31. Chapter 31
Chapter 31 W
The moonlight shining through a little gap in the curtains was what woke me. Or was it? Maglor was lying facing me, his eyes unblinking, but I could tell from his breathing that he wasn't asleep, but rather thinking deeply.
I blinked a couple of times and stretched carefully, which was difficult with one of Maglor's long legs draped over me, but I saw awareness return to his eyes. Instead of moving away as I expected, he did what he'd done earlier that night; cuddled right up to me, his arms tightening about me in a very close embrace. He didn't speak, but I could feel that he was very distressed over something as his mind touched mine and he buried his face in my neck.
'What's wrong?' I asked quietly.
I got no verbal response, but if it was possible Maglor pressed himself even closer to me, and in my mind there was a soft mental whisper of 'nothing,' to which I replied with disbelief. That drew the tiniest of mental chuckles and that he did have a problem, but one I couldn't help with, and no he didn't want to discuss it, what he wanted was comfort. That both surprised and concerned me, as I felt he did have a big problem. I had learned a few things about my magical
houseguest, and one was that when he was in 'silent mode' pestering him about his problem was counter productive. He'd talk when he was ready, and not one second before hand.
So I held him, and managed to get one hand free to rub his back, which seemed to soothe him. After a while he spoke, 'You are good to me, Bronwyn, and in return all I seem to do is bother you.'
Puzzled I asked what he meant, 'I woke you up, I didn't mean to, I was trying to keep my mind quiet but I couldn't,' he said his eyes shadowed and frightened?
Then I understood, 'Have you had a nightmare, Maglor?'
'Yes, in a way. Elves don't dream exactly as mortals do, it's more like living through the experience and retaining a memory of it. Or reliving something terrible from the past.'
'Why didn't you say so?' I sighed, 'I know, you didn't want to bother me. Silly elf, are you going to tell me what you dreamed of?'
'You don't want to know,' he said.
'Come on, it can't be that awful, can it.'
'It can,' he said sitting up and folding his arms about his knees. 'There is a lot you still don't know, and I am..'
'You're worried how I'm going to react.'
'And that's what giving you the nightmares,' I shook my head at him. 'How old did you say you are? 8?'
'Please, Bronwyn, this is not funny, don't joke.'
'Ok, sorry!' I grinned at him, and noticed his right hand was clenched tightly into a fist. That was clearly bothering Maglor and I could do something about it for him. I slid off the bed, and made to leave the room.
'Where are you going?' a distressed almost panicked elf asked.
'To the kitchen, and I'll be back in a minute.' Hells bells, he sure was upset over something!
In the kitchen I made us both a hot chocolate, and grabbed a bottle of massage oil, I had what I thought might be a brilliant idea for Maglor's sore hand, and juggling cups and bottle I trotted back to Maglor's room, where I found him staring out the window through the gap in the curtains.
'Here you are, this might make you feel better,' I said as I handed him a cup. 'No, use your left hand, and give me the right.' I'd put my cup down, and I poured some of the massage oil into my hands, and then set to work on his hand, feeling the muscles and tendons carefully till I found what I was looking for. Maglor's face registered surprise and then relief as the pain left his hand.
Finished with his right hand I took his left hand, and repeated the process and as I seen him using his left hand more than usual over the last couple of days and I wanted to be sure that he hadn't hurt it.
'How does that feel now?' I asked.
'Wonderful,' he sighed, 'for the first time, all the pain is gone, completely gone!' His fingers were tangled with mine, and I had trouble freeing one hand to drink my chocolate, which I quickly finished. We lied back down and Maglor pulled the curtains apart a little and looked out at the moonlight.
'I remember when the moon first rose, I thought how beautiful it was, and how wonderful it was to have light, real light again,' Maglor's voice was incredibly rich and beautiful in the softly lit room.
I snorted disbelievingly, 'The moon's always been there!'
'No, Bronwyn, have you not listened to me? Did I not tell you that the world was changed in the second age of the Sun? That the world became round, and Valinor was removed? It was then that the Sun and Moon took the forms they now wear, and like Venus I can see those heavenly lights as what they really are, and as I showed you Earendil, I could show you the true forms of the Sun and Moon.'
'No thanks, I've had enough of that for one evening,' I laughed at the elf, and asked 'I suppose the stars aren't stars?'
'They are just as you see them,' and then he told me stories of the making of the stars by one of the mysterious Valar, one called Varda, apparently female.
I dozed a little listening to him, and woke to hear him singing again. I wondered that his parents hadn't named him Nightingale or something; for once he told me that he sang before he spoke.
