"Oh, nothing Hitty Rowan. I was just watching Master Elrond and Lady Celebrian move into their new home."
"Yes...it is rather exciting isn't it?" I remarked...hoping to see some of Merilwen's usual enthusiasm.
"I guess. I suppose....I suppose Elrond's grandaughter will be really happy there. " Merilwen hesitatingly replied.
"Yes, I am sure she will be happy. And, you can go visit all you like and you will be happy too." I did hope this would cheer Merilwen up.
"It isn't the same, though...." she began. At that moment, I was unfortunately distracted by Miss Hickory yelling about something in the kitchen she needed help with.
"Oh, Merilwen dear, I would love to talk later...perhaps for the moment you could go practice your piano lessons, or take a nap if you are tired."
"I guess so." Merilwen rather drearily replied. I really hated to leave her, but one doesn't ignore Miss Hickory when she yells about the kitchen.
I ran to tend to that matter, and Merilwen sulked off to practice piano.
She didn't practice very long, but soon made her way upstairs with her beloved doll Annabelle.
Merilwen sat on the bed sighing, then confided in her closest companion, "Annabelle, nothing here is really ours. It isn't really our home...this isn't my room...these aren't even my pillows. I know Hitty Rowan says it is our home just as much as hers, but...it's just...it's just...I miss how it used to be. You remember, when this was Miss Merriweather's academy. What good times we used to have! Me and Betsy, Nim and Nissa. I know Nim and Nissa live here too...but it isn't an academy. Sometimes I just hate all the changes. I know we companions just don't have as much room as we used to, but I miss the academy. There isn't an academy anywhere here anymore. I know Betsy comes to visit, but I wish she lived here. I know...I know Annabelle...there isn't room. I just can't helping wishing.....oh, never mind. There is no use in wishing."
Merilwen slunk downstairs again, where I found her in my office, staring at Elrond's new home.
"Oh, there you are Merilwen. I am so sorry about the interruption earlier. I was hoping you would be cheered up by now...but it looks like I was wrong. What is bothering you so much, my dear?"
Merilwen looked close to tears, and stammered out the feelings she had confided to Annabelle. I must admit, I felt my heart sink. All this time, with all the recent changes, poor Merilwen and Betsy, Nim and Nissa...all had been quite lost and overlooked. Yes, they had a home of sorts...but not the kind of home they needed. How could we have not realized the girls might even miss....school.
"Merilwen, have you told Miss Merriweather and Elrond how you feel?"
"No," the child choked out. "What can they do?"
"I...I don't know...but there might be a solution yet. Let's go speak with Ms. Merriweather. My heart almost broke as Merilwen spoke.
"Oh Miss Merriweather. I don't want to cause trouble...I really don't. I love Hitty Rowan and it is nice here...but I miss how it used to be so, so much! You know, when you and me and Master Elrond and Betsy and Nissa and Nim got to go places together and lived in the academy..we, we...were a family."
"Oh, my darling Merilwen," cried Ms. Merriweather. "We still ARE a family! We may not live in the same house anymore, or have an academy, but we see each other every day. And, you have lessons everyday with Betsy...."
"But, it's...just...not the same," Merilwen whispered in a small, dejected voice.
Ms. Merriweather sighed. "Oh Merilwen. My dear, dear Merilwen. I am afraid your Miss Merriweather doesn't have a solution for this dilemma."
"Do you think, maybe Master Elrond can help?" Merilwen whispered.
"I don't know, Merilwen." Ms. Merriweather sadly replied.
"Can I ask?" Merilwen said, a bit hopefully.
"Well, it never hurts to ask."
With that, Merilwen set off to Elrond's house.Master Elrond and Lady Celebrian listened intently to the little girl.
And indeed the adventure did begin. We all helped Miss Merriweather, Merilwen, Betsy, Nim, and Nissa move into their new home.
Especially if it is anything like the past academy adventures: