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The Wars of the Valar  by Fiondil

49: The Uninvited

Shortly after their espousal, Námo and his Máyar joined with Vairë’s People to build a house near Námo’s Halls for Vairë.

"You should have a place nearby where you can work on your tapestries," Námo said, "and we should have a place to ourselves away from the others, the way Irmo and Estë have their gardens and Nienna has her own house by the sea. I think once the Secondborn start coming to my Halls, I will be busy ministering to them."

Vairë nodded and gave her new husband a smile and a kiss. "That sounds wonderful."

So they set about designing it to Vairë's specifications. It was constructed around a central flagged court with Námo and Vairë’s private rooms along the western side. The other three wings were devoted to guest rooms and workshops for Vairë and her maidens. A fountain graced the center of the court. While Vairë and Námo concentrated on beautifying the house, their Máyar set about creating pleasing gardens surrounding it, even landscaping the low hills nearby that essentially made up the Halls. Small gardens were created along one area, each one unique. Námo was surprised to see them and called to Maranwë for an explanation.

His chief Máya gave him an uncertain look. "Do you not like them, lord?"

"Oh, I like them very much," Námo replied, "I’m just confused. I don’t recall ordering them made." His expression was carefully neutral, though there was a glint of humor lurking in his eyes that the Máya did not catch.

Maranwë shrugged. "When we finished creating the gardens around the house, some of us felt a need to make these other gardens." He gave his lord a puzzled look. "I am not sure why, though. It just seemed the... the right thing to do."

At that Námo smiled. "Then I think you should follow your heart in this."

Maranwë gave the Ayanuz a bow. "Thank you, lord. I feared you would not approve and ask us to tear them down."

Námo shook his head. "I would never do that. Even if you did not have my permission, I can see that you and the others have put much love and care into creating such beautiful gardens and I would never deliberately ask anyone to destroy beauty. Continue as you have been with my blessing."

Maranwë bowed more deeply a second time and went off to complete his task while Námo checked in with Vairë to see how she and her maidens were coming with setting up her looms.

"We almost have everything in place," she told him. "Soon we will be weaving again."

"That is well," Námo said, taking her into his arms and giving her a light kiss. "What will be your first project?"

Vairë gave him a coy look. "I was thinking of doing a tapestry of our wedding."

Námo smiled. "I would like that."

"Then be off with you so I can get to it," Vairë replied with a light laugh and after exchanging sweet kisses, he left, making his way to his Halls to see if there was anything that needed doing there. It seemed every time he walked the corridors there was always one detail or another that he thought of and would then spend some time adding it.

Thus, he was in one of the chambers set aside for contemplation, thinking he would like to change the color of the walls from stark white to something softer and more congenial for meditation, when something deep inside him seemed to open up, some aspect of himself of which he was previously unaware. He was not sure what was happening, only that he had a great need to call out what he instinctively knew was a Word of Power in a language he did not know. Even so, he realized that his actions were a summons. He mulled the Word over in his mind and realized that it was a Name.

Then, behind him he heard a frightened whimper.

He slowly turned to find himself facing a creature with similar features to his own and knew that the Name which he had called out belonged to this being. The male, for it was obvious that the creature was indeed male, was beautiful with pointed ears and silvery locks and bluish-grey eyes, eyes that looked upon him with confusion and primal fear. The... person, or so Námo mentally labeled him, appeared physically solid but he instinctively realized that that was not the case. This pathetic creature was here only in fëa. Námo took a tentative step forward, not entirely sure what he was supposed to do, and the poor thing shrieked and fled down the corridor.

"Maranwë! Calimo!" he shouted even as he pursued the fëa.

At once the two Maiar were there, looking confused. "My lord?" Maranwë asked as he and Calimo followed Námo down the passageway.

"We have intruders or perhaps visitors," Námo exclaimed, never stopping. "Check the front gates and alert everyone else. I want the entire Halls searched. If you find anyone, don’t approach them, just alert me."

"Yes, lord," Maranwë answered. "What do these... um... intruders look like?"

By now the three had rounded a corner to find the fëa huddled against the door that was at the end of the corridor. Námo pointed as they came to a stop. "Like that," he said.

The two Máyar gasped in shock and amazement, staring in disbelief at the creature whimpering in abject fear. "Wh-who... what is that, lord? Why does it look like us?" Calimo whispered.

"That’s what I hope to find out," Námo whispered back. "Go. You have your orders."

