And Then Darkness Surrounded: 2. Chapter Two

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2. Chapter Two

Telperion was already beginning to mingle with Laurelin when Finwë reached the central courtyard, and their unique light, so many times sung in the merry songs of the people of the Eldar, coloured the warm air in a way even the Valar found delightful. However, the king of the Noldor scarcely slowed his pace to take pleasure at the sight. He was eager, so eager to look upon another brightness of even greater beauty and wonder.

One by one, he went down the long stairs which brought to the entrance of the cold subterranean treasure chambers, and whispering a spell Fëanaro had taught him alone, he felt the door opening, and the warmth that embraced his hröa.

It embraced him as Míriel had done thousands of years before, under the stars of Middle Earth. It remembered him too of Fëanaro´s embrace, when he was no more than a child who loved his father with all his heart.

However, he knew it was a quite different thing that shone down there. It was not love, but the Star Jewels, Fëanaro´s own creation, the likes of which had never been seen before in Aman. Their light could heal or burn his fëa, and this something was dangerous for the person who looked at them.

Just like Fëanaro.

Fortunately, as with his son, Finwë succeeded nearly always in tempering them with his own fëa. That he was going to do now, once again.

Still...

Finwë suppressed a frown, as he undid the magic lock and all the rest of the protections Fëanaro had put to the hoard of the Silmarils. It had seemed to him that he could perceive a strange sensation inside...perhaps fear. Was it his own imagination?

"What is the matter with you?" he asked gently, taking them in his hands, as he would with any of his own children- or grandchildren, even great- grandchildren now. He loved the Silmarils very much, for they were the only thing he had from his dearest son when Fëanaro was away. He held them dear also because his son did, and because, in a strange way, he knew the Silmarils liked him as well, for they shared the mind of their maker.

Startled, Finwë became more and more aware of the growing distress in the light. Something was not well. He did not know why, but memories found again a path into his mind, and they were most distinct and clear, as they were recent...only from a few days ago.

It was Fëanaro, his son, thundering as he came upstairs, the might of his fury burning into his eyes. So deeply engulfed was he in his anger, that he didn´t see his father coming down, and they collided.

" Clear out of my way! You..oh, it´s you, atarinya.*" Fëanaro corrected himself in time. He never adressed his father as "aranya", his king, like his brothers and sons did. Finwë was for him first and foremost a father, and only after that could be something else. In fact, the king sometimes wondered if he was Fëanaro´s king at all. When a young boy, he never hesitated before bursting into the most important counsels to show him a new game or a toy he had invented or crafted, and now, many years older, he hadn´t changed in the least. He still needed to have his father alone, as with the Silmarils and many other things. That was his way...

"Are the Silmarils locked?" he asked abruptly. Finwë, a little bewildered, didn´t answer at once.

"What?... Yes, Fëanaro, of course. They are always locked, unless when you yourself take them with you. Why?"

"It´s...never mind, atarinya. I am going now to look at them.

"Fëanaro" The king didn´t like being dismissed at all, even by his own son. So, more firmly, he seized him by the tunic to prevent him from rushing away, as he was about to do, and stared at him.

Fëanaro was forced then to meet a determined pair of grey and piercing eyes.

"Is something happening that I do not know?"

"I do not believe there is anything worth knowing."

"But I want to know it now."

So even the Spirit of Fire had this time to yield, albeit grudgingly, to his father´s demand.

"I had an argument. With Melkor the Vala."

"An argument?"

"Aye, or whatever way you wish to call it. He wanted to keep the Silmarils. My Silmarils! I refused, and he went away, furious. He dared even to hint that he helped me in their crafting! He! It is a lie. You know it is! But this did not stop that presumptuous liar...

"Fëanaro, stop!" Finwë shouted. It was the first time he raised his voice, so he himself was surprised at the sound. From whence came that sudden passion?

Only because of an argument?

Maybe it was the remembrance of the foul deeds of Melkor before he got imprisoned in Mandos´ halls. Or maybe Fëanaro´s grim stare, the cold spark in his eyes when he repeated that the Silmarils were his own.

He didn´t like it.

"The Silmarils are really insuperable works of your hands, the finest works ever made by the craft of the Eldar, but you know they are not yours alone. Even if by your skill they shine with a far more magnificent radiance, the light inside them is no other than the light of the Two Trees, grown by the magic of the Valië Yavanna. Yes, you once knew all this, but you have become too proud now! And the life inside the Silmarils is not yours either, for it came from Ilúvatar, the only being with power to give or take it. Do not forget it ever, and respect the Valar, who taught us everything we know, and Melkor no less, for he is one of them, and long ago they understood that he deserved to be forgiven for all his past wrongs.

