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Tales from Vairë's Loom  by Fiondil

Daughter of Fate

Summary: On the eve of the departure of the Noldor from Aman, one member of the House of Finwë is having trouble convincing the rest of her family that she should not be left behind. Inspired by the ALEC challenge ‘But You’re a Girl!: The Tolkien Feminine Twist’, in which you were to choose one of the following scenarios: 1) Have one of the Fellowship be female; 2) Fëanor has 6 sons and 1 daughter; or 3) Have an important male canon character be female. I chose the second scenario.

.****

Author’s Note: For the sake of this story, I have decided that the youngest son of Fëanáro and Nerdanel should be their daughter. Thus, Telufinwë ‘Last Finwë’, whose mother-name was Ambarussa ‘Top-russet’, has become Eryafinwiel ‘Sole Finwë daughter’(father-name) and Russafindiel ‘Red-haired daughter’ (mother-name), known to the rest of the family as ‘Russa’. A note on the Quenya names of characters mentioned in this story who are better known by their Sindarin names can be found at the end.

****

"Why can I not go with you?" Russafindiel whined. "Artanis is going and so is Írissë."

Fëanáro scowled. "How the sons of Indis order their households is their affair. I am your atar and I say you’re not going with us."

"Besides," Pityo said with a supercilious sniff, "you weren’t there when we made the decision to go."

Russa glowered at her twin brother. "That’s because I was here with ammë mending your stupid socks."

Her brothers all smirked, even Cáno, and Russa felt betrayed, for he had always been her favorite brother and her champion. She had thought that he, at least, would support her desire to go with them. He must have realized what she was feeling, for his expression became wistful and he gave her a hug, though she tried to resist.

"You have to stay behind, Russa, and take care of Ammë for us," he said quietly.

"Your brother is right," Fëanáro said with a nod. "Stay here and look after your amillë."

"I am quite capable of looking after myself," Nerdanel exclaimed as she entered the private courtyard attached to the royal apartments where the argument was taking place. "Though, mind you, I would fain have one of my children with me."

"You see," Nelyo said, "even Ammë wants you to stay."

"No, dear," Nerdanel said with a gentle smile at her first-born. "I said I would fain have one of my children with me, but I will not choose between any of you."

"Then, you actually agree with Russa that she should go with us?" Turco asked, raising an eyebrow in disbelief.

"I do not agree that any of you should go, including your atar," Nerdanel replied with a hint of anger. "This entire affair is ludicrous." She turned to her husband. "Whatever possessed you to make such a rash decision, dragging our children into it, not to mention your brothers and their families?"

Fëanáro turned red with growing wrath. "The decision was mine alone. I had nothing to do with any others who decided to join me. The sons of Indis...."

"Honestly, dear," Nerdanel interjected with a huff, "when are you going to start calling your brothers...."

"Half-brothers," Fëanáro growled.

"... your brothers by their names," Nerdanel continued as if she hadn’t heard. "They may be the sons of Indis, but they are your atar’s sons as well."

"Bah!" Fëanáro exclaimed, waving a hand in dismissal. "That is neither here nor there." He turned to his youngest child and only daughter. "You’re not going, Eryafinwiel, and that’s final!"

Russa burst into tears and ran from the courtyard, ignoring Cáno calling after her. She ran through the hallways and out into one of the palace gardens, heedless of her path, nearly colliding with someone who grabbed her to keep her from falling.

"Whoa there!"

Russa looked up at the person, wiping the tears from her eyes. She started to apologize and stopped, staring at the ellon in surprise. He was the most gorgeous ellon she had ever seen with bright golden hair and brilliant blue eyes. Even in the present darkness under which they were now living his hair glowed. He reminded her somewhat of her cousin, Findaráto, save that Finda’s hair had hints of silver and his eyes were more grey than blue. But still....

The ellon was dressed simply in a plain tunic with little embellishment, yet it was obvious to Russa that this was no mere gardener or other servant of the palace. For one thing, he was far too handsome and aristocratic looking to be a commoner.

"Whatever is the matter, lady?" the ellon asked solicitously. "Has someone done you an injury?"

"What?" Russa responded somewhat stupidly, still staring at the gorgeous specimen of ellon-kind. "Oh, no. Nothing like that. I... it’s just that Atto won’t let me join him and my brothers and it’s so unfair. My cousins, Artanis and Írissë, are going, so why can’t I?"

