Forum: HASA Birthday Cards Forum

Discussing: April 2007 Birthdays

April 2007 Birthdays

Hello, birthday babies and drabblers! If you have an April birthday, please post your request here. Birthday folk, please visit the HASA Birthday Cards workshop, put your story in it, and enter the April challenge.

If you have questions, please ask.

Gandalfs apprentice

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April 4, RS: My daughter just turned 13, and wow, is it a new world for me! I was wondering if anybody is up to writing a drabble about Aragorn and his teenage daughter(s)...how he is able to cope with a bundle of raging hormones and an attitude! I would also like to see an interaction between Arwen and Boromir, or Eomer; Arwen and Gondorion society; or just Arwen and Aragorn.

April 10, Oshun: Feanor and/or sons, Maedhros preferred. Or Fingon (or both—slash is OK). Can't do First Age or before? Then Faramir, please. I like Faramir hard, smart and tough. Please no movie Faramir! And don't do Feanorians if you don't like them. Sorry, it's my party! Right? (I am terrible about writing to prompts! But, if you do me a birthday present, I will try to reciprocate!)

 

April 13, Larner: Anyone up to writing an argument between Frodo and Aragorn?

April 17, Darth Fingon: Valar save me, I have a birthday coming up and am turning a year older than I was last year. Cripes. If anyone cares to take up the challenge, I would like some good old fashioned Gil-galad and Elrond interaction. Gen or slash, I'm not too fussed, though safer ratings are preferred. Any age, setting or timeframe, so long as there are no depressing, bearded, grey-haired mortals involved to remind us all of our inevitable ageing. Just Elvses, please. I need a diversion.

April 29, fliewatuet: I haven't been a very active member of this community of late, but maybe my muses will get coaxed into cooperation again by a birthday drabble. My all time favourite character is Aragorn, closely followed by his second-in-command, Halbarad. So I'd ask for a drabble dealing with Aragorn and Halbarad or with Halbarad and a character of your liking (Arwen and/or her brothers, Elrond, Éomer, Éowyn, OCs, whatever).

 

 

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

Hi!
I'm new at this so if I'm posting in the wrong area..forgive me. My birthday is April 4. My daughter just turned 13, and wow, is it a new world for me! I was wondering if anybody is up to writing a drabble about Aragorn and his teenage daughter(s)..how he is able to cope with a bundle of raging hormones and an attitude! I would also like to see an interaction between Arwen and Boromir, or Eomer; Arwen and Gondorion society; or just Arwen and Aragorn (I know, not too creative). Hope this is not too much to ask for, but hey..it's my birthday!

RS

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

Birthday April 10

 

What I want for my birthday is: Feanor and/or sons, Maedhros preferred. Or Fingon (or both—slash is OK). Can't do First Age or before? Then Faramir, please. I like Faramir hard, smart and tough. Please no movie Faramir! And don't do Feanorians if you don't like them. Sorry, it's my party! Right? (I am terrible about writing to prompts! But, if you do me a birthday present, I will try to reciprocate!)

 

Oshun

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

A ficlet of 500 words for you, RS, with Aragorn and teenage daughter. Hope you enjoy!

Thirteen

Aragorn looked smilingly at his family as they ate. Arwen had not only given him beautiful children, but they were so easy-tempered as well. Perhaps Silmarien had a bit of attitude at times, but not much, especially for a child of seven. Then there had been that trouble with Eldarion—but he was a boy, and boys were different. Besides, that was all over, and the family was back to its amiable self.

And then—oh dear. Aragorn realized that he should have remembered not to think such things, for they attracted bad luck. "Is something wrong, Idriel?" he asked tentatively.

The unexplainable scowl on his eldest daughter's face did not move. "Nothing," she said.

Aragorn frowned. "Are you sure? You appear out of sorts to my eyes."

"I'm fine," she said, but as if through clenched teeth.

Aragorn looked to Arwen with question in his eyes, and noticed that her soup spoon had halted halfway between bowl and mouth. His eyebrow rose as he saw that she had just realized something, but what it could be he knew not.

"Idriel," she said calmly, "will you not tell your father what is wrong?"

"Oh, just that he never lets me do anything," said Idriel, crossing her arms but attempting a light tone.

"What does that mean?" asked Aragorn, bewilderment clear in his voice.

"You wouldn't let me go to the academy, would you?" she accused.

Aragorn looked to Arwen. "What?"

"She wants to be an intelligence officer in the Citadel," explained Arwen calmly. "I did discuss this with you, but did not use her name, so it is no wonder that you do not remember."

"Exactly," said Idriel.

"Intelligence officer!" exclaimed Aragorn. "Of course not! You are only thirteen, Idriel, and royalty would never be accepted by the academy."

"You could change the law," said Idriel, "but you wouldn't, because you hate me."

"I do not hate you," said Aragorn, his ire rising at such an accusation.

"Yes, you do!" she cried, tears flying from her eyes. "You don't want me to do anything I want, but just to grow up and marry some stuck-up prince!" She stood up and pushed her chair back to the table with such force that her glass spilled. With a sob, she then gave him a hurt look before dashing off.

As her wild sobs faded away, Arwen rose calmly. "I will be back soon," she said.

"What is all this about?" demanded Aragorn, the confusion becoming too much for this King.

"She is thirteen, my love," said Arwen, and then departed the way Idriel had gone.

As this was clearly supposed to convey everything he needed to know, Aragorn pondered her words. Suddenly it came to him that the age was the problem, and he then realized why Faramir had spent so much time in Minas Tirith the year before, the year that happened to be when his younger daughter turned thirteen. Dear Valar, thought Aragorn. I have three more daughters after Idriel!

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

*Groan*

Oh, I remember all this so well!  Idriel is a typical teenager - moody, sullen, and irrational.  And of course her father hates her! 

I love poor bewildered Aragorn here, wondering what he did wrong.  Been there, done that (in fact, we still get it sometimes, and my daughter is now 20!!)

Great fun!

Jay

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

I haven't been a very active member of this community of late, but maybe my muses will get coaxed into cooperation again by a birthday drabble. 

 My birthday is April 29th. My all time favourite character is Aragorn, closely followed by his second-in-command, Halbarad. So I'd ask for a drabble dealing with Aragorn and Halbarad or with Halbarad and a character of your liking (Arwen and/or her brothers, Elrond, Éomer, Éowyn, OCs, whatever).

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

For Oshun who wanted a smart Faramir. You get two Kings as well.

Battle Plans

When Faramir left his tent, the sun blinded him momentarily. It was hot in Harondor and the air was dry. He whipped the sweat from his brow and walked towards the King Elessar's tent. Éomer was already there, lounching in a chair and holding a map in his hands. They nodded to each other.

"This day we fight. Are you ready, brother?" The Rohír asked, standing up and clasping Faramir's forearm.

"I have been ready for a long time." Where now is Aragorn?"

"Here he is," a voice called and soon the king entered his tent. "I saw your lamp burning long into the night, Faramir. Did you finish the plans?"

Faramir grinned and handed him a scroll. "Of course, my lord, it is all standing."

Aragorn thanked him and Éomer commented: "With Elessar's skills at leadership and his Steward's clever strategies no one will be able to withstand us."

"Not to forget," Faramir added, "Éomer's heart and courage."

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

This is hilarious! I love the confusion on the part of Aragorn! I too had to explain to my husband .. "She is thirteen.." about our thirteen year old! Maybe Faramir should make room for Aragorn at his place!

"Dear Valar, thought Aragorn. I have three more daughters after Idriel! " Poor Aragorn!

I love it! Thanks so much..(big smile on my face).

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

Valar save me, I have a birthday coming up on April 17th, and am turning a year older than I was last year.  Cripes.

If anyone cares to take up the challenge, I would like some good old fashioned Gil-galad and Elrond interaction.  Gen or slash, I'm not too fussed, though safer ratings are preferred.  Any age, setting or timeframe, so long as there are no depressing, bearded, grey-haired mortals involved to remind us all of our inevitable ageing.  Just Elvses, please.  I need a diversion.

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

Oh, thanks, Vilwarin. I am so happy to read Faramir using his intellectual capacity since my own characterization is always all about tousled black hair and soulful eyes (at least that is what I am told by certain friends! OK, maybe there is a little of that in my stuff). I insist that I like him for his brains, as I noted in my request.

Thank you again.  (Also liked the inclusion of Éomer, another of my favorites among the Men, as I mentioned to you privately.)

I did create a story in birthday challenge workshop area; would be thrilled if you would add this as a chapter.

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

To Darth Fingon: Excellent choice. I will see if I can do something. I have always wanted to, but am a little intimidated by the awesome existing stories in this genre. The bar has been set rather high. Oh, well, good judgment has never been my thing. (One of my current favorites is Kenaz's "Where The Shadows Are.")

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

For fliewatuet, whose all time favourite character is Aragorn, closely followed by his second-in-command, Halbarad. So I'd ask for a drabble dealing with Aragorn and Halbarad.

Excellent choice! The two are my favourite characters. I hope you don't mind slashy angst. I promise that I'll come up with something happier soon. 

Confessions

Night had descended over the land, and the two rangers had camp in a small dell near Weathertop. They were sitting quietly, staring into the fire. At last Halbarad leaned over Aragorn's shoulder to see what the other man was doing.


"What are you carving?" Halbarad asked.


"It is Galathor's birthday soon, is it not?"


