After dinner, during which Galadriel had excused herself early and departed out of doors, Feanor also made his excuses to leave early. He was anxious to get back to his forge and found the inane small talk of his relatives to be unbearable. As he ran down the stairs of Finarfin’s house to the street, he spied Galadriel walking about in a small garden across the road. Feanor was intrigued by the sight of her as she appeared to be disturbed by something and was pacing back and forth. He crossed the street and walked up to her.
“Galadriel”, he said, softly calling her name. He had startled her and she jumped, but recovered herself quickly and then regarded him with her serene blue gaze.
“I am sorry. I have disturbed you”, he said kindly. “Something is troubling you. Can you tell me what it is?” He took her by the elbow and led her to a bench and then motioned for her to sit.
“No, Feanor”, she replied, and her tone was not as haughty as it usually was when she spoke to him. “It is not something that you can help me to solve”.
“Are you sure?” he asked, smiling at her. “If not me, then who?” She smiled at this but said nothing. But her eyes held a look of sadness mingled with fear. On impulse, Feanor leaned his face toward hers and kissed her lips lightly. She stiffened but then softened, and she put her arms around his back and returned the kiss with a passion that Feanor had never before detected in her. The kiss aroused him and he returned it fervently, a heat rising in him as she pressed her upper body against his. He clutched the back of her head, letting the hair that fascinated him spill through his fingers like cool spring rain.
Gasping for air, she moved her hands to press against his chest, and releasing his lips, she pushed him away. “I’m sorry”, she said. “I shouldn’t have done that. Please forgive me”.
“But why-“, he began to ask, his voice husky with desire.
“Because I do not love you, Feanor. I do not even like you. But I – I pity you”.
“Pity me?” He rose to his feet, the thunderous look on his face betraying his anger. “Do not pity me, Galadriel! I know what I want. It is you who should be pitied, for denying yourself that which would make you happy!”
“I am sorry”, she said again, and her look for him was indeed one of pity. Too angry to say more, he stormed away to go to retrieve his horse from Finarfin’s stables and soon he was galloping towards home.
When he arrived back at his own house, he stabled his horse and then went immediately to the forge. Upon entering, he could see that the lamps inside were burning and he looked to see who was there at this late hour. The door to the privy opened then and one of Feanor’s female apprentices stepped out. It was a girl named Nostalaini, a talented student who had been learning the art of metal engraving. Startled to see her master in the forge so late and unexpectedly, she stood still, unable to put a faltering foot forward.
While Feanor was rarely bereft of company from a series of several Elf-maidens in Tirion, there was no one in particular who interested him for any longer than a few weeks at most. Galadriel remained the only woman that he admired. When his forge-work became too busy for him to handle alone, he took on several apprentices, some of whom were females.
“What are you doing here?” Feanor growled.
“I – I’m sorry”, she stuttered. “I had not finished my work earlier today and I did not wish for you to chastise me for that failure tomorrow”.
Impressed by her honesty and lack of fear in speaking to him so forthrightly, he softened and said to her, “Let me see what you have done so far”.
“Really, my Lord?” she asked, surprised by his softer tone.
He looked at her and the light in his eyes flickered with a hint of annoyance. He shifted his feet impatiently. Seeing this, she hurried to her work-table and lifted a sword-blade to show him. She had engraved a line of script down one side of the blade near the edge, using the letters that he had devised. He had followed her to the table and took the blade from her hands and scrutinized it keenly. Then he read the words that she had put there:
“My eyes look at you: my ears hear you: my heart sings for you: my life is yours to lose”.
He then looked at her closely. “What does this mean?” he asked.
She swallowed and looked very uneasy. Then she looked him boldly in the eyes and said, “The words refer to the sword, my Lord. Whether I live or die is in its power”.
He stared at her more closely. She had pretty blonde hair, straight as straw and like-coloured. Her eyes were soft brown and looked steadily at him without flickering. She was tall but not as tall as Galadriel, but she was just as slim, with a similar build. Her movements were fluid like Galadriel’s and she was of the same age. In fact, this girl caused him to think of Galadriel.
“You are not a very good liar”, he said. “You are no swordswoman”.
She blushed profusely and moved to take the sword out of his hands. As she did so, one of her hands clasped one of his accidentally, and a feeling as of a wave of fire rushed through her body, causing the skin on her arms to tingle as if singed. She gasped as they both let go of the sword at the same time. It would have clattered to the floor if Feanor had not caught it before it did so. He placed the blade back on her table and asked softly, “Who is the lucky young lad to whom you refer in that engraving?”
She turned and stared at him boldly. She knew that he felt the same fiery passion as she. “Can you not guess, my Lord?” She stepped forward and placed her arms around his waist, and rested her head against his shoulder. “It is you”, she murmured softly.
“Nostalaini”, he said. “You cannot love me. I am your teacher, your---“ His voice trailed off in a whisper.
“You are everything to me”, she said. “I have no one else I care about”.
“What of your parents? Your family?” he asked.
She looked at him and laughed. “It is not the same thing, my Lord”, she said. “Would you do something for me?”
“What is that?” he asked, looking down into her warm brown eyes.
“Please say my name again. I love how it sounds coming from your lips”, and she placed her fingers upon his mouth, and traced the curve of his provocative upper lip with her finger. She felt a thrill course through her stomach and belly as his lips parted, and she let her finger drop down to feel the moist flesh of his lower lip, and traced a line down his strong chin to his neck and then his chest. He grasped it when it lay on his breast, just as she was about to squeeze the muscle there right over top of his nipple, although she could not feel it through the heavy velvet of his cloak and the formal clothing beneath.
“Nostalaini”, he whispered and lowered his lips to her forehead. “Now say mine”.
“Feanaro”, she drawled, dragging out the name, letting it languish upon her lips, relishing the sound of it.
“That’s better”, he whispered. “Never let me hear you call me ‘my Lord’ again”. Then he lowered his lips to hers and kissed her with forceful passion. Her lips were hard with desire and this surprised and excited him. He broke free from her grasp with reluctance, but choked out the words, “Not here!” before she could protest.
“Where?” she hissed, panting, her face flushed.
“Back room”, he croaked, his voice husky with pent-up desire. “There is a bed”.
She moaned and threw her head back and he kissed her throat, leaving tantalizing kisses down the length of her neck while unbuttoning the top of her tunic. Then he stooped to life her and carried her to the small bedroom that he kept at the back of the forge.
Feanor was seen as an oddity among the Elves. No other member of the Noldor acted with rebellion as he did, or desired the same level of occupation as he, although they enjoyed the jewellery that he produced for them, and made use of his alphabet and all of his ideas. He had many followers. Many people agreed with the concepts put forth in his speeches and pledged to follow him anywhere. He began to talk of emigrating to the Hither Lands of Middle-earth to establish his own realm.
He did not like living under the control and watch of the Valar and did not worship them as other Elves did, particularly the Vanyar who lived practically under the Valar’s feet. Feanor would have none of that, and many an idea was planted in some of the other Noldor’s minds about leaving Valinor.
But mostly Feanor loved to work in his forge and the more he threw himself into his work, the less he thought about his mother, his wife, or about Galadriel.