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Star-touched by Celeritas

Author: Celeritas
Title: Star-touched
Rating: G
Theme: Mad as a March Hare
Elements: warm and sunny
Author's Notes: Written for both B2MEM 2010 and this challenge; in my rush to get it done I clean forgot that I had plotted it to fit with both challenges. As such, the weather is not explicit--but it's still there. This fic borrows, with permission, Dreamflower's Eucatastrophe universe, in which after the destruction of the One Ring, the Straight Road is opened up both ways so that elves and others (Frodo, for instance) may travel to Middle-earth from Elvenhome. A brighter AU of my Kira fics.
Summary: Kira meets a very important elf.
Word Count: 1,230

“Star-touched” was the nice word for it. The not-so-nice ones included “daft” and “cracked.” But the words—all of them—had lost their sting in years passed. After all, someone wise once said, a cracked glass lets more light through. And so, even though it seemed more and more hobbits were cracking by the day, no one could really deny that the Shire had become a better place for it. The old words were falling out of use.

So Lagro Proudfoot was most astonished at how little he minded the fact that his daughter was cracking, when he finally figured it out. Rosemary minded it a little more, it was true, but then she did not have quite the same understanding with Kira that Lagro did. She’d inherited his bad heart, after all, and he knew that you had to have some sort of pursuit to keep you going, for it was better to die busy than to linger idle. For him it had always been the orchard and the cider press. For her, it looked as if it was turning into books and elves and the dust of the past.

He was relieved, honestly. He had only begun to understand his family’s worry for him once Kira was born, and it was far easier to overwork yourself in the field than hunched over a book.

But she was star-touched, and he could not help being a little sad over that.

He should have figured it out when she learned to read so quickly, when she started taking extra lessons, when she asked if she could help out at the Mathom-house. Even when she returned home, bright-eyed, saying that a real life Elf had stopped in, he’d just written it off as the curiosity of youth.

Now, however, it couldn’t be ignored.

They were taking their time back from High Hole, enjoying the fine late spring after being stuffed into propriety for a week, and as the lads were riding in the cart, Kira was walking alongside on the grass not too far from the road. That should have been cause for warning, since the ground was still soft from the rains, but they had all—Kira especially—quite forgotten that a crutch will sink much farther into the ground than a foot will. And so, right after they had crossed over a little stream, down went the crutch, and down went Kira. Rosemary was over to tend on her in an instant, of course, and Lagro quickly pulled the cart to a stop to see what exactly had happened.

After a lot of cooing, and just a little weeping on Kira’s part, they determined that she had, at the very least, sprained her wrist, if not actually broken it. This hurt Kira more than the pain of her wrist; she actually bawled. And while Lagro told her matter-of-factly that it was no real concern—she’d just have to ride in the cart the rest of the way, and they’d find her plenty of things to do at home—he felt a twinge of pity for her. After all, it was her “walking hand,” and without being able to use her crutch she was essentially immobile.

“Come on,” he said, “let’s get you into the cart,” and he bent down to pick her up, but Kira began to shake her head and would have planted her feet if both of them worked. It was swiftly turning into an altercation, and would have gotten much worse if the faint clip of hooves had not come up from behind. Kira saw him before anyone else did, and her eyes widened. An Elf it was, and on a white horse.

“Is there aught the matter?”

Rosemary was the first to recover. “My daughter appears to have sprained her wrist. It would not be a matter of importance, normally, only she is crippled and needs that hand to move about.”

“May I see if I can help? I am no expert in leechcraft”—for an Elf, Lagro thought, but he did not say anything—“but I will see what I may do, if you will let me.”

Lagro nodded. The Elf bent down over Kira and began to feel at her wrist. “What is your name, child?”

“Kira Proudfoot,” she said, and her voice was surprisingly calm, Lagro thought.

“I am called Finrod,” said the Elf, and no one—not even the lads, who were considerably put out at the delay—could help from gasping, just a little. Everyone had heard of Lord Finrod—one of the great heroes of old, of long before there were even hobbits, who had died and yet come back and, when the Straight Road was opened, sailed over to Middle-earth to learn and love mortals, just as Gandalf had for many long years. “I wonder what his wife must think of that?” Rosemary had said, once, the only time they had talked of him, but Lagro merely laughed, put his arms around her, and said that what the Fair Folk did was their own business. To which Rosemary had replied that she didn’t think much of any of the Fair Folk poking their noses in theirs—but she seemed not to mind too much now, since Lord Finrod had managed to quiet Kira down.

“It is sprained,” he said, “though not dislocated or broken, and you may be grateful for that. Still, she should not use it for some time. Let me see if I can splint it,” and he walked off into the nearby woods. Kira’s gaze followed him.

In a short time, Lord Finrod came back with a couple of stout sticks, and began to pare them down. Kira began asking him questions—what he was doing here, what great heroic figures of the past looked like, how and when he learned of the Fall of Sauron from the Blessed Land. The Elf-lord laughed, but not rudely, as some might, and tried to keep up with her pace. Meanwhile Lagro had to go back and keep his sons occupied—if not entertained, since the novelty of the Elf had worn off surprisingly quickly and they were now getting jealous that Kira had all the attention. Within fifteen minutes the splint was ready, and Finrod was rubbing some sort of salve into Kira’s wrist, already red and swollen. He gave the rest to Rosemary, with instructions on when to use it, eased Kira into the cart, and then mounted his horse.

“But—but I haven’t finished yet!” said Kira.

“Never mind that,” said Finrod. “It is better for you to be with your family, do you not think? You, after all, are very young, and I have an entire lifetime to meet you again and continue our conversation. Farewell!”

And though Kira was dumbfounded and not a little disappointed, at least she was in the cart and she did not screech the way he feared she would have. When they arrived home a few slender volumes were waiting for them at the Post, all ascribed to Kira, and she recovered speedily enough that way.

But Lagro had seen how Kira had interacted with that Elf, and there was no denying it anymore—his daughter was star-touched. He did not mind it terribly, but at the same time he hoped his sons would not follow the same path.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 24th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
Hmm... I'd gladly suffer a sprained wrist for a chance to ask a bunch of questions of Finrod...
Mar. 24th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
As would I! Thank you!
Mar. 25th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
A really lovely tale. Thanks for sharing it.
Mar. 25th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
You're most welcome, and thanks for the review!
Mar. 30th, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
I’d bookmarked this to read later when I was feeling more able at the time these were posted and, I confess shamefacedly, I forgot until today but it was worth the wait!

I just really liked this and, I admit, I’ve always liked Finrod.
Mar. 31st, 2010 05:57 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading this! I've always liked Finrod, too, and I always thought he'd love taking every opportunity he could to interact with hobbits--whether in a canon setting (i.e., discussing the evolution of Adunaic with B.B. in Eressea) or in this even friendlier AU.
Mar. 31st, 2010 08:19 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading this!
You're very welcome! I was very caught up in it!

I always thought he'd love taking every opportunity he could to interact with hobbits
I could very easily see that which was probably why I got so caught up in it.

One of the best parts, I felt, when I was reading was that this was from the point of view of Lagro so we got to see his thoughts, especially when Finrod appeared.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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