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Jun 24, 2021 5:11 PM
Catherine goes to fairyland and meets some Feanorians
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"Missed you so much."

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"Love you - can't imagine how long it was - "

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"Felt like forever. Glad we didn't try the thing where I waited for winters and winters."

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"Yeah. Never have to do it again."

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Yeah they can do a lot of that. 

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"Love you."

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"Love you. Love you so much - "

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At some point he should probably do something else but it can be a while?

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Yeah. It can be a while. At some point someone will want the room back but if they don't do any work today then probably her parents will forgive her.

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"I don't want to make a bad impression, though."

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"You brought their daughter back. You get today free. Admittedly at some point if you want continued privacy you are going to need to build us a house."

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"Building while big is a lot harder, the physics isn't nearly as friendly. I can probably figure it out, though."

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"We can also ask for help. I'll have to translate, but I'm sure someone's done it before."

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"I just got out of being indebted to everyone I talked to. I think I'll build it."

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"All right. Can I help?"

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"Of course."

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"Oh good."

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People will pretty much not care if they stay in this room until nightfall. Or, well, they'll assume that they were married somewhat more recently than they actually were, but if you think about it they were arguably married like nine days ago, so that's sort of like being correct. As long as they get to work in a few days they won't accrue any particular ill will. At some point someone might insist that they eat dinner. 

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He can't exactly introduce himself politely to her parents but he can bow and say something in Norwegian which she can translate for him. 

It'd probably be safer not to eat dinner - he's not sure if the fairy claims apply to eating, in a human house, human-grown food in a field that's part of a fairy territory -

- but he doesn't want to be even stranger to her parents, and if it does it shouldn't be much debt, and so he tries a little. It turns out to be fine. 

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Her parents are kind of insistent about feeding people but not so insistent that she can't mostly handle this by not translating all of the insisting. They also talk about how Catherine and her husband are going to support themselves, and how and where they're going to build a house for themselves and the children, and everyone is mostly very sure that everything's going to work out, even if it might be hard feeding so many extra people for a bit.

They build a house. It's not elaborate, but it keeps the rain off for most of the year and the snow off of them in winter, and it means they have their own space. She and her children help with harvests and planting, and her family is willing to let her husband mostly help with animals. This is somewhat less objectionable if he can also be called on for repairs and construction when unfortunate things happen to any of the nearby buildings. After a while most of the extreme gratitude wears off, but so does most of the surprise at his various quirks, and they're left occasionally acknowledging that Catherine married a very strange man who in any case keeps her fed.

The Emperor is missing. There's a peasant revolt in the south. Another in long-occupied, stubbornly Catholic Ireland. Scandinavia's regent is its spymaster, a concubine she once knew, who orders what's left of the former royal family into hiding. They receive reports of civil war on the mainland that differ wildly in their specifics.

She learns to cook and sew and how to tell if plants are healthy. She gets pregnant again, because they're slow and they've had years and years to figure out how to make things not hurt, and this is sort of an obvious consequence. She learns new stories and dresses them up in poetry. She finds someone who knows French and learns it from them as well as she can. Her older children express that they will leave home as soon as they're of age. Her younger children occasionally ask her to tell them of fairy, and how they will live when they return to it.

And so they wait, together, season after season and year after year, for someone to tell them whether they have forever.

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