Author's note: Might seem confusing. The capitalisation of the 'He' was only meant to distinguish the character from the other male characters -at one point it got really confusing-; and not at all as an offence to God or Christian persons. (One never knows.)

There was Night

By Le Chat Noir

Once there was the Night. Not real darkness, but Night. He remembered the Light, dim and pale, young yet old as the Eä itself. Once. There had been. Nothing like the light given to them by the Valar. The light of Valinor was strong and rich, and handsomely bright. The other Light was fragile as glass; it had the ethereal feel giving the illusion that it would break any minute, and ripple down in soft showers of radiance.

The Elves were content. The Valar had offered them the light of the Trees, in all its perfection and eternity; in exchange of their leaving the Forest and the Lake. They had been glad, eager for the Great Journey that awaited, looking West already to catch a beam of the promised land. There were forests in Valinor, and lakes, and much more; however it could not be the same. They were content. They had light, and peace, they lived under the tutelage of the gods and felt the soil of the Blessed Realm under their fleeting feet.

They rose from the grass, Awakened, Unbegotten, the turf fresh and humid to the touch of their skin; and looked around themselves in wonder. Yet unstained, yet youthful, their innocent hearts opened to the kindled dots of the Light, delighting in some old memories of forlorn dreams.

He sat on the silver throne, finely carved and shaped out of the most expert hands; sometimes the thin wreath of gold on His brow weighed thousand tons for His head and there were bonds of invisible ropes sprouting from the armrests, tying Him firmly onto the kingly seat.

The first one to open his eyes and the first one to stand under the sky, the blonde elf pointed a finger into the obscurity, pointed to the Light, and after some time their lips curved into fair smiles, shy and hesitant. Blue, grey, dark eyes were kindled with the glow of new stars.

Êl!

In Valinor the Elves built high towers and white cities of pure alabaster, reaching always higher towards the clouds in an ancient instinct born of forgotten hopes and fear. From the light they lived and on the light they fed, the light they drank in as the sweetest miruvor; in the cities they walked proud and content of the new existence they were given.

They felt the need to ride away from the cities and in the darkened forests walked as ghosts.

Often the elves reached out with their hands, and grasped at the Light, and then looked around themselves in shame to make sure no one had seen them.

He sat and she sat at his side, the queen with golden hair and opal blue eyes, both they sat everyday in the great white hall of the tower. He sat and smiled, and watched the happiness of His people under a rule that was not His.

There was the Darkness, too, lurking in the Night, and where the Darkness went the Light was dead. It had been feared, and when the Elves met It then few ever came back to tell the tale. The Darkness was dread, and terror; the first of fright the Elves had known. And from fear hope was born.

Once the Light had fallen, shattered, and softly the slivers of crystals descended upon the Lake. With it came cold. The water's song was mute, and, tentatively, the Elves had reached out cautious limbs to step on the still surface. He had been the first one to stand on it, and cried in surprise when the water didn't give way and engulf His weight. He had turned around to invite the others to do as Him, but then He slipped, and raw pain shot through His body as the back of His head came in hard contact with the solid water.

In Valinor the Elves feared naught, they walked in peace and light and quiet; days after days kind oblivion overtook the obsolete visions of dread. With a smile on their face they rode through the paved streets, or raced each other down the riverbanks.

One of the young children stuck out her tongue, squinting, and caught a small drop of Light in her mouth. It melted, and she burst into gleeful laughter. Soon, all the Elves were running on the water, gliding as phantoms and falling with delighted cries and songs, sliding with their mouths open towards the sky. Ingwë offered a hand to help Him up, but He refused it with feigned scorn.

There was no such cold in Valinor either.

There had been a shadow among the forests of Night; it had not been a shadow of the Darkness. He remembered the lively dance of the spectre or the maiden, ephemeral shade of silver and white stepping through the trees so lightly it seemed to fly. The same shadow had walked, behind His host at first, then He had walked at her side; always her hands were at work and from her skilled fingers sprang fabrics of the finest silk embroidered with songs and magic.

In the everlasting day there was nothing to desire, for the Elves had all; the old yearning and faint Light sparkling in their eyes had yielded to a mightier force and strength, giving place to bliss and glee. The serenity of millenias had passed over the first fire placed in their young hearts, soothing their flame.

Silver hair had been hers, and deftness beyond words. 

There was the Night, and in the Night the Light and the Darkness fought; there had been beasts and other shadows prowling in the land. The Elves had feared, but as long as the stars did shine there always was one to take up a fallen branch and brandish it in defiance of the Dark.

The Rider had come, and He had stepped forth; for the newcomer shone as a being of light, yet it was not the Light. At His side were Ingwë and Elwë, friends, and they found they could not understand the speech of the tall Rider.

The Fire knelt in front of Him, burning with a darkness that was not the Darkness. He saw the pyre in his eyes, igniting with a gaze the grey ashes of dreams. Her son. Tighter and tighter the straps of steel bound Him to His seat. He smiled, for him, for her, and with all His will He fought against the gently shackling chains.

They were married under the Law, strictly according to the rules of the Valar. Under the mingling light of the Trees they had joined hands and exchanged two rings of silver for gold.

He was before Him, one knee bent to the ground, but his face unlowered. A circlet of silver crowned his head; sometimes He wondered whether it was as heavy for him, too. But he burnt, and He saw him burning, the fire glowing from inside as if the slender Elf-body was not enough to contain it. The Fire could burn the bonds away, turning them to molten heaps of iron and gold; His skin would then be scorched and singed, but He would be free.

At the very first He had seen Ingwë's love for the other light; in Valinor the High King had moved with his people to live at the foot of Taniquetil, closer to the light. Elwë was lost. The white-haired elf had chosen to remain with the Night, and dwelt under the gleam of stars. No news came; and each passing season brought them a new tide of joy that made forgetting all the more easy. Sometimes He thought about his old friend, and the Darkness that still loomed, but soon oblivion swept pass.

In Valinor there was no night, and torn to shreds He chose to remain upon the lonely hill, halfway between the light and Outer Lands. At times they would catch glimpses of stars, and the Light; then blurred memories would rise out of the depths of their minds, kindling again the dull hopes that had once throbbed wild.

He could not see; they had also arranged the white blindfold over His eyes. Through the thick silky cloth He saw only the Fire, the fey spirit burning its way through the fabric, showing Him the world through the dark fiery eyes.

The Elves were content with existing. In Valinor there was no night; and no Light. In Valinor there were quiet and peace, there were bliss and joy and perfection; in Valinor there was neither fear nor dread. In the Blessed Realm there was eternity frozen, in a great forever that was unfolded thoroughly under their eyes, tracing them a path smooth and flat, an avenue of fine sand.

There the Night did not dare venture, only brushing past the outskirts of the land. The Fire sought the Night, and fought the Darkness, and back from his journeys far from where the Tree's rays reached he unwound for Him the forgotten rapture of the First Light. In those visions He drowned, and when the Fire was there also was there the fear, and with it hope.

The Trees of Valinor were everything, and everywhere. But the bonds were too strong; and by himself alone He could not burst them. One last time before the end He would have liked to see the Night again, and smile to a radiance other than that of perfect joy.

Silently, the light of Laurelin waning sprawled golden on the marble floor.

~

Author's note: Do not ask what possessed me to write a Finwë fic. The new Muse, probably.