10. Will Healing Come
He stood behind the desk and looked out at the gardens that flourished, even this early in spring. Celeborn knew Lórien was filled with the scent of her mellyrn, elanor, and niphredil. The grasses would now cover Cerin Amroth, one of his favorite places, and the rivers would be high and clean and clear. A flood of sorrow swept through him; he was not oft away from her, from his glorious Queen; it could not be helped, but he missed her and their realm. He turned as Arwen entered the room, his heart breaking at her obvious grief, but he waited for Elrond to speak.
"You asked for me, Ada?" Her eyes brimmed full and red.
"Please sit, Arwen." Elrond motioned to the settle across from the fireplace, which, even though spring had come to the vale, was filled with a roaring fire. As she sat, Elrond knelt in front of her, taking her hands into his and gently patting them.
She looked askance. "Nana is not...? She will not...?"
"Nay. I called you not here for your Naneth. Have you spoken with your muindeir of late?"
She looked at her father in surprise and, to Celeborn, seemed to be a young elleth again, perhaps forty-two or so, who spent many an afternoon holding his hand as she learnt, at his knee, her tengwar. He bit his lip.
"I have not spoken to them since Nana was returned to us. They... " She pulled her shoulders back. "They frighten me."
Elrond nodded. "They are not well, Arwen. They will not speak to me of the ill that ravages them, this need for retribution, vengeance, but they are not well. What I now ask will sorely try you, but I must ask it, for their sakes. Will you listen and not interrupt?"
Her eyes widened, but she nodded.
"I would use you as a ploy. I must send Elladan and Elrohir to Lórien for healing, but they will not obey me. Of this, I am sure. If I tell them that you need to go, need some rest from the grief of your Naneth, then they will obey and take you, for they love you dearly."
She bit her lip and Celeborn turned from her; he could not bear to see the pain on her face. She was no dullard; she knew she was being asked to leave her Naneth and go away, but she did not interrupt, as she had promised.
"I know you wish to be at your Naneth's side and she truly needs you, but I fear for them, Arwen, greatly. Your Adadhron will stay here with her; and I will not leave her side. It cannot be helped, Arwen. I know of no other way."
Her head bent and Celeborn felt as if his heart would break. 'This is too much for her. She is torn between Naneth and muindeir.' He stepped forward, then stopped himself. 'She is a grown elleth. I dare not interfere.'
"I will do as you ask. When must I leave?"
"As soon as possible. Something must be attended to immediately, before it is discovered by others, to your muindeir's shame."
"If you would?"
Tears fell gently down her face. She stood and moved to step forward, but Elrond had risen at her movement and taken her into his arms. "I promise. Your Naneth will be well. As soon as your Nanadhril has control over your muindeir, I will have you return. You need not wait for their healing."
"Nanadhril will be able to keep them there," Arwen smiled sadly. "I will be ready at first light." She began to walk away, then stopped. "Might I spend this night with Nana?"
Elrond could do naught but nod. Celeborn stepped forward, but she only looked at him in sorrow and left the room.
"Galadriel will be able to help them. I am too close to them. I farspoke with her this morning. She is ready."
Celeborn smiled sadly. "I spoke with her myself, showed her the room; she understands. Have you ever seen the like of it before, Elrond?"
"When my Naneth was... It is blazoned in my heart. The sons of Fëanor came to our town. The light in their eyes was too dark to describe. I have seen that same light in my ionnath's eyes. Mayhap, the blood of Finwë taints them.
Celeborn remembered that time and the eyes of Fëanor. Galadriel and he waited upon the western shore for the ships to return; they never did and those who left Aman following Fëanor crossed the Helcaraxë, in pain and shame. He shook his head in anger, then quickly left the room.
Hurrying along the same corridor, Arwen finally allowed the tears to fall. Her heart bode ill for this journey; she did not want to leave her Naneth's side, but she understood, from the blackness that she felt whenever she was near Elladan and Elrohir, that her Adar was fearful for their very fëar. She ran into her rooms and bade her maidservant pack, then she turned and ran to Celebrían's rooms. Celeborn waited for her outside the door.