"Ah," the ellon said. "Well, I understand the Lady Amarië is not going either."

"She’s not?" Russa asked in surprise. "Why not?"

The ellon shrugged. "She has decided to remain behind. I think Lord Findaráto is relieved that she is not accompanying him."

"Hmph. Well, I’m not surprised," Russa retorted disdainfully. "She’s a Vanya after all. They have no sense of adventure."

The golden-haired ellon laughed and Russa nearly melted at the sound of it, so merry and joyful. She wanted him to laugh forever and never stop, but, of course, he did, giving her a considering look. "Do you really want to go?" he asked.

She nodded. "More than anything."

"Well, it just so happens that I will be going as well."

"Truly?" she said and he nodded. She sighed, casting her eyes down in dejection, now feeling suddenly bereft. She had begun to think that staying behind wouldn’t be so bad if this particular ellon were there, but if he was going too and she had to remain behind....

The ellon put a hand under her chin and lifted it so she was gazing into his lovely blue eyes. His smile was just shy of being absolutely wicked. "If you are truly determined to go with us, I think I can see a way for you to do it without anyone knowing."

Her eyes widened. "How? And who are you, anyway? I don’t recall seeing you about before."

The ellon gave her a graceful bow. "My name is Laurefindil," he said. "I am distantly related to Lady Indis."

"Oh," Russa said, not sure what else to say. Her side of the family never spoke of or to her anatar’s second wife.

Laurefindil gave her a knowing smile. "Does that make me your enemy?"

"What?" she exclaimed, giving him a slap on his arm. "Don’t be ridiculous. Now tell me what this plan of yours is."

The ellon laughed and proceeded to do just that.

****

"I have decided you are right, Atto," Russa said to Fëanáro a few days later. "I should stay behind with Ammë."

Fëanáro gave his daughter a suspicious stare. "And what brought about this sudden change of mind?" he enquired.

Russa shrugged. "It’s obvious that you will not consent to my going, so there’s no point in arguing about it. So, I’ve decided to do the mature thing and accept your decision."

"Hmmm...." was Fëanáro’s only comment as he cast a glare at Nerdanel, who merely raised an eyebrow at her husband.

"She came to this decision on her own," she said. "As I said before, I would prefer that none of the children accompany you, but I am glad that at least one of them will stay with me."

Russa tried not to cringe, knowing how hurt her ammë would be when she discovered her gone, but she was determined to go. Why should Artanis and Írissë go and not she? It was just unfair. Sometimes she wished she’d been born an ellon. Life would have been so much easier. Having six brothers who continually reminded her that she was ‘just an elleth’ was too annoying. Well, she would show them.

Her atar gave a sigh. "Well, I am glad you came to your senses, Erya," he said with a nod.

"Yes, Atto," she said meekly.

When her brothers learned that she had finally agreed to remain behind, most of them smirked in triumph. Cáno was the only one who didn’t. Instead, he hugged her and gave her a brotherly kiss. "It is a wise decision, nésanya," he whispered in her ear.

Russa just sighed, keeping up the act of being resigned to remaining behind, all the while, secretly gleeful at the ruse she would play on them all.

****

Russa kept up her act of being resigned to staying behind, though she was careful not to overdo it. Her atar still gave her a suspicious glare every now and then and she thought perhaps he was aware that she was only pretending, but as he never said anything, she felt she was safe enough. She even went so far as to offer to mend any tunics and trews for her brothers before they packed, which offer they accepted readily enough. Not even Cáno, always the most perceptive of her brothers, questioned her sudden willingness to help. Nor did they seem to notice that not all their clothes were returned to them. Russa hid them under a pile of blankets in her clothespress.

Finally, the day arrived when her atar and her brothers were to set out. Nerdanel had already made the decision not to see her husband and sons off and had returned to her own atar’s home. That suited Russa just fine, for it gave her the same excuse not to be present. "I am resigned to not going," she said to her atar, "but that does not mean I like it. I would prefer not to see you leave, so I will go and stay with Amarië instead."

