Title: Not Speak or Whisper
written for TTT prompt #1: Song
Authors: Nina/PeppyPower and Kay
Beta: Nieriel Raina
Song (in Sindarin) "The Elvenking's Lullaby - Laeslaer Aran e-Dawarwaith" by Fiondil
written and translated for this story exclusively
Song translation: See below
Warnings: None, we tried to stay as close to canon as we could
Summary: After the Battle of the Five Armies, Bilbo draws strength and hope from one very special moment with the Elvenking - but not with the Elvenking alone.
Author's notes: This fic is dedicated to all our friends out there. Middle-earth is not far away, it is in our hearts. Always remember that. Love you all. Special thanks to Nieriel Raina and Fiondil.
Disclaimer: We don't own them.
Not Speak or Whisper
Erebor, late October T.A. 2941
The cold wind tasted of an early winter, knew the answer to all his questions, but refused to reply - as if the gusts would always whisper things that made Bilbo's heart bleed.
"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. But, sad or merry, I must leave it now. Farewell." (1)
Bilbo left the tent, Thorin's last words still ringing in his ears. He had made peace with the Dwarf; the battle was over, bringing a victory for the alliance of Dwarves, Elves, and Men of Esgaroth. But at what price? Many lay dead on the battlefield, on frozen earth, on bare stone. Tears streamed down the Hobbit's face. He wanted to run, to run and never come back to this dark and cold place where he had left so much of himself, when, suddenly, he heard a clear and beautiful voice.
The voice did not speak or whisper. The words carried by the icy cold wind were sung. It was a sound he knew well, usually so full of authority, well-balanced and adept, in a strict and kingly manner. But now, it sounded kind and gentle. Bilbo stopped his movements, listening, then stepped to the tent from whence it came. When he opened the tent flap without asking, he felt like an intruder, but he was not able to move or leave. His eyes were caught by a sight so unusual, he could not turn them away.
Sedho, iôn nîn, pain mae.
Ceno, adar gîn sí a tholthad le deri.
iLaiss e-daur le linnar, ú-lathrog
Atholo enni, iôn nîn,
a ú-lasto canad hír Bannoth.
Inside, Bilbo saw the Elvenking, still wearing most of his battle regalia, looking just as royal as he had the first time Bilbo had seen him. Only subtle things told the story of a horrific and terrible battle. One of the king's golden braids must have opened during the fighting, for it hung in disarray around his face. The green tunic was torn and bloody at his left shoulder. His facial expression was not the one of a practiced and experienced warrior, but one of compassion, of caring and understanding.
The king knelt beside an Elf who appeared younger than he, bedded on green blankets, unmoving. The prone warrior's face was ashen, decorated by streaks of blood and dirt. The prominent cheeks carried wounds and scratches, remnants of a fierce battle. A blanket was drawn up to his hips, but Bilbo could see bandages around the pale and naked belly. Blood was seeping through the white fabric. The Elf lay with his eyes closed his breathing deep and easy.
'He must have taken grievous injuries,' Bilbo thought and drew a deep breath himself. He smelled herbs, sweet and relaxing, and a peculiar sense of peace wafted in the air, comforting like the warming fire in the halls of Lord Elrond's Last Homely House.
As Bilbo watched, the king cleaned the face of the fallen with a damp cloth, singing to himself, as well as to his wounded companion, as he tended him with a gentle hand. If he noticed Bilbo, he did not show it. He simply worked over the injured elven warrior, and when he was finished cleaning the other's face of blood and dirt, set aside the cloth and water bowl. Bilbo felt his heart lurch when the Elvenking took the younger Elf's hand and the king's other hand moved to settle over the warrior's heart. The Hobbit kept watching the amazing scene, frozen in place at this fragile gesture and unwilling to destroy this serene moment.
Sedho, meleth nîn, adar gîn sí.
Mil nîn le anatha, gell nîn seidiatha,
na-erui atholo enni, iôn nîn,
a ú-lasto canad e-gaer gelair.
