7. Chapter 7
Celeborn, his hair still dripping, stood in the doorway of the study. Luthien looked up from the gameboard and waved.
Finrod looked up at him thoughtfully.
“Luthien,” Finrod began, “why don’t you go bother my sister?”
The little princess blinked her dark grey eyes. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
“Positive,” Finrod lied conclusively.
Shrugging, Luthien stood, bowed very gravely, and dashed off down the hall.
Watching her go, Celeborn grinned. “She always makes me smile.”
Finrod withheld a number of tempting comments about what else might make Master Celeborn smile, expending a great deal of will power in the process. “Have a seat,” he bade, beckoning towards Luthien’s place.
Obeying, Celeborn surveyed the layout of pieces. “It seems the princess has you on the run.”
“If you’d care to take over for her, I think you’ll find yourself less advantaged than she was. You’re not at all little and cute.”
“In that case, I might as well let her finish her own game,” Celeborn retorted good-naturedly.
Finrod grinned at him. “Let’s be honest, shall we?” he began, leaning forward far enough to prop his elbows on the table.
“Preferrably,” Celeborn replied, blinking.
“Just what is going on with you and my sister?”
Celeborn let out a deep breath and leaned back in his chair. “If I knew how to answer that, I would be more than happy to…”
“Come Celeborn,” Finrod chided, “you agreed to honesty. Now, deliver.”
Celeborn met his eyes frankly. “Galadriel is…”
“Beautiful,” Finrod concluded dismally.
“Well… yes,” Celeborn admitted.
“I should’ve know. You know, I think every one of our first cousins was smitten with her at one point? You’re perilously close to that yourself,” Finrod realized, sitting up a little. “You’re Thingol’s nephew, you said?”
“Grand-nephew, actually,” Celeborn amended. “His brother Elmo is my grandfather.”
“And his brother Olwë is mine. Two generations off. Slim margin, Celeborn.”
Celeborn nodded, looking mildly troubled by this.
“What I’m getting at,” Finrod continued, “is that the last thing Galadriel needs is another person obsessing over her beauty. She’s been through it.”
“I’m sure you’re correct,” Celeborn began carefully. “And I imagine that the next to the last thing she needs is a brother intent on telling her what she needs?”
“That,” Finrod told him, very seriously, “is irrelevant to this discussion.”
“Not entirely,” Celeborn disagreed. “Galadriel undoubtedly knows her own mind,” he pointed out.
“Undoubtedly,” Finrod agreed vehemently.
“Then surely she would’ve dismissed me quite forcefully, had I been only an admirer of her beauty.”
“That…” Finrod stated, leaning back in his chair, “is a good point.”
“I rather liked it myself,” Celeborn retorted modestly, grinning.
“And what is also a good point,” Finrod parried, “is that even Galadriel herself is not immune to a fair face and a clever tongue.”
“Finrod,” Celeborn said flatly, leaning forward, face very earnest. “Galadriel is … an intriguing person. The more I talk to her… the more I want to. She… impresses me, and frustrates me, and… fascinates me. I’m fond of her.”
Finrod snorted. “So am I.”
Finrod gazed in loving awe at the map in his hands. He sat in perfect stillness, as though the slightest movement would shatter a dream.
Galadriel paused at the study door. “Finrod?”
He looked up, eyes shining, grinning like a little boy.
“It’s perfect,” he told her quietly. “There’s a system of caves along the river Narog. The placement is ideal – better than Menegroth!” he exclaimed enthusiastically. “All I lack is my own Maia, and –” Finrod abandoned that line reason at a stern glance from his sister, and cleared his throat. “At any rate, we can set out at first light. Thingol has agreed to help with architects and labor, and I would like to survey the site as soon as possible. The sooner we get started the better,” he concluded, voice rising in an excited crescendo.
“….first light?” she echoed softly, then quickly ducked her head to avoid her brother’s gaze.
“Galadriel, this is what we’ve dreamed of.” He stood from the desk and faced her. “This is your ambition and mine. And yet you look as though I’ve just torn out your heart.” Finrod took her chin in his hand and forced her to face him, but she kept her eyes downcast. “This is about Celeborn?”
Galadriel looked up quickly, denial on her lips and confirmation in her eyes.
Finrod silenced her with a look. Their relationship had been that of equals so long, that she could almost forget that the older brother she adored could command her respect and attention with the merest expression.
“You’re in love with him.” It wasn’t a question.
Galadriel opened her mouth to respond, but Finrod cut her off with an irritated gesture.
“And you’re planning to be a stubborn fool and refuse to change your almighty ambitions and plans? Forever is a long time to spend alone, Galadriel,” he told her sharply.
“Do not act as though you would know from experience,” she retorted pulling away from his grasp. “You are hardly alone, just because that Vanyar…”
“Amarië chose what she believed in. Than happened to be obedience to the Valar over me. I can not and will not find fault with her for that choice,” he asserted quietly.
“Nor will I hesistate to. It shows the shallowness of her devotion to you.”
“I loved her. I still do.”
“No one doubts that, Finrod,” Galadriel said softly, putting her hand on his shoulder. “It was she who left you.”
“Only as much as I left her,” he contradicted, shaking his head. He looked up and smiled at his sister. “Finwë’s line has a strand of stubbornness as wide as the Ered Luin, and about as perilous. It is not often we meet one as stubborn as ourselves.”
Slowly, she returned his smile. “A day?”
“Can you delay our…your…departure a day? I just need a chance to speak to him of this.”
“Of course. But, Galadriel…” he began.
“You know… any decisions you make at this point aren’t irrevocable,” he said with a cynical half-smile. As your decision was, she thought, not liking the melancholy sheen in her brother’s eyes. He let his fingers slide across the map. “I won’t be far from Doriath.”
She nodded. “I know. But… I want my decisions to last.”
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.