"Has he woken?" Nerdanel asked, stepping into the massive, dark chambers that her husband, now former husband, currently dwelled in. She got close, but distant at arm's length enough to make the meeting as impersonal as possible. The mother of seven sons could not find it in herself to consider Fëanor her husband anymore after all that he had done to their fragilely-linked family.
"No, Amil. Atar has not risen for three days in a row now. It is as if he is dead," Her eldest, Maedhros informed grimly.
Nerdanel closed her eyes and nodded. It was just like before when the family was happy and none of the unfortunate ordeals involving the Silmarils ever occurred. Fëanor had a comical habit of emerging himself in the forge and his craft to the point of insane absorption. At the end of the day, he would collapse and go into a deep, sleep coma for weeks.
It was amusing at first until it became a long series of warning signs that his obsessive and passionate nature towards his art would lead him down a road she did not dare follow.
She allowed the nostalgic feelings to overcome her a bit as she looked down on her husband. His breathing was even as he slept like a cadaver. His long and large body looked small and vulnerable in the large bed with bear fur as sheets and quilts. She had never seen him look so at peace. Even now, with all his scarring, she found him too beautiful to be true. There was a glimpse of the Fëanor that she fell in love with and wed. Not the vicious madman that would stop at nothing to get his creations back including murder.
So Fëanor decided that this old-looking fortress here would be his abode. Nerdanel had sent message that she refused to renew their marriage vows. Both agreed he would not be living with them for the time being. After having spent some time to reconcile with his children, Fëanor had moved further into the mountains (the sort of scenery he always preferred,) gathered all the necessary materials and built this vast castle to live in all by himself.
Whilst it was huge in size (she had known Fëanor to dislike closed, tight spaces,) the appearance was unrefined and unpolished – perhaps fit for a farmhand albeit a wealthy one.
When Nerdanel and Fëanor resided in Tirion, they had lived luxuriously and extravagantly because Nerdanel had wanted it. Status and image might not have been important to Fëanor, but it certainly mattered to her.
Inwardly, she was always proud of having married the much sought after son of Finwë and could never fathom how the respected and most handsome Prince (and King) of the Noldor could shun both the Valar so carelessly and repulsed all things respectable and proper befitting of Eldar royalty.
Fëanor had insisted on the vagabond life and it was one of the many contentions in their marriage.
Maedhros. Maitimo. Her darling boy who took after her only in their shared hair color looked at Nerdanel apologetically.
His face was most like Fëanor. Fine, chiseled features, but one could not look past their hard and piercing grey eyes.
"I apologize, Amil. I will do my best to wake him up. Perhaps we should ask for the help of Lord Irmo. It should not take the God long to devise some sort of concoction for Atar."
Nerdanel stopped him. She looked resentfully at his right hand or lack thereof.
"No mind, Maitimo. Your father had caused that. It hurts my heart to see my own flesh and blood and my eldest son lose a limb for his changeable whims. If he desires to live as a lonely hermit for the rest of his life, let him."
Nerdanel was surprised at how scathing she sounded just now. Always, she was considered the wise one. The gentle one. When had this change?
Maedhros blinked and looked grieved.
Your father. It was not our Atar anymore.
It was quite terrifying walking into his father's chambers. Granted, it was normal for the Eldar to sleep with their eyes open.
Nevertheless, when Fëanor did fall unconscious, he truly looked like the dead for he was so disconcertingly still that it unnerved whomever was nearby.
Maedhros called in his brothers. By the time Celegorm and Caranthir barged in, thankfully their father had already awakened.
Fëanor acted like nothing was amiss as he stretched his muscles and got out of bed.
"Ah, my sons," His dark brows danced up.
"When I built this castle as my personal home and sanctuary, I did not mean for my children to intrude in and out as they pleased. I sensed your mother's presence. She was here was she not?"
He asked without heat. Going over to the stand that carried a basin and water pitcher, he began washing his face.
"You cannot keep pushing us away like this over and again, Atar," Caranthir frowned. "You were out for five days in a row without sense or sound. You had us worried sick. Next time this happens, we might as well not care a fig and leave you in peace."
Elves often healed fast, but Maedhros' missing hand and scars were proof that there were always exceptions to the rule. Fëanor's slashes all over his fair face and body coupled with his haggard appearance made him look like a wraith working for Sauron.
Still, he furrowed his brows and tutted at his fourth son. It was a bit of a relief to see that Fëanor was still used to being in command.
"You will watch your mouth, Caranthir. Now are you three finished? Or are there other matters for the visit? If it is about attending my dearest, half-brother's reconciliation feast, I am not interested nor am I going."
"As if we wished to go or make you go," Caranthir snorted and looked away.
"The Teleri are still, to this day, demanding a formal apology from us. Quite absurd if you asked me."
"Oh? And I suppose me relinquishing my pride and joy, sacrificing my Silmarils for the light and day those silver-haired cretins now take for granted was not satisfactory enough for them?"
