What Is, Was & Will Be by Tanis

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What Is, Was & Will Be

The quiet susurration of the waves below came clearly to her ears as she stood, hands folded demurely before her, near the stone railing.  Her gaze was set upon the silver path of the moon trailing across the water.  Some trick of wind or tide reminded her of Tirion upon Túna, as if the crushed diamonds of one of those broad avenues had been born by zephyr, ebb, and flow from Aman all the way to Vinyamar merely to mock her hard-won peace-of-mind. 

On a sigh, Galadriel turned from the view and forbade the thoughts of the Helcaraxë; being near water always resurrected them.  She could not remember, now, why she had agreed to come to this place of rock and stone where water and sky caressed as lovers and in between stood the stronghold of her cousin.

“Your sighs are as languorous as the sea tonight, sister.  You are wishing you had refused Turgon’s invitation to visit?”  Finrod held out a crystal glass of miruvóre.  Behind them, the palace spilled light and music out among the shadows of topiaries decorating the terraced balcony overlooking the Great Sea.  “Ah…” his eyes followed her line-of-sight as Galadriel took the glass somewhat abstractedly.  “You are thinking if we could only step off this balcony onto the sea, we might walk across it tonight and steal back into Valinor.”

Her head turned slowly, so slowly her brother echoed her sigh, even before her ice blue gaze feathered his face with a frosty glare. 

“I was thinking no such thing, as well you know.”

“ ‘Dri,” Finrod met her truculent gaze wearily, “it is far behind us.  You must accept the change, if not embrace it, and release the past.  Did not that journey set your feet on the path you now pursue?”  Finrod sipped the noxious brew with a scowl, it was far too sweet for his personal taste, yet it was served almost exclusively at such gatherings.  “Come, speak to me of what is on your heart.  There are none here who would betray us, nor heed our words as betrayers.  There was no moment for private converse ere Angrod spent his anger in the court of Elwë.  Have you been taxed for further particulars?”

“Nay.”  The golden head bent over the untouched glass cradled between the hands that drifted down again to her waist.  To most, the pose conveyed stillness and attention; to Finrod, it evinced his sister’s emotional turmoil.  She was only ever still when deeply distraught.

“Melian asked of me these things, and guessed from what little I conveyed, much of what I had not.  I do not believe she was surprised by Angrod’s tale.  Nay, it is not pressure from Doriath that claws at me.”  Galadriel drew in a deep breath and turned once more to the moonlit path upon the water.  “I cannot think here.  There is only memory.  The stone weighs upon my mind and I am reminded with every beat of my heart that the sea swells below my window.  I should not have come.  I am withering; parched for the sough of the wind in the treetops, the smell of rain on leaves, the green of growing things.”

Finrod knew better than to remark they stood amongst some of the most beautifully barbered foliage in all of Arda.  The gardens of Vinyamar were legendary, commissioned in memory of Turgon’s wife, Elenwë, who had been lost in the crossing of the Helcaraxë. 

“I suppose this means you will not come back with me to Nargothrond,” he ventured solemnly.  “Since I, too, live within halls of stone.”

Carefully, Galadriel set the goblet down on a nearby marble bench and turning, held out her hands to her brother.  He set his glass aside as well, and taking the cold fingers, chafed them between his own.  “It is a warm night,” he observed.

“It is,” his warrior sister agreed, “but I am weary, Fin, and anxious, such as I have not been for centuries.  I had hoped to go on to Nargothrond with you.  I desire, above all, to see you find a new love here in this land.  Does Amarië yet hold your heart?”

The fingers about her own squeezed briefly, as if in agony.  “It matters not, for she will have been united to another by now.  Nay, sister, I will not wed, for a different path has been laid before me and I must follow where it leads.”

Galadriel searched the composed face before her.  “But…”

He raised their joined hands, stretching a finger to still the words trembling on her lips and shook his head.  “Change is upon us once more, dear one, we cannot deny it is coming.  I know this as I know our history.  Go back to your woods and your betrothed and live as merrily as you will, for the time is coming when all this as we know it will be changed beyond comprehension.  It is not given to us to change our fate, ‘Dri, we must live the Song as it is written for us, to the best of our ability.”

“No!” Galadriel denied vehemently.  “I do not believe what is, was, and will be has been ordained by Ilúvatar to be fixed and unchanging.  I will not believe we are marionettes only, our fate sealed at birth. We are creatures of free will!  Else how many of us would have abandoned Aman to trek halfway across Arda?  No, I will not accept fate as a response to change.  I will fight it with all my strength. I will hold to the path I choose and accept no other will imposed upon mine.”

Finrod said nothing, merely squeezed his sister’s hands again before releasing them.

“Fly then, little bird, fly quickly back to your nest, and feather it well.  I would like to meet my nieces and nephews ere I depart these shores.”

Galadriel sighed again and stepped forward.  “How quickly our words become blows upon the doors of our hearts.”  She wound her arms around the lean waist and laid her head on his shoulder, for they were nearly the same height.  “Let us not fight, Fin.  I will cease my haranguing if you will call a truce with fate for this night at least.”

“Aye, sister, for your sake then, tonight I will hold my tongue and speak not of the future, nor what it holds.”  He tilted his cheek against her bright head and wrapped her warmly in his embrace. 

Change would come without or without compliance.  Thankfully it was not his fate to compel his sister to bend before it. 









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