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Interrupted Journeys: Part Four--Journeys of Discovery

Chapter 3: Mischief and Moonbows--Part One

by ellisk

Chapter 3: Mischief and Moonbows--Part One

Galithil opened the door to his room, slipped out into the hall and silently closed the door. The guard at the main entrance to the family quarters smiled at him as the elfling glanced up and down the quiet corridor. The sounds of servants moving about in the dining room were only beginning to stir to life and the only other person Galithil saw was the maid lighting the lamps in the hall.

He looked at his cousin’s door—no light came from under it.

“I will light Legolas’s lamps,” he offered when the maid also turned to smile at him.

She responded by looking at him sidelong and raising one eyebrow, but the twitch of her lips betrayed her amusement.

Confident that he could win her over, Galithil’s eyes widened innocently. “I know how to be careful with the lamps,” he insisted in a sincere voice. “I do not want to burn my own home down.”

The maid laughed as she extracted another faggot from the pocket of her apron, lit it from the torch she was carrying and handed it to Galithil. “You may be the only person alive capable of burning down a mountain,” she replied. Then she fixed him with a playfully reproachful expression. “And we both know you are only offering to light your cousin’s lamps for me because you think that will be a particularly rude and novel manner to awaken him this morning.”

Galithil grinned at her as he reached to open Legolas’s door. “True,” he admitted easily as he skipped into his cousin’s room.

Giggling softly, Galithil dashed from lamp to lamp, quickly lighting every one. He bit his lip to stifle a laugh when his cousin growled sleepily, rolled onto his side to face the wall and pulled his blanket over his head. Galithil tossed the faggot in Legolas’s fireplace and jumped on his bed. He finally did laugh out loud in response to Legolas’s surprised exclamation.

“What are you doing?” Legolas snapped, hastily scooting away from Galithil on the bed. His cousin was now shaking him insistently. “I am awake,” he said irritably through a yawn while slapping at Galithil’s hands. Looking up at Galithil hovering over him, he frowned at his cousin’s excited and amused expression. “You are not very funny, Galithil,” he added in a tired voice.

Galithil’s enthusiasm was not dimmed in the least. “Today is Brethil’s begetting day. We need to know if the weather is fair before we speak to our adars at breakfast. Come to the Gates with me,” he demanded eagerly.

That brought Legolas more fully awake. He threw off the covers and climbed out of the bed. “Give me a minute to get dressed,” he said, trotting quickly to his bathing chamber to wash his face.

“Hurry,” Galithil prodded. He was never one to waste time with things like bathing if more exciting prospects were at hand.

Legolas washed quickly and pulled on the leggings and tunic that Galithil brought him. He was still fastening his tunic when they opened his door and stepped into the hall. Despite his abbreviated bath, by the time they emerged from his room, the servants in the dining room were singing and the sounds of plates being set on the table could already be heard.

Legolas scowled. “We do not have time to go all the way to the Gates. Nana will be coming to call us to morning meal soon. We can go into the garden to see what the weather is like,” he suggested, veering in the direction of the family sitting room.

In the back of the sitting room was a door that led to the Queen’s private garden. The garden was planted on a ledge on the mountain and accessible only from the family quarters. In the summer and fall it was normally a riot of flowers and herbs. Even in the winter, when the plants were withered and the trees bare, Legolas loved the garden for the old beech that grew in its center. It was his favorite tree—a place where he often sat or played with his cousins and the place where all the private family celebrations took place.

Galithil sighed and followed him. “Sometimes I wish that we lived in a cottage in the forest like Berior and Brethil,” Galithil complained as they trotted to the back of the sitting room.

Legolas nodded and opened the door to the garden. The warm, spring air and bright morning sun flooded into the sitting room and brought wide smiles to both elflings’ faces.

“It is a beautiful morning and there is not a single cloud in the east,” Galithil declared. “It should be fair weather all day. There is no reason for our parents to refuse to let us go.”

