Disclaimer: Well, obviously. I disclaim everything.
Note: Going with the version that Orodreth is Angrod's son. Quenya names just because. Enjoy.
Tyelperinquar = Celebrimbor
Curufinwë = Curufin
Tyelkormo, Turko = Celegorm
Fëanáro = Fëanor
Findaráto = Finrod
Artaresto = Orodreth
Arafinwë = Finarfin
Nelyo = Maedhros
There is susurration throughout Nargothrond, and Tyelperinquar listens to it, pausing before turning corners, halting before striking iron. A newcomer, one of the Secondborn, wielding the symbol of Arafinwë's House like a shield, like a banner, like a spear thrust into the heart of fair Nargothrond, disrupting its peace, tearing it asunder.
No, he thinks, Not so. Two serpents and a ring of flowers which one upholds and the other devours could not harm Findaráto's kingdom were it not for the many-pointed star breaking it from within.
The Fëanorean Star which Tyelperinquar too wears upon his brow, on a thin diadem of silver, the handiwork of his father.
He welcomed us so warmly, he who had crossed the Ice. And they have been polite, and grateful, and becoming, both Tyelkormo and Curufinwë, and slowly won over the love of Findaráto's people, scarlet halo of fire over water forgotten; yet Tyelperinquar, however thankful for forgiveness, cannot forget.
I also stood on the wrong shore when the ships burnt, and watched them go up in flames, hypnotized by the heat and glow of destruction, by the sense of inevitability washing over me, by my grandfather's mad laughter.
And now it happens again, a sword is drawn and words are spoken and Findaráto's golden crown clangs against the floor, because the king's oath clashes with that which kindles the wild fire in the eyes of Fëanáro's sons, the fire Tyelperinquar dreads to see.
For the tiniest moment he wonders what would happen if he were to step forward, too, to prove himself faithful; yet he knows he cannot ever do that. Instead he watches Findaráto gently put the golden circlet on Artaresto's bowed head and his own star diadem weighs down on him when he sees the smirking faces of his father and uncle.
I am one of them, he thinks, a Fëanorian as they are. A Fëanorian unbound by the Oath, the youngest Fëanorian, the quiet Fëanorian, but a Fëanorian nonetheless, with the burning Star upon my brow.
He wishes he could talk to Findaráto that one last time before his departure, yet holds back and halts his feet, knowing how selfish it would be. In the morning he watches the king ride away, proud and noble and faithful even as his people abandon him, and turns around and leaves, desperately avoiding the eyes of Curufinwë, Tyelkormo and Artaresto.
Tyelperinquar watches his father and uncle return from a hunt, and does not know whether to believe his eyes.
'Who are you telling me they brought here?'
'The Doriathrin princess, my lord,' says the elf nervously. 'Apparently they encountered her in the woods, and she sought help of our lords, and your uncle lord Tyelkormo was so entranced by her beauty-'
'-that he decided to confine her in here? Findaráto built Nargothrond, and Lúthien is kin to House of Arafinwë!'
'Not that regards of kinship have ever hindered the sons of Fëanáro,' says a voice behind Tyelperinquar. 'Is that not so, cousin?'
He turns slowly, unsure whether he can stand facing this now, aware there is no choice.
The soldier bows hurriedly and backs off as the official regent approaches them.
'Sending our king with Lúthien's suitor to their deaths, devoid of any help save a faithful ten, betraying her trust in order to claim her as bride… This,' Artaresto raises his fingers to brush them against the golden circlet resting on his temples, 'holds no power against the words of Tyelkormo and Curufinwë on any head but Findaráto's, and even he is gone. Whatever shall I do, Tyelperinquar? Can you tell me?'
'I am surprised you would speak as such to a Fëanorian, cousin,' is what he says instead, and also instead of I am sorry or I had no part in this, because the words would mean nothing now.
'Clearly ignoring Fëanorians is not a policy I am free to adopt, and finding one who does not ignore me in turn is a pleasant variation. You, Tyelpe, need not bother repeating our conversation to your father, if that is what you mean. I am sure your previous interlocutor is taking notes.'
'I am not my father's spy,' he protests weakly, fighting the urge to glance at the elf he had been questioning, forcing himself to meet Artaresto's pained, resigned eyes.
He walks like a ghost along his own hallways, scorned by his own people.
It is their doing, and I am one of them.
'Truly? Everyone else is. I am rather beyond caring,' he says in an empty voice, yet Tyelperinquar knows this is not the entirety of the truth of Artaresto's heart. 'However, you may tell Curufinwë of my one regret, I am certain this would please him.'
