30. Chapter 30
Bronwyn’s P.O.V this time. Oh Finch, of course Maglor had to make your mouth water with the delicious food, he’s so pleased he succeeded! I have a descussion up for this fic, so please, some questions or feedback would be appreciated!
The next few days passed quietly enough, nothing of importance happened except that Anita removed my stitches; I refused to let the doctor do it, but he was pleased enough with my recovery. As was I, for I’d healed quickly, and no longer needed my stick, thank goodness, although I still had to be careful not to move too quickly, or walk too far. I wondered about the fact I’d healed so fast, and remembered something Maglor had said about ‘giving’ me some of his elvish ability to heal quickly. I made a resolution to ask him soon.
I dragged myself from my bed, and hadn’t even reached my bedroom doorway when Maglor popped into the room, as though by magic!
‘Awake, my lady,’ he said brightly, almost cheekily.
‘I think so,’ I said wincing a little as my leg stiffened and locked up on me.
‘Is your leg hurting?’ he asked as he caught me before I fell down.
‘Not exactly, it’s stiff more than sore.’
‘I did tell you not to walk around so much yesterday,’ he scolded.
‘You win; I should have listened. But it was just so nice to be able to move without the stitches pulling in my leg that I guess I overdid it.’
He laughed out loud then, hugging me tightly. Great, first laughed at, then crushed.
‘Oph, let go,’ I managed to get out with the last of the air in me, ‘there’s no need to squash me!’
‘Sorry,’ Maglor actually managed to look a little contrite as he eased his grip on me just enough that I was able to breathe.
‘So,’ I said after I regained breath, ‘what have you been up to, besides waiting for me to wake up?’
‘Looking at scrolls, and planning breakfast. Are you hungry?’ he asked.
‘Not really, not awake yet,’ I said.
‘Would you just like some toast?’ he asked.
‘Yes, that would nice,’ I answered as Maglor pulled out one of the kitchen chairs for me to sit on. I must admit I usually don’t like being fussed over, but there was something so casual about the way Maglor was caring for me that was almost pleasant, and I actually found myself nearly enjoying his care.
The kettle was boiling before Maglor spoke again, ‘would you like herbal tea this morning for a change? There are several kinds in your cupboards and I thought I might mix some together to make a blend I think you will like.’
‘That sounds nice, Maglor.’ I replied.
And indeed it was, and went very well with toast and berry jam. I have no idea what he used, except I know he used a little honey for sweetening. When I asked about the recipe, all I got was a cheeky smile and the answer that it was a secret elven recipe, which just meant he wasn’t going to tell.
Breakfast was soon over, and Maglor insisted I should be outside in the fresh air. I agreed, but I wanted a bath first, actually I wanted a shower, but didn’t trust my leg to hold me up. By the time I’d taken my bath and dressed, I discovered Maglor had worked out how to operate the CD player, or had Nicky showed him? I also noticed that he was painting a picture of something; clearly Anita had loaned him some of her artist’s supplies she rarely used now.
‘What are you painting?’ I asked.
‘A picture,’ he replied, smiling. Oh, in one of those moods was he?
‘Really,’ I said, deciding two could play his game, ‘I thought you were building a space ship.’
He laughed long and loud at that. ‘I will show you when I have finished. I think you’ll like it.’
‘Ok, I get the hint you don’t want to be disturbed, so I’ll be out in garden.’ Maglor rose at my words, ‘no I’ll be fine, stay there.’
He did sit again, and took his brush back in his hand, but watched me closely as I snagged the cordless phone and went out on to the veranda, and sat down. I looked back in the kitchen window, and saw his dark head bent over his work again. I sat for a moment, watching him. He’d changed in the time I’d known him; he seemed more relaxed, happier, than when I’d met him. His appearance had changed too, he could no longer be called scrawny, for he’d put on weight and even his hair was different, shinier and I suddenly realised much longer. How odd, his hair had gone from shoulder length to half way down his back. I shook myself and remembered my chore.
