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7
Refuge (Elrond)

When home is destroyed, how will the youngest victims find refuge?


~~~

The brothers are parted from their mother by a wave of reddened swords. Too little to fight, they hide in a storeroom. Huddled in the dark, Elrond holds Elros close, a dagger in his other hand. Beyond the shut door, their last refuge, they hear angry roars and terrible shrieks.

The door opens and two great hands seize them, then hurl them roughly onto the floor. Elrondís dagger is knocked from his hand. He sees his tutor and a guard lying bloodied and unmoving on the sea-green carpet.

A tall stranger stands over Elrond and Elros. His hair is the color of flame; his face as fearsome as that of the Balrog in the tapestries, twisted and awful. Blood drips from the long sword that the warrior raises above them. Elrond tries to say something, anything, but cannot. His heart pounds. The world is broken. His mother must be dead too. Father went away a long time ago. Death has come and there is no one left to save him.

But another comes between them and the bloody sword, a dark-haired stranger with sad eyes. A calm voice speaks to the fire-haired warrior and the sword is slowly sheathed. This one bends down and touches Elrondís cheek with a careful hand. His face is so friendly, so kind, that Elrond finds he can suddenly breathe again without fear. The angry warrior backs out of the chamber, spitting out curses.

The dark-haired stranger gathers the children in his arms. No harm will come to them, he assures the brothers. Elrond finds himself unable to stop shaking. Elrosí sniffles turn into sobs; and the stranger makes shushing noises until the cries cease.

He gently lifts Elrond and Elros and carries them away. Elrond sees more of his folk fallen in the halls, and closes his eyes against the strangerís shoulder, too stricken to cry. Home stinks of blood and smoke and rising flames. Home is gone.

Many years later, when Elrond has grown into a powerful leader, he will build a hidden sanctuary to shelter the innocent and the weary. But this night, when the brothers lie far from their ruined home, they learn that their rescuerís name is Maglor. He promises to care for them, and sings until Elros falls asleep. For Elrond, Maglorís tent is a refuge in this broken world, and Maglorís encircling arms are the last safe place.

~~~

"For Maglor took pity upon Elros and Elrond, and he cherished them, and great love grew after between them, as little might be thought" - Of the Voyage of Earendil, The Silmarillion

originally posted 5/28/05 in HASA Birthday Cards Forum May Birthday Babies Take 4, for Starlight


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