A Conversation on Family by Kaylee Arafinwiel

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Story Notes:

 In my-verse, Aragorn and Faramir’s eldest daughters were born on the same day in year 4 of the Fourth Age. Eldarion was born in Fourth Age 9 and Elboron in Fourth Age 10. Elfwine, Théodwyn/Éomund, and Morwen were born in Fourth Age 8, 12, and 18 respectively. (Gilraen, Aragorn and Arwen’s youngest, was also born in Fourth Age 18, and Faramir/Eowyn's Finduilas in Fourth Age 16.) 


 


The children use Sindarin terms with Éowyn because it was the preferred language of Théoden’s House, and so it is still the preferred tongue amongst the royal families of Rohan and Ithilien in this time, though both families’ children have learned Rohirric.


 


Lorias is my friend Susana’s name for Imrahil’s wife.


Fourth Age 25, Rohan

 

Éowyn, White Lady of Ithilien, had been sitting alone in her rooms, drawing the view from the window, while Faramir visited with Éomer King. It was nearing time for the noon meal, however, so she knew she would be sent for soon, and the knock on her door did not surprise her.

 

“Come in,” she called, not turning from the window as the autumn sunlight filtered in. Few birds sang; no horses grazed. The air was chill and still, and Éowyn sighed. She preferred the Mark full of light and life, at high summer.

 

Auntie?” The youngest of Éomer‘s daughters bolted across the room, a frown on her face.

 

“Yes, my love.” Éowyn curled an arm around seven-year-old Morwen, drawing the child to her side. The girl’s grey eyes were narrowed, her brow furrowed as if in deep thought, and her honey-brown plaits bounced as she shook her head back and forth. “What is it, my little Shieldmaiden?”

 

“Why do we call you and Uncle Faramir ‘Auntie and Uncle’ here at home, and say ‘Cousin’ when we visit?” she asked plaintively.

 

Éowyn smiled as she lifted her brother’s daughter onto her lap and cuddled the small Princess. “Because, Morwen, your Naneth is my Faramir’s cousin, and so you are your uncle’s cousin too – and that is why, in Gondor, you are seen as Faramir’s kin, more than mine. So, as cousin-kin to the Prince of Ithilien, you are a Lady of Ithilien, too. My children are your first cousins in Rohan, through your Adar and I, and your second cousins in Ithilien, through your Naneth and Faramir. Do you see?” She sketched out a simple tree on a fresh sheet of paper, labeling each square or circle.

 

“Here are Faramir and I. This is our Merilossë, and our foster-daughter Princess Celebrían, who we called her twin for a time; here is Elboron, and there Finduilas. And there…” Éowyn sketched in a fourth line and a question mark, and gave Morwen a secret smile. The child’s eyes widened and she gasped aloud.

 

“Auntie, you’re having another baby?”

 

“He – Faramir sees a son, and I have no doubt he speaks true – will be born in the spring. We shall winter in Rohan, and he will be born here. Would you like that?” Morwen’s squeal of joy was answer enough.

Éowyn waited until Morwen was calm, and then continued. “Here are your grandparents, Éomund, and Théodwyn, for whom your siblings were named. And there is Éomer, and Lothiriel. ” She joined the two together, and then drew lines one by one. “Elfwine,” she said, “in honour of Legolas, who blessed him. There are Théodwyn and Éomund, and there you are, my little Shieldmaiden.” A smile bloomed on Morwen’s face.

“There, too, are your other grandparents, Imrahil and Lorias,” Éowyn added, sketching in Lothiriel’s parents, “and your uncles, Elphir, Erchirion and Amrothos.”

 

“Daerada is old,” Morwen said in a whisper. “I do not know Daernana Lorias.”

 

“Well, you would not, Morwen. She died when your Naneth was very young,” Éowyn said softly.

 

“She lost her Naneth,” Morwen replied quietly. “I do not have any daernenith, anywhere.”

 

“Oh yes you do, darling girl. Have you not forgotten Queen Arwen?” Éowyn tapped the third part of the tree. “She may not be yours by blood, but you understand she sees all my children, and Éomer’s, as her own grandchildren. Faramir and Lothiriel are as a son and daughter to her; she loves all of us.”

 

Morwen brightened again, and watched as Éowyn put Celebriel in her correct place, preceded by Aragorn’s foster-son Karim and followed by Eldarion and Gilraen.

 

“Elfwine says Elboron wants to marry Gilraen,” Morwen said suddenly, and Éowyn covered a smile.

 

Does he, now?” she asked. “Well, he might just do that.” It was a bit early for the boys to be discussing marriage, though perhaps not too much so – Eldarion and Elboron were sixteen and fifteen now, and Gilraen only seven. Still, Elfwine, at seventeen, was old enough to see if such things were due to happen in their time, and he hadn’t told Morwen that Elboron had spoken such a wish, after all. Éowyn suspected it was the blood of his foremother Mithrellas, and the lineage of Westernesse of old, that flowed through Elfwine Aetheling as much as it did in her own children. Not for naught was the boy named “Elf-friend” – blessed at birth by Prince Legolas, no less. Clear sight would be an advantage for him, someday, as King.

 

Éowyn drifted in her thoughts, nearly dozing now as she held Morwen, when a sound not unlike a herd of stampeding oliphaunts, or marauding orcs, thundered through the royal quarters of the Golden Hall.

“Onward, brave men, and let us secure what plunder we may!” cried one voice, and Éowyn stifled an unladylike snort. It was none of the ‘men’, but Merilossë leading the rampage.

 

“Onward! Onward in the name of the Corsair Queen, the Black Rose!” cried the boys. “We’ll plunder and pillage!”

 

Éowyn shook her head in dismay. “Boys! Merilossë!” The thundering stopped.

 

“Get in here, all of you! Théodwyn, you too,” she added.

 

“Aww,” Théodwyn sighed, trailing in with her hand clasped in her twin brother’s.

 

“Now, we will go join Faramir and the King and Queen for luncheon like ladies and gentlemen,” Éowyn said sternly. “Merilossë, I know this was your idea. You will join me after the meal and practice your sewing for an hour.”

 

 “How did you know, Naneth?” Merilossë asked plaintively.

 

Éowyn smiled wryly. “Well, if it had been Elboron’s idea, he would have been the Corsair King.”

 

 

Merilossë blushed. “Yes, Naneth.” And with that, the subdued royal children followed Éowyn to the feast hall.




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