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21
New Daughter

For Ainaechoiriel for her birthday. Thanks to RiverOtter for the beta.

This story follows "Lesser Ring."


~~~

New Daughter


Aragorn peered into the room on the second level of the Royal Wing where his wifes young proteg now slept. Hasturnerini, the young girl his wife had rescued from the slave market in Thetos, capital of Harad, lay stiffly upon her back, her head cradled not by a pillow but by one of the wooden headrests used by her people, her beloved wooden doll lying by her. In a corner stood the inlaid gameboard Arwen had found in the same stall where used goods were sold as the doll. How any people could think to sell children into slavery to settle the debts of their parents--particularly when their parents were now dead--he could not understand.

But Hasturnerini was no longer a slave, and no longer bereft of a home. He prayed she would be happy here with Arwen and himself and their children. As a daughter shall she be to us, he thought, smiling as he saw her shift in her sleep to put her arm around the cat whod claimed her bed and company for itself. And already she garners friends and allies, he thought. Quietly he withdrew, closing the door gently to behind him. May she sleep peacefully.

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