A/N: I am sooo sorry. I really, really meant to write this earlier. But then I had a writer's block, after that my parents dragged me on vacation, then school started again and nearly killed me (twelfth grade is sooo much harder than tenth) and then I had writer's block – AGAIN. To make a long story short, I was unable to write for several months and am starting again now.
On the positive side, I now have a copy of the Silmarillion and have read most of it. There's not much pertaining to Elrond and Elros there, just that they were adopted by Maglor (which I chose to change for the sake of the fic. Don't worry, you Fëanorion-fans, next ficcie is probably going to be about Maedhros or Maglor.) after Sirion, aren't mentioned for a while and then *suddenly* Elrond is dwelling with Gil-galad. Hm…
Finally, I have noticed that my language was not very Tolkien-ish in the last few chapters, i.e. use of contractions (don't, won't and similar). I will try to change this from this point on, and will probably go back and edit the previous chapters. I will also have to change the dialogue a bit… this may cause a distinct difference between the styles of the previous chapters and that of this one… sorry!
Thank you so much for your reviews, I am so sorry for not updating sooner… *hangs head in shame*
Now, here the long, rambling A/N ends.
Far above Arda, a man shielded his eyes as he looked about in wonder. The void around him was cold and strange, yet filled with a radiance that had never before been seen by the denizens of Middle-Earth. Here Varda's stars shone brilliantly, their light glinting off the man's dark hair, making his pale skin glow silver. Eärendil threw his head back and laughed, hearing the sound echo amongst the stars. Ai, I did love the Sea ere I came to Valinor, and could not imagine anything more glorious than it, in its wild, untamed beauty. Yet the Sea is nothing to the waves of light that I now sail, and the joy that filled my heart then nothing to what I feel now. Who would have thought that stars, mere pinpricks of light, be so brilliant up here in the sky? They near outshine the Silmaril that rests upon my brow.
At the last thought, Eärendil stopped laughing. He had never been able to understand people's fascination with the Silmaril – 'twas but a jewel, even if it shone with an unearthly light. Yet it was because of this jewel that Doriath had burned, and Elwing's father Dior had been slain and her brothers lost. It was because of this jewel that Sirion had been destroyed, with it many of Eärendil's friends and… his sons. Elrond and Elros, the two little boys that would never again see a sunrise or watch the dance of the stars at night. Elrond had loved to do that, he remembered. As soon as he could walk, he would clamber up to the windowsill to see the stars. Elros had been different, loving to play rough-and-tumble games… Eärendil choked back a sob, and forced his mind away from the two sons lost to him and back to the Silmaril, that most dangerous of all Fëanor's creations.
Here this jewel shall no longer bring suffering to my people, for it will ever be kept from those who covet it. The Kinslayers shall have to attack Morgoth to regain the two others – and may they perish in the deed!
Muttering darkly, Eärendil strode to the rail of his ship. Albeit the Kinslayers had done many horrible deeds, he had never wished harm on any Elf before and it troubled him, for he did not wish become like them. He peered over the edge to calm himself, then jumped back with a cry.
Eärendil knew that he was high in the sky, and that by rights he should not have been able to see anything of the lands below. Yet there, far beneath the keel of his ship, he could see a garden, bathed in starlight. Every leaf on every tree seemed as clear as if he was standing right before it, touching it even.
Although he did not mean to, Eärendil spoke, voice filled with disbelief. "What witchery is this?"
He started at the sound of his own voice, even more when he realized that the sounds he was hearing were not all the echos of his inadvertent statement. Indeed, if he listened carefully, he could hear voices…
"…messengers, bringing news of Valinor to the High King…"
"…'tis a fair night to be wandering outside, nay?"
"… but Ada, I told you it was Edhelech, not I!"
Elvish voices, echoing up through the emptiness. But it is too far, Eärendil thought, astounded. How can I see, how can I hear… a gift of the Valar perhaps, that I learn what goes on below me? Yet ere he could dwell on that thought, a remark caught his attention.
