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The many ways to do courtships

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Celebrimbor and Narvi had originally been talking about various small things in everyday life as they worked on two large stone blocks meant to have both Elvish and Dwarven designs as a sign of the new trade agreement between Khazad-dûm and Eregion, one stone for each realm, before they came in on a certain topic of conversation:

 

“So, among the Elves and Men, it is the male who courts the female? I have about it among animals, but I never really knew how it is for the other Children of the All-Father,” Narvi commented, stopping to use her mallet and chisel for a moment so she could remove the cloth covering her mouth and nose, so she could blow away some stone dust on the area she was working on.

 

“Yes...it could possible be that because our daughters are born almost equal in number to their brothers, and thus it is more marriages to expected once they enter adulthood. Then again, some parents can be blessed with only one gender in their offspring, like my grandparents.”

 

Recalling how a Dwarrowdam was viewed as worth triply her body weight in gold already at birth, no matter what social status of the birth parents, and how much some of the richest nobles could pay as bride price for a possible wife, Narvi chose to not say anything. Celebrimbor would likely get a massive shock at hearing that had his family been Dwarves, only his oldest uncle Maedhros could have counted on being allowed to search for a wife as he had been the heir, the oldest son. Curufin and the other six brothers would have been more unlikely to get a wife, because paying a separate bride price for seven brides would likely ruin even a royal family. And there was also the question of whatever a younger son had enough of a annual income to support his wife and potential future children.

 

“Then I think that, by the standards of my race, your father would have been very lucky to even find a lady to court and marry, because as a fifth son, he would not have been viewed as a good-enough match or rather unlikely to be able to first pay the bride price and then manage to support her.”

She could hear him stop working.

 

“And my grandfather being a Crown prince, would not have helped in a such situation?” Celebrimbor wondered in curiosity from his work place beside her, his interest had woken up.

 

“No. It is extreme rare for a Dwarven couple to have more than four children at the most, unless they marries at a early age and is blessed with more fertility than is normal for us otherwise. So your father would likely face refusal from which unwed Dwarrowdam he set his eye on, simply because he was the third-youngest of seven princes and pretty far removed from the throne as a result, as well not having his two oldest brothers' network of social contacts and personal wealth to help in the search for a bride.”

 

Now Celebrimbor honestly had to duck behind his half-finished stone block to hide his laughing. Curufin, who always had been the favorite son of Fëanor because of how similar they were in so many ways and very happy to brag about being the most successful among the seven brothers simply because he had managed to marry before Maglor and father a child, being refused to woo a lady because he was unlikely to support her well?

 

“He would be horrified if he ever heard about that custom among the Stone Children, indeed.”

 

They kept working for a little while. Then he asked again:

 

“So, how are courtship done among the Children of Aulë? Anything you can reveal without getting into trouble for speaking about your culture, so unknown for us non-Dwarved?”

 

To his honest surprise, Narvi smiled a mysterious smile at him. For a moment, it felt like he was drowning again in those green eyes of hers, enchanting him to lose both sense and wit.

 

It is the female who gives the sign of the courtship being welcomed, if there is a suitor she likes more than the others asking for being allowed to court her.

 

Meaning that the Dwarrowdam was the one to hold all the power when it came to choosing her future husband, to either accept or refuse his offer of marriage. A mighty power indeed, given how rarely-born Dwarrowdams was already from the beginning.

 

“And this little treasure is what my own Amad sent back to my Adad as a sign of that she accepted his courtship despite that he was a merchant without any small family wealth to back him up.”

 

She put her hand into a small pocket near her bosom area and tossed something to him, and Celebrimbor caught the small item in one hand to see what it was. It was a item he had never seen before.

 

“What kind of mechanical device is this? Something unique to the Dwarven clans in the East? Because in all my long years of life, I have never seen anything like this.”

 

Narvi stared at him with wide eyes in disbelief.

 

“You Elves do no use sewing machines to make work easier for those who sew clothing and other items of cloth as their chosen crafts?!”

 

And with that, Celebrimbor found himself listening to the details of how the Eastern Dwarven clans had invented the sewing machine thanks to a engineer who had his eyes set on a seamstress with the hope of a possible marriage and wanted to ease her work in some way, although he could not afford to pay the bride price at first.