Word Count: 540 + Notes
Challenge: b2wm 2011 #5
Fandom: The Silmarillion
Characters: Galadriel, Melian
Summary: A conversation between Galadriel and Melian, on the nature of safety.
Galadriel often sat in Melian's parlor, alone or in the company of others. Waiting on her ladyship, Galadriel once put it, though Melian was no more eager for courtly ministrations than was Galadriel herself. They busied their hands with the fine needlework required by Thingol's folk, and their minds with talk of Aman.
In truth Melian had little interest in her former home, but such small talk helped fill the hours. Courtesy demanded that Galadriel not go romping with the men of Doriath when Celeborn so obviously fancied her, and Melian knew her duty as host. Still, Galadriel seemed ill at ease with such talk, and Melian often wondered whether Galadriel would be happier if left to her own devices.
But Galadriel kept coming, and Melian had not the heart to turn her away. She deftly avoided all talk of Olwë's folk, which seemed to unnerve Galadriel more than any other, and as time went by they spoke more often of Menegroth's gossip and left Aman well enough alone. Melian was taken by surprise, then, when Galadriel brought up their old life, some years after she first came to Doriath.
"Do you not miss it?" Galadriel asked her quietly, her eyes fixed on the old tapestry she was repairing that afternoon.
Did she? Time had little meaning to one who had sung history into being, and Valinor in all its glory was not so distant in her mind as it seemed to be in Galadriel's. "No," she answered matter-of-factly after a moment. "The memory is dear to me, make no mistake, but Menegroth is as dear to my heart as Taniquetil ever was."
Galadriel nodded at that. "I came seeking my own realm, but have not yet found my heart's desire." She pursed her lips together as if debating whether to say more, then swallowed hard and shook her head to herself. "Sometimes I wonder at this land, my queen. At your dominion. 'Tis through your strength more than Thingol King's that Morgoth's shadow is held at bay, and I am glad of the shelter." She paused and Melian smiled encouragingly. "But... well, do you ever fear we are too set apart?"
A strange question, and stranger still that it had not occurred to Melian until just now. She had come to Middle-earth for love of the Children and out of a longing for adventure. Unlike Galadriel she had never sought a land to rule over. Yet here she was, ensnared by her love for her Thingol and all his folk, and by girding all Doriath she had bound herself in.
"Peace is a dear gift," she said at last. "I cannot protect all Beleriand from Morgoth's filth, but I would shelter those I can. Mayhap one day things will be different and I can explore the unsearched corners of this land yet again. But for now my place is here."
Galadriel looked at her then, her eyes taking on the hard piercing quality that could cut through bone down to your soul. Melian, queen though she was, met Galadriel's eyes evenly. Still, she could not quite push Galadriel's words from her mind. What had she purchased for her people when she'd hemmed this land in, and at what cost?