An Aussie in King AragornÂ’s Court ~ Part 31

A little bit of Oz ~ Strictly Ballroom

Girlish laughter tinkled across the meadow of sun-kissed elanor and niphredil, as the softest of breezes lulled the ornamental flower heads to bob and sway, as if in time to the music that rang out from the Clie player. The song itself, seemed to embrace the new day with joyous longing. Bobbing its head in time with the beat, a showy bird resplendent with colour, perched itself on one of Támurile’s knees. Coralie lay on her stomach amongst the long stemmed flowers, laughing in front of the child. Her crimson skirt rippled lazily about her in such bright contrast, that it held the semblance of poured claret upon a verdant sea of flowered grass.

You’re just too good to be true.
Can’t take my eyes off of you.
You’d be like heaven to touch.
I want to hold you so much.
At long last love has arrived.
And I thank God I’m alive.
You’re just too good to be true.
Can’t take my eyes off of you.

Pardon the way that I stare.
There’s nothing else to compare.
The sight of you leaves me weak.
There are no words left to speak.
But if you feel like I feel.
Please let me know that it’s real.
You’re just too good to be true.
Can’t take my eyes off of you.

I love you Baby,
And if it’s quite all right,
I need you Baby
To warm the lonely night.
I love you Baby.
Trust in me when I say:
Oh Pretty Baby,
Don’t bring me down, I pray.
Oh Pretty Baby,
Now that I found you. Stay.

And let me love you, Baby.
Let me love you …

You’re just too good to be true.
Can’t take my eyes off of you.
You’d be like heaven to touch.
I want to hold you so much.
At long last love has arrived.
And I thank God I’m alive.
You’re just too good to be true.
Can’t take my eyes off of you.

I love you Baby,
And if it’s quite all right,
I need you Baby
To warm the lonely night.
I love you baby.
Trust in me when I say:
Oh Pretty Baby,
Don’t bring me down, I pray.
Oh Pretty Baby,
Now that I found you. Stay.

Oh Pretty Baby.
Trust in me when I say:

I need you Baby,
When will you come my way
Oh Pretty Baby,
Now that IÂ’ve found you stay,
And let me love you, Baby,
Let me love youÂ…Â…

“He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me…….”

“What are you doing?” Coralie’s musings were suddenly interrupted by Legolas’ voice from behind. Blushing, she gave Támurile a mortified look, which clearly said “Why didn’t you warn me?” to the child who sat giggling into her hand as she sat in the long flowered grass of the meadow.

Trying not to spill the seeds from her hand, which the bird was pecking at, she rolled over to lie on her back with her arm extended for the birdÂ’s benefit, to see both Legolas and Gimli looking down at her enquiringly. She could tell by the twinkle in their eyes, especially GimliÂ’s, that she had been overheard by them both.

“Oh um, I’m, um, feeding this bird,” she tried to explain as she blushed again, unconsciously reaching one hand down to smooth out the ruffles of her flared skirt. Legolas and Gimli looked down at her, both rather pleased to find Coralie wearing a skirt and blouse. The unusual design of both drew their eye. The crimson ruffled skirt flared out around her in the grass exposing her bare feet and ankles, whilst the white blouse, caught in the middle with a ribbon to match her skirt, hung a little off her shoulders. Gone was the warrior maiden of the past few days, much to their great relief and pleasure, for here lay Coralie, looking altogether sweet and perhaps even a little vulnerable as she lay there blushing up at them from the long grass.

“This makes for a pleasant change,” thought Gimli to himself, as he cast an approving eye over Coralie. Támurile’s giggling diverted his attention from Coralie for a moment, and looking over at the Elven child, he reluctantly broke the spell.

“Child. What sort of bird is that?” he asked with surprise. Reaching over, she switched off the Clie after the song finished playing. Legolas blinked a little as Coralie sat up with the embarrassed realisation, that they had been staring at each other for some time before Gimli spoke up.

“Yes,” Legolas added quickly, walking over to Támurile. “Where did you find it? I’ve never seen anything of its like before.”

“There are Australians dropping out of the skies everywhere, “ laughed Coralie, as Gimli looked up all of a sudden, half expecting something to drop down upon them all, right there and then.

“I mean this bird here, Gimli.”

