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What Pandora Left (The Heart-Shaped Box Remix)

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The jewels her husband had made - the Silmarils - were beautiful. They shone with light, even in the dimness of their bedroom, yet the light was not harsh, not something Nerdanel winced away from. No, it was bright, but almost comforting. They were warm in her hand and, as she looked at them, she understood. This was what she would lose her husband to, what she'd already been losing him to.

She could scarcely even blame him. The jewels were beautiful, far more lovely than a wife grown weary with childbearing despite her youth. Looking at them, she remembered how the world had seemed to her when she was young and in love and they were but recently wed, when everything seemed to glow as though it were limned with golden light, a light that came from within rather than without. Who would not want to look upon that world once again?

When she spoke, it was slowly, still cradling the stones in her hands as though they might break. "They are truly beautiful. The greatest of your work. And yet... I fear this task was not wise." Slowly, reluctantly, she handed Fëanor the stones, watched him take them and hold them close. "The Trees are living things; it seems wrong to so imprison their light."

He protested, as she knew he would. Nerdanel wasn't really listening, as he had not listened. His words changed nothing. She already knew what he meant, what he would do. It was written on his face, apparent in the way he handled his own creations. Perhaps the Silmarils truly were Blessed. She'd like to believe that. But if so, the blessing was not for her.

He left her then and Nerdanel closed her eyes, waiting for the bright afterimage to recede. She shed no tears not attributable to her dazzled eyes, but she felt like weeping. He had shown her hope, and then, having let her touch it just this once more, he had taken it away.