Tyelperinquar waits, obediently.
Artaresto closes his eyes.
'I should have gone with Findaráto,' he says quietly, softly, brokenly, 'I should have left with him,' in a voice barely audible.
'You were the only one he could trust to be his regent,' is Tyelperinquar's reply, yet more meaningless words, without even false reassurance, hurtful.
'So he did, and I failed him, my king, my uncle, Findaráto. Whatever shall I do?'
This again is something Tyelperinquar is unable to answer, and in the ringing silence he bites back the words Findaráto will return, and You did not fail him, and most of all, I am so sorry. He looks into Artaresto's pale, weary features framed by light gold hair, his eyes now half-closed, and can bear it no longer.
'If you will excuse me, cousin,' he says, and he bows, and makes his escape into the forge, fleeing from the regent's mirthless laughter.
He repeats nothing to Curufinwë.
The elves he meets in Nargothrond look at Tyelperinquar's Star, and few look further. He is Curufinwë's son and not much more here; perhaps he is also a skilled smith here, but this, too, is taken as a Fëanorian trait, not a trait of Tyelperinquar's. There is respect for him from those who would follow his father, and a shade of surprise that the son is so idle at court, quietly standing when not retreating to his workshop.
Be it those who lead or those who follow, he is not entirely among either; but he is still a Fëanorian.
As if they knew so many of us, indeed.
'Atar, do you believe uncle Nelyo will approve of this?' Tyelperinquar asks. 'He was rather adamant about remaining on friendly terms with both our cousins and the Sindar.'
And he is head of our House. Tyelperinquar has his doubts about how content his eldest uncle would be to learn of his brothers' deeds, and remembers how terribly his anger could burn.
But Curufinwë only laughs.
'We will be on friendly terms with them once we rule them,' he says. 'Nelyo gave away one crown out of misplaced gratitude, or whatever it was. This leaves us to make amends.'
And that is that, and Tyelperinquar falls silent. His father looks at him quizzically.
'I thought you liked it here, Tyelpe,' he says. 'Once Turko is king of Nargothrond, and with some luck Doriath as well, imagine how powerful we will be. Then we can at last fight the Enemy. Nelyo will have no reason to complain. Do not worry.'
Tyelperinquar nods without a word and leaves, and it occurs to him that he has taken to fleeing from everyone lately, but he leaves anyway.
He attempts to speak with Lúthien, but the guards deny him passage. Only lords Curufinwë and Tyelkormo, they explain, visibly uneasy at having to disobey a Fëanorian, so he leaves them, too.
When the princess disappears along with Huan, the air in Nargothrond clears for Tyelperinquar, if only a little.
There is an uproar throughout Nargothrond, and Tyelperinquar listens to it, and watches, glancing from one face to another, grief weighing upon his heart, sorrow clutching at his chest.
Have they ever expected him to return? And yet the news is sudden, the news is a blow unexpected, a story beyond belief.
Slain in a dark pit was bright Findaráto, faithful to the end, truer than any.
I am one of them, Tyelperinquar thinks, glancing sideways at his father, who is delivering another charismatic speech, painting yet another disastrous vision of the ruin descending upon Nargothrond if left in the hands of the House of Arafinwë.
(He has ever been a smith of words as well as metals and jewels, has his father, just as Fëanáro before him; but not Tyelperinquar.)
But it is too late now. The people have opened their eyes and seen betrayal, and demanded Fëanorian blood in return for their king's.
I am one of them. If it comes to that, I shall fight alongside my father and uncle even as I grieve for their crimes, and die with them, one of them, blood on my hands.
Not that there are wholly clean as they are.
Curufinwë asked him, Why have you removed the Star from your forehead, and Tyelperinquar replied, I am in mourning, Atar, with the whole of Nargothrond, for I too loved Findaráto. Yet he can feel the emblem burning above his eyes, even so.
And the city mourns, and weeps, and regrets; we have abandoned you, our noble king, and so you are with us no longer. The crowds murmur, and whisper, and shout, and Curufinwë falls silent, and Tyelkormo seethes with anger, and Artaresto enters, now wearier still, a shadow of guilt and grief deep in his eyes, yet at last truly the king of his people.
'There shall be no bloodshed,' he declares, 'I shall not bring the Doom upon Nargothrond by slaying my own kin.'
The brothers snarl at him; does he think he is better than them?
Tyelperinquar is standing slightly to the side, not entirely among his people and not wholly apart, and finds himself thinking, uncle Nelyo stood aside, and much good it did him or anyone, but in truth there is no aside for Tyelperinquar to flee to when Curufinwë calls for him. There never has been, despite all he has told himself.
