9. Unwisdom, or, um, well...
Finwë waited patiently for the one he had summoned. Not long, for she arrived with characteristic alacrity.
"Mae govannen, Daerada!"
Artanis smiled in a manner that few could match. It did seem, the King thought, that the light of the Trees shone from within her, moreso than from any other of his people. But on this occasion, the he did not rise from his throne to embrace her, instead regarding her appraisingly.
After returning the same regarding gaze for what seemed an excessively long time, the young one continued: "You called for me?"
"I did." He then rose, but did not step down from the dais. Instead, he now fixed his gaze upon her with greater force, from his full height.
To her credit, Artanis did not look away, as most would, but finally relented, curtseying, her smile a little less certain. "I am here!"
Having given this answer, she seemed to brighten again.
"Indeed you are."
Finwë did not elaborate, but continued simply looking sternly upon his grandaugther until finally the young ellyth showed some discomfort.
"Have I displeased you, my lord?"
"I did not wish to! But what have I done? Please tell me, so that I may not repeat it."
The King now descended from the dais and sat in one of the lesser chairs usually occupied by counsellors of the now-empty court. He gestured, indicating Artanis to sit beside him in a chair of equal rank. She did so.
"It seems not so long since I bounced you upon my knee, grandaughter. How you have grown since then! Very great you have become. Yet there are still some lessons you have either failed to learn, or, in your pride, forgotten. I hope it is the former."
Artanis now blushed, realizing the substance. "I ... did not mean for it to come out that way!"
Finwë now smiled benevolently. "I am sure you did not, child. Of course you could have given the same answer more politely. However, the opposite answer would have been far better. Princes should be generous. It was such a small gift my son asked of you. Why did you refuse him?"
Artanis ran her hand nervously though her unbound hair for a moment. "I do not trust Feanaro, Daerada. I don't know why. It seemed he wanted it for some hidden purpose."
"Beautiful as your hair is, penneth nin. I do not think even Feanaro could do much with it, other than set it in a stone."
The king pulled a tiny blade from within his robes and sliced several inches from one of his own raven braids. "See, it is nothing! Only hair; it will grow back."
Artanis said nothing, but looked as though she would very much like to speak further.
At this, Finwë grew quite concerned. He had heard other rumors about his son and granddaughter, but had always dismissed them as impossible lies, until now. So, he spoke carefully.
"But I must admit, the story as it came to my ears is scarcely to be believed. Did Feanaro ask you for anything else? Perhaps something of greater ... value?"
The ellyth, understanding the implication and now thoroughly embarassed, breathlessly replied "Noheonlyaskedforthreehairsnothingelse Feanarodidnothingtodishonorhimselformeoryoumylord buttotellyouthetruthIwouldnotgivehimevenone!"
The King of the Noldor now wore an expression of utter bewllderment. There was no deceit in his granddaughter's speech or eyes. Apparently Feanaro had told him the true tale; he had politely asked Artanis for three of her ... hairs, and she had reacted... well, she had reacted.
"Very well, Artanis. I approve of your refusal to do a thing that you feel strongly should not be done, though I cannot say I understand it in this case. I will not speak of this matter to you or to anyone else again, but if you wish to speak further of it to me at some future time, by all means do so."
The ellyth, understanding this as a dismissal, fairly fled.
Finwë looked down at his cut braid and wondered once more whether he had been right to bring his people West.
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.