Title: What’s In a Name?
Character(s): Lindir/Erestor, Elrond, Glorfindel, Celebrian, OC’s
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, they are the property of JRR Tolkien and his estate, and I have borrowed them for my own amusement and for yours I hope.
Summary: Lindir is injured with an orc blade and has to face his personal demons.
Warnings: Slash implied.
What’s In a Name?
Lindir had been so named for hope – hope in an innate talent and musical ability. You see, he came from a long line of musicians and minstrels who blessed Arda with song and music. The root of his name literally meant song, and his mother wished him to always be filled with melody and the light of song, as were his parents, brothers and sisters. His home growing up was constantly filled with harmony, melody, treble and song, as one would expect in such a family. And then there was the one element of disharmony and discord: him.
He had none of the musical gifts of his siblings and parents – no talent for song, no touch with the instruments. He felt like Melkor ruining the Music of the Ainur. He could wreck a song like no one else. His singing voice was horrible, tunelessly so; he had no sense of timing; and he played with atonal abandon. He was truly hopeless at music.
For much of his early childhood his parents refused to accept that they had birthed such a child. They tried everything they could think of to unlock the music within him. They started in his infancy by singing lullabies to him as he slept and he blossomed under such attentions growing strong and flourishing into a vital elfling day by day. They paid no mind when he could not carry a tune and had no sense of rhythm. This could all develop later, they thought though it had all flowed naturally with their other children.
As the years passed and no proclivity for music emerged, they tried to force it into him by promoting repetitive exercises and endless tutoring. Lindir tried as well as he could, but without any real spark for it, nothing took. His real love was for all things outdoors. He loved climbing and running, archery and swords. He possessed a real aptitude for all things physical and excelled at most sports.
He would spend most days at his lessons counting the minutes until he could go outside and play with his friends, and he begged, pleaded and cajoled until he was allowed to join them at archery lessons at school. His parents did not see the need for it since he would be a minstrel like the rest of his kin but they indulged him in his fancy. Archery led to riding lessons, which led to swordsmanship, and soon Lindir was not taking any music instruction whatsoever.
Eventually, once he passed the age of his majority, he enrolled himself in the course for the Imladris Guards under the command of Lord Glorfindel. He honed his body into an efficient fighting machine and had no thoughts for music other than it sounded pretty to listen to. He was never asked to play and left that life behind for the most part. He was reminded of it at times when he returned to his parents’ house and felt that old feeling of being a fish out of water among his kin.
His new kin group was the family of soldiers and they became the most important bond in his life. He lived and breathed the warrior life.
Mornings were always Lindir’s favorite time with Erestor. They rose with the sun and prepared a full breakfast, sitting on their balcony with tea to greet the day. They had done so for years when Lindir was home and able to relax with his mate. Erestor was one of Elrond’s valued healer’s in the Halls of Healing at Imladris and he had met Lindir when he was a young trainee in the guards. Erestor had tended to the many bruises and scrapes a young Lindir had gotten in skirmishes and scrimmages. Their romance had blossomed naturally from there. Lindir admitted later in life to being somewhat reckless so that he might be seen by Erestor in the Halls of Healing and this had made Erestor laugh mightily.
“You mean you got hurt on purpose?!” Erestor asked.
“Pretty much. I was that desperate to see you.”
“Well you could have just asked me to tea. You know, like a normal person.”
“That would have been too easy to my addled brain.”
“I am sure. Too easy for you.”
They both laughed together at the antics Lindir had gone through to spend time with Erestor early on in their relationship. Before too long, they had become inseparable and were a common sight in the Hall of Fire, listening to the minstrels and the storytelling until all hours of the morning. Their love grew over time and they eventually shared quarters and became bonded mates for all time.
Glorfindel rode as fast as he dared with the makeshift litter behind him. He glanced back and could see the hint of red hair above the blanket. He could not help the bumpiness of the ride as Asfaloth galloped through the thick wood, but he hoped that would not injure Lindir any further.
