Yeah, I'm supposed to be studying for my exams, but...decided to take the time off to write this one-shot which has been in my mind for quite a while now.
Disclaimer: It's all J.R.R. Tolkien's. (Not that anyone would ever doubt that!)
The Grief of Melian
Lórien, the fair-haired half of the Fëanturi, looked up as he sensed the long lost, yet familiar presence in his gardens. Cocking his head to a side, a thoughtful expression appeared on his face. As he waited, the presence remained in his gardens, telling him that his initial guess had been correct.
With a smile on his face, he made his way towards the shaded part of the gardens, a fond expression on his face as his eyes caught sight of the dark-haired Maia, seated with her back to him.
Reaching out, he placed a hand on her still shoulder, causing her to start.
"Ai, I mean no harm," he said, softly. "Melian." The smile on his face faded as he saw the expression on his Maia's face. Or rather, as he saw the trail of dried tears on her fair cheeks.
What is this? This is rather unusual...
"My lord." The once fair and clear voice of the Maia was hoarse and dry as she addressed the fair-haired Vala. "I...beg your pardon, for my...long absence..."
Lórien stared at her for a moment longer, before he shook his head.
"Nay, Melian, there is no need for pardon." He shook his head. "'Tis fortunate for the Firstborn that you did what you did." The gentle smile, so typical of the healing Vala, appeared once more on his face. "Tell me, Melian, how is your kingdom? More importantly, how fares your daughter? I had heard from my brother that she chose a mortal life...?"
Dark-haired Melian nodded, a brief, grim smile curved her lips upward for a moment, before disappearing.
"Aye," she affirmed. "Lúthien dwells with Beren now...and she is happy." Lórien smiled in satisfaction.
"'Tis a relief," he admitted. "Although Valinor will sorrow for the loss of one as beautiful as your Lúthien Tinúviel..." He shook his head. "No matter. Alas, I almost forgot...how fares your husband? How fares Elwë Singollo?"
He frowned immediately as the Maia averted her eyes from his, and as she stared down at her hands. It was then that he noticed something; she had not stood up to greet him. This was most unusual, for, despite the number of times he had told her to be at ease around him, she never failed to greet him in the manner a server or...maid would serve her lord.
'He dwells not in Doriath any longer.'
The deep voice in the Vala's head startled him, for he had thought his brother was to be busy, dealing with the souls of the dead in his Halls.
'One is never too 'busy' for a sibling.'
Lórien smiled to himself at the dry note in his brother's voice, before he remembered the words of the dark-haired half of the Fëanturi.
'What do you mean he dwells not in Doriath any longer?'
'Precisely what I mean; he dwells not in Doriath any longer.'
'He resides in my Halls, Irmo. Elwë Singollo has passed on, and resides now in the Halls of Mandos.'
Ai, thought Lórien, or Irmo as that was his true name, 'tis a pity...a great pity...He looked down at the still figure of the dark-haired Maia, and his distressed expression softened.
'My thanks, Námo. You may return to your tasks now.' And just like that, the link that had connected him to his brother disappeared, indicating that he was no longer watching what he was doing; that he had given him -and the Maia- their privacy.
"Melian..." He knelt down before the Maia who had previously worked with him. "I am so very sorry. Is there anything I can...do?" When the Maia looked up, he sorrow increased as he saw the tears in her light eyes.
"Can you bring him back, my lord?"
"Alas, you ask of me the one thing I cannot do," answered Lórien, dejectedly.
"Nay, my lord, do not sorrow for that. 'Twas a foolish question from one of my...race." A tear trickled down the dark-haired Maia's face. "I could not dwell in Doriath any longer, my lord. I could not. Perhaps I made a mistake, in leaving my people...but -" another tear trickled down her cheek. "-there were two things that held me back, that kept me from returning here."
"Your daughter, and your husband," stated Lórien, quietly. Melian nodded.
"Aye. My daughter I have lost to the mortal world, and shall never lay my eyes upon her again." She paused, taking a deep breath. "All I had left was my husband, and now...now..."
"Elwë Singollo did a lot for his people, Melian. He did a lot for the Eldar in Middle-Earth," consoled Lórien, as he watched the Maia desperately try to keep herself together. "You know of the One's plan; in the future, Ea shall be remade. And the Eldar will roam freely once more. Those of the Eldar in the Halls of Mandos shall be reborn and-"
"-When, my lord?" interrupted Melian, her voice quivering. "When will that happen? In a few hundred millennia, perhaps? My good lord, how, how am I to be expected to...live like this, alone, until...until-" The moment her voice broke, she felt strong arms wrap themselves around her petite form, bringing her towards the gentle, soft-spoken Vala.
Unable to restrain her grief any longer, the Maia let lose the tears that had so desperately wanted to be shed, ever since the day her husband was slain.
Lórien held her to his chest, stroking her head as he did his best to comfort his faithful Maia. His heart grieved with her, for, although he had not experienced the pain she had, he could easily feel her pain. And having known the Maia for...many a number of years, he knew that she would never shed tears lightly.
"Hush, Melian," he murmured, continuing to stroke her hair. "Hush, 'tis alright...'twill be alright...hush now, hush..." It was funny, he realized, that his dwelling, his gardens of peace and healing, could not help anyone when they were in need of help.
