The son of the King stands beneath weary banners—blue and silver—at the top of the world, with one foot upon the ice. The horizon glows, and the realization seeps into his awareness: He has left us. We have been betrayed.
Betrayed. A cold word, like the glistening ice—bluish in the starlight—that beckons them, their only choice now. It is that or turn back—but turn back to what? A city once white and now only blue shadows of darkness, the city that his father reigned and deserted to follow the misguided ideals of his traitorous son?
He looks at his people: Their faces are tired and haggard, with bruises beneath their eyes. His daughter and second-born son stare at the light on the horizon, their faces cold and hard and betrayed. His eldest son has not yet seen it; his back is to the cobalt sea—its waves tipped in starlight—and he warms the hands of his brother-daughter in his own, gently massaging life into the alarmingly bluish, frozen fingertips. He makes his face into a merry mask for her benefit but his blue eyes are as hard and frozen as the ice beneath his father's left foot.
Indignant, disbelieving, he puts his full weight on the ice and points to the silvery-blue stretch before them. "We shall not forsake the journey!"
And his eldest son turns then, his blue eyes wide with alarm, and whirls in the direction of the sea and sees the light on the horizon, leaping to paint the bellies of the clouds with morbid light, and he bites his fist in pain and anger, biting frozen flesh that will not bleed no matter how he wishes it would, and screams his agony into the wind.
His circlet—only that of a prince, silver, for he left his father's behind on the throne—denotes his authority, and he wrenches his son away from the sight of the light on the clouds. "He would not forsake us!" screams the foolish, trusting boy who once followed his cousin with the devotion some paid the Valar. He twists beneath his father's hand and falls on the ice, onto his knees, bruises staining foolish, trusting flesh blue-black. His son's moist eyes are raised to him, and he slaps away the hand proffered him. "Finwë Nolofinwë," he spits and lurches onto the ice, his footprints leaving blue-gray shadows in the snow.
He watches his son take the first steps onto the ice and watches his people straggle after; he forces his eyes open, unblinking, until the cold burns them, and he feels his heart beating with a ponderous weight in his chest, and he wants to cry for all of his losses but cannot: The cold wind bites his face but there is no longer any pain; the muscles, the nerves have long been frozen.
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.