He looked at the bird and scratched his head as he joined her on the grass. Legolas also sat down beside her, noting that her blush had now faded to an attractive pale pink as it swept across her cheeks. “Lady, you mean to say that this is an Australian bird?” he asked now examining the creature in detail. It was the most unusual bird he had ever seen. For the most part, a pale grey shade, swooped over its wings and tail, darkening gently along its wing quills and tail tip. The bird had a rosy breast and face, pink enough to match the blush, which Coralie had previously worn. Yet, it also possessed an unusual pale pink crest which it fluffed up every now and then as it eyed the Elf curiously, almost as if it were actually listening to the conversation round about. Legolas quickly dismissed that thought, and reasoned that the bird’s responses were due mostly to the Elven company, rather than any particular intelligence on its part. Every now and then, it would break its pose to reach down and delicately accept a seed from Támurile’s open palm.

Coralie waved a hand in front of the bird. “Legolas, Gimli. This is a galah. It is a native bird of Australia, normally found in the bush. How it came to be here in Lothlórien, I have absolutely no idea,” she said shaking her head.

“A galah?” asked Legolas. ‘Seems, that I have heard that word somewhere before.” Legolas thought for a moment, and then as he suddenly remembered, a smile flashed across his face.
“A flaming galah! That’s what you called me that morning in your bedchamber. I wondered what you meant. Now I know,” he smiled both at the memory and the very evidence of the word, sitting before him now, in Támurile’s lap.

Gimli raised his eyebrows. “In her bed-chamber?” he asked, his eyes dancing with amusement at the Elf, who in turn suddenly developed a pinkish shade to his skin at Gimli’s question. “If I didn’t know better, Sir Elf, I would say that it was now your turn to blush,” he snorked.

Legolas coughed a little before continuing. “Lady, where did you find this bird exactly?”

“Well, now that is the most curious thing of all. We heard it call from that part of the woods this morning,” Coralie said as she pointed to the green coppice behind her. “As soon as I heard it, I knew something was up. They make a distinctive ‘chi-chi’ type of sound. So we followed the sound and found the bird….. but that’s not all…..” said Coralie enticingly.

“Not all? What do you mean?” asked Legolas, his curiosity aroused.

“I’ll let Tammy tell the rest, I can see the poor child is almost beside herself with the news.”

She had barely finished when Támurile broke in. “You should see it! We found the most unusual tree in the forest over there, and you should see what is in it!” she rattled off, full of excitement.

Before Legolas and Gimli could respond to this statement, a raucous bird call, suddenly danced above their heads, and was soon joined by another of its like to match. The very air seemed to dance with avian laughter.

“By Eru! What was that?” exclaimed Legolas and Gimli together, looking up in alarm.

Coralie and Támurile fell to giggling while their two male companions looked at them as though they had lost their wits.

Wiping her eyes, Coralie replied.

“That, Gentlemen was a kookaburra’s laugh, well a couple of them really, and they were laughing at us from their home in the gum tree we stumbled upon.”

“You mean just like that song you were singing with the Hobbits before? I thought you were making that up!” exclaimed Gimli with wide eyes.

“Gum tree?” queried Legolas.

“Yes. Believe it or not, Támurile and I found a gum tree in the forest aways. This poor Galah was sitting on the ground beneath looking rather forlorn, with the kookaburras harassing it, for they are quite territorial and don’t really like to share their tree with other birds if they consider them to be a threat of some sort. Though this poor galah would hardly be considered a threat. That’s what they were doing by laughing like that. Letting everyone know, that this was their home, and no interlopers will be tolerated!”

“Why didn’t the galah fly away?” asked Gimli.

Coralie pointed to one of the galah’s wings. “Look here! Its wing has been clipped so it cannot fly away. It’s a tame bird, and I suspect it was someone’s pet,” she looked a little wistfully at Támurile who sat enchanted, feeding the bird some seeds in her lap. “But I think it may have found a new owner!”

Támurile’s smile brightened at Coralie’s words. “Can I really keep it Princess?” she asked.

“I don’t see why not. I think you and the bird go together very well, Sweetie,” said Coralie. “And I know for a fact that this bird desires company, and would be very sad trying to live here and fend for itself all alone. It wouldn’t survive very long. Especially with its wings clipped and all.”

“Would you be so kind as to take us to the tree, Lady? For I would like to see this ‘phenomena’ for myself,” said Legolas with Gimli nodding in the background.

