: JRR Tolkien owns the world and characters of the Silmarillion, the Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings. JK Rowling owns the world and characters of Harry Potter. No money is made from this work of fan fiction by its writer. My only intention is only to entertain other fans, not make a profit.(¯`•._.•[ PROLOGUE ]•._.•´¯)
The plains of Gorgoroth burned red as the sun hastened her fall in the western sky. The broken peaks of Ephel Dúath would soon block all but her dying light from view, casting a horrible shadow until night covered all Mordor in darkness. To the north the Ered Lithui slept, but as soon as the sun disappeared the orcs burrowed deep within the mountain chain would come. Grey Ered Lithui would awaken and glimmer with dark mail and helm as the foul creatures teemed along the mountainside, and the mountains themselves would become a serpent whose scales shone as it moved to strike. The desolation of Mordor was a disturbing dream that fell away into a lucid nightmare once the moon claimed the sky.
Severus Snape knew this better than most. Unlike most, he did not fear the change, but neither did he welcome it. Silently he sat upon the outcrop where Barad-dûr had stood. Around him was the fortress’ broken remnants. Already it might have resembled some ancient ruin long swept away but for the fact there was not a sprig of grass anywhere to be seen. Fair things did not grow in Mordor. They died here.
The pink and orange sky was slowly overcome by the cooler colors which heralded twilight, but the land itself did not cool. If anything it grew more stifling, perhaps anticipating the evil already stirring. The end of Sauron did not mean an end to the seeds he had nurtured. It was the worry that one such seed might be sprouting that had brought Severus back to this cursed place. With the end of Gandalf’s labors it was now his turn to guard the free peoples of Middle Earth, and though it was a mantel he took up grudgingly, Snape was not a man who easily tossed aside his responsibilities—wanted or not.
A brisk wind from better lands north swept over the Ash Mountains. With it came a tantalizing hint of rain from far off, mocking the parched land. Desiring a memory of better days, Severus turned his face into the breeze and inhaled deeply. Immediately his eyes watered as they were met with another scent caught in the wind’s path. Bodies foul and three months dead, buried beneath iron and stone, caused his eyes to water. The wizard sought refuge in a corner of his cloak and struggled with the urge to cough, to gag. How he hated every inch of this accursed place.
Before long the shadowed hands of Ephel Dúath stretched towards the east, and the shades of her many jagged summits searched the red-baked mud and dust like clawed fingers. Closer they came to the swollen foothill where Severus waited amid great fallen stones that had once made up the smooth walls of Sauron’s stronghold. Dark tombstones and burial mounds for the dead they seemed, and those claws meant to take hold of each and toss them wide. Already he saw the shining eyes of orcs, heard their guttural words and grunts that formed their language. The shadow was rife with them, but they did not move far beyond their caves. Ephel Dúath burned as a sliver of sun blazed forth, a final show of defiance. At last it was lost to the west.
Night did not tarry. Eagerly she rushed in to claim the sky. Normally the stars would shine down upon Middle Earth with favor, but they had not done so in Mordor for an age. The same poison saturating its land was thick in the sky, likely a lingering memory of Orodruin. Twelve weeks was not enough time to heal Mordor, if it could be healed at all. Perhaps one night stars would return, but not for an age more.
Ered Lithui stirred. Unlike the many stronger orcs who freely roamed the narrow gulfs that ran alongside Ephel Dúath, the first orcs to leave these mountain shelters were the sniffers. They had reason to be cautious and send for their scouts. They could feel Severus presence, probably from the moment he passed beyond the broken gates at Morannan, and orcs were nothing if not experts in survival. When the first goblin spied him with its slanted yellow eyes and flaring nostrils, a startled noise in its wretched throat gave it away.
Severus’ dark gaze slid towards the creature. From the manner in which its filthy shirt and breeches hung from a completely emanciated body, he supposed the loss of Sauron’s human slaves had hit the residents of the mountains quite hard. Frightened eyes met his. Severus smiled. Predictable as a First Year, the goblin shrieked, bolting for a jagged fissure in the mountainside not far from where Severus sat. Snorting, the wizard folded his hands and waited for the thick numbskull which constituted this band’s leader.