Legolas cast a warning look at his cousin. “Nonetheless, we have to ask carefully. Ada, often has reasons for not letting us do things that we never expected. Let me ask, as we planned,” Legolas cautioned.

But Galithil was not listening. Instead, his eyes were fixed on the beech tree in the center of the garden. He loosed a quiet giggle and quickly covered his mouth with his hand to stifle it. “At least it seems your adar will be in a good mood when you ask him,” he said without looking away from the beech.

Legolas followed his cousin’s gaze. Under the beech, on a bench, he could see his mother and father. He knew that they made a habit of watching the sunrise together in the garden, so their presence was not surprising. This morning, however, despite the fact that they were partially obscured by the trunk of the beech, Legolas could plainly see that his mother was sitting on his father’s lap and that they were kissing. He wrinkled his nose and reached for his cousin’s arm.

“He will not be in a good mood if he catches you spying on him kissing nana, so come on,” he said softly, pulling Galithil towards the door.

A few minutes later, everyone in the dining room stood as Thranduil and Lindomiel entered the room and took their places at the table. Galithil’s giggles and amused expression earned him a swift kick under the table from Legolas.

Thranduil smiled at his nephew but studied him curiously while beginning to serve himself some porridge. “You seem to be in unusually high spirits this morning, Galithil,” he said with a glance at Galithil’s father, Aradunnon. “Is it possible that you have already been into some sort of mischief this early?” he asked.

Legolas shot a warning glare at his cousin.

Aradunnon did not miss it. “Indeed, ion nin. Where were you this morning? You had already left your room when we came to waken you.”

Galithil smiled innocently at his father. “I went to wake up Legolas,” he responded happily.

Lindomiel and Galithil’s mother, Amoneth, exchanged an amused glance. “And that likely explains Legolas’s scowl as well as Galithil’s grin,” Amoneth said softly.

Legolas’s scowl deepened when his grandparents and uncles laughed quietly and shook their heads.

“Today is Brethil’s begetting day,” he said coolly, without looking at anyone in particular. “He is having a party after our lessons and we are all going.” He paused. “Assuming Galithil can manage to temper his excitement long enough to finish his lessons and be dismissed on time,” he added airily.

The adults laughed again when Galithil narrowed his eyes angrily at his cousin.

“Your naneth had reminded me of Brethil’s begetting day this morning as well, Legolas,” Thranduil said, trying to intervene before an argument erupted at the breakfast table. “I am going riding this afternoon and I will stop by Brethil’s cottage to wish him a merry day.” Thranduil looked over at Galithil’s older brother, Dolgailon, and his wife, Arthiel. “Your brother is a wonderful elfling, Arthiel,” he said warmly. “I always enjoy seeing him.”

Arthiel smiled. “My adar would be very pleased to hear that,” she said.

Thranduil was about to respond when he noticed the hopeful expression on Legolas’s face that his comment had obviously elicited. The child was looking at him intently. Thranduil raised his eyebrows and returned his son’s gaze, waiting for him to speak.

Legolas looked at him carefully. “In addition to inviting us all to his party, Brethil invited Galithil, Berior and I to spend the night in his cottage,” he said.

Thranduil’s questioning gaze grew suspicious. “You have spent the night in your cousin’s cottage several times,” he observed. “What is so special about this invitation that you would put off informing me of it until today?”

Legolas hesitated. “Master Crithad said that we could all camp in his yard if the weather was fair,” he finally responded steadily, without looking away from his father.

The adults at the table glanced at each other with surprise.

“Master Crithad intends to allow you to sleep in his yard?” Thranduil repeated.

Legolas and Galithil nodded. “Please, ada, can we do it?” Legolas begged.

“We have camped in the forest before,” Galithl added. “By the river. And this will be right in Brethil’s yard.”

Thranduil looked at Galithil sternly. “You have camped with your adar and I. Once,” he corrected. “And we had a good number of guards with us. Camping in Master Crithad’s yard with only his supervision for four elflings is entirely different.”

