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Broken Wings

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It’s the first day of school, again, Thranduil isn’t comfortable with how fast their children are growing up.

Lord Elrond and his entourage make plans to return home, but not before giving some last-minute instructions to his protégé, as well as a listening ear, and a bit of advice.

Evvy writes to her father and brother and tells them about her first few weeks at the Palace!

 


 

 

“So, take these broken wings

And learn to fly again

Learn to live so free

When we hear the voices sing

The book of love will open up

And let us in…”

“Broken Wings,” by Mr. Mister

 

 

  

City of Dale, 4th of September 2944 T.A.

Classes for Bain and Tilda had started today, and Thranduil had been looking forward to another year of walking his Tithen Pen to school.  But this morning, when he entered Bard’s study, the Elf looked despondent. 1

“How did it go?” Bard asked warily, as Meryl, Tilda's little pug, followed him in and snuggled down next to Thangon for a morning nap.

“She does not want me to hold her hand, anymore.” The Elf’s worried eyes met his.  “She said she did not mind on the way, but she does not want to look like a baby in front of her friends.”

Despite Bard’s sympathy, he wasn’t surprised; he’d had been waiting for this. 

He rose from his desk and stepped over to give his husband a kiss on his forehead.  “Why don’t we talk about this somewhere more private?  You look like you could use a strong drink, yeah?”

“Could we?”

Bard stuck his head into Percy’s office.  “Hey Pers, I’m taking the morning off.  If anyone asks, I’ll be available after lunch.”

“Sure thing, kid.” The Steward didn’t look up from his papers. “Don't mind me;  I'll just toil away alone, here.”

"I knew you'd understand." He pointed to the giant dog on by the fireplace. “Serë, Thangon.  You, too, Meryl; stay here with him.” 

The Bowman hauled his Elf to his feet and had an arm around his waist as they climbed the Grand Staircase and went into their chambers.   After they kicked off their boots, they sat up against the headboard, as Bard poured him a tall glass of Dorwinian.

“Drink up, you.”

“Only if you will join me.”

Bard poured a smaller glass for himself, and they sipped in silence for a few moments. 

“This makes me think of the night of our first kiss; do you remember? 2 Bard mused.  “I was upset, and you sat me down on your bed and took off my boots.”  He gave Thranduil a sidelong glance, “then you plied me with strong wine and took advantage of me.”

“I did not!” Thranduil’s jaw dropped.

“You did.”  He fluttered his eyelashes and said in a high voice, “I was but a helpless victim to your charms; putty in your hands.”

The Elf’s left eyebrow quirked.  “As I recall, it was you who kissed me.”

“Perhaps you put me under a spell,” Bard whispered as he leaned closer, “because that kiss was magical.” 

“There is only one first kiss, Meleth nîn,” Thranduil’s lips brushed lightly against his with a smile.  “I know what you are doing.”

“Is it working?”

“I think so.”

“Good,” Bard took the Elf’s cup, set it on the side table, grabbed the back of his neck and captured his mouth in a hard kiss that didn’t let up until they were both on fire.  “Care for a Second Breakfast?”

Within minutes they shed their clothes, and amid kisses, playful nips and a lot of moaning, Thranduil hovered over him. 

“Our first time together was just as wonderful as our first kiss.”  His voice was low, husky.  “Do you know how often I think of our wedding night, Meleth nîn?”

“Show me,” Bard panted as the Elf’s slick fingers stroked his insides, teasing him into a frenzy.  “You b-bastard!” he threw his head back with a groan.

“Hmmm… I do not recall you calling me that on our Wedding night,” the Elf’s eyes narrowed.  “Shall I stop?”

“Don’t y-you dare!”  Another moan escaped him.  “This is w-what I get for trying to m-make you feel better?  You torture me l-like this?”

“Oh, I am sorry,” Thranduil’s smile turned evil.  “How can I make it up to you?”

“You!  I need you!”

The Elvenking took himself in hand and entered him in one stroke, and they both cried out.  All teasing was forgotten when his hips began to move, and they lost themselves in each other. 