I made two calls, a brief one to my mother, to say I was well, and would see her in a few weeks time, and a longer one to the University Museum, about the dagger, cloak clasp and other things in my safe. I eventually got through to the Director, and pointed out they owed me a favour, and that the things I wanted were of little value. He promised to put the matter to the Board, and reminded me of the annual dinner in three weeks. By the time I hung up I was sure I could get the stuff for Maglor, and I knew he’d be pleased. It had been obvious the things were his, and he badly wanted them back.
As I sat pondering the phenomenon that was sitting in my kitchen painting, Cherie appeared, with a dead mouse. She played with it for a while, and then dumped it where the birds would eat it. She loved to catch mice, but loathed eating them, much preferring cat food, which she wandered indoors to check on. Her bowl was full; Maglor must have fed her early while I slept. Cherie then moved on to rub her head on Maglor’s leg for attention.
I heard the soft murmur of his voice as he spoke to Cherie, and then picked her up. Soon both elf and cat came outside, and sat down next to me.
‘Finished,’ I asked.
‘No, just taking a break.’ He put Cherie down, and stood up again, ‘I’ll be back in a minute.’
He disappeared back into the kitchen, and a few minutes later came back carrying coffee cups, and a plate of cookies he’d apparently baked while I slept.
‘These are delicious, Maglor, you know you spoiling me.’
He laughed, ‘nothing you don’t deserve for your kindness to me.’
I finished my coffee, and decided now as good a time as any, ‘Maglor, you said that on the boat, and on the way to hospital, you used magic on me, to heal me and gave me some of your elvish ability to heal quickly.’
‘Yes, that’s what happened.’ He had the wary look back again, as if he expected me to be angry.
‘And that came from part of yourself, from your soul?’ I asked; I had to know.
‘Yes, that is correct,’ he said, still looking wary.
‘How is it then, if elves have magical quick healing ability that you were hurt so badly by the Silmaril?’
The wary look vanished as he answered, ‘Varda the Lady of Stars hallowed the Silmarils as sacred gems. No evil person, or any beast of evil could touch them without experiencing great pain, and I, well, I had become the definition of evil for my actions in the name of the Oath. Therefore the Silmaril burned both my body and soul deeply.’ He held out his right hand, ‘see here, and here, that was to the bone. It was many many years before my hand healed fully and I could use it properly again. I couldn’t play my harp or indeed any instrument for a thousand years, and that hurt my soul, terribly.’
I looked up into grey eyes filled with deep and almost unimaginable pain and age. The thousands of years this elf had lived alone suddenly became impressed upon me, and also his yearning to go home, to be part of his people’s society, was clear, but more so that he wanted someone to care about him, and to belong, and as elf society was closed to him, then mortals would do. Not that he seemed to consider myself or Nicky and Anita to be inferior in any way to himself, but that he really wanted the familiar company of his own kind. I couldn’t blame him for that.
‘Yes,’ I said, to cover my distress at Maglor’s unhappiness, ‘I see the areas where you were so badly hurt, and it must have hurt terribly at the time.’
‘It did, but the pain is no more than I deserve.’
‘Are you sure you deserve so much suffering?’ I asked as I took his scarred hand in mine. Somehow speaking of his injury had caused his pain to increase greatly and I could tell he was almost at the limit of what he could bear, so I sat and rubbed his hand for him. For an instant he sat still sighing with relief as the pain eased, and then he pulled his hand away abruptly.
‘I don’t deserve your compassion, sweet lady,’ he whispered.
‘Why? Surely you have suffered enough?’
‘No, I have not.’ I looked up at Maglor to see him staring unblinkingly at me, and I found I couldn’t hold his gaze today, his eyes burned with painful old memories.
‘No amount of suffering will ever be enough,’ he said so quietly I barely heard him.
‘But didn’t Ulmo say you were free of the Oath,’ I asked, confused.
‘Yes, but not of the consequences.’
‘Oh.’ I thought on that for a minute, ‘What will happen if we find all the scrolls, and you go home?’
