Disclaimers: All the characters you recognise and this world belong to J.R.R. Tolkien and his estate. I only own the Valarlings, and I don't expect he'd want them. I am making no money from this and I intend no infringement of copyright and am making no money from this. I promise to put them back in their boxes once I've finished playing with them.
Summary: Chaos in Aman. Drowning Hobbits. Hormonal heroes and Ringbearers. Valier frightened out of their wits. Returned kinslayers. Grumpy Mandos. And all because … the Valar have decided that it would be a very good idea to have children of their Thought… Oh dear *eg*
A/N: Yes, I know this would never happen. However, it was born out of a plotbunny thrown at me on Imloth (which should teach me to keep my mouth shut when I have odd ideas going round in my head). I began to talk about whether Maia/Man and Vala/Elf crossbreeds were possible and then things got a tad insane. So here we are.
LSB: Thanks for your help with the Quenya.
Lajiggles, Rose Red, Alena and Klose: I hope you enjoy, you evil, evil people *grins*
On with the insanity…
Varda lifted her gaze from the star registry in front of her and listened intently with her head on one side like a sparrow – albeit a nearly six foot glowing immortal sparrow.
"They are at it again," she observed to the room's other occupant, who sat with his majestic feet up on the coffee table.
"I hear no screams of rage from Námo, so I cannot possibly see how you make the judgement that he and Fëanor are having one of their spats. Now last month…"
His wife winced at the memory. The Doomsman had requested the largest vat available in all the Undying Lands, filled it with Yavanna's extra-gloopy custard, and immersed Miriel's lunatic magpie of a son in it – headfirst.
"Not them," she sighed, getting to her feet and brushing the stardust from her skirts. The wretched stuff got absolutely everywhere, although not as badly as the diamond dust of which the Children were so fond. It was a miracle that Eärendil had not turned tail and fled at the first whiff, considering that it set his allergies off until he was sneezing like an overactive volcano. "Your offspring, melmenya."
"Ours, I believe. And whose idea was it in the first place?"
"Yours, Manwë." She arched one brow as he tried to divert her with a breeze placed exactly so it would lift her skirts above the knee – and well beyond. "As I recall, you said that you could not bear Nienna wailing like a stuck pig for another three Ages of the Sun, so if we were going to thoroughly spring-clean the Halls and release so many fëar, it was a sensible course of action to attempt to raise children of our Thought first to see if we could do better."
Manwë gave up his attempts at seduction. Really, these 'pleasures of the flesh' were most … well, pleasant. It was really surprising that Fëanor had had time to make those damn jewels. But he always had been a strange one…
"But first was the operative word. I intended for the children to be raised before the hordes descended upon us," he said petulantly.
"Well, you should not talk with your mouth full of halibut. 'Twas no wonder that Námo could not hear your precise plans."
//But it was mind-speech, Varda…//
//You managed to garble it nonetheless// she riposted, wrinkling her nose so star-beams reflected dazzlingly off the ceiling. "Come now, husband. If you would be so kind as to call one of your eagles…"
"They are not a taxi service."
One of the less congenial aspects of knowing almost everything in the
mind of Ilúvatar had been watching hours of mental footage of New York rush hour. He had come to know the infamous yellow cabs
really quite well – although it was not as bad as becoming intimately equated
with the horrors of London's M25. That was certainly a chord of Morgoth in the
Music. "And besides, the children
"Be not silly, melmenya," she said tartly. "They will obey you."
"Somehow I doubt that."
"Ha, I have you!" Manwë's eldest son sank his teeth into Maedhros' newly restored right hand. "I will bite it right off, just as my uncle's servant did."
"Your uncle was a bad man." The red-haired elfing struggled to get free – which was a little difficult with Tulkas' son sitting on his ankles. "He was nasty to me and stole my atar's things."
"He was not," Eleno cackled around a mouthful of squirming fingers. "He was no man; he was an Ainu."
"Man, Ainu, small red squirrel, I care not. He was bad." Maedhros cast an imploring look at Caranthir who was sitting in the tree, devouring a honeycomb. "Help me, brother mine."
