Disclaimer/Author's Note: Neither Doctor Who nor Middle-earth belong to me. I just play here. This is also my first ever attempt at a DW fanfic of any sort, so. Also there are vague spoilers for Wedding of River Song.
Lying low, keeping to the shadows, was harder than the Doctor had thought it would be. The universe was just so interesting and full of stuff to do. And he liked stuff.
Continuing his attempts to not do anything to draw any enemies' attention to his very alive self, the Doctor didn't set any particular coordinates for the TARDIS and let her take him where she would, and spent several hours digging through his wardrobe for bow ties.
When the TARDIS landed with a sudden lurch, the Doctor untangled himself from an old scarf and some pantyhose that he was reasonably certain actually belonged to Amy and, bow ties in hand, trotted back to the control room to glance at the scanners. He was on earth, but much farther into the past than he had ever been before, which seemed impossible, since he had seen the earth's very formation. In fact, the date was extremely odd looking.
3319 Second Age.
Second age of what? Eager to find out, the Doctor quickly tied one of his newly discovered bow ties (a bright green one) into a neat bow, grabbed his jacket, and peered out of the TARDIS door.
He was on a beach. It was a nice beach, actually. Pebbly, not sandy, but quite lovely, gradually evolving into grassy hills as one headed inland. In the distance he could see cliffs jutting up to overlook the water. Oddly, there was absolutely no one in sight. The Doctor chuckled and patted the TARDIS. This place, this time, was quite interesting already, but it was unlikely to be the sort of interesting that would make him noticeable.
So he set off down the beach, hands in his pockets, enjoying the salty smell of the sea and the pleasant pebbly crunch beneath his feet. There was a brisk breeze coming off the waves, and it wasn't long before the Doctor was fairly damp with the spray. But that was pleasant, too.
Then he heard singing, accompanied by someone playing a harp. It was one of the most beautiful things the Doctor had ever heard – and he had heard some terrific singing. It was also one of the saddest songs he had ever heard, and the language was one he didn't recognize – which was also quite a feat. But it seemed like it had been made for music.
This was interesting. A language the Doctor didn't know – on Earth. Very interesting. He quickened his pace as the music, or the singer, seemed to conjure images in his mind. He saw ships burning, betrayal and bloodshed among kin, mighty battles beneath a bright young sun, and rivers of tears mingled with blood.
And woven throughout the story-song was the image of three jewels that shone like stars, and seven brothers who were bound to their father's bloody oath.
The story was very familiar. He made a mental note to check his library in the TARDIS, or possibly visit one in the future. Also, he made a note to learn this language at some point. For now he would let the TARDIS translate for him.
He found the singer with his harp sitting on a rocky outcropping above some tide pools. The singer as dressed in old clothes that were practically rags, and his hair tumbled over his shoulders and into his face in thick black tangles. His wild appearance somehow only made him more sad, and it suddenly occurred to the Doctor that the singer himself might be one of the characters in his lay.
When the singer saw the Doctor approaching, he stopped his mournful singing and watched him silently.
"Hullo!" the Doctor said cheerfully once he was close enough to speak without shouting over the surf. "That's some lovely music you were playing." The singer did not answer, just gazed at the Doctor with surprisingly ancient eyes the same shade of grey as the sea, in an ageless face weathered only by sun and wind. "I'm the Doctor. Who are you?"
The singer blinked, and appeared to have to think about that for a moment. It seemed that he was unused to talking to people. The Doctor wondered how long he had been sitting there. "I am called Maglor," the singer said finally, reluctantly. "Few come this way…Doctor. What brings you here?"
"Oh, just passing through. Wandering, you might say. I'm a traveler. I go places. And I like beaches. Mostly I visit sunny ones, with lots of sand, you know. I like swimming, building sandcastles. Sandcastles are cool. And – sorry – but are you human?" Maglor looked human, or at least humanoid, but that didn't mean anything. The Doctor looked human. But no human, not even Jack Harkness, had eyes that old.
Maglor shook his head. "If you are asking if I am of the race of Men, the answer is no. I am one of the Eldar."
"Eldar," the Doctor repeated. "Interesting word. I think I've heard it before…" The Doctor began asking another question, but before he could the breeze turned suddenly into howling wind, and the sky darkened with writhing clouds.
Maglor glanced out over the sea. "A storm is coming, but it is not of Ossë's making…"
The Doctor turned and squinted into the wind. "Are those ships out there?"
