A/N: A story for Mouse's Finwë appreciation society! I hope he enjoys his little moment in the spotlight. This fic features Fëanor, Finwë, Indis, Mahtan, Nerdanel, Fingolfin and Finarfin.

Right, the helpful stuff:

-Little Fëanor is around 25 years old at the time of this story, I'd guess about nine or ten in human years. I may have got the children's ages slightly out of whack, I don't know if Fingolfin and Finarfin were even born at that time, but the temptation of writing a baby Finarfin was just too much to resist.

-In it, he celebrates his 25th birthday. Actually, elves celebrated the day they were conceived, and I had no idea of how to do this without making people laugh. I mean, "Happy day-that-your-parents-had-sex-on"? Doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

- Quenya names. I love 'em. Fëanáro = Fëanor, Nolofinwë = Fingolfin, Arafinwë = Finarfin.

- I should warn you that this story contains fluff. Pure, pink, bouncy cotton wool. If that makes you want to vomit, I suggest you leave now. If the idea of the Spirit of Fire being cute actually appeals to you, you may enjoy this. I certainly enjoyed writing it. Sometimes it's good to get out of the head of a psychotic Dark Elf and write something nice.

- I made Finwë a first-generation Elf in this tale. Don't yell at me about it, I just like the idea.

- No Lalwen etc, I decided to leave out the daughters of Finwë and Indis. I'd just get all confused and bogged down with too many characters. Anyway they were never mentioned in the Silm, so I can probably get away with it.

Disclaimer: These characters belong to JRR Tolkien, and he never said I could mess about with them like this.

Spirits of Fire

Finwë knocked softly, yet hard enough for a person inside the room to hear. He assumed his son had come here - after all, there were few other places for him to run to in the palace, and darkness was a rarity in the land bathed in the light of the Trees. Also, he thought his son would seek out darkness, to be alone, to think, as he had often done in the past.

There was a muffled sound from within. Finwë could not make out what was said, but took it for a sign that he could go in. He pushed the door open and slipped in quietly.

Sitting on the bed, deliberately facing away from his father, sat Prince Fëanáro. He was wearing his silver circlet - since the arrivals of Nolofinwë and Arafinwë, he had taken to wearing it around his home, not just on royal occasions. Finwë knew the children of Indis were too young to understand, but Fëanáro liked the feeling of importance, he guessed. In his hands were his craft-knife, the most treasured of his possessions, and a small lump of wood that he was carving. In his skilled hands, a face was forming, but Finwë did not recognise it.

"Why are you up here, on your own in the dark?" Finwë asked. Fëanáro shrugged and continued his work, his hand clenched in concentration around the jewelled handle. His father waited, used to this by now. Fëanáro would answer only in his own time, and never when pushed.

At length Fëanáro put the wood-carving aside, and turned to face his father. Finwë noticed the child's cheeks were red and tear-stained, but his dark eyes sparkled with their usual brightness. Fëanáro's intense stare had always surprised him, ever since his son was tiny.

"The Vanya sent me up here," he answered sullenly.

"She does have a name you know. She's called Indis." Said Finwë, folding his arms as was his habit. Fëanáro said nothing, and returned his father's stare unafraid.

"Why did she send you up here on your birthday?" Finwë asked.

"I was unkind to birds and I teased Nolofinwë and Arafinwë," the child said, his words coming out suddenly. "I made a weapon - a bit like the bows that the Teleri use for hunting, with some wood I made with my knife and a spare bowstring. It fires stones. There were birds on the fence at the bottom of the garden. I tried to hit them." He frowned, biting his lip to stop the tears coming. "Nolofinwë wanted a go, but I told him he was too little. And the - she - came running up and told me to stop. I said why. She said because I'd ruin the song and that birds are beautiful. I said you're not my mother and you can't tell me what to do. So she sent me up here."

