Oath and Consequences
Vanifinwe x Feanorians
Strong Language, Manipulation, Parent/Sibling Gaslighting, Feanaro intimidating Vanifinwe, Graphic mentions of Finwe’s death, There is indeed an eventual escape from all this.
Request: Can you write a what if story for Vanifinwe? About how she swore the oath? Thank you!
A/N: I wrote this months ago and have been hoarding it until I finished part 2 at least. I am mostly done with part 2 and ready to post this!
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An Oath… A binding and grievous thing that had left her Atar’s mouth with no shred of hesitation before Manwë and Varda beneath the glittering stars. Before Eru Iluvatar himself, and while Vanifinwë had agreed with her, Atar’s decision to confront the Valar so they could handle Morgoth. This was not what she expected happening. Standing and observing as one by one. Each impassioned by their Atar’s plight raised their silver blades beneath the starry and black sky.
Torches in the other hand of each Fëanorian, casting a menacing glow and emphasizing all of their glares.
Taking the Oath first was Maitimo and Curufinwë, which merely only drove the rest of her brothers onward. Makalaurë followed only moments behind them despite the more rational temperament he had, Carnistir third… Until Minyarussa was the last to utter the words.
Each swayed by what Fëanaro had spoken, except for her.
‘... Shall defend himself from Fëanor, and Fëanor’s kin...’
Vanifinwë was left to hesitate as his soul-crushing words weighed heavily on her shoulders and mind. Essentially, no matter the cost… They were to reclaim the Silmarils. She didn’t want to imagine what the cost was, but knew she’d discover it much quicker than she ever wanted to. The words ‘... Death we will deal him...’ standing out most prominently…
All for those dreadful rotten rocks that had sent her once more benevolent and loving Atar on a downward spiral. Watching how bleak and reclusive… angry he had grown to be, his temper shorter than normal. Arguments frequent and paranoia heightened. He was not the ellon who raised her any longer. This ellon who stood before her now was completely indistinguishable.
Vanfinwë’s voice trapped in her throat as she couldn’t bring herself to answer, heart thumping heavily in her rib cage. As each brother accepted it, the disappointment and concern fell sadly over the Vala who sat before them. Their radiance dimmed as every brother spoke. All eyes- blue and gray alike fell upon Vanifinwë who stared like a doe caught in the lamplight, paling entirely at the immediate audience she had earned.
Still, was she trying to get even past the incomprehensible mess of what had been her grandfather crushed in the entryway's floor of their Fort out of her mind. Vanifinwë and Finwë were supposed to have just spent the evening together, a rare event for them both to indulge with one another. Vanifinwe was still disturbed by what she had wandered in on, after having heard Grond having subdued him…
The way his yelp was cut so short, replaced with crushing bone… Never did she want to hear such a blow again. Yet it echoed over and over in her mind. Praise Eru she had not been in the room when the event took place. Who knew what he would’ve done to her...
Her throat was still raw from how strenuous her shriek in sheer terror had been after seeing him ground into the floor. He had been nothing but a lump of gore- parts of blood, tissue and bone scattered all across the marble flooring. Morgoth did not spare him anything. Vanfinwë, even despite that, still approached Finwë, unsure of what she was supposed to have done.
What did you do when you found your loved one crushed to death by the Dark Vala?
Parts of her grandfather caked to the hem of her skirt from even walking through the foyer. Not having the time to have changed, nor the right mind to do so. Everything had developed so quickly, her brothers having appeared not long after her revelation. It was only some time later Fëanaro showed up, growing positively distraught with every passing moment, yet his tipping point had been the discovery of the stolen jewels.
“Vanifinwë, what say you?” Fëanaro’s voice thundered out, alarming her further from her thoughts, as he moved to approach her. Dressed in his armor that gleamed in the torchlight, and an orange halo surrounded his form, black boots scuffing across the ground. His silver eyes dark, looking at her with unbridled fury and expectation watching as his daughter only stared at him in stark surprise.
“What say you?” He crowded severely, growing restless with her lack of enthusiasm to take up the Oath the same way her brothers had.
What was she supposed to do?
Everything was happening much too quickly! He had uttered words that could not be taken back. Or better yet, that he wouldn’t take back, she speculated. Everyone’s acceptance came without a second thought. Should she be making the same mistake?
What good would come of this? Them against a Vala? They were not Maiar, Valar or any other Celestial being who could face him properly! Would one less body in this fight truly make such a difference?
“I-I don’t know Atar.” She sighed out, feeling her chest tighten with dread, and watched the way his eyes further narrowed in on her, only prompting him to move ever closer until he was hovering over her. Her Atar’s shoulders squared and his body defensive, ready at a moment’s notice to strike. His sword still drawn and in his white-knuckled fist as he glowered down hard at her, a heavy huff leaving his nose as it flared.
“You don’t know?” Fëanaro all but growled out in response, head tilting as his bright eyes remained focused on her, the crimson plume on his helm flowing in the motion's direction.
“Do you not wish to seek vengeance upon the Vala who slaughtered your grandfather in cold blood? And the heirlooms in which he held no claim for? Or are you so self-centered you’d rather sit here like your amillë and do nothing?” Fëanaro’s comments caught Vanfiinwë off guard. He intended the apathy and bitterness in his words, to slash at her fëa without a doubt.
What’s selfish about not wanting to run recklessly into this? She understood her father’s passion about avenging Finwe, but she could not get past the fact that he wanted to make this about the Silmarils.
Would they not be retrieved if they defeated Morgoth? And with the Valars help? Why must they do this themselves!?
“You sounded so ready moments ago for this confrontation. Yet now you don’t know?” Fëanaro pressed firmly, proving to make her chest feel tighter with every remark he battered out against her. She would not look for anyone to help, Vanifinwë would gain no help here. As she glanced past her Atar, all their stares were grim and expectant, and the Valar were hushed.