"Yes, but you need not make him a gift. I know that you hate carving!"


"As his 'uncle', I do not want to come back empty-handed. I love him dearly and enjoy his company."


"You are only hurting yourself."


Aragorn looked up at that and glared at his cousin. "You should not speak of things you do not know."


Halbarad laid a hand on Aragorn's shoulder. "Do not think me ignorant. You wish for Galathor to be yours, and you wish for her to warm your bed."


Aragorn pushed the hand from his shoulder, threw the carving into the fire and walked off towards the dell's rim. After a few moments Halbarad followed him. He found him standing just outside the circle of light, staring into the distance. He did not move when Halbarad walked up to him.


"Am I right, Aragorn?" Aragorn did not answer. "You feel lonely even amongst your friends."


A long pause. "I have been feeling lonely ever since I left Eriador many years ago. It seems as if I fit even less than when I came here as a youth of twenty years. Everything has changed."


"Not everything, I am still here."


"It is not the same, though."


Aragorn shivered, and Halbarad suspected that it was more than the cold night air. He laid an arm around the younger man and guided him back to their fire.


"It changed because you wanted it to. You have been evading me in this ever since we met again. Silence does not undo things, you know."


"What would you have me say, then?"


Halbarad had known that sooner or later they would be having this conversation. He had hoped for a better time. "The truth, of course." He gulped. "There is no one to hear or see."


"The truth? I am ashamed of my thoughts and feelings. I am weak." He sat down again, letting his head fall into his hands. His next words were muffled. "Not long ago, only a blink of the eye for her, did I swear and oath of faithfulness. I broke it in my mind."


"As did I. My feelings have not changed since the day we said farewell." Halbarad admitted.


Aragorn looked up, anguish shining clearly in his eyes. Halbarad drew him into his arms and he melted into the embrace.


"No one will ever know," Halbarad said then and kissed the top of Aragorn's head.

 

 

For fliewatuet

Happy early birthday, fliewatuet! Here's to you on your upcoming birthday, and also to other life matters—I'm sure you'll know which.

Dwim

Sometime Ever After

Sometimes foresight fails. Or mayhap 'tis unfair to say so: 'tis no longer a foresighted Age. Men look ahead to futures deep as the caverns beneath the waves that swallow light, whence it comes no more back in the image of a dream..

So the arrow was not foreseen, nor had any shadow of foreboding hung over the plains of Rhûn. He had looked one way in the chaos of battle, and so missed the moment, had learned of it only when the pain exploded up his spine and knocked him nearly senseless. Nearly. That would have been a mercy.

But life is not a mercy, and he had struggled 'til the searing white engulfed him, blinded him, blotted out all except that pain and Valar, merciful Valar, someone anyone Niennapleasesomethinginthisworld MUST. KNOW. MERCY, AI ERU—!



"Aragorn?"

He wakes to find a face two years missed and thirty years younger, and all scowl save the eyes.

"Hal?" he croaks and stares at the dawn-white sky. "Am I dead?"

"Not for want of trying," Halbarad grouses. "Get your head on straight, will you? Mooning over Arwen." He shakes his head, disgusted. "As if that helps make a betrothal a marriage! That orc nearly had you! You're no Elf to dream while you walk!"

"Dreaming?" Am I dreaming? He blinks and the world wavers—


—"You must be!" says a familiar voice, and Aragorn opens his eyes to a campfire, and sleeping companions. Save one, who watches him over the flames, and grins imp-like. "You were muttering to yourself—about a maiden, I thought…?" Young Halbarad trails slyly off. And when Aragorn only stares dumbly at him, he chuckles, waves a forgiving hand.

"Never mind! I'll get it out of you later. Cold tonight, though," he says, tipping his head back to gaze at a winter's sky, at Menelvagor overhead. "Did you ever imagine it?"

Imagine what? he wonders, and is startled when the other answers:

"This. Being here. It's been a long two years."

It has been a long two years, in another life, or another time. He can't quite decide which, for the wind blows chill. He ducks his head, shivers and the world seems to shiver with him—


—and dissolve into chaos. Smoke and darkness and white towers… Horror fills him, and the reek of battle whelms him through and over.

I know this time!

He has spent too many nights remembering, unable to forget—unable, sometimes, to do aught but wait out terror-anguish and listen to Arwen's soothing voice in the night. Not again!

He sees him then, as he always does and always will: there, in the midst of that charge, standard in hand, and he knows what is to come, knows there is naught to be done, but cannot help but cry out:

"HALBARAD!"

And this time, this time, the other hears him, stares a moment, starts to turn to look, but—

Too late, too late, ai Valar, too—



"You are too late, I fear."

Aragorn starts. He is standing on a green terrace. The sun beats warm against the back of his neck, and the shadows are short beneath the junipers. They sway in a gentle breeze. The sky is clear. The wind is clean. And it is silent, save for the echo of a child's laughter.

"She was here, but by now, she has no doubt found a fox's lair to hide in. Or maybe a bird's nest."

"Halbarad?"

"Mm?" His friend turns to him, slowly, carefully, and 'tis a face he's never seen—an impossible face. There are lines of pain graven in that face, and such grey in once-dark hair, for all the flesh on the hand that grips the cane is firm. Halbarad cocks his head, frowning a bit.

"You look as though you've seen a ghost!" he chides. Then, before Aragorn can answer: "You'll have to go fetch her. I wager she's up the tree again."

"Her?"

"Your daughter. The one I am supposedly looking after, though I don't for a moment believe it."

"My daughter?"

"Aye, your daughter. Did you not know?"

And that right there is enough to pierce the spell.

"This is a dream," Aragorn murmurs.

"Perhaps. If you make it one. But that is your decision, and I cannot stay to debate it," Halbarad-not-Halbarad replies, and lays a brotherly arm upon Aragorn's shoulder, even as a girl's laughter rings forth once more. "She's a lovely thing, your Líriel," he says, and smiles. Then, gently: "Shouldn't you go to her? She is waiting."

"When? Where?"

"Right where she ought to be, I imagine." Halbarad gestures to the trees, and their shady passages, urging him: "Go on. We'll talk later."

And it can't end like this. It can't end like this, surely…

"Of course it can," the other replies, serenely.

"Hal—"

"Later. I promise."

'Tis the final word, will suffer no contesting, and he knows it, feels it weigh urgent upon on him now: Time to go. There's nothing to do then, but follow that laughter, out of the sun and into the cooling shade, and it's getting dark, it's getting dark, it's getting darker… He stops, turns back. "Halbarad!"

Far away, where the light still shines, the other stays himself, stands listening.

"I would have wanted you to meet her," he says, then halts. For 'tis silly thing to say—an unnecessary thing. That was understood, had always been understood. So many things were always understood, and known to be, between them. But some things should be said, always. So:

"Thank you. For all and everything."

No reply, but as the light fades, he thinks he sees the other smile…

***


It was the poison on the arrow, they tell him later. A cunning concoction, makes men hallucinate, wears them down so death slips in easy and dreamlike.

Perhaps it was poison. Or perhaps not, as three long and often painful months later, he and Gondor's army shake the dust of Rhûn from their shoes and make for home—for home, and the wives and children and family left behind, too often forever as fate would have it.

But not this time, for him and for Arwen—for Arwen, who draws him to her, heedless of the Road's grime, to press his hand over her swollen belly and whisper joyously, "We've been waiting."




Author's Notes: The Appendices suggest that Rhûn was one of the major war-zones after the Ring War.

I am drawing a bit off of Resurrection for some of the imagery and for the opening line, but the one doesn't follow the other, obviously.

 

 

Re: For fliewatuet

Hi Dwimordene!

Sniff!  Just read this and am overwhelmed.   This is beautiful.  It just gives me that feeling of not being alone and that loved ones never leave and are always watching over you...us. This awakened my spiritual side..which has been dormant for a while.  Thanks for waking that side of me.

This drabble is for fliewatuet but it was so beautiful that I had to comment on it.

RS

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

Written by Willow for Oshun's Birthday Request re Feanor and Sons

Looking at Nerdanel's pale face as she held a newborn son in each arm, Feanor thought the shrill screams from outside would be the last straw.

"I'll take care of it," he said, gently caressing her hair as he left.

Outside, Morifinwe was smirking at Curifinwe, holding a wooden horse just out of reach. Curifinwe's face bore a fresh red handprint. "Morifinwe," Feanor said sternly, coming up behind and taking the toy out of his startled son's hand. "Go to the forge."

This family doesn't need any more sibling rivalry, Feanor thought as he knelt to comfort his whimpering son.

****

Thank you very much, Willow. I have no doubt that there was a fair amount of slapping among Feanor's sons--probably some biting and scratching and pushing too! I also suspect that he tried to figure out ways to minimize the inevitable conflicts.

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

Written by Willow for Oshun's Birthday Request re Feanor and Sons

This was fun! I really liked seeing how Feanor's own experience affected how he might view any rivalry between his own sons. Good'un, Willow. 

 

 

Re: For fliewatuet

As confusing as Resurrection, Dwim, but great. You should have done a sequel of Resurrection. Nothing better than a Forth Age Halbarad!

~Vilwarin

 

 

Re: Thirteen by MerryK

Hahahaha! Suck it up, Aragorn, it could be so much worse! At least your daughter is lusting after responsibility and using that brain of hers!

Very entertaining, MerryK, especially that last line.

