1. Brotherhood of the Stars
where they stood between Heaven and Earth with none but the stars to overhear their converse.
As soon as their privacy was assured, Celeborn dropped his attempt at a neutral expression. "You know that Galadriel and I have been married since the First Age."
"Then why are you still coveting her?" Celeborn demanded.
Celebrimbor arched a thin black eyebrow. "You think I desire my aunt?"
"I have heard the rumors, Celebrimbor. I am not deaf."
"A pity." Celebrimbor opened the gold-gilded shutters and let the sunlight flood the room. "Have you ever read Pengolod's work? 'Ever Melkor found some ears that
would heed him, and some tongues that would enlarge what they had heard; and his lies passed from friend to friend, as secrets of which the knowledge proves the teller
wise. Bitterly did the Noldor atone for the folly of their open ears in the days that followed after.'" (1)
"Are you calling me a fool?" Celeborn growled.
"Nay, for even the wisest among the Noldor were deceived." Celebrimbor smiled crookedly. "Have you heard the rumors, Celeborn, that Feanor once asked for three
golden strands of Galadriel's hair?" (2)
"Yea, and she refused to give him even one," Celeborn said (a bit smugly).
Celebrimbor shrugged. "It was a rumor. (3) Feanor asked the aid and sought the counsel of none that dwelt in Aman, great or small, save only and for a little while of
Nerdanel the wise, his wife. (4) He didn't need to. The Silmarils were of his own making. He did not get the idea from Galadriel's hair, nor did he covet any woman
other than his wife. If he cared so much for golden hair, he could easily have wedded one of Ingwe's kinswomen."
Celeborn frowned, trying to decide whether or not to believe his nemesis.
"Still don't believe me?" Celebrimbor laughed. "I'll let you in on one of the family secrets. Feanor's father name was Curufinwe, and he gave that same name to my
father, hence Curufin. (5) The rumor is in part true: Curufinwe asked for three strands of Galadriel's golden hair. Curufinwe Atarinke, that is, Curufin my father, not
Curufinwe Feanaro, Feanor my grandfather."
Celeborn's anger almost prevented him from understanding the fullness of what Celebrimbor had said. "So you covet my wife just as your father did?" He sounded more
confused now than angry, a good sign.
"In fact, I do not care for Galadriel in that manner at all."
"Then why do your eyes follow her so?" Celeborn said. "I am not blind. I've seen the way you look at her."
"Her?" Celebrimbor grappled inwardly but then decided it best to simply speak his mind. "Celeborn, it is not your wife that I have been watching but your daughter."
Celebrimbor held up a hand to forestall Celeborn's new tirade. "Nay, you need not say a word. I have long known that you would not approve of my love for her. I can
Celebrimbor turned away from Celeborn and gazed out at Eregion, his city of holly, the one place he belonged. "After all, I am the last of the line of Feanor, and I know
that many eagerly await the end of that noble lineage. Even Gil-galad, though he has shown me every courtesy, will not regret my passing, for I am of the eldest lines of
Princes of the Noldor and could make claims to the Kingship if I so desired. I was too young to swear the Oath of Feanor, repudiated the deeds of my father at
Nargothrond, and have been invited to return to the Blessed Realm, a sign that I am forgiven. I am a threat to him, and so Gil-galad can never truly be my friend. But
Celebrian was born in the days after the War of Wrath. She knows the legends of my lineage but treats me kindly and judges me according to my deeds in this Age, not
by the deeds of my father or uncles."
Celebrimbor turned and gazed at Celeborn with piercingly bright eyes. "Yes, perhaps it is too simple of me to love her for being kind to me. I know that you would not
want me for son-in-law, and she will later wed one more worthy than I, perhaps Gil-galad. But still I would love her! And I would toil all my life to better Middle-earth
that you also love so that she could enjoy these fair lands. It was for those like her that we returned to Middle-earth, so that youths could play and love freely without
fear of the Dark Lord, who had fled hither after slaying the Two Trees. And now Morgoth is gone, but his servant Sauron has returned with malice. I would fight for
love of Middle-earth and for love of Celebrian. Deny me her hand in marriage if you would, but do not deny me the right to love and the right to protect the one I love."
Celeborn moved forward and took both of Celebrimbor's hands in his own. "Truly, you have the skill to move hearts with your words," Celeborn said with emotion thick
in his voice.
"Because I speak from my heart," Celebrimbor said humbly.
"I am not willing yet to part with my daughter," Celeborn said, "but your love for her and for Middle-earth is akin to my own."
"Let me swear brotherhood with you then, Lord Celeborn. In this way, you need never question my motives again," suggested Celebrimbor. "You have seen the strong
bond of brotherhood among my father and my uncles. It is because of them that I live still. Gladly would I protect your kin and your homeland. And you are the elder
between us. You shall lead, and I shall follow. Let no new grief divide us." (6)
Celeborn was now moved to tears by Celebrimbor's ardor. "I hear you." He squeezed Celebrimbor's hands. "So be it."
Celebrimbor embraced Celeborn. "As an elder brother you shall be to me."
And unknown to Celeborn and Celebrimbor, beyond the sunlit skies, the very stars of Heaven bore witness to their pledge.
(1) Silmarillion, Ch. 7.
(2) Unfinished Tales.
(3) Paradise Lost, Ch. 4.
(4) Silmarillion, Ch. 6.
(5) HoME XII, p. 352.
(6) Adapted from Silmarillion, Ch. 8.
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.