Within minutes the other sniffers were quickly summoned by a great bellow of a horn deep within the orcs’ lair. It was another hour before an emissary left the same cleft in which the goblin had fled into.
It seemed they had collected the largest orcs yet remaining, two dozen in all. Arms as thick as tree trunks, each holding an array of cudgels and curved blades, they marched menacingly towards the lone figure seated in the ruins. It took some time for them to navigate the wreckage. Sour grunts were common as they climbed sharp debris, some stones as big as Oliphaunts.
Finally they surrounded him, weapons aimed straight at his chest. Most leered hungrily as they took in Severus’ appearance and it did not take Legillamency to know what was on their minds. As he had no intentions of ending his days in an orc’s cooking pot, he smiled nastily in return before speaking loud enough to be heard over the various mutterings and grunts of the perpetually stupid. “Who is in charge here?”
A particularly large and brutish orc, with a neck the same breadth as Severus’ waist, stepped forward. Apart from the usual ugly markings of his kind, making him repulsive enough to be getting along with, there were several scalps hanging from his belt that made this orc especially revolting. “Gulbath leads,” he stated, showing off an impressively black array of pointed teeth.
Severus resisted the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose. Had he really been concerned a mere week before that creatures so unbelievably stupid could actually best him? A wonder they were able to remember how to breathe, really. “A pleasure, Gulbath,” he finally replied, sarcasm plentiful enough to fill the great river Anduin several times over. “I trust you know who you have the honor of speaking to?”
The ugly features of the orcs face twisted into something truly horrendous as he displayed his hatred. “Mor Dushatâr,” he said, just before spitting on the ground. Several others in the circle followed suit.
“Yes,” Severus replied evenly. “Not exactly the welcome I had envisioned, however,” he added with a seeming casualness, although the sudden hard glint in his eyes gave away his displeasure at the orc’s display.
“You fought alongside the enemy,” Gulbath growled with eyes challenging Severus to deny it.
Severus regarded the brute with the same insulting glare he had given exceptionally slow students, one that questioned not only their intelligence, but that of their ancestors. “Of course I did,” he said smoothly. “Ever heard of the phrase ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend?’” From the sudden press of brows, Severus supposed not. Wisely, he moved on to his well rehearsed speech. “Sauron was a fool. Pouring all his power into a silly trinket was likely the stupidest thing anyone on this wretched world has ever done. He did not deserve to rule in our Master’s place. His hatred for Men blinded him. Look where it ended.” Severus kicked a smaller rock beside his foot. “The splendor of Barad-dûr and Mount Doom destroyed! Isildur’s heir returned to Gondor’s throne, restoring the strongest bloodline in all the world of Men! His final shape destroyed forever… himself a shade unable to do more than give someone a mild case of the willies!”
The orcs grew angry at this proclamation, each muttering course words in their dark language, until Gulbath shouted over the rest. “He will return!”
A thin black brow arched scathingly. “No, Gulbath, he will not. All his power was in that Ring, and now that it is gone so is Sauron. Destroyed by a hobbit, no less. A hobbit! Is that the sort of leadership you desire? Is it the sort that you deserve?” he finished silkily.
He could sense their hesitation building. Closer now
, he thought. They’re nearly ripe for the picking
“And do you really believe that Sauron is the only power left on Arda?” he questioned, his voice still a carefully maintained purr of dark velvet. “Think carefully before you answer.”
They murmured. Slowly their eyes regarded Snape with a growing reverence. The Slytherin in him snickered… it was almost too easy.
Orcs were not intelligent creatures, as a rule. Surprising when one learned of their origins. Yet, not intelligent, but not completely stupid either. There was shrewdness to them, a drive that Severus understood. They were the epitome of the worst in his old house. Watching the group ponder his words as carefully as they were able, he found the momentary lift of hope in their squashed faces—ugliness at its most perverse—and knew they were his.