‘I shall beg forgiveness from those I foolishly slew, and from the Valar for rebelling and swearing the Oath in the first place. I might be punished, I don’t really know. I do know I would never see you again, my sweet lady and I dislike that thought.’
I blinked and stared into deep grey eyes, ‘You really mean that, don’t you?’ I was quite startled by Maglor’s admission that he’d miss me. ‘I’d miss you, too.’
That earned me a rib-bruising hug, and I wondered again at his swift mood changes, for oddly he seemed quite cheerful now. He left me looking at a map he’d drawn of ancient Europe, on which he’d drawn marks on for places he thought it possible some scrolls could be, or had been, as he had to go down to the old forge to help Nicky paint the east wall white as part of her school experiment. The Camera Obscura project had me intrigued, and I wondered if they could do it.
Bored after a while, I went inside and started drawing up a travel plan. We’d need to go to India, and track down an eccentric old professor of mine who was supposed to be in charge of a dig of a very old city there. It was he who had first pointed me in the direction of the chambers under the Great Pyramid to find the scrolls I had, and Maglor had agreed with me when I said old Professor Lawson had to know then he’d told me.
I kept looking at the canvas Maglor had set up in the kitchen, he’d covered the painting and I could tell he’d know if I peeked. Sometimes his ‘magic’ was so annoying! So I made myself a cup of coffee and started the computer, I’d type up everything I knew about the scrolls, and scan the copies I had. As I worked, I wondered how long it took two people to paint one wall white! I scowled at myself, in truth I was growing too used to Maglor’s company, and now I felt lonely without him wandering about the house.
Anita’s voice came from the garden, she was apparently speaking to Cherie. ‘Come in, I’m at the computer,’ I called.
I heard Anita rattling around in the kitchen making herself coffee, but when she came in she’d made me one too. ‘What are Maglor and Nicky doing in that old forge, anyway? I went in, and they both shooed me out,’ Anita said as she pulled a chair up next to me.
‘They’re supposed to be painting the wall.’
‘I think they’ve finished that, from what I could see.’ Anita giggled.
I looked up from my computer screen, ‘what’s so funny?’
‘They pretty much painted each other as well!’
I burst out laughing, and Anita laughed with me; we both laughed till we cried. I could picture Nicky and Maglor ‘accidentally’ painting each other just to see how the other person reacted.
‘Oh goodness,’ said Anita as wiped her eyes, ‘I needed that. With your accident, and all the worry about Andrew, and the retrial coming up, a good laugh was just what I needed.’
Before I could control my own giggles and answer her, Maglor spoke from the doorway. ‘I’m glad Nicky and I have amused you.’
We looked at the elf in the doorway, and broke out laughing again. Maglor was covered in streaks of white paint, one side of his face, and most of his hair was white. He did look very funny. Patiently he waited until Anita and I stopped laughing before he spoke, his eyes sparkling with humour as he watched us. ‘Nicky has gone home to have a shower, and I think I’ll do the same.’
He didn’t move, ‘Is there anything wrong?’ I asked.
‘No, but I just wonder how hard it’s going to be to get this paint off.’
‘Not hard, it’s water based, it should wash off Ok, but we’ll need to wash your clothes before the paint dries,’ I said.
He nodded and vanished into the bathroom. I did notice his hands were very dirty for someone who’d been painting. What the heck else had he and Nicky been doing? I told Anita what I’d seen and she said she’d slip home and check on Nicky, and question her.
‘And I’ve noticed something about Maglor too, now you mention strange things about him,’ Anita remarked.
‘Oh, what,’ I asked surprised.
‘His speech. He’s using contractions, you know, saying I’m instead of I am, and stuff. I noticed three days ago.’
My mouth gaped with surprise, Anita was right, and I hadn’t even noticed! Did I feel silly. ‘Why do you think he’s suddenly doing that?’
‘Don’t know, but I’d bet Nicky does. I’ll go home and ask her that too. Catch you later,’ Anita said as she slid out my kitchen door and headed off to find out what Nicky and Maglor had been up to for the day.
