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A love denied
The characters, places, and events are creations of J.R.R. Tolkien. No profit was or will be made from this story. It is written solely for entertainment.
Many thanks to my beta, Linda Hoyland.
Arwen left her home after the abduction and departure of her mother. Was the depressing atmosphere at the Last Homely House her only reason?
Chapter 1: unwelcome interruption
The knock had already sounded a second time, but the Elf-Lord did not move, nor even answered the call. In fact he was not willing. He wanted to sit in the dark, stare into the flames, forget about the world around him.
He looked at the empty goblet in his hand. He gripped the wine bottle from the side table but it was empty too, like the two others on the floor. With an angry grunt he tossed the glass into the flames.
As expected, the door opened before the splinters had fallen onto the hearth stones.
„Master Elrond….? “came the reluctant call.
A mixture between a question and a statement.
„Is everything alright? “
Had his thoughts not been this fuzzy he would have laughed out loud. Nothing was and would ever be alright. His wife had left him. Despite his best efforts to heal her she had nonetheless decided to leave these shores. He had failed her. It was as simple as that.
When he heard steps nearing his high backed chair he held up his hand.
„Tinár, please leave. Whatever it is I´m not willing to leave my study.“
If he had hoped that his attitude would repel his chief healer, he was mistaken for the next moment Tinár said.
„Master Elrond, I have a patient and I need your help.“
The Elf-Lord closed his eyes. His chief healer was an expert. There was surely nothing he could not handle himself. Why the interruption? His anger returned. He bent forward and placed his head in his hands.
„What have you not understood about `leave me alone`, Tinár?“
He had spoken slowly and softly, yet his irritation was clearly heard.
For several long minutes nothing happened. Just when Elrond thought the healer had left he was addressed again.
„You have to look at my patient. She will die otherwise. Please, at least wash your hands and face if nothing else. “
This time the irritation of the younger elf was equally clear to hear. A rustling of robes followed. Elrond was left stunned. How dare his assistant to speak to him thus? He was sitting here since – since when? - maybe he had not changed his clothes since….
With an angry shake of his head he rose and nearly tripped over the empty wine bottle. His head spun for a moment. Dammed Dorwinion, he would only consume the much lighter Imladris wine in the future….
Future – this word hit him hard.
His swaying changed into a full-fledged shivering. He had to steady himself with both hands braced against the armrests of his chair. He squeezed his eyes shut.
Opening them again, he left the place in front of the hearth to go to a settee right under the great window. Yes, a short nap would bring some relief at least to his body.
His gaze fell on the still open door. Why had Tinár not closed it? He would not go to the infirmary only to look at…a woman?
Sighing profoundly, he took a deep breath. Looking down at himself he swallowed. Since their return from the Havens he had worn this clothing. He had really not changed since…since?
How long had he been sitting here brooding?
He could not remember when he had last ate or slept. He had not once heeded the concerns of his sons, of Arwen or anyone else – where was the girl?, he has not seen her in days. Poor thing, she had of all of them least understood why her mother felt no longer at home, why she had to leave….
Too quickly he wheeled around and hit his fist hard on his desk. The pain did something to clear his mind.
Then his anger returned.
Why did she have to leave? WHY!!
He panted hard, desperately trying to prevent the tears from falling.
He looked over the table. Strewn papers, stock lists to complete, reports that needed looking over, letters unanswered.
With an angry swipe of his hand he hurled the items on the floor. Why did this have to happen? Could the abyss not open up and swallow him too?
„Elrond, we really need your help!“
Not Tinár but another interrupted him this time.
He had not recognized the other elf coming into the room nor the hand now resting on his shoulder.
He whirled around. For long moments he glared at the slightly taller elf.
„Glorfindel, leave me alone. I want to be alone. Will no one respect my wishes?”
The golden haired elf did not blink nor react in any outward way to the outburst.
„You have been alone for much too long now. She will die, Elrond.”
„I do not care,” the healer retorted his eyes burning.
What had he just said? He was a healer at heart.
The concerns of Middle-earth no longer bothered him. He could not heal his wife. What sense did it make to heal anyone else?
Still getting no response, he turned around again. He braced himself at the words surely to come. Glorfindel had never been afraid to voice his opinion.
Yet, nothing – only silence.
After taking another deep breath, he turned and was astounded to find the room empty.
As much as he wished to be alone as much he felt alone now, empty, lost.
But had not he blocked all attempts of comfort the elves around him had tried to offer?
But what sort of comfort could they give? His wife had left to find healing elsewhere and she had ripped a hole in his heart that could never be closed.
Thank you, my love, for that.
Again he registered this unaccustomed feeling: anger.
At whom was he angry? At Celebrían? At himself? At the orcs for causing all this – ridiculous!
Orcs were an integral part of this world. You had to live with them and accept the consequences caused by them. That was simply a fact.
All their elven might was nothing in the face of their simple and savage brutality.
With another deep breath he combed his fingers through his tangled hair and smoothed out his crinkled robe – both actions with little to no effect.
Concerned faces came back to his mind. His younger son had countless times tried to lure him out, begged him to take some nourishment. His seneschal, his troop commander, healers all had danced around him …..concerned…concerned…damn it.
He wanted nothing more than to be alone.
He swallowed. This self-pity would bring him nothing. He was Elrond of Rivendell and had the valley to rule. He had three children who would need his guidance now. Yet, to whom could he turn in need? With whom could he share his inner fears now?
When the sun shining through the window graced his face, he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. Celebrían was not dead, only far away and one day they would meet again……one day.
His long perfected mask in place again, he left the room with determined steps pausing only to grab his healing bag, which lay packed and ready next to the door.
With quick strides he hastened down the corridor quite aware of the looks following him. The further he walked the more the feelings washing over him lowered his resolve. The thin crust over his sore soul begun to break, the black chasm was opening anew……
The softly spoken word crumbled his defenses. He whirled around.
There in the corridor stood his daughter, as forlorn as he was himself. He wanted nothing more than to envelop his child in his arms, yet he could not. He could not take one step. Arwen was as reluctant. The chasm between them was growing.
She needed her mother, but he needed her too…..where were her brothers? Could not anyone else comfort her?
She looked so much like her mother, yet different. The raven black hair, the stronger build– attributes of her partly human heritage.
“I have work to do, Arwen.”
Hollow words with no meaning. Large grey eyes were directed at him with incredulity, pleading, begging…..
Yet he turned and hastened down the corridor. Away from more feelings, responsibility….
At last he stepped through the slightly ajar door to the healing wing and was instantly enveloped into the familiar and unique odor of healing herbs, the smell of blood and earth and freshly brewed tea…..
Instantly the flurry of activity stopped. Openly relieved gazes and some veiled suspicious looks were directed at him.
Here he felt safe, this was his playground, here he knew exactly what to do, how to react. His confidence was back.
What caused the Elf-Lord to stumble and sway, however was the woman on the high working table.
A slender body with long golden hair. One pale hand was hanging lifelessly over the edge of the table. Elrond´s breathing increased. His healer instincts screamed at him, yet his muscles felt as if they were frozen.
He could not take his eyes from the bruised and battered body. His trained eye clearly perceived the signs of broken bones and a mistreatment that made bile rise in his throat.
Tinár had narrowed his eyes at his entrance.
His helpers had already done a great job, yet their work did nothing to make the sight of this poor soul any more bearable.
“Celebrían...” he breathed.
His world begun to spin again around him. The sight before him narrowed to a slim tunnel. Der noises and voices faded away until all was a grey mass.
From one minute to the other all went black. The impact he did not feel anymore.
To be continued……………..
Tinár………….Chief healer of the Last Homely House
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