Russandol first set his foot across the threshold of Formenos, looking up to the overbearingly high ceiling, letting out a soft whistle at the sheer size of the Great Hall flooded with the silver light of Telperion streaming past the windows of tainted glass; and remarked with more than an edge of admiration in his voice that, if a prison, this was a damned fancy prison if his opinion was ever asked.

When Maglor was done with unpacking his things and arranging his room, occasionally giving his brothers a hand -especially Curvo, for he had to hold and sing soft songs to the little Tyelpe in his arms, who was wailing as if the end of days had come-; he ran all the way up to the highest floor of the fortress, into the attic. And as he dashed along the dark corridors caught between groaning walls of steel, the echoes of his hurried steps following him, devancing him, showing him the way; the little Cano, a child of few summers, scurried through the corridors of the House of Fire, brightly lit, and played with the rays of Laurelin streaming in from the tall windows in square pillars of light: made visible, palpable, present by the dust hovering in the air, unquieted by a child's game. He had stopped to pull them open, one by one, and climbed up to sit upon the ledge; there was no one to cry out in alarm as such a young child being perched upon a window's banister, legs dangling in the void four floors above the ground. They were wooden ledges, quite roughened by the beating rain -or light- as no one ever came by those parts of the House to notice it, and the dark paint on the wood was slowly beginning to peel off; and while he felt the gentle warmth of radiant Laurelin pouring onto his face, parting his lips and tilting his head back to receive the beams of light in his mouth, he often found the fingers of one of his hands idly stripping the banisters of their colour, shreds of greyish black skin floating down from his place to the young grass beneath. Golden rays caressed his face, burnt his black hair to searing hotness; yet often, as it wasn't enough, the child had stripped of his tunic to expose the bare skin of his chest to the embrace of the light, drinking it, breathing it, and though he was often moved to song by the suffocating tenderness of the golden air he never dared to sing, not one note, not one.

There were no windows along the darkest corridors of Formenos, and air heavy with a humid cold rushed past him while he ran, as fast as his feet could carry him across the frozen ground like ice. The walls closed in, and Russandol's words came back to him: a prison with a palace's walls. But here in the most forlorn part of the fortress no useless decoration adorned the bare walls, and a prison it was like in form; though as Maglor ran, faster and faster, almost stumbling once or twice over his own feet, kicking his ankles in his precipitation, the steel gave way under his steps and the slight stream of air raised by his moving form, and suddenly the damp feeling of the moist, enclosed atmosphere on his skin became cool and fresh, a healing chill for the feverish beating of his veins against his brow, the wild swarm of ideas in his heart. The uniform grey of the walls gave pause to the rush of maddening colours beneath his eyes, soothing and calm, and he almost found his step slowing down as the intriguing feeling caught him by surprise, pouring down upon him like a sudden shower of iced waters; but he caught himself and began running again, this time faced with a flight of stairs.

Upwards.

To the sky.

He felt the fire in his blood subdued, and the strange presence of the Silmarils floors below, shining with their soft and oozing radiance through all the steel, all the stone, embracing him from below and pushing him forwards; as if the knowledge of their strength supported his weight and lightened the step of his booted feet upon the ground.

The stairs did not seem to have an end. It was one after the other, and then some more; as he looked up, he could not see a light to tell him of the way left for him to cover. So he gave up on trying. Formenos, if a fortress seen from the outside with walls of steel, where confinement reigned, once he had stepped inside had now become boundless, incredible freedom coming from being held within her walls: here, where no elegant carvings adorned the dark stone, where no high windows showed in the light from beyond, here, away from the ensnaring beauty of Tirion, she became the likeness of the liberating prison, the one that unfettered from the weight of wings; and when at last he burst out from the stairs into the low-ceilinged attic, catching his breath at the sudden stop that nearly sent him rolling on the ground, he blinked for a second at the silence and stillness clutching the long room in their grasp, marvelling at the quiet that held sway.

White, blemish light tentatively snuck in from the skylight.

