This idea just struck me when I was reading 'The History of Middle-Earth, volume 10; Morgoth's Ring' and I had to type it and get it out of my system. I really don't know why, but I feel for Fëanor…I really do, even though he wasn't your typical 'nice' elf. Should I feel bad about sympathizing with such a character? I don't really know…
Well, anyway, this story's set after Míriel is returned to her 'body' or her spirit's 'host' and when she becomes the chief handmaiden of Vairë the Weaver, Mandos' wife. (Oh, and I love Mandos too!)
Heh, on with the story I guess.
Disclaimer: Mandos had foreseen that I would forget to add this disclaimer, and chose to remind me of it (rather frighteningly too). I own nothing to do with 'The Lord of the Rings' as it's all the marvelous work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Mandos, however, does belong to me, and I am proud – (sees the famous Doomsman of the Valar giving her a dangerous, withering glare) – OK, OK, I was kidding. He doesn't belong to me, he's Tolkien's too.
The Doom of Míriel Serendë
The dwellings of Vairë were silent, as they had been throughout the ages. The Weaver herself, one of the seven mighty Valier of Valinor, sat on her throne, her instruments spread out around her as she continued to weave into tapestries the countless events that had taken place throughout the many Ages that she and the rest of the mighty Valar had witnessed.
At her side, and seated on the ground as was what she preferred, was one of the Eldar who had long ago passed into the Halls of Mandos, and who had dwelt for a fair number of years in the Halls of Waiting, before being given permission to return to her body and afterward reside in the house of Vairë as her chief handmaiden.
"What is the matter, Míriel Serendë?" asked Vairë, seeing her chief handmaiden suddenly pause her embroidery on the tapestry that she was in the midst of weaving. The silver-haired Elf looked up at the Valier, her dark eyes shadowed.
"…Nothing, my lady," she said, hesitantly, before turning back to the tapestry and staring at the vivid colours sewn on to it. Vairë stared at the Elf, a small frown on her face, before following her gaze and looking at the events that the tapestry was supposed to display. At first, all that she saw were two Elf-Lords, princes, in fact, arguing amidst a backdrop of artistically-made sinister colours that enhanced the foreboding that the situation was supposed to indicate.
Remembering that Míriel was in charge of weaving and keeping track of all the events that took place concerning the Noldor, she closed her eyes momentarily, understanding what was wrong with the Elf. She debated on how she should address the topic, as she knew that Míriel had to accept the past and be prepared to deal with whatever it was that the future brought, especially concerning her family.
"Fëanor and Fingolfin, estranged from each other as they are, do possess similar qualities, like those of stubbornness and unwillingness to alter their decisions once they are made," she said, at last, "thus, it is to be expected that strife will slice through the relationship of two sharing such similar qualities, is it not?" Míriel started, seeming surprised that the Weaver had realized what it was that bothered her. She continued staring at the half-done tapestry for a while, before shaking her head.
"I remember, ever so clearly, the words of Námo the Judge," she said, softly, tracing her fingers over one of the figures of the Elf-Lords, "He warned me of what might happen; of how I would grieve the life that I gave up…and how I would regret my decision immensely…"
Vairë remained silent as the Elf paused, not wanting to force her into betraying her thoughts. "At that time, I did not think that I would regret it…even after my beloved husband Finwë entered the Halls of Waiting and told me all that had happened during my absence, even though I was grieved, I felt that the children of Indis would help direct my son on to the right path…away from evil…" Míriel smiled sadly at the tapestry. "It is only now that I understand the gravity of what the far-seeing Námo said…and it is sadly ironic that it is too late for me to do anything about it…"
"You made a choice, Míriel Serendë, and you yourself admit that it is too late to change it," commented Vairë, softly, "Besides, if you had indeed chosen to return to your body, and thus return to your family, the children of Indis the Fair would never have been born, and Arda would never have gotten to know the greatness of Fingolfin and Finarfin. Not only them, but the likes of Fingon, Turgon and even Finrod would never have graced this world, forever aiding in the battle against Evil. Do you think that would have been the right choice?"
"Ay, but I know what people are saying about Finwë," said Míriel, shaking her head, "They say that if it wasn't my fault, for not agreeing to come back amongst the living, it was his fault for remarrying when he should have solely dedicated his attention to Fëanor…" She sighed heavily, aware that it was that last sigh of hers, while she rested in Lorien after giving birth to Fëanor that had earned her the new name of Fíriel.
