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Old 08-19-2006, 10:04 AM   #739
littlemanpoet
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Formendacil's post

The first thing Elessar noted about his young subject as Mellondu and his father entered with the two Elves, was that the young man seemed rather bitter. Arwen looked over at him, clearly concerned about the young man's state of mind. A tightness around the mouth suggested that she did not think him at all at ease. Whether she felt Amroth, Elessar could not tell. The two men bowed before the King.

"My lord," Mellondu's father said, with a sweep of his arm in his son's direction. "I have brought you my son, Fingon."

"Also called Mellondu," said Elessar, with a brisk nod. "I am pleased to have you and your son here. What is occuring now will make a famous man out of your son, if the minstrels hear his tale in days to come. Neither the Queen Arwen nor myself would have these matters pass us by unnoted."

Arwen smiled at Mellondu and his father. "Even Kings and Queens of the Edain desire to meet heroes and figures out of great tales."

"But as I am not just a spectator of your tale, but also your King," Elessar addressed Mellondu's father, "I must concern myself: is it your will that your son should accompany these Elves, and share his body with Amroth, in the fulfillment of his quest?"

"It is," said Mellondu's father, sombrely, "my son's honour requires it, and both he and I are men of dignity, though our status may be humble. Mellondu goes with my grace and of his own decision."

"Then I am satisfied," said Elessar. "And what of you, Mellondu?"

"I understand you desired to see Amroth, my lord," the young man's voice was tense, and maybe somewhat sullen.

"No Mellondu," Elessar rose, shaking his head. He strode down to stand in front of the young man. "No, I wished to see my subject who has given so much in friendship to a legendary Elvenking."

"There is friendship no more," Mellondu said bitterly. Behind him, Elessar could hear a russle as Arwen rose to join him.

"We have heard how Amroth placed your sister in danger," she said to him. "But can you not forgive him of the events that day? Your sister survived unharmed."

"I see only that Mellonin was endangered," said Mellondu, stubbornly. "And that Amroth betrayed my trust."

"We are not a court to render judgement on Amroth's actions," said Elessar. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Erebemlin stir slightly. The Elf had not expected him to side, perhaps, with Mellondu against Amroth. "But there are times when we must forgive those who have wronged us. Even if they have hurt us deeply."

"Why does any of this matter?" asked Mellondu. "Why do you care?"

"I am the King of Gondor," said Elessar. "This is not just a charge to rule the people, but to care for them. Tensions between you and Amroth can rip you apart, Mellondu. He is still in your mind, even if you wish it not. You continue to grant him lodging, but it would be better if you did it ungrudgingly. The mortal body was not meant to sustain the conflict of two minds."

"Nor is an immortal body," said Arwen, cryptically. "Amroth is in great turmoil. From you, Mellondu, for suppressing him. And from his own anguish, which is confused and I cannot read it. If Amroth and you are to both see a happy finish to this tale, it falls to you to lead the way. Amroth, even in control of himself, has not the ability to see beyond Nimrodel. Someone who can see further is needed."

"I cannot forgive him, my lady," said Mellondu. "Someone who cares so much should understand that I love my sister."

Elessar and Arwen glanced for a second at each other.

"If we cannot sway your mind, Mellondu, then I believe we are finished," Elessar addressed the boy. "I beseech you to consider the words of your Queen, and make peace with Amroth- even if Amroth doesn't deserve it. Even Manwë gave Morgoth mercy."

"Lord," said Erebemlin, "there is a matter of horses..."

~:~

The visitors departed with a grant of two additional mounts from the king. Mellondu's father was holding his arm, and whispering something to him. Erebemlin and Taitheneb wore faces of mixed confusion. That Elessar was more interested in Mellondu than Amroth had not crossed their minds, it seemed. As the guests departed from earshot, Elessar turned to Arwen.

"Is there any hope that Amroth can find Nimrodel?" he asked. "Can he be restored to peace?"

"In Mandos, mayhaps," said Arwen, "but it will not be a happy road for Mellondu, I deem. And it may not happen soon."

"The grace of the Valar go with them," Elessar looked down the now-empty hall. "And grant that they return at peace."
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Last edited by Formendacil : 08-28-2006 at 10:47 PM.

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littlemanpoet's post

The Elves, and the family of Mellondu and Mellonin had gone up to the palace of King Elessar and Queen Arwen, and returned. Mellondu said little. Mellonin seemed as if she had many thoughts to keep her mind busy, but also seemed contented to remain in Minas Anor while the men continued the quest. This helped to settle the hearts and minds of Bellyn and Leafa. Nethwador did not seem very happy at all that Bellyn would stay behind, but was nonetheless willing to go with Amroth/Mellondu and the two Elves, whose aid he still required to communicate with the other humans.