"I will not bid you fare well, Arwen." He pulled her close to him. "I cannot bear another parting. I had never thought myself weak." His voice broke, but he continued on, "I love your Naneth dearly. Do not fear for her while you are gone. I will watch over her. If something untoward happens, I will speak with your Nanadhril immediately and she will send you home." He kissed her forehead before she spoke a word, turned and left her.
Arwen looked after him in great sorrow. She had never seen him like this. He was always strong, though silent. She knew he acquiesced to Galadriel in almost all things, but when it came to Celebrían, he was the Adar and what he said was decree. Galadriel learned ages before that she had almost no say in raising the elleth.
Quietly, she opened the door, knelt on the floor at her Naneth's side, and wept. Eventually, she climbed into the bed and held her Naneth tightly. Celebrían slept peacefully, yet unaware of what had happened to her body. Still in the deep sleep that Elrond had placed her in, she was oblivious to the world and those about her. She never felt Arwen, as her daughter lay next to her, an arm around her chest and tears of deepest sorrow running down her cheeks.
Erestor, surprised that Elrond and Celeborn stood at his side, ordered the torches to be placed. The straw that surrounded the little shack immediately burst into flame and the shed took but moments to burn to the ground. Some of the guards who had taken part in the detail recoiled at the smell, but others recognized it immediately and wondered at exactly what had been in that lean-to. None, of course, questioned; nor did they speak of it amongst themselves after the fact.
"They will be with Galadriel in a very short time. The five hundred warriors you sent to accompany them should guarantee their safety. Would that you had... " Celeborn turned and walked away from the burning edifice.
"You would that I had...?"
"I also would that I had," Celeborn scowled. "Fools, the both of us. Now, not only do we suffer for our gross neglect, but also those we love suffer. Celebrían will never be the same; I doubt if Elladan and Elrohir will ever recover. I know not how or why Arwen has remained so strong through all this."
"I will not give up hope. Celebrían knows she is loved. She will fight this and she will win this battle. I will stand by her side, if you find you have not the stomach..."
Celeborn lurched towards him, arms outstretched, fingers ready to grasp the sleek throat. At Erestor's shout, he pulled himself back. Glaring angrily at Elrond, he walked into the forest.
Glorfindel shadowed Celeborn. Erestor followed Elrond.
"I think it is time for some Dorwinion and a bit of planning for when your ionnath return. I think a feast would be appropriate. By that time, Celebrían will probably have resumed her duties as Lady of Imladris."
"She will never return to her duties; Celeborn speaks truly. She will either fade or sail into the West." Elrond sat hard upon a bench in the garden they were passing through. "I could not bear to hear the truth, but he speaks rightly."
"Then you must speak with him, my Lord." Rare did his advisor use Elrond's title.
The Lord of Imladris looked at him strangely. "I would save her," he choked. "I would cut off both my arms; I would stab out my eyes; I would hang from the chains of Morgoth if that would save her, but it will not and I am as lost as she is. I will lose my ionnath to this and Arwen will sail with her Naneth. I will be alone."
"You will not be alone," Elrond stared up in surprise into Celeborn's face. "I have vowed that I will not leave Middle-earth."
"Then so it shall be." Elrond stood and grasped Celeborn's arms. "We two shall remain and give whatever happiness we may to those who remain with us and we will fight together against all of Morgoth's own."
"Elladan bites them off," Elrohir said in a matter-of-fact voice, fingering the lacework covering the chair upon which he sat. "Then he spits them in their faces."
Galadriel did not flinch. Celeborn had shown her the 'trophies' the ellyn had taken. "Tell me - from the beginning."
