Time passed for the twins. As their mother’s belly grew with the baby inside her, Elrond turned most of his attention to her. It was peaceful bliss for the twins, meeting with Faer at the archery fields in the mornings, and spending the rest of the day running and drawing, their activities un-ruled by the judge.
And then the baby was born.
Rivendell was full of excitement at the birth of Arwen. Celebrian rested with her new daughter clasped to her bosom in her room, gazing at the sweet, fresh face before her.
Outside in the hallway, the twins pleaded with their father.
“Please may we see her? Naneth was in there with you alone for so long.”
“Come in and meet your new sister,” Elrond said, opening the door. “Be quiet. The baby is asleep and your mother is tired.”
A fire burned in the hearth and the windows were closed to the cold winter air outside. The twins crossed the floor on quiet feet to the side of the big bed. Celebrian sat propped up against pillows piled against the headboard, the blue and white comforter spread over her. Her face was tired but her eyes were shining. She turned her head to smile at the twins.
Celebrian put her finger to her lips, and shifted the blankets as Elladan and Elrohir came closer. Both elflings gazed down at the round pink and white complexion of the baby. Her eyes were closed to them, but soft lashes lay on her cheeks.
“We have named her Arwen,” Celebrian said softly.
“Come now, out of the room,” Elrond said, placing a hand on either one of his sons’ shoulders and escorting them to the door. “You will eat dinner alone tonight. I will come up and tuck you into bed, and I will expect you both to be there.”
“May we come back tomorrow and sit with naneth?” Elrohir asked, casting a longing look back at the bed before the door closed.
“We will see how your mother is feeling tomorrow,” Elrond said. “Dinner will be on the table for you now so run along.”
The twins watched their father enter the bedroom and close the door. It clicked, dismissing both elflings.
Elladan and Elrohir walked to the dining room and sat down to a quiet meal of fried meat and bread. Once the dishes were empty, Elladan slumped forward and rested his cheek on one bent arm. He yawned.
Elrohir looked at him. After a moment he twisted and looked at the clock.
“It is an hour until bed time,” he said.
“I slept badly last night,” Elladan murmured. “I was worried about naneth.”
“Me to,” said Elrohir. “I wish ada had let us stay longer. Naneth looked as fresh as the baby.”
Elladan dragged himself out of his chair and made for the door, rubbing his eyes. Elrohir followed him. In their bedroom, both elflings changed and collapsed into bed, to pleasant dreams of a smiling mother and a laughing baby.
At the crack of dawn, both twins awoke. Elrohir sat up, shoving his hair out of his eyes and hurling back the blankets.
“I am dying to see Arwen and naneth again!” he said as he slid out of bed.
“The mere glimpse of her yesterday was not enough to satisfy our need to see our new sister,” Elladan agreed.
The elflings changed and dashed for the door. Under the exit, the turned and looked back at the unmade bed. The twins exchanged woeful glances before they went to make the bed.
Bed made and a tasteless breakfast choked down, the twins ran for their parents’ bedroom door, and bumped into Elrond.
“Good morning, ion nins,” Elrond greeted them, ruffling their hair. He frowned. “It does not appear you have combed your locks.”
“We will, ada,” Elrohir promised. “As soon as we have said good morning to naneth and—”
“No,” said Elrond.
“But,” Elrohir began, hurt brimming in his eyes.
“Your mother and sister are resting, and cannot be bothered,” Elrond said, steering them up the hallway. “They both need absolute quiet and peace. Return to your rooms and comb your hair. Faer will be waiting for you.”
“How can you expect us to resume life as if a baby is not something to celebrate?” Elrohir cried, resisting Elrond’s arm.
Elrond sighed. “I know this is something new, but it will be some time before you can see your mother. The birth was difficult for her, and tiring. Furthermore, Arwen is small and delicate, and it will be some time before she will be ready for your loud and rough selves.”
Elrohir jerked out of Elrond’s grasp, swinging around to face him with clenched fists. “I cannot believe you will keep them locked away from us! They are our sister and mother to. We love them as much as you do.”
Elrond frowned. “I know you do.”
Elrohir turned away, biting back tears, feeling both rejected and insulted. Muttering an excuse, he stalked up the hall.
Elladan slipped out of Elrond’s grasp and followed his twin. At the end of the hall he turned and said, “We can be quiet and gentle, ada. We are not barbarians. We do fight and wrestle and tumble, but we would not bring that near our new sister. I am sorry you do not trust us enough to let us see our loved ones.”
Before Elrond could respond, Elladan turned and jogged for his room. He found his twin sitting on the window seat, staring out at the valley below.
