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Bridegroom        

If there was one thing Matimo always had difficult to face back in Valinor as a young prince, so was it the task of finding a suitable lady who would end up as his wife. Being far more used to boys, thanks to having so many younger brothers and that only two of his cousins were female, and raised away from the royal court at Tirion as Fëanor and Nerdanel had wanted their children to not grow arrogant about their royal status, he had never managed to find a match among the various unwed maidens at court.                                             

Most of them were nice, a few even being the daughters of his father's trusted allies, yet no one of them really seemed to come off as the one meant for him. And those noble maidens with the ambition of marrying him solely for his rank as the eldest son of the Crown prince, had more or less made him run away pretty literally in honest terror of a such wife. No way that he would find himself in a unhappy marriage for politics, no way. The lonely fate of a unmarried bachelor seemed a lot more pleasant, and what was wrong with being a uncle to the children his brothers might sire?

 

Yet here he now stood here, about to enter just that kind of marriage he always had tried to avoid in his youth. But Maedhros had changed a lot since his days as a prince in Tirion, things were different here in Beleriand and he knew that this marriage was to seal a important alliance that all the still free Elves needed to not fall for the armies of Angband.

 

At least I have managed to get to know my bride somewhat, even if it still feels horribly awkward with her young age… ” he thought, his gathered brothers helping him to dress up for one of the most important events in his life. In a way, it was ironic: all his family members had all married before a special difference in life began for them: Finwë and Miriel had married way back in Cuiviénen long before he had become King of the Noldor. Fëanor and Nerdanel had married so young that they just narrowly had waited past their coming-of-age, a such quick marriage ceremony that no doubt had caused some untrue rumors that he might have been a uninvited wedding guest well hidden in his mother's womb when he actually had been born several years after the marriage. Maglor and his dear Rainiel were wed without care that he was the third-in-line for the royal throne, while Curufin and his now sadly late wife Astarë had married way before Maglor, perhaps as a attempt of Curufin to not be viewed as merely the fifth and third-youngest of the seven brothers.  

 

“Well, Nelyo, I think it is safe to say that you have fun the highest prize in term of the social status of a bride; a Queen! Atar and Ammë would be so proud of you!” Celegorm joked, only for Maglor to add in:

 

“Or happy that you finally is about to settle down, even if it under very unusual circumstances.”

 

Caranthir, who had been polishing a silver circlet with a Fëanorian star, made with a large ruby in the center and small emeralds at the pointing ends of the star, looked up from his work.

 

“Well, I think this masterpiece is going to look very nice on Dior, being the sign of her entering the House of Fëanor by marriage.”

 

Nerdanel and all her law-daughters had been gifted a such circlet by their respective husband at the wedding, so now it was a gift given for the fourth time.

 

“And there you are done, Nelyo. You look great, I do not think we have seen you in this kind of clothes since...well, ages,” Amras commented once his older twin had set the copper circlet Maedhros used to wear, on his head. For the faintest of moments, their older brother from Tirion seemed to have been resurrected before Maedhros of the present took over once more.

 

“Quit the small-talk. I have a bride to await and I will not dishonor her by being the late partner of the ceremony.”      

 

A much unusual marriage, indeed, but Maedhros was determined to make it work in one way or another despite that he and Dior was not really in love with each others. Their first meeting face to face had been with her secretly searching for a husband living outside Doriath, who could help her be taken seriously as the actual ruler of her Kingdom and not merely as a pawn in the various intrigues at the court which the nobles played like a game to gain power and status. But a marriage based on mutual respect and protection was another way of marriage, that was something he had learnt over the long years in exile.  

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X

 

Minstrel  

 

One thing that Maglor is quick to notice, and get a shared dislike of with Dior, is how often the Lay of Leithian is played in Doriath. Sure, it could be their attempt to remember their beloved princess who lost her immortality thanks to her love to a mortal Man, but surely someone with a smarter mind must spot how the continual mention of her famed parents were bound to become trite for their daughter?

 

“To be honest, I have always been somewhat skeptical about their love story since I was little. It is one thing to be told their version of said events, but what about those who still is around and can recall it? What about how your brothers viewed it? Lord Orodreth? Princess Findulias? Granted, the latter two are dead, but your brothers are still alive...”

 

It is hard to blame Dior for having such doubts, if she had learned to spot potential loopholes in how her parents had told of their meeting and what they had to do in order to marry. Had one of the reasons to raise her in Tol Galen, so far away from Doriath, been to prevent her from hearing other people mention something that could reveal the cracks in their version? No one will ever know, since both Luthien and Beren have gone the Path of Men.

 

“A much reasonable question, sweet sister by marriage, and we sadly may never get an answer on. But I think Celegorm and Curufin is willing to answer some of the questions you may have, if there is some details they may have forgotten to mention.”

 

Anyway, Maglor knows that he will keep himself busy for the coming days and nights. There is going to be a celebration of the unexpected victory Dior won over the orcs of Morgoth in the last battle where she was meant to lead the back-up troops for Maedhros, and found herself being the one to defeat the main part of the orc attack. And Maglor know precise what title he will make for his new song; The Warrior Queen of Doriath. It will be spread over time, as he plans to ensure, and if things are going right no-one among the Second Born may one day link her to Thingol and Luthien, both who should be grateful that none of them knows about the rather insulting nicknames the Noldor have granted them: Barad Aran, “Doomed King” and Alagwen , “Impetuous Maiden” for all the mess the Quest for the Silmaril had caused in the longer run.

 

“There is several reasons to why you are viewed in a better light across Beleriand than your close relatives, Dior. Opening up the borders and giving shelter to refugees are only two of those reasons. Marrying my brother is a third one. And being a actual warrior leader is the fourth,” he smiles as the words to the song comes into being on his parchment. Soon enough, he will give her the fifth, sixth and seventh reason as well.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X

 

Hunter

 

It still hurts a lot to think of Luthien, yet Celegorm tries his best to not blame Dior for something her mother did to him. The lack of resemblance to her famed parents help a lot in that. There is almost nothing of Luthien in her, or Beren, though from lady Nimloth he have learned that Dior favored her deceased paternal grandmother Emeldir in looks, and that the lady in turn had been one of the very rare ones born with blonde hair in the House of Bëor.

 

“I did hunt small games and such from a young age. Father struggled with only having one hand and mother had no such skills at all.”

 

“I can imagine that, indeed.”

 

He can see why some of her political enemies at the royal court of Doriath wants to try and claim that Dior actually is his daughter, and not sired by Beren. In the right light and similar hunting clothes, they are worrying alike. Yet Celegorm had always been warned by his parents to make a maiden pregnant without marriage, illegitimate children was the ones to suffer the hardest for the foolishness of the parents.

 

If he ever wanted to marry, he wanted to do things in the right order, for a couple forced to marry because of a unexpected pregnancy was not unheard of among the people of Doriath and it was not without reason that such marriages could end up very unhappy.   

 

Besides, to claim that Dior is his daughter, means that those foolish people have gotten the time totally wrong. Dior was born a full set of five years after the first meeting of her parents in the spring of First Age year 665, while he and Curufin had been banished from Nargothrond in the autumn only six months later. A She-elf in her sixth to ninth month of pregnancy would never have come close to Angband, for the growing child inside her would slower her movements and increased the risk of being caught. And there was just no way Celegorm could imagine a unborn child survive inside the womb for long if the spirit of the mother had gone to Mandos as Luthien had done. The price of returning to a mortal life with Beren, would have been the life of their child. By Oromë, the Elves of Doriath was unlikely to even know how to perform that slightly unnerving operation of cutting up the belly to save the life of a unborn child, which the Secondborn midwives and wise women sometimes did if a mother had died from the birth without delivering her child, if there was a chance to save one life at least.

 

“Celegorm...how do you view me? After all that happened between my mother and yourself?” she asked, in a doubtful voice that revealed her inner concern that some people would have her suffer for who her mother had been.  

 

“Had you not been married to my brother, I still would have seen you as the possible sister we seven brothers never got. Mother was too worn out spiritually after giving birth to Amrod and Amras that an seventh pregnancy was out of the question from the very start. But I know that she would love you, and Father...well, I think he would need some time to come past the fact that Nelyo managed to catch himself a Queen as a wife and then brag about in all the pride of a father.”    

 

The faint smile she gave him, told him that some of her worries had vanished, at least for now.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X

 

Advisor

 

For all the talk of his bad temper and rather bad social manners, Caranthir can be pleasant to talk to if one just gets a few things that he likes and knows what may push his limits.  

 

“The economy of Doriath is a bloody mess! You did right in cutting down on the servants that is not needed in the palace, especially those who once served your family. As for the plans of cancel the various festivals that only costs money that is needed on other things, do it! Doriath and you need soldiers, not something for the nobles to waste time on!”

 

One of the first things Dior had learnt about her third law-brother, was his surprising skills when it came to household expenses, and other areas that involved money. He had admitted to being a bit tightfisted, but the Fëanorians needed to cut down on money for the past years since the death of Fingon for various reasons and it had taken some time for the Dwarves to fix up the trade as well.

 

“That is what great-uncle Elmo and everyone else in the family have tried to tell the council all this time! But nooo, they refuse to accept the changed times, “This system worked perfectly under the old King!” and such similar protests whatever we tries to bring up the flaws of that the peasants and farmers are to carry the most burden of the taxers. Surely there is nothing wrong with having the noble giving away some of their wealth as taxes too?” Dior muttered the last part for herself, but not low enough to avoid being heard by Caranthir.

 

“Send Maedhros to deal with them on the next meeting. He tends to be pretty effective if you need a attack dog against fools. I can back him up if they needs to be reminded of that Doriath and the Fëanorian Host are now allies by marriage. And as your husband, Maedhros is entitled to know what is going on in Doriath.”

 

Dior had to hold back a laugh.

 

“Oh, I will do exactly that. Should allow him some useful words before our daily training duel out in the training field.”

 

She have some useful skills in math and counting, despite some minor issues with higher numbers, which few Elves seems to find to be necessary for a Queen to process. In general, most She-elves in Doriath were taught math only to keep a track on the money for the household. That kind of thinking greatly annoyed Caranthir, since he felt to be a insult to how Nerdanel had tasked him with helping her about the household and what everything did actually cost in raising her ever growing numbers of sons with Fëanor.

 

“So, how much money should Doriath be able to save if we stops having those festivals and only keeps a few of them, spit over the seasons instead?”

 

“Well, there sure is going to be complaints about the festivals, and possibly about all the workers who earns extra money from it, but it will be worth it once they understands that it was just something that cost a lot of money and waste of time.”

 

There was many more parchments to go through, but Dior was sure that with help from Caranthir, she soon would be able to fix it.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X

 

Blacksmiths

 

“Do not get me wrong, but... why is it necessary to check my armour so often?!”

 

Dior was not in the best of moods at the moment, since she was getting tired of holding her arms out so Curufin and Celebrimbor could check on her plate armor.

 

“We have to ensure that you are still able to move in it without too much trouble, especially if you were to need it during a pregnancy,” Curufin responds, while taking off her vambraces. Celebrimbor was already checking on the faulds in the armor.

 

“Father, we should ask the Dwarves if they have any suggestion about how much we can fill it out,” Celebrimbor commented over the protests from Dior that there was no way she would be able to have a heavy armor on her when she would be in the later part of an pregnancy, the weight from the growing baby surely was going to enough, thank you very much.

 

“And trust me that it is not going to be a small baby either, with the height of the sire! By any means, I should be lucky that neither my Maia blood or heritage from the Race of Men will cause trouble for the baby while I am carrying!”

 

Curufin might have been the third-youngest of his brothers, but being the only one who actually had fathered and raised a child of his own, he had a fair guess of why Dior made a such affair of it all. A big baby were a invitation for trouble at birth, and while she was far from a small lady in height, she still was noticeable shorter than Maedhros.

 

“Calm down, there is no reason to get scared before you even have gotten pregnant.”

 

Out of habit from living with several brothers and through the temper tantrums of a toddler, he ducked for the leather glove Dior attempted to hit him with.

