2. The Time of Your Life
The “Biggest Event of the year, nay, the Millennium!” an overeager scribe had once claimed – and the description had endured. To this day, no one was quite sure how the tradition had started. Some whispered that Manwë had suggested the idea to Fëanor after journeying unseen with Glorfindel to that strange alternate reality that plagued so many of the high houses among the Eldar. Others claimed that Eru himself had proposed the idea for his own amusement. Whatever the case, the Ball had grown in importance. Even as Arien’s chariot disappeared into the West, elves from all over the realm began to gather, accepting the swift transportation provided by the Valar for the grand occasion. And as the excited host drew nearer to the Halls, a group of eight Elves kept to themselves, waiting….
Meanwhile, the Halls of Mandos was in a state of frantic activity. Everywhere, elves rushed about, making last minute adjustments to wardrobes, wiping miniscule pieces of dust off the walls, and in the case of several Vanyarin musicians (called in to supplement the Hall orchestra), tuning instruments. The Fëanorians themselves could be seen rushing about madly (looking very harassed), making last minute adjustments and dealing with the minor problems that crop up before any major occasion.
Most of them were, that is….
“Celegorm! Curufin! Must you two stand in front of the mirror all evening? By the Valar, Curufin, thy Lady dresses faster than you! And she looks much better than both of you, I might add.”
Curufin shook his head warningly at Caranthir, watching as Celegorm - who was doing an excellent job of maintaining a facial expression that masked any signs of his having acknowledged any signs of irritation from his brothers - carefully tied the end of a long black braid. Truth be told, he agreed with Caranthir - though he wasn’t about to admit it. Admitting it would only bring another lecture from Celegorm on the importance of appearances. Which Curufin did not want. True, his natural attention to detail, which revealed itself when he worked at smithcraft or other such things, demanded that he dress well. However, Celegorm had managed to raise the choosing of clothes, accessories, weapons and the like to an art form – one that required not only a great deal of thought, but, if the current day could be taken as an example, cursing, last-minute weapon trades with various elves, and nearly all the daylight hours. Curufin watched as Celegorm smiled into the mirror.
“Are you done now, O Fair One?” Caranthir asked, a sarcastic edge in his voice. “Whoever came up with the idea that maidens care more for appearances obviously never met you. Why not ask Manwë for a feminine form and be done with it? Mother always did want a daughter…”
“Mother has wonderful daughters-in-law,” Celegorm said, bowing to Curufin, who smiled in agreement. “Furthermore, Caranthir, some of us who lack your personal charms need to spend time on our appearance.” He grinned evilly. “What was it that writer-maid, “ he stopped as all three elves shuddered at the hated term. “What was it she said…..’Dark elves are so sexy, especially when paired with each other!’. I believe we all agreed that ‘sexy’, whatever it means, should be taken as a compliment…” Caranthir’s eyes blazed with anger. Curufin, long accustomed to the ways of his brothers, automatically stepped into the breach.
“I believe Caranthir merely feels, as do I, that three hours detailing everyone’s wardrobe is a bit excessive, Celegorm,” Curufin said. “Besides, there are more important things to consider today.” He paused. “Father’s Gem, for instance.”
“Wasn’t Maglor going to see to that….thing?” Celegorm asked.
Curufin inclined his head in the direction of the Main Hall, where raised voices could be heard. “It seems like he needs some assistance.”
“And so he shall have it,” Celegorm said. “Curufin, can you summon Amrod and Amras? It sounds like Maglor could use as much assistance as possible.”
“Of course,” Curufin said. “Will you accompany me, Caranthir?”
Caranthir cast a dark glare in Celegorm’s direction. “Aye, I shall,” he said, falling into step beside Curufin. ”Dark Elf, indeed. She didn’t have the wits to understand ‘the Dark’ is a title in reference to my hair, and eyes, not my family or home. And trying to force me into relations with the so-called Lord of Nan Elmoth….” He shuddered. Curufin gripped his shoulder in sympathy. Neither Eol or Caranthir had been forthcoming as to what exactly the maiden had asked them to do, but the expressions on both elves’ faces upon re-appearing in the Halls had been more than sufficient.
