[personal profile] martasfic
Title: Heresy
Fandom: Silmarillion
Characters: Maedhros
Prompt: BMEM Day 22
Word Count: 791
Rating: Teen (for character death)
Summary: "The cruel servants of Celegorm seized his young sons and left them to starve in the forest. Of this Maedhros indeed repented, and sought for them long in the woods of Doriath."
Author's Notes: Also written for [livejournal.com profile] mistry89, who long ago asked me for an Elured + Elurin story.

Multimedia Note: Sorta kinda inspired by PFR's song Wonder Why (lyrics). This doesn't exactly evoke the mood I'd want while reading this piece, but the lyrics definitely captures Maedhros's character as I see it - at least at this late date.

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To rule had always been his birthright. No one had ever thought to bound him to that promise by oath, for it was a promise both in possibility and obligation. Who would ever suppose that a child of Finwë (and Fëanor’s heir no less) should ever let rule pass to another, if it ever came to him in the first place?

But it had come to him, and through him.

Certainly his brothers had not understood his motives in giving up the crown. Maedhros had tried to explain to them how their own laws required this of him; it was the best explanation he could give, though it felt false even to him. He was right where the law was concerned – the crown did pass from brother to brother before it ever went to son – but they had rightly not accepted such excuses. Celegorm had missed the mark, though, when he had said pointedly that the one-handed must grasp what they have all the more tightly. His implication had been clear; he thought Maedhros had given the crown to Fingon's father as thanks for his rescue. Maedhros, though, knew he had abdicated for neither love nor gratitude but because he recognized governance for what it was: a duty to be borne at need and not a prize one should run after.

He looked down at the ground again. He knew Celegorm would be lying there, had seen him just a moment earlier, yet it all felt so absurd; he had to be sure. If not for the stain along his side, crimson-red and not quite dry, Celegorm might have been sleeping. He felt a giddy laugh build within him at the sight.

Celegorm’s dark hair fell in oily clumps across his face, casting shadows across his cheek, just as it often had when he’d dozed in their father's gardens in Aman. Maglor’s artist-friends had once called him the perfect model of chiaroscuro, and Maedhros saw it now, that play of light and dark. Yet he was not sleeping; his chest did not rise and sag with lazy breaths, nor did he turn restlessly as he always had.

Maedhros knelt beside him for a moment and brushed aside that hair. The sun should fall on his face, for once at least. But that sight struck him as somehow unnatural; the leaf-dappled sunlight on his brother’s face, Celegorm's expression frozen in shock that a Moriquendi blade had passed his armor, seemed to mock him somehow. Deciding to leave his brother as he had been, Maedhros pushed the hair back.

He rose to his feet, looked down once more at Celegorm’s still body, and at last tore his eyes away. The woods seemed to beckon him; Maedhros knew that, if he left now and hurried, he might still find Dior’s sons in time. To leave them so unprotected, that had been truly cruel, and Maedhros would not have that taint fall on his brother's head. Maedhros had killed youths not much older than those two, to be sure, but killed them swiftly and mercifully and in the heat of battle. In his mind, at least, that had lessened the deed – and Celegorm could claim no such mitigation. He may not have ordered his servants to act as they did, but he had chosen them as servants, and their guilt would be his.

But could Maedhros spare the time? He had never promised to rule, and so he could let the crown pass to another without breaking his word, but he was still bound by other oaths: an oath taken even by the name of Ilúvatar, calling the Everlasting Dark upon him if he kept it not. And the silmaril was within his grasp. He could feel its pull on his heart even though its light was somehow hidden from his eyes.

No. He closed his eyes as if in pain, which in truth he was: it felt as though a strong hand was squeezing round his heart. But no; he was an Elf before he was a son, and he had seen that same light undulled by crystal walls, when the Trees still shone.

He would seek the little ones, and if that was the deed that damned him, well, let the Darkness take Námo and the Rest as well.

***********************

Canon After-Note:

There fell Celegorm by Dior’s hand, and there fell Curufin, and dark Caranthir; but Dior was slain also, and Nimloth his wife, and the cruel servants of Celegorm seized his young sons and left them to starve in the forest. Of this Maedhros indeed repented, and sought for them long in the woods of Doriath; but his search was unavailing. (“Of the Ruin of Doriath,” The Silmarillion)

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July 2011

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