"That is an argument of old, Míriel, there is no purpose in dwelling on it," said Vairë, somewhat sternly, even though she herself could account for what the Elf was talking about. The Valar themselves, with her as one of them, had had that argument many years ago, with some saying that Míriel should have returned to her husband and her child, while others said that Finwë should not have remarried. "We cannot change the past, and nor can we change the decisions that we made in it. You feel that you have erred in bringing your son to life, that had you not given birth to Fëanor, none of these problems would have befallen the Noldor and you would not have had to deal with these…"
Míriel glanced up at the Valier, a stricken expression on her face, together with one of confusion, "Nay, that is – "
" – I have yet to see, Míriel Serendë, a son who prized his father above all else that he has in this world. The Silmarils were works of pure genius and greatness, and they meant much to Fëanor, but, compared to his father – someone he had loved with all his heart from the beginning – they were nothing but a curse. True, he did, along with his sons, swear that terrible oath that declared that they would slay anyone that stood in between the House of Fëanor and the Silmarils, yet it was not the loss of the Silmarils that roused him to such a degree of fury. No, it was the loss of his father, at the hand of who he later named 'Morgoth' that drove him to such antics…"
She paused, glancing at the other already finished tapestries that lay around them, each depicting different events, before turning back to the Elf, who was staring at her out of widened dark-eyes. "I feel that you should be proud, Míriel, that you blessed the Eldar with a son so loving of his father that he would knowingly incur the wrath of the Valar on himself by riding out to avenge his death. Fëanor may have indeed taken the wrong path and crossed the line with most of his actions, yet, if analyzed carefully, they were all done, at the beginning at least, with good intentions. For who among sons, of Elves and of Men, have held their fathers of greater worth? And that is all that I have to say about this topic, for it is not one that even we of the Valar wish to discuss, as it brings back to us certain feelings and thoughts that we would much rather forget."
Míriel listened as Vairë's words echoed inside her head, addressing all the doubts and the fears that she had had, before having this conversation with the spouse of Mandos, or Námo the Judge as he had once been called by Manwë. Unwillingly, tears glimmered in her dark-eyes as she thought of the horrible thoughts she had had for her son…for her only, dear son. Everyone in Valinor disliked him for his rash actions and for the famed kin-slaying that he had led…and she, the one who should have remained faithful to him, had doubted and started to hate him, just like everyone else had.
She managed to smile through her tears, as she looked at the tapestry in her hands, and as he eyes landed on the figure of the tall, dark-haired elf arguing with his golden-haired step-brother. Will you ever forgive me for doubting you, my son? Turning back to Vairë, who was entirely engrossed with her own tapestry, she smiled again.
"Thank-you, my Lady," she said, knowing that the Weaver could hear her, before she turned back to the unfinished tapestry and began her weaving.
Days later, Míriel entered the main hall of the house of Vairë, wondering why she had been roused from her slumber and had been asked to see the lady of the house. As she entered the main-hall, she sensed even before she saw, the presence of another person. She smiled, thinking that it was her husband, Finwë, who Námo sometimes allowed to visit her and wonder at her tapestries. Moving closer, however, proved to her that it was not Finwë, but Námo himself, who was standing beside his wife, seeming to be in deep conversation with her.
"Ah, Míriel," said Vairë, seeing the silver-haired Elf enter the main-hall. Her husband, the tall, dark-haired and strikingly pale Doomsman of the Valar turned to face her, his dark eyes boring into her own, as she bowed down in respect, before straightening.
"My lady, my lord," said Míriel, wondering why Námo was staring at her as such, "Is something the matter?" she asked, unable to stop herself. Vairë quickly hid the emotion from her face as she saw the Elf raise an eyebrow at her, and turned to her husband, mentally urging him to tell the Elf the news he had with him.
"What I foresaw the day that the Princes of the Noldor, together with a large number of their people started marching away from their dwellings in pursuit of revenge…has come to pass," said the deep voice of Námo, his dark eyes fathomless in the dimly lit hall of Vairë's house, which was in fact a separated section of the Halls of Mandos themselves.
Míriel stared at him, wondering what he was implying. It was a known fact that Námo foresaw a lot of things…and it was a known fact that he had foreseen quite a few things on the day of the rebellion of the Noldor. Things like what would befall the Elves once they pledged their service and made their dwellings in Middle-Earth, the land of their birth. And things like -
"He has come to me…just as I said," continued Námo, not moving his eyes from hers as he spoke, "You know of whom I speak, so there is no need to seem surprised."
