wildernesstales: (LOTR)
[personal profile] wildernesstales
Rating: PG
Summary: An explanation of sorts for the sudden disappearance of my character from the Tagboard.
Disclaimer: Lúthien is mine! The other characters mentioned are the property of those who created them. My thanks to you my friends.
Authors Note: This was written at a time when I was role-playing on the Tagboard for a bit of fun and explanation.




Lúthien rode for all of that day, far away from Imladris, back towards Mirkwood with a heavy heart. She missed her friends already, and she had only been gone a few hours. Now her only friend was her horse, a gentle beast chestnut in color. //Rather fitting for a wood elf// she thought.
A she set up camp for the night, her thoughts strayed back to the little shop in Imladris where her friends were probably right now. She sighed heavily and slung her bag under a tree, collapsing next to it.
She missed them all; Estelle, who had been upset to see her friend go, despite assurances that she would be back //hopefully// she thought, mentally crossing her fingers. And Nov, who when she found out why she had to go back to Mirkwood, had tried to marry her off to a dwarf! A dwarf of all beings on Arda. She smiled as she remembered the look on Yoni's face. Eldanar had said there would be no problem with an elf and a dwarf being together, as Legolas and Gimli were very happy. Both Yoni and Lúthien however, had politely declined...
She dug deep into her bag, pulling out a scroll and quill, slowly sliding the scroll ring off. As she turned it round in her hand, watching the last rays of Arien glinting off it, she was reminded of Sildil, the punk elf with his many piercings. Her mood turned sombre as she then thought of Master Erestor and the events that had led up to her sitting under a tree on the way to Mirkwood, a horse her only companion.

First her fingers, then her job.. now her family were demanding her back. She had thought things could get no worse having been fired, then the scroll came...
An ornate scroll, bearing an invitation. She had it still in her bag, tightly curled up, reread a hundred times already, as if the contents may change between each reading and she might not have to go back.

She remembered the night everyone started to worry. It had been a few nights after the infamous Liantë experience. Eldanar, only Eldanar could find a baby *Mirkwood* spider and take it home to make it better.
And lose it of course...
In the shop...
Where it bit Sildil...
They had found it of course, after searching under cupboards, counters and trampolines. Freyja had been the one to spot it, heading straight for her and her new baby Findalus. Instinct had kicked in, on both Freyja's and Lúthien's part; Freyja had raised her foot to stomp poor Liante, and Lúthien had dived towards Liante, not wanting the poor elfling's heart to break. It was a bone-crushing coincidence. Freyja's boot, Lúthien's hand, resulting in a few days off work.
Which everyone had said would be good for her, as she spent far too much time in the Library as it was. //The only elf in Arda to fall asleep on her scrolls// she thought ruefully. But Elhorir had given her some cream to remove the writing from her forehead.
Things had been going well, she had been given some reading to do, as she couldn't write. With the conference coming up, Master Erestor needed every elf he could get.
Which was why when she went back to work, she found there was no work for her.
That night she went to the shop and curled up in her favorite corner, lost in thought. She vaguely remembered an argument starting, which disrupted her thought process. So she told them to be quiet! After being ignored, she fled the shop for the safety and comfort of her own rooms, tears streaming down her face.
A few days later, she ventured back down to the shop, only to find that her friends were worried about her. Reluctantly she had told them she had been fired, then once again fled the shop, this time after the hotheaded Sildil who was planning a revolt over her dismissal.
Ever pragmatic, Nov had reminded her that she was now free to help Blackbird out as planned. Having divided her her time between Dargoth and Imladris, she had asked for a job so she could feel useful around the White Palace. Lord Sylvannamyth had mentioned that the Mage was looking for an assistant, and she was hired.

The days following receiving the ornate invitiation were a blur. Crystalling between Dargoth and Imladris to let everyone she knew that she was going away was tiring. And she always seemed to keep missing Sylvannamyth. He was out on patrol, she knew that. Since the White Palace had arisedm patrols had increased. The Khirannians did not like the intrusion, and with the planned expedition to Palakais, the Court needed to know things would run smoothly in their absence. On her last visit, she had missed him once more, and having no further time to spare, she had written him a letter and left it with her gift for him.

