It was so dark. The woods near Tol-in-Gaurhoth were so filled up with darkness, it was impenetrable for mortal eyes, yet Thuringwethil’s vision was as good as ever. She is more advanced than the children of Eru, and even the firstborn could not compare to her. She is flying fast over the trees, their tops rushing beneath her, rustling with ominous noise.
She carries a message for Gorthaur, for rumor has it that Doriath’s daughter is missing. The nightingale, the tales sang of her, but they sang not here. Not where her friend and commander lived. Gorthaur. She’d prefer to call him by his old name, but he had forsaken it. It wasn’t impressive enough, according to him. She wonders when he had started to embrace cruelty.
Alas, Thuringwethil is certain he would approve of hearing this. And maybe he would finally decide to let her further off that Eru-forsaken watchtower! She is dying to see something else besides treetops and empty lakes again. The isle itself was barely visible, but she hurries towards it.
A sound beneath her catches her attention, and she flies down to find the source. Carefully she lands still, on her toes and crouches to catch the blow. Her bat-ears, larger than the ones of any other being, are pointing up. Only a small distance away she catches a shimmering of a glimpse. It belongs to a thin blue dress and dark hair, blacker than the night. So the daughter of Doriath has decided to come here then. A mistake.
Thuringwethil smiles, knowing this is a perfect opportunity to earn the favor of Gorthaur. Yet she opts to wait a little longer, rather than rushing into attack. The sound of hairy paws hitting the forest floor make her aware that Huan is with the elf.
Grabbing a piece of rock, Thuringwethil hurls it with all her might away. It lands far away, and the hound looks up at the elf. Lúthien nods, a silent command, and the dog speeds away. In the direction of the watchtower, she notes.
Thuringwethil has to keep her eagerness from rushing her into battle in, and moves further from the elf. She jumps up, flying through the thick woods. As her bat-form flies, she lets her limbs hit several branches, creating movement and distraction. As she expects, Lúthien follows and soon the princess of Doriath is long gone from the trail she had intended to take.
With victorious laughter she swoops down from the trees, landing before Lúthien in the middle of a small clearing.
„And so the daughter of Thingol will fall! You have strayed too far from your homeland, Tinúviel!”
She gives a grin, baring her fangs. The elf does not waver at all. She stands defiant and bold, her hands clenching into fists. Closing the distance between them a little, Lúthien steps near her.
„Vile creature, you know not who you are standing in front of!”
Lúthien calls back, stepping forward further. Thuringwethil hisses and bares her fangs further. Her wings raise themselves to loom over her.
Lúthien’s eyes seem to wide for a moment, and she must have realized something, Thuringwethil quickly thinks. She sneers, assuming it is a moment of weakness and lunges for the woman.
Within a single moment she is snapped back against the branches, a powerful, melodious voice resounding through the air, and she falls limply to her knees, her bat-skin stripped away from her. Her back hurts, her head pounding and she feels like a branch broken over stone.
She shakes, raising her now covered in dirt hands in disbelief. Weakly she forms them into fists, her nails digging into her dark skin.
Her voice trembles, like a leave on a tree in autumn, not knowing whether to fall or not.
Her power, she must have hit the elf, surely this couldn’t be it, she can’t be done for that easily, no-
She looks up, and sees that Lúthien is unfazed, still standing without a scratch. With her bat-skin in her hands.
This shouldn’t be possible, this elf-woman should not have blasted her away with only her voice, it should be impossible to steal her wings, her only way to survi-
„Go away!! Leave me be!”
She yells aggressively at the elf, her body shaking and clammy, feeling cold without her normal outfit. Thuringwethil shivers, feeling defenseless, and with good reason. Lúthien holds her iron claws, and she is left with nothing. When the elf advances, she scrambles back, shrieking at her in both fear and anger.
„Get away from me!”
She tries to climb up the closest tree, clawing at the rough surface, but to her horror she realizes she can’t without her claws.
Her panic-stricken voice almost begs to Lúthien, her form pleading for mercy. Her hands are raised up in defense, covering her face. Don’t let this be the end of me. I don’t want to go like this.
She doesn’t dare to look up any more, but when she feels nothing she peeks through her fingers. Lúthien’s silhouette strikes against the moon, and Thuringwethil can’t help but realize that she looks very familiar to it, and somehow is even more beautiful. Her grey eyes, also moonlike, are softening with every shaky breath Thuringwethil takes.
„I will not do to you what you do to others.”
Lúthien’s lips seem to move slowly, almost in a hypnotizing way, and Thuringwethil is absolutely mesmerized. She is drawn from her musing when the elf remains further silent, and the true meaning of her words hits her.
She will not die.
Thuringwethil realizes she has lowered her arm, and how she is still staring. She angrily moves, trying to get more space between them, her back hitting against the tree.
„I don’t care.”
She mutters, her glare cast down in shame and embarrassment. Her fingers are gripping the muddy grass beneath her tightly now.
„You just did.”
Lúthien speaks, passive anger flowing through her voice. Or was it scolding? What feeling it may be, Thuringwethil can hardly care now. Her blood is rushing through her head, nearly dizzying her, her body leaning against the moss-covered bark.
She doesn’t answer to Lúthien’s reply. She watches silently as the blue cloak reaching to the floor sweeps, Lúthien solemnly putting on her former one. The iron claws fit her nicely, she thinks, and when Lúthien’s hair falls loose unto the ground she watches fascinated.
She has almost forgotten about her own naked state until Lúthien glances at her again, a firm glint having taken place in her eyes.
Wrath. Or determination? Thuringwethil can’t decide yet. But Gorthaur will not escape this one.
The nightingale seems to spare her one last pitiful look, before turning around, ready to return to what she was doing, not even having been slightly distracted by Thuringwethil.
„Don’t go! Wait!”
Thuringwethil’s arm is stretched out before she can think, pointed fingernails reaching for, and touching Lúthien’s dark hair.
„You still think you are in the position to make commandments, creature?”
She watches her from above, her pale eyes almost glowing. Power is surging in them, and Thuringwethil shrinks back, biting her lip.
„I… I need to know. Why did you spare me? You have no reason to do so.”
Lúthien’s defensive pose falters, her shoulder sagging slightly.
„I was taught not all beings deserve life; but far less do truly deserve death.”
The voice she speaks with is nightingale-like, floating effortless. It holds many secrets, and many more feelings. Thuringwethil feels strangely sad, as she will never know them.
„I was in no position to judge what you deserve.”
And with those words, Doriath’s princess turns away, jumps and takes off for the path she left unused.
Thuringwethil shakes the dirt off her arms when she stands, noticing her her knees feel weak, and her form is left wet and trembling. She falls back sobbing, down to the ground, her hand clawing nervously at her chest, which suddenly aches with a longing so painful.