“We will behave, ada,” Legolas pleaded softly. “We like to sleep amongst the trees under the stars.”

Legolas and Galithil watched silently as their mothers stirred in response to that comment. The children knew very well it was the sort of argument that moved them.

Thranduil frowned and focused on his breakfast. “I think your uncles and I will have to discuss this further before we can decide if you may camp in Master Crithad’s yard,” he pronounced quietly, ignoring the children’s disappointed expressions. Instead he turned to Arthiel. “I trust your adar, my dear. I simply want to think about whether I have the same amount of faith in these elflings that he apparently does. Also, I would like to hear the report from the Palace Guard before I allow my son to sleep unguarded in the forest. And I do not think it would be right for Aradunnon and I to make a decision about Legolas and Galithil without hearing Celonhael’s opinion on Berior camping in the forest first.” He looked back at the children. “We will stop by Master Crithad’s cottage to speak to Brethil while we are riding this afternoon and we will tell you then if you may stay,” he said with finality.

Legolas and Galithil were wise enough not to argue.

*~*~*

“This is from Galithil, Berior and I,” Legolas said, handing a large, cloth pouch to Brethil. Brethil’s parents, sister and brother-in-law all cooed appropriately as he took the pouch with a grin. His eyes widened slightly at its weight. “And from daerada,” Legolas added. “Since he was the one that made it for us to give to you.”

Brethil looked over at Amglaur, who had escorted Legolas and his cousins to Brethil’s cottage and now sat off to the side so as to not interfere with the children’s celebration. Then he slipped the tie on the pouch and let its contents spill into his lap. His surprised gasp was echoed by his parents. “It is the pieces to play Orthor!” he exclaimed, picking up one of the little archers that Amglaur had carved and inspecting it with a delighted smile. It was unpainted.

“We helped Amglaur make the game by painting the orcs and the other ugly pieces,” Galithil explained. “He thought you would like to paint the warriors yourself. But if you do not, we will finish it for you.”

Brethil shook his head. “Lord Amglaur is right. I do want to paint them.” He looked at Legolas’s grandfather with sincere appreciation. “Thank you so much for carving these for me,” he said a little breathlessly.

“Indeed,” Crithad said solemnly. “I know precisely how much work carving all the pieces for that game would be. I would never have time for such a thing, but Brethil does love to play with the set you made for Legolas. And he will love painting his own pieces.”

Brethil, who was already organizing all the pieces into their respective categories—archers, swordsmen, cavalry, pikemen and the opposing enemy forces—nodded enthusiastically. Though he was still quite young, he helped his father, a wood and stone worker, to do simple finishing work in his workshop and he enjoyed such tasks greatly.

Amglaur smiled indulgently and nodded at Crithad. “I do not have your talent for carving, I am certain, but am happy to do it. I find I have far more idle time in my son-in-law’s court than I did in my brother Amroth’s in Lorien. Of course, I am here to enjoy my grandson’s childhood, so that is rather the point.”

Brethil and his cousins lay down on their stomachs on the cottage floor and began arranging the pieces into a simple battle formation. “Maybe we can combine your pieces and our pieces and fight a really big war,” Galithil suggested.

Arthiel laughed. “You could fight the entire War of Wrath with that many pieces.”

Berior’s eyes lit up at that idea. “That might be fun,” he replied, looking at his cousins. “Doing real battles, I mean.” Of all their lessons, Berior most enjoyed history.

Legolas and Galithil scowled at him.

“If you so much as think that around Master Rodonon, we will make you pay,” Galithil threatened.

Legolas nodded. “It would be just like Master Rodonon to take a perfectly fun game like Orthor and make it into a lesson. Next thing you know, we will be fighting every battle in the history of Middle-earth with the Orthor pieces.”

Galithil shuddered. “And having to draw the maps for the battle fields,” he added.

Behind them, Amglaur shook his head. “You have stacks of maps of imaginary places that you have spent hours drawing to conduct play battles. Why would re-creating real ones be so horrible?” he asked.

