1. Closing the Circle
Disclaimer: The characters belong to Tolkien, if maybe not exactly in the same shape.
Closing the Circle
When the net began to close upon her, she struggled furiously, anguishedly. Her very fëa shook with her resistance, until she felt a constricting pain and realised that she was screaming.
Chest, Throat. Mouth. Her eyes darted around her wildly, and she saw white limbs in a heap on the floor.
She was cold.
Míriel had never imagined that it would be like this. She had wished, hoped to regain her body of old, the swift and precise tool of her every design. With it, she would have run to the Noldor, through the Great Sea or through the Grinding Ice, and saved her child. Nothing that she could attempt would have been impossible anymore.
Now, as she struggled to her feet in the dark chamber, she cried in frustration, and something wet was spilled over her cheeks like blood. She was still as void, as empty, as frozen as before. Her thin fingers could not grasp, her chest could not burn, and her naked feet felt the ominous cold of the stone floor.
Under the impassive glance of Mandos, Míriel bolted away. She ran through the shadows, leaving a painful train of disruption behind. The grieving and envious faces of the Disembodied passed her by in a blur of no consequence, though Finwë wasn´t among them.
When at last she stopped breathlessly on her tracks, her first instinct was to look up. There was a dark door in front of her, and a shiver shook her to the core as she recognised the forbidden threshold. She had seen it plenty of times in her long dreams.
Míriel knew that she should turn back. She knew that no living being was welcomed here, but her instinctive wish to flee was overpowered by the need to know and to see. Slowly, she laid a foot on the black stairs, then the other, until both of them made a full step. The door opened with a faint creaking, and she entered a warm, strangely welcoming darkness.
This hall had been the abode of the Hidden Lady before the Elves ever came to existence. The Weaver Queen, the Empty Seat in Mahanaxar, the Keeper of Fate and elusive spouse of Námo Mandos sat inside, building the tapestries which showed the doings and happenings of all living beings. At her side, three Maiar aided her in her task, and an empty chair stood among them like one of the many hanging threads that waited for what was to be.
Filled with an overwhelming feeling of reverence, the newly-reembodied fëa lowered her eyes to prevent them from guessing at the lines under the dark veil which covered the Valië´s face. Long fingers worked without pause, weaving threads with the crimson colour of blood, the flaring orange of fire, and the flawless black of darkness.
Míriel could not measure the time that she spent here, the black edge of her desperation forgotten. The subtle rustling noise filled her ears, and she fell in a trance while a tapestry fell over another – like drops of blood.
"Look." a soft voice whispered, and she lifted her eyes. Before she could set them on the last tapestry, however, an unbearable heat exploded in her chest, and Míriel fell to her knees in agony.
A little child with bright eyes, born from the ashes of his mother. A flame burning fey, scorching, turning against him, burning fire.
"Look." the voice repeated, impassively. As she could, Míriel supported herself with both arms and obeyed. The tapestry was in flames.
Posessed by the frenzy of a forgotten need, the Broideress grabbed loom and thread with her shaking hands, and sat in the empty chair to weave. As she performed her task, she felt her old skill come back to her in crashing waves, filling the deep chasm of her heartache and strengthening the grip of her fingers. But the happiness, the delight in her gifts was now gone, replaced by a sombre feeling of purpose.
The tapestry fell on the heap with a soft, sliding sound, showing a cloud of dark ashes scattered by the cold wind of the North. And then, Míriel began to weep.
Had this been the reason why she had been prevented from going to save him? Had he been already doomed, when she left the shadows of Mandos for his sake?
Had he been burning, her precious, her brilliant son, since she first held him in her limp arms?
The Keeper of what Had Been, Was and Would Be shook her head.
"I do not invite you to sit at my side, because you are already sitting." the voice whispered in her ear. "I do not invite you to weave, because you are already weaving."
Míriel stared in puzzled grief at her hands, which kept weaving threads of death though her mind was elsewhere, and her eyes were clouded by tears. And she understood the Weaver´s words; because she was not the one who was weaving.
The Valië´s hands cut the last thread of a tapestry which showed her taking her rightful place at her side, all attachments lost, and all joy gone from her eyes.
"Remembrance." the voice said, and one of the handmaidens, who had been working diligently as if she hadn´t ever seen or heard her, bowed her head. "Reflection. Repetition." The second and third, sitting in front of her, bowed in turn, and only then, the veiled eyes stopped and stared at her for a timeless second.
And so it was that Impotence wove the Doom of the Noldor with her own fingers, and none among her people ever laid eyes upon her again.
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.