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Crossroads of Time

Chapter 19: Chapter 19

by ellie

Special thanks to my early beta Vicki and my later beta Michelle102.

Disclaimer: Most of this is Tolkien's and I'm only borrowing it for a while. I make no money from this.

Asterisks (**) denotes telepathic communication.


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Chapter 19

Something gently caressed her face, filling her with warmth. Ariella opened her eyes and looked directly into the bright gray gaze of Lhûnedhel.

What was he doing here?

Closing her eyes again, she placed one hand on her viciously throbbing head and the other on her aching abdomen. The pain receded immediately.

“Ariella. Ariella, open your eyes and look at me,” Lhûnedhel gently encouraged, patting her cheek.

She obeyed and saw his concerned countenance lighten with a relieved smile. His hand cupped her jaw, his thumb brushing her cheek.

“You frightened us, my lady. What happened?”

What had happened? She looked to one side, gradually realizing she was in the sitting room she used for healing. Then all of the horrible memories came rushing back.

“Maeglin!” she said in a panic as she bolted upright. Hands gripped her, restraining her, forcing her to lie back down. She struggled wildly, but they held her firm.

“Ariella! Lie still. It is all right. I am here. Maeglin has gone. You are all right.” To her relief, she realized it was Glorfindel speaking. She turned in the direction of his voice, realizing two of the hands holding her were his.

“Glorfindel?” Her voice cracked. “You came!” The other hands left her as Glorfindel leaned toward her. She threw her arms around him and he pulled her close. “You came,” she whispered desperately. “I was so scared. I kept calling you, hoping you would come in time. And you are here.” Burying her face in his shoulder, safe at last, her tears freely flowed.

“Yes, my love, I am here,” he soothed, pressing his cheek to her hair and rubbing her back comfortingly with one hand while his other arm held her tightly against him. “I am here.”

She felt Lhûnedhel’s hand rub her back, too, lending strength to her weary body as she wept in a turmoil of fear, sorrow, and relief.

When she finally calmed, she sighed, still clinging desperately to Glorfindel.

“My lady,” Lhûnedhel said softly, his hand continuing to gently massage her back. “I was meeting with Lord Glorfindel when you called. Maeglin told us you collapsed after healing him.”

She flinched involuntarily at the mention of Maeglin’s name. Lhûnedhel paused in his ministrations a moment then continued a little more tenderly than he had before. Glorfindel likewise stiffened a moment, then drew her closer still. She could feel Glorfindel’s anger and concern across their bond.

“He looked terrible,” Glorfindel continued, the contempt in his voice growing with each word he spoke. “As if he had been wallowing in his mines. But that would mean breaking the leaguer of the hills, which Turgon has expressly forbidden. And he seemed uncharacteristically nervous when I entered the room. He was bending closely over you, too close for my liking.”

“Why did he come to you for healing?” Lhûnedhel quietly asked.

According to every bit of history she knew, no one in Gondolin knew of Maeglin’s betrayal. Should she tell them the truth about what happened? It could change history, but who would believe them if they told anyone? Turgon would not believe anything negative said about his beloved nephew and it would sully Glorfindel’s name in court. Glorfindel could lose the favor of the king and possibly his lordship for speaking such slander – no matter that history would prove the veracity of it all. No. This was one time when she had best not reveal the whole truth.

Answering carefully, she replied, “He…he said that he injured himself in one of the mines. He came to me for healing because my methods of healing bring more immediate relief.”

“Ariella,” Lhûnedhel said worriedly, a touch of anger in his voice. “If his injuries received in the mines were such that he was still able to come to you for aid under his own power, why did you collapse after healing him? You are a most capable healer - the greatest I have ever known - and a very strong elleth. I have never known you to be so drained after a healing unless the injuries you healed were quite substantial. When I examined you, I found a cut on your neck and a small amount of blood on your dress below it. I also observed red marks on your face and neck and noted some abdominal tenderness. Was there a struggle or did you fall at some point before you lost consciousness?”

Curse Lhûnedhel and his perceptiveness! Why did he have to be so damn thorough? Her mind raced through the possible explanations she could give. Before she could think of a suitable response, Glorfindel spoke again, his statement quite matter-of-fact.

“You challenged Maeglin about his venture into the mines and he grew angry with you.”

Ariella stiffened, causing both of them to still their consoling hands on her back. She never felt Glorfindel brush her mind with his. How did he figure this out? Was it that obvious?

“How did you guess?” She asked mournfully hoping they would not guess the rest of the truth. Her face remained safely buried in his shoulder. She did not want to have to look her husband or her healer in the eyes right now.

Glorfindel sighed loudly. She could feel the anger, frustration, and regret coursing though him. “I should not speak ill of my king’s kin whom I am sworn to serve, but …” He hesitated a moment and she could tell he was considering whether he should say such things in front of Lhûnedhel. “Most of King Finwe’s line has a tendency toward being rather impetuous. Feanor and his sons were and are the absolute worst, but Fingolfin and his line, even though they are my kin, have been known to behave quite rashly at times as well. Fingolfin’s son Argon died in our first battle in Endor because of it and Fingolfin took on Morgoth himself in single combat after the Dagor Argaleb. So, I guess, I should not be at all surprised that Maeglin reacted violently toward you when you caught him in his transgression.”

Glorfindel kissed her head, nuzzling her protectively, then spoke into her hair with a shaking voice, his body tensing dramatically. “I am so sorry for what my kinsman did to you. I swear I will make him pay for …”

“My lord,” Lhûnedhel interrupted sternly. “If you are wise, you will do nothing about this. You have
no proof that would satisfy the king as to Maeglin’s guilt. Your cousin is blind in his love for Lady Aredhel’s son. It is as if Turgon feels that treating his nephew like the prince he does not deserve to be will somehow assuage the guilt he feels over his sister’s death.

“Turgon will not look favorably upon you if you or anyone else brings this matter to him. Your punishment for it would be harsh. You know the truth of this. Our people need you. Your family needs you now more than ever before. Glorfindel, I implore you, let this matter lie. Please, let it lie.” Lhûnedhel paused a moment, then continued, his voice strong and proud.

“My lord, I swear to you that I will do all I can to look after your wife and children whenever I am able and to the extent that I am able. I will encourage this in Istadan and in the others who regularly have close contact your family as well. I do not ask you to forget what Maeglin has done, nor to forgive it. I only ask that you not act upon it. Maeglin will know whenever he looks upon you that you know what he has done to your wife. I believe that he will avoid you for it.”