Fëanáro gave her a suspicious look but finally nodded. "I think that would be best," he said, then relented slightly to give her a fatherly hug and a kiss. Her brothers followed their atar’s example and gave her their own hugs and kisses. Then, she left them, apparently to go to find Amarië but instead she went to her rooms and took out the clothes she had hidden away, exchanging her gown for a pair of Moryo’s old trews, for they fitted her the best. She then donned a tunic belonging to Nelyo and an old pair of knee-high boots that Pityo had thrown out. One of Curvo’s cloaks went about her. He was the tallest of her brothers, so his cloak covered her well. Then she undid her braids and brushed her hair out, rebraiding it with the house braid that would identify her as belonging to Laurefindil’s household. The rest of her clothes and other items were then quickly packed in a haversack.

She then sneaked out to the garden where she had first met Laurefindil and found him waiting there as promised. He smiled when he saw her. "Excuse me, I’m looking for an elleth by the name of Russa. Have you seen her?"

Russa giggled. "Do I really look like an ellon?" she asked shyly.

"Close enough," Laurefindil said. "Come. We will be traveling with Lord Turucáno’s group."

"Hmm. Cousin Turucáno," she said with a frown. "He might recognize me even though our side of the family has had nothing to do with Uncle Ñolofinwë’s family."

"We’ll stay far to the back of the group," Laurefindil stated. "Besides, traveling as we will by starlight, it’s doubtful anyone will notice. Did you decide on a name for yourself?"

Russa nodded. "I have decided to keep it simple and easy to remember," she replied. "So, my name is now Umbarto." When Laurefindil raised an eyebrow at that, she hastened to explain. "Umbartiel was my amilessë before Atto changed it to Russafindiel."

"Hmmm... very well, then. I will introduce you as Umbarto, a young ellon of my household. Come. We must not tarry here."

He grabbed her haversack and together they made their way to the Court of the White Tree where everyone was gathered. Russa could see her atto and brothers taking the lead, setting off once Uncles Ñolofinwë and Arafinwë arrived with their people. Laurefindil made his way to where Turucáno’s standard could be seen in the light of the torches and quietly introduced her to those of his household who were there. It took some time for everyone to head off and they were one of the last to leave the silent and desolate city.

Russa took one last look behind her as they passed through the eastern gate of the city, her expression both troubled and wistful. Laurefindil leaned down and whispered in her ear. "You can always go back," he said. "There is still time."

She shook her head and turned her face resolutely to the east. "No. I will not go back. My destiny lies before me."

Laurefindil did not say anything, just taking her hand and giving it a squeeze. She squeezed back and the two shared a brief smile between them.

****

"What are they doing?" Russa cried as she saw the flames reaching skyward, with many of the swan ships of Alqualondë burning and, even more horribly, bodies of Elves lying on the strand, unmoving. Russa couldn’t imagine why they were just lying there and then she saw one of the Noldor raise his sword against the fishing spear of a Teler and run it through the hapless ellon. There was a horrible scream and then the Teler was falling to the ground, as lifeless as all the others lying there.

"No!" she screamed and Laurefindil had to grab her and hold her back when she would have gone to the Teler’s aid.

"Do nothing to attract attention," the ellon hissed. "You cannot help him. His fëa has already fled to Mandos."

Russa attempted with great difficulty to stem her tears. She allowed Laurefindil to lead her from the killing grounds as they continued following Turucáno’s banner, for her cousin had expressly forbidden any in his retinue to enter the fray. She had a very sick feeling that it was her atar who had begun the killing for some reason. Great waves began to swamp the ships that were now making their way northward and she watched in horror as some were dragged under, their Noldorin crews lost. She turned away, not wanting to see any more.

For a brief moment she wondered if it were too late to turn back, but then she squared her shoulders and stiffened her resolve. No, she would not turn back. More than ever she desired to go only forward to whatever fate was awaiting her. Laurefindil said nothing, his own visage grim, but during the long trek northward he never left her side and even his silence was a comfort to her.

****

Russa stood and watched her Uncle Arafinwë turn away and begin issuing orders for the return journey back to Aman for those who would follow him. She was almost tempted to run to him and reveal herself and beg to be allowed to return to Tirion and her ammë. Laurefindil, standing beside her with an unreadable expression on his face, bent down to speak softly to her. "You can go back if you desire it," he said. "I will not hold it against you if you do. Indeed, I think it might be wise if...."