“Because then it would be a lesson, not a game,” Legolas replied, as if the answer were the most obvious thing in the world.

Before any of the adults could respond, they were interrupted by the sound of horses approaching on the path that led to Crithad’s cottage.

“That is ada,” Legolas said, pushing himself up off the floor. “I hope he decided to let us stay tonight.”

The adults in the room stood also as Thranduil approached the door of the cottage with Aradunnon and Celonhael.

“Welcome, my lord,” Crithad said, bowing to Thranduil.

Thranduil smiled and nodded to Crithad and his wife, Merileth, in greeting before striding over to where the children stood in a tight group. He bent to kiss Legolas on the head and then crouched in front of Brethil to speak to him eye-to-eye.

“I hope you are having a wonderful begetting day, pen neth,” he said, smiling warmly.

Brethil nodded. “I am, lord Thranduil. Did you see the Orthor pieces Legolas’s daeradar made for me?” he asked with excitement and pride.

Thranduil paused to look at them. “I confess, I did know that the children had asked him to make these and I had seen some of them. I know how much you enjoy this game so I expect you like this gift.”

Brethil nodded again.

“Well, I have another surprise for you,” Thranduil said standing and taking Brethil’s hand to lead him to the cottage door. “I think you also enjoy horses and mine happens to be in your yard. He would be happy to give you a ride if you would like.”

Brethil loosed an excited squeal and then looked at his father. “Can I ride him, ada?”

Crithad laughed. “If the king’s horse is so bold as to agree to bear you, ion nin, you may ride him,” he said. Then he looked at Brethil seriously. “But when you ride on a horse’s back you do not squirm around or swing your legs. You do not want to hurt the horse when he is kind enough to allow you to ride him.”

“I will be still, ada,” Brethil promised.

“Then let us see to some rides,” Celonhael said, picking Brethil up, carrying him outdoors and swinging him onto the king’s tall stallion. Legolas and his cousins ran outdoors after him.

Crithad and Merileth approached the king. “Thank you, my lord,” Crithad said, smiling at the excitement in his son’s eyes as he sat upon the stallion. “This will certainly be a day that Brethil will not soon forget. I can never repay your generosity to my children.”

Thranduil shook his head. “Your family is part of mine now, Crithad, and mine is part of yours,” he said, drawing Arthiel to his side. “And that pleases me greatly because Arthiel has done wonders for my nephew, I could not hope for a better friend than Brethil for my son and I could never repay you for all that you have done in the service of this realm with your contributions to the construction of the stronghold.”

Crithad looked down, smiling. “Thank you, my lord,” he repeated. “I am honored.” Then he looked back at Thranduil ruefully. “But I fear I owe you an apology. I should have come to you myself about the idea of allowing the children to camp in the yard tonight.”

Hearing that comment, Legolas and his cousins turned from watching Celonhael lead Brethil on Thranduil’s horse. Hope arose in their hearts when Thranduil waved his hand dismissively, a sign that he was not angry.

“The children should have asked us for permission when the invitation was issued,” he said sternly, perfectly aware that they were staring at him, eager for his answer. “But no matter. Aradunnon and I simply did not want to grant Legolas and Galithil permission without speaking to Celonhael first. You are a braver elf than I if you are willing to try to manage this group by yourself. But then I have noticed that they behave much better for others than they do for their own adars,” he concluded wryly.

Galithil snorted. “That is because the punishment for misbehaving publicly is usually double the punishment for misbehaving at home,” he said under his breath.

Legolas shoved his cousin when Thranduil and Aradunnon raised their eyebrows. “Then may we stay tonight, ada,” he asked quietly, hoping to distract them.

Thranduil nodded. “Yes you may,” he replied, smiling at the children’s relieved expressions. “I expect you to obey, Master Crithad and be on your best behavior.”

Three heads nodded. “We will, ada,” Legolas replied.