They had been set upon by orcs as soon as they had cleared the valley and it had been a nasty fight, three-to-one odds at best, and they had all fought bravely and valiantly. Lindir was wounded late in the battle and had continued to fight in spite of his wounds, not wanting to be a burden to his captain and comrades, but soon the blood loss had been too much.
“Lindir, you must stop! You are wounded! See to your injury! Erestor will never forgive me if you do not make it back.” Glorfindel was shouting above the din of the battle. “I will cover you!”
The orcs had disengaged and were moving away in retreat from the superior might of the elven troops. Glorfindel instructed half of his soldiers to pursue the enemy and finish them off and then turned to the wounded elf. Lindir sat against a tree in his blood stained uniform, trying to tend to his own wounds but was not doing it very well. The cut went around his side to the back so he could not reach.
“Maedron, help Lindir with his wound and the rest of you, we are going to have to transport him back to Imadris so let’s make a litter. Hop to! Double time!”
They could hear the urgency in his voice and knew that he meant them to work quickly. They cut down branches for the pallet and put it together very efficiently, making a sturdy cart that would hold Lindir’s weight long enough to travel through the woods back to the Last Homely House. It only had to last the duration of the one trip, not forever. It did not have to be perfect.
Maedron did the best he could with the healing salves that he had. He pressed on the wound to staunch the bleeding and applied an antiseptic ointment. Then he bandaged the very deep gash as well as he could.
“I hope you killed the chicken-lipped nightmare of an orc that did this to you.”
“Don’t make me laugh, Maedron. It hurts too much.” Lindir groaned as he was lifted onto the makeshift litter. They had laid two blankets underneath him in the transport and one over him. They set a canteen of water next to him and his daypack and weapons on top of the blanket they put over him. They attached the litter to Asfaloth as Lindir was made comfortable and his friends jokedaround him.
“Figures you would take the easy way back, there Lindir. You always were a lazy fob.”
“Yeah, yeah. Too tired to hike, eh?”
They kept up the light banter to mask how worried they were about him. Glorfindel gave them orders to wait for the others to come back and then hike back down to the valley together.
“Leave no one behind. Got that?”
“Yes, sir. Of course, my Lord.”
“Good, see you back at the House.”
Lindir let his hand float out of the side of the litter to touch the leaves as they passed. He tried to distance himself from the pain and let it recede. He felt better touching the trees and shrubs as they travelled. Touching other living beings made him feel as though he had a better chance of living, if that made any sense. He knew Erestor would be very worried when he saw the wound. To be honest, he was worried. He hoped the blade had not been tainted with any poison or some foul orcish tincture that would make him mad or a minion of the Dark Lord. This was a very real fear and he could not tell right now. Only time would tell. The wound was throbbing but that could be from an infection.
He saw Glorfindel look back to check on him and he waved, trying to let his captain know that all was well with him and that he should continue on. Time was of the essence with a wound of this nature and Lindir wanted to see Erestor as soon as possible. If he was going to die, he wanted to do so in the company of his mate and lover.
The ride was very bumpy at best and each jarring caused pain in his wound. He bore it as best as he could, as he had to, and began to recognize the trees closer to the Last Homely House.
“Almost there, Lindir!” Glorfindel called back to his charge.
Asfaloth galloped into the courtyard of the house as Glorfindel yelled for aid. Elrond and Celebrían came running out as well as other elves. Someone ran for Erestor when they saw that Lindir was lying on the litter swaddled in blankets and wrapped in hastily done bandages. He was put on a stretcher and carried to the Hall of Healing where Erestor waited for him anxiously.
“Do not worry, my love. All is well now that I am here with you. I can die in peace.”
“You are not going to die, not if I can help it, Lindir. Stop being so dramatic.” There was a determined look on Erestor’s face as he gently unwound the blood stained bandages from his lover’s body.