“I love how you feel,” Thranduil said bit down on Bard’s collarbone.  “I can never get enough of you.”

Bard replied by grabbing the Elf’s nipples and squeezed them.  Thranduil’s hips to lost their rhythm for a moment, before thrusting even harder.

When they reached the edge and fell together, Thranduil clung to him and called his name, over and over, as the colors grew brighter than the stars. 

 

“Oh, gods,” Bard swallowed, his voice hoarse.  “I don’t think I can move for the rest of the day.”

“Is that a bad thing?” Thranduil had his arms around him, and kissed his hair.

“I just hope no one needs me before my legs stop shaking.”  Bard propped up on one elbow and rested his chin in his hand.  “Feel any better?”

The Elf heaved a heavy sigh.  “A little.  I just hate how fast the children are growing up.  I know Tilda was taller when I came home last month, and I missed it.”

“She didn’t grow at all when she was sick, remember?  Now, as soon as Hilda has her set up with clothes and shoes, her ankles are showing under her dresses and she’s complaining that her boots pinch.”

“I know…”  

“She’s going to be ten years old at the end of this month, and as she said, she 'wants to be told stuff,' now.”  Bard nuzzled his arm.  “We can’t stop time, as much as we want to.”

“She is starting to outgrow her stuffed toys," Thranduil pouted.  "She rarely takes Charlotte out of the Castle, anymore.”  

“That’s only because she’s too busy running around Dale with Tauriel, or hanging upside down on the climbing bars at the Park.  The stones in the Courtyard are full of chalk drawings; the only time they’re clean is when it rains, and as soon as things dry up, she and Feren’s girls are at it again.”

“I know it is selfish,” the Elf sighed.  “I am happy she is healthy, really I am, Bard.  But sometimes I miss the days when I carried her everywhere.  I miss those tiny arms around my neck, or her head on my shoulder when she falls asleep.”

“Aww…” Bard stroked his arm.  “I miss that, too.  I feel like it was only yesterday when Sigrid and Bain were that small.  The first time I realized Bain and I were eye-level, I had to go sit down!”

“Sigrid has not changed as much as the younger ones,” Thranduil observed.  “But her face has matured, has it not?  She is truly a lovely girl.”

“A lovely woman,” Bard corrected, sadly.  “Although if you ask me when that happened, I couldn’t begin to tell you.  The other day, I saw her reading a book and couldn’t get over how stunning she was.  I swear, my heart stopped when it hit me that she’s old enough to have suitors, now.”

“She is not!” Thranduil’s eyes bulged.  “Sigrid is much too young!”

“Oh, I didn’t say I liked it, love.  Praise Ulmo, she’s focused on her studies, and doesn’t want anything to get in her way, right now; especially romance.”

“But what if someone wants to pursue her?”

“I’d feel sorry for him.” Bard chuckled.  “Have you forgotten our daughter is surrounded by Elves with sharp, pointy things?  The guards are genuinely fond of the kids; if a boy was flirting with Sigrid, we’d know about it.”

“It is good to be the King,” the Elf’s eyes twinkled.  “I truly pity the man who asks for her hand.”

“Feren says the same thing about his girls.” Bard laughed.  “He said any boy tries to kiss Alis or Dafina would find the entire Army on his doorstep,” he jabbed the Elf in the ribs. “I know what that’s like.  You think I wasn’t scared shitless when you just showed up in Dale that first morning?”

“It is nice to know that works,” Thranduil smirked, then said, “Bain will be taller than you, I think.”

“Better looking, too.”

“Do not say that!  I think you are beautiful.”

“Well, I hope he takes after Mattie’s father, with a nice, full beard.  Thank the stars he has my hair.”

“Why do you say this?”

“My father-in-law was bald on top.  My Da used to tease him and say he shaved it off and glued it to his face.”

“What did he say to that?”

“Oh, Bain – my Bain was named after him, you know – said he was so handsome, he had to cover his face so Da wouldn’t get jealous.”

Thranduil snickered. “I would have enjoyed knowing them.”

“I think so, too.  One of the reasons why the Master hated me so much was that I stole Mattie from him.  Did I ever tell you that story?”

“Some of it.  Mattie’s Uncle arranged the match, as I recall.”

“Yep.  But did I tell you what happened when her Da found out about it?”

“No,” Thranduil rolled over to face him with an interested smile.

“Bain punched Uncle Marvin in the jaw and knocked out two of his teeth.” 3

“Good for him!” the Elf laughed.  “We must remember that when young men line up to call on our daughters.”

“That goes for all of our daughters.   I don’t care how old she is, Tauriel’s not going to end up with just anyone!” 

“I agree.”  Thranduil flopped back against the pillows, with a sigh.  “Thank you for helping me be a father, again.”

“It’s been wonderful to watch you enjoy them, love.” Bard reached over and caressed his face.  “I know you’re upset about Tilda, but just because she is pulling away a bit, doesn’t mean she stopped loving you.  She just wants to explore different things about life.”

“There will come a day when she will not want me to hug her at all,” Thranduil’s face fell.

“That’s not true.  She’s Ada’s girl, and will always need you.  The thing is, try to stop seeing her as your baby, and meet her where she is at.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, since she’s been healthy, she’s turned into quite the tomboy, yeah?  She’s running around in leggings as often as she’s wearing dresses, these days.  Do you remember what I told you in June, just before you got the message about Tur?  Tilda’s serious about learning how to wield a sword; who better to teach her than the mighty Elvenking himself?”

“I had forgotten about that,” Thranduil sat up.

“I did, too, until just before you came home.  Tauriel offered to get her started, but she wants Ada.  Why do you think she sat with us when you went up against Glorfindel?  She used to hate that stuff, remember?   But she wanted to watch you.”

“Really?” a slow grin spread across the Elf’s face. 

“And that’s not all.  Every summer, don’t you take Bain and his friends camping?  Tilda might not be up for a week in a tent, but what’s to stop you from taking her out to the woods, and showing her how to track?”

“She would like that?”

“It doesn’t hurt to ask.  She needs you to see her as she is, and if you encourage her to grow, she’ll always look to you for guidance.  If you refuse to see her as anything but your baby girl, Tilda might drift away, and never come back.”

Thranduil lay back down and stared up at the ceiling.  “It might not be so bad…”

“Course not,” Bard leaned over and kissed his cheek.  “The children are on a journey, love, even the older ones; we need to be just as excited for them as they are for themselves.”

“One day they all will leave us, though.”

“Probably.  But they’ll come back, and Valar willing, with a boatload of grandchildren.”

Thranduil turned toward him with an eager grin.  “More babies to spoil...”

“Exactly,” Bard winked.

 

****************

 

City of Dale, 26th of September 2944 T.A.

“I am afraid this will be our last lesson, Lieutenant.”

Daeron knew it was coming, and his heart was heavy.  “I understand; you must cross the Misty Mountains soon, before the pass closes for the winter.”

“True.  As much as I would like to, we cannot stay.  Mithrandir and I need to meet with Celeborn and Galadriel on a matter of importance, then he needs to find Radagast and inform him of the situation with your wife.  Glorfindel has also been patient, but he is anxious to get back to Rivendell.  He does not like to be apart from Erestor for long periods of time, and while Rivendell is adequately protected for now, his very presence often frightens off enemies.”

Elrond’s mouth widened into a pleased smile.  “But there is little need for me to linger.  You have been an excellent pupil, but I have nothing more to teach you, Mellon.”

“That cannot be true!” he protested.  “I feel like I have only scratched the surface of the things you have shown me; surely there is more I need to work on!”

“Oh, I did not say you should discontinue your work.  You have an excellent grasp of the fundamentals; all you need now is to practice and refine your skills.  You have been keeping up with your notes, I hope?”

“Of course.  I try to write every night: what patients I have seen and their treatment, the basics of what you and I have been doing…” he met Elrond’s blue eyes.  “I hope that is all right?  I can destroy them, if you like.”

“You may keep them, as long as they are kept safe.  Now, have you forgotten the other assignment I gave you?”

“You mean the book you wish me to write?  There has been no time to think of it, My Lord.”

