3. Reflections in the Smoke — Raksha the Demon
by Raksha the Demon
The One Ring was destroyed. He had watched the one he had been sent to Middle-earth to cast down rise a last time in the moment of defeat, and had spared Sauron, who he had once called by other names, and even brother, a last moment of sorrow mingled with contempt. Two weary hobbits had seemingly ended Sauron's existence with the flick of a wrist, the spinning of a small circlet of unholy metal into the fire from which it came.
Sauron, Artano, Aulendil, Annatar, all the names his brother had hoarded in his long life, had amounted to so much dust, reflected the wizard who had gathered not a few names himself. Sauron the Fool! Even a cat does not leave the pantry when the mice are at large. At the end of so many Ages, Sauron had grown only in arrogance, leaving Orodruin unguarded, to his ruin.
Now, long hours after their Enemy's fall and the saving of Frodo and Sam, Sauron's onetime brother sat by the fire, blowing rings of smoke out of his pipe. Around him, the victorious armies of the West drank, told tales, stood on watch, and dozed. He had delivered the Ring-bearers into Aragorn's healing hands, and watched as Pippin, too, was tended by the returned King. There was no more that he could do for them.
For the first time in two thousand mortal years, the wizard sat purposeless, his old shoulders lightened of their heavy burden. It felt strange to have no course left but the path to the West. Narya lay quietly on his finger; its fires cooled. His own power slept, like Ulmo's waves at low tide.
Come home, Olórin; the wind seemed to sigh. He would revel, make farewells, and obey; for Gandalf was needed here no more.
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.