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Nightfall

No sign of light did flicker

In floods of tears she cried:

"All hope's lost, it can't be undone

They're wasted and gone!"

Save me your speeches, I know!

What you want, you will take it away from me!

Take it and find out for sure

The light she once brought in is gone forever...

A tall elf is leaning against a wall, his dark hair a stark contrast to the pale wood panelling. "That's pretty much how it went," he says. "Father was… not the most stable when it came to the Silmarils. I was a long way away when the Trees died, but… yes, that's him." He quirks a small smile. "Even to the Valar, even then."

Stepping away from the wall, the elf shakes himself. "But where are my manners? Welcome, Protectors of the Plot Continuum, to the very first episode of Songs of Arda." He sniffs. "I wanted to call it Ardolindi, but apparently Nutmeg Television don't think most of you speak Quenya."

Quietly in crept a new horror

Insanity reigned

And spilled the first blood

When the old king was slain!

The elf flinches slightly. "'Insanity reigned'. That's a very accurate description. Can you even imagine it? Seeing the light that had shone all your life snuffed out? Finding your grandfather murdered, when no-one had ever-?"

He cuts off, glances away, then looks back at the camera and smiles. "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dafydd Illian, formerly of the Department of Geographical Aberrations - and more years ago than I care to remember, I was Maglor, son of Fëanor.

"So you see, I'm not just commenting on this song - I was there."

How long shall we mourn in the dark

The bliss and the beauty will not return

Say farewell to sadness and grief

Though long and hard the road may be

But even in silence I heard the words

An oath we shall swear by the name of the One

To the world's end…

Dafydd chuckles. "And wasn't that a good idea?" He glances down at his right arm, reaches across and absently rubs the stump he has in place of a hand. "That Oath led us into places darker even than the Darkening of Valinor. I can still feel the burn, even though… well. You can see."

The words of the banished king: "I swear revenge!"

Filled with anger inflamed our hearts

Full of pain

Full of pride

How we screamed for revenge!

"Oh, Father." Dafydd shakes his head. "But since I'm supposed to be commenting on the song, I'll say that this… what was it called, 'heavy metal'? It's perfectly suited to the subject matter. A dark god destroys the Light, the greatest of the Elves vows revenge in defiance of the Valar, and carries his people with him… yes, this is the sort of story that should be screamed, not sung."

Vala he is, that's what you said

Then your oath is sworn in vain

Never trust the north wind

Never turn your back on friends

Oh, I'm heir of a high Lord

(You'd better not trust him!)

The enemy of mine, isn't he of your kind?

And finally you'll follow me…!

"And wouldn't he be delighted to know he's being quoted by mortals, down here in the ages of the world?" Dafydd glances down at the desk beside him, where a faceted crystal catches the light. "Actually, no. He wouldn't. Not if he knew about Beren.

"But on the other hand…" Dafydd tips his head thoughtfully. "'Therefore I say that we will go on, and this Doom I add: the deeds that we shall do shall be the matter of song until the last days of Arda.'"

Nightfall!

Quietly crept in and changed us all.

Nightfall!

Quietly crept in and changed us all.

Nightfall!

Immortal land lies down in agony!

"Yes… ultimately, I think Father would be pleased by this song." Dafydd straightens up, and a smile floats across his face. "It doesn't apologise for his actions - but neither did he. It shows his anguish, his pride, his glory and his folly, all at once."

Now the elf steps forward, reaching for the camera. "And really, that's all any of us can hope for, isn't it? That the songs people sing about us will be true - will show us as we really are, not as we or they would like us to be." He pauses for a moment, considering. "Though the occasional song praising you unrelentingly is nice, too.

"I'm Dafydd Illian, this has been Ardolindi, and they're not going to be able to cut that line. Namárië."

Back to where it all began...

Back to where it all began


"NIIIIGHT-FOOOOUR! Quiet creptly and changed the song! Niiight-foooour-"

"It's 'Nightfall', Bella," Dafydd told his daughter, not looking up from his book. "'Quietly crept in and changed us all.'"

Belladonna Illian folded her arms. "I do what I do."

"Yes, dear," Dafydd agreed, "but what you're doing is wrong."

Bella's lip stuck out. "I do what I do."

Dafydd rolled his eyes, closed his book, and looked over at his wife. "I blame you for this."

"Hey, you're the one who accepted Undis' request that you host a TV show…"

"Not the singing, I'm perfectly willing to take responsibility for the singing." Dafydd gestured vaguely at the kitchen door, through which Bella had just left. "I mean the insistence on getting it wrong."

"Oh, really?" Constance swivelled away from the computer. "So between you and me, Makalaurë Fëanárion, you think I'm the stubborn one?"

"I'm remembering that last trip to your father's," Dafydd said. "The one where you insisted on my building a boat to cross a flash-flood in order to get there on time."

Constance raised an eyebrow. "Dafydd, I'm going to say three words, and then you're going to admit I'm right."

The elf leant back in his chair. "This should be interesting."

"Something like that." Constance cleared her throat. "Oath."

"That was a long time-"

"Silmaril."

"That's the same thing! Unless you mean that time I wandered into that mission and-"

"Harp."

Dafydd raised a finger, opened his mouth, paused, then nodded. "You're right."

"Of course." Constance grinned at him. "But we can hardly blame you. I mean, look at your father."

"Hey, now, give Mother her due, she was just as intransigent." Dafydd cocked his head in contemplation. "As was Grandfather… both of them… and Grandmother… and Indis, to be honest… and given the circumstances surrounding the Statute, I doubt Míriel was any better… I concede the point."

"Good boy." Constance leant over and ruffled her husband's hair. "Keep that up, and you might overcome that reputation for stubbornness."

"I'm not sure that would be a good thing…"

Dafydd's gaze tracked across the room to his youngest daughter. Daphne had gathered together all of the unlit candles that her parents liked to burn in the evenings, and was attempting to make a tower out of them. As Dafydd watched, the precarious structure toppled sideways, missing Oleander's head by about an inch.

"Let's just leave the candles alone, shall we, Daffy?" Dafydd hurried across the room to collect them up before she could resume building.

Daphne scowled up at her father. "But! I want them."

"We know, sweetie," Constance said, "but you can't have them. They're not for playing with."

Daphne's face crumpled slowly, and she seemed on the verge of bursting into tears - but then Bella came back into the room, and Daphne grinned.

"But!" she exclaimed. "I do what I do."

Constance burst out laughing as Dafydd's forehead thumped against the wall. "I take it all back," she said. "This? Is entirely and totally your fault."


Disclaimer: Nightfall belongs to Blind Guardian. Middle-earth and everything in it was created by J.R.R. Tolkien. The PPC is the work of Jay and Acacia. Dafydd and his family belong to me and Kaitlyn.

Author's Note: Because who better could there be for the job?

All lyrics are as interpreted by me. Some of them differ from the versions floating around on the internet, but honestly, I think this version is more accurate. I may have some of Dafydd's pride there. ^_^

Also, I feel like it might be cheating to just quote your own children and call it fiction...