A Lay of Beleriand
|Pairing:||Maglor/Haleth, Elrond, Arwen|
|Disclaimer:||Thranduil is Tolkien's, the rest comes from my imagination. No money made.|
|Summary:||After rescuing the Haladin from an orc-raid, Maglor gets to know their new leader much better than he expected.|
|Author's notes:||Written for the 2006 LittleBalrog/Dream Elf Het Swap. The request was for Celegorm or Maglor/female character, excluding any other relative of FinwŽ; and preferrably angst or PWP . Writing this story was quite a challenge for me, not only since it is my first Silmarillion-based fic, but also because of the requester's rather wide interpretation of incest that ruled out all the female elves I could think of pairing a son of FŽanor with. So I ended up re-reading the book, looking for situations that could possibly lead to a meeting between Maglor and any eligible female. That is how I came to decide on Haleth.|
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Arwen walked slowly along the impressive bookcases of her father's vast library. She enjoyed reading, but lately she had taken more interest in the relatively small selection of books that she could not read, than the thousands of volumes available to her. Elrohir had teased her, saying that Elladan and he used to sneak books out of the 'mature readers only' section long before they were even her age, which made it seem the more unfair that she had still not touched one. With several years until she would reach adulthood, the wait appeared endless.
Listlessly she let a finger trail over some of the shelves she passed, now and then searching her fingertip for dust. There never was any. Erestor and his staff kept impeccable order, and that was probably why she immediately noticed the small volume sitting at the very edge of a shelf, as if someone had put it there only temporarily, meaning to return later to return it to its proper place. A quick glance up made her heart beat harder. There, up under the ceiling was the storage place for the books of her dreams. Another quick glance around her, and the small volume disappeared discreetly into one of her generous sleeves.
She left the library almost at a run. Luckily, none of the attendants seemed to notice her. That was almost strange, as the stolen volume was beginning to burn against her arm - although not in the literal sense - and she was sure that her discomfort showed. It wasn't technically stealing, was it? She would not actually remove the book from her father's collection, merely take it to her room for a short while. It would probably turn out to be something completely innocent, too.
Having closed the door behind her, she sat down on her bed and retrieved the book. 'Lays of Beleriand' said the modest cover, and for a moment she was sure that her earlier suspicions were true. The irony of it made her giggle. Here she had been skulking like a thief, only to end up with the long stanzas of lofty poetry she was familiar with from her history lessons. She was about to put the volume aside, but something stopped her. The format was unusual, so perhaps it was a rare edition, well worth a glance now that she had it in her lap.
When she opened it, she found something completely different from what she had expected. 'Tales of lust and passion' the brief foreword promised, and 'hidden pleasures', too. The page was adorned with small images of elves - couples holding hands, kissing, and doing other things she was still too inexperienced to name, even in her thoughts.
Blushing, she turned the page. Some of the list of contents was well-known: 'Of AulŽ and Yavanna', 'Of Thingol and Melian', 'Of Beren Erchamion and Luthien Tinķviel'; but there were also stories she had never heard of. 'Of FŽanor and AmariŽ', 'Of Luthien and... Daeron'? What was this?
Part of her knew since she had looked at those drawings that she ought to put the book away and return it to the library pretending she had not opened it, or at least put it where someone else - an adult - could find it. But it intrigued her and she found herself unable to stop; she had to read on. With her eyes closed, she put her index finger between the pages and opened the book there. 'Of Maglor and Haleth of the Haladin'.
It happened once when Maglor was visiting his brother Caranthir, that news came of a group of orcs plaguing the human settlers in southern Thargelion. Other Noldor had taken humans into their services, and although the tribe in the south kept more to themselves than the first group of elf-friends to cross the mountains, Caranthir recognized their valour and valued their watchfulness along his border. The two brothers rode to their rescue with a full army, standards flying and trumpets blowing. Soon, the enemy was slain, and the Haladin, who had suffered greatly in a siege, rescued.
