This chapter is for Miriel, born in Fourth Age 21.
Fourth Age 35
Aragorn's long legs bore him quickly across the nursery floor, and he bent low with a mutter. "There you are, rascally thing!" The offending kerchief made no defense, and as Aragorn took this to be proper submission, he gave it merely a brush-off before placing it in his sleeve. Turning on one foot, he changed direction, intending to leave the way he had come. But a pair of grey eyes met his from the closet, and he stopped. The Elven light that was in Arwen's eyes had always fascinated him, and he found its half presence in his children even more endearing.
"Ancalime?" he inquired of the eyes. "Are you hiding?"
"Shh, Ada!" she said, and scooted out just a little so that he might see the finger that she put to her lips.
"Oh, of course," he said, lowering his tone and coming nearer. "Is it an orc, or a troll this time?"
Ancalime quickly pulled on her father's tunic, bringing his seven foot height down to a more managable level for the seven-year-old child. "No, Ada," she said seriously, bobbing her head for emphasis. "Much, much worse."
"You must make me aware of this new terror," said Aragorn, sliding back into the dark safety of the closet with her. "And I shall go to terminate it."
"I don't think Mama would like that," said Ancalime, her little mouth twisting as she thought.
"What are you hiding from?" asked Aragorn curiously.
"Miriel," sighed Ancalime.
Kingly eyes widened at the naming of his second daughter, and he answered: "Miriel? What crimes has she commited?"
"She is scary today," explained Ancalime. "She said that she wishes she were not a princess, and that she had no brothers or sisters at all. But yesterday she played tea party with us and fixed my Teleri dress."
"Oh dear," said Aragorn, shaking his head. Mood changes and emotional distress: he remembered this. "Do you know why she does this?"
"Yes," answered Ancalime, nodding confidently. "She is going crazy."
Aragorn swallowed. "Not quite."
"Then why, Ada?"
Putting his arm around her shoulder, Aragorn leaned in to convey his secret knowledge in an appropriately whispery tone. "You are almost right, Cali. When girls are a certain age, an age which Miriel has now reached, they seem to go crazy. They act strangely and you cannot tell what they will do next. But if you are patient, they grow up to be like Idi. Do you remember when Idi was Miriel's age?"
"I was two, Ada," reminded Ancalime.
"She was just like Miriel," assured Aragorn, "but, you see, no longer."
"You are sure Miri is not possessed by an evil spirit?" asked Ancalime.
"Good grief, yes!" answered Aragorn. "Who tells you such things?"
"Nobody, Ada," giggled Ancalime. "Shh! She's coming!"
And as Miriel walked through the nursery, tears on her fair cheeks and tales of personal trials falling from her lips for anyone to hear who minded, Aragorn and his youngest remained perfectly still and in hiding.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.