Transmitting Chapter Ten. Why Would You Want To Know That?

Jul 19, 2021 20:46

And so, finally, I have got this chapter to work - and the next one is already about 400 words long; getting this one to work was the hardest bit of the whole thing, I think. (Well so far, anyway!)

It is posted at Twisting the Hellmouth, but is also here -

Chapter Ten - Why Would You Want To Know That?
2460 words.

Ithilienne was in a quandary. She had really enjoyed the night with Eleniel and her friends. But she was fairly sure she had drunk too much wine and quite possible, well almost certainly, said more to Eleniel than she might have done whilst totally sober.

The problem was that, although an adult, she was still a fairly young adult compared with Eleniel and almost all the others involved, with far fewer years of practice in knowing just how strong any given wine was and, exactly, how much she could drink before doing or saying things she might regret later. And she was sure that, whilst she was only almost sure she had said too much about her plans to Eleniel, Eleniel would remember every word perfectly.

It did not take long to discover that she was right.

She was on her way down the path that led to the Hobbit Hole, having promised both Gimli and Tharhîwon that she would spend time there so that it ‘would not feel lonely’ (Tharhîwon), or ‘would feel lived in’ (Gimli), when Eleniel joined her.

“So,” the other elleth began, “explain to me more clearly why you wanted to know how well I knew the private wing of the current Lords of Imladris…”


Ithilienne got no further before Eleniel continued, “Something about trying to visualise them in their usual surroundings?”

“Um - you know, fantasy, imagination… em… change from Legolas?”

Eleniel’s look said it all. And the all it said was something like ‘if you think I’m going to believe that you are sadly deluded…’

“Ithilienne. If you wanted to imagine sharing pleasure with Elladan and Elrohir you would imagine going starlight bathing with them in Eryn Ithil, or being with them in the rooms made ready for them here. After all, you’ve seen those already, as Legolas is living in them…”

‘Oh huitho!’ thought Ithilienne, ‘I had never thought of how like those rooms might be to their old ones! Why did I not think of that?’

Out loud she said, “Well, um, I just wondered if their suite here was like their suite in Imladris, because I was only young last time Naneth and Adar took me to visit them there and I never went into their rooms. And, if you’ve been in both places you would know.”

She was quite pleased with that explanation. She was fairly sure Eleniel wasn’t.

“And I had drunk too much wine. It seemed like a reasonable thought last night but, now, I do not really know why I asked at all.” Well, that was true.

“You were asking the wrong person, anyway,” Eleniel said with a shrug. “I was not familiar with the bedrooms of Elladan or Elrohir. And I have not visited Legolas in the one he sleeps in here, either…”

She looked sad for a moment. “Although their rooms were probably beautiful. The library was, and so peaceful. The one here is beautiful, too, but not the same. There you could feel the yeni of care, of the thoughts and conversations, and the love for the scrolls and books. They had seeped into the very fabric of the place and, whenever I entered, it felt as if it was an old friend greeting me with an embrace.”

Ithilienne felt quite guilty, now, for upsetting her friend. But her apology was met with a wry smile. “What is, is. And the library here is like a seedling; we love it and tend it well, and it will become a graceful, much-loved tree, to think like you Wood Elves, in the fullness of time!”

At least, thought Ithilienne, she seemed to have distracted Eleniel from why she wanted to know about the Els’ bedrooms.


It was glorious. The snow-capped mountains behind them, the streams they had crossed, the stands of tall trees with natural clearings from flower-filled dells to larger open meadows. So much to explore, almost too much to take in, and they had seen such a tiny portion of what Tindómë was sure was there.

Haldir thought they might be a little further north than they had been on their search for Mandos’ Halls whilst, definitely, south of the route they had travelled on their return.

