I have lived here for centuries, millennia after millennia, I am a friend of many and a trusted member of the household and yet I hear the whispers of those that do not know me. A shadow elf they call me, living in shadows, melting into them with my dark hair and eyes and strangely coloured, greyish skin. They are not far wrong. I like the shadows and I always have; they make me feel safe, protected…at home.
There are many odd things about me; no one knows who I am or from whence I came. They found me, it is said, unconscious and naked in the mountains close to Lindon in the same year that Glorfindel of Gondolin returned to the world. Elrond often joked about that in the years that came; I was the shadow to Glorfindel’s flame. Maybe they were right. What I do know is that I immediately felt a strange connection with the golden one and, aiming to please him, I learnt everything. I learnt to walk and speak, things all elves my age should have known and yet I did not. I knew not from where I came or my age; I could not even tell them a name. Before I was found there was nothing. At first they thought a strange fever affected me, for my skin was warm to the touch, but no matter what they did my skin did not cool and my memories did not return. Erestor, they named me, after all hope of recovery had fled.
During the time I spent in service to Elrond, I slowly started to find my place. I was a fierce warrior, killing my enemies with a detached coldness that scared my fellow elves, I was an advisor seeing through lies and deceit clearer than any other, but I was not…right. There was a void in me that nothing could fill, an emptiness as if half of my being had been lost, and that I was unable to reclaim. Yet my nights were haunted by nightmares, hours of screaming as nothing allowed me rest. No potions of Elrond, no herbs and no company could stop the dreams and yet all memories of them were lost. How can something you fear so deeply be forgotten? That I do not know.
Year after year, night after night, in long dreadful hours did I scream and shudder, crying from fears no one could calm. I saw others love and that feeling was strange to me; such closeness was alien and I watched with curiosity.
I brought my memories back to the present at the sound of his laughter. Him. The only one that ever managed to stir my soul and my flesh, and I wanted him; desperately I wanted the gentle love from him that I had once seen between Elrond and Celebrían and that I saw daily between Elladan and that librarian of mine, whatever his name was. That, I wanted.
I turned to look at him, simply because it pleased my eyes to do so, and saw him throw his head back, golden hair floating down his back as he voiced his mirth at whatever it was that Elrohir had just told him. My hands itched to touch that hair.
Suddenly I felt it in my hands, golden silky strands wrapped around my fingers. Just that, nothing else and yet I felt the dread of my nightmares wake. Never before had I seen such a vision or felt such a fear in my waking hours. I stared at my hands as if the strands of gold were still wrapped around them. Horror. Quickly I stumbled away, trying to flee from the appendages attached to my arms.
Suddenly I became aware of concerned eyes watching me; a question had been asked, I knew, and yet I had not heard it. I stared into the blue eyes before they shifted to Elrohir’s grey and I ran. Why did I run from something like that, what was it that had suddenly scared me? I did not know.
That night the dreams were worse than ever. Each time my eyes closed, the visions I could not recall arose afresh and I sat up, screaming. My heart beat hard against my chest, as if it was trying to claw its way out of its prison of flesh and bone, sweat poured down my back and I could not breathe. The vision I remembered came shortly after dawn, at a time when all other dreams had faded and I was fully awake. Glorfindel’s body pressed close against mine, his blue eyes burning with hatred. What had I done to deserve such hatred? If he knew me from before I was found, if his hatred was so deep, then why had he not spoken since his return? For a moment I feared madness, but madness desires a full mind to work within and my mind had never been whole. Whence did these visions come? When had I touched the flame of my life? I wish I could remember.
The day was long, a council was held regarding a ring, a trinket of great evil. I put my tiredness and fear to rest as I listened to long stories of old, many which I knew well before they were told, others which were new to me. In a fit of madness, a short one, a periannath, was sent out to destroy the thing. Madness, and yet he was the only hope we had.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I heard a humming; for days I had heard it, an odd noise as if someone tried to talk to me and I could not quite hear them, muted and distant. It did not matter; it was no more than an irritant in my day.
That night I screamed again. Endlessly I cried as I fell over and over. Falling. I had always disliked heights. Had I once fallen before I was found? Was that how my memory had been lost? I could even feel my body hit the rocks and break.
Months passed, years, where I found even less rest than I had. Constantly I was haunted by nightmares, both waking and sleeping, but I learned nothing new. The little one destroyed the ring he had carried and my dreams increased again. Somewhere there was a feeling of failure and despair that I could not explain.
So came the day before leaving my home, before travelling over the seas to a place of which I had only heard in legend and yet, somehow, I felt a call from those shores, a feeling that I was going home in a truer sense than anything else. Dawn was dreary that day, drizzling rain making me even more tired than the day before. Glorfindel came to me that morning, worry deep in his eyes as he told me that he cared about me. That he hated to see someone for whom he cared suffer and I, he said, was looking as if the shadows in the office were about to claim me. Tired and shaky and devoid of strength, I listened but said nothing as he slowly bent forward, giving me time to run if I so wished, before he pressed his lips against mine. Oh, how I had wished for this since first I had been found. Hungrily I answered the touch of his lips, wrapping my hands in golden hair as I moved closer, feeling his body against mine - and it all came back.
Once before had I been like this, his body against mine, hand wrapped in his hair, holding him close to me as we fell, and fell and fell. The flame of my being surrounding us, burning us until we hit the rocks and all went black.
In horror, I broke lose from him and backed away, seeing confusion in his blue eyes as he asked what was wrong. I could not breathe, I could not feel, for at last I knew who I was.
I could hear screaming in my own ears; distantly I knew that it was my own cries that I heard. I felt hands restrain me as my fingers clawed for my eyes, wrapping around my throat as if strangling myself would work. I struggled to get loose from them, to reach the window, and still they restrained me. Others came and yet nothing they did or said could reach me. I had finally given in to the madness of my own mind, for now I truly knew my own being and his. I still loved him. Even after knowing I killed him upon Cirith Thoronath my heart ached for him.
So I stopped struggling, stopped talking and eating and moving. I still live, my mind yet moves, but I do not acknowledge it. Let death claim me, for I truly no longer care.