*~*~*

“…and suddenly the elves realized that they had wandered too far,” Crithad’s deep voice intoned. The children, sitting on blankets in the yard, stared at him with wide eyes and held their breath. The flickering firelight caused shadows to dance across Crithad's face as he continued. “For they heard the horn of the hunter and saw a shadow pass over the stars above them. It is said that the last thing they saw was the form of his dark horse amongst the trees, but no one knows for certain because no one who ever saw the horse or heard the horn ever returned to tell the tale,” he concluded dramatically.

“I do not think that is an appropriate story for children their age,” Merileth said with a stern voice, stepping out of the cottage and into the yard. Her sudden interruption made the children jump and turn towards her with alarm. She raised a displeased eyebrow and glared at her husband as she placed a tray of treats on the ground in the center of their blankets.

Brethil’s face lit with delight. “Apples!” he exclaimed, immediately forgetting the spooky story his father had been telling.

“Baked in honey and spices, just as you like them,” Arthiel said from behind her mother. “This is my gift to you, muindor nin. And you should thank the queen for it as well the next time you see her, because it was she that allowed me to take the last of the store of apples for your begetting day.”

Brethil smiled at his older sister as he reached for one of the forks on the tray. “This is the best day ever,” he said quietly. “I will thank her tomorrow,” he promised, popping a slice of apple into his mouth and gesturing for his cousins to join him.

Merileth bent and kissed her son’s head. “Enjoy your treat and then all of you should settle down to sleep. It is late.” She looked at her husband. “No more stories like that one or you will be dealing with nightmares tonight,” she warned.

The children watched Merileth and Arthiel return to the cottage, where the ellyth had been banished, and then looked back at Crithad.

“We were not afraid,” Galithil said stoutly. “We know that story anyway.”

Crithad raised his eyebrows. “Do you indeed?” he responded, trying to conceal his amusement and doubt.

Legolas nodded. “Master Rodonon has already taught us about the Years of the Trees all the way through to the beginning of the Great Journey. We are learning about lord Lenwë now,” he confirmed, matter-of-factly.

“We know the hunter was truly Tauron. And his horse, should we ever see it, is not shadowy but rather bright white in the daylight and silver at night,” Berior said. “And the shadow that made elves disappear if they wandered at night was not Tauron but rather Morgoth,” he added in a whisper.

Brethil looked at them enviously. If their lessons included stories like this one, for the first time he was forced to admit that he was jealous of the time they were required to dedicate to them.

Crithad only nodded, looking duly impressed. “Well, you are very learned young elves then, I see. I will not be able to frighten you with simple stories.” Then he paused and looked at them with a mischievous gleam in his eye. “Has Master Rodonon told you the story of how Luthien disguised herself as the vampire Thuringwethil to help Beren steal a Silmaril from Morgoth’s crown?” he asked in a low voice.

The children’s eyes widened again and they shook their heads.

“Perhaps you would like to hear that story then?” he asked.

They nodded silently, drawing a little closer to the light of the lantern.

Crithad smiled and drew a breath to begin when a voice from the porch sounded angrily.

“No more stories!” Merileth commanded. “Unless you intend to explain to the king why his son and nephews suddenly cannot sleep through the night.” She glared at Crithad a moment longer before turning to go back into the cottage. “Telling children stories about Morgoth and his minions!” she muttered under her breath as she went.

Crithad looked at her guiltily. “Well, your mother has spoken, Brethil, and we both know what that means. We will obey her,” he said, ruffling his son’s hair. “She is right that it is late. Maybe we should try to go to sleep.”

The children’s expressions held an odd mixture of disappointment and relief that they would not be hearing about the vampire Thuringwethil and the perils of stealing from Morgoth.

“After we finish the apples,” Brethil said, looking earnestly at his father.

Crithad smiled. “Of course after you finish them,” he said, lying down on his blanket and adjusting the second blanket he had folded as a pillow.

