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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 21: Come out to Play

He stood beneath the spreading arms of the old oak, leaning against the solid strength of the trunk, his eyes half shut.

‘There you are!’  Elladan sat on the bench and drew his feet up to cross them, so that he perched like a bird on a twig. ‘I am surprised you are not with Thranduil and your adar-in-law, re-fighting the War of Wrath and arguing over every detail.’

Elrohir draped himself over the grass.  ‘Why are you not with your wife, Legolas?’

‘She does not want me there,’ he replied gloomily.  ‘She told me to get out before she took something sharp and used it to ensure that my suffering was as great as hers and that I would never be able to put her in this position again.  Your adar said that my presence was currently not helpful, so he suggested that I take a break.’

‘She does not mean it,’ Elladan told him sympathetically.  ‘I can tell you from experience that she will forget every curse she has hurled at your head within minutes of their arrival – more; she will deny that she ever uttered them.’ 

‘That is what her naneth said.  I am not sure I believe her.’

Elrohir looked at him enquiringly.  ‘You seem to have made peace with the great spider,’ he remarked.  ‘Do I take that she is not as bad as you would have had us believe?’

Legolas looked shamefaced. ‘I should not have said what I did about her,’ he admitted. ‘She was only worried about Elerrina.  I can understand that.’  He cast an anxious glance at the windows.

‘It is odd, is it not,’ Elrohir said after a few minutes of silence, ‘how things change and you do not even realise it.  It seems no time ago that we were riding out after orc and adar was fretting that we would be injured – no matter how many years we attained everybody still seemed to think of us as elflings. Yet now. . .’ 

‘It is marriage, I think,’ his brother mused.  ‘It puts you in a different category.  You are an elfling, at your parents’ command – and then you are a youth, and that lasts until you take to yourself the responsibilities of adulthood – maybe fifty years, maybe five thousand, it does not seem to matter.  Once you marry, you are closer to becoming their equal – and then parenthood takes you further along that path.  I feel I have more in common with adar now, even though Elrin is still so young.’

‘It will take more than elflings to make my adar treat me as his equal,’ Legolas commented.

‘Well,’ Elrohir shrugged. ‘That is Thranduil for you. He has always been your king as well as your adar – it makes a difference.   He needs to be in control – but you deal with him well. Notice he has you standing at his side now, rather than bowing before his throne.’

‘Elrond is your lord as well as your adar,’ Legolas observed, ‘but you have had an easier time with him.’

‘He is a diplomat rather than an autocrat,’ Elladan offered. ‘It makes a difference. He would still command – he was just better at making it sound like a request.’

‘And he was – and still is – very talented at leading you into making the decision upon which he would have insisted – and then congratulating you on your good sense,’ Elrohir added ironically.  ‘Typical healer.’

They lapsed into silence again, unable to concentrate for the buzz of activity not far away. 

‘It is so much easier when you are the one over whom the healers are fussing,’ Legolas said finally, his voice strained. ‘Standing by and waiting is unbearable.’

‘If adar was worried, he would have summoned you,’ Elladan told him, injecting as much calm confidence into his tones as he could.  ‘As long as he lets you wait here, you know that things are going well.’

Even as he spoke a head appeared at the window and Elerrina’s mother beckoned.  Legolas was across the lawn and into the house before his friends had time to stand, leaving nothing but a stir of air behind him.

As Elrond’s sons strolled across the sunlit grass towards the house, the tension emanating from the room above, risen to the point of frenzy, suddenly stilled and a wave of wonder replaced the sense of anxiety.

‘I think this is it, my brother,’ Elrohir smiled, as the mewling wail of a new-born reached them.

‘I wonder which one it is,’ his twin said. ‘Ellon or ellyth?  Any wagers?’

Elrohir shook his head.  ‘Not this time,’ he answered, his face bright with anticipation. ‘Come, by the time we reach the house, I suspect the second-comer will have arrived.  Let us go and join the welcome.’


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