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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 62:  Brothers

Elladan sat helplessly in his chair, his leg supported in front of him, as he gazed into his younger son’s cross-looking red face.  ‘I can do nothing to assist you,’ he said reasonably as the infant’s mouth opened as if searching for food.  ‘Do not tell your uncle, but I would not wish to chance carrying you anywhere – I would be afraid of dropping you if I could not use my cane.  We have been abandoned here out of earshot so that your naneth can dress herself for the occasion – and neither of us is in any condition to help ourselves.’  His long fingers gently smoothed the fluff of black hair adorning the baby’s head and caressed the soft cheek. The wobbly head wavered in the direction of the hand.  ‘There is no point looking to me for sustenance, little one,’ he continued, speaking as if imparting a confidence.  ‘I am not equipped to provide for you in that way.  You will have to wait for your naneth to fetch you.’

Eyes the blue-grey of rain-washed slate gazed in the direction of the voice and then concentrated as if attempting a task of great difficulty.

‘Valar!’ Elladan groaned.  ‘Is it not enough that I cannot walk properly, without having you soak my lap?  I really do not need to suffer any further, my son.’

‘It is laughable, is it not?’ a cool voice behind him said conversationally.  ‘I debated with my wife whether we should come to welcome this little one to the world, but I am glad we did.’

‘You sulked and wished to stay at home with Elerrina, you mean,’ Elrohir told him, ‘while she insisted that nothing would keep her away from my nephew’s naming ceremony.’

‘I do not sulk,’ Legolas said haughtily.

‘Enough of this banter!’ Elladan demanded.  ‘Remove this soggy mite and do something about him.’

‘Have you wet yourself again, my brother?’ Elrohir sighed.  ‘I thought you had outgrown such behaviour.’

‘Just wait until Adar frees me from this chair,’ Elladan threatened.  ‘You will pay for every insult – believe me when I say that I am keeping score.’

Legolas took the child between his capable hands and smiled.  ‘He is rather appealing,’ he admitted.  ‘It is too easy to forget how small and helpless they are when they are first born.’

A drying cloth landed on Elladan’s lap.  ‘Did you not realise why you were gifted with a stack of these, my brother?’ Elrohir teased.  ‘You have clearly spent too long without the joy provided by an infant.’

The first-born twin scrubbed at the patch on his leggings.  ‘I shall have to go and change,’ he said gloomily, ‘or everyone will think that I share my son’s inability to control certain bodily functions.’

‘Miriwen will think you have done it on purpose, too,’ his brother said cheerfully, ‘so that you cannot wear that rather attractive outfit she had planned.’

Legolas looked away from the new scion of the house of Elrond.  ‘Why do our wives seem to feel the need for us to be colour co-ordinated with them?  Half the time I feel that Elerrina considers that I exist purely to make her chosen gown look even better.’

‘Well,’ Elladan said thoughtfully, ‘it is true that you have little other purpose.’

‘He cannot help being pretty, my twin,’ Elrohir chimed in.  ‘He spent a great deal of time in combat with orcs in an attempt to correct the problem.’

‘It is better to be pretty than to have to wear a label to let others know that one is not an orc,’ Legolas said cuttingly.  ‘It is to be hoped that this little one has inherited his looks from his naneth, rather than his adar.’  He smiled at the infant.  ‘I will return him to his nana for – repair.  I only hope for your sake that this is not the garment he is supposed to wear for his official introduction to the household.’

‘Elrohir watched thoughtfully as Legolas bore the baby away.  ‘How long do you think it will be before the House of Oropher produces another heir?  Legolas seems fairly smitten and Elerrina can barely keep her hands off your son.’

‘I am wondering,’ Elladan grinned, ‘whether our prince might not find himself with a sibling rather than a child of his own.  Lady Laerwen is at least as enthralled as Elerrina – and Thranduil is putty in her hands.’

His twin laughed.  ‘It is good to see that everyone has their breaking point, is it not?  Thranduil has intimidated many into submission – but his wife only has to glance in his direction and he will do anything to please her.  It is much like watching you and Miriwen when you first discovered the joys of love.’

Elladan raised an eyebrow.  ‘You were little different.’

‘In fact, the euphoria of reunion being what it is, in many ways I was somewhat surprised that we did not arrive in the Blessed Realm to find that we were, once again, older brothers to an elfling or two.’


Elrohir frowned at his brother.  ‘Refrain from making knowing noises, my twin, unless you are also prepared to add an explanation to your grunts.’

‘Both our parents would have looked on it as an abandonment of hope,’ Elladan told him.  ‘They wanted us to sail – and they knew that Arwen could never come. To have more elflings –,’ he shook his head, ‘would have inferred that we were replaceable.’

‘Which, of course, we are not.’  Elrohir looked at his brother.  ‘You are brighter than you look,’ he sighed.  ‘Well, we came in the end – and at least they now have their grandchildren to enjoy.  Shall we go and inform the world of this one’s name?’

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