1. Chapter 1
"Most gracious lady, our sons are away. Dare we spend time together alone?" Feanor whispered into her neck as his kisses moved along her skin.
"Feanaro, I have work to do," Nerdanel scolded, but she raised her chin to give him freer access to her neck. His kisses roamed to where she wished, and he suckled gently at her soft flesh. She sighed contentedly and then drew away from him. "Besides, Ambarussa are not far. They might return at any moment."
"What will I do while you bless the House of the Heavenly Arch?"
"You will toil with pleasure in your workshop and hardly notice my absence," Nerdanel said. She continued wrapping the beautiful mirror with careful hands.
Defeated, Feanor took a seat nearby and watched his wife as she prepared the gifts. "I have received news that Maitimo and Findekano have arrived at Alqualonde. They've apparently become very close during their journey. Olwe's messenger mentioned it to me earlier today. They'll begin their return home in two days time. How is Anaire?"
"She's fine. She's concerned for her only son, of course, but she's pleased by the word about Eldamar that there is finally unity within the House of Finwe."
"I think everyone's hoping that Maitimo and Findekano will become as brothers, as Maitimo said before the Throne of Finwe. The House of Finwe has been united under one roof for some time, but a close bond between the grandsons of the King would be even better." As soon as Nerdanel completed her wrapping of the gifts, Feanor pulled her into his lap. He pushed her hair aside and kissed the side and back of her neck. "Even amidst my work of crafts, I will miss you these next few days. I will be working on a necklace more beautiful than any others to grace your neck on the day of the Celebration."
This time Nerdanel submitted to Feanor's charms.
"Nelyafinwe Maitimo." Maedhros jumped at the sound of his mother's voice. He turned with the look of a scared rabbit. Feanor snickered but did not go to his rescue.
"What is it, Mother?"
"I have heard that you and Nolofinwe exchanged some words the day that you and Findekano left on your journey."
"We did." Feanor could practically see Maedhros wracking his brain over that conversation for what might've been said in error. If he could apologize for it before Nerdanel told him what he'd done wrong, his mother's anger would more quickly be abated. He wasn't fast enough.
"I would appreciate it, Nelyafinwe Maitimo, if you did not speak about my fertility in the future." Nerdanel looked as if she was about to slap her eldest son to reiterate her point, but she didn't.
Maedhros bowed low and hastily said, "Of course, Mother! I apologize most sincerely for speaking of such a matter." Nerdanel nodded sharply. He was forgiven, but she was still highly displeased with her son. Maedhros would undoubtedly be on extremely good behavior for the next few days.
"By the way, I would suggest that you treat your uncle with more respect in the future," Feanor added casually. "You spoke to him of the vision of Iluvatar, of which he knows little. He is not a child and is wise in ways that you are not. Do not think less of him simply because he does not share in my teachings of the secrets of Arda."
"Yes, Father." Maedhros bowed low to Feanor as he said this, for he feared that his father was also angry on behalf of his mother.
"And although it may be true that you are very handsome, that is not the only reason that the unmarried ladies of the Noldor wish to wed with you," Nerdanel said. "Next time, try not to let your popularity make you too pompous."
Nerdanel put a hand on Maedhros's arm. "You're a good person, Maitimo, with a good heart. Don't think otherwise just because you're not perfect. After all, even your father is not perfect in spite of the great fire that Iluvatar had set within him." Feanor cried out in mock indigence and made a great show of being offended.
Maedhros smiled, and his parents knew that he would not make the same mistakes again.
Feanor knocked on his wife's door, but there was no answer. He entered anyway. Nerdanel was sitting on her bed with her back to the door. Her coppery red hair hung down around her shoulders, but the coils seemed to lack their usual bounce. Feanor came up behind her and nuzzled her shoulder and hair.
"My wife," he said plaintively. Her ruddy skin seemed darker from her crying. For a long time, Nerdanel spoke no word to him and did not acknowledge his presence. He continued to nuzzle her hair and skin with his face as if he would do it for all of eternity if she did not stop him.
"Why must you place such a heavy burden on our sons?" Nerdanel said at last. "You research the will of Iluvatar and learn things that even the Valar do not know. Can't you just be content learning of gravity and the nature of the world? Must you delve into things that are beyond you?"
Feanor kissed her coppery locks. "Not beyond me, my dear and beloved wife. I do what Iluvatar intended for me to do. If this knowledge was not there for my finding, I would indeed be content with my crafts. But I cannot fight my Fate."
"You showed our sons the palantiri," Nerdanel said with accusation and grief in her every word and being. Her shoulders slumped forward almost imperceptibly. She was not falling, but Feanor moved to catch her anyway and took her in his arms. She was not entirely willing, but she laid her head against his chest and sighed.
"I'm sorry, Nerdanel," Feanor said. He let the sincerity, the grief, and the very fear that he felt for their sons surface in his voice.
"They are not of the Valar. They may not understand what the palantiri showed them."
"They are not of the Valar, but they are the Aratar of the Eldalie," Feanor said. He felt her displeasure at his words, and she would've drawn away if she'd had any energy left. "I was still only a child by normal Noldorin standards when I proposed to you, and you accepted, though you are older than me. Surely it means that you knew from the beginning that I was more than I seemed. Don't regret that decision now. Although our sons have all reached maturity, there is much that will be required of them. I need you to help raise our children."
"For over fifty years, I was content to be normal. I was the beloved daughter of Mahtan, favorite pupil of Aule, but I did not have such a strange fate in store for me." Nerdanel sighed, and the sight of his wife so saddened drove Feanor to madness. Was there nothing that he could do for her?
