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Finwenian Charm

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If Idril had been born just a few years later, Aredhel would have sworn she was the reincarnation of Finwe. No one would think so at first glance, her niece's golden hair and delicate beauty rather suggested Indis in all her introverted glory; but at the first sign of opposition to any of Idril's pet schemes, Aredhel felt as if she were trying to outwit her grandfather when he was in one of his more charming moods. Perhaps on a day when he had been forced to miss breakfast.

"But Idril, I've never even heard of a sequin artisan," Aredhel complained as she ushered her niece into her room. Idril's bare feet made nary a sound as she glided inside, making Aredhel horribly aware of the scuff of her own slippers on the wooden floor. It made her want to stomp her feet. Scowling at Idril's earnest expression, she dropped into the nearest chair with a deliberate lack of grace. "I doubt the city will fall apart if I continue to wear unadorned linen."

"Not immediately, no." Idril's voice held a note of mild reproach, so mild and so insidious that Aredhel sat up straight and folded her hands in her lap despite herself. "I shall wear one of these myself at the next court function, and my tailor assures me that will be enough to start a trend among the younger set." She stroked the length of white fabric, liberally bespectacled with tiny pieces of hammered silver, that lay on top of Aredhel's bed. "But, Auntie, if you would wear this just once, half the women in the city would want to sew sequins their own dresses. If I'm the only one to wear them, people will think it is a fashion only for young girls, not women in the full flower of beauty. Just think of all that silver going to waste!"

Aredhel thought, then she resigned herself to a most uncomfortable season. Many an aloof courtier in Tirion had been reduced to a smiling, agreeable idiot after listening to one of Finwe's gentle lectures on the economy; there was no telling what a similar lecture in Idril's fluttery voice could make her do. Oh, the sequins might tinkle faintly at her every move, catch on every available surface, and blind people if she stood in the sun. She knew she would wear the cursed things until the mines lay stripped of every last bit of silver.