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Old 08-27-2003, 12:22 PM   #173
Manardariel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Rivendell
Posts: 817
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“Finduilas, you should know that…he is your most famous ancestor.”

Finduilas stared at the woman. Her eyes were glittering with such malcious hate! She was looking triumphant, and yet there was a silent bitterness somewhere around her mouth. Where did this hate come from, this bitterness. When I see her, I see my own mother. The realization hit Finduilas with a shock. Eaten up by ambition and her small, pitiful goals. Her mother had been like this, and Pelien was not different. Finduilas was about to say something when Denethor spoke up. His voice was shaking with authority, disbelief and anger.

“How dare you say such a thing? Lady Pelien, you were always a respectable member of this court, and I had thought you –and your family- were true nobles. But apperantly you are not. Finduilas of Dol Amroth is my chosen bride, for one thing, for another there is no way she could not be of the Ancient Family of Dol Amroth. Do you think the Steward of Gondor would not be aware of who his son and heir was about to marry. Do you really think such a thing could happen in this family? If you do, I must pity you and laugh at you., Lady Pelien. Are you aware of what disgusting lies you are spitting here?”

Finduilas felt a rush of pride and affection at this speach. She gratefully squeezed Denethorīs hand and smiled at him. “Dear, Iīm sure this is some kind of misunderstanding. Your father wanted you to join him, why donīt you... Iīll have a nice chat with Lay Pelien here.” Denethor nodded. She quickly mouthed a “Sorry” at him, then turned to Pelien, smiling. Denethor and Sadorīs footsteps dissapeared. She was alone. Finduilas felt nervous. She was a kind nature of person, and now she was greeted by such unexpected coldness, such outreagous lies. She knew, her only strength was the truth, and her innosence. She had not done anything, at least not conciously, that could have angered Pelien. Pelien knew this.

“Lady Pelien, I will not offer you a denial about your tales. Iīm sure you know for yourself how silly and impossible they are. What I do want to know is this: Why do you hate me this much? For hate me you must, if you risk the stewardsī -and his sonīs- anger, to ruin my reputation here. Why?”

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Alaklondewenīs Post
It took all the strength she had for Pelien to keep her jaw clinched and her emotions intact. Denethor had not responded the way she had expected. He wasn’t supposed to turn on Pelien…he was supposed to turn on Finduilas. Her face had grown hot, but she refused to let her expression soften. The words of the Steward’s son rolled around in her head until she was almost sick. I thought you were true nobles…I pity you and laugh at you, Lady Pelien… This wasn’t right, and where were the men going? Pelien suddenly found herself face to face with the young bride, so soft and sweet. The older woman was so angry, partly at herself if she would have admitted it, that she could have spit on Finduilas in her rage.

“Lady Pelien, I will not offer you a denial about your tales. Iīm sure you know for yourself how silly and impossible they are. What I do want to know is this: Why do you hate me this much? For hate me you must, if you risk the stewardsī -and his sonīs- anger, to ruin my reputation here. Why?” Finduilas’ eyes were filled with kindness and sympathy.

Pelien opened her mouth to respond but immediately closed it. Finduilas should not be so calm…her secret was just released into the ear of her future husband. The Princess should be shouting and throwing a fit, giving Pelien the advantage of keeping her cool. Pelien was unsure how to handle the situation into which she’d stepped. Doubt had slowly crept into her mind. Had she made a mistake? What about the young ladies of Dol Amroth confronting her in her own home? Yes, that had to be the key…it had to be.
“How very wise of you, Princess, to send the men away. You do have something to hide, or you would never have sent your little mascots to my home.” Pelien felt as though she was regaining control of the situation, and her voice was calm and collected. “You had certainly heard the rumors flying around the court and you couldn’t confront me on your own. Of course you thought of me, I’m one of the most influential women in this city, and if information is what you wanted you came to the right person. But I wasn’t going to play your game…we told them nothing! I’m on to you, Finduilas.”
“Pelien, I truly haven’t the slightest idea of what you are talking about.” Finduilas looked as though she was holding back laughter. “What mascots?…what are you talking about?”

Pelien rolled her eyes upward. “Don’t pretend with me…you know you sent your little ladies-in-waiting to mock me in my home!” Her voice had steadily started to rise, but she caught hold of herself, and after a short pause she continued in a cool, steady tone. “I didn’t fall for it then, and I won’t fall for it now.”

**********
Manardarielīs post
“Don’t pretend with me…you know you sent your little ladies-in-waiting to mock me in my home!" Pelien sayed, sounding agrivated.

This time, Finduilas smiled openly. “My ladies in waiting? Iīm so sorry they bothered you. Donīt be mad at those girls, they just didnīt have the education you, or your charming daughter have. Adrama, is it not? Sheīs very beautiful. Denethor speaks most highly of her.”

Finduilas was most aware of the effect that praise of their daughters have on most women. And really, Finduilas couldnīt help notice the affectionate gleam the wisked through Pelien eyes at her daughterīs name. But her face became cold and stern as ever.

“You really think you can charm me, yes? I know it worked with most of the court, but you arenīt fooling me. You are NOT from Dol Amroth, and I know it. Your husband still believes you, but his mind will change. And then, my dear...”

“...Denethor will marry Adrama?” Finduilas suggested with an air of innocence. Of course. It made perfect, diabolical sense. The whole court had heard these outrageous lies, but Pelien was the only one to confront her with them. Why? Because she would benefit from it. The other ladies didnīt care, as long as there was enough to chat about. But Pelien had a cause she had devoted herself to- her daughterīs fate, and her happiness. And in Pelienīs laguage, this was equivalent with a marriage with Gondorīs future steward. Finduilas had been in the way, so why not get rid of her, was it even by sprouting these tales?! Yes, it all made sense.

“Ah yes,” Finduilas said softly. “That is the answer then. You do not think of the security of Gondor. You are not concerned with the reputation of the House of Stewards. No, you fight for a more important cause: your daughter.” Pelien opened her mouth, but closed it again. Finduilas chose her words well. Strangely, she felt affection towards Pelien. She would fight like a lioness for Adramaīs sake, and in Finduilas eyes that was the proof she wasnīt to be pitied. On the contrary. “Pelien, I will tell you this. My own mother is not unlike you... you wish the security of us, your daughters, and our happiness. In your case, this afforded distroying a woman you did not know. In mine, it afforded bribing a young sea captain into a marriage he did not want. You both will pay this price for us. And you say you love us, say you only do this for our own good...”

Finduilas felt an unexplainable sadness. She did not know where it came from, or why her heart was aching so badly. But she knew it was.

“Lady Pelien, you were right in one thing. I am not who they told you I was. But nevertheless, I remain myself. I am Finduilas of Dol Amroth. Now, let us go in. A splendid fęte, is it not?”

As she walked inside, she heard a long pause, then footsteps. Pelien was behind her.

[ September 01, 2003: Message edited by: Manardariel ]
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