8. Chapter 7: Rumors
Fingolfin had never been in darkness. He was born in the Land of the Trees, with its constant immersion in light of gold and silver. Even the caverns of Feanor's home were always well lit with the fires of torches and gemstones. He knew that to find darkness in Valinor one needs to seek it, to look in caves and tunnels by the coast, and such had never been his desire. But when he left his brother and the light of the Silmarils even the light of the Trees into which he emerged seemed faded, as if it were not.
A moment passed, in which he thought to turn, to return to Feanor, perhaps to ask his forgiveness. But for what? For being born the second child, the son of a living mother? For having a flame that did not yet consume? He did not understand what Feanor sought of him, nor the strange need in his brother's eyes. It had a name that perhaps he had heard once, that lingered about the edges of his mind, but when Fingolfin reached for it, it was gone.
He walked to the cliffs, to the very cliff he had climbed with Feanor in his youth. The handholds were still in place, and he climbed down them one by one into the sand by the beach. The green of the sea reminded him of the stone around his neck, but when he looked down at it the colour had darkened, to a green that was closer to black. He bent down, took a handful of sand, and used it to scrape the memory of his brother's kiss from his lips until they bled.
What longing had seized Feanor as they stood before the Silmarils? What had he sought as he reached for his brother? Was there a power in the light of the stones to make one believe that one can have that which one desires? His face still burned where Feanor's hands had been. He felt damaged by that kiss, as if invaded by something more insidious than memory. But why would Feanor seek to harm him?
The question, once asked, brought its own answer. He had heard the rumors, of course. Small love has the proud son of Miriel ever had for the children of Indis. The rumors had impressed him little, and had seemed as malicious tales spread by the ignorant. For who knew of Fingolfin's visits, or the secret of the stone that he wore always? But there was something that frightened him now in Feanor, in that nameless look that Fingolfin could not and would not recognize. Fingolfin faced the namelessness for a moment, then gave it a name, and called it madness.
He returned to his friends, who had told him of the rumors, and asked if there was anything more to tell. They told him of weapons, secret large knives forged by Feanor, which could remove an Elven head with one blow. For what purpose were these weapons forged, if not to drive the sons of Indis out from Tirion? The weapons added strength to the rumors of Feanor's plots, rumors that before Fingolfin had not thought to believe. When Fingolfin inquired more of these weapons, what they look like and how they are used, he was told to ask his son.
Fingon denied nothing. "I have a sword and have been trained in its use," he said, "but I have done no evil with it, nor shall I."
"The mere possession of these weapons is an evil," Fingolfin shouted, pacing angrily, "and the greater evil is that you kept them secret from your House, when they are possessed by our rivals."
"If that is the name that you give to Maedhros and his family then it is well that you are unarmed."
Fingolfin slammed his fists on the table. What was to be done with his troublesome child? Then he realized that there might be more here than the impudence of late adolescence. He had imagined, once, that he could take in Feanor's son and give to him what Feanor could not. Had he instead lost his own son to Feanor? "I ask again," he said, "will you give over the secret of the making of swords?"
"I have not the skill, Father." And if I had, Fingolfin could almost hear from his son's set lips, I would not share it with you.
"Then you will be confined to your rooms until it is discovered, in consideration of the treason you have shown your House and your family." There were no guards in Fingolfin's household, as none had ever been needed, but perhaps some would have to be appointed until these times of trouble were over, until the madness of Feanor could be brought under control
"If you like, Father," Fingon said, sounding almost conciliatory after his earlier defiance, "I will show you the beauty of the sword dance."
"There is no beauty in weapons," Fingolfin said, and sent his son away.
As Fingolfin reviewed his recent discoveries the need for action seemed more than clear. It was imperative that the members of his House arm themselves to prepare for attack, and only the Feanorians knew how to forge these armaments. Fingolfin smiled a crafty smile that he was ashamed to feel on his face. Of all the Feanorians who knew this secret, there was one who might perhaps be induced to tell him. And if Feanor had used the affection that had developed between their sons for his own purposes, it seemed only right that Fingolfin should do the same. He sat down, put his face in his hands, and waited for the inevitable visit from Maedhros.
Note: If you want to know who started the rumors, you can find out in Silmarillion 7: Of the Silmarils
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.