17. To Seduce a Queen
It was the eighth day after Nimloth was burned. Sauron was preparing his masterstroke against the Valar, and Numenor, for he knew what the response would be from Valinor. Pharazon was almost ready, but first there was one more person who still held the king's ear, who could turn him from Sauron's plan.
Tar-Miriel, now Ar-Zimraphel, was the symbol of the Faithful's struggle now that Nimloth was no more. It was Sauron's intention to win her to his side, no matter the cost.
Pharazon was busy with some long war council, Agan was tending to the matters of the temple, leaving Sauron free to pursue his winning of the queen.
Quietly he crept to her door and listened intently. Miriel was there with her maids. Well, that would never do. She had to be alone.
How unfortunate this would be were I a mortal, or even an elf, Sauron thought, inserting thoughts of other duties into the maids' minds. They quickly made apologies to the queen before hurrying off, the sheer scope of what they had left to accomplish causing them to move with haste.
Excellent, Sauron thought, slipping into Miriel's chamber, shutting the door behind him. He locked it then, but it didn't really matter. If he didn't want to be disturbed, he would simply cause the approaching person to forget what they wanted with the queen.
"Is that you, Inara?" Miriel asked. She was sitting in front of a mirror, adjusting the net of shining diamonds that held her hair. "You all ran out so quickly."
"My doing, I'm afraid," Sauron said.
Miriel leapt to her feet and looked at Sauron with defiance, but also fear. A great deal of fear. "So you have come for me at last," she said. "I cannot say I did not expect it. Was it the king's decision to have me sacrificed on your altar? Or was it something you will tell him later?"
"Ah, you have mistaken my intentions, lady queen," Sauron said. "I do not wish you dead."
"I rather think you do," Miriel said. She folded her arms across her chest. "What do you want then? I doubt you ordered my maids away and snuck into my chamber for any honorable purpose."
Sauron smiled. "It depends on what you think an honorable purpose is."
"Leave," Miriel said sternly.
"No," Sauron said, taking a step closer to her. "You despise my sacrifices."
"They are vile!"
"You speak to the king about imprisoning me again."
"You are a monster! A servant to the darkest of monsters!"
"You are a leader of the Faithful, if only a figurehead."
"I am a figurehead in everything!" Miriel screamed suddenly, losing any semblance of control she had. She swung a punch at Sauron, but he caught her and tossed her onto her bed.
"Yes, you are," Sauron said quietly. "It is a shame, isn't it? You lost your throne to your cousin. You have lost everything. So much for the great queens of Numenor."
"You do not understand," Miriel sobbed, trying to get up, but falling back. "You could never understand."
"Perhaps I understand better than you think," Sauron whispered, sitting down next to her and even placing an arm around her shoulder.
"Leave me," Miriel whispered.
"My queen," Sauron said sweetly, "tell me what is bothering you. I will do everything in my power to aid you."
"You will only make it worse," Miriel said.
"I think I may be able to help."
Miriel sighed. "It is Pharazon," she said.
"Go on," Sauron said, nodding encouragingly.
Miriel paused to wipe a tear from her eye. "He takes me to bed every night," she sobbed. "Every night! I despise him. He is a monster. And all this for an heir, which I cannot have."
"It is not you," Sauron said softly.
"It is, it is!"
"No," Sauron insisted. "I am one of the divine, I know such things. It is him. You could have a dozen children if you so desired."
"That does not matter! He cannot understand that! He will continue this until I throw myself out of a window." A wild look came into Miriel's eyes, and Sauron held her firmly until the moment passed.
"I have a plan," Sauron whispered.
"What is it?" Miriel asked, the madness still not having entirely left her.
"You need to be with child, for then Pharazon will leave you and consort with concubines, yes?"
Miriel nodded emphatically.
"Yet Pharazon cannot have children," Sauron said. "This presents somewhat of a dilemma, yes? However, I have the solution."
"What is it?" Miriel asked again, staring into Sauron's eyes. "Tell me! Now!"
"How will Pharazon tell if the child is his?" Sauron asked.
"How will Pharazon know the child you bear is his?"
"It will look like him," Miriel said.
"Are you sure? Many children do not look like their parents."
"But…but…he would find out if I were unfaithful. His spies are everywhere."
"And who is the spymaster?" Sauron asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Why, you are," Miriel said. "You run everything here. The king's mind is barely his own."
"Indeed," Sauron said. "And though I cannot sway Pharazon's basest desires without completely unhinging his mind, I can provide you with something to distract him."
Miriel considered this. "You are a monster," she said.
"No, I am a Maia."
"No child has been born of a union between Men and a Maia."
"No, but that does not mean it is impossible," Sauron said.
"It would make Pharazon leave me alone," Miriel murmured. She stared suspiciously at Sauron. "What do you want in exchange?" she asked.
Sauron sighed. "Everyone always assumes I want something," he muttered. "In this case, I do. But I want very little."
"What is it?"
"Stay out of my affairs. Do not speak to the king of anything I do. Do not aid the Faithful in any way. Do not plead on their behalf in front of the king."
"I would spend my entire day locked in my room if I could," Miriel said. "And, as you said, I am a figurehead for the Faithful, nothing more."
"Ah, you are a fine liar, my queen," Sauron said. "You spirit them away to the shores of Middle-Earth, do not think I do not know. This must stop, or else no child shall ever grow inside you. And moreover I shall place thoughts into Pharazon's mind that would chill your very marrow."
"I do not fear you," Miriel said coldly.
"Then you are a fool," Sauron said. "Come, what is your answer?"
For a long moment, Miriel wrestled with her thoughts. "Give me the child," she said.
You think you can con me, Sauron thought. You think you can get everything for nothing. You will continue your aid of the Faithful, but accept the child I will give you. I will let it slide…for now. If it becomes a distraction or nuisance to me, then I will give Pharazon some…creative ways to spend his time with you.
"Hurry," Miriel hissed as Sauron began to undress. "My maids will return soon."
"They will not return until I wish them to," Sauron said. "We are alone for as long as I like. No one will disturb us."
Miriel seemed suspicious at first, but saw no reason for Sauron to lie. "Once?" she asked. "That is all?"
"My lady, I am a Maia, not a Vala," Sauron said. "And you are a mortal. Neither of us can get it right all of the time. No, not once, I think. A number of times, perhaps."
"Liar," Miriel hissed.
"I never said anything about that," Sauron said. "Now enjoy yourself, Miriel. I am not the vile animal Pharazon is."
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.