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Scribblings  by Baylor

Elladan presented Ruby with a candied fruit to reward her cooperation. It went immediately into her mouth, and she squirmed off the elf’s lap. Once free, she wandered onto the porch.

“Is there anything can be done?” Sam asked.

Elladan shook his head. “I am sorry,” he said. “It is beyond my skill.” He looked toward the porch, where Frodo-lad was showing Ruby some flowering bushes. “You should teach her to read. She is a bright child.”

“We’ve tried,” Sam said. “She doesn’t understand that the letters mean anything.”

“She will come to understand in her own time,” Elladan advised.

In the Hall of Fire, songs and poetry took on taste and texture and scent, and wrapped themselves around Primrose until she felt she had actually stepped into the words. They flowed into her veins and thrummed under her skin until her whole body quivered with them.

Her own attempts at poetry seemed poor and paltry, and she wept over their inadequacy. But then her dad rescued them from her hands before she could toss them in the fire, and when he cried over them, his tears were ones of pride. Smoothing out the parchment, Primrose went back to work.

Celeborn knew that Samwise had named his oldest daughter Elanor , but he did not see the child until several years after he came to Rivendell . More elven than hobbit, she caused him to wonder if the soil the Last Ringbearer had scattered to the wind had touched even the children born that year. As small and perfect as the flower she was named for, Elanor stirred in Celeborn a deep longing for the Golden Wood. Yet she was a balm as well, for if the goodness of that land was within her, then he knew it would be carried on.

Faramir grieved so deeply when Briony died that Pippin feared for his health, and finally planned a trip to Rivendell to spark the lad back to life. Pervinca scolded that he was too young, but Rose not only approved, she sent Goldilocks and Hamfast along for good measure.

There was not a nook or cranny of The Last Homely House that the three children didn’t explore. They heard new tales, and met strange travelers, and saw distant horizons. Faramir blinked and took it all in, seeing the world beyond the Shire, and falling in love with the wideness of it.

“I have become convinced there is some dark power inherent in the names themselves,” Elladan said as he yanked another burr out of his hair.

Elrohir moved the ice-pack from his eye to peer at his twin. “I am quite certain there is nothing fundamentally evil about the names of two hobbit-lads,” he said dryly. “They are merely . . . enthusiastic. And undisciplined.”

Elladan muttered something that sounded suspiciously like “catastrophic,” and then cut off a braid rather than attempt to salvage it. “Anyway,” Elrohir added, “they may yet grow out of it.”

From somewhere, the sound of shattering glass drifted in.

Elrohir looked down at the newest child to visit Rivendell and raised an eyebrow. Merry laughed. “Scary, isn’t it? Both Estella and I have strong Took bloodlines, so I don’t know why we were so surprised. He looks to be more Pippin’s child than mine.”

The elf bent to look the lad in the eyes. “Hello, Estel ,” he said. “You were named for my foster-brother, you know.”

Estel , not a shy bone in his body, nodded. “He is the High King,” he answered. “It means hope .”

“It does indeed,” Elrohir said gravely. “It suits you well, child of the Shire.”

Frodo-lad had come to Elrohir and asked, and the elf did not feel he could refuse. He handed the hilt of the broken blade carefully to the young hobbit. Frodo handled it reverently, and studied it intently.

“The cry of the Witch-King broke it,” Frodo murmured, and Elrohir laid a gentle hand on Frodo’s shoulder.

“Yet even then he did not yield,” the elf said quietly.

At length, Frodo passed the hilt back. “Our people do not know what he did,” he said sadly, “not really. They do not understand.”

You know,” Elrohir answered. “You understand, and will not forget.”

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