Fëanáro paused for breath, as his father looked on in astonishment. Finwë didn't know whether to get angry with his son or forgive him. He found it hard to stay angry at Fëanáro for long, and anyway, the child held grudges. Once he shouted at him for leaving the palace without asking permission, and he had been in a black mood with him for weeks. No, Finwë decided, he did not want Fëanor angry with him. Is it right that my son should have such power over me? Finwë didn't know. Fëanáro was a mystery.

The elf-boy's eyes followed his father suspiciously as he approached him, and Finwë felt the fiery glare against his back when he passed his son and his own eyes came to rest on an object on the floor. He sighed, then bent down to pick it up.

It was still carefully wrapped in silk, bound with a ribbon of deep red, and cast aside unopened. It was Indis's present to her step-son, a beautiful golden craft-knife that she had worked on herself in the forge, under Finwë's guidance. She had tried so hard to get it right for him...

"Why haven't you opened this present?" Finwë asked, turning to face Fëanáro.

"Because I can feel what it is, and I already have one," was his sharp answer. The subject of Fëanáro's mother was somewhat sensitive around the child, and in his desire to please his son on his birthday he had momentarily forgotten that his treasured knife was a gift from Míriel. He swallowed, and turned to the window.

With an effort, Fëanáro spoke. "I'm sorry, father, for hurting the birds in your garden."

Finwë smiled. He was not expecting his son to apologise for his rudeness to Indis or her sons, for indeed he had never had much love for his half-brothers, no matter how often Finwë and Indis had tried to convince them to play together. Fëanáro had preferred his own company, ever devising new ways to keep himself entertained.

"Let's go back downstairs. The celebrations will be starting soon. The finest minstrels in Valinor have come to sing for you, and Uncle Olwë has come down from Alqualondë to wish you a happy day." said Finwë, pushing back the shutters to let the light of the Trees stream back into the attic. The light of Laurelin was beginning to blend with the strange silver radiance of Telperion, and all the land was bathed in the gentle yet strong beams. It caught the particles of dust in the air, making them diamonds for a moment, then simply dust again as they drifted out of the rays of light. Finwë closed his eyes and felt the peace of Valinor flood his senses as the lights mingled.

"Is Master Mahtan coming?" Fëanáro asked. Finwë turned back to his son, and noticed how the light brought out the shine in his raven hair.

"Of course. I know how much you enjoy his company. He is bringing his daughter Nerdanel, who is also skilled at the forge I think."

Fëanáro smiled one of his rare smiles. "It is well that I am already wearing my circlet, then," he said, pointing to the ring of silver on his forehead with one hand.

"It is well," Finwë said.



"Am I going to be King of the Noldor?"

A shadow fell on Finwë's fair face. "What makes you ask that, my son?"

Fëanáro looked up. "Everyone calls me your heir. That means that I inherit your throne when..."

"When what?" Finwë asked, surprised at his own sharpness. "We are the Quendi, my son. We were not born to die. You will never be King of the Noldor while I live. Do you understand?"

Fëanáro recoiled as from a blow. Then, he said softly, "Míriel my mother died. I was afraid you were going to die too, and if you died I would have to be King, and I don't know how to be King yet."

Finwë's face softened as he beheld his son, the proud heir of the High King, trembling and afraid. He embraced the boy in his arms, ruffling his black hair that spilled down the back of his tunic.

"I think you would make a very good King, Curufinwë Fëanáro. But you make a better prince, and a most wonderful son," he said, before releasing Fëanáro from his arms.

"Go, and get ready for the feast! I shall wait for you at the top of the stairs. Don't be late, or else!" He said, with mock-threat. Fëanáro grinned, then hurried down the winding attic steps to his chamber.


"You look wonderful, my dearest wife. As fair as the day we were wed."

Indis blushed slightly as she saw her husband's reflection appear behind her in the mirror, dark as she was golden. Her maidens were occupied in weaving white flowers into her golden hair, as was the custom of ladies of the Vanyar. Atop it all she would wear a delicate white veil, woven of the finest fabric the Noldor could provide. The wife of Finwë was herself royalty, and it was fitting that she should be the fairest lady at the gathering.