Maglor soon appeared again, clean and paint free. He’d popped his dirty clothes in the washer, and as it was very hot, he was only wearing a pair of shorts. Now he’d put on a bit of weight, I had to agree with Anita, he did have a nice body. He wasn’t heavily muscled, but he had good muscle definition and he moved very gracefully, every motion controlled and flowing.
‘Bronwyn!’ his beautiful clear voice startled me. I jumped guiltily and wondered if he’d noticed me staring. ‘Come over here,’ he gestured with one hand, ‘Look at this, and tell me what you think.’
He’d taken the cover off his painting and as soon I was near enough he pulled me close to see a nearly finished painting of the dolphin mother and son we’d swum with the day of the Silmaril search.
‘It’s beautiful,’ I whispered, awed. ‘The dolphins look so real I expect them to move!’
‘It’s not too bad, I’m a little out of practise, but I’m quite happy with it. I have only to finish, and somehow frame it, and if you don’t mind, could I hang it on the wall next to your dining table?’
‘Mind! No way do I mind having such a magnificent painting hanging on my wall. In fact, I might have an old picture frame in the attic that would be just perfect for it. Should we find it?’
‘Yes, let’s,’ said Maglor enthusiastically. Soon I’d found the key to door up there, and we climbed the pull down staircase to the attic door. Maglor had the key, and used it open the door, although he claimed he didn’t really need it, for he said he could have opened the door without it if he really wanted.
‘Are you sure you’re not pulling my leg?’ I asked, suspicious that he was telling me a tall story.
‘I’m quite serious; I could open the door without the key if I really needed to, but it isn’t something that should be done without great need. One day I’ll show you.’
‘Ok, I’ll believe you. Remember I might just ask you to prove it one day!’ I laughed.
He just grinned in reply, and we began to look in piles of stuff. I’d been given a lot of family memorabilia because I had a big empty attic, and now it looked as if at least one thing could be useful, if we could find it.
‘Is that it?’ Maglor asked, pointing at the end of a frame sticking out from the top of an old wardrobe.
‘Looks to be, can you get it down?’
‘Yes’, and being tall and long armed he was able to lift it down carefully.
‘Needs a good clean,’ I remarked. ‘Let’s get it downstairs and I can sit quietly and tidy it up for you.’
Back down we went, I locked up for despite the fact Maglor had said he could open locked doors without keys, I didn’t want to leave the attic open for just anyone wandering about to sticky beak into. In the kitchen Maglor was holding the up the old frame carefully and peering at his painting through it.
‘Will it do?’ I asked.
‘It will, I think, it seems to be the right size. I’ve never seen this wood before,’ he said putting the frame down.
‘Tasmanian Blackwood, a very highly thought of Australian native timber. It’s a good 150 years old, and all the flowers carved in it for decoration are Australian natives.’
‘These are gum tree leaves and flowers, I know that’s wattle, but what are these?’
‘Banksias, and those are bottlebrush. You know, I think the dolphins will look quite nice swimming around surrounded by the flowers.’
Maglor agreed, and sat down to finish his painting after getting the things I needed to clean the frame. It was very dusty, not truly dirty, and before long I’d cleaned it up and it was looking good.
‘What do you think, Maglor?’ I asked as I set the now clean frame on the table. He stood up to take a better look
‘It does look good clean, thank you, sweet lady,’ he said, and to my surprise he kissed the top of my head.
‘Now what?’ I said looking at what appeared to me to be a finished painting.
‘I’m nearly done; I just want to work on the waves a bit more, and possibly change the skyline a little. Now, however, I will be picked up soon to go and see George, so I’ll let this rest and look at it again later.’
He cleaned his brushes and other gear, and put on a T-shirt that had been lying over a chair back. He looked at me, sitting in my chair watching him.’ Why don’t you come too, today? George has been asking to see you.’
‘Has he?’ That surprised me.
‘He remembers you helping him. I had to tell him you were hurt, and I think he’d like to see you are now well again.’
‘I think I will come. If we get a taxi home, I can do some shopping, and we can have lunch too.’
