Disclaimer: All names/concepts etc belong to Tolkien's estate. I make no profit from this.
Originally posted by me on tumblr as 'highkingfinwe'. Reviews welcomed!

The Horror of the Dark

Finwë has known shadow in his life.

He has known the quiet peaceful shadows that bring only rest. He has known the waiting shadow of a world still waking itself to life.

And he has known the fearful shadow that creeps beyond the fire's light, that steals away mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters and friends, from those who are left behind. Knowing that shadow, he has loved the light more dearly; he has treasured loved ones in Aman, knowing no shadow will deprive him as it deprived others.

Those born beneath the Light of the Trees have not known this shadow, but he is grateful for that. Even when they cannot understand him, he is grateful; their innocence, their happiness, their joy ever untainted by apprehension… these things are gifts.

They have always lived in light.

One day, the light goes out. The gold and silver radiance is extinguished, plunging all into shadow.

The people cry out in their fear, but Finwë is not afraid. He quiets them, and bids the lanterns be lit, and tells the children the names of the stars. Light will return, he tells them, and the stars are always waiting. No shadow can endure forever; did he not discover this himself when he came to Aman?

He gives them hope, and is certain that others will do the same. The Vanyar have Ingwë, and the Telerin have Olwë; they have known shadow too. They will tell their people to be strong.

Finwë has calmed his people, until the deeper Darkness is seen. A cloud of shadow darker than this strange night has come upon them, and with it comes fear. No candle and no lantern will hold back this Darkness; it is the extinguisher of light, and with it the extinguisher of hope.

The people flee. He does not resent it; they are children who have never faced the cruelty of the dark, and it is not the place of children to battle against this fear. He, though… he is High King. This is a stronghold of his people. Their homes and their treasures rest here. The Silmarils rest here, the wondrous works of Finwë's eldest son.

(And it is not with greed that he prizes them, but with love; they are parts of Fëanáro's soul as surely as his children are, and Finwë loves them as he loves all else of his son. They are beautiful and strong and unique, because they came of Fëanáro, in whose spirit all of these things are found.)

It is Finwë's duty to stand against this shadow.

The Darkness comes, and with it comes Melkor.

Finwë stands his ground.

The Darkness lies heavy and smothering around them, and Melkor strikes. Finwë falls before his door.

He does not cry out, though pain tears through him. He does not weep, though the fortress is despoiled.

He names the stars to himself, again and again, as the world grows cold. Those that he loves are far from here, and Melkor's greedy blade will not spill their blood, only Finwë's, and it is a price he would pay without a second thought.

They are safe, and no Darkness can last forever…