5. Part V
Trembling on unsteady legs he shoulders his way through the crowds, not daring, not hoping to believe what the people are whispering.
But there she is, at her brother's side once more. And all the rumours are true.
The hum of the crowd falls away as he gazes at her, but the years will not, nor what has happened in them. He knows he does not even have to ask as she sees him. The pained question is clear.
Her mouth opens to speak, but he finds that he cannot bear to hear her - in case he wakes to find it a dream, or in case the reality breaks him. Turning he wanders numbly back through the excitement, neither caring nor knowing where he is heading.
Time passes in an unknown blur, he sits in his gardens, high and far above the city where the noise and celebrations cannot reach him. Yet even these quiet realms and swaying blossoms cannot calm him. Mentally he makes his excuses; he would not want to intrude upon the family reunion, he would not want to burden her after such a journey, he would not want to overwhelm the child with yet another new face. They sound hollow, even in his ears.
The child. Dark and solemn. Clenching his fists he is sickened, filled with a horrid and unjust jealousy that the child should have been fair… should have been his.
His head is spinning when the messenger appears, flustered and pale faced, muttering from the shelter of a marble archway.
"What is it?" he snaps, in no mood for patience or courtesy.
"S-sorry my Lord, you are sent for, it is the Lady Aredhel, she is, I mean he has," the messenger takes a deep breath, "Her husband, he followed them here…he has…he struck her with a poisoned javelin…"
Although the messenger's mouth continues to move Glorfindel cannot hear him as he brushes past, legs and body moving with mechanical purpose. Though the walk is long it seems to take no time at all. Raised voices and frantic bustling reach him before he has even entered the presence chamber. But it is her voice that sounds above it all.
The doors to the private rooms are flung open, cruelly inviting him in.
He steels his face and arms self with courage. Entering the bedchamber he tries to look everywhere but at her; Turgon sits at the bedside, kneeling at its foot Idril is quietly sobbing and the son, pale and unsteady, hovers near her head. And that is when his eyes are drawn inevitably to her… the sight is like a blow to the chest.
Writhing, she moans in agony, gasping for breath and clutching at the crumpled sheets. Healers rush past, a flurry of blurred white. His head pounds; heavy and numb.
It is only the pain that is pin sharp. And her cries, ringing in his ears.
Tight jawed, Turgon motions him in to sit at the remaining empty chair. Unsteadily he lurches toward it, unable to tear his gaze away. As he sits the details are thrown into focus; beads of sweat trickle off her brow, sticking sleek strands hair to her head.
Cold horror grips him, as her body is wracked with frantic spasms.
Instinctively he clasps her trembling hand, swallowing the lump in his throat as her eyes flicker towards him.
"Forgive me?" the frail voice rasps. A silent tear escapes with his reply.
"Always my Lady."
Thanks for all the suggestions and advice from those at the Hall of Fire. Thanks also to all those who have read and/or reviewed.
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.