8. Celegorm still hopes and dreams
Celegorm was tired. Haggard, hungry, and exhausted, he wanted nothing more than for this to end. He missed his brothers, his cousins, and even his uncles. He wanted to run with Huan, to wander the forests with Oromë, and to hug his mother again. He wanted to slap his father clean across the face for dying so soon into their quest, and then slap him again for not telling them something nice as his last words. He wanted to muss up Ambarussa's hair and de-string all of Maglor's harps; he wanted to spirit away Curvo's tools in the dead of night like a sock fairy and clean them for the morning. He wished he could hold a hand up to measure the distance between his and Maedhros' heights, and he wanted to sit down with Moryo at his grumpiest and cuddle him for a while. He thought of Irissë often and wished he could make her laugh just one more time.
He could go anywhere he wanted, but only as far as the gates of the Thousand Caves; he could not leave. Oh, he had tried, but something inside him was keeping him there, with the bones of his dearest brother and those of his last enemies.
He wondered if anyone was still proud of him now, now that he had done so much for so many. Now that he had gifted death and life and lied and saved and given and took and maybe just once, had told the truth and loved. He played with the idea that his mother was still waiting for him, somewhere, and that perhaps Maglor and Maedhros would eventually find him.
The caves were silent and dark, but he knew his way around. He had been moving through halls and around balconies and into cellars for an Age now, no one and nothing stopping him.
He idly watched his hair drift in in the dark water and wondered that if the moon could shine through the rock and stone and bones of Menegroth, if its light could reach through the thousands of feet of water overhead – would the strands still gleam?