Ariella drew back in astonishment at Lhûnedhel’s words and looked into her husband’s face. Glorfindel closed his eyes and pressed his lips tightly together for a moment. Suddenly she felt something release inside of him as he nodded to Lhûnedhel. Opening his eyes and still holding her in one arm, Glorfindel reached out and grasped Lhûnedhel’s shoulder. Lhûnedhel grasped Glorfindel’s shoulder in kind.

Releasing a deep shuddering breath, Glorfindel said, “I accept your oath and your wise counsel, Lhûnedhel. Thank you very much.”

Lhûnedhel smiled grimly and nodded. The two ellyn released each other and returned their attention to Ariella who gaped at them. She could not believe what had just transpired between them, though she was very grateful for it.

The healer brushed his hand across her cheek again, saying, “My lord, you should take your wife to your rooms. I will prepare something for her that will induce a dreamless sleep. I believe it would be best if you stayed with her while she rests.”

Glorfindel nodded. “I will do that. Thank you Lhûnedhel – for everything.”

Lhûnedhel rose and inclined his head with a smile as Glorfindel lifted Ariella in his arms and stood up as well. “My pleasure, my lord, my lady. I will return presently with the draught.”

He walked into the corridor with them, then departed to gather the proper herbs while Glorfindel continued on to the stairs, holding her safe and secure in his loving arms.

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The next day, Ariella’s strength had returned sufficiently for her to seek out Idril. There was something that she desperately needed to discuss with the princess.

A servant led Ariella into the foyer and closed the door. Smiling warmly, Idril came up and embraced Ariella.

“What brings you to my house this morning?” Idril asked brightly.

Before Ariella could even respond, Idril’s cheerfulness instantly evaporated. “We’ll speak in my private chambers,” she said quietly.

Idril called for refreshments to be brought and for a servant to listen for Eärendil who was napping in his room.

Once they were settled behind closed doors, Ariella considered how to bring up such a sensitive subject. However, Idril immediately jumped into a conversation about a totally different subject as she often did when perceiving something interesting in the thoughts of her close friends. This habit still caught Ariella off guard sometimes and today was no exception.

“What did my cousin do to you yesterday?”

Ariella gaped at her for a moment. Regaining her composure after a few moments, she admitted, “He came to me for healing. I perceived some of his secrets through my healing touch – and through a good look into his heart. I confronted him with what I learned and he tried to kill me for it. Fortunately, Glorfindel and Lhûnedhel were close by and came at my mental call, so I was spared. Had they arrived a few moments later, I would have died.”

Idril shook her head in disappointment. “Ariella, you must not do this!” she admonished sternly. “Just because you know the future and who the significant movers will be in Gondolin’s future does not give you the right to confront them with your knowledge. Think of what your actions could and nearly did cost your husband and children if you do not care enough for yourself in this. Do not change your past in vain attempts at giving yourself more hope about your family’s future: a future that is tenuous and shrouded in mystery enough as it is.”

Ariella looked down at her hands folded in her lap. She already felt so foolish and stupid for what she had done yesterday. But she had not expected this reprimand from Idril. It surprised her just how much Idril’s disappointment hurt her.

Finally nodding in defeat or acquiescence, she wasn’t quite certain which, Ariella sheepishly met her powerful gaze and said, “You are right, Idril. I am sorry.” Taking a deep breath, she steeled herself to completely disregard what Idril had just said, confidently meeting her eye and continuing with her real reason for visiting this day. “However, I am not sorry for using my knowledge of the future to bring up what I am about to discuss with you now.

“Idril, have you talked Tuor into beginning work on the tunnel out of the city yet?”

It was Idril’s turn to gape. Eyes wide, Idril shook her head a few times obviously trying to recover from the shock of what Ariella had just said. Breathing hard, Idril stared for a few moments before managing a breathless, “Ariella … Ariella how did you know? I … I have only discussed this with Tuor and he only with those he discreetly contracted to do the work. I look into their hearts daily. And they have said nothing of this to anyone. How … How do you … It is in the history books?”

Ariella sighed in relief, thanking God that the work was already under way. She gave Idril a relieved smile. “Idril, you are building the way of escape that the survivors of Gondolin will use. It is because of you that your people will have a hope of escaping the fall of the city. For my own peace of mind after what I learned yesterday, I just needed to know that the work was under way. I will not question you about it further. That is all that I needed to know. Thank you.”

Softly Idril responded almost in disbelief. “My visions are real then. It is all really going to happen.” She looked around futily gesturing to the grand room about her. “All of this will be gone in a few short years.”

“Yes” Ariella quietly confirmed. “All of it.”

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Over the next few years, Ariella and Glorfindel avoided Maeglin whenever possible. In spite of Maeglin’s new bright cheerful demeanor, Ariella could sense his torment whenever she was around him. True to the history books, Maeglin did not venture forth from the city again and seemed quite content with the merrymaking he used to shun. Turgon was obviously pleased by this change in Maeglin, but Ariella and Glorfindel were not fooled at all.

Glorfindel continued to work with their children, preparing them for a time when they might need to protect their home. When their sons reached their late teens, he let them begin training with the warriors of their house and of other houses. When their eldest son, Glorfinion reached age 19 Glorfindel had him fitted with armor so he could begin more formal training.

Although Glorfinion was taller and broader across the shoulder than his father by age 18 and Glorion and Galanor were almost as tall as him by age 17, the boys were not gangly or awkward. Instead they were sleek, smooth, and graceful in their movements. Ariella’s father, a military commander himself, would have been extremely proud of the boys’ skill. They clearly had been blessed with the best of both worlds in their agility, speed, strength, and prowess with weapons.

The maturation of Ariella’s daughters kept pace with that of her sons. They too learned weapons at an early age, desiring to keep up with their brothers, but the girls also engaged in the more feminine pursuits of needlework and weaving in addition to their academics and healing. Their ability to focus on tasks for long periods of time enabled them to keep pace with other ellith twice as old as they. However, the part of the girls’ maturity which bothered Glorfindel the most was the fact that, by age 15, Arianna was as physically mature as an elven maid of 35. Considering it was somewhat common for elves to wed as early as age 50, Glorfindel did not look kindly upon the fact that his eldest daughter was already starting to attract the attention of the young ellin.

All of Ariella’s children were also gifted intellects who not only read and retained with surpassing speed, but also were highly skilled in mathematics and quite promising healers. Every one of them had shining golden hair and bright violet eyes of varying shades from amethyst like hers to pale violet-grey –marking them for life as Glorfindel’s offspring by her.