Dwim

 

 

Re: For fliewatuet

Hi RS -

It just gives me that feeling of not being alone and that loved ones never leave and are always watching over you...us.

One of the things I like best about LOTR is that underlying theme that what is most important, what is absolutely essential, is that we are not alone. It's friendship and fellowship that we cannot let go of, even when one of our friends dies - then we go on acting in the name of that person, and in honor of that person, and hoping that that person in some way will be present to see what we make of our lives and works.

And sometimes people do experience a fulfillment of that hope, even if only for a little while or in a way that is ambiguous. And I think often times, it's enough for us that somebody experiences this - even a fictional somebody can meaningfully hold that place for us. There have certainly been some books that do that for me, and I don't care if they're fiction or not. If this story serves you in that way, then that's more than I aimed for, but I'm glad that it could resonate so for you.

Thank you, RS - don't know what else to say!

Dwim

 

 

Re: For fliewatuet

Hi Vilwarin,

I'm sorry this was confusing... no wait, I'm not. Aragorn does go through some definite disorientation, so it should be disorienting.

You should have done a sequel of Resurrection.

Maybe someday, but personally, I think the brevity of that story is a part of its power. I probably couldn't write a sequel that would work in the same tone, and the longer it goes on, the more that sense of 'fleetingness' and fragility are lost.

Plus, c'mon, I've given the guy two scenarios whereby he survives Pelennor fields--surely it is someone else's turn to write him living happily ever after? (Or not so happily, as the case may be...)

Thanks for commenting--I'm glad you liked it!

Dwim

 

 

For fliewatuet

Another Halbarad and Aragorn for you, fliewatuet.

Library Visit

Halbarad entered the library and stared. Shelf after shelf of light wood stood on the walls and made rows in the middle of the room.

"This place is so huge! However do you find what you are looking for?"

Aragorn smiled at his cousin's wonderment. "It is easy. Do you see the every book is labeled with a code of letters and numbers?"

Halbarad nodded, approached a shelf and pulled out one of the books. At the bottom of its spine stood the code Fy 52 in fine letters.

"The title says 'Fíriel and Morwen. Secret correspondence between the years 1940 and 1950.' The letters were copied for this book by someone called Arneth. Well, the letters between mother and daughter are not so secret now."

"Yes, the originals, if they still exist, are somewhere in the archives. I read through this book once, it is full of motherly advice and court gossip. I got a good idea how it must have been like in Fornost."

Halbarad placed the book back where it belonged. "You were explaining what the codes are about."

"Ah, yes. We have a huge box with cards that are ordered by the names of the author. You find the title of the book and its code on the card."

"And what if I do not know the author?" Halbarad asked.

Aragorn laughed. "Well, in this case you can ask Heidiriel, the library's good soul. She knows the author of every book that was ever written. I suspect that she has never done anything else."

"Impressive. But can you show me the kitchen now?"

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

My birthday is the thirteenth.  Anyone up to writing an argument between Frodo and Aragorn?

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

 

Happy Birthday, Darth Fingon!

(Apologies for passing mention of very long-lived mortals) 

Gil-galad always reacted badly to being parted from his dearest friend and confidant for any considerable length of time, reflected Círdan.

The first time-when Elrond left for Edhellond on some sort of official business-- the High King promptly proceeded to invent and master an instrument made of wine glasses.

Subsequent separations resulted in cockerels whose tails trailed the ground, horticultural aberrations, and a breed of ridiculously small dog.

Then of course, there had been that horrible business in Eregion and the long, long siege.  Círdan shuddered at the memory. Gil-galad nearly went insane, started training rats (of all things) to do strange tricks, and when the Númenoreans arrived to relieve the situation, had taken to mowing down the enemy with far more enthusiasm than was strictly necessary.

Círdan wondered, as he watched Elrond's ship melt into the horizon, what kind of havoc Gil-galad must be wrecking across the Sea.

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

I fear I'm not much good at drabbles, for I tend to want to include too many details.  Hope you appreciate the following.

Adolescence

           "The Lady Rose, beloved Lady," announced Elaneth, mistress of the Queen's handmaidens.

          Queen Arwen turned from her loom, on which she wove fabric from which to cut new uniforms for the Guard of the White Tree.  Several of those who worked alongside her in the Queen's weaving room paused in their own work, several of them craning their heads to catch a glimpse of Lord Perhael's wife.  "Bid her enter with gladness," the Queen directed, then turned to one of her maidens.  "Hasturnerini, would you please go to the kitchens and fetch the tray set aside for the afternoon refreshment?  And advise them that Lady Rose is joining us that they might add to it sufficient for her appetite."          The young woman rose, made a graceful curtsey, and left to do the Queen's bidding, pausing to curtsey again to the Pherian as she entered the sunny chamber

.          Arwen herself rose to receive her guest.  "Ah, Mistress Rosie, how delightful to have you visit me at my work.  I take it your beloved husband is attending on my own?" 

         "Yes, my Lady," Rosie answered her, accepting the Queen's embrace and allowing herself to be led to the low stool produced for her use and set beside the low cradle.  The Hobbit peered into it, smiling down at the child who slept there.  "She's a beautiful one, Lady Arwen.  And so big for not quite a year, she is.  And is Princess Melian glad to have a sister at last?  Young Eldarion's done naught but prattle on and on about his baby sister and as how smart she is and how she's begun to walk 'n all; but I've not heard much from Melian at all as yet." 

         Arwen sighed.  "I'm not certain what precisely my elder daughter thinks of much of anything.  She's a bit beyond my experience, actually, for she matures far more quickly than I can quite appreciate, having been born a mortal.  I'm told by many of the ladies of the court that she matures more slowly than did their daughters, but I cannot see it.  As for Estel--he is far out of his depth, I fear.  She is his daughter and his firstborn, and ever they've been close; but now that she enters adolescence she is often moody and unwilling to share her thoughts.  He is often hurt by this."

          Rosie laughed ruefully.  "Then we're in much the same place, I suppose," she said.  "Elanor's a tween now, you know, and don't seem too certain as to where she fits in.  Too young to be a Hobbit grown, and too old to be a child no more.  Wants to be treated like an adult, but isn't willin' to give over not havin' to be responsible when it don't suit her.  Far more willin' to do what's asked of her by others than for us, as we're naught but her parents.

          "Not," she added, "that she's not actually a very responsible one by nature.  But some days I think as she'd give anything to be a bairn again and not have to always be watchin' after others.  It's one reason as we come away south, you know--to give her a bit o' time away from all the rest."

          "Where is she today?"

          "Off with your daughter and her guards.  They're to return to sup with us."

          The Queen sighed.  "Two caught betwixt and between--what will they end up doing together?"

*******

           Elanor Gardner was peering over her shoulder at the two tall Men whose duty it was to see to the safety of their princess and her companion.  "Are we to be followed about all during the day?" she asked.

          Melian glanced briefly back at them, shrugging.  "It's their duty, after all," she admitted.  "Most of the time I don't mind too terribly much, but there are times...."  Suddenly she stopped, and the two of them exchanged a look.

          "You think as we ought to?" Elanor asked with a further glance back, her brow furrowed.

          "Why not?  Why can't we just be two girls on a visit within the city today?" Melian demanded in a very low voice.  "It's not as if you are as obviously a Hobbit as your parents are, you know.  People could think you were my sister."  She gave a slightly twisted smile.  "Come on--we can go through the store of clothing Naneth has gathered to share with those who need it, and find other clothing and perhaps even some slippers to hide the fact you're really a Perian, and maybe a hat...."

          Suddenly as reckless as her hostess, Elanor nodded.  "Let's!" she agreed, and the two turned back toward the Citadel and the storerooms where the Queen's Bounty was kept.

          A half hour later, carrying their finds in a cloth bag, the two of them went out from the Citadel by the private entrance for the hall to the residential wings, followed by the princess's two guards, who'd been asked to remain outside the storerooms during the visit by the girl and Hobbit lass.  The two walked most sedately past the Tree and the Memorial to the ramp to the Sixth Circle, and equally as sedately down to the Fifth Circle--and then entering the crowd of folk gathered near a puppet show they suddenly disappeared from the sight of their guards as only a Hobbit or a child born to an extraordinarily long line of Dúnedain Rangers and Elves could manage to do, slipping inside a nearby pub and finding the privy, then rapidly changing clothing for that they carried with them, stuffing what they'd been wearing into the even larger bag they'd carried along with their new garb inside the first bag.

          Using a comb and fine cordage handily, Melian soon had Elanor's golden curls caught into a pair of braids she then twisted into a bun at the back of the Hobbit lass's head, then sat on the floor so that Elanor could do the same with her own.  With scarves to hide their ears, for Melian's did have a bit of a tip to hers, they felt they were now ready to face the city on their own.  "Do you think the slippers will give you any difficulty?" the girl asked the lass.

          "I don't think as they'll bother me over much," Elanor said, "although I'll admit as wearing them does feel odd."  She stood carefully and took a couple steps.  "I think I'm ready now."

          Melian unlatched the door and peered out.  Fortunately no one was waiting to make use of the room, so they were able to slip out of it more unremarked than they'd been when they entered it.  In moments they were waiting by the door to the pub for a mother and her three children to leave it, falling behind the other children as if they were members of the party, breaking away only when they were well away from city guards.

*******

          "You lost them at a puppet show?" the Lord Elessar asked sharply.