“I cannot see past the rim of the valley,” Elrohir said. “But if I could, I would see all the way to Mirkwood and wish Thranduil were here. The name may suggest otherwise, but I love and miss the forest more then I would ever miss this rotten home.”
His voice cracked and he lowered his head. Without looking, Elladan could see the tears coursing down Elrohir’s cheeks. He walked to Elrohir’s side and put an arm around his twin’s shaking shoulders.
“All we wanted was to see Arwen and nana,” Elrohir sobbed. “But he turned us away like wild wolves! He does not understand me. We are not allowed to speak our own minds for fear of him punishing us. We not allowed to be ourselves. He keeps us like clay, squishing us to be what he wants! I cannot live this way!”
Elladan offered mute comfort as he rubbed Elrohir’s back.
“And now he will not let us see our sister,” Elrohir said. He wiped his nose and sat up. “I wish she was not here. She will grow up, and we will have to stand by while he and nana spank her.”
Elladan winced. He heard Elrohir draw in a deep breath as he looked out the window and looked up. His eyes widened as he saw Elrond and Celebrian standing on the balcony, their forms visible around the jutting wall to their left. Elrohir craned his neck to see them. His parents were kissing, their arms wrapped around each other, the wind blowing their robes and hair.
“I thought he said she needed rest,” Elladan said in indignation.
Elrohir threw a last glance out the window before he slid off the window seat and flung open the door of his room as he bounded across the floor. The elfling peered down the hall before he stepped out of the room, squaring his shoulders. “While ada and nana are engaged, I am going to the bedroom to see Arwen. I have to see her, just for a minute. She looked like a delicate flower; irresistible.”
“But ada might catch us,” Elladan said.
“He is with naneth,” Elrohir said. “I will be quick. I want only one peek more, so I can say “I love you” for the first time. I will not be denied that.”
Elladan hesitated before he stepped forward. “Well, you will not enter into peril on your own. I come with you.”
The twins dashed, aware of passing time, to their parent’s room. The door was cracked. Elladan paused with his hand on the doorknob, his ears pricked up for any noises or signs of danger before he slipped into the room with Elrohir behind him. Leaving the door cracked, they crossed the room and stood on either side of the bed, looking at the bundle in the middle of the sheet.
Baby Arwen still slept, her sweet face turned up to her brothers, clear eyes unblinking.
Elrohir reached out a hand to gently brush her soft skin, a smile coming to his lips at the caress. Elladan’s hand jerked back from Arwen’s cheek as he heard footsteps, and his eyes lit up with fear.
“Ada and naneth,” he whimpered.
“Hide!” Elrohir hissed. “Quick, under the bed!”
But the door opened as the twins stooped to dive under the bed, and both elflings snapped upright rigidly. Elrond stopped short in the doorway, his face paling, and Celebrian gasped.
“What were you doing?” he cried.
At the sound of Elrond’s voice, Arwen awoke and wailed. Celebrian ran to comfort the baby and Elrond grabbed his sons by the arms, marching them from the room. Celebrian rocked Arwen in her arms, singing softly to calm her.
“You could have hurt her!” Elrond cried. “I told you she is delicate. Worst, even, you could have killed her! What were you thinking?”
“We were gentle and quiet, ada,” Elladan protested. “She slept until your voice woke her.”
“Do not speak back me!” Elrond said. “You disobeyed my wishes and endangered the life of your baby sister! What is more, you should be in the archery fields!”
“We will go,” Elrohir said, twisting against Elrond’s grasp. “We will go now.”
“You will,” Elrond said grimly. “And you will explain why you are late. But first you need to understand my word is the law. You seem to have a habit of forgetting.”
Holding tight to both boys, Elrond marched the twins into the family living room. He released them by the easy chair and walked to the bookcase.
Elrohir glanced at the door, his hands clenching handfuls of his tunic to keep them from shaking.
“Ada, please,” Elladan pleaded as his father took down the strap and came toward him. “If you had let us see her with you there this would not have happened. We do not like to sneak and disobey you, but you forced our decision when you refused to let us see our baby sister. We only wanted to say I love you.”
“You knew what you were doing was wrong,” Elrond said. “And there is no excuse for your actions. Do not blame your disobedience on me!”
Elladan swallowed as Elrond took Elrohir by the arm and raised the strap. Elrohir trembled like a leaf in the wind, his eyes burning with fear and hate.
And then he exploded.
And that, folks, cannot be good! What will happen to Elrohir?
Thank you so much for reading. I love hearing from you.