Silmarillion Writers' Guild A New Perspective by Lady Roisin

“Five children?” Arwen asked with a raised brow.

“Yes, my lady, five children.” Daeron replied simply while carefully winding the peg that held a brand-new string upon his instrument. “We had three girls and two boys.”

Elrond’s daughter looked at Daeron wide-eyed with disbelief as she held out the tool Daeron pointed to. He chuckled softly at her dumbfounded look. Elrond had entrusted Daeron to give his daughter music lessons, even though the two of them had somewhat different musical tastes. However, Arwen’s questioned turned more to conversations about Daeron’s rather unconventional family.

“Isn’t it unusual to have such a large family?” Arwen asked carefully, her head tilting to the side slightly.

“Not entirely,” Daeron replied before plucking the new string and tuning it gently, listening for the flatness to drop away from the tone. “Alataya came from a large family. Her grandmother bore five children as well. There are those of Elvish blood who also had many children. We did not plan to have such a large family but I rather enjoy our house busting at the seams with laughter and songs.”

Arwen finally allowed herself to grin at that comment and Daeron returned her smile. “Someday you shall see when you have a family of your own.”

Elrond’s daughter wrinkled her nose and she shook her head, making Daeron laugh a bit more heartily this time. Arwen was at that awkward age between childhood and being an adult. There were very few girls Arwen’s age in Imladris, and she had been a terribly shy child, even though Daeron’s youngest daughters tried their best to bring Elrond’s youngest into their lively plots. Arwen’s clumsiness was only fueled by the fact she had yet to find her talent or an activity she truly held a passion for. She did decently at everything she tried. She was a good student at her studies, and she had a pleasant enough singing voice even though she had little skill with an instrument.

However, Arwen often carried a leather-bound sketchbook with her and was often seen drawing inside it. She had even brought it to her music lesson this day along with her lute that had the broken string. When Arwen’s hand knocked against it, it toppled to the floor with a dull thud after teetering near the edge of the table. A few loose pages scattered and Daeron immediately knelt to help his pupil gather up the fallen pages. He was about to hand one of them back to Arwen when the inked sketch upon it caught his eye. Arwen had rendered Daeron performing in the Hall of Fire along with his eldest child, Meriliel. The skill was apparent in the way Arwen had captured the movement of their hands upon their instruments, their clothing, and the expressions upon their faces as they played.

“I drew it last night,” Arwen murmured tentatively, almost as if she feared Daeron’s reaction. “I hope you don’t mind. But the two of you looked so noble and beautiful while you played, and I wanted to remember the lovely songs.”

“It’s beautiful,” Daeron breathed, awed by the talent displayed in the image. A wide smile upturned his lips when he placed the sheet between Arwen’s waiting fingers. “You have a gift, my lady. Of course I do not mind.” His hands reached for another fallen page. An image of Alataya holding his hand stared up at him, making Daeron hold it for a long moment. He remembered that day easily in the gardens of Imladris, the way Alataya’s snowy white hair reflected the sunlight, the soft wrinkles upon her tired face, and the frailness in her slender hands. Despite all the spells Daeron had woven with his music, she had at last grown old. By now she limited herself to their house and leaned upon an elegant wooden cane when the pains in her body became too much to bear. Daeron swallowed and willed back tears as he handed the drawing to Arwen.

“What is it like?” Arwen asked, tucking the page back into the safety between the soft leather book covers.

“What is what like?” Daeron asked before standing and reaching a hand out to help Arwen back onto her feet.

Arwen looked down at the floor and back up again. “What is it like to love a mortal?”

Daeron turned back towards the table, his hands reaching for Arwen’s lute. “I never loved another the way I loved Alataya, so I have nothing to compare it with. But I would say that it is a great many things all at once.”

“Do you ever regret your choice?” Arwen asked as she inched closer to the table. Daeron met her gray eyes and offered her a sad smile. In some ways she reminded him so much of his sister, Lúthien, especially in the way she asked such bold questions without fear.

“My lady, every choice comes with its merits and consequences, even when one chooses a mate.” Daeron reached out to place a hand upon Arwen’s shoulder. “My sister once told me that we must be willing to be brave for love if it demands it of us. Regardless of whether the one you love is of mortal or elvish descent, soul mates are hard enough to find in this world and it would be wise to not turn aside a gift when love gives it to you. My only regret is that it took me many years to understand that simple truth.”

Arwen nodded slowly before helping Daeron to finish repairing her lute. Once they finished Daeron instructed Arwen in a brief music lesson, although it was clear neither of them was really putting their entire focus upon it. Elrond’s daughter released a sigh of relief when Daeron finally dismissed her for the day. Before rushing out the door as she normally did Arwen reached into her sketchbook and removed a sheet and placed it onto the plain wooden music stand.

“Here,” She whispered shyly. “It belongs to you.” Arwen scurried off before Daeron had a chance to protest. Once she had left he slowly made his way to the music stand and lifted the drawing of him and Alataya. He traced the curve of his beloved’s rendered face with his finger, as if he were caressing her actual flesh. Daeron stood in place for a long time, allowing the memories to play out in their own course. When they finally cleared, Daeron brought the page to his lips and held it against his heart.

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