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Two sequels

May 15th, 2007 (08:22 am)

Two sequels to the Little Eowyn story, A memory. The second one, A vision, which is a bit surreal, was somehow inspired by Susanna Clarke's wonderful collection of short stories, The Ladies of Grace Adieu, which I cannot recommend highly enough :-)

Rating: G
Author's Notes: What you need to know if you haven’t read my earlier stories (which you can find here):

  • Legolas and Eowyn live together, as elf and wife, in Eryn Carantaur, the elven colony that Legolas founded in South Ithilien at the end of the Ring War.
  • Owing to a mishap with some poison, and the effects of its antidote, Eowyn’s body is now immortal.
  • According to The Council of Elrond (though I have read differently elsewhere) Eowyn’s nickname, Melmenya, which is Quenya, means ‘my love’; Legolas’ nickname, Lassui, means ‘Leafy’.
  • The OFC Ayleth appeared in an earlier story, in which she told Haldir's fortune.




What is it, melmenya?

“Legolas! Legolas!

Interrupting Gimli’s story in mid axe-swing, the elf peered around his friend’s stout frame. “Melmenya?”

“Yes.” She laughed. “Yes!

Legolas glanced at Eomer. The man was staring up at his sister, dumbfounded. Legolas rose from his seat and took his wife in his arms. “What is it, melmenya?”

Eowyn laughed again. “It was you,” she said. Then, still in his embrace, she came up on tiptoe and, looking over his shoulder, she smiled broadly at their guests. “It was Legolas!”

“What was me, meleth nín?” he asked, softly.

“The elf!”

“Sit down,”—gently, he set her back in her chair—“and tell us all about it.”

“Eomer was talking about the Yuletide Horse Fair—our father took us there when we were children—and I remembered.” She described her encounter with the elf. “It was you, Lassui!”

“You were only two years old,” said Eomer, doubtfully. “You remember an elf. But you cannot possibly know that it was Legolas.”

“Yes I can!” said Eowyn. “It was Legolas. I am sure of it.”

“It may well have been,” said Faramir, loyally.

Gimli grunted in agreement.

“Well, it does sound like Legolas,” said Hentmirë.

But Legolas, kneeling at Eowyn’s feet, said nothing.



Later

Their friends had retired for the night.

Eowyn was still overjoyed—she found herself smiling at every little thing—but Legolas seemed restless; and Eowyn knew that, once she had fallen asleep, he would leave her, as was his custom, to find tranquility walking beneath the stars.

And, tonight, of all nights, she did not want to be parted from him. “Shall we go for a walk?” she asked.

“It is snowing, Eowyn nín,” he said.

“That will make it more fun.”

Legolas smiled, but there was sadness in his eyes. “You must wrap up warm, then.”

Eowyn pulled on her fur-lined boots and slipped on her velvet mantle. “There.”

They meandered along the snow-covered walkway, under the frosted branches, past windows glowing with candlelight. “It is so beautiful tonight,” said Eowyn.

You are beautiful, melmenya.” He brushed a snowflake from her cheek. “You look happy.”

“I am happy.”

“Why?”

“Because…” She smiled. “My memory—it means that I have always known you. It means,”—she searched for the right words—“it feels as though you have always been mine.”

Legolas raised her hand to his lips, and kissed it.

“But it has troubled you,” said Eowyn.

“No…”

“Yes. That is why I brought you out here.” They carried on walking. “Do you remember me, Lassui?”

“Of course.”

Eowyn clapped her hands together.

“I had not realised that it was you,” he admitted, “but I remember the little girl with her puppet, reaching out to me. I remember it as though it were yesterday.” He drew her to the edge of the walkway, and they stood beside the carved wooden rail, gazing down upon the rest of the city. “Twenty-six years is not long, melmenya.”

“For an elf who has lived three thousand years,” said Eowyn. “I know that, Lassui. But the difference in our ages has never troubled you before. It used to upset me—”

“I never thought of you as a child before,” said Legolas. “Knowing that I saw you, spoke to you, as a child, feels—strange—it makes the difference real. Oh melmenya, I thank the Valar that you were changed! I could not have borne it!”

“My love!” She grasped his hands.

“I told myself that if I tried hard enough—if I lived every moment as though it were a year, never looking to the future, never regretting what had passed—I could make it last. But, the truth is, I would have lost you so quickly—”

“But not now! You will not lose me now, Lassui!” Her eyes filled with tears. “Why did you never tell me this before?”