“Lady Vairë has seen to that, at least.” Curufin said.
Caranthir nodded. “Even the Valar have their uses, and Lady Vairë can be most understanding, And I will grant this much to the Dark Elf; he can truly appear menacing, when he needs to be.” A smile of pure satisfaction crossed his face. “Though after I finished with her, I doubt that maid will ever try to write again, let alone…..”
“Caranthir, Curufin!” Caranthir stopped midsentence as Amrod and Amras approached. The twins were dressed in similar tunics of a deep blue, ordered specially for the occasion from tailors in Tirion. They were cut in a classic style, for as Celegorm had commented, their current bodies were merely a gift from Manwë for the night, and it would be a pity to spend so much on clothing that would go out of style.
“Amrod, Amras,” Caranthir said. “We had hoped to find you here. The guests are due to arrive any moment, and it appears that Maglor has been unable to convince Father to take his gem-ball down from the ceiling. Celegorm requested that we bring you to the Main Hall directly….perhaps if we all present a united front, Father may be persuaded.”
“We shall come,” Amrod replied. ”Though I doubt it will do any good. Father can be dreadfully stubborn. Maedhros and Celegorm spoke to him yesterday regarding it, to no avail.” The four Elves hurried through to the main Hall, Maglor’s distressed voice urging them onwards.
The four stepped into the main hall. The Hall gleamed. It truly was lovely, Curufin thought, noting with pride that the rack he had crafted to hold the various cloaks, robes, and similar wraps of the guests matched the silver workings on the tiled floor perfectly. He frowned as a blue and orange lights swirled on the floor. Well, it was almost lovely…
Maglor sent a single, desperate glance in his brothers’ general direction before continuing his arguments. “But Father….it will distract the musicians! How can I sing, with that thing blinding me? And I am sure Daeron feels the same – am I correct, Daeron?”
“Truth be told, I rather like it. As the best musician ever to walk on Arda, I find it easy to ignore outside distractions while performing,” the Sindarin Elf replied from the corner, where he was directing several other musicians. He smirked as Maglor shot a hate-filled glare in his direction.
“If he can work through it, you can as well,” Fëanor said.
“Father,” Celegorm said carefully. “Perhaps we should save it for another, more prestigious day. Melian offered the use of her golden lamps…”
“The Lamps of the Lady Maia may have been good enough for the Halls of Menegroth,” Fëanor interrupted. “However, I, Fëanor, first son of Finwë, am hosting this gathering, and we shall all enjoy the lights created by myself and Curufin. And that is my final word on the matter.”
Celegorm opened his mouth to speak. However, any words he might have offered were lost, for at the moment, Maedhros entered, Lady Nerdanel and her daughters-in-law close behind.
“Father,” Maedhros said, bowing. “Our first guests have arrived.”
“May I have the honor of escorting you inside, my Lady?” Gwindor asked.
Finduilas smiled, placing her small palm on Gwindor’s arm. “The honor is entirely mine, Son of Guilin.” She lightly stepped out of the carriage, covertly checking that the small bottle of liquor (artfully concealed from view by the folds of the black velvet cloak she wore) was still secure. The liquor was not the wine favored by the elves, but rather the highly potent ale of the Dwarves, whose sturdier builds lent them a much higher tolerance for alcohol. It had been a gift to Legolas from Gimli, untouched for centuries by the Elf, whose pain and sorrow at the loss of his dear friend would never fully heal. Of course, his one prior encounter with Dwarven liquor had probably also influenced his decision to leave Gimli’s gift untouched. Finduilas suppressed a smile. Legolas had yet to reveal the details of that particular adventure; however, its mere mention was enough to reduce Elladan and Elrohir to tears of laughter. Whatever the strange powers of the beverage she carried were, it was odorless and nearly the same color as the red wine her target preferred; in essence, the ideal drink for her purposes.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a light touch on her shoulder. “Good luck,” Gelmir mouthed. She smiled weakly, watching as her brother-in-law melted into the pack of lesser Lords who owned their allegiance to Finarfin. She straightened, willing away vague feeling of nervousness that had settled in her stomach.
