9. Chapter 8: Family Bonds
The mingling of the two lights was the time of greatest brightness in Valinor, a time when light was gold and silver as one. For Maedhros it meant the end of the workday. A time of anticipation, and dread.
The moment the new light of Telperion touched the fading light of Laurelin , all hands fell as one. The seven sons of Feanor and their father with one motion brought their tools in their right arms to the floor, and stood, facing west. Then the joining of souls could begin.
It began with pleasure, as it always did. A soft, kind light, extending from Feanor through Maedhros, then to Maglor, then to the others, one by one. Although exhausted from the day's work at the forge, Maedhros felt his strength return, and grow. His brothers' minds joined with his, and he could feel them all. Curufin, clever and distracted, now bringing the sharpness of his mind into the circle. Celegorm, who had spend the day smashing his stones as if he wished with all his will to be elsewhere, now relaxing into the union. Maglor as always came willingly, and the twins and young Caranthir followed. Each brought a touch of brightness with them, a unique presence that was theirs alone. But brightest of all was the fire of Feanor, a fire so bright nothing could contain it. It flowed through all at that moment, seeking and claiming, and merging the brothers into one.
In the pleasure there was also fear. There was a part of him that wanted to hold back, to keep some small place that was Maedhros and not Feanor. But Feanor's demand was too strong. The silence Maedhros wore about himself as armor during the day was of no use here. So it always was, now, when Feanor stretched forth his mind. It had not been thus when Nerdanel had labored with them at the forge. Then, she had waited, with Feanor, and the children would join with them or not, to whatever degree they would. Maedhros would go, then, to the edges of his parents' joined soul, feeling only the gentle warmth of their love. Now, there was no waiting, and no gentleness, only a swift darting from mind to mind, flame-like leaping. Maedhros could refuse nothing now. Only some few feelings he tried not to feel, some knowledge he tried not to know. That which was not held could not be taken. Or so he hoped. Then he let go of his hopes, and felt only fire.
It was at that moment that Feanor brought forth the Silmarils, when each son felt only Feanor in his mind. Maedhros could not see, for his eyes were not his own, but he looked, as they all did, through Feanor's eyes. What colours were those he saw? They had no name, nor should they. They brought thoughts to Maedhros that he did not want to think, so he thought of his father instead. And how easy to do nothing else. There is no fire like the fire of Feanor. And if there were, would it also consume? At the edges of his memory Maedhros could feel a white gentle flame that was altogether different, but he gazed once again at the Silmarils and it was gone.
The sons gathered around their father, and with a single motion each placed their right hand on the jewels. The pleasure Maedhros has felt at the joining only intensified at this touch. With seven hands touching the three jewels they did not darken. Rather the light shone through the flesh, illuminating them, transforming them into hands of light. It burned, hot, a heat more intense than that of the forge, but there was no pain in it. Only need. This was not the first time the brothers had touched the Silmarils, although Feanor permitted it only rarely, but each time was more intense than the one before. I cannot live without this. I cannot live…
Feanor placed his own hands on top of those of his sons. What do you see? he asked.
The answer came from one mind in one voice. There is nothing like the fire of Feanor. It is you.
They remained for a moment, bathed in light, as if Music become flesh. Then Feanor turned, breaking the contact, taking the Silmarils away from his sons' hands. No one moved until the Silmarils were returned to their vault.
Maedhros stood for a while, unable to move or think. The burning was still in his eyes, his limbs, his soul. It hurt that it was gone, and it hurt that it had been. He knew, dimly, that he was expected somewhere, somewhere he often went after work, but could not remember it.
Finally Feanor came to him, and put his hand on his shoulder. "You should go," he said. "I think your uncle is waiting for you."
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.