7. Chapter 6: The Silmarils
Fingolfin followed his brother hand in hand down the shadowed staircase through the darkened workshop. They walked silently, barely touching as Feanor led Fingolfin through the wonders he had created. One, like the dew on a new-budded Niphredil, fragile, and yet imperishable stone. Another, white in beauty like the snows of the peak of Taniquetil. On each of his visits Fingolfin saw these marvels, and new ones, and wondered at them. In the years that had passed Feanor had crafted something beyond these, beyond the greatest wonders of the Noldor, or any of the peoples of the Elves.
The Silmarils had once been seen by all at a distance, at the great feasts. Over time, they had become more and more secret, their light hoarded by Feanor, save when he wore them blazing on his brow. None could approach them, none save Feanor alone. But now, touching his brother's hand, Fingolfin trembled to realize that he was being led to these very jewels.
They lay, unencumbered by any setting, on a table covered by a green cloth, so small, each scarcely larger than an Elven palm, yet so overwhelming in their presence that they seemed to fill the hall with their beauty alone. Fingolfin stretched out his hand.
"Do not touch them," Feanor warned.
Why not? Fingolfin wondered, but did not ask, for he could not speak.
The Silmarils shone with a light of complete purity, as if hallowed and blessed by the Valar, and beyond. A light that could transform any darkness, it seemed, into a place of peace. Though all the crafts of Feanor were of surpassing loveliness, never had Fingolfin seen such beauty, or imagined that such could be. Surely this was the fire of which his father spoke, the very fire of the One. A fire that burned so bright, and so pure, could be none other.
"Are they not beautiful?" Feanor asked.
Fingolfin wheeled in shock. Feanor had never doubted the beauty of his crafts; why would he ask of this, his highest creation? And what was that in his brother's voice? Could it be weakness? Could it be need? In Feanor?
Had the Spirit of Fire forged a flame he could not bind?
"I think Mother would have liked them," Feanor continued.
Mother? Feanor surely could not mean Indis, the mother who had raised him, and Fingolfin had never heard him speak of the mother who bore him, save to call himself her son. And what had she to do with these radiant gems? "But you never knew your mother."
The moment of seeming weakness was gone, as suddenly as it had appeared. Feanor raised one eyebrow, and the corner of one mouth, and his eyes were as hard as the jewels he had shaped, and burned with the very fire. "No," he said. "I did not."
A moment passed, and another, between the twin fires of Feanor and the Silmarils. Then, a sudden motion and Feanor crossed the narrow distance between them, seized his brother's face, and pressed it to his own. A heartbeat. Claiming lips. Fingolfin wrenched his face aside, placed his hands on his brother's chest, and pushed him backwards with all his strength.
"Are you mad?" he shouted, trying without success to ignore the rising heat in his body. "What madness has taken you?"
A breath taken by two chests as one. A gaze. An absence of forgiveness. Fingolfin touched the green stone at his chest for reassurance, as he had become accustomed over these years, but it was cold, as cold as the eyes that faced him.
"I think I should go," he said.
"Yes," Feanor answered. "You should go."
He made no move to lead his brother to the entrance-hall as he always did to end their visits, so Fingolfin turned and groped his way through jewel-filled caverns, not looking right or left, not to marvel or to stone. Even the radiance of Laurelin as he emerged could not warm him, and seemed dark after the light from which he had turned away.
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.