14. Scene XI
The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project
TINUVIEL AT BAY: A CACCIA OF BELERIAND
A broken faith less easy to repair when riven,
one finds; yet may the pieces, severally, be truly given--
[The royal apartments. Celebrimbor enters from one of the farther chambers with a small chest and sets it down on the table, where there are a number of pieces of carved marble and bronze piping. Taking a piece of cloth from the chest he starts wrapping up the disassembled fountain and packing it in the box. One small basin he picks up, and blows across it like a flute, with a distant look. Behind him Curufin comes in, and he is all business again.]
So first you sneer at me, and then you go and help yourself to our lamented kinsman's belongings. --I do admire your mental flexibility, son.
Celebrimbor: [not looking at him, going on packing]
I helped with this project. There's a difference -- subtle, but I should think you'd appreciate subtlety . . . Father.
You watch that disrespectful mouth, boy, unless you wish to fend for yourself in the Wilds. I could arrange for you to stand a season on the remote watches, you know. How much fiddling about, I wonder, could you manage out on patrol or in a roundhouse? I doubt you'd get such a dose of fawning appreciation from your comrades as you do around here.
[Celebrimbor flushes but doesn't say anything else.]
What are you thinking?
[his son grimaces, but still doesn't answer]
I asked you a direct question. Your continued silence is insolence. --What are you thinking there, Celebrimbor?
Celebrimbor: [looking at him defiantly]
That -- as usual -- our mothers were wiser than ourselves.
[it is Curufin's turn to flush]
Curufin: [biting off each word]
I don't expect you to understand my motives, nor consequently to appreciate them -- but you could at least try to make an effort -- particularly when it's for your benefit--
[Celebrimbor's expression hardens -- before things escalate further, Celegorm enters. To Celebrimbor:]
Get out, I want to talk to your father.
Presently -- I'm almost done.
[He comes over and starts to grab a component and toss it in: Celebrimbor seizes the valve back from him and leans defensively over the table, blocking him.]
Don't touch any of this!
Snap at me and I'll muzzle you. --Punk.
[Glaring, Celebrimbor quickly but carefully puts the remaining pieces inside and closes the lid. As he picks up the chest to go--]
Where are you taking that lot?
To Her Highness of Doriath. She misses the sound of water. I offered to help.
[as he is almost out the door]
--I do follow through, when I make promises.
[The Sons of Feanor give the grandson of Feanor a dirty parting Look]
What's going on?
[Celegorm wanders around the chamber for a minute, not answering right away, leaning on furniture and tapping on mantlepieces.]
Well? Out with it!
I just had a . . . very troubling encounter with Her Highness.
Sparkly? Or the other one?
Her Highness of Doriath, nitwit. Finduilas just looks down her dainty nose at me, and I just smile at her, and she just goes off in a huff. She's no trouble.
What sort of trouble are we talking about, here?
She was putting some kind of trance on me, something that made me start to forget all about our priorities and all. I've never felt anything like it.
[he looks at Curufin with desperate hopefulness, waiting for explanation and reassurance]
Was she singing?
No. Not even humming.
She just looked into my eyes, and I wanted to tell her everything and grovel on the rug and beg her pardon. Five minutes longer and I'd have been arming up to head out, I swear!
[Curufin looks alarmed and angry]
Oh, and she did invoke my full name.
Well, naming is the second oldest form of power there is, after song -- though to hear our cousin go on about it they're the same thing. But if you were able to walk away from it without any difficulty I wouldn't worry about it. She isn't that strong, it can't have taken that much power to overwhelm a couple of Dark-elven sentries, probably already sharing a wineskin and careless with overconfidence. Concentrate on impressing her -- though I'd recommend not looking at her eyes.
[Celegorm sighs regretfully]
Most prudent thing, I guess. Oh well. Besides, as long as I'm paying attention it isn't like she can get anything past my guard. Right?
I'd think not.
You'd be proud of me -- I managed to make Orodreth take the fall, and at the same time appealed to her delicate sensibilities not to bring it up to him. The way he's hiding from her, there's no chance she'll get the chance to, anyhow. Well, thanks for taking a load off my mind! --I think I'll go bother our good Regent for a bit, now that I think of it. He can give me some pointers on how to achieve rapport with Sindarin Elves, eh? Being related to 'em and all.
Just don't give the plan away to him by accident. He may be unimaginitive, but he isn't a complete fool.
Don't worry, I won't breathe a word. I was thinking I'd make it seem like I'm worried about her health, her state of mind and all. I mean, obviously she's not quite normal, what?
Curufin: [smiling dryly]
The "Mad Princess of Doriath." Obviously she needs the best care we can give her. --I like it.
[they share a complicit grin]
Well, much as I'd never admit it before him that I've overlooked anything, 'Brim's reminded me there are all sorts of storage areas and work facilities about here that I've not investigated. So that should keep me busy for quite a while. Good luck on your, er, fishing expedition . . .
[Celegorm claps him on the shoulder and goes out cheerfully; Curufin begins opening cabinets fitted into the marquetry and panelling of the apartments]
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.