Beta: Jaiden_S. Any remaining mistakes are mine.
Pairings: m/m slash
Warnings: mpreg, slash, Kinslaying, death, war, et. al.
Thank you: S. and also to C., for patiently listening and making suggestions.
A special thank you to Zhie, for the wonderful art.
Special note: This is au, so I have reversed the time slightly, Gondolin falls shortly before Doriath.
Summary: Family secrets often lead to unforeseen tragedy.
Author’s Note: A name guide is at the end of the chapters.
~ Prologue ~
Maedhros stumbled down to the breakfast table, hoping that his father would already be at the forge. But as he stepped into the over-bright room, Fëanor’s voice boomed out, shattering the quiet morning.
“You are late again. What is wrong with you, boy?”
Wincing, Maedhros looked around to see that they were alone. That was not a good sign. Sighing, he seated himself and poured a glass of fresh fruit juice. He sipped at it, feeling his stomach beginning to turn at the sweet-sour taste.
“Sit up straight,” Fëanor barked. “You are my eldest son and crown prince. Don’t slouch like some lazy servant.”
“Yes, Father.” Maedhros sat up a tiny bit straighter, keeping his eyes trained on his plate. The heavily fried food in front of him seemed more disgusting than ever, and he fought back a sudden wave of nausea. He looked around for a piece of dry toast, but every slice seemed to drip with heavy butter.
“You’re getting fat, too.” Fëanor remarked as he ran a critical eye over Maedhros’ tall, slender frame. “Too much fine food and drink, that’s your problem. Court life is making you soft and lazy, sitting on your arse all day and night. I will speak to Father at once and ask him to have you return home. A few weeks of working at the forge with me and your brother will soon have you fit again.”
“Yes, Father.” Maedhros answered by rote. He wasn’t going to waste his energy in a futile argument when it was all he could do to keep from vomiting. “May I be excused now please?
“No, you may not,” his father snapped as he ruthlessly began to tear open the egg yolk to dip his bacon in it. Maedhros turned his head away and tried not to watch. “You haven’t even touched your food yet – you need to eat good solid food if you’re going to be working with me back at the forge.”
Fëanor began heaping more bacon and eggs on to his son’s plate, and Maedhros felt his stomach roil even more as he watched in dismay as the warm greasy food slide from the serving platter, leaving a thick oily trail behind and onto his plate. He slowly grasped his fork and tried to pick up a piece of bacon, but a sudden whiff of fried eggs caught his nose. That did it. He pushed his chair back suddenly and ran out of the room.
Dimly, he heard his father yelling at him to come back and finish his meal, but he had already made it out the kitchen door, where he fell to his knees beside the compost heap and began to throw up. When he had finished, he pulled himself to a sitting position and buried his head in his hands. This was terrible. What he needed to do was to talk to Fingon at once, but he was still away at school. That meant he would have to go elsewhere and find help – and find it soon.
Maedhros calculated the options before him. Mother could not help; she would feel obligated to tell Father of any serious discussions their sons might have with her. Grandfather was of the same mind as Mother, for he could never keep any kind of secret from his eldest son. Fingon was back at school and studying for his last year exams; Fingolfin would be furious if Fingon’s studies were disrupted in any way. And Maglor had just left for Alqalondë to begin his next year’s internship at the musical conservatory.
There were no other options left, it seemed. He would have to go the home of his younger cousin, Glorfindel with the news and hope that his parents would be amenable to his plight. But first, he mused, he would have to find a plausible reason to stay there, and for that he needed Grandfather’s help. If he told Grandfather he needed help with the correct phrasing of one of the new laws to be presented at the next legislative session… that should work. Laurëangoldo was famed for not only being one of the foremost linguists in Valinor but he was a renowned legal scholar as well; his private law library was the equal of the one in Tirion.
His mind made up, Maedhros walked quickly to the stable and saddled his new horse. Usually he would simply ride without either saddle or bridle but there was a long journey ahead of him, and his first stop was to return to the palace and see Grandfather in private.