Tiny Terrorist

Joined: March 3rd, 2014, 8:21 am

March 22nd, 2014, 12:35 am #1

Elrond had wandered off again, managing to slip his nanny when Elros had her distracted. He wasn't sure if his brother had distracted her just so he could get out, or if Elros was going to be cross with him later for going outside without him, but either way he wanted to play and so off he had toddled, doing his best to keep out of sight of adults who might scoop him up and take him back inside. When everyone around you was a moving tree, this was a very legitimate concern.

He heard a group coming, so he had burrowed himself in behind a suit of armor and crouched as low as he could get. Being pretty low to the ground already, he was little more than a tiny ball of elfling as he watched the adults march by, being very careful not to giggle at his success for going unnoticed. As soon as they were gone, he streaked out of his hiding place and ran as quick as his short legs could carry him to the door.

Once he was out in the sunlight, Elrond promptly made for the gardens, tripping over a few times in his haste, but he didn't mind. There was a tree in the gardens that he really liked, but whenever he was out here there was always someone carrying him elsewhere. Today, he would go see that tree!

Or try anyway. He ended up wandering off the wrong way and found a completely different tree and, though he had absolutely no idea where he was in the labyrinth of his parent's garden, he figured this tree would do. After a bit of frustrated hopping, he managed to grab hold of the lowest branch and tug himself up. Once he had his first pull done, the rest was a relatively easy matter. He was probably about seven or eight feet high when he stopped and laid down belly first on his current branch, arms and legs wrapped about it like a lifeline, and stared about at everything below him.

"Uhm." The climbing had been fun and the view was very nice but he now realized he had a very big problem. Elrond had no idea how to get back down. Nobody knew he was here, either. This was worrisome. Still, there was a butterfly further down the branch so that was nice. Inching forward, Elrond tried to get closer to it, but it flew away, leaving him alone in the tree and not overly happy about it. Not that he was going to cry or anything. It was just a sniffle.
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Joined: March 15th, 2014, 12:45 am

March 22nd, 2014, 1:52 am #2

Queen Elwing was away in her chambers again. Erestor took this to mean that she had sequestered herself away for her daily staring contest with the Nauglamír, its Silmaril shimmering with such an abrasive radiance that he knew he could expect to go by her door and see the terrible gossamer brilliance of it filtering out beneath the slot like starlight caught in a net of mist. He didn't know whether she did this out of a vehement hatred of it, or a profound love, or some poisonous mix of the two, but he expected she would not be in for the court's midday meal, or even the dinner service—she usually did not disappear until much later in the evening, but the stress of Eärendil's conspicuous absence drove her to the jewel's strongroom earlier and earlier with each passing day, it seemed.

The day was balmy and clear, and Erestor had intended to find a bit of toast to nibble on, and then take a tome or two down to the shore to read for a few hours. A moment of caprice had him instead meandering down towards the royal family's apartments in an attempt to draw Elwing out, but he found himself apprehended by the twins' nurse midway to her chamber. Either of them tottering off to find a new nook to burrow into was not a new occurrence—Erestor rather supposed it was due to their parents' lacking interest in their burgeoning curiosity of the outside world, though he wisely refrained from saying as much out loud—but they were in the terrible habit of picking the absolute worst places to hide, and Erestor knew it was in his best interests to aid her in the task of tracking down the fugitive child.

He'd been gone no more than fifteen minutes, she said, and Erestor sighed as he descended the stairs and set himself to peeking behind and inside anything that would even remotely fit a toddler looking to hide from his minders, from statues to vases to the terribly exotic-looking potted trees someone had imported from Balar. When Elrond failed to materialize, Erestor tucked his book under his arm and allowed himself to fall to the momentary whimsy of letting his understanding of Elrond's nature dictate his next move. As if guided by the wind, he padded out towards the gardens: open air, colors, sounds, enough potential hiding places to keep a five-year-old busy for years. A lucrative opportunity for any elfling.