"No," she said adamantly. "I will not leave you. We go together, either onward or back to Tirion. You choose."

For a long moment Laurefindil said nothing, merely staring upward at the rock on which the dark figure still stood, impassively watching them. They had all shuddered at the sound of that one’s voice speaking their Doom. Even now, Russa felt herself growing weak at the thought, and she shuddered again at the memory of her atar and her brothers repeating that appalling oath. She could not understand why her brothers would allow themselves to be swayed into such folly, especially Cáno whom she always considered the most sensible of her siblings.

Laurefindil shook his head and looked down at her. "We go on," was all he said and, taking her hand, they went to join the rest of Turucáno’s retinue now beginning to set out again.

This time, Russa refused to look back... or up.

****

The Grinding Ice was a hell she had never thought to experience. By now she had forsaken her ellon disguise. Her atar and her brothers had deserted them and she decided it was no longer necessary to hide. No one realized though that the elleth who stayed close to Lord Laurefindil was in fact the youngest child of Fëanáro. She gave her name out as Umbartiel and only Laurefindil ever called her Russa and then only when they were alone, which was hardly ever. As far as everyone else around them was concerned she was the daughter of a minor noble who had forbidden her to leave Tirion but had sneaked away with Laurefindil’s help. Those most acquainted with the young lord accepted this as something that he would typically do. However, she still kept as far from Turucáno and her Uncle Ñolofinwë as she could, just in case.

Over the course of their journey, Russa began to have feelings for Laurefindil that went beyond mere friendship and she suspected that he had similar feelings for her as well, though he was ever careful to hide them, even from her. Truly, this was neither the time nor the place for such things as they struggled just to survive, but she hoped that a time would come when they could declare their feelings for one another openly. She only hoped they both managed to survive to do so.

Right now they were attempting to cross an ice field towards firmer ground. She glanced away from the hole where three people had gone under, including Lady Elenwë. Already the hole was closing over and she shuddered. Laurefindil held her close as she averted her gaze, giving a sob that was half fear and half sorrow.

"I’m here," he whispered to her and the sound of his voice above the howling of the wind and the wailing of those around them was as a balm to her fëa.

****

"You will not go."

Russa looked up from her loom to see Laurefindil, or rather, Glorfindel, standing there, his golden hair a bright nimbus with the sun behind him. It was less a question and more a statement but she shook her head anyway.

"No. I have no desire to sit with my brothers, or to reveal my presence to them at this time," she answered. "But you must go, for you are the lord of your House and your not being at the feast will be thought a snub at Uncle Ñol— I mean, Uncle Fingolfin’s attempt at reconciliation between us and the Fëanorians."

"It’s been fifty cyrnanor," Glorfindel said. "Surely in that time...."

She shook her head. "No. I will never forgive them for what they did," she retorted angrily.

"What your adar did," he rejoined. "They only followed his will. You know Maedhros even thought that the ships would be returned so the rest of us could cross over."

"Instead, he and my other brothers stood there and let our adar set the ships on fire," she countered, then sighed. "No. My mind is made up. I will not go to the Mereth Aderthad. I am sorry. I know I am a disappointment to you...."

He was across the threshold in an instant, pulling her into his embrace and kissing her fiercely, a kiss which she returned. When they finally stopped he nuzzled her neck. "Never a disappointment. You are my beloved and I thank the Valar that we met in the royal gardens so long ago."

"As am I," she whispered back. Then they separated. "You should go," she said. "I will be here when you return."

"Russa...."

"Amarthiel," she corrected with a gentle smile. "How many times must I remind you?"

He smiled back and then without another word he exited the house which was theirs. She stood there for the longest time, fingering her marriage ring. They had plighted their troth shortly after arriving in Beleriand. It had been a private ceremony with only their closest friends and her lord’s household as witnesses. Now they were married and by rights she should have accompanied her husband to the feast as the Lady of the House of the Golden Flower but she could not bring herself to do so. Too much had happened. She shivered as she thought of what the Enemy had done to her oldest brother. If it hadn’t been for Fingon....

Well, it was past, but still she could never forgive her brothers for deserting them, for deserting her, though she knew that they had no idea she was even here. She sighed and went back to her loom.

****

"Gondolin?" she asked.

"So Turgon has named it," Glorfindel said with a nod.