"He will not want to see me there," she warned.

"He is going to have to get used to you sooner or later. I would rather it be sooner," Finwë remarked, smiling.

Indis sighed. "I shouldn't have sent him inside. Not on his birthday. I was too harsh," she said. Finwë shook his head.

"No, my love. Sometimes he needs to be told what not to do. It is for the best," the Elven-king said. "I do not wish him to grow up disobedient, and besides, I would listen to the birds sing in my garden. He can be a hunter when he grows up, if he so wishes." Then, "Will you not wear your gold circlet?"

"I will not," she said, but gently. "I do not feel ready to wear the circlet of Míriel. I do not wish to..."

"It is all right, dearest wife."

Indis nodded. "I think it is still too soon for him. He thinks I come to replace his mother, to steal the affections of his father."

"No! He does not think..." Finwë started, his face distressed, but Indis continued, "And he is entitled to feel this way. I know the grief for Míriel lies still on him, as it does on you. We must not force him to accept me and our children too quickly. I think, in time, he will come to understand."

Finwë was silent for a time. The maidens of Indis finished twining flowers in their queen's hair, then bowed and left the room. Through the open window, he was aware of the singing of the birds outside in the garden. Indis merely closed her eyes and smiled. She loved the sound of the singing birds, and it was because of her that Finwë encouraged them to build nests in the trees in his garden. Somewhere in the palace, he could hear excited feet running up the many flights of marble stairs that wound up to his chamber.

He laid a hand on Indis's shoulder, rousing her from her reverie. "My wise and beautiful wife," he said fondly, and as one they turned as the ornately-carved chamber door burst open. With a flurry of golden hair and running feet, Nolofinwë leapt into his father's embrace, laughing and breathless from his running. Arafinwë toddled along behind, indignant that he could not keep up with his brother. Indis swept him up in her arms, laughing too as she smoothed her youngest child's messy hair.

When their parents released them, Nolofinwë and Arafinwë stood side by side, their hands behind their backs as if to make an announcement. It was Nolofinwë that spoke, as the elder of the two.

"We have a present for brother Fëanáro," he said solemnly. Arafinwë fished in his pockets, and triumphantly produced a jewel, of the deepest red hue, yet uncut but raw and beautiful. Finwë drew in breath, while Indis asked,

"Where did you find that?"

Nolofinwë continued. "On the beach. I think he would like it?" It was a question.

Indis closed her son's hand around the jewel. "I think he would. That was very kind of you, Nolofinwë."

Arafinwë frowned. "But I found it!" He said, pouting at his mother. Indis smiled, and ruffled her son's hair affectionately.

"And very kind of you, too, little Arafinwë," his father put in.

Indis took her husband's arm. "Well, I do not wish to keep young Fëanáro waiting. I think it is time we joined the company downstairs."


At the top of the marble flight, Fëanáro was already waiting for them by the bannister. He had changed, and was now clad in a tunic of red edged with gold. His hair had been combed until it shone, and upon it sat the silver circlet showing his royal heritage. As always, his short craft-knife hung sheathed at his belt.

As he watched Finwë and Indis descend, her hand upon his, he was painfully reminded of his mother. He regretted that he had grown too quickly, and already was too big for the clothes that she had made for him before he was born. He knew little of Míriel, save that she was the most skilful needlewoman of the Noldor, and her hair was silver like the highest of the Teleri. Nothing but that, and that she was his mother, and she was gone.

However, Fëanáro politely greeted his father and step-mother, and took his younger brothers' hands to guide them down the steep stairs. Finwë looked at Indis proudly. "He is learning," he whispered. Indis merely nodded.

The guests greeted the arrival of their King Finwë with much approval. Ingwë and Olwë were indeed there, to visit their old friend and celebrate his son's day. This year was a special year, for the first son of Finwë was half-way to coming of age, and many had been invited to celebrate with the family.

