Woodwork Challenge - Drill, Peg, Sand, Polish, Level, Ruler
Characters: Maglor, Maedhros, Elrond, Elros
Book/Source: Silm (loosely), set sometime after the Kinslaying at the Havens of Sirion
Disclaimer: Middle-Earth belongs to Tolkien, I'm just playing a bit with it for fun.
Note: Many thanks to shadowycat for looking this over! All remaining faults are my own.
Creature Comforts (4 Drabbles)
Elrond observed attentively as his foster-father drilled a hole in the plank he had wedged against a rock.
“What are you making?”
Maglor looked up, giving the boy a tight smile. “A chair, for Maedhros. He would never admit it, but he gets uncomfortable sitting on the ground all the time.”
“Can I help?”
The Fëanorion looked appraisingly at his young charge. “Why not? Have you used a whittling knife before?”
Elrond shook his head. Maglor set his task aside, found a suitable knife and some wood, and beckoned the boy to join him.
“Here, hold the knife like this...”
Later, Maglor let him try for himself. Elrond bit his lip, remembering everything the Noldo had shown him, and set the knife on the piece of wood in his hand. It took some tries, but it wasn't as difficult as it looked. With a satisfied smile, Elrond carefully lifted off chip after chip until the piece was as thin as Maglor had wanted.
He held out his handiwork. “Here, I'm finished. Is this acceptable?”
Maglor examined the piece carefully. Then his face lit with a rare smile. “That's perfect, Elrond, well done! This peg will hold the whole chair together.”
Next, Maglor showed Elrond how to sand down the finished pieces. As always, the young Peredhel did as told, unasked questions on his tongue.
How should this become a chair? To him, it still looked just like two planks, one with a wide slit in it, and the other with a smaller end and another small hole.
When the wood was smooth and free of splinters, Maglor assembled all the pieces with a few grips. To Elrond's surprise, suddenly the two planks had, indeed, become a chair.
Smiling, Maglor gestured for him to sit.
“Well, what do you think? Comfy?”
Much to Elrond's disappointment, the new chair didn't improve the red-hair's mood, not even with the warm sheepskin Maglor had added. He was still as grumpy as always, and when he saw Elrond trying his new skills at carving a spoon, he scoffed:
“Quite the polished pastimes you're teaching the boy, Makalaurë!”
Elrond bit his lip. The spoon was for Maedhros, as it was difficult for him to pick out the chunks with his knife without a second hand to hold the bowl.
“Spoons today, harp's pegs tomorrow. Let me be the judge of what Elrond needs to learn, brother.”
Maedhros balanced the spoon on his finger, examining it.
“Perfectly balanced,” he said to Elrond, “well done. My brother is right, you will need that skill one day.”
Elrond swallowed when he felt Maedhros' level gaze looking him over.
“You have a kind heart, Elrond Eärendilion, young as you are. I respect and admire that. But I can't in all honesty encourage this trait in you. It will bring you only pain and loss, if you don't learn to curb it in.”
Maglor frowned. “He's to be a hardened warrior then, like you?”
“If you want him to survive, yes.”
One day, Maedhros had them draw a map. Bored silly by such lessons, Elros decorated his with doodles all over.
Elrond stared at the ruler in his hand and the small incisions marking the distance.
“Is this why a king is also called a ruler?” he asked, “because he is putting his people in the right distance to each other, so they work well together?”
Maedhros looked up. “That is a rather unusual way of imagining it. But yes, you could say that it works like that.”
Elros giggled and put a crown on the stick figure of his brother.