Sigil sat by the window. What was she doing here anyway? She could be playing with Hathel or Ríst or even Wilwarin, for Heaven’s sake. She got up to leave, scolding herself for being so stupid, when a loud noise scared her. Sigil wasn’t very brave. She scurried under the bed and lay there still as a mouse. Fearfully, she looked at the door. The blast sounded again.
“Sigil! Tolo hi! ! Lord Elrond wishes to see you!”
Suddenly it all came back to her, the prank, the spiders, and the invitation to Mirkwood. Nogoth would her for that, but it was all for the best. Sigil grinned. At least for her and Hathel.
Sigil yelled “Coming!” pulled her hair into a tight bun, put on a silver flowy dress, and stepped out of her room to met Lord Elrond. Even as his goddaughter Sigil was afraid of him. Well, technically his god-granddaughter. Her mother’s father was best friends with Lord Elrond at a time, so Sigil was apparently his god-granddaughter. Elrond acknowledged that. She followed Lord Elrond into his study, a place Sigil knew he had chosen just to intimidate her. A few years back, Sigil and Hathel had snuck in to play a prank on Menel, Elrond’s daughter. Sigil had always thought that Menel was a bit of a snob, especially since everyone knew that the Prince of Mirkwood was in love with her. Once, Menel had smeared crushed chocolate beans all over Sigil’s favorite dress, and when Sigil had worn it to a party, everyone laughed at her. Sigil had not come out of her room for three days after that prank, and when she did, she took a spider and put it in Menel’s wardrobe. Sigil still remembered the golden moment when she heard a scream from Menel’s room, and Elrond had taken her for a serious talk in the study. After Elrond had reduced Sigil to tears, he found out that his daughter had really started this whole mess, and not only did he pardon Sigil, he actually pointed out to the entire city that Menel was flirting with Legolas. Discreetly, of course. And if that was not enough, Elrond called a meeting in the throne room just as Menel and Legolas were kissing. Legolas was not embarrassed, Elrond knew, because Elrond had set this up by telling Legolas to kiss her. Okay. Back to the present, where Elrond is about to lecture Sigil on her prank.
Elrond invited Sigil to sit, and said “I suppose you know why you are here?”
Sigil sat. “Yes. I gave Nogoth a false invitation to Mirkwood, and when he got there, the king sent him back. He was discovered by his mortal enemy, and he is as mad as a demon in Lorien because of it.”
Elrond grinned. “Sure. Okay, you expect me to believe that you actually did that to get Nogoth mad? I know you better than that. Who is she?”
Sigil sat and stared. “W-who?”
“Nogoth’s friend. Dont try to fool me. I know that you and Nogoth are excellent friends, and you wouldn’t do such a thing unless he asked you to.”
Sigil shrugged. “Fair enough. His friend’s name is Riel.”
Elrond grinned even wider, like a schoolboy. “Riel, eh? Garlanded Maiden? So, the Dwarf and the Garlanded Maiden. Not a bad couple. Anyhow, you are dismissed. Go find your friends and play. Lunch is yet an hour away, and I expect you to be in the ballroom with everyone else, celebrating Menel’s return from Lorien.”
Sigil rolled her eyes. Menel had left ten years ago, and today was when she was coming back. Elrond noticed the motion, and gestured for her to leave the study. As she did, she bumped into Hathel, who had been listening at the door.
“Hathel? Man carel le?“
Hathel grinned devilishly. “Listening. Hey, is Nogoth’s friend really Riel? Ha! He’ll never get another peaceful moment!”
Sigil smirked at her friend’s comment. “That he won’t. Hey, listen, did you hear that Menel is coming back today?”
Hathel groaned. “Menel! That monster who crushed chocolate beans over your best dress?”
Sigil frowned. “Yes, but why would you care, Hathel? You’re a boy? Unless you like to play dress-up?”
“That’s it! I’m counting to ten, and if you’re still in my sight when I reach ten, you’re going to wish you’d never been born,” yelled Hathel.
Silvren giggled and scurried away. Hathel ran after her swiftly, and caught her. He pushed her to the ground and tickled her until she couldn’t breathe. Suddenly, Ríst came up.
“Hi, Sigil. Hi, Hathel. Excuse me asking, but what are you doing? Flirting like Menel and Lego?”
Hathel jumped up indignantly, his face turning red. Sigil, however, took more effective action. She kicked Ríst’s ankles so he was knocked down, and quickly put her foot on top of him so he could not get up.
“Repeat your question, please?”
“Okay! You win! Let me up!”
She lifted her leg off of him, and quickly thought up some other way to tease him.
“So, Rist. Your name means…Cleaver? Hardly fit for one so… unskilled.”
To her surprise, Rist turned a bright red.
Suddenly a horse galloped by them, and Sigil pulled Rist and Hathel out of its way. The horse slowed, and backed up.
Rist stood up slowly, shaking Sigil’s hand off.
“Greetings, Menel. How are you?”
“Fine, and you?”
Menel’s expression changed oddly.
“Will you come with me to my room? There are matters I wish to discuss with you. Oh, and you can bring Hathel, too,” she added as an afterthought.
“Very well, Menel. Hathel, do you wish to come?”
The three of them galloped off, not one of them looking back at Sigil. Sigil sighed. That was the reason she disliked Menel so much. She took your friends away from you. Sigil went to the river and washed for the party. Suddenly, she felt her foot slip off of a stone. She plunged straight in.
Sigil felt water being splashed on her face, and she reluctantly ed open one eye. She immediately shut it again. After two minutes or so, she slowly opened both eyes. Standing right above her was Aina, the Healer. Aina quickly slapped some paste on Sigil’s side, and she felt her pain lessen significantly. Aina then spoke directly to her.
“Well, Sigil. Quite a fall there. I just wonder, how did you fall?”
“Fell off a rock.”
Aina sighed. “There is a young lady who wishes to see you. Menel? Do you know her..? Anyway, she saved your life, so you have something to be thankful for. I shall admit her.”
“Menel? Are… are you sure?”
“Quite sure, dear.”
Menel was admitted. She sat on the edge of Sigil’s bed. “How are you feeling?”
They sat in silence for a while. Suddenly Menel stood up. “I’d better go.”
She walked towards the door. Suddenly Sigil burst out.
“Why did you save me?”
Menel stopped. “I kind of wondered that myself. You were never very nice to me. Remember the time where you stole my necklace and Ada grounded me for a month?”
Sigil stopped. She had “forgotten” to mention that.
“And then I had to ruin your favorite dress.”
“Anyway,” Menel said, “We were never nice to each other. After I picked up Hathel and Rist, I realized that it was rude of me not to ask you to come too, and started back. Then I saw you trip, and pulled you on my horse. I rode back here as fast as I could, and got Ada.”
“Anyway, I would like both of us to forget that any of this ever happened and be friends. Is that agreeable, Sigil?”