And now she was here, halfway to Mirkwood with a horse for company. She idly watched the beast as it nibbled at some tender shoots nearby.

She ached all over...

Lúthien was an elf who did not like horses...

She sighed and stared down at the blank parchment in her hand. She knew she had to let them know what was happening. She picked up her quill and began writing.

Dear friends,
I am now but a day away from Mirkwood and I miss you all terribly. It is not the same without you my friends...

She paused as a drop of water fell onto the parchment. For a moment, she thought it was going to rain. Then clarity dawned.. it was a tear...

She missed her friends.

And now she had to go back home and face her family, and tell them what had happened in her life these past seasons (again!).
What on Arda would they think?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Lúthien awoke with a heavy heart. Arien was low in the sky, her soft pink rays just beginning to softly filter through the leaves.
"Today's the day" she muttered to no-one in particular. Well, she wasn't talking to her horse, which was the only other living creature nearby. She sighed and began to pack her things back into her bag, readying herself for the final stage of her journey.
This was the part she was not looking forward to... She was fine with going back to Mirkwood, even though she had spent years wanting to leave... But meeting her parents again.. answering all the questions they had... She knew they had questions.. their letters
had got shorter after she had told them about her new love... She sighed heavily and swung herself up on the horse, urging it onwards.

Hours later, when Arien was high in the sky, shining down on the lone elf, Lúthien rode past the borders of Mirkwood, looking around, waiting for the guards she knew were hiding in the trees to make themselves known.

She still jumped as a tall blonde elf leapt down from the tree in front of her.
"Mae govannen stranger, what brings you to Mirkwood?" Lúthien rolled her eyes at the elf standing there.
"Thaurêl, it's me, Lúthien" Thaurêl stared at her for a moment, then laughed.
"Oh, it's you.. the 'scholar'. Find anything interesting in Imladris then?" He spoke condescendingly. Lúthien shrugged, unwilling to be drawn into the age old debate between Imladris and Mirkwood.
"Plenty, none of which you will understand, I am sure" She replied dryly, biting her tongue, not having meant to reply. Thaurêl stared at her a moment, before standing to one side, allowing her to pass. As she urged her horse on by, he smacked the beast's rump with the end of the bow, causing it to rear up and throw Lúthien to the ground. She landed with a bump and glared back at Thaurêl.
"You just can't leave things be, can you?"Thaurêl smiled down at her.
"I do not know what you mean Lúthien. Your horse appears to be a little jumpy today.. perhaps it does not like it's rider?"
Lúthien sat there a moment, before standing, dusting herself off and turning a scathing glare on Thaurêl, deliberately not saying the words running through her mind, knowing that they would only cause more problems.
More harassment.
More bullying.

She led her horse deeper into Mirkwood, marvelling at how close it seemed, how the trees groaned and the birds rarely sang. //It's good to be home...// she thought dryly.
As she entered the main courtyard, she looked around, slightly apprehensively, wondering who was about, and who would notice her first. With a slight sigh of relief as slow minutes ticked by with no-one calling out her name... or worse... she led the horse down to the stables, gratefully leaving it in the hands of a young elf tending the horses there. Lúthien glanced up at the sky, knowing that it would rain this night, wondering why it always rained when she came home. It was as if the sky itself were reflecting her very feelings at having to come back to her parents.
"Ever onward and ever backward..." she murmured, making her way towards her parent's home. She pushed open the door quietly, wincing as the hinges protested. Peering round the door, she scanned the area, looking for a sign that her parents were home.
Seeing nothing, but an empty glass on the table, she slipped through the door and into the kitchen. As always it was clean, tidy... immaculate... Her mother would have it no other way. Sadly, her own room had always been in disarray, but in her defence, she had always been able to find whatever she had wanted, regardless of the fact that her mother could not. Perhaps that was the reason Lúthien rarely tidied her room, so that her prying mother could not find any details about her life. Lúthien was a quiet elf, keeping herself to herself, never bothering others with her problems. It made her uncomfortable to think that she was burdening others with her petty problems, yet she was more than happy to be there for her friends.