So the men went about gathering supplies. Ravion was given charge of the details, and sent Ædegard, Nethwador, and Raefindan out to market for the necessary supplies. The King had taken an interest in their quest, and had offered gold toward their preparations, which quickened the preparations remarkably.

Meanwhile, the women made plans for lodging; Mellonin was given her job at the tavern again, at the behest of Estelyn; Leafa was also taken on by Lady Estelyn, and would be staying at the Inn. Bellyn chose to stay with her family.

By day's end the men were ready. All that remained was to bid farewell.

Bellyn & Nethwador

“I do not want to stay here,” Bellyn murmured from where she sat, in the main room of the Seventh Star. Nethwador stood next to her, and when she rose from her seat and shouldered the small pack which she had carried all the way from Rohan many days earlier, the boy looked at her with furrowed brows.

“Nethwador mellon Bella,” said he, fervently. He spoke this one phrase, which he had often said on the road, with a wonderful certainty.

Bellyn nodded. “I know. But you have to go. Because Nethwador is also the friend of Amroth…and Amroth needs you now.” Bellyn went to the door, Nethwador close behind. She opened the door and felt the harsh, crisp breeze hit her cheeks.

“I will see you again, I promise,” Bellyn said, turning to Nethwador. She said this, more of a reassurance to her own worried mind than for Nethwador. Bellyn took Nethwador in an embrace, a quick embrace; for she felt her eyes suddenly begin to water. Then she turned away, off down the road she needed to take to get to the home of her nephew and her brother’s wife.

“Nethwador mellon Bella!” She heard, from behind. Bellyn paused. She turned around and ran back to the door of the Seventh Star, where Nethwador stood, and she flung her arms around him once more. It was a tight embrace, and Bellyn did not know how long it lasted before she withdrew, smiled, and turned away once more down the street.

The walk felt longer than when she had visited her sister-in-law earlier. When she reached the door once again, she felt the wind running through her hair as she knocked. Rosa opened the door, and Bellyn entered, saying goodbye to nights under the stars and to the promise of a new adventure every morning.

Nethwador watched Bella go.

Taitheneb watched Nethwador. There had been many late-night discussions between the boy and the elf over the past two days. He felt the boy's heartache well enough without touching his mind. Perhaps he felt it more than he wanted to. But no; the boy needed a friend, now more than ever. He waited. Bella disappeared from sight. Nethwador seemed poised to run after her.

Taitheneb sighed; then he smiled.

The boy wavered, and suddenly ran out the door, rounding the bend in the road 'til he could see her once more. But he did not call her name; he only watched her walking, til she slipped out of sight once more. Again he ran after her; again he watched, til she disappeared from his sight. Several folk gave him odd looks, and a few soldiers frowned. Again he pursued her.

By the time Rosa opened the door for Bella, Nethwador was wearier than he could ever remember being. He saw her disappear within Rosa's house, and stood for a while. Taitheneb watched over him, and Nethwador clung to the elf's gaze. His heart had never been so heavy. Slowly he walked back. When he came to the door of the Inn, Taitheneb was waiting for him.

Taitheneb thought that now, perhaps, Nethwador understood Amroth a little bit better. Nethwador looked up, startled; there was more in that thought than Taitheneb knew at first.

You?

Yes, little brother. You understand Lord Amroth. And perhaps now you understand me as well.

They went into the Inn, and together they sat silently by the fire, long into the night, til all the other folk had gone to bed. Finally Nethwador, weary from heartache, fell asleep on the hearth. Only then, in the red ember glow did Taitheneb allow three tears to fall. One, he reasoned, for Nethwador. One for Amroth. One last tear fell because his long years apart from his own wife had not yet ended.

Then he stirred, stood, and added some wood to the fire, watching over Nethwador til dawn.

Ædegard & Leafa

Ædegard asked Leafa to walk in the garden beside the Inn. From there one could look out over the heights of the Third Circle to the vista of plains, river, forest, and mountains, the sickle moon rising above the Ephel Duath in a clear night sky.

"Maybe we will not be long, Leafa," Ædegard said presently. "Maybe you and I will soon be on our way to find your father."

Leafa turned her eyes to Ædegard, a low sigh escaping her. "I hope we shall find him," she said. "Rather, I hope we can. I could not say where he might be. He might even be here in Gondor while we speak."

There was a small pause, and during that silence Leafa was deep in thought. It was a sorrowful contemplation, for she was very much troubled, and at length she sighed again.

"Leafa?" said Ædegard, a loving concern in his voice which dispelled some of the chill in her heart. "What worries you?"

"It is my father who concerns me," she replied.

"You fear he will not give his consent?"