In spite of the fact that Ariella and Glorfindel knew that they should tell the children the truth about their mortal ancestry, there were always legitimate excuses and valid reasons to not tell the children just yet. It had become so easy to focus on the children’s strengths and the pride their accomplishments wrought in their parents, that there really was no immediate need to tell the children. In Ariella’s eyes, the children were everything her people were genetically engineered to be with elven grace to boot. So she was all the more surprised to learn that they hated what they were.

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One evening a few months after Glorfinion had turned 19, her older children made known to their mother exactly how displeased they truly were.

The family was half way through dinner. Four-year-old Glorindir attacked his second chicken leg. Eleven-year-old Arlianna ate in brooding silence beside her equally dispirited fifteen-year-old sister Arianna and thirteen-year-old Arienne. The three eldest boys were unusually quiet and unenthused as well. Considering meal times were normally lively and chatty, it was easy for Glorfindel and Ariella to discern that something was very wrong.

When Glorfindel finally asked them what was bothering them, the elder children exchanged wary glances before Glorfinion finally put down his eating utensils and responded angrily.

“Adar, we are tired of being different. We are bigger than everyone else. We are taller than everyone else. We look different from them. We can do things they cannot do.” He paused, taking a deep breath and gripping the edge of the table with his hands.

“When we work with the warriors of other houses, they wait for us to make mistakes so they can laugh at us and mock us. We are treated with contempt when you are not around. Some of the young warriors intentionally try to cause us to make mistakes when we practice together. They sabotage our arrows during archery. They play tricks on us. They try to injure us on purpose during hand-to-hand fighting. When we are injured and heal ourselves afterward, they taunt us and say we are abnormal and call us “peredhil” as if we were a contemptible lower form of life. If we answer them with silence then we are called “proud lordlings” or “arrogant little princelings”. If we respond in anger, then they mock us even more.

“The warriors of our house defend us when they witness what is going on. They remind them that we also have the blood of the House of Hador in our veins, so having our skills and abilities at our age is not something to be wondered at or to be treated with disdain. And, they remind everyone of the sacrifice of Huor and Hurin to save our people at the Nirnaeth. But we have also heard others say that we are abnormal even for Hador’s house. Still others say we are tainted by our Moriquendi blood and that it was foolish for you to ever bring Naneth here, let alone marry her. Why did we have to be different? Why are we different? We are tired of being “creatures,” Adar, we just want to be like everyone else.”

Glorfindel stared at his sons for several moments. In his mind he told Ariella. **I have known of this for some time now, but I was waiting for the children to bring it to me. I think we can no longer put off telling the children the truth. **

Ariella took a deep breath herself, then offered, “Perhaps they are just jealous of you because you can do at a young age what they cannot even though they are pure blooded Noldor for the most part - and Calaquendi.”

“Naneth, do you not understand?” Glorion asked in bitter exasperation. “It does not matter to us what THEY are, it matters what WE are!” He gestured across the table then pounded on it with his fist for emphasis.

Seemingly emboldened by his brothers, Galanor joined in the assault. “Even our sisters are tormented with these differences. They are teased by the other ellith because they are…” He turned red as he floundered for a moment, gesturing in the general direction of his sisters’ chests. “Shaped the way they are already. The Noldor and the Vanyar are not like us. The Sindar are not like us. We are different and strange and…and…and not normal. And we are tired of being this way. Why could you not have been different, Naneth? Why did you have to be so…so alien?”

“Galanor! How dare you say such things to your naneth!” Glorfindel reprimanded angrily.

Why indeed? It had never occurred to Ariella that being peredhel could be a bad thing. She looked at her elder children, staring defiantly back at her. It never occurred to her that all of the things she was so proud of in her children could ever be a cause for anything other than pride. And they were correct, so very correct, more so than even they in their questioning contempt of her could have guessed. She was an alien and so were they. There was nothing she could say to make this better. She was simply going to have to tell them the truth. But how? She needed some time to think. She really did not want to have to tell them, but she had no choice now.

**Glorfindel, ** she spoke telepathically, **I need to be alone for a time before I tell them. **

**Of course. I will come get you when they have settled. We can gather in our bedroom and you and I can tell them together. **

**Thank you, my love. **

**You are welcome. **

Ariella quietly pushed back from the table and rose from her seat. Taking her mostly full glass of wine in her hand, she looked at her angry older children who were glowering less defiantly now and looking much younger and less bold under the seething glare of their father.

Quite calmly and softly she addressed them, “You cannot change what you are any more than I can change what I am. I am sorry that I am not what you want me to be.”

With that, she turned and strode out of the room.

Ariella did not know where she was going at first, other than away from them. She grabbed her galadhric cloak from its peg near the main door, then headed down the hallway toward the back of the house. After a few turns, she found herself at the door to the gardens. She wandered outside and down the paths toward her favorite spot - which was so dark and far away from the house lights that the stars were at their brightest.

Carefully sitting down so as not to spill her drink, she made herself comfortable and looked for the constellation containing her star and her world. It winked at her as if in joyful acknowledgement of her presence. She was glad that someone was happy to see her, even if it was just a stupid star.

She gazed at her star asking why. Why her? Why did she choose this road in her life? Why did she have kids? Why was she chosen to fulfill this part of history – a history that had nothing to do with herself or her own race? Why had her parents helped these godforsaken people in the first place?

It was stupid to blame her parents for her problems. Wasn’t she just on the receiving end of that conversation from her own children? Did her parents even know where she was? Was…how appropriate. Yes she certainly was past tense to them right now and doomed to stay that way.

She took a drink of her wine. Her father really would have been proud of her children though. Not tonight of course, but any other time he would have been. They were so much like what he had wanted his own sons and daughters to be. She had not tried to make her children that way on purpose, that was just the way they turned out.

She reached out with her mind as far as she could psychically, extending herself to her very limits.

**Father, I miss you so much. I need you. I need you to tell me what to do. Ellatur: the star master the elves named you and your own grandchildren do not and will not ever know who you are. I wish I could go back to you again and be hugged just one more time and hear you tell me everything is going to be all right. But it’s not, is it? It will never be all right again. I have been so foolish in my life, and I never seem to learn, do I? You said before I left that you would be waiting to pick up the pieces. Now my life has been so fragmented by time and space and interaction with so many lives. I’m not so sure that the pieces are worth picking up. And now I am about to go fragment and destroy the lives of my children with the truth about what they are. I’m sorry, Father. I’m so sorry. And you will probably never even know what really happened to me. **

But she knew he could not hear her, would never hear her again. Ariella wiped her eyes with the hem of cloak, but could not stop the flow of her tears. There was a chill wind blowing through the garden, making her tears sting her cheeks. She pulled her knees up close to her chest for warmth and rested her head on them, the wine glass held by the rim and dangling from her fingers. She sat thus for a long while, feeling the cold wetness on her cheeks. Finally her thoughts drifted back to the task at hand.

What was she going to tell her children? How could she tell them that everything they previously believed about themselves was false? That everything they had believed about the universe was false? How could she tell them that they had been living a lie? They will never want to speak to her again once they learn the truth. They will hate her. Her beloved little ones will utterly despise her for everything she is and everything they are.

Why could this not have waited for two more years? Just a few months less than two more years? Then Gondolin would fall and her children would have died still loving her and not hating her for what she was and what they were.

Oh … dear … God. Gondolin will fall in less than two years! Had it been that long already? The years have flown by so fast. So very fast… It wasn’t fair. It just wasn’t fair…

The tears came harder and she sobbed aloud.

In less than two years, all that would remain of her family would be three girls. No adar or naneth or aunts or uncles or cousins to watch out for them. No warrior brothers to protect them. No baby brother to pester them.

But they are just babies themselves! They aren’t ready to be alone in the world! And she was not ready to let them or any of the others go.

No! She would not let them go. That was it. She would survive. She would defy history and she would survive. She would see her children safely to the settlement at Sirion.

But what of her husband? He had to fight the balrog. He had to die.

‘. . . Now the folk …pressed behind and hindered ahead were grown so close that well nigh all could see, yet it was over ere Glorfindel’s men could leap to his side . . ..’

No! She did not want to watch him die. She did not want to let him die! She pounded her fist on the ground. She loved him so much. So very much…

She drank some more wine and suddenly felt her youngest call to her telepathically to say “I love you” and “good night”. Ariella embraced him mentally and pushed her little boy’s thoughts into dreams.

Ariella had never managed that from as far away as the garden before. Her telepathic abilities had improved as she had grown older and her children were exceptional in that regard as well. It was just one more way in which they were alien. She finished her wine and set her empty glass on the grass beside her. As she huddled more closely in her cloak, the wind blew harder.

Something touched her, making her jump, effectively startling her out of her brooding. She looked up into Glorfindel’s concerned eyes which glowed like the stars themselves. She never heard him approach and sit down beside her.

“How did you find me?”

“I noticed that your grey cloak was gone, so I figured you did not want to be found. I also know that whenever you feel melancholy, you come out here to where the garden is darkest and take comfort from your beloved stars, my “noble maid of the stars”.”

He smiled encouragingly at her, but she did not smile back.

“Are you ready to share those stars with our children?” He asked, his voice soft with concern.

“No, I am not,” she quietly replied.

He put his arm around her. “The children meant no insult to you. They are…” He paused as if searching for the next words to say. “They are frustrated and uncertain of themselves. I believe they are afraid of what they are and what they can do. They have grown up so fast, so very fast...” His voice trailed off quietly. “Our sons looked for you after dinner. They wanted to apologize to you for what they said.”

“Why should they apologize?” Ariella demanded, feeling new hot angry tears in her eyes. “They were right. They are unnatural and it is my fault. They do not belong in this world, and neither do I!”

Glorfindel moved around in front of her, lifting her chin with his fingers. “You do not mean that, beloved. The Calaquendi were a part of this world at one time, but we left it, and despite our triumphant return, we do not belong here, either. So …” he paused for a moment, looking thoughtful. “I guess I have to agree with you on that point. However, according to the Great Music of the Ainur, are we not always where we are intended to be? Even when we rebelled and left Aman and came here, were we not in a sense fulfilling a part in the Music, a horrible part filled with bitter discord, but part of the Song none the less? I think that you being here is part of the Song as well – a natural part of the Song, for you and the song were both made by Ilúvatar. Therefore, our children are not unnatural.”

Her husband paused for a moment, looking down as if bringing himself to say something he did not want to. Taking a deep breath, he continued, head still bowed. “There is something I must do before I die and it will bring my death. If I do not do this thing, make this sacrifice, then many others including our children will die. I have dreamt of my death and what I must do many times now.” He looked up into her eyes again. “I would not be alive to do this thing if it had not been for you. In my dreams, I think of my love for you and the children to give me the extra strength I need to fight this …foe I must face, and I succeed in my task, though it brings my death.”

Ariella looked away, suddenly feeling very selfish and stupid for feeling so sorry for her self. She truly did not know what to say to him. What should she say to a hero who is admitting that the act of renown he will perform, making him the subject of song for ages to come, will be done with the love he bears her in his heart to aid him? It was most humbling.

“I am not worthy of you,” she responded shaking her head. “Not worthy of being your wife or the mother of your children. I deceived you for so long about what I really am to the extent that our cursed, half-alien children are confused and overwhelmed. I am a foolish, overly curious mortal from another world. I do not inspire legends in their hour of need. Why do you still love me?”

He lovingly caressed her cheek with his finger tips, letting his hand fall to rest on her shoulder. “First of all, the children are cursed because of me and my choices and actions, not because of anything you have done. Second of all, from your perspective, the children are half alien, from mine, they are peredhil. Third of all, you intrigue and captivate me as no one else ever has and I am not the only elf who saw you as a worthy bride and mother. I would not trade you or our children for anything. And if I had it to do over again, I would gladly make the same choices again in my life if it meant having you.” He paused and gently kissed her lips. “You complete me.” For the space of a few breaths, he gazed into her eyes, his fëa glowing brightly through and around him, around them.

“Fourth, I am not a legend and never will be,” he continued.

“Now, I do concede that you are foolish, and a very great fool at that because you married and bore children to me – knowing full well that I am a cursed elf, fated to die. I know that you know how I will die and when, and you have known this all along. And yet you chose to marry me and make the children who will die. It is my turn to ask why, for I do not see myself as worthy of your love or this sacrifice.”

“You, not worthy?” she asked incredulously. “But you are the great Glorfindel of Gondolin, the balrog slayer, the subject of many songs, one of the most beloved in all of Gondolin, a legend even in my time, and your actions at death will become a metaphor for great deeds done against terrible odds.”