Suddenly, fair Elven voices descended upon the foursome as Séretur, Intyalle, and Márinde along with two other male children skipped over. Legolas looked up with Gimli at the sudden intrusion, noting silently, that each of the Elven girls were dressed in a similar style to Coralie and Támurile, with matching skirts and blouses.

“We’re here for our dancing lesson, Princess, “chimed Séretur and Márinde together. Eyes wide open in surprise, the children came to a sudden halt.

“What sort of a bird is that?” they all cried together at once, breaking their initial silence.

“It’s a galah! A native bird from my homeland, Australia.” Coralie replied with a smile.

“But how did it get here?” asked Séretur shaking his head.

Legolas stood up and helped Coralie to her feet as Gimli did the same with Támurile, who then held the bird aloft proudly on her arm. Gathering around with fascination, the children stroked the bird’s feathers gently one by one. The galah cocked its head at each of the children, and gently twittered at the attention it clearly delighted in.

“We were just about to learn more about that, when you arrived,” said Legolas.

“Come!” cried Támurile to the children. “Follow me, and I will show you.” Gimli and the children followed after Támurile as Legolas held out his arm for Coralie.

“What style of dress do you call this?” he asked admiringly, noting the elegant silk embroidered sleeves that fell three quarters of the way down her arm, flaring into a bell shape above her wrists. The neckline swept across her shoulders with lace detail, and had been cleverly interwoven with a red ribbon tied at the centre in a pretty bow. Her red silk skirt caught at the waist with a sash, dropped elegantly just above her ankles, into a ruffled hemline.

“This is a peasant blouse and skirt that the girls and I made together. Aren’t they clever? Do you like it?” she said breaking away for a moment to twirl around in front.

“Yes very much, Lady,” smiled Legolas as he bent down to quickly pluck a small golden flower from the grass. He handed it to her as she took his arm again. “But need I remind you that you are no peasant?”

Coralie laughed as she took both his arm and held the flower delicately to her nose. “This is considered quite fashionable where I come from, Legolas. Besides it is pretty, so that makes it worth wearing.”

“Well, I would have to agree with you there,” he laughed in reply.

Presently, they came to the gum-tree that stood in the centre of a small grove of trees that grew along the far side of the meadow. The pungent scent of Eucalyptus washed over them as they gazed up in wonder. Artapel was waiting under the tree, lost in deep reverie searching the lofty branches above with his eyes.

Legolas looked a little coolly at him as Artapel looked over and acknowledged them. “I thought your post was beside i titheniel?”

“Now, don’t go getting your knickers in a knot Legolas. I told him to wait here while Tammy and I went to get the rest of the children. I knew they would be coming to meet us here in the meadow. Besides, he’s seen the kids a thousand times, but this tree,” she looked up for a moment and drew a deep breath filling her nostrils with the clean scent of the leaves. “Can you blame him? Anyway, what could possibly happen to me here in Lothlórien?”

Legolas wandered over to the tree and felt the flaky bark carefully with his fingers. For a moment he closed his eyes and leaned his head against the tree as though listening. Gradually opening his eyes, he strode back to where Coralie stooped down to pick up a eucalyptus leaf that had fluttered softly to the earth at her feet.

“It’s a Rose Gum, a eucalyptus tree, one of the tallest that grows in our bush. This one must be at least fifty metres tall!” she said craning her neck back as her eyes swept up the grand stature of the tree. “There are the kookaburras!” They each followed her hand upward to where she pointed. Sitting high up on a branch together were two kookaburras looking curiously down at them with their heads cocked slightly to one side. As if to announce that indeed they had finally arrived in their new home of Lothlórien, the pair opened wide their beaks to claim their new territory.

Everybody jumped, save Coralie who clapped her hands with delight. “I just can’t get over it. How on Earth did this happen?” she wondered aloud.

“I could well ask the same question about your presence here, Lady, for that is a pleasant wonder to me also,” said Legolas, breaking his gaze away from the tree momentarily to look at Coralie. She felt the blush beginning to deepen in her cheeks again when Artapel called their attention.

“What are those creatures?” he asked with astonishment.

Artapel had wandered around to the other side of the tree in order to try and get a better view of the kookaburras. Now he stood there with jaw agape, pointing to the upper storeys of the branches. Everyone hurried over to see what he was pointing at. The astonished expression the Elf wore, was quickly transferred to the other spectators as they spied the objects he was pointing at.

“Why! They are Koalas!” cried Coralie with genuine amazement.

“Koalas?” the others asked in response.