His aim was true. The gardens were generally quiet beneath the distant rush of salty sea air weaving through the palace grounds, but the sound that broke the silence was just unnatural enough to take Erestor's attention as he knelt to part the branches of a lilac bush. Rising immediately, before he lost the trail, he followed the origin, zeroing in on his quarry with a soft, relieved rush of breath.

"What an unusual nestling I have found," he teased, moving down beneath the branch on which Elrond was suspended, ready to spring to catch him if need be, but for the moment content to watch him try to assess how to best solve the problem with a wry smile crooking his lip. "Your wings are not yet strong enough to bear you up, little prince."
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Joined: March 3rd, 2014, 8:21 am

March 22nd, 2014, 3:49 am #3

Just as Elrond was about to give in to his rising worries and start calling for help, rescue arrived as though sent down by Elbereth herself. It was very unusual to have to look down upon his tutor, but Elrond was so happy to see him he didn't really take much notice of this interesting sensation. Instead he just giggled as Erestor teased him about his wings not being ready to fly yet, scooting himself into a sitting position on his branch.

"That's not true," He argued, moving so that he ended up standing on the branch. Being as he was Elrond, he wasn't exactly the most graceful elfling to toddle through the halls of Arvernien, this was precarious enough as it was. "I can fly!" He cried, which was pretty much the only warning his poor tutor received before Elrond saw fit to solve his stuck problem by jumping out of the tree down at him.

It did not occur to Elrond for even half a second that his tutor would not catch him and so, in his moment of 'flight' he bore with him nothing but a smile as the thrilling sensation of air whisking all around him made him feel as though he was great Thorondor himself.
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Joined: March 15th, 2014, 12:45 am

March 22nd, 2014, 5:25 am #4

It was lucky, then, that Erestor had prepared for that, or he would have ended up with a sore rump. As it was, he only stumbled backwards a little bit as Elrond made impact, unprepared for the new few pounds of weight the child had put on seemingly since last Erestor had held him like this. Gasping softly against the exertion and the sudden burn in his arms and chest, he laughed, lightly squeezing Elrond where a roll of pudge sat on his belly. "You can certainly make a decent attempt," he agreed, glancing back towards the portico he had come through and debating taking him back to his jailor, but the sea air was crisp and gentle and there was a giant pile of beech leaves in every shade of red and orange the gardener had raked just sitting there on the green, completely unattended.

And, well, he hadn't had the opportunity for a bit of harmless mischief in an age.

"Your nurse is beside herself, you know. You really ought to leave a note when you escape somewhere. I haven't spent hours toiling to teach you no-good ruffians Tengwar for nothing, after all." Adjusting Elrond on his hip to take some of the strain off his back, Erestor moved to the tree that had provided the bulk of the pile of fallen leaves now stacked to a heap the size of a small warg, put out one arm, and nimbly pulled the two of them up to the first branch, where he balanced on the gangplank-thin bough as if it were solid ground. The wind threatened his equilibrium a little, but he switched Elrond to rest against his chest, nudging his stubby legs around his waist just above the line of the broidered black sash belting his robes, and stood static on the very end for a moment, appreciating the some twelve-foot drop awaiting them.

"Now hold on, and don't tell your mother," he cautioned, right before he turned and flung the both of them off the bough with a ruthless speed, aiming to land with his own back first comfortably in the pile and sending a spray of fiery leaves scattering in every direction.
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Joined: March 3rd, 2014, 8:21 am

March 22nd, 2014, 6:41 pm #5

Elrond giggled as he landed in Erestor's arms, caught safely just as he trusted he would be. Wrapping his small arms around his tutor's neck as he stumbled, his face was bright with the glee of his fall and the comfort of a familiar embrace. Erestor's laugh and squeeze made him giggle again, happy to have made Erestor happy with his experimental flight, before noting the way his tutor had glanced toward the way back.

A pout had just begun to form even as Erestor lightly scolded him. "But if I leave a note I won't get away fast enough," Elrond argued reasonably, not even abashed for putting his nurse beside herself. Besides, Elrond thought to himself, Tengwar was only fun when he could pester Erestor the entire time with questions he really didn't want answers to but kept him from having to write for awhile.