”Are you sure you want to do this?” Gwindor asked her under his breath, noticing her nervous movements. “I do not mind trying…”
Finduilas glanced about, slightly worried that her father – or worse still, Galadriel her aunt – who had an uncanny way of knowing precisely those things you most wished to conceal – would overhear them. But the rest of the House of Finarfin was far too engrossed in their own discussions to pay much attention to anything else. “Nay, I shall be able to manage,” she replied softly. The Eight Companions had changed their plans at the last moment; deciding that such a diverse group arriving together would draw far too much attention, they had instead decided to come to the Ball with their own kin. As luck would have it, Finduilas and Gwindor, traveling as they were with Orodreth, Finrod, Lord Finarfin and Lady Eärwen themselves, were among the first to arrive.
“Are you sure?” Gwindor asked, concerned. “Celegorm is no fool….”
“I will be fine, Gwindor,” Finduilas replied. She smiled. “He quite likes me, actually…. told me I was ‘sweet’ and far too good for the likes of a mere Lord of Nargothrond.” She laughed at Gwindor’s expression. “There is more…he said also that there were several valiant Lords who had followed the Host of Fëanor that would make me fine husbands. I have since spoken with him while in the Halls, and he will see nothing amiss in accepting a drink – or several drinks – from my hand. Do not fear. The best orator among the sons of Fëanor will be in no state of mind to protest any suggestions put forth by our Companions, ere the night is ov-.”
Finduilas’s voice trailed off as she entered the Hall. She heard the lilting voice of Daeron of Doriath raised in song, accompanied by some of the best musicians among the Vanyar. She heard Gwindor greeting Fëanor and Nerdanel, and each of the Sons of Fëanor. She smiled and murmured the appropriate comments, gently rejecting Maedhros’s offer to take her cloak, all the while desperately trying not to stare at the large, rotating gem in the center of the ceiling….
“Legolas! What are you doing in this corner? I was introduced to Liriel earlier – she’s lovely, I can certainly understand why you wish to keep her away from those human females – but anyway, should you not be dancing with her, rather than cowering in this corner?” Glorfindel asked. Legolas looked up, shielding his eyes as blue fire blazed forth from Fëanor’s creation. At least, Legolas decided, its’ existence was proof that he was not the only one who had been subjected to the horrors of alternate reality. Unless, of course, such creations had always been a part of such festivities. Perhaps it was a Noldorin custom…
“Glorfindel,” Legolas began. However, before he could complete his sentence, he was presented with the identical worried expressions of Elladan and Elrohir, Gelmir following close behind.
“Legolas!” Elladan exclaimed. “We have been looking for you everywhere. Elrohir and I need you to lay to rest a question that has been plaguing us since we arrived.”
“I shall be happy to do so, if I possess the knowledge you seek,” Legolas replied.
“Elladan does not believe me when I tell him this, though I have told him that my experiences with the Spawn of Morgoth have been more numerous than his.” Elrohir lowered his voice. “Legolas, is that thing a Dic…” He paused, struggling with the unfamiliar term. “A ‘Disco Ball’?”
Legolas took in the confused expressions of Glorfindel and Gelmir, and the matching expressions of horror on the faces of Elrond’s sons. “Unless I am very much mistaken…. aye, it is.”
“A what?” Gelmir asked. “Legolas, I have never heard of such a thing.”
“A blessed life indeed, if you have escaped such knowledge,” Legolas replied. “I have been subjected to one only once, yet the experience has ever served as a shadow in the back of my mind.” Legolas suppressed a shiver, remembering those few horrible moments spent surrounded by people, that horrible glowing thing twirling….Legolas realized his friends were all watching him, faces reflecting varying degrees of concern. “I am sorry,” he said. “The memories had me, for a moment.”
“Hopefully, you will never be forced to endure such a thing again,” Gelmir said.
“Yes, the Eight Companions shall overcome, though we be dragged through the Halls of Mandos and subjected to the largest, brightest, most artfully crafted disco ball in existence,” Elrohir added. “How are Finduilas, Gwindor, and Tuor faring?”
