Dwarves and Elves
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Surprises In The Greenwood: 5. Who Was The Most Surprised
After the interesting introduction to Legolas’s father, Gimli was introduced to the rest of the family present. He met Legolas’s daughter, Lindaeriel and her husband Haldoron, along with Tirn’s wife Gwíllaer. Next, he was introduced to Legolas’s brother, Arandur, and his wife Minuialwen, and their children eldest to youngest, Gohenor, Celaireth, and Arthon. Gimli found it interesting that both Legolas and his brother had their children in the same order, boys eldest and youngest and a girl as the middle child.
Introductions completed, they all took their seats. Gimli was seated next to the king on his left. Legolas sat next to him, followed by Cellinn and their family. Arandur and his family sat on the king’s right, as Arandur was the eldest and heir to the throne.
Gimli noticed the empty place set at the other end of the table, opposite the king and he wondered about Legolas’s mother. The elf had not spoken of the lady and Gimli wondered if the place was set in her memory.
That was when Legolas spoke up. “Adar, where is Naneth? I wanted her to meet Gimi as well.”
How does he do that? The elf really needed to stop reading minds!
Thranduil grinned and replied. “She is in the nursery with the newest elfling, my son. The little one was only born a month ago. She will join us soon.”
Legolas looked at his father wide eyed. It appeared Legolas had some surprises in store as well. Gimli chuckled as Legolas responded, “But no one was expecting an elfling when I left for Imladris.” He did not notice the door to the dining hall open, or the figure who entered, though Gimli did. He turned back to watch Legolas's expression.
The lady who had entered spoke, her voice soft and soothing. “Oh, but they were! We just did not know it yet, my son.”
Gimli watched as Legolas turned to the lovely lady who had stepped up behind him, holding a small bundle. It was the tiniest elf Gimli had ever seen. He watched his friend’s eyes grow even wider and a smile spread across his face as he took in the sight.
“Naneth! Did you..?” Legolas reached out and accepted the little one being placed in his arms. Gimli then noticed that Cellinn watched her husband with a small, almost wistful, smile. Gimli had to admit, the sight of Legolas holding a baby was very touching. Legolas was obviously an expert in the art of holding one, unlike Gimli. Dwarf babes were rare, after all.
Legolas held the bundle, taking in her tiny features with a smile, before lifting his eyes to his father in question. Could this be his sister? Was it possible his parents had been blessed with a daughter after all these years?
Thranduil stood and began to speak. “It is a great joy to welcome you home, Legolas. It is a great relief to see you well. And it is a great pleasure that I get to introduce you to this little bundle of joy!" His father paused, his eyes twinkling in that mischievous manner that suddenly had Legolas unsure. A shiver ran down his spine.
"Legolas, meet your newest daughter.”
It was a toss up as to who was the most surprised. Gimli dropped his fork. Legolas stopped breathing. His eyes flew to Cellinn, who had the most beautiful smile on her face. “I wanted to tell you in front of the family. I didn’t know until after we received word from Elrond of your departure. Otherwise I would have sent word. Surprise?”
Surprise? Oh, he was surprised all right! Legolas looked back at his daughter – HIS DAUGHTER! – and let fatherly love cover her. When he looked back up at Cellinn, it was through tears. “A wonderful surprise," he whispered, reaching one hand for hers. "What is her name?”
Legolas grinned and turned to his friend. “Look Gimli, I have a little one! My little jewel.” He beamed, noting Gimli's approval of the name.
Gimli quickly offered his congratulations, while trying to suppress the utter astonishment he felt. Legolas was not only a father and grandfather...but also had a newborn! Gimli looked down at the child in his friend’s arms. She was beautiful.
“Here, Gimli. You must hold her.”
For the first time in a long while, Gimli felt panic. Hold a baby? No! He could not!. He would break it! He shook his head at the elf, who ignored his panic and placed the elfling in his arms. He looked at the precious thing he held and felt his own eyes tear up. He was actually holding his best friend’s new daughter. He swallowed the lump in his throat and offered Legolas a tremulous smile.
“She is perfect, Legolas. You are truly blessed, my friend.” Gimli looked down again at the angelic creature he held. “Never have I seen a child more…" He paused at a strange sensation. Warmth seemed to radiate from the underside of the elfling and into his tunic… "Mahal! LEGOLAS! SHE WET ON ME!”
He quickly handed the now soaking wet elfling back to his friend, his face as warm as the wet spot on his shirt, as bright laughter filled the room.
To Be Continued…
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