He looked quite stunned, but she plowed on, looking into his eyes, willing him to see what she felt. “But the songs and stories fail to mention that your heart is as golden as your head. They do not do justice to how kind and gentle and giving and good you truly are. They do not mention what a wonderful father and incredible husband and lover you are. Yes, there have been many times in our relationship when I have questioned the wisdom of what I was doing loving you, marrying you, bearing you children. But I love you and for some strange reason you love me. Any child I could have borne to a mortal would have been fated to die and any mortal I could have married would have died eventually. So why should I have let those fears of loss keep me from marrying you and bearing your children? At least I got to know you and have you for my beloved husband and spend the last and best years of my life with you. And I know from the history books that some of my children – our children – will survive this, will survive us. But even if that were not so, it was enough to be your wife and bring you joy, for you have brought me such joy. If I had it all to do again, I would again make the choices that would bring you to me as my husband and the father of my children.” And she meant every word of it.

Glorfindel sat there, staring at her in wonder. She took his hand and brought it to her lips, kissing his fingers. After a few moments, he moved forward, pushing her back onto the grass. Positioning himself over her, he kissed her passionately and quite lovingly. She wrapped her arms around him, returning the kisses, her fingers entwined in his soft hair. After a very pleasant while, he rolled off of her. He propped his head on his hand as he lay stretched out beside her, his other hand tracing the design on the wedding necklace she always wore.

“There is still one thing I do not know,” he began quietly, looking into her eyes. “What do the history books say about how my wife and children died?”

She took a deep breath. “They say that your wife and children were lost when Gondolin fell. There are no details given other than that. I had asked, but no one knew. I have guessed that our elder sons died in battle for that would seem logical, but I do not know how Glorindir and I will die.”

He closed his eyes for a moment. “Did I not teach our sons well enough? Did I fail them?”

She cupped his cheek with her hand. “Our sons are too young to fight in a battle, Glorfindel. The foes will be many and very few warriors experienced or untried will survive when Gondolin falls. I have told you my guess, my speculation as to how they die. As I just said, I do not know for certain how they will die. No one in my time was able to tell me for they did not know. There were precious few survivors of Gondolin left in Endor in my time. Two more ages of Arda will pass away completely after this age before I will even be born. The lack of information on this detail is not to be wondered at.” He started to turn his head from her, but she held him fast. “Do not blame yourself for something that has not happened yet which may be completely out of your control anyway, Glorfindel. And do not blame yourself when you are sitting in Mandos’ halls afterward, either. You have not failed us. You have given us your life and love. Our sons seek nothing more than to hear you say how proud you are of them. If they die knowing you are proud of them and that you love them, then you will not have failed them.”

He looked at her for the span of a few breaths before nodding his assent. She let her hand drop.

“What of our daughters? You make no mention of them,” he asked solemnly.

“I know they will survive and make it to the settlement at Sirion where the survivors of Gondolin will be joined with ...” She paused.

Doriath hadn’t fallen yet. Should she be telling him this? Then again, did it really matter considering what they had discussed so far this evening?

“Joined with what?” Glorfindel pressed.

“The survivors of Doriath.”

“Doriath has not fallen.”

“It will in a little more than a year at the hands of the sons of Feanor.”

He abruptly sat up and gaped at her.

“What?!”

Maybe telling him this was not such a good idea.

Sitting up herself and speaking softly, she explained about the Silmaril in Doriath, currently in Dior’s possession.

“We must warn them! The eagles would do this for us.” He leapt to his feet.

She rose as well and grabbed his arm. “Glorfindel, we can do no such thing. We cannot change history!”

“A history that has not happened yet!” Glorfindel countered angrily.

She maintained her grip on his arm, desperately trying to make him see reason. “Glorfindel, it is a history that has already happened for me. If you change this, what would happen to me? To our children? If Doriath does not fall, would events still occur, leading up to my time such that I would come into the past and meet you? One of the stipulations on my being allowed to travel into the past was that I could do nothing that might change history as it had already happened for me.”

“But Ariella, we are talking about a kinslaying! Do you not understand?!”

“Yes, I understand. Better than you think.” She paused a moment, then tried a different tack. “The sons of Feanor always send messengers requesting the Silmaril be turned over to them before they attack. The possessor of the Silmaril always denies them and then they attack, slaughtering the elves keeping the Silmarils from them.”

“You speak as if the sons of Feanor have done this more than once.” Glorfindel’s face was white with shock.

“Yes, they will attack more than just Doriath in an attempt at regaining the Silmarils. And even if you did warn Dior, how would you explain your knowledge of this? You could not tell him about your time-traveling alien wife. And if you just sent him a warning with no source other than Gondolin, then he will think that Gondolin is allied with the sons of Feanor, which is not true. And the survivors of Doriath may well refuse to allow the survivors of Gondolin to take refuge with them at the mouths of Sirion in Arvernion after Gondolin falls. There are people who play important roles in the ages to come who would not be born if that happened.”

He stared at her in disbelief as she continued to hang on to his arm. Finally he relaxed, a look of abject defeat on his face. Slowly, he reached out and took her hand from his arm, pulling her closer and looking down into her eyes. “It must be horrible being you, knowing what you know and being unable to do anything about it. No wonder you wanted to leap from the wall that night so long ago.”

“Yes, it is difficult living with the knowledge I have and knowing there is nothing I can do about it,” she whispered. “It has been the most difficult knowing your fate and the fates of the children.”

He pressed her close, wrapping his arms protectively around her, stroking her hair. She nuzzled his neck. “I am so sorry,” he said softly. He rested his cheek on her head, sighing heavily. “So very sorry.”

They rested thus for a time when Glorfinion’s telepathic voice interrupted them.

**Adar, Naneth, we are in your room waiting for you. Do you still wish to speak with us this night? **

**Yes.** Glorfindel answered. **Your naneth and I will be there shortly. **

Glorfindel pushed back, looking into her eyes. “Come, my love. Let us go tell our children of their rather unique heritage.”

She nodded in resignation. “All right.”

They turned and walked hand in hand back into the house.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXx

After a quick detour to the library for the book containing the picture of Ea, they arrived all too soon at the door to their room. Glorfindel paused. Turning to face her, he took her hands in his. Looking down at their clasped hands for a moment, his thumb toyed with her wedding band. Ariella could sense across their bond that he was almost as nervous as she. Releasing her hands, he took her in his arms and kissed her tenderly.

