Part 62 of the Elfwine Chronicles. The Elfwine Chronicles are a series of one-shots built around the family group of Eomer, Lothiriel and Elfwine. The total number will depend on how many ideas I get for new vignettes.

A/N: Theodred is 4 here. My Church meeting Sunday focused on family, and apparently that inspired me. I went home and wrote 4 new Chronicles!

Heritage

(Feb, 27 IV)

Lothiriel entered the nursery with an armload of clean clothes to be put away. Humming a tune under her breath, she moved toward the chest, but a sound to her right caught her attention. Turning, she found her husband sound asleep in the big comfortable chair he had placed there so long ago, and curled contentedly in his lap was their youngest son, Theodred. Seeing her coming toward him, with exaggerated expression he put a finger to his lips and loudly whispered, "Shhhh, Mama! Papa is sleeping."

She smiled at her two men cuddled together, and knelt by the chair. "What have you and Papa been doing, dearest?" she asked softly.

Solemnly, he told her, "Papa was telling me about cousin Theodred and how I got my name." Looking thoughtful, he asked, "When I am big, Mama, will I be brave like cousin Theodred?"

She gave him a tender look, "I am sure you will, little one, but even more than that, I am sure you will be strong and kind and all the other good things cousin Theodred was."

He considered this a moment, then queried, "Why did he have to die? I want to meet him."

Rubbing his leg, she answered, "That is just how life is sometimes, dearest. We do not get to choose how long we will be here. All we can do is make the most of our time. Theodred fought hard and bravely to make sure that our world would still exist, and would be a better place for children like you. But I think he would have liked to meet you also."

She brushed at a tear, then added, "You know what – as long as we remember him, he is never truly gone. And one day, when it is our turn to die, we will see him again. When that happens, he will give you a big hug and you can tell him all about your time on earth, and tell him how you tried to live up to his good name."

Theodred thought about this, then grinned, "Yes! I will do that. I want him to be proud of me!"

Eomer stirred a bit in the chair, shifting his position to get more comfortable, and Theodred snuggled back into his arms. Stroking the child's cheek, Lothiriel suggested, "Why do you not close your eyes and keep Papa company until he wakes?"

Theodred gave a sleepy nod, already beginning to drift off, and Lothiriel quickly put the clothes away before slipping quietly out of the room. Pulling the door closed behind her, she leaned against it.

She was glad Eomer had finally been able to talk about his cousin. Even after all these years, he still tended to get choked up and found it difficult to speak of one he considered a brother. But it was important that Theodred not be forgotten. His sacrifice for Rohan had been no less important than Theoden's or all the other men who died under Saruman and Sauron's reign of terror.

There might not be lays and songs sung of Theodred – his valor had been overshadowed by the final battles of the Ring War – but in Eomer's son his name would not be forgotten, and his memory would always be honored.

THE END

2-19-06

End note: It is best that you read the Elfwine Chronicles in the order they were written. The more of them that I wrote, the more likely I was to make reference to one of the previous ones and something that happened there. If you want to read them in order, go to the top of this page and click on my name (Deandra). That will take you to my profile page. Scroll down and you will find all the stories I have written. The Elfwine Chronicles are in order from bottom to top since ffn shows them in the order they were posted. A few were posted out of number order, but you can read them in posting order or number order since those few won't be affected in the story content.