[personal profile] martasfic
Title: That Which Cannot Be Forgotten
Word Count: 657 + Notes
Rating: Teen (for allusions to battle-violence)
Challenge: b2wm 2011 #7
Fandom: The Silmarillion
Characters: Celeborn/Galadriel, Dwarves
Beta: [personal profile] just_ann_now

Summary: Sometimes it is hard to keep the past in the past. An encounter between the dwarves of Moria and the elves of Eregion.

Looking down the table, Celeborn could barely keep himself from scowling. The whole place stank of dwarf, and he half expected to see shed beard-hairs floating in the gravy-boat. Not that the smell was unpleasant in itself. He actually rather liked the earthy scent, of sweat and ale and of the weed they liked to smoke. But the smell of dwarf brought dark memories to mind, and those thoughts had thoroughly soured his mood.

He remembered that scent from Doriath, from before the moon ever rose above Beleriand that was. He had gone diving for pearls in his youth with them, and he had considered them friends. And later, when all Menegroth had reeked of them... There was the rub. Under the table, Galadriel's fingers ghosted over his, reminding him of her presence by his side. He asked in a near-whisper, "What is his name again? The one with the scarlet hood?"

"Thrár," Galadriel answered. "A kinsman of their king Azaghâl. His... grandson? Great-grandson? Who can keep track." She took a sip of her wine, and then added almost as an afterthought, "It was not they who sacked Doriath."

"For which I am eternally grateful," Celeborn said. Under the table she grasped his wrist, and Celeborn sighed. "I know. Civility." Earlier, as they had been dressing for tonight's feast under the stars, she had reminded him that he was no longer one of many distant heirs for a king's throne, and that being Ost-in-Edhil's lord was not without its duties. As if he needed the reminding. "You need not be alarmed, my lady. Were one of the chieftains of Nogrod to seek hospitality at my table, I would offer him hospitality."

Her lips quirked at that. "You would kill him where he stood. You would place his head on a pike in Ost-in-Edhil's ramparts yourself."

"Perhaps," he replied, "but only after I'd given him a warm meal."

They both laughed at that, but much as he tried Celeborn could not quite turn his thoughts to happier things. He remembered a fair-fashioned necklace that had borne the Silmaril, once upon a time. He knew that it had been the dwarves of Nogrost who had hewn Thingol's head from shoulders, and who had ripped his cousin's doll in half just to see her cry. But hadn't Thrár's folk helped fashion the Nauglamír that had brought their kin down on Doriath?

He leaned his head toward Galadriel's. "I see it, sometimes," he whispered in a voice he hoped only she could hear. "I see that necklace, that cursed thing, as a shining helm around his neck. I know that Durin had little enough to do with it, and even Thrár's hands are clean. But I see it in my mind's eye, that jewel which should never have been lost across the Sea. I see him. And some things I can neither forgive nor forget."

"Nor can I," his wife answered, her voice as low as his. "I love Middle-earth and would scarce ask you to leave it" – not yet, neither quite had the heart to add – "but I had other reasons for staying, when Eönwë's hosts offered me passage back to Aman. When I think of a sea-crossing, when I think of my Telerin kin... I do not think I could bear weeks on a ship built by that folk. In my mind I see the dead at Alqualondë, killed by my hand, and the distant sight of ships burning in the night."

She laughed, suddenly, her breath fluttering against Celeborn's neck. "Do you know how long it took me to look at Thingol and not see Fëanor? 'Twas a trial indeed, I assure you!" Bending her head, she planted a soft kiss on the tip of his nose. "But forgiveness is not required, at least not tonight. Only..."

"I know." Celeborn sighed. Breathing in deeply, her scent filled his chest so he could smell little else. "I know," he repeated more lightly. "Civility."
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