10. Chapter Ten
How long had it been? How many hours, or maybe it had already been a day or two? Maglor didn’t know the answer. Time had no meaning here; there was only the need to get through it somehow, to endure it. He would have laughed at the idea of humiliation. He was beyond that by now, although it seemed to amuse his Master to see him like this.
He sang. He had already been through all the songs he knew, and now he made them up for himself. But all he seemed to be able to come up with was mournful and sad. He invented songs full of melancholy words, and melodies that expressed his true longing for freedom and forgiveness. It was fitting. But whoever he sang to didn’t answer him, and his own voice was the only company he had.
Alone, he sang into the dark silence ceaselessly. Sauron would know if he stopped – he didn’t know how, and the price he would pay for falling silent was too terrible. He shivered at an almost forgotten memory. The first and only time he had stopped singing while in here. When he was left alone for hours, and his voice was cracked and broken – a mockery of what it should have been. And Sauron had returned, to drag him away and throw him into a cell. But he hadn’t been alone…
He was left there with the other prisoners for weeks – ignored and waiting in vain for Sauron to return and claim him. A prison cell full of frightened human males was no place for an elf. He discovered that quickly. Sauron didn’t save him; it had been the price he paid for not co-operating. The other prisoners knew he was not really one of them, and they took pleasure not just in raping and defiling him, but also in spoiling him. Whereas the dark lord was usually subtle, they were brutal and animalistic. They hacked off his hair with knives and used it to bind his hands while they took their pleasure from him, carved their initials into his skin, only laughing when he screamed and cried.
He knew with many of them their fear drove them to it, and he begged for mercy from them sometimes with hope – some of them were not so uncivilised as they tried to make him believe. Every now and again it worked, but whoever was kind to him was the next prisoner to be replaced. Through all of it that was the worst thing; knowing that he envied them their place. They would soon be dead – but even then, Maglor knew he wouldn’t be allowed to leave. And he was right. As the prisoners were taken away to whatever merciful fate they didn’t deserve, others came to take their place, while he was left there, seemingly forgotten. Eventually, the orcs had taken him away at Sauron’s orders. He had been starved, bleeding, violated, more dead than alive, and he had known that he would do anything not to go through that again.
So now he sang. He lay on the floor of his prison, exhausted and used up. But he carried on even though his voice was almost gone, and his throat was burning and sore. He carried on even though he longed for sleep and was desperate for water. Sauron had left him water, but he couldn’t stop to drink it – he knew that. From his place he stared at the golden bowl hungrily. So close to him, all he had to do was reach out and take it. It was as if Sauron wanted to test him. He always left Maglor with a temptation to stop. But since that time he never took it, however much he wanted to. One day he knew that the dark lord would leave him here long enough that he would be willing to pay the price to drink, and the knowledge made him shudder. Would it be this time?
He dipped his fingers into the water while he sang and swirled them around longingly. Suddenly, he remembered a much earlier, carefree time, before the Oath, swimming with his brothers in a river. Valinor. It had been a gloriously hot day, and the cool water had felt so good – like sin, before he knew what it was. He lifted his hand away, enjoying watching the water drip from his fingers and back into the bowl. It was a beautiful sound! He brought his wetted fingers up, trying to return some moisture to his lips. Somehow a little of the water got into his mouth; he tasted it on the tip of his tongue. It was so sweet and cool, life giving, and whatever his consciousness might think about death, the instinct to survive was still strong in him. Maglor almost stopped to lick his lips before he realised what that would mean. He pulled his hand away from his mouth and looked at it for a moment in horror. Violently he pushed himself back with his legs and his feet, putting as much space between him and the bowl of water as he could. What was he thinking? It wasn’t worth it! Yet…
Now the door opened, letting in a little light that glinted on the bars of his prison, and Maglor pulled himself unsteadily to his feet as Sauron entered the room. He took the few small stumbling steps to the edge of his cage, the water forgotten now, and rested his hands and his forehead on the cool metal bars. Even the floor was made up of bars, and they hurt his feet after so long, but he hardly noticed it now. His voice grew stronger as he watched the dark lord, but Sauron didn’t even look up at him. He sang for his Master, following his progress across the room, moving around his golden prison so that he could continue to face him.
Sauron sat down before a desk and leaned back, closing his eyes. Maglor sang to him, trying to ignore the dry and parched feeling, trying to make his voice sound as sweet as it did at first, even though it was impossible. Was it a minute or an hour before Sauron finally looked up at him? He didn’t know, but he felt his heart jump when the dark lord acknowledged him at last. Sauron walked over to the cage as unseen servants lowered it once more to the floor.
Sauron opened the door of the cage. It wasn’t locked; there was no need for it to be locked. Maglor cried while he sang, but still he was not given permission to stop. The dark lord reached out and gently brushed his tears away, the tears he really couldn’t spare, and then he spoke.