Gelmir laughed. “Finduilas is doing wonderfully – Gwindor tells me she has er, refilled Celegorm’s glass no fewer than five times in the space of three hours.”
“But I could have sworn I saw him drinking that fruit juice rather than the wine,” Elladan objected.
“I assure you, Dwarven liquor loses none of its’ potency when mixed with fruit juice rather than wine,” Legolas commented dryly. “I pity him; if Finduilas has given him five glasses thus far….” He shook his head. “I am not sure how much of this night he will remember, but his head will certainly ache tomorrow.”
“Would that that were the case,” Gelmir said. “However Manwë will revoke the physical forms he has provided for the evening before Arien rides eastward. He will feel nothing, save a loss of dignity.”
“Which is almost as satisfactory,” Elrohir said, grinning. “What of Tuor?”
Glorfindel gestured across the crowded room to where Tuor stood deep in discussion with Fingolfin. “Turgon has granted his permission for Legolas to enter Gondolin, and Tuor has promised to try and sway Fingolfin tonight.” Glorfindel lowered his voice. “I fear he feels out of place here, save among Turgon’s kin. The sons of Fëanor – specifically Caranthir and his twin brothers - have been less than hospitable.”
Legolas stiffened. Tuor had become a dear friend over the years, and he knew that while Tuor was happy living amongst the Eldar, his nature was still that of a son of the Edain. In many ways, he was still far more vulnerable than the trueborn sons of the Eldar. “We should not let such insults go unanswered,” he said, his eyes stern.
“No worries, Legolas,” Gelmir said. He nodded towards the refreshment tables at the opposite end of the grand hall, where a small crowd had gathered. “It appears that Tuor is not the only one who has enjoyed the special hospitality perfected by the Fëanorians…”
Scattered applause rose as Daeron finished yet another tune, a spirited melody that told the tale of the Awakening of the Elves in Middle-earth, so long ago. Daeron really did have a decent voice for a Sindarin Elf, Amras decided, as he made his way across the room with Amrod. Of course, his voice wasn’t nearly as fine as Maglor’s – Quenya, after all, remained the best language for melody, or so he had always felt – but the grey elf was tolerable. He helped himself to some wine, his sharp ears catching Caranthir’s voice as he spoke to Singollo.
“Lovely blade you have there, Lord Elwë,” Caranthir was saying amiably, as he helped himself to some punch.
Amrod raised an eyebrow. “Correct me if I am wrong, brother, but did I just overhear Caranthir complimenting the Grey-Elf king?”
Amras nodded. “Aye, you did.” He grinned. A compliment from Caranthir was generally a sign of other, more cutting comments to come. He caught his brother’s eye. “Come, let us see if we can contribute to this discussion.” Together, the twins made their way to their brother’s side.
“Indeed, it was crafted by the Naugrim, ere I departed,” Elwë Singollo was saying. He paused as the twins approached.. “Good eve, Sons of Fëanor.” His tone, while polite, held no warmth.
“Good day, Lord Elwë, Elured, Elurin,” Amras said evenly, nodding at the sons of Dior who had just joined the small group. He noted that their physical forms reflected the bodies they would have had, had they grown to maturity, rather than the bodies of small children they had possessed when Menegroth fell. They murmured similar greetings, their faces revealing no deeper emotions than a polite interest. “Amrod and I could not help overhearing your conversation. The swords of the Naugrim are well crafted indeed, though a bit lighter and shorter than those favored by the Noldor.”
“Indeed, I was just going to say the same,” Caranthir said. “Tell me, Lord Elwë, but are all the swords of the Sindar similarly crafted?”
The former Lord of Doriath stiffened, while the faces of his grandsons reddened with a barely perceptible flush. “What are you trying to imply, Caranthir?”
“Imply? My brother implies nothing,” Amrod said. “Yet it is well known that Noldorin swords are superior in all aspects,” Amrod said meaningfully.
“Step outside, Son of Fëanor, and I will give you a demonstration of how deadly the blades of the Sindar can be,” Thingol replied, his one dangerously low. Amras instinctively placed his hand on his sword-hilt, noting that Amrod, Elured and Elurin had done the same.
