I enter the dark and incensed room carefully, sensing my wicked kinsman’s presence.
I see him by the window, looking out at the stars, his back to me. Unarmed, thankfully.
I can only see the long waist length hair falling down in a golden eruption, and the tall, lithe form, cloaked in ebony and scarlet- but I know it is he.
He turns, sensing me, and is taken by surprise, startled, totally off guard.
The look on his face is priceless, a shocked, frightened child, caught in the act, and nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
He turns to flee, a ridiculous idea at best.
I am upon him in an instant, pushing him to the ground, on his belly, and I grab him in a neck hold, not tightly enough to choke him- but just enough to make my point- submit, or else face the consequences.
He shrieks angrily, and tries to buck me off. I grab the long golden hair and yank his head back, again trying to make the same point clear to him.
“Let me go!” he screams, thrashing under my weight.
I turn him over by his hair, and he wails and struggles. I do not really want to be so rough, but it is necessary. He will not understand, otherwise.
“Sauron! Stop fighting me!” I slap the fair face, eliciting a furious howl. He tries to lunge for my eyes, then, with his long nailed fingers, longing to blind me, and I reprimand him again, with a harder backhanded blow across that dreadfully sweet mouth.
He draws back, cringing, tears beginning to appear in the sapphire eyes, and I try again.
“Sauron! Calm yourself. No one is going to harm you. You force me to raise my hand to you, I will not do so, if you will only submit!”
Through sobs, Sauron looks up at me, and mutters blackly, sitting up, and I quickly shackle him.
I want to slap that too-pretty, insolent face, but I restrain myself, with great effort.
Curumo has caught up, at last, and I give him a withering look.
“Where have you been?” I ask, exasperated, struggling to remain respectful- he is, after all, my superior. He ought to have been here, by my side, to help me restrain Sauron.
Where has he been!
“I- needed to see to something.” he says, no real explanation. I have no time to be suspicious, I need his aid. But years, many years later, I will understand that he had been looking feverishly for any trace of the Ring.
Sauron- on his knees- shackled behind.
Curumo walks to him slowly, a look on his face I do not like. A look of deep anger, and savage frustration.
Sauron watches him approach, a nervous look on his face.
And suddenly, he draws back and strikes Sauron across the mouth with his Staff, eliciting a cry of shock from me, and a wail from Sauron, who topples to his side.
Swiftly, I intercede, and place myself between the two of them. Curumo looks at me blackly, and shoves me aside.
“Protecting the Abhorred, Mithrandir? Why?”
And he seizes Sauron by his slender shoulders, and digs his fingers in hard.
“Where is it, Gorthaur, Nine Fingers? Vile and accursed! Where is the Ring? Tell me, and perhaps I will only behead you, and not draw it out! Would you prefer a leisurely roasting over a nice fire, Sauron? You are a Fire Maia, I think that would make you feel right at home!”
Sauron looks at me in numb terror, and his long slim body trembles- I try to signal him to say nothing- it will only make it worse.
I have never seen Curumo like this.
But Sauron, who either did not understand, or is simply too hysterical to follow the advice, chokes out an answer, and it is not one that my Mentor desires:
“I do not have it! If I had it, would I not be in Mordor, and not Dol Guldur?”
Saruman contemplates this bleakly, and then, he kneels by Sauron, and in a soft, almost gentle voice, delivers his assessment:
“Then you have no need to be alive any longer. The world will be well rid of you.”
His long strong hands wrap around Sauron’s slender neck, and as the blue eyes bulge in fear, I again intervene, earning the wrath of my superior.
“Gandalf! How dare you—“
“I beg your pardon, my Lord Curumo. But- do we not have a very firm commandment to bring him before Manwë, to be tried and judged, and sentenced to penance? I recall nothing of being directed to slay him, if he is captured and subdued! Indeed, are we not to simply stay his hand?”
Curumo gives me a look of pure rage, and replies coldly:
“Gandalf- you have developed quite a talent for interference. I shall note this well. So be it! As you are so much wiser than I in this, I will leave him entirely in your care!”
And with that, he starts to rise up, and Sauron- in a badly timed resurgence of courage- spits at him viciously, hitting the clean white mantle with a well-aimed gobbet of Maia-drool.
Saruman’s expression changes from cold malice to fierce hatred, and he draws back a boot to kick Sauron in the face.
For the third time, I meddle, pulling him back. He looks at me, as if he would like very much to see me roasting alive beside Sauron, in his grim fantasy of justice and revenge.
And then storms off, thunderclouds in his dark eyes.
My heart pounds with the unnatural excitement- and then I turn to face my prisoner.
Sauron is struggling to sit upright again, his face already bruising from the harsh treatment.
“Why?”, he mumbles. “Why? Why- what?” I reply, confused, weary.
“Why did you spare me? Why did you oppose Curumo, who is over you?”
I look at him, and shake my head, saying:
“There was no reason for your death. I do not know what- I have never seen him like that. I cannot understand his- anger.”
Sauron smiles slightly, his face lighting the room, despite the dark bruises.
“He lusts for my Ring. You did not know this?”
I cannot accept this, and I make no answer.
Irritated that I do not believe him, he shrugs and frowns. “Now what, then? What are you going to do with me?”
“Just as I spoke to Curumo. You must be taken to Manwë. He will determine your fate.”
I see a brief glimmer of dread and fear on his face, and he persists:
“What do you mean, ‘determine’ my fate? What are they going to do to me?”
I sigh, and try to think of a way to answer him.
“Sauron- why did you not ask yourself this, before committing the deeds you have? Why such fear, after all this time?”
He falls silent, and looks down. Then, he raises his golden head slowly, with a look that says he has finally understood the enormity of being caught, at long last.
“Will they torture me?”
Stunned by the question, I stumble over the answer. “Of course they will not torture you! Only Melkor delighted in such measures…and you, yourself! The Valar will not deal cruelly with you. But you certainly must know there will be some penalty!”
“The Void, then. The Abyss. The Not-Life.”
“Perhaps not. A great deal depends on you, your thoughts, your remorse. But this is not the time for this discussion. We have a very long journey ahead! It may be that I will plead for you, for leniency. As I said, a great deal depends on you, Sauron.”
The sullen face works into tears, and the lips tremble slightly. He bows his head, and the tears drip onto the floor.
I lean over to him, and put a hand on his shoulder. “Sauron…” He looks up at me, weeping.
“Olórin…let me go..please…just let me go..you will never see me again..I will go back to Mordor…or Angmar…”
“I cannot, you know that, now get to your feet, it will not be as terrible as you fear, if you will repent and-- ”
My words are cut off by a sudden lashing out of his leg, trying to topple me off balance.
Having failed, he shrinks back, nearly cringing.
Numbly, I reach down and pull him to his feet by one arm, and push him forward, towards the doorway.
“Start walking, Sauron.”
We begin the journey back.
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.