Childhood. I. Memories of an Affectionate Sort

[Ed: Someone on Tumblr asked for a happy memory from Elspeth’s childhood. Since I am struggling with the new chapter (like A LOT), I’ve decided to share it. This will actually become relevant later.]

Xeri arrived home first, which was surprised Runa though it probably shouldn’t have, especially after last night’s discussion.

“Where’s Elspeth?” she asked, looking up from the linens she was folding.

“Is that venison stew?” Xeri ignored the question and made a beeline to the stove. As soon as she saw this, Runa practically jumped, letting the napkins and pillow covers in her lap tumble to the floor as she went to guard the stove. She was not going to let the Dunmer eat half the stew out of the pot while it was still cooking. Not again. 

“Venison stew on Turdas? What are we celebrating?” She was kidding at first, but then her face fell as she looked around the pantry.  In addition to the stew, there was a snowberry crostada cooling on the counter. “No….”

“Yes.” Runa smirked. “This is a happy occasion.”

“Well, if you’re inclined to celebrate every time you win an argument, I suppose this will be a rare occasion,” she replied, as she started rooting around the pantry for something to nosh on.  “But commemorating Elspeth’s most recent failure? That I cannot condone.“ She shook her head. “Soon it will be half-name-day parties and then there’ll be no living with her.”

“I hope so.”

“You spoil her.”

“You don’t let her have any fun.” Her comment was stern, but Runa could hardly contain her excitement. “You didn’t tell her did you?”

“I promised I wouldn’t,” Xeri replied. “After today’s training, however, she might know something’s up.”

“Why am I not surprised?”

Xeri grunted and settled in at the table with an apple and the rest of yesterday’s bread, while Runa put the linens away and set the table. Xeri rolled her eyes when she saw the two extra place settings go down. “And apparently it warrants a party.”

Runa paid her no mind, and just as she finished her chores, Elspeth trudged through the door, exhausted and dirty. She stopped in the pantry door way and looked around suspiciously. “What’s going on?” she asked, looking suspiciously at the crostada on the counter and the extra plates on the table. “Did someone die?” she looked nervously back and forth to both women, finally approaching Runa.

“Oh no my dear!” She smiled warmly at the girl. “I thought I’d make you a nice dinner and give you some news. She glanced quickly at Xeri who was shaking her head. “We’ve decided to suspend your archery training indefinitely.”

Elspeth gasped and threw her hands over her mouth for a moment before lunging forward and throwing her arms around Runa. “Oh my gods! Thank you!!!”

“Hey, why does she get all the thanks?”

“Because, I am certain it was not your idea,” Elspeth replied, her arms still tight around Runa. “Can I go tell Andil and Sina?”

“Yes, and let them know that dinner will be ready in half an hour.”

Within moments, Elspeth had thrown her cloak and boots back on and after the door slammed, the women heard shrieking all the way down the street.

NO MORE ARCHERYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

“I swear,” said Xeri, cringing at the screech of happiness that always set her teeth on edge, “that voice will kill me some day.”

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