She looked down at their son, their first-born, whom she was nursing. They had named him Glóredhel for his hair was a darker gold than his adar’s with reddish highlights inherited from her, but his eyes were his own, a curious shade of green that were presently half closed in contentment as he continued to suckle. She looked back up.

"When will we leave?" she asked.

"Soon," her husband answered as he leaned down to brush a gentle finger down his son’s cheek. "We will be leaving at night and quietly in small groups over a period of a week or so in order not to arouse too much suspicion."

"Gondolin," she muttered. "A hidden city." She looked down at her son and held him a little closer to her breast. "Do you hear that, my love? We’re going to live in a hidden city where we will be safe. Safe." Yet, even as she spoke the word, a tremor of premonition swept through her and she wondered if there was indeed any place in Ennorath that was truly safe. She brushed the foreboding from her mind and gave Glorfindel a smile. "Yes, safe," she repeated. Little Glóredhel simply continued suckling, caring for nothing else.

****

They were almost through the pass at Cirith Thoronath when the Balrog appeared. Russa screamed as Glorfindel leapt upon the monster, her two sons, Glóredhel and Lindir, holding her back, while her daughter, Lóriel, clutched at her and wept. Russa could not cry, refusing to let the tears come. Not then, not now. There was too much despair for tears. She watched in numb bemusement as Thorondor came swooping down and then he was raising her husband’s charred body and gently placing it in Tuor’s arms. She allowed Glóredhel and Lindir to lead her on to where Tuor was ordering a cairn raised by the side of the pass. She watched them pile the stones over her beloved Glorfindel’s body and she wanted to flee her own body and join him in Mandos, but she would not do that. She was the Lady of the House of the Golden Flower and Glóredhel was now its Lord. He would need help in the coming days and she alone could give it. Only when Idril handed her the final stone to place upon the cairn did she allow herself to weep and it was some time before any of them could convince her to leave her husband’s grave.

****

She was visiting Galadriel and Celeborn on the Isle of Balar with her three children when news of the attack on the Havens reached them. They set out at once to offer aid, but by the time Círdan’s people got there it was over: Elwing was gone with the Silmaril and her two sons were missing, though survivors mentioned seeing Lord Maglor swooping them up and taking them away. She viewed the body of her twin brother dispassionately.

"Fool!" she hissed at the corpse. "You are all fools! See where your damned oath has brought you."

When Gil-galad asked her what she wished done with her brother’s body, she gave him a scathing look. "Burn it, along with the other Kinslayers." And then, she walked away, never looking back.

****

She walked through the encampment with her three children by her side. The War of Wrath had claimed many victims but at least her children were alive. She briefly thought of her beloved Glorfindel, wishing he, too, were here to see the final victory over Morgoth. Then she shook the thought away. She had more important business to deal with. Somewhere in this hodgepodge of tents were her two remaining brothers and knowing them as she did, she had no doubt as to what they were planning. She meant to stop them if she could. She hoped to save them from themselves.

"There," Glóredhel said, pointing to one of the tents. "Uncles Maedhros and Maglor are there."

Even as her son was speaking she saw two figures emerging from the tent and hurried forward to intercept them, her three children keeping up with her.

"Well, brothers," she said just loud enough for them to hear her without attracting attention from any who might be nearby. "I would like to say it is good to see you, but then, I would be lying."

She had the satisfaction of seeing both of them stare at her with their mouths hanging open and gave them a sardonic grin.

"Ru-russa?" Maglor finally stuttered, speaking Quenya. "Wh-what are you doing here? How are you even here?"

"I’ve been here all along, Cáno," she replied in the same language. "I snuck away with the help of a friend and joined the exodus from Tirion, keeping far away from all of you so you never knew I was there."

"But... but where have you been?" Maedhros demanded.

"Gondolin," she answered. "Where I married the Lord of the House of the Golden Flower." She smiled as they both started at the title, recognizing it. Both ellyn glanced at her children and she nodded. "Our children," she said. "Glóredhel, who is now the Lord of our House, or what is left of it, Lindir and his twin sister, Lóriel."

The sons of Fëanor stared at them for a long moment before Maedhros cleared his throat. "Well, it was nice meeting you again, sister," he said, switching to Sindarin, "but you caught us at a bad time. Maglor and I have someplace...."