Severus the Black smirked.––––•(-• Awarth •-)•––––Seething darkness, thick and choking. Comforting. All is not well. All has not been well for hundreds of years. Sky and earth, sun and star are but a memory, bitter as January rain. Everything burns from the punishments engraved for sins unknown. Relief does not exist outside the darkness. Inside all is silent but for the companion of thought. It is preferred. It is torture.
He wants change; a twisting of body, mind, and soul. He cannot have that, but He continues to try. Once He might have been successful. Once. Mistakes must not be made twice. Father said that just before the strike. Father is another January memory, but is there any other kind?
Silver skin ebbs into valleys between long bones, blue veins run beneath like rivers. It glows like the killing curse, except it is not green. It may be moonlight, but the moon exists no longer. Another trick perhaps. Flexing fingers curl like talons. How strange never to have noticed before. Is He succeeding? Are these a monster’s fingers? No. Wizard’s hand. Wizard’s fingers. Wizard.
Eyes are burning now as well. Cannot turn away, this silver glow calls and compels. And sears. Muscles are reminded how to move, but they are rusty from disuse, stiff and slow. Stretch and pain, relax and ache. Feet slap against cold stone.
Pearl shimmers along a line. A corner is drawn. The crossing is slow, body leaning forward like a shaded weed aching for the sun. The light is blinding. Not a dark blindness, but a red dream. The flesh remembers feeling radiance not cast by fire, but it is a flimsy recollection of trapping moonbeams as a boy. There is no warmth in the light, but it brings awareness—and it heals. Eyes no longer afraid open. There is a door.Mor Dushatâr
The Slaying of Ungoliant
Above the vast lands of Valinor, in the perfect blue of Arda’s skies, a small speck of white slowly grew in size as it soared ever higher. It glided towards the star-like light in the distance, a light which drew all eyes towards its beauty. The light called to her, not for beauty, but for love. Like a bird she rose on the wind, her white gown flowing behind her with each beat of silver wings, her face turned toward the shimmering colors. Closer the light came, sailing through the sky on a great ship glowing from an unwavering flame. Hair dark as night streamed through the sky and grey eyes filled with age and wisdom eagerly sought the face of the one who guided the ship with a deft touch.
For many years Eärendil the Mariner had sailed beyond the Walls of the World, to the dark waters of the void, drawn by the unknown that lay beyond the magnificence of Arda. His beloved ship, the Vingilot, carried him to places where only the stars dwelt. Now he watched Elwing’s approach, his wife’s beautiful wings beating in time with his heart as she flew to greet him. While a part of him was forever drawn to the vast black waters beyond the world, he always longed to set his eyes on the face of his beloved Elwing. Her beauty was beyond compare to anything Varda, creator of stars, could fashion.
Gently did she alight onto the deck, and rushed to meet him after so many weeks apart as Eärendil removed the Silmaril from his brow. Fervently they embraced.
,” Elwing said softly into his ear, closing her eyes as his arm fell around her.
Eärendil's answering smile was hidden in her hair. “Aiya vendë vanya
The two stood together, simply enjoying the company of the other. When Elwing relaxed her hold, she tilted her face back to better meet Eärendil’s gentle gaze. “How fared the journey?”
“Well,” he answered readily. “Vingilot holds true,” he added while caressing the ship’s helm. He returned his sights to Elwing. “And what of you? Any news?”
“None on my behalf.” She too ran a hand over the grain of the helm before adding, “Though Nienna persists in her attempts to lure me from the tower.”
Eärendil laughed. “But that is nothing new. Come, stand beside me and speak of the latest from Valinor.” He took her hand and squeezed it lovingly before returning to the helm. As the ship began to sink into the clouds, Eärendil made a small correction.
“There is still ill word from Númenor,” Elwing dutifully reported. They shared a troubled look. The lineage of kings on the island of Númenor shared their blood, and the choice of their son to have a mortal life for the sake of the Númenóreans stayed with Eärendil and Elwing still. To hear ill tidings from the kingdom, how it continued to fall further from the grace of the Valar, weighed heavily on their hearts.