"Yes. Ships of Men, come out of Númenor." Maglor stood, and the wind whipped his hair around his face as he stowed his harp away in a worn leather case. It was only then that the Doctor noticed his hands. They were terribly scarred, as though burned long ago. "They look to be fleeing from something."
Númenor. The Doctor frowned and wracked his brain – he had read all this somewhere. "Ah!" he exclaimed, making his companion look at him sharply. "Tolkien! Maglor, Eldar, Númenor – you are an Elf! A son of, oh what's his name, a brilliant chap, but a bit mad – Fëanor! Yes! It's all out of J.R.R. Tolkien!" He clambered up the rocks and peered closely at Maglor, who leaned back with a wary expression, which the Doctor ignored. "But that's fiction," the Doctor said. "How are you real? That's all a fairy tale…"
But then, he'd thought the same about the Pandorica. And that turned out to be very real.
The waves started reaching farther and farther inland, crashing with increasing force each time. "Well, we should probably get to higher ground. My ship isn't that far. Fancy a ride, Maglor?"
"You wish to ride out this gale out there?"
"No, different sort of ship! Come on!" And once again, the Doctor found himself running. At least this time he was only trying to escape the weather. Maglor turned out to be surprisingly fit and fast in spite of his worn appearance, and easily kept pace with the Doctor as they raced down the beach.
The TARDIS was right where the Doctor had left it, of course. Maglor halted, his expression openly incredulous now. "Doctor…"
"Sturdier than it looks, trust me!" A snap of his fingers, and the door flew open. The Doctor pulled Maglor inside out of the wind, and bounded up to the console. "Just gonna pop out of the waves' reach, maybe atop that bluff…ahh, there we are! That's my girl."
That done, the Doctor turned back to Maglor, who stood staring a bit foolishly around him. "Yes, yes, it's bigger on the inside," the Doctor said with a grin. "Most people have about the same reaction, don't worry about it. By the way, I've got a lovely wardrobe if you'd like some new clothes."
"What…what sort of sorcery is this?"
"Not sorcery. Technology. I'm from another planet, didn't I mention? And another time. Well, lots of times. Lots of planets. I get around. But you! Maglor Fëanorion! Great singer. Fantastic. Second only to…Daeron, I believe. Am I right? You are the only Elf I have ever met! In fact I didn't think Elves were real until today. This is exciting! Now." He spun on his heel. "Let's see about that weather, eh?"
There was something really amusing about the utterly befuddled and bemused expression on Maglor's ageless face, especially as they stepped outside onto a bluff far above the shore, and within sight of a very interesting looking city. The wind tore at their clothes, and the clouds spit a few drops of rain down onto them, but the storm seemed to be on its last legs, and most of the power was in the waves.
The ships, too, were still in sight, riding said waves toward said city. "Who lives there?" the Doctor asked Maglor.
"Some of the remnant of the Noldor who chose to remain on these shores," Maglor said. "That is Forlond. They are ruled by High King Gil-galad."
"Ah. Gil-galad, yes." Of him the harpers sadly sing. That name the Doctor definitely knew, being more familiar with The Lord of the Rings.
"Doctor, who are you?"
"Just a traveler. A time traveler, really - as I mentioned. Also space travel."
"And this...this box that is larger on the inside?"
"Yep, that's my ship. The TARDIS."
Maglor's brow creased as he searched the Doctor's eyes. "You are older than you seem, Doctor," he said. "Older than any Man."
"I'm over nine hundred years old," the Doctor said with a shrug. "Though I suppose that isn't all that old in your experience."
"It is very old for one of the Second Born. Elros Tar-Minyatur lived five hundred years, and the race of Númenor has since begun to diminish." There was a definite note of pain and grief in his voice. The Doctor glanced out at the ships and wondered if this storm meant the part of the story he thought it meant. And how Maglor would take the news when he found out.
"Well, I'm not human," the Doctor said instead. "Or, I'm not of the race of Men, as you'd say. I'm a Time Lord."
"A Time Lord," Maglor repeated slowly.
"Yes, from another planet – I did mention that earlier. But I spend a lot of time on this one."
The storm was dying down, now. The Doctor and the singer stood in silence and watched the ships, four of them, steer themselves safely into the Elven harbor. "What has happened, Doctor?" Maglor asked suddenly. "My heart tells me something terrible has happened to bring these ships nearly foundering to these shores. If Ilúvatar has granted you the ability to travel through time, you must know."
