‘The women must keep the peace in a family, and let the males doe the feuding’ Nerdanel’s mother tells her after the memorable incident involving three of her uncles, aunty Almalarkë’s new husband, that family their family doesn’t talk to, and five pumpkins.
Within ten minutes of meeting Indis, the second queen of the Noldor has insulted Nerdanel’s family, occupation, racial group and her hair.
This, of course, means war.
She spares a moment to apologise to her mother for being such a bad daughter in a letter home, before drawing up a list and putting Indis’ name at the top of it.
Her mother’s reply tells her that she's proud Nerdanel is finally living up to her heritage because her grandmother has been getting worried Nerdanel might not be right in the head.
Nerdanel’s mother’s family has six established feuds and her mother is responsible for two of them.
‘Practice what you preach’ is not a saying anyone knows back home.
Nerdanel is sneaky about it of course. Firstly she’s happy to encourage Fëanaro’s roaming behaviour not just because she loves travelling but because it upsets Finwë and makes him focus more on his first born then his other children. Secondly, well… her sons.
“I hope you have a daughter,” Indis coos over a forced tea between all the females in the family. Findis smiles in a shattered, please-save-me, way and Irimë’s head is bobbing to some unheard beat so she’s clearly not listening.
“My lord and I will be blessed no matter what the gender of our child,” She murmurs, deliberately leaving off any term of respect and hopefully making it seem like an accident (well Indis did tell her to call her mother right after calling her a carrot top.)
“Of course but a daughter would surely help calm Fëanaro. You have been such a balm on his behaviour and he would surely lavish any daughter of his with attention,” Indis murmurs.
You sure as Melkor’s sweet hells better be a boy, she tells her barely-there baby bump while she smiles glassily, I don’t care if I have nothing but daughters after you, but you sure as Elbereth’s-titties-are-small had better be a boy.
It’s a boy.
“Sweet baby Tulkas that was painful,” she gasps her complaint to the perpetrator as Fëanaro stares down at the little bundle in his arms. It’s like she’s just handed him all the most beautiful gemstone in the world, raw, for him to do with as he pleases.
“I’m sorry,” her husband looks at her sympathetically and hugs Matimo a little closer to his chest as he sits on the bed.
“Nerdanel…” he whispers into the comfortable silence that lays over them for a while.
“Yes love?” She asks with a smile, thinking she knows what he’s going to say.
“I can’t… I meant we’ve been going over names but I can’t think of one.”
Oh Fëanaro. He’s a poet secretly, though he won’t share much of what he writes (Poetry is for the Vanyar after all) and he has thought of hundreds of names, all beautiful, and he’s been unable to pick through her entire pregnancy which one to bestow on their beautiful baby to be.
Nerdanel thinks of how lemony the queen’s face was when she was told that the baby was not the anticipated girl but a boy. Then she thinks of how Indis’ first words upon seeing Finwë’s first grandson were: “oh what a pity he’s got your hair Nerdanel, but he’s beautiful otherwise.”
“Nelyafinwë,” she suggests in a flat voice then quite quickly adds, “Because he is the third generation of your father’s house.”
Fëanaro’s eyes light up and she sends a mental apology to Ñolofinwë whom she actually likes.
Ah well it’s not like anyone will be using Nelyafinwë anyway though, Matimo is far less of a mouthful (poor Nolo not having a mother’s name.)
Indis’ face when Fëanaro publically announces their firstborn’s father name to a full court should not amuse her as much as it does.