Title: Learning a Language
Author's Notes: This is paart of my First Age Arc. Thanks to Jaiden for beta Reading this fic.
Summary: Maedhros visits Caranthir at Lake Helevorn and learns something about his brother
Word Count: 705 words
“So what is it that you want from me?” Maedhros asked once again. Sometimes Caranthir simply forgot that his brothers could not read his mind and spoke of whatever was going on in his head. It was common knowledge.
Caranthir looked at him. “I told you, Maedhros. I need help to deal with the Naugrim that travel through my lands.”
They were sitting in comfortable chairs on the balcony. Caranthir’s lair looked over Lake Helevorn, and as the sun started its way down the trees at the feet of the Blue Mountains, it cast different shadows on the limpid waters. Maedhros could now understand why Caranthir seemed to be calmer. The view from the balcony was almost magical, and definitely soothing.
“Are you going to stop them from crossing through the mountain passes? I’ve heard they are very skilled at making armor.”
Caranthir nodded. “They work the armor in Mithril, and their skill with metal is maybe greater than Curufin’s. Don’t tell him I said that.”
Maedhros smiled. “I won’t.”
“I have been trading with them,” Caranthir said, “but I have discovered a way to benefit us both. The Naugrim could pass through my lands once they descend from the mountains. It would be faster for them.”
Maedhros nodded. “And what would you ask from them?”
“To pay a toll,” Caranthir said. “The problem is that even though we have taken these lands with Thingol’s permission - not that he could have stopped us - but still, the Naugrim used to pass through these lands unhindered until I came here.”
“I see the problem.”
“And you are good at this… diplomacy thing you learned in Grandfather’s castle. I’m not, so I need some counsel.”
Maedhros sipped at his wine before speaking. “I would advise that you refrain from any comment about their unloveliness.”
Caranthir frowned. “That was Celegorm, but I get your point.”
Maedhros hid a smile. “It would be good if you learned a few words in Khuzdûl. I have heard that the Naugrim won’t teach their language to any Elf, but it might be necessary to be certain that they know what you are telling them, and that this offer is made without trying to make them seem lesser.”
“I know how to speak Khuzdûl,” Caranthir said. “I know enough to communicate with them.”
This was a surprise, but then it was not. Caranthir could read minds, and that might have helped him to learn the language…
“I can’t read their minds,” Caranthir said, as if he had read Maedhros’. “I learned while listening to them speaking, and asking questions whenever necessary. It is not as difficult as one may think.”
Sometimes Maedhros wondered if he would ever stop being surprised by Caranthir. “It is not?”
“It’s just a matter of a different phonology, and some of their words have Sindarin influence. They actually write it by using the Cirth that Daeron of Doriath adapted from Father’s Tengwar.”
As Caranthir continued speaking about the differences between Sindarin and Khuzdûl, Maedhros remembered their father speaking at the Language Guild or in any family meeting when the issue came about. Caranthir had always been there sitting in silence to listen to their father, even when he was a small Elfling. Now he knew that love and admiration had not been the only reasons for this. Caranthir was not a linguistic master, but he had inherited their father’s ability with languages.
“So will you help me?” Caranthir said.
Maedhros nodded. “I will, but I must say that I never realized that you were so interested in runes, little brother.”
Caranthir half-scowled at him. “Father spoke about runes and language all the time, and it was more interesting than law,” he added with a small grin. “He would have studied all these languages if he had survived,” he added before he emptied his cup of wine.
Maedhros nodded. He would have added that their father would have been very proud of Caranthir for learning the Naugrim’s language, but he didn’t think his brother would like to hear it just now. As they turned their eyes to the lake, Maedhros only hoped that Fëanáro would be proud of him too, if he ever left the Halls. Somehow he doubted it.