Maedhros sighed in frustration.
"They believe that whilst you did give the light to Laurelin and Telperion back, it was only forced charity. They would prefer a real apology in written and speech form from us. Naturally, there would be judges to evaluate our sincerity."
"But it not a requirement," Celegorm intervened quickly when Fëanor looked incredulous.
"That being said, we do not believe you are adequately healing, Atar," Maedhros continued. "We can hear your disturbance in dreams at night even from our house. Your wounds and scars are still blistering red."
Then Caranthir flushed. The red on his son's cheeks usually meant he was about to say something he himself thought was sappy. An endearing trait Fëanor always noted with amusement.
"Right. We are aware of how much you value your one-man show so we will not bother you. Instead, Tyelkormo and I brought Huan over to stay with by your side. Just for a while in case you might need assistance is all."
"Huan?" Fëanor raised a brow again. "You brought Turcafinwë's wolf? Turcafinwë and his beast made up their bond again?"
Celegorm scratched his neck, looking sheepish.
"I suppose you might say that. I will bring Huan over in a fortnight. He does not mind at all – looking forward to working with the one and only father actually. For all his care of Lúthien and the Teler, he had been curious about you."
Fëanor sighed and got dressed with some difficulty. Just like old times, he wore the simplest and Earthiest of attire despite being a High Prince turned King with aplenty at his disposal.
"I never raised you boys to be so meddlesome. This was quite unnecessary you know," But he gave Maedhros, Celegorm and Caranthir a rare and grateful smile that left them slack with words.
"But I thank you nevertheless."
"Yes and look at how we turned out in the end as the sons of King Arafinwë could attest," Caranthir quipped.
"Moryo!" Maedhros hissed.
"What?" He asked innocently and Fëanor laughed loudly. He gave Caranthir a 'we will talk about this later' look.
"Anyways, as we were saying," Maedhros continued giving Caranthir a glare.
"You ought to think about hiring a healer. We are earnest in this."
Fëanor scoffed. His sons have truly turned meddling after all these thousands of years. They've gone soft in the heart and head. All from their mother no doubt. He'd mention this to Nerdanel later.
"I am not going to Lórien. I will be damned if I asked a Vala for anything."
"Not a Vala. But other than Huan, how about an Elven or even one of the Secondborn to help you?"
"You lot are acting as if I am a useless handicap who cannot see his own bullocks when bending in half," Fëanor growled.
"I am not acquiring a healer, Elven or otherwise. He or she would just get in the way whilst I went back to work."
The argument carried on until all were blue in the face with no consensus. As his sons got ready to leave his castle, Caranthir looked at his father over the shoulder.
"Think about it, old man. Whether you like it or not, your body and mind are not as durable as it once was. A temporary healer will be in your best interest."
Fëanor was chagrinned to comprehend that even with Huan's attentive although snarky assistance, he was still a dog with a different kind of body not convenient for all matters of Eldar accommodation. Fëanor's body truly was entirely useless. It had been over a year with no signs of improvement. Once so resilient, his physical form was now a feeble and quivering shell of what it used to be. He could barely pick up a hammer without dropping the heavy object on his toes.
It was not until the day when could not force his fingers to even shape the metal clasps around a pendant for a simple necklace for his wife did he let out a frustrated yowl, threw the necklace against a wall with the last bit of his strength and sat down to weep bitterly.
It was no use.
His body's fiery combustion at the time of his death and his imprisonment in Námo's halls had completely demolished his physical hröa from within.
Had the Valar intended this as retribution so that he could not wreak more havoc?
A depressing and enraging thought.
He would look for a healer, but it would be a temporary arrangement. A healer could perform any means necessary to put his hröa back to the supreme way it was.
This need not be a permanent issue.
Fëanor was not called the mightiest in all parts of body and mind for nothing.
He would personally look for an Elven healer of course. He had too much pride to accept any of the Valar's help including from the best, Irmo of Lórien.
As for the mortals, he had never known any significant human skilled or talented enough to catch his attention or to place his trust upon.
An Elven healer was the next best option. Last he heard, one of his sons ended up taking a pair of fosterling twins; one of which ended up being a renowned healer of all Arda by the name of Elrond – The Peredhil.
Author's Notes: I want to personally thank 3GreenQuills, OctaviaMadness and Guest from AO3 for reviewing. Guest, your entire comment was a mood. I laughed a lot and agreed for the most part.
Again, thank you to DroidePlane from Fanfiction for reviewing the first chapter.
Remember, reviews are encouraging.
Vocabulary and Names
Eldar - Elves
Atar – Father
Amil – Mother
Maitimo – Maedhros
Irmo – Lórien
Turcafinwë/Tyelkormo – Celegorm
Moryo – Caranthir
Peredhil – Half-Elven
Secondborn – Humans
Firstborn – Elves
Hröa – Physical Form
Fëa – Spiritual Form