"Am I then just a burden for you?" he asked. He wanted to kiss her, but he knew that would not make anything better. "If you were not fated to marry me, then we would not have met in the wilds of Valinor. Perhaps you always had a strange fate but never perceived it."
"That hardly makes the situation better."
Feanor sighed and held her tightly. "I'm sorry, Nerdanel. If I could, I would single-handedly undo the marring of Arda, and then our sons would not have to endure their harsh Fates. But do not dissuade them, I beg of you, for if you do, all will be lost."
Curufin came to Feanor in his study. "You called for me Father?"
Feanor bade him to sit. "I hear that I asked Nerwende for locks of her golden hair. I didn't realize my taste was for young blondes."
Curufin's face went pale. "I'm sorry, Father. The rumors are difficult to suppress, and Russandol has only turned to this matter recently."
"Did you ask her for her hair?" Feanor watched his son with piercing eyes.
"I did. You had spoken of placing the Light of the Two Trees in gems imperishable. I thought to attempt the same, and if I could succeed, I thought it would prove my skillfulness to be equal to yours."
"There are other things in this world besides craftsmanship and lore," Feanor said. "Perhaps you asked Nerwende because you have feelings for her?"
"If I did, they have withered with her coldness towards me." Curufin could not conceal the bitter tone from his father.
"There are other women, Atarinke." Feanor's eyes softened. "When I was younger, I loved a woman who was beyond me. She was already wed, and I knew I had no hope of gaining her affections. But when I met Nerdanel, I did not immediately discard her friendship, and as time passed, I came to love her more than any other. Our love has been blessed, and seven sons have been born out of our great love."
Curufin's eyes narrowed. "The first woman, do you speak of your mother Miriel?"
Feanor laughed. "No. I am not trying to trick you with words of comfort. I will not dissemble my mind to you, for the thought of my first love still embarrasses me. But I moved on and bore no grudge, and you should as well."
Curufin stood and bowed. "I will try, Father." He retired to his rooms, undoubtedly to try to figure out whom Feanor's first love was. Curufin's infatuation for Galadriel was sure to fade as he obsessed over the new puzzle of his father's love.
Nerdanel came forth from the adjourning room and kissed Feanor. "Thank you, Feanaro. I would have spoken to him myself if I'd known the words to say."
Feanor laughed and pulled her into his lap. "No, you were right. He needed the counsel of a father. I fear I would have neglected this trivial problem entirely if you had not brought it to my attention."
Nerdanel toyed with Feanor's raven dark hair. "I'd never heard that you loved another before me. You were so young when I met you that I'd never expected you to have loved another."
"Can't you guess who my first love was?"
"Curufin's guess is better than any that I could have made, yet you say it is not Miriel." Nerdanel kissed Feanor's ear and whispered, "Tell me. I confess to being a bit jealous."
Feanor chuckled and picked Nerdanel up in his arms. "My dear little vixen, I will give you what you want if you give me what I want." Nerdanel hit Feanor lightly and then kissed him. Their lips lingered together even as Feanor carried her to his bedroom. He placed her down on the bed with great gentleness and then knelt before her.
"My answer?" she asked as she ran her finger along the side of his face.
"My dear, it is the same as the answer of legends. When the first three of the Quendi awakened, they gazed up and saw the stars. My first love was Varda Star-Queen, so you see, you have no cause for jealousy." Feanor smiled mischievously.
"So you sent Atarinke on a wild goose chase." Nerdanel kissed him and twined her hands in his luxurious black hair. "How very cruel. I only hope that you don't tease me in a similar manner."
Feanor's eyes sparkled like the stars. "I wouldn't dream of it."
Feanor asked the Teleri for a pearl and received a well of pearls. He took the sheen from the pearls. To it, he added the silver drops of Telperion and the golden light of Laurelin. He encased these in the silma that he had created and then looked at the beautiful light for some time. Then he did it twice more. His skillful hands moved with such dexterity that nothing escaped from the jewels of silma before they were closed. They were incomplete though.
Feanor went to Nerdanel's bedchamber that night. She admitted him gladly, as she always did despite their occasional stormy arguments regarding the events of Eldamar. He swept her up with great joy and kissed her with all the love and passion that he'd felt for her since the day they'd wedded.
"My dear, I've been thinking, let's have more children." Feanor's eyes betrayed him, and Nerdanel knew immediately that something was on his mind.
"You know that I can no longer bear children or I would become as tired of my life as your mother was of hers." She probed deep into his eyes of boundless joy. "What can you possibly mean?"
"I have long thought that if you cannot bear anymore children, perhaps I could forge bodies for the seed of our love. After years of work, I have at last been able to create such bodies. They will not be our children, but they will possess our love and reflect it back in hues more beautiful than before."
"What must I do?" Nerdanel asked as she teased Feanor with light caresses.
"You need only love me, as you always have."
Nerdanel smiled. "And I always will."
Feanor put for all of his skill and lore once again and placed the love that he bore for Nerdanel and the love that she bore for him in return into the jewels that he had created. When he was finished, he felt exhausted in mind and body. At last, he understood the great weariness that Miriel had felt after giving life to him. Feanor was the greatest Elda ever born, and his mother had given too much of herself to bring him to life. Perhaps if he had been born as seven like his sons instead of one alone, she would not have been exhausted beyond healing. Feanor rested in his chair and looked at the Silmarils before him. Their fire was greater than even that which was within him, and he knew before the Doomsman of the Valar declared it that the Fate of Arda laid locked within them.
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.