"No, I do not think I will," the boy smiled unpleasantly – it was really quite surprising how little the Halls of Awaiting had affected him. Although perhaps that had something to do with his tendency to sit in the rafters and giggle at all the other inmates while chewing his toenails. "I prefer to watch."
"If only Makalaure were here…" And, when Eleno's attention was diverted by the sticky drops of honey oozing onto Caranthir's tunic, he burst free, rolling over on top of the other youngling.
If one did not look very closely, one might almost believe that the group was all of one kindred. Delicately pointed ears like new fallen leaves, bright eyes, small bodies, and charming smiles on grubby faces. Of course, that was not a mistake anyone made for long – not since Olwë had found himself halfway up Oiolossë garbed in naught but his hair and sturdy boots for tripping over the wrong elfling. And the Valarlings glowed – the only advantage which the newly returned elves had over them. It is hard to play hide-and-seek with beings who have inherited acute sight and hearing, especially when you are only just growing accustomed to having a full complement of limbs once more.
"And what is this I spy? Can it be a pile of piglets?" a voice called from the leafy archway. Tall he was, golden-haired and broad-shouldered, and a light shone in his clear grey eyes, like the passing of storm clouds before the Sun.
"Aiiiiiiii…" Eleno's twin Melno threw himself bodily at the newcomer, wrapping his arms around his neck and tangling his fingers in flowing blond locks. Unfortunately, he had forgotten to put down his jam sandwich first.
"I bid you good day, little one." Finrod Felagund wondered if his hair now counted as blessed due to the large preserved strawberry stuck to one of his braids. It did not bear thinking about too closely, or he would feel sacrilegious washing it – as he had every intention of doing. "Let me see: Eleno and Melno" – each now had a fistful of his hair and were investigating its potential edibility – "Irmin, who appears to be asleep, Tulkon – Tulkon, put Amras down. I know you are stronger than him, but it is not kind."
The Valarling pulled a sulky face, but obeyed. 'Twas not good to disobey Uncle Finrod, for all that he was merely an Elf, because then one might miss out. He was certainly more fun than Aunt Melian, who would just scowl and weep, and tell long, involved stories about cousin Lúthien's hair.
Amras' head hit the grassy turf with a thump and he suffered a childish flashback to the Kinslaying at Sirion. Noting his expression, Finarfin's son decided that it would be wise to remind Nerdanel to keep all fire-making equipment out of her reach of her youngest offspring.
"Well," he continued. "Who else do we have? Ora I see is making marigolds sprout from Curufin's sandals … and Maedhros' now … and Amrod's hair. Very pretty," he approved as the girl shyly presented him with a bunch of flowers. "We are missing Osson, Varien and Aula. Oh, and good day to you, my kinsmen, Celegorm and Caranthir."
The pair stared at him sullenly.
"Good day to you, little one," they chimed in unison, and, try as he might to forget, Finrod could not sweep the memory of that day in the audience chamber of Nargothrond from his mind. These elflings were just too creepy.
Maedhros, however, bounded up to him, his red hair flying.
"Have you seen Fingon this morn?"
"He is here," a new voice sounded, and Finrod stiffened, sending Tulkon, who had been clambering all over his back, flying into the grass, where he lay, giggling uncontrollably to himself.
The slender elf-maiden lowered the small boy to the ground. Even before his legs made contact, he was trying to scurry towards his friend, where he joined in a vigorous bout of braid pulling, ably aided by both Elven and Valar twins.
He bowed curtly.
"'Tis good to see you, Lady Amarië."
"I only wish I could say the same." She turned away and pretended to be fascinated by the workmanship of the dry stone wall.
"The Atani make great stone walls," he said, desperate for some conversation, for anything to quell this pounding of his heart in his throat.
"Yes. You see, they make them with … with … lots of really good stones."
"That must be very … stony."
"Aye, it is … no cement at all. Amazing what they can do with so few years … I mean, stones."
