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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 22: Enthusiasm

Elrohir looked around him and drew a deep breath of the cold air. ‘I have missed this,’ he said.

‘Wet feet?’ enquired his brother.

‘Poor hunting?’ suggested Legolas.

‘I think this is the longest period we have ever spent without riding out on patrol,’ Elrohir pointed out.  ‘The longest time in all our lives when we have sat within walls dealing with management and negotiation – talking over the price of flour, working out contracts, settling disputes, salving hurt feelings.’  He shuddered dramatically. ‘It makes me feel that at last adar is in agreement with us that we are grown-up. This is a happy escape.  I find that I am enjoying not knowing what is awaiting us over the next hill.’

‘I know what you mean,’ Elladan sighed. ‘I am not made to sit and shuffle paper.’

‘And yet,’ said Legolas, ‘I have never felt so guilty.  I am actually carrying out a mission – we have been instructed to do this and our wives appeared content to wave us farewell – but all I can see is Elerrina pacing the floor throughout the whole night because the little terrors will not sleep.’

‘It passes, my friend,’ the voice of experience informed him.  ‘Or, if it does not, then ensuring they are placed in a room distant enough for you not to hear them can be of help.’

Legolas threw him a cynical glance.  ‘Oh yes, Elladan. I can see you being permitted to abandon your squawking son.  Miriwen would have your ears.’

‘I have almost mastered the art of appearing to remain asleep,’ he offered.  ‘I will train you in the skill, should you wish it.’

‘I think ‘almost’ is the key word there.  ‘Almost’ is not enough.  And I could not allow Elerrina to struggle with two wailing elflings when I can aid her.’

‘Those desirous of starting a family should listen to you two.’  Elrohir shook his head. ‘It is enough to put off all but the most enthusiastic.’

‘And speaking of enthusiasm, my brother,’ Elladan raised an eyebrow, ‘are you much further forward? I have noticed a rather smug look about you recently that suggests that your practice has been rewarded.’     

‘My lips are sealed,’ Elrohir returned.  ‘Sirithiel has told me to say nothing, and it is my duty, of course, to obey.’

His brother and friend exchanged a look and refrained from pressing their enquiry.  Behind Elrohir’s back, Elladan raised his hand and made an obvious point of counting the number of seconds that passed before his brother broke and told them. 

‘Where is your curiosity?’ the younger twin complained, just as his brother reached the number ten.  ‘Do you not wish to know?’

‘Sirithiel has told you to say nothing,’ Legolas reminded him earnestly, a broad grin brightening his face. ‘It is your duty to obey!’

‘Of course,’ Elladan added, ‘that rule does not apply to her.’

‘You know already?’  Elrohir was clearly disappointed.

His brother laughed, but surrendered, reluctant to spoil his twin’s moment.  ‘News of some kind has spread to certain favoured people, but they have refused to pass it on – despite torture, too.  Even when thoroughly tickled, Miriwen would say no more than that I was to talk to you.’

‘Elerrina would not even say that much,’ Legolas bemoaned. ‘Of course, whenever she is not caring for the little monsters, she is asleep from sheer exhaustion.  I am glad that, between them, Thranduil and her naneth have managed to get her to agree that she will accept the help of a nursemaid. At first she looked on it as a sign of failure – she pointed out that Miriwen has no help to look after Elrin – but they convinced her that, with two elflings demanding her attention, she needed reliable assistance.’

‘Are you asserting that I am no help?’ Elladan protested.

‘A liability, I would say.  In need of much care yourself.’

‘Are twins truly that bad, my friend?’ Elrohir asked uneasily.

Two pairs of sharp elven eyes focused on him.  ‘Not you, too?’ asked Legolas.

‘This is one fellowship I am happy not to join,’ Elladan remarked with smug satisfaction.  ‘I do not know what I have done to be spared, but I am grateful.’

‘Come,’ Elrohir insisted.  ‘Let us ride.  The sooner we have carried out our assessment of the site and gathered all the reports, the sooner we can return to our families.’

‘What did your adar have to say about what has been achieved so far?’

‘He is excited, Legolas.  He is itching to make the journey and see it for himself.  If we are not careful, our elders will decide that our family commitments require us to sit at home, being sensible and mature and discreet, while they ride out to take on the task of establishing the new havens,’ the older twin warned.

Legolas gave a crack of laughter.  ‘I can just see myself telling Thranduil to be careful to avoid unnecessary risks,’ he said. ‘And that I look forward for once to seeing him come home uninjured.  That would be quite a role reversal!’

Elladan shuddered. ‘But one to be avoided, my friend.  Definitely one to be avoided.’

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