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Author: Independence1776
Title: A Light Exists in Spring
Rating: PG
Theme: Spring Fever
Elements: Healing herbs (poppy)
Author's Notes: The title comes from an Emily Dickinson poem of the same name. This was also written for some B2MeM 2017 prompts, specifically the first few on the Purple path and one on the Red. My thanks to brookeoflorien for the beta.
Summary: Maglor receives help in making a life-changing decision.
Word Count: 1283

A Light Exists in Spring


I glanced out of the window at the dark sky and then back down at Medui in her bed. She shook her head at me. “Go home, Maglor. You know I’ll be stuck here for another few days.”

An arrow to the leg, a lucky shot by a raider, and my lieutenant ended up in the Healing Hall. She wouldn’t be able to return to work until at least a week after her release from the hall-- and it was spring, the start of the raiding season after a rather brutal winter.

I rubbed my temple with my right hand, though it didn’t stop her from lightly slapping my left. “Do I need to repeat myself, sir?”

I snorted but before I could reply, a healer knocked on the door frame and entered the room carrying a small metal cup. Rather than watch Medui sink into the pain relief and oblivion of poppy, I said my good night and left the room, intending to leave, only to nearly run into the head healer at the front door.

Solch crossed her arms and stared at me. “Your sister is worried.”

“Thela always--”

“You come here nightly, Maglor, even when you don’t have to. She thinks you’re avoiding something.”

I sighed. “I take your advice, ma’am.”

“Good. Because otherwise I’d drag you home by your ear.”

I refrained from burying my head in my hands through sheer willpower. Solch and Thela had been best friends since childhood. It occasionally made my life… interesting in difficult ways. She opened the door for me and I stepped onto the cobbled street lit by the light of a full moon. I glanced down the street at the burst of laughter coming from a restaurant and turned away from it toward home.

The spring air was still chilly, but the wind was calm and the air fresh. The windows along the street flickered with candle- and lamplight as families gathered for supper.

At the end of the village, just before the cobbles turned into a grass road, I unlocked and pushed open the solid metal gate to my adoptive family’s compound. I locked it behind me and slipped through the courtyard, ignoring the main house and retreating to the small guest house that had become my house when Gwath, Thela’s father, had adopted me into the family six years ago this coming autumn.

I still had mixed feelings about the adoption. He meant it fully-- their entire family, both immediate and extended, had been nothing but welcoming-- but I was still Fëanor and Nerdanel’s son. That hadn’t changed, Gwath had explained. It was a legal adoption and did not remove my family history. But I sometimes felt that I was expected to move on from them more than I was comfortable with.

I pushed open my wooden door-- I normally locked it only while I slept-- and went into the kitchen to grab a hunk of bread, some cheese, and some sort of fruit from the bowl on my table. I rolled my eyes at the basket filled with exactly what I’d planned to eat, but took the hint.

I picked up the basket handle, closed my door behind me, and went up the stairs to the top of the wall. Thela waved at me from the wide platform in the exact center, where she’d lit the low brazier the family sometimes gathered around at night. I put the basket on the table between her chair and mine and began eating. She simply stared up at the stars that weren’t hidden by the light of the full moon until I finished my meal.

“What are you brooding about?”

I snorted. “I’m not.”

“Liar,” she said softly, standing up and walking over to the wall, leaning on one of the merlons in the crenelation. I followed her and leaned on the next merlon over. The family’s vineyards were eerie in the light of the moon, their shadows spindly in the dimness. “You have spent every single evening in the Healing Hall for the past season. You normally spend only two or three evenings a week there. And don’t tell me it’s because you visit those in the healers’ care. This is more than that.”

I kept my gaze on the vineyards stretching across the rolling hills, though the Sea of Rhûn in the far distance was invisible in the darkness. “Guilt, as ever.”

She snorted. “Is this about the tyranny of your past? Are you planning on leaving?”

“No,” I said softly. “This is my home now, for better and for worse. But I have lost my way.”

“Why?”

I didn’t know if I could explain it to her when I barely understood it myself. “I’m a murderer. Nothing I do will ever mitigate that. But I spent a couple of centuries brooding by the Sea before realizing that I had to do something beyond that or go mad. So I did what I could to repair the world, to help people. I did that for an Age and more.

“And then I helped rescue your father’s caravan from an ambush and he ended up adopting me. I went into the Guard because I didn’t know what else I could do here to help. Protecting people is… it’s what I’m used to now. But I’m still killing. In defense and self-defense, yes. But people are still dying at my hands and on my orders.”

“Yet cultural rules prevent you from being a healer.”

I nodded.

“When your contract with the Guard ends at the end of the year, Maglor, don’t sign a continuation. That is what you’re brooding about, isn’t it? That by not doing so, you’re abandoning your unit.”

I nodded. “We’ve been together for nearly a dozen years, ever since your father convinced me that I wouldn’t be run out of the village simply for living here for a time.” I snorted. “Now it seems to be more permanent than not.”

“Lieutenant Medui--”

“Is due for a promotion.” I sighed. “She would be a good captain.” I looked up at the moon. “I cannot ask her now, not while she’s healing.”

“Why not? It would give her something to focus on.”

“Or it could make her worry and hinder her recovery.”

Thela shot me an exasperated look. “Do you truly think that likely?” Before I could respond in the negative, she continued, “Or are you blaming yourself for her injury, too?”

“Hardly. A lucky shot is a lucky shot. I simply think that while she’s recovering, she should focus on that rather than on our unit’s future.”

“Fair enough.”

I turned away from the view and sat back down, warming my hands over the brazier.

Thela also returned to her seat, curling up on it. “Do you plan on staying here all night?”

I shrugged. “I’m not tired. I suspect the walls of my house would drive me out here again regardless.”

“You’d brood, wouldn’t you?”

I laughed. “No, it’s simply one of those nights that’s too nice to spend indoors. You’re right, though, about what I should do. Thank you.”

“I said something you’d been trying to convince yourself of.”

I met her eyes and smiled. “Hearing it from someone else helps.”

Thela nodded before leaning over and picking up a wine bottle and two glasses she’d hidden next to her chair. “I’ll pour us a drink and you tell me one of the tales of your travels. A new one.”

A new one. That I could easily do. “I ran into a wizard once, far to the East, about a long-year past. He wore blue robes…”


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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
kayleelupin
Mar. 21st, 2017 04:26 am (UTC)
Oh, I do love Maglor! I would love to read more of this!
indy1776
Mar. 21st, 2017 12:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I have no plans to write more; the adoption thing was a bit out there for me even with my eternal love of Maglor wandering fic.
foxrafer
Mar. 22nd, 2017 11:03 pm (UTC)
The way he's kind of stuck in his head right now comes across really well, and I love how his sister lets him know she's done not letting him talk about it. I also like the idea that even though one is fighting to protect people, it still keeps blood on your hands and that can still make it painful.
indy1776
Mar. 22nd, 2017 11:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! How his sister let him know is one of my favorite details, too.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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