It was a few minutes after that when the rest of House Feanaro arrived. Feanaro looked a sight, with his face and clothing still bloody from Maedhros' fist. His eyes narrowed as he looked on his eldest son and heir. But all he said was "Follow me."
So they left Findarato behind them, heading for the outer walls of the city where Feanaro's people were making an encampment, as he no longer trusted the city his brother had ruled. It was only when they were inside the large central pavilion Maedhros remembered so vividly from the first trip to Middle-earth, that Feanaro turned on him.
"What the hell is wrong with you today?" he demanded, glaring up at his eldest son. "Care to explain why you wrecked my very carefully-crafted plans by punching me in the face in front of the entire Noldor population? Luckily for you, the Valar hate me too much to care, but you'd better have a damn good reason." He noticed the wide-eyed brothers. "The rest of you, out!" He made a shooing gesture with one hand. They shood.
"You were about to set in motion a series of terrible events that could not be undone, and would lead to you and all of your sons damning themselves in pursuit of that oath," said Maedhros. "Trying to keep it will kill you, the Ambarussa, Curvo, Tyelko, and Moryo, and will kill most of those who trust in you. It will also kill a lot of people who simply had the bad luck to be in our way, and will make the name of Feanor hated throughout Beleriand as being synonymous with the slaying of kin by kin, rather than with genius and power. Is that what you want?"
"Is this from that vision you had?"
"Yes, the same ones that told me what Moringotto was about to do to the Trees. I saw a lot of the future, and it was terrible."
"Really," said Feanaro, drawing the word out slightly. "Yet I swore no oath. Where does that leave your precious vision?"
"It means events are diverging from what I foresaw, and as they diverge more the visions will become less relevant. It's a good change, father. Whatever you do, don't swear that damning Oath."
"I am not convinced. Show me your vision."
Maedhros froze. He didn't do osanwe. Not after…
"I won't stand for being made a fool of." said Feanaro, his hands clenching. "Either show me, or shut up about your visions."
Maedhros swallowed, and hesitated. This was not going to be pleasant, not for either of them. Yet if it was the only way to get Feanaro to believe him… on Feanaro's head be the consequences.
"Go ahead," said Maedhros. "I'll try and get my barriers down." Feanaro looked a little confused at this, but nodded.
Maedhros did try to lower his shields, but the second his Father's mind brushed his they sprang right back up again.
Feanaro rubbed his forehead and winced. "Again." he said. The same thing happened again the next time. The third time, Feanaro smashed through half-there shields.
And everything went to hell. Literally, with Maedhros struggling to remember that the image of Moringotto's face thrown into sharp relief by the Silmarils he was seeing couldn't possibly be real, and nor was the pain. He threw everything he had into throwing his shields back up.
After what seemed like an eternity but probably wasn't, Maedhros found himself kneeling on the rug with a splitting headache. At an odd sound he looked up, squinting, just in time to see his father vomit all over the floor a couple of feet away. They both back away from it, looking rather green.
"Sorry," said Maedhros. "I did not mean that to happen."
"What was that?" Feanaro asked. "That wasn't like any vision I have ever seen. Moringotto, what did he do to you?" His voice cracked.
"I…" Maedhros swallowed and looked away. "I got captured. It was bad. This is why I don't do osanwe anymore."
"I don't blame you for not wanting to go to Middle-earth, and I won't try to stop you from staying," said Feanaro, still looking ill.
Maedhros started, but answered "I'm going!"
"Why?" asked Feanaro, now looking completely confused.
"I don't belong in Valinor now, if I ever truly did," said Maedhros. "After Findekano rescued me," here Feanaro's eyes widened, "I relearned how to fight with my left hand. I am a warrior, and a warlord, and I'm good at it. Better at it than anything I do here, except maybe dancing," Maedhros snorted. "The ability to fight and defend yourself and others in Beleriand is the difference between life and death for a leader and those who follow him. Besides… do you know who is leading the elves of Beleriand? I do. Can you speak to them in their own language? I can. Do you know who Moringotto's lieutenants are, and what their strengths and weaknesses are? Do you know where his fortress of Angband is, what forms the bulk of his armies, and his typical attack plans? I do. You need me, the Noldor need me."
"How do you know all this?" asked Feanaro. "No, I believe you, but this is beyond any single vision or vision cascade I have ever heard of!"
