Late in the afternoon, Adri returned to her little room to attend to her laundry and to clean her armour. She took a break to write some more on a new sheet of parchment.
Things went on in that way for a few days, with Mirwen teaching me signs and getting me to tell her stuff, and Norien mostly there to make sure I got to eat, drink, and sleep. I still got a daily bath, too. I asked about that, and they said it was partly to keep me from getting bed sores, whatever those are.
Along about the fourth day of such learning, Fingwen came to see me again. She tried apologising about knocking me out, but I wouldn't hear of it. I still didn't have the right words for all of what I wanted to say to her, but she was quicker on the uptake than most, so it didn't take long to get her told that I knew she'd kept me from hurting myself. She said she should have figured I'd react so badly, and I got it across to her that, even though she's a right good guesser, she just didn't know enough about me for that, and it wasn't her fault. I told her to ask Mirwen about that.
Well, Mirwen was all set to go on about what she thought of how I was treated. 'They treat her like an animal! Her own mother cast her out into such mistreatment! That's the animal! No, they're worse than beasts!' I reckon, from the look on her face, she wanted to call my mum an Orc, but wasn't sure how I'd take it. I was getting used to the scholar by then, of course, after four days with her. I knew she pretty much lived in the library, and didn't have much experience out in the world. I figured Fingwen did have such experience, and maybe she could get her calmed down.
It was all working according to that plan until Mirwen mentioned how young I was when mum threw me out. Then Fingwen went rigid. She was standing straight as a post, and her hands were in fists down at her sides. Her eyes were glowing. I've learnt since how elves' spirits can show through, and I guess that was happening. I mean, there were extra shadows from this glowing, it was so bright. And I know I've said before that I thought someone wanted to snort fire, but this time... I reckon she might have iffen she'd been breathing at all. Even the scholar stopped talking, though I reckon that was because she finally got somebody else so outraged over how I'd been treated.
That stretched on long enough I was getting worried that either the elf or the building was going to burst into flames. I reckon she saw me fidget or something, because she shook her head and came over to me, and knelt down to hold me about the shoulders. She kissed my brow lightly and told me, 'I'll be back, soon. Tomorrow at the latest, I promise.' She left, then, in a swirl of skirts as she stalked off real fast and real stiff-backed.
I didn't feel too good about having her leave again, of course. I tried not to cry about it, but that tea still had me muzzy and so I did cry. I reckon Mirwen figured out then how attached I was to Fingwen, because she looked kinda sheepish and was more gentle with me the rest of the day. Between what she'd been teaching me, and her being more
coop agreeable, I finally got the story of how I came to be in Imladris.
I'm sure anyone reading this is ahead of me once again, since I already told how 'the twins' were mentioned. But I didn't even know about them before. I barely knew about elves and Lord Elrond. So it had to be explained to me how his twins, Elrohir and Elladan, are kind of a big deal with elves, since they don't have twins much. That, and how their mum, Celebrian, got messed up by some orcs, and she done sailed West over it, leaving Elrond and the three children behind. The twins take out their feelings on orc-bloods any time they can find an excuse. So, even in that blizzard where we got caught, they were out hunting orcs and goblins (same word – yrch – in Sindarin), and that has everything to do with how I was still alive.
See, just as I got run through and was blacking out, the twins came upon the fight, finally close enough that even that blizzard didn't stop them from seeing. Now, even a street-scut like me knows that most places you injure somebody by surprise, it makes their hands clench – but some few places make them open up instead. They didn't want that sword coming back out of me, so Elladan shot that orc in the kidney, and right after in the back of the neck just under his skull-cap. Scratch one orc, and the sword was still in me to keep me from bleeding out too fast. They made quick work of the rest of them orcs, too, being thousands of years old and knowing what they were doing, unlike our little caravan.
After that, they caught me up and had a word with their horses. Elladan stayed to organise the rest of the caravan and help them out, and Elrohir took me in a hurry, leading me on his brother's horse. Later, after I could talk again, and met him, he told me that even as fast as their horses could go when they understood why, I only lived through the trip because bleeding to death and freezing to death were getting in each other's way. Fresher horses ran word ahead of him when he got in sight of the north way into Imladris, and it didn't take long before the healers there did what they could for me, including calling in Lord Elrond himself, like I said before. Even at that, it was a real touchy thing, and that was why they had to keep me knocked out so long after – so that I wouldn't move around and mess up what they did.
Telling me all that – half in Sindarin for the teaching – took long enough that it was time for me to sleep again. I guess somewhere in the telling and the teaching I kinda forgave Mirwen, too, though I was mad at her to start with after Fingwen left. Besides, I could hardly hold it against either of them that they thought I was worth caring about, like nobody back in Esgaroth ever really had besides Magpie and Wren.
A deep breath in, and she blow it out, making her hair flutter around her face. 'Now tha's a thin' t' think on. For all I gets almos' baffled by it, folks 'ere is carin' abou' me, too. I oughta try bein' nicer about it, 'stead o' jus' showin' 'ow c'fused I gets from it.' She shook her head at herself and cleaned up her writing materials again before going back out into the evening.