5. Time alone
"Ada!" cried Ninglorrîn joyfully as she launched herself into her father's waiting arms.
"My child, my dear child," whispered Doroniaur as he hugged his only daughter fiercely. "How have you been?"
Ninglorrîn smiled a sad smile against her father's shoulder, "As well as can be," she answered.
Before Doroniaur could question his daughter further regarding her strange answer, a clear laugh in a rich voice rang out in greeting. "Greetings, lady Ninglorrîn," said Maglor as he turned his eyes, so like and unlike his brother's, towards her. "How delightful to see you. But where is Caranthir, was he not travelling with you?"
A sad shadow fell over Ninglorrîn's face. "He has gone to your brothers, Amrod and Amras. That is why I convinced my people to join with you here, for we no longer have the numbers to protect ourselves should an attack occur."
Maglor's eyes hardened. "Caranthir left you defenceless."
"I hardly call the departure of a company of Noldorin warriors leaving us defenceless," Ninglorrîn pointed out patiently, "but our company is much weakened."
"My forgiveness, lady, and to you as well, Doroniaur," Maglor replied smoothly, "I did not mean that the Laiquendi could not defend themselves without the aide of the Noldor, merely that my brother should not have left as he did."
"We understand, Lord Maglor," replied Doroniaur. "We know you are not one of those who look down upon us."
Maglor laughed a sad laugh. "What's the point?" he wondered of no one in particular. "We are all Quendi, are we not?" he asked himself.
'More grief, more joy, greater pride but little arrogance, confusion, more guilt, more wisdom and less vanity but perhaps more essentially greater power, yet little thought of domination,' thought Ninglorrîn as she compared Maglor's eyes to that of Caranthir, yet it also occurred to her that though perhaps more clear sighted than all his brothers put together, Maglor would never move against them, and so all his wisdom and insight would be for naught.
Ninglorrîn shivered as a vague foresight of doom came to her, but she ignored it and turned to her father. "I have missed you," she told him.
"As have I, my child, as have I."
She sat on a rock staring towards the eastern horizon where the sky and the stars met the forest and the trees. A smile of longing was on her lips. Movement next to her, and Doroniaur came and sat down beside her. For awhile they sat in silence, then she spoke.
"I would like to return to the east, to Eriador, where we walked before our Lord Denethor brought us to Beleriand, hearing of the majesty of King Thingol," she declared.
"Why do you wish to do that?" asked Doroniaur.
"I wish to see the woods of my birth before the end and I fear the end of us is coming soon," confessed Ninglorrîn.
"Ninglorrîn, you are old enough to remember the reason why the great Lord Denethor gathered all that he could of our wandering people and bring them here. Do you think the danger is less now in the east when even the west is no longer safe?" he asked her.
"No, I do not believe that. Yet not all our people have entered Beleriand, some no doubt still remain in Eriador. More still might linger in the south or further east, where the reach of the power that troubles us might be less," she reasoned.
"Perhaps," agreed her father, "Yet the yrch were created somewhere in the east, nearer to Cuiviénen, and they have multiplied and no doubt trouble our folk beyond the Ered Luin as much as they do us."
"Maybe," replied Ninglorrîn, "But I will not be swayed. I am sick at heart of these lands and would see the stars shining down upon the woods where I walked with you and nana once more."
Doroniaur sighed. "Would you than have me lose you to the yrch as I did your mother?" he asked, no anger just curiosity.
Ninglorrîn looked grieved, but her resolve did not waiver. "It need not come to that," she replied, "I may be safer across the mountain then here, so near to the fell power. Please Ada, let me go."
Great grief and resignation laced Doroniaur's voice as he told her, "You are beyond the age when I can forbid you to do anything that you truly desire, but my daughter, I wish you would not go."
Ninglorrîn embraced her father tenderly. "Do not worry father. All will be well," so she hoped.
"I do not wish to go to Maglor," snapped Caranthir even as his and the Ambarussa's men got ready for the march.
"Then tell us all that took place between you and Ninglorrîn," challenged Amras. "Why would she not accept you? From all that we heard, she loved you greatly."
Caranthir stood a moment in silent contemplation. Of all his brothers, he feared Maglor the most, more even than Maedhros. Caranthir could always read Maedhros; even after everything Maedhros had gone through, Caranthir could tell what Maedhros was thinking, what he was going to do, but Maglor, Maglor was different. One minute he was fey beyond reason, ready to strike down all who stood between him and his goal; the next moment he was a broken man, riddled with guilt and ashamed of his lineage. He was unpredictable and had the skills to discern other's thoughts. Caranthir would not be able to hide his shame from him; thus he really did not want to face is songbird brother. "Go to useless Maglor if you must," he snapped, "I will travel for a time on my own."
Amrod and Amras looked at him disapprovingly. "You should not say such things of Maglor, nor ride alone. Morgoth's forces are everywhere and we do not wish to lose you."
Caranthir whistled and called his horse. "Go to Maglor, since it obvious you need to be coddled by him. I fear not Morgoth and will ride where I will," with that he turned and rode away, heeding not the calls of his brothers.
[i] Ninglor = golden water-flower, rîn = crowned lady, so Ninglorrîn means golden water-flower crowned lady.
[ii] Laiquendi = green elves
[iii] Yrch = orcs, singular form is orch
[iv] Ada = father
[v] nana = mother
[vi] Doron = oak, iaur = old, so Doroniaur = Old oak (okay oak old if you want to be literal)
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