Artanis jumped at the knock on the frame of the workshop door. She scowled at the figure silhoutted there, edged in the soft light of the Mingling. “Your timing is terrible, brother, as usual.”
Findaráto put a hand to his breast in mock contrition. “What did I interrupt?”
“Nothing.” She straightened her aching back and glared at the scale model on her workbench. “Or at least, nothing that matters.”
He stooped to inspect the thin metal basin she had begun to construct, and stroked its uneven rim. “I wish I could help, but no doubt the mathematics would be beyond me. Fëanáro -”
“No. I will do it myself or not at all.”
Her brother looked up at her, a gentle smile on his still face. The tips of his fingers rested on the basin. “What is it?”
“A failed experiment.”
He rolled his eyes. “What should it be?”
“Something like the palantíri - but independent of them, bound to nothing except the will of its user.” She felt the fierce rush that came with an idea in its infancy, the giddying spiral of possibility and freedom that seemed to lift her to a place far above Aman. “Perhaps, if I could develop the curwë sufficiently, we could use it not only to see but to travel – think of it! From one place or Age to another in the time it takes to draw a breath. Oh, I know what you would say, we should not meddle in such things, but imagine being able to travel back to Cuiviénen, or see into the future, or...” She stared bitterly at the crude model. “I had thought to use water, to try and catch an echo of the Music, and so manipulate it – but everything is so changed here. The influence, the feeling of the Valar clings to everything, like oil.”
Findaráto laid a hand in the small of her back, and she relaxed at the warmth of his touch. “They have done much for us.”
“And yet we are of Arda in a way that they are not.” She lifted her face to the breeze that blew into the workshop, the cool whisper in the Song that conjured wild storms and jagged rocks and starlight and blood and bone and danger. “Perhaps, if we could cross the Sea...”
“Just promise that you will not set sail without me.” Findaráto kissed her cheek, and then wrinkled his nose. “You taste of soot,” he complained.
Artanis laughed tiredly. “Then I had better wash. Very well; let us go. No doubt you were sent to tell me I am already late for dinner.”
Cheeky asked for a moment between Galadriel and her brother Finrod. I hope you like what I did with them.
Chapter end notes:
Curwë - Quenya, "craft." Source: Ardalambion.
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