Story Downloaded from Open Scrolls Archive (https://www.openscrolls.net)

Title: Broken Horses (#4484)
Author: raniel42
Chapters: 3

Archive: Tolkien
Category: Lord of the Rings
Description: Written a couple years ago for a Teitho challenge. I've reworked it a bit. Two children learn that not all gifts are physical things.
Published: 24 Nov 2013
Updated: 28 Nov 2013
Warnings: None
Type: General
Characters: Aragorn; OC


Chapter 1 - Chapter 1

Chapter 1

The Ranger could just see the clearing with the cottage ahead of him. He saw what he’d come for.

She was outside, her reddish blonde hair gleaming in the cold sunshine. He watched as she struggled to get water from the well on her own. He smiled at the determined set of her chin as the bucket came up ever so slowly. He stood just inside the trees to watch her. He had to shush Belan, his horse, as the beast was eager for food and a warm stall.

She was having a difficult time with the weight of the water filled bucket. Her brow furrowed as she finally brought the container to the edge of the well. She got the bucket down and filled the bucket at her feet, spilling some of it on the ground. She smiled to herself as she bent down to pick up the bucket.

He chose that moment to step into the clearing.

“Ada! Ada!” She squealed leaving the bucket behind. “You came! I knew you would!” The Ranger stopped as the little girl ran at him. He scooped her up into his arms and kissed her cheek.

“Of course I came, I could not miss the Yule with my princess.”

“Nana said you were busy and might not come, but I knew you’d be here.”

“How is my favorite princess?” he asked.

“I missed you. You've been gone a long time.”

“Could not be helped, Miri. You keep growing, I see.” She hugged his neck before he set her down. She raced back toward the little cottage.

“Nana! Ada’s here!” She yelled as she ran. An attractive woman with fiery red hair stepped out the door into the cold air.

“Go fetch your uncle, sweets.” Her naneth said. “He’s chopping wood for us.”

“Yes nana. I told you ada would be here!” Then she dashed off behind the wood frame home where the sounds of thumping could be heard.

The woman shook her head at the Ranger. “I told you not to come, Strider. You have more important things to be doing.”

He smiled. “What kind of foster father would I be if I couldn’t spend the Yule with her?”

“You spoil her.” She chided him. “You all do.”

“My dear Rossel, it’s a rough job, but someone must do it.” He grinned. “You know she would be far more spoiled if your husband was still here.”

Sadness passed through Rossel's grey eyes. “You are probably right.”

“Besides others sent me with gifts for her. My brothers would skin me if I didn’t deliver them.”

“I’m not sure I want to know what they sent.”

Strider chuckled. “She adores them.”

Rossel snorted softly. “They act her age more than their own. Get your horse settled. I’ll get a bath for you and tend your clothes.”

“You don’t have to wash my clothes. A few hearty meals are enough.”

“Don’t argue with me.” She scolded wagging a finger at him. “You’ve done so much for her, for us, I can wash your laundry when you’re here.” He placed his hand over his heart and bowed at Rossel before she went back inside.

00oo00oo00oo

Later in the evening, after they had eaten, Miri sat on Strider's lap while the adults talked. She tugged on his sleeve. “Ada, I’ve been practicing with my bow and my sword. Uncle Steg said I’m really good with my sword now.”

He grinned at her. “You still have a long way to go to be a Ranger, princess.”

“Why do I have to wait until I grow up?”

“You’ll be grown up sooner than you think.” Miri’s aunt, Hithel, smiled at her.

The little girl’s gaze kept wandering to the small pile of presents in the corner of the room. “Not until tomorrow, Miri.” Her naneth reminded her.

“Rangers must be patient, pigenur.” Her uncle smiled.

Miri frowned slightly. She was eager to give her ada the present she’d made him, but also very curious to know what her uncles had given her.

“How are your other lessons coming?” Strider asked her drawing her attention away from the presents.

“Good?” She said glancing at her naneth.

“She's doing very well, especially with reading.”

“Tengwar?”

“I can write a lot too,” Miri answered.

“And your Rohirric?”

“It's alright.” She shrugged. “I like Sindarin better.”

“Well, bug,if you want to be a Ranger you have to know how to speak a lot of languages.” Aunt Hithel reminded her.

“I know, some are harder than others.”

“Indeed they are.” Steg said. “You are very smart though. We are not worried so long as you listen to your nana.”