‘I had better find my clean jeans, and wear them, then.’
‘They’re folded over the back of the computer chair for some strange reason, and put shoes on,’ I said, for Maglor had a habit of not wearing shoes. I put on my sandals, and changed my shirt; my denim skirt was Ok, and just in time I finished changing and picked up my shopping bag.
Maglor had let Roger in and was putting his own footgear on, a pair of runners that I’d bought him when we eventually found a pair that fitted.
The journey into the Marine Institute was interesting with Roger telling us about the proposal to open the place to the general public. Up until now only school and university groups has been welcome as guests to look around, but now plans were underway to upgrade all the facilities and admit the public, a bit like an aquarium. This change I felt would be good, and told Roger so, as it meant a lot more people would get a chance to see and understand Marine life. Especially exciting was the plan to bring marine mammals such as Dolphins and Seals in.
On arriving Maglor all but glued himself to my side until I was seated comfortably by the poolside where George could see me. George did seem happy to see me, rising up out of the water a bit to have a better look. Then he turned his interest to Maglor, who was singing softly in that beautiful language he called Quenya.
George floated gently around his pool, listening. He then came up to Maglor and it was to me so clear they were conversing in their thoughts that I wondered how on earth no one else picked up what they were doing. They spoke for a while and then apparently that was it for today.
‘What did George say?’ I whispered as soon as Maglor was close enough.
‘Later, I will tell you later.’ His thoughts were clear in my mind as if they were my own.
‘Ok,’ I replied the same way.
Roger saw us out, after assuring himself that Maglor would be available the next day. I thought that either George’s condition was worse than I knew, or that Roger believed Maglor might refuse to help further. If so, he was wrong, Maglor was totally fascinated by George and was determined to help the poor whale in any way he could.
We only had a short walk to the shopping mall and lunch. It would be a late lunch, but I was looking forward to a meal, and I suspected so was Maglor. He’d glued himself to me again, seeming refusing to believe I could take a step by myself without his aid. Actually it was rather pleasant to have a man’s company again even if that man was one of a magical immortal race I’d been told since childhood didn’t exist.
‘What would you like for lunch, Maglor?’
‘I am open to suggestions,’ he said rather seriously, but the sparkle in his eyes belied the seriousness of his words.
‘Chinese? The Green Dragon does very good Yum Cha.’
‘I haven’t had Chinese in years. I do like it, though, so that sounds nice.’
The Green Dragon wasn’t busy when we arrived and we got a nice table right near the window. At Maglor’s suggestion we ordered wine; and then had good fun ordering all the different foods on the carts the waitresses wheeled around. Naturally we both ate far too much, but we both enjoyed it. Curious, since my accident I could sense Maglor’s thoughts much more clearly than I had been able to. Another thing to ask him!
I was nearly too full to bother with the shopping, but I needed more floppy disks to back up the computer work I’d done on the scrolls. And I wanted blank videotapes, and pens. All the bloody pens kept disappearing; I was sure the rotten things grew legs at night and walked away. Oops better pick up my shoes I had re-soled, too, I thought. Maglor said he wanted nothing, and even he had to agree we had plenty of food at home. Then we went past one of the many shops selling music CD’s and he had to go in and ask what they were playing. It turned out to be Native American flute music, which is what I thought it was. My elf friend seemed to enjoy it so much that I bought it. Not entirely for him, for I liked it too. Rather cleverly I managed to make the purchase without Maglor seeing, it would be nice to give him a surprise later in the day.
Our shopping mission over, we caught a taxi home, to find Nicky had Cocaine, the palomino pony saddled, as was setting up barrels.
‘Having a barrel-racing practise,’ I commented.
‘Yes, I’ve decided to enter the rodeo after all. If it’s Ok with you, Mum said I could, and she’s watching from the garden’ she asked rather anxiously for she wasn’t supposed to work the horses at speed without someone home, just in case of an accident.
‘Fine by me. I’ll sit and watch, and read a bit.’
