December 2, 2006
|Echoes of ‘Snow, snow, snow!’ trickled into the room where
Elrond and Celebrian had formerly been sleeping. It was not much later that
twin heaps of elfling, still in their nightclothes with pillow-tousled hair,
bounded upon the bed and stumbled across the blankets to reach their father.
“Ada, Ada, Ada, there is snow! Snow on the ground!” Elladan was tapping his
father’s chest with excitement as Elrohir gave Elrond a somewhat
constricting hug around the neck, nearly making the peredhel lord choke.
“Really, snow?” he asked, sounding perplexed, as if he himself had not been its doing.
“Yes, Ada, yes, lots of it! Enough to play in!”
“Me an’ El are going to go out right now!”
“Not until you are properly dressed,” said their Nana as she regarded them sleepily. “Wool socks, boots, long under leggings, pants, shirts, undershirts, vests, coats, hats, mittens, and scarves.”
“You forgot underwears,” giggled Elrohir.
“Underwear is a given,” Celebrian scolded. “Now go, get dressed. Come on, up up, off of your father, he can hardly breathe with both of you sitting on him.”
The twins hopped off and headed down the hallway, back to their rooms to get dressed. With a contented sort of noise, Elrond settled back under the covers and pulled his wife closer.
After a few moments Celebrian asked, “Are you not going to get dressed as well?”
“Someone needs to supervise. They could get lost if they wander out of the courtyard, and neither of them will admit they have gotten cold. I will not have my children frostbitten.”
“Well, you seem to be up already-“ he began, receiving a gentle shove.
“You made the snow.”
“I did not make the snow. Manwe made the snow. They are his clouds,” argued Elrond sleepily.
Celebrian, had she been standing, would have crossed her arms and been tapping her foot. “You let the snow happen. It is your responsibility to watch them while they are outside playing.”
“That means I need to get up, and get dressed, and go out there, and be covered by snow, and get cold, and catch the sniffles.”
Grumbling, Elrond fumbled to free his arm from the mountain of blankets covering them and pulled a long tasseled cord that hung down from the ceiling, the other end of which disappeared through a hole. Nearby, the sound of a ringing bell could be heard.
“Are you going to have the butler set out your clothing?” prodded Celebrian.
“No, I am going to have him find Glorfindel. He likes the snow, and I am sure he will be more than happy—“
“Honestly, Elrond!” Celebrian sat up, making her husband cringe as some of the blankets slid away from his shoulder. “Those are your children, not Glorfindel’s, not Erestor’s, and not Lindir’s. Somehow, you tend to only show up to make special appearances and leave the parenting to the three of them.”
“Clebri, sometimes I am very busy, and—“
“And nothing! What are they pulling you away from now?”
“A warm bed,” he said as he tugged the covers back in place.
Celebrian snorted in an undignified manner. “So nice to know that a warm bed trumps your children and their happiness.”
Elrond let out a sigh as someone knocked upon the door, and then the butler entered, stepping just into the room. “Sir?”
Taking a look at his wife as he sat up as well, Elrond said, “I need you to set out clothing for me so that I am able to go outside.”
“Sir, if I might suggest, it snowed last night, and no one should be out in that. You might catch a tickle in your nose.”
Again, Elrond looked at Celebrian, and then nodded to the butler. “Thank you for your concern. I should like my clothing ready as soon as you are able.”
“Of course, sir.”
“Wool socks, boots, long under leggings, pants, shirt, undershirt, vest, coat, hat, mittens, and a scarf,” instructed Celebrian, smiling brightly.
“Of course, m’lady.”
“And underwear,” added Elrond.
The butler blinked. “Of... of course, sir.”
After the butler left, Celebrian wrapped her arms around her husband and snuggled him, so it was not a total loss for the peredhel. He dressed after the butler announced the task completed, and went to his sons’ room.
The room was empty.
Frowning, Elrond headed out of his suite and began to walk to the front of the house. Likely the twins had tired of waiting and had already gone outside. He hoped that they were still in the courtyard or gardens.
Stopping at a window that looked down over the courtyard, Elrond spied his sons kicking up sprays of snow with their boots and making snowvalar by lying down and waving their arms and legs. He was surprised that they knew how to do such a thing, until he saw Lindir only a little ways from them doing the same.
Glorfindel was there as well, attempting to fashion snowballs, but the snow was simply too light and kept sifting through his fingers. Sitting on a low stone wall that had been brushed off, Erestor laughed as one of the guard dogs kept him company, wagging his tail in the snow as he received scratches behind his ears.
For a moment, Elrond fleetingly thought he might simply escape to his bed once more and avoid the cold, the wet, the sniffles and the snow altogether. A guilty pang hit him hard, and he hurried down the steps, ignoring the amused looks from elves and men who spied him in his snow gear, scarf flopping upon his back as he headed outside.
No one noticed him when he first emerged from the house – perhaps none of them could tell who he was in all of the clothing that weighed him down. Elrond set his hand on the railing and noticed that the snow was a little thicker, that drops of water from an icicle overhead had made it just perfect for...
Erestor turned his head in surprise right after the snowball hit, leaving Glorfindel with a face full of wet snow. “Ah! My eye! Battle wound! Call a healer!” he shouted playfully.
“The healer is the one who shot you,” explained Erestor, hastily trying to move out of the way of the next snowball, which managed to hit his leg. “Alright. He wants a war...”
“Hey, look! Glorfindel and Erestor are attacking Ada!” shouted Elladan, pointing to the scene. His brother sat up and then stood, ruining the latest pair of snowvalar.
“We need to help him! Lindir, come on!”
The minstrel grinned and rushed to the front stairs with the twins, avoiding the snow thrown by Erestor and Glorfindel.
- - -
“And that is why you were all outside for twelve hours?!” Celebrian clicked her tongue and shook her head.
“We coud nod led dem wid,” said Elrond, his teeth chattering.
“Aaaah-chooo!” came the response from Erestor, which might have meant something like, ‘We did win’, but he was now drinking the warm tea Celebrian had made and not caring so much about snowballs as he did about the tingly feeling in his fingers and toes.
“And you,” she continued, shaking her head when she got to Glorfindel, whose golden hair was caked with white snow that was slowly dripping away. The elf lord grinned sheepishly. “Never do that again!”
“I juss thoud if you were combing oud, you wanded do play, doo,” he said before blowing his nose.
“Bad elflings,” she scolded shaking a finger at all of them. “If you had only come inside when the twins had...”
“A-a-a-and ad-ad-ad-mitted de-de-de-defeat?” managed Lindir. “N-n-n-… n-n-n…”
“Neber,” finished Elrond for him.