The two bowed and then they were simply not there, and that set the fëa screaming again as he scrabbled on the floor trying to reach the handle to open the door, though Námo knew he would not be able to. That door led nowhere; Námo had yet to expand his Halls in that direction.

"Easy now," he said soothingly, kneeling before the frightened being. "Be not afraid, my child. None here will harm thee."

He was unsure the person even understood him, for he was whimpering in his own language which Námo was only just beginning to grasp. The language was musical in spite of the fear distorting it, and for a moment Námo marveled at this other being who was definitely not one of the Ayanumuz or Máyar come from the Timeless Halls.

"E-emmë... emmë... manass’ emya?" the fëa stammered over and over again and as the words slowly resolved themselves into something intelligible for Námo, the Ayanuz began to weep himself.

"Oh, my child," he whispered forlornly, "who art thou and whence comest thou?"

The being merely shook his head, continuing to whimper. Námo inched a little closer, knowing the fëa would be unable to flee. Somehow the fëa was exhibiting characteristics of being in hröa, else it could simply think itself away, and Námo marveled at the exquisite fragility of the fëa, so different from the spiritual forms of the Ayanumuz and Máyar. All the while, the poor thing crouched against the door and wept. Slowly, ever slowly, Námo approached until he was close enough to reach out and take the creature into his embrace. At that point, the fëa started screaming again and attempted to struggle out of his hold but Námo held him tightly, sitting with his back against the door, cradling the terrified Child.

And as he held him Námo knew, without knowing how he knew, that this was one of the Children. He had a sudden memory, one that he had completely forgotten about, a vision he had had while a captive of Melkor, of one of the Firstborn standing before him in terror and only now did he realize the implications of that vision. "O Atar," he whispered in dread, "what hath happened?"

A sense of comfort flooded him, though no words followed. He looked down at the fëa still weeping inconsolably in his arms and, gently rocking him, he began to sing the very lullaby Atar had sung to him so long ago when he was lost. He continued rocking the Child in his arms and singing, sending him whatever comfort he was able to receive until at last the fëa ceased its weeping and fell asleep. Námo continued humming the lullaby for a little while longer until he was sure the Child would not awaken, then he spoke to Atar.

"What hath happened, Atar? Who is he?"

*Thou didst speak his Name, Námo, summoning him to thee,* came Atar’s Thought.

"But... how? How did I know to do so just then?" Námo asked in confusion.

*Did I not say unto thee that I would send to thee those who would come to thy Halls?*

Námo stared down at the now quiescent fëa, so incredibly beautiful in its terrible delicacy. "But this is one of the Firstborn," he protested. "They are not meant for Death, as the Secondborn will be."

*Thy brother hath found the Children and hath wrought great evil upon them. This one died in pain and agony as Melkor attempted to corrupt him for his own purposes.*

"The Children are awake," Námo whispered in awe as he glanced down at the somnolent fëa. "I have to tell Manwë. We have to...."

*Nay, Child,* Atar exclaimed. *Thou wilt not speak of this to anyone.*

Now Námo felt shocked. "What!? What do you mean, Atar? This is the moment we’ve all waited for for so long. Manwë must be told. We must rescue the Children from Melkor."

*And ye will, Námo, but in My Time, not thine,* came Atar’s gentle admonishment.

"Then... then what do I do with this one?" Námo asked, feeling confused.

*This Child’s fëa has been scarred by evil, his innocence stripped from him in ways thou canst not imagine. He and the others who will soon come to thee will need healing sleep, much as thou didst experience after thine own escape from Melkor.*

"Others?" Námo whispered in dread. "There are others?"

*Yes, Child,* Atar replied with great gentleness.

For a long moment there was only silence as Námo looked compassionately at the still sleeping fëa and then he realized something.

"My Halls. They were never meant for the Secondborn at all, were they? Thou didst always intend them for those of the Firstborn murdered by Melkor." There was a growing sense of outrage and a feeling of being used.

*They are meant for both, Námo,* Atar said. *The Firstborn have a lifespan equal to that of the life of Atháraphelun, but they are still susceptible to dying, either by the hand of others or through the process of fading, or simply through unintended accidents.*

*But... why didst thou not tell me?" There was a sense of betrayal in his tone as he struggled to understand what Atar was saying.

*Thou wouldst not have understood at the time, but now thou dost,* came the answer.

Námo sighed and closed his eyes, leaning his head back against the door. Atar was correct, he realized. Had he been told the real purpose for the Halls, or at least for part of them, he would have been disbelieving of anything Atar might have said.