And as he sang, once again as on the night we spent watching the whales, his voice made images and those images were translated to words in my mind. He sang of the conversation between he and George the whale that day, and how George reminded him of something that he'd not forgotten but put into back of his mind, how in the Fourth Age he had wandered the shores of a country called Gondor, and how the people of the tiny fishing villages had called him The Guardian of the Waves, for he'd been often seen on the sea shore at night. Often he had used his
song to calm storms, and to lead those lost down by the seaside caves to safety, and he sang to the fishermen, putting in their minds where the best fishing was to be had. Sometimes, too he'd spoken to the children of the villages when his loneliness became too great.
'Where was this Gondor anyways?' I asked.
'The seashore was the Mediterranean. The coast has changed, but the nearest modern equivalent is around the Cannes area. Lots of things have changed, but at least the old legends still speak of me, The Guardian of the Waves, and how I can calm storms.'
'You can't really calm the sea, can you?' I asked at length.
'Oh, yes, if it's only a mild storm I can. I can use song to calm it,' he said insistently. Then he noticed my sceptical look, 'you would probably call what I do 'magic', I don't think of it like you might.'
'Why, with the magic at your disposal did you and your family find it necessary to kill other elves?' I asked.
'They had their own magic too, and we were consumed with a need to fulfil our Oath to recover the Silmarils and avenge Grandfather.'
'Oh,' was all I found to say.
'We shall speak more of this tomorrow,' he said. 'For now I think you should sleep again, Bron.'
I couldn't argue as I was yawning, so I pulled the covers well up and settled down. Maglor still gazed out the window, but now as I drifted off he was silent instead of singing.
It was daylight when I woke again, and rain beat against the window. That blew my plans for the day out the window, so I got up and went looking for a tall, handsome elf and found him in the kitchen making porridge. I sat down to watch TV, and discovered that it was earlier than I'd thought for the early news was still on, some reporter rattling on about the war in Iraq. Not wanting to watch bombs and shooting over breakfast, I turned over and found all the channels were showing the same thing. In disgust I put on my favourite video, ET, as Maglor brought me my breakfast; I had to admit he was spoiling me but it very nice to have such a considerate houseguest.
I watched Maglor as he watched the movie, and was highly amused to notice he was utterly fascinated, and sat motionless and silent watching carefully. He didn't even move when I took his empty bowl away, but thanked me when I gave him coffee ten minutes later. I decided the time was right to ask him about last night, and why he been so very upset.
'Maglor, last night. When are you going to tell me what was wrong?'
He looked surprised, 'I didn't think you'd remember that!'
'Well, I do. And I think you should tell me what's wrong.'
' I noticed that you didn't really want to watch the news this morning either,' he said quietly.
'Is that your problem? The war?'
'Yes,' he said, nodding. 'I've seen too many wars, and fought in too many to. It's just bringing back unpleasant memories and last night I was remembering my brother's deaths, all but one died in battle, and well, I just don't want to watch any more people die the same way.'
He put his cup down and I took his hands in mine, 'I can understand that. I really don't want to watch either. If Mark had still been alive he would very likely be in Iraq right now, and I know many of his friends are. Perhaps we should try not to watch the TV, or talk of this much?'
'I think that would be best, for a few days anyway.' He seemed to want to say something, but was hesitant. I pushed him a little, and he finally told me, 'Today is also the anniversary of the day my youngest brothers died. They were twins, and especially close to me, and our oldest brother, Maedhros. It is thousands of years since they died, but it still feels as though it happened yesterday. I actually saw them killed in front of me, and I was unable to help them. I let my little brothers down.'
'I'm sorry, Maglor. I can't imagine how awful that would feel, to see your brothers killed in front of you!'
He squeezed my hands, and smiled a little, 'I'll be fine, Bronwyn. Later, I'll go down onto the beach and sing for them as I have every year. Then I'll be all right again.'
'Are you sure?'
'Yes, when the rain eases a bit I'll go to the beach. In the meantime, is there something we can do? I don't want to sit about today, I'd rather do something.'
I thought for minute, 'I always make my own soap, and it's getting low so we could do that.'
Maglor agreed enthusiastically, and soon we were in the semi-detached laundry setting out the supplies. Nicky appeared, and when told what we were doing, insisted on joining in, as she'd been bored at home. Her mother was in one of the odd moods that she got into at times, and in those moods she didn't want company, not even her daughter's.
So, we made soap. A lot of soap, scenting some of it. We made lavender, rose, sandalwood and my favourite, orange. Maglor wanted cederwood, and pine, so we made those too, and it was early afternoon when we finished and put the finished soap aside to set and harden.
Lunch was toasted sandwiches, and it had stopped raining. Nicky and I moved the horses into fresh paddocks, for Maglor had disappeared to sing on the beach, refusing company. I knew why, he wanted to be alone and mourn for his brothers by himself. I hoped he would feel better as he said he would, because he'd been quiet and withdrawn all morning. Even Nicky couldn't raise a smile from him!
I came back inside, wondering again at how quickly my leg had healed in such a short time. It was almost completely healed! I could walk without pain, and I was thinking that by Rodeo time it might be right for me to ride. Nicky only thought she'd have the barrel racing to herself and Cocaine!