          The white-faced guard nodded.  "Yes, my Lord King.  The Lady Melian hasn't done such a thing for at least eight months, and I'll admit I didn't think she'd try such a thing again with a guest in tow--I thought she was past it now, in fact."

          Aragorn sighed and exchanged looks with Lord Samwise.  Sam was shrugging as he puffed on his pipe.  "They're at that age," the Hobbit noted.  "Resent any bounds as you'd put on them, they will.  At least Elanor's beyond the age when she'd be seekin' to pilfer extra food from market stalls or gardens--or at least I hope as she is."

          "Before you've found her by her clothing," the King began, turning his attention back to the guard.

          "Gilorion is continuing to search them out, but I doubt we'd recognize what they're wearing, for the two of them spent some time alone in the rooms where the clothing intended for the Queen's Bounty is kept."

          Sam looked his question up at his friend while Aragorn gave an exclamation in Adunaic to vent his frustration.  "Arwen gathers clothing to give to those in need," the Man explained, and Sam's face cleared.

          "So's they could be lookin' like about any other lass as is within the city, then?" the Hobbit commented.  At the King's nod of agreement, he took another thoughtful puff at his pipe.  Finally he said, "Fourth Circle--that's where they're most likely to head for--the marketplace and the children's park."  He looked up to meet the Man's eyes.  "Feel up to doin' some trackin', Strider?"

          Suddenly there was a glint of enthusiasm in the eyes of the tall Man.  "Why not?  Let me get changed...."

          Soon two figures, one exceptionally tall and the other exceptionally short, were slipping down the ramp to the Sixth Circle, one in ancient green riding leathers and a stained green cloak, the other in the plainest garb he'd worn while traveling from the Shire to Minas Anor and a typical Hobbit cloak, followed discretely by Lord Hardorn also garbed as a northern Ranger.  None seemed to note them as they made their way through the bustle of the Fifth Circle and down toward the children's park at the north end of the Fourth; not finding their quarry there, the two fathers turned without further consultation toward the marketplace.

*******

          Halgil of the Market Guard was exceptionally painstaking in his work, and had made his reputation by keeping an eye out for those who didn't belong where they were.  And there were two girls visiting the public market in the Fourth Circle today who plainly didn't belong at all.  The older girl carried with her a large bag of cloth, plainly filled already with clothing, when he first noted them.  They first walked about the boundaries of the marketplace, looking at the stalls to be seen, then when that circuit was complete looked at one another and gave conspiratorial nods and entered in.  Now they were going by the stalls of the artificers, pausing in awe at the glassblower's booth, looking at the strings of fine beads.  "My mum has a set like that," the younger girl exclaimed, pointing to a fine set with flakes of gold in oval green volcano-glass beads on knotted green silk.  "Uncle Frodo gave them to her.  She says as they'll be mine when I marry."

          "Naneth would love this set," the other girl said softly, her eyes caught by a set done in opaline colors of blues and salmon pink.  She turned to the woman who minded the stall.  "How much for this set?"  She didn't even bargain, but reached into the small reticule she carried about her wrist to produce the requested amount, accepted her change without bothering to count it and dropping it back into the small purse, and watching as the woman wrapped the string in tissue and slipped it into a small bag of pale blue velvet before presenting it.

          "Here," the woman said, obviously feeling she was cheating the girl, and she produced ear drops to match the necklace, slipped them into a smaller bag to match the first.  "These are my gift to you, for it's plain you're new to the market."

          "But I couldn't..." began the older girl, but the smaller one pulled at her skirt.

          "She's right," the smaller one said in a whisper.  "It's obvious you don't know how to haggle, you know."

          The taller girl flushed a bit, but nodded her understanding.  "Thank you," she said with dignity to the woman.  "It's my first time to come to the market on my own, I'll admit.  Thank you very much.  Naneth will treasure them, I am certain."

          They went deeper into the market, and Halgil found himself following them.  The smaller lass was not from the city, and he rather thought she usually went unshod, considering how uncomfortable she appeared in her shoes.  A country cousin, perhaps?  Now and then they'd stop to examine goods in a particular stall, and at one where wooden figures were displayed the smaller lass stopped in pleasure.  The stall was open with stepped displays within going up and up.  On the bottom shelves were toys--fine spinning tops and fetch-backs on silk cordage, carved dolls and jumping jacks, soldier figures and farm animals.  On higher shelves were more elaborate figures--a couple kissing, sleeping babes, a stretching dog, and a rose.  "Oh, look!" the smaller girl breathed, her eyes fixed on the rose.  "My sister would love that!"

          "Get it for her, then," the taller one advised.

          The smaller girl approached the youth who kept the booth.  "The rose there--how much?"

          The youth looked down at her, obviously dismissing her as one who'd not be able to afford such a thing.  "Six silvers," he advised her.

          "I'd not pay more than four for it," she replied immediately.

          The youth was taken by surprise, for she'd appeared far too young to know how to haggle.  "Five and eight coppers," he countered.

          "Four and three," she returned.

          When she had him down to four and nine he accepted her offer, surprised at how she'd held her ground.  She, too, carried a small reticule, and took from it the amount requested.  Halgil was now very suspicious.  No girl of her age should be carrying such an amount with her.  Had she and her companion pilfered from their mothers' purses? he wondered.

          Soon the wooden rose, carefully wrapped, had joined the two blue velvet bags within the larger bag the taller girl carried with what the two had brought with them.  "I'm a bit peckish," the smaller child advised, and the two turned to the line of cook stalls on the eastern borders.  As they walked by a fruiterer's stall the girl caught up an apple from a bushel and tossed a copper onto the counter almost absently as she began to nibble at it.

          "Wait a moment there!" the stall owner said.  "This isn't of the King's coinage!"

          "It's not?" the girl asked, surprised.  "Oh, I must have had some coins from Bree still in my reticule.  Let me find one of the King's coinage..." as she began rummaging through the bag.

          It was enough for Halgil to move in on the pair of them.  "I'll deal with this, Master Belenthor," he said smoothly.  "May I see the coin?"

          No, definitely not of the King's coinage at all.  On one side it had pictured a small bird, and on the other a leaf and flower he didn't recognize.  The girl, flushing deeply, was still going through the coins from her reticule, and at last found a copper of the King's coinage she gave to the shopkeeper.

          "This is more than the apple is worth," the shopkeeper said.

          "I know--that's why I tossed a copper to you, for I didn't wish to have to stay to learn as how many brasses it might be.  It's been over three hours since last I ate, you see.  But at home they don't mind whether it's a local copper or one from Bree or one from the King's coinage--they're all seen as worth the same."

          "I think," Halgil said, "I must ask you to come with me and answer some questions.  That one as young as you should be carrying so much...."

          The two girls exchanged looks of alarm.  The smaller girl looked up at him.  "Do you really think as my dad would forbid me pocket money?  I've been saving my earnings for six years for this journey, you see."

          "Earnings?" Halgil asked, his brows raised.  "And how should one as small as you have earnings?  You will come with me--now."

          But when he got them back into his own shelter and had them seated side by side on the bench, he found he wasn't getting answers from them.  "I don't have to give you my name," the older girl insisted.  "I've done naught wrong at all.  No, my parents don't know where I am at the moment, but I doubt they'd suspect I'm getting into trouble."

          He turned toward the younger girl.  "And your name?"

          "Elanor," she answered, her head held proudly, still flushing furiously.

          "Who are your parents?"

          "They're not from the city.  We're only visiting for a time with Uncle Strider."

          "Strider?"

          "My dad's always called him Strider--and he told my dad he could do so as long as he wishes."

          "Where did you get the money you carry from?"

          "Most of it's saved from when I attended--when I was with her family before--six years ago.  But I've been saving a long time for this journey."

          "You didn't take it from your parents?"

          The girl flushed even more strongly.  "Certainly not!" she snapped.  "I've never taken coin from my parents, not even when I was a faunt!  They always saw to it I had proper pocket money and earned it fairly for doing my chores and all.  But I've been helping Auntie May and Auntie Daisy, you see, and have been earning wages, just as when he was a lad Dad worked with the Gaffer in the gardens to earn wages of his own."

          "And what kind of work have you been doing for them?" he asked, the suspicion now openly displayed.

          "Embroidery--although I'll admit as it's nowhere as fine as what her mum does, although her mum taught me much of what I know when I--stayed with them the last time."

          "And how is it one as young as you are is skilled in embroidery?"

          "Aunty May began teaching me when I was but a faunt, and when I--stayed with her family last time her naneth taught me more.  She's a master embroiderer, you see."

          "Your mother is a master embroiderer?" Halgil demanded, turning on the taller girl.

          "Yes--of course she is."

          "Where's her shop?"

          "She doesn't keep a shop," the girl answered.  "She doesn't need to."

          "And your father--what does he do?"

          The glance the two girls exchanged was suddenly highly amused.  "He works in the Citadel," the taller girl finally admitted.

          "In the Citadel?"

          "Yes."  The girl looked unhappy to have admitted so much.

          "I'll need to call the parents of both of you down...."

          "You won't need to do so," advised a Man's deep voice from behind him.

