[identity profile] starbrow.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] b2mem
B2MeM Challenge: Noldorin Beleriand: a quiet moment for Fingon & Maedhros during the Siege of Angband, with Maglor helping them have this moment.
Format: Short Story - 2500 words.
Genre: Romance, Adventure, Slash
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: none
Characters: Fingon, Maedhros, Glaurung, Fingolfin, Maglor, Aegnor
Pairings: Fingon/Maedhros
Creators' Notes (optional): The title is from 'I Dreamed A Dream' in Les Miserables.
Summary: In First Age 260, a dangerous threat has been spotted on the plains of Ard-Galen, and it's Fingon's duty to go and stop it.


They heard of the dragon long before it arrived. Many of the people of the Nandor lived in the plains of Ard-Galen in those days, travelling from place to place with their livestock in search of the best feeding grounds, and it was they who came rushing to Barad Eithel to warn the High King of Glaurung’s approach.

“It is one dragon?” King Fingolfin asked, bent forward in his throne, hands clasped together, to hear the leader of the particular tribe of Nandor who had actually seen him.

“A most terrible dragon, my lord,” she said, ‘but only one. And yet, his skin is of shields, his breath a very flame, and in his eyes was death. We shot arrows but they were of no avail, and at the last we turned and fled.”

“You have done right to flee from what you could not hope to conquer,” the King said. “Your people have ever been peaceful, and wooden arrows such as those used for the hunt cannot be expected to prevail against such a beast.”

“But there was naught else?” Prince Fingon, sitting next to the king, now directed his questions at the slender elf standing before the throne. “No Orc army? No Balrogs?” The elf shook her head. Fingon shifted in his seat, turning to look at the King. “Father, I do not think this is Morgoth’s doing; he would not send forth one dragon alone.”

Fingolfin nodded solemnly, leaning back. “It serves us well to be cautious in these times, yet, I feel you are right, my son. I would ask that you take your archers with their strongest war-arrows, and see if you can put an end to this beast, or at the very least drive it back to the pits of Angband from whence it came.” He leaned forward again, looking down at the slender elf clad all in green. “I thank you for your warning, friend of the Noldor, and ask only that you and your kin abide here in Barad Eithel until my son has returned.” The King gestured at one of the elves standing nearby. “Galron, send out your swiftest messengers to our kin Angrod and Aegnor and to Maedhros. If this is some new device of our Enemy, I would that they were ready for whatever may come.”

“By your leave, my lord,” Galron said, bowing briefly and leaving the hall. The Nandorian leader also left, having been commended to the care of one of Fingolfin’s household to find her lodging space within the stronghold.

Fingolfin turned to his son with a smile and spoke low. “It is not the most daunting task you have ever faced, Fingon the Valiant.”

Fingon smiled as well, a grim smile, tinged about with dark memory. “You did say the name of Mai—,“ he caught himself, “Maedhros, did you not?” Then the grimness seemed to fall from him, and he laughed. “Nay, ’tis not so much as to venture alone into the very heart of Morgoth’s land, but maybe worth a song for Maglor to compose, for all that.” His smile was bright now, cheerful but self-deprecating. “Tell Galron to ensure that Maedhros brings his brother when they come here. I would not have my deeds go unsung!”

Fingolfin smiled again, resting a hand on his son’s shoulder. “You seem very sure that Maedhros will come.”

Fingon laughed lightly, standing up. “Oh, as to that - only tell him I am on the field, and Maedhros will come.” He held out a hand to Fingolfin, who stood up and took it. “Farewell, father. My company departs as soon as I can gather them.”

Fingolfin drew Fingon close and kissed his forehead. “Farewell, my son, until you return.”

----

Fingon stood upon the city walls, watching his archers assemble below, gathering their finest bows and arrows, arraying themselves in armour, adding packs of food to their horses. They would need to travel swift and light, but with some measure of protection against the dragon’s fire.

Four riders came down the hill and Fingon watched them out of the gates at the entrance to the city. These would be the messengers, the first two to Angrod and Aegnor, a three-day journey, and the last pair to Maedhros, a five-day journey to Himring, maybe a day less if they encountered no trouble and rode very hard and long. They would also tell any folk of the Nandor they encountered along the way to go for shelter in the furthest parts of Ard-Galen from Angband, or to retreat to Eithel Sirion, or to Himring. Angrod and Aegnor, though they defended the plain nearest Angband, had no strong fortifications, preferring instead to move in stealth from place to place, always keeping their cousins informed of their whereabouts, and defeating any bands of Orcs who ventured onto the plain. They would watch where the beast went and join Fingon if they could.