Eärendil held the Silmaril tightly, wishing upon the jewel that there might be wisdom born to the sons of his son yet. “Do not lose hope, Léof
Silence descended as the ship slipped below the clouds. In the distance lay Aman, the Undying Lands. The long mountain chain of Pelóri, the barrier between Aman and all dangers of Arda, surrounded the massive continent. In the upper Northeastern corner, built upon the enormous peak of Taniquetil, rested the Mansions of Manwë, greatest of all the Valar. To the southwest the vast plains of green and gold stretched to where the Trees of the Valar once stood, where the Ring of Doom now gathered to decide the fates of those meriting judgment of the Valar. Further south was the Pass of Light, leading to Tirion upon the hill of Túna, and fairest of all elven cities. Beyond to the east laid the Bay of Eldamar and the isle of Tol Eressëa, surrounded by water as blue as the clear sky.
A familiar sight for Elwing, she stepped from the bow of the ship with the intention of admiring the flame once more from Vingilot’s hollowed deck. Yet, as she stepped down the stairs, she caught sight of an oddly shaped bundle of grey. Venturing closer for a better look, Elwing could not contain the gasp which escaped her throat.
There, lain beside the precious flame gifted by the Valar, was the body of a Man wrapped in Eärendil’s cloak. Not only was he far too broad of shoulder to be of their kind, but a small round ear was visible amongst the strands of lanky black hair covering most of his face. Though he lay next to the unwavering flame that leant beauty to anything it shone upon, this man seemed swathed in deep shadows.
Taken aback by such an unlikely sight, Elwing pressed a hand above her heart. “You did not venture to Middle-Earth?” It was the only explanation she could think of for the presence of such a guest on her husband’s ship.
Eärendil looked over his shoulder, and seeing what had so startled Elwing, sighed. “Nay.” Eärendil’s lips turned into an unfamiliar frown. “I found him floating in the void, near to the Doors of Night. How he came to be in such a place, I would not dare to guess.” Eärendil’s frown became more pronounced. “Strange that he did not drown in the black waters. Illuvatar’s own hand must have kept his head above the waves.”
Unease grew in Elwing’s heart. “Or some other power.”
Smiling at her cautious words, Eärendil shook his head. “Morgoth could not possibly reach beyond the Doors.”
This did not comfort Elwing. Guarded, she bent nearer and pressed the back of her hand to the strange man’s forehead. The darkness seemed to emanate from him like an icy winter’s wind carried from the north, chilling Elwing. Withdrawing quickly, she shivered and gripped her forearm as if to keep the cold from seeping any further into her skin. “A great shadow lies over him, Eärendil.”
“I sensed it as well,” he confirmed quietly. His eyes remained on the distant shores, but Elwing could see unease in the way he held his shoulders. “I could not leave him.”
“Of course not,” she murmured. To do such a thing would be unimaginable. Yet, mortals were forbidden to enter Aman. “Do you mean to bring him to Valinor?”
There was a noticeable pause before Eärendil answered. “I do.” Keeping a hold of the helm, he locked eyes with Elwing as he explained, “The Valar will want to know how a man managed to escape beyond the Walls of the World. Say nothing of what he was doing so near to the Doors of Night.” He returned to his vigilant watch of the sky. “Assuming they do not know already.”
Elwing had nothing to say, returning instead to oversee the unconscious man’s health. As his chest steadily rose and fell, and there were no visible marks upon him, Elwing concluded he was merely asleep, possibly driven so from exhaustion. There was nothing to be done for him but give him a warm place to recover his strength, and peering overhead she saw they had already sailed far beneath the clouds. It would not be much longer before they reached the coast.
Elwing was correct. Vingilot drew near to the great sea churning with the cool wind born from the East, carrying its silent passengers towards the high tower that marked a solemn homecoming.Sunlight rained down as plentiful as the darkness that had enshrouded him for so long, and he was drawn to its warmth like a wilted plant left too long in shadows. For a moment he believed himself to be home, for there was the musical sound of leaves dancing in the wind, and the singing of birds greeting the sun as it rose above the horizon. He had spent many early hours in pursuit of ingredients along the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest, leaving his dungeons when it was still dark. Few hours later he would watch as the first rays of morning’s light break through the dark forest’s canopy, transforming it from a place of dread into one of enchantment. Even the foulest of trees would creak towards the grey light, branches shivering with pleasure as the sky’s colors turned lilac to blue, pink to yellow. Sometimes he would find Albus already strolling the well-trodden paths, his blue eyes sparkling even brighter with the coming of a new day, warmly greeting him with a smile and invitation to his office for a morning cup of tea.
