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Dog Days

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*

Huan didn’t mind being dirty and stinky, nor did Celegorm.

Well, Celegorm didn’t mind Huan being dirty and stinky, Curufin corrected his thoughts, though now that he was thinking about it, Curufin had to admit that in fact, Celegorm didn’t seem to mind being stinky and dirty, either.

But at least he could tell Celegorm to have a shower every now and then.

For Huan, that didn’t work.

Not that Curufin hadn’t tried before, much to Celebrimbor’s delight. He had wholeheartedly laughed at his father’s conversation with the giant dog. So, he could not expect help even from his own son.

‘It’ll be fun,’ Celegorm had said.

Living with a giant dog who farted and snored was not exactly fun.

The fact was: Huan had to have a bath, and sooner rather than later.

Celegorm wouldn’t bathe him.

Celebrimbor wouldn’t bathe him, either, but then, Celebrimbor didn’t have to share quarters with the stinky beast on a daily basis.

Well – Huan would bathe... but only in mud and feces. 

So that was no good.  

Curufin rolled his eyes.

The only possible ally he had in this was Finrod, who had complained more than once about the stench tickling his kingly nose.

Well ..

No.

He would not ask Finrod for help.

Wouldn’t, and could not, knowing well what Celegorm’s reaction upon finding out that their golden cousin had laid hands upon his precious dog would be. Curufin wasn’t in the mood to provoke a second kinslaying so soon.

 

*

A couple of hours later, Curufin stood in their quarters, armed with a looped rope and foul smelling treats in a small leather bag. He found Huan resting close to the fire on the bearskin Celegorm had placed there especially for him. The dog was curled up with his muzzle hidden in his own fur, snoring quietly. Even from there Curufin could smell the stink of his brother’s dog, wafting through the warm air.

It disgusted him more than Orodreth’s words ever could.

“Huan?”

The large dog lifted his large head lazily from the ground, regarding Curufin with stoic indifference. “Be a good boy and come over here.”

Naturally, Huan didn’t obey him.

“Look what I’ve got for you.” Sticky chicken hearts, cooked but still raw inside, were in the palm of Curufin’s outstretched hand and now sudden interest flared through the dog’s golden eyes.

Curufin stepped forward as Huan rose from the furs and silently padded towards him.

The treats were in one hand, whilst the rope was in the other, hidden behind his back. With interest Huan sniffed at the meat before he licked it, licking Curufin’s palm rather than anything else.

Disgust rose inside of Curufin, both from the stench and the dog’s tongue against his skin.

Quick.

You must be quick.

With Huan now eating from his palm, Curufin brought the rope forward and fixed it around the dog’s thick neck.

It took exactly one second and the last chicken heart gone until the rope was in Huan’s mouth. He tore at it playfully with a strength that almost sent Curufin flying face forward to the floor.

Damn beast.

He hadn’t expected that.

Snarling, Huan pulled in one direction, while Curufin threw himself the opposite way. He cursed under his breath, but somehow he succeeded in maneuvering Huan into the adjusting bath. All the while Huan snarled and barked and jumped around Curufin in ridiculous excitement.

Pushing against Huan’s backside Curufin finally got him inside of the shower, following him quickly inside. He shut the glass door behind him with a sigh of relief.

The shower cabin was barely large enough for them both, Curufin realized as soon as he opened the water, half of it pouring down on himself but somehow it had to work out. For the sake of his breathing it simply had to. Much to his own amazement, Huan was perfectly calm as Curufin wetted his fur.

Water itself apparently was okay but the water itself would not help against the stench of dried blood and worse.

As soon as Curufin tried to soap Huan, the dog was wrestling and clawing to get as far away from it, but Curufin would not relent.

He had come so far …

As quickly as possible he applied the mint-scented soap to the wet fur, disgusted by what came out of the thick fur. Curufin didn’t dare to look closer, focusing on the matter at hand until Huan was covered in white foam.

Only then, Curufin turned on the water again and saw brown filth flowing over the marble tiles. Huan stoically let himself be thoroughly rinsed.

Lulled into false security, Curufin even allowed Huan to shift towards the door, the flaxen rope still wrapped around his arm. And then it all went wrong.

Huan barked happily and jumped up at Curufin. He was already at eye-level with him so the showerhead fell onto the tiles. It sent the water splashing in every direction but mostly directly at Curufin from below.

Voice high-pitched, Curufin screamed. “Damn you!”

Curufin almost slipped on the wet and soapy floor when he tried to reach the door only to find it barred by Huan’s giant form.

“You damn dog, let me out of here,” Curufin cursed under his breath.

Huan shook himself. And all the while he was barking in delight. It sounded like mockery in Curufin’s ears, and most likely it was exactly that.

Instead of obeying Curufin’s word, Huan jumped around in the narrow space with the water still turned on, shaking himself every now and then. Of course, Curufin tried to push him aside, tried anything, though with little success.

Wrestling with your brother’s dog in the shower; just see what you have become.

Curufin was now soaking wet from head to toe; the black tunic with the silver threads; his breeches; even his underwear, and the hair that now clung to his face.

All of a sudden, booming laughter that wasn’t Huan’s own filled the room. “Seems as if you two are having a lot of fun.”

Curufin’s head spun around and he saw Celegorm leaning against the door quite casually, arms crossed, smirking in amusement. Startled by his master’s sudden appearance, Huan forgot the task of barring the door against Curufin and jumped against the door to free himself.

Curufin stared at the running dog, at the water droplets he sent flying when he shook himself, until he was at Celegorm’s feet, barking happily. Celegorm ruffled the wet fur for a moment before he shooed Huan out of the bathroom with a devious grin.

“Why – “ Curufin began, watching Huan obey, but his question was cut abruptly short as the rope, still wrapped tightly around his arm, tore at him.

No.

No!

“Damn you! Damn you both!”

Screaming, cursing, and soaking wet Curufin landed face forward right at Celegorm’s feet, which smelled worse than Huan had.  

*