“Yes, look there are three of them. One is a joey, a baby….See! It is in its mothers pouch.” A tiny head had popped out from the furry folds of one of the koala’s abdomen’s, to gaze lazily down at the assortment of two legged creatures, which surveyed he and his parents in open amazement. With slow precision it climbed out and grasped a nearby tree limb with its canny fingers and toes wrapped firmly about for support. Finding a spray of nearby leaves, it set to lazily eating, and blinked its eyes at the watching audience below.

“It eats leaves!” cried Intyalle. Coralie was about to respond with the various details she knew about koalas dietary habits, when the sudden cry of a whip bird, followed quickly by the distinctive ring of a bellbird, and the gentle curlews of a small group of magpies descended on the company below in rapid succession from the tree.

Legolas turned to ask Coralie about the source of these new sounds, only to find that she had walked away a little with her back turned towards him and the others. He could tell by her posture that she was dabbing at her eyes. Withdrawing silently from the group who were now chattering excitedly about the various wonders of the tree, he drew alongside her and touched her softly on the arm.


Coralie wiped at her eyes again before turning towards him. He could see clearly the soft wash of tears in her grey blue eyes as she looked up at him with a mixture of sorrow and joy.

“Oh Leggy!” tears tumbled down her cheeks as she looked up at him. “This is the bush! This is what I love…Remember? ‘Though Earth holds many splendours……I know to what brown land my homing thoughts will fly…..’ This is it, and it is here!” She pointed at the tree then sat down unable to stop the tears that now flowed freely. Legolas sat down beside her and reached for her hand in a comforting gesture.

“When we found the tree earlier, there were only the kookaburras and this galah there. I could cope with that! But now, now there’s more! There’s koalas, bellbirds, whip birds and magpies! What’s next? A kangaroo?” Coralie alternated between spurts of laughter and crying as she tried to comprehend all that had happened so far that morning.

“Why are you sad?” he asked softly. “Well at least I think you are sad, but it is hard to tell for part of you is laughing as well.”

“You are all going off the day after tomorrow, and leaving me behind here in Lothlórien, although I wanted to go with you,” Legolas made to answer in response, but Coralie interrupted, “I know, I know, I have to remain here for my own safety and such, but it doesn’t change how I feel about it,” she sniffed. “I was feeling a bit homesick too. Who knows when you will be coming back? And now with a bit of the bush here, I’m not so homesick, and…Oh I don’t really know anymore. I’m probably just being silly!” she cried again.

“I don’t think you are being silly, Titheniel,” said Legolas reassuringly, not counting on a female’s tenacity when they are certain they are right about something no matter how absurd.

Coralie sat up and looked at him. “Yes I am! And now I have made a fool of myself, crying over nothing!” she cried as a tear slid down her cheek.

A soft laugh rippled from the Elf, as with one hand he gently wiped away the tears from under her lashes. Looking up at him, her tears subsided as his silver grey eyes delved into her own for a brief moment.


“What’s wrong with the Princess?” asked a concerned voice from above.

Coralie and Legolas looked up at the unexpected interruption to find the concerned features of young Márinde gazing down at them. Suddenly Coralie laughed as she shook off her previous sadness, and held her hands up to the girl. “Nothing that a bit of dancing won’t cure, Dear!” They quickly stood up with Coralie still holding the flower that Legolas had given her previously, as the others joined them. Offering her his arm, the two of them fell in step as they followed after the children with Artapel and Gimli a little behind.

“So tell me. Whom were you speaking of when Gimli and I first came upon you with Támurile and the bird?”

Coralie suddenly flushed at the question and made the pretense of inhaling the flowerÂ’s scent as Legolas pressed her for an answer again.

“Oh, um, the bird. I was asking the bird if he loved me,” she finally stammered in response.

“Ah, the bird!” sighed Legolas.

“Anyway,” said Coralie changing the subject quickly, “Aren’t you the least bit interested in the dancing?”

“Dancing?” he asked, “Oh yes. What are you up to now? Everyday, there seems to be a new surprise.”

“Well, if you spent more time here with me, instead of gallivanting all over the place with Gimli, then you would know exactly what I was up to then, wouldn’t you?” she responded archly.

“Well, it wouldn’t be a surprise then, would it Lady? And I think I prefer to be surprised,” Legolas chuckled softly. “So tell me about this dancing. For I see that you will not be satisfied until you have done so.”

