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Jun 24, 2021 4:36 PM
Catherine goes to fairyland and meets some Feanorians
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So fairies are very very fast. And that's why they can't be seen, the way you lose track of an arrow after someone lets it go. 

 

" - I don't know whether it's rude to ask questions."

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" - it's not rude but I might answer them, right, and you don't know anything about me."

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She narrows her eyes in puzzlement and silently laments that the British are always right about everything.

She spends a few moments trying to think how to get more information about what's happened to her without asking any questions, and then decides that she'd better just ask her son.

"Are you all right?"

     Nodnod.

"Can you tell me what happened?"

     Headshake.

"Anything?"

     Sniffle. "You freezed. He gave me some meat but it tasted funny. And you stayed freezeded for a whole day."

- oh, lovely. She's been in the fairy realm for half a minute and her son has already eaten their food, that's great. 

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"Would you like some?"

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"No. Thank you."

She's not sure whether saying 'thank you' is dangerous, it seems like the sort of thing that could be, but not thanking people for things sounds just as dangerous, when she puts it that way. Really she should just go, back to her party and back to the castle and back to the Emperor, as grim a fate as that is. Unless Ingolfr can't go back, in which case she has no idea what she should be doing but still feels like she should be suspicious of fairy food on principle.

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He reaches into his clothes and pulls out a little chunk of raw meat and eats it, watching her thoughtfully.  "You didn't mean to come here."

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"No, I didn't."

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"I have heard more stories in which humans came here on purpose - needing something to happen faster, or wanting to see us, or wanting to flee something - but maybe more humans wander in by accident, on the whole, I wouldn't know."

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"I've heard of both. 

"I'm not sure which group it tends to go better for."

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"Hey, I didn't come here for you either. And I didn't tell him a story, even when he said he needed one."

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She's not really sure what that means. Or, well, she knows what it means, but she doesn't know its significance.

 

She is very unsure what's going to happen if she steps out of the ring. Probably the only thing for it is to test it, but if she leaves and Ingolfr doesn't, then he'll have to go another day (or two, or more, who knows how time works in fairy) without food, and if that happens she's sure to lose him. Really he already needs something else to eat, unless fairy food lasts forever or something.

She sits down in the grass to breastfeed Ingolfr. She's been trying to focus on the baby, who, after all, can't eat anything else, but it's the only food she has with her. 

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He seems fascinated. 

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That's kind of weird but whatever. Maybe fairies grow on trees or something.

She sings to her child. Eventually she has two sleeping children in her arms, at which point she muses that she did not entirely think this plan through.

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"If you're going to stay awhile we could go somewhere nicer."

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"I'm trying to think how likely it is that he'll disappear again if I try to carry him out."

(She doesn't really believe that this doesn't count as a question. She just doesn't know what else to do.)

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"He'll slow back down eventually if he doesn't eat anything else. But not right away. In a few days, maybe."

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She holds him tight. 

"I'm not sure it's possible to feed them both for several days without eating anything myself. But if he's stuck, for the moment, then I suppose we all are."

This is terrifying. It is also something of a relief, no matter how sternly she tells herself that fairies are definitely a worse problem than any of her existing problems. Her existing problems are just bad in ways she already understands, and as long as she doesn't understand the fairies, there's always the vain hope that they might be less terrible than her current circumstances.

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"Stuck?" He gestures at her still entourage, in the distance. "They're stuck. He's not. You're not, either, even if you want to be. I don't really see why most humans want to be. It seems like dying, but without any of the things that'd make dying entertaining."

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"They don't feel slow. They feel like they're taking a hike on a lovely spring day. And if I don't go back with them at some point - well, maybe I'd be able to see my other children again, but I don't expect they'd be able to see me."

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"Other children," he says thoughtfully. 

 

"You could leave them instructions. It'd be very expensive, I would imagine, but it wouldn't be impossible. You could tell them where to find you."

 

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"I don't know that they'd come. Or be allowed to come, if they wanted to." Also she is not sure whether getting whisked away to fairyland is really in anybody's best interests.

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"You conceived them, and bore them, and fed them?"

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"Yes?"

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"Then who on this earth has a claim to rival yours?"

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"I don't know whether it would be inconsiderate to answer that with something resembling a story."

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