Both their chieftain and his son had been killed trying to break the siege, and the people repeated, in their odd dialect, that they wished to have Haleth, the chieftain's daughter, as their new leader. The young woman was able with weapons, as was their custom, and she had caught Maglor's curiosity. On the evening before the elves would return north, he came to her hut, meaning to talk with her, but found her asleep.
The woman was resting on the fur of some wild animal - his brother Celegorm would immediately have recognized it as muskrat - that had been thrown over a crude wooden bed. She was lying on her side, fully clothed, but the cloak she had covered herself with had slipped to the side, revealing a tiny glimpse of naked skin where her tunic did not quite meet her skirt.
He should leave. The mortals lay like dead in their sleep, and she would not talk with him soon. Suddenly she stirred in her sleep, turning to her back and raising her arms above her head, which made her tunic ride up some more. The small mounds of her breasts prevented the fabric from moving further, and it now lay stretched in a manner that few males could resist looking twice at.
Maglor looked, and despite being the gentlest among the brothers, he was still a son of FŽanor. He desired her, hotly and with a sudden ferocity that surprised him. With a quick jerk, he pulled the cover from her. Her skirt clung to her thighs, outlining them, and the deep valley in between, clearly. He had not known a mortal woman in the manner he now planned to, but they certainly did not appear to differ from elves in any way that mattered.
He was just going to wake her up with a passionate kiss when she suddenly groaned in her sleep. Her thin face was contorted with pain and she opened and closed her right hand several times as if reaching for something that was no longer there.
As he regarded her, feeling her distress, his arousal left as fast as it had come, and his heart was filled with pity. He began to sing, walking silently around the room. The soft sorrowful tune was wordless at first, but then began to tell of peaceful times long lost, and also of hope. It soothed his heart, and judging from the woman's calmer breathing, it lessened her distress, too.
Finally, he sat down beside her and took her restless hand between his. Such a small hand, but battle-hardened almost like his own. He gently ran his fingers over hers and closed his eyes as he continued to sing, caressing her soul with his words. She was beginning to wake up now, but he remained where he was, still with his eyes closed. His lustful thoughts had indeed left, but he preferred not to challenge them.
"Is this a dream?" Haleth heard herself say aloud when she became aware of the singing. "It is," she continued, still talking to herself, "like the music my father said was played to our predecessors by a great king of the elves when first they crossed the mountains." She then opened her eyes and saw the man sitting beside her. She vaguely recognized him as one of the elf-lords that had come out of the north.
"No, do not tell me," she hurried to say when he stopped singing and turned his attention to her. "I wish it to be a dream, if only for a little while more." He smiled and continued to sing, less sorrowful now. She listened to his voice and clasped his hand, now and then gazing up into his face until the intensity of his keen, grey eyes forced her to look away. The light in them was so very bright, but it was friendly. Not since before the orcs came had she felt so calm, so safe, so... loved. Not since her father and brother... No! She would not let grim reality shatter this dream.
"Come to me," she whispered, pulling his hands to her heart. "Help me feel alive." A shadow seemed to pass over his face when she made his fingers brush against the tip of her breast before placing them on the neckline of her tunic. It was gone momentarily, his voice betraying nothing of his hesitation, if indeed there was one. His fingertips resting calmly on her naked skin confirmed her feeling of security. They also enticed her, strangely heightening her anticipation. She lifted his other hand to her mouth and looked into his eyes as she placed a feather light kiss on the palm, then traced the sensitive underside of his middle finger with the tip of her nose. He did not stop singing even when she pulled part of the finger into her mouth, but she smiled inwardly at his widened eyes before she had to look away again.
"Yes," she said to his wet finger. "I would like you to... touch me. Will you?"
Still singing, Maglor took her face in his hands and once more looked into the eyes of this remarkable woman. A measure of fear he had expected, mingled with her obvious lust, but there was none. Only pure desire, wanton need and longing. And... pride? Ah, that was a feeling he could oversee with.
When at last she averted her eyes, he gently let his hands glide down her throat and shoulders. He grazed the hollows above her collarbones with his lips - his voice now down to a low hum - and delighted in her shivers. The material of her tunic prevented him from going further. Apparently, she thought the same, as she grasped the hem to pull it off, or at least up. He took her hands and put them down by her sides.