“I agree, there have been more important matters at hand, but when things calm down, you need to work on this.  I would like to see a copy on my desk within the next two years.  This book,” Elrond leaned back in his chair and rested his ankle on his other knee, “will be increasingly important in the decades to come, as the Free Peoples begin to work together.  We Elves know all there is, when it comes to treating our own people, but there is a scarcity of knowledge in the treatment of men and their diseases.   My books, to use your phrase, ‘only scratch the surface.’” He waved his hand dismissively.  “Too often what is useful to an Elf could be poisonous to a Child of Man, and in the other cases, dosage is completely different; do you see the urgency?”

Daeron ran his hand over his jaw.  “My Lord, writing for my own benefit is one thing, but I have no idea how to arrange things in a manner which others can make sense of!  I’m not a terribly organized person, and rely on my wife’s skills to keep up with the mechanics of day-to-day life.”

“I suggest you find a ghost-writer, someone who knows a bit of the subject matter, but is distant enough to ensure clarity in your writing.”

“But would not another Healer be better?”

“No; the opposite in fact.  We want a book that any Elf can pick up and understand, and you are too close to the subject matter to have any perspective.” Elrond tilted his head.  “Your friend Evranin came here with us, to help establish a library for Dale.  Is she not the sister of another Healer in Lothlórien?”

“Evvy is going through the Palace libraries and will be presenting King Bard with a list of books for his approval within the next couple of months.” 

“I can think of no other candidate who would be better, Mellon.  She knows how good books are written, and can arrange the information for easy reference.  We will be stopping in the Woodland Realm before Mithrandir and I part ways, so I will speak to her myself about it.”  Elrond hesitated.  “You look concerned.  Do you not agree she would do an excellent job?”

“Oh, I do, My Lord!  She is a perfect choice; it is just that there is a personal situation that might complicate things.”

“Ah,” the Elf-Lord nodded.  “Turamarth’s attack.  Tell me, how is he doing now” 4

“He is beginning to have some good days, and we often ride out into the woods and practice our skills.  He is still physically weakened, but his stamina improves.”

“I have not seen him out and about in the City.  Is this typical of him?”

Daeron shook his head.  “No, sadly.  He was always gregarious and outgoing before.  Now he… does not like to be among groups of people.”

“How is he with you and your family?”

“In the safety of our home, his true self is beginning to emerge, again.  My son is a great comfort to him, and Rhian has been able to help him in ways I cannot.  I am hoping that with time and effort, this will pass.”

“If he does well at home, there is no reason to think he will not continue to improve.” Elrond nodded.  “Continue to take him out for short periods, then slowly increase the time, as you take him different places.” Elrond hesitated, then said, “I should tell you that I have known the nature of Turamarth’s attack from the beginning, only because my sons and I are familiar with those types of injuries to the Fëa.”

Daeron sighed.  “I guessed as much, but thank you for not asking me about it.  Even I do not know all the details; he recently revealed all to my wife, though.”

“And this does not bother you?”

“I would never ask Rhian; that is Tur’s secret to tell, and we both know it.”  He sighed, and his gaze traveled to his lap. 

“Daeron?” Elrond’s brows lifted. 

“I am afraid Rhian did not take the news of her Immortality well.” 5

“Are things all right between you?” 

Daeron swallowed, and remained silent, as he fumbled with his fingers.

“It is not an easy adjustment to make, I am sure,” the Elf-Lord’s eyes held concern.  “What does she say about it?”

“She refuses to discuss it.  Turamarth helped calm her down that first day, but since then, she resists any attempts I make to talk to her.”

“I am sorry to hear that. Are you concerned that she turns to Tur, rather than you?”

“Oh, no!” Daeron quickly met his eyes.  “I am not concerned about that at all!  They are like siblings, and are good for each other.  I just wish…”

“Perhaps she turns to your cousin because he is not as important to her.”

“But she should not be afraid to come to me!  I am her husband!”

“Exactly.  She could be afraid of things changing between you.” He raised his eyebrow and studied Daeron.  “Do you not fear the same thing?”