Caranthir merely laughed. “And I thought the sudden temper was a Noldorin trait,” he replied. “And I must decline, for a demonstration in swordplay from your Lordship is not a battle I seek. From your heir Dior Eluchil, perhaps…”
“A battle I would give you, but you would surely lose,” Dior said. Amras turned; he hadn’t even heard Thingol’s heir approach, so engrossed had he been in the discussion.
“Strong words indeed, for one whose renown stems from nothing more that the deeds of his parents and daughter; one whose renown was linked to physical beauty, a necklace of the Naugrim, and a Silmaril that was my father’s by right,” Caranthir hissed, face red with anger.
“And the one by whose hand Celegorm, who dared to seize my daughter, was slain,” Thingol replied “The one whose people defeated Curufin, and yourself, when battle was unexpected.”
“I tried to tell Celegorm of his folly in desiring Lúthien,” a new voice drawled, as Curufin joined the group. Whereas Caranthir appeared nearly ready to explode, and Amrod stern, Amras thought that Curufin looked very calm. Curufin took a long sip of his fruit punch before continuing. “Indeed, what did she accomplish? She won a Silmaril, true. I doubt not that any of us could have done the same, with the benefits of Lúthien’s charms – and the willingness to us-…”
Crash! Curufin’s goblet was gone, the juice staining his pale tunic and the shattered glass reflecting the shimmering lights from above. “You will apologize for your comments about my mother,” Dior said, his sword resting at Curufin’s throat.
“We will apologize for nothing,” Caranthir said. “The Silmaril was ours by right, that your mother won through trickery!”
“Right?” Elurin spoke for the first time. “What right?”
“Indeed,” Elured added. “By the Valar, had you regained it, it would have been used for no other purposes than to light that great monstrosity that currently hangs from the ceiling!”
Amras leapt at Elured, and the battle was on. Instantly, a crowd gathered, some calling out words of support – Fëanor was among the most vocal – though none others interfered. There was an odd symmetry to it all, Amras decided, as he blocked Elured’s blade. Four sons of Fëanor against four Elves of Doriath
In the confusion, no one noticed a quiet Noldo’s subtle enhancement of Fëanor’s glass of wine…
Gwindor slipped away from the crowd, clutching a small glass bottle that had been filled with Dwarven liquor a moment before. He glanced about. Surely, it couldn’t be this simple. Surely, someone had noticed. However, as Gwindor made his way across the room to where ten elves waited, no one challenged him. In fact, most elves seemed engrossed in their own priorities – for many Elves, this was the only chance they had to see dear ones separated by the barriers that normally surrounded the Halls of Mandos.
“Ah! Gwindor! Were you successful?” Gelmir asked. Gwindor nodded, as he slipped into the circle of elves, which now included Gelmir’s wife, Legolas’s betrothed, and Idril Celebrindal, who over the course of the evening had aided with various bits of the Quest.
“Aye,” Gwindor said. “I emptied the entire bottle into his drink. Now it is up to Eru to ensure that he drinks it.”
“Are you sure it’s enough?” Glorfindel asked.
“It’s more than enough, unless Fëanor is a dwarf in disguise,” Legolas said. He frowned. “Are you sure this is the only way to obtain his approval? I cannot help but feel slightly guilty.”
“Perhaps we could have obtained it from him alone, without resorting to such means,” Glorfindel admitted. “However, this will ensure he will be in no state to listen to Maedhros or Maglor, ere they try and prevent his consent.”
Gwindor looked at Celegorm, who was sitting in near the musicians, idly patting Huan and talking to Maglor, who seemed very concerned. He turned to Finduilas. ”What did you do to him?” he murmured under his breath.
“I did nothing Gwindor; the liquor did,” she replied, resting her head on his shoulder. He stroked her hair as she continued. “I can’t help but feel a little ashamed. He was calling me Nerwen when I finally left him, and telling me that he really was sorry that he had put a frog in my dress the day of the high feast in Tirion…”
“You are far too soft-hearted, Faelivrin. After what Celegorm….”
Glorfindel coughed loudly, and Gwindor and Finduilas looked up guiltily. “While your reunion after a mere three hours apart is certainly touching, we have other, more important things to discuss.”
