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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 55: Surprise

Elladan looked sheepishly at his brother and friend.  ‘Well?’ he said.

‘The thing that surprises me,’ Legolas commented, ‘is that you told us now.  I would have thought you would wait until your adar was home.’

‘Miriwen says there are some secrets you can only keep for so long,’ Elladan admitted.  ‘She informed me that this would not have remained between the two of us for much longer.  You only have to look at the smug expression on my brother’s face to know that he is glorying in having guessed correctly – and I am sure that whatever he suspected, he has shared with Sirithiel.’

‘It is a bit of a drastic way to get Adar to return and relieve you of your responsibilities, though, my brother.’ Elrohir shook his head mournfully.  ‘I am sure he will be most disappointed in you.’

His twin was clearly disconcerted by his twin’s apparent disapproval.  His mouth opened and shut as he looked from Elrohir to Legolas, but he made no response.

‘And Naneth was so looking forward to this opportunity to visit her grandparents,’ Elrohir continued sadly.  ‘Yet now she will be forced to cut the trip short and return to us early, simply because you have no sense of timing.  I do not know how you can be so inconsiderate.’

Elladan’s eyes narrowed as Legolas choked back his laughter.  ‘You are dead, my brother,’ he said with feeling.  ‘I will make you suffer when next we spar, believe me.  You will be reminded of why it is not a good idea to provoke me.’

‘You terrify me.’ Elrohir’s eyes brightened with anticipation.  ‘Tomorrow, my brother?’ he asked hopefully.  ‘It would be good to spend some time away from the paperwork involved in keeping things running smoothly.  And, I must say, the thought of some simple violence is very tempting after far too much time spent being tactful and conciliatory.’

‘The only thing I have to add to what we said over lunch,’ Legolas stated firmly, ‘is that, this time, we are not going to follow suit.  You are on your own, my friend.’

Elladan snorted.  ‘As if you get any say in the matter, Thranduilion.  Your wife will wheedle her way into your heart and make you feel invincible.  She will convince you against your better judgment.’

His brother and friend looked at him, surprised at his choice of words.  ‘Is this not what you want, Elladan?’ Elrohir asked tentatively.

‘I did not mean that at all the way it sounded.’ Elladan pulled a face and ran his hand through his hair.  ‘I told you that I have no talent for diplomacy.  I meant that our wives have a way of making us want what they want.  Believe me when I say that both Miriwen and I are delighted about this.  But I am sure that, if Elerrina or Sirithiel wants to – extend the celebrations to your households, they will win you over inch by inch, until you are as excited by the idea as I am.’

Elrohir laughed.  ‘Can you imagine,’ he said, ‘Sirithiel wanting to have more elflings at this time to add to the chaos created everywhere that Aewlin and Nimloth go?  We have our eyes set desperately on some distant time, when they have outgrown the desire to test every boundary set them and become reasonable people, and we are working on surviving until then.  Give us a few centuries after that and we might be prepared to consider having another elfling.  Maybe.’  

‘I think there is something about having youngsters in pairs,’ Legolas agreed, ‘that makes you less anxious to try it again too quickly.  I cannot imagine Elerrina wanting to have another baby for a long time.’

‘Of course,’ Elladan said reasonably, ‘your children already have a sibling, do they not?  Miriwen felt that, although Elrin has his cousins, if we wanted him to have a brother or sister close enough for him to feel like a brother rather than an uncle, we needed to provide one fairly soon.’  He paused reflectively.  ‘I always felt,’ he added, ‘that Arwen was rather lonely as an elfling.  We were adult by the time she was born – and on our early patrols.  We had other interests . . .’

‘Ellyth, mainly,’ Elrohir interrupted.

‘Ellyth, dancing – gaming, wine, adventure,’ Elladan said reminiscently.  ‘All the follies of being old enough to do as we wanted, yet with very little responsibility.  We grew up at a good time, did we not, my brother?  Not like Adar, who became adult in the middle of a war, or Estel, who grew into a responsibility that would have horrified us.’  He smiled at the memory of his younger self, then drew a deep breath.  ‘Arwen was so thrilled when we spent time with her – time with her brothers was a treat, rather than an everyday part of her life.  I did not want it to be like that for Elrin.’  He looked at the others seriously.  ‘He is already on the edge of adolescence,’ he said, ‘but he will have years yet to spend with this little one before he moves on to adulthood.  It is the right time for us to have another elfling.’

‘And it will be a son,’ Legolas smiled.

‘A son,’ Elladan agreed.

‘We share your joy,’ Elrohir said simply, placing an affectionate hand on his brother’s shoulder.  ‘It will be good to have a little one in the household.’

‘You will excuse us, though,’ Legolas declared, ‘if we have a sneaking hope that your younger son will prove a little more challenging than the elder.’

‘In fact,’ Elrohir added with a mischievous grin, ‘we will do our best to see to it!’


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