“Well, while you have been taking one of your many constitutionals all over Lothlórien with Gimli, the children and I have been practicing Ballroom Dancing with Nólemíre and Calentaeg. They wanted to put something together for the feast tonight. Sort of as a farewell to you all, “ she sighed.

“What is Ballroom Dancing?” asked the Elf intrigued.

Coralie smiled as she answered. “Ballroom Dancing is the most wonderful dancing you can do with a partner, Legolas. The children have taken to it likes duck to water. The same with Calentaeg and Nólemíre. They simply can’t get enough.”

“Dancing with a partner? I would like to see this Ballroom Dancing, Lady. I myself, have been known to dance a fine Springle-Ring!”

Coralie looked up at him and snorted as they joined the children, who now eagerly awaited her by her backpack and Clie. “Springle-Ring? You call that dancing?” she cried over her shoulder as she ran towards the children. Támurile walked over to Legolas and Gimli, while Coralie was busy setting the children to pairs.

“If you wouldn’t mind, Legolas, can you hold the bird for me whilst I dance please?” Bowing slightly at the waist, Legolas took the bird carefully from Támurile’s arm. “I should be honoured.” He sat down with the Dwarf beside Coralie’s backpack, watching the proceedings with mild amusement.

“So what sort of dancing, can this be of which the Lady holds the Springle-Ring in such contempt,” asked Gimli. “I can think of no finer dance.”

“Why don’t you show them Princess?” asked Támurile with the Clie in hand. The other children joined in with glee at her request.

“But Nólemíre, usually dances with Calentaeg and that would make a fine demonstration in itself. Where are they by the way?” asked Coralie.

Artapel walked over and bowed gracefully at the waist. “Would you please do me the honour of this dance Princess? Perhaps we can demonstrate until Nólemíre and Calentaeg arrive. I’m sure they will be here shortly. Until then, we shouldn’t disappoint the children should we?”

The children all clapped their hands eagerly in anticipation. Placing her hands on her hips, she arched one eyebrow at Artapel. “Since when have you been practicing Ballroom Dancing Artapel? I don’t remember you joining in!”

“Oh, I watch and I learn, Lady. You would be surprised at how much an Elf can pick up by mere observation alone,” responded Artapel with a chuckle.

“I find that rather hard to believe, but in any case then, I suppose I must consent. Besides it is rude for a lady to refuse,” agreed Coralie. “So, what shall it be then? Shall we keep with the Latin theme and dance a tango? Or perhaps a Paso Doble?”

“Paso Doble!” The children all chorused at once. Legolas and Gimli looked at one another and raised their eyebrows wondering what a Paso Doble could possibly be.

Swirling out onto the grass with ArtapelÂ’s hand to guide her, their question was soon answered.

“A Springle-Ring, Gentlemen cannot possibly be compared to Ballroom Dancing, especially when it is Latin!” said Coralie raising one hand above her head in a graceful arc. “A Springle-Ring has no fire!” she cried stamping the ball of her right foot as Artapel followed suit raising his hands above his head. “A Springle-Ring has no emotion!” she stamped her foot and swished her skirt, striking another pose as Artapel stamped his foot in reply. All of a sudden the music struck up as if in response to Coralie’s final endorsement. “A Springle-Ring has no passion!” she cried suddenly twirling into Artapel’s arms. (Go to Strictly Ballroom then Pasa Doble)

As Artapel, suddenly swept Coralie into his arms, Legolas made to stand up, but found Gimli’s restraining hand on his shoulder. “Watch and learn. Your chance will come,” he mused to the Elf, his eyes twinkling a little. The bird chirruped a little on Legolas’ arm as if in agreement. Sighing, Legolas relaxed and watched with growing fascination the two dancers before him.

Gimli leant in a little towards Legolas. “She’s right you know. A Springle-Ring has absolutely no passion!” he snorked a little at the appreciative gaze of the Elf, who barely nodded in captivated agreement.

“My Artapel, you were absolutely right. I am indeed surprised at what an Elf can learn by mere observation alone!” laughed Coralie as Artapel twirled her at the finish.

Nólemíre and Calentaeg arrived as the two finished their dance. Legolas and Gimli could plainly see that Nólemíre was dressed in exactly the same fashion as Coralie and the other girls. The children stood clapping as Legolas and Gimli rose to greet her, and her partner.

“My what a beautiful bird,” said the Elven maiden reaching out to stroke its colourful plumage.