Miri yawned. “I think it is time for bed.” Rossel commented.

“I'm not tired, honest.”

“You need your rest, princess.” Strider said.

Reluctantly she got down from his lap and followed her nana. Once she was ready for bed, she returned to give hugs and kisses goodnight. “Oltho vae, pigenur.” Strider hugged her close. “Gen melon, ada.” She answered kissing him on the cheek.

Her naneth returned after tucking Miri in for the night.

“Is she doing well with her studies?” Strider inquired.

“Yes, very.” Rossel confirmed. “She has her adar's head for, well, everything.”

“He would be proud of her.” Steg confirmed. “She is going to be amazing with her sword.”

“She only wants to be a Ranger.” Rossel sighed. “She can barely sew or cook. When I was her age I could make dinner and mend my own clothes. I won't even discuss her embroidery.”

“She will not be like other girls.” Strider said softly.

“Elrond still won't tell you his vision of her?” Steg asked.

Strider shook his head. He hated lying to them all. Knowing that his sweet little girl would eventually be a broken shell of her current self hurt him more than anything. He could not bring himself to tell her naneth that. “His visions are not set in stone.” He answered instead. “Whatever he saw for her might not come to pass.”

Steg sighed. “It must be bad or at least unpleasant if Elrond won't tell you.”

“Please can we stop speaking of it.” Hithel said. “She needs to learn her bow better. She isn't coming by it as naturally we thought she would.”

“Not all elves favor bows, Hithel.” Strider said.

“Well, yes, that's true.” Hithel admitted. “Those of Imladris prefer swords. Thandir was a Sylvan elf. They are famed for their skill with bows. A skill she didn't seem to inherit.”

Rossel sighed. “She got her adar's ears, his eyes, his head for languages...”

“Your temper.” Strider said.

“And stubbornness.” Hithel added

“And willfulness.” Steg chimed in.

Rossel huffed. “Alright you three! She is the product of both of us.”

“He would be proud of her,” Hithel said softly.

“As am I.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Translations:
Ada: papa/daddy
Nana: mama/mommy
Pigenur: little fire
Oltho vae: sweet dreams
Gen Melon: I love you
Tengwar: written form of Sindarin
Ion nin: my son
Haru: Quenya word for grandfather
Gwenyn: twins
Naneth: mother
Ion: son
Nendal: Waterfoot


Chapter 2 - Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Miri woke the next morning to a commotion in the main room of the cottage. Opening her door she peered out and then squealed with delight. She ran into the arms of one of her three cousins that must have shown up just that morning. All three of them being dark haired and grey eyed, like most of the rest of the Dunedain.

“Why are you here?” She asked Galbraith excitedly.

“We don’t want to spend any time with our favorite cousin during the Yule?” The tallest, Torchirion, asked. “We need a reason to visit you now?” Miri giggled as he kissed her cheek.

“We brought you a surprise.” Orthonn said.

“What?”

“Look outside.” Galbraith smiled. After being set down she ran to the window and pulled the heavy curtain aside. Large, white, fluffy flakes were falling. There was quite a bit on the ground already.

Miri whirled around at them wide-eyed. “You made it snow?”

“We are Dunedain.” Galbraith said. “We are almost as powerful as elves, princess.”

“We are?”

“Of course we are.” He grinned. “You are more powerful, for you are both.”

“How many times have we told you youngsters not to put such ideas in her head?” Steg sighed at the trio.

“Apologies, Steg.” Galbraith looked serious, but he winked at Miri.

“Nana may I go play in the snow?”

“You can after we get you dressed, your chores get done and you eat something.” her naneth answered.

“Yay!”

“Come with me, bug.” Hithel offered. “I’ll help you get ready.”

Miri eagerly followed her aunt. Once Miri was properly attired, her naneth made her eat something. Miri was very anxious to get outside. Her cousins helped her with her chores. They mucked out the stalls in the barn, while Miri made sure all the horses had food and water.

They helped her gather eggs from the chickens. They all laughed at Galbraith when Umaew chased him out of the coop with her wings flapping and her beak pecking at his heels.

Her cousins, uncle, ada and even her aunt came outside to play with her. They built snowmen. Made snow figures on the ground. Then her cousins started a snowball fight. Miri hid behind her uncle, because he was so large, as she threw her own snowballs. They laughed. Miri was enjoying herself tremendously until some new visitors arrived. For a moment Miri was happy to see Taenor, then another horse appeared behind him, Pendan. Miri wanted to cry. Pendan was horrible. He was mean to her and ruined everything all the time. She almost always got in trouble when he was around because he wasn't nice to her and she retaliated.