Hastily, as his eyes scanned the room, he moved to grab the backrest of a nearby chair -the straw prickled his palm, making it itch slightly- and dragged it to stand directly under the window on the roof, yet the chair wasn't enough; he rashly discarded it and it fell down to the side with a great clanging noise, but he was not paying attention as his eyes darted across the room again, this time caught by a table at the other end: without stopping to think, he suddenly found himself engaging all his strength into pushing it into the vertical shaft of light that came from the already soiled glass of the small window. The legs of the table creaked and shrieked out of friction with the polished floor, but he could not hear their screeching over the raucous beating of his own heart: and at last he leapt and stood upon its surface, fumbled for a moment with the lock of the skylight, and was eventually able to pass his head and his shoulders out into the open.

A cold rush of wind whipped at his face.

He squirmed to pass his arms out of the skylight, hurting himself a slight bit on the right shoulder; and tried to tuck two strands of stray hair behind his ear, but the harsh wind kept blowing them into his eyes. The boundless, grey moor seemed to stretch endlessly over the world, reaching out towards the dreary horizon: and the sudden gust of exhilaration that sprang in his heart enclosed its whole extent, and he wanted to embrace its entirety with the span of his arms, to run down, this instant, to run again amidst the tall grass that grew up to the waist and fall and bury himself among them, feeling their dry length snap under his, bristle the back of his neck and his whole body through the heavy layers of cloth he wore. The sky above him was clouded, shades of grey dashed with shreds of white; the patches of dull colours swirling with the stark breath of northern wind. He breathed in deeply, and found no scent held within the airstream's breast. A wide smile broke out on his lips. No bird chirped in the distance, though he strained his ear to catch a note; but the moan of the wind met his ear. The silence around him, wide, open, inviting, empty: pulling him into the void that was it and claiming him as its own, roaring in his ears, and he felt that his heart would burst from the joy and lightness of the startling release; all chains severed that bound him to the ground.

And he did not sing, yet hollered into the moody day, yelled and shouted and leant out of the window so that a stronger rush of wind would have tipped his balance and send him falling to his death; feeling free as he had never before. There was no echo of his voice from the infinite plain, as if the landscape had eaten his cries, absorbed them into her body, and the tall wheat swayed under the rough caress of the wind like a strange dance that changed the paysage, numberless variations of the dirty greenish grey that looked like waves on a restless sea: the soft rustling sound of dry grass brushing against dry grass melted into the lament of the ruthless wind. He yelled into the silence, and was given back the silence's scream, as soon as his own voice died out; he yelled no words, no song, nothing that could be understood by any but the empty moor and his own heart. His mind was blank and meaningless like the plain, only moved by the thoughtless blows of the wind. Tears poured down his cheeks, and a great grin of madness twisted his lips, and soon his cries came intertwined with bouts of irrepressible laughter: irrational elation and sudden fatigue rushing through his entire body as he came to realise that as long as he hid within Formenos' protective darkness, he would never, never have to sing again.

Something forcefully clutched at his legs below the roof, but he was not afraid, and continued to holler out his exultation into the void, an absurd feeling of omnipotence in his heart as he writhed free from the music's hold; and Russandol pulled him back into the room with unexpected strength. A forceful hand was clasped over his mouth, muffling his cries, and an angry whisper hissed near his ear, "What in Mandos are you thinking? Eru knows we don't have need for another madman in this House!" But suddenly Russandol's iron-like hold was loosened, and he heard his brother let out a slight gasp, wondering what could have surprised him so.

The eldest son of Feanor whipped a handkerchief out from somewhere about his person, a piece of blood-red cloth with golden letterings, and with the immediately most gentle of movements began to wipe his younger sibling's face; and when the latter twisted out of his grasp in astonishment he did not try to catch him again.

"You're crying!" was all that he managed to utter, in quite an amusing strangled whisper when put in contrast with the completely off-thrown expression set in his handsome features.

Maglor smiled through his free-flowing tears. "Seems like the heirloom of Feanor's blood cannot be denied, can it?"

Starting up, he passed his shoulders out of the skylight again, and went on yelling into the silence before his brother could pull him back down; and this time his cries took on a shape, a meaning, a word; and the wind took it in its breast and closed upon it, again and again, until he choked upon his own tears and laughter:

"Insane! Insane! I am insane!"

And he could not stop laughing.




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