The Power of Her Smile

Aegnor scowled and stomped out of the room. He knew just where to hide. The big parlor, behind the curtains was the best place to go. He didn't want any dumb sister! Sisters were girls and girls weren't anything but trouble. He knew.  His nanny was a girl and she yelled at him for getting dirty or for getting tears in his pants. Girls only cared if you kept clean and ate all your dinner. Angrod was lucky. He had a little brother. Aegnor only had big brothers and a little sister. He didn't want a little sister. Especially because now his mama and papa were spending all that time with her. Aegnor could barely get them to pay any attention to him.  Finrod kept saying it was a blessing.  How could it be a blessing when mama hadn't been in to kiss him good night?  Finrod tried to tuck him in, but he didn't do it right. Aegnor wanted mama.

It wasn't very long before he heard his name being called, then someone came into the room.

"Aegnor? Son, are you in here?  I guess the room is empty.  I thought my son might be here, I am lonely to see him, but I don't know where to look now."

It was papa! And he was looking for Aegnor! When it seemed as if Finarfin might leave, Aegnor couldn't stand it any longer. He burst out from behind the heavy drapery.

"Papa! I am here! I didn't know you were lonely! You have uh..uh..a sister now! You don't need me!"

Finarfin gathered his youngest into his arms and started walking back to the bedroom where Artanis had been born. 

"How can you say that? Your mother and I need you, and love you very much. And she's your sister, my daughter. Wouldn't you like to meet her? All of your brothers have been in to hold her, now it's your turn."

Aegnor clung to his father, wrapping his arms around his neck and pressing his face to his chest. He really didn't want to meet her. But he supposed he would, just to make his mama and papa happy. He could always hide again.

His father set him down so he could walk into the room.  Instead, he ran, and jumped up on the bed so he could see his mother.  He wanted to crawl up into her lap, but she was holding a tiny bundle wrapped in blankets.

"Here she is, Aegnor. Say hello to Artanis. Come sit beside me and I'll help you hold her."

He looked at the baby with suspicion, noting only how his mother and father looked at her, as if she was some great gift. He sat up against the head of the bed, and held out his arms. He didn't want to hold her, but his mama wanted him to, so he would. He chewed on his lower lip and held his breath as his father took the baby, ready to hand her to Aegnor.

"Aegnor, open your eyes. You can't see her if you close them."

His papa was right.  Well, if he had to.  He sighed and opened his eyes as Finarfin put the little bundle into his arms. At first, he stayed stiff, not knowing what to do. He gradually relaxed as he realized the baby wasn't going to fall out of his arms. He smiled up at his papa.

"She's sleeping!"

Finarfin smiled back and held his finger to his lips, telling Aegnor to be quiet. Just as the little boy was getting bored, watching her sleep, she moved. She opened here eyes and smiled up at him.

"Mama! Papa! She's smiling at me! How come she's happy to see me?"

"She knows you're her big brother, and that you love her, and will protect her. She knows you."

Aegnor didn't realize it then, but as he got older, he remembered that moment. The first time he felt the power of her smile.


They'd made it across the ice. They were here, in Arda, and Aegnor was regretting leaving Valinor. He liked adventure, but this was not what he'd expected. Of course, Artanis was actually cheerful, anxious to start exploring already. Against all her brothers' objections, she did exactly that. Aegnor wasn't the only one of her brothers that tried to give her whatever she desired. All she had to do was smile.


Aegnor had to admit. He didn't really like Celeborn, but it really only mattered that Artanis loved him. Aegnor made Finrod laugh when he cornered Celeborn and demanded that the silvan elf never hurt his little sister. They all remembered Aegnor's first reaction to Artanis, and now, he was jealous of Celeborn getting her attention.

"I can't help it, Finrod. I worry about her. He'd not good enough for her. Not by half."

Aegnor vowed to do what he could to keep the two away from each other. Then he saw them walking in the gardens one morning. They appeared to be arguing about something. Then Artanis smiled. He could tell from the embrace that followed that Celeborn had given in. Aegnor knew he didn't have to worry anymore. Celeborn was under her spell too.

She hadn't turned out to be such a bad thing after all. And now, she was going to bewitch an entirely new world. She only had to smile.



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