Moving his hands to her arms, his forehead pressed to hers, he whispered encouragingly, “I love you no matter what may befall us in there. Do not forget it.”

She smiled meekly and nodded. “Thank you.”

Taking her hand once again, he turned and opened the door.

They entered to find some of the children gathered on the balcony and the rest sitting on the bed. The seated ones rose to their feet immediately while the rest hurried into the room. Ariella could not resist smiling at the ones who stood up in respect. They truly must be nervous after the conversation at dinner. Observing the uncertain, slightly scared looks on all of their faces, she wondered what Glorfindel must have said to them after she left the table.

Glorfinion, dressed in the green he favored and the twins in their matching garments of blue walked up to her, the twins flanking their brother as usual, all three with fidgeting hands and bowed heads. She looked up into their penitent faces, seeing in their features images of the adults they would soon become.

Her babies were growing up so fast! But would they still want her as their naneth after they heard the truth?

“Naneth,” Glorfinion began, sheepishly meeting her gaze. “We are very sorry for what we said to you at dinner tonight. It was wrong of us to blame you for our troubles. We…” he paused, his left hand dropping to the hem of his tunic where his thumb and first finger started rubbing the fabric while he gestured with his right. “Naneth, it is very difficult for us right now. We are the only peredhil beside Eärendil. No one knows what to expect from us and we do not know what to expect from ourselves. We … we are not Atani and we are not Eldar. We are both and we are neither and it is very hard.”

The twins nodded in agreement.

Ariella smiled weakly and nodded. “I understand and I too am sorry that you are experiencing this.” Reaching out and brushing her fingers lightly across each of her sons cheeks, she said, “I still love you and I am proud of you.”

They smiled at her in obvious relief, each one hugging her tightly. Glorfindel smiled too, patting Glorfinion on the shoulder and she sensed the telepathic words of approval and gratitude that passed between them.

Taking a deep breath, she said, “All of you come sit on the bed with your father and me and I will see if I can adequately explain to you why you are different.”

She was met with very surprised and curious looks on the children’s faces as they moved to claim territory on the bed. Kicking off her shoes, she climbed to the middle of the head of the bed, and leaned back against some pillows. Glorfindel joined her, handing her a glass of wine which she gratefully accepted.

She took a long pull on the wine while everyone got settled. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Glorfindel do the same. When she lowered her glass, she felt Glorfindel’s hand slip into hers and give a reassuring squeeze.

She looked upon the expectant faces, seeing the elven beauty mixed with alien features. What would they see in themselves the next time they looked in a mirror? Would they be horrified, ashamed, proud?

Taking a deep breath, she began.

“What I have to tell you tonight, I realize I should have told you long before now. It was grossly unfair to keep this information from you for so long. I apologize to you now for not having said anything to you before. In truth, I have been afraid of what you would say and what you would think when I did tell you.” She sighed, looking down unable to continue to meet their confused stares. Her hand holding the glass was shaking. Glorfindel squeezed her other hand again.

**I am here and I will not leave you, my love, ** he encouraged. She felt his fëa wrap itself around hers, giving her much needed strength.

“This evening, when you blamed me for your being so different from everyone else, you were correct. You inherited your differences from me. A few moments ago when Glorfinion said that you are not Atani and not Eldar, he was partly correct. You are definitely of the Eldar and are versed enough in the history of the Eldar to know this to be true. And your adar is clearly of the Calaquendi. However, those who have taunted you for being part Moriquendi and for being of the Atani are incorrect. You are neither of those.”

“But Naneth,” Arienne protested, voicing the obvious opinions of her suddenly squirming siblings. “You are part Sinda AND of the House of Hador. Therefore we are these, too.”

Ariella smiled sadly and shook her head. “When I came here, I truthfully told your father and others that I served Prince Celeborn of Doriath and Princess Artanis. I also told them that my father was mortal. Everyone assumed that mortal was synonymous with Atani and that my height and hair and eye color clearly spoke of Hador’s lineage. They also assumed that my mother had to be an elf. I encouraged those assumptions as a matter of self-preservation or King Turgon would have, without hesitation, cast me from the walls of the city like he did your cousin Maeglin’s father. Those assumptions about me were and are incorrect.”

The children gaped at her, stock still and deathly silent.

Arlianna, the youngest daughter surprisingly recovered first. Tilting her head to the side like she always did when puzzling over something, she stated, “But Nana, your ada has to be Atani if he is mortal. He certainly could not have been a dwarf! You are too tall and too beautiful for that. And though you are very beautiful, I do not think that your nana was a Maia. So what else could she have been if not an elf? You do not get sick. You do not age. You heal very quickly. Only elves are like that.”

Ariella felt Glorfindel release her hand. She turned and watched him look away, putting his hand to his mouth in an effort at stifling a laugh.

Ariella could not help smiling herself. “My sweet, my naneth was not a Maia and my adar was most definitely not a dwarf. However, my adar and my naneth were both mortal and of the same race and they definitely were not of the Atani. There are other mortal races in Ea besides Atani and dwarves.”

Galanor spoke up, his disbelief clearly evident. “Then why have we not learned of these other races in our studies? Istadan is very wise and a great lore master. Surely he would have told us about these other mortals if they truly existed.”

“Istadan never told you about them because he does not know about them. Other than myself and you children, I know of no others with the blood of my race in all of Arda.”

Glorion gazed at her levelly, his arms crossed in an exact imitation of his adar when faced with an obvious falsehood. “Naneth, that is impossible. You cannot be the only full-blooded one of your kind and you know too much to be a first one of a race. You had an adar and a naneth and first ones do not have either of those. The elves are the greatest of all races and even they took hundreds and thousands of years to amass the great wealth of knowledge that they possess. And you know things that we have learned to be true that our teachers never taught us and that are not recorded in any elven book and that are not readily known by elven lore masters or elven healers. Only elves have been awake long enough to gain that kind of knowledge. Besides, mortals age and get sick and heal slowly. I have seen this with Tuor. Therefore, you must have some elven blood.”

Ariella smiled feeling great pride in her son. Turning to her husband, she asked, “May I please have the book?”

Amusement coloring his face, Glorfindel handed her the book. She opened it, discovering he had already marked the page for her. She turned the book and held it up for the children to see the illustration.

“That is a picture of Ea,” Glorion remarked flatly.

“Yes, it is,” Ariella agreed. “However, it is grossly incomplete. In fact, there is not enough paper in all of Arda to accurately depict a true, complete representation of Ea.”

