Sitting next to a warm fire, a little fox curled up on his laps and Tyulusse busy nearby, Laurelindo was writing in his journal, petting the fox absentmindedly while he was doing so.
The way from the forge to the library was as fast as I remembered it to be, and rather enjoyable, I must admit. Surprisingly we didn’t… ah… Fell accidentally into the river at this point though we had to swim across it to reach our destination.
When we entered, we saw some books have been badly damaged, some parts of the library are a ruin. Tyulussë tried to take a book that seemed rather alright but the book crumbled to dusk. I guess after so long a time, at the mercy of the weather… What a waste.
Tyulussë reminded me of the library’s keeper. A rather nice elleth (at the time) who didn’t enjoy very much the idea of having a bunch of flower in her library, in case it did something to her precious books.
I was rather surprised by it as I recall when I tried to offer her flowers in exchange for her helping me getting a book I couldn’t find anywhere but that I knew was there.
It didn’t work.
Tyulussë told me he used to bring her apples and sweets from the kitchen in exchange for her… Strange and selective forgetfulness about his presence if his father came looking for him.
Of course, what were mere flowers compared to a handful of sweets…
Tyulussë noted that it was rather improbable that she would have abandoned the library when we came under attack. Well… True it was, but… Sauron’s forces were… Not something to dismiss and swift in their advance. I dearly hope she saw how hopeless it was to try and stay alone to fight in defense of the library and ran away in time instead.
But realistically, how many of us were actually able to leave in time and keep our lives?
Funnily enough, cobwebs started to get stuck on Tyulussë right there at the entrance of the library…
The ceiling at one point just… Disappeared. It’s really no wonder that the books are in so sad a state now.
We made our way through the library up some stairs. We passed the shelves that had a lovely selection of books and scrolls about music. I learnt to make and tune my instruments from one of these books as I recall.
And Tyulussë, as ever with a perfect memory (though sometimes, I think his memory is just a tad too good…) reminded me of that time we needed to get a scroll at the top of one of the shelves and I got the idea of climbing it and almost got the whole shelf to fall down on us.
Though it was entirely not my fault if the scroll we needed was precisely the one we couldn’t reach!
Once on the first floor we stopped to look down on the library… We used to take lunch there. Right at the edge, though at the time it was… well… the library was in use, for one, and protected from the elements by a nice ceiling… And well… Now with the emptiness and damages to the building, it felt so… different.
And we followed the one corridor left open and accessible in the top floor on this side of the building… I stayed safely behind Tyulussë and as he started to say that he was beginning to miss something he found himself stepping again in a cobweb.
“To miss not walking into webs?” I couldn’t help but to tease him. Oh if only I had more a talent in drawing I’d immortalize this moment. As much as paper can immortalize anything that is.
“Yes!” He answered though it wasn’t exactly what he started to say.
But no, he completed his sentence after getting rid of the webs on his face. He is starting to miss Rivendell’s library.
“As small as it is... the books are not ash. You can give it that much.”
Well… yes of course. And most of all considering that the library of lord Elrond’s house is small only in comparison for this one. Rivendell’s library is quite large enough and offer an excellent variety of books and of books of quality.
And the books and scrolls I needed that weren’t a part of the collection of the Last Homely House because… Too inaccurate (I have what was at the time an excellent book of healing… About 500 years before my birth. There was some researches made later that… Well… It is not the subject), or incomplete, I managed to get at some point one way or another.
And then I made a dreadful, dreadful mistake. Or. Actually it was but one out of two.
I told my dearest friend that if we cleaned up and repaired the place a bit, it’d be still usable.
“You would need a small army armed with brooms and knives to battle these webs. But aye, it could be done. He answered.
-Or I just need you to pass through them.” Teasing him really sounded like a good idea. Well, it always sounds like a good idea anyway.
-Why don't you lead the way, eh? See how you like it! I will be tasting this web for weeks”
Well, the idea was charming, really but I rather enjoyed letting him lead the way, as I told him.
We made our way back down the stairs and then I made my second dreadful, terrible mistake. Actually I really wonder how I could have been so… er… careless. I know him!
Anyway. He stopped after passing near a very, very large cobweb and debris and stood there looking at the wall. He asked me if I saw that, a mark on the wall. Then he suggested I look closer and like a slow-thinking elfling… I did came closer to look.
And got shoved right into the cobweb for my effort.
Who in his right mind, knowing Tyulussë, wouldn’t have seen that coming?
And I fell. I tried to pull him with me in it but he managed to stay upright and out of the web.
“You deserved that." He said… and to be fair… I quite deserved it, yes.
"I much preferred for you to be in it…” was my answer.
It was entirely, completely, utterly disgusting.
He helped me up and got some of it out of my hair.
“I should have seen that coming, I suppose... We're in a fine state... I guess we'll have to jump in the river to get rid of it all.
-Perhaps. Have you seen enough of the library, Laure, or would you continue?”
He yelped as I couldn’t help but hug him. Caring is sharing, and all that…
“Oh how I miss the simple luxury of a bath.” Noted Tyulussë.
It was rather funny to watch him walk while trying to shake off the webs. Another moment I am not going to forget anytime soon.
By the fire, Laurelindo chuckled, looking over at Tyulussë who just returned his look with a smile. Laurelindo checked on the little fox chewing a bit of meat next to him before turning again on to his journal.
