[i]A Grandparent’s Revenge[/i]
“Nerwendë Artanis Eärweniel!”
Olwë of Alqualondë looked up, startled, when he heard the enraged voice of his son-in-law. Arafinwë’s study was close to his own, to be sure, but never had he heard him raise his voice in such a manner that he could hear him through the thick stone walls. And certainly never at one of his own children, least of all his young daughter.
But whatever had happened, he was not completely surprised that his granddaughter was the culprit. The little child, barely more than eleven summers old, had proven from the cradle that her penchant for pranks was unbounded. She had even proved to outdo her predecessors, such has his brother Elwë, in the matter of having a devious mind.
Shaking his head and making no attempt to stifle his chuckles, Olwë began to turn his attention to the many affairs before him, most of which needed his undivided attention. It was strange, he remarked silently, how when Nerwen behaved in her naughty manner, Arafinwë chose to refer to her as Eärweniel.
Just as he had done with Eärwen in her childhood, referring to her as her mother’s daughter. An even larger smile broke out on Olwë’s face. Apparently, Arafinwë had recalled his wife’s similar behavior and had compensated accurately.
He would have then returned completely to his work, had he not heard a childish voice grunting with exertion coming from his balcony. Curious, Olwë stood from his desk and made his way over. He stepped through the sheer curtains to find his granddaughter peering cautiously over the railing of the balcony.
When she turned around, oblivious to his presence, he quickly noted the smug smirk on her small pink lips. Which promptly vanished when her eyes locked with his own grey orbs.
“Nerwendë Artanis,” Olwë said quietly, making note of the muttering voices below in the courtyard, “Just what are you doing? How did you get up here?”
At first she didn’t answer. Glancing back once more, Nerwen darted forward and took her grandfather’s calloused hand in her smaller, smoother hand. He allowed her to lead him back into his study, waiting patiently for her answer.
Once they were safely sequestered away from prying Eldarin ears, she stated matter-of-factly, “I climbed, Grandfather. How else would I have done so? It is quite easy to do so.”
“I see,” he replied gravely. “And just what have you done to make your father shout so loudly he could have been heard in Ennor?”
An impish grin appeared once again on her smooth, pretty face. Giggling mischievously, she said, “I decorated his study with fishing nets.” At his raised eyebrow, she hurriedly added, “Mama said his study resembled his other study in Tirion. She said it should ‘reflect his current location.’ So, since many of the Teleri use fishing nets and there is a pile of many broken ones at the docks, I thought Papa would like to use them to decorate his study’s walls.”
Olwë stared at her for a moment and then asked, “Did you papa see you do this?”
She shook her head negatively.
“Good, very good,” he accepted. He then promptly burst into laughter. His granddaughter was a character, he would never deny that. Fish nets to decorate the walls indeed.
Shaking his head, he quickly lifted Nerwen up and moved to his desk, noting that she was fast growing too tall for him to pick her up, or to even sit comfortably on his lap. As he sat down, a knock came at the door.
Both of them looked up and Olwë noted the slight apprehension that had flickered through his granddaughter’s gaze before disappearing behind a mask of innocence. A very good mask.
“Enter,” he called out, not missing a beat.
The door opened quickly to reveal a slightly mussed and harried Arafinwë. “Father,” he said immediately, “Have you seen-” He quickly cut himself off when he spotted Nerwen perched in her grandfather’s lap. His blue eyes narrowed in exasperated anger.
“Nerwendë Artanis,” he said icily, “You have made quite a mess that you alone will bear the responsibility of returning to order. I suggest you get to it, or you shall miss the evening meal.”
Before the girl could respond, Olwë quickly cut in, hoping to appear the picture of sincere interest. “What mess is that, my son?”
Arafinwë’s gaze shifted to him. “Surely she has told you with great delight, Father. My study has become a haven for utter chaos in the nets and the smell of fish!”
“Oh really? I cannot say Nerwen has chosen to inform me of this. Indeed, she has been in here with me for some time now, since the morning meal, assisting me in matters of state. When could she have had time to be guilty of the charge you lay upon her?”
Arafinwë gaped at him in shock. Olwë’s façade of polite sincerity did not fade, not even when Nerwen looked up at him with barely disguised joy.
“Ah, I see,” his son-in-law said finally. “Well, I suppose I could have been mistaken.” Bowing slightly, Arafinwë added before he left, “Forgive my intrusion.”
Once he was gone, Nerwen flung her arms around his neck. “Thank you, Grandfather,” she said happily. “Thank you so much!”
Olwë smiled fondly and returned her embrace briefly. “You are quite welcome, child. But do not expect to escape punishment all the time! You must face the consequences of all your actions! But I think, just this once, you can be excused.”
Releasing her, he looked down at the work that lay before him. “Now,” he said to her, “Perhaps we should add some truth to what I told your father. You can assist me with some of these things.”
“Of course, Grandfather.”
They worked for the rest of the afternoon in a contented silence. Olwë enjoyed himself immensely. Arafinwë was often so busy in Tirion that he and his family were visiting less often than they had in the past. But after Nerwen’s birth, they had strove to come to Alqualondë whenever possible, allowing the girl to experience more than the close confines of the Noldorin capital.
And Olwë treasured each and every moment of their stay. Not only was he able to enjoy the presence of his beloved daughter and son-in-law, but he was able to reap the advantages of being a grandparent to several young elflings. He was not responsible for raising them, and was quite content to spoil them, if only to allow his children to experience some of the trials and frustrations he had suffered when they were the same age.
It was a good arrangement, Olwë thought with amused satisfaction.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.