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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 64: Splashing Around

‘It would seem that you were right, my friends,’ Elladan sighed blissfully as he floated in the warm water.

With an air of resignation, Legolas tipped the water from his second boot and tossed it to join its fellow on the wide bank.

An elleth advanced, scandalised expression on her face, to scold this party of rowdy adolescents for invading the elflings’ space; then, realising who they were, she blushed and retreated swiftly.

Elrohir stood, ignoring the water pouring from his clothes.  ‘Yes, that is right, Elladan,’ he said loudly.  ‘Kick your leg.  The effort of working against the water will exercise your muscles while supporting your limb.’

‘You will not convince her,’ Elladan told him with satisfaction.

‘We are far too old to have ellyth complaining to Adar about our behaviour,’ Elrohir protested.

‘Do you remember,’ his brother grinned, ‘when we sneaked out one morning to bathe in the pool favoured by the ellyth?  It seemed to our naïve younger selves that, because we were barred from approaching it too closely, it must be more exciting than our own pool.’

‘As I recollect, the only difference between them was that, when we were caught by a bunch of squealing half-clad ellyth, we were condemned to remain dry for several weeks of a long summer and stay under Naneth’s eye until she decided that we could be trusted again,’ Elrohir remarked.

Legolas laughed.  ‘I sometimes wonder that your parents survived your early years,’ he said.  ‘I used to involve myself in mischief, it is true, but Adar only had to contend with me – my friends had to go home to face their own parents.’

Elrohir peeled his dripping tunic from his body and wrung out what water he could, making sure that as many drops as possible landed on his brother’s face before throwing the garment to the bank.   ‘I cannot believe that I fell for the old ‘my leg has gone: pull me from the water’ trick,’ he said gloomily.  ‘I must be slipping.’

‘I noticed,’ Elladan murmured smugly.

‘Not so much that you failed to grab me by the ankle and haul me in after you,’ Legolas complained.

‘You did not expect me to leave you laughing and dry on the side, surely?’ Elrohir raised a dark eyebrow.  ‘It was a matter of getting you then, or missing out.’

‘And no-one evades the sons of Elrond,’ Elladan agreed.

‘You make me grateful that I did not grow up with you in Imladris.’ Legolas shook his head.  ‘It is no wonder that elves of your age are wary of you.’

‘Well, what of you, Thranduilion?  I do not see you surrounded by hosts of loyal friends from your elfling days.’

Legolas shrugged.  ‘There were very few elflings when I was young, Elladan, and fewer still among them are here now.’  A shadow crossed his fair face at the recollection of how many of Mirkwood’s staunch defenders remained in Námo’s Halls.

‘My apologies, my friend.’  Elladan turned and gazed at the younger elf sympathetically.  ‘Sometimes my mouth works without consulting my brain.’ 

‘Come, Elladan,’ his brother decided.  ‘We are not here for pleasure.  You really do need to work your leg carefully if you wish to recover full function.  I want you moving your ankle until it is uncomfortable – but no more than that.  When it starts to pain you, ease off.  You want to increase the flexibility slowly.’

‘Actually, my brother,’ Elladan winced, ‘what I want is to wake up tomorrow and find that my leg is completely healed without any effort on my part.’

Legolas sat on a flat rock at the pool’s side and watched as Elrohir drilled his brother through a series of exercises before allowing him to rest.    ‘Your leg is looking better,’ he remarked.  ‘The scar is beginning to fade.’

‘It is aching though, my brother, is it not?’ Elrohir looked narrowly at his twin’s face.

‘You should know.’  Elladan sent a wave to splash him.  ‘You are the one to make me work it.  You are merciless.’

‘Rest in the sun,’ Legolas suggested.  ‘Sit here with your feet in the water and take your ease.  I know that neither you nor Miriwen has slept well in recent days.’

‘He can be noisy,’ Elladan allowed, his smile spreading as he thought of his infant son.  ‘Miriwen assures me he is no louder than his brother was – she insists that I only notice his squawking because my leg has been keeping me awake.’  He grinned.  ‘I am enjoying him more than I did the first weeks with Elrin – I am not so afraid that I will break him.’

‘No, elflings are fairly resilient,’ Legolas said thoughtfully.  ‘They can be damaged if you drop them, but they seem to survive most other things without ill-effect.’

‘We, on the other hand,’ Elrohir announced, looking towards the delegation approaching the pool, ‘are far more sensitive to the disapprobation of others.’

Legolas smiled at Elerrina as she attempted to frown disapprovingly at her damp husband.  ‘This time,’ he said with satisfaction, ‘we are entirely free of blame.  This course of action was sanctioned by your Adar for Elladan’s health – and I am pleased to say that he can deal with any consequences.’

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