The younger Elf's blonde hair, absent of any braids, looked like shining gold, like a piece of a warm summer day left in the cold autumn breeze. Bilbo had never seen anything as beautiful as this, even if this particular Elf was badly hurt. He had never heard anything like this, either; no such song had ever entered his very soul as much as this one, and Bilbo had never felt anything like this before. Another tear searched its way down his face, and then, unaware of the hurts and experiences of battle, a wave of strength and hope demanded its way back into his small Hobbit heart.
Suddenly, Bilbo felt a hand on his shoulder, and he jumped. Gandalf had entered the tent behind him, unheard, as always.
"You should not be here," he whispered, but made no move to extract Bilbo from the king's tent. The Hobbit's gaze, like in a trance, remained on the figure of the mighty Elvenking, still kneeling beside this injured warrior, singing to him and stroking his golden hair.
"Mind you, Master Baggins, this is a very private moment and should therefore not be disturbed," Gandalf repeated.
Bilbo slowly nodded. In the same moment he raised his gaze, he found green eyes staring into his own. Not disapproving, but curious. The king had stopped singing and smiled at Bilbo, then turning to the young warrior beginning to stir and moan, the Elvenking murmured soothing words.
Gandalf's grip on Bilbo's shoulder tightened, and the Hobbit finally followed, leaving the two Elves behind. Outside the tent, his tears started to flow again, due to the sheer beauty and serenity of the moment he had just witnessed.
"Gandalf, why is the Elvenking tending to a mere warrior? And why are no healers there with him?" he asked.
The wizard chuckled, and they wandered a few more steps before he answered. "Oh, the healers have been there, have done what they could right after the battle. But what Thranduil did right now, no mere healer could have done."
Bilbo wiped at his tears with his sleeve. "Why is that, Gandalf? Does the King own more special powers I know nothing about?"
The wizard's gaze went upwards, and yet, he almost smiled: "Master Baggins, only know that the king owns that special power every father should be capable of: Love. This fallen warrior; he is his son."
Walking away, they heard Thranduil's beautiful voice once more.
Hebig bregolas, iôn nîn,
beren sui Beleg, a sui bell.
Heiru gîn delu,
dan nestathog a
a linnathog ad nu Ithil-galad go-nin.
na-erui atholo enni, iôn nîn,
a lasto canad nîn erui.
(1) JRR Tolkien, The Return Journey, The Hobbit
The Elvenking's Lullaby
Laeslaer Aran e-Dawarwaith
Hush, my son, all is well - Sedho, iôn nîn, pain mae.
See, thy father is here to bid thee stay - Ceno, adar gîn sí a tholthad le deri.
The leaves of the forest sing to thee, dost thou not hear? - iLaiss e-daur le linnar, ú-lathrog?
Come back to me, my son, - Atholo enni, iôn nîn,
and heed not Lord Námo's call - a ú-lasto canad hír Bannoth.
Hush, my beloved, thy father is here - Sedho, meleth nîn, adar gîn sí.
My love I will give thee, my joy I will share - Mil nîn le anatha, gell nîn seidiatha,
only return to me, my son - na-erui atholo enni, iôn nîn,
and heed not the bright sea's call - a ú-lasto canad e-gaer gelair.
Thou hast fierceness, my son - Hebig bregolas, iôn nîn,
bold as Beleg, and as strong - beren sui Beleg, a sui bell.
Thy wounds are fell - Heiru gîn delu,
but thou shalt heal - dan nestathog a
and sing under Ithil's light with me again - a linnathog ad nu Ithil-galad go-nin.
Only return to me, my son - na-erui atholo enni, iôn nîn,
and heed my call alone - a lasto canad nîn erui.
Laeslaer: literally, baby-song.
tholtha-: to summon, to make come. The closest for "to bid/to command".
Bannoth: Mandos. This is the only Sindarin form of Námo's name we have.
seidia-: set-aside, appropriate to a special purpose or owner.