Her uncle stopped throwing snowballs and picked Miri up hoping to distract her from her nemesis. He was talking to her quietly. Asking her questions. Miri didn't take her eyes off of Pendan. Giving up, Steg decided to take Miri inside with him. The others went to Taenor and Pendan to greet them and make room in the barn for the new additions.

“Who's horse is this?” Pendan asked indicating an unfamiliar roan, spotted mare.

“It's Miri's,” Strider answered.

“She's only seven! How come she gets a horse?” Pendan demanded.

“Miri is getting too big to share our saddle with us any longer.” Strider answered.

Taenor began sternly. “When she travels it is often too far for a pony. It is the same reason you have a horse of your own.”

“But...”

“No 'buts' ion nin.” Taenor said. “You and I are not in charge of Miri's upbringing.”

Pendan sighed. “Yes ada.”

Steg was already back inside with Miri when the others entered. Miri was trying to help her aunt and nana with the cooking. They set her fairly mundane tasks, enough to keep her busy. The men sat and talked as the women put the finishing touches on supper. Galbraith helped Miri set the table for their meal. Steg had the fire burning in the hearth. Orthonn opened the wine Strider had brought and filled the glasses. Pendan and Miri had their wine watered down. Once everything was on the table they all sat for the meal. Miri sat between Strider and Galbraith, rather happily.

Strider stood gracefully and raised his glass in a toast. “To our friends near and far. To family. To the love that binds us together. May it not falter as the new year begins.” He raised his glass before taking a drink. The other followed suit as Strider sat. Food was being passed now and plates were being filled.

“So, why didn't Ivorwest join you for this trip, Taenor?” Torchirion asked.

“Several of the villagers are sick with a high fever.” Taenor replied. “Can't keep a healer from her work.”

“They are lucky to have her.” Torchirion said.

“We all are.” Strider agreed.

“Ion-nin, eat your food.” Taenor said quietly. “Hithel and Rossel worked very hard.”

“Yes, ada.” Pendan replied dejectedly. Pendan sighed and began eating.

“How long did it take for Erestor's hair to lose its stripe?” Orthonn asked.

Miri glanced sheepishly up at Strider before answering. “Only a few days. Haru was upset, but he said he wasn't mad at me just my uncles.”

“Haru?” Orthonn questioned. “Is that what you call Lord Elrond now, pigenur?”

“He-he told me to call him that.” Miri stammered.

“Really?” Orthonn smiled. “Showing some soft-heartedness in his old age?”

“You know him better than that, Orthonn.” Strider said.

“I do, but I just can't believe he allows Miri to call him grandfather.” He shrugging.

“Yet you show no surprise that the Gwenyn allow her to call them her uncles.” Galbraith smirked.

Orthonn chuckled. “Those two, I think I have reached the point they can no longer surprise me.”

Steg's deep laugh rumbled through the room. “I wouldn't offer them that challenge. If I were you.” The others rang with laughter at Steg's comment. Everyone except Pendan, who continued to glower at Miri.

Miri had finished what was on her plate. Her nana and Aunt Hithel were very good cooks. Now Miri had to wait until they could open presents. Uncle Steg told her just yesterday that Rangers had to be patient. She helped her cousins clear the table and start the dishes. Then she sat down next to Strider again. Miri sat very still and waited. And waited. And waited. The sun had set early given the time of year. Torchirion got up to stoke the fire until it blazed again. Miri began fidgeting. She couldn't help herself. It was hard to sit still forever.

“You're fidgeting, princess.” Strider said in a soft voice.

“I was trying not to.”

“We finished our meal quite some time ago.” He commented. Miri shrugged. Strider chuckled. “Princess your face is priceless. Are you thinking it's about time we opened some presents?”

“Yes please, ada.” She said in a rush. Smiling he got up and with Torchrion's help brought the entire pile back to the table. It was not a tremendously large pile, but everyone had at least one present. Miri had a couple more thanks to Lord Elrond, Elladan, and Elrohir.

Miri asked Strider to give Rossel a present first. “Give her that one, ada.” She pointed to a lump wrapped in brown cloth. Strider obeyed and handed Rossel the ill wrapped gift.

“It's from me, nana.”