Her friends. Again, her thoughts turned back to the little shop in Imladris, the place where she truly felt at home, not this facade of a home here in Mirkwood. In Imladris she could be herself, and no-one minded. In Mirkwood, she blended into the shadows, lest she be tormented again. A slight smile crossed her face as she thought of the friends she had left behind, for she did consider them her friends. As she wandered down to her old rooms, bag slung over one shoulder, she thought of them, and wondered what they were doing now. Nov, no doubt was in the White Palace, or rather, in the Temple, learning herbs and healing with Lady Seraph. Sildil was probably sitting in the Library, staring out the window, nibbling on the end of his paintbrush as he thought about his illustrations. Eldanar, now Eldanar, he could be doing anything. She sat on the edge of her bed and picked up her childhood friend, Amdir her unicorn and thought of the elfling and his dragon, Tathar. They were always getting into trouble, but nobody minded. Elflings were meant to get into trouble, that was what she thought. Her parents however had thought differently, and punishments had been dealt swiftly and harshly.. even if she had done nothing wrong. Which brought her thoughts straight back to the present. She was not looking forward to meeting her parents again. It was easier to tell them what had happened in her letters, where she could actually speak and be heard, not drowned out by shouts, insults and ranting rages. She knew what to expect, she always knew what to expect.. Yet it did not make it any easier to bear. She winced as she heard the door being flung open, and heavy footsteps echoing around the room. It would appear her father was home...

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Lúthien took a deep breath and made her way back out into the living area, lowering her eyes respectfully when she saw her father seated on the couch.
"Lúthien.. so you finally decided to come home then?" her father sipped from his ever-present glass of wine and glared bafeully up at her. She could feel herself shrink under his gaze, watching, waiting.
"I did.. " She did not know what else to say. She had had to return home, there was no excuse this time, she had to be there, they would never have forgiven her had she not been there.
"Well, don't just stand there you silly girl, sit down or something!" he commanded and she obeyed, meekly sitting down on the chair opposite him, hands folded upon her knees.
"How is nana?"
"Your nanneth is well, considering the shock you gave her in your last letter... who'd have thought it.. and elf and a..." her father paused and pulled a face, as though tasting something nasty. "... mortal" Lúthien sighed, she had known this would be coming... ever since she had written to them, full of happiness at her new-found love, her parent's letters had been few and far between. She knew they would be upset, but somewhere, somewhere deep inside her, there lived a small hope that they would actually be *happy* for her...
But alas, it appeared it was not to be...

They sat there in silence, Lúthien not daring to answer her father back. Since she had been away, she had grown more confident, but still, sitting there in front of her father, she felt like a small elfling again, not an elf of ancient years. A smile briefly crossed her face as she recalled the nickname Nov had given her - 'Grandma'. It was true, that she was older than many she knew, yet in some ways she was far younger, far more innocent, far more naive than all of them. Minutes passed, minutes that seemed like hours. Lúthien knew that as soon as her mother returned home, things would really begin. Whoever had said that Sauron was the best at inquistion, had certainly not met her parents. The way they managed to twist everything she said still amazed her. She had studying hard, training to be a scholar and librarian, thinking that if she knew the words, she could play them at their own game. But she had never dared. Even at her age, she could still not stand up to her parents. She still reverted back to the shy, quiet elfling she had once been.
She stared around the room, looking anywhere but at her father. Illuminations adorned the walls, illuminations of her parents, her grandfather and one particularly stunning view of Mirkwood from the borders, sunlight glinting off the trees. She gave a small sigh. Mirkwood had once been great and full of life and light. Now, it was a dark place, where few elves ventured, yet many elves tried to escape. Lúthien had managed that, she had left behind her dreary life, and rode forth for Imladris, the last refuge of elves and men. She had made many friends there, friends that she sorely missed. Friends whom she wished were there to support her now. She knew what was coming, she knew that she would just stand there and take it, like she always had. Yet she wished her friends were there. Sildil, no matter how scatty, was always around, and always prepared to stand up for his friends, no matter how much trouble he may get into. She remembered seeing an elfling running around Imladris, not long after she had been fired. Reading the sign, she realised that Sil had begun a protest against her dismissal, and that warmed her heart. Nov, who was one of her closest friends, both in Imladris and on Dargoth, was a strong figure, always ready to speak her mind, something which Lúthien admired greatly. She often wished she could be more like Nov in that respect, perhaps if she was, she would have stood up to her parents a long time ago. But they were not there, they could not help... no matter how much she wished they could. All she had was their memory.