So caught up had they been in their conversation – or lack of it – that they had not noticed how the happy squeals had turned to muttered plotting – and there is no one in Arda Marred or the Undying Lands who can plot like a young Valar. They make Saruman look like a half-witted cucumber sandwich seller with his monthly horoscope told by some hag with glue-on warts.
Of course, it would have helped if Irmin had been awake, but he was not, instead resolutely treading the paths of dreams. Celegorm and Caranthir had challenged each other as to who could pull the legs from the most insects, but, as they touched his slumbering form, the tiny creatures found themselves suddenly whole and fluttered off, albeit a little like oliphaunts on pipeweed.
Alas, for the two discomforted Elves, even this was not enough to foil the younglings' dastardly plan.
Tulkon sprang first, a maniacal grin on his ruddy features. With the strength of his father and the deer-like bouncing of his mother, he was quite a formidable opponent – especially as it was so hard to rebuke any of the children, with their conviction that they were invincible – as they were. He leapt like a grasshopper and landed like the entire city of Tirion.
Oromë's daughter was the next, sitting on top of them, her doe eyes sparkling wickedly as shoots spiraled out of the ground, twisting over and up them, binding slender Elven limbs one to the other. Unfortunately for the two star-crossed lovers – quite literally as Eleno was jumping across them in a contest with Fingon – the limbs which were bound together did not belong to the same person.
"Well…" Finrod said, as casually as he could.
"Well…" Amarië blushed scarlet, and tried to remove the tiny pink flower growing across her cheek – an attempt which had no effect except to bring her face to face with her erstwhile lover, so close that she could feel his breath on her skin. "It seems that you hair is more alive than it was wont to be, melmenya…"
He was so caught off balance by the sudden turn of events – not to forget the aforementioned hair problem, caused by a delicate creeping rose growing along his scalp in a colour which did nothing for his complexion – that he did not even notice the endearment which had slipped out before she could stop it. Ah, how many moments are lost in the warp and weft of time! Especially when the offspring of the gods are chanting war-songs around you, and daubing small elflings and themselves with handfuls of mud.
"Give me more. I want proper war-paint," Melno wailed. "I look like an orc at the moment."
"What would you know about orcs?" Caranthir sneered. "I have seen orcs as big as your atar…"
"They cannot be. My atar is…"
Manwë and Varda chose that instant to arrive with Námo, covered in dust and wearing sepulchral robes bearing the legend 'I went to Mandos and all I got was this lousy robe', his wife by his side, and Nienna bringing up the rear. Unfortunately for Finrod and Amarië, still locked in their not-quite unwilling embrace, as soon as the latter saw them she began to cry, great, sweeping torrents of tears. The green creepers began to bud and grow … faster and faster, forming a green cocoon around them, until all sunlight was obscured.
"Will you kiss me now?" Amarië asked, and before the astounded Noldo could answer, she brushed her lips against his. When he made no move, bound as he was by the tendrils in his hair, she drew back. "You son of a Balrog! Who was she? You might at least have told me."
The voices above came from very far away, and, much to Finrod's horror, he was prevented from speaking. A vine had grown across his mouth.
After what seemed like an Age of gazing into those furious eyes of Vanyarin violet – and he remembered with a shudder the similarly coloured eyes of a girl with red and black hair and platform heels who had tried to accost him in Ossiriand – the dancing Valarlings quieted.
A booming voice had bid them to silence, and a suddenly cold wind rustled the grass.
"Do you need to show off thus?" Varda whispered on the edge of Elven hearing. "Would it not have been better to tell them off and make them go and learn Sindarin declensions?"
And then a darning needle poked through the encroaching foliage, wiggling from side to side until they could see the bemused face of a Valie peering through the undergrowth.
"Now, where did I put my scissors?" She fumbled through her voluminous robes. "Ah yes…"
With a snip which nearly took off the end of Finrod's nose, she cut an escape route for them.
Amarië bolted through the available hole, brushing at her lips in disgust, and Finrod, his face the deep scarlet of ripe tomato – really quite unsuitable for an elf-lord, not to mention the fact that it clashed with his blue robes - followed her, to see a row of chastened looking elfings and baby Valar sitting on the wall, swinging their feet in disgruntlement.
