3. Part 3
When I finally catch you, little brothers, you are going to be sorry that you were ever born! Tyelkormo swore to himself as he rode through the woods with Lord Oromë. It had been bad enough when Father had insisted he should ask to borrow Oromë’s hounds; didn’t Fëanáro realize how embarrassing it was going to be for him to approach Lord Oromë with such a request? Then when Oromë had asked his young pupil why he was so late for his lesson, and Tyelkormo had finally stammered out his request, Oromë had insisted on knowing the reason he needed the hounds, and he had been forced to relate the whole embarrassing story to his teacher. His entire family had been shamed in front of the great Vala, and all on account of his stupid baby brothers! Worse, the Vala had insisted on accompanying him back to the house and helping with the search. Tyelkormo was sure he’d never live down his embarrassment. Well, I suppose I should be grateful I didn’t have to stay home and watch Curufinwë, he thought morosely as he watched the hounds sniffing about, searching for any scent. That task had fallen to Carnistir; he and little Curufinwë had been left behind "in case your brothers should decide to come home while we are out searching," Fëanáro had said to them, fooling neither of them. Maitimo, Findekáno, Makalaurë, and Fëanáro had each taken several hounds, and were each riding out alone in a different direction; Oromë had said that Tyelkormo was still too young to venture forth unaccompanied, and so here he was, being dragged along behind Oromë like so much useless baggage. Just thinking about it made Tyelkormo’s face burn. You’ve never been anything but trouble since you both were born, he thought angrily. Well, it’s time you both learned to behave, and if Father won’t teach you that lesson, I will! I won’t have you shaming me again.
Suddenly Tyelkormo was drawn from his reverie when he noticed one of the hounds sniffing intently at a spot on the ground. "My Lord -" he began to say when the hound suddenly gave tongue. The next thing Tyelkormo knew, he was galloping behind Oromë’s swift horse, following on the trail of the hounds as they raced forward on the scent of their quarry. As he clung low and tight to his own horse’s neck, Tyelkormo suddenly found himself grinning. Hunting pesky little brothers, it seemed, might be almost as fun as pursuing any other type of game. Who would ever have thought it?
* * * * * * *
They had walked, and walked, and walked, but there was still no sign of Aulë’s forge, or Grandfather Mahtan’s house. They were no longer even sure if they were walking in the direction of the pretty mountain - the trees were far too thick for them to see it any more. Ambarussa were very hungry and terribly thirsty, but there was no water to be found anywhere, and no berries to eat either, only leaves. They chewed on some of the leaves to ease their hunger pangs, but they tasted terrible and Ambarussa had to spit them out. Their feet were sore and bleeding, and it hurt to walk. Finally they were too tired to go any further. They had to stop and rest! Ambarussa curled up together in a pile of leaves that had drifted against a large log and silently cried themselves to sleep.
They did not know how long they had slept before they were awakened by the faint noises. They sounded like howls. Doggies! Ambarussa huddled together for a moment, listening carefully. Yes, those were dogs coming towards them - the sounds were definitely getting louder. Ambarussa remembered how the big grey doggies had growled and snapped at each other, how mean they had seemed. They suddenly didn’t want those doggies to find them. Ignoring the pain in their feet, they stood up and began to run.
They ran as fast as they could, stumbling through the thick bushes, but the sounds kept getting louder. The dogs were running faster than Ambarussa could! Desperate, they began to look for a tree to climb, but all of these trees had branches far too high to reach. As the sounds behind them grew loud, they looked around for something they could use to fend off the dogs, but all they could find were some small sticks. They each picked up a stick in their hands, and suddenly there was a loud crashing as the first of the dogs burst forth from the bushes. Frightened, Ambarussa turned to face their pursuers.
To their surprise, these doggies were not the big grey shaggy ones they had seen earlier. They were patchy colored and had floppy ears, just like the ones their brother Tyelkormo played with. And these doggies were friendly, even though they were also very noisy. They howled and barked, but they also wagged their tails and licked Ambarussa’s faces. And then Ambarussa heard more noises, and they watched as two horses came running into the midst of the doggies. One of the horses was shining white, and the big man who rode on it glowed with a bright light. The other horse was brown, and smaller - and their brother Tyelkormo was on it!
Their brother looked angry, and Ambarussa shrank back when he got off his horse and came over to them. "What did you think you were doing!" he said. They tried to tell him they were going to the mountains’ roots, but he ignored them. "Get over here now," he demanded when they refused to move.
"Enough, Tyelkormo," the shining man said firmly, and with that their angry brother became quiet. The shining man called the dogs to his side and told them to stay, then he walked over to Ambarussa. He was very tall, but he knelt so they could see his face. Unlike their brother, he didn’t seem angry at all. "Come here, Ambarussa," he said gently, "it’s time to go home."
