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Young Elured and Elurin, sons of Dior, abandoned in the forest during the Ruin of Doriath. Thanks to Annmarwalk for beta help! Written for Werecat's birthday.
The dull thud of hoofs and cold jangle of harness had long since receded. The forest was still except for the measured dripping of rain; while high above their heads, a squirrel rustled softly in the chestnut tree.
Their daggers had been taken, so the boy had to strike the rough stone against a steel buckle instead. Crouched over the tinder, he scraped until his hands were bleeding and numb. At last, the heap of twigs seethed with yellow flames. His younger brother, his face likewise pale under smudges of dirt, returned with fallen wood from the forest floor. Once the fire burned steadily, they knelt beside it to warm their hands.
Suddenly, the smaller child looked up, glancing wildly at the encircling trees. Eyes dark with fear, he stared at his brother. "Elured, there is naught to eat; we will starve."
Silence except for the silver dripping of water. Steadfastly fighting his tears, the elder brother bowed his head.
From a low-hanging branch, the squirrel chattered and flicked her tail, as if to scold these strange, furless kits; then she scampered aloft. A chestnut, glossy-shelled and heavy with its starchy meat, fell and rolled to rest at their feet.
"…Dior was slain also, and Nimloth his wife, and the cruel servants of Celegorm seized his young sons and left them to starve in the forest. Of this Maedhros indeed repented, and sought for them long in the woods of Doriath; but his search was unavailing, and of the fate of Elured and Elurin no tale tells."
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