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Never Too Late by Keiliss

Author: Keiliss
Title: Never Too Late
Rating: G
Theme: Arrivals and Departures
Elements: 372
Author's Notes: Wow, better late than never! 372 words that really, really want to be a much longer fic.
Summary: Maglor visits Rivendell long after the Last Ship has sailed and has an unexpected encounter.
Word Count: 372

Long-held curiosity led me to visit Rivendell. Elrond had sailed years ago, and word was Celeborn had finally left. This was important: even now I had no wish to face one of Dior’s kin so I paused when I reached the bridge, the last barrier between me and the house, searching for signs of life.

No smoke wafted from the many chimneys, leaves lay heaped where they had drifted, and stonework that withstood the ages lay where it had fallen, no longer protected by Celebrimbor’s ring. Perhaps elves remained in the valley, living quietly in well-loved corners, but not here in what had been its heart. Reassured, I crossed the bridge and went to explore the remains of my fosterling’s home.

Leaves lifted and settled in my wake as I walked through overgrown gardens and courtyards with once-pretty alcoves. The arched terraces and walkways looked cold and bare rather than airy and inviting as surely they once had. I was reluctant to enter the house, sure I would hear lingering whispers of laughter and merriment, the sounds of song: Elrond’s house when it was still a home would always remain closed to me.

For a moment I thought the silent figure was one of the Houseless. I make no excuses; I believed myself alone and had allowed my guard to drop. His hand went to his sword, but then he saw I was an elf. I recognised him the moment I saw that dark hair and those starlit grey eyes. Elrond’s children favoured his looks, and this could only be one of Arwen Undómiel’s brothers.

We exchanged greetings. He was strangely unsurprised by me. “I though Gildor’s people were all gone?”

I shrugged, smiled, let it pass. “I had a whim for adventure. You chose to stay, young lord?”

He opened his mouth, closed it, tried again. “My brother chose,” he replied.

“And not you?” I could feel the pain now, see the quiet fear.

“I have now,” he said grimly. “But I left it too late.”

“Nothing is ever too late,” I told him, though it was for me. “I have enough food to share. Let’s make a fire and talk while we eat. There are rumours of another, final, ship.”


( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 16th, 2015 03:40 am (UTC)
Dang, girl, this is good. And I want the rest of the story now!!! Which one is it, Dan or Ro? And I want 10k of getting him to the last ship and if Maglor boards with him or not. And then arriving and Elrond's reaction...

Jul. 16th, 2015 05:50 am (UTC)
What Red said! Save it for the prologue of next year's Big Bang, if you have to. ;)

Loved the images of abandoned Rivendell, and how Maglor is so convinced he is alone in the world that he drops his guard.

“I have now,” he said grimly. “But I left it too late.”
How sad...
(no subject) - keiliss - Jul. 17th, 2015 09:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bunn - Jul. 16th, 2015 07:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keiliss - Jul. 17th, 2015 09:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keiliss - Jul. 17th, 2015 09:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 16th, 2015 08:38 am (UTC)
Oh that is so intriguing - it does cry out to be the prologue to something bigger.

So sad, too, as it asks so many questions. Which brother is it? What has happened to his twin? Is he still there too? Would this one now sail without him? Will Maglor sail with this 'grandson' and hope for a welcome, or would he stay with the other should he still survive?

Oh - I really, really, want to read the whole story now!
Jul. 17th, 2015 09:33 pm (UTC)
Maglor was meant to walk through deserted buildings, find some sign of those who had left, make a little fire and brood (something he probably does well). He was not meant to meet one of Elrond's sons. Right now I'm asking the same questions :D Still, I'm glad it's intrigued you - thank you :)
(no subject) - curiouswombat - Jul. 18th, 2015 11:21 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 16th, 2015 08:49 am (UTC)
Wow. Your description of the setting is very powerful. I hope that you are going to turn this into a longer story indeed, I would love to read it!
Jul. 17th, 2015 09:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you :) I'm glad you liked the descriptions, I really wished I'd had a few more words to set the scene with, so it's great to know it worked for you.

Longer story? Perhaps.
Jul. 16th, 2015 01:04 pm (UTC)
I wonder if he has decided because his twin is dead...
Jul. 17th, 2015 09:37 pm (UTC)
Now there's a disturbing possibility, and one that would make sense. As I've said above, I don't yet know what happened or even which twin this is because I ran out of words, though I'm curious.
Jul. 16th, 2015 02:54 pm (UTC)
This is so lovely, Keiliss. :)
Jul. 17th, 2015 09:38 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you so much :)
Jul. 16th, 2015 02:57 pm (UTC)
You chose to stay, young lord?”

He opened his mouth, closed it, tried again. “My brother chose,” he replied.

“And not you?” I could feel the pain now, see the quiet fear.