A noise, a rustling of extravagant fabrics heralded the arrival of her mother, sauntering up the path and pushing the door open gracefully. Lúthien looked up, unwilling to meet her mother's eyes. She always had found it astounding how much disgust could be seen in her mother's deep blue eyes. She tried, she really did, but her mother had created an image that she could just not live up to. And then Perfinien had arrived, and things had changed. Her mother had someone else to dote over, which relieved Lúthien somewhat, until her mother turned all her hatred on her. Perfinien could do no wrong in her mother's eyes. Yet Lúthien it seemed, could do nothing right. Maybe that had been part of the reason she left in the first place...
She smiled weakly at her mother.
"Hello Nana..."
"Ah Lúthien.. so glad you could make it." her mother acknowledged her with a breezy wave. Lúthien sighed inwardly.
"Well of course I would make it Nana.. how could I not?" She watched as her mother sniffed and sat down elegantly to remove her shoes.
"I should have known you would turn up late Lúthien... you always did have bad time-keeping"
"I'm not late Nana, and I had some things I needed to tie up before I left. I couldn't just up and leave you know, I had people to say goodbye to..." she trailed off, beginning to wish she'd never said that. Her mother merely raised a delicately shaped eyebrow and concentrated on unlacing her shoe. Her father coughed but held his tongue, for which Lúthien was rather glad. Her father had a temper to match that of Lord Elrond, or worse, Master Erestor. And, having just arrived, she was not willing to feel the sharp edge of his tongue, not just yet.
"So..." her mother placed her shoes neatly to one side and stared at her daughter. "... you said goodbye to *him*? It is all over then? That's a relief to know, we can find you a nice handsome archer now. Thaurêl is still free you know..." she left the sentence hanging in the air, daring Lúthien to respond.

Which she did... albeit quietly, but she responded.

"I have only said goodbye to Sly for now, I will see him when I go back to Imladris Nana"
"You are going back to that place?" her mother was incredulous. "Why, on Arda, do you want to go back *there*"
"Would you rather I stayed here then, locked away in the dungeons cataloguing King Thranduil's treasure? Was it not enough for you that I was ill for a very long time after that? No? Would you rather I had faded?" Lúthien stood up and paced the room, full of nervous anger. She paused and stared at her mother. "Well, would you?"
"Of course not dear, I just mean to say that Imladris is not the right place for you"
"Well, I could always move to Dargoth!" Lúthien retorted. "At least in Imladris I am made to feel welcome, not taunted by others!" She conveniently managed to forget all about chastity belts and orange hair when she said that, catching her blush as the thought entered her mind.
"Dargoth? Dargoth? Oh that's where *he* lives, isn't it?"
"Yes, that is where Sly lives Nana... he does have a name you know"
"Ah yes, the mortal you fell in love with" Mother faced daughter. "You know what happens when we elves... well, when it occurs with mortals." Lúthien rolled her eyes.
"Nana, I am certainly not going to fade... and he is half-mortal, half-Mycinocroft"
"Mycinocroft? What on Arda is a Mycinocroft?"
"Well, firstly Nana, Mycinocroft don't come from Arda, they come from Dargoth, and they're beautiful creatures with long soft fur and tails and they're the nicest people you could meet."
"Tails? You're in love with a WARG!?!" Lúthien flinched reflexively at her mother's tone.
"Nana.. Lord Sylvannamyth is most definitely not a warg! He is... well... I love him Nana, and nothing will change that!" she tried to take a determined stand, faltering slightly when her father rose from his chair, placing his wine glass on the nearby table.
"Lúthien! Don't you dare take that tone with your naneth!
"I didn't take any tone ada!"
"You did child.. and I do not expect you to answer me back!" Her father's voice rose, and Lúthien found herself taking a step back as he walked towards her.
"But but but... she can't speak about Sly like that..." Lúthien trailed off and stared up at her father.
"Lúthien! Will you be quiet about that.. that *mortal* There are bigger things happening here than your petty love life, if it may be called such!" Lúthien blushed crimson and stared at the floor, unwilling to anger them anymore, not knowing how to defend herself, or the one she loved.
"There is to be a betrothal ceremony this eve Lúthien... and we expect you to be there!"

