A/N: Acknowledgements to Alena whose story 'Crossing the Sea' inspired the story in this story, and my heartfelt thanks to Jillian for beta-reading. And of course, to Ithilwen, Happy Birthday! I'm sorry this is late. Heh.
Quenya Names, because I like them :)
Nelya(finwë) Maitimo = Maedhros
Fëanáro = Feanor
Note: Atar = Father
Ammë = Mother
A Tale of Two Brothers
"Nelyafinwë," Finwë called gently. "Nelyafinwë, come out now, it is time for bed. Do not make me come down there."
There was no answer, but a mere shuffling noise was heard.
Finwë sighed and shook his head. Maitimo had been very difficult to handle that day. He had been stubborn, quick to anger and simply refused to listen to anything his elders had to say to him. And yet, while it was so unlike him, it was so characteristic of his father.
"A little of Fëanáro had to come through sooner or later, I suppose," Finwë thought, as he eyed the dining table wearily. Hearing Maitimo as he played with his toys, the Noldorin King shook his head, and got down on his knees. He crawled under the table, wondering at what his subjects would say, if they saw him in this position.
When the light had grown dimmer, Finwë raised his eyes to finally look upon his grandson. Unfortunately, he had not taken his tall height into consideration, and grunted in pain as his head hit the table.
"Grandfather, what are you doing?" Maitimo asked, staring at Finwë, his eyebrows furrowed together in a vexed fashion.
"I am trying to get you to sleep, little one," Finwë replied, rubbing the bump that was starting to form on his head in a pained manner. "Come now, let me take you to your bed."
"No," Maitimo replied stubbornly, with a shake of his red head.
"But you must, Nelyafinwë. Young children such as yourself need their rest."
And again, Maitimo shook his head. Utterly perplexed, Finwë leaned back on a table leg, and looked at his grandson, wondering at the boy's behaviour. "Nelyafinwë," he called softly, attempting a gentle approach. "Tell me, what is the problem? Why do you not wish to go to sleep?"
Maitimo did not look up from his toy horse, but he mumbled something incoherent. Finwë prodded him to speak up, and finally, he said, "I don't want tomorrow to come."
"But why, little one? What is it about tomorrow that you dread so?"
"Tomorrow- tomorrow… tomorrow will be different. Atar said that it would bring many big changes."
Finwë knew instantly what Maitimo spoke of. And he knew now why his grandson was acting the way he did. In fact, a long time ago, at a time, his uncle Nolofinwë behaved in a similar fashion… when Arafinwë was to be born, in fact.
And now, Nerdanel was soon to give birth to Fëanáro's second child. That was why Finwë had come in the first place, to take care of little Maitimo during the delivery.
"Nelyafinwë," Finwë called again, and he held out his hands to the boy, who scampered onto his grandfather's lap. "You are worried about the arrival of the new baby, are you not?"
"Yes," Maitimo mumbled, his head bent.
"But why? There should be no cause for sorrow at this time, only cause for joy."
"But I don't want a little brother or sister," Maitimo said sadly, his slightly angry demeanour dissipating. "Atar and Ammë won't have time for me anymore."
"Oh, Nelyafinwë, you know that that is not true," Finwë said to his grandson, stroking his red hair. "Your Atar and Ammë will still have time for you."
But Maitimo was not convinced, and only looked down at his hands with a heat wrenchingly sad pout.
"And do you not wish to be a big brother? " Finwë asked, trying to cheer the boy up.
"What is so great about that?" Maitimo asked glumly.
"What is so great?" Finwë repeated, trying to sound incredulous at the remark. "My dear boy, you do not know of what you speak of!"
Maitimo looked up with perked interest, and Finwë continued to speak. "First of all, you will finally be treated like the big boy you are, as you have wanted to be for so long."
"Really?" Maitimo asked hopefully. For long, he had wanted to be treated like a "grown-up", and the idea that this would happen soon intrigued him greatly.
"Indeed," Finwë replied, slightly gravely. "This is because you will have many new responsibilities."
"Well, you will have to start helping Atar and Ammë around the house."
"But I don't know how to." Maitimo pouted again, and Finwë smiled.
"Worry not, little Nelyafinwë. There will only be simple chores for you to do, and I do not doubt that you will put your effort into mastering them quickly. These are not the only duties you will be expected to fulfil, however."
"Really? There is more?"
"Truly," Finwë nodded. "You must also help your Atar and Ammë take care of your little sibling (whom I suspect will be a boy, might I add). As an elder brother, you must care for him and protect him. He will come to look up to you, to respect and admire you. And I do not doubt that there will be great love and friendship between the both of you."
Maitimo nodded solemnly, but said naught. Finwë hesitated slightly, before asking, "Would you like me to tell you a story about a little boy, much like yourself?"
Seeing Maitimo nod vigorously, Finwë began to tell his tale.
"Once, long ago, Elves lived not in Aman, but in a faraway land called Middle-earth, where the Light of the Trees could not be seen, and all lived under the glimmer of Elbereth's stars.
"There was a boy, who was not unlike you in spirit and mind, and he lived with his Atar and Ammë by a great Mere. One day, this little boy found out that he was going to have a younger brother."
"Like me," Maitimo interjected.
"Yes, very much like you," Finwë agreed. "He too was worried at first that his parents would no longer spend time to play with him. But when the baby was born, and he looked upon its face, still pink from birth, the boy's heart was filled with a strange emotion."
"What was it?" Maitimo asked eagerly, just as Finwë was about to continue. The Noldorin King raised his hand, exhibiting why exactly he was the leader of one of the Three Elven kindreds. "Peace, Nelyafinwë. I am coming to that."
Maitimo bent his head apologetically. "I am sorry, grandfather. I merely wished to know what happened next."