The were moving then and so Elrond became quiet, watching the world move from a high place being one of his favorite things. He really hoped he would grow up to be tall one day, like his ada. He liked the view from Erestor's height - it was much better than knees. Even as he thought this, they went higher still, and Elrond instantly perked up as he realized they were climbing. Tucking closer to Erestor, Elrond watched with wide eyes as with just one branch they were higher than he had gone with four!

Snuggling in as he was nudged, Elrond looked at Erestor curiously at those words. His eyes held excitement even as he gave a solemn nod of promise, before suddenly, they were flying! Elrond shrieked with a mingled mixture of glee and terror as the world zoomed, clutching to Erestor until they landed in such an explosion of color that he instantly sat up to watch, his eyes wide with wonder. "Pretty," He breathed, even as a leaf floated down to rest on his nose.
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Joined: March 15th, 2014, 12:45 am

March 23rd, 2014, 10:11 pm #6

No doubt the groundskeeper would be absolutely furious to have about an hour's worth of work undone by an anonymous troublemaker, but as soon as Erestor had time to take stock of Elrond's welfare following their impact into the leaves, he found he had very little shame to spare for having taken such a presumptuous liberty. "I think I am getting a bit too old for things like that," he coughed, more to himself than to Elrond, brushing the thin cover of leaves that were beginning to settle over the two of them until Erestor could only see bits of sky poking out between the layer over his face.

If it had been a normal day, he might have gone out to try to secrete Elros out, too, but Erestor knew that was about as likely to happen as Ulmo rising up out of the sea to beckon the Noldor home, so he gave up the thought and instead rolled onto his belly, letting Elrond down to toddle around to his own devices. In any case, they were twins, but it was important to give them both opportunities to be apart every so often, and maybe it would give Elros incentive to be a little less manageable and amenable to authority if he saw how a small, calculated risk could turn out quite so well in his favor. The thought drew Erestor's eye back to the house, but he only reached down to brush his robes free of leaves, and then pulled Elrond to his feet out of the much-depleted leaf pile, one hand on the top of his head.

"What now, my prince?" he ventured, looking down at him as if it were a great quandary, on par with Eärendil's war councils. The boy had such little contact with his father that Erestor found himself wondering if anyone at all had managed to adopt the role of question-answerer and bedtime storyteller, when the queen could hardly find the energy to interact with her sons. For that reason alone, he was loath to force Elrond back to his nurse, although she was likely in a panic right now. Well, served her right for expecting to be able to leave a five-year-old unattended for any length of time. "You have flown quite a bit today, but you must not overtax your growing wings."
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Joined: March 3rd, 2014, 8:21 am

March 26th, 2014, 12:07 pm #7

Elrond laughed at Erestor, flopping back down on his tutor's chest as he coughed. "You're not old," He stated sweetly, with all the conviction of a child stating a true fact - though what basis he had for comparison was anyone's guess. "You're fun." Ah yes that was it. The fun factor completely eradicated the age factor and therefore Erestor was incapable of being old, for he was simply to entertaining to be quite so boring. After all, in Elrond's infinite childhood wisdom, only the boring could be old.

As though to prove this, Erestor rolled over, causing Elrond to do the same or risk getting squished. He rolled farther than he had to, just because he could, and for a moment laid where he was with his chin on top of the backs of his hands, poised like a cat in the mouser position. He had just launched to pounce his tutor when the wily fellow rose up, causing him to tackle the leaf pile with a squeal of giggles that couldn't even pretend to be indignant.