"…aye, Elros is restless tonight. I wager we shall be led on a merry chase ere we retire, mellon."
Elros. His youngest son, who had been slain in the Sack of Sirion. Who he thought had been slain, for why else would they speak of him thus? Elros is alive? My son is alive? How is this possible? And Elrond? What of Elrond?
Eärendil peered over the railing eagerly, eyes searching the ground below. The garden seemed to be part of a palace, which was situated near the middle of a small city. Only a few people were out and about, mostly servants, although there were several smaller shapes. Eärendil's heart leapt every time he saw one of these, yet he was invariably disappointed. How shall I recognize them now anyway… he thought miserably. It has only been a few years since I saw them last – nearly no time to an elf – but they are so young. They will have changed. Then a thought, like a shard of ice piercing his heart. Have they forgotten me?
Yet before that black thought could take root in his head, he saw a small figure run out of the palace and towards a tree in the garden. It turned its face up towards him, and Eärendil felt his heart skip a beat. That face, now filled with sorrow but once innocent and joyful… the stormy grey eyes, the straight dark hair pushed back behind slightly-pointed ears… Elrond?
Suddenly the young one began to cry, muffled sobs drifting up through the void. Eärendil started. What is wrong, little one? he thought. Then he heard a word, choked out through tears. "Adar!"
Eärendil buried his face in his hands, unable to look at his son's tearstained face. Adar… adar… the word echoed in his thoughts. Adar… they have certainly not forgotten you, a voice from the darkest depths of his mind echoed mockingly. Oh no, your eldest son weeps because you have left him. Yet what did you do for him when you were alive? Did you not spend more time on the sea than with your sons, Eärendil son of Tuor? What did you do to deserve this loyalty?
Eärendil looked up, clenching his hands into fists. "Be quiet," he hissed. The voice, however, did not listen.
Do you not remember how lonely Elwing looked? How happy she was when you returned, how sad when you left her again? Do you not remember how little Elrond cried as you boarded your ship? How your people muttered, saying something about lords who they never saw, who abandoned them? And then, when they were attacked, where were you? On the Sea, as you always were when they needed you.
Movement below caught the tormented mariner's attention, and he looked back down towards his son just in time to see another person approaching the small, sobbing child. Eärendil frowned as the Elf picked Elrond up and embraced him tightly, whispering soothing words. He did not begrudge Elrond the comfort, yet he had to wonder about this strange Elf. Who was he? Why was Elrond with him? A feeling of protectiveness rose within him as he stared jealously down, the self-beratings of a moment ago forgotten.
Elrond had stopped crying and was breathing evenly, apparently asleep. The Elf who was holding him looked down at him in concern – at least in what seemed like concern, Eärendil thought mistrustfully. After all, who knew what this person truly had in mind? Perhaps it was just an act, to… to… to control Elrond and Elros, who were after all the only surviving descendants of Elwë East of the Sea.
Or perhaps you simply cannot bear to think of someone being a better father to them, although they do deserve it..
"Ada, why brother crying?" The new voice, drifting upwards from the place he was watching, jerked him out of his thoughts. Below another, even smaller figure toddled towards Elrond and the Elf.
Elros?Eärendil was overjoyed at seeing his sons together, both apparently healthy and well. Yet the bitter thorn of jealousy bit at his heart… Ada? He calls him Ada?
The dark voice raised its head again. Better him than you, like Elrond does. Would you have both your sons stare after a star?
But… but… Eärendil was reduced to incoherence, sputtering silently.
"'Tis a long story." The adult Elf was responding to Elros' question, speaking softly and sorrowfully. Moreover, that smooth, melodious voice seemed familiar… Eärendil could not quite place it, but he was sure he had met this Elf before.
"Do you remember your father? Not me, your real father?" the stranger continued.
"'rond talk of him, but I not remember."