I suppose we both have… unforgettable memories of this perfect day. Cobwebs and all, though I’d rather have done without said cobwebs.
“The river isn’t so bad, you know.
-No, I suppose not, but it is growing cold.”
Well Tyulussë was right, it is growing cold and the river is not exactly safe either, on top of being cold. Though I couldn’t help but ask:
“Does that mean you wish to go back home soon?
-A bit I suppose. I wonder what the rest of the Harp and Pillar are up to without us.”
At this I couldn’t help but smile. I answered him that:
“They are probably relieved for the calm... That or there was an accident with the poison I left behind and they are promptly cursing me.”
Both are possible after all…
Though, in all honesty, I rather wonder too. I did leave in the middle of a research. Though it’ll be hard getting back into the habit of juggling between personal research and work in the healing house, and music. I am not giving up playing or writing music on the account of a badly handled work scheduled.
Though I really like being in Eregion and truth be told, I would probably just stay here if I could. And probably getting killed within a month…. Bad idea overall.
Tyulussë answered me by saying that:
“You know they must miss us. Eliriael is likely worried sick.”
Well… some of our friends are likely worried to know we are together in Eregion. Not sure which part is the most worrying though.
“You don’t think they’d be so glad to see us back home that they’d let me get and keep a baby spider from Mirkwood do you?”
When I said that I tried my best to look innocent. And Tyulussë, dear, suicidal, insane Tyulussë, suggested that: “We could always head to the Greenwood for our next adventure.”
Right. Sure. Once the damn spiders in question have disappeared along with their webs and nests. I fell once in one and I have no wish for a repeat performance, thank you very much. I told as much to Tyulussë and it seemed to amuse him.
We crossed the river again, rather fast, and got to a nicer spot to bath and camp this night. Considering our respective state of dress (yes, cobweb is totally the last fashion) we left our bags on the ground, along with our weapons and our boots and jumped in the river all clothed. We got rid of the webs that way.
“By ELBERETH, that’s cold!” Yelped Tyulussë when we jumped in the water and I must admit he was right.
But it felt good to get rid of the webs. Oh and I managed to pull Tyulussë under the water with me. I know, it’s a trick barely worthy of an elfling but it was just too good to pass.
Tyulusse says, and here I quote: “Incorrigible!
-You know you love me that way...
-Do not press your luck.” Was his answer but… really… He was so smiling when he said that.
We left the top of our armor to dry next to our bags… and I found a little one in dear need of company. The poor little thing… Well, a little brown fox. A young one I believe. With an injured back leg and too thin to be healthy.
“Tyulussë, come and look…
-What? What have you found?
-Do we still have meat somewhere in our bags?
-You mean the meat that I bought with my own coin when you spoiled mine in the river?”
He gave up, he probably just know me too well, and got some meat for the little fox.
“You are a dear too my friend. I’m sure he’ll be grateful.”
It seemed to amuse Tyulussë entirely too much.
“I do not remember all this cooing when I was injured, Laure.
-Would you have wanted me to?”
I almost laughed at the idea of calling him a “poor little dear”, a “little lovely one” and handfeeding him while in a camp with other elves… I may or may not try that next time he’s injured. Of course, it’s just calling for trouble but… Well… He did ask for it!
Then I may have say something along the line of:
“Sorry to break it to you my friend, but I don’t recall you being ever that cute, small and furry.
-I am very cute.
-But not small and furry… Or do you need to tell me something?
-You pay attention to your new friend, Laure. I am sure he will like you better.
-Because you don’t like me?”
I tried for a comedian teary look but… really, I just wanted to laugh. And…:
“So... do you think our young friend here could come home with us? It wouldn't be nice to leave him here. All alone... injured...
And oh the look on Tyulussë’s face…
Laurelindo chuckled softly, nose down on his book, pen still moving on the page of his journal.
“You are serious?
-Well… Yes? Look at him? He’s... Too thin, he limps, he wouldn't survive long without food and care...”
I dare say Tyulussë tried to appear stern and resolute but he made a grave mistake if it was really his intent. He looked at the cutest little fox ever born.
His sight was my answer.
“You would find the one little creature in all of Eregion that needs help.
-He’s so cute. Besides… You like him too, I’m sure.
-I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about. He’s eating my meat.
-Of course. Weren’t you decided to go fishing?”
Conversations with Tyulussë were always fun.
“I think I will go about setting a fire so you do not freeze in those wet clothes. And then you should bring our… your new friend to join us.”
He did correct his mistake but he said it! He said it, he said it! OUR new friend. OUR!! He likes this fox, I just know it! And he admitted it! Ah!
Once he had the fire going, he helped me clean and bandaged the wound on the fox’s leg. Or more to the point, I held the fox, while he cleaned and bandaged his wound.
“You’d have helped him on your own I’m sure. I couldn’t help but tell him.
-I will deny it to the death.”
Of course he would.
I am sure they will get along marvelously! That is, if that little one will come home with us. For all he is injured and hungry, he is still a wild animal and if he leaves and hides from us…
This day have proven nice and quite entertaining. I just hope we will escape trouble until morning.
Laurelindo closed his journal on these words and put it back in his bag, checking around quickly to make sure all was still peaceful.