Finwë´s strong rebuke, surprisingly enough, did not anger Fëanaro further, as it would had anyone else uttered it. On the contrary, his father´s displeasure shocked him and caused him much distress. Finwë didn´t remember having seen him so helpless since when, so many years ago and being little more than a young adolescent, he had been rude to Indis. She was Finwë´s betrothed by then, and the king´s anger was so great that he refused to speak to his son until formal excuses were presented to her. Fëanaro, unable to bear it, made peace with the forgiving and kind Vanya the same day.

Would that he had been as adamant years later. Perhaps much damage could have been averted.

"Forgive me, atarinya, you are right. I should not have been so proud. " Fëanaro muttered as he lowered his eyes for a moment. However, he was again looking at Finwë, eager to see if his apology had brought again the love that usually dwelt in his gaze." It is very difficult for me to respect Melkor. He is untrustworthy, and I think he must be hiding something from us. More than once, I have surprised a look of cunning in his eyes when we talk about my...about the Silmarils, and that was why I could not bear the thought of his hands pawning at them. They..they too dislike him. "But, atarinya , if you want me to make peace with him, I will do so.

"Well, if you really want to make peace with someone, why not start with your brother Nolofinwë?" Finwë snapped back. He knew it was an useless question, because Fëanaro didn´t even want to hear about it.

To his intense surprise, his son nodded seriously.

"You are right again. I was thinking about it.

"What?"

"Yes. It seems that I now can understand lots of things." Fëanaro ended enigmatically, before attempting a new apology." Are you angry still? Please, do not doubt my respect for the Valar."

As always, Finwë´s heart melted at the ardent plea of his beloved son, and he wasn´t able to hide a smile.

"I know, yonya.* By the way, what about that invitation for the festival?"

"I will go" his son answered promptly. "Manwë has asked me to, and I am not going to displease him again, I promise.

The exiled king shook his head to forget the intense thoughts brought to his mind by the Silmarils´ presence, and by the feeling of dread they were communicating, and he tried to concentrate. What should have worried him? Fëanaro´s behaviour? No, for he had been on a very good mood nearly all the time of the conversation. He even said he intended to make peace with his brother and, although Finwë did not believe it, it was nonetheless a good sign.

Then it was the behaviour of Melkor.

It seemed that his son had suspicions about the Vala, and Finwë wasn´t sure if he should believe him or not. On the one hand, Melkor had a past...and not a very good one. He hunted for Elves and took them prisoners when they were in Middle- Earth. The Valar encouraged them to believe in his reformation, but he had always felt guilty about that, for he had his doubts. Never had he encouraged Fëanaro´s friendship with him, even as he saw it was good for his son´s improvements at his skills.

On the other hand, Fëanaro was not a very good judge of minds and character. Finwë hated to say so about his son, but it was the truth and the reason why the great Spirit of Fire had made so many mistakes.

As he had, too. And to know that the Silmarils were frightened of Melkor only made him feel worse than ever.

"Do you fear Melkor? It is because he tried to take you away?" he asked in a whisper. The light grew more intense, and, then, it nearly disappeared for a moment.

Then you are wiser than I, he thought bitterly. For I have failed in everything. I could not bring peace into my own house, my people fight each other, Míriel lies dead in Mandos´ Halls, and Indis is left alone in Tirion. Now, I was so engulfed in my own griefs that I was unable to sense the true danger as I am doing at last.

"Do not fear, Fëanaro will protect you... as I will do while he is away.

Slowly, after some timid sparkles, the Silmarils began shining again with their calm and unalterable glow, cold and burning at the same time, which filled the fëa of the lonely king with something akin to determination while he calmed them down.

Now, all should be well...should it?

He hoped so.

"Farewell" With great care, Finwë laid the Jewels in their proper place again and, after a last glance at them, he closed the hoard and walked towards the door. Now, he should perhaps rest at last, as he promised Canafinwë. There was nothing more he could do, in fact.

And then, all of a sudden, darkness surrounded.

The End

*atarinya: my father.

*yonya: my son.

Note for Quenya names: Fëanaro is the mother-name of Fëanor ( his father- name is Curufinwë), and Canafinwë is the father- name of Maglor. Nolofinwë is the father-name of Fingolfin. As to why does Finwë call his son by his mother-name, Tolkien says that everybody did so, and Finwë most of all should want to honour his wife, I think.

You may be asking why I said at the last chapter that the love of Finwë and Míriel began in Middle- Earth, when Tolkien purposely says that "the love of Finwë and Míriel was great and glad, for it began in the Blessed Realm in the Days of Bliss." Well, I´m afraid you´ll have to forgive me, but as I prefer the other version ( I even wrote a tale about them two in Middle- Earth years ago), I assume that Tolkien only refers to their betrothing or "legal" love.

Well, so until next story ( a NC-17, I believe). Nai tiruvantel ar varyuvantel i Valar tielyanna nu vilya!

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.

Story Information

Author: Maeve Riannon

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: Time of the Trees

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 11/05/06

Original Post: 09/14/02

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