"Patience," he sang, now in her language, "patience has its rewards." A frown wrinkled her nose and forehead, but her arms were still and she smiled when he put his hands on her exposed belly. Then he stopped singing and instead lowered his mouth to her left breast. The fabric was coarse to his tongue, as crude and unrefined as the dwelling they were in, but her scent from beneath it was intoxicating. And the way her nipple puckered and rose by the wetness of his mouth was quite exquisite. He took it further in, sucking, and at the same time rolled the other one under his palm. She began to writhe and, before long, they removed her tunic, together.
As soon as Haleth sank back onto the bed she felt the elf's mouth on her breasts again, kissing, nibbling, sucking. Refusing to remain passive, she clutched his head to her chest, burying her fingers in his dark mane. It was softer to her touch even than the fur beneath her and tickled excitingly against her belly when he moved. His breath was hot against her skin, except for when he made her gasp by blowing on her wet nipple. It was too good to end, and yet she wanted more. Perhaps elves had patience - she did not.
When the elf humoured her by moving the attentions of his mouth to her belly, he continued to caress her with his hands. It made it hard to concentrate, but she still managed to get hold of his tunic and pull. Chuckling, he lifted his head and the brightness of his gaze made her freeze in mid-motion. Then he pulled the garment over his head and threw it on the floor with a smooth gesture that made his hair fly and then land in a cascade over his shoulders.
"Come lie beside me," she said, patting the fur. He did, and now it was she who kissed and caressed, gently at first, but then with more fervour as his response became more evident, in his panting breath as well as his swelling breeches. The intense feeling as she straddled him made her stifle a moan.
For the time being, Maglor chose to ignore the new sensations in his groin stirred by the woman. He put his arms around her shoulders and pulled her down for a kiss. Her eagerness added to his lust even more, and he snaked his hands under her skirt, first gripping her rounded behind and then letting a finger trace her moist, oh so very moist, valley. He dipped his middle finger inside, holding his breath as her wetness engulfed him, and then moaned in chorus with her when he added the pressure of his thumb against her hidden nub. He felt her struggle to make him increase the pressure by pushing down against his fingers, but he forced her to remain as she was, and even removed the finger inside her for the short moment it took to lure an angry groan from her. Then he plunged in again, deeper, satisfied to hear her vocal approval.
While continuing to stimulate her, he used his other hand to rid himself of restraining clothing. He sighed loudly with satisfaction as his member sprang free, and then once again when she sank down upon him, using his moment of distraction to replace his digit with something that, evidently, pleasured her even more. Her deep, throaty moans drove him to the very brink of control. There, but not over it. Deliberately, he lifted the disowned finger to his face, making her watch as he stuck it into his mouth and then withdrew it, still glistening wet.
He began guiding her up and down his shaft, slower than what she seemed to wish, but at a steady pace that he knew would have excellent outcome. Within minutes she dug her nails into his chest, deep enough to have drawn blood if they had not been so short, bucked wildly against him and then became still. She hung her head, panting heavily and he paused with her. Then she looked at him, grinning.
"More?" she asked when she had caught her breath. "Is it true that the stamina of the Eldar..." She did not finish her statement, but instead wiggled her behind in a manner that made him grow even harder. It required substantial determination to lift her off of him and place her on the bed beside him. She began to pull him closer, but instead he sat up.
'I will show you the stamina of a son of FŽanor,' he thought with pride, but he made his voice soft when he asked her: "Will you kneel before me?" He could almost feel her mind spark as she took in his question.
"The Haladin kneel to no-one," she spat defiantly, but then laughed when she understood what he had meant. They removed the remaining clothing and soon she stood on her hands and knees, arching her back in anticipation. He knelt behind her, leaning forward so that their bodies touched, but only barely. Again he let her wait. Small kisses to her neck and shoulder, a finger tracing the outline of her spine, strands of hair tickling her body all over, making her shiver and burn.
