Author: CAKEMAN PM
The deed is done. Erestor has betrayed Elrond's dirty little secret. How will Figwit cope with this new horror, if e'er he copes at all? And what will the others think? This tragic story about... hey, maybe you should read HIS LORDSHIP first!Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Angst - Erestor & Elrohir/Elladan - Chapters: 4 - Words: 5,225 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 10-15-04 - Published: 06-04-04 - id: 1893621
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's notes for Another Know-It-All:
This is what I get for publishing a chapter without proofreading--Erestor becomes redundant and boring, and Arwen mysteriously turns into a dude in the middle of the chapter.
Sorry about that. Now, moving on! Let our ancient performance begin... or something... (hurriedly bows out at the sound of the gong)
Everyone jumped at the sound of Erestor's voice. Though all present were young Elves with fine hearing, none of them detected his approach. He entered the room and closed the door behind him, shutting out the strong light of day.
Figwit's eyes grew wide as he watched Erestor approach him. The little Elf hugged his knees all the tighter and bit down hard on his lower lip, trying his best not to cry, but he really wanted nothing more than to run out of the house and flee into the woods.
But Elladan and Elrohir stood protectively before him, with no intention of letting Erestor near him. They glowered at Erestor as he stopped and regarded them inquiringly. "Well, boys," he said, "What have you to do with the affairs of this little one?"
Elladan clenched his fists and gritted his teeth, and would have said something very nasty to Erestor if Elrohir hadn't stepped forward and said calmly, "And where is your hand in all this? He's greatly distressed—"
"—But he won't tell you why, and you're so anxious to find out the dirty details, am I right?" He looked from Elrohir to volatile Elladan, and smirked. "I'm surprised that you haven't resorted to raping his mind to get your answers."
Elladan was on him in a second. He grabbed Erestor by the shirt, and roughly pulling the more slender elf down to eye-level. "We look into no one's mind without their assent! If anyone around here were so vile as to do such a thing, it would be you, darkest of conjurers!"
Elrohir made no move to stop his brother, but Arwen rushed over and took her brother's arm. "Elladan! Don't start, not here! We need to talk this out!"
Elladan dared not break eye contact with Erestor at first. He could see the gloating look in Erestor's eyes; hear the antagonistic challenge. Go on; mind your sister like a good boy. He could feel his anger, his hatred, rising with his blood pressure. All he had to do was take out his bowie knife, plunge it into Erestor's neck, and all of his troubles would be over. He pictured it in his mind with such clarity; he could see the look on Erestor's face, shock at the audacity of his former student, as he collapsed at Elladan's feet and watched his own life-blood—
Like being thrown into an icy river, Elladan was swiftly brought back to reality. He looked over his shoulder to see his siblings looking at him in confusion and—on Elrohir's part—concern. Elladan, realizing what had just transpired in those few seconds, looked back at Erestor with some trepidation.
Erestor certainly didn't look upset. On the contrary, he looked rather self-sure. Elladan dared to peer into his sensei's eyes, and knew immediately that he had played right into his hands. Defeated, he let go of Erestor and stalked out of the room, saying nothing to anyone.
Arwen started after him, but Elrohir held her back. "Let him go," he whispered, and he tentatively approached Erestor. "I apologize for my brother's actions; he is rash—"
Erestor ignored him. His eyes were fixed elsewhere, and he had a funny look on his face. Elrohir followed his gaze to see Arwen sitting down next to the cowering Figwit, whispering tender words of reassurance to him and pulling the blanket closer about his shoulders. Frowning, he looked back to see Erestor's fist clench, and to witness just the tiniest twitch of his eye.
"Master Erestor?" When Erestor still didn't respond, Elrohir glanced again at Arwen and Figwit to see what was so interesting.
Figwit, strangely enough, refused to look at Arwen, and recoiled at her touch. Elrohir knew, as did Arwen and Erestor, that under normal circumstances he would've fully given himself to enjoying such a rare show of affection from the lovely Elf-maiden. But why did he seem so unwilling to do so now?
Elrohir could only wonder, but when he saw the wry smirk on Erestor's face he knew that all would be explained presently—to the shame and ruination of Figwit. Wanting to avoid such a thing, he went and stood between Erestor and his quarry.