The stream where they were currently camped had proved abundantly stocked with trout, which was cooking now with freshly picked parsley and sage, and it had taken little effort to find small potatoes, and sweet new peas on a vine twining itself between bushes where there were ripe blackcurrants. When they had passed, about two weeks before, through the foothills where goats roamed freely, one of the ellyth had persuaded two of the females with kids at heel to let her milk them and tonight there would also be a soft goat cheese.

It was almost midsummer now and they had eaten, and were sitting talking in various groups, by the time the light turned from deep pinks to the velvety blue that lingers only a short time before true darkness and moonrise; above them on almost silent wings bats began to sweep across the sky.

Gimli watched them with a smile, and an easy conversation began considering whether they signified caves nearby, or whether they had roosted in trees. Time enough to find out over the next few nights. And, also, to decide whether it was worth cutting leaves from the wild tobacco plants he had noticed earlier to attempt to dry for smoking - or, in Tindómë’s case (and she was sure also that of the majority of the party) to persuade him that it was not likely to succeed.

But there was also a sense of tension within the group. Not as if there were factions wanting to do different things or go in different directions, but a tension within each elf. It was as if the trees, the plants, the very land itself, tried to beguile them to go no further, to stay just here and make this particular area their new home. But the lands ahead in all directions each seemed to beckon them to come and see, to find out what it had to offer, and realise why it should be their new home.

Logic might suggest that they could split up; Haldir could lead a group towards where he thought there were mellyrn, Legolas could continue in their current, more or less westerly, direction and perhaps Tangannel could lead a group of those who would help establish a new home for King Thranduil’s people. But, when this was mentioned in passing one evening, everyone thought it was better to stay together.

Tindómë did wonder, privately, whether it was because they enjoyed each other’s company or because no-one wanted to risk missing something good that another group then claimed. She tried not to speculate…

But the tension created by everything around them trying to attract their attention did mean many of the Elves sometimes seemed to be in a daze. It was probably as well that there were no yrch or giant spiders here, as she sometimes thought those on watch might well be less alert than they would have been at home… no, not at home. This was home now. Less alert than they would have been on the fences back in Middle Earth.

Thinking of those on watch reminded her that, looking at how high in the sky Ithil now sat, she should think of going to sleep as Ithilienne might want to ‘talk’ to her. As she undressed, and settled into her bed roll, she could hear Legolas explaining to a large oak, in a quiet but serious voice, that there would be Elves here more often as time went on, and that he, personally, would rest in its branches tonight; but could it ask the other trees to be patient and stop shouting?

‘And this isn’t weird at all…’ she thought with a smile as she let herself drift to sleep.

“Naneth…” Ithilienne’s voice called her and, for a moment or two, the dream path she had been walking disappeared but there was nothing to replace it - she was in warm darkness. Once she answered the darkness took shape and she was in a room with large glazed windows that looked out over trees, towards the sea.

Ah - Legolas’ room in Celebrían’s house. Fleetingly she smiled; most people might think of it as Master Elrond’s house, but she had a feeling that Ithilienne and Lady Ferveren also thought of it in terms of its mistress as well.

“Naneth - before you show me where you are, I want to ask you about where I am. I know you know what the Elrondionath’s rooms in Imladris are like - is this really almost exactly the same?”

Tindómë considered the question. Ithi was an Elf, she would doubtless explain why she wanted to know in the fulness of time.

“It is very like Elrohir’s room. Elladan’s is the other side of the wing and a mirror image. I think their naneth tried very hard to replicate the rooms; the beautiful wrought metal bed is very similar. It must feel odd to Legolas, now I think about it, to sleep surrounded by metal….”

“We do make use of the bed, but he does not often sleep in it.”

Tindómë smiled. “The colours of the walls are similar, but Elrohir has blue drapes and rugs. I guess Celebrían has changed them for greens whilst Legolas uses it. And the view is equally beautiful, but different.”

“Naneth… could you show me?”

