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Tales of Life  by Aelaer

Back, with a new name. Sindarin, whee.

Sequel to prompts 62 and 66... you know, the one where Aragorn sees that one of his birthday gifts is an oliphaunt. Yea. That one. That's really all that needs to be known.

Prompt 75: Morning
Ficlet: Matter of the Morn
Rating: G
Minas Tirith, February 10 FA

That morning— days before March 1st— the last delegations arrived for Elessar's party. And each one, beyond their greetings and well-wishes, could only comment upon one thing.

"My lord," said Imrahil, "that műmak— surely he is not..."

"It is, my lord Imrahil. It is." The Dol Amroth man could only look at his liege-lord sympathetically.

Imrahil's eldest son Elphir looked surprised. "How do the Haradrim expect Gondor to care for one of those beasts?"

Aragorn smiled. "I am sure it is simple enough to do." Inside, he was already wondering how to convince the Haradrim to take back their gift without offending them.

Legolas' and Gimli's reactions to the animal only made him sour.

"You two should not be laughing at my expense. I am a very powerful man, I would have you know."

Gimli only laughed harder. "Aye, and powerful you will be indeed when you are riding upon that animal into war! Just be sure not to fall off!"

The Elf chuckled at his friend's dour look. "Come, my friend, surely having a műmak as a neighbor is an advantage!"

"Aye— all enemies shall take one look at it and flee from its smell," Gimli added. The two looked at one another and chuckled once more.

"I'll be sending it to war upon you two if you continue with this banter at my expense," the man growled, but his eyes betrayed his amusement.

Eldarion, playing nearby, had stopped his antics and listened carefully to his father and his friends the moment he heard 'riding'. When they said no more about riding and talked about other things, the six-year-old stood up and ran over to them.

"Ada!" he interrupted. Before Aragorn could scold him for interrupting him as he spoke, the boy continued, "I want to ride the moomook!" The king opened his mouth and closed it, finding himself at a loss for words.

"It is pronounced 'műmak'," Legolas corrected with a smile. "And I am sure something could be arranged."

With the Elf's words, the king abruptly found his voice again. "Absolutely not," he said. "Have you taken leave of your senses, Legolas?"

"He had none to begin with," the dwarf muttered.

The Elf frowned, but before he could reply, Eldarion reacted to his father's verdict. "Adaaaa," he whimpered, tears beginning to pool in his eyes. "I want to ride the műmak."

Aragorn looked sternly at his son; he was now well-used to his children's remarkably manipulative behavior when they wanted something. Faramir reassured him that it was natural, though he did not remember crying simply to try and convince his elders to change their minds. "Crying will not change my answer, Eldarion. And do not think to ask your naneth."

The child's face suddenly grew red with anger. Letting out an angry wail, he turned and fled the room, purposefully choosing the door that lead beyond the royal family's private quarters and to the rest of the building, an area he was not yet allowed to wander alone. He left the door wide open, and beyond a guard peered in, looking utterly bewildered.

Smiling tersely at the guard, the king said, "If you would, follow the prince and see that he does not leave the building or damage anything— including himself. I will be out shortly." The man saluted and left.

Legolas blinked in surprise. "I— my apologies. I did not realize he would react so… passionately."

"According to Faramir, it's normal," Aragorn shrugged. "The boy has Arwen's temper. His twin is less— what did you say, passionate?"

"Passionate," he confirmed.

"I imagine you were just as bad at his age," Gimli argued with a smirk. "I am sure your foster brothers have some stories they can offer."

"I pray you do not ask," he remarked wryly. "This celebration has already started becoming out of hand before it has even begun; I do not need embarrassing childhood tales to be passed around the delegations, as well." Exhaling and clicking his tongue, he continued, "By the time I find Eldarion, I imagine he will be through with his tantrum, or so one would hope." He glanced at them. "I very much blame the both of you for helping it evolve."

"I did not say he could ride one of those creatures!" the dwarf protested.

"No," he agreed, "but you thought to discover some less-than-flattering childhood tales from my brothers. To make amends, the both of you can figure out a way I can return that said creature to the Haradrim without causing a diplomatic disaster." Their objections fell on deaf ears as Aragorn left the room to find his son.

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