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Of Aegnor and Arwen  by Calairiel Malromiel

~Let the Quest Begin!~


So it was that House Celeborn, House Elrond and three Hobbits all found themselves sailing down the coast to that sweet little bay that happened to be walking distance to the Halls of Mandos. Along the way they had picked up the brothers three of house Finwë and this didn’t sit well with Galadriel at all.


“Why did we need to bring them? What do they have to do with anything?’


And Finarfin looked at his daughter and said, “For one thing, daughter, one of those we seek is your brother - my son. For another, Fingolfin was greatly responsible for getting the majority of our people out of the Halls the last time we undertook this. And finally, we happen to know Fëanor is clever enough to figure out any problems we might run into this time around.”


“And we have the Hobbits because good fortune follows them around like bee pollen and they are quite handy to have around. Hobbits are also very clever and think in ways the wise won’t contemplate and we need that sort of counsel.” Olórin said sagely.


As they spent more time with the Finwions, it became clear there was a dynamic playing out. But it was one that magnified the differences in the brothers and their temperaments. Finarfin was completely laid back and easy going. Fëanor was still much too serious, but it was clear he was trying to be more lighthearted. And in this he was relentlessly goaded on by an irrepressible Fingolfin, who was as close to being crazy without being certifiable. Somewhere along the line of his lifetime he simply stopped caring and decided to have fun.


This disturbed Elrond. Moreso because he could see his sons’ in the ellon. So that’s where they got it! He thought, completely overlooking the fact that he and his brother had been complete imps as children - a trait they had no doubt picked up from the same forefather! He was even more disturbed when he saw the near hero worship of his sons, who had obviously decided that their grandfather was the ellon to emulate and hung on his every word!


Another thing noticed by all, was none of them were anything at all like they’d been portrayed in their histories. And Galadriel began to receive curious glances from her daughter, son-in-honor and grandsons. She eventually had to concede that she might have been exaggerating some of the things she’d said of them over the years. But she also defended the fact that these were not the uncles she remembered in her youth.


“And since when have you three ever got along?” she asked hotly, and the Hobbits saw her transform right before their eyes from the wise and serene ellith they’d always perceived her to be, into a petulant elfling. “And I haven’t forgotten how you wished for my hair, uncle!” she accused.


And Fëanor, who had been resting his chin on his hand, and frankly looking bored, lifted his head in shock, his limp arm thumping loudly on the table now that it had no head to support and he exclaimed incredulously, “I did no such thing! Whatever are you talking about?” 


“At the Feast of Starlight! You kept mentioning my hair.”


“So what? I was drunk and the light of the trees was doing weird things to it.”


“Ha! I remember that! You and Nerdanel had gotten into a quarrel when she was carrying the twins!” Fingolfin smirked.


“Eru, but her emotions were chaotic during that one. There’s a reason they were the last!” he said rolling his eyes, “Regardless, I was drunk and yet I will say it gave me the idea for the Silmarils. That’s why they’re different. One is Telperion, one is Laurelin and one is both to simulate both at waxing and then the mingling of those lights. So, sure! Your hair under those lights gave me the idea. Happy now?”


But Olórin wasn’t interested in rehashing old grievances and redirected the conversation.


“So how do you propose we get into the Halls, if you’ve thought about it at all?” he said and actually missed his bushy eyebrows. They gave emphasis to so many things he wished to convey! And right now he wished to convey impatience.


“Oh that’s the easy part!” Fëanor said, producing several phials of the dew from Laurelin and Telperion.


“Uncle! Surely you’re not trying to remake the Silmarils, are you?” Galadriel asked in horror.


“No, of course not. I said I could only make those once. But that doesn’t mean I can’t experiment with their light in other ways.”


“But where did you get it?” Elrond asked.


“Oh, well, I can’t tell you that.” he said and those seated also saw the closed expressions of both Fingolfin and Finarfin. There was a secret here, more than one of them thought and as this wouldn’t be helpful, Olórin quashed any further inquiry by stating, “Drop it. They aren’t keeping anything from you. But they really can’t tell you that.” he said and didn't care that he was contradicting himself with that single statement. He was maiar and that had to count for something - even if it was tolerating his nonsense-speak.


And when this looked as though it wouldn’t be enough, he simply redirected the conversation by asking, “I know what Laurelin is for, but what is Telperion for?”


“Ah, well, I’ve been wondering how we can go inside and thought the light of Telperion could at least light the way, while providing protection to a corporeal form.” Fëanor said.


“Wondering is not knowing.” Fingolfin pointed out, adding, “Well, Telperion is cool to the touch, so it won’t burn whoever is holding it. It also doesn’t burn the skin.”