“I have now,” he said grimly. “But I left it too late.”

Oh ouch! Lots of possible assumptions here, but I love the way Maglor let this slide the same way he let the assumption that he was one of Gildor's group also slide.

The spaces within this story are pregnant with possibilities. That's the best way to have a tale. Bravo!

- Erulisse (one L)
Jul. 17th, 2015 09:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you :) I hoped it would say a fair bit more than those few words allowed. And of course it could go anywhere from here, though I wondered if he's talking about Legolas and Gimli's boat or if there was another 'final, final sailing'.
Jul. 16th, 2015 02:58 pm (UTC)
Oh my, what a fascinating encounter. I hope you write a sequel someday.

Perhaps elves remained in the valley, living quietly in well-loved corners

What an interesting notion.
Jul. 17th, 2015 09:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I'm happy you enjoyed this little glimpse, and yes, I hope to flesh it out later.

I like the idea of little groups of elves - families, close friends - not sailing and choosing to stay and eventually fade into the surroundings they loved.
Jul. 16th, 2015 06:30 pm (UTC)
I so hope that both now choose to go Home, to return to the sides of father, mother, grandparents, kinsmen of all sorts. Nerdanel will await them, as will Galadriel and Elrond. Joy to the both of them!
Jul. 17th, 2015 11:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, I hope they find their way home, or to a place that suits their hearts. Thank you for commenting, Larner.
Jul. 16th, 2015 09:21 pm (UTC)
You leave us with an enigma :)

Lovely story - so much feeling with so few words.

Jul. 17th, 2015 11:44 pm (UTC)
I'd have liked a few more words there, I was never good at 'short', lol. Thanks Binky, very glad you liked this little glimpse of a story.

Jul. 16th, 2015 09:52 pm (UTC)
This reminds me strongly of Star's End--but there is still hope--potential for less bleakness?
Jul. 17th, 2015 11:46 pm (UTC)
Maglor's the only one I ever write in first person - he insists. It does feel a bit like Star's End, yes, but I'm pretty sure however it ends will be better than that *g*.
Jul. 17th, 2015 12:54 am (UTC)
The image of deserted Rivendell you paint here is very evocative, so melancholy. I was kind of relived that neither of them have to be alone there for long. Nice one.
Jul. 17th, 2015 11:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, Huin. I was remembering the movie images here, with those endlessly falling autumn leaves. Eventually they'd have fallen, the house would stand empty, home to rabbits and other small creatures ... rather Maglor than me, it sounds such a sad place to visit.
(no subject) - huinare - Jul. 18th, 2015 12:21 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 17th, 2015 01:20 am (UTC)
*snif* This is beautiful.
Jul. 17th, 2015 11:50 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it, thank you :)
Jul. 18th, 2015 02:44 am (UTC)

Like everyone else, I too am intrigued by this snippet, and curious about what happens after. So much said in so few words! I love your Maglor voice.
Jul. 20th, 2015 11:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, and I'm happy Maglor's voice works for you. He's the only one who speaks to me in first person.

I'm terrrible at short pieces. I was worried for a while that I wouldn't get this to make sense with all the pretty bits taken out, lol. Glad you liked it :)
Jul. 22nd, 2015 04:47 pm (UTC)
Oh my, how good is this! Just this small glimpse has left me wanting more. The picture of Imladris abandoned is so vividly painted for such a short work and there are so many questions left unanswered. I do love your take on Maglor too.

On the other hand, if you should leave it like it is, it becomes more poignant and enigmatic...
Jul. 25th, 2015 02:40 am (UTC)
Thank you so much :) Someone suggested I see if I can use it as the prologue to a Big Bang or something and I might just, because I have a lot of questions myself.

When I read the books I saw Imladris as a warm, wonderful place, but the movie gave it an overlay of deep sadness, all those falling leaves, the end of the elves' summer, and it's stayed with me. I'm glad if I managed to get that across in so few words -- I am a wordy writer normally, cutting this was really difficult for me, lol.
Jul. 24th, 2015 07:24 am (UTC)
Oh, awesome! There is so much promise in there, and tension... any story about the elves, and particularly Elrond, Erestor & Co departing, makes my heart ache and want me to read on and on to find out how they manage over there, and find out they'll be all right... now I want to find out all about this Maglor as well. ;o)

that really, really want to be a much longer fic.
*subscribes* ;o)
Jul. 25th, 2015 02:44 am (UTC)
Actually it might make a good idea for JourneyStory when it runs again (I always sign up and then drop out for lack of a decent idea). I do want to see which twin it is and what happens next :D Thanks so much for reviewing, dear - glad you enjoyed this.
(no subject) - ysilme - Jul. 25th, 2015 07:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keiliss - Jul. 26th, 2015 01:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ysilme - Jul. 26th, 2015 11:08 am (UTC) - Expand
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