B2MEM 2014 - Four Seasons of Arnor by Kaylee Arafinwiel

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Story Notes:

Since the Shire and the Dunedain have access to seemingly American plants such as tobacco, potatoes, tomatoes and corn, I have given the Northern Dunedain a society greatly resembling that of certain Native American tribes in my headcanon, at least in regards to their culture, including clothing, farming practices and living arrangements. I am well aware that the Dunedain are *not* Native Americans, but I think they would have the great respect for nature that Native American practices show, and living close to the land while being sure to sustain its riches rather than deplete them sounds like something they would do.


Spring

He was born in the spring. Spring had always been his favourite time of year, but never had it seemed so severe and forbidding! The buds had yet to open, and snow still swathed the North in a blanket of white.

Young Aragorn – for so he was, he reminded himself sternly, Aragorn son of Arathorn – ducked into the long house, covered in rolls of bark, that housed his family, and sank down gratefully beside Ivorwen's fire.

"It must seem cold indeed to you after the warmth of Elrond's dale, Estel," Ivorwen said, and lay her hand on his knee. At the sound of his familiar name – alien though it was to this frozen wasteland, his heart sang, and the chill eased in his bones.

"I miss it, my lady, but I will bear it, for this is my home now," he said.

Ivorwen gave him a warm smile, and the fire crackled. "You are our hope, Estel. Your foster-father named you aright. You will see," she said. "You have ever been my hope." Ladling a bowl of soup from the pot over the fire, she handed it to him, and he held it in his near-frozen hands. "Eat now, daerion."

Summer

Summers in Rivendell had never been too hot, of course. It amazed Aragorn how a season that began so mildly could blaze with such heat, as the lad worked under his grandmother and aunts' watchful eyes in the fields. Chieftain he might be, nobly born, but he would know the value of honest work in the fields as much as anywhere else.

Aragorn was determined to be accepted, and so he followed gamely behind his younger cousins, watering the corn-hills. The rays of Anor beat down fiercely on Aragorn's head; he grimaced as an unfamiliar discomfort prickled in his skin. Idhrenor, only a few years younger than Aragorn, grabbed him as Aragorn stumbled and dropped his jug on the ground.

"Aragorn, are you all right?" he demanded. Aragorn nodded numbly. He didn't feel all right. Idhrenor muttered something to their cousin Thalanir, and the other boy nodded. "Come on, Aragorn," Idhrenor urged. He led Aragorn from the field, his water jug forgotten. Soon, the young Dunadan was being tended by his aunts. Idhrenor's mother Glasdes and Thalanir's mother Brennil scolded their nephew roundly – apparently he should have noticed he was being sunburnt! Sunstroke was no laughing matter here in Arnor.

Autumn

Aragorn walked under the trees, marveling as their leaves changed colour. Time held very little sway in the Elven realms, and though he had seen the leaves change before, never had it held such meaning for him, here in his birthplace, in the Mortal lands.

Elves lived on and on, but the lives of Men were fleeting. In the eyes of their Elven kindred, they were only there for a season, and then like the leaves, they would fall. He gazed thoughtfully at the autumn foliage – red, orange, yellow, gold, and brown – and thought of the Chieftains who had come and gone before him. He thought of his own father, whose life had been all too brief, and whose rule had been no more than a season by Dunedain standards; a mere two years, his parents wed for three. How long until his own time ended?

He was the Hope of the Dunedain – he must not wither like an autumn leaf, blown away in the wind. Not before fulfilling his destiny, siring his own heirs…and he knew what that would entail. He turned his face toward faraway Lothlorien and Imladris, thinking wistfully of his love so far away.

"Arwen, vanimelda!"

Winter

Once again the snows had come. Aragorn had slowly become acclimated. At least here, he was not the only one who could not walk effortlessly atop the snow. With the snow came sledding, ice fishing, snowmen and snow angels, and his younger cousins were only too happy to teach him to play.

His elder cousins Halbarad and Hallatan watched with great fondness as their young Chieftain learned the games of Mortal Men, and they joined laughingly in the game when a snowball from Aragorn pelted Halbarad in the face. Hallatan pushed Aragorn down in the snow, and Halbarad sat on him; before the Chieftain could 'expire from snow inhalation', as Aragorn later put it, they pulled him to his feet.

"How do you find the winter here, nephew? Is it more chill than the early spring?" Arneth, his eldest aunt, came with a steaming mug of broth for him. "Do not sit on Aragorn, please, ionnath-nin. He has no wish to be suffocated, I am sure."

"Yes, Nana," Halbarad and Hallatan chorused, and Aragorn laughed.

"It is far colder than I am used to, I fear, Aunt. But I think I feel at home." He sipped the broth, and smiled.




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