Shared Knowledge by Himring

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Story Notes:

Tree and Flower Awards, House of Finwe, Third Place

Made by Winterwitch. Photo credit: Winterwitch.

 


 

‘Us Feanorians aren’t the only ones harbouring secrets, these days’, remarks Celebrimbor casually as he leans out of the window into the sea breeze.

‘What do you mean?’ asks Enerdhil promptly—too promptly, he realizes, as if he’s been waiting uneasily for Celebrimbor’s comment, which of course he has, for quite a while now.

Celebrimbor turns around. He looks every inch a descendant of the House of Finwe, Celebrimbor does, larger than life as he stands there, framed by the poky alcove in Enerdhil’s smallish workshop. Enerdhil would not have dreamed of making friends with a prince, let alone the grandson of Feanor. It was Celebrimbor who walked into his workshop one day, praised his skill to the skies and brought him to the attention of the palace. He owes much of his career to Celebrimbor, too much, and it makes him uncomfortable—because he feels he doesn’t entirely deserve Celebrimbor’s generosity, because there seems to be no real way he could return such favours to anyone of Celebrimbor’s high status and because, most emphatically, Enerdhil is not a Feanorian.

And now he is lying to Celebrimbor—and lying badly and unconvincingly, too, but he hadn’t expected Celebrimbor’s comment to be so oblique when it finally came.  Three times Celebrimbor has visited since Enerdhil learned of Turgon’s plans and twice he left without asking Enerdhil so much as a single question Enerdhil could not answer in good conscience.

‘You know what I mean’, says Celebrimbor mildly. ‘I mean the great big secret that all of Vinyamar seems to be hushing up. With varying degrees of success, I might add.’

‘There is no such secret,’ Enerdhil says firmly.

‘Of course there isn’t,’ Celebrimbor agrees. ‘So I guess you are leaving with the rest?’

If Celebrimbor knows this much, then not only has Enerdhil shamefully attempted to conceal important facts from his friend but, even worse, he has somehow betrayed his king’s confidence to the Feanorian, breaking faith with both of them. He stares at Celebrimbor in horror, open-mouthed.

‘I have no idea what you are talking about!’ he shouts. ‘What are you accusing me of?!’

‘I’ll miss you’, says Celebrimbor, ignoring Enerdhil’s outburst.

Guilt kicks Enerdhil in the gut. He sees no real reason to believe that their plans would not be safe with Celebrimbor—except that Turgon has enjoined complete secrecy. True, his friendship with Enerdhil is not likely to stop Celebrimbor from reporting to his father or his uncles—but whatever else one might feel about the Sons of Feanor, they are hardly going to drop any hints about Turgon’s imminent departure in Morgoth’s ear.

It is this feeling of guilt that makes Enerdhil react angrily. ‘I can’t make head or tail of what you are saying—if you are accusing me of disloyalty—if you are regretting sharing your knowledge with me…’

He seizes an empty sack, lunges towards his work bench and sweeps materials, tools, sketches and prototypes haphazardly off its surface into the sack.

‘Here’, he says, holding it out to Celebrimbor, ‘I will forget all about it, I swear, I will never try to make an elessar again…’

Celebrimbor makes no move to take the sack.

‘You misunderstand me, Anardilya’, he says. ‘I regret nothing and I have certainly neither the wish nor the right to forbid you to make an elessar. Although initially it was I who shared my knowledge with you, our experiments have taught me things that I might never have learned on my own.’

He reaches out and takes the sack from Enerdhil’s fingers after all, but then he empties it carefully back out onto the workbench.

‘Like this.’ He holds up a prototype. Briefly, in his palm, it lights up the shadowed chamber like sunlight on a spring afternoon.

He puts it down again.

‘I think you never quite believed me when I told you how much I was learning, working with you, did you? I wasn’t exaggerating. I really will miss you. Ah, well.’ He shrugs. ‘May the stars shine on the hour of your departure, Enerdhil, and on the hour of your arrival, too, wherever it is you are going.’

He strides to the door.

Enerdhil’s knees feel weak of a sudden and he leans against the wall. As his anger ebbs away, he is almost sick with relief that Celebrimbor didn’t accept his offer—partly because for the past week or so he has become increasingly certain that he needs to make this elessar of his for Idril, although that is not something he has told Celebrimbor either.

Celebrimbor—Enerdhil suddenly wakes up to the fact that he’s gone, out through the door and on the way out of Vinyamar and out of Enerdhil’s life. Once Enerdhil leaves for Gondolin, they may never see each other again.  He rushes out of his workshop. Celebrimbor is walking away from him down the street. He is walking quite steadily and purposefully but, somehow, his back looks lonely. Enerdhil had not really believed that a grandson of Feanor could be lonely…

‘Celebrimbor’, he calls out, rather hesitantly.

Celebrimbor carries right on walking.

Enerdhil clears his throat. ‘Tyelpo!’ It is not a form of the name he would have considered at all appropriate to use, before.

Celebrimbor stops for a moment, looks around, smiles and waves. Then he turns a corner and disappears from sight.

Enerdhil goes back into his workshop and begins tidying up his workbench. Ever since Turgon told him of his plans, he has been dreaming of it: a city that is and is not Tirion, whole and peaceful in sunlight. And, more and more, that is the dream he has been trying to embed in his elessar, once he had learned from Celebrimbor the rudiments of making such things. Now he knows for certain his elessar is for Idril. The elessar may or may not be finished before they leave Vinyamar for Gondolin, but finished it will be.

Enerdhil goes on working.




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