Ambarussa didn’t want to go home - they wanted to go to the mountains’ roots where Aulë lived, to be with Grandfather Mahtan and Mother. But they were so tired and hungry, and they sensed that there was no point in arguing. And so they went to the friendly man. And he gave Ambarussa some water to drink, and then picked them up one by one. One of them he put on his big white horse, and the other he sat in front of Tyelkormo. And Ambarussa found themselves riding back home, where they would again be with their father and their other brothers. Where they would be as far away from their mother as ever. Their long and dangerous journey had all been for nothing.
* * * * * * *
The arrival of the twins at the house of Fëanáro was quiet, almost anticlimactic. Filthy and exhausted, they’d raised no fuss when Lord Oromë handed them to their father, whose countenance was initially filled with honest relief at their safe return. When his youngest sons finally revealed the reason for their wandering, though, all expression had quickly drained from Fëanáro’s face; only his eyes had revealed for the briefest instant the terrible pain their innocent words had inflicted. Maitimo had assisted his father in feeding and bathing Ambarussa, treating their numerous cuts and scratches, and settling them into their bed. They fell into dreams almost as soon as their heads touched the pillows. Fëanáro had left the room almost immediately, but Maitimo had lingered; he was sitting next to their bed, watching his little brothers sleep while whispering a heartfelt prayer of gratitude for their safe return, when he heard the light tapping coming from the doorway. Curious, he broke off his meditation and went out into the hall, where he saw his father fitting a latch onto the doorframe.
"Father, what are you doing?" Maitimo asked, although the answer was obvious.
Fëanáro, intent on his work, didn’t even look up. "Putting a lock on the door," he replied. "From now on, the door to this room will be locked from the outside after Pityafinwë and Telufinwë are put to bed. I won’t have them running off like that again."
"But Father," Maitimo exclaimed in horror, "my brothers aren’t animals to be confined in a cage! They are –"
"Children," Fëanáro interrupted firmly. "Who are far too young yet to be sensible, and whose recent behavior has proven that they cannot be trusted not to roam. I will not permit them to wander away again. This door will be locked every night, and kept locked until the morning, until I say otherwise. Every night, Nelyafinwë – do you understand me?" As he uttered those words he finally turned to face his son, and the cold look in Fëanáro’s eyes left Maitimo in no doubt that his father was serious – and that the consequences of any disobedience would be severe.
"Yes," he replied quietly. "I understand, Father." You will have your way in this, Father, as you always do, Maitimo thought in despair. But do you truly believe that this is the best to deal with the problem our family is facing? My baby brothers are hurting - can you not see that? You’ll only be protecting their bodies this way, this will do nothing to heal their spirits! But when have you ever listened to me? If I protest any further, it will only make things worse, for me as well as for them.
"Good," Fëanáro replied, then turned again to complete the work. "Be sure to tell your other brothers as well – I don’t want anyone violating this rule for any reason. This is for Pityafinwë’s and Telufinwë’s own good, Nelyafinwë. They are my sons, and as their father I will do whatever is necessary to keep them both safe."
It did not take long for Fëanáro to finish installing the lock. Maitimo winced slightly as he heard the faint sound of the bolt sliding home. He remembered the times when, as a small boy, he had awakened and, unable to return to sleep, had quietly stepped outside to view the stars shining through the silvery Treelight, or had gone to join his parents in their room – how reassuring it had been, after a nightmare, to curl up between them, secure in the comfort of their embrace and their love. How would he have felt, he wondered, if he’d awakened in the night and found himself trapped so? After his father left, Maitimo gently placed his hand on the door. "I’m sorry, little brothers," he whispered, "but there’s nothing I can do."
(To Be Continued)
The names used in this story are Quenya, and their meanings can be found in the essay "The Shibboleth of Fëanor", published in The Peoples of Middle Earth (History of Middle Earth, vol. 12). When more than one name is listed for a character, the first name is the father-name, the second is the mother-name, and the third is an epessë (a nickname). The names are as follows:
Curufinwë Fëanáro - Fëanor
Nelyafinwë Maitimo Russandol - Maedhros
Kanafinwë Makalaurë - Maglor
Turkafinwë Tyelkormo - Celegorm
Morifinwë Carnistir - Caranthir
Curufinwë Atarinkë - Curufin
Pityafinwë Ambarussa - Amrod
Telufinwë Ambarussa - Amras
Findekáno - Fingon
Turukáno - Turgon
Írissë - Aredhel
Nolofinwë - Fingolfin
Arafinwë - Finarfin
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.