Maglor fell silent at last, and to his knees, still crying. The dark lord held fingers to his lips that he had dipped in the water, and Maglor suckled on them mindlessly, in desperate need of moisture for his cracked lips and dry throat. After all this time, even such a small amount of water tasted like heaven, and he couldn’t help himself, couldn’t stop himself doing exactly what Sauron wanted. It was a pleasure to please him.
When the water was gone and Sauron withdrew his fingers Maglor finally looked up. “Thank you, Herdir,” he whispered. It hurt even to do that now, and he winced at the raw pain in his throat.
The dark lord looked down at him for a moment thoughtfuly, then he grabbed hold of Maglor’s wrist. “Come with me,” he ordered brusquely and then turned away as Maglor got quickly to his feet to follow.
They walked in silence for a while, but when they began to descend stone stairs to the cells, Maglor pulled back a little. The air was musty and damp down here, and the infrequent torches that burned in sconces on the walls only accentuated the gloom. Sauron said nothing, but dragged Maglor along by his wrist until they reached a heavy wooden door set into the stone wall. It was familiar, he recognised this place, and it was then that Maglor cried out.
“No!” he began in pure dread. “Don’t leave me in there, Hîr nín, please!” Sauron turned to face him. Dimly, Maglor realised that despite all the time he had been singing, he would still be able to scream.
“Silence! You brought this on yourself.” Maglor wanted to say that he hadn’t stopped singing, that he had tried so hard to please him, but for a moment he couldn’t speak. More than anything he wanted to feel the gentleness Sauron was capable of when Maglor did exactly as he was told. Why was the dark lord doing this to him? He had done what Sauron wanted, hadn’t he? He had also told Maglor to be quiet but in his desperate fear he realised there was very little left for him to lose.
“Please,” he begged, reaching out, daring to curl his hands in the dark lord’s robes. There was no reaction, and Maglor was only encouraged by it. He moved closer, pressing and rubbing his body against Sauron wantonly and resting his head on the dark lord’s shoulder while he stood rigid and unmoved. He felt his own desire beginning to burn in him, and he wanted Sauron to take him, however cruelly. All he wanted was to feel him now. “I need– ” Sauron interrupted him then, taking hold of his shoulders to push him back and away.
“Oh, I know what you need. I always know. But you have made me angry, haven’t you?” And then Maglor remembered what the punishment had been for, and he knew that Sauron considered he still hadn’t paid for it yet. He had nothing to tell but the truth.
“Yes,” he whispered lifelessly.
“So how can I reward you then?” the dark lord asked simply, and although the familiar amusement was there, he also sounded as though he could be sorry. Maglor felt worse for hearing that than for anything Sauron might do to him.
“Forgive me, Herdir,” he breathed in apology, forgetting completely what awaited him. Sauron reached out to hold his face in one hand and looked deeply into his eyes.
“One day, Maglor, you will manage to arouse my pity, instead of my regret.” Maglor caught his breath. Sauron smiled at him, and for a moment he thought he was saved. He should have known better, but hope was something Sauron cruelly encouraged in him. “But it isn’t today,” Sauron said, letting his hand drop away, and as his hope died, Maglor remembered his jealousy, because he knew that Sauron would leave him here. Surely he had found Legolas in the meantime and brought him back? They would be alone…
“Why him?” Maglor asked bitterly, unable to stop the words coming out, raising his voice so that it hurt again. Finally making real the jealousy that he barely even acknowledged to himself. “Why does it have to be him?” He was surprised to hear the dark lord laugh then, astonished to see real humour gleaming in his eyes. Sauron touched his face again gently, caressing, seeming to consider something.
“Oh, you don’t want that, mûl nín, trust me.” His hand was gentle, but his intense scrutiny made it difficult for Maglor to breathe. He wanted to step back, but he didn’t dare move. “That is not for you,” he said at last, as if he had made up his mind, and something in the tone of his voice made Maglor shiver suddenly, as if someone had stepped on his grave. He felt real fear then for Legolas – what did Sauron have planned for the young one that was so awful he wouldn’t make Maglor endure it?
“What will happen to him?” he asked in a faint whisper, not really wanting to know but having to ask anyway.
“To him?” Sauron regarded him darkly. He came a step closer and closed the distance he had put between them. “You will never escape from me. Never.” Maglor closed his eyes at the feeling of Sauron so close to him, the desire he felt earlier coming back instantly at Sauron’s words as he continued speaking. “You understand very well what that means. When you suffer at my hands – that is your fate forever. When your mind wants to give up, but can’t – that is your eternity. When you awake to the pain of my pleasure, with my seed inside you – that is how you will begin every day of your immortality.” Maglor trembled at the pronouncement, but he couldn’t help moaning at the picture Sauron painted for him. The dark lord’s arms closed around him and he surrendered to the embrace gladly, forgetting everything but the need to feel Sauron inside him again – to please him.
