The Shape of Things To Come by Grundy

Summary:

Eärendil would not realize it until years later, but the whole of his future unfolded before him the day they finally reached the Havens of Sirion.


Categories: Characters: Elwing, Eärendil
Challenges: None
Genres: General
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: No Word count: 1479 Read: 68 Published: June 11, 2017 Updated: June 11, 2017

Story Notes:

This happened while I was stuck on my Matryoshka challenge effort...

1. Chapter 1 by Grundy

Eärendil would not realize it until years later, but the whole of his future unfolded before him the day they finally reached the Havens of Sirion.

The settlement itself wasn’t terribly impressive – indeed, several of the other children muttered that it was barely even a town, let alone a city – but that was not what drew his attention.

It was the water beyond it.

He’s seen lakes before, and they’ve been following the River Sirion for what feels like forever, but he’s never anything like this.

He felt his father’s hand on his shoulder.

“Welcome, my son,” Tuor said reverently, “to the Sea.”

He could not even find words, because it is so much larger and so much more than anything he’s ever known.

“I did not know it would be so big,” he finally managed.

His father laughed.

“This is only part of a very small bit of it, Eärendil,” he said. “The Bay of Balar. The big part does not even begin until you have sailed West for some days!”

And just like that, Eärendil knew with certainty that someday he’d sail further West than anyone in Beleriand had ever sailed before.

It will be a great adventure.

But not yet.

---

Later that afternoon, after his mother has had a formal audience with the Sindar in charge of Sirion, he was playing with some of his friends. Now that they were no longer travelling in the wild, aside from meal times and bedtime, the children were allowed to roam around and amuse themselves, for there were more than enough adult elves around to ensure their safety. (They have been told to obey any of the elves that were already here just as they would any of the adult Ondolindrim.) They have not known such freedom since the city was destroyed.

Most of the young Ondolindrim don’t have parents anymore, or even kin. Aerandir, who was three years older than Eärendil, was the envy of many, for he had discovered within an hour of arriving that his youngest maternal uncle was living there, having escaped Menegroth. He was the only one with such luck, and more than one of his comrades had nursed a heavy heart when it became clear that there would not be any further joyful meetings of that kind. Some of the youngest ones had cried.

Eärendil was desperate to be able to share the news that they would soon all have foster parents at least, but he had been warned sternly by his mother that he should not tell that just yet – for if the children found out before the adults had prepared matters properly, there might well be confusion and chaos.

He didn’t see how there would be confusion – if their reaction to the crying little ones was anything to go by, the adults in Sirion were eager to take in children, and the children of Ondolindë needed adults to look after them. But he supposed Ammë and Aunt Galadriel knew what they were about. He hoped he would get to meet Aunt Galadriel’s husband before too long. There weren’t many Noldorin boys who could say they had a Sindarin uncle, let alone such a famous one as Celeborn.

They were making up games on the beach, most of which involved getting delightfully wet and sandy, and trying to agree on the rules for their newest game, for the seaside gave them wonderful opportunities to expand and improve on some of their favorites from the fountains in Ondolindë.

That was when he when he saw the girl.

At first Eärendil almost mistook her for one of the Ondolindrim, but then he realized she couldn’t be. First, he would have recognized any child from his city, boy or girl, on sight by now. After nearly three years travelling the length of the river Sirion, they all knew each other fairly well, particularly the teenage to mid twenty-ish set he played with. (He was only ten, but he grew faster than usual because of his mannish father, so he played with slightly older children.) Second, between her clothes and her odd paleness, he was certain this girl had to be one of the Sindar.

“Hello,” he called out in Sindarin. “Did you want to join us? We didn’t know there was anyone our age here, or we’d have invited you to play too.”

The girl looked as if she weren’t sure she should speak with them, but then she decided it would be all right.

As she came closer, he caught sight of her eyes, and realized that while many Noldor had grey eyes, none had the same shade of grey as hers.

“I’m Eärendil,” he introduced himself, for once pleased that his mother had no doubt introduced him to the Sindarin court by his mother name. That meant he didn’t have to worry that this girl would start treating him like he was something odd because he was a prince, or because he had an atan father.

“What’s your name?” he continued.

The rest of the children were by now crowding round, as interested to meet the newcomer as he was. New playmates were quite welcome, all the more so since they’d been warned not to expect any their age.

The girl looked a bit surprised at being the center of so much curiosity, but she didn’t back down.

“I’m Elwing,” she replied at last. “I am pleased to meet you Eärendil.”

“Elwing?” one of the boys behind him whispered. “But isn’t she the queen?”

“Yes, I am,” Elwing replied nonchalantly, as if queens their age were quite ordinary.

There were some looks traded among the knot of youngsters. It was one thing to include Eärendil Itarillion in all their games, but who knew what the Sindar of Sirion would think of them persuading the queen to splash around in the surf?

“Does that make a difference?” Elwing asked.

“Course not,” Eärendil replied stoutly, having caught the wistful look on Elwing’s face as she watched them jumping about and laughing.

“Are you sure?” Nillien whispered urgently in their own language. Galdor’s daughter was one of the few who would contradict him on important issues.

“Why shouldn’t she play with us?” Eärendil demanded. “She’s our age.”

“Because she’s the queen, silly!” Nillien retorted. “It’s one thing for you, you may be a prince but you’re not in charge of everything. She is!”

Eärendil wasn’t sure whether to be insulted at the implication that he was somehow unimportant, aggravated that he was dangerously close to being outed as anything but a normal boy, or impressed that someone his own age was allowed to actually be in charge.

Elwing, he found, seemed to be taking a keen interest in the discussion, and more surprisingly, appeared to be following it with no problem despite them speaking the Noldorin tongue among themselves.

“The grownups won’t be best pleased to hear you using so much of the Kinslayer’s language,” she pointed out crisply. “You’d best keep that for indoors when none of my people are around.”

“Are you going to tell on us?” Eärendil asked warily.

“Why do I need to tell anyone?” Elwing sniffed scornfully. “Your friend is right, I’m the one in charge here. Celeborn and Oropher may be advising me, but I have the final say.”

She might be a little bossy, but she couldn’t be all bad, Eärendil decided. Besides, fancy being the one who had final say over the adults!

“How do you know our language if it’s the Kinslayer’s tongue to you?” he asked.

“Galadriel teaches me,” Elwing explained. “Just because my great-grandfather banned it doesn’t mean I can’t learn it. The Kinslayers could come again, you know, and if they do it might be to my advantage to understand what they say.”

Eärendil couldn’t see why the Fëanorions would bother with a ragtag settlement of refugees, for he couldn’t imagine a less likely hiding place for one of the famous jewels. Anyway, Galadriel had told Ammë it had been lost in the escape from Doriath.

“Anyway, how are you a prince?” Elwing asked. “I thought Idril’s son Ardhonmir was the only prince among you.”

Eärendil tried not to groan as several of the boys started up the ‘Mirë, mirë’ chant he disliked so.

“Yes, I am,” he sighed. “I mean, that’s me. I think Ardhonmir would be my mother name in Sindarin, that is. But I prefer my fathername. Especially here.”

He waved at the water, to indicate the appropriateness of a sea name for one living so close to it.

Elwing frowned at the chanting boys.

“It’s rude to make fun of people’s names,” she said decisively. “You should stop.”

Eärendil was careful not to smirk at the abrupt silence. Having a queen for a friend could be quite handy.

“Anyway, if nobody else objects, I’d like to play too. How does the game work?”

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