“Did you wrap it yourself, sweets?”

“Aunt Hithel had to help me a little.” She admitted. Rossel untied the twine holding the fabric around the present. Rossel pulled out a scarf of dark green. It was quite misshapen. There were leaves, perhaps, embroidered in yellow thread at both ends.

“I made it myself.” Miri said. “Do you like it?”

Hithel winked at Rossel. “Oh sweets, it is lovely.” Rossel said. “I will wear it when I go outside in the cold.” Miri beamed.

“Here princess.” Strider said handing her a package. Miri took it eagerly. When she untied the gold ribbon from the dark red fabric there were several quills, bottles of ink and a stack of parchment. There was a note on top.

Iell-vuin,

Your ada tells me your lessons are coming along very well. I cannot help you study every day as I would like to. Instead you may write me letters to practice. You may write to your uncles as well. I'm sure they would be delighted if you did.

Your ada will bring your first letter with him. I will always write back to you, no matter how busy I am. Do not neglect your sword and bow lessons, but reading and writing are just as important for a Ranger. I hope you like your gifts. We all miss you very much. I think even Erestor misses you.

Gen Melon,
Haru

“Haru wants me to write letters to him?” She asked.

“He does.” Strider answered. “It would be very good practice for you.”

“Can I start now?” .

“Why don't you wait until morning.” Strider suggested ruffling her hair.

Others opened their gifts. Rossel opened two new dresses from Steg and Hithel. Strider, Taenor, Steg, Orthonn, Torchirion and Galbraith all received new packs and blankets. Pendan opened a new pack as well. It was his own, not his ada's hand-me-down.

Miri sat quietly until she opened her present from Elladan. A new, larger bow and a beautiful handmade quiver full of arrows. Miri gasped and then squealed with delight.

“I told them how fast you were growing.” Strider said smiling. “You could write your Uncle Elladan a thank you note with the parchment haru sent.”

“Oh I will!” Miri gushed. “I will!”

“Don't forget Elrohir's gift.” Galbraith smiled.

“This isn't from both of them?” Miri asked indicating the bow and quiver.

Grinning Galbraith set another present in front of Miri. She eagerly removed the cloth covering it. She gasped again. A new wooden practice sword and handmade scabbard with belt were inside.

Pendan looked as if had swallowed something terribly bitter. His face was pinched. He glared at the little girl across from him hard.

The gifts opened, more wine had been poured, and the adults began to talk and relax.

“Wait.” Miri said suddenly. “I still have to give you my present ada.” Miri jumped up and raced to her room.

Pendan had followed her. When Miri came back out Pendan snatched it from her.

“What is it?” He asked holding the gift so Miri could not reach it.

“Give it back!” Miri yelled. “It's not for you! It's for ada!”

“Pendan!” Taenor snapped.

“Fine.” Pendan said and tossed it over his shoulder.

Miri watched in horror as it headed for the ground. She tried to catch it, but missed. The blue cloth tied with a white ribbon hit the ground with a crack. Whatever was inside had broken. Miri stared open mouthed at it for several moments.

Then she launched herself at Pendan, punching and kicking him managing to knocking him over. “I HATE you!” She screamed. “I hate you more than anyone else! You ruin everything! I hope you die!”

Strider pulled Miri off of Pendan. Taenor hauled Pendan to his feet by his collar. Miri had tears streaming down her face. She was still shaking with anger.

“What is wrong with you?” Taenor demanded of Pendan.

“He’s mean!” Miri yelled. “He's the meanest person in the whole world!”

Miri wrenched herself from Strider's grasp and ran outside before anyone could stop her. She was crying. Both Torchirion and Galbraith went to follow her, but Strider stopped them. Steg had rescued the present from the floor. Strider opened the small bundle. It was a wood carving, very definitely broken. Although he wasn't entirely sure what it was supposed to be. An animal of some kind, perhaps a horse.

“It's your horse.” Steg offered. “She carved it herself, I helped her. It took her weeks. I think this was her third or fourth try.”

“Rossel, where is Miri?” Strider asked.

“Most likely in the barn with Nendal.”

“Nendal?” Taenor echoed.

“Her horse.”

Strider fixed a stern gaze on Pendan. “You will go to her.” Strider said firmly. “You will apologize and you will convince her to come back inside. You will not force her. Do you understand?”

“Why do I have to do it?” Pendan protested.