“No one and nothing will save you from me, Maglor.” He was barely aware of Sauron reaching around him to unlock the door of the cell, but when he heard the click of the lock his eyes flew open and he found himself looking into Sauron’s eyes. “I suggest you devote some thought as to why you are here,” he continued, more coldly. “You have time. And ask yourself if you truly deserve it,” he finished cryptically. With that said, he opened the door and pushed Maglor inside before closing and locking it behind him.
Maglor banged on the door immediately, begging Sauron to let him out, but there was no reaction. He let his palms come to a rest on the door, laid his cheek against the wood, and closed his eyes for a moment, seeing the dark lord in his mind’s eye. He was probably already walking away. He took a deep shaky breath and turned to face the rest of the cell, and the prisoners. He looked around him and the breath caught in his throat…
Closing his eyes, he rested his palms against the door and laid his forehead on the warm wood, unaware that at the same moment, his prisoner was doing almost the very same thing on the other side. When he raised his head and lifted his hands, he was slightly surprised to find they were shaking. The dark lord breathed deliberately, remembering the way Maglor had pressed against him – inviting, warm, tempting – the very ideal of submission. How he wanted to take advantage of it! He raised an eyebrow at the effect it had on him, and then looked at the door accusingly. He narrowed his eyes and shook his head, and then strode away back down the corridor, once more composed, leaving Maglor to his fate.
Orcs, and even uruk-hai kept away from him. Like rats, they seemed to sense his fierce temper as he walked back into the more habitable areas of his fortress. He looked as if he knew where he was going. He strode purposefully, and with authority – it was not in him to appear any other way. But in truth he wandered aimlessly, still wondering why putting Maglor in that place had affected him. In all these years it was only the second time Sauron had left him there, but the elf deserved it. He had no place for a slave who could act against his wishes, however slightly. After all this time, his disobedience had actually surprised Sauron. He might even go so far as to say it hurt him. He would learn his lesson. Perhaps he would even follow Sauron’s suggestion and use the time to think about his situation.
He found himself at the door to Maglor’s room, and he walked straight in before he realised that of course, Maglor wouldn’t be there this time. He cursed Maglor for what he had done, and hoped he was being entertained. By the time Sauron let him out he would be miserably grateful to be his Master’s plaything. Oh yes, the elf would be absolutely desperate to do anything he desired. Sauron looked forward to testing him. He turned to leave, but then the young Prince caught his eye. He looked Legolas over quickly. Yes, he was asleep, no doubt exhausted after his earlier exploits. Sauron smiled, he knew very well what had happened earlier; he had ordered it after all, with the strictest warning that he should in no way be damaged of course. Let that be a lesson to him. He was curled up with a pillow as if he missed something, and there was an empty space beside him. The dark lord glided closer in the darkness, watching the easy rise and fall of the blond elf’s chest, listening to the even sound of his breathing in the silence. He studied the swell of his belly. Soon it would be time.
Despite his anger, he realised that the need to punish Maglor had worked out quite well. Sauron needed him to be out of the way. And along with everything else, what he had told this one earlier was punishment enough. The look in his eyes had been well worth doing without his favourite for a while. He reached out to touch Legolas, only one thought in his mind – soon – and he unconsciously licked his lips. Legolas called out something in his sleep and then Sauron retreated silently, deciding not to wake him after all, a sadistic smile on his lips. Yes. Soon.
Keeping so still and quiet was one of the hardest things he had ever done. He thought that the sound of alarm had given him away, but he hadn’t been able to keep it in when the dark lord came towards him. He felt a terrible foreboding for a moment that the dark lord intended to kill him. He had come closer, tall and overwhelming, blotting out the light that fell in through the open door, and there had been the strangest thing about his eyes. They burned, seeming to give off their own light, an intense look of blood lust and hunger. He looked different, almost like an animal. And Legolas had nearly screamed, but Sauron seemed to believe he was dreaming.
Legolas remained frozen and silent for several minutes after Sauron had left him alone, not daring to believe he was really gone, only his slight trembling betraying the fact that he was, in fact, awake. He clutched the pillow to him closely. He didn’t know where Maglor was, and it was strange and frightening to be here without him, even if they hadn’t seemed so close lately. Sauron had said that he wouldn’t see Maglor for some time, and Legolas felt terrible for it. He remembered what Sauron told him, and he shivered.
Of course, first had been his big plan, ‘the escape’. Legolas smiled bitterly – some escape it had been. He relaxed and let his mind drift back, trying to come to terms with the day and make some sense out of it. Trying to deal with his guilt. He hadn’t known what would happen, he told himself. He couldn’t have known…
Herdir – Master
Hîr nín – my Lord
mul nín – my slave
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.