Splayed out with his arms before his head and his legs kicking happily in the mess, he gave a squeak as he was plucked up out of it, before smiling up at Erestor and instantly going on tiptop to better lean into his hand, like a love starved puppy. At the very serious sounding question, Elrond made his most serious expression and thought it through, nodding with all the sage wisdom he could muster. "Yes, I have flown much today," He agreed, trying to sound authoritative. "So I think, perhaps," He stated slowly, trying his absolute best not to sound too eager, but rather as proper and grown up as he could from his position at Erestor's knees, "We should go swimming." He loved swimming, but he rarely ever got to go, so he and Elros usually ended up paddling in the fountains, which was for some reason also bad. Which was silly really, since nobody drank that water or anything.
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Joined: March 15th, 2014, 12:45 am

March 28th, 2014, 10:19 pm #8

"I assure you, anything you hear to the contrary is all lies," he stated flatly, though he knelt down again to undo Elrond's braids, put into a ghastly disarray by all of the child's recent outdoor gallivanting, and quickly re-set them, then pushed up the edge of his sleeve and used it to brush a bit of dirt off his cheek. "There, now you do not look quite so much like you were raised by wargs."

Come to think of it, wargs might have been better parents than the ones Elrond had been given. As Erestor understood it, they lived in packs comprised of nuclear family units and associated bodies, and the care of raising young fell to all of them. It was certainly a better setup than this one, though he had said something similar once to Elwing and gotten a severe reprimand for the impertinence and would never attempt that again. All the more reason to spoil her children rotten behind her back, he supposed. Again, he found himself glancing back at the palace, eyes drifting up to the second floor, alighting on the window he knew to be attached to Elwing's receiving room. There was no light filtering out of it; she must have drawn the curtains shut in order to blot out the sun so that the Nauglamír could not be upstaged by the weak, incomparable daytime sun.

Managing a wan smile, he turned back to Elrond, amused enough by his pretensions of solemnity that he did not tease him for them, though he wanted to. "Very well, but you must write a note to Mistress Ferileth to inform her that you have been found." From a pocket, he produced a small roll of parchment, an unevenly-shaped thing that came from the castoffs when the tanners cut raw vellum down to make uniform-sized sheets for books. The back contained his own personal shopping list, but he supposed no one would bother to turn it over. This he put into Elrond's hand, and into the other, a pen, containing an inkwell built within the inside of it. "And it must be spelled correctly, my prince, or I will switch you for Elros and no one will find out until we are back."
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Joined: March 3rd, 2014, 8:21 am

March 29th, 2014, 3:04 am #9

Elrond huffed and stood as still and patient as he could while Erestor fussed at him. Why he had to look all prim and proper when he just wanted to play he would never understand. Being a young lord was boring. Still, Erestor was fun and nice and so the occasional act of ugh could be deemed permissible in Elrond’s estimation. At the comment on wargs, Elrond giggled a bit and answered lightly, “I dunno, it might be fun to be raised by scary puppies.” He and Elros had discovered the huntsman’s dogs last year and they were the best things in the castle. They were so big that you could ride them like ponies. They weren’t supposed to feed them anything, but more often than not Elrond found a scrap of something or other to feed a steed before going for a ride. Elrond figured wargs were probably a lot like hunt dogs, just bigger and more growly.

Watching Erestor look over and up, Elrond followed his gaze before looking down at his feet sadly. He hadn’t seen naneth in a few weeks, and while this wasn’t unusual really, he missed her. Sometimes he sat by her door and just hoped that maybe she would open it and come out – because he was never able to muster the courage to knock, just in case he was being bothersome. He didn’t want to be a bother. He just wanted to spend time with her sometimes.

Glad of the distraction of Erestor’s request for all of the time it took to register what he had to do, Elrond groaned and took the pen and parchment, before flopping on the grass and getting to work. It was slow going, because he absolute had to make sure everything was spelled right. He had to be rather clever, as he struggled with a lot of words still and tried to stick to the ones he knew best.

Nanny was the salutation – he wasn’t even going to try and spell all of Mistress Ferileth or he’d be here forever. Or at least until he was as old as she was. Ew. Then he took his time to spell Master Erestor in the absolute best Tengwar he was capable of in the hope that if it looked really pretty and there was a mistake later on, the effort put in Erestor’s name would earn him some clemency.