"Tis' quite all right, little one, but we must be patient at all times." Finwë smiled, breaking his serious mood. He continued with his tale. "However, this little boy had not merely felt one solitary emotion, but a myriad, rather, of joy, care, compassion, and most of all, of love. And he proclaimed that he would be 'the best brother in all of Arda'. Never did he waver from keeping that promise, for he was ever at his younger brother's side, even as they grew up and after. He it was who cared and protected the younger. And the younger came to rely on his elder, and looked up to him as a brother and friend. And they always- always- believed in each other.
"Not long after, the Three Kindreds of the Elves were to embark on the Great Journey to the West. Can you name these Three Kindreds, Nelyafinwë?"
Maitimo tilted his head, thinking deeply. "They are the Noldor… the Vanyar… and… and… and the Teleri!"
"Very good, Nelyafinwë, that is correct. Now, of the Three Kindreds, it was the Teleri who had the largest host, and had two leaders who led them thither."
"The boy and his younger brother?" Maitimo interrupted.
"Indeed," Finwë replied. "It was the boy and his younger brother, who had grown up to be Elf-lords, strong and valiant, kind and caring, and loved by all, who had come to lead the Teleri."
Maitimo appeared slightly awed, and Finwë nodded his head. "Yea, it is true. But that is not all, for the story is a bit more complicated. Before the Journey, when Oromë the Hunter first came to us, many Elves were sceptical about travelling to the West. And thus, one leader from each of the Three Kindreds was sent to Aman."
"You were one of them, were you not, Grandfather?" Maitimo asked excitedly.
Laughing, Finwë said, "Yes, indeed! And with me came two others, the leader of the Vanyar, and the leader of the Teleri."
"The leader of the Teleri was the little boy, I am sure of that!"
"Truly, he was! And in Aman, he it was who was most enraptured by the Light of the Two Trees, and my other companion and I not much less. Like us, this leader of the Teleri knew that it was a better life he would be leading his people to, were they to embark on the Journey to the West.
"However, when he returned to them in Middle-earth, many were sceptical, and did not wish to take on this Journey. But the boy's brother saw the Light of Aman in his lord's face, and his belief in his elder brother wavered not, even in those uncertain times. And together did the two leaders of the Teleri strive to persuade their people to follow them unto our Undying Lands."
"And did they succeed? Did the Teleri follow them?" Maitimo asked.
"Indeed, they did," Finwë replied. "For seeing the love that the two brothers felt for each other, the Teleri in turn began to believe in their leaders, and chose to leave the only life that they had ever known, for the sake of their two leaders."
"What happened to them? The two brothers?" Maitimo asked innocently, young child that he was.
Finwë frowned slightly at the question, and a shadow passed over his heart. But he only said, "They are now great Kings of their peoples, loved and respected by all." Though where the Elder now dwells, none can tell… Ah, Elwë, tis' not simply your brother Olwë who misses you so, but your friend Finwë also. Yet I know we shall never again meet in the lands of Aman, or Middle-earth, and it grieves my heart so, dear friend.
There was a short silence as both Finwë and Maitimo reflected, but it was quickly broken by the latter.
"I do not mind being a big brother anymore," he said suddenly in a small voice, and Finwë looked to him with a smile, his heart lightening at the sight of his grandson's quiet determination. But before he could say anything, he heard someone entering the room, and paused.
"Fëanáro?" Finwë called back, and he suddenly remembered that he was under the dining table. However, this was only after he set Maitimo down from his lap and made to stand up, hitting his head on the table in the process.
Biting his tongue so that he would not curse in front of his grandchild, Finwë crawled out into the light, feeling very silly indeed. He looked up at his son, who stood watching the scene in mild amusement.
"What were you doing underneath the dining table?" Fëanáro asked; as he bent down to help little Maitimo out.
"It is naught to be worried about," Finwë said, brushing the question away with a wave of his hand. "Why are you here? Should you not be with Nerdanel? How is she faring?"
Fëanáro beamed, as he picked up Maitimo to carry in his arms, grunting suddenly as he realised that he had misjudged his son's weight. "You are certainly growing quickly, Nelya," he said to his son, in an unusually amicable manner, before turning to Finwë. "Nerdanel is doing well. Only just did she give birth to a healthy baby boy."
"That is wonderful!" Finwë exclaimed. "But it was only expected to happen tomorrow, was it not? What happened?"
Fëanáro shrugged. "Twas' a premature birth, but only slightly. Both mother and child are doing well." He looked down at his son, retaining his broad smile. "Did you hear that, Nelya? You are a big brother now!"
"Yea!" Maitimo exclaimed happily, hugging his father. Laughing, Fëanáro led Finwë to the midwifery in the upper floor of the house. The room was bustling with busy midwives, but there at the centre of it all there was a scene of serene calm: A tired mother cradling her newborn child, its' cries filling the air.
"Ammë!" Maitimo cried, seeing that it was Nerdanel who sat up in the large bed, carrying the thick bundle that held the baby. He stretched out his hands to her, and Fëanáro put him down on the bed.
"Maitimo." Nerdanel smiled tiredly, turning to him. "Meet your younger brother."
Maitimo leaned to have a closer look at the babe, and a smile grew on his face as he gazed at it tiny face. There was a look in his eye, and Finwë recognised it. This little boy had not merely felt one solitary emotion, but a myriad, rather, of joy, care, compassion, and most of all, of love…
"I'm going to be the best big brother in all of Arda," Maitimo proclaimed, breaking from his slight trance, beaming at his younger brother. And as the baby gurgled melodiously in reply, Finwë knew that together, these two brothers would achieve great things.
Anyone want to suggest a new name for this thing?