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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 54: Playing the Master


‘What is the matter with your brother?’  

Legolas perched on the top rail of the stable yard, one long leg tucked beneath him, like a particularly elegant stork.

Elrohir pushed back the wild black hair blowing in his face and grinned, ducking his head down as he continued to brush his horse.  ‘Nothing,’ he returned, his voice slightly muffled.

‘Are you nearly finished?’ his friend asked plaintively.  ‘You have had long enough to groom the whole stable full.’  He paused, the brisk wind stirring his neat braids as if trying to undo them.  ‘And he is not himself at all.’

‘He is just exasperated,’ Elrohir told him.  ‘Adar has left him in charge – and no sooner had we waved our parents farewell than every single dispute that has festered in these lands since the beginning of time came to a head.  He is tempted to lance them,’ he added, ‘with a sharp blade – but I think Miriwen and I have managed to convince him that it would not be tactful.’

Legolas laughed.  ‘They are testing him,’ he said.  ‘I know how he feels.  It is not so much the problems as the knowledge that everyone is inspecting everything you do and making comments behind your back.’

The dark head appeared again.  ‘Of course, Thranduil and your naneth decided to take some time to themselves and left you to run things for a few seasons, did they not?  Did your people go out of their way to make it difficult?’

‘Not out of their way,’ Legolas judged.  ‘I think being awkward is a natural part of the nature of these Forest Elves.  Although, for Naneth’s sake, I think they were probably a little more forgiving of my – peculiarities.’

‘I think that Adar has gained acceptance,’ Elrohir said thoughtfully.  ‘He listens to what people are not saying as well as to the words on their lips and he has been insistent that those who chose to come with us should learn to live with those whose home it was and not the other way round.’

‘He is experienced in building a refuge that succours all comers,’ Legolas agreed.  ‘The Forest Elves know that he has taken them into his care and that he will do all he can for them.’ 

‘You have spoken to them of him?’  Elrohir sounded surprised.

‘Not I,’ his friend denied.  ‘I would not interfere – but you know that many here still look to Naneth for guidance.  Word reaches her of many things.’

Elrohir tilted his head, narrowing his eyes in consideration.  ‘It seems a good early response to his rule,’ he said.  ‘I think.’ 

‘Are you intending to be all day?’ Elladan called, as he drew close.  ‘Miriwen says you should be preparing to join us for lunch.’

Legolas raised his eyebrows.  ‘She is not usually so formal,’ he remarked.  ‘We usually grab some bread and cheese and stay outside when the weather is fine – lunch seems such an unnecessary interruption.’

‘Not today,’ Elladan told him firmly.  ‘Today we are going to sit down together.’

‘So lordly, is he not?’ Elrohir teased.  ‘Put him in charge and he has us all back in the nursery.’

‘You will do as you are bid.’  His brother aimed a pretend whack at the back of his twin’s head.

‘As you command, my lord.’  Elrohir bowed obsequiously before drawing his horse into the stables.  ‘If my lord will permit, I will be with you immediately.’

‘There is more to this than you having to hold court,’ Legolas said mistrustfully.  ‘What are you plotting?’

‘Nothing!’ his friend protested.  ‘Miriwen merely wishes to share a meal with us and the offspring – is it too much to ask?’

‘When you put it like that,’ his friend told him, ‘it sounds even more suspicious.’

Elrohir laughed.  ‘Come, Legolas.  We will find the reason for this more swiftly if we concede defeat and join everyone in the dining room.’

‘You know what it is about, Elrohir,’ Legolas accused.

‘I do not!’ The second twin’s eyes twinkled.  ‘But the sooner we are presentable, the sooner we will find out.  I would not want the elflings to burst with frustration as they wait for us.’

‘I begin to feel that you are both singularly suited to a life of trying to negotiate a path between Forest Elves and a collection of superannuated Elves of Arda,’ Legolas muttered.  ‘When it comes to being awkward you are past masters.’

‘Why, thank you,’ Elladan said with enthusiasm. ‘I am glad to see that you have discovered our full worth at long last.’

‘Keep your secrets, then,’ Legolas sighed with resignation.  ‘I do not want to know.’

‘Oh, you do.’  Elladan grinned at them both.  ‘And you will, soon enough.’


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