7. Scene V.ii
The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project
TINUVIEL AT BAY: A CACCIA OF BELERIAND
Blindly spun, the webs, snares and toils of deceit,
haply may snare not only purposed prey, but other feet--
[The antechamber to Orodreth's apartments -- it's more of an indoor formal garden, with benches and carved planters integral to floor and walls and some water in raised squared channels -- very Amarna in style, in fact. Luthien and Celegorm are sitting across from each other on an angle of benches, while an Aide of the Regent sorts scrolls from boxes into a rack in an annex on the side which has apparently been converted into an outer office. He keeps giving them Looks, covertly. There is a definitely closed look to the double doors leading to the inner rooms -- they don't look like they're meant to be opened at all.]
So I've been thinking it over, and I think, personally, that we shouldn't rely on our forces alone, but ought to send word to your other cousins out West and try to get some reinforcements for the assault -- probably keep them for surprise and ambuscade on a retreating path, that seems like it might be most effective. Of course, you might have already thought of that. Anyway, what do I know about offensive missions, and perhaps it's completely foolish?
[She waits expectantly -- Celegorm is looking at her earnestly, his head a little on one side, kind of smiling, but with a bit of a glazed expression. He doesn't answer.]
--Are you even listening? You look like someone whose next words are going to be -- "I think I know why the clouds are white sometimes and why they change colors others." Or maybe, "Do you think one could build a flet that would go all the way across the river?"
Eh? What? No, no, I'm paying attention -- I assure you, no one could possibly be paying more attention to you than I am right now. --You were saying--?
Luthien: [exasperated sigh]
I was saying that after we deal with rescuing them I am going to insist on a full-fledged plan of attack. I understand why for reasons of propriety and the rules governing quests and all my cousin might have refused your offer of assistance, but obviously a small covert-ops mission is too dangerous, and we've got to use all the resources at our disposal.
[Orodreth's assistant gives them a sudden sharp glance from where he is working/eavesdropping, with an angry glare at Celegorm afterwards]
My father might take exception, but so long as the exact words of his demand are fulfilled, I don't think it matters one jot who actually pulls the damned thing off Morgoth's crown and so long as we show up with enough of an escort, I'm not worried. Even if he tries to argue the legality of it, let me assure you, no one has ever won an argument with me when I'm right. I just don't think most things are worth arguing over, usually -- I guess I take after my Mom more that way, along with my hair. --Did that make sense?
Celegorm: [staring into her eyes again]
Mm-hmm . . .
And we should take Huan along, I imagine he must be just as good in a real fight as in a hunt--
Oh, he's a terror in battle, death-on-four-legs to Orcs just like wargs, always where the fighting's thickest -- Hey, there, you didn't mean "we" when you said "we" there, did you? As in you, yourself, did you?
No, I meant "we" as in us, our side, that's all -- I can't think that I'd be anything but in the way, I'm no Galadriel, though I'm better-than-fair at patching people up afterwards.
Though I'm beginning to think I'd better, so that there's one person whose mind isn't turned into mush by the Enemy!
No, I can't see anyone calling you "tomboy", even with that haircut, hah!
Where is Huan, anyway? I thought he was over there by the, I guess it's a pond, but obviously he isn't...
Oh, he always wanders about, shows up when you need him. He'll turn up for supper, too, you can be sure.
You really do like him, don't you?
I think he's wonderful. I wouldn't mind having a Hound like him at all.
I warn you, he eats like a horse.
Yes, but you wouldn't need a horse with him around, would you?
I must say I'm still surprised -- but not really I suppose -- more in awe of, your courage. I keep expecting you to be terrified of him.
What, because he chased me up and down trees and all around the woods like I was some kind of giant black squirrel before carrying me back to you like a puppy?
Why? I could tell -- once he stopped chasing me -- that he's Good and wouldn't ever hurt anyone not on Morgoth's side.
You're awfully perceptive.
Hey, did I tell you that Orome himself gave Huan to me?
Yes, you did. Now--
He taught me the language of nature, how to understand animal communication and tracking and weather and so forth, you know. That's why I'm such a great hunter, y'see.
Luthien: [actually interested for the first time in something he's said]
Oh, really? That's just like Beren.
Celegorm: [taken aback]
What? --You're joking.
No, it's true. --I don't suppose he would have said anything if there wasn't a need for it -- it isn't like he brags about his accomplishments, "Oh, I'm this great hero and the Terror of the North and all," it's more like -- "Oh, so you're that Beren?!" and you get back "Er, which one? You mean me or my grandad?" It was hours of that before I got him to admit that yes, he was the one in the legends Mablung had been hearing, and I can't remember when I heard so many qualifications and disclaimers in a single conversation. He used to be the best hunter in his homeland, too, before he gave it up.
Well, you know how it is, we all say we are, the best at huntin' or fishin' or any kind of a sportin' thing!
Oh, no, I've seen him track things in the dark and charm animals out from cover to eat from his hand.
--I don't expect he learned it from a god, all the same.
No, he's almost certainly self-taught.
[she stops talking and looks rather fixedly ahead, then sniffles]
Oh, don't cry -- please don't, I can't stand to see a lady crying--
[takes her hand]
Everything's going to be all right.
[clasps it in his other hand]
[While she is trying not to break down, Finduilas enters with her various burdens. She is almost at the impromptu reception office by the time she notices them there, to her great and not-too-pleasant surprise. Setting down her music stuff on a bench she takes the Nauglamir into the annex and engages in a hasty whispered conversation with the Aide, before going over to where Luthien and Celegorm are sitting.]
Luthien. I -- I understand you've been waiting, to talk to my father.
Y--yes. He's been in meetings all day. Or night. I'm not sure which it is now.
I'm so sorry. He's -- not going to be free for at least another bell. Probably two.
[She shakes her head, taking a deep breath, and makes an exasperated noise]
Celegorm: [sympathetic but patronizing]
I did try to tell you, milady . . .
Luthien: [distracted, shaking her head]
Why--? I don't -- I --
[she leans against a bit of decorative wall, panting]
You look faint -- Have you eaten at all today?
I -- I'm not sure. I don't know what time it is down here --
--Why don't we see about having something sent up to your rooms, and I'm sure our little cousin here will be happy to look after everything, and as soon as our good Regent gets free we'll have someone pop along to let you know, all right? No sense in you wasting your time and starving here for no good reason, is there?
[Reluctant, but not really up to arguing with both of them, Luthien allows Finduilas to take her arm and lead her outside. Celegorm wanders around, looking at the art on the walls with a critical eye and surveying the results of the unpacking.]
What a mess this place is in! Though I dare say you've made a lot of progress.
[The Regent's Aide gives him a foul Look; Celegorm keeps poking around the solar]
So she likes Huan, eh?
Do you need to see His Highness about anything, my lord?
Celegorm: [waves hand languidly]
No, not at all. Carry on with your filing and whatnot; I've got to see a dog about a girl myself . . .
[He strolls out, whistling; the Aide slams a scroll case into its pigeonhole with a loud bang.]
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.