I went inside, and fetched what I planned to read, the next bit of Maglor’s book and the corresponding section of his diary. He saw me with the books, and suddenly got very busy with his painting. Now was the time to put the new CD on, Maglor had tensed right up and would hardly look at me. The music would relax him, and when I put it on, the look of delight on his face was more than worth the money I spent.
‘Thank-you Bronwyn, I never imagined you would buy this for me. You are a good friend, and far too good to me,’ he said, soundlessly walking over to me, and giving me a brief, tight hug.
‘Isn’t that what friends are for? To do things for each other? Anyway, it’s my way of thanking you for looking after me since I got out of hospital,’ I smiled at him as I returned his hug.
‘It was a kind gesture,’ he insisted, ‘but you should go out and watch Nicky.’
‘Yes, I should.’ I turned to go, and Maglor spoke again, ‘Could you do something for me, Bronwyn?’
‘Sure, if I can.’
‘No matter what you read, no matter how angry or disgusted with me you might get, please listen to my explanations and ask me any questions you might have.’
‘Ok, no problem, Maglor.’
When I got outside, and seated myself I saw Nicky has warmed Cocaine up and was making a first slow run around the barrels to familiarise both the pony and herself with the barrels again. It had been a while since they’d run barrels together. They seemed to be fine, so I turned my attention to the books in my hands.
The one I opened was the one that I suppose you’d call a history book, I would leave Maglor’s diary for the minute. Immediately, I read of a thing called the Doom of the Noldor, I checked in Maglor’s diary, and there was an entry dated apparently long after the event about a curse. I went back to the other book and continued to read, of how Maglor’s youngest uncle and many of his followers turned back to Valinor at the pronouncement of the curse, and how Maglor’s family had laughed at the curse and continued.
Then, shocked, I read of how Maglor’s father Feanor seized the ships stolen from the Teleri, and sailed with his followers to Middle-Earth. Once there, Feanor ordered the ships burnt. Apparently, only Maedhros the eldest of Maglor’s brothers tried to stop their father, and Feanor refused to listen, calling those abandoned useless, and baggage.
Slowly I put the book down, and remembered what Maglor had said to me, that I would ask him to explain everything, and right now I needed him to explain why most of the Noldor people had been abandoned. I lifted his diary, and noted again all entries over that time where made a long time after those events took place. Possibly because Maglor was still recovering from his wounds during the Kinslaying?
‘Bron, are you Ok?’ I looked up into Anita’s face, worried.
‘Yeah, fine, I was just wrapt up in what I was reading.’
‘You frightened me, I spoke three times before you answered.’
Anita sighed deeply, ‘You do get in deep at times, don’t you?’
‘What do you mean?’
‘You really don’t know? Well, I’ll save it for another time. Nicky’s taking Cocaine over to the beach for a ride now she’s finished around the barrels. I’m going over to watch out for her, there are too many people on the beach to let her go alone. Oh by the way she’s being very close mouthed about what she and Maglor are up to, all she was that it’s a surprise and she’s sworn to secrecy.’
‘I wonder what they’re up too?’
Anita shrugged, ‘I don’t have a clue, I guess we’ll find out.’ She looked up to see Nicky waiting for her, standing beside the pony.
‘Yeah, Ok,’ I said, falsely cheerful, and wondering what the surprise was. Questioning Maglor would be worse than useless, so I’d just have to wait and find out.
As Nicky, Cocaine and Anita disappeared towards the beach, I picked up the books and went indoors. I noticed Maglor had finished his painting and cleared up his things, now he was watching a documentary on the TV.
‘You’re upset,’ he said as I sat down and placed the books on the coffee table.
‘Why did your father burn the ships?’ My question came out badly, but Maglor never even blinked, and I felt he knew I was going to ask just that.
‘Many reasons, the first being he wasn’t thinking clearly at the time, and he never did completely trust Uncle Fingolfin. Many years later, Maedhros and I speculated that in a strange way he was trying to do his brother’s followers a favour, without transport they should have turned back to Valinor, to beg forgiveness for the Kinslaying.’
‘But they didn’t?’
