An Ending of Some Sort
Our holiday was nearly over and we were leaving in a few days, so for old time's sake we were all gathered on the beach to muck around and watch Maedhros, Fingon and Aredhel play an intense game of 'Bullshit'. They'd all put whatever money they had in their pockets at the time aside for whoever won the game. Maglor was sitting there next to the considerable pile of coins with his lyre amusing us by playing ominous little runs whenever he suspected someone of cheating.
"Maedhros?" asked Amrod again. He and Amras still looked weird with blotches of bright blue standing out against their normally red hair.
"What is it?"
"Is it true that they use cat's guts in pies?"
"Don't be silly. Who told you that one?"
Maedhros sighed. "Why'd you tell him that, Curufin?"
Curufin rolled his eyes. "Because he asked."
"That's crap. Don't listen to Curufin," I said, turning to face the twins. "They don't use cat's guts. They use the whole cat."
Amrod looked like he was about to retch. I got a laugh from everyone else.
"Two kings," said Fingon, solemnly putting two cards onto the pile. I edged toward Avasarie.
"So," I said softly, "we going out now or what?"
I felt her hair moving as she shrugged. "Yeah. I s'pose we are." She looked up at me and a mischievous smile spread over her pretty features.
So that was that sorted out. Highly romantic, I know, but since when did we follow conventions, anyway? No one had noticed anything so far, except for Galadriel, maybe, judging by the knowing look she gave us. She heaved a mournful sigh.
"I can't believe summer's nearly over."
"I know," grumbled Aredhel. "Back to studying and stuff. Blech. One six."
"I am so glad I don't go to school anymore," said Maedhros, with relief in his voice. "I sympathise with you lot, though." He placed down his last two cards. "Two threes."
"Bullshit," interrupted Aredhel straight away. Maedhros' jaw dropped as she picked up the cards he'd put down and waved them at him. "One three and an ace, cheater."
"How could you tell?"
Aredhel snorted. "You're too honest, Maedhros – you couldn't lie to save yourself. One ten – I win!" And amid the laughter she scooped up all the money away from her bewildered (and defeated) opponents.
Galadriel stood up and waved in the distance at a group of people who were walking towards us. Squinting, I realised it was Aeron and Co., a lot of whom I hadn't seen for a while, with the exception of Menelya and Calenir.
"I can't believe you guys are leaving so soon!" exclaimed Menelya, though I suspect her comment was aimed at unsuspecting Orodreth.
"I know," replied Galadriel sadly, reaching up to give Calenir a hug before hugging Aeron. "We have to keep in touch, okay?"
"Sure we will," said Aeron. He looked around at the rest of us. "I don't know most of you, but it was nice to meet you guys." There was a murmuring chorus of 'likewise' and 'yeahs' in reply.
I stood up and walked over to Vorondil. He was standing there, as silent and enigmatic as ever. I'm sure even I wasn't that dark and gloomy when I was a kid and my name's Morifinwe.
"Nice knowing you," I said, feeling like I needed to say something, given that the last time I'd seen him I had passed out and had to be practically dragged to my uncle's. I wondered if Uncle Finarfin had actually found out that I'd spent the night and a good part of the morning throwing up in his house.
Vorondil just nodded and said nothing more. I shook my head. I seriously didn't get that guy.
"Hey, Caranthir." I turned around and there was Menelya, the wind blowing her long hair out of its braid.
"Hey," I replied. She hesitated, then bit her lip.
"What is it?" I asked, a little confused.
"I dunno. I just don't want you to still be mad at me over what happened—"
I waved my hand dismissively. "Nah, don't worry about it. It was my fault too, remember? We've already sorted that out. We're friends now."
She smiled. "Yeah. I'll really miss you, Caranthir."
"I'll miss you too," I said, and I meant it. Then when a thought suddenly occurred to me I couldn't help a smile. "You want Orodreth's address? He has a separate letterbox for his mail because of all the letters he gets from those nerdy friends of his."
Menelya was unsure of how to react. "How did you know about—?" was all she managed to choke out.
"Because," interrupted Celegorm (who came out of nowhere, I might add), "as I've said before, once Galadriel knows something, the whole Blessed Realm knows about it. Which includes her family."
Menelya blushed, both with embarrassment and annoyance. "GALADRIEL!" she yelled, stomping up the beach in a very un-Vanya-like manner to where my social cousin was standing with the rest of her entourage. Well, I'd be embarrassed too, if whoever I liked was a nerd.
I glanced at Avasarie, and looking up she gave me a conspiratorial smile. I grinned back. It'd been ages since I'd actually felt happy instead of indifferent and sarcastic.
The last few days passed quickly, with us just packing up stuff or sitting around and eating, as is usual in our household. Nothing really interesting happened, except on the last day, when someone turned up at the door. There were a few sharp raps, and seeing as everyone else was too stuffed from the heat to bother answering the door, I rolled my eyes and answered it myself. It certainly wasn't anyone I had expected. Who on Arda would possibly want to drop by our crazy joint anyway? Apart from Galadriel, or Fingon, of course.
Instead, I just blinked. "Bob?"
The girl with her brown bob sighed. "Yeah, whatever. Is Curufin here?"
"Uh, yeah, he's here." Turning around I bellowed down the hall, "CURUFIN!"
"No need to shout," came the answering grumble.
My idiot brother's dark head appeared from the next room, a scowl on his face. How is it that I get called 'dark' and 'quick to anger' when good ol' daddy's boy is almost always in a worse mood? Of course, the scowl disappeared when he caught sight of his ex-girlfriend standing at the door, and now he just looked shocked.
"We need to talk," stated Bob flatly. Curufin looked disinclined to acquiesce to her request. But at the glare she gave him he hesitantly stepped outside with her to talk, and instead of eavesdropping I went back into the kitchen.