 

“Did you not learn anything from my mother before she carried me, father?” wondered Celebrimbor with a hint of laughter in his voice. Using the chance to escape out from the forge, Dior took a pear from the basket close to the door.

 

“One important thing, as I was too a bit too young to understand what was happening when your twin uncles were born; never even attempt to joke about her weight gain during a pregnancy. I managed to escape with two black eyes and unable to chew properly for the following days from nearly getting my jaw broken. Your mother was not amused by the joke.”

Celebrimbor rolled his eyes, recalling a few similar events where his mother had been so annoyed by her husband that she had ended up chasing him outside.

 

If someone were to ask him, so did it feel strange for him to no longer be the youngest family member in the House of Fëanor. Over time, Celebrimbor had gotten used to not having any siblings or cousins around. It had been nice to finally gain another aunt by marriage, though it felt even more strange in how much younger she was. At least some of the awkwardness were lowered by how mature Dior was for her age, taking after her heritage from the race of Men and not from the Elven or Maia part of her. Besides, it would be nice with some younger close relatives, after all the deaths happening to their more distant relatives.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X

 

Seekers of the woods            

 

Dior had quickly formed a bond with Amrod and Amras, in that she was reasonable good in knowing what part of the forests that was harmless and other dangerous. Tol Galen might have been a isle, but surrounded by forests on both sides. She had grown up as a child of the woods, just not the ones of Doriath. another useful skill for survival, wasted in the court of Doriath, especially the nobles who saw it as beneath them

 

“I believe there must be a family of foxes close by, if I am not reading those paw prints wrong.”

 

“Correct. You have not lost your tracking skills yet.”

 

It did not matter which one of the twins who spoke, for Dior knew that there was times when they would act as one single person instead of two. Twins were rare among the Elves, to the point that few of them even knew that it was possible. Judging from what she had learnt of history between the various Children of Eru, many elves had gotten a pretty big shock at learning that mortal women could become pregnant almost every year, and that twins were not uncommon among older mothers in their late 30 to early 40s if they lived so long without dying.

 

Her thoughts must have been hinted in her face, for now Amrod said:

 

“I think learning we were twins, helped some of our first human allies to be more at ease around our family. If our race were able of carrying more than one child in one pregnancy as well, it must have made us seem less strange.”

 

Dior nodded, she could understand that logic, recalling her own childhood when she had not understood why Beren was the only one who could grew a beard, was a good example of how troublesome her lineage could be at times. Another big issue was how Dior often was viewed as plain by the beauty standards in Doriath, yet by other Elves she was pretty good-looking and had her Elven blood as the reason to why it would be impossible to mask herself as a normal human woman if she ever choose to run away from Doriath.

 

“Oh, little sis, where did your mind run off into the woods? Do we need to being our brother along to find you again?” Amras teased, using the nickname they had given Dior as a sign of welcoming her into the family.

 

Suddenly, without warning, she took off. Light-footed like a young deer, she called over her shoulder:

 

“Race you both!”

 

After the first few minutes of stunned surprise, the twins grinned and followed after her into the woods just outside Tol Galen. If that's what she wanted to do now, so be it. Besides, they might even find a good animal to bring back as dinner later to the group who had escorted Dior to her childhood home as a surprise from Maedhros who refused to restrain her wish to travel. After all, with Morgoth around in the background and her own possible mortality, who knew for how long she could enjoy that kind of simple enjoyment?

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X

 

Mother-in-law

 

For all of that far distance between Valinor and Middle-earth, along with how rare good news of her family were, Nerdanel was still happy to hear that her oldest son finally had married. As a youth in Tirion, her Matimo had not enjoyed all the attention he had gotten from various young ladies. Being handsome and third-in-line, the eldest born to the Crown Prince, made him a target for those who wished to gain power through marriage into the royal family.

 

“It clearly did not help that he had a special taste, just like his father…”

 

Matimo had admitted to her in secret that he was searching for a wife that reminded of her, a lady with common sense and who was not afraid of breaking social rules just like Nerdanel more or less had done while she and Fëanor had fallen in love. She still enjoyed the surprising triumph in saving him from some very ambitious noble maidens, who looked down on his love for working in the forge and only saw him for his royal status.