“I wasn’t thinking of smearing it on anybody. But you are forgetting that the dew of Telperion was collected for both light and water.”


“That means nothing. Changes nothing. And I haven’t forgotten. I just forgot to remember. I’ve used Laurelin in some of my glass making and it works well as it's already hot and spreads out evenly. I haven’t had the same luck with Telperion.” he said and didn't care that he was going off-topic.


“What problems are you running into?” the ever curious and problem solving Fëanor asked.


“It acts like Quicksilver and I end up with spots. It won’t spread evenly.”


“You may not be able to spread it like you want. Have you tried to create a crevice? Like a band around whatever you’re making?”


“No, but that bears looking into. If I can at least pour a connecting band using the glass like a mold, it would still glow under the stars.” and brightening, he said excitedly, “And if the band is placed within a glass mixed with Laurelin then the lights could play off each other. I might even be able to achieve the mingling! That’s a very good idea, brother.” he grinned and Fëanor beamed back, well pleased with the praise.


“If we could get back to the problem at hand, if you please.” Olórin said dryly, though he had a glint of amusement in his eyes.


“Well, if you don’t mind my saying, but I’m quite familiar with Lady Arwen and perhaps I could go in and try and talk her into returning with me. From what you’ve said, and correct me if I’m wrong, but apparently all one needs do is step out and you are living and breathing again. Do I have the right of it?” Bilbo asked.


“Quite right, my dear, Bilbo. Quite right! So the trick is getting them to step out. And you might be able to talk Arwen into following you, but what of the ellon, Aegnor?”


But the twins both shook their heads, having had a private conversation, and Elladan said, "You can't go in, Bilbo. None of you Hobbits can go."


"Indeed, you are mortal and will no doubt pass beyond the Circles of the World should you even step foot inside." Elrohir agreed and Olórin had to agree with their assessment. He was glad to know the lads had more than rocks in their head, though it had occurred to him more than once that their tomfoolery was more act than fact.


“I could go in and just drag him out.” Fingolfin suggested hopefully. And then noticing the evil eye from his younger brother, asked, “What? You want him back don’t you?”


“I think he should want to come back. If you just drag him out he may suicide himself. We don’t want that, do we?” Fëanor pointed out.


“May I ask how you misplaced him in the first place?” Olórin asked.


“Well, last time there were a couple hundred thousand, if I’m not mistaken. I had simply assumed he was with us. I know Angrod was with us. If anyone could have assured he came with us, it would have been him.” Fingolfin defended.


“Two and a half million, actually. So I can see how you would misplace one or more. But Angrod said he was unwilling to leave and wouldn’t listen to reason. I’m not sure there was anything to be done to force him.” Finarfin said.


“There were not so many of us, father!” Galadriel exclaimed.


But Fingolfin snorted rudely and looked at his niece impatiently, saying, “I didn’t just collect Noldor. I collected everybody and you obviously have no idea how many Teleri are actually in the world.”


“You aren’t just talking about Sindar, are you?” Celeborn asked, rather impressed.


“No, of course not. Sindar, Silvan, Nandor and all the other names they call themselves. And I would have forced Aegnor had I known he planned to stay. After all, I practically threw my father out.”


“Yes you did.” Fëanor smirked, adding, “I noticed you had problems collecting him right from the beginning. But that didn’t stop you forcing him through the wall.” 


“Through the wall?” Frodo asked in horror.


“Yes, of course. Think about it - we were dead. We didn't have bodies. Yet they kept us in cells - solitary confinement. He was the only one not hindered by walls. He could walk about as if they weren’t there. So as soon as he would grab one of us, we became an extension of him and he could take us through the walls with him.” Fëanor explained. The Hobbits found they liked him. He didn't talk down to them or treat them indulgently like children.


"Finrod believes, and I tend to agree, the Halls of Mandos are another realm. Part of the Unseen or Spirit Realm. I don't understand the Rules there, but they are obviously the same principle that operate in the Seen Realm. Unless an exception is made, obviously." Fingolfin smirked.


“I say! That’s a neat trick. I wonder why you were the only one?” Samwise asked musingly.


“I suspect it was a mistake. You see, though I was counted as one who rebelled, I hadn’t participated they were taking issue with….”


“Just say it, already!” Fëanor snapped, and then calmly looked at the Hobbits and said, “The Kinslayings. What he’s trying not to say is he didn’t participate in the Kinslaying at Alqualondë.” and then looking earnestly at his brother, said, “It’s ok, Ñolo. You don’t have to step around the eggshells of my sensibilities.”


Fingolfin smiled gently at his brother and said, “I know that, Náro. But I also don’t feel the need to rub it in your face, either.”