"Well…" The Doctor shrugged, reluctant to share what he thought had happened. "I don't know everything."
"You know my story."
"I thought until today it was all made up, that a brilliant man from Oxford had created a whole world in his head and wrote it down to share with the world. But he left gaps, you know. He didn't write down every detail.
"And anyway, are you so concerned? I never got the impression you dealt much with Men. That was…Fingon? No, Finrod, wasn't it?"
"The kings of Númenor are the descendents of Elros Eärendilion," Maglor replied quietly.
"Ohhh…" Right, Maglor had fostered Elros and Elrond for a time. The Doctor really needed to go back and reread his Tolkien books. "Well, his descendents turn out all right. But I shouldn't say more than that." He put his hands in his pockets and leaned back against the TARDIS. "But what about you, Maglor? Are you just going to wander the beach forever?"
"I do not know. Are you doing go wander among the stars forever?"
They watched the city and the sea as the sky cleared of clouds, and the sun started to sink towards the western horizon. As twilight set in, the first star appeared on the horizon. The Doctor watched Maglor watch it.
"Why do you travel, Doctor?"
"Because I want to see the universe. And it's fun. Sometimes – well, a lot of the time – it's dangerous. Lots of running. But it's never boring." He stared up at the sky, and then straightened up. "Well. I am going to head down to the city. Forlond, you said it's called? Right. I don't suppose you'd like to come along?"
Maglor blinked at him, and then smiled, albeit sadly. The Doctor guessed it had been a very long while since he had last done that. "No, Doctor. I will not walk openly among Elves again."
"All right, then. Take care. Maybe we'll see each other again."
"Namarië, Doctor." Maglor remained atop the bluff beside the TARDIS as the Doctor descended the hill, heading towards the city and whatever lay there. If it was interesting enough he might bring River on their next date. She would like Elves, he thought as he glanced over his shoulder. Far enough away now, Maglor seemed again mysterious and wild, tangled hair blowing across his ageless and infinitely sad face.
Many, Many Years Later
Oxford, Spring 1915
Oxford in the spring, Maglor decided as he walked down a path lined with blossoming trees, was lovely. This path in particular was quite near the university, so he came upon students every so often, sitting in the shade with a book or walking and laughing together. They paid him little or no mind.
As he sang quietly some lines from the Noldolantë, Maglor remembered the strange man from another world who had thought that Arda and Elves and Maglor himself were just a story, "that a brilliant man from Oxford had created a whole world in his head and wrote it down to share with the world."He wondered where that brilliant man was, or if he had even been born yet, and wondered also how he would learn so much about Arda that no one now remembered except a tiny remnant of Elves who yet lingered among Men.
And he wondered where the Doctor was, out there flying among stars...
Still deep in thought, he came upon a young Man, a student probably, sitting on a bench reading a book. He looked up as Maglor approached. "That is a beautiful song," he said. "What language is it?" Maglor stopped, too startled to reply immediately. He was not used to being noticed by Men, let alone spoken to.
Finally, he found his voice again. "Quenya," he said. "The language is Quenya. I am perhaps the last to speak it."
"That's a shame. It's lovely. Musical." The young Man stood and held out his hand. "My name's Ronald. Ronald Tolkien. I'm a linguist, studying at the university. You probably guessed."
Maglor grasped his hand and found a firm, honest handshake. The name, too, rang in his memory. Tolkien.
"It's all out of J.R.R. Tolkien!"
"Well met, Ronald Tolkien. I am called Maglor."
"Maglor - is that Quenya, too?"
For the first time in a very long time, Maglor found himself smiling. "No. It is a rendering in Sindarin of my Quenya name. Would you like to learn Quenya, Master Tolkien?"
The man who would one day be known the world over for his fairy stories lit up with excitement. "Indeed I would! Let me buy you a drink – there's a lovely pub nearby, the Eagle and Child…"
As he walked with Tolkien toward the town, Maglor heard a woman exclaim, "Doctor!" and turned his head sharply. He caught a glimpse of bright blue through some trees, and saw a young woman with wild blond curls run through the bushes to catch up with a man wearing what Maglor now knew to be a tweed jacket and bow tie. The Doctor glanced up and spotted Maglor. Their eyes met, and the Doctor grinned and waved before vanishing into his TARDIS with his companion. A moment later, the box itself disappeared as well.
"So, Maglor," Tolkien was saying, "that song you were singing – what is it about?"