3. The Loyal Son
"I can't believe you're leaving Tirion to follow Fëanáro into exile, Maitimo! It's only your crazy father who's been banished - not you! Why are you doing this?" Findekáno stared at Maitimo in disbelief. He'd known that Fëanáro's exile was to begin the following morning, and although Findekáno had desperately hoped that his favorite cousin and closest friend would find some way to remain behind in Tirion, he'd known in his heart that this hope was likely forlorn. Maitimo was still unmarried, and it was the accepted custom among the Noldor for unmarried people to dwell with their parents until they were ready to wed and beget children of their own; for his cousin to remain behind in Tirion by himself would have caused a minor scandal. So when Maitimo had finally arrived to say farewell, Findekáno had been disappointed but not surprised by his cousin's decision to leave. He had been shocked, though, by the rest of Maitimo's plan. Findekáno had naturally assumed that Maitimo would be going to stay with his mother and her relatives - it was the only sensible course open to him, after all. Maitimo's decision to follow his father into a shameful exile, becoming a willing outcast, was utterly baffling to him, and Findekáno felt no hesitation in challenging it. "Be sensible, Russandol - go and stay with your mother's people instead. Everyone already thinks your father is mad; do you want them to think that you are also?"
"Don't you dare say that about my father!" Maitimo shouted in reply. "He's not crazy! This whole ugly situation is your father's fault - he was the one who went around telling lies to Grandfather behind my father's back. You can't blame my father for being angry about that! If your father hadn't been so envious and deceitful, my father wouldn't have needed to defend himself, and none of this would be happening now." Maitimo's eyes glittered strangely in the waning light of Laurelin - but Findekáno was now too angered himself to notice his friend's unshed tears.
"My father Nolofinwë has never lied to anyone!" Now it was Findekáno who was doing the shouting, and the peace of the small garden where he'd first played with his red-haired cousin so long ago was now shattered by their mutual acrimony. "And if he wants to talk to Grandfather without your oh-so-jealous father being present - well, that's his right. Grandfather Finwë is his father too, you know. And your father Fëanáro is crazy, although you don't want to admit it. 'Defending himself' - ha! He threatened my father - his own half-brother, his own family - with a sword! And my father wasn't even armed! No one else in Aman has ever done such a terrible thing. And if you had any sense, Maitimo, you'd admit I'm telling the truth about him, and you'd leave him."
"Like Grandfather is doing?" Maitimo responded viciously, and for a long moment the two stood staring at each other, bewildered and furious. You've always been as dear to me as my own brothers, Findekáno, Maitimo thought sadly. What has happened between us? Why did I not see this coming? He'd ridden to Tirion in frantic haste once he'd completed his packing, determined not to leave without at least saying farewell, and desperately hoping that they'd work out a way to be together despite everything - maybe Findekáno could occasionally ride north and they could camp together in the wild lands of northern Aman, or perhaps they could meet periodically in the neutral ground of Alqualondë... Maitimo had never imagined that he'd find himself standing in Nolofinwë's garden arguing with this stranger who wore Findekáno's face. "I should have known better than to come here - of course you've chosen to side with your own sire, just as I have to side with mine. I was a fool to think you'd behave otherwise. And I have no choice! I can't desert my father now, not when he needs all of us to help him build his new city - he'd never forgive me if I did. And I couldn't stay in Tirion even if I wanted to - which I don't! To the traitorous people of this city I'd just be a reviled son of the terrible Fëanáro. And anywhere outside of my father's new settlement I'd be under your father's rule - and that's something I couldn't bear to see, Nolofinwë the liar being rewarded for his mendacity! At least this way I'll have the company of most of my family, if not that of my so-called friends. To think that I was afraid that I was going to miss you! Good-bye, Findekáno."
"Maitimo, don't be like this! I'm not your enemy, no matter what lies your father may have told you about my family - you of all people should know that. I'm only trying to help you see the truth!" But to Findekáno's dismay, his cousin never looked back as he strode quickly out of the garden. Ignoring his old friend's entreaties, Maitimo kept walking until he reached the stables, then silently mounted his horse and quickly rode away.
It was not until he was out of the city and galloping towards his childhood home, so soon to be abandoned, following the track upon which he and Findekáno had so often ridden together during happier times, that Maitimo finally permitted himself to weep.
The names of the characters used in this story are all 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, and the second is the mother-name. The Sindarin equivalents of the names in this chapter are as follows:
Fëanáro - Fëanor
Maitimo (nicknamed Russandol) - Maedhros
Findekáno - Fingon
Nolofinwë - Fingolfin
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.