“How do you know?” Galanor asked defiantly.

“Because Ilúvatar reveals to each of His groups of children that which they are able to comprehend at the time and leaves it to them to use the gifts He has given them to discern more. And before one of you interrupts me again, let me also say that while He revealed this concept of Ea …” She pointed to the picture. “To the Eldar, his First Born children of Arda, He has revealed much else to his other children who were born at other times, in other places … on other worlds.” She paused to let the information sink in.

Six golden heads shook at her amidst expressions of wonder and half belief.

“Other worlds …” Glorfinion echoed incredulously. “Naneth, are suggesting that you are not from Arda?”

Ariella raised her eyebrows at him and nodded, stating matter-of-factly, “Yes, I am. And I am further suggesting that, although I am of the same kind as the Atani and mortal like they are, I am not one of them.”

Glorfindel slipped his hand back into hers and gave another reassuring squeeze.

Glorfinion slowly shook his. “Naneth, what you are saying is impossible.”

“Why is it impossible?” she countered. Gesturing toward Glorfindel she continued, “Is it impossible that unassailed, his body will endure as long as Arda does?” Turning to Glorfindel, she asked, “May I please borrow your knife?”

He eyed her oddly as the strange request, but rose to get it for her.

**Ariella, do you plan on threatening them into agreement with you? **

**No. I need to further illustrate something. **

**What would that be? **

**You will see. Now give me the knife. **

Handing her glass to her husband in exchange for the knife, she cut her palm then held her bleeding hand so the blood dripped into her other hand. She then proceeded to heal herself in front of them and pass her hand over the blood, absorbing it back into her body.

Gesturing with the knife, she asked, “Did I not just do the impossible?” The children all looked down at their hands and then back at her. “Before I arrived here, no one in Gondolin had ever even heard of anyone being able to do what I just showed you – and most of these people are Calaquendi who had dwelt among the Valar.” She handed the knife hilt first back to Glorfindel who set it on the bedside table.

“Do you not think it odd that the Valar specifically stated that Arda is the only habitable world in all of the picture of Ea that I showed you?”

The looks on the faces before her showed that they were all finally beginning to accept what she was saying.

“Naneth,” Arienne asked. “Is your world in the picture of Ea that we know?”

Ariella smiled. “No. Arda is the only habitable world in that picture, but there are many other habitable worlds outside of that picture of Ea. All of the stars you can see in the sky and millions and billions beyond that which you cannot see and the worlds orbiting around them are all a part of Ea as well.”

Arlianna piped up, “How come you have not aged? Why can you heal? Why do you not get sick?”

Ariella sighed wondering how to explain this. Glorfindel handed her back her glass of wine and she took a grateful drink trying to think of how to explain this to the children.

“Over time, my people learned how to change themselves in order to breed a stronger version of our race impervious to illness and much less prone to the wearing of age. We also bred into our race other abilities of the mind in the areas of academics and memory. Additionally we improved ourselves psychically. For example, with the exception of your father to whom I am bound, Idril and Princess Artanis are the only elves who can read my guarded mind. You already know that your range for speaking mind to mind far exceeds that of elves who are not bound to each other. And you are just children.”

“Why did your race change themselves?” Galanor asked.

“A great war took place between my people and those of another race for many years. The war spanned many stars and many worlds. The greatest weapon that the other race used against us was an illness that they created which was deadly to my race. By the time we were able to successfully breed the greater, stronger, healthier version of our race, only one twentieth of our population survived. We did finally win the war. Afterward, we continued to pursue enemy renegades who continued to cause trouble elsewhere.”

“Was Arda involved in this war?” Glorfinion asked.

“No. Arda is very far away from where this war will take place. Our enemy will come to Arda later and attempt to take over and enslave the peoples of this world, but my people will discover this and save Arda. My parents are the liaison between Arda and our people. My eldest brother and I, before I came here, were in training to eventually assume that responsibility from my parents. In preparation for this, we had to learn the languages, customs, and history of the Eldar and of all of Arda.”

“Naneth,” Arianna interrupted with an odd expression on her face. “You keep changing your verb tenses. You said the enemy will come to Arda yet your parents are guardians and you were going to be a guardian. Have you had too much wine this evening?”

Glorfindel laughed out loud shaking his head. “No, my child, your naneth has not had too much wine. If anything, I think she needs more.” He rose, taking both of their glasses and refilling them. “Ariella, you need to put the proper perspective on this tale. You are confusing the children, my love,” he gently chided.

Ariella smiled at him as he returned her glass and sat back down beside her.

She took a long drink, then sighing deeply, she looked over at Glorfindel. “I do not know how to say the next part.”

“My lady, you have already convinced them that you are of an alien race from another world. And you have changed their entire concept of Ea in the space of one conversation. The rest of what you have to say sounds quite … plausible beside that.”

Ariella gave him a dirty look in response and he raised his eyebrows at her.

Sighing again she said, “My confusion of verb tenses is quite understandable because the war my race must face has not happened yet. In fact, I will not be born for several thousand years yet.

“My eldest brother is a rather extraordinary man of science and in his spare time, he created a machine that could travel through Ea and through time. When I was 25 years old, I helped him test it one morning and came to Arda from our world AND traveled more than six thousands years into the past. I was only supposed to be here in the past for 4 hours, but something went wrong and I was stranded here. And here I have remained ever since.”

Glorfindel took her hand, adding, “And I for one am very glad that you are here or I would not have them.” He gestured toward the children with his wine glass. Kissing her hand, he said, “I am a most fortunate ellon indeed.”

She smiled warmly at him. **Thank you my love. **

Ariella looked back at the children who seemed quite shocked.

“You traveled through time?” Glorion asked dubiously.

“Yes.”

Voice filled with curiosity, Arianna asked, “What was it like?”

“It was dizzying and it made me feel quite nauseous.” Judging by the children’s expressions, this was not the answer they were expecting. “I am telling you the truth,” she added in exasperation. “There is nothing fun or glamorous about it.”

“Why did you do it?” Arianna asked.

“I am silly, adventurous, and idealistic. The elves in my age that had lived through the First Age used to claim that the stars in the First Age were brighter than they are in my age. I wanted to know if it was true. Having seen the stars of both ages now, I have to agree with them.”

Arienne asked, “Were you scared when you came here?”

“I was when I realized I was in Gondolin and that I would not be going home. In the history books, Turgon did not have a reputation for being nice to visitors to Gondolin. And I also missed my family very much. I still miss them.”

