"These are no kin of mine."

He had never thought how much his nephew looked like Kurvo and through him their Ata as he did then. His expression was not gentle, and his words held no hope of giving way as Celebrimbor lifted his eyes levelly to each of theirs, judging, condemning.

"I accept no association with them now, nor will I ever. As the Valar witness, I denounce them and their fell deeds. Keep your oath. I have no need of it." He turned away, back straight, coldly furious. "Nor of you."

They rode hard and far that first day, Kurvo cursing all the while. Tyelko stayed quiet, thoughts a confused jumble of hurt and disheartened. "Damn him," Kurvo swore, "Damn him, damn them all. Fools. They will regret this."

Tyelko's mouth twitched, slightly. "They seemed mightily glad to see the back of us." The look Kurvo shot him was sharp.

"When barbarians start pounding at their doors they'll wish they hadn't sent us off." Tyelko just shrugged.

"Seemed fairly sure of themselves to me."

Kurvo snorted. "Shows what you know. Half of those there will have forgotten what they banished us for come next month."

"Celebrimbor knew what he was saying."

His brother's nose wrinkled, slightly. "Don't call him that. I don't care if he prefers it, it's ugly. And yes, I know." He made an exasperated noise. "Always a headstrong boy. I knew I should have kept him closer…always so busy, though. Dammit."

"He's not really a boy anymore."

"When you have a son he'll always be a boy," Kurvo said, roughly, "I don't think Tyelperinquar will ever grow up, frankly. Though he is a damn fine smith."

"Or a nephew?" Tyelko asked quietly. Kurvo slapped an open hand against his horse's shoulder and made a derisive noise.

"Are you letting that bother you? Don't. He's impulsive. Odds are it won't last. He has the family temper, that's all. It'll burn out."

"Like Ata's always did?" Tyelko said, mouth twisting up at one corner. Kurvo hauled his horse to a halt and twisted in the saddle to look at him.

"Don't be an idiot. Tyelperinquar isn't our Ata. He doesn't have the spine, in the first place. No, he'll come around." A slight smile. "You've always been his favorite uncle, right?"

These are no kin of mine. Tyelko felt his shoulders bowed and tried to roll them back, straightening. "I suppose," he allowed, not adding that he didn't think it would do much good. Kurvo shook his head again, scowling.

"Damned fools."

Where did it all go wrong, he wanted to ask, but couldn't find the words, and knew it would only make Kurvo angry. "Where are we going?" he asked instead.

"To find Carnistir. At least maybe our brothers will still take us in."

"Who knows," Tyelko said, briefly, and Kurvo laughed harshly.

"Indeed. Who knows?" He paused. "And get a hold of yourself, Tyelko. You look like a rainstorm. Where's that formidable temper of yours?"

He let his mouth twitch and didn't mention that he was wondering the same thing.