"You mean to steal the Silmarils, don’t you?" Russa interrupted her brother and she had to force herself not to laugh at the shocked looks on both her brothers’ faces.

"What do you know about it?" Maedhros finally spat out, sounding angry, no doubt to hide his fear.

"I know you," Russa said. "I know that even now you are being fools to think you can get away with sneaking into Lord Eönwë’s tent and stealing the Silmarils right from under his nose." She gave them both a look of disdain. "He’s a Maia. Have you forgotten what that means, my brothers?"

"Our oaths...." Maedhros started to say but Russa uttered a curse word that even had her children staring at her in disbelief.

"Your oaths!" she snarled. "Your oaths got our brothers killed. Is that what you want? Because I can assure you that death will be your reward when you are found stealing the Silmarils."

"We won’t be stealing!" Maedhros nearly shouted. "It is others who have stolen from us. The Silmarils are ours!"

"They were never yours, Nelyo!" Russa hissed, using his old pet name to underscore her point. "They were not even adar’s. The Silmarils belong to us all and to the Valar especially. Adar did not create the light of the Silmarils. That light came from the Valar."

"Bah!" Maedhros exclaimed, sounding so much like their atar it was almost uncanny. "You’re just an elleth. You don’t understand anything. Come, my brother. Let us away from here." Maedhros started to turn away, grabbing Maglor with his left hand, but Maglor pulled away.

"No," he said in a soft whisper. "No."

"What are you saying, Maglor?" Maedhros hissed. "We have our oaths...."

"No," Maglor repeated a little louder. "I am sick and weary of it all. My crimes are many and unforgivable but I will not add to the list. Russa is correct. It’s madness to think we could ever steal the Silmarils from the Maiar. As for the oath, I renounce it."

"You cannot!" Maedhros insisted.

"But I have and I will go before the Valar and say so," Maglor retorted. "My brother, please, do not do this. Russa...."

"Russa should not even be here!" Maedhros shouted. "She should be back in Tirion darning socks!"

Russa gasped at her brother’s words and flashes of memory swept before her eyes: Laurefindil helping her across the Grinding Ice, building their first house together in Vinyamar, cradling their first-born son while her husband looked upon them both with joy, their life together in Gondolin where they did not know fear, the terrible day when all that ended and her husband’s lifeless body was laid under a cairn. The long years of struggle to survive.... Her brothers had no idea what she had endured all those years. The very injustice of Maedhros’ words stung her and before she could stop herself, she stepped forward and gave him a hard slap across the mouth.

"Is that all I am to you?" she cried, tears running down her cheeks. "I assure you that I am more than just a darner of socks."

For a long moment there was an uncomfortable silence between them all and then Maedhros turned and walked away into the darkness. Maglor started to go after him but Russa stayed him with a hand on his arm. "No, Cáno. Let him go. You renounced your oath and any claim to the Silmarils." The anguish and pain on her favorite brother’s face was almost too much to bear, but bear it she did. "Please, hanno," she whispered in Quenya, wrapping her arms around him. "If not for my sake or the sake of my children, then for ammë’s sake. Don’t go. She deserves to have more than one of her children returned to her."

Maglor suddenly burst into tears and she held him closer, rocking him gently while her three children closed in around them. Lost as they were in their own world, they barely registered the sounds of someone screaming, nor did they see Maedhros, his one hand burned to the bone when he tried to grab the Silmaril, dropping it as he ran head-long into a burning chasm. Nor did they see the warrior Maiar ringing them to protect them from the ire of others when the attempted theft was discovered. Only when Eönwë appeared, bearing both Silmarils, did they take note.

"Your brother is dead," the Maia said softly. He held out the Silmarils. "Take them," he commanded of Maglor and Russa.

All five Elves took a step back, unsure what was happening. Maglor shook his head in denial. "I dare not. My hands are stained with the blood of the innocent."

But Eönwë simply stood there with the Silmarils shining in his hands. "Take them," he said again. "Consider this the final test, Children of Fëanáro."

For a moment no one moved and then Russa placed a hand on her brother’s arm. "We will take them at the same time," she said, "and suffer the same fate."

Maglor nodded, though he was decidedly unhappy about it. Still, slowly, hesitantly, they both reached out to take one of the Silmarils. Russa was surprised to find how cool it felt in her hand in spite of the blazing light. She glanced at Maglor who also was holding his Silmaril with a look of wonder on his face.

