Maedhros looked down at his bandaged stub of an arm. It still hurt. When it decided to throb, the pain would stretch from the end all the way through to his neck. It felt as though pincer-like fingernails were intent on crawling up his arm. There were times, too, when he felt his hand hurt. He knew it was crazy; the healer called it ghost pain. His hand was gone. There couldn’t be any pain in his fingers because he had no fingers. None. They were gone.


The redheaded Noldo was ripped from his thoughts at the sound of his brother’s harmonious voice. Maglor, holding a sword in each hand, was accompanied by Fingon. The son of Fingolfin also had his sword, a beautiful work of craftsmanship designed especially for the elf.

“How are you feeling?” Maglor asked him quietly as two other Noldorin soldiers walked by the tree stump Maedhros sat on.

He glared down at the ground. “Just fine.” He dropped his frown and tried to smile for Fingon’s sake.

Fingon wasn’t fooled. He sighed and looked around them. The green fields near the lake were wide and the various tents were spread out enough in some places to allow for large groups of soldiers to practice. Currently Maedhros was sat outside the last tent, a large, red one with a golden star on the flaps to enter. It was his tent, right next to a practice field. A cruel irony for the injured captain.

“Get up,” Fingon smirked. “Come on, my friend.”

“I hope you know I will only do as you say because I owe you my life,” Maedhros quipped back with a rueful smile, standing up and letting his right arm fall to his side.

Fingon laughed. “Oh I know. So you’ve told me many times.”

Together he, Maedhros, and Maglor made their way around the tent to the practice field. It was the smallest of the practice areas, and the most secluded of them all. That made what Fingon was about to attempt a lot easier.

“Maedhros,” he began slowly as the elf looked at him in an even mix of alarm, irritation, and curiosity. “Trust me.”

Maedhros hesitated. He trusted Fingon with his life, and that was a good thing too. He had saved him when no one else could. But he knew what Fingon was about to ask. He could not embarrass himself in front of his men, in front of his people. He learned to fight with all the rest of his men, his brothers. Now he could not.

“Trust me.”

Maedhros sighed and bowed his head slowly, looking at the sword in Maglor’s left hand. It was a fine piece of craftsmanship, designed to be held in the left hand. He should’ve noticed that earlier, said no from the beginning. Now he was trapped.

“Very well.” Maedhros took the sword from his brother begrudgingly, not convinced that this was going to work. “But when I want to stop, we stop.”

Fingon smiled and bowed to his tall cousin. “Of course.”

Maglor nodded. “Begin.”

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