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Anticipation
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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1
Anticipation

Many, many thanks to Julie for being my beta.

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or settings. They all belong to Tolkien.


~~~

The dreams come more frequently now.

Every night they stir my sleep. During the day they come as visions. Long have I wished, hoped, and prayed for that which is shortly to take place, that which I see unfolding in my mind’s eye night and day.

It will be soon, my wife tells me every evening at dinner. So very soon.

For thousands of years I have waited. But it will not be long now and my family will once again be as whole as it can be and still match what I have held in my heart all of this time.

The waiting has been difficult for me. Every tiny vendë I see nestled in her atar’s arms puts me in mind of my youngest when I held her close and she played with my braids or slept in my lap. Every flower garland adorning the hair of a young vendë reminds me of my child with her hair of shining gold and the fragrant flowers she favored. Every footrace where the vendë wins, every debate where a nér is bested by a nissë, brings memories of my ambitious, athletic, beautiful Artanis.

How my heart has ached for my little one who stole my heart the day she was placed her in my arms. I never agreed with my child’s reasons for leaving and deeply have I lamented her choice to stay away. Now she has gained all that she has desired and at last, she has realized that even more than power and glory and the queenship of a distant land, she needs her family and she needs to come home. How I have ached to hold my child once again. And now, at last, she is coming home to me.

This morning I awoke to find my wife watching me, her head propped on one hand, while her other hand rested on my chest as if holding me still. An amused smile played about her delicious lips.

“We will depart for Alqualondë after we break our fast,” she says by way of morning greeting.

I answer her by pushing her onto her back and filling her mouth with a deep, lingering kiss. Pulling back a little, I nuzzle her neck, inhaling the intoxicating scent of her exquisite silvery hair. She holds me close and we lie thus for a time, but my impatience soon gets the better of me. Before long, I am out of bed, dressed, and prepared for the journey. I discover to my irritation that she had completed her preparations last night. Why did she not tell me then?

Reading my thoughts, she replies, “Because I wanted to watch you pack. You are like a little child in all of your excitement.”

Indeed, I do feel young again, younger than I have felt since before the light of the Two Trees was lost to us. At last I am going to see my daughter again.

My sons and their families and my daughter’s daughter join us to break our fast before we depart. What a delight to have them all here with me. And the next time I take my morning meal in this house, it will be with my whole family gathered round me. I will look at their faces, seeing what has blessed my life and what I have nurtured and help to grow. What a joy it will be to have them all assembled together again; the most precious pieces of my life will be restored unto me and I will be complete once again.

All that will mar this reunion will be the absence of one of my sons. My beautiful Aikanaro, my “bright flame” with his stiff, wiry golden hair and his passions like fire will not return to me until the Second Music of the Ainur when elf and mortal shall be reunited. His love and loyalty to his people and his kin kept him from taking his beloved Andreth to wife in life. But this deep, unconsummated love for a mortal woman has sealed his fate and he has chosen not to be re-embodied without her. For his happiness and his love, he will wait. For my dear son, I will pray, and I will wait.

Trying to restrain myself and retain a few shreds of the dignity befitting the King of the Noldor, I ride at the back of the group on the road from Tirion to Alqualondë. But this day, I am not to be contained by decorum. Nudging my horse forward to the front of the group, I challenge my sons and grandsons as I pass with sidelong glances as we approach a two mile long straight stretch in the road. Visibility is good and no one approaches from the other direction. They smile, shaking their heads at me, but they kick their horses and accept the challenge. Soon, we are racing headlong, bent close to our horses’ necks, the wind streaming our cloaks and golden hair behind us.

Briefly, I am minded of my brothers. Nolofinwë may be the strongest and Fëanor was the most crafty of my father’s sons, but I am the best horseman and I never have let my brothers forget it.

Soon the race is run, and we slow our horses, laughing at ourselves and at me for I have won once again. My daughter’s race is run and I am ready to bear her home with all of the laurels befitting the winner of my heart.

We are more than half way to Alqualondë now. Even after three thousand years, it still feels strange to me to travel this circuitous route to the sea. The old road was so straight, following the most direct route possible between Tirion and Alqualondë. But, that road was destroyed by the upheaval when mountains of the Pelori fell upon the Numenoreans, burying those misguided invaders in the Caves of the Forgotten until Arda is remade. Normally, I enjoy the beauty of the new longer road with its exquisite curves and lovely vistas for it is far more beautiful than the old straight road through the Pass. But today, I wish for the much shorter old road.

At last, we arrive, leaving our horses in the royal stables at my father-in-law’s shimmering palace of pearl. He and his wife and sons will join us as we wait for the ship to arrive.

How strange it will be for my daughter to return to Alqualondë. When she departed, it was amidst the blood and chaos of the kinslaying where she witnessed her father’s people slaughter her mother’s. So much has changed since then. The sins of those transgressions have been forgiven, though not entirely forgotten by either side. The city has been rebuilt, with the aid of the Noldor, to a greater splendor than before.

According to reports, my dear daughter has also changed much over the millennia, molded and shaped by the experiences of her life. Galadriel she calls herself now, the name given to her by her silver-crowned husband Celeborn Galadhonion. Lusting for power, she departed Aman as an ambitious princess, married a Sindarin prince, and fled two homes as a refugee with little more than the clothes on her back. She bore a child and ruled a kingdom as its Lady. She wielded a ring of power for more than three thousand years and in the fullness of her wisdom, rejected ultimate power when it came within her grasp. Indeed, my little one has grown up, and I could not be more proud of her.

At last the white ship arrives, gliding almost soundlessly into the docks while I watch, breathless with anticipation. I hear the collective gasp as Galadriel - princess, granddaughter, sister, niece, mother, cousin, aunt, daughter - disembarks. A radiant vision in white, she approaches us gracefully, almost the equal of a Maia in the full flower of her beauty. But when my eyes meet hers, all I see is the smiling little girl who stole my heart so long ago. The moment she sets foot on the solid ground of Aman, she flies into my outstretched arms.

“Ata, I have missed you so,” she whispers in my ear amidst her tears.

I choke on my own tears and the emotions vying for control of me, but at last I find my voice and speak the words I have longed to say for so many thousands of years. Then I lift her and swing her around, my heart light with the joy of having my dreams and visions come true at last.

My baby girl has come home.

~~~

Notes:
atar/ata – (Quenya) Father/Dad (Daddy)
nér – (Quenya) adult male
nissë – (Quenya) adult female
vendë - maiden, girl


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