The wound was a nasty one but it had been dressed adequately by Maedron in the field and did not show signs of infection. They gave all the soldiers a field antiseptic for their packs as well as bandages, and he had used these on Lindir to dress the wound well enough to travel the distance back to the Last Homely House. Aside from all the melodrama from Lindir, the wound would not prove to be fatal. What remained to be seen is if he’d been stabbed with a tainted blade. That would complicate his recovery but he would recover.
“How are you feeling, my love. Are you hot?”
Fever was a sure sign that there was a poisonous tincture on the knife. No one had been able to confiscate the weapon that had injured Lindir so they could not examine it. With that lack, it was all guess work at best.
“I don’t feel particularly hot, at the moment but I am thirsty. If I could bother you for some water?”
Erestor hurried to provide Lindir with some clear, cool water laced with a healing powder to stave off infection and dull pain - all things to a purpose here in the House of Healings. No effort was wasted.
Lindir laid back and relaxed now that he was in Erestor’s care. He had been tense and fretful but now could totally trust that he would have the best care possible and that his lover would do everything he could to save his life, if in fact his life was in danger. After drinking the water, he felt the pain recede into the background and knew that there must have been something in the water to aid with pain and healing and infection. The healers cleverly did not waste an opportunity to aid in some form of therapy at any chance.
He also started to feel groggy and so let his eyes close and his head fell on the snow white pillow. Elrond came over and looked over Erestor’s shoulder as he worked.
“How is he doing, Erestor? He’s strong and hale. It would take a lot to send him to Mandos.”
“He seems to be doing fine and I gave him something to make him sleep. Don’t want him moving around and opening the wound further. It is a clean wound and does not appear infected but cannot tell if he was cut with a tainted blade yet. Any contaminant has not taken control yet. We will have to wait on that. “
“Yes, watch, wait and hope.” Elrond murmured, knowing full well that his best healer would not leave his partner’s side for a moment.
“Indeed.” Erestor agreed as he went to look for needle and thread to close the wound. He had cleansed it and determined that there were no particles inside and he should be able to sew it up and bandage him so he could rest comfortably, all of this done while Lindir slept soundly, snoring slightly from the sleep drought in his water.
Lindir was doing scales again, endless scales on the flute or was it the piano?? He did not know which, but all he could think of was the scales, the repetitive rhythmic notes, endless notes, notes without end. It was a living nightmare or was he living at all?? Was this what Mandos was? An endless music class? Some form of hell for him because he had failed to become the musician as his parents had wanted? Someone was driving him but he did not know who. He could not see a music tutor near him, and the notes, they were everywhere in many colors surrounding him with a vengeance. They beat down on him and forced him to play in this horrible realm ruled by music, treble and clef. He could remember the notes of the scales he had been forced to play when he was a child and they sounded loud and dissonant now, resonant in his subconscious and full of horror. He wanted to scream, and if he’d had his sword he would have run the notes through. As it was he tried to beat them with his hands. He had thrown away the oboe and begun to fight with the notes that surrounded him. He had to get away. He knew he would die here if he did not get away.
“Lindir, Lindir, wake up…”
He heard someone calling him through the din of his dream and he caught onto that sound. It was a voice he knew dearly and loved. ERESTOR.
The music fought then, as if it knew it was fighting for his fea and played louder and with more cacophony.
“LINDIR, wake up!”
The voice called louder now and he felt someone shake him in his sleep.
He shoved the musical notes away and they bleeted in protest as he ran and suddenly he could open his eyes.
Erestor had sat vigil over Lindir while he slept, and it became evident due to the nature of his dream state that the knife had been tainted. He called out and thrashed in his sleep, and Erestor feared that his patient would rupture his sutures and open his wound again with all the movement. He tried holding him down but the other elf was too strong, so he had his assistants strap him to the bed and hoped that the potion the orc had used would be of a short duration. It was frightening to think that Lindir might lose his mind to the dark forces of the Dark Lord, but he was a strong elf in both body and spirit. If anyone could fight this, it was he.