"My son…" said Míriel, softly, realizing who he was talking about, "…When did it happen?" she asked, after a short pause.
"A while ago…" answered Námo, "He refused his sons' urges to get him to safety quickly, where it would be possible to treat his injuries." He nodded at Míriel, "He displayed his mother's stubbornness in wishing to leave right away, instead of delaying for longer." Míriel bowed her head, not knowing whether to take that as a compliment or as an insult. "His last words to his sons were ones reminding them of the Oath that they swore to him…and their duty to see it through."
"So he could not forget those Silmarils even while his spirit left his body…" whispered Míriel, bitterly. Námo stared hard at her, his face as blank as it usually was.
"No, he could not," he said, "And it is for that reason that I will keep him in my Halls of Waiting until I see it fit for him to be returned; when he understands that he has erred, and when the items that brought about his downfall are found again, after which he shall present them to Yavanna Kementári."
"Was there a burial for him?" asked Míriel, raising her head to look at Námo.
"No; his spirit burned with such brightness and energy, that his body was unable to contain it. His body was burnt by the fire of his spirit, so there was nothing for his sons to bury," said Námo. Míriel bowed her head again, as a sudden desire entered her. Despite her efforts, she could not quell it; she could not quell the desire that she suddenly had…to see her son once more.
"My lord…" she said, at last as she looked up, feeling certain that he would deny her request, "…I – I have a favour, a request to ask of you…" Námo simply stared at her, giving her the impression that he already knew what it was that she wanted. Vairë, however, nodded encouragingly at her. "…Can I…see him?"
The silence that followed her statement seemed to last for ages, as none of them moved or spoke. Vairë merely gave her a brief nod of approval, before turning to her side and glancing at her husband, who was still staring hard at Míriel.
"It is not allowed; a living soul cannot be allowed to meet with the fëa, or the spirit of one of the dead, who are Waiting," said Námo at last, breaking the silence.
"Then will I never get to see my son?" questioned Míriel, "For by the time you feel that he is ready to be reborn, I will be long gone…and even then, my request will not be granted, as he will be a 'living soul' and I will be a fëa…"
"Then you should have thought of all of that before you made your decision to remain in my Halls instead of being released back to your body and residing with your husband and son," said Námo, coolly.
"Ay, but even we of the Eldar do not possess the foresight that the Valar possess," countered Míriel, "And we cannot even dream of possessing the foresight that you have with you. Is it not unfair, therefore, to blame me for not seeing into future events?" She paused, wondering if she was going too far, "And is it not unfair to deny a mother the chance of seeing her son, many ages after she last saw him, when he was born?"
Vairë glanced at her husband again, a small frown on her face as she took in his stony silence. What the Elf had said was right…so there was no reason for her husband to get angry, was there?
"You are indeed Fëanor's mother, Míriel Serendë," said Námo, at last, his voice sounding almost as though he was proud. "I have separated Fëanor from his father's fëa, as a punishment until he recognizes the evil in all of his past actions, yet I see no need to disallow you one brief meeting with him…" The smile of relief and gratefulness that flashed across the silver-haired Elf's face was genuine.
"Thank-you, my Lord," she said, bowing her head in respect again.
"Come, then," said Námo, heading towards her, "We must go to the Halls of Waiting. Vairë, do you permit me to remove your handmaiden from your House for a while?"
"Of course," answered Vairë, smiling at them both, "Go ahead." Nodding at her, Námo opened his arms out, sending forth a mist of pure darkness that engulfed both him and Míriel.
"Stay calm," ordered Námo, concentrating on getting them to the Halls of Waiting. A short while later, Míriel saw, to her surprise, that she was surrounded by an endless cloud of darkness. She was even more surprised, when she saw the she was floating. "It is dangerous for a living body to be in these Halls, so your meeting will have to be brief, Míriel Serendë," came Námo's voice, from somewhere around her.
"…Yes, my Lord," she answered, wondering how and where the Doomsman had disappeared off into. She was still looking around, when a movement from somewhere in front of her caught her eye. Her dark-eyes widened as she saw the gleaming fëa approach her, surrounded by such a bright light that she had to shield her eyes. It stopped in front of her, and the bright light gradually dimmed, enabling her to look at it, directly.