          Halgil jumped, for he'd not heard anyone enter the shelter.  He looked up into the face of the Northern Ranger, noting the clear grey eyes of one of almost pure Dúnedain descent, the dark hair peppered with silver, particularly at the temples, the sheer intelligence of the face.  Beside him was a much smaller personage with short curls of golden brown also beginning to be peppered with silver, dressed in brown garments over a green shirt.  He was examining the smaller girl with an unfathomable expression on his face.          "So, Elanorellë," the smaller one said quietly, "you and Melian here thought as you'd go off on your own, did you?"

          "Yes, Sam-dad," she admitted, her voice small.  Then she remembered her frustration with the Man who'd brought her to the shelter.  "He won't believe the money I have is my own, Daddy.  He thinks as I took it from you and Mummy."

          "And you?" asked the Man of the taller girl.  "Gilorion and Dagmir are both at wit's end, having lost you so."

          "And why do I have to always have folk to trail after me, Ada?" she demanded, apparently intending to bluff him out.

          "You know very well why, sell nín," he said quietly.  "They risk their lives daily for your sake, and it's poor recompense to them to disguise yourselves as the two of you have and leave their protection."

          "As if you yourself weren't hiding your own identity, Strider," she seethed.

          His lip twitched.  "I was Strider the Ranger many, many years ere I married your naneth," he advised her.  "It's as much a part of me as my current occupation--indeed, I was Strider far longer than I've been what I am now.  Now, stand and let me see you."

          She did so, and he nodded, and, Halgil noted, with a level of approval in his eyes.  "Yes, very worthy of a Ranger's daughter you've proven," he agreed.  "I'll allow you to go on with your visit to the market, but only if you two will allow Sam and me to accompany you.  And what's in the bag?"  He took it from her and produced a very fine garment indeed.  He nodded as if this was what he'd expected.  "I see.  And these," he indicated the two blue velvet bags and the wrapped rose, "are your purchases so far?"

          "Yes, Ada."

          "Gilorion will be sent off to return these to your quarters, then."

          "And who----"

          "Bowman is waiting out in the market, you'll find, and you know how discrete he can be.  Will you two accept the conditions stated?"

          The two girls again exchanged glances, and finally nodded.  "We don't have any choice, do we, Uncle Strider?" asked the smaller child.

          "None at all, sweet Elanor," he assured her.

          The small being gave Halgil a long look.  "And one thing as I'll tell you," he said quietly, "when my daughter says as the money she's carryin' is her own, she's not lyin'.  She don't need to lie, you see.  She's a good lass and full skilled at many a task.  She's had her wages from when she attended on Strider's wife afore saved for all these years, she has; and she's earned more workin' longside her aunts since then.  She might not enjoy bein' followed about by guards, no matter as how well they keep themselves out o' sight; but she's honest as the day is long, and I'd be beholden if you'd keep that in mind."  He looked back at the small girl.  "Come, sweetling," he said simply.

          "Yes, Sam-dad," she said quietly, rising and giving the tall Man a deep and surprisingly graceful curtsey.  "Thank you, Uncle Strider."

          "Think nothing of it, Elanor," he said, giving her a courteous bow in return.  "Now, if you two will come."  He slipped the velvet bags and the wrapped item back into the larger bag, and walking out gave them into the hands of one dressed as a Guard of the Citadel itself.  "If you will take these back to my daughter's quarters," he suggested.  "And I'm glad you spotted them when this one took them in hand.  That was well done."

          The guard smiled and saluted proudly, then turned to follow his orders.

          It was only as the four of them turned to disappear into the depths of the market that the true identities of the two fathers, and therefore their daughters, sank into Halgil's consciousness.  His legs suddenly gone weak, he sank onto the bench the girls had quitted as he pulled a kerchief out of his sleeve to wipe his brow.  He'd just attempted to arrest....

 

 

For RS

Apparently, I'm doomed never to write a drabble again.

Happy belated birthday, RS--it doesn't start with 13, but it ends with it, so I hope it fits.

Dwim

Fourth Age, year 13.

The first year's all joy—there's love in the making, and joy in the waiting, and a delightful not-knowing—Boy? Girl? Son? Daughter? What matter? Pick a name!—nine long months until she comes and it's Líriel.

The second's a wonder, if wearying—how great the lungs of babes after midnight! But the day she finally says that ambiguous "A-na" and looks at him, he forgets he's tired.

The third year, he knows she's Arwen's daughter—toddling girls shouldn't be able to climb that high, but somehow she found the tabletop while he wasn't looking…

Year four comes and she's a runner—three-four-five steps to his one, but she won't give up. And one day, he finds her standing over wavering, inked in lines on the carpet, where she informs him: "Ada tâd." Tâd. Two. That's a first, and he's in second place—there will be no easy victories with this one!

Five, six, seven—orcs, trolls, fell-beasts, Nazgûl live under beds, 'til he convinces her they can be caught in stories and safely slain there. Later on, he catches her retelling them to friends, though the hero seems to have become a beautiful half-elven princess with a magic lance… And then there are the endless impossible questions: Does Baby hear me in Nana's belly? Why can no one count all the stars? Where is Prince Faramir's brother now and why should Elves never die if Men do? And will there be a ship to take me anywhere, to Elvenhome or beyond the world, or will I be left all alone?

Then comes daughter number two, and the adventure of big sisterhood, which very nearly breaks him. "She doesn't mean any harm," Arwen assures him, and one day, he may even believe it. But not while dashing after Líriel to save Halareth from a too-ambitious reenactment of Akallabêth.

War returns, and she's nine and ten, while he spends summers in Rhûn, in Harad, spends falls and winters bargaining in Mordor and in Dale. Spring skips by, and so does she, Arwen writes him, spelling everything she spots, while Halareth toddles gamely on behind her…

Homecoming's bittersweet, for he makes his younger daughter cry: she doesn't know the bearded stranger. "You scared her!" Líriel, scandalized, accuses, and storms off, leaving him agape. Later, though, she comes to snuggle at his side. And: "It is all right," she tells him. "You didn't mean it." Would that all outrages were so easily settled!

Twelve years old means boys are awful—so he's told over breakfast one day. She treats him to the list of all their crimes—stuck up, loud, grubbing in dirt and petty games, and (worst of all) stupid. "They play all day at swords but can't find Umbar on a map!" she complains. He thinks of all the time he spent staring at maps as a boy, seeing nothing but adventure in the lands beyond Imladris, and sips his tea to hide his smile. "Foolish boys, indeed," he agrees. "But give them time: one day they'll learn."

But 'tis not a patient time for growing girls. Everything must be done now. And as explained the first time. Or the second. Whatever seems best at any given moment, which may not be the same from minute to minute. Thirteen years, and she knows best, and doesn't hesitate to grace them with her opinion the second there's an opportune moment. Halareth has daily fits that need soothing reassurance: "Líri doesn't love me! She doesn't play fair!" She doesn't play fair: there's no winning any argument with her, for when she's right, she's right against the world, and she's never wrong. There's just a change of heart and mind come afternoon, and want of a smile or a hug or an hour he can't spare 'til nightfall, when there shall be a new argument to have.

It cannot last, of course—one day she'll not be thirteen anymore. "Maybe when she's sixteen," Arwen speculates, and he laughs a little, ruefully. "And then it will be Halareth's turn," he sighs. "And the baby's after that," she replies, and smiles at her husband's surprise. "Aye, another coming, love…"

So thirteen will linger a good long while—best he learn to love it. Happily, there's much to love—he's but to look at her as she goes forth from day to day. Head high and eager, off to challenge whatever comes her way—sisters, boys, fathers, mothers, kings, queens, councilors, the world at large.

For the skies are clear to eastward—there's a future in the making, breathing in and with her, and Valar be thanked, she is thirteen years old, and she is not afraid. What's not to love? And there is still next year to come…

 

 

Re: For RS

Hello Dwimordene!

Wow!  I felt like I've been through a time-warp and relived Tess' (my daughter) growing years again.  Different episodes but yet so similar. I think I'm going to cry.  Has time flown so fast?  How I wish I can just grab those moments for a while and experience them once more.  You just made me realize that I should not take my time with my kids for granted.

It cannot last, of course—one day she'll not be thirteen anymore...So thirteen will linger a good long while—best he learn to love it. Happily, there's much to love—he's but to look at her as she goes forth from day to day.  

I will heed those beautiful words of wisdom; they will also help me when my patience (or lack of) grow short.  And your absolutely right..it doesn't start with 13, but it ends with it.

I had to smile with your description of the year thirteen.  That is so much like my daughter: she's always right, I don't know what I'm talking about; her brother is always complaining "she's always mean to me"; old arguments are forgotten until dinner time when I get the look and the rolling of the eyes and a new argument starts!  But yet at the end of the day I always hear "Good night momma, I love you".

To change the subject...kind of.  I'm so happy you've written this lovely drabble as I get to hear from Lireal and her sister Halareth again (and a wonderful "sneak peak" of Lireal's character on her younger years). I've always enjoyed reading about the royal daughters.  I sort of miss 'em.  Hope I hear from them again!

Thanks so much for this touching drabble. You have no idea how poignant these words are.  This was truly a wonderful birthday present!  And please, keep writing those drabbles!

Rachel (RS)

  I

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

Some Feanor and Maedhros for you, Oshun, in a drabble and a half. Hope you enjoy!

Awestruck

Here I lie, exhausted and worn, holding the first Fëanárion in my arms. Seeing the fiery tufts placed seemingly at random by Illuvatar on his head, I smile and am glad that some of myself is in him. The midwife has sent for my beloved, but a tinge of worry grips me. He can be so proud and aloof, my Noldorin prince; what kind of father will he be to a little one?