"Who was at the door?" asked dad when I plonked myself onto the bench.
"Curufin's girlfriend," interrupted one of the twins without thinking. Dad's eyes widened.
"He has a girlfriend?" He turned to Mum. "And just when was I going to be informed about this?"
"It has been common knowledge for the last few weeks, dear," answered Mum, without any detectable exasperation.
Dad frowned. "I don't really approve of Curufin having a girlfriend just yet. He's only fifteen."
Mum rolled her eyes at him. "And I remember one mysterious fourteen-year-old boy who used to leave roses on my desk at school until I said I would go out with him!" I think that was the first time I'd seen my dad blush. I raised an eyebrow incredulously.
"Ah, old people in love," said Celegorm sarcastically.
"Please, we're trying to eat!" cried the twins almost in unison. Just then, Curufin walked in again, a loopy grin on his face.
"Well, that didn't take long," observed Avasarie.
"Shut up," sighed Curufin, happily. "I just found out that Bob lives in Tirion, and—"
"Now," interrupted dad, trying to do his tough, stern father thing (not that he was ever that stern with Curufin, anyway), "Now, I don't want you spending all your time hanging around a girlfriend and neglecting your studies."
"As in, neglecting the forge. Yeah, yeah, I know." And after this, and Dad's confused face, had elicited some laughter from everyone else, he went off to finish reading some new book he'd gotten. In a family as big as ours you have to have at least one geek, and Curufin can be almost as bad as Orodreth when he wants.
"Hey there, everyone!" called out a voice that sounded not unlike Galadriel's, and the rest of Uncle Finarfin's golden-haired family crowded in, despite dad's protestations.
"What do you think you are doing?" Dad demanded.
"Oh shush, Feanor! Lighten up!" answered Uncle Finarfin cheerfully. I didn't know which one of his brothers dad couldn't stand more – he argued a lot with Uncle Fingolfin, but I think Uncle Finarfin's general cheerfulness was just too much for him. He gritted his teeth in annoyance. Mum quickly stopped him from doing anything or going anywhere by promptly dropping herself onto his lap.
"This is mature," muttered dad from where he was squashed onto the couch.
"And you're always mature? Please, Feanor!" exclaimed mum.
I saw a girl with greenish-blue coloured hair move on the edge of my vision and moved over a little so Avasarie could sit down.
"So," she said, while the rest of my family were chattering and making noise, "Has anyone said anything yet?" I knew what she was talking about.
"No, actually, and that's really weird, considering my family loves drama and scandal." I cut a sandwich and gave her one half. "Like Finrod and Amarie. Everyone's been waiting for them to get together for years."
"So what're we gonna do when someone actually notices?"
I hadn't actually thought about what was going to happen, because it was inevitable someone would notice somewhere along the line, and we would both have the shit bagged out of us because we'd denied that there was anything going on for ages. But now that I thought about it, I didn't actually care. Especially not when Avasarie's leg was pressed next to mine, and we were splitting sandwiches.
I smiled. It was where we belonged. At one another's side, stuffing our faces.
"We won't do anything," was what I said. Avasarie grinned.
"That's the spirit," she declared, pinching my cheek condescendingly.
It had been a busy summer. So, I'd been drunk for the first time, talked to a Vala, been on a stage in front of thousands of people and discovered that I liked my best friend. While not every bit of the last few weeks had been particularly pleasant I'd had some sort of life – for a little while, anyway.
"What're you guys talking about over there?" asked Maedhros. It was probably good that I didn't act on the impulse I had to press a kiss to Avasarie's temple.
"Nothing important," I replied quickly.
Celegorm snorted. "As if." Dad looked at us for a few moments before any realisations dawned him. And when he suddenly realises something, he doesn't keep quiet about it. Dad is subtle. It's where I get it from.
"Not you too!" he cried. Everyone else turned around and stared at us.
"Oh my gosh!" squealed Galadriel, ever the first to break the silence. "Why didn't you guys tell us before?"
"Guys!" I tried to shut everyone up. "It's not like we're getting engaged!"
"Who's getting engaged?" asked Curufin, re-entering the room.
"No one is getting engaged!" In case everyone had failed to notice, we were just a bit young for getting married.
"It's about time," put in Grandpa Finwe. I gaped at him. How the Udun did Grandpa know about all this? I guess if you're a king you kinda do need to be up-to-date on all the goss.
"I am so happy for you guys," said Aredhel cheerfully, plonking herself down on top of Celegorm, who winced. Excited chatter and noise rose around us. I gave up and resignedly put my arm around Avasarie, who was convulsing with laughter.
I know stories are supposed to have a moral or something at the end. I highly doubt that this random snippet of my teenage life really has a moral, or even a point. If there was one, I'd say it would be this: you don't have to do what everyone else is doing just to have fun. If you want my honest opinion, getting completely trashed is definitely not fun when you wake up in the morning with a splitting headache and the urge to empty the contents of your stomach into a bucket. And if you like someone, tell them about it – who cares if everyone's going to gossip? So far, being what everyone else defines as weird has gotten me into less trouble than conforming and I've learnt not to care that people think I'm different. They still think I'm strange, dark, mysterious, the not-so-hot Son of Feanor. And you know what?
I don't give a damn.
Some time in the middle of writing this story I realised that the reason that the name Menelya sounded so familiar was because it's the name of one of the days of the week in Quenya. *facepalm* And here I was thinking I was being so creative...
Thank you very much for reading, guys! Special thanks go to everyone who reviewed, and especially to LeCastor, without whose advice and support this story probably wouldn't have been finished.
Reviews would be lovely, so if you have the time please do leave a comment!
Hope to see y'all around some time! :)