“Where did you get it?” asked Calentaeg with equal fascination. Legolas and Gimli responded by looking at Coralie as she stood with Artapel, now surrounded by a bevy of excited children. “I might have known,” laughed Calentaeg gaily.

“We had better hurry up!” exclaimed Nólemíre taking Calentaeg’s hand as she ran over to join Coralie and the others. Artapel drew back to stand with Legolas and Gimli as he watched Coralie prepare to dance with Nólemíre, having asked Calentaeg to stand aside for a moment while they worked on some steps together. He also walked back towards the others and folded his arms in anticipation. Quickly assuming the opening position, the two maidens began as before with Coralie now taking the lead. Their skirts flashed red with the fire of the morning sun as they swirled around each other in an ever increasing array of intricate patterns.

Artapel whistled softly with admiration. ‘It is a pretty sight, is it not Gentlemen?” he asked admiringly.

The three nodded their appreciation.

“The music is wonderful! The lady has been holding out on us Gimli, for all we have heard on that player of hers, has been the most raucous, primitive strains that barely even resemble anything that we would call music,” said Legolas approvingly, as the stirring cadences of the instrumental piece swelled up inside his bosom.

As the dance came to a close, Calentaeg went out to meet Coralie and Nólemíre.

“Do not waste your energy,” commanded Coralie as she demonstrated briefly with Calentaeg, swirling around him as a matador’s cape, flashing her skirt with every turn. “Keep the focus strong between you. Eyes together. Do not break concentration.”

Nólemíre took it in turn to follow Coralie’s lead around Calentaeg. The two Elves locked eyes with one another, without breaking focus, in spite of the intricate weaving of their feet.

“Good! Much better!” Coralie turned to the children. “Alright, let’s see everyone do this now. Take your places. Gimli, on my signal would you mind being a sweetie and pressing play on the Clie for us?”

Gimli coughed. “No, not at all Lady,”

“Sweetie?” Legolas arched an eyebrow at the flustered dwarf who preferred to divert the Elf’s attention by quickly doing what he was asked. In a flutter of skirts and Elvish laughter, the children quickly took their places around Nólemíre and Calentaeg in the centre, forming a pageant of colour and movement with the intricate design of their dance steps. Legolas watched entranced, as Coralie danced her way around the pairs assisting them and encouraging the various phrases of their movement.

With the final crescendo of the music, the dancers spun gaily around as one, raising their right arms, with the other placed on their hips, to shout ‘Ole!’ at the finish.

For a moment Legolas, Gimli and Artapel, stood there feasting their eyes upon the glorious scene before breaking into a round of applause.

“Bravo! Bravo!” They cried. The bird on Legolas’ arm dipped its head and chirruped loudly as well.

Gimli stole a sideways glance at the Elf beside him. “I hope you’ve been watching and learning Elf,” he whispered out of the side of his mouth. Legolas looked down and gave the Dwarf a small smile in return.

Running over to the dancers, Coralie congratulated them. “That was wonderful. We just need to spruce up a few things, but we should be ready by tomorrow night.”

“Yes, but we need to put the finishing touches to our Rhumba,” said Calentaeg, suddenly catching Nólemíre into his arms. The maiden laughed with delight as he lunged into the basic step with her and suddenly dipped her to the ground.

“Now, you two……I think you should probably wait for the music before you both go dancing off into the sunset!” laughed Coralie as she signaled Artapel to play some music.

Gimli looked up into the sky as the music began to play. “It’s still morning,” he noted as Legolas looked at him and shook his head at the dwarf.

“Calentaeg and Nólemíre are promised to each other Gimli, and Coralie is merely making reference to their romantic feelings for one another, albeit in a rather unusual way,” laughed the Elf.

“Yes, well we both know she is unusual,” responded Gimli. “That in itself goes without saying!” he said, as his eyes followed the pair of Elves who now danced together in the centre. Every now and then, Coralie would stop them to correct their arm position, or advise them about a step and demonstrate in turn.

“Now remember, the Rhumba is known as the dance of love. That shouldn’t be too hard for you two.” The listening children responded by twittering into their hands as Coralie continued. “But don’t get all sappy on me now, Calentaeg. Keep your focus. Look into her eyes without breaking concentration, and don’t go weak at the knees now, either!” she laughed.

