In a large room, carved out of the living rocks, he watched his children play in the bright glow of the Silmaril, he watched his children play with the Silmaril as they recreated the battle of Beren and Huan against Carchoroth. Ten year old Elurin was pretending to be Huan, while his twin was proving to be a remarkable convincing Carchoroth, and little Elwing, barely five years of age, was mimicking her grandfather, whom she missed dearly.
Dior watched them with a soft smile on his lips. This is what it was all about, this is what the Silmaril meant to him, the key that his parents had used to open the door to his existence and those of his children. Was that not the purpose of the trees? To foster life, to bring joy? Yes, the Silmaril was were it belonged.
"Dior," came the soft call from behind him, he turned to come face to face with Celeborn, his wife's father's brother, and from the look on his face it was clear that he was the bearer of bad news, "a letter has arrived from the sons of Fëanor." Celeborn handed him a sealed envelop. Neither he, nor Dior needed to open it to know that the sons of Fëanor did not think the Silmaril belonged here and were writing to inform them of just that.
"How long do you think we have before we have to return an answer?" asked Dior, his voice calm and collected.
"I know not." Replied Celeborn, "However not all the sons of Fëanor are together, one, Caranthir I believe, has spent the last few years beyond Ered Luin, I do not think the other would attack Doriath without there brother."
Dior shook his head sadly, "Stand together, fall together is it?" Celeborn nodded, "And they will not have any qualms towards slaying their kin a second time." It was not a question, for they both knew the answer.
Celeborn looked at the Silmaril, set between three being he considered to be filled with more light than the cursed jewel ever did, "The lust of the Silmaril is an awful thing."
"I wonder about that." Said Dior, "Lady Galadriel calls the Silmarils holy jewels, though she bares no love for their maker, she seems to bare love for the jewels themselves."
"Nay, it not the jewels but that memory of the light they hold that she cherishes, just as you hold that jewel dear, not for their own sake but for what they represent." Celeborn clarified.
Dior fixed his eyes towards the heart of the bright gem, "I wonder what the Silmaril mean to the sons of Fëanor, the greatest legacy of their departed father? Yet would not their father, who perished in its quest be more precious to them? The things that got their grandfather killed, like it got my own grandsire killed? But my heart is filled with bitterness towards it for that, thou the bitterness is small and always passes before more pleasanter recollections. Are they than the symbol whose recover marks the completion of their vengeance? Whichever way I do not think I would have sworn an oath to recover it at all costs, thou it is precious to me for all that it stand for."
"Thus you prove yourself to be of nobler character than the fell brood of that Kinslayer Prince," replied Celeborn, "you know vengeance has its limits, they do not. Thus we must prepare for anything, at anytime."
"Yet, I fear, all our preparations will be for naught, we are already so weak." Dior said, his voice filled with grief. Celeborn could see the indecision in his eyes and it seemed to him that Dior might give up the Silmaril just to ensure that Doriath had once less enemy to deal with, and that was something unexpected.
Caranthir shifted on the branch in an attempt to get more comfortable, it did not help. He shifted again, and again, "Caranthir!" screamed Ninglorrîn as she made a lung for him, but she was too late, Caranthir went hurtling to the ground, landing with a painful sounding thud. Some rapid manoeuvring saved Ninglorrîn from following her husband down, which was a good thing since from the bellow Caranthir released it was clear he would not have appreciated her landing on top of him.
"STUPID, STUPID OAK," screamed the Noldo as he indignantly kicked the trunk of the tree.
"Caranthir stop that," chastised Ninglorrîn as she landed smoothly on her feet. "The tree is not to blame for your fall."
"It is at fault for having such uncomfortable branches," snapped Caranthir.
Ninglorrîn arched her eyebrows and smiled, "I am certain that my friend the oak here was thinking that spoilt Noldo Princes might rest upon its branches when it was growing and deliberately chose to make them uncomfortable to cause their fall."
"Humph, Very funny," said Caranthir, his voice dripping with sarcasm as he crossed his arms over his chest, turning his face away from her.
Ninglorrîn laughed at the pouting Noldo, "I love you," she said as she wrapped her arms around his neck, bringing his face level with hers she kissed him, "I love you," she repeated.
Caranthir smiled and drew her into a deep shearing kiss, "Believe me Ninglorrîn, your meagre Laiquendi love is no match for the blazing Noldorian fire of total and utter love for you that consumes my heart."
Ninglorrîn slapped his shoulders playfully, "Why must you always be such a…"
"Noldo," offered Caranthir with a grin, "that's because you love a Noldo more than you could any other and I aim to keep it that way."
"I can't win, can I?" Ninglorrîn said on a sigh, Caranthir only grinned an impish grin before capturing her mouth once again.