“Oh, goodie! Can we get on with your story now?” Elrond quipped, with a lift to his brow.


“Cheeky, elfling!” Fingolfin snapped right back. He was, after all, this ellon’s grandsire and Elrond had the grace to blush at the chastisement. “Anyway, since they didn’t have that against me, but I’d died after poking a bunch of holes in their wayward brother, I suppose they felt that deserved a reward of some sort. When Mandos asked what I would have I’d asked to be let go. To be re-embodied. He basically told me to ask for something else. So I asked to see my son, Argon. He didn’t like that either, but he granted it. Whatever he did to allow that, also allowed me the ability to walk through the walls. So when I decided to go visiting, I also discovered I was able to take them with me.” and spreading his hands, concluded, “And that’s all there was to that.”


“Do you think you still have that ability?” Frodo asked.


“Probably not. Not that it would help in this instance anyway.” he said regretfully.


“Perhaps not the grabbing and dragging away part. But certainly the walking through walls part would prove useful.” Bilbo pointed out.


And Finarfin burst into laughter and said to Olórin, “You were right to bring them. They have an uncanny way to cut through the minutiae.” 


Nodding sagely, he said, “Hobbits are amazing creatures, as I’ve said many times. You can learn all there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a century they can still surprise you in a pinch.”


~Still in Mandos~


Arwen and Aegnor had begun to cling to each in support almost from the first. In the beginning because of their shared misery and then in shared camaraderie. Neither knew what would become of them now. It seemed their noble and pure love was at best unrealistic and at worst, delusional. 


“I feel I’ve wasted many years in useless longing. I always thought the day would come when she and I would be reunited and then we would live happily ever after. Now I just feel like a fool.”


“Don’t. There have to be many who thought exactly as we have.” Arwen said.


“Yet they are not here.” Aegnor pointed out.


“Perhaps they never died for that love. But who is to say they were elves. Rather, they might be mortals who thought if only they wait long enough, then they too, would be reunited with an elven suiter.” then she sighed and said, “For myself, I don’t feel as though I wasted my time. I had one hundred and twenty years with my love and we raised three wonderful children. And if I think about that, that’s what hurts even worse than the thought I’ll never see my Estel again. I will also never see my children again and that breaks my heart.”


“I am sorry for that. I wish they would have told us.” Aegnor said, and then, “That is supposing they knew in the first place. It seems to me that Manwë had to directly appeal to Ilúvatar to change the fate of Beren and Lúthien. And I also get the impression that grace was a one-off. But because of that one case it changed the perception of everybody and led people to think exceptions could be made for everybody.”


“Well, there was also Tuor, but I’ll not begrudge him that.” and then she smiled and asked, “So, what would you like to do should we decide to leave this place. Now that we’ve decided we’re accomplishing nothing by staying here.”


Looking at her in surprise, he said, “Well, I hadn’t thought we’d reached that conclusion, but let’s go with that. What should we do?”


Grinning, she said, “I think we should establish a home for wayward elves. Or perhaps I should say forlorn elves.” she said impishly, causing Aegnor to chuckle. Continuing she said, “My father was the Lord of the Last Homely House in Endor and provided a safe place for the free peoples in our land. A sanctuary. What if we established a sanctuary for the broken hearted?”


“Why? Isn’t that what Lórien is for?” Aegnor asked, perplexed.


“I suppose. Maybe it was only a pipedream.” she said sadly.


“Wait! I know! We could have a Lórien by the sea. Close to the influence of Lórien but on the coast.” he said, with a little more enthusiasm.


“It sounds like the idea is starting to grow on you. But what about inside the boundaries of Lórien itself? Don’t they have a large lake there?”


“Yeees, but that’s where Estë sleeps all day. But establishing something within the boundaries of Lórien is still not a bad idea. Does it really matter why we want to open a halfway house for wounded elves?” he said.


“No, I suppose not” Arwen sighed and suddenly Mandos was before them. Neither moved to get up - just looked at him like he was imposing. He sighed. When had he lost everybody's respect? He blamed Fingolfin for that!


“It seems to me that you are both ready to leave these Halls. Good. Your families have come with the thought of breaking you out. Wouldn’t it be nice if you were waiting for them before they cause some mischief they might regret?”


“Oh!” Arwen exclaimed, climbing to her feet. “Yes, that might be for the best. I wouldn’t want my brothers to get into any trouble.”


Climbing slower to his feet, Aegnor agreed, “Yes. I imagine my father is part of this?” he smirked, and Mandos narrowed his eyes in irritation, causing the ellon to chuckle and murmur, “Yes, of course he is.”


“Yes, well, follow me.” the vala said and started walking, stopping only once to say, “Come along. Keep up.” and the two hurried after him.