"Eru. He spoke to me, and-" Maedhros decided that since he actually had his father's full attention right now, and Feanaro was always far too good at finding all the holes in half-truths, he'd tell him the whole thing. "he sent my fea back in time from several yeni into the future, with memories of that entire time and orders to try and fix my mistakes."
Feanaro shook his head. "Valar. I would have said that was impossible, and yet-" he smiled suddenly. It wasn't a nice smile. "So where has Moringotto gone to ground, then?" he asked.
"The far northwest of Middle-earth, in a fortress called Angamando, though in Sindarin it is Angband. It is underground, beneath a very tall mountain range, and no power of elves, dwarves or men combined ever managed to take it. It took an expedition from Valinor headed by Eonwe to do that, but they didn't turn up until almost all of us were dead anyway."
Feanaro frowned, looking like he wanted to argue but didn't have what he needed to do so yet. "In that case, how did Findekano manage to rescue you?"
"Moringotto had hung me by one hand from one of the Thangorodrim. They're gate towers, but mountain-tall. I think the idea was that if anyone was mad enough to come looking for me, they would see me but be unable to reach me. He didn't expect Findekano to have an eagle of Manwe come and help Findekano get to me."
"Where was I while this was happening?" asked Feanaro. "And your brothers?"
"You were dead by then, after having attacked Moringotto's Valaraukar rearguard– er. Evil maiar - all by yourself because you'd outdistanced your army. Please don't do that," said Maedhros. "As for my brothers, there was a significant time between when he took me captive and when he hung me outside as a taunt. I wasn't in a place from which I could be rescued, and they gave me up for dead, never realizing I had been moved to somewhere slightly more accessible later."
"Findekano didn't arrive in Middle-earth until after that time was over, and he wasn't willing to give up on me without trying to find me himself." Maedhros glossed over the fact that his brother's search-and-rescue attempt had been half-hearted at best. They'd completely lost confidence after losing two High Kings in one week, and he would not have been hanging on the wall for them to find if they had gotten that far. There was no point in having Feanaro angry at Makalaure for something he hadn't done and wasn't going to need to do in this world.
Feanaro scowled, and moved to sit next to him and embrace him tightly. Maedhros allowed the embrace, hoping it meant his father would stick around without retreating into the madness of vengeance again for a while. If only he could make his father truly think, for once. "You should never have had to endure that." Feanaro said. "How long… were you there?"
"About thirty years of the sun – a little under a fifth of a yeni." said Maedhros. Feanaro stared at his son in horror, then snarled,"I'll make that vile piece of filth regret he ever entered Arda!"
"I'll help, and gladly, but we need to plan this out in advance," said Maedhros. "How are we going to get to Middle-earth?"
"Talk the Teleri into joining us," said Feanaro.
"That is going to be a lot harder than you think," said Maedhros.
A/N: A couple of people have asked why I chose Maedhros as the time-traveller. I picked Maedhros for three reasons 1) he'd done some very bad things but I think he was right on the edge of repenting and would likely make different decisions a second time 2) he was powerful enough to have some impact on events but not powerful enough that there would be no drama or suspense (if I sent back a repentant Feanor from the end of time, the story would be over rather quickly), and 3) Tolkien made some comment in the Histories of Middle-earth that I read years ago that seemed to say that people who commit suicide would not be accepted to Mandos (or would they end up in the void or was it simply would never be reimbodied? I'm not sure)
That bothered me, since it wasn't said about those guilty of murder, and I thought that if an 80% of the way to repenting Maedhros were to end up in the void with Beleriand newly sunk at the hands of a maia-led, Valar-sanctioned army, there's a possibility Eru just might take major action. I understand the view that suicide is throwing God's gift back in his face and is therefore a terrible thing to do, but it tends to be done when in such emotional pain that I'm far from sure that is what is going on for most people who do it.
So I had Eru take pity on him, at the same time as correcting his misconceptions and offering him a chance to serve. It isn't an easy out for him, since no matter what he manages to change, he's going to have to exist with his horrific memories for the rest of time, as the only person who has experienced that timeline. And if he fails… he will carry that knowledge for rest of time as well.
In the non-AU version of what I think is happening, I assume he's in Mandos along with the rest of his family.