No one budged, nor said a word, waiting on bated breath for whatever her response may be. Vanifinwë could not bring herself to give an answer straight away, hoping that perhaps she could make him see reason. To rescind the Vow and do this with Varda and Manwe’s help. She wanted to avoid having to connect herself to the Oath, even with the pressure rising.
“Must it be this way, Atar? Through an Oath? None of which even states to avenge Finwë!” Vanifinwë pulled together finally. The look on his face at her words only said the words she spoke were dangerous. His eyes widening, a fire smoldering in those molten pools of silver, and his face flushing red in his fury.
“Are you truly a child of mine!? Have I failed so utterly in your raising that you cannot do this one thing, after all that I have devoted to you!?” Fëanaro’s voice exploded out, causing her to flinch. Her luminous blue eyes widening at his words and the voice which he used. Arguments were what she was used to, they were Fëanorian and passionate. That was just the nature of it all, but to be yelled at? She’d never been spoken to so ruthlessly and viciously, or for him to question if she was a child of his…
With ease he dangled all the love and affection that he had done and given her as if she owed him for it all. Was it not meant to be unconditional? How was it that her amillë’s love was unconditional and now her Atars was not?
“Atar, how could you say that?” Her voice came out strong despite the hurt she felt gnawing at her, too numb to even let tears form. Her chest continued to constrict around her heart and lungs, stripping away her breath. Only scowling, matching his expression easily as her own fire flared before Maitimo got to their father. Placing a hand on his arm and pulling with care,
“Let us Atar…” He murmured, seeing that they would not get Vanifinwë to budge on her stance if Fëanaro continued to yell… That or worse if his temper continued to flare in such an erratic fashion. Fëanaro relented, stepping aside for him and Makalaurë. Vanifinwë watched them with wariness, not trusting that they too wouldn’t react so brutally.
“Vanie, this is the least we can do for Atar and our grandfather.” Maitimo began gently, sheathing his blade, for the time being, his hands reaching out to grab her shoulders. Affectionately, his thumbs rubbed with care. It was his attempt to soften her resolve, knowing she was far more compliant and trusting of him now that he spoke so peacefully.
“But at any cost? For the Silmarils?” She whispered to him, knitting her eyebrows together, leaning forward into him to level with him. Yet he and Makalaurë only shook their heads at her remarks,
“It is not just for the Silmarils, nésa.” Makalaurë butted in swiftly, stepping closer and further cornering her in between them both. Makalaurë folded his arms over his chest, staring at his nesa and the confliction that seemed to rush over her face at his comments. As she could not figure out how they deduced that this was as much for Finwë as it had been for those insufferable gemstones.
“Precisely… It is for our grandfather. Should Morgoth not pay the price for all that he has done to this family? From murder to theft?” Maitimo continued making her swallow hard at his words,
“But of cour-”
“So what is stopping you from taking the Oath?” Fëanaro interrupted her, Maitimo and Makalaurë only looking at her intently as a look of disbelief crossed her features. In silence she looked past Maitimo and Makalaure. Looking over at the rest of her siblings again, each one looking on in anticipation for her to comply. All of them wound tight and ready to pounce in on the opportunity to sway her if they had too. All the while the Valar only sat silently, not interfering or preventing them in their plight against Vanifinwë.
“Maitimo, this doesn’t seem right!”
“It’s not about what feels right, doing the right thing does not constantly feel perfect, Vanie.” Vanifinwë knew that there was some fact to his words, but even so it rang hollow with this Oath. It was not a movement she’d be able to bring herself to wholly and easily support in the same manner they did. Vanifinwë knew if she answered yes, she’d forever live with the regret of taking it.
“Enough of this folly! Either you are with us or you are not, child!” Fëanaro began coming closer between Maitimo and Makalaurë. His voice was cold and precise, silver eyes staring at her immediately, boring into her blue ones full of intimidation and rage. Fëanaro’s flame only having grown while waiting.
“An answer now! Lest I must renounce my offspring, for a child with no fealty to this family cannot be called mine!” Fear was set ablaze in her heart, her options running so limited and if she wanted to avenge Finwë, this looked as if it were the only way. Yet her answer still fell short of escaping her mouth, which angered him further.
“Do you care any for your family?” Maitimo demanded, not wanting to see her subjected to being disowned by their Atar. The crestfallen expression at Fëanaro’s words was all that he needed to know that this would push her to that edge to say yes.
“Yes! Of course!” She answered immediately furrowing her brows with worry at his words,
“If you do then will you accept the Oath then Vanie! It is a simple yes or no!” He urged harder,
“Yes!” She answered even though the answer, no, had been on the very tip of her tongue, terrified of losing her family further. Even though she’d be losing her amillë… But all of her brothers and her father too? Vanifinwe hardly fathomed it, smug satisfaction finally found her Atars face. At this he moved forward, Maitimo stepping aside for their Atar.
Fëanaro’s hand came to her shoulder as he leaned forward to press a kiss to her forehead. Relieved that things did not have to go any further, that he didn’t have to disown his daughter to get her to accept the Oath.
“Now, let us leave. We shall rally our people and set forth upon this mission to avenge what we have lost.” Vanifinwe let regret wash over her, knowing she only had a moment now to rescind it. As she was still before the Valar and hopefully, Eru was listening diligently at this moment, yet it never left her mouth. Instead, Vanifinwe followed her Atar, with her brothers in tow and regret settling in the pit of her stomach over what she had done.
Even if her body screamed for her to turn around and return to Manwë and Varda, her mind racing with panic as the thoughts spilled over, Vanifinwë.
There was no turning back now.
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