But then the door opens, and in he glides to my side, apprehension in his eyes. The little one arches his back and his head wobbles towards my Fëanáro. Involuntarily, if such a word can be used for Fëanáro, his hand reaches out and our son grasps onto him. My worry is relieved. This man who remains unastonished by anything that can be created with powers or hands, is awestruck seeing the wonder that is his son.

 

 

Re: For RS

Wow! I felt like I've been through a time-warp and relived Tess' (my daughter) growing years again. Different episodes but yet so similar. I think I'm going to cry. Has time flown so fast?

Probably it has! I don't know, things do seem to pass a lot quicker than they used to, and kids seem to accelerate that process, even if they're not yours. Friends are having babies, or their little eyes-barely-open infants have somehow become two year olds, and it doesn't seem like that much time could have gone by.

I had to smile with your description of the year thirteen. That is so much like my daughter: she's always right, I don't know what I'm talking about; her brother is always complaining "she's always mean to me"; old arguments are forgotten until dinner time when I get the look and the rolling of the eyes and a new argument starts! But yet at the end of the day I always hear "Good night momma, I love you".

I honestly don't recall being so argumentative with my parents at age thirteen, but I remember being absolutely certain that they just don't understand!!!111!!!1! And looking back on middle school, that sense of "They just don't *get* it" was the defining attitude--thirty-five twitchy kids in a class, and every single one of them, down to the shy and moody ones in the corner, absolutely certain that no one understood the truth of it all.

To change the subject...kind of. I'm so happy you've written this lovely drabble as I get to hear from Lireal and her sister Halareth again (and a wonderful "sneak peak" of Lireal's character on her younger years). I've always enjoyed reading about the royal daughters. I sort of miss 'em. Hope I hear from them again!

Why thank you! Líriel and Halareth are great fun to write, and they do open up different aspects of Aragorn's personality (I have to work on them with Arwen, however). Hopefully, they will get chatty again at some point, but I feel as though I can't easily confine them to a single scene. They need space and they need time, and usually, I can't hit on a single, vignette-length situation that lets me give them that space and time. This one worked only because I could do all the years before thirteen as well as thirteen. But other scenarios are simply less capacious, I guess, and they don't seem to fit in them.

Kids. Making things difficult like always...

Thanks so much for this touching drabble.

You're very welcome. I wish you a lovely year thirteen with your daughter.

And please, keep writing those drabbles!

Oh I'm sure I will... *sighs* Cursed nuzgul!

Dwim

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

Merry K:

Thank you so much for the vignette about Feanor and the birth of Maedhros. I definitely think that Feanor's sense wonder at the birth of his first son must have been significant (since it did compel him to do it several more times). Also, I think it is difficult to overestimate the love he must have shown his sons if they were willing to go as far as they did to support him.

It is also fun to speculate upon Feanor's initial experience as a father especially since he was "still in his early youth" when his oldest sons were born. On the question of Nerdanel and being the mother of Feanor's kids--I imagine big rewards at a phenomenal cost--difficult (but not impossible) choice.

Despite his flaws, Feanor inspired great love-from his sons, his father and, according to Tolkien, even Manwë who loved him above all the Children of Ilúvatar and wept when he left Aman. Therefore, I cannot but imagine that Feanor was capable of loving intensely.

Thank you again for writing this. Hope you will post it to the story I created for my birthday ficlets. (Or let me know and I'll do it for you). Thanks!

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

You're welcome, Oshun! I did add it to your birthday story.

That is exactly what I find so fascinating about Fëanor, that he inspired his family to love him, and yet was so difficult to love seemingly. When you asked for Fëanor drabbles, I was not sure if you wanted proud!intelligent!Fëanor or intenselyloyal!Fëanor, which I think are the two sides of his character, but which others find incompatible. I'm glad we ended up on the same page!

~MerryK 

 

 

Re: For fliewatuet

Oh Dwin!  Marta and I were just talking about this tale tonight!  My gosh, I get goosebumps every time I read it.

IMHO - one of your best every....  from the 'Sometimes foresight fails to the very last word...

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

Hi again Larner!

Ya know, I left a comment on this but realized I never thanked you for writing this gem!

So THANK YOU VERY MUCH.  I read it again and it just tickled me!  "I love the fact that the King is called "uncle Strider".

RS

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

Greywing-

I think I can forgive you for mentioning Númenóreans, since the rest of the story was so damn amusing.  Ridiculously small dog indeed...  It almost makes me feel sorry for Círdan, having to be there.  Almost, but I can't help but think that he might secretly enjoy watching Gil-galad's frustated, time-filling endeavours.

Thank you for an excellent birthday present.

 

 

Re: Adolescence

I can just see that happening one fine day, and somehow, I'm ever so shocked that Aragorn and Sam decided to head off on their own to go hunt down their daughters. Surely they haven't been *waiting* for an excuse to go be nameless vagabonds again, have they? No, of course not...

Poor Halgil, caught between extremely self-assured teens/tweens, his liegelord, and his duty!

Love it!

Dwim

 

 

Re: For fliewatuet

Hi Agape,

Marta and I were just talking about this tale tonight!

Hm, perhaps that was why my ears were burning? Or I suppose it could have been the wine and occasionally the Easter dinner company... ;)

IMHO - one of your best ever

Thanks! It was definitely a fun piece to write. I'm glad people have been enjoying it.

Dwim

 

 

Housekeeping on Oshun's April 2007 Birthday Fics

Please check out my birthday challenge story--current chapters listed below:

1. Battle Plans - Vilwarin
2. Sibling Rivalry - Willow41z
3. Fingon and Maedhros With Hand, Apparently (Illustration) - Greywing
4. Awestruck - MerryK
5. The Gong - Darth Fingon
6. Feanor - Sulriel
7. And Then There Was Cake, or Begetting Day Horrors - Klose

There are a few things which did not pass through this forum but were first posted in other locations. (The stories span Time of the Trees right up through the Fourth Age.)

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

I'm so glad you like it, although I cringe at how the format got mangled when I tried to post in on this forum.  And I can't imagine Sam's children calling Aragorn much of any other way THAN "Uncle Strider," particularly when one of them is trying to look like a normal girl visiting the market.  So glad you liked it.   Thank you for the double thanks!

 

 

Re: Adolescence

So glad you enjoyed it, Dwim.  Yes--shocking behavior from King and Mayor, isn't it?  Although I'm certain they both enjoy a day of near-anonymity from time to time.   Like daughters,  like fathers in this case, as I've said somewhere else.

And Halgil would feel a bit of shock afterwards, I'm certain.

Thanks so much for the comments!

 

 

Re: Confessions

Thanks a lot (and sorry for the late reply). 

I hope you don't mind slashy angst.

Certainly not Grin Though I am usually a bit wary of Aragorn slash, the scenario you created works perfectly fine for me. I can soo see Aragorn getting all melancholic when thinking of Halbarad's son; especially given their 'special' relationship. Though they both dearly love their wives/betrothed, they can't forget what was between them.  And I love the ambituity of the story's ending. 

I created a story to collect all my birthday drabbles  (http://www.henneth-annun.net/members/mine/story.cfm?stid=6895) and I would be happy if you would add yours.

 Thanks again Grin,

    fliewatuet

 

 

Re: Confessions

Fliewatuet (and all others so inclined):

If you want people to add their gifts to your birthday story, you have to enter it in the HASA Birthday Cards workshop. Please see the first post of the month for a link.

G.A., birthday maven

 

 

Re: For fliewatuet

Thanks a lot! This is wonderful. I really love the idea of Halbarad watching over Aragorn after his death. And that it is Halbarad - in a way - who first introduces Aragorn's daughter to him. So forsight is not completely gone in the Fourth Age, even if it is not a forsighted age. 

But I also like the other aspects of the story: the different dreams, the way one turns into the next, the different appearances of Halbarad, from thirty years younger to a Halbarad as he might have survived Pelennor Fields and the episodes from Aragorn's own past and future that are linked to the different Halbarad's.

I will certainly read and re-read "Sometime Ever After" (as well as "Resourection") time and time again.

 Oh, and I have set up a story to collect all my wonderful birthday gifts: http://www.henneth-annun.net/members/mine/story.cfm?stid=6895

 Thanks again

   fliewatuet
 

 

 

Re: For fliewatuet

This one had me laughing out loud

Of course, Aragorn must have been taught such scholarly knowledge as how to find his way in a library. I love the way he gets distracted from Halbarad's original question and gets carried away by the history and events stored in that place. But Halbarad's interest is more in filling his belly than in all the history, stories and personal memories that can be found in those books.

Thanks a lot!

fliewatuet  

 

 

Re: Confessions

Thanks for the reminder. I entered the story in the respective workshop.

 fliewatuet

 

 

For Larner

Happy belated birthday!

I'm afraid I had a hard time finding a good spot for an argument, and I can't say it's the most satisfactory conclusion ever--I blame Elrond and Gandalf for failing to rehearse this with any genuine practicality.

Dwim

Fine Risks

"—said, have you anything to say, Frodo?"

Frodo blinked, and jerked slightly, then looked up into the faces of his two companions. Gandalf and Strider—Aragorn, he reminded himself—were gazing at him expectantly. Alas, the last thing Frodo could recall, they had been debating the journey South, but a quick glance down at the map showed markers on the trail through Rohan, about which he knew nothing. Not even the question at hand!

