The Best Begetting
Elrohir lay on his back in the sweet-smelling grass, his lashes veiling
his eyes against the bright sunlight. This was the best begetting
day ever. No lessons for him or Elladan, no meetings for his
father, no household crises for his mother to manage. It
was just the four of them, and a picnic at the side of the river, and a
glorious spring day.
At his side, Elladan sat up, and stared along the river path.
“Someone’s coming,” he announced. Curious, Elrohir also
sat, and tried to guess who might be approaching. Not Erestor,
for the hoof beats were coming from the direction of the ford, not the
house. Not one of the servants either, in that case.
Not one of the guards, for although he knew they were never far away,
they moved silently whether on foot or in the trees. A returning
patrol? But no, the intruder was alone. A sudden hope
grew in him, and he held his breath as the rider drew near.
The golden-haired warrior appeared through the trees and swung down
from his horse as he was ambushed. “Glorfindel! You’re
back!” Elrohir cried excitedly.
“So it would seem,” he agreed.
“And today’s our begetting day!” Elladan added.
“Yes, I know,” Glorfindel agreed again.
“And did you …” Elrohir stopped. It would be Impolite and
Rude to ask Glorfindel if he had brought them any gifts.
Glorfindel raised a hand to silence them. “Elrohir.
Elladan. A moment, if you please. Let me greet
your parents first.”
Elrohir glowed. He loved it when Glorfindel put his name before
Elladan’s – no one else ever did. “And will you stay for our
picnic? Please say yes!”
“But this is your special day – I do not want to intrude on a family
picnic,” he protested.
Celebrían rose to her feet and greeted him with a smile and a
kiss. “You know perfectly well that you are one of the
family. Of course you are welcome.”
“Then I would love to join you.” He sat on the grass and took a
pastry from Elrond’s plate. “And a very happy begetting day to
you, Elrohir and Elladan.” He opened his pack and extracted two
small pouches of some leather-like material. “I have presents for
Elrohir took the pouch. It was an iridescent reddish gold colour,
the shade changing as he moved it slightly, and soft and supple.
He fingered it curiously. “What’s it made of?”
Elrohir gaped at him. “Dragon
skin?” He touched it again. He had never seen
anything like it – it was far more beautiful than any leather.
“I thought dragon skin was hard and scaly?” Elladan asked, still
examining his own. “It’s why they’re so hard to kill.”
Glorfindel nodded, then touched Elladan beneath his arm. “This is
the only soft spot,” he explained. “Their only
weakness. Now, are you going to open your gifts, or just admire
Elrohir was so entranced by the dragon skin pouch, he had not even
thought to look inside. Unfolding the flap, he took out a
necklace. It was a tooth, gleaming white, the edges
sharp and serrated. It was capped with silver and attached to a
leather thong. “A dragon’s tooth!” he gasped, quickly
fastening the necklace around his neck.
“Part of one – just the tip,” Glorfindel explained. “The
whole thing was the length of your arm.”
“And Elladan – is his the same?”
Elladan shook his head. “No – look, El! It’s a claw!”
Elladan’s necklace held a glistening black crescent, every bit as
vicious looking as Elrohir’s tooth.
“Thank you, Glorfindel!” They both hugged him tightly, admiring
each other’s gifts.
“Dragon’s teeth? Claws?” Celebrían sounded
“I blunted the points a little,” Glorfindel explained to forestall her
protests – much to Elrohir’s disappointment. But even if the
tooth was not as lethally razor sharp as he had hoped, it was still a
real dragon’s tooth. And …
“Glorfindel – did you kill the dragon?” He and Elladan spoke
together, and Glorfindel laughed.
“I did. It had come to live up in the Ettenmoors, and was raiding
farms and villages there. It was …”
Celebrían interrupted him. “No, Glorfindel. No dragon
tales, please. I still remember the time you told them about the
Balrog. I do not want them having nightmares again.”
“But mother …” Elrohir protested, mortified. He and Elladan
were no longer children, to be scared witless by Glorfindel’s colourful
“No,” she repeated
firmly, beginning to set out the rest of the picnic. Then
she smiled again. “I swear you are a bad influence on them!
Now, do you want to go and swim again before we eat?”
Glorfindel winked at the twins, then nodded. “Swimming sounds an
excellent plan,” he agreed. “I will tell you the tale
later,” he murmured. “Tonight.”
Elrohir glanced at Elladan, and nodded. “Tonight,” he
whispered back, and grinned. This was going to be the best
begetting day ever.