1. Andreth at Mid-life
In the 409th year of the Sun..
She was forty-six today, the woman who had once been thought wise realized as she woke. Strange that her beloved Aegnor still dreamed; usually the slightest noise or movement would awaken the Elda. Sleep would not return, so she looked in on little Inglor. Her son slept with the peace only children could know. At eleven, he seemed so small to her, though Aegnor thought him large for his age.
Andreth no longer wondered whether she had made the right decision, though she did wonder at the continued unwillingness of others to accept it. The disapproval of the Elves had been overwhelmingly uniform; only Angrod had supported his brother. Finrod, so honored by so many, had practically renounced Aegnor upon their marriage, threatening to strip him of the lordship of Dorthonion as punishment for this brazen flouting of ancient laws and customs. Aegnor had laughed uproariously at the mention of that, and the brothers had not spoken since.
Her own people had cared little. They had not visited her since she had departed, and she doubted she was missed. Indifference stung more than disapproval.
But it was all worth it, for none of the scornful or indifferent had the love of Aegnor or Inglor, and she did. She examined her face in the mirror. A few lines had appeared, but Aegnor did not seem to notice. She doubted not that things would change as she aged more dramatically, yet Aegnor had told her not to worry.
"Mortality or immortality means little in these lands.", her husband had said. "Morgoth does not sleep. We could all be slain tomorrow." These dark words were somehow comforting. Aegnor's acknowledgement of his own possible death allowed them both to accept the certainty of hers.
Yet Andreth hoped that at least time would be granted them to watch Inglor grow up. The child appeared more Elven then Mortal. He even had a bit of the luminescence of his scornful uncle, seemingly in Finrod's despite. Husband and wife often laughed at this.
Elves did not come of age until their fiftieth year, and Aegnor had indicated that Inglor must be bound by this custom if he were to be accepted by even the most tolerant of the Eldar. Andreth wondered, would she live another thirty-nine years to see that day? With luck, she could. Many of her forefathers had seen their ninetieth birthdays.
So the Lady, once thought wise, smiled as she watched the dawn.
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