As if to look for Albus’ coming, Severus opened his eyes with every expectation of seeing the castle’s forest surrounding him with its wealth of magical ingredients. Instead, he found a unfamiliar woodland, much brighter than the forbidden forest, but much plainer to his eyes. Here there was no quivering flutterby bushes, no great patches of mallowsweet or puffapod plants. Instead he found enormous trees so ancient they had twined together in great, intricate knots of grayed limbs as thick as his thighs. The leaves were so green they were blinding, and appeared as beautiful to behold as any emerald taken from the earth. In the center of it all was a path made by arching branches that seemed to form a curved ceiling overhead, and beyond the natural corridor was nothing but a blinding light. He had never seen the like.
Tentatively he followed the path towards the awaiting light. The closer he drew, the surer and swifter his steps became, until he was running with all his strength. He had no idea what lay beyond these woods, but instinctively knew it was inevitable that he should reach it. He could no more turn away from the light than he could stop breathing and yet live. So he ran on, faster and faster, until all the forest was a blur of passing colors, the white light slowly encompassing his view, becoming all that Severus could see until he ran freely into it…
…and skidded to a sliding halt as soft grass was replaced by hard, broken scree. The forest had disappeared, replaced by a dark landscape overwhelmed by a long chain of mountains. Lonely peaks rose from the earth like hundreds of broken teeth, and from Severus’ perspective he could see a great valley of blackness stretching between the two mountain chains. Uneasy, Severus backed away from the precipice that led to an abyss, only to turn around and discovered the forest he had left now lay miles beneath him, nothing more than a blanket of dark green at the foot of the mountain he stood upon.
As he searched for a path back down, the hairs on the back of his neck began to rise. Dread, undiluted and terrifying, flooded through him. He could hear a great
scrape-scritch-scrape, as if something was causing deep gashes into the face of the rock, the sometimes shudder and clatter of boulders dislodged and crashing thousands of feet into the abyss below. And it was climbing towards him.
Though his mind shouted at him, begging him not to look, Severus could not stop his body from slowly turning, as if he were no more than a puppet. As he turned, a black shape rose over the mountainside, gleaming from a shell-like covering. The first of the eyes appeared, each as large as Severus himself, hundreds of them—a glittering black far more malicious than his had ever managed to look. And it was hungry. The only thing reflecting back in each of them was the terrified, pale face of a lone wizard who was stunned where he stood. Motionless, until the first giant fang the size of a large elm tree, dripping with a viscous green venom that dissolved the rock beneath it, loomed over the lip of the mountain top.
Severus Snape, former Death Eater and a nightmare himself in the eyes to hundreds of wizarding children, screamed.
The figure in the middle of the great bed thrashed, tangling arms and legs in the blankets that had been carefully tucked around him, until he rolled too close to the edge of the mattress. With a terrible crash, the man fell to the floor. It was only a moment before he shot upright, eyes widened in terror as he sucked one great gulp of air in after another. His brow was slick and the soft white nightshirt clung to his back from a patch of sweat blooming between his shoulder blades, as if he had just run miles under a blazing sun. Shaking, a thin and pale hand grasped the edge of the mattress, and slowly he pulled himself up onto the bed. He flopped gracelessly onto his back, his chest still fluttering with quick, short breaths, as he tried to assure himself that he was, indeed, awake.