As he did, the children huddled together to finish their treat, whisper about the stories Crithad had told them and speculate about the existence of vampires.

Hours later, the moon was high in the sky and the sound of Crithad’s steady breathing was drowned by the chirping of frogs and crickets, but the elflings were still not asleep. Instead, they were sitting on their blankets, whispering and giggling. The plate that had held the apples might have passed for freshly washed, it had been scraped so thoroughly clean.

The elflings’ whispers fell silent when they heard soft, scurrying footfalls on the path that led by the cottage. They looked at each other and then at the still sleeping form of Crithad with wide eyes.

“It is just an animal,” Berior whispered reasonably.

They were quiet for a moment, listening.

“It sounds like a person,” Legolas said, looking again at Brethil’s father. He had not stirred. “Do you think we should wake him to find out who it is?” he asked softly.

Galithil shook his head. “It is probably only the guards uncle undoubtedly set on Master Crithad’s cottage since we are sleeping out here,” he said disgustedly. But he also eyed the darkness tensely.

Memories of Crithad’s stories made their hearts beat a little faster.

“If it is guards, then something is wrong, because they are coming closer,” Legolas finally said.

The children listened again. There was no denying it—the footsteps were coming towards them on the path.

“I do not think it is the guards,” Berior said, his voice shaking slightly. “They would approach directly. Whoever or what ever it is on the path is being cautious.”

The children looked at each other nervously as they realized that was true. The noise advanced a few steps and then paused before continuing tentatively.

Brethil frowned and drew a breath to call out to his father just as a dark figure emerged from the trees. The elflings gasped as one at the sight of it. Then their expressions grew angry. Standing at the edge of the yard, hands over their mouths and shoulders shaking in laughter were Anastor and Noruil—two elflings their own age who they almost never played with.

“What are you doing here?” Brethil demanded in an irate voice that seemed to echo through the forest.

Anastor and Noruil stopped laughing and glared at him. “Keep your voice down,” Anastor whispered, glancing at Crithad. He stirred but did not awaken. Seeing that, Anastor returned to laughing softly. “You should have seen the look on your faces as we approached,” he declared, amusement in his voice. “You must have thought orcs were coming down the path.”

Galithil’s eyes narrowed. “What are you doing here?” he repeated Brethil’s question with clipped tones.

Anastor and Noruil smirked at him a moment and then adopted identical, innocent expressions. “We are simply walking in the forest amongst the cottages. It is a public path, is it not?” Noruil replied flippantly.

Legolas and his cousins snorted softly.

“It is, but we do not see many people walking on it at this time of night,” Brethil responded. “Especially elflings,” he added meaningfully.

Galithil nodded. “Are you lost? Should we awaken Master Crithad to escort you home?” he taunted.

Anastor and Noruil glared at him. “We do not need Brethil’s adar or anyone else to look after us. But given how frightened of our approach you were, you obviously do. So we will leave him to protect you and go on our way,” Anastor answered with a sneer as he and Noruil moved to continue on the path.

“Your cottages are in the opposite direction,” Legolas whispered after them. “I think you need Master Crithad to help you find your way home,” he said firmly. Unlike his cousins, Legolas’s voice was not mocking. It was simply serious and it made the other elflings stop and look back at him, fearing that he would indeed awaken Brethil’s father.

“We know where we are going and we do not need Master Crithad,” Noruil countered crossly.

“I find that hard to believe since you are in the forest alone, at night and obviously without your parents permission. If they knew where you were, you would not be so concerned about awakening Brethil’s adar,” Legolas responded coolly.

Anastor glowered at him for a moment. Then his expression became calculating. “It is none of your affair what we are doing, Legolas, but I will tell you despite your nosiness because we are friends and it might interest you.”

Legolas’s raised his eyebrows both at the assertion that he and Anastor were friends and at the idea that whatever mischief they were making might interest him. But he remained silent and Anastor took that as encouragement.

“We are going to the hills behind the stronghold to see the moonbow,” Anastor finished with a dramatically mysterious air.