"I'm sorry," he replied, chagrined, "I fear I must have been nodding off! What hour is it?"

"It is late," Aragorn conceded, and glanced at Gandalf. "Perhaps we should end our deliberations for the day."

"No doubt," the wizard replied, rising and stretching. "In the end," he sighed, "all our plans may come to naught, as the fortune of the world shapes things. Best we not quarrel too much over matters that we cannot afford to cling to. A good night to you both—rest well, and enjoy the mattresses while you may!"

With that, Gandalf departed, leaving Aragorn to roll the map carefully up and return it to its case and place among the books of Elrond's library. Frodo picked up the markers, turning the tiny, smooth stones in his hands. "Nine walkers and nine riders," he murmured, and shook his head. "Are we really leaving in a week? It seems only yesterday we arrived!"

"It is always thus—time runs more swiftly with a task before one," Aragorn replied, as he rejoined the hobbit.

"Until one begins, and then it seems time goes very slowly indeed, when the task is unpleasant," Frodo said and sighed. At that, Aragorn grunted softly, and he sank down onto one of the stools they had perched upon, leaning his elbows on the tabletop as he looked at Frodo, and there was something at work behind those grey eyes. Frodo cocked his head. "What is it?" he asked.

"There is somewhat I have been meaning to ask you, and I would have your plainest answer, and your best. For I am not easy in my mind about this company, over late though it may be to entertain such worries."

"It does seem a late concern. I thought all was decided," Frodo replied, somewhat surprised, and got a shrug.

"Not all decisions stand in the face of necessity," Aragorn answered. "And with so few as we shall be, 'tis better to make changes even now than live with our regrets later on."

"What changes? No, wait," Frodo stopped the other before he could even begin, for late though the hour was in all senses of the word, it needed but a moment's reflection to guess what must be on the Ranger's mind. "Is this about Merry and Pippin?"

"Were it my choice, I would still send them back—and this time under better care than one Ranger can provide," Aragorn replied.

"Do not think I have not tried to persuade them," Frodo said. "But they will not be swayed, and they have come this far, after—"

"I know that," Aragorn interrupted, abruptly. "And I do not make light or little of that feat, but that is no reason to let them go further, when there are others with far greater experience of the perils we shall face. 'Tis your best answer I need, Frodo, not the one that appeals to the heart."

"But I haven't got another!"

"Then why should I not press my case with Elrond to find two others to replace them?" Aragorn demanded quietly.

"What of Gandalf's counsel?" Frodo asked after a moment. "You seemed to accept what he said."

"'Seemed,'" Aragorn replied. "We have spoken of it."

"And?"

"We still speak of it," came the frank admission.

"I see." Frodo paused a moment, frowning. Then: "Why have you not spoken to me of this until just now?"

"You will forgive me for saying it, I hope, but you had not seemed to wish for much part in any planning," Aragorn replied.

Which was true, and Frodo felt his face heat a little, though in point of fact, if the road to Rivendell had taught him anything, it was that overseeing so great a journey, through lands so strange to him, put him as far out of his depth as maps did Sam Gamgee. And the others had seemed content to manage matters, too… "If that is so—and I do not deny it—then why do you ask me?" he demanded, honestly perplexed.

"Because in our latest contest over the inclusion of Merry and Pippin, Gandalf said finally that he would have them because he felt that you would have need of them one day. So I would know, Ring-bearer: is he right?"

Is he? Frodo wondered, feeling a bit unfairly caught in the web of his loyalties. For glad as he was to think of having familiar company, he knew very well that he ought, for Pippin's and Merry's sake, to wish them well away from what awaited them in the far lands. Too, there was the fact that however secret their journey, a few more swords, in hands that knew how to handle them, likely would not go amiss, and there he knew that not only Merry and Pippin were a liability. Then again, Gandalf's counsel was hardly to be rejected out of hand. But on the other hand, it was somewhat demeaning to think his own desires were being argued over by friends who had never consulted him on the matter until just now!

But however belated, the question had come down to him, and it was simple enough: was Gandalf right to think he had need of his cousins on so dangerous a journey? Frodo stared at the Man sitting across from him, who said nothing but waited upon an answer. My best answer. It would be easy to say 'yes' and have done with it and all questions about Merry and Pippin. But Strider had not asked for the easy answer, either.

And so at length he replied: "What I know of such quests as this, and of lands beyond the Shire, comes not from any experience of them—it is all book-learning, as we say. I do not doubt that you and Gandalf and Elrond know better than I what is involved, what we shall need and who could meet such needs. Perhaps you are better, too, at finding your feet among strange folk than I am. And there's no doubt that Gandalf knows many more things and sees more clearly what folk think and want than I ever shall. I have to say, I don't know what he means when he says I shall need them one day."

At that, Aragorn raised a brow. "Do you not?" he asked.

"No, I do not," Frodo replied. But he hastened then to add: "But this I do know: I would not have come even so far as Bree without them. It was Merry and Pippin and Sam who started things, who saw through me and got me going sooner than ever I had thought I could manage—and just in the nick of time. I don't know what might happen in the future—whether there shall be another chance for them to move me onward like that—but you said it yourself: necessity could change everything.

"And so Gandalf is right that we shouldn't count on what's likely, since fortune might intervene. After all," and Frodo pointed out, "'twas fortune put the Ring in the hands of a hobbit. Who is to say what may arise that may need Merry or Pippin to see to it?"

Aragorn was silent for a time, his gaze intent as he considered this response. But then he sighed and bowed his head. "Who indeed?" he replied. Then, giving Frodo one of his long looks: "So be it. I will say no more, but wish you a good night."

With that, he rose, and waited until Frodo had climbed down from his perch, then walked him to the door of the library. And there, Frodo stood and watched him make off down the hall, until the Ranger was verily upon the end of it and the corner he must take. Then Frodo called out: "Aragorn!"

Aragorn paused, turned back, quizzically.

"I know it is less of an answer than you wished for, but it is all I have," he insisted quietly.

A soft laugh greeted this, as that grey-eyed gaze fell heavy upon him once more, 'til Frodo had to wonder what he saw there. But then: "'Tis more of one than you imagine. Good night, Frodo." And with that, the other was gone.

 

 

Re: Housekeeping on Oshun's April 2007 Birthday Fics

Happy Belated Birthday, Oshun!! Sorry I'm late.Thanks to Gwynnyd for her contributions/edits/betaing. This is rated mature for mild smut


Too Close To the Fire

~~**~~




She knew Fëanor watched her from the shadows of the wispy trees surrounding the pond, not wanting to alert her to his presence. Nerdanel had arranged herself so the light played on her red hair, hoping it seemed like flames falling on her flawless alabaster skin, now glistening with water droplets from the crystal clear water beside her. Perhaps it was the fire in him that drew to her so much. She would be his fiery goddess, the cynosure of his existence.

Leaning back on her elbows in an enticing and provocative pose, Nerdanel smiled and glanced in his direction. "Fëanáro, you know it is not nice to spy on unsuspecting maidens while they are bathing," she gently admonished him.

Nerdanel felt herself blush as he revealed himself and walked towards her.

"Yet you know I am here, so is it fair to say you are unsuspecting?" Fëanor replied, his sultry voice causing goose bumps to cover her skin.

With a single look from him, her heart raced and desire coursed through her body unchecked. She knew it was improper for her to be with him like this before they were wed, but when she reached for something to cover herself, something in his eyes made her stop. Her hand hung in midair as she watched, transfixed while he sank to his knees beside her. Taking her hand, Fëanor raised it to his mouth, gently suckling each finger, one at a time, in between his lips. She was amazed how the heat of his mouth set fire to her body, her nipples hardening, her pulse quickening.

Fëanor's eyes strayed down her body as his tongue moved leisurely up her arm. When he reached her neck, he nibbled it playfully as his hand reached for her waist.

"We should…not…do this…" Nerdanel attempted to say.

"Hmmm? Do what, my love?" Fëanor whispered in her ear as his hand trailed along her side before cupping on plump breast. She gasped and he smiled before pulling back to look at her face.

"Fëanor…"

Her resistance was unconvincing even to herself. Suddenly Nerdanel found herself lying on her back. His hot lips covered hers, his tongue playfully flicking against her own as he rolled her nipple between his fingers. She grasped his shoulders as she arched her back, urging him to continue his burning caresses. In the back of her mind, she knew she should stop him but when she felt his strong, hard body against hers, with only thin pieces of fabric separating them, she could do nothing but whimper as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

Releasing her lips, his dark eyes bored into hers. "You want me," Feanor said, his rich baritone made clear that it was a statement of fact, not a question.

Nerdanel wanted to resist him, deny that he had this effect on her but even as the thought crossed her mind, she heard one simple word fall from her lips. "Please."

"You want me to take you, here, now, and make love to you until this burning in your loins is finally satisfied," Fëanor whispered before squeezing her breast firmly, almost roughly, flicking his tongue over the hardened nipple. She moaned loudly, her fingers clawing at his tunic as once again, she arched up to him, urging him to ravish her. He continued to lash his tongue over her tortured flesh as his hand trailed down her stomach and in between her legs.

