2. Spirit Reforged
They bring you to me in the lightless grey dawn, swaddled in soft cloth and borne with honour. He holds you in his arms handling you gently, reverently. His grey eyes hold mine, full of his love for you as he places you in my hands. Behind him stands my Lord, eyes grave and quiet. We do not speak; there is no need. I know my task and the honour it holds. Nothing more is there to say.
When they are gone, I arrange you, shard by shattered, aching shard and run my hands over you, not quite touching. And I reach out, as does a healer, to sense your pain; feeling the ache in my own body, the damage, inflicted so long ago, that has not healed. You do not stir, yet I feel your spirit, fragmented, wounded as is your body, murmuring, wandering in far-off fevered dreams, your voice faint, lost, forsaken.
And through my fingertips, I feel you whisper his name, caught in memory. Elendil.
There is little warning, a jolt, a shiver along my nerves, then your jagged edges brush my fingers and I feel his death throes, shot through with your own, and the endless, hopeless mourning which has become your darkness.
And as I reach further, I feel another; a fleeting touch, filled with such loss and rage I shudder.
Isildur. Shaking, blinded by fury. I can feel the rough, trembling grip of his hand. His gauntlet is slick with sweat and tears and the blood of a father. A brand forever imprinted, never forgotten.
And suddenly, I am pulled further, ensnared by a pain such as I have never known. It echoes through me, dizzying me, stealing my breath, robbing me of sight. The point of contact, the darkness, cloying, overwhelming. You scream your defiance, straining, your voice silver light in the surrounding blackness. And then there is searing agony as you are torn asunder and your soul is shattered. For though your body broke beneath the body of the King, your spirit held, until even you could not endure. Yet even then, though your essence fragmented in the evil of the darkness, still your soul remained pure.
I rise from my knees, shaken and trembling, and softly, slowly I begin to sing to you, weaving my voice through yours; a song of mourning and of loss. Narsil, child of Dwarvish hands whose touch still lingers in your essence. Through my song I honour the skill of he by whom you were wrought, whose touch you first felt as he drew you into being. I honour him as one smith to another, Elf to Dwarf, united by our craft, and I offer my pledge that I will renew his creation.
I raise my hands, studying slender fingers and know that, though the form of our hands is different, still the marks they bear are the same. I smile, feeling his blessing, hearing his murmured wish for the healing of his child, and I bow my head in silent assent.
It is time. Time to re-forge your spirit, to recall your soul, to weave the earth and rock of your Dwarvish birth with the silk-steel and pure fire and light of the Elves.
In Nogrod were you forged; in Imladris will you be reborn.
The forge glows white hot as I heat the Elvish steel, slipping your shattered body alongside so that in the heat you begin to melt and meld, old and new, Dwarf and Elf. I feel your fleeting surprise at the touch of the heat. You stir, questioning, turning to the warmth which eases your pain. I whisper to you of honour and strength and the stars under which the Elves were born. I sing to you of joy and light and precious life as steel melts, becomes soft and yielding, running together so that it is impossible to tell where one piece ends and another begins. You whisper your name, over and over, keening, weeping, offering up your damaged essence to the heat and the running steel.
Narsil, wounded, hurting child, soon you will be whole again. You will recall your strength and your soul will be healed, your spirit reborn.
I withdraw you from the heat and you shiver at the first blow, your voice faltering and then strengthening, confused and searching. Here, I murmur, come thus to my hand; fate and new life await you.
And now I sing of he who will be your bearer, descendant of he whom you loved. Dúnadan, Elessar. I sense you listening, your curiosity kindled, reaching out for the images in my song, of dark hair and steel grey eyes, the purity of spirit to match your own.
Again I return you to the fire, now glowing red and suddenly you convulse, crying out, screaming. I knew this would come, had to come. I hold you steady, anchoring your spirit with my own, soothing, comforting, as the darkness is purged. Your agony sharpens and increases, intensifying until I feel it must end or we must both perish. Then it is gone. The pressure lessens, the pain subsides.
And I feel, quiet at first, but gaining strength, a new voice, born of the old, like to the former yet not like. Narsil, I hear, faint, fading, blending into the new pattern. You will not forget, but now are you cleansed, born anew and you search for your new identity, eager and restless once more. I feel you cry out, joyous, demanding as I withdraw you from the heat and set you to cool, shaping, tempering.
I watch you for a moment before I retrieve the tools I need to etch the words of strength and of warding that will protect and keep you both. You know him now, he who will bear you. This Dúnadan whose name and being is hope; you have heard his soul’s song. With yours, it weaves into the greyness of the day as a shaft of light brightening the mists, piercing and sharp.
I lean close, still singing softly, etching into your blade the symbol of he who bore you and of his sons; seven stars, a crescent moon, a rayed sun, and now I hear their voices also. They spiral together, theirs and mine, yours, and his who will bear you, joined as one, twisting, binding ever tighter, stretching, reaching, soaring higher.
It is almost done. Steel and heat, mithril and gold shine anew, cleansed and powerful once more, reborn and reawakened. Briefly, I lift you, holding you close, feeling your essence; pride, honour, wisdom. You burn in my hand, the hand that has healed and re-birthed you.
I turn, my task complete. And he is there, standing in the doorway, called by the song, eyes drawn by your beauty and strength, and there held fast, enthralled, bewitched. I offer you back to him, whole and powerful, child of Dwarf and Elf, ever borne by Man.
He grasps your hilt and I see the moment in which he hears your soul, arching to his hand, voice soaring. He turns to me, eyes filled with pride and the shine of tears he cannot conceal, and he nods to me once, in thanks.
It has come full circle. Past and future is honoured in his hand.
Turning, he holds you aloft, into the single shaft of light which has pierced the lowering clouds. His head is thrown back, eyes closed as he listens, intent, and then they open and he turns his grey gaze to me where I stand, quietly exultant. I see my joy in his face as, wondering, he whispers your name; the name I have heard growing ever stronger in the flickering essence of the fire, reborn, re-forged.
Red and white flame you were, Flame of the West are you now.
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.