Ingwë embraced his sister and kissed her two sons on the cheeks, who bore it without embarassment, as was the way of the Vanyar. But Fëanáro would not kiss his step-uncle, pulling away. Ingwë settled for a solemn touch of the hand, and words of congratulations on his age and evident skill in the forge, before moving on to speak with his father. Indis seemed to find it rather amusing, to the displeasure of Fëanáro. She took the three boys around the room, introducing many friends she had invited. Olwë had come clad in shimmering green and blue, the traditional festival garments of the Teleri. With him he had brought a tiny girl, too young to know speech but with a laugh like the ocean wind and hair like spun silver. He introduced her as his daughter Eärwen, and came with a gift of three tunics, all in different iridescent colours, for Fëanáro. He accepted them with thanks.

At last the young Elf found the one who he sought among the sea of fair and noble jewelled faces. For in the corner, in conversation with a blacksmith from Alqualondë, the familiar glint of copper hair shone through the others. Fëanáro ran towards him and embraced his teacher and friend.

"Master Mahtan!" he cried. The smith smiled, and touched hands with his young pupil as was the custom of the Noldor.

"I'm glad you finally decided to join us," he remarked. "I expect you found the lure of your work just too inticing to bother greeting your guests."

"Almost," said Fëanáro," but I decided to come down in the end."

"That is well," said Mahtan. "I am afraid I have had no time to make a gift for you. It seems all of Tirion, and most of Alqualondë, have come to me to order their jewels for your party. So I have been rather busy."

Fëanáro was more than a little disappointed. He had been looking forward to a present from Mahtan, who was widely recognised as the best craftsman in Tirion, and Fëanáro's own teacher.

"But I have something - or should I say someone - to meet you. This is Nerdanel, my daughter. She will be joining your lessons from now on."

Nerdanel smiled shyly at Fëanáro. She was small for her age, and some might have said plain of face. She shared her father's unusual copper hair, which was neatly braided and held with a clasp of silver. She held out her hand.

"Hello, Fëanáro," she said.


Finwë and Indis had said their farewells, and most of the guests had left. The party had been a great success, Indis reflected, as she folded a wide table-cloth. Fëanáro had seemed to come out of himself and actually enjoy the festivities in his honour, rather than keeping his distance as she feared he would. She was not sure where he was at the moment, but assumed he was with his brothers. She was glad that at last he was starting to bond with her children.

Finwë came up behind her. He held little Arafinwë in his arms, who seemed to be fast asleep and enjoying a pleasant dream by the calm smile on his face. Nolofinwë was holding his father's hand, trying valiantly to keep his eyes open, and almost succeeding.

"I'm taking them to bed," he mouthed, so as not to disturb the sleeping child, and Indis nodded, smiling. It was well past the children's bedtime. She watched her husband lead them slowly up the long marble flight of stairs, stopping about half way to look out of a window and admire the stars.

Now, where was Fëanáro?


"So you like copper the best?"

Nerdanel nodded. "It seems to like me, actually. And father says my hair matches it." She giggled quietly. "What about you?"

Fëanáro thought for a moment. "I don't know," he conceded, "but I like copper too."

The two children were sitting on a log in the palace garden. The sky was clear and dark, and the many stars shone overhead. The eerie silver light of Telperion cast its gleam over the land, brushing every surface with its shimmer. Fëanáro imagined making a tall silver tree, or a river, or a flower. As Finwë had always said, his son's mind was never at rest.

Nerdanel had started the conversation about the forge, and Fëanáro had been eager to talk. Her father said she had a "way" with people - by simply listening, she could set others at ease. Yet there was something different about the son of Finwë. He gave her the feeling that she sometimes felt while working at the forge - heat, fire, devotion to the task in hand. She had never felt this way about a person before, and felt warmed by his blazing soul that now simmered softly beside her.

