Betrothed

Fire of the First Dawn

2. Chapter One

The grass was like a field of emeralds, so green it was on that fateful day, as I walked down Taniquetil from the House of Ingwë, where Indis my grandmother dwelt. The Vanyar were as wonderful as usual, and I loved deeply their enlightening hymns, and the fairness of their hair and skin, in which I could find company. Although I had stayed long upon Oiolossë, I must set off now, to return to my own city Tirion. It was a good day for traveling, for the air was cool and pleasing, and I inhaled deeply. White flowers were dotted among the grass, and their innocent heads swayed in the wind. The birdsong was beautiful, so beautiful, and I could not withhold the sore temptation to echo their mirth. I must admit I am quite a good singer...well, not as good as Makalaurë, but even Indis, who had heard many singers in her long life, said that I had the power of song...

I sang of light unquenchable, and the clear blue sky; of the wind in my hair, and the stars unseen. I enjoyed myself much, for my voice was perfectly in tune, and I composed the melody as I went. I had no fear of exhausting myself, for there was a clearing a little way from where I am, and I planned to rest there before continuing my journey to Tirion.

Suddenly I heard another voice, singing another song. It was the voice of a woman, much higher than my own, and as clear as water. I was curious to meet this lady, and I found that the singing was from the clearing, so I quickened my steps. My song halted as I came upon this singer, for she was a Vanyan woman very fair. I could see only her back, as she stood facing outwards, her light golden tresses falling unbound. The light of Laurelin was upon her, its radiance echoing that of her hair. Her slenderness was emphasized by her white gown, blown against her body by the wind. She stood as if unaware of my presence, and so stunned was I, I did not let forth any greeting. For a while I watched her sing, her body swaying to the tune in the breeze. And then she turned, perhaps to walk back to her city, still singing her song of praise to Iluvatar our father. Her eyes widened as she saw me staring, for her features were extremely fair, but most of all I took note of her eyes, blue like the sky above us, with a spark of wildness buried deep inside. A flash of annoyance and surprise flashed across her face, but there was also amusement in her eyes. It was she who first found the voice to speak.

“My lord, would you be so courteous as to let a lady know that she has audience, before staring at her with no sign of modesty?” Her tone was gentle, but the message conveyed was unmistakably reproachful. I tried to regain my princely dignity before answering, but rather admirably, failed.

“I apologize, my lady. But since you have stunned me with your enchanting voice, you must excuse my loss of manners.” I did my best at that, adding a small bow, hoping that she would not chide me further. My face was burning with embarrassment, a rare thing indeed for me. Her face was then graced by a slight smile, and with an inclined nod of her golden head, she brushed past me and walked away, leaving me still gawking at her retreating shadow. Suddenly she threw me a last glance, making my heart flutter, and then she was gone, out of sight.

Still as if in a dream, I sat down on the green grass by a tall tree. So high-spirited a woman I had not seen among the Vanyar before. Who was she? No ordinary maiden, I think. Perhaps she was the daughter of a Vanyan nobleman. I could see plainly that she was no married wife. What a pity that I did not know her name, or I could have asked Indis. Long I sat in thought, and long was her beauty in my eyes, but at last I pulled my mind from the angelic singer, and went on my way.

Tirion was as plentiful as ever, but Finwë my grandfather was no longer in rule. He has followed Fëanáro my half uncle into exile in Formenos. Now Tirion is in the hands of Nolofinwë my uncle. Life got on as usual for me, my brothers, and my one dear sister. But there was an unwanted longing in my heart, a longing to visit my grandmother. Maybe it was because things in Tirion were not perfect anymore. Strife had broken out among Fëanáro and Nolofinwë: they both wanted power, the power to rule the Noldor. My own father, Arafinwë, would not indulge in such, but would instead go among the Teleri, whose princess he married. Alqualondë of my mother’s kin I loved also, but now this love is somewhat dimmed by my ache for Taniquetil, and the hospitality of the peace-loving Vanyar.

Finally one golden day in autumn I arranged to visit Taniquetil again. My father frowned at me when I took leave of him in the night before my journey. He knew that I did not want to stay at Tirion.

“Why do you not visit Alqualondë instead?” he asked. I can only follow the direction of my heart, I told him then, and I thought he understood. It was just like him and his numerous journeys to Alqualondë when he was young, to seek for something he did not understand, a deep flow of emotion where none could touch. He did see me off the next morning, bidding me swift return.

The way was familiar by now, as I had thought of it for so many sleepless nights. My spirits were high indeed, and since I could not be contented with walking, I ran and leaped like a deer, joyful in youth. After a while the halls of Ingwe's children came into sight, and I stopped, rather self-conscious for acting so childishly. Fortunately no one had caught a glimpse of the silly Noldorin prince! Regaining my composure, I walked regally to the great doors. Indis was there waiting already, clad in green, her golden hair twisted into a bun at the back of her neck. She was as beautiful as ever: young in appearance, old in wisdom. She was happy to see me, her blue eyes beaming of proud recognition , a gentle smile on her lips.

"Findarato," she addressed me, her voice deep and clear. "What brings you again to the House of Ingwë so soon?" And I found it hard to answer her. She took no notice of my lack of response, and led me into a guest chamber, which I had occupied in my previous visits.

"And how long do you wish to stay?" She pressed me further, gesturing for me to sit before her. I obeyed quietly. I must confess, I had not really thought of these questions. I had only listened to my heart, and made a rather rash decision. Now I was here, how could I fulfill my strange desire?

"What do you seek, young prince?" She smiled, and I felt as if she saw through me, all my whims and desires. Indis was old and wise indeed, but I was truly baffled. What did she know that I do not?

"Peace? Song? Company? Experience? Wisdom?" She asked, the light shimmering in her eyes, as deep as the oceans and just as wise. I suited these reasons to my will one by one while she waited, and none touched me enough to let me know the truth. I lowered and shook my head in despair, my hair hanging before my eyes. Would she stop baiting me with words? But then Indis came before me, taking my face in her white hands, to stare deep into me again. Did she know? Did she understand? Would she relieve me of my burden then?

"Or... is it a fair Vanyan maiden whom you had given your heart to, unknowingly?" she said at last after a long pause. It was not a question, for the answer was written clearly in her eyes. With a shock I understood.

Oh! The fair maiden with the wondrous voice, and her undeniable beauty. The fiery freedom in her sapphire eyes, and her natural cool manner. It was her who had caused such an ache inside me, and it was for her alone, whose name I do not know, that I came upon this holy mountain. I settled myself for a minute. Did Indis know this high lady then? Would we be introduced finally?

I stared at Indis, putting the unspoken message into my eyes. She merely laughed, and called to the maid just outside the door to fetch the “lady who was waiting”. Cunning Indis, still denying me her name. Oh, yet I care not now, for my joy is apparent, and I await only the presence of this mysterious maiden. Still, I glared at Indis for setting me up, and she winked at me.

But then the door was knocked lightly upon, and hastily I stood up, brushing down my robes and tidying my hair. Indis waited until I was finished before nodding her head at me. I strode to the door and, with a fluid motion, pulled it wide open. My heart was beating so hard, that I was hardly aware of anything other then she who stood in the doorway, a maiden crowned with gold, as fair as spring and summer, and more enchanting than my wildest dreams.


This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

In Challenges

Story Information

Author: Simbelmynë

Status: Beta

Completion: Work in Progress

Rating: General

Last Updated: 04/03/03

Original Post: 03/19/03

Back to challenge: Betrothed

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