The quickest that Maedhros would be able to join him would be in about six days. With luck, all would be over by then and the beast slain. Fingon cast a last look out over the plain of Ard-Galen, where four small figures on horses could now be seen vanishing into the distance. He swept his dark hair out of his eyes and quickly knotted it back with a gold ribbon, then turned to make his way down to his archers.

They thundered out the gates onto the plain a short while later; fifty archers with glittering war-arrows in their quivers and strong bows over their shoulders. Fingon led them with a shout, hair and gold ribbon fluttering out into the breeze. His horse was lively today, happy to run for miles across the plain. They would make good time.

For all that their horses ran like thunder over the plains, it was still not until late afternoon of the third day as they approached the Dor Daedeloth, that they saw the smoke of Glaurung in the far distance. Fingon brought his company to a halt shortly after, and they made camp for the night. The light was already beginning to fade, and archers worked best in daylight. It would be little use attacking at once - better to rest, keep watch, and fight in the dawning light of the Sun. It was true moreover that all of Morgoth’s creatures hated and feared the Sun’s light, so Glaurung would be weaker in the day, whilst the Elven-force would be the stronger.

They rested in shifts throughout the night; Fingon himself taking a midnight watch along with three others of his warriors. They were yet far enough from Glaurung that he could not be seen. It would be about an hour’s ride in the dawning before they met with him.

Fingon watched the stars wheeling overhead, their count innumerable. If Maedhros was in Himring, he would be watching the selfsame stars, and tomorrow at the very earliest, he would hear of Fingon’s quest. Fingon could picture the look on Maedhros’ face and the calculations that would begin to run through his mind. Maedhros was ever practical in the face of battle, but would not hesitate to come to Fingon if he thought there was need of him.

There was always need of him.

Fingon pushed his ancient and unrequited feelings to one quiet corner of his heart, and looked up again at the stars. The Warrior, with his sword at his belt, hung high in the sky, and Fingon took it for a good omen, that Manwe and Varda smiled on his task.

——

Dawn was touching all the tips of the clouds with rose when the camp broke. From here on, they would be quiet and swift, until they met with the foul beast. Fingon again took the lead, flying out into the daylight, bow slung over his shoulder, hair neatly braided back for ease of shooting.

Glaurung had burnt all the plain for some distance about himself, and the grass smouldered and was blackened and foul. He lay sleeping when they arrived, and the sound of his snores could be heard for miles over the plain. Fingon gestured to his company to form a circle round him in silence, and so they did.

It is not known whether some noise stirred Glaurung out of sleep or if it was simply the awareness that he was no longer alone on the vast plain. Fifty Elven warriors stood about him with bows at the ready, and just as he awakened they loosed their arrows.

He roared in pain and dismay as some of the arrows found their mark. Yet none pressed deep enough to do him vital harm, for he was young and strong, the mightiest of dragons in his early days. He crashed forward and one of the archers was crushed beneath him. Then he began to roar with flame, laying about himself until many of the troop were scattered. Yet at Fingon’s shout they rallied, and shot arrow after arrow against his hide, stealing back any arrows that rattled off of him and using them again and again.

Fingon himself aimed at the throat of the dragon, and shot at last an arrow that pierced the flesh between his scales. Glaurung roared again, but this time more faintly and in obvious pain. Then he turned away from the battle, fleeing over the plain.

His progress was slow, for Glaurung was not a winged dragon, but needed to crawl along the earth. And now he had been wounded with many wounds. Even if they did him little harm one by one, he could sense that if the arrows kept coming one would eventually overcome him.

Fingon and his troop harried him back across the plain for hours. From time to time Glaurung would strike back at the group which grew ever smaller as they fell wounded from their horses. Fingon pressed on at the forefront, and the dragon’s sharp claws could never catch his lively horse or come at the one who shot with such strength upon it.

All that day they pursued him, and into the night. Clouds drifted over the plain, and at last a foul mist, sent by Morgoth to save his wayward young dragon, began to issue from the Gates of Angband. Fingon’s small remaining band of only fifteen at this point, began to stagger and cough, and at last Fingon broke off the chase, sure now that Glaurung was fleeing, no longer fighting, and let him disappear into the distance.