“I fear I must leave you all to your scheming,” Idril said as she rose. ”Legolas, I wish you well. It will be wonderful to have you in Gondolin, even for a short time.”
“Thank you for your kind wishes, Idril,” Legolas said, bowing. “May the Valar see that your wishes come to pass!”
“I shall leave you all as well,” Liriel said rising. Gelmir’s lady rose with her. “I have promised to introduce Elewen to thy father, Legolas. And we both agreed that while we support your aim most wholeheartedly, it would be better for all concerned if we know as little as necessary, ere the Quest is successful. Farewell!” The two ladies turned and melted into the crowd.
“I would like to compliment all here betrothed or married on their choices of spouses,” Glorfindel said. “However, to business. What have we accomplished?”
“Fingolfin and Turgon have granted their permission and signed the necessary documents,” Tuor said. “Turgon saw nothing wrong in having Legolas in Gondolin – it seems he had a very bad experience and was very sympathetic. Fingolfin had already conferred with Finarfin…” Tuor paused and bowed to Finduilas. “He said Finarfin had been very enthusiastic about the idea – an enthusiasm I believe we can trace to his granddaughter.”
“Excellent,” Elladan said. “So all that remains is Fëanor himself. Who shall obtain the signature?”
“I will,” Glorfindel said. “But who shall see to the Sons of Fëanor?”
“Caranthir, Amrod, Amras, and Curufin are already occupied,” Elladan observed, as the sounds of swordfighting filtered through the music in the Hall.
“And if I am not mistaken, Celegorm is re-discovering his friendship with the Hound of Valinor,” Gwindor added, watching as the fair Noldo crawled about on all fours in a corner, Huan barking in an encouraging manner.
“It appears Tuor has earned himself a case of wine,” Glorfindel commented. “He guessed that Celegorm would be the most susceptible to our plans.”
“And I was so sure Caranthir would fall first,” Gelmir sighed. “Ah well .Who is left?”
“Maglor and Maedhros,” Tuor said.
“Nay, only Maedhros, for Maglor remains with the other musicians,” Gelmir said.
“What shall we do?” Finduilas asked. “We have run out of liquor…”
“We shall have to rely on conventional conversation to keep him from his father’s side,” Legolas said. As Maglor’s voice filled the Hall, the Eight Companions drifted apart once more….
“It appears that the Sprit of Fire has had too much to drink,” a nearby voice said.
“No, he merely put too much spirit into that gem of his,” another voice replied.
“He poured himself into that thing? A tragic day for the Noldor, indeed.”
Fëanor rubbed his head. He knew he should be insulted by such comments. In fact, he thought very seriously about getting offended, before deciding that it would take too much effort. When had he acquired this splitting headache?
“…a clever plan, indeed. Now all he needs is Fëanor’s approval…” Fëanor looked up. Turgon and Finarfin stood nearby, engrossed in conversation. Were thy discussing him?
“Legolas Greenleaf, Elf of Gondolin. It suits him,” Turgon commented. “Ah well, how they convince Fëanor is none of our concern…”
Fëanor frowned. Legolas Greenleaf, an Elf of Gondolin? No, that wasn’t right…..he knew the names of most of the Noldor, and there was no Noldo with that name. He was almost certain of it. And what would he have to be convinced of?
“Lord Fëanor!” Fëanor turned. A blonde elf waited respectfully. Fëanor searched for his name. “I know you…you’re….”
“Glorfindel, my Lord,” the elf replied, bowing. “I am sorry to bother you, but I need you to settle a question that has arisen.”
“What sort of question?” Fëanor asked, slightly distrustful.
“It is said that of all the elves, your hatred for Morgoth is the strongest,” Glorfindel said.
Fëanor’s eyes flashed. ‘Indeed it is; that is a well established fact,” he snapped, irritated. By the Silmarils, his head hurt. Wasn’t it time for the Ball to be over?
“So you would do anything to undermine his power? To perhaps halt some of the strange tales of woe created by the human females influenced by Morgoth?”
“Yes….what does anything mean?” Fëanor said, his eyes drooping. Wasn’t the sky growing lighter?
