Characters: Fingon, son of Fingolfin, and his half-orphaned niece Idril (reference to Maedhros, son of Feanor, and Angrod, son of Finarfin)
Warnings: canonical character death implied (see “half-orphaned”); canonical aftermath of torture implied (see “Maedhros”)
Disclaimer: Tolkien described the situation in Mithrim after the rescue of Maedhros--and many fan fiction writers before me have tried to imagine the details.
A/N: 3 x 100 + 1 x 50 words (according to MS Word)
Apples in Mithrim were crab-apples: small, hard and sour, quite likely to cause indigestion if not baked or stewed. To those who had crossed the Ice to get there, they seemed a great boon nevertheless.
But these were eating apples such as they had eaten in Aman, although not of the same strain—Angrod had brought them back with him from his foray south into the unknown, a neatly packed basketful he had carried carefully over many miles. He had shared them out among his siblings and Fingolfin's family as great prizes.
They were large, smooth, rosy-skinned—a mouth-watering sight.
Fingon had kept the one that fell to his share for Maedhros. He had perceived with disquiet the look of disbelief with which his cousin regarded the green and growing things of Mithrim, in his less guarded moments, as if he doubted the very possibility of their existence. Fingon would cut up his apple neatly into tiny slices and feed them one by one to his cousin as solid proof of the delights yet to be had in Middle-earth. That was the plan.
Meanwhile, in Fingon’s lodgings, the apple lay, in pride of place, in plain view on the table.
His niece Idril wandered in, as she occasionally did, and caught sight of it.
'Oh, you haven't eaten yours yet!' she exclaimed.
She hovered by the table, just looking—too well-brought up to hint at a request—but her whole posture seemed to radiate such palpable longing for another bite... For a moment, Fingon was torn between the rival claims of his sick cousin and his motherless niece. Then he succumbed.
'Let's share it, shall we?' he suggested and picked up the apple.
He took a small bite himself, for form's sake, passing it to Idril to finish the rest.
He was instantly rewarded by seeing the sheer bliss on her face as she chewed. The thought remained, with its sting, that Maedhros's face would have shown no such bliss, not even, Fingon feared, any pleasure.
Between his teeth, his own piece was crisp—tart and sweet on the tongue.