Tindómë thought of Elrohir’s bed chamber. She had been in it a number of times over the years, although not to share his bed after that first visit. She realised that, slowly, the room in which she was talking to dream Ithilienne was becoming an almost perfect match for the original. She was also beginning to get an inkling of why the décor of Elrohir’s bedroom had become the focus of the dream conversation.

“Why?” She asked outright.

“Um… I thought it might be possible, if I am in the room here, to reach out to the same room there and see if I can reach Elrohir in his sleep.”

“I thought that might be the idea… Do you think it is possible?”

“I will only know if I try, Naneth.”

Fair enough.

“Do not wear yourself out trying. Find someone you feel you can tell, ask them to keep an eye on you while you try. And if you cannot reach, we will think of other ways to pump up the volume.”

“Do what?” Ithilienne asked and Tindómë realised it was really a Dawn phrase.

“Strengthen your dream voice.”

“M’kay. So, tell me about where you are Naneth.”

And the conversation continued for another few minutes before Ithilienne said farewell and left her mother to walk her own dream path again.


Naneth was right. She remembered how tired she had been the first time she had managed to find Legolas’s dream path and, although she was now able to do that easily, to reach Imladris would probably be at least as tiring.

But who to ask? Eleniel maybe. But it might need an awful lot of explaining about Keyness and things. Perhaps Erestor? But he may well not know much about The Key, she had never needed to ask Naneth, and he would probably be very tempted to talk to Master Elrond or Lady Celebrían.

Eventually Ithilienne drifted down her own dream path, still considering the question.

As she slept her dream paths took her to times in her past when Naneth had used Radagast’s ‘window’ to contact Gwanor Buffy in that other world.

That, she realised, was more or less the same thing that she was doing, except she had no desire, at all, to contact anyone there!

If the window only worked for Naneth, and memory suggested that it did, then the power that made it work must be the power of The Key! She wondered if Naneth had ever considered that. Probably. Naneth liked to know how and why things worked.

If the power to open such a window to Gwanor Buffy when she slept was really The Key, the Maia just gave Naneth a way to use it when the time was right, then her own ability was not so very different. Surely it should manage to stretch as far as Imladris, or Eryn Lasgalen. She felt more confident all of a sudden.

Perhaps one of the other Maia, or one of the Valar, had given her a clue when she slept. But she didn’t think Lord Irmo would have been interested enough in her doings, or in the twins or King Thranduil, to get involved, and Mithrandalf had said he couldn’t interfere.

Naneth had told her about Nessa, and Ithilienne thought she might well want to meet Elrohir and Elladan - but she was really mainly interested in dancing and running wild. Perhaps it was Ithilienne’s own subconscious. Or perhaps it was her Keyness. And, she suddenly thought, perhaps it was actually to do with the question of who to ask to sit with her; confirming that she should be able to do what she planned, with practice, was an added bonus.

Naneth, and Adar, had explained when it was that the Maia had made the ‘window’. They had told her about Naneth being snatched back to the horrible place without her leave, and how it had been Radagast and Haldirin who had been able to find her. And they had explained how the warriors had been ready to fight, how the portal was guarded at the place in Eryn Ithil where it was opened, and even how Gwanor Buffy, the person called Spike (who was why Naneth had gone to find Lord Namo), and others, had come through the portal.

So almost anyone who had been in Eryn Ithil then would not be as surprised as other elves might be, even if they didn’t know exactly where the other side of the portal had been.

Of course Galanthir, and Orophin, and even Lithôniel would have been good, but they were with Legolas. Haldirin knew all about The Key, and Tharhîwon knew it was how Naneth and Haldirin helped him to escape the Winter Garden - but they were with Legolas too. Merilwen’s naneth and adar had been there but she would feel a bit odd asking them.

Oh! Nithdur. He had been one of the first Elves in Eryn Ithil so he must have known, and she knew him really well as he was Tharhîwon’s preferred partner for sharing the ‘desires of the body’, as Naneth said. Definitely Nithdur. She would go, this very day, and ask him to come and watch her as she dreamed.


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