|A Rarer Gift
Author: Caporal PM
A very young Celegorm isn't having the best begetting day. A chance, or possibly not so chance, meeting with his favourite Vala changes all that. Rated G for being completely tame.Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 1,536 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 05-06-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2926053
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Notes: A birthday fic. Celegorm here is "seventeen", which is roughly the equivalent of about eight. "Tyelkormo" is, of course, his mothername. Written in the second person, because that's how it turned out.
There would be a "Warnings" section here, but there is absolutely nothing to warn for. G-rated genfic, this. And so: onward--!
A Rarer Gift.
You're seventeen today, and not feeling very special. Birthdays are chaotic in a house with this much family, and it seems that in the flurry to celebrate your conception, they've all forgotten about you, and you find yourself shunted off to the side, kept out of certain rooms, brushed away because they're trying to protect the multitude of surprises from your prying eyes.
Father is holed away in the forge, creating something beautiful at the last minute, and you resent the mysterious thing because it's more important than you are right now. Nelyo's dissapeared too: someone's probably using him to arrange the higher garlands, and the faint strains of music from somewhere upstairs mean that your next brother is worlds away and unavailable. Mother did have a smile to spare for you -- she always does, but your youngest brother was curled up contented in her arms, stealing even a proper mother-hug on your day.
You find yourself languishing outdoors with only the garden beetles for company, trying to whisper in their skittering, muddy tongue, but they're as busy as everyone inside, and pay as little attention to you. You're tempted to poke them with a stick. Instead, you sprawl unhappily in the dappled light, listening to the commotions and food smells wafting out of the house, and your scowl deepens. You could leave now, never to return, and no one would even notice until the big dinner, hours away.
You consider this for half a moment, and before the next begins, you're out the gate and marching determinedly into the wood. They'll see! They'll wish they'd cared a bit less about flower arrangements! Flowers and food and lace trimming! You drive each frivolous idea into the dirt beneath your dusty shoes, stamping harder with every furious stride. They'll be sorry when they emerge from the cloud of petals and find you gone! You'll go to live in the forest with the birds and the beasts, who neither know nor care about lace tablecloths. You turn once, to glare at the house you never plan to see again, and then plunge into the cool darkness beneath the trees.
This wood is well-known to you: you walk its twisting paths nearly every day. You're well accquainted with the animals who make it their home, and nothing in it holds any danger for you. Danger? You hardly know the meaning of the word. Today you wander unheeding through a maze of boughs and thickets, but you won't get lost: you take pride in knowing your forest better than any of your brothers, even Nelyo, who surely knows everything else there is to know about anything. This gives you the advantage of being able to easily hide in here forever.
It's a good while later when you hear a ringing laugh a short distance away. A familiar laugh, for how often have you followed the horns sounded by that same breath? Your anger fades and you begin to run, unheeding of the brambles and thorns, searching for the source. You find it in a light-drenched clearing, where there is a man, or what looks like one, playing what must be the oldest game in the universe with a very small, very excited puppy. He throws a stick, and the puppy tries (but being so small, so easily distracted, he often fails-- that will change in time) to catch it. He returns it, and the game begins anew.
You slip behind a tree to watch. When you're grown up, you'll join this lord's train, as he rides across all the lands on his great hunt. You've been told too many times that you're too young to do it now, but still you love to follow them when they pass near, running after their great horses as long as your short legs will stand, longing to be so wild and free.
The puppy smells you first. Oh, the man probably knew you were there, but it's the puppy who catches your scent and dashes over to see if you're a fearsome enemy or not. You grin, and hold out a hand (dirt-streaked after your conversation with the beetles) for him to sniff. He decides you're a friend, or at least not worth defeating this day, and licks it. You laugh, delighted, and Oromë takes note of you.
"Come into the light, little fay," he says, and his voice is like his laugh: deep and full of the wide world that you have yet to see. Great plains and dizzying mountains are remembered in his eyes, and of course you creep out into the clearing to meet him. The puppy follows, dancing at your heels.
"Young Tyelkormo," he says. "What brings you so far from home, and on your own begetting-day?"
You would be amazed and gratified that this great lord so remembers you, but of course the Valar know everything, almost as much as Father, so you take it in stride. "I was getting in the way of it, lord," you find yourself saying, half-distracted by the frisking puppy.
"In the way of your own day? How can that be?" he questions, watching the two of you closely.
You shrug. "Everyone's all too busy getting ready for it. Putting up flowers and things. They've no time for me." It's impossible not to speak openly with this lord, though you're aware of how childish your words sound now.
But Oromë only smiles. "The lights are mingling now: perhaps they are finished."
You nod, but your answer is interrupted by the puppy tugging at your hand. He seems to have taken to you, and you sit down on the soft moss to ruffle his fur, which is thick and silky under your fingers. He licks your face, and you laugh. And despite being ignored by both yourself and his small companion, Oromë is still smiling. If anything, he seems pleased by what he sees, and his expression is understanding when you remember him with a guilty look.
"I think, Tyelkormo, that perhaps you should see to making your way home," he says. "Or you will miss your own feast."
A spark of rebellion lingers. "I wouldn't mind."
"I know," he says, because of course he does. But he seems also to understand, which is a different thing. "And yet your family would mind, and we all have a duty to our kin, to celebrate with them when we would really rather be elsewhere." He winks, and you grin back.
"Alright," you say, trying not to scowl though you can feel your mouth twisting to spite you. "I'll go. I won't disappoint them." Secretly, though, you think that maybe they should put a bit more effort into not disappointing you. Absently, you scratch the puppy's ears.
Oromë smiles approvingly. "Should you like a companion on your journey home?"
You look up at him, wide-eyed, thinking that he's offering to accompany you, but then you see that he's gesturing towards the puppy, who is looking up at you with such excited brown eyes that you can't but grin. You tangle your fingers in his fur, accepting him even as you protest. "Isn't he yours, lord?"
"He is is own. He will never call any man master, though he will call some friend, if they are very lucky."
The puppy is nosing at your side now, his cold, wet nose making you giggle in the presence of a Vala, which is somewhat embarassing. The Vala doesn't seem to mind, though. "I think you are lucky, young one. So on your begetting day, I present to you Huan. His friendship is a rarer gift, that is his own to bestow."
You beam, your smile so wide it's making your cheeks ache, and you hug the puppy -- Huan! -- to your chest, where he seems happy to nuzzle at your neck. Oromë continues, crouching down and leaning towards you. He smells of far-away wind, and adventure.
"And friendship must be earned and may be lost. But raise him well, Tyelkormo, and one day soon I will be glad to see both of you with the hunt."
Nothing he could ever have said could have made you happier. One day! You're seventeen now, which is practically grown-up. Soon! And the next time Oromë's train passes, you won't have to run after them, because you'll be riding with them, wild and free, with this newest friend at your side. Riding into forever.
It feels, as you run homeward with Huan at your side, as though forever is already here.