadriel,” Thingol spoke up, “will you do us the honor of joining your brother and I on a tour of the city this afternoon?” He seemed delighted at the opportunity.
Galadriel opened her mouth to accept, but Melian spoke first.
“My love, I have just offered her a tour of the forest. And I believe I know a guide.” Melian smiled.
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.