And when she was ready, when he felt that any additional attention to other areas would have made her cry out in anger, he allowed himself to once more plunge inside her, harder, deeper, faster than before. And longer.
The stamina of the Eldar was well put to the test that day, for Haleth of the Haladin was strong of both body and mind and she had suffered much ill that could best be forgotten, if only for the moment, by experiencing utter pleasure and joy. Afterwards, when both had taken their fill, she rested in his arms and he sang for her, in his own language, until she fell asleep. Then he dressed and left, and when next they met it was in the cold and unmerciful light of the new day.
Perhaps it was the miserable sight of the surviving Haladin and their few belongings that made Maglor sound both prouder, and more filled with pity, than he intended when he extended his brother's generous offer to Haleth's people. And maybe it was the fine horses and clothes and manners of the Noldor that caused her to interpret his words like she did when they spoke by the ruins of the stockade the humans had built between the rivers for protection.
"My brother Caranthir," said Maglor, "on whose land you have been living, bids you to travel farther north into his domains, where you and your people will be closer to his protection." He gave her a quick smile and then added, "An arrangement like this would also bring you very close to my own land, which borders with Thargelion in the north. I visit him occasionally, and if you wish, it would be possible for you and me to meet."
Her gaze remained on his face for a long time as she pondered his words, but when teardrops began to burn in the corners of her eyes, she quickly lowered her head. Her voice was hard and defiant when she finally spoke.
"I am Haleth, daughter of Haldad, and now the leader of my people. No liege lord do we need, and we value freedom higher than protection. I will take up my father's sword, and my brother's bow, and I will lead my people to a safe haven."
"Proud daughter of Haldad," he replied, "there can be no such thing as a safe haven for as long as Morgoth walks the earth. The land is marred by his servants and their feet still soil it."
"Then we shall fight, searching our way into the west as far as we may. And I shall take no husband, no cares for a man shall weaken my heart."
"You are very young, Haleth, even for one of your kind. Do not needlessly forsake the comforts that are still to be had in life. I regret if my words have hurt you - I offer you friendship, not to be my kept woman." He caressed her cheek gently, and another woman might have faltered. Haleth became even more convinced that she needed to harden her heart.
"It is said that you Noldor have chosen your doom," she told him, "and I will choose mine. Go."
Maglor left without another word, and although his heart was heavy for a time, his thoughts soon returned to Morgoth's crown and the Silmarils that were still there, in this thief's possession. Many centuries would pass until he cared for the doings of the Second-born again.
And Haleth lead the diminishing remnants of the Haladin to Estolad, where other groups of men had travelled, and then further west to the forest of Brethil, where they found peace for a time, until they were again caught in the net of the Doom of the Noldor. Never again did she meet Maglor, her one-time lover, although it is said that memories of him were the cause of her stubborn refusal to take a husband. She died unwed and childless, but her people are ever counted among the elf-friends and remembered in song as the People of Haleth.
Loud sobbing reached Lord Elrond's ears as he approached his daughter's room. Arwen was of a sensitive age and he found himself lately missing his wife even more than earlier. A father's support was only worth so much, and he was glad that Galadriel had offered to let her only female grandchild live with her for a few years. But for now, Arwen was here, and she needed him. He knocked on her door and entered without waiting for her to answer. Her recent mood-swings made him more concerned than he wanted to admit.
"Why are you crying, my daughter?"
"It is so sad," she said, pointing at the book. "Haleth and Maglor, they had only just met, and..."
"The unions of elves and men are doomed to be short-lived and full of sorrow," he told her gently, relieved that there was nothing wrong with her. "It is the order of Ilķvatar," he added, "not the work of the enemy."
"Then I vow never to love a man!"
"Please, no oaths shall be sworn in Elrond's house. Now, return this book to the library - I trust you to go straight there without delay. If you ask Erestor, I am sure he will advise you of literature more suitable for a young lady of your age." Something happier, he thought to himself as he watched his daughter leave. You will learn of the pains of love in time.
Published: December 28, 2006
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"Long live Thranduil, great Elf-king of Greenwood!"