"It... it doesn’t burn," he whispered.

Eönwë allowed himself a small smile. "You renounced your oath, son of Fëanáro," he said.

Maglor looked up, his expression now becoming puzzled. "That’s all it took, the renouncing of an oath?"

"Oh that is but the first step towards redemption, child," the Maia said not unkindly. "The fact that you can hold the Silmaril without harm is proof that you have finally chosen the correct path and you have your sister to thank for that."

Maglor turned to Russa and she gave him a tremulous smile which he returned. Then, he suddenly thrust the Silmaril out to her. "Here. You take it. You deserve it more than I."

Russa gave him a startled look but when she saw Eönwë nod, she held out her other hand and allowed him to place the Silmaril in it. Then, Eönwë spoke. "Guard them well, daughter of Fëanáro, for to thee has been given the charge of being the Guardians of the Silmarils until such time as they will be needed once again."

Without warning, there was a stir in the air and everyone gasped at the sight of Vingilot coming ever closer. They could see Eärendil at the wheel with the Silmaril bound to his forehead. As the ship came to a halt before them, Eönwë smiled at the five Elves. "Here is the ship that will take you home. All of you." He gave Maglor a significant look. The ellon simply stood there looking stunned.

Then Eärendil was leaning over the side of the ship to offer them a hand up and before they knew it, they were all aboard and sailing away. Russa clutched the two Silmarils in her hands, afraid to move. For the first time that night, Maglor turned to her with a smile, his eyes clear, his voice steady.

"Home, Russa," he said with a sigh. "We’re going home."

Russa nodded, and the sudden joy that she felt at her brother’s words was almost overwhelming. She swallowed a couple of times, ignoring the tears running down her cheeks as she glanced at her children, their expressions one of amazement. "Yes, we are," she finally said and decided there was nothing more to be said after that.

****

"She did it," Námo said with a triumphant grin.

Manwë nodded. The two were standing on the eastern balcony of the main throne room in Ilmarin, watching the events that were unfolding in Middle-earth. "She was well named by her amillë," the Elder King said. "For all that Fëanáro attempted to change her destiny with a change of her name, she was indeed fated, fated to fulfill the will of Eru."

"And so the Silmarils are saved and at least one of the sons of Fëanáro has been brought back to the Light," Námo commented.

"Yes," Manwë said. "Macalaurë must still come before us to be tried for his crimes, but in truth, I think he has been punished enough. It is time for the healing to begin, for all of them."

Námo nodded. "Glorfindel will be very proud of his wife when he is finally released from my care and learns what she has done this day. I’m glad we were able to... er... inspire him to take that walk in the garden when he did."

Manwë flashed him a knowing smile. "So are we all, my brother. So are we all."

****

Words are Quenya unless otherwise noted.

Atar: Father. The hypocoristic form is atto.

Ammë: Hypocoristic form of Amillë: Mother.

Ellon: (Eldarin) Male Elf. The plural form is ellyn.

Anatar: Grandfather.

Elleth: (Eldarin) Female Elf.

Nésanya: My sister.

Umbartiel: ‘Daughter of Fate’. Telufinwë’s original mother-name was Umbarto ‘Fated’, which Fëanáro found ominous and changed to Ambarussa ‘Top-russet’. The Sindarin form of this name would be Amarthiel.

Amilessë: Mother-name.

Fëa: Soul, spirit.

Cyrnanor: (Sindarin) Plural of Cornanor: Sun-round.

Ennorath: (Sindarin) Middle-earth.

****

Note: The Quenya names of characters mentioned in this story and their Sindarin equivalents:

The sons of Fëanáro (Fëanor) and Nerdanel:

1. Nelyafinwë (Nelyo): Maedhros

2. Canafinwë (Cáno): Maglor

3. Turcafinwë (Turco): Celegorm

4. Curufinwë (Curvo): Curufin

5. Morifinwë (Moryo): Caranthir

6. Pityafinwë (Pityo): Amrod

Other characters:

1. Artanis: Galadriel

2. Írissë: Aredhel, sister of Turgon and Fingon

3. Findaráto: Finrod

4. Laurefindil: Glorfindel





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