Then there was a crack of light and the two found themselves outside, instantly slammed into their hröar, which sent them reeling unsteadily. But they were soon embraced by family members who were surprised, but grateful they hadn’t had to try out any of their ideas, especially since they didn’t know if any of them would work. And really! None of them had wanted to inadvertently become the guests of Mandos.


Arwen was happy to see her parents and brothers once more and Aegnor was happy to see his father and sister. Fingolfin, Fëanor, Olórin and the Hobbits just stood aside enjoying the family reunion unfolding in front of them, until Sam said, “They make a nice couple.” and then looked confused when the ellyn snorted and doubled up in laughter. Looking curiously at Olórin, their friend smirked and said, “Not really, my good Hobbit. They are uncle and niece. Not done. Simply not done at all!”


“Oh well, they are family, then. Family is important.” Sam said approvingly.


“Hobbits!” Olórin groused and frowned when all three grinned proudly.



After a respectable time spent with family and the rest of their kin, Arwen and Aegnor went ahead with their idea of creating a home for the forlorn. It was technically located within the lands of Lórien and they were delighted to discover there was more than one lake within his lands. Though they didn’t call it the home for the forlorn.


They played with several ideas and Arwen’s contribution of Fief of Lost Fëar was soundly vetoed. She then asked, “What about, House of Departed Mirth?”


“Do you actually want anyone to come to this house of yours?” Elrohir deadpanned, which elicited a pout from his sister. Yes, he was teasing her, but he was ever so glad she was back so he deliberately didn’t wish to treat her with kid gloves. He and his brother had discussed this, of course!


Aegnor was starting to look fearfully at the former queen of Gondor and Elladan reached over and patted his hand, saying, “Don’t worry. She’s a much better hostess. Makes everyone feel right at home.”


Elrohir snorted in laughter and said, “Aye. Thinking up clever names - whether with pets, buildings or even the words to songs - is really not her forte. But she really is gifted in giving comfort to people. She has empathy and a big heart.”


“Pecker was a fine name for my little finch.” she objected and then wondered why every male in the room stopped talking and looked oddly at her, while Elrohir put his head in his hands, groaning.


“What?” she naively asked and the twins whipped their heads around to look accusingly at their father, who was beet red and their mother was laughing so hard tears were leaking from her eyes. Galadriel merely lifted a brow and said, “We’ll tell you later, dearest.” and then added, “What about House of Healing?”


“No! Home of Melodic Musings!” Aegnor said. 


And his sister stuck her tongue out at him, saying, “You always do that!” 


To which he grinned and replied, “You have good ideas, sister. I can just phrase them better.”


“Oh I like that!” Arwen exclaimed, and addressed Aegnor, saying, “In my father’s house we had the Hall of Fire where stories were told and songs sung. It was always a place of camaraderie and good cheer. I would like something like that. A place where soothing melodies will heal people unobtrusively so they are ready to face the world again.”


“She’s conveniently leaving out the drunken brawls that would break out amongst the edain.” Elladan smirked.


“Or that it’s the place she heard that word, pecker.” Elrohir murmured.


“That is a very nice thought, daughter!” Celebrian hastily interjected, adding, “I wish you well in your endeavor and your family will be near whenever you need us - won’t we boys?”


“We’d like to stay, but we are going to apprentice with grandfather in Arcoa Maril.” Elladan said apologetically, adding with animation, “It will be quite exciting.”


“Indeed, it will be nice to make something instead of just killing orcs.” Elrohir agreed, though Elrond didn’t seem pleased by their plans.


“Why would you go there?” he asked sourly.


“To learn a craft. They have forever, nephew. Why not let them explore their options. They will either enjoy it or not. It’s not a weighty matter, after all.” Fëanor gently chided, but sent a warning glance to his brother, for who knew what he’d say. 


Fingolfin's grandson had obviously taken a dislike to him and Fëanor thought it was probably jealousy. As much as he’d dismissed his brother in their youth, Fingolfin was larger than life and not many could lay claim to what he took as no great matter. And then as he met his brother’s eyes he caught the imp lurking there and decided, Sure! Why not? He could play, too! His brother was forever telling him he was too serious and he’d promised him he’d... lighten up!


“And if you decide you don’t like spinning and glass blowing you could always come to Orehtelë to learn metal and gemcraft.” and he was satisfied in seeing the lads’ look of joy, his brother’s smirk of approval and his nephew’s sudden look of pallor.


Arwen looked wide eyed at the scene playing out and said lowly to her new business partner, “You have a very naughty family, don’t you?”


“Meh!” he shrugged, and added with a grin, “They’re your family too, you know.”


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