An Ordinary Abrasion by The Wavesinger

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Story Notes:

Title from A Habitable Grief by Eavan Boland.

I hope you don't mind that I dragged one of my characters (Aralossë, Fingon's future wife, but not before a marriage and the death of her husband because I enjoy torturing characters) into this fic. And I hope you like this treat, Scribe_of_Mirrormere!

“I heard,” Aralossë said to Írissë, as they walked down a side-street of Tirion. “that your aunt Írimë is back in the city.”


“You heard right.” Írissë nodded absently, tangling a golden hand through her hair. “But then, for some reason, everyone seems to confide in you.”


“They do not!” Aralossë exclaimed, but her eyes were twinkling.


“They do too—or are you forgetting Lord Lintamen, of all people, cornering you and prattling for hours? Or—for heaven's sake, Lómendur of all people—”


Aralossë shuddered at the memory. “Oh, hush, Írissë, don't you dare to remind me of that...that...”


“Slug with a walrus's face and a vibrating stick up his arse?” Írissë's golden-brown face was a picture of innocence (angelic, even) as she spoke.


“Írissë!” The squeal would have received many strange looks if the street wasn't deserted; as it was, Aralossë's voice bounced on the walls. “I did not need that picture burned into my head. Now I'll giggle ridiculously the next time I see him.”


“Which is a good thing,” Írissë pointed out. “He'll be scandalized. A woman giggling. Shocking indeed! Females should maintain decorum at all times.” Her voice rose in an imitation of the aforementioned lord's prim tones, and Aralossë nudged Írissë with her elbow.


“Shush, Írissë,” she said, between chuckles. “I was talking of something serious.”


“Which is?”


“Don't give me that innocent face, Írissë. Your aunt. In Tirion.”


Írissë raised an eyebrow. “What of it?”


Aralossë twisted her fingers, not sure how to begin. “Her and Lady Elemmírë—”


And suddenly, every line of Írissë's body was tense, anger glowing in her eyes. “Shut up about them,” she snapped. “Please. I love you, Aralossë, but I can't bear to hear another word on the subject. Everyone pretends not to know and as for the Valar—” Írissë stopped and took a breath. “I know you mean well, and I know you won't be a fool like the rest of them, but I really, really don't want to talk about it.”


Aralossë blinked. “I, uh, I wanted to asked about their—the beautiful sonata they composed, whether it'd be played—”


“Oh.” Írissë exhaled, and went limp. “Sorry, I—”


“That's fine,” Aralossë shrugged. Then, “But will it? Be performed in Tirion?”


“I don't know.” Írissë shook her head. “I care not a whit for music, you know that. You should ask Auntie—I'm meeting her at the eighth hour for a ride. You should come along.”


“Do you mean it?”


Írissë snorted at the sudden hero-worship sparkling in Aralossë's eyes. “Of course I do; you've met her too many times to count, Aralossë, don't be silly. Just because she's been away for some time—”


Aralossë shook her head. “No, no, it's just—” She couldn't blush, not really, her skin was too dark for that, but Írissë was willing to bet that if she could, she'd be blushing right now. “I heard the sonata, Írissë, and it's short, shorter than would normally be allowed, but it's brilliant and beautiful, and so, so haunting, I heard it once when I was at Valmar, but—” She broke off and sighed.


“You can talk all that out with Auntie,” Írissë promised. “But I'm here right now, and you're boring me.”


“Heretic,” Aralossë said. “I'm admiring your aunt's and Lady Elemmírë's masterpiece and you're being an arse about it.”


“Heretic and proud,” Írissë replied, the midnight blue eyes she'd inherited from her father sparkling. “Haven't you seen me rail at the Valar?”


“The Valar,” said Aralossë with great dignity, “and music are two different things; one is worthy of reverence, while the other is most definitely not.” Then she burst into giggles.


“Hush, Artë, you're going to invoke the wrath of some deity.” But Írissë was giggling too.


“Then let them do what they may,” Aralossë declared.


(Then let them do what they may, Írissë would echo, far into the future, and then, this would be called 'rebellion', but for now, their defiance went unnoticed. It was far too early, in some ways; in others, it was far too late.)

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