Beta'd by agape4gondor; written as a gift fic for Rhyselle.
Maglor looked out the palace window, entranced by the sight: ships burning; the whole harbor alight. He swallowed hard against the bile in his throat.
He closed his eyes, as if doing so would take away the ships that burned now, and the ones that had burned at Alqualondë. The harbor had not simply burned at Alqualondë; he and his brothers had turned it red with blood. And for what? Some pretty bauble, his father's pride, oaths sworn at Túna when mist and grief clouded his heart? And why was he still so willing to spill blood for that curséd promise uttered so long before?
He had heard screams since then, seen elven-blood on his sword, but the flames.... It was the flames that pulled him back to that bloody night. Maglor remembered a Telerin youth who'd stood on a berth, blocking his way. Had the boat been his father's? Had they used it to pull fish from the sea, or perhaps explore up the coast? Had it really been worth dying for?
In the end, none of that mattered. In the end, Maglor had sunk his dagger into the youth's gut. He'd frozen in horror, then, and the lad's blood had run through Maglor's fingers and over his hands. The Telerin had died, and Maglor – he'd been cursed to live.
Maglor grasped his sword more tightly, to steady his hands. 'Twas too late to save that boy, he knew that, or even to turn aside from this latest battle. His hands were bound by that ancient oath, and he could no more change his course now than a twig could alter a river's path.
His only hope lay forward, he knew: to find Elwing, to reclaim his father's cursed jewel. Then, perhaps, the oath would rest for a while.
If you are less familiar with the Silmarillion, you may be curious about events that led up to the attack on Sirion. I have written up a brief summary of the theft of the silmarils, first kinslaying at Alqualonde, the oath of Feanor, and other events this ficlet touches on. I intend this ficlet to be understandable without detailed Silm knowledge; however, if you'd like to know more, you're free to read my summary.