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Instruments  by Beethovens7th

Instruments of Recovery

Chapter 6

By the time Tharon brought Harmony to Rivendell, her physical hurts had healed.  The injuries done to her soul were more illusive.  After her first awakening with Tharon at her side, she showed gradual signs of recovery.  However, there were dark times for her still.  Although she could remember her name, she remembered little else.  Neither her family nor the location of her home could she recall.  If pressed to try, a wave of panic and fear would overwhelm her, sending her back to the place of dark shadows in her mind.  So she wasn’t pressed to remember but was allowed to heal slowly in her own time.  Elrond told her that she may wander freely around Rivendell.  At first she would only leave her room if Alatriel was with her.  The elven lady most often took her to hear the songs of the elves.  There were fewer of the lighter jocular songs such as were sung when the hobbit Bilbo first came to visit this place with a party of dwarves, but for their newest hobbit patient, they strove to rekindle their sense of fun.  It became a contest among some to see who could make the girl laugh with their verses.

When she became brave enough to leave Alatriel’s side, Elrond assigned teachers for her.  She learned the elven language quickly; her young mind wrapping itself around the musical rhythm of the language with ease.  Elven music and instruments she was taught as well.  Her favorite of the instruments were the strings.  The violin in particular seemed hauntingly familiar to her.  But the instrument that she saw fleeting images of in her dreams was different than the finely crafted one found for her use in Rivendell.  In what ways this was so she could not articulate in her waking hours and did not truly seek in her mind to clarify it more.  Seeking too deeply in her memories could still cause her heart to seize up and her breath to come faster.  Shadows lurked in even her awakened vision.  Voices called and screamed that only she could hear.

Subconsciously avoiding the memories that the violin threatened to bring to mind, Harmony leaned most toward the tenor tones of her small cello.  Originally that very instrument had been used by an elf as a viola, lower pitched than a violin but held in the same manner.  For the hobbit girl though, a peg was affixed to the lower end.  The peg rested on the ground and the scroll above the neck of it held near her right ear, just as one would see a human or elf play their truer baritone cellos.  The tenor range of her modified cello sang to her heart the most, calling to mind the kind Dunadain ranger who had sung to her for so many nights. 

As days passed she spoke less and less of her native tongue, immersing herself into the elven culture.  Always she felt that there was something else she should be doing, something she was forgetting to do, but she found it easier to simply deny those feelings than to face the terror acknowledging her past would mean.  She was hungry for any knowledge the elves would impart to her.  She learned a small measure of herb lore, elven cooking, and poetry but always her true passion lie in music.  Music was everywhere in Rivendell, most especially in the evening after the final meal. This was most often the only time she saw Lord Elrond.  When he wasn’t occupied with matters of the world, he would often take a few moments to talk with her.  On one such occasion after she had been in Rivendell for what seemed like years, he decided it was time to start awakening her memories of the Shire. 

“Good evening young Harmony, how does this evening find you?” he asked in Sindarin, as was usual since she had learned their language.

Still a bit shy around him Harmony responded quietly, “It finds me well Lord Elrond.”

“And your studies?  I trust those are also well.  I have heard from your tutors.  They find you a willing student.”

“Thank you for telling me so Lord.  I enjoy my lessons very much.  Especially my viola lessons.”

“I have heard you play.  You are progressing very quickly.  Had you some musical training as a child?”  Lord Elrond prodded gently.

This smile faded from Harmony’s face to be replaced by a frown.  Fear crept over her and was visible in her face.  “I, I don’t know.” She replied quietly.

Elrond knew he still needed to be careful with her, but he also knew that part of being healed would include remembering her past.  She couldn’t deny her memories forever.  Eventually they would come to the surface.  It would be better if it happened now while she was here where he could help her through it.  He decided that it was time to start gently prodding those memories to the surface. 

“From what I know of the Shire, your homeland,” began Elrond switching now to the common language spoken in the Shire, “Music is often played at gatherings and special events.  We have had occasions to play host to hobbits in the past and they were kind enough to teach us a few of their melodies.”

Still the girl sat with her head down and silent.  She truly wished that Lord Elrond would stop talking about the Shire.  Any thought of it brought memories she didn’t think she was ready to face.  After a bit Elrond continued.

“Did you know little one, that I too play a few musical instruments?”

At this question Harmony thought that perhaps her wish had come true and they would now speak of other things; musical theory and compositions perhaps.  She never tired of discussing these things nor of learning more about them.

“Do you really Lord Elrond?  Which ones?  Which is your favorite?  Do you get to play often?” replied Harmony, herself unconsciously slipping into her native language.

“Alas that I don’t.” laughed Elrond at her sudden enthusiasm.  “Matters of the world too often claim most of my time.  But when I do, my preferred instrument is the violin.”

“Do you have your violin with you?  Can you play something for me?”

“I don’t have it with me, but that can be soon remedied and then I will play something for you.”

Someone was sent for Lord Elrond’s violin.  After taking it, he spent a few moments tuning it.  He then settled it onto his shoulder and placed the bow on the strings.  With a downward stroke he began to play a gentle melody.  It spoke to Harmony of simple pleasures; sunny days spent in a grain filled field, quiet evenings sewing in front of a fire.  The melody was hauntingly familiar to her.  As she watched Elronds bow move back and forth across the strings pictures came to mind of familiar faces she couldn’t put names to.  Smiling faces she had the feeling she should know well.  Her eyes were drawn to his violin.  The firelight made the wood glow.  Harmony was mesmerized by the glow in the wood.   Her memories took her back in time to another fireplace, another, simpler violin playing the same melody; a violin played by a seemingly familiar hobbitess. The violin in her memory burst into flame.  Darkness clouded her vision.  The violin and the music of past and present intertwined, drawing her into places she did not want to go.  She gasped for air but her lungs would not work.  Voices crowded in, of a woman, and a man, and two smaller children.  And then she knew them.  Her mother, sitting limply, tied into her rocking chair, lamp oil glistening in her hair.  Her father, bleeding and broken, his eyes pleading with her to run.  Her brother and sister, huddling in the dark, uselessly hiding from men who would find them soon and leave them to freeze. 

 Who was playing the melody now?  Was it her mother?  “Mother, where are you?  Don’t leave me!” 


Or was it Lord Elrond?  “Please Lord Elrond, take these memories back from me!  I don’t want them!  They hurt so much!”  

A gentle voice in her head, intermingled with the song, “All will be well little one.  Your family should not be forgotten.”

“But I couldn’t save them.  I tried, but the saddle was so heavy.  I failed them.  They all died because of me.  If I must keep these memories, then let me die as well for I can’t bear to carry them with me.”


“Your time to leave this earth has not yet come.  There is something yet for you to do.  But for now, rest.  Sleep.”

And for a time, she did.


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