4. The Bride
Thank you, Artanis, for suggesting the names of Maglor's and Curufin's wives!
Well, that's the last of it, Callótë thought as she carefully folded the delicate silk robe, a gift from her husband on their wedding day, and placed it into a nearly-overstuffed small trunk. I feel like I only unpacked my things yesterday - I never imagined that I would be forced to box them up again so quickly. It's not fair! Straightening up, she looked around the bedroom she and Curufinwë had shared for such a short time. They had taken such pleasure in decorating their small house; now, with all their belongings packed away, the walls bare of decorations, and only a few pieces of furniture, too large to be loaded onto the cart outside, remaining behind, the room seemed drained of its vital essence. A shell without the snail, she thought sadly, that's what this house has become. It is our home no longer. How I am going to miss it!
The wind suddenly shifted slightly, bringing the delicate scent of honeysuckle into the forlorn little room, and Callótë suddenly felt like weeping. Curufinwë and I had supposed we would spend many years in this place, but we have not even seen the garden pass through a single season of growth before we are forced to abandon it. The beautiful garden with its festoons of honeysuckle and its small, beautiful fountain was one of the things that she had found most attractive about this unassuming cottage, nestled on the very edge of Tirion. To her surprise, her soon-to-be husband had loved it too, and so they had chosen this home over many more outwardly impressive ones located in the more fashionable areas of the city. And how Curufinwë had loved sitting in their garden following a long, laborious day at the forge! The sweet scent now drifting in through the open window had graced their wedding night, and on many subsequent occasions she and her new husband had made love in the privacy of "our own private Lórien," as Curufinwë had affectionately named their garden. Callótë doubted that there would be any honeysuckle in the desolate lands to which they soon would be journeying, but she could hope.
She had already given up so much for this marriage! Her parents had not looked favorably on her betrothal to Curufinwë; they had long felt that Fëanáro was arrogant and overly proud, and had been horrified when their daughter had announced that she intended to marry one of his sons. It did not help matters that her husband-to-be deserved his mother-name of Atarinkë, "little father," for he closely resembled his famous sire both in looks and outward manner, as well as in his talent. But in the end her parents had had to concede that it was indeed Callótë's place to choose her spouse, and they had not stood in the way of the marriage; afterwards, they had treated her new husband with grudging respect if not with genuine affection. Callótë had not wished to cause her parents grief, but she was not going to let their prejudice interfere with her happiness. And prejudice it is indeed, she thought angrily. My husband did not chose his father, nor his face! Nor has he ever done aught to earn anyone's scorn! But because of others' preconceived ideas, it is not possible for us to remain here safely even if Curufinwë wanted to do so - and I know he is not willing to be separated from his father and brothers, while I am already partially sundered from my own family. And so now we will go together into the wilderness. At least his kin has always treated me with respect; I will have a place of honor with them, while here I would always be regarded as a criminal's wife. And I will have Makalaurë's wife Aurel for company, and doubtless many other women as well, for Fëanáro's followers, if not in number the equal of his brothers' supporters, are still numerous. But Tirion has always been my home; how I will miss it, and my friends who are remaining behind! At times I wish I could stay here, husband or no, danger or no. But I no longer have a choice, for he must depart from this place, and I cannot be sundered from him now...
"Are you ready, dear heart?" Curufinwë's voice, calling from the front door. Callótë smiled, gently running her hands over her still-flat belly. She had only just become sure herself, and had not yet told her husband. I will wait a while longer, she decided, and save the news for a time when his spirits need lifting, when we are struggling to build our lives anew in the wild lands. When all seems bleak and bare... For what else is a child but a symbol of hope?
"Yes, but I need a hand with this trunk; it's very heavy," she called out in reply. She heard her husband's footsteps echoing off of the now-bare floors, and suddenly he popped through the doorway. "I'll carry that, love," Curufinwë said, smiling. "While my brothers and I are loading the last of the furnishings, why don't you go out into the garden and take some cuttings from your favorite plants? I'm sure that if we are careful with them, we'll be able to root them in our new home. Just because we have to leave here today doesn't mean we can't take something of our own Lórien along with us. And I promise you, Callótë, the new garden I will build for you in Formenos will one day be just as special to us as this one has been."
"That's a wonderful idea!" Callótë replied. And one I should have thought of myself, she silently chided herself. "I'll do that, love. Are there any particular plants you favor?"
Curufinwë smiled, and Callótë was suddenly reminded of why, among all the young men who had courted her so assiduously, she had chosen him. "I'll let you pick," he said, and then walked past her to pick up the trunk. "Take your time."
When the laden cart finally began to make its lumbering way down the roads of Tirion, the onlookers were surprised to see, carefully situated among the bundles of housewares and furniture, numerous sprigs of honeysuckle, stems carefully wrapped in moist towels and leaves positioned to catch the best light. "Craziness," some murmured, "to pack such useless things, when space is so tight and the journey so long! They will never survive." But Callótë, hearing the whispers as she rode beside the cart on her mare, only smiled. Craziness indeed, she silently agreed. But I would have it no other way - for what else is love but a sweet insanity? And love, like any hardy plant, endures.
The names of the characters used in this story are all Quenya, and their meanings can be found in the essay "The Shibboleth of Fëanor," published in The Peoples of Middle Earth (History of Middle Earth, vol. 12). When more than one name is listed for a character, the first name is the father-name, and the second is the mother-name. The Sindarin equivalents of the names in this chapter are as follows:
Fëanáro - Fëanor
Curufinwë Atarinkë - Curufin (he shares the same father-name as Fëanor)
Makalaurë - Maglor
Maglor's and Curufin's wives are mentioned in the essay "Of Dwarves and Men," published in The Peoples of Middle Earth (History of Middle Earth, vol. 12). However, we are never told anything significant about them, other than that Curufin's wife remained behind in Aman when the Noldor rebelled; they are not even given any names. I have therefore had to choose appropriate names for them. The name Aurel means 'morning star,' and Callöté is Quenya for 'shining flower'.
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.