Severus Snape was no stranger to nightmares. They haunted him all his life, from some of his earliest memories of childhood. Despite this, he had never experienced on so vivid, featuring such a terrifying creature. The giant spider had made Aragog seem like a gnat in comparison, and even his recollections caused a shiver of dread. He half expected to open his eyes only to find it’s still fixed on him. Instead, he found only a canopy of silk above him. Feeling foolish, he grimaced before rolling onto his side, running a clammy palm down his face. If only bad dreams could be wiped away as easily.Wait
, he thought, eyes opening again. Sunlight
With an eerie sense of déjà vu, Severus leapt out of the bed and rushed to the small window set in stone. Impatiently he lifted the latch and pulled it open, leaning over the edge as he gaped at the view below. Waves of the clearest blue he’d ever seen crashed upon a white, sandy beach. Gulls soared from the cliffs down over the lapping waves, doubtlessly seeking a morning meal as they called to one another. The cool breeze carried fresh air and a hint of sea spray. Severus shut his eyes, simply living in the moment after the never-ending years spent in darkness.It’s another trick, it must be
. Wearily, Severus backed away, seeking the presence of the Other One. All he saw was well-lit room containing the bed he had awoken in, a small table, a large armchair, a large bureau, and two separate doors. Moving closer to the table, Severus could tell it was hand-crafted, and by expert hands, and an inspection of the bureau revealed similar care to the woodwork. Gently he traced the grain, reveling in the smoothness that was from something other than cold basalt rock. The Other One’s attempts to break his mind’s shields were never able to produce such crisp, intricate details. Wherever he was, it was well away from the Timeless Void.
Slipping a drawer open, Severus found several odd pieces of clothing. Holding the nearest one up, he found something that looked straight out of a medieval inking. Blue with silver trim in knot work the Celts might have envied, Severus wondered what in the world he was supposed to do with a tunic. Scowling, he tossed it aside and kept searching until he found a black tunic, made from some sort of crushed panne-like fabric, judging from how it felt and reflected the light. Pulling it free and unfurling it against his chest, he found it dropped well beyond his knees, which was nearly as good as a robe. Tossing it onto the bed, he continued rummaging—moving right past the leggings with a fierce scowl. Finally he located a pair of trousers, though they were hardly proper, but it was definitely better than wearing the nightshirt about—wherever the hell he was.
Of a mind to find out, Severus quickly changed and opened the first of two doors. It turned out to be a washroom of some sort, with a large bronze tub and a pitcher settled in the corner. Which raised another question in Severus’ mind. Where the hell is the privy
It certainly wasn’t behind the next door. A corridor waited beyond, one which appeared very inviting to Severus. Shutting the door behind him, Severus wandered quietly towards the nearest corner, keeping alert for any sense of movement. He had grown very good at quietly wandering through hallways, and could have navigated even these in pitch black. Instead he had the wide windows letting in more than enough light to see by as he explored these new settings. And they were very new. Tapestries of great battles and scenes of hundreds of shining silver ships crossing a wide expanse of blue decorated the walls. Vines and leaves carved from the trim seemed to intertwine everywhere around him. The cold stone was covered with long rugs of blue and silver, leading Severus towards a staircase.
As he started down to the next level, there was a sudden flash of gold, nearly blinding him. Quickly shutting his eyes, Severus backed up a few more steps he heard a soft, startled gasp. And it wasn’t just any gasp, but quite possibly the most musical gasp he had ever heard, if such a thing was possible. Confused, he squinted, struggling to see beyond the shining golden glow surrounding what he barely made out to be the shape of a woman. Blinking, Severus wondered if the Other One had succeeded after all, and he had finally cracked.
Slowly, the woman began to come into view as her…glow…softened to a point where it was no longer painful to gaze upon. What was left was nearly as blinding, but for an entirely different reason. Ordinarily, Severus Snape was not a man moved by beauty. In fact, he despised the beautiful people, who always seemed to lack any brains to compliment their looks. However, he had never in his life laid eyes on a woman so—perfect. She made Botticelli’s Venus look like a hag, and he was left staring rather rudely at the heart shaped face with wide grey eyes, and dark hair which flowing gracefully around a figure he was certain many a woman would kill for. Many a man as well, come to think of it.
Then, after a moment where the two simply stared, Severus became aware of an unusual feature that marred her otherwise flawless being. Her ears were… pointed. Gently so, more of a curve to it really, but pointed none-the-less. He blinked. Slowly his mind put all the pieces together, until he lifted his chin with narrowed eyes. “You’re not human,” he declared, glaring.