'Leave,' says the new king, his voice firm and cold and unbreaking, 'leave immediately, and never return. Tyelkormo and Curufinwë, sons of Fëanáro, you are hereby banished from Nargothrond.'
The crowds fall silent; many disagree with Artaresto's sentiments, but no one will oppose their king, not now, not after what happened when they turned away from Findaráto, he has their hearts now and so they suffer the sons of Fëanáro to keep their heads.
I am one of them, Tyelperinquar thinks, and finds he no longer knows who he means.
The brothers call upon their servants and followers to prepare for departure, and Curufinwë's eyes search for his son, confused as to why he is not right next to him, where is his place. You noticed, Atar.
'You are banished, I said.' Artaresto raises his voice. 'None other need depart.'
He would have them leave alone, rejected as Findaráto was, Tyelperinquar thinks, and then, I could not step forward, nor can I stand aside, but I can step away from the path he is treading, my Atar after his Atar.
The thought should feel shocking but it does not, and instead it comes with relief and with a pang of fear, and he understands it has been there since a while, hidden and patient, lurking behind the words he said and those he withheld.
And now Tyelperinquar knows, even if it hurts him.
'Tyelpe!' Curufinwë nearly barks, his dark eyes falling upon his son. 'Have you not heard this king of cowards? We are not wanted here.'
Tyelperinquar shakes his head.
'No. You are not wanted here, Atar, and uncle Tyelkormo.'
Curufinwë's eyes widen in comprehension and he pauses, staring intently into Tyelperinquar's face, as if seeing him for the first time in years.
And Tyelperinquar looks into his father's features and what he sees are barely concealed hints of angered confusion and sour defeat, so very out of place, so unlike Curufinwë that it momentarily takes him aback. I have never seen you wear that expression, Atar, and now that I do, I only add another blow. I had to witness your defeat to find it in myself to defy you.
Perhaps I do belong among cowards. But if I cringe now, all will be for naught.
'And you would stay, little Tyelpe?' Tyelkormo drawls. 'You think that offer was for you, do you? You think he will let you remain here?'
'I will,' Artaresto declares calmly.
But Curufinwë ignores them both, and he reaches out to touch his son's cheek, a gentle gesture of affection or an uncertain gesture of one not entirely believing his eyes. Tyelperinquar does not flinch, accepting the caress, unmoving, decided.
'You would betray you House and side with craven usurpers, Tyelperinquar Curufinwion?' his uncle shouts. 'You would discard the Star of Fëanáro?!'
If I am doomed to be a traitor, least I can do is choose my fellow traitors to betray, he thinks, yet even though his mind is set, his heart is aching, and he struggles for words.
'I… would not see my House send our kin to die in abandonment,' he says, feeling his father's fingers resting against his cheek, rough, tender, painful. 'I have seen evil deeds, and I fear the madness of your Oath. If that is the legacy of my House, I renounce it.'
But I could not discard the Star even if I wanted to, and you know that.
It is not a question of choice; the Star is carved into Tyelperinquar as deeply and irremovably as into his father and his uncles, regardless of what he wears on his forehead.
'How dare you -' Tyelkormo begins, but Curufinwë waves him into silence, and for once he obeys.
'Tyelperinquar,' his father says at length, quietly and coldly, any signs of weakness gone; only his hand on Tyelperinquar's face remains, the lingering touch in peculiar contrast to his tone of voice. 'You are my son. Would stay here even as I am driven out?'
'You gave me that name, Atar, and now it is mine. I will stay.'
A glint flickers in Curufinwë's eyes as stillness spreads around the two of them, a glint of something that looks oddly like pain and love and pride, and Tyelperinquar knows but it still hurts.
He finds himself half-wishing he was capable of hating Curufinwë for what he has done and for marring his son's life with his deeds, yet what he truly loathes is the situation, and the reality, and the decision he has been forced to make.
I renounce it.
The Star burns within me. The Star burns me.
I am one of them.
Finally, Curufinwë speaks.
'Fine, then,' he says, sharply. 'Stay. If that is what you wish for.' He steps back, removing his hand, his eyes briefly dimming but his face still impassive and his voice steady. 'Fare well, Tyelperinquar, and may stars shine upon you.'
'Fare well,' he whispers as Curufinwë turns away and leaves quickly, not looking back, Tyelkormo following after, without as much as a glance at his nephew.
And Tyelperinquar does not leave, does not turn away, does not flee; he watches Curufinwë walk through the hall and disappear behind the doors, and wonders if and when the tears will come.