Strider replied in a low tone. “It is your fault she is out there. Are you arguing with your chieftain over an order?”

“No sir.” Pendan said meekly. The adults all watched as Pendan take his cloak and put it on as he went outside.

Translations:
Ada: papa/daddy
Nana: mama/mommy
Pigenur: little fire
Umaew: evil bird
Oltho vae: sweet dreams
Gen Melon: I love you
Tengwar: written form of Sindarin
Ion nin: my son
Haru: Quenya word for grandfather
Gwenyn: twins
Naneth: mother
Ion: son
Nendal: Waterfoot


Chapter 3 - Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Pendan grumbled at the cold as he trudged toward the barn. Of course he had to go get the brat. He was sick of her getting everything. Everyone treated her special because her adar was dead. How did that make her special? He knew plenty who'd lost their adars or their naneths. His nana hadn't even come with them. Pendan snorted irritably. Miri was a brat. Probably would always be a brat too.

He opened the barn door, relieved when it moved silently. He slipped inside. He heard sniffling. It must be Miri. He couldn't believe she was still crying. Over a stupid wooden carving, no less. He moved closer to her. Miri was sitting on a hay bale with a saddle blanket wrapped around her shoulders. She was not just crying, she was talking. Pendan hid in the shadows wondering what Miri was doing and wondered who she could be talking to.

“He's so mean, Nennie.” Miri sniffed. “He hates me so much and I don't even know why. He's always hated me.” Miri sniffed again.

Pendan watched as the mare nuzzled Miri's cheek with her large, white nose. “I know you like me.” Miri said scratching the nose.

“I don't know what I did to make him hate me.” Miri continued. “He's not mean to my cousins. Or nana. Or Aunt Hithel. I used to like him, I think. Once a long time ago. Before he started hitting me and hurting me and just being mean.”

Miri wiped some tears from her face. “He broke the present I made for ada, Nennie. You know the one I worked so hard on for so long. I used you to model it from, remember?” Miri pulled the blanket around her a little tighter.

“I wish I could stay out here with you tonight.” Miri said. “You would keep me warm. Right, Nennie?” Miri sniffed again and sighed. “Nana won't let me stay out here now. She'll say it's too cold. Besides my cousins are here. Did you meet their horses. Nen?” Miri asked. She waved her hand toward the new horses in the barn.

“That is Galroch,” Miri indicated the big brown. “He's Galbraith's horse. Next to him is Rohal. He's Torchirion's horse. Orthonn got a new horse and I don't know her name yet.”

Miri got up and check to see the horses had water before resuming her spot on the hay bale. “Nennie, why does he hate me?”

“I don't hate you.” Pendan said.

Miri jumped to her feet. “Go away!”

“I can't go away.” He grumbled. “You have to come inside first.”

“I'm not doing anything you tell me to, present breaker!”

He sighed. “I'm sorry I broke your present to Strider. Now will you come back in, it's cold out here.”

“Leave me alone. Just go back inside. I'm going to sleep with Nennie.”

“You can't stay out here. Strider said you have to come back inside.”

“I'm not going anywhere with you.”

“Would you just come on.”

“You can't make me.” Pendan took a step toward her.

Nendal pawed at the floor anxiously. Miri backed up. “Come any closer and I'll scream. Nennie won't let you hurt me.”

“Miri, stop being such a baby, just come inside.”

“I'm not a baby! I'm seven now.” She said with a huff.

“You're acting like a baby” Pendan mumbled to himself.

“I heard that!”

“Miri just come inside.”

“Why? Did you want to break my presents too?”

Pendan gritted his teeth. “I'm not going to break your presents.”

Miri sat back down on the bale and refused to look at him now. “I'm not going anywhere with you! You're mean and you hate me!”

“I don't hate you.”

“You act like you do.”

Pendan was getting angry. The little brat just sat there, not listening to him.

“You always hurt me.” She sniffed. “Or break things or make me feel bad. You must hate me.”

Pendan rolled his eyes, she was insufferable. “I don't hate you.”

“Then why do you do that stuff to me all the time?” Miri had fixed her bright green eyes on him. For someone so young, Pendan had never seen such an intense stare. He shuffled his feet trying not to feel so uncomfortable under her scrutiny. Must be from her elf side he thought.

“I don't know why I do it, alright?” He snapped. “It's not like you don't fight back.”

“Nobody else treats me like that.”

