Agnu Ra Nutû: 7. Zulû

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7. Zulû

Ori would be a little appalled, but possibly still flattered, by the tomb Dori has made for his baby brother. The carvings, the words, the filigree lamp that holds a candle Dori lights every year on the day Ori had died, bled out under his hands on a field full of the dead. Dori never leaves Erebor, never looks up at the wide open sky again, because he cannot step out of the gates without remembering that awful day in all its bloody clarity.

He doesn't know where he'd go, anyway. The Ered Luin hold too many memories, and everywhere else he'd be a stranger, and he can't bear to be where he knows no one, and no one knows him. It had been hard enough the first time, after the fall of Erebor, and he doesn't want to start all over again.

Nori visits, more often than he had before, and Dori doesn't know if it's because Ori is gone and Nori wants to reassure himself that he hasn't lost both brothers, or if it's because he still won't risk being known to be Thorin's lover to the public. Either way, Dori welcomes the company, and that of anyone else of the Company who comes to visit.


Óin doesn't bother to commission a tomb of the sort his brother would want. Glóin is dead, and beyond complaining about what he's given. It's not that it's entirely plain, but it's not ornate or particularly richly appointed. Carved on every surface, because Óin wants to see the story of his brother when he visits the tomb. Wants his nephew to know the last months of Glóin's life, so he can remember the hero his adadûn had been on the Quest.

Avi might have more added, but that is her prerogative as Glóin's wife. Óin will leave that to her when - or if - she comes to Erebor. The Ered Luin are her home, and he's not sure that she'll come without Glóin waiting here for her. If she does, though, he'll have a place waiting for her, just as Glóin would have, because while he might not be willing to pay for an elaborate tomb, he is willing to pay for rooms that might never be filled.

Take care of the living before the dead. He has those words tattooed across his shoulders, a reminder both of his profession and of what his life must be. The ink had been begun after the coming of Smaug, and a second layer twined about the first after Azanulbizar.

A third is added after Glóin's tomb is complete. Another set of names that are written so they form the words of his personal motto, and this one hurts as much as the first two. All his kin are carried on his back, and he will go to his own tomb with their memories there for all to see.


The halls closest to the royal chambers are as silent as the tombs buried beneath the palace, few as those tombs are. A new one is carved at the command of Thranduil, stone carved and shaped to give it the look of a glen on the surface. Gems glow half-hidden by delicate filigrees of stone carved so thin they're transparent, and a hollow is made where a body may be lain as if sleeping.

A tomb fit for a prince, and it's a silent and remote Thranduil who carries the body of his most beloved son to be lain in that tomb. Cleaned and dressed as if he might rise from sleep at any moment, but cold as the stone which cradles the still form. A bow is hung from a stone branch, the repairs nearly invisible. Legolas will not need it, but no one will argue it being left as if he might take it up again.

The entrance is sealed once Thranduil leaves, a bubble of light and silence hidden in stone for a beloved prince. Guarded as fiercely as if he lived, but with a silence and sorrow that slowly lifts from the rest of the palace over many long years. Not from all within, and it is when a council is called in the west that the last of it leaves in Thranduil's wake.

No one is surprised when he never returns.


Translations:
zulû = memories
adadûn = father-man


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.

Story Information

Author: morgynleri

Status: General

Completion: Ongoing Serial

Era: Multi-Age

Genre: General

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 07/02/14

Original Post: 07/02/14

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