Legolas regarded him scornfully. “Moonbow? And what precisely is that supposed to be?”

Noruil’s eyes widened with sincere surprise. “You have never heard of the moonbow?” he asked incredulously, laughter threatening to return to his voice.

“It is real, Legolas,” Brethil intervened, whispering to Legolas before he could reply. “One of the waterfalls in the hills behind the stronghold has a moonbow in it when it is flowing heavily and when the moon is full. I heard Dollion telling ada about it once.”

“But what is a moonbow?” Berior asked, unable to conceal his curiosity. Legolas also looked at Brethil inquisitively.

“It is like a rainbow, but you can only see it at night because the moon makes it,” Brethil responded.

Anastor looked at Legolas and his cousins. “I would invite you to come look at it with us, but you are probably too afraid,” he said disdainfully, starting to turn away and motioning for Noruil to follow him.

Galithil snorted. “I am not afraid and I want to see it. I will come with you,” he said, standing.

Legolas and Brethil’s eyes widened. Legolas stood and caught Galithil’s arm to stop him. “We cannot leave the yard,” he said firmly. Brethil glanced at his father and nodded vigorously.

Galithil scowled and leaned into Legolas’s face to whisper in a very low voice. “No one told us we could not leave the yard and the hills behind the stronghold are well within the area where we are allowed to play. I am not going to let Anastor and Noruil think I am too afraid to go with them. And besides, the moonbow sounds pretty.” He took a step back and looked at Legolas levelly. “It sounds like something you would be interested in seeing.”

Legolas returned his cousin’s gaze evenly. “It is. But we cannot leave the yard. We can ask our adars to take us to see it some other time.”

“You can only see it on the night of the full moon,” Anastor intervened. “And usually only when the melted snow and spring rains make the waterfall heavy. If you do not come tonight, you will have to wait until next month when the moon is full again. If there is still enough water in the waterfall then.”

Galithil looked at Legolas intensely.

To everyone’s surprise, Berior also stood. “I want to see it too,” he declared.

Galithil smiled at him before turning back to Legolas. “Uncle may not have time to take us to see it,” he whispered heatedly. “And even if he did, next month might be too late. Who knows when we might see it if we do not go now.”

“Then we should ask Master Crithad to go with us,” Legolas argued, but his tone was clearly wavering.

Galithil shook his head. “Master Crithad is not going to take us anywhere without asking your adar first. We should go with Anastor and Noruil. We will be back long before Master Crithad awakens and we will get to see the moonbow.”

Legolas hesitated and looked at Brethil, who returned his gaze with wide, nervous eyes. Legolas sighed and looked down. “I would like to see it too,” he admitted softly. “But I do not want to cause Brethil trouble or anger Master Crithad.” He paused and then turned to Brethil. “It is Brethil’s begetting day and his house. Let him decide if we should go.”

Brethil looked up at the other three elflings who were standing and ready to follow Anastor and Noruil. “I do want to see it,” he began uncertainly. Then he glanced at his father.

“Then we should go,” Berior urged in a whisper. “It sounds pretty and it will be perfectly safe. Ada has taken me for walks along the river instead of to listen to the minstrels on the green many times in the evening after supper. This will be no different from that. And we will be back before your adar knows we are gone, so he will have nothing to worry about.”

Galithil nodded eagerly.

With another glance at his father, Brethil stood. “As long as we go quickly. I do not want ada to be worried,” he whispered.

With that, the children were off, running down the path after Anastor and Noruil.

*~*~*

Adar/ada--Father/dad

Naneth/nana--Mother/mum

Pen neth--young one

Daeradar--Grandfather

Muindor nin--My brother

Elleth/ellyth--Female elf/elves

AN: Tauron (Lord of the Forest) is the Sindarin name for Oromë, the hunter. Much of Crithad's story is paraphrased from The Silmarillion / Chapter 3: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor.

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Mischief and Moonbows--Part One
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25 Sep 2005
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