2. Elwing's Leap by Cuinwen
For Gandalf's apprentice. I've no idea what Elrond may have made of the situation, but here it is from Elwing's POV:
. . .
"Elros!" she shrieked. He startled and wobbled on the balustrade. Little Elrond's brows, furrowed in concern before, threatened to merge. Elwing fought back the instinct to rush forward, lest her eldest son step back from her rage, for nothing but a sheer drop separated the child from the foaming sea below.
"Darling," she said, her voice quivering, "Please your mother and come down onto the courtyard."
But the elleth turned away, jaw set. Still facing away, he said, "There is no danger. Ulmo told me some day I will rule a great realm in the sea. Always he will see to me and mine."
"Well, then, come down from the ledge to humor me."
She blinked and the memory vanished; she stood alone. That day had been like this one: gentle white clouds in the sky and terns gliding on an invigorating breeze, the salt air so clean and wholesome it might have blown straight from Aman. But today she heard the sound of metal striking metal, coming nearer. The citadel was breached; her time was running out.
What was the name of that bird, the one that pretends to be wounded to lure predators away from its young? Oh, I have never been good at naming things. Too late make good on it now. Some Quendi I am.
Yet there was hope in Elros' remembered words. If he were indeed favored by the Lord of Waters, perhaps her children might find safety even now. They would have reached the hiding place behind the waterfall, with Nana and a picnic basket full of toys and books, berries and lembas. They need not come out for a week, maybe longer. The sounds and odors of battle would not reach them.
But her fear might. Elwing guarded her thoughts.
Oh, how she longed to let her spirit free, to spew her outrage, her regrets, her longing for Eärendil on the wave. The Silmaril blazed on her forehead, as if it fed on her bottled emotions, turning them to sparkles. You are mine, she thought, mine by conquest.
She giggled hysterically at the notion, but disciplined herself again. They were coming in conquest, those who thought themselves the rightful owners of this cursed jewel. And cursed it was, she saw at last. For all its beauty, Melkor had tainted it by long association, infested it with niggling greed, subtle enough to seduce Lúthien and Elwë, even Dior. She should give it up, she saw that clearly at the last. But she could not. She, too, was enslaved to the thing. She had betrayed her people, her husband and even her children to keep hold of it, though she had not known it in time.
The doors to the courtyard flew open, splintering as they slammed into the stone walls. Warriors poured through, swords drawn. Not her people, Feänarans . But Elwing's white feet were already planted on the balustrade, her jet black hair and silver robes billowed in smooth sheets about her.
"Take it, Ulmo, purify it," she prayed with all her heart as she leapt.