Feanor took each step down to the main floor heavily enough to attract the attention of most everyone who was in the drawing room. “I would like to know,” he drawled as he came to the landing and leaned forward with his hands upon the railing of the stairs, “just which one of you urchins thought it would be a good idea to leave a window in the attic open.”
Glances darted about the room. Almost all of the occupants were his children, but one, who was seated beside the eldest of Feanor’s sons, half-asleep and having his hair braided, piped up with, “It was not I.”
“Of course not, Fingon. You are not an urchin.” Feanor looked from person to person, as if he could garner a confession with his gaze. “Someone here left a window open. There is now a flurry of activity, for there are wasps or hornets or something unpleasant making a hive or a nest or something of that sort in one of the corners. Whichever of you left the window open will kindly evict them.” He spotted Huan sleeping in a corner without his master, frowned, and asked, “Where is Celegorm?”
“That is why it is so quiet,” realized Caranthir. Curufin frowned at his brother’s comment.
Feanor shifted his attention to his favorite. “Curufin, where is he?”
“I do not know where he went,” answered Curufin.
“But you know that he left.”
Curufin looked uncertain, but then nodded. “Yes, sir.”
“Out the attic window?”
Curufin sighed. “Yes, sir.”
Fingon was sitting up now as he listened to the exchange. “I can go take care of the wasps,” he offered as Maedhros finished weaving threads of gold into a braid.
“That is not necessary. You are a guest,” Feanor reminded him.
“It will only take me a moment.” Fingon gave Maedhros’ knee a squeeze as he stood up.
Maedhros stood up as well. “I can help,” he offered.
“No, you know how you swell up when you get stung,” argued Fingon as he gently pushed down on Maedhros’ shoulder to get him to sit again. “Besides, if I get stung, I need someone... to...” He suddenly remembered they were surrounded by the younger brothers of one and the younger cousins of the other. “Put salve on it,” he added hastily as he walked briskly to the steps and past his uncle.
Caranthir rolled his eyes as his cousin disappeared out of sight. “We all know what you do in the bedroom,” he muttered. “Whatever he was going to say could not be half as bad.”
“Honestly, I give up on all of you some nights,” scolded Feanor. “I might as well make him my heir,” he admonished as he pointed up the stairway.
“Might as well,” grumbled Curufin, while Maedhros wound a golden thread around his finger and sighed.
Upstairs, Fingon had no trouble at all locating the nest, which was not very big. It was dusk, so it could have been much worse had there been a large population of wasps. As it turned out, there were only two wasps building onto it when he arrived, so he spent a little time sorting through the various items stored in the attic until he found a broken slingshot, an half-polished rock with a crack in it, and a thin piece of wood that looked to have been part of a chair. With them he was able to make a crude sling, and when the wasps flew back out the open window in search of further supplies, Fingon shot the rock at the ceiling and knocked the nest down with a single shot. He flung the nest out the window in time to see Celegorm scaling the house.
At first, he considered that he should warn his cousin, and wait for him to enter into the house again. That was before he caught sight of a piece of fabric waving in the breeze. There was something tucked into Celegorm’s pocket that looked familiar to him, and Fingon realized when his cousin reached the second story that it was one of Aredhel’s fancy scarves.
Fingon slammed the window shut. He could almost imagine Celegorm’s sudden look of alarm. No doubt he was doubling his pace from the sounds of someone scurrying up the house. The lock was rusty, and it took all of Fingon’s strength to make it budge. The latch flipped to the opposite side just as Celegorm lifted himself up on the eave and peered into the window.
Each cousin glared at the other. Not daring to shout and have his father hear him, Celegorm mouthed his command to Fingon. Open the window.
Equally unwilling to draw his uncle to the attic, Fingon replied in kind. Were you with my sister?
Celegorm narrowed his eyes. None of your business.
Always my business.
Celegorm’s eyes looked to be little more than dark slits. Better than you being with my brother.
Fingon resisted the urge to punch his fist through the glass. Instead, he shrugged. Speaking of, it is getting quite late. Lovely that your father lets me stay over and that Maitimo has such a big bed. He just finished my braids, but I want to make him have to redo them – if you know what I mean. Have fun sleeping outside.
Fingon pulled the curtain to the side and ignored the tapping on the glass as he walked back down to the first floor.
Written for Nolofinwean week on Tumblr (5/4/2014: Fingon).