She stared at the fëa as it revealed its features; its tall figure, pale skin, rich dark-hair and gleaming eyes. He had grown up so much…to the extent that he was almost the splitting image of his father, Finwë. The fëa was observing her quietly, just as she had observed it.
"…Fëanor…" she whispered, watching as the fëa frowned as it thoughtfully observed her, sensing the strong spirit that blazed inside of her.
"Who are you?" he asked, bluntly, his broad-shoulders squared as he looked her squarely in the eye, a hint of pride in his voice as he did so, and not seeming concerned about the first-impression he was giving this Elf he did not know. Looking at him this time Míriel understood what had gone wrong. Fëanor was not worried about what other people thought of him; he was proud and perhaps overly confident of himself. She guessed that that was a result of Finwë and the immense love and attention that he showered him with when he was younger, not wanting him to feel the loss of having one parent and unintentionally giving him the impression that he was special, and that he did not need to care about what others thought of him.
'And it was also a result of, regardless of what Vairë said, his mother's mistake in choosing not to return to him,' said a voice in her head, bringing tears into her eyes. Fëanor continued to stare somewhat disdainfully at her, although the frown had softened somewhat, being replaced with something that hinted at his confusion, as he saw the tears forming in her eyes.
"I…" Míriel felt the tears rolling down her cheeks and did nothing to stop them, as her heart ached, reprimanding her for her foolish decision, "I am…Míriel Serendë…"
"…Míriel…Serendë," whispered Fëanor, the confusion leaving his face as his eyes widened. She nodded.
"Yes," she said, "I am your mother." The expression that found itself on Fëanor's face made her instinctively reach out to him as she wanted nothing more than to be able to embrace her son… She stopped herself just as he shook his head violently.
"Don't," said Fëanor, softly, "…I am still a fëa…it could endanger both of us if we were to make contact…" Míriel hung her head, fighting the disappointment that coursed through her. He was right, of course. She did not know what exactly would happen, but she knew that a fëa, especially one as strong and bright as her son's, should never come into contact with a living soul, for if that were to happen, both the fëa and the living soul could risk grave injury.
"…I'm sorry…" she whispered, forcing herself not to choke on her sobs, as she looked again at her son, "I am so very sorry for…everything…" More tears rolled down her cheeks, without being checked.
"It's not your fault," said Fëanor, after a while, "Please stop crying." Míriel brushed the tears off her face, feeling rather stupid. Here she was, seeing her son for the first time in ages, and she was already acting silly. "It's not your fault at all, Naneth." She looked up sharply at him, as he said it, his face showing no emotion whatsoever.
'Naneth…he just called me 'Naneth',' cried out a voice in her head, sounding joyful. Fëanor's features softened and his lips quirked up into a small smile, directed at her.
"Oh Fëanor…" she said, feeling a smile forming on her own face, "I – I have so much to tell you…"
"And I have so much to tell you," said Fëanor, "Although, no doubt, you have heard of my deeds from the Valar…" Míriel did not really like that way that he emphasized on the word 'Valar' but she chose to ignore it for the time being. "I wonder…is my father being kept away from me as a sort of punishment?"
"I'm afraid so," said Míriel, sadly.
"I thought so," said Fëanor, bitterly, "Cruel it is, when I am supposed to understand where I went wrong and when I should have shown compassion and kindness instead of anger, and when I am denied the company and the sight of my father, who could help me greatly…" Míriel smiled suddenly, surprising him.
"Vairë was right, they all were right…" she said, seeing her son look scornful at the mention of one of the Valier, "…For who among sons, of Elves or of Men, have held their fathers of greater worth?" Fëanor simply stared at her as she continued to beam at him.
Well, that's it! I know that the quote; 'For who among sons, of Elves or of Men, have held their fathers of greater worth?' wasn't really said by Vairë the Weaver, but given her role as having to explain certain things to Míriel, I felt it appropriate that I should use it with her.
Valier – the name for the seven female 'Valar'
Fëa – 'spirit' or 'soul'
Again, this is not the best Fanfic ever, but it was something that really hit me when I was reading 'Morgoth's Ring.' Technically, Vairë should live in the Halls of Mandos, but point 9 on page 263 of 'Morgoth's Ring' indicates that Vairë lived separately, in 'the House of Vairë' whereas Mandos or Námo rather, resided in 'the Halls of Mandos.' Just to make things easier, I sort of indicated that the two dwellings were part of the same thing…
Well, that's about it with this one-shot! Reviews, of any kind, will be most welcome. (They do help us Fanfic writers you know!)