I had been going to work on the scrolls, but it was hard with Nicky there. She wanted to play Monopoly, or was going to go looking for Maglor, and I knew he didn't want to be disturbed right now. So, Nicky and I played Monopoly, and Nicky thrashed me. We were just beginning a second game, and I was starting to get worried about Maglor when the kitchen door creaked and in walked the elf. He was soaked because it had started raining again, and when I gave him a towel I
noticed how cold he was, freezing in fact.
'You're so cold!' I remarked, 'I'll put the heater on.'
He shook his head, 'no, I'll be fine, being cold won't affect me once I put on some dry clothes.'
'Are you sure?'
'Yes, quite sure. It's impossible for me to catch a cold like you might.'
'Oh, ok I guess you know best,'
'I do,' he said smiling as he ruffled my hair with his left hand. 'I'll put on some dry clothes.'
He vanished into his room, and soon appeared again dressed in the old faded and patched jeans that he'd been wearing when we first met, and a T-shirt that appeared to have once been black, but was now a faded dark greyish colour.
Nicky had re-set the Monopoly board and was trying to get Maglor to agree to play too. He was laughingly refusing, saying he didn't know how to play the game.
'That's Ok, we'll teach you, won't we Bron,' said Nicky.
Maglor finally agreed, and I made us all some hot chocolate and toast while Nicky explained the rules to Maglor. Naturally, he played very cautiously at first, but soon beat us. Another game didn't go his way so easily, and in fact we didn't finish as Anita came looking for Nicky, claiming they had an early morning the next day, but I knew the truth, Anita was tired and wanted to go to bed but she never slept unless someone else was in the house. Nicky pulled a face, but went along quietly with her mother.
Curiously, neither Maglor nor I were hungry, so we simply had some cheese and crackers for our evening meal. Maglor also ate several apples, I'd noticed he had a fondness for them, and he claimed all elves did. He does and says some curious things at times!
Later, we sat down to look at more of the scrolls, and to check maps. Maglor spoke of Rivendell, the secret city his foster son Elrond ruled during the second and third ages. Apparently, he believed if we could find the ruins of Rivendell we might find either more scrolls or clues to their whereabouts.
As he talked, he spoke less of the scrolls, and more of Elrond, and Elrond's twin, Elros. I said nothing, just relaxing and letting him talk, but I wondered why he spoke so much of his foster sons, when it was really his brothers he ought to talking about. Just as I was about to point that out, he abruptly started to speak of his twin brothers, the youngest of them.
Long he spoke, telling me of his twin brothers, Amrod and Amras. Naturally, this meant that his other brothers entered the stories, his older and adored brother Maedhros, Celegorm who was a great hunter and who could speak to any animal, Caranthir, short-tempered but trustworthy, and Curufin, who was a mirror image of their father Feanor. I got two impressions very quickly, that all the brothers loved each other dearly, and that for the longest time Maglor had not had anyone to talk to like this, and it was doing him good. Actually, it was rather like opening a floodgate, and I rather thought that he'd never stop talking. Not that I really minded, most of the stories were amusing or told of elvish lifestyle, and I was learning a lot about Maglor, probably more than he realised.
Finally, he stopped, and looked at me, and I realised that he'd really been talking to himself. He smiled, 'sorry for getting carried away, I must have bored you terribly'.
'Not at all, I enjoyed hearing of your brothers, and anyway, you needed to let all that out. Have you spoken to anyone about your family since you've well, been alone?'
'No, not like that. You are right, it was nice to speak of my family, I do feel rather better!' he'd been holding my hands, and now he squeezed my fingers by way of thanks. Then he looked at the scattered maps and scrolls and began tidying them away, explaining he didn't feel like doing any more on them right then.
'I don't either', I said. 'In fact, the late night last night, and getting up early this morning I'm tired. I might go to bed,' I said, giving him a rather questioning look.
'I won't, not just yet. I think I shall read a while,' he said. Then, more hesitantly, 'Tomorrow is the 25th of April.'
'ANZAC day, how do you know about that?' I asked, surprised.
'I was actually in the First World War, and I like to remember every year by watching the sun rise', he was obviously expecting a response of some kind from me.
'So do I, Grandfather Burne was in the 4th Lighthorse, and I always hold my own Dawn Service.'
'Shall I wake up just before sunrise then?' asked Maglor, 'and we can watch the sun rise together?'
'Yes, that sounds a lovely idea!' I replied as Maglor kissed me goodnight. Soon, I was curled up comfortably in my bed, but long past midnight sleep evaded me. My houseguest was disturbing me more and more, not by his behaviour or his past, but by the disturbing fact that I had done some deep thinking during the day, and I believed that I might be falling in love with him.
Many thank to SWE for allowing me to use her idea of Maglor as the 'Guardian of the Waves.'
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.