‘No, for they dared the Halcaraxe, the terrible hills of grinding ice in a region of dreadful cold. We didn’t know that till later, unfortunately many people died in that crossing. I was one who would have greeted Fingolfin’s people, but I and many others dared not, from shame.’
‘No, not really.’ I felt his mind brush mine, and then pull away.
‘I was still recovering from wounds received in the Kinslaying Bronwyn, and could do nothing to stop Father. Had I been well, I would have stood with my brother Maedhros in trying to prevent the burning of the ships, as it was, alone Maedhros could do nothing. The rest of my brothers did what Father told them to.’
‘Thank you for being honest.’
He nodded, ‘you are angry, but not with me. With my father again?’
‘And your brothers. You were hurt, you had some excuse. Did Maedhros try to stop your father, or just think about it?’
‘Oh, he tried. Father threatened his life, and Maedhros backed down. In a mood like that Father was very dangerous, and Maedhros knew it. I think my younger brothers obeyed Father partly out of fear if they disobeyed then Father would likely do something worse, and also from habit. Father would only allow Maedhros as the eldest, and occasionally me, to question his decisions. Not that he often listened.’
‘Things must have been very difficult.’
‘Yes, that was when I started drinking.’
I nodded, and by a silent mutual consent, we dropped the subject.
By then it was evening, and we decided that after that Chinese for a late lunch, we really didn’t want much for dinner. The last time I’d made soup, actually the day I met Maglor, I had frozen a heap of it in old ice-cream containers. I thawed and heated some of it while Maglor found some bread rolls and buttered them.
Nicky and Cocaine returned, soaking wet; Anita went straight home but Nicky popped in to speak to me once she’d dealt with the pony. She refused the offer of a meal on behalf of her mother and herself, as they were to go out with Anita’s parents for dinner. She shot off to shower before dinner after arranging more practise sessions with Cocaine, and planning to finish whatever it was she’d started with Maglor.
Maglor and I ate our dinner outdoors as usual and sat on outside and watched the sunset, and the first stars rise.
‘I can’t see anything but the evening star up there,’ I said, staring up at the sky.
Maglor shifted his chair closer to mine, and pulled me against him. ‘Do you really want to see the evening star how I do? I’ll show you if you like.’
Curiosity got the better of me, and I agreed. I felt Maglor’s mind touch mine and I heard his mental voice speak, ‘See through my eyes, Bronwyn.’
And suddenly I was seeing through his eyes. Wow, he was right, the evening star was a sailing ship and I see could the glow of the Silmaril on it. Hang on; someone was wearing the Silmaril as part of a headpiece bound to his forehead! A man? My mind was scarcely able to comprehend this. ‘Who is that?’ I asked mentally.
‘Earendil, he is of the Peredhil, the half elven. He is also the father of the boys I fostered. Earendil was born in the hidden city of Gondolin, and after the destruction of Gondolin he lived with his family in Sirion. He left on a great sea voyage to beg aid for the people of Middle-Earth from the Valar in their struggle against Morgoth, and he was successful. His ship Vingilot was hallowed by the Valar and the Silmaril brought to Earendil by his wife Elwing was given to Earendil to bear up into the skies as a sign of hope to those dwelling in Middle-Earth,’ Maglor’s mental voice was soft and full of sorrow.
‘Half-eleven?’ I questioned.
‘Yes, his father was a mortal man called Tuor, who came to Gondolin as massager from Lord Ulmo to Gondolin’s King, my cousin Turgon. Turgon’s daughter Idril is Earendil’s mother, so he is distantly related to me.’
Then the bow of the great shining ship turned to face us directly, and shocked, I realised Earendil was looking down at us.
‘Yes, over the ages as I have watched Earendil, so he has watched me.’
‘How did Earendil’s wife get a Silmaril, anyway,’ I asked confused. ‘Didn’t Morgoth have them?’
‘He did, and one day I’ll tell you how Lady Elwing obtained a Silmaril.’