"No more games," he said, keeping his voice level but firm. "If you have something to say about Figwit, than pray thee, be forthright about it." If ever he learned anything useful from Golradir, it was his sense of dignity and self-command. "Verily, I do not wish for my friend's name to be shamed..." he looked straight into Erestor's eyes, yet he revealed none of his anger, "... and I trust that your sentiments are the same, sir." Diplomatic to the last, Elrohir managed a smile and motioned to a chair. "Please, do sit down, that we may hear what you have to say."
Arwen glanced quickly at Erestor, and seeing that Erestor's tumultuous designs were momentarily frustrated, she silently commended and thanked her brother for his tact. Figwit could only close his eyes and rest his head against his knees, for he realized that he was about to be found out.
After a moment's hesitation, Erestor decided to play Elrohir's game and sat down across from the Elvish Dúnedan, crossing his legs and neatly folding his hands atop them. "Well, where should I start, young master?"
"The beginning might be good." Arwen chimed in. Elrohir and Erestor looked over at her. She'd been quiet until then, and so they had assumed that she would be content to listen and be silent. But the look on her face revealed that she would do no such thing. "Whatever you said to him, Erestor," Arwen explained, directing her stare toward her father's advisor, "you may have done permanent damage to him. I can only hope that there is a good reason for your conduct thus far."
Erestor almost seemed remorseful at her admonition at first, but then he smiled warmly at her with not a hint of malice in his eyes—at least, none directed toward her. "My dear, you are absolutely right. I shall utter no malevolent word in your presence."
Both Arwen and Elrohir started at this statement. For one thing they knew this promise would surely be broken within his next breath and aside from that, his gentle treatment of Arwen, his reverence for her, it all seemed rather... disturbing. Elrohir knew exactly what it meant; he visibly shuddered at the thought of Erestor taking a fancy for his little sister, and instinctively he placed a protective arm around her. Arwen gave him a funny look, to which he privately responded to her; do you not see the way he looks at you, sister?
Arwen closed her thoughts to him and looked away, but Elrohir didn't need to read her to know what she was feeling. He looked back at Erestor and said, "Well, if you would please—"
Erestor's mind was elsewhere—on Arwen, more specifically—but Elrohir's deep, clear voice brought him back to the present. "What—you were saying something?"
The Half-Elf glared at him warningly, though only for a second. "We wish to know, from the beginning, what you did to Figwit... sir."
The coldness in Elrohir's voice was not missed by Erestor, and with a catty look he opened his mouth to speak, but was quickly interrupted by Figwit, who was no longer able to stay silent.
"No!" He knelt before Erestor's feet, his eyes wide with fear. "Please, sir! Please don't tell them!"
Erestor looked down at him, disgusted yet amused at this undignified display of dread. "Why shouldn't I, Figwit? Don't you think they deserve to know?"
Figwit bowed his head in shame, and responded weakly, "I... they... they'll never—they won't—"
"Of course they won't like you! Do you assume that they ought to put up with you, after hearing such scandalous things?"
"But I didn't—"
"What are you two talking about?" Arwen was getting impatient now. She glared at Erestor as she stood and went over to Figwit. "Out with your secret! Can you not see what torture you're putting him through?" She gently lifted Figwit up and led him back to the couch, despite his sobbing and his protests.
"Let me go! Please, just let me leave!" He tried to get out of the seat, but Arwen held fast to his arm.
"Figwit," Arwen reached into the flowing sleeve of her dress and produced a handkerchief, and proceeded to dry his eyes as she continued, "I promise that no matter what happens, we will not treat you harshly. We are your friends, and we don't want to see any harm come to you."
Figwit was still quite agitated, but he calmed down a bit when he saw Elrohir smile and nod in concurrence.
"May I begin?" Erestor said after a minute, and then he went on to tell them what had transpired the other night. "Now, as you may be aware, I have been at odds with your father as of late. We simply cannot come to agreement on how to handle an issue pertaining to your friend." He casually glanced at Figwit, and noted that the little Elf's eyes were still fixed on him.
"You see," he continued, "Your father and I, as well as most of the older Elves in Rivendell, know something about dear Figwit that even he did not know about himself. It would seem that Figwit is related to you!"
Arwen wasn't sure what to say to that. Elrohir looked at Figwit, whose head was still bowed, and then back at Erestor. "Why should this be so upsetting to him?"
"Because," Erestor's black eyes shined in the dim glow of the firelight as he spoke these words, as he reveled in the impending upheaval, "Figwit is your half-brother."