View Single Post
Old 06-29-2006, 09:45 PM   #387
Feanor of the Peredhil
La Belle Dame sans Merci
Feanor of the Peredhil's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: perpetual uncertainty
Posts: 5,956
Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via MSN to Feanor of the Peredhil
Saeryn retired to her room for a few short moments to splash cold water on her face and change into soft breeches and a loose shirt long since stolen from Degas. Only members of the household were left in Eodwine's hall now, and she was tired. She would have loved to sink into her soft bed and sleep until late tomorrow, but she needed words with both her brother and her lord.

Ignoring shoes, she opened her door and knocked on Eodwine's. The only answer was a soft mew from her feet. She reached down and scooped up a soft grey kitten and walked down the stairs, cuddling it and rubbing its head with one finger. She saw Eodwine standing by the hearth and went to him, standing back a little and waiting for him to see her.

He had been standing before the hearth for some time, now that Thornden and Garwine had been dismissed. He would have to give each of them a day free from duties as thanks for the long hours of standing and waiting and help they had both given him. This week, he decided.

The hearth was as he wished it. {see The Hobbit, Queer Lodgings (illustrated edition)} The floor in the center of the room had been dug out, about a foot deep (just behind the dais, looking from the front door toward the kitchen), four feet wide by six feet long. In its middle was an iron grate, filled with tinder and wood. Garwine had prepared the fire as his last chore before his evening meal. Falco had pulled up a chair and was sitting in front of it, smoking his long stemmed pipe, his legs crossed at the ankles.

"So you think yourself important now, eh, Eodwine?"

"You know better than that, you old rascal."

Falco glanced at him once by way of agreement, and saw Saeryn waiting. Eodwine noticed and turned. She had changed into a man's loose fitting clothes, and she was barefoot, holding a kitten in her arms. Most fetching. He smiled.

"We were to talk about today, were we not?" Saeryn nodded once, straight faced.

"She's not giving away what she's thinking!" Falco chortled. "Be on your guard, Eorl!"

"Falco, I ought to make you work for all that food you eat here." He had not taken her eyes from her. "Shall we talk in quiet?"

She nodded again, and led him back toward his room. She put the kitten down and went inside. They took chairs on opposite sides of his table, leaving the door open.

"Say what you wish, Lady Saeryn," he broached.

"I am unsure where to begin, Lord Eodwine."

He smiled. "Then perhaps with the beginning?"

She grinned and her mood lightened. This was a test, of sorts, but one that he was sure she would pass. He would not have chosen her to be the lady of the hall elsewise.

"You asked me to watch, and to listen. So I did. Before you called my name," and here she smiled shyly, "I listened less, but still heard. They were matters that I had guessed would pass the way they did... your household is loyal to you, and they are hard, honest workers. Also, they bring so much laughter and liveliness to the Hall. And the children make me smile."

Saeryn reported her thoughts dutifully, keeping few of them to herself, on the events that unfolded. She failed to mention Degas or anything to do with him. She kept herself on track, resisting the urge to tangent off into lengthy compliments of every individual household member.

Her speech was quick, though clear, and it was quieter than usual. She eventually trailed to silence for a moment and shifted in her seat, crossing her legs beneath her. She had spoken of the household, of the question of land rights, of the mixed family that now resided within the hall. The event that weighed most heavily on her mind was the only that remained.

"Eodwine, I do not think that Manawyth is guilty of the crime of which he has been accused. His eyes claimed honesty... and his bearing showed no sign of their lie. Either he was honest today, if not before, or my years of residence with a man that lied more oft than he spoke truthfully were for nothing."

Eodwine regarded her with raised brows, borne of his surprise. "I did not expect such strong words on the matter, but thank you. It is one of the reasons why I wish to go to Dunland with Manawyth, to learn all there is to know about the situation, for will I or nill I, I hold the man's fate in my hands. It is a dire thing." He sighed heavily and his shoulders drooped. Saeryn noted the lines around his eyes and near his mouth; he seemed older with his duties of lordship weighing upon him; but the spark had not left his eyes.