"Fëanor!" she panted, yet she did not attempt to stop him from his ministrations but rather wantonly allowed him to spread her legs further apart. While his mouth burned trails of fire over her breasts, his wonderful fingers stroked her skillfully, driving her to the point of madness.

"Say it," Fëanor demanded before biting down on her breast, not hurting her yet alluding to his power, the danger within him.

"I…cannot…Please…" Nerdanel whispered pleadingly. Her will struggled in her erotically entrapped state. Amidst her gasps and moans, she felt the fire building in the core of her being, raging out of control until only thoughts of him flooded her senses.

Fëanor thrust his fingers into her even faster as his thumb began rapidly flicking against her. "Say it. Beg me to take you, Nerdanel," he commanded, his hardened member straining against its confines as he pressed it against her hip.

Every fiber of her being wanted him to take her, make love to her, drive her to the writhing completion that his fingers, his mouth, his whole body promised her. His raven hair brushing against her tingling flesh, the heat from his body encircling her, his mouth and fingers continued to drive her to the edge on her sanity.

"No…" she gasped her eyes fluttering as the excitement built to a new level, filling her with terror. Nerdanel felt powerless to him, completely vulnerable to him taking over her body, even her mind. Her heart raced even faster as she lie lay helpless under his caresses. Her body was acting of its own violation now; she could not control her hips thrusting up to his masterful fingers.

"Say it! Now!" Fëanor demanded as he drove another finger into her.

Nerdanel's voice cried out, "Yes! Fëanor, please take me!" As she said it, the fire within her built to an unbearable level and she cried his name over and over, the peak of her crescendo exploding within her until she was out of breath and quivering all over in an orgasmic haze.

After she stopped hearing her heart pounding in her head, Nerdanel opened her eyes in time to see Fëanor smirk at her arrogantly. Rising, he walked slowly away from her, without a word. But there was no need for words and they both knew it. She was his, body and soul, and she was utterly incapable of resisting him.

Tears welling in her eyes, Nerdanel felt torn between feelings of happiness and complete sorrow. She loved him with everything she was and felt that he would create brilliant and wondrous things. But deep in the back of her mind, she feared…she knew he would destroy her one day.

 

 

Happy Birthday, Claudio

Claudio, so sorry that I cannot post a birthday fic TODAY on the theme which you requested: something that centers around "some good old fashioned Gil-galad and Elrond interaction." Yep. You just throw that out there like it ought to be so easy, when actually the bar has been set pretty high on this stuff. Anyway, I have not given up, but am still struggling to find the right inspiration. I will do it!

Hope you have a wonderful day and evening! Thank you for being such a great help in my beginner attempts at writing things based on the Silmarillion; you have been so generous. Happy, happy birthday.

Oshun
17 April 2007

 

 

Re: Housekeeping on Oshun's April 2007 Birthday Fics

Thank you again, Alassante. I've thank you all over the place--so will not repeat my comments. But want to acknowledge here as well and let you know that I have included it as a chapter in my Hasa birthday challenge story. (Sorry I am terrible at links too.)

Thank you! --Oshun

 

 

Re: Housekeeping on Oshun's April 2007 Birthday Fics

hehe You're welcome. You don't have to thank me anymore. Grin (and I think I've stopped posting it places lol) It was truly my pleasure.

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

Hello Darth Fingon,

a happy (slightly belated) birthday to you!

I sneaked in one mention of a bearded, grey-haired guy, but at least he's not mortal Wink!

Imhiriel

~*~

To Establish Ties

After a last nervous glance at the closing door Elrond turned to face me.

"Skittish as a fawn," I thought, sprawling casually to put the young Peredhel at ease. Something nobody but Círdan had yet been able to accomplish since the twins' arrival from the Fëanorians' camp some weeks ago.

Elrond gingerly sat where I indicated, wide-open eyes never leaving mine.

"I felt like you do – drifting among strangers, bereft of home... But you have one thing I did not: your brother is with you. You are not alone."

His expression softened.

I smiled in response. "Please call me Ereinion..."

A/N:

- The title is from the first conversation between the fox and the little prince about taming in Chapter 21 of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's "The Little Prince".

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

Thank you, Imhiriel.  You've mentioned here one of the things I've always thought must have been central to the relationship between Elrond and Gil-galad: their common lack of family, and how they could have turned to each other to fill the void.  You've shown the exact moment when this understanding and friendship began.  I really like that.

And I don't mind a grey-haired or bearded Cirdan in the least.  He's actually another of my favourite characters at the moment.

I have started a birthday workshop story if you would like to add this one there.  I'd be happy to see it.  Again, thank you.

 

 

Re: April 2007 Birthdays

Thank you, Imhiriel. You've mentioned here one of the things I've always thought must have been central to the relationship between Elrond and Gil-galad: their common lack of family, and how they could have turned to each other to fill the void. You've shown the exact moment when this understanding and friendship began. I really like that.

You're very welcome! I'm glad I found something to your liking. I certainly agree with you there. And I think in this case it doesn't matter which way you go from there, slash or friendship - it fits both ways. I also think the relationship, even in gen, can develop in different directions: Gil-Galad could become like a brother, a friend, an uncle, a father, a mentor...

And I don't mind a grey-haired or bearded Cirdan in the least. He's actually another of my favourite characters at the moment.

Check: two

I have started a birthday workshop story if you would like to add this one there. I'd be happy to see it.

Done!

Imhiriel

 

 

For Claudio - Draft Elrond/Gil-Galad ficlet

I know I have no self-restraint and less judgment. Presenting someone with a draft story for their birthday is a little like a cake without the icing--but I am running out of time. It is slash, but the most explicit thing is an implied kiss. (Sorry no one has read it yet, but maybe I can get some comments and clean it up a little soon.)

SEE UPDATED VERSION BELOW.

 

 

Updated - 28 April 2007

The Beginning

Elrond had been quiet that entire week. While working I often found myself stopping suddenly to look up from my papers to discover his eyes upon me. Not knowing what had caused me to break off, I would ask him if he had spoken. Each time he answered that he had not. I noticed over the past few months that he seemed to be recovering from the loss of his brother, that his confidence had increased. But then he had begun to appear distracted and anxious again.

I chose to keep him close to me. It had been easy to convince myself of his competence, indeed his giftedness, and that we worked well together: he completes my sentences, laughs at my jokes, is respectful without being sycophantic. His training in arms is excellent, his knowledge of language and lore incomparable in one so young, and I have never seen a fairer hand, each tengwa perfect and even. I have been told by those who knew Maglor and Maedhros that he could not have had better teachers. If truth be told, more importantly to me, Elrond had never been afraid to challenge my preconceptions or to ask difficult questions. I needed an heir and he was my closest kinsman. I enjoyed him as a companion and a collaborator but did not want to be the nursemaid of a lonely boy, no matter how beautiful he might be.

That late afternoon I watched him as I leaned against the door that I had closed behind me. He appeared at a glance more Noldo than I. His magnificent dark hair and clear, light eyes are typical of the heirs of Finwë who preceded me as High King of the Noldor. The last rays of the sun shone on him through the open window, causing his hair to gleam darkly against pale skin, while one side of his face glowed golden in the last red-orange light of the sinking sun.

I thought to light his lamp as it was rapidly growing too dark to write without straining one’s eyes, but I dared not move and distract him. For once he seemed unaware of me and I could study him unobserved. He is noticeably taller than I am, although not as broadly built, and is ruddier of complexion. His human roots are undeniable; his eyes lack detachment and his visage is ever mobile and expressive. I imagine an incandescence in him that reflects his Maiar heritage, but I would not argue if one were to tell me that in my infatuation I am being gratuitously fanciful.

Yet no one could dispute that the fresh bloom of youth about him would move a stone and I unfortunately have inherited the unruly passions of my line. As breathtaking as his youth might be, it argued against, rather than for, such an entanglement on my part. Still, I could not but yearn that I might detect in him an attraction to me that matched my own.

“Ereinion.” His voice startled me out of my concentration as his wide grey eyes, artless and trusting if slightly embarrassed, met my own.

“Yes?”

“I’m an idiot,” he said. He placed his pen down alongside the parchment upon which he labored. A hot flush darkened his face, reaching the elegant apex of his cheekbones.

“Indeed,” I said, without the slightest success at my attempt to sound severe, and completely unable to rein in the smile that pulled against the corners of my mouth. “Are you questioning my judgment or do you perhaps plan to disclose secret details about yourself that I have not yet discovered?”

He pushed the chair back with a clatter and rounded the table in an instant, not stopping until he stood in front of me, close enough that I could feel his heat. He held my eyes with his. “I hate it when you laugh at me in that mocking tone,” he whispered hoarsely. “Yes. There is something I should tell you.”

His shoulders squared, he gripped my arm. I felt his pulse through his over-warm fingertips, as fast as my own and ragged, and I understood.

“How old are you now, Elrond? I’ve forgotten,” I lied.

“I am of age by anyone’s assessment, man or elf,” he said, jutting his chin out, while he jerked his head upward. His eyes narrowed with the slightest flare of his nostrils and his lips pressed together, the lower one protruding provocatively.

“So, what are you waiting for?” I said.

I expected his kiss to be gentler, but I did not then know Elrond as well as I do now.

 

 

Re: Updated - 28 April 2007

Lovely story, Oshun.  You have such excellent descriptions of the characters, both physically and emotionally.  The character seem very real and alive here.  I can picture the scene perfectly.  Thank you for such a nice present.

 

 

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