1. Questioning the Mirror
Their first meeting was characterized by innocent curiosity. Each peered out from behind the robes of their sires, and when eyes met it was like looking into a mirror. Above them, Morifinwë's father was busy slinging fiery glares while Turukáno's seemed to be simmering in resentment, but their children paid no notice. How could they? There was interest twinkling across the path, and in both children a spark saying 'hello' simmered into existence.
Their fathers were coming closer now, and the dramatic movements of their decorated robes covered up any movement by their offspring. Morifinwë crept under a swaying sleeve and darted around the path behind a bush, Turukáno following in his wake. Both had brothers and by now were skilled and quiet enough in evasion that their passage went unnoticed, and in half a minute they had made it beyond the fountain at the edge of the garden, well-hidden in both shape and sound by the large stone waterfall.
They sat in the lush grass and for a while, simply watched each other. It was curious to know that they had very similar mannerisms, and the mirror effect only disappeared after each noted that their eyes were different colors. Both were reticent by nature, but Morifinwë had confidence where Turukáno had shyness. This was perhaps due to having three brothers; one had to speak up and be strong about it, especially around gregarious but overbearing Turkafinwë. Morifinwë had met a close match in Turukáno, though, and when both finished watching each other, it was he that spoke first. "Your hair isn't very long. And why is it not braided?"
Turukáno frowned. "I don't know. Why is yours as long as it is? Why are our eyes different colors? Why do you wear slippers instead of sandals?"
Morifinwë considered this. "I suppose it is because we are different people."
For all his reticence, Turukáno was getting annoyed. "Then why did you not consider that first? I thought you were going to ask me something interesting. Different. Now you sound like Artafinde, only asking questions that can be answered easily!"
The other boy had begun contributing to the annoyed atmosphere. "Artafinde?! He's little, of course he asks obvious things! I just started with that because you are smaller than I am too, and I thought you might like it if I asked you about yourself. If you want me to ask you important questions, I might stump you!"
Turukáno glared. "It might take me a while, but I like hard questions! Come on, ask me something worthwhile and maybe you can help me answer it, and we may even be able to go on an adventure as we do it."
Fëanaro's son wasn't sure what to make of that. An adventure? While answering a question? "Well, alright, I guess. I mean, if I can think of something really good." He nodded to himself, wondering exactly what would qualify. Perhaps something really adult-seeming? No, 'adult' was what they had left behind arguing on the path. Something about their brothers, maybe? No. The rest of their shared family? That had potential. "I want to know why we do not see your grandmother as often as we see Grandfather." Was that a stump-worthy question?
Turukáno pulled back from his crouch and considered it. "You do not see Grandmother Indis as often as you see Grandfather Finwë? I thought that they are always together when he is here in Tirion."
Morifinwë shook his head. "I think that I can count on two hands, the number of times I have seen her ever. I see Grandfather all of the time, though. I thought he might be ashamed of her, but I saw them last month and she is always so beautiful. You do not know, then?" See, it had stumped him!
Anticipating his cousin's thoughts, blue eyes glared. "I am not stumped! I just think that we will need help to answer it. Do you think our brothers may know?" He paused. "Which one are you, by the way? I forgot that we didn't actually say our names, and I don't remember all of you from the last gathering." He blushed, embarrassed. Their family was just too big!
Morifinwë eyed him before standing up and sketching a bow. "I am Morifinwë Carnistir, fourth son of Curufinwë Fëanaro and Nerdanel daughter of Mahtan, grandson of Finwë Noldoran and Míriel Þerindë. And you?"
Turukáno giggled at the obnoxious amount of propriety his cousin was showing. Standing up, he mocked his own bow, and proudly announced his own lineage. "Sarafinwë Turukáno, second son of Nolofinwë Aracáno and Anairë daughter of Olwë, grandson of Finwë Noldoran and Indis of the Vanyar. It is a pleasure to meet you, prince Morifinwë." He smiled. "And now we should go find someone to help us on our quest!"
Morifinwë nodded. "Could we ask Lady Indis herself, do you think? Or would that be improper, considering that we are seeking information concerning her in the first place?"
Nolofinwë's son shook his head. "I'm not sure, but I don't know if our fathers or brothers would appreciate us asking them. Perhaps the reason you do not often meet is because they are uncomfortable with it? And if they are, they would only shoo us away." His cousin's eyes glittered in annoyance, and Turukáno knew that his newfound counterpart's desire to know the answer had just doubled. "Alright, we will go visit Grandmother."
Morifinwë nodded his assent as a figure suddenly loomed over, blocking out the setting sun. Letting out a breath when he saw it was only Macalaurë, he stayed quiet anyway.
"What are you two doing out here? It's almost dinnertime, Moryo, and Turukáno I think your mother is looking for you." Sweeping his little brother up in an arm and putting a hand to his cousin's back to guide the boy, he walked the two back towards the main path. As it came into sight, they noticed their fathers still there, arguing, oblivious to the fact that their sons had run off twenty minutes ago. Macalaurë stepped onto the stones and cleared his throat, letting his elders realize what had happened and subtly guilting them without actually seeming rude. "Father, it is time for dinner. " He nudged Turukáno towards Nolofinwe and handed Morifinwë to his father before turning down the path and waving. "I've got to find Turko now, and as I suspect he's been playing huntress with Irissë, it may take me a while, so please tell Mother where I am!"
The half-brothers spared each other a last look, each tinged with guilt and faded resentment, before turning to their sons. Nolofinwë merely gave a toothy smile to his son, bending down to pick him up before going down the path. In retrospect, Turukáno felt bad for running off without telling his father, but as they walked towards their wing of the house, his father nuzzled him happily, and he thought that perhaps the elf was simply happy that he had made a new friend, and that made him happy, too.
After watching his uncle and cousin walk away, Morifinwë looked up at his father, wondering what he would say. Fëanaro, for his part, felt rather badly that his youngest had slipped away. Nolofinwe may have thoroughly pissed him off with his actions in the past day, but that was no excuse to have a heated argument in front of their sons. Hefting Moryo higher against his hip, he pressed a kiss to the child's forehead and wiped a bit of dirt off of the small cheek. "I am sorry, Morifinwë. I did not intend to ignore you. Shall we go find Maitimo and your mother and start dinner?"
His son nodded and wiggled closer into his father's grasp, content. Dinner now, and tomorrow he would find Turukáno again and they could start their adventure!
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.