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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 66:  Music of the Heart

Elrohir turned his head to pinpoint the origin of the distant piping.

‘I wish he would not do this,’ his brother said.  ‘It is unnatural.  He is a Wood Elf.  They are supposed to be joyful and mischievous.’

‘Well – he is both of those.  But sometimes he accidentally lets slip the fact that he is deeper than that.’

‘Should we leave him to it, do you think?’

Elrohir grinned.  ‘What do you think?’

‘I think we should creep up on him and torment him until he has a reason to feel less than cheerful.’  Elladan listened to the plaintive melody.  ‘He is very ticklish.’

‘It would make him laugh,’ Elrohir allowed.  ‘But hysterical mirth is not laughter of the heart – and I think he needs something more.’  He sighed.  ‘Come, my twin.  Let us go and share his sorrow.’

Legolas sat almost hidden in the canopy of a stately beech, one leg trailing down and the other drawn up in front of him as he played.  His flute trilled melodiously, taking the rhythm of the wood and turning it into song.  He closed his eyes as he played and built in memory the shadowed glades of ancient trees; the banks, jewel-studded with wild flowers; the clear cold streams of rippling water; tentative deer stepping cautiously from the shelter of dense undergrowth in the light of a fresh dawn.

‘It is very beautiful, my friend,’ Elladan said softly.

‘It is very beautiful,’ Elrohir added, ‘but it is not here, is it?’

The music ceased abruptly.  Legolas opened his eyes to see the twins watching him with understanding.  ‘It should not be forgotten,’ he said, more harshly than he meant.

‘It will not be,’ Elladan told him.  ‘Not as long as there are elves in the Blessed Realm in whose hearts the forests of Lasgalen still live.’

‘There are nights in the Hall of Fire here,’ Elrohir pointed out, ‘when it is not only Imladris that is rebuilt in the memories of those who sing, but Doriath and Gondolin, Sirion and Ost-in-Edhil.  Lothlórien flourishes in the hearts of those who dwelt there.  Lindon is as real as the woods in which we now have our homes.  Nothing good is lost, Legolas.’

‘Do you ever wish you were back there?’ Legolas asked.  ‘Home again?’

Elladan leaned back against his branch.  ‘You were not there at the end, my friend,’ he murmured.  ‘In the end it was no longer our home.  Even Thranduil –,’ he shook his head.  ‘I never thought that your adar would accept that it was over,’ he said, ‘but he did.’  He looked up.  ‘Have you spoken of those last days to him?’

Legolas shrugged.

‘Not that it makes any difference,’ Elrohir agreed.  ‘When I mourn the passing of Imladris, it is not the empty halls that I recall, in which the stirring of dried leaves sounded like the footsteps of the departed, but the valley of our youth – full of laughter and song, with busy people leading purposeful lives.’  He paused a moment in recollection.  ‘The sun always shines in memory,’ he said.

‘Except when it does not,’ Elladan added.  ‘Do you not recall being caught in a flood?  Or when we went out into the snow and became so lost that it took the whole guard to find us?  Or . . .’

‘I was being metaphorical, orc-brain,’ Elrohir interrupted with dignity.

‘Would you think I was mad if I said that there are times when I even miss the presence of orcs?’ Legolas smiled wryly.  ‘I would be horrified to find here the dangers that we faced in Arda, but sometimes . . .’

‘We need a challenge,’ Elladan agreed.  ‘I enjoy being an elf with a family.  I even enjoy being faced with the responsibilities of an adult – some of the time, anyway – but it can all become a little monotonous.  And you have been here longer than we have – you must itch for something more exciting every now and then.’

Elrohir gave his friend an evil grin.  ‘Perhaps we should invite Elerrina’s adar to visit again – that took your mind off other things and no mistake!’

‘I think I would rather be left to lament the home of my youth,’ Legolas stated firmly, ‘if it is all the same to you.’

‘Carry on,’ Elladan said with a wave of his hand.  ‘You have my permission.’

‘Without an audience,’ Legolas insisted.

‘No,’ Elrohir shrugged.  ‘Wakes work better in company, my prince.  We will stay – and you will play and we will talk and drink and sing – and in the end we will all feel much better for it.’

‘You are going to insist, I take it,’ Legolas remarked.

‘Most certainly,’ Elladan nodded.

‘Then you had best join me in goblet of wine,’ the prince said with resignation, reaching into a hollow behind him and tossing a silver cup to each of them and holding up a full wineskin.

Elrohir smiled slowly.  ‘You were that certain of us, my friend?’ he asked.

‘I was,’ Legolas allowed, laughing. ‘You are, I am afraid, nothing if not predictable.’ 


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