"Shattered" is a series of three double-drabbles about the relationship between Fëanor and Finwë, a relationship that is characterized by a charming blend of betrayal and obsessive love and culminates in exiles, heretic oaths, and kinslaying. This series is dedicated to Aramel, who understands as well as anyone the power of angsty Finwions.
When I was small, I made a gift for my father on Awakening Day. I stole a trowel from the gardener's shed and stomped my feet about the garden until thump-thump-thump, they came upon clay. Triumphantly, I extracted my prize from the earth and made for him with my own small hands a vase that I imagined worthy of holding the most beautiful of Yavanna's flowers.
I got mud all over my hands and face that day, and I had to be given two baths because the first tub of water turned so muddy that it covered my whole body in a scrim of dirt that had to be washed away in clean water. And the gardener loudly lamented the patch of lawn I'd ruined-until my father silenced him with a stern glare, that is.
For he was proud of me. He took my vase and placed it in at the top of the stairs, upon a small table, where all could see. Not even on the family floor, where I had my bedroom next to his and no one went but us two and the chambermaid but the lords' hallway where all could see my gift and marvel.
Not long after, my father announced that he was to wed Indis of the Vanyar, and all of the halls of my father's home became unhappy for me. The family hallway was no longer a place for just my father, the chambermaid, and me because Indis was there now. In my father's chamber, next to mine, where I could hear her voice answering his in laughter, and I thought, Imposter! Sycophant! and my stomach twisted until I was sick in the basin.
But the lords' hallway was worse. There, my father's marriage was a happy thing, and my attendant misery was thought strange and malicious. Manipulative, they called me. The lords began to avoid me, and I went there only to listen at doors, where strange words united my father and Indis. Not love: Well connected. High family. Politics.
Good politics. Good politics accompanied by glossy smiles that I could not mimic and soft grasping hands. My hands were growing hard with calluses.
Soon, I went there no longer. And I was more than glad to forget my vase-I had learned in my lessons with Aulë that it was mostly mud anyway-and the love that had inspired it.
On the day of my exile from Tirion, I spent long hours in my father's study. "It was not my choice, to exile you," he said, but I knew-even as he said it-that had it been, he would have seen me exiled anyway.
It was the last time that I would pass down the lords' hallway, though I did not then know it. I was leaving the city. Leaving him.
But at the end of the hallway, I paused. It was still there: the vase. Still sitting upon its table at the top of the stairs, as ugly as the day I'd made it. I lifted it in my hands. I hadn't even bothered to varnish it, and that it was made of mud-not clay-was sadly evident in the grit it left on my hands.
From behind me, my father's voice: "Fëanáro?"
I lifted the vase over my head. And hurled it down the stairs.
Footsteps rushing towards me and Father's voice, "Fëanáro, I am-" The vase rolled and bounced on each step and would not break.
"-I am coming with you."
Unharmed, it rolled from the last step to the floor. And shattered.