The remark hit Eärendil like an arrow, and he stumbled back from the rail, gasping. Has it truly been so long? Do you truly no longer remember me? Or perhaps you never did know me… Eru knows I spent not much time with you and your brother. I am so sorry, my son.
"Well, today we heard what happened to him… see you that star up there? The bright one?" The Elf lifted his face to nod upwards at Eärendil.
"Yes," Elros replied, nodding solemnly in the manner of children trying to appear wise and adult-like. Even feeling as torn as he was, Eärendil could not supress a smile at the sight – solemnity was not an expression that was often seen on Elros' face. Had not been, at least, for who knew what had happened? Again Eärendil felt a pang of sorrow. He had abandoned his children, leaving them for dead. Perhaps Elros laughed no longer? Perhaps Elrond was not the only one who wept? No, surely not… Eärendil ruthlessly banished these thoughts from his mind.
"Your father turned into that star." This pronouncement was met with wide-eyed disbelief from the child, and another smile from Eärendil. Whatever had happened between his last visit to Sirion and today, children would always be children.
"How someone turn into a star?"
"With a lot of luck, bravery, sheer daring, and foolishness, little one," Eärendil said out loud, revelling in the sound of his voice mixing with those from below. If he closed his eyes and spoke at exactly the right moments, he could almost imagine he was speaking to one of the people he was watching, and they were answering… but alas, it remained a fantasy, and Elrond and Elros were forever removed from him.
"He is sailing in a ship. He is carrying a bright jewel, that is why he is glowing." Yet again his thoughts were interrupted by the three people below. Eärendil ran his hand through his hair, taking care not to snag it on the circlet that held the Silmaril. Why did this voice seem so familiar? It was not one he had heard often, not like Elwing's or his friend Eithel's… yet he remembered it. It belonged to… someone…
a crown, slightly too large for the one that bore it. Grey eyes filled with the exuberance and curiosity of youth, yet tempered with sadness and caution. A regal bearing in contrast to his slight frame.
Ereinion , High King of the Noldor.
Ereinion – Gil-galad, he called himself now. The young King had dwelt in Sirion for a short while ere leaving for the Isle of Balar, and had, during that time, made the acquaintance of Eärendil. Looking back, Eärendil could see that he had been far too young for the burden of kingship at the time, though of course it had not seemed so at the time – after all, Eärendil himself had been no older.
Ereinion son of Fingon. He had grown well indeed… the adult below had nearly nothing in common with the young King Eärendil had known so long ago.
"So why 'rond crying?"
Elros again, speaking curiously to the High King – his new Ada, Eärendil remembered with a grimace. He had nothing against Gil-galad as such, but as someone who wished to replace him regarding his sons… needless to say, Eärendil was much more skeptical about this.
"Your father can never come back. He shall be sailing for the rest of time, and your brother misses him."
Eärendil struggled to stifle the sobs rising within him. Ever since he had heard the word "Elros" from below, he had been trying to avoid thinking of this… yet here it was now, clearly spoken for all to hear. He could never go back. He might rant and rail at Gil-galad for being a father to Elros, he might weep for Elrond who wept for him, he might watch his sons grow from the children they were now to fine young men, watch them go about there own lives… watch. But he could never participate in their lives, he could never make himself heard. Only now did he truly realize the implications of the Doom Manwë had spoken onto him, no longer dazzled by starlight. He would never speak with his children again…
Eärendil wept, heedless of the words that reached his ears. Heedless of the three small figures re-entering the palace, his eldest son hugged against the chest of his new foster-father. Heedless of the tears falling like rain onto the ground far, far below...
A/N: Whoa! I never meant to write that much! I mean, that's *much* longer than the previous povs! I suppose Eärendil simply had a lot going through his head… (he appears to be mildly schizophrenic. Dear me, what do I *do* to these characters?). If the thoughts are somewhat confused or disjointed, sorry… I tried to make everything as clear as I could. Of course, Eärendil probably *is* extremely confused at the moment, so I have an excuse.
Adar – Father
Ada – Dad or Daddy