The two Elves responded to her commands, and focused completely on each other in total rapture. Every now and then, the music was punctuated by Coralie keeping the rhythm, “Slow, quick, quick, hold!” At times they would break and follow up on another of her commands, “Since you love dipping so much Calentaeg; after you have twirled Nólemíre under your arm, dip her slowly to the count of four, then bring her up into your embrace again with another twirl. Now circle each other and Calentaeg hold her with her leading hand, now catch her up and twirl….Good!”

The music faded, leaving Nólemíre and Calentaeg gazing deeply at one another as the children clapped along with the others. Coralie joined them momentarily to talk about further refinements of the dance.

“I certainly hope you were paying attention to that one, Sir Elf!” winked Gimli to Legolas.

Unbeknownst to Coralie, Artapel had reloaded the Latin file on her Clie. All of a sudden, the infectious rhythm of Tico, Tico struck up! Crying with delight the children ran towards Coralie, Legolas and Gimli and drew them out onto the grass crying, “A Samba! A Samba!” Legolas first passed the galah over to Artapel, as Támurile tugged on his arm, and then after joining the child on the grass, he quickly fell into the rhythm with her, whilst Gimli also caught onto the basic steps with Intyalle. Catching on quickly, Legolas and Támurile were soon performing whisks, dancing the basic step to the side, and criss-crossing their steps with flashy quarter turns. The Elven child laughed with delight at the Elf who danced lightly with her. Gimli too was delighted at how quickly he learned to incorporate the basic step into other movements, which Intyalle quickly demonstrated.

“We dwarves are very good dancers you know!” he called over to Legolas, as he criss-crossed his steps with Intyalle, who merely laughed her approval. The two pairs, led by the girls then began to perform the Samba walk in turn, rocking back on each opposite foot to a count of eight. Laughing with delight, Legolas and Gimli then twirled the girls under their arms before resuming the basic position again.

Séretur and Coralie began together, but were soon interrupted by Úruvon and Roitar. The two Elven boys each took their turn at dancing with Coralie as they each made quick foot changes with clever reverse turns and rolls. Laughing, Nólemíre and Márinde skipped out to dance with the boys, while Calentaeg and Artapel clapped, and danced delightedly with the galah perched on Artapel’s shoulder from the sidelines, which bobbed its head up and down with the rhythm. The dancers quickly formed a circle as they promenaded about with the males in the centre. It shortly became a progressive dance, as the girls were whirled from one partner to the next, after performing variations on the basic step with increasing complexity, before joining together to promenade once more.

Coralie whirled into Legolas arms as the music stopped. He caught her to himself, as she fell breathless, laughing with delight as the frenetic pace of the dancing came to an abrupt halt. For a moment they stood there gazing at one another, surprised by the sudden finish of the song before another tune began its slow insistence into smooth melody. The gentle pulse of the music, enveloped them in its persuasive embrace, as Legolas held her in his arms.

You won’t admit you love me
And so how am I ever to know?
You always tell me
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
A million times I’ve asked you
And then I ask you over again
You only answer
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
If you can’t make your mind up
We’ll never get started
And I don’t want to wind up
Being parted, broken-hearted
So if you really love me
Say yes
But if you don’t, Dear, confess
And please don’t tell me
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
If you can’t make your mind up
We’ll never get started
And I don’t want to wind up
Being parted, broken-hearted
So if you really love me
Say yes
But if you don’t, Dear, confess
And please don’t tell me
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

Legolas gazed intently into Coralie’s eyes as he placed his right arm about her waist and intertwined the fingers of his left hand with those of her right. Stepping forward with his left foot so that his hip made contact with Coralie’s left, he pressed her backwards gently as she followed his lead, by placing her right foot directly behind her. Recovering to the side, he then reversed the step and drew her forwards by pressing gently into the small of her back with his hand to keep her left hip connected with his own. Coralie followed Legolas’ lead as he gently drew her into himself to repeat the four steps in the opposite direction. He lightly held Coralie’s lead hand in his own as she walked clockwise around him, then after elegantly draping her right arm over his left shoulder, he caught her around the waist, before stepping to the side to twirl Coralie twice slowly under his arm. Legolas led her around his body with the back of his arm, then turned about to face her, and caught her again about the waist as he lunged forward with his left foot, walking Coralie backwards with ‘slow, quick, quick, hold’ steps. Twirling her under his arm again before catching her into his embrace, he slowly dropped her backwards for four counts. Their eyes were fixed completely on one another as he gently raised her up. Oblivious to all about them as they became more absorbed with the intricate movements of the dance, they did not notice when Artapel gently placed the galah on Coralie’s backpack, to join Gimli, Nólemíre and Calentaeg, as they quietly ushered the children away, leaving them alone in the shimmering meadow.

