4. Dreams and Wakings
Everyone else slept in the bigger room. He thought about the woman sleeping among the men tonight. No one would disturb her, or threaten her honour. This was the Shire and they were hobbits.
Suddenly he heard her voice:
‘Ai! Laiqualassë meldanya!’*
He abandoned his post and went to check she was all right. She seemed to be still asleep, but restless, speaking in her dreams, repeating words of an elven tongue. Many others had also woken, and stood staring at the sleeping maiden.
Someone had lighted a candle.
‘Hey, Samkin! You should be guardin’!’
‘Go and guard yourself if you want to!’
‘Meldanya? Mana rávë?**... Oh, it was a dream... did I shout?’ She was awake.
‘One could say so.’
‘Was it a nightmare?’
‘Well, sort of. I’m fine and not scared, if that’s what worries you. Go to bed and kill that -sercëa- candle!’ ***
Later, when Samkin had returned to the watch-window, he heard soft footsteps approach. It was Niphredil, with a blanket on her shoulders.
‘I can’t get to sleep again. I try to catch the dream and it escapes.’
Samkin rose to offer her a chair.
‘Thanks. By the way, did I shout words?’
In the dim light he could not be sure, but Niphredil seemed to blush.
‘Don’t worry. Nobody understood it. You spoke elvish.’
‘I did? Can you remember what did it sound like?’
‘You spoke something like a name many times - Meldania?’
‘It is no name. Anything else?’
‘Something... lai-kwa-lasse, perhaps. What does it mean?’
‘I’m sorry, I can’t tell. It is about a lost love. I can say that meldanya means...’
She stood up and stepped closer to him;
‘...my beloved.’ She kissed him, suddenly, on the mouth.
‘We have only just met!’ Samkin protested.
‘And soon we will part, no doubt. Tonight, let us enjoy our youth!’
‘It’s the beer talking in you. You will regret this.’
‘Am I not good enough for you?’
‘You are too good.’
‘I’m not a virgin, if that worries you.’
‘...I should be keeping watch...’
Niphredil spread the blanket on the floor. Then she grabbed Samkin’s arm and pulled him up from the chair. She began to open his breeches, but his hand stopped her and he undid the laces himself. Niphredil was also wearing breeches, and soon stepped out of them. Strangely, she kept her shirt on.
On the floor they shared passion without love, without even friendship. Samkin had never imagined his first time would be both so intense and violent, and so cold and emotionless. Niphredil certainly was no virgin, she knew how to make a man burn for her and to please her. She came with a gasp, and whispered once more: ‘Meldanya.’ As Samkin came inside her, he realised it was not him she meant.
Yet they kissed, after it, and exchanged sweet meaningless words. But each other’s eyes they could no longer meet.
In the morning, Samkin was sulking, and Niphredil had a headache. She left towards Brandy Hall chewing a bit of athelas and humming to the tune of ‘Man in the Moon stayed up too late’.
*’Ai! Laiqualassë meldanya!’ = ‘Oh! Greenleaf my beloved!’... ;-) (could not resist translating his name to Quenya...)
**’Meldanya? Mana rávë?’ = ‘My beloved? What is this noise?’
*** still playing with Quenya: sercëa = bloody...
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.