"Oh, no! I fear no such thing, and am almost sorry for it." She smiled when she observed the expression on his face. "Of course I would wish for him to accept you. And yet, at the same time I wish there were some chance that he would not."

Ædegard remained silent, but his eyes questioned.

"How may I explain it?" Leafa said. "His consent will be given without thought. He will not reflect on whether or not you are a strong and upright man, and whether or not you will be a good husband to me. Were you a low scoundrel his consent would come with no less reluctance. My father loves me, and at the same time, he does not care."

She turned and bent over some of the garden bushes to hide the tears that she could not keep from shining in her eyes. For a few moments she played with the leaves, breaking them off and letting them fall to the ground, while Ædegard looked on without a word.

"When Liornung offered me the chance of going with him and the rest of your group," she went on after a time, "I saw not only that chance, but also the chance to settle down to a quiet life when your quest was done. My father loves the life of the wayfarers, but I do not. Nor does my mother, though she follows him, for her love for him is greater than her wish for a peaceful life. He loves the both of us dearly, but not enough. The call to travel means more to him than the silent pleading of my mother's eyes."

She straightened up, and let a few more leaves fall to the ground. "But I hope that our union will be the means of his return. Perhaps he will come live near us, and quit his wanderings. I hope with all my heart that it may be so."
"As do I, Leafa," said Ædegard, with all gentleness in his tone, for despite all efforts, her tears had not gone unnoticed.

She turned back to him, and taking his hand, attempted a smile. "Yet why am I so gloomy at this time, when you are soon to leave? Your memories of me on the road should not be of a tear-filled and miserable girl."

She looked up at him, and he down at her, and they remained standing that way for some time. Time and again she tried to speak, to express her love, and her longings for his return, but she found it impossible. And so at last, she shook her head and laughed.

"I cannot speak," she said. "Words cannot suffice to tell all that is in my heart. I fear that I can make no passionate speeches fit for this time. I try to speak, but nothing will come." The merry flickering faded suddenly from her eyes, and was replaced with a tender and sorrowful earnestness. But Ædegard smiled gently.

"I need no great speeches, Leafa, my heart. Your eyes say all I need."

She smiled then. "Farewell, dear Ædegard. Return to me soon. I will wait for you."

And she bent and kissed his hand. He was startled by her gesture. He took her in his arms and drew her to him so that she rested her head on his shoulder, and they watched the moon.

"Farewell, my dear Leafa. Watch the moon, and I will be watching it too at night, and so we will know that our eyes are turned to the same light."

"I will."

It was long moments before they parted. Little did they guess how long they would be separated.

Raefindan

Raefindan strolled toward the home of Mellondu and Mellonin with the purpose of bidding farewell to his new friend and promising to keep a human eye out for her brother. It was a pleasant, well kept dwelling, as stone buildings in Minas Anor went (for he remembered that the old name had come back into usage by rule of the King).

He knocked on the door and waited.

Mother opened the door, and smiled. "Good Raefindan, welcome. Please, sit down." She faded into the back room, and soon emerged with Mellonin and Father.

"Raefindan. It was good of you to come, " said Mellonin.

Raefindan blinked at her newfound formality. "Mellonin?" He hesitated.

She smiled. "Forgive me. But I will miss you. I assume you have come to bid farewell. All is set for your departure, then, " she said, nodding, trying to sound as if she was not jealous, not envious, nor the least bit resentful to be staying behind. "Between Ravion and the elves, you will be very well guided. You will take up your archery lessons again?"

Raefindan smiled. "Perhaps I will not be the only one. Ravion was admiring Mellondu's fine bow. A ranger's bow, he said, of good workmanship. "

Father bowed slightly.

Mellonin hesitated. "Perhaps I will learn to shoot, while you are away. And then perhaps when you return..." Suddenly she laughed, and drew a hand over her eyes. "What am I saying. I will have plenty to keep me busy; the Inn is thriving, and I am busy all day long. Safe travels, Raefindan. May the Valar guide your path. Return home safely. All of you. I look forward to your return." She stood as if to leave, as the triple passions of mirth, grief, and desolation vied to rule her.

Raefindan smiled. Mellonin's hands were folded and fidgeting before her, and she did not know where to look. "I will watch your brother. Let hope be your guide, Mellonin. It will be mine. Hope does not fail -" he paused and grinned "-by gum and by Jorje."

"Gum?"

"Maybe I'll find a cat to name Gum. I do wish Jorje had stayed with us."

"He is happy where he is, I think," Mellonin said.

"Quite right. Well, I'll be off now. Keep hoping!" He waved as he went out the door.

"I will, by Jorje!" she called.

Last edited by littlemanpoet; 09-18-2006 at 07:47 PM.
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