"So what now?" he finally asked.

*Now I think this Little One should be placed on a sleeping couch and left to heal,* Atar said gently.

"Yet for how long?" Námo enquired. "He’s been bereft of his hröa which should never have happened. What will become of him and the others?"

*In time I will show thee,* Atar replied. *For now it is enough that thou dost succor those who come, for they will be in sore need of thy healing compassion, a compassion born of pain wrought by the same hands that murdered this Child.*

"And the other Ayanumuz cannot be told?"

*Only your Máyar should be told and bound to secrecy for a little while... and Vairë. I would not have such secrecy lie between the two of ye, but the others should not be told at this time. Thou wilt know when it is time to reveal to Manwë what hath transpired.*

"Why, Atar?" he cried. "Why?"

Even he wasn’t sure just what he was asking but Atar appeared to understand. He felt a gentle caress that must have spilled over to the sleeping fëa who cuddled closer to him. Námo bent down and kissed him gently on the brow and the Child sighed but otherwise did not stir.

*In My own Time, Námo,* Atar replied. *All things must come to fruition in their own time and Mine.*

Námo nodded, then slowly rose with the fëa still in his arms. He returned to the chamber where the Child had first appeared, a sleeping couch already there waiting, and laid him on it, slipping a soft blanket over his naked form. "Sleep, Child," he whispered as he stroked the Firstborn’s hair. "Sleep and let thy fëa find healing. When the time is right, let thou awaken only to thyself, with no memory of the horrors thou hast suffered."

Then he sent out a thought and one of his Màyar appeared, looking confused at the sight of the somnolent fëa. She bowed. "My lord sent for me?"

Námo gave her a smile. "Yes, Elemmartamirë. I would ask thee to watch over this Child who hath somehow found his way to me for healing."

Elemmartamirë stared at the fëa in shock. "This is one of the Children? But how...?"

"I cannot explain at the moment," Námo said with a shake of his head. "I can only say that others may come and they will all need healing. Wilt thou guard this Child’s sleep until such time as he awakens?"

Elemmartamirë bowed. "I live to serve, lord. There is no need for thee to ask."

"But I do," Námo said, "for I fear this one will be sleeping for some time and the guarding will be wearisome."

"It will be a joy, lord," the Máya said, "for it is for this reason I was created, to be the guardian of the fëar of the Children who come to these Halls for howsoever long it might be."

"Thank you, Elemmartamirë," Námo said humbly. "I will not forget this. Now I must leave. Others I fear will be coming and I must prepare places of rest for them."

Elemmartamirë bowed again before taking a position beside the couch gazing with loving intent upon the sleeping form, a slight smile gracing her face. Námo then sent a silent summons and thought himself to the front hall where he found Maranwë, Calimo and the other Máyar, both his and Vairë’s, waiting for him with great expectancy.

"The Children have awakened," he said without preamble. There was a stir among the Máyar which quickly quieted as Námo continued speaking. "Atar has enjoined me not to speak of this to anyone until he gives me permission. Therefore, I will ask each of you for an oath of silence. None can know of this at this time."

There was a grave silence that fell between them that lasted for some minutes. Then Maranwë took a step forward. "Thou'rt our lord," he said. "Our silence we give thee." There were nods all around and Námo nodded.

"Thank you, all of you," he said. "I do not deserve such...."

"Nay, lord," Maranwë said. "Thou dost deserve all our love and devotion, for thou’rt the only lord we desire to serve now and for all the ages of Atháraphelun and beyond."

With that the Máyar all knelt as one and raised their hands symbolically in a gesture of fealty as they followed Maranwë in intoning their vows of silence while Námo stood there awed and humbled at the same time. When the oaths were spoken and accepted Námo then told them what they must do.

"Atar says others like the first fëa will appear. They will be frightened and confused. You must do what you can to comfort them until I arrive. In the meantime, see that every meditation chamber is equipped with a sleeping couch. Some of you I will ask to guard over the fëar as they sleep, but if you feel you cannot faithfully fulfill such a task then tell me. There is no shame nor condemnation if you cannot. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and not everyone has been made for that purpose."

Then he dismissed the Máyar to resume their duties while he sought out Vairë. When he found her in one of her workshops weaving, he dismissed her maidens who were in attendance and then quietly, tearfully, told her what had happened. Before he was through with his narrative she was wrapping her arms around him while he wept.

****

Emmë... emmë... manass’ emya?: (Eldarin) ‘Mama... mama... where is my mama?’.





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