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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 36: After the Ball was Over


The three elves sat in a row, each face wearing the same look of bewildered incomprehension combined with indignation.

‘How can it be our fault?’  Elladan said with confusion.

‘I do not know.’  Legolas shook his head, baffled.  ‘I was not even there and yet I am to blame.  I do not understand the way their minds work.’

‘How was Galenthil?’ Elrohir asked.  His face was pale and tired-looking.

‘Not well,’ Legolas said after a moment’s reflection.  ‘And he felt very sorry for himself when he woke up this morning.’  He remained silent for a while.  ‘He is rather young to discover the after-effects of too much wine.  Aewlin?’  he asked.

‘I shall not be happy when I find the fool who decided that strawberries and raspberries would add a delightful touch of interest to the punch,’ Elrohir sighed.  ‘Our offspring agreed – and when they found the bowl almost empty, they slipped it beneath the table with them.’  He grinned wryly.  ‘They did not care for the sauce much, she told me, but the fruit was delicious.’

‘I suppose,’ Elladan remarked, ‘that we should be grateful that their stomachs rebelled when they did.’

They considered.  ‘Although it did not do much to enhance the evening,’ Legolas admitted.

‘I thought,’ Elrohir said plaintively, ‘that we did quite well.  As soon as we heard the sounds of distress, we fished them out from their hiding place – and smelled their breath.’

‘It might have been better to get them away from the guests,’ his brother conceded. ‘I did not realise they were quite so close to – returning what they had consumed.’

Elrohir laughed.  ‘Galenthil added an interesting shade of pink to your hair,’ he told Legolas.

His friend pulled a face.  ‘He did not do much to improve my robes, either.  Elerrina will find time to be infuriated by that once she has recovered from her wrath over Galenthil having been ill.’

‘It could have been worse,’ Elladan said with cheerful optimism.

His friends threw him a look of disgust.  ‘It is easy for you to say that,’ his twin said.  ‘Your son was talking to Lady Galadriel in a sickeningly mature way.  You are only in trouble by association – because our elders long ago gave up attempting to identify which of us was guilty and just consented to let us share responsibility.’

‘It could!’ Elladan protested.  He began to list the ways.  ‘It could have been all of them,’ he pointed out, ‘they could have drunk enough to make them unconscious instead of simply unwell, Galenthil could have adorned my daernaneth with his vomit rather than his adar, Aewlin could have admitted to stealing and drinking a flagon of wine – whereas their sickness was, in fact, accidental.  It could have been much worse.’

‘We still receive the blame, though,’ Elrohir told him.  ‘We were plainly not caring for them properly, or they would not have had the opportunity to secrete themselves under the table in the first place.   And once we had discovered them, we allowed them to remain there.’

‘Oh well,’ Legolas leaned his head back and closed his eyes. ‘Receiving the blame is nothing new.’ He added easily, ‘Our shoulders are broad.’

‘Will you punish Galenthil?’ Elrohir asked him after a few moments of quiet.

‘It should not prove necessary,’ Legolas said thoughtfully.  ‘I did not provide the usual hangover cure.  I believe he will remember this day with aversion for some years.  What of Aewlin?’

‘The same,’ Elrohir agreed.  ‘Moreover, Sirithiel insisted that she got up and joined us for breakfast – and I think she was planning on making Aewlin go to her lessons, too.’  He grinned.  ‘My wife has very little sympathy with drinking to excess.’

‘Wives can be very cruel,’ Elladan commented.

Legolas smiled wickedly.  ‘It is part of their charm,’ he commented appreciatively.  ‘Circumventing their disapproval is very entertaining.’

Elrohir looked at him cynically.  ‘It is no wonder that your children can charm their way out of almost anything,’ he said.  ‘They take after their adar.’

‘As do yours,’ Legolas pointed out to both his friends.

‘Oh well - I can think of one good outcome to this,’ Elladan said, stretching and yawning as he spoke.

‘Which is?’

‘I do not believe we will be trusted to look after elflings at a ball for a good few years.’

‘By which time,’ Elrohir sighed, ‘we will have much more serious problems with which to contend – at least, Legolas and I will.’

Legolas raised his eyebrows.

‘Ellyn, my friend.  We will be trying to keep our little ellyth away from the ellyn.’ 

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