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4
After the Ball

“They’re still dancing,” one small, tired voice whispered.

“The music stopped long ago,” the other murmured sleepily.

The twins were sitting with their grandfather on the dais in the ballroom. Their very first ball had just come to an end, and they were very drowzy. But they didn’t want the night to end, and clearly, neither did their parents. Ada was elegantly dressed in dark green velvet. Mama looked radiant in pale blue silk, her long hair unbound in shimmering white-blond waves. They danced across the floor, their eyes never wavering from each other, soft smiles gracing their faces.

“They look as if they had just fallen in love,” the first voice said wistfully.

“As it should be,” their grandfather answered. “Your parents have loved each other for a very long time.”

“Even before we were born?” came the startled question.

“Indeed,” he replied, smiling down at them. “They loved each other even before they realised it themselves.” He sighed happily. “We should all be so lucky to find a love like theirs.”

In silence, they watched the pair glide around the ballroom. Ada would twirl Mama, and Mama would laugh when she returned to his arms, and then she would kiss him quickly. The pattern continued until they swept in front of the dais and stopped. The girls, who had been lulled by the dance, were roused with a gasp. Ada bent to lift one daughter in his arms, and Mama picked up the other.

“We saved the last dance for you,” Ada said quietly, and began a new dance. Mama followed, humming a tune to dance to.

Thranduil watched the family as they moved around the floor. His eyes lingered on them for a moment before looking up to the balcony where a musician remained. With a slight nod, the musician started to play his violin. The soft music cascaded down; both Legolas and his wife looked surprised and grateful at the same time. The addition of music, played in a gentle lullaby, made his granddaughters cuddle further into their parents’ embrace, yawn, and then they fell asleep.

When the music faded to and end, the couple left the ballroom with their sleeping children. Thranduil stood, then stretched, and gave the command for the lights to dim and the servants to find their beds. It had been his granddaughters’ first ball, and it had been a wonderful night.

~~~

I know I used 'Mama' instead of 'Nana' or 'Naneth'. My two biggest reasons for doing so are that one (Nana) sounds like what I used to call my great-grandma and what most children call their grandmothers. The other (Naneth) sounds too much like a proper name than what a young elf-child would call their mother. Besides, the girls' mother insists on being called 'Mama'. :-)


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