As the late King’s Head Minstrel, Lindir has an obligation to ease the grief of others and he believes, that in order to mourn Gil-galad and to honour his memory to the best of his ability, that this duty requires that he place the importance of easing others' grief over and above his own. As so, his will has forbidden him the right to grieve.
His heart, however, cannot accept this, and as a consequence, as each day passes since that horrible day, as each performance drags on, as each night he endures with a mask the loud mourning of the King's passing by the public, he feels the anguish clench his heart into tighter and tighter knots. It seems so painful that he thinks that it might shatter from the pain... that it might have already shattered and that his life force is already bleeding away within him.
Each night, if he is able to sleep at all, he dreams of Gil-galad's death. Always, always. And when he wakes, always in tears, always with his arms wrapped tightly around him in an effort to calm his shaking and to warm his chilled body, he will rise and spend the remainder of the night feverishly pacing up and down, shaking and weeping uncontrollably... or he will sit down at his desk and bend over a manuscript and return, all the while wiping away unbidden tears, to the task of straining desperately to squeeze out any jot of hope to please tomorrow’s listeners, the hunger in his heart inconsolable.
One night, as he flails in his bed, he hears a clatter and something fall onto the sheets. On sitting up and reaching down, his hand closes on the bow of his fiddle, fallen from the above shelf. He stares at it, the polished wood gleaming bright like steel in the moonlight. Suddenly, he leaps up, seizes the fiddle, and flees his room to head to the balcony. There, in sight and earshot of the waves of Belegaer, he places the bow to the strings and begins to play.
For himself. For only himself.
But moments after he has begun his piece, he realises, in horror, that he doesn't know what he is playing. He does not understand the storm raging within him and even worse, his fingers suddenly, inexplicably, feel strange on the instrument. He tries harder, but the notes only become harsher and shriller with each effort, each crash of the bow now in tumultuous synchrony with the whip of the waves on the shores.
Aghast, he drops his bow arm and, shaking, crying, raises his other arm to throw down the fiddle. But suddenly, someone reaches out and seizes his wrist to stop him, yanks him around to pull him into a tight embrace. And as Lindir sobs into Elrond's chest, senses his predecessor's empathy, he finally starts to feel the hunger in his heart abate.
Author's Chapter Notes:
This fic assumes (the predecessor bit) that Elrond was Gil-galad's Head Minstrel before Lindir.