1. The Experiment
This particular year, I tried to learn the arts of the forge from Nerdanel and the matters of the state from my grandfather, High-King Finwe. But not even my curiosity and desire for knowledge could help me bear the sweltering heat of the smithy and the boring lectures of the King. So I have decided to ask Feanor to teach me, his eloquence and passion would atleast alleviate the boredom of the subjects.
As I was left with an unusual amount of idle time, I resolved to learn something new. After hours of long deliberation, I knew what exactly I wanted to study.
Celegorm and Aredhel have been flaunting their passion for each other exactly before my nose for a long while. They know how it irks me because I do not have a lover. It is not for the lack of trying. But my superior intellect drives off prospective partners. I daresay neither Celegorm nor Aredhel have that worry; they are notorious for a lack of intellect.
Having determined my goal, I began plotting. I needed an equally intelligent partner, of course. And people of intelligence were hard to come by. I mentally listed all those who could be classified so.
Of course, I started from my family. It is forbidden, of course. But being of The House Of Finwe, I have no compunctions about breaking the laws of the Eldar. At some point or the other, all of us have broken it starting from my paternal grandfather who married twice. I thought of my uncles and dismissed them firmly. Feanor is separated from Nerdanel, but he has never been one to stray. As for Fingolfin, even Aredhel has admitted that he loves male flesh more.
My father would probably be scandalized if he knew of my profound musings. I smirked and silently continued my listing. Finrod is in love with a Teleri maiden and the rest of my siblings lack basic intelligence. Thinking of my cousins, Aredhel is too busy with Celegorm and I doubt if I could persuade her to give me a few lessons. And she fails the intelligence test. Fingon and I are not particularly friendly cronies. Turgon is married, anyway I cannot stand him. That leaves me with the Feanorians.
I had to be careful, because my uncle is very protective of his sons. And if he learns I plan to seduce one of them, he might devise inventive ways to get rid of me. Still, I am determined. I did not think I had a chance with Maedhros, my eldest cousin has resisted all amorous advances so far. Both grandfather and Fingolfin are rather overprotective of him. It would not be worth the trouble. I did not see anything appreciable in the younger Feanorians other than their fiery beauty.
Then there was Maglor. Somehow, I knew it would come to this. There was nothing I did not like about him; superior intellect, calmness, perfect Noldorin features, yes; he has all that I admire. But seducing him was going to be far more difficult than seducing his father.
I found him in our grandfather’s house practicing serenely on his harp, his calm features a study in inner peace. I waited patiently until he had finished. Of course, it was not a waste of time. I was busy contemplating the hidden planes of his lithe body. I smiled to myself, I was going to make this succeed.
“Artanis!” Maedhros’s voice was warm, “What brings you here? I do not think I have seen Irisse here today.”
“She is hunting”, I placed a disapproving emphasis on that word to let him know what exactly I think of such pastimes, “With your brothers.”
Maedhros smiled amusedly at my derision and said, “And what are you hunting?”
“Maitimo!” I hissed, he has a way of wordplay that I suspect is honed from all the days he is cloistered in the court with Fingolfin and Finwe. To put it simply, my eldest cousin is more intelligent than me. And that, grates on my nerves. After all, I have never claimed to be free from the sin of pride.
It was with relief that I heard the last notes of the harp. Maedhros walked over to his brother and congratulated him on his ever-improving skills. Maglor seemed quite pleased by this praise, I have rarely seen him so animated and happy. But after his brother left, his features fell into their characteristic calm blankness.
“Artanis”, he nodded pleasantly before falling into an intractable silence.
It would not do, I decided. Boldly, I began complimenting him on his music. He is a true artist. Any praise that we offer him regarding his music, he gets smitten with it. His features became warmer as we debated the finer points of the latest composition of the court minstrel.
But after nearly two hours of musical discussion, I was no closer to my goal. And I was running out of musical topics. An irritating headache added to my general discomfort. The idiot I was out to seduce was still speaking eloquently about the relation between the timbre and the length of flutes. Fascinating? To him, perhaps. Becoming increasingly morose, I contemplated just kidnapping him and ‘having my way’ with him as Fingon puts it. Nobody would be shocked, I am, after all, related to Feanor.