Lúthien gasped. "But Nana..."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~*~*~*~*~*~

Lúthien stared blankly into the mirror as she braided her hair. She had washed it, ready for the party that night, and to get rid of the grime accumulated on her journey. She was not looking forward to tonight.
She glanced over at the dress, lying there ready on the bed. A beautiful long gown, chosen by her mother, in crimson and gold. She stared at it for long minutes, trying to picture herself wearing it.

And sighed.

She tied off the last braid with the crimson silk ribbon her mother had provided and stared at herself in the mirror. She saw an elf staring back at her with teary blue eyes, freshly braided hair framing her slender face.
The vision in the mirror blurred as tears clouded her eyes.

She did not want to be here; she did not want to have to cope with tonight.

Another sigh and she crossed the room, gently running her hands across the soft fabric of the dress. Trust her mother to chose the finest frock for her this night. Why she couldn't attend in tunic and leggings she would never know, she was far more comfortable in those than the finery more befitting her gender. That was the nice thing about Dargoth she thought, no one cared whether the women wore dresses or not. She found her thoughts turning more and more to Dargoth as the evening wore on. The memory of dashing up to Dherrin's mansion, eager to join the party with her friends, scared when she saw the number of people there. Dherrin was popular, of that there was no doubt. And she was not. She sighed again and picked the dress up, unlacing the robe she wore, preparing to step into the elegant gown. She wished that she could wear something of her own choosing. It wasn't that she didn't like the dress, it was beautiful... it just hurt that her mother had to chose for her, that she didn't get a choice in what she could wear. But then her mother wanted her to make a good impression. Her words still echoed round her mind.
"Tonight Lúthien, we will find you a husband, a handsome elven archer..." She had not protested... she had given up trying to protest long ago. Nothing would change her mother's mind. Even falling in love had not changed that. //They would never accept Sly// she thought. //But then, they never really accepted me, so what difference does it make?// She dropped her robe gracelessly on the floor and stepped into the dress, staring down at herself. She glanced back at the mirror, quite amazed at the sight she saw before her. It was rare for her to wear a dress as revealing as this one. In fact, she preferred to conceal herself away behind long robes and cloaks, or at best a tunic and leggings, it was in these she felt most comfortable. A gentle swirl round and the dress flowed like silk. She had to admit, her mother did have good choice.
She sat down on the edge of the bed, blinking away the threatening tears. Why she had to attend this party tonight, she could not fathom. She was not the life and soul of the party, she was more comfortable blending into the background, watching, observing, learning. Tonight, she would be the center of attention, much to her dismay.

The evening was long, and time seemed to drag. Lúthien sat quietly on a chair near the head of the table, trying not to draw attention to herself. Thaurêl was seated only a few chairs away, and kept looking at her, and she just did not like the way he was looking at her...
The feast finally ended as the minstrels made their way into the hall and everyone began to move away from the table to dance. The music started and everyone began to dance. Lúthien watched as everyone picked their partners and began dancing to the merry tune the minstrels were playing. Lúthien didn't dance, not because she couldn't, she just didn't particularly like embarrassing herself in front of others. Lúthien took a long sip of her wine, glancing around the room, trying to imagine if she had ever been that happy, or if she could be that happy.
Someone grabbed her hand and she looked up, startled. Thaurêl stood there, a smug smile on his face and simply said...
"Dance" It sounded more like a command, which coming from Thaurêl, a warrior elf, probably was. But he was stronger than Lúthien, and when he pulled her to her feet, there was little she could do, but try to keep herself upright. The last thing she wanted to be doing was falling into his arms like a silly young elfling.

So they danced, or rather, Thaurêl danced while Lúthien simply allowed him to move her, having not the strength to resist. The journey was finally catching up with her it would seem, and she just wanted to sit down somewhere quiet. So when Thaurêl suggested they went elsewhere, she simply nodded, not thinking clearly, lost in memories, not quite realising that the person whose arms she was in couldn't actually read her mind.