“It was not real to me before,” said Legolas, honestly.

Her heart ached for him, for she could never bear to see him unhappy, but neither could she—especially tonight—bear to have her own happiness shattered. “Must you be sad now?” Her voice quavered.

The elf turned to her in surprise. “Oh!” He drew her into his arms. “I am sorry!”

“Lord Fingolfin,” she said, “has given me a book to read—in Sindarin. It says that the love between an elf and a woman can never end well.” She hugged him. “But we are different, Lassui; we have been blessed. Come home with me now, my love,”—she knew that she was gambling, asking him to seek his peace of mind with her instead of his beloved trees; she knew that the stakes were high, and she prayed she would not lose—“come home with me, stay with me, and I will make you forget all those fears.”

When he said nothing, she began to tremble.

But then she felt his arms tighten around her, and his hands rub her back (for he thought that she was cold).

“I am such a lucky elf,” he whispered.

And her heart sang.





A vision

With a final glance over his shoulder to make sure that no one was watching, Legolas ducked into the clearing.

At the far side of the depression, nestling amongst the great tree roots, sat a crooked little hut fashioned from woven branches daubed with mud. Pale young leaves sprouted from its twisted door jambs and a thin curl of smoke rose from the gap in its crazily pitched roof.

Legolas approached the dark hole of its door, calling softly, “Mistress?”

“Who’s there?” came the immediate reply, in a voice that was unexpectedly sharp.

“I am Legolas, of Eryn Carantaur.”

“Hmm.” An old woman shuffled through the doorway. “Come closer. Yes, closer,”—she stared up at him with milky, sightless eyes—“yes,” she said, nodding. “What do you want?”

“I am told,” he said, “that you tell fortunes.”

“Sometimes.”

There were three slices of tree trunk grouped around the door, and she gestured towards one of them, indicating that Legolas should take a seat. “It’s the past that troubles you,” she said, waving him away when he tried to help her sit down. “You want to change it.”

“I,”—he frowned—“yes. Yes, you are quite right. I do.”

The old woman nodded. “Ayleth,” she called—and, for the first time, Legolas became aware of a second person, standing just inside the hut—a young woman, with hair the colour of carantaur leaves—“fetch the glass.”

For a moment the younger woman disappeared from view; then she emerged, reverently carrying a ball of crystal (veined and flecked with moon- and starlight), which she placed carefully in the old woman’s hands, folding the gnarled fingers round its smooth curves. Then she straightened up, and Legolas caught sight of her pale green eyes—Fox’s eyes, he thought.

The old woman set the ball in front of him. “Look into it,” she said.

Legolas leaned forward and, peering at its polished surface, saw nothing but his own face, comically distorted.

“Look deeper,” said the woman.

Legolas leaned closer but, at that very moment, a movement of the younger woman drew his eye, and he saw her cupped hands open, and fragments of leaf and petal fall, and flames leap up, and he caught the scent of something sweet—

“Do not look at Ayleth,” said the old woman, “look into the glass.”

So Legolas leaned closer still and, feeling strangely light-headed, he gazed past his own reflection, and into the sparkling depths of the crystal ball.



Laughing, Legolas ran up the broad stone steps. The men standing beside the double doors were tall and stern but he gave them his best smile and they let him pass. Inside, the Hall was dark, and smelled of smoke, and roasted meat, and of other, nastier things.

Legolas bounced across the patterned floor, jumping from red square to red square, until he reached the platform, with its carved wooden throne, then turned—

And stopped.

Someone was crying.

Hidden in the shadows, somewhere behind the row of carved wooden pillars, someone was sobbing her heart out.

Forgetting all about his hopping game, Legolas went to investigate.



It was a human elleth, no older than himself. She was sitting on one of the wooden benches that lined the Great Hall, her head bowed, clutching something to her chest.

“Hello,” said Legolas, cautiously.

The girl looked up, staring at him with big, tearful eyes, and she was so pretty, Legolas could not help smiling. “What is wrong?”

She sniffed.

Legolas hopped up on to the bench and sat beside her, legs dangling. “Why are you crying?”

“Mel
wenwyn,” she mumbled.

Legolas frowned. “What is Melwenwyn?”

She held out the thing she had been hugging.