Again Legolas twirled Coralie about him, draping her hand over his shoulder as he then took a step forward to her left, bringing himself up to shadow her as he turned, so that his arms crossed over her body with her hands in his. Standing behind her, he rocked a little backwards then forward and lowered his chin into her left shoulder before pressing her forward with his hip to twirl her out to face him, and embrace her with one hand around her waist. As they turned together with half steps as one, both of their outside arms came up in a graceful arc over their heads with the fingers of each briefly touching, before gently falling to trace the outline of the others face. Legolas took CoralieÂ’s hand as it fell and twirled her under his arm, repeating the synchronized turn in the opposite direction. As before their hands found their way to each others face in a tender caress.

Whirling Coralie again into his embrace, he gathered her into his arms from behind, and shadowing her with his arms crossed over her waist, he rocked her body against his own and tenderly placed his chin into the hollow of her neck. She surrendered to his movement leaning her head back to rest beside his own. Feeling her body blend with his, he pushed forward gently with his hip, and as she spun into a turn towards him, he lunged toward her, then twirled her around as he stepped forward with the back of his arm leading across her back. As he twirled her again, he turned and caught her up with one arm about her waist so that she leant against his hip, and spun her around in the air as the music gently faded away.

He held her eyes with his own, as she slowly slid down the length of his frame until her toes touched the soft grass beneath. They stood thus for a moment in rapt silence, slightly breathless as they gazed at one another. LegolasÂ’ hand pressed more firmly into CoralieÂ’s back, drawing her closer into his embrace.

“Leggy,” she whispered, only half aware that she had uttered his name. Bringing a finger up to her lips, he bent his head slowly down towards her.

“He loves me!” squawked a feathery voice beside them. The sudden interruption made them both start for a moment, before they turned to discover the source of the voice that continued to squawk “He loves me!” repeatedly with joyous abandon. Legolas and Coralie laughed together at the antics of the bird, which danced and weaved its way on top of Coralie’s backpack as it continued to spout its avian mantra.

“Oy!” Came a distant shout from across the meadow. “There she is!” cried Pippin as he came running over with and Merry. The Hobbits ran up excitedly, and as if the sudden exertion were too much for them, they fell at Legolas and Coralie’s feet in mock exhaustion.

“We’ve been looking for you everywhere!” exclaimed Pippin as he squinted up into the sun.

“Yes, you promised to make some treats for the feast tomorrow night, and we were supposed to help you remember?” added Merry.

Coralie shook her head at them. “You mean you want to help by sampling the wares first, don’t you?”

“Well, for that sort of thing, you need an expert and I would like to volunteer my services. At no extra charge of course!” laughed Pippin in response.

Coralie sighed. “Well, how can I possibly refuse an offer like that? Where’s Frodo and Sam?” she asked.

“Oh, they are off walking together somewhere as usual. But they are supposed to meet us later. It might help to cheer Frodo up. He’s been a bit gloomy lately, but who can blame him? Can we borrow the Clie later on? We charged up the extra batteries, like you told us to!” asked Pippin.

“I suppose so,” agreed Coralie, then eyeing them suspiciously, she asked, “Just what are you lot up to anyway?”

“Oh nothing! Nothing at all,” whistled Merry as he gazed up into the sky. Suddenly he jumped up and grabbed Coralie’s hand. “Come on, we’re wasting time!”

Coralie laughed as he began to pull her away while Legolas turned to picked up the bird. Pippin swooped on the Clie and tucked it away into CoralieÂ’s backpack.

“Ooh! Look at that bird. Where did you get it?” cooed Pippin.

“I’m sure the Lady will tell you all about it on the way!” said Legolas. “Oh, Lady!” called Legolas to the retreating figure of Coralie who turned to face him momentarily. “The galah is female, so it is not a him, it is a her. You weren’t speaking of the bird when Gimli and I first found you in the meadow with Támurile!”

“How do you know that?” she cried as the Hobbits led her away.

“She told me all about it!” he called after her.

“She who?” called Coralie in turn. Legolas responded by laughing and raising the bird up on his arm. Even from that distance he could see that she was blushing.

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