He led her out into the cool night air and she gave a soft sigh of relief. Much to her dismay, Thaurêl mistook this sign and pulled her into his arms, murmuring softly into her ear. She didn't quite catch what he said, but she could tell by the tone of his voice, that she really didn't want to know what he had said. She tried to pull away but his hands were everywhere, his breath hot against her ear. She shuddered and pushed away from him, but he kept coming ever nearer, closer, closer, always touching, never forcing, for no-one knew what happened to elves when they were forced... rumor had it some faded...
Lúthien didn't particuarly want to fade... she had survived the last time, and she wanted to survive this time... after all, she had Sly to return to. Thinking of Sly made her think of the only thing she could do to get out of this situation... so she bit him. Hard. Just enough to make him release his grip, and she wriggled away from him and ran.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

'SHE ELF! SAURON'S WHORE... MORDORIAN WITCH! HOW DARE YOU DO THAT TO ME! I'LL GET YOU FOR THAT, BELIEVE ME I WILL.... I'LL MAKE YOU WISH YOU'D NEVER LEFT THAT 'PRETTY LITTLE IMLADRIS' OF YOURS! MIRKWOOD ELVES SHOULD STICK TOGETHER, BE TOGETHER.. WE WERE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER!!'
Lúthien ran, ignoring what Thaurêl was shouting after her. He was angry, she knew that, and she also knew that she had caused him to be angry. But she believed he should not have tried what he had, not again, not after she told him the last time. But he didn't listen that time, and he wasn't listening this time. She ran for what seemed like hours, not knowing in which direction she was heading. It was only when her dress caught on a thorny bush that she stopped, with a ripping sound of fabric she dropped to the floor and let the tears run down her face unchecked. She didn't think to check the dress, didn't care... only wishing that she was anywhere else but here. How could she stay after tonight? She didn't want to, but she knew she would have to go home. Back to her parents, back to her sister, back to pretending that nothing had happened again. She hated it.
She looked up through the trees. Arien had set long ago and the stars were shining brightly in the night sky. Shining down, watching over the elves as they did each and every night. As Lúthien gazed up, she wondered if they watched her, and what they would think. With a gasp, she realised that she could not go back to Imladris now, not after what had happened... how would they react?
//They must never know// She vowed to herself. //No-one must ever know// She wiped desperately at the tears rolling down her cheeks and took a deep breath. //I must go back...// With a sigh, she stood and looked around, ignoring the sharp pain in her ankle. .. I have no idea where I am...// She stared at the trees, at the stars, at the moss on the ground, trying to work out where she was.

Her ankle gave out, and she collapsed to the ground once more, tears beginning anew. Desperately, she closed her eyes and cast her mind out for a familiar figure. She needed to hear his voice, needed to know that she was not alone, that she was still wanted. She searched but could not find, the fog was too dense, the distance too far. With a sigh she hauled herself to her feet and looked around. Settling on a direction that seemed vaguely familiar she began walking, or limping, towards what she hoped was home.

Home? What was home now? She did not belong in Mirkwood, she never had. She was far too quiet, far too understanding, too willing to meet new people and learn. Since the Battle of the Last Alliance, Mirkwood had closed itself off from the other elven realms. Broke all contact, unless absolutely necessary. Of course, Thrandruil still knew what went on in Imladris and Lothlorien, he had his spies. She often wondered whether she had been given leave to venture to Imladris in order to spy, but it had never been asked of her. She had been free to explore, to meet new friends, to learn more than she ever could stuck in Thranduil's dungeons. She had fought hard back then, nearly lost herself. But she had pulled through. No help from Thaurêl of course. He had only served to make things worse. After those long days spent, his advances were not what she wished to deal with. More she just wished to go to sleep and try to rest for the next day, for the gruelling hours she knew were ahead of her. But she was denied. Night after night, he was there, hands everywhere, and no matter what she did, or what she said, he would not stop. That was one of the reasons she had been glad to leave. To get away from him. But now she was back. She had to put up with him once more. She thanked the Valar that it was only a few more days til the ceremony itself, then she would hopefully be free to do what she pleased, to go where she wanted.

