1. For Maeglin
I had never thought it would be like this. The walls of the city stained with both elven and orcish blood. Screams echoing through the air. The hiss of a blade against another throat. The stench of burning flesh.
And all of this had been my doing. It was my fault that so many have perished. It was all because of me that the last elven stronghold that stands against Morgoth was falling.
I should have died in the torture chambers of Angband. But my will to live was strong then. Yet in this hour, all that mattered was the safety of the woman I loved.
"Idril! Idril!" I called until my throat was ragged and raw. And oh, thank Iluvatar, I finally found her with her son, standing as if horrified, just on the walls.
"Run, Idril! Run!" I leaped over several boulders towards her. And she turned her eyes to me. Eyes that contained hatred, and despise. I stopped.
"Traitor!" Her voice was clear and cold. It pierced me like a knife in the heart. Suddenly Tuor was before me, sword in hand.
"Traitor!" he echoed, and swung towards me. I did not defend myself, merely jumped aside every time he tried to cut me apart. My mind was numb. Tuor must have thought I was teasing him, so he fought harder. It was not long before his sword end up impaling me on the wall. Tuor and Idril swiftly left to gather the remaining people, without a backward glance at the traitor. They should have taken the time to kill me properly.
The pain was terrible. But at least Idril was going away. To where I think would be safe. I fear she would never forgive me. Those who had loved and received love in return all their lives would never understand the sorrows of the unrequited. I hope she would never have to.
I had wanted to stay pinned to the wall forever. But through my already hazy vision I saw an orc trying to finish off an injured child lying defenseless on the ground. I threw my sword. Hard. It hit the orc where the sword of Tuor had gone through me.
The child did not move. I called to her, but there was no response. Gritting my teeth and with a furious will I tore myself from the wall, and went half crawling to the child. She had golden hair. I checked her pulse and found that she was not dead, merely shocked. I roused her gently and urged her in the direction Tuor and Idril had gone.
"Would you be with me, my lord?" she asked with all childish innocence, her grey eyes wide.
"No. Now go to where no foul creature will harm you. Quick!"
"But you are hurt, my lord!" she gestured at my midsection with trembling hands.
"It is only a figment of your imagination. Now run, little one. I will be alright."
And she was gone like the wind.
I did not doubt that I could recover fully, if I had cared to pull out that sword, quench the bleeding, and apply the right herbs. I am a tough elf. Whatever happened in Angband should have proved that. But I did not. My guilt was too heavy a thing to bear, and now that I have done what I could to help, there was nothing more to live for. No heart would be pained anyway if Maeglin the dark elf walked the world no longer.
So I laid there in the ruined city of Gondolin and closed my eyes, waiting for the summon to come. The decision was made even before it was asked of me: I would stay in the Halls of Mandos until the remaking of Arda. Time now meant nothing to me, though I could still faintly sense the rising and falling of the stars. How long I lay there I did not know.
After an indefinite period of time, I sensed someone come beside me, lifted my head in strong arms, and caressed my hair. I opened my eyes. Although I could not really see him, I recognized him. By smell, perhaps. It was Ecthelion. A mole that still possesses a sense of smell is not truly dead. Unfortunately for me.
"Why are you here?" I asked him. Talking was not exactly comfortable. I could not repress a cough, and I felt blood running from the corners of my mouth.
"Shh. Do not speak" He carefully took out a water skin. Then, without letting go of my head, he put it to my mouth. All I could see of his legs and feet were a reddish blur. Evidently the gaping hole in my stomach was not the only open wound in me.
"Drink." He commanded softly. His voice was gentle.
I did not. I could not. So I tried to turn my head away, only to find that Ecthelion had lost none of his strength.
"Drink." He said again.
"No. I betrayed my city. I betrayed my king and my people. I betrayed you. I do not deserve this. Go away, and let me die in peace." After all that and he still did not know what I had done. The words came out in a tumble, and so did the blood. My long speech must have reopened a cut on my throat.
His answer was not as I thought it would be. I thought he would throw me aside, maybe gracing me with the mercy of a quicker death. Instead he pulled my whole tattered body into a warm embrace. I could feel his ribs pushing at Tuor's sword, but it did not really hurt anymore. I had gone too far to feel pain.
"Forgive me." What I did may have been too great for forgiveness, but I still wanted to hear one pardon before Mandos claimed me eternally.
"Of course, child. Of course." No one had ever called me "child" for such a long, long time. None, in fact, had ever said it with such love. Through my relatively short memory of one hundred or so years, I had never shed a tear. Not when I was a child begging for food. Not when my father murdered my mother, and certainly not when my uncle murdered my father. But when Ecthelion held me tight, like a mother holds a child, I could not stop one hundred years' worth of tears flowing down my bloodied cheeks.
"You are only so young." He whispered, his tears mingling with mine. He tried to clean away the mud that caked my face.
"Forget it." I could not even smell him now. A sure sign of my coming death. "Youth is not a reason to commit crime. I have done what I have done. It can no longer be changed. I will face my judgement before the seat of Mandos."
He nodded, kissed my forehead, and said farewell. My dimming senses tried to comprehend the world for one last time, and failed.
I have no idea why it was Ecthelion. He just popped up. I know he should be dead. Hell. I have no idea why Tuor didn't throw him like canon said so. I have no idea of Maeglin and Ecthelion 's relationship before this happened. I have no idea why Idril and Tuor seemed like total bastards. I have no idea why Turgon doesn't show up anywhere. I have no idea why Maeglin didn't seem to be as bad and annoying and slinky he's supposed to be. I have no idea why it was so violent and such a bloody mess. Hell. I have no idea why Maeglin is so suicidal. He shouldn't be. Damn. I have no idea why Maeglin is so rehabilitating. In other words, Maeglin is very out-of-character, and so is everyone else.
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.