“Maybe you need someone to make you realize you're not as great as everyone else thinks you are.” he grumbled.

“Nobody thinks that!”

Pendan rolled his eyes again. “Please, all the Rangers treat you like you're someone special and you're not. Even the elves do. You're just a brat to me.”

“I'm not a brat!”

“You always get your way!” Pendan yelled. “Our chieftain treats you like a princess!”

“I do not always get my way!”

“You played a prank on Lord Erestor and didn't even get in trouble!”

“I did too! Just not as much as my uncles did!”

“See you don't even get punished when you do something wrong!”

“I had to clean all the practice swords in Imladris!” Miri screeched.

“You did not.”

“I did too! It was Glorfindel's idea!”

“Lord Glorfindel set your punishment?” Pendan asked bewildered. “The Balrog slayer?”

Miri sniffed. “Yes, he supervised me so I wouldn't hurt myself. It took me two days.”

“Two days?”

Miri nodded.

Pendan sat next to Miri on the bale. “I don’t hate you. I don’t know why I do those things to you. Our cousins pick on me and you’re the only one I can pick on.”

“That doesn’t mean you have to.” She sniffed. “They pick on me too.”

Pendan shook his head. “It’s different when they pick on you.”

“No it’s not.”

“Yes it is. Maybe they don’t mean to hurt me, but they do.”

“Why don’t you tell them then?”

Pendan looked mortified. “I can’t do that! They’d never let me hear the end of it.”

“They stop when I tell them.”

Pendan sighed. “It’s different for you. You’re a girl of course they’re nicer to you.”

“I could tell them.”

“No!” Pendan said sharply. “That would be even worse than me telling them.”

“Oh.”

There was a long pause as neither child said a word.

“You really don’t hate me?”

“No, I don’t hate you. I guess I’m just jealous sometimes.”

“Why would you be jealous of me?” Miri looked very surprised.

“Didn’t you see what Lord Elrond and his sons sent you? Or the fact you have a horse and I get to ride Billen but he's not really mine.”

“But you get to do everything! They always tell me I’m not old enough yet. Pendan’s old enough. I never am.”

It was Pendan's turn to look surprised. Is that how it seemed to her?

“They don’t think I’ll really be a Ranger.” She added quietly. “I heard Eldorian talking to your ada. They think I’ll just be a healer, but I want to be a Ranger and go on patrols and help kill orcs. It’s all I want to be when I grow up. At least they believe you’ll be a Ranger.”

Pendan knew there were not many females among the Rangers, but there were some. “Maybe it’s just Eldorian who thinks that.”

Miri shook her head. “Your ada told him they are humoring me until I grow out of being a tomboy. I’m not sure what that means, but I don’t think it’s nice.”

“It means they think you’ll stop wanting to be a Ranger when you get older and want to be more like my nana, your nana, or Hithel.”

“All I want to be is a Ranger,” Miri whispered. Absently she reached up and scratched Nendal’s nose again.

The mare had been staring at Miri since Pendan sat next to her. When Pendan looked back at Miri, he saw she was crying again. It was pretty mean of the adults to think that Miri wasn’t serious about being a Ranger. It was all she’d ever talked about. Reluctantly Pendan had to admit she was getting good with a ‘blade’ even if it was a wood practice sword.

“I could help you train.” Pendan offered quietly. “Maybe if I did they would think you are serious.” Miri whipped her head to stare at him wide eyed.

“You, you would do that for me?”

“I would.”

Miri threw her arms around Pendan’s waist. “Oh thank you!”

Pendan sat frozen for a moment unsure of how to respond to Miri’s enthusiasm. Finally he put his arms around her shoulders and returned her hug.

“Can we go inside now?” Pendan tried. “It’s cold out here.”

“Alright.” Miri stood up and kissed Nendal on the nose.

“Here.” He put his cloak around her shoulders.

“Thank you, Pendan.” Miri smiled up at him.

The two children left the barn and headed back to the house. Had they noticed, they would have seen the additional footprints of several adults leading back to the cottage. Adults that heard every word the children exchanged.

Fini

Translations:
Ada: papa/daddy
Nana: mama/mommy
Pigenur: little fire
Umaew: evil bird
Oltho vae: sweet dreams
Gen Melon: I love you
Tengwar: written form of Sindarin
Ion nin: my son
Haru: Quenya word for grandfather
Gwenyn: twins
Naneth: mother
Ion: son
Nendal: Waterfoot
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