Lindir strained against the bonds but did not break them and finally he heeded Erestor’s call to wake and he opened his eyes, his bright blue eyes.
“I am here.” Lindir whispered.
“Yes, you are. Finally you are. And I am here with you. I never left your side.”
“I could hear you in my dream. I heard the sound of your voice over the din of the music. You saved me, love. You truly saved me.”
“Rest now and you can tell me all about it later.”
Erestor leaned over Lindir and brushed his lips over his sweaty forehead as he unsnapped the ties that had kept Lindir inert during his dream. They fell softly to the floor and Lindir stretched his arms over his head, flexing his sore muscles.
“I need to use the privy.”
“Oh, do you now? I think it will be the chamber pot for you.”
“You know how I love that. Bring it on, Master Healer Erestor, I am yours to command. The piss pot it is.”
Lindir stood on wobbly legs and did his necessary business and then sank thankfully back into freshened sheets. He looked outside. It was dark out and the moon was rising over the house. He had not been aware of time passing but it was now the middle of the night and many hours had gone by. “I was not aware it was night time.”
“You were not aware of much, my love.”
“No, I suppose not. I am aware that you are my life and my love. I would be lost without you.”
“As would I. We are stuck with each other. That much is true.”
“How romantic of you.” Lindir laughed. He adored Erestor’s sarcastic humor.
“We can debate the merits of my romantic nature in the morning. I order you to rest and recover. I will be here with you until I am sure you are out of danger.”
“Am I not out of danger now?”
“I am not sure. I need to observe your rest and see if your dreams are disturbed or peaceful.”
Lindir lay back as Erestor covered him with a sheet and a light blanket and yawned heartily. His eyelids drooped as he snuggled into the bed.
“I will trust to your guidance then and sleep. Suddenly I am very tired again and could sleep some more. I hope nothing untoward attacks me in my dreams.”
“I hope not, Lindir.”
“I love you, Erestor.” Lindir whispered as he fell deeply into reverie.
“I love you too, Lindir.” Erestor was sure he could not hear it but said it nonetheless.
Some weeks later…
“Raise a glass to Lindir here in the Hall of Fire. I hear he is recovering from an injury.”
Lindir and Erestor sat near the back as far away from the stage as they could get and all eyes turned to them as they tried to be inconspicuous. They had come out to the Hall to hear Lindir’s brother play a set, and as usual it was a spectacle. It was never a calm performance with his family around.
“Valar, does he have to?!” Lindir waved everyone off and blushed furiously, his face almost as red as his hair.
“Of course he does, Lindir. That is what siblings do. They embarrass their younger brothers to the best of their ability. What else would you expect?” Erestor replied.
“To be left alone to drink my wine, that is what.” Lindir sipped his mulled wine and grumbled good naturedly into his cup.
“As if, as if…” Erestor held his lover’s free hand and leaned back in his chair and enjoyed the fiddle music as Aerlinn began to play a rousing folk tune about a young musician who could not carry a tune as much as he practiced and tried to play.
As Erestor listened it became clear that this song was about Lindir but did not say anything. Lindir glowered and fumed until the tune was done. The song ended with a flourish and Aerlinn addressed the crowd.
“That song is about my little brother, someone you might know quite well here – he is your comrade, Lindir. He was named for music but possessed no ability, you see, and that is why I wrote that song for him. His music is for life and after all, what’s in a name? His music is something else altogether and we love him for it.”
A rousing cheer went up from the crowd gathered and Lindir wanted to hide but he waved and yelled at his sibling, “And now play something else, will you?!”
They all laughed and the music went on long into the night.
And so that is the end, or not as it may be.
Maedron=skilled in Sindarin (root maed)
Aerlinn = song in Sindarin