He did not pull away when she slipped her hand into his, neither did he speak. Together they looked up at the bright dome of Varda's eleni, and Fëanáro was reminded of his father's tales of starlit Cuiviénen. The story of how he had awoken, with Míriel at his side, beneath the beauty of the new world. A new feeling of partnership rushed through Fëanáro, and he thought he could feel Nerdanel's heartbeat through her warm skin.

After a while he spoke. "Say not that your hair is the colour of copper," he said. "Say that copper is the colour of your hair." He jumped to his feet, releasing her hand.

"My father will be worried. He knows I am not lost, he says I am never lost. But I think he will want me to go home," he said.

"Can I come and play here again?" Nerdanel asked.

Fëanáro considered. "Yes," he said. "I would like that."


It was not Finwë that Fëanáro met as he hurried back the palace, but Indis. She stood in the courtyard alone, her arms welcoming. He stopped running.

"Where's father?" he asked.

"He's gone to take the little ones to bed. I was wondering where you had gone."

Fëanáro made no answer, so Indis continued.

"They had a gift for you, but you weren't around, so Nolofinwë gave it to me." She opened her hand. In it lay a bright jewel, blood-red, uncut yet shapely. Fëanáro gazed at it for a long time. In its depths, he saw the sea crashing on the shore, hot days beneath Laurelin's rays, a horse running free on the wide plains of Valinor.

Indis placed it in his hand. "Good night, Curufinwë," she said, and walked back to the palace, a tall vision in white and gold, high among the Noldor and the Vanyar. His second mother.

Alone in the garden, Fëanáro began to be aware of the sounds of night. He could hear the river that ran past the palace, singing in its own voice. Somewhere in the woods beyond, a large leaf fell and landed with a quiet rustle. As always when holding a jewel, he could hear its quiet voice, its song of life. It somehow reminded him of Nerdanel.

Fëanáro at last turned back to the palace, pondering the possible ways he could refine and shape the jewel. He wondered if he could finish it before lessons with Mahtan began again, in three treelight-cycles. Mahtan would most certainly be interested, but to his surprise, he found himself looking forward to sharing it with Nerdanel even more.


Finwë had finished putting the children to bed. Arafinwë had been fast asleep already, and had offered no resistance as his father undressed him and tucked him in. Nolofinwë had offered some sleepy resistance, muttering something about Fëanáro's gift, but Finwë had firmy told him it could wait until morning. Now both children slept, Finwë stood alone at the great window of their room, looking at the stars.

For the High King of the Noldor, there was both joy and sorrow in their light. When he had first come into life beside the shores of fair Cuiviénen, they had been his first sight. For many ages beside the sweet waters, they had been the only light of his people. Yet they always reminded him of Míriel, how they had shone on her pale skin, her silver hair, her delighted smile, as they had walked together beneath the trees of Middle-Earth.

A pair of arms reached around his shoulders. For a moment, he was startled, but soon felt the soft breath of his wife on his cheek, her long hair tickling his neck.

"Did you find Fëanáro, my love?" He murmured softly. Indis smiled.

"He's outside. I gave him the jewel. He seemed completely enraptured with it - I will never understand how those stones speak to him." She said.

"Neither do I. There are a lot of things I do not fully understand about him," Finwë mused.

"But you will learn." Indis said, one hand stroking his cheek gently. "You will understand him in time."

"As will you, my love." He said.

For a while they stood, man and woman, nér and nís, husband and wife, gazing at the beauty of Valinor that stretched out from the window. One of the children - Finwë guessed it was the elder - sighed happily in his sleep.

Indis took her husband's arm, breaking their trance. "Come on, my love. Let's go to bed. He will come in his own time."

"A good idea." Finwë said. Both parents deposited a kiss on the foreheads of their children, then slipped out quietly, closing the door behind them. Neither of them noticed a long shadow, cast far below on the garden, or heard quiet footsteps behind them on the stairs.



A/N: 4000 words? Wow, that's quite a long story for me. Must do it more often.