Characters: OFC (follower of Maedhros), Elrond
Warnings: reference to past violence
Disclaimer: Elrond and the fall of the Havens of Sirion is Tolkien's, although Maedhros's (former) housekeeper is mine.
She had made fire in dark times before. Whether they had been as dark as this—her numb brain rejected comparisons, but her hands knew their task. She moved with the economy of long experience, piling wood and kindling.
An unfamiliar stillness at the edge of sight made her look up. One of the two boys was watching her. She thought of the sting of smoke that clung still to her lord and his soldiers. She remembered refugees from the Dagor Bragollach flinching at each strike of flint.
‘We need boiling water,’ she said, failing to smile, ‘for the healers.’
Elrond watched the woman making fire as if he was seeing it done the very first time. Only a few hours’ ride ago—a world in which fire had escaped restraint and gone on a violent rampage. Like the people. He almost felt flames still licking his skin, smoke poisoning his lungs.
But this small flame catching hold of the kindling was friendly, was for warmth. The woman kept it carefully under control.
He learned, later, that she had been named for kindling fire, long before he met her. That was, he thought, how he would have named her, too.
A/N: This scene grew out of a discussion of my OFC's elvish name, but I don't think you need to know much about her to understand what is going on here. (The Dagor Bragollach is The Battle of Sudden Flame, which should explain the reactions of refugees to fire.)