He still regretted the glaring fact that Míriel Serindë, mother of Fëanor, had passed into his brother's Halls while resting in his gardens. Aye, he had been told, and he knew, that he was not to blame for her passing; she had been exhausted and weary; yet...if he could have saved her, the Eldar would not have been sundered as they were.
And the house of Fëanor would not be cursed.
'And the brave deeds of the children of Indis would never have taken place, for there would have been no children of Indis.'
'Yet the kinslaying would not have taken place...the Eldar would not have suffered so much grief, in Middle-Earth...'
'Aye, and Middle-Earth would have fallen completely under the dominion of Melkor. And the Secondborn would have been enslaved, by him, for there would be none to teach them of his treachery.'
-And the future of Middle-Earth would be bleak indeed. There would be no union between the Firstborn and Secondborn, for if Míriel had held on, Fëanor would not have had any reason to cross the Helcaraxë, and would not have stirred the hearts of many Eldar in Valinor to cross over with him. For if Míriel held on, Finwë might not have been killed, and Fëanor would have been---'
'---I understand, I understand! 'Tis foolish of me to dwell upon things that 'could have' happened...I understand, brother dear.'
'Good. Should you ever feel the need to dwell on that vein of thought again---'
'-I won't, for my brother will lecture me until my ears bleed. Or until I miraculously enter his Halls, having died of pure boredom.'
'Oh yes, laugh all you like, Irmo. Although I do not find anything so utterly mirthful. I shall leave you to your Maia then.'
'Námo? Thank you, brother.'
'...I do not know why you thank me, but I shall gratefully accept it, nonetheless. Now leave me to my work; you are a worse distraction than Vairë.'
Feeling the link he had with his brother disappear once more, Lórien turned his attention the dark-haired Maia, who's sorrowed sobs had died down, but who still trembled.
Coming to terms with her grief would be a long and hard road, Lórien knew this; yet at the same time, he knew that Melian would be able to achieve this. He had faith in his dear Maia.
"Melian," he said, at length, as he gentle pulled the Maia away from his embrace. It was saddening to see the dazed, somewhat lost expression in her eyes. "Come, let us leave this place."
Melian shook her head slowly, unable to meet her lord's eyes -partly out of shame, for...displaying her sorrow in such a manner.
"I wish to-"
"-Nay, Melian, 'tis not the best place for you at the moment," interrupted Lórien, gently, deciding to lecture the Maia on how wrong she was to feel ashamed of grieving later, when she had...settled down better. "Come. Estë would wish to see you." He smiled as he thought of his lady, of his wife.
If there was anyone who would be able to help Melian, 'twas Estë the gentle healer.
"I-" Lórien shook his head as he stood up, holding his hand out to the seated Maia.
"-I am not giving you a choice, Melian."
"'Tis an order, then..."
"Nay, 'tis a suggestion," said Lórien, smiling as she looked up at him, her brows furrowed. "A suggestion that would best be followed." He paused. "Your love for Elwë Singollo was great, Melian, and I can understand that. But have you ever wondered if he would appreciate what you intend on doing to yourself? Would King Elwë wish for his beloved to waste away, pining for him? If he would, then I must admit that he is not the type of...male I took him for."
"'Twill be hard, my lord," said Melian, softly, as she stared at his outstretched hand. Lórien knew she was talking about coming to terms with her sorrow. "But...I...suppose you are right. He would not wish this of me." Letting out a weary sigh, she took the Vala's outstretched hand and allowed him to pull her to her feet.
Lórien gave her an encouraging smile.
"I am glad to hear that, Melian. Now come, for Estë will be pleased to see you with us once more."
The dark-haired Vala turned his attention to the fëa hovering before him with a somewhat relieved expression on his face.
"There," he said, his deep voice echoing around the chamber the fëa was currently residing in. "Has your nervous fretting been laid to rest now?"
The fëa of the Eldar King turned its eyes towards the pale Vala, grateful for the knowledge that what he saw before him was an image of the Valar. For to lay eyes on the Vala himself would destroy a fëa that had only recently arrived in his Halls.
"Aye, my good lord Mandos," he said, bowing his head reverently. "And I am most grateful to you. For...I needed to see her, to see how she fares."
"Indeed," rumbled Mandos' deep voice. "Now rest, Elwë Singollo. Your fëa is weary; it will need all the rest it can get in the long years that you will be here, in my Halls."
"Of course, my Lord." The image of Mandos turned its back on the fëa, when it paused, sensing the unasked question.
"My Lord, I was wondering...perhaps, perhaps you could show me how fares my daughter, Lúthien Tinúviel...?"
"Elwë Singollo," boomed Mandos. "You ask too much of one in your position." The fëa cringed.
"Forgive me, my Lord. I did not mean to appear impertinent." Mandos resisted the urge to shake his head. The spirits of those who had lived in Middle-Earth were...interesting indeed.
"You will get the chance to catch a glimpse of your fair daughter, Elwë Singollo. But not for many, many years to come. Now rest."
With that, the image of the Vala disappeared, leaving the fëa of Elwë Singollo in the dark chamber.
Okay, that might have been a bit weird...but I really wanted to type this out, for some odd reason. As for the 'link' between Mandos and Lórien, I just made that up, thinking that since they were Valar, and...'brothers' at that, they would be able to sense the other's distress and thoughts.
Hope that was alright!