A Fire Consuming

Letters

Fëanáro stared out the window, contemplating his boring life. Atto was busy. Lately all he seemed to be was busy. Busy with paperwork. Busy with court affairs. Busy with Indis. He had promised that he would take him riding today. After all, today was his Atto’s only free day. Instead, he was spending it with Indis.

Indis had seemed friendly at first: giving him berry tarts and telling him much about his Ammë. For that he was grateful. Now he knew the truth. She was only nice to him so that she could earn his approval in courting his Atto.

Standing up, he walked over to his paint set and easel – they had been a gift from Niquessë. With a sour look, he turned away. Even Niquessë was busy with Rúmil – probably on some ‘secret’ tryst. Slumping back down, he picked up his paintbrush and squeezed the bristles with his fingers; they had were made of the finest horsehair that could be acquired.

Knock-knock.

Fëanáro dropped his paintbrush at the sudden noise; grumbling, he bent to pick it up before stomping to the door.

“Yes?” he answered sharply. “I was busy sulking.”

“I can see that,” his guard replied. It was the same one that he had ‘deduced’ not three months prior. “Your lunch is here, your highness.”

The elfling peaked out the door to see a maid holding onto a cart full of steaming plates of various foods. Looking back and forth between the guard and the food, he allowed his grumbling stomach to win this battle.

“You may bring it in.”

With a nod, the young guard took the tray and entered the prince’s room closing the door behind him. With surprise he looked at the prince’s furnishings; he had been expecting to see the corpses of mice, squirrels, and various other creatures. Instead, he saw the walls decorated with numerous pieces of art ranging from woodwork to traditional paintings.

“I painted all these,” Fëanáro stated proudly. “If you would like, you may dine with me. I have nothing better to do.” Smelling the many delicious foods, Fëanáro reached for the berry tarts. “I like dessert first. Why did you bring the food?” Fëanáro asked between mouthfuls of berry goodness.

“The maid was attending other affairs,” the guard replied stiffly, not at all pleased with the prince’s eating habits.

“Thatsadumbreason,” Fëanáro mumbled between bites of food.

The guard could not contain his tongue any longer. “Do not speak while eating. It is impolite.” With a grimace, he added, “Please chew with your mouth closed.”

Startled, Fëanáro looked at his guard. No one spoke to him this way. They were all too afraid – except for Niquessë. This behavior could only be because Mahtan was Imrathron’s law father.

Swallowing, Fëanáro looked at his guard with a daring expression. “That was not wise. I will speak to my father about this.”

“Do as you please, my lord.” Changing the subject, Imrathon motioned to the various pieces of paper scattered around the room. “What are these letters?” the guard asked, picking up a packet of papers with different markings drawn out.

Standing up quickly, Fëanáro tore the folder from the guard’s hands. “You should not snoop.” He thumbed through the pages to ensure that nothing was damaged. “Why are you still here?” He scowled.

“My prince,” the guard turned to the young boy. “It is my duty to provide you with riding lessons for the day. Your father is–”

“Tied up. I know.” Feanaro interrupted. He had no wish to be reminded of his father’s ‘trysts’ with the Lady Indis.

The guard could not help but notice the disappointment in the elfling’s face. Imrathon surveyed the young boy, watching the storm of emotions behind those such young eyes. It was as if there was an actual fire hiding within this small child.

“If it is any consolation–” He paused, thinking whether to bring up the new situation. “–your letters are very well formed. Better than even Master Rúmil’s.”

Fëanáro looked up with a hint of surprise. “Of course they are. I am, after all, a prince.”

Doing his best not to laugh at the spoiled elfing, Imrathon nodded his head. “Yes my lord.”

The elfling studied the nér, looking for any spite or ill-intent in his words. Deciding that he was only being respectful, the young prince sniffed. “Come. Let us go riding.” Setting down the draft work, Fëanáro slipped on his riding boots. “We have a long day ahead of us.”

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Urging his horse forward, Fëanáro ignored the pleas to slow down from his instructor, Imrathon. He was free; riding was one of the few points of freedom that he was able to glimpse. Slowing his horse down, he saw his father’s black stallion tethered to one of the trees. With a burst of excitement, the young nér slowed his horse to a trot. He had not seen his Atto in nearly three days. Jumping off the horse, he tethered him next to his father’s.

Walking through the trees, he looked around, hoping to catch a glimpse of his atto. Nearly hitting his head on a branch, he heard laughter. Feeling triumphant, he ran towards the sound. “Atto, I have something to tell you-” Stopping abruptly, his heart sunk at the sight before him. “Atto – Indis.”

Staring back and forth between the two elves, he felt the spark of hatred begin to burn. Narrowing his eyes, he looked at the Elves in an embrace. What burned the most was that his ring, the one that he had forged, lay on Indis’ finger. The elfling exhaled before turning swiftly on his heel and ran, preserving what dignity he could.

“Fëanáro!” Hearing his father call out for him only caused him to run faster. Seeing the clearing ahead, he dug deep for a burst of energy that gave him the speed to leap onto his horse and gallop away from his pleading father and instructor.

The eighteen-year-old, for the first time, fought back hot tears as he made for the great road to Lórien. He could not go to Mahtan’s – the man saw through him, not to mention that would be the first place Imrathon would go looking for him. His father could not know what he did in his spare time.

As he passed the city gates of Tirion, many citizens were forced to leap aside to avoid the hooves of the great animal. Letting out a breath of relief, the eighteen-year-old saw that he was out of reach of the guards. Looking back, he saw the city walls grow smaller as he made his way towards the silver willows of Lórien.

Fëanáro slowed his horse to a canter as he neared the border to preserve the peace that was so common among the spirits of Lórien. Calming down, he took in a much-needed breath and, waving his hand in the customary greeting, slowed his horse to a walk before leaping off its back. Taking the reins in his left hand, he stood staring at the silvery leaves before handing his horse off to one of the many Maiar of the forest.

“I need only one hour, thank you.” Bowing his head in respect, he straightened his back and walked to the banks of the Lórellin where his mother’s hröa lay at rest.

There was no attendant near his mother’s body. As he neared, he grabbed a tree for support. Finding his strength, he moved to her side and looked down to see her hands still clasped together as if in sleep. Reaching his hand out towards her silvery hair, he tentatively touched it. “Ammë, why did you leave?” As he knelt by her side, he wrapped his little hands around hers and brought his forehead to touch her own. “Please, open your eyes.”

A hand rested on his shoulder, causing him to turn to the comforting being and hold on as his little body shook with sobs. It was at moments such as this that he realized how weak he was. The elfling raised his head to see the kind eyes of Olórin.

The wise Maia helped the prince to stand and pulled out a handkerchief and wiped a tear from the boy’s face.

“They think this is all I know of my mother, but it’s not true. Her eyes were like amber.”

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