“Very much, so.” He admitted with a hard swallow. “When you and Mithrandir told us of the prophecy, I felt relieved.  I have loved Rhian for much longer than she even knows, and for me, it was an answer to questions I have been asking since Sellwen died.”

“Rhian does not share your feelings, I take it?”

“She does not grasp the enormity of it, I think.  To her, Sellwen is nothing more than a name, an abstract idea.”

“That is not surprising,” Elrond agreed.  “Let us consider Princess Tilda.  Her mother died at her birth, yes?  She has no memory of Bard’s wife, so there was no reason for her to mourn.  Even when she looks at the painting of Matilda, she only sees an echo of what might have been.”

“That is a good analogy.  I never expected Rhian to think any different and I am fine with that, but this has stirred up a great deal for me.”

“How?”

“In the weeks before Sellwen’s death, I had fantasies of her growing up and falling in love with me.  I had no qualms considering my fate if I married her, back then, which would mean I would lose everything in order to be with her.  But of course, that never happened, and I learned to move on.

“When I met Rhian, I was confused at my feelings!  It was before the blessing of Eärendil and long before Mithrandir came to tell the Kings what it all meant.  Yet, I loved her, and once again, I was willing to give up my Immortal life, and gifts that shaped me, to be with her.”

Elrond leaned forward and clasped his hands together.  “And, now that you know you will not lose any of it?”

Daeron blinked rapidly, and stared off into space.  “How could I be anything but happy?  Yet at the same time, how do I share my joy with a wife who feels robbed?”

“I am sorry, Mellon,” Elrond sighed.  “I had hoped that once she calmed down, she might be open to all this.”

“That is just the trouble; she is not open at all!  She either behaves as if our meeting that day never took place, or, if I bring up the subject, she finds an excuse to leave the room.”

“She is afraid.” Elrond reminded him.

“I think part of her… blames me, somehow.  Or at least she sees me differently.”

“Surely not!” The Elf-Lord’s eyes widened.  “You had nothing to do with this.  Mithrandir and I had nothing to do with this; we were merely messengers from the Valar!”

“I know.  I do not think she is even aware of it, but she hangs on to Daeron for dear life, and when I hold him, Rhian looks at me as if…  We have only been married a few months, but much of that has been full of turmoil: Tur’s arrest in Lothlórien, then I left for two months, and when we came back, Tur needed our help.”

Elrond ran his hand over his mouth and considered for a moment.  “At the risk of being indelicate, Mellon, when was the last time you two made love?”

“We have not.  She refuses my advances, saying she is tired, or goes to bed early and pretends to be asleep when I come in.  She is shutting herself off, and the harder I try to break down those walls, the more she pushes me away!  Rhian has been through a great deal, and in some ways, it reminds me of the state she was in after she gave birth at the Palace.  She has withdrawn into herself.”

“What happened after your son was born?”

“It goes back further than that, My Lord.  Rhian’s first husband, Garth, was physically and sexually abusive.  It was not until after Darryn was born that we realized the extent of her physical injuries, which were quickly mended.  But the emotional damage was considerable.”

“What did you do for her then?”

“Lord Thranduil placed her in rooms where it was quiet, and my Aunt Indis lived with her, until she was physically stronger.”

“Indis is one of the best Elven Counselors I know.”

“She gave supportive care, but Hannah was the one who served in that capacity.”

“Hannah?  The midwife?  Is she not your mother-in-law?”

“Yes, but she was not married to Ben at the time.  As a child of Man, Hannah was more familiar with the situation my wife had been forced to endure, and this helped Rhian trust her.”

“I see,” Elrond grasped his chin, deep in thought.  “And yet Rhian overcame all of that; I saw little of the damage you describe when I met her, though I am sure the scars will always be there.”

“Should I go see Hannah, and tell her what is going on?”

“I would wait.  If Rhian went to her on her own, she would be more open to receiving help, otherwise she might feel like you are setting her up.” Elrond advised.  “But should this go on for several months, then I do not see where you have a choice.”

“That is what I shall do, then,” the Lieutenant sighed sadly.  “I was hoping we had both seen the last of those days.”