Legolas looked at it, critically. “A dolly.” (His friend Aredhel had a dolly, but he had never seen the point of one himself).

“Melwenwyn is a
puppet,” said the girl, sniffing again.

“Oh,” he said. Then, “What is a puppet?”

The girl slipped her hand under the doll's striped skirt and held her up, wiggling her fingers. The little creature waved. Legolas laughed. “She looks quite like you,” he said, reaching out and stroking the long woollen hair, “but,”—he touched a fragment of blue button on the dolly’s face—“her eye is broken—”

“I
knowwwww,” wailed the girl.

“Oh, do not cry,” said Legolas, anxiously. He looked about him, hoping to find help. There was none. “We will ask Gwanur Nerdanel. Yes—she will know what to do. She always knows what to do.”

“Who—who is—Gwanur Nerdanel?”

“She looks after me when Ada is too busy.” Legolas jumped down from the bench. “She will be here—somewhere.” He held out his hand. “Come with me.”

The girl gave him the puppet. “Hold Melwenwyn,” she said, with another sniff.

Legolas watched her roll onto her tummy and, grasping the seat, reach for the floor with her feet. “If Gwanur Nerdanel cannot fix her,” he said, kindly, “you can have my Beregond Bunny. He has two eyes.”

To his surprise, the girl wailed again.



They found the elleth sitting on the stone terrace, mending a tear in Legolas’ second-best tunic. She looked closely at the dolly’s face. “Of course I can, Little Prince,” she said, opening her work basket and searching through her collection of buttons. “Blue. Let me see… Well, I have this one. Or this.”

Legolas glanced at the girl. She shook her head. “Those do not match,” he said.

“I do not have an exact match, Little Prince, nor two blue buttons the same,” said Nerdanel, “but… I do have two
brown buttons.”

The girl shook her head.

“What about…” Legolas pointed to the line of small, silver-grey buttons decorating the wide cuff of his second-best tunic. “You could use two of those.”

“That would spoil your tunic, Little Prince!”

“No, not if you take one off each sleeve—then it will not show.” He turned to the girl. “Would you like those?”

She nodded.

Legolas smiled up at Gwanur Nerdanel.

The elleth shook her head indulgently. “You and the Little Princess had better go and play somewhere else for a while,” she said, taking up her scissors.



“When you are older,” said Legolas, hopping along the terrace, “I will come back and teach you how to use a bow.”

The girl followed him. “Why?”

Legolas stopped, and turned, and the girl—close behind him and intent on stepping on the right stones—head-butted his chest. “Oooof!” He threw his arms around her, to steady them both. “Because then,” he said, “you will always be safe.”

I have a sword,” she said, “and a staff. So I will teach you as well.”



“There,” said Gwanur Nerdanel, handing over the puppet. “All done.”

The girl looked at the dolly’s face. The two silver-grey buttons were just the right size, and the elleth had embroidered a fringe of dark lashes above each one. “Thank you,” she mumbled, shyly. She turned to Legolas, her own face transformed by a beautiful smile.

Legolas smiled back.

Suddenly, she leaned towards him, and kissed his cheek.

Then she skipped away, up the stone steps and through the double doors, waving the puppet at the silent door-keepers as she went.

Legolas rubbed his face. “When you are older,” he called after her, “I will come back, and
I will kiss you.”



“Ah!” Legolas’ head jerked back.

“Did you see what you wanted?” asked the old woman.

The elf said nothing for a long while, but sat, rubbing his temples and breathing raggedly. Then, slowly, he straightened up, and smiled broadly, and, clasping both hands to his chest, he replied, “Yes, Mistress. It was exactly what I wanted.”

Comments

Posted by: Mlle de Fer (mlledefer)
Posted at: May 15th, 2007 10:17 am (UTC)
fanficlove

Missed you:) thanks for sharing, liked both very much:)

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: May 16th, 2007 01:49 pm (UTC)
lord & lady

Hello! Thank you for reading and leaving a comment :-D I'm glad you liked them. (I like your fanfic icon, btw).

Posted by: sagaluthien (sagaluthien)
Posted at: May 15th, 2007 11:12 am (UTC)
Legolas

You still is one of the best that write Legolas and Eowyn, both as young and adult. Great to read them.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: May 16th, 2007 01:50 pm (UTC)

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed them :-D

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