Found me was supposed to be next, but after a lot of thought, Elrond concluded that ‘fownd’ was wrong, which meant he needed different words. Has me worked just as well then. Except that sounded like he was being stolen by his tutor. Which he actually wouldn’t have minded, so long as Elros could be stolen too. So to make it sound less like he was being kidnapped, he carefully added ‘I am well’ to the letter, before thinking he should probably explain why he wasn’t coming home yet. That done, he signed his name with a flourish, because he was good with his own name, and handed the letter over to Erestor with a pout and some trepidation. “Is this ok?” He asked, hoping the scratched out word wasn’t going to get him switched.

Nanny,
Master Erestor has me. I am well. Going swyming to have fun. Bye!
Elrond

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Joined: March 15th, 2014, 12:45 am

April 3rd, 2014, 10:10 pm #10

Erestor was tempted to tell him not to give him incentive to sell both him and Elros off to warg riders, as they were the perfect size for snacks, but thought better of it as he watched Elrond steel himself and begin to work at the task that had been set out for him with a respectably wholehearted effort, his mouth twitching upwards. They were not the most studious of all of the various children he had ever taught, but Elrond approached the task with enough aplomb that any worries about the task taking so long that they were discovered in the garden and he would be issued a formal reprimand for aiding and abetting the delinquency of a member of Sirion's first family were quickly answered.

Accepting the finished product in both hands, Erestor peered down at it, one eyebrow raising at the obvious tactical decision to scribble out a misspelling in the hopes it would be forgiven as a stylistic error. He waited a long, silent moment, just for dramatic effect, and then nodded his approval, rolling the paper into one hand and scooping the prince back up into his arms. Any other time he would have insisted that he walk—he was neither their nurse nor their mother, and he intended to make Elrond understand that in deference to both the people who possessed those titles—but it was a bit of a trek down to the shore, and Elrond was, after all, only five. All appearances of boundless energy were just that, and if he was going to risk his job, he might as well ensure Elrond arrived to the sea with enough strength left in his stubby legs to actually enjoy it.

His own arms, on the other hand…

He dipped into the hallway and flagged down a nearby maidservant, handing off the note and instructing her to deliver it to Ferileth, but found that he had paused near the wall to debate his options. As much as he wanted to steal out of the palace and let Elrond have his two hours, he simply couldn't just take him and expect it to be enough to allay his own concerns; he had never been a parent, but surely alerting his mother was part of the natural progression of these kinds of things? And she wouldn't mind…

Looking down at Elrond a moment in thought, he finally sighed and began to mount the stairs, almost-sprinting on his heels to minimize the sound of his footsteps on the long span of carpet running up the landing. Mistress Ferileth rounded the corner, and, with surprising agility for someone bound down by about six layers of clothes, Erestor dove behind the only thing that would provide the both of them cover enough to avoid her: a gray marble bust of Círdan, mounted on a white stone post, his broad sleeves coming up to shroud himself and Elrond in an inconspicuous black heap. If the nurse took any notice of them, she didn't show it, continuing on down the stairs and down some hallway, no doubt to peer in on the twin that had been left behind.

"I will never get those five years of my life back," Erestor gasped, when it was safe to breathe again. He rose, adjusting Elrond on his hip. She hadn't had time to be informed of Elrond's discovery and subsequent field trip out yet, and avoiding accidentally handing him off to her again may have superseded dignity for the moment—he paused to uncrick his back, and then began down the decidedly clear hallway.

It was at Elwing's door that he stopped, his eyes falling on the blinding white light leaking out from beneath the door. Frowning, he looked to Elrond, and then haltingly brought his hand up to knock gently. Silence. He tried again, and received no answer. When a third attempt yielded similar results, he set Elrond down on the ground, and knelt to address him.

"Go fetch something to swim in from your bureau, little prince," he instructed him, hoping it wouldn't be too obvious that it was an attempt to get him out of eyeshot. "And then meet me back here, but be quick."
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