“We are your family now,” Galanor said. “Are you going to go back to your time and world one day?”

Ariella shook her head. “I love your adar and I love you. I do not want to go back even if I could.”

“But you are mortal,” Arienne said sadly. “You will leave us one day.”

“Yes,” Ariella quietly agreed. “I am mortal and one day I will die.”

“What will become of us?” Glorfinion asked. “Are we mortal or are we Eldarin? Will we die as you will or will we persist as Adar will?”

These were questions Ariella had not expected. Glorfindel looked at her expectantly as did the children.
“Most of the peredhil about whom I have read and whom I have known have been given a choice as to the kindred under which they will be judged. I learned lore from some who chose to be counted among the elves, but some of their kindred chose to be counted among mortals and eventually died.” She paused and looked down at her glass for a moment before meeting the curious gazes once again. “I believe that you will be given a similar choice, but I do not know when you will be asked to make that decision.”

“Nana,” Arlianna said, crawling over to her with tears in her eyes. “I do not want you to die. I still need you.”

Glorfindel took Ariella’s glass so she could embrace their youngest daughter. “I will not die tomorrow, Arlianna. We still have time together.” She rubbed her cheek on her daughter’s hair, holding her close.

“I know,” Arlianna sobbed back. “But when we lose you, we will have to go away from here. It will be a long, hard, lonely journey. I have had dreams about it so I know.”

Ariella exchanged startled looks with Glorfindel.

**Ariella, is foresight a gift of your race? It does not occur this early in the Eldar. **

Ariella shook her head no. **The children are precocious. Maybe this trait has shown itself earlier because of her mortal blood. **

**What do we dare tell them? **

Kissing her child’s head, Ariella said, “You need not worry about such things right now, my sweet. Our family is still together and we will take good care of each other.”

“I love you, Nana.” Arlianna said.

“I love you, too.” Ariella pressed her daughter closer.

“Naneth,” Arianna asked, “Who else knows the truth about us? Can we tell our friends? Can we speak to the servants of this or to our kin?”

“No!” Glorfindel firmly responded. “Absolutely not! The only ones who know besides you and us are Idril and Tuor. You would be shunned even more and your mother and I at the least would be dishonored - if not put to death for withholding such important information from the king. I honestly do not know what would become of you children in that situation. You can tell no one.”

“But Adar, what about when we wed? I mean, can we? I mean can we have children by one of the Eldar or are we too different? Some animals of different species can mate, but their offspring is infertile. Can …” she paused and blushed deeply from her shoulders to the tips of her ears. “Can we wed and bear children? And if we do wed, what do we tell our spouses? They will know that we are different. Did you know about Naneth before you married her?”

Ariella smiled gently and, she hoped, reassuringly at her daughter, but a glance at Glorfindel showed how upset he was that his little baby 15 year old daughter was even considering such things already. “Yes, you can wed with the Eldar and bear children.”

“How do you know?” Arianna asked.

“Because I know from the history books that you will wed one of them and bear him children.”

Arianna looked pleased, a dreamy smile joining the far away look in her eyes as she obviously considered the possibilities. The reaction Ariella felt in Glorfindel made her feel guilty for being a little bit glad for her daughter’s sake that Glorfindel would not be around to intimidate and pass judgment on whoever she would choose as her husband.

“You know our futures?” Arienne asked in wonder. “Will I wed, too? What about our brothers and Arlianna?”

Arlianna drew back, staring intently at her mother. Ariella sighed, glancing at Glorfindel.

**Go ahead and answer, but be vague, Ariella. ** Glorfindel told her.

“I only know a little about your futures as little was ever said. All three of you ellith will wed ellyn. As for the rest of you … I do not know your fates for certain.”

With a coy expression, Arianna persisted. “Adar, you did not answer as to when naneth told you the truth about her.”

Glorfindel reached for his glass and leisurely took a long pull of his wine. Ariella knew he was stalling. He set the glass back down quite deliberately, then bowed his head for a moment before looking up and answering slowly.

“Your naneth told me that she was mortal when she was pregnant with the twins. I came to understand her mortality when she nearly died in her fifth month of pregnancy and, in truth; I was terrified I would lose her. I could tell no one that she was mortal and that nearly cost me my wife and two of my beloved sons.

“She told me the rest a little more than a year before Glorindir was born. I admit I was angry that she had not told me before, but I know I would not have handled the knowledge well before that point.” He chuckled mirthlessly to himself. “In fact I did not handle it well when she did finally tell me. It was … difficult having my whole concept of Ea AND my beliefs about the nature of my dearest love and my children changed in a single night. It took me some time, but I did finally come to accept it, and I have learned to cope fairly well, I think. … Well, I cope as well as a cursed ellon can whose wife is a time traveling alien from another world and whose remarkable children are gifted in ways that he will never be.” Glorfindel put his arms around Ariella and pulled her close to him. She could feel his fëa pulsing with the power of his feelings. “I am proud of my wife and my family, and I love you all very much. That is all that matters to me now.”

Arianna seemed to be a bit embarrassed by the depth of emotion in her adar’s answer, for she blushed again and looked away. However, Glorfinion’s voice welled up in bitterness.

“Naneth, why do you tell us this now? Why did you think that this news would help us? If anything, it makes it harder for us. How are we to defend ourselves with words now when the taunting starts again tomorrow? At least we had pride in what we believed ourselves to be to shield us when our heritage through you was criticized. Now…” his voice cracked for a moment, his pain seeping out all around it. “Now, we have nothing. We are nothing. How can we believe in ourselves now? There is nothing to say in our own defense unless we continue the lies you have perpetuated.”

The shattered, defeated look on her son’s face broke Ariella’s heart. She sensed intense pain in Glorfindel across their bond and felt him protectively make a show of tightening his arms around her. He had told her they would face this together.

“Alien adaneth,” Glorfinion spat, rising to his feet and drawing himself up to his full, considerable height. “Why did you not think of this before you created your alien half-breed spawn? Our lives are nothing but lies!” He gestured angrily at his parents. “And you two are the greatest deceivers of all! Morgoth is in good company sharing Endor with you!” With that, he spun on his heel and ran out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

In the stunned silence that followed, no one moved nor spoke. For what was there to say?

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Notes:
The quote about Glorfindel’s death is from p.194 HoME book 21 The Book of Lost Tales Part II, The Fall of Gondolin.
Atar/ata-Quenya for father/daddy
Atani – humans of Arda
Adaneth – mortal woman

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