The mist faded and the clouds cleared as soon as Glaurung was out of sight. The moon shone bright in the sky as Fingon turned to face those who remained. “We have driven Glaurung from our fields!” he shouted, bow raised in one hand to the night sky. His fair face, surrounded by dark hair, shone in the darkness. “So shall we do to all of Morgoth’s creatures who dare assail us, yeah, to Morgoth too, if good fortune be ours!”

His company cheered loudly, and the sound of it was heard by Glaurung far away, who slid in fear through the Gates of Angband to meet the wrath of Morgoth.

“Now let us find our people and return to tell the King of the deeds we have done.”

At that moment a small band of warriors galloped up out of the night, and Fingon restrained a gasp. For there at the front was Aegnor his cousin, and behind him rode Maedhros and Maglor, followed by a company of their people.

Fingon smiled. “Well met, cousins, on this victorious field!”

-----

They set up a camp further back across the plain, collecting as many of Fingon's warriors as possible along the way. Of the troop of fifty who had set out with him, eleven had been killed, twenty-four injured or burned severely, and all the rest, including Fingon, had minor injuries or burns. There were three healers among the company of Aegnor, and they were kept very busy for the rest of that night.

Maedhros found Fingon sitting near one of the campfires, near the time of dawn. Not far away, Maglor was playing his harp, and the song was of hope and harmony. Fingon's eyes were closed, lost in the music, and he barely stirred when Maedhros sank down next to him, so close he could feel Fingon's warmth all through him.

"Maitimo," Fingon said after a moment, unconsciously using the old name, and he curled in toward Maedhros, almost resting his head on Maedhros' shoulder. Then he sat up, and his eyes opened suddenly. "I am sorry. I keep forgetting I should say Maedhros."

"It is no matter," Maedhros said, reaching out and pulling Fingon back again. "Are you well?"

"Yes," Fingon said. "My horse fared worse; she suffered burns, but shielded me. I escaped with naught but a burn to my leg." He gestured to his right calf, which had been wrapped in a wet bandage to cool it down.

Maedhros glanced down; the burn was painful but light, no blood showed through the bandage. Fingon would be well within a few days and would likely not even have a scar to show, in a year's time.

"What think you happened? Why was the dragon out of Angband in the first place, and alone?"

"I know not," Fingon said. "He seemed young and inexperienced. I would that we could have killed him. We were very close to it, but that foul mist - Morgoth's doing, no doubt."

Maedhros sighed. "I have not seen or heard of such a beast before."

"No," Fingon said, quietly, and they both went silent. Maglor was still playing, and above them the stars shone bright. Fingon took a breath, and laid his head against Maedhros' shoulder.

"I love you, you know," he said, tone serious. Maedhros turned to look at him, amazed that he would speak of this now, not sure in what sense that love was.

He took the safer option. "I should hope so, cousin, we have been friends for many years..." But Fingon reached up and laid a finger over his lips.

"No," he said. "I love you. As a cousin, as a friend, and as far more. You are everything to me."

"Oh," Maedhros breathed. "Oh." He shifted, turning slightly, lifting Fingon's head, and bending down. "Findekano, I feel..."

Words deserted him. He settled for actions instead, kissing Fingon's mouth. Fingon sighed happily and arched into him, and there was nothing but bliss, for a long moment. Maedhros could faintly hear the music still being played, and it was soaring, triumphant, as breath-taking as the kiss. All around them, birds began to sing in harmony as the first light of dawn appeared in the sky.

"Findekano, I love you," he was able to say at last, and there on a cold plain at dawn, in the wilds of Beleriand, in the wake of the discovery of a new and terrible foe, the world seemed for a time fair and beautiful, and hope sang in their hearts.

Date: 2015-03-31 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silver-trails.livejournal.com
Very nice! Lovely fic!

Date: 2015-03-31 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heartofoshun.livejournal.com
I like stories which develop the details of Fingon dragon-hunting. Also, stories of hope in the period of the Siege of Angband. Of course, I love stories of Fingon and Maedhros expressing their love for one another.

Date: 2015-03-31 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com
What a lovely closing line - I enjoyed the whole thing, but that line is just perfect.

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