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Title: Echuir

Characters: Turambar, Níniel

Prompt: 026. we are flying on wings in winter sky; with fire burning deep inside

Summary: On a cold day, Turambar and Níniel see warmth in the months ahead.

Author's Notes: They’re all Tolkien’s characters. Níniel’s mangling of grammar is intentional, so this is a slight AU, since Unfinished Tales has her speaking perfectly by her first autumn with the Halethrim, but I find that unrealistic. I can’t be the only one who remembers saying things like ‘I wash myself my dog’ when learning a foreign language. The title means ‘stirring’ in Sindarin, and was a name the Elves gave to early spring.

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‘Hello?’


Turambar turned to see Níniel standing near him. Winter would not truly begin for another few weeks, but she was wrapped in a thick woollen cloak to ward off any potential chill. She had sounded tentative and her smile was shy, but seeing him smile in return she repeated, with more confidence, ‘Hello?’


‘Hello,’ he replied, and was pleased to see her smile grow stronger. Apparently satisfied, she produced two apples, proffering one to him and taking a bite from her own. For a while they ate in companionable silence, until Turambar, seeing her draw the folds of her cloak closer around her, felt compelled to ask: ‘Are you cold, Níniel?’


She nodded. ‘Yes. A little. Winter soon come?’


‘Yes,’ he said, ‘Winter will come soon, but it will pass, and spring will come again.’


This time her smile lit up her whole face, like a sudden bright burst of sunlight on a cloudy day, and her words gushed like a melting stream. ‘Yes! Spring and sun and sky and grass and trees and flowers–’ she broke off suddenly, looking at her feet, the flow halted. ‘Much I talk, ai! You me forgive?’


‘No, no, Níniel,’ Turambar attempted to explain, ‘there is nothing to forgive.’ She understood the tone of his voice if not the words, and looked less despondent. He smiled as he watched her walk away, her hair bright gold in the sun. For although winter lay ahead, he had seen the promise of warmth in the months beyond.
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