Then I felt Maglor pull away from me, as if what was happening was between he and Earendil and no others. For some time I sat watching Maglor watch what for me was just a star again. Then he stood abruptly, and strode indoors. I followed, worried.
‘Are you all right?’ I asked, for Maglor was white and shaking.
‘Yes, I’ll be fine, I just need, Bronwyn could you please make me some coffee?’
‘Ok.’ I made him coffee, and myself too. By the time I handed him his cup he’d settled a lot and he drank his coffee gratefully.
‘What on earth happened out there?’ I asked after a few minutes.
‘Nothing that needs concern you, Bronwyn.’
‘Doesn’t concern me!’ I snapped angrily. ‘You’re my friend Maglor, and something happened that upset you. Of course it concerns me!’
I was standing in front of Maglor, shouting at him. He rose and took my hands in his, ‘I’m sorry, Bronwyn, you’re right, this does concern you. Perhaps I should have said there is nothing to fear.’
‘What happened?’ I insisted.
‘Earendil tried to communicate with me, to tell me something, I couldn’t understand what, just that it is important.’ He stood, and paced the room, looking like a caged panther.
‘Oh,’ I sat down hard. ‘Why?’
‘I don’t know that, either.’
I felt Maglor’s hands on shoulders; he was standing behind me now, his strong fingers massaging my shoulder and neck. ‘Relax,’ he said quietly. ‘I have more abilities than you know, Bronwyn, and I won’t let anything hurt you.’
‘I thought you said there was nothing to fear?’ I span to face him.
‘There isn’t, not from Earendil. You do not need to be frightened.’ I felt his mind brush mine, in an attempt to soothe me.
‘Don’t, don’t do that!’
He stepped back, startled by the violence of my reaction. ‘I’m frightened, Maglor and confused by all this. It’s all too much,’ and to my horror I burst into tears.
Immediately, Maglor took me in his arms, and rocked me as I let out all the stress of the last days. The confusion at finding out who he was, that we’d met before, my injury and all the strange revelations overwhelmed me. I cried for a long time, and finally my sobs ceased. Slightly embarrassed, I raised my head to look at Maglor.
‘Here you are, dry your eyes.’ He handed me a box of tissues that usually lived on the kitchen bench, with his long arms he was able to reach them easily.
‘Now, Bronwyn, you’re very tired, I think, and that’s part of your problem tonight,’ Maglor’s voice was very gentle.
I nodded, ‘I am. It’s later that I thought.’ I was surprised, it was midnight.
‘We watched Earendil longer than you thought.’ He extended his hands and pulled me to my feet. ‘We should get some rest, you especially Bronwyn.’
‘Yeah, I guess we should. I’ll just wash my face first.’
By the time I’d washed my tear-streaked face, Maglor had brought Cherie in, and locked up. The only lights on were in the kitchen and his bedroom. I walked past his open door, and noticed he was in bed, and he spoke to me.
‘Bronwyn, come in here,’ he asked.
I did so, sitting down on the bed. ‘Why, what’s wrong? Are you Ok?’ I asked him
‘I’m fine, you are not. I can feel you mental unrest. You should stay here, with me.’
‘I don’t think that’s a good idea,’ I said. And I didn’t think it good, for the reason I’d come to the conclusion earlier that I was getting far too fond of this elf.
He frowned, ‘you need company tonight, you will never still your mind and sleep else.’
He had me there, he was right. ‘I’ll just put my pyjamas on then.’
‘As you like.’
I went to my room, and found my PJ’s. As I put them on I reflected that I really wasn’t all that unhappy at sharing Maglor’s bed for the night. I just hoped he wouldn’t be naked! I didn’t think I could cope with that right now.
He switched the lights off the instant I was in the bed, and snuggled up to me. To my vast relief he was wearing some clothing, and I allowed him to cuddle up, enjoying the feel of him near me.
‘Go to sleep, Bronwyn,’ he said, his voice gently soothing. ‘And don’t worry if you wake, and I’m gone, I won’t be far away. I might go outside for a little white later.’ His words really didn’t really register as I drifted off to sleep.