"I am sure they were only having fun," soothed Irmin, who had finally awoken, rubbing at his eyes and smiling sleepily.
Vairë tucked her darning needle back into her pocket, and, drawing out a pad of paper and lump of charcoal, began absent-mindedly to sketch designs for the tapestry showing the arrival of the Ringbearers.
"In the Name of the One, what have we brought into this benighted world?" Námo inquired.
"Shiny elflings," Finrod muttered, but no one heard him, watching as they were Varda's agitated pacing. Up and down she went, up and down, and the eyes of the elflings and Valarlings followed her like a row of demented seals fixated on a particularly tasty slice of tuna.
"This is not what I heard," she muttered at last. "This is not the disturbance in the stars."
"Eru take the stars," Námo snapped. "Your twins nearly sent another pair of feckless Elven lovers to my halls. As it is not enough trying to get the cobwebs out of the corners with Fëanor composing extremely tuneless odes to his lost sodding Silmarilli at all hours."
"Husband, do not take this lightly." When the Doomsman scowled at her, Vairë scowled back with a force which would have curdled milk – or pretty much anything, up to and including miruvor. "There is something amiss, and it is not here."
While Nienna curled up in a ball in the corner of the garden, sobbing as she had when Vána had borrowed her favourite necklace and then lost it somewhere in the woods of the vale of the Anduin, the other Valar discarded their physical bodies and wafted away.
The Valarlings cheered up noticeably, and a chant began, soft at first, then louder and louder.
"Amarië loves Finrod. Amarië loves Finrod."
As the singsong lilt filled the grove, the elf-maiden fled.
"Finrod loves Amarië. Finrod loves Amarië."
The Elf glared at them like an angry rhino that has just discovered that another rhino has stolen his clean laundry.
"How did you know that I love her?"
Eleno and Melno smiled smugly.
"We have the sight of all things. She kissed you."
"Ewwwwwwww!" Fingon exclaimed. "Kissing is yucky."
"Just wait until you remember your wife," the elder Noldo breathed. "Then you will not think thus."
Caranthir and Celegorm smirked as he squirmed, and, not for the first time, Felagund wished he had had the foresight to carve dungeons into the sheer rock of Nargothrond – preferably very dark, very deep dungeons, full of rats.
The forge was lit only by the flickering scarlet flames of the leaping blaze. Strange instruments hung from the ceiling, glimmering with the reflected light of the coals. A self-portrait of Curumo was stuck through with fire-tongs.
"No! Aula, when atar says no, he means no. Do not put your hands in the forge. Do. Not. Put. Your. Hands. In. the. Forge. That is where atar makes hot, hot metal."
"But I cannot get burnt. 'Brimbor can get burnt, but I cannot."
"You should not encourage 'Brimbor to put his hands in the fire." Or go anywhere near a forge. The last thing we need is more cursed jewellery. I know they will blame it on me 'O Aulë, cannot you be more careful?' As if I had wanted the whole Sauron and Curumo fiasco to happen. He knelt down beside the little girl. "It is not kind, and, besides, you will get your sleeves burnt."
Indeed, her flowing gown has charred to cinders. She made pears sprout from the ruins.
"Do not … no, Aula. Do not put the pears in the flames. Do you listen at all to what your atar tells you?" Aulë trailed off as his daughter bit into the roasted fruit. "Ah, I see not. As your mother, you are a law unto yourself."
The Valarling perched on the end of the anvil, watching interestedly as he fiddled with a red-hot circlet of entwined ivy leaves.
"Why do you make such things for atara?" she asked innocently, bouncing up and down and making all manner of strange undergrowth creep from the ironwork.
"Well, you see, your mother and I have an interesting relationship…"
"Like the Star and the Bird?"
It took Aulë several heartbeats – if he had needed to have a functional heart – to realise what his daughter was babbling about. And then it took all his control to realise that he did not need to blush, either. The one time he had decided to visit Elwing's tower, he had retreated hastily. The couple seemed determined to make up for the years apart, and it was a miracle of the One that the seabirds were not scared away.