 

Good thing that they had saved Matimo and her younger boys from that kind of life from the very start, moving into a house of their own outside Tirion. Even if it still was painful to enter the now empty house and knowing that they might never return, Nerdanel refused to let the more painful memories of the Oath to ruin the more happy ones.

 

At the moment, Nerdanel was going to use the tapestry made by her own mother-in-law Miriel as inspiration for a marble statue of her son's wedding. Even if she had missed the event itself, she still wanted to make the new family member official in some way. Nerdanel knew that the marriage between Matimo and Queen Dior of Doriath was not well known among the people of Tirion yet, perhaps because Miriel had arrived here to Formenos first to let her know.

 

“A nice marble statue...one that should be of his height when finished...the tapestry showed that my new law-daughter is shorter than him, a little below my own height…”

 

She had work to do, despite the possibility that she may never meet her third law-daughter unless the Valar would allow her to come to Valinor.


Yet that did indeed happen, more or less 90 years after the wedding. As Finarfin and the surviving warriors from the Host of the Valar returned to Valinor, they brought along Elves from Middle-Earth. Many, who were entering the Undying Lands for the first time.       

 

Covering her face and hair with a shawl to not stand out in the crowd, searching in vain for her two eldest sons since getting the horrible news that the five younger ones had died in battle, Nerdanel was not the only one whose attention suddenly were caught by a unexpected sight from one of the ships:

 

A black stallion, large enough to that it must have been breed especially to carry one noticeable tall Elf. But it was not Matimo who rode in the saddle, it was a person Nerdanel only knew though the few tapestries and news Miriel had been able to give her from the Halls of Mandos;

 

Dior, the now widowed Queen of Doriath, who with her age on just 117 years old should have been a adult by only a few years yet already was both a mother and grandmother thanks to her mortal blood. The one who had been the famed Fëanorian Bride, the Warrior Queen.

 

It seemed like she was ready on the mixed reaction from the people of Valinor, especially those who called her unpleasant names about her husband, yet she remained calm and instead made her large horse gallop, forcing people to move aside unless they wanted to be injured by the powerful hooves. Then, once she had ridden through the crowd, she turned around and spoke in a mighty voice that was a sign of Makalaurë teaching her:

 

Unless you are people who can prove yourself returned warriors from Mandos, hold your cursed tongues shut behind your teeth about my husband! I will not deny his actions as a Kinslayer at Alqualondë, but I refuse to see people be narrow-minded about his deeds in Middle-Earth and only focus on a event that was deeply regretted afterwards! Without the cursed Oath spoken by the House of Fëanor and the return of the Noldor to the lands where they first awoken, Middle-Earth would have fallen prey for Morgoth much earlier! Do not view yourself as more pure in spirit and with cleaner hands than my husband and his family, for by refusing to help the Exiles when they needed help, you all carry unseen blood of your kin as well!

 

Well, that was something Nerdanel truly could imagine her sons say, all seven of them, given how many warriors they would have lost against Morgoth. And she saw what might have drawn Matimo to this young Half-elven, that kind of personality he once had wished to have in his own wife.

 

If Olwë allowed her to enter the palace later in the evening, when less people would see her, then Nerdanel would try and meet her youngest law-daughter. It was only right for them to finally meet eye to eye.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X

 

Father-in-law    

 

As much as Fëanor seriously doubted that he ever would be able to leave the Halls of Mandos, he still made a point of actually listening to Mandos about how the Oath was going to create a lot of trouble for his exiled sons in the long run and tried to stay away from other dead Elves who had been killed in the First Kinslaying.

 

As painful as the last years had been, lately there had been some small hope that may become better for his sons now when Thingol was here in the Halls and unable to refuse help to the Noldor exiles. Fëanor had personally broken Thingol's jaw with his fist, for all that was possible as a spirit, when the latter had thrown accusations towards him about his third and fifth son, related to Thingol's daughter Luthien and coldly told the Sinda Elf that he had raised his sons to never be unpleasant against someone they might try to woo, and attempting to force a lady into marriage was not how he wanted to gain a bride for any of his still unwed sons.  