Maglor’s long fingers, those fingers, were gracefully moving in the air as he gesticulated in his explanation of flutes.
“Your fingers are wasted on those damn, dead, flutes”, I ground out in exasperation.
The fingers stopped moving as he paused in his lecture. Looking across at me curiously, he asked me, “You prefer a different instrument?”
We were the large, deserted palace gardens. I had to take my chance.
“A rather different instrument”, I nodded seriously.
“And what would that be?” he asked with genuine interest, no doubt preparing to give me lecture on the merits of that particular instrument.
“I will have this discussion with you only if you abide by the conditions I set”, I said gravely, trying to control my heartbeat which had increased rather alarmingly.
He looked baffled and doubtful, but if there is one thing that a Finwean has never lacked, it is recklessness. Of course, we term it ‘courage’. I knew my bait had worked when he squared his jaw and nodded imperiously. We held each other’s gaze for a long moment before he murmured quietly, “I accept your condition, Artanis. Now, if you would hurry…”
“Close your eyes”, I said firmly, his level stare was rather petrifying.
He looked as if he was about to protest, but then closed his eyes with a sigh of long-tried patience.
“Let your arms fall to the sides, take a deep breath and relax”, I continued in my most persuasive tones.
“You know”, he remarked thoughtfully, “I have tried this myself when I wish to hear only the sounds of nature; the wind, the chirping of the birds, the crashing of the waves on the shore…”
“Yes”, I bit my tongue to prevent an acid retort, Could he think of nothing but music? I was now seriously considering that Celegorm had more common sense than Maglor. I wanted to throw my hands in the air and walk away, but giving up in defeat is not my style. Perseverance, I counseled myself.
I inched closer so that our bodies were almost touching. We were almost of the same height, not for nothing am I called ‘Nerwen’, The Man Woman. His nostrils quivered and he made an unconscious step backwards. I leant forward and pressed my lips to his. I had no more moves, I reflected forlornly. He could take the hint and continue the game or he could walk away leaving me in a quandary.
He stepped back rather unsteadily and opened his eyes, gazing at me in incredulous shock.
“I take it you did not have a different instrument in mind at all”, he sought for some kind of harmless plane through which he could probably spare us both.
“Macalaure”, I inhaled deeply, “Will you teach me? I desire this.”
Frankness usually works on my family members. We think that frank people are courageous. I hoped Maglor was of the same mould.
“Arafinwe”, he began concernedly.
“Will not care”, I assured him hastily, “Please.”
“I do not know, Artanis”, he said helplessly, staring at a point above my left earlobe.
“You are of age, and I am of age. Why do you fear?” I asked angrily, “I approached you since I know that your attentions are not elsewhere engaged.”
“That is true”, he said quietly, a charming tinge of colour rising in his cheeks, “I meant I do not know the ways of the boudoir, I am inexperienced. We will probably end up harming each other.”
“Oh!” I confess I looked like one of those foolish, simpering women who hang on to each word of Maedhros’s speeches. My father has always maintained that half the strength came to the courts only on account of Maedhros’s handsome features.
Maglor examined his long fingers thoughtfully before saying, “What do you suggest?”
“I find that I have lost my nerve. It took me long enough to work up the courage to come so far”, I admitted, “Now I have no idea what I am to do.”
He laughed amusedly, his melodious voice seeming more pleasant than even a nightingale’s song, “Artanis! We should never let our cousins or siblings know this.”
I frowned, but his amusement was as contagious as it was rare and we ended up laughing together, quite unlike our usual sober mien. I found myself wishing that he laughed more often, it seemed too rare an occurrence.
Finally, he straightened and brushed back his loose hair before letting his arms drop to his sides. He stared at me inscrutably before closing his eyes and saying quietly, “Maybe we should return to where we had been before I had rudely interrupted the experiment.”
I stared at him stunned. A strangely jubilant yet warm feeling rose in the pit of my stomach as I regarded his relaxed stance. Cautiously, I raised my hand to cup his face, letting my fingers trace those sharp cheekbones. He shuddered before replicating my gesture with his hands. I had never imagined that a simple touch could provoke such inexplicable sensation. His fingers brushing my temples were enough to set me afire.