"Well, not exactly like that," he stammered. "But she likes the growing things, and I prefer the things they grow in. And sometimes we upset each other, and so I make her a pretty necklace."
Aulë finally realised why Finarfin had looked so horrified when he had suggested that the Elf should explain to his children how he could possibly be reconciled with Eärwen. Who knew that the industrious Noldor could turn their passions to other paths…?
Aula began to dance in the blaze, her cheeks rosy, trying to see how high she could make the flames leap and if she could make an apple turn into a plough-share. As she danced there was a disturbance in the centre of the room, like a tornado arguing with itself as to where it should go and whether it should be there at all. Námo stepped out of the maelstrom first, dusting scraps of twig and small harmless animals from his black robes.
"Wretched Manwë. I-am-the-Lord-of-the-Breath-of-Arda-but-I-do-not-know-where-I-am-going himself."
"I heard that." The mightiest of the Valar emerged, followed by two rather bedraggled-looking Valier. "Of course I know where I am going. Do I not know the mind of the One?"
"Well, He does not seem to have enlightened you on the whereabouts of the miscreant children," Varda pointed out waspishly. "I see that neither Osson nor Vairen is here."
"Well, if you had lent me you sight…" Manwë picked a bedazzled squirrel out of his flowing tresses.
"But you should have heard in the first place."
"What are you rabitting on about – no pun intended?" The smith enquired. A lop-eared creature had hopped out from under Vairë's robes, narrowly missing the aggravated stab of the jumbled safety pins which nestled in the hem of her skirt.
"There is something wrong," Varda pronounced. "I heard it."
"Well, Aula is here, so it cannot be the worst."
The child put on a suitably cherubic expression, slightly marred by dangling her toes in the flames.
"Nay. 'Tis terrible indeed." And, with a flash of starlight, the Lady disappeared. Manwë shrugged helplessly and followed her, as did the others, leaving father and daughter alone in the forge.
"Well, you must understand that these are tongs, not pruning sheers…" Aulë began as his daughter experimented with the combustible properties of his hair.
The ship was beautiful indeed, a masterpiece of silver and white, its proud bow reared up in a swan's head. The light of morning reflected off it in myriad rainbows, glancing and glittering on the foaming waves. That was, until it began to sink.
Círdan's sailors were the first to jump, springing from the masts into the cool embrace of the ocean, like so many blond jellyfish.
A blinding red light from the stern, and many curses in the tongue of the Haradrim and any other races that had sufficient phrases – including, oddly enough, Yiddish, despite the fact that it would not be invented for many centuries hence.
"May they grow with their heads in the … blub…"
A small body threw itself into the water like a dumpling into stew, made all the more resonant by hitting the garlanded head of the Lady of the Golden Wood. The rest of the Valarlings followed cheerfully, sinking the Periannath as they made rather inept tries for the shore.
Big blue eyes had not much effect on those who had grown up with Nienna's overflowing ones, and dark curls were just so much drifting seaweed.
A dark comet from the sinking prow.
Glug. Glug. Glug.
And a very bedraggled peredhel made his way to shore, saltwater sluicing off his dark hair, velvet ceremonial robes clinging to him.
"I am out here!" A hand shot up in the harbour, a silvered head peeped above the waves.
"Ooops." And the half-elven lord dived back into the waves, entirely disregarding all others.
The crowd averted their eyes from all that ensued.
That was, until Ulmo reared up in the midst of the bay, his head crowned with seaweed, looking rather like a pot plant had upended itself on his brow.
Celebrían decided that this was not the best place to conduct her marital revels after all, grabbed her husband, who had a rather silly grin on his noble face, and began to swim for shore.
The tidal wave mounted up and up, holding perfectly still in a crashing wave like a Hobbit surveying a laden table.