"It was easier once Adar came and took her home. We could think of naught but saving her, before that. There were times, as we cleaned their seed from her..., I thought I would go mad. Glorfindel sensed it and took me aside a number of times, but it did naught to assuage the burn in my heart and my loins. I could feel her pain, her suffering, and every part of me wanted revenge, especially my loins." A small blush touched his cheeks, but his mouth hardened and he continued. "When Adar came, I could feel the fire in me; it had to be quenched."
A cynical chuckle. "What think you?" His eyes stared vacantly ahead. "Then what happened happened. We returned home with the company and waited until all was settled and she seemed to awaken."
A shudder passed through her youngest inyo.
"We left then; rode as hard and as fast as we could, back to the cave to follow the trail of those who escaped before we came. We found them within a short time. There were myriad caves on the slopes and they were easy to find, the smell alone gave them away. At first, we killed just for the kill, but eventually, we found it sated not our hunger. Mortal wounds were made, but ones that would take their lives slowly, so that we could spend time with each one, sometimes stroking them until they were close to release and then, then we cut their parts off." His face had hardened further; Galadriel grasped her ring and held it tightly. "We would hold them in front of their noses. Sometimes," a cold, unnerving chuckle echoed through the glade, "their seed would spill from their cocks. Elladan would dance. After a time, even that was not enough for him. He began sucking them; when he felt their release coming, he would bite it off and scream in their faces. Their seed would spill forth and cover their faces - and his. Sometimes, 'Dan would shove a branch up their holes and thrash it back and forth before he pleasured them."
"What would you do?"
"I just cut them off. Cut them off and put them into my bag. Sometimes, when I watched 'Dan, I would stroke them, but mostly, I just cut them off."
"Where is 'Dan now?"
A shrug. "I know not. We obeyed Adar and brought Arwen here. Once she was safe, he left. He did not even tell me, and I did not sense it." The brow of her youngest inyo furrowed. "I cannot feel him."
"I cannot feel you."
He looked at her in genuine surprise. "Why not?"
"Come and sit by my side."
He hesitated and she held her arms out. "I have chocolates."
His eyes appeared hollowed. "I can no longer taste anything but their seed."
'In time, you will remember the taste of chocolate. Come and sit by me." Her arms were still extended. He shook his head, confusion rampant upon his visage. She touched the ring and he sighed. He walked towards her and finally sat. She put an arm around him and gently squeezed it. Slowly, ever so slowly, his head dropped until it lay upon her shoulder.
She began to chant the words of sleep and he pulled back, alarmed. "Only for a moment, Elrohir. We will not leave this grove nor will I call anyone to us. You will rest for one hour and then we will speak again. In the meantime, I will have tea and chocolates brought here. When you awake, we will refresh ourselves." She touched her ring again.
He slipped forward against her shoulder, yawned, and closed his eyes.
Elrond sat at the edge of the bed, tears falling relentlessly down his own cheeks; Glorfindel wept quietly by the door. At that moment, Celeborn stepped into the room. Gasping, he fell to his knees. "Faded!" he wailed aloud.
"Nay!" Glorfindel was quicker to his side than Elrond. "She merely sleeps."
"But she looks so... "
"She is in the deepest of sleeps. I do not want her to feel the pain. She awoke screaming." The Lord of Imladris did not apologize.
"Does she know?"
"Nay. She is still too weak. I could not risk her knowing."
"She must know something."
"Of course she does," Elrond snapped. "She felt the pain in her... She felt the pain. I believe that is why she screamed when she awoke. She knew something was done to her, but I hope it is still thought to be by the Yrch."
"I will sit with her," Celeborn said quietly. "Go back to your duties and leave me with her. When she wakes, I will tell her."
"I did this to her."
"You had no choice."
Muin nín - My beloved
Garn nín - my own
Hiril vuin - beloved lady
Hîr vuin - my lord
There seems to be an argument over whether to use the ^ or the ' for my - so I'm going to just use the ' for all instances of my in Sindarin.....
Inyo: Grandchild, grandson.
Muindeir - plural of muindor (brother as it relates to a family member)
Fëar - plural for fëa (spirit/soul/inner essence)
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.