I leant onto him. This seemed to embolden him as he pressed soft kisses to my forehead and cheeks. I clenched my hands into fists at the front of his robes, and his arms entwined me even as his lips sought out my earlobes. I had never yelped in my life before. After all, nothing scares me. But when his lips brushed against my ear, I think I did yelp because I remember he withdrew and looked concernedly at me. I nodded hastily and insinuated my fingers boldly within his robes, causing him to stifle a surprised cry. A victorious smile must have played on my face for he retaliated by returning his lips to my ear.
I have hazy recollections of the next one hour. At some point, our knees gave out and we collapsed together onto the grass. Everything we tried seemed novel and often, uncomfortable. He cried out when I handled a certain male organ with unwarranted curiosity and strength. I think I must have passed out when we finally attempted the main act. I do recall his sweating, lean, marble-like body above me. We tried to find a comfortable position, not with much success. But our family determination and recklessness carried us through until he climaxed and fell atop me exhaustedly with a strangled cry.
I was still wracked by the sensations that had overwhelmed me over the last one hour that I did not even find the strength to protest as his dead weight pressed me down. He seemed to be catching his breath. I was in no mood for urgent conversation, so I settled for playing my fingers on his spine even while I was busy documenting all the varied sensations I had experienced. Something nagged at me though.
While he had reached his peak, he had managed to suppress his cry, but his lips had moved to form a name. A name that they should not have formed at all, given the occasion.
“Are you hurt?” he asked hoarsely, pulling himself away from atop me.
“It aches everywhere”, I remarked lazily, “But I do think I liked the experience. What of you?”
He smiled as he fingered the bruises on his hips where my legs had gripped him. Then he reached to touch the livid marks on his neck by which I had managed to stifle my cries.
“High collared robes are going to be top priority for a few weeks”, he commented as he pillowed his head on his hands and lay beside me comfortably, “You have worn me out entirely. And I think I loved every moment of it.”
“You can tell me if you wish to”, I said cautiously, “Should you happen to need a listening ear that will not judge you.”
“I did not know that myself”, he said wearily, closing his eyes, “I know I have always looked upto him. I think of him more than I think of anyone else. Later, as I started to mature, I would find myself gazing at him for far too long than necessary. Still, I am devoted to my music and he shall never suspect. He still thinks that I am the vulnerable, eccentric, younger brother he should shield from the world, if he knew half my thoughts, I think he would not even look again at me.”
“I have thought that Nolofinwe has always harbored a regard for your father”, I offered plaintively, knowing I could do nothing more, “But I have never considered that wrong. The laws of the Eldar have never applied to The House of Finwe.”
Maglor laughed before hauling himself to a sitting position, “We should return to the house for lunch. I would not want them to come hunting for us and find us so. Whatever you say, there will still be a mess. Arafinwe would accuse me of robbing your virtue.”
“That would be a dangerous accusation”, I laughed as I rose into a crosslegged position wondering why my body protested so much, “Particularly if they try reading the not-so-moral thoughts that occupy my mind.”
“A parallel affliction?” he asked curiously, helping me into my dress. Once more, I decided that he was the perfect chivalrous lover.
“No, I am afraid. Findarato and the rest of my siblings are not so remarkable to warrant my attentions”, I smiled as he patted down my hair to a semblance of normalcy.
He shrugged on his robes and ran his hands through his tangled, leaf-strewn hair before saying to my unasked question, “They will not enquire. I have been known to walk into the sea absently while in the midst of a composition.”
As we walked slowly back towards the mansion of our grandfather, I asked him tentatively, “I hope you do not resent what happened?”
“No”, he squeezed my hand clumsily, “It was good to learn something new”, he smiled self-consciously, “I did not know that when you mentioned a new instrument, you meant my body. You played it excellently.”
Findarato – Finrod Felagund
Macalaure – Maglor
Maitimo – Maedhros
Artanis – Galadriel
Irisse – Aredhel
Nolofinwe – Fingolfin
Arafinwe - Finarfin
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.