The loud thundering of hooves forced them to separate, quickly they both melted into the foliage surrounding them, but there was no need to fear, for it was Celegorm and Curufin. "What news brothers?" called Caranthir as he stepped out of the bushes, on hand still wrapped around Ninglorrîn protectively, this was Celegorm and Curufin he was dealing with. One never knew exactly how suicidal their mood was.
Masterfully the reigned in their horse and turned to face their wayward brother. It had been some years since either had seen Caranthir and it was the first time they had seen their sister-in-law. Curufin and Celegorm regarded her with a mixture of concept and amazement. Lúthien the half Maia daughter of Thingol was one thing, a Laiquendi maiden of a minor lord was completely another, they could not believe Caranthir would marry someone like her. "At least she's pretty." Thought Celegorm, "Thingol is dead, Melian has returned to Aman, Lúthien and Beren have gone beyond the confines of Ea and Dior rules Doriath with the Silmaril around his neck." Celegorm informed him.
The shadow of great grief fell upon Ninglorrîn's face as she drew closer to Caranthir for comfort, but neither she nor Caranthir seemed surprised, "Old news brother," snapped Caranthir, "stop wasting my time."
Celegorm glared at him and said nothing, if was Curufin who spoke in a vicious tone, looking pointedly at Ninglorrîn, "Well here is something you would not have heard, while you travelled the wild lands of the east with your…" Caranthir took a threatening step forward, wearing an absolute murderous gaze, "…wife" Curufin hastily added, "we sent a letter of challenge to Dior."
Ninglorrîn started, "What! Why?"
"Why? Come, come my Lady," piped in Celegorm, "did my brother here not tell you of our oath, did he not tell you that as long as that mixed-blooded thing sullies the Silmaril with its presence, it is our enemy and we shall wager war upon it and it's following till the End of days."
"Are you certain you seek to recover the Silmaril and not your wounded pride at having lost horse, hound and nearly your brother to the Beren Camlost, sire to King Dior Eluchíl?" demanded Ninglorrîn, "Whichever the case, why not confront Beren and Lúthien while they yet lived? Or are you too much of a coward to take on they who survived a sojourn into the heart of Angband but just brave enough to march against a kingdom, crippled by the jewel lust of the Naugrim?"
Celegorm and Curufin shot Ninglorrîn death glares, as Caranthir struggled to decide whether he should find the situation funny or offensive, "I have no time to waste upon a mere Laiquendi," declared Celegorm as he spurred his horse, "It is time Caranthir that you remember that you are a Prince of the house of Finwë."
"We gather at Sarn Athrud," Curufin told him, "Be sure to be there within three sunsets. That is if she," he pointed accusingly towards Ninglorrîn, "has not led you astray and caused you to abandon your oath." Curufin hurried his horse after that of his brother.
"Cowards," whispered Ninglorrîn as she watched them leave, she turned towards Caranthir and jumped in shock at the resolution etched upon his face, "Caranthir, you cannot join them."
"We both knew this was coming," Said Caranthir, "You knew the oath would not sleep forever."
"That I knew," said Ninglorrîn, "But I always I thought that oath would reawaken to bring assault towards Morgoth, not Doriath."
"And why not?" snapped Caranthir, "Do they not withhold a Silmaril from me and my brothers?"
"Caranthir, did you real believe that your oath would include this when you swore it?" she demanded.
"I did not know what my oath would include when I swore it," he snapped. "Perhaps not the slaughter of other elves, for back than it was not something that entered my mind, but now… I must recover the Silmaril no matter who holds it."
"They are my Kith and Kin, Caranthir!" she cried out, tears beginning to moisten her eyes, "do not bring death and destruction upon them, not again, they have already lost so much."
"They are my brothers and the jewel belonged to my father, save for you they and it are all I have. I cannot abandon them or the oath, indeed if I were to do so than the everlasting darkness would be my lot and I would never see your beautiful face," he whispered as he stood in wretched agony, wanting to comfort her but knowing that comfort was beyond his power to provide in this situation.
"Yet..." she did not want to say this, she did not want to do this, yet she knew she could not do otherwise, "...yet if you march against my kin, march against the one to whom I owe my allegiance, though I do not call him king, we will not be as we are now."
Caranthir was shocked, "You would give you allegiance to a half-elf," he screamed in mounting anger.
"He is the grandson of Elu Thingol and the son of Lúthien, he holds my allegiance and the allegiance of all the Teleri of middle earth. For my love for you I have forgiven you the slaying of my kin once but I cannot do so twice," she said firmly, "If you follow your brother you will lose me. So choose!"
He had meant to gather her in his arms, to tell her that he loved her and for her sake he would abandon his brother and the oath and hope in the benevolence of Eru Ilúvatar, he was sure. What he did was take one long last look at her, than turned and called his horse, and followed his brothers in their path to self damnation.
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.