 

“My son, I believe that this might be pleasant news for you.”

 

His mother Miriel, the only living person in the Halls apart from the valar and Maiar who helped them, smiled a rather mysterious smile at him. She rarely was around her former husband Finwë due to things being rather awkward between them.

 

“Oh? May I ask what, mother dearest?”

 

In return, she pulled him along to see one of her newest tapestries. At seeing what image it was, Fëanor smiled in a manner that would have alarmed those who had seen him in his more crazy moments, or maybe because of how similar he would have seemed to his sons when they were high on blood lust in the middle of battle.

 

“About time that Nelyo found himself a bride. Sealing a alliance through marriage is a good way to ensure that the other half will not get a chance to back out so easily. The Noldor have had enough trouble thanks to Thingol being a idiot.”

 

Miriel smiled while giving him the closest thing to a kiss on the forehead she could give him, with her having a living body and him being a spirit.

 

“And even if she may never end up as a Queen consort to a High King of the Noldor, being a bride married into your family will grant her more power in Beleriand. Doriath have not much political power outside it borders, and they are already learning that Dior is nothing like her mother. She is a true female warrior, not a disgrace to her maternal family.”  

 

Fëanor knew that while the Noldor were used to a High King leading them, it had actually been Miriel who had taken over the duties as a leader for them while Finwë had been away as ambassador to Valinor when the Valar first had offered the Elves to come there, and the Elves first had been doubtful. As he had been gone for no less than eighteen passing winters, it had given Miriel a familiar with leadership that her successor Indis never had gotten, since Finwë had chosen Fingolfin to act as regent for the Noldor while he himself had followed Fëanor to Formenos in exile.

 

And under the training of her husband and law-brothers, Dior was bound to end up leading her own warriors in battle. She would be needed both as wife and leader, not just to give life to the next generation. Even Fëanor accepted that things had changed a lot in just a couple of years, all thanks to Morgoth attacking the various Noldor realms. Doriath did indeed have a very different view on what a She-elf of royal blood should and should not do, but there was little doubt that Dior indeed was a child to match those changing times.

 

“Mother, could you ask Mandos if it is alright for me to do a couple of designs and work in a forge if there is any here? Even if it may never reach her for a lot of different reasons, I still want to create something for my new law-daughter. It will not be anything with weapons, I promise, just a couple of circlets and minor details that should fit her status as a Queen and married to my eldest son.”

 

Fëanor had never liked to be without something to work on, he hated boredom of any kind and most of his unfinished work projects was the result of one idea replacing the one he had been working on. After all, he had not been known for his brilliant mind without reason.   

 

“Just not anything too fancy, my dear son. From what I have managed to see to create for my tapestry, miss Dior is used to simple tastes, no upbringing at the stiff court of her granddaughter, remember?”

 

While Miriel once had found Thingol a good friend of her husband, learning of his behavior against his only granddaughter had not pleased her at all. The poor young woman could not help that her sire Beren was a mortal and Miriel truly enjoyed the mental image of how horrified Thingol would be at the news of Dior marrying Maedhros as her husband.

 

“Yes, mother. I even think that some of the old designs for my wife should fit my new law-daughter as well.”

 

His eyes taking notice of the emerald crown Dior wore in the tapestry showing her wedding to Maedhros, Fëanor were already making up several designs to put down on a parchment later, mentally wondering if she was similar to Nerdanel in preferring a modest crown or if he could get her something with some little more gemstones.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X

 

View of married life

 

“I heard that you were most displeased with the court painter earlier today,” was all Maedhros commented as he entered the royal bedchamber that he and Dior shared as a married couple. The Half-elven Queen of Doriath still had a thick aura of bitterness around her, where she already laid on her half of the large bed, dressed in one of her favorite nightgowns made of cotton, one which was long enough to reach her angles and long sleeves. That she had not even greeted him, was another sign of serious anger.

 

Taking his time to remove the soft slippers, a rare luxury that he allowed himself those days and removing the morning robe so he was only wearing his nightshirt, Maedhros laid down on top of the blankets and reached for a book from the small bookshelf on his right. He had finished two pages, when Dior finally answered:

 

I was and still is displeased with him...for painting our first shared portrait as Queen and Royal Consort of Doriath all wrong! He had the nerve of not adding your various scars, reduced my female shapes to look more my mother, made both of our hair far long than it actually is and painted it like you had never lost your right hand at all!

