1. Nothing To Forgive
"Amil," he said, falling to his knees before her, bowing his head, obsequious in his relief and desperation to be forgiven. He briefly raised his head and looked into her hazel eyes. The hot, sticky air was not at all what he had expected outside of Namo's halls. With the stirring of a faint breeze, tiny petals broke loose from the fragrant white flowers which filled the surrounding trees and stuck to his damp skin. The oppressive humidity reminded him less of Valinor and more of the short, harsh summers of certain parts of the north of Middle-earth.
"On your feet, my darling, beautiful boy." Her smile glowed soft and fond, without a hint of accusation. The slightest deepening of the crinkles around her eyes were her only signs of age or suffering. His body, of course, was shiny new, summoned by the magic of the Valar from the vault of his own memories, marred only by the comfortable and so familiar scars of his active youth.
"Stand up, Maitimo," she insisted.
He could not rise and dropped his head again, knowing his eyes were full and his cheeks wet with tears of longing. "I'm so sorry, Amil," he choked, raspy voiced.
"There is nothing to forgive," she said. "We each held on with a vengeance and very little discussion to what we believed to be right. You were born of passionate stock. Your father was not the only one with a temper in this family." A teasing grin flashed at him. The particular way she tilted her head had been a constant of his earliest childhood. She had already moved on and could greet him with joy.
At her words the virtual bonds holding him to the ground dissolved. He stood and pulled her into his arms at last. "Amil," he sighed. "Sweet Amil, how I have missed you, and my brothers, and Findekáno." Oh, most of all Káno! he thought. "Where are they now?"
"You are a silly boy. Findekáno awaits you at my house. After his haranguing of everyone from Valar to kings to try to hasten your release, he suddenly turned reticent and sent me to meet you alone. But of my sons, you are the first to have been returned to me."
He knelt before me that stifling day, my firstborn, my beautiful Maitimo, his head bowed and his eyes averted. I could hear him speaking to me, something about forgiveness. But I could barely grasp the words over the flood of memories that threatened to drown me in their wake, while my wayward heart hammered thunderously within my chest.
The last time I had seen him kneel before me like this, I had been carrying the twins. He stopped and frowned when he saw how I had not tied my work boots. Despite the viridian breeches and velvet doublet of a courtier, he knelt in the dusty path leading from the house to the foundry. With a large emerald ring glittering upon his right hand, he made short work of my problem, scolding me all the while for intending to work when I could not even stoop to tie my own boots.
I laughed at him and buried a hand in his thick, curly hair, glowing copper bright in the light of Laurelin, aware of his broad shoulders and strong arms. Once my sweetest baby, now a man, I had thought.
I wept like one gone mad when I heard that he had lost a hand--one of those exquisite hands that tiny and plump had gripped my finger, or rested in a soft fist or splayed open upon my breast as he nursed. That long past day I had admired his artist's hands, long slender fingers, full of grace and knowledge. I had I regretted he wasted them, tethered as he was to a desk in his grandfather's palace.
The day he returned from the Halls of Namo, he did not stand to kiss me and answer my laugh with one of his own. "Onto your feet, Maitimo," I ordered, with a mother's authority, knowing this once at least I would be obeyed. Finally, he stood, pulling me into his arms once again. His chest felt warm against my cheek and he smelled of himself, clean and young, and wholly male, my Maitimo. Mothers are allowed no favorites say the wise, but he was mine.
My heart broke at that moment for what he had suffered, the horrors of war endured, for his lost years of many defeats, and for his absent brothers, and yet I rejoiced to see him whole, reborn, renewed, refashioned and still himself despite everything. Sadness could heal. Findekáno, the other half of his soul, awaited him. Who better to put gloom to flight than our intrepid Findekáno? Maitimo needed no forgiveness from me and in time he would learn to forgive himself.
My firstborn son had been granted his freedom. Perhaps there was hope for his brothers.
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.