“I know not of this… human,” she replied in a tinkling voice that was more music that speech, “but if you mean that I am no man, then you would be correct. I am not of the race of men.”Obviously not
, was the first thought in Severus’ head. He could tell that at first glance. However, Severus rather doubted she meant gender. “I see,” he replied diplomatically. “And what would you be?”
She seemed surprised he was asking. “I am of the Elder race. An Elf.”
Now, Severus had seen elves before, and this one was as far from the pathetic, cringing little green creatures he had come to know. “Of course,” he stated wearily. Definitely cracked
When his hallucination reached out and placed a hand against his forehead, Severus jerked away so quickly he fell back onto the steps. Her hand was warm, and the first contact he had had with a creature other than a maniacal force of evil in centuries. How dare she take such liberties! His lips drew back into a fearsome snarl, prompting her to carefully back away.
“Your fever has passed,” she said eloquently, as if there were not a former Death Eater bearing his teeth as if he wished to bite her from the stone steps of her home. “Perhaps you are hungry?”
His eyes narrowed suspiciously. “I’ve no need to eat.”
A single dark brow rose incredulously. “No need? All creatures must eat.”
“I have not had a single bite of food for centuries. Perhaps longer,” Severus corrected, irritated. Who is she
? The elven version of Molly Weasley
? “As you can see, I’m still very much alive. Unfortunately.”
“You consider your life forfeit?”
Severus scowled, his irritation growing into anger at her questions. “As it has been? Most definitely.” He pushed himself to his feet, looking down upon the elf with contempt. “Where am I?”
She again stared at him, and her gaze seemed to have a millennia’s worth of weight behind it. Severus struggled to meet her considering stare with a dark one of his own, adding a sneer for good measure. Finally, she answered him. “You are in the home of Eärendil the Mariner. It is he who rescued you from the black waters of the Timeless Void.”
So fascinated by this tidbit, Severus forgot all about his staring contest. He recalled seeing the silver lining, stumbling out the doors, and then a great rush of power flooding through him, propelling him forth into the awaiting darkness. Beyond that there was no memory. Before
… he shivered. He remembered before the Great Doors all too well. Endless years, wishing only for a way to finally die and be free of the hell he had found himself in.
“Come, the morning meal has been prepared, and you may meet my husband.”
Severus again found himself glaring at the elf. “I told you,” he sniped, “I don’t eat.”
“Then share your company with us,” the elf serenely replied. Smoothly she turned and began a seeming glide back down the steps with every expectation of being followed.
Thoroughly annoyed, Severus kept his lips pinched in an angry line as he did as she so obviously wished. It wasn’t until they were on the ground floor’s corridor, where Severus was now able to detect the mouth-watering scent of fresh baked bread, that he realized he had yet to know who the elf was. “I must have missed your name.”
The elf once again suffocated him with her penetrating eyes. “I am Elwing, daughter of Dior and Nimloth. And you?”
Severus paused before manners demanded an answer of him. “Severus Snape.”
Elwing looked as if she were about to say more to him, but before she had the chance, Severus caught sight of something that stopped him cold in his tracks. The elf continued talking, but he did not hear a word she said. Instead, he moved closer to that which had arrested his eyes so. An aged tapestry, but no less dull in color for its years. There, standing beside two shining trees of gold and silver, were two figures very familiar to him. The first, a terrible power draped in the guise of a tall man covered in black armor. Severus shuddered and turned his eyes away, only to meet with the second great blight upon the painting.
It was a huge and dreadful creature, looming over the golden tree with hunger in its many dark eyes.
“What is this—this monster?”
Elwing now stood beside him. She did not shiver, but the look of fear was unmistakable upon her countenance. “It is Ungoliant, mother of all spiders, and ally of Morgoth, the Great Enemy.”
“It has a name,” Severus whispered.Ungoliant— the Gloomweaver
.TranslationsBlack SpeechMor Dushatâr
: Black WizardSindarinAiyata
: Welcome back.Aiya vendë vanya
: Hail beautiful maiden.Léof
: Beloved One.
I’m no linguist, so corrections are always welcomed.