“Ah, well; too often these things are out of our hands.”  Elrond leaned forward and grasped his shoulder.  “Give it some time, Mellon nîn.  Give her the space she needs, and see what happens.”

“I will,” Daeron swallowed.  “What if it is not enough?” 

 

***************

 

Lothlórien, 28th of September 2944 T.A.

Ada!”  Orlin rushed into Ohtar’s office in the back of Galadriel’s vast library.

“Shhh!  How many times have I told you to keep your voice down!” his father scowled.  “Now, why are you making so much noise this time?”

“Look!” Orlin grinned as he waved the sealed envelope in the air.  “A letter from Evvy!”

“Wonderful!  Shut the door, and read it to me.”

Orlin did so, then took a seat beside his father’s desk and broke the seal: 

 

6th of September 2944 T.A.

Dear Ada and Orlin,

Greetings from the Halls of the Woodland Realm! 

Oh, Ada, what a challenge I have been given!  At first, when I arrived, I was overwhelmed and unhappy, but Airen met me and not only has she opened up her arms, but she and Elion have opened up their home as well!  I am now staying in their spare room, and I feel much better.

There was a commotion when we first entered the Palace, but I soon learned that Galion, Thranduil’s Aide has gotten married to – and you will not believe it, but it is true – our friend, Rôgon, the blacksmith!  They wed in secret, but when everyone found out, the King’s Council gave Galion a respite from his duties and they did not come out of his apartment once!

To say King Thranduil was surprised is an understatement, but he seemed happy when he and Prince Legolas went to Dale the next day. 6

Rôgon is married!  Can you believe it! 

Two weeks ago, we all went to Dale to attend their Wedding Feast.  They had a small, private ceremony on the 26th of August in the Castle Gardens.  Cwën, Airen and I were asked to stand with the Elves of Rivendell, to support Rôg, while the Royal Family stood for Galion.  It was simple but oh, so lovely.  The Lady sent gold rings, and Princess Tilda wore the sweetest crown of flowers from our home.  Rôgon cried throughout the entire ceremony, and Galion just smiled up at him. 

The Feast was a lively celebration, just like Daeron’s and Rhian’s wedding!  I did get to speak to them briefly at the Feast, and they seemed very happy.  Oh, her little boy is so cute!  He has grown since I had seen him last, and Rhian tells me he is learning a new word every day. 

Orlin, I looked for Turamarth.  I know you said not to, and you keep telling me nothing is my fault, but I could not help it.  I was so hoping to see him, just to see if he looked better, but Daeron said he was still staying with them, and that Tur cannot cope with large crowds at the moment.  I promised you I would not ask what happened to him, but it was hard not to feel guilty.

Still, we had a pleasant two days in Dale, and soon it was time to get back to work! 

I have been here a few weeks, now, and my life has fallen into a routine:

--In the mornings, I eat breakfast with Airen and her husband, then I am off to work!   Gwindor, the Archivist, works in the same capacity for Lord Thranduil that you do for the Lord and Lady, Ada.  He is kind and helped me feel at ease right away.  When I arrived, he told me our first task was to help him with a full inventory.  He had been holding off until I arrived, as it would help me determine what could be useful with the people of Dale. 

He also took me to the lower caves to meet with the Printer’s Guild.  Saeros is the Assistant assigned to work with me to get the new books printed.  He seems a bit shy, like me, but I am hoping that will change as we begin to work together. 

--I usually have my midday meal at my desk, then after my day is done, I return to the Apartment.  If Airen and Elion are still on duty, I eat alone, curled up with a book. 

Airen pesters me to go to the Dining Hall when they cannot be there in the evenings, but just the idea of going alone among all those strangers give me butterflies in my stomach!  Maybe when I have been here a few months, I might feel brave, but for now, I need the solitude to relax and get used to my new life.

That is not to say that Airen is my only friend here.  The second day after my arrival, who should come knocking at my door but Idril and Indis, Daeron’s mother and aunt!  I had met them at his wedding, of course, and these wonderful Ellyth have taken me under their wing.  In our spare time, they have shown me all over the Palace, and told me stories about Daeron and Tur and all the trouble they would cause.  Idril showed me the ceiling in the Palace Kitchens, and told me the story of when Daeron accidentally set it on fire.  There are still scorch marks, but I could even see places where they had tried to clean it off!