“We need your signature allowing Legolas Greenleaf to become an Elf of Gondolin,” Glorfindel said quickly, looking worried.
“If I agree, Glo…Gor… if I agree, will you leave me in peace?” Fëanor asked.
“Yes, my Lord!”
“Than I shall sign whatever you wish.”
“Father!” Both elves turned. “Father, Legolas Greenleaf is a Sindarin Elf from the Third Age,” Maedhros said. “Are you aware of what you are allowing him to do? It’s unheard of! It would completely change the history of Arda! Father, please, please reconsider….”
Fëanor rubbed his eyes. What was Maedhros talking about now? He wondered if it was important. He frowned at the paper in his hand.
“Legolas is a Sindarin elf? Why would he wish to come to Gondolin? Wouldn’t he prefer the realm of Doriath?”
“Father! Legolas is from the Third Age!”
“Maedhros, we have established that, and your father agreed. Why are you so against the idea?”
“My father is…” Fëanor blinked as Maedhros disappeared. Across the Hall, Fingon, who had been chatting with Maeglin, disappeared as well. Around him, the Hall shimmered. It must be dawn. Good. He would return to being a spirit, free of this blasted headache.
“My Lord? Your signature?”
“But if he is a Sindarin Elf….”
“My Lord, did I mention that Legolas was most affected by your dis….your gem? He said it brought back memories…”
Fëanor sighed, and signed his name.
“What is taking him so long?” Tuor asked, scanning the crowd.
“I am sure he will get it,” Elrohir said reassuringly. “Unless…”
“What?’ Elladan asked. He followed his brother’s gaze. “Is that….”
“Maedhros,” Gelmir stated. Elladan suppressed a groan. No, no, no, this could not happen now. Not now. Not when they had overcome every other obstacle. Not when the four youngest sons of Fëanor were still fighting the Elves of Doriath (and would probably continue to do so until Manwë took away their physical forms.) Not when they had spent an entire evening being blinded by Fëanor’s disco ball. He looked at Legolas, who was bidding his betrothed farewell. It simply wasn’t fair Elladan thought. Legolas truly deserved some peace. While he and Elrohir had been summoned several times, neither of them had had quite the same experiences as Legolas.
Suddenly, the air around Maedhros shimmered.
“Is he being…” Finduilas asked
“Aye, he’s being summoned,” Elrohir agreed. “I would not wish such a fate on anyone, but if this is the way to Legolas’s freedom….”
The group watched as Maedhros disappeared. A moment later, Glorfindel returned, his face glowing.
“We have done it!” He shook Legolas’s hand. “Congratulations, Legolas. You are now an Elf of Gondolin.”
“How did you manage it?” Legolas asked, awed.
“Well, I used my renowned powers of speech,” Glorfindel began.
Tuor sniffed. “You bribed him, more likely.”
“Well, I did have to mention that Legolas was er, affected by the gem…” he admitted
“Ah, well, it’s settled. Legolas has a first age persona, and that Gem will hopefully find its’ way to the Void.” Gelmir said. “Now, more importantly, who has been summoned with Maedhros?”
“I believe Fingon is missing….”
And as Arien drove her chariot into the east, as elves lost their physical forms and once more returned to quiet reflection, as Mandos and Vairë returned (Mandos immediately removing the glowing gem, much to Fëanor’s regret and everyone else’s relief), as Maedhros and Fingon re-appeared in the Halls (looking slightly horrified and muttering about a strange breed known as the Silmficcer), as the swordfighting elves were forced to call the outcome of the fight a draw as their weapons disappeared, as Celegorm wondered why he was crawling in a corner, as Maglor and Daeron stopped singing, voices finally used up, and as Fëanor’s headache disappeared, eight elves walked away from the Halls, arm in arm.
The Quest had been a success.
To be continued….
A/N: As mentioned in the first chapter, this tale draws on many references from Tolkien’s works. (see first chapter for specifics) The character of Liriel (Legolas’s betrothed) is still mine, as is Elewen (Gelmir’s wife)
Part three: The morning after: fangirls, distressed elves, Vairë’s weavings, and most importantly….the fate of the disco ball.
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.