My thanks to Mouse for beta-reading and also to Furius for the nit-picking. ;)

One Whom I Loved

She was a mere child when I first laid my eyes on her. A raggedy child at that, with her flaxen hair dishevelled and her Mannish clothing long since tattered. Her form like a windblown flower, slender and supple.

But to this I paid no heed, for her eyes had enraptured me. Despite her age, I could see innocence lost, and a long-nurtured hostility to all others save her kin.

Yet it was this seeming maturity that fascinated me, for I knew little of the Edain, and I grudgingly gave her my respect. But when our eyes met, I did not show it, and in my heart I named her adaneth [1].

*

Swiftly did the seasons pass, and within a few years of the Sun did my mortal child blossom. Her golden hair was long and wavy, and her body was as lithe as that of an elven maid. But her eyes remained ever hostile, and thus did my adaneth bloom into a frozen flower, fair but cold.

*

Ever did I watch my adaneth, and I knew she sensed my eyes on her, but she said naught of it to me, till one fateful day.

On that day did she wander off by herself, in silent rebellion, from the city of Menegroth. And out of the curiosity stirred up in my heart, I followed close behind.

She led me to the edge of the borders of Menegroth, and stood still by the silver trunk of a towering tree. Abruptly did she turn, and I sensed her grey eyes upon me.

I stopped walking, and slowly lifted my head to meet her eyes, cool blue [2] against intense silver, and I was nearly come undone by her tenacity. I willed myself to hold her gaze, for was I not one of the Eldar, a noble elf of Doriath, and she but one of the Atani, of the Sickly?

But she was also a child of Húrin, of the House of Hador of the Edain, and the blood of her forefathers flowed strongly in her. Much was said between our hearts during the long moments we stood by that tree, and yet I cannot now remember what words were exchanged.

She it was who looked away first, and an overwhelming sense of concern washed over me, breaking me from the deep trance in which she held me.

"Mablung," she called, and I jerked in surprise, for never before had she spoken to one other than her mother, and it pleased me that my name should have been the first to be spoken by her lips.

"Mablung," she said again, and I relished the deep wont of her voice, which was yet melodic in its speaking. "Come not to me."

And thus was my silent pleasure rudely put to an end, and confusion reigned in my thoughts, for I understood not her words.

"I am mortal, and fell will be the love between one of my people, and one of yours, for it is like a like a flame, with heat and power, yet fragile and short-lived. This is fell. Come not to me."

With those words did she walk away, and never again did she look to me, the Heavy Hand.

*

When the Lady of Dor-lómin [3] chose to go from Doriath my King did not seek to hinder her path, and instead, sent me to guide her.

Thus I went, thinking my adaneth safe in Menegroth, for through she would not acknowledge my love, it was her that my heart chose.

But when it was revealed that she had secretly come with us, I was dismayed, and my heart broke to see her fair face in the desolate lands we walked upon. When my gaze passed to her eyes, grey as a stormy sky, I knew that she would never again step into the caves of Doriath as a living woman.

And still would she not look to me.

*

But it was not the last I saw of her. Again in Amon Ethir did I behold her beautiful face once more, but looking into her eyes, I knew that this was not my adaneth I gazed at, but I living ghost of the fiery woman I had known.

I spoke to her, but words came not from her lips, and it hurt me to see her such. I took her hands in mine, and let their coldness dissipate in my warmth. She stirred and allowed me to gently guide her away, but only if my hand held hers.

It grieved me to no end to see my beloved with her fire quenched, but naught did I say, for I was glad to have her with me, and I would only have her safe.

But a grievous thing had occurred along the way, and my adaneth, in her madness, left me forever, and I missed the comfort of having her hand holding mine.

*

Long has it been since my adaneth left me, yet it is only now that the curse of Hurin is made meaningful to my heart.

My love is lost, and my fate is sealed, for I also have been meshed in the doom of the Children of Húrin [4] and thus has one whom I loved snatched been from my grasp forever.

And now I stand by the tomb of the Children of Húrin, mourning the loss of my adaneth. But Nienor Níniel rests not there, and none now know where her swift feet have led her thither.

-Finis-

[1] Adaneth = Mortal woman

[2] With regards to the matter of eye colour, it has been assumed that Sindar have blue eyes. Feel free to rebuke me.

[3] Lady of Dor-lómin: Morwen, Hurin's wife.

[4] " for I also… Children of Hurin" : As taken from the Narn I Hin Hurin, Unfinished Tales.