I can tell they worry for Tur, as well, Orlin.  Indis’s eyes get so sad when she speaks of him, but Idril is right there to remind her how strong Tur is and not to give up hope.  Adamar and Ómar are also wonderful to me, I feel like I have two sets of Aunts and Uncles now!

I try to picture you two living in Orlin’s house (I am glad you moved out of our childhood home – it is too big for one Ellon, and full of memories that would only keep you in the past.)  I think about Naneth, and how peaceful she seemed when we said goodbye.  I am grateful for her gold ring.  Most of the time, I wear it on a chain, but on days when I am particularly homesick, I put in on my hand, so I can see it and feel closer to all of you, or picture Naneth on the ship, when she arrives on the White Shores.

I still have days when I want to cry from homesickness, yet at the same time, I am excited for this new beginning.  Your Little Bird needs to mend her own wings, and learn to fly, but never doubt for a moment that my heart remains with my dear, dear Ada and my older brother.

Write to me soon and tell me what is going on at home!

With all my love,

Your Aewpin

Orlin folded the paper with a sigh, and handed it to his father.  “I can finally admit how worried I was for her, but she seems fine.”

“I am still worried, but I suppose that will always be the case,” Ohtar took the letter and placed it in the pocket of his tunic, over his heart.  “I hope she did not go to be closer to Turamarth.  She could be badly hurt.”

“I honestly do not think so,” Orlin reassured him.  “It is not realistic to say Tur had nothing to do with it, but I talked with her about it the night before they left.  Evvy was adamant that she is doing this for herself.  She has feelings for Tur, yes; he helped her to see herself in a different light, Ada.”

“How so?”

“Most of her life, Evvy’s first instinct was to withdraw.  She’s spent most of her years with her head tucked under her wing, as she tried to survive our mother’s constant attempts to ‘fix’ her.  Who can learn and grow like that?”

Ohtar covered his eyes.  “It was my fault; I allowed that to go on too long.”

“I will not lie to you and say otherwise, Ada, but I also believe we were too immersed in all of it to see clearly.  I know you are familiar with those spyglasses Men use, to see at great distances?”

“We have one in our collection that was found after the Disaster of Gladden Fields.  It is said that Isildur himself used it.”

“Well, suppose you were given one with a defective lens, but you did not know it?  Every image you see with it would be skewed, but until you have a chance to look through a different spyglass, there is no way to tell, is there?”

“I suppose not,” Ohtar swallowed.  “I always hoped it would get better; if I had only loved her more, if I could come up with the right thing to say or do…” he shook his head.  “But that is not anything we can change, is it?”

“No, Ada, it is not.” “But in meeting Turamarth, she has been given new spyglass, but it is up to her to learn to use it.  Whether or not anything happens between them, we should be grateful for that.”  Orlin put his hand on his father’s arm and gave him a reassuring squeeze.  “Let us look forward, not back, yes?”

Ohtar covered his son’s hand with his. “New beginnings, Ion nîn.”

 


 

 

ELVEN TRANSLATIONS:

Aewpin – “Little Bird,” Evranin’s nickname.

Meleth nîn – My love.

Serë,Thangon – (Q.) Stay, Thangon.

 

NOTES:

[1] An Invincible Summer, Ch. 20: https://archiveofourown.org/works/14127870/chapters/34855688

[2] What Makes a King, Ch. 7: https://archiveofourown.org/works/10838010/chapters/24626007

[3] What Makes a King, Ch. 6: https://archiveofourown.org/works/10838010/chapters/24520668

[4] Legolas, Ion nîn, Ch. 25: https://archiveofourown.org/works/17088320/chapters/44623087

[5] Legolas, Ion nîn, Ch. 42: https://archiveofourown.org/works/17088320/chapters/48543257

[6] Legolas, Ion nîn, Ch. 38: https://archiveofourown.org/works/17088320/chapters/47219776