Fair Folk at the Free Fair: 5. Thoughts on leaving home

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5. Thoughts on leaving home

The sun blazed down on the little party of travellers as they rode between Whitfurrows and Frogmorton. All the hobbits, except Merry who was driving, had nodded off after lunch.

Elladan caught himself humming the tra-la-lally tune and smirked. Privately he admitted that it wasn't one of the greatest songs ever written, but the catchiness of the tune couldn't be denied. Theo and Kali had enjoyed making up verses, even if the tiny girl hadn't quite grasped the concept of rhyming words yet. However, poor rhymes were really the very heart of the song.

He sighed. Now that the children were asleep his thoughts veered uncontrollably back to the nagging subject of His Future. Or more accurately Their Future. They had postponed their decision, had found reasons to delay, and had justified their hesitation to themselves and to others. But for the past several years they had simply avoided talking about it.

Occasionally one would catch the other looking pensive, maybe gazing westwards, and would quickly find an urgent mission or task for them both. But time was passing and though it left no mark on their eternally youthful faces, Elladan knew they could both see the changes the passing seasons etched in the land and in their mortal friends.

The arrival of Celeborn from Lorien had further complicated matters. Elladan was uncertain why his grandfather had not sailed with Galadriel, but he sensed that beneath the hauteur was a bewilderment to rival his own. Despite this, there seemed to remain an unbridgeable chasm between them - and even after some years of living under the same roof, Elladan often felt he was a host on his best behaviour, trying to impress an elf-lord of much greater stature. Walking on eggshells was, frankly, easier.

Then there was Glorfindel. He had no idea what to make of Glorfindel remaining, though he had often been glad of the company of the old family friend. After the ringbearers departed, Glorfindel had been brittle and tetchy for months. Whenever Elladan tried to tackle the subject of The Future, he would snap something about 'unfinished business' before returning to the obviously vital unfinished business of polishing and rearranging the swords of Imladris - which now outnumbered elves three to one.

When the invitations had arrived from the Shire they had been in the process of shutting up a collection of rarely used rooms. A few treasured items had been boxed and carried into the main halls. There was no need to lock the rooms up, but the decision had been taken not to keep them clean and usable. There was more than enough room for guests elsewhere.

These days it felt like they were camping, rather than living, in the house. There were no youngsters and few women. Those skilled in crafts had taken journeys to Ithilien and Eryn Lasgalen - where new things were still needed. A mere handful of warriors remained, spending more and more time twiddling their thumbs as the danger from orc, warg and even wolf died away.

In fact Elladan's biggest worry of late was that the deer were becoming too numerous as their predators, including the elves, abandoned old hunting grounds.

But if they sailed, what then? It had been easy enough for those who sailed five, ten years ago. They were leaving Imladris in some kind of working order. If they left now it would be abandoned. Didn't the world still need some kind of refuge? What if, somehow, the shadow rose again? How could they abandon that place of precious beauty and peace?

It had been Homely to others, but to them it was home. How could they leave it to be just another dwindling ruin?


He suddenly realised that Glorfindel was riding level with him, shaking him by the elbow. Had the others been calling his name for some time?

"Is he alright? Too much sun?" Merry was asking.

"No, I'm fine," he said, then caught his brother's doubtful look. "Really, I was just distracted, thinking."

Everyone was frowning at him, even the children, who had been woken by the shouting.

He smiled - though he suspected it was a poor, wan effort. "Honestly. I was just composing a new travelling song."

Thankfully everyone seemed to accept this, though Elladan noticed that Glorfindel rode closer to him and made occasional, strangely inane, comments about the beauty of the Shire for the rest of the ride.

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.

Story Information

Author: snowballjane

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 4th Age

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 07/07/03

Original Post: 06/24/03

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