"And I wish for you to go with Manawyth and me, for I would see to your quest as well; somehow. And that brings me to the matter of your apprenticeship as the Lady of the Hall; and Garreth's rude question. What think you?"

Eodwine watched her face. He had noted her seriousness and quietness; she seemed more a woman than the spritely girl he had met a few months ago.

"My apprenticeship seems to solve many problems, Eodwine, and I thank you for it. My place in this household is now firm... before I was... well... simply a guest. A runaway noble with nobody to speak for me but an equally runaway brother that found me at The White Horse Inn by accident. I was floating like dust in the wind, Eodwine. You've settled me. You gave me protection and friendship before... now you have given me a home and honest work as well. I can ask for no more."

Eodwine watched her. She had avoided the rude question. He allowed a slow half smile. "I am glad." He decided to leave it at that.

"Ahem," came a cough from the doorway.

Saeryn looked up and her composed look fell away. Eodwine turned. It was Degas.

"Eodwine, we need to talk."

Eodwine's face fell. He had been hoping to join Falco for a pipe smoke and glass of wine. It would have to wait. He stood and offered Degas his chair. There were only two chairs in the room, so he sat on the edge of the bed . Degas sat down.

"Well?" Eodwine said, his face feeling more tired than it had since the day he'd learned that Linduial had been abducted.

Degas turned to his sister with a meaningful look. She glared at him and very intentionally made herself more comfortable. If they were ten years younger, she'd have accompanied the motions with a protruding tongue. Eodwine watched their faces, noting Degas's impatience and discomfort, Saeryn's barely concealed annoyance. He had to suspect that the two had already spoken. Her words were polite when she spoke and only Eodwine's familiarity with the young woman allowed him to discern any emotion from within them.

"My brother seems to be of the opinion that he has a say in my life and he seems equally of the opinion that I should not be present when he says it."

"Your father--"

"Our father."

"Our father is dead. The next oldest man in your life is Fenrir. Would you prefer that he speak for you?"

Eodwine sat quietly, listening to the exchange and watching. Saeryn's voice fell to a near whisper.

"You left me with him, Degas. You packed your things and left for Gondor and you left me behind. You forfeited your right to speak for me when you deserted me nearly four years ago, and Fenrir lost his right when he chose to act in such a way as to be undeserving." Degas looked crushed and Saeryn fell silent.

This was ugly. She was right. And she was wrong. "Saeryn," Eodwine said in a quiet voice, "Fenrir loses no right until the king's court says he does. The same is true for Degas. He cannot unmake himself your brother by leaving your household for four years, nor for forty. Nevertheless, I also have a right to speak for Saeryn now, for she has placed herself under my guardianship. So think of that as you speak, Degas."

Saeryn fell silent before mumbling something. Degas wasted no time.

"What was that?"

"I can speak for myself."

"But obviously not clearly or with enough power behind the words for men to hear."

"How dare you?" Her voice shook with rage. Eodwine was forgotten.

"If you can't be bothered to make yourself heard--"

"I'll make myself heard, you arrogant fool. Do you want to hear me? Do you? Do you want to hear of power?" Her voice rose passionately as Degas provoked her. They knew each other well; far beyond well enough to know what things to say that would cause the most hurt, or the most anger. What did it matter what was believed, what either of them cared about, if they could win for the moment, as fleeting as it was? "I am the same age as you, brother dearest, and in potential alone, I stand to gain more power than you ever will, the younger son of a house that lost favor with the death of our parents. I can marry and gain from it. Can you? Can you stand that the object of your affections is of a higher station than you, and always will be? Speak to me, brother, of power, when you have some of your own that has more substance than mere words!"

Last edited by Feanor of the Peredhil; 06-29-2006 at 09:59 PM.
Feanor of the Peredhil is offline