16. Chapter 15
So it was that the two elves began their journey to Imladris. They rode swiftly during the day and spent their evenings sharing stories of their pasts, and warm embraces. They had only traveled for four days when they came upon Gildor and his company. Maglor reluctantly let Lindir persuade him to stay with the caravan for the night. They were well received, and if the golden lord recognized Maglor, he made no comment about it. In the morning, the bards prepared to move on.
"Have a safe journey," Gildor said, looking up to the mounted elves, "and know that you are always welcome among my people…both of you."
Lindir thanked the lord as Maglor nodded in respect. A gentle nudge on the flank and the horses were off.
That night, when they had come to a stop, Maglor seemed withdrawn.
"Meldir?" Lindir sat next to the quiet elf. Maglor hung his head and that worried Lindir even more. "What troubles you so? Please tell me."
Maglor sighed, "Gildor knew who I was…I know he never said anything, but he knew. Still he welcomed us. I do not understand." Finally looking at his lover, the Noldo's eyes held confusion.
Wrapping Maglor in an embrace, Lindir whispered, "It has been a long time, elves change - you have changed. It can be seen in your eyes. Gildor is a wise and honorable elf…he would not give judgment without knowing the whole story."
Maglor leaned into the embrace before continuing. "I would like to go to Lothlorien." Lindir pulled away to stare at the Noldo. Not giving himself a chance to back down, Maglor continued, "There is one there whom I and my brothers brought sadness to directly…Celeborn of Doriath. I need to see him, see if he can forgive me. I also would like to see that woman again." Maglor turned pleading eyes to the young minstrel. "Please?"
Lindir pushed Maglor's head to rest on his shoulder. "If you feel you must confront that part of you past, then I will stand by you. Still, would it not be better to see Elrond first?"
"No. Celeborn is Elrond's father-in-law. I do not want his love for his daughter's husband to affect his feelings. I want to know he forgives me because he does, not because he wished to make Elrond happy."
"Then we head to the Golden Wood tomorrow. Come, rest. I will hold you in your sleep. You are not alone in this."
Stealing a soft kiss, Maglor lay down, pulling Lindir with him. "I know."
When morning came, they headed toward Lothlorien. With the swift pace of Tulkas' horse, they made it there in nearly half the time it should have taken. The guardians met them at the boarder. Maglor kept his hood up and let Lindir do the talking.
"Mae Govannen, Orophin. May we take shelter in your woods?"
The guardian laughed at the formal tone. "You are welcome here, minstrel; but pray tell, who is your companion?"
Taking that as his cue, Maglor lowered his hood and looked the Silvan elf in the eyes. "I am Gaerlinn (Sea-song). I am a minstrel, like Lindir."
Orophin looked between the two and smiled. "Come, you can rest in the talans tonight. Tomorrow I will guide you to the city. I am sure the Lady would like to see you again, Lindir."
Nodding his thanks, Lindir dismounted. Maglor followed suite. They unburdened their horse and let it roam free for the night. They were certain the animal would reappear come morning.
Flashback - First Age.
The frightened elflings did not understand what they had done to make the adults so angry. They also did not understand why their father never returned to them, or why their mother locked herself in her room. All they knew was that they were afraid. They had been found by the Sons of Feanor, huddled together in a darkened corner of their nursery. When someone tried to seperate them, one of the twins lashed out and bit the elf on the forearm. Letting out a scream, the older elf raised his hand to strike the impudent youngling. The blow never fell.
"Leave them be!" A voice said from behind the menacing elf.
"Go away Maglor. You have no business here."
"You will not touch the elflings." A young dark-haired elf growled as he came to stand between the twins and their attacker.
"These pups are Elwing's spawn. They hold no use to us; even she abandoned them…the little half-breeds." With a chilling laugh, Curufin glared at the two frightened children. "Let us see how they fair in the wilds!" He commanded to his followers. "Let them fend for themselves." The group laughed.
"No!" Maglor shouted. "They will die!"
"And your point, *little* brother?" It was true. Although Maglor was older, he was quite a bit smaller of stature than most of his brothers. He ignored the insult.
Maglor took a deep breath and faced off with his brother. "I will not allow their fate to be the same as Elured and Elurin." The young Noldo held his ground as his much larger brother advanced.
"You are soft." Curufin sneered. "A coward. You have not the will or the courage to stand by the oath you took!"
"These little ones did not stand in our way! They do not deserve our wrath." Maglor pleaded.
"Stand aside, Maglor. I will be damned before I let the offspring of Earendil live!"
"What is going on in here?" A voice boomed. Another large Noldo entered the nursery. He looked past the others and found two pair of steel-grey eyes staring fearfully at him.
Curufin turned to the new elf. "They are Earendil's brats" he spat.
"As I can see. What have you done with their mother?" The elf eyed the small group suspiciously.
"We did nothing to the witch! She threw herself out the window into the sea, and took the gem with her."
"No!" A small voice screamed, as one of the elflings attempted to attack Curufin. Maglor was quicker and caught the distraught elfling.
"Shhh, little one, all will be well," he said softly as he held the small form to his chest. Within a heartbeat, the second elfling scooted toward his brother and what seemed to be a protective embrace. Maglor looked at his older brother. "Maedhros, they mean to take them and leave them in the wilds; just like the sons of Dior."
Pulling himself to his full height, which dwarfed all present, Maedhros stepped beside Maglor. "The children stay here. Their people will find and tend to them," he hissed, daring the others to oppose him. Curufin glared at his brother. Maedhros might have been oldest, but he had no stomach for battle anymore.
The furious Noldo pushed past Maedhros. "This is not over, *brother*. We will see what Celegorm and Caranthir say of the brats' fate." With that he stormed from the room, taking his followers with him. Worry clouded Maedhros' eyes.
"Maglor, quickly pack a few of their belongings. We take them with us. I do not trust to leave them here. Our brothers are driven by blood-lust and will do whatever it takes to see these little ones dead." Maglor nodded and after extracting himself from the small arms, he began to throw clothing and a few toys and books into a pack. The twins watched, with fear still shining in their eyes. Shouts and the clang of metal drew closer. The boys began to tremble, and tears flowed freely down their cheeks.
"Quickly, we must go, NOW! The rest are coming. We cannot stand against our brothers." Maedhros hoisted one of the elflings onto his hip, sword in hand. Maglor grabbed the other and followed his oldest brother from the room.
"Quiet now little one, we must find safety." Small arms wrapped around Maglor's neck and a little head tucked itself in the crook of his shoulder. At that moment, a bond was formed.
End flashback - Third age.
"Elrond. Elrond!" The golden warrior glanced at Elrond's chief counselor with concern. The warrior moved forward and put a hand on his Lord's shoulder. Elrond turned with a start.
"Forgive me my friends." He smiled, and finished pouring the wine he had gone to the side-table to get in the first place.
"Did you have a vision?" Glorfindel asked carefully.
"No, only a fleeting memory. Now, where were we? Ahh yes, Erestor, you were telling us about your first crush."
"I most certainly was not!" The dark-haired counselor said indignantly. Elrond and Glorfindel laughed at the blush that crept over the striking face.
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