Only... she wasn't so sure what she wanted anymore...

The next few days passed in a blur, she spoke to people without really talking, listened to people without really hearing, ate and drank without tasting. She couldn't begin to fathom what was wrong, only that she had to get away. That was the only thought in her mind. 'Must leave, must get away, must return' Yet she did not know to where she should return. Her fears were getting the better of her. She longed to return to Imladris, to her friends, but feared it for some unknown reason. Would they see that she was tainted, that she was hurting? Would they be pleased to see her. And then of course, they would want to know what had happened... But she knew she would not be able to tell them. She had never been one for sharing her problems. All throughout her long life, she had coped on her own, and she would continue to cope on her own. She could see no sense in burdening others with her problems. They could not help, surely, even if they wanted to, they could not. She did not know how to help herself, so how could they know how to help?

Finally, the night arrived. The ceremony, that which she remembered of it, was beautiful, moving and romantic. Exactly what her sister deserved. She had found love, and had had it accepted by her parents. If only, Lúthien thought, if only my love could be accepted... But it was not, her mother was constantly going on about what an honorable elf Thaurêl was, and how right for her he was. She had bitten her tongue, hard enough to make it bleed, to stop herself from saying *exactly* what sort of an elf Thaurêl was. And her mother continued. She glided past where Lúthien was quietly standing, trying not to draw attention to herself, and ignoring the fact that Thaurêl was hovering a little too close for comfort. She could feel his breath on her neck, yet everytime she stepped away, he followed her. Her mother smiled as she passed them, commenting brightly on what a wonderful couple they made. Lúthien barely refrained from rolling her eyes and merely stepped away from Thaurêl yet again. And he moved with her. She wondered if they could continue this all over Arda, with her running and him chasing. She fervently hoped not. Then she entertained herself with thoughts of leading him to Dargoth, and him meeting Sly, and Wess, and even the Moonhound. Knowing Thaurêl, he would not be able to help himself. The warrior was formidable, yes, but beautiful also. Someone to admire, but not *too* closely. She smiled as she thought of what might happen. And Thaurêl leaned in closer, his breath tickling her ear, sending a shiver down her spine. She tried to move away but her path was blocked by dancing revellers. She was stuck. Thaurêl wrapped an arm around her waist, and she tried hard not to gag.
"Not again Thaurêl, please...." the plea was quiet, yet heartfelt. There was power in her voice, power which Thaurêl had never heard. He withdrew his arm, but not before whispering in her ear.
"Make no mistake Lúthien, you *will* be mine!" With that said, he sneered and walked away, right up to her mother, where he became charming and swept her round the room in a sprightly dance. Lúthien pointedly ignored the look her mother gave her, the look that said, 'This could be you my child, see how happy he could make you...'
She shook her head and made her way back to her room. She needed to pack. She was leaving in the morning. Sneaking away yes, but it was the only way. She had to leave, and they would make it difficult for her to leave. She had decided to rise early, forego food and head straight for the stables and her passage out of this place.

She would not say goodbye, could not say goodbye. If she did, they would not let her leave. They had tried before, and she knew, that this time, if they tried, they would succeed. She was weak now, tired and lonely. So she knew that she could not say her goodbyes. Not this time. She packed her things up and laid out her clothes ready for the morning. She knew that when her parents returned home, they would not check on her. She would be safe. And she would soon be gone.

Arien rose red in the sky the next morn, and Lúthien rose with her. She was ready for the journey home,, ready to leave, ready to return. She had more of an idea of what she wanted now, she had done lots of thinking over the past few days. It was amazing how much thinking one could do when no-one spoke to you. She knew where she was going, and she hoped that she would make it... The last few days had been difficult, her heart was heavy and her mind was constantly foggy. She needed space, that much she knew, and she also knew that she would not find it in Mirkwood. Not with Thaurêl dogging her every step, watching her like a warg on heat. She managed a weak smile at herself in the mirror.
"I'm going *home* today"
She picked up her bag, and checked that she had everything she would need. With a last glance around her room, she picked up Amdir and tucked him under her arm and opened the door.

~Stepping outside she is free...~

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Tales from the Wilderness

November 2013

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