"What is this?" the Vala grumbled. "First, there are sinking Periannath. The One really should have made sure that they floated. Then Eärwen's daughter turns up on the seabed waving that thrice-accursed Ring around and wondering why she cannot swim when she has half a ton of parting gifts from her Moriquendi husband sown in her skirts – by the way, she is washed up halfway up the Pélori, with a hermit crab in her hair. Then, the little ones swim across to me, and manage to steal all the brandy I had left over from Almaren. And then I have to watch as my Human messenger's grandson conducts an enthusiastic reunion with his wife…" Elrond and Celebrían, as red as – well, a very red thing – crept through the crowd, their seawater-soaked garments trailing behind them. "…And, to add insult to injury, a great big sodding ship lands on my head. Would you please keep your children under control…"
A smaller tidal wave reared up beside him.
"Ummm … Ulmo … I think it was Osson who sank the ship, with Vairen's help, but he was the one who stuck a great big wedge of coral through the hull."
"He did what?" And the waters were suddenly calm – but the calm of a cat before it sinks its claws into your leg, drawing enough blood to fill the Falls of Rauros twice over. "Ossë, I told you to look after him. And did you? Why, of course not. 'Twas far more fun to see if you could persuade a dolphin to wear your best shirt. A dolphin! Perhaps I should have married a dolphin; at least they show the slightest sign of intelligence."
Uinen surfaced above the ripples, carrying a Valarling in each arm. Vairen was chewing on a crab leg while trying to see if he could weave a tapestry from his Maia friend's greenish hair.
"I did not mean it, my darling…"
"Huh, try to make no excuses for once," Uinen huffed. "They pall after a few hundred times repetition, Mr. But-Melkor-Is-A-Really-Nice-Guy. Now, Vairen, pityonya, would you like to see the pretty fish? There are many fish in the waters of Middle-earth, and not many of them are idiots, unlike certain Maiar I could speak of…"
As the trio dived smoothly back into the blue-green depths, Námo let out a great sigh.
"Why do you look at me like that, Vairë? 'Tis better that he goes off and bothers the Elessar, than tries once more to see if he can make Fëanor glow in the dark without him noticing…"
"I thought you liked that, Námo."
"Well, yes, 'tis mighty amusing, but hardly professional."
Manwë and Varda slunk to the fore, grabbing their offspring, just as Olórin spluttered to the surface.
"I was dragged in a current halfway to Harad," he complained. "Maybe I should just have taken up Elladan and Elrohir's offer of a hermitage in the storerooms of Rivendell, despite the overpowering smell of the mushrooms which they had to keep there when the Hobbits stayed…"
"Mushrooms?" Frodo miraculously began breathing again, lifting his head from its cushion of exceedingly whiffy bladderwrack.
Irmin obligingly sat on him and went to sleep.
"Well, as I was saying," Olórin continued, "first I must suffer Curumo's presence for the best part of an Age – and this is a being whose idea of a grand ole time is playing Charades for seventeen days on end – and then I am sunk. What new horror has befallen the Undying Lands?"
As if in answer, Eleno and Melno threw themselves out of their parents' arms and into those of the Maia. A Valarling can choose to be light as a feather or as heavy as a Hobbit after a birthday party. Unfortunately, they chose the latter. The wizard collapsed to the ground.
"Oh, in the Name of the One," he cursed, "you have not done it, Varda? I thought 'twas only because you were a little delirious from being hit on the head by Námo's stress balls once too often. You have created the bane of Aman?"
"Yes." She blushed, causing a few stars in the Andromeda galaxy to go nova. "Meet our children, Olórin."
And the Valarlings smirked.
fëar – spirits, souls.
Atar – father.
Atara – mother.
Melmenya – my love.
Pityonya – my little one.
Eleno and Melno – twin sons of Manwë and Varda.
Vairen – son of Mandos (Námo) and Vairë.
Aula – daughter of Aulë and Yavanna.
Irmin – son of Lórien (Irmo) and Estë.
Ora – daughter of Oromë and Vána.
Tulkon – son of Tulkas and Nessa.
Ulsson – son of Ossë and Uinen. (I know they're not Valar, but it felt … appropriate).
Reviews will feed my insane muse and stop him eating me alive *grins*