 

Well, that surely was something Maedhros had not expected to happen, but he guessed that Dior had been greatly offended by being shown in the female beauty ideal that Doriath had thanks to Luthien. A lot of her insecurity was related to her body, meaning that he still needed to work on it. Maedhros was of the firm belief that as her husband, it was his duty to ensure that his much younger wife did not fall prey for the twisted view in that she was unattractive by Elven standards. For him, born to a mother commonly agreed to not be among the fairest of the Noldor, it was like hearing snobbish nobles in Tirion insult Nerdanel all over again. As for Dior being angry and ranting at the moment, well, it was a good way for her to let out some stream.

 

“I still recall what the Dwarrowdams said; the noble ladies of Doriath is facing difficult childbirths because of how thin they were in the female shapes. Did they not say something about that yourself and Nimloth have good birthing hips that would make it easy to give birth?” asked Maedhros without lowering the book, knowing that she would blush at the mention of that talk.

“Yes...still, it annoys me that people refuses to accept your actual looks and tries to make it seem like I married you because you once was known as one of the most handsome of the Noldor princes!”

 

Though the spiritual bond between their souls, Maedhros felt that she was getting exhausted, it had not been a good day for her. Closing his book, he turned to one side to see her better. Her hair, normally set up in a braid or bun during daytime because she was not too fond of having it loose, helped to cover her face where she had landed on her back.

 

“Your shoulders and neck are stiff, I can hear that on your movements. Sit up, so I can massage you.”

 

It was not easy to give massage with just one hand to someone else, but Maedhros knew how to do after training on it with his brothers. Being a big family had its uses, in many different ways that people with only one or two siblings may not think about.   

 

Once he was done on her, Dior massaged his right shoulder and arm, since Maedhros still suffered from painful side-effects from hanging from his right arm in a very uncomfortable position for a very long time. Some days he even woke up to find his right arm stretched out above his head, struggling a bit to make his muscles unlock so he could move. As a result, his shoulder could be sore to the point that he needed to have his right arm in a sling just to take weight off his shoulder.

 

“Any phantom pain in your missing hand?”

 

“A little.”

 

For all the mumblings of that she had no spiritual powers from her Maia inheritage at all, so did Maedhros know that Dior actually had some minor skills. She could sense where he might suffer from old pains, and like now, sometimes made massage movements in the air where his right hand would have been. After some minutes, Maedhros relaxed more as he no longer felt any pain.

 

“Some people at court would find this wasted time, nagging at us for not doing what is necessary to beget a heir, especially given that we do not know for how long I might live.” Dior said in a low voice, once she was finished with the massage.

 

“You still need time to adjust to the very different role of being a married wife than a unwed maid, since we have only been married for a few months right now, and I refuse to get you with child before you are ready. Besides, your other partner would not be above chasing me out of your bed if it seems like I broke our shared agreement about a possible time to make you pregnant.”   

 

Maedhros did not joke, he might not have any sisters and very few of his cousins on both sides of the family tree had been females, but living with Nerdanel as a mother had taught him early on to respect She-elves no matter what.   

 

Dior laughed at the mental image of Nimloth threatening her Fëanorian husband, while getting into the nest of many pillows and blankets she used as a nest to sleep in. She was sensitive for colder temperature differences because of her human blood, often ending up sleeping close to the other person in the bed, no matter if it was Maedhros or Nimloth.

 

“Let's stay in bed all day tomorrow. You need a proper sleep after the last few days of troublesome courtiers giving you a headache.” Maedhros said while reaching over her head to use the candle extinguisher on the last two wax candles beside the bed on both sides.

 

“What about your duties as one of the Fëanorian lords?” came a sleepy question in response.

 

“My brothers can survive a day without me, and you need some rest from the duties of a Queen as well. Now try to sleep.”

 

As the Moon rose further in the night sky outside, the ruling couple of Doriath soon slept side by side.