Hello everyone. I return with a little tale about our favourite archer in Imladris, making lots of trouble with Glorfindel. I hope you like it, and I welcome reviews, and if you like what you see here check out my tumblr: .com. I post chats, fics, quotes and headcanons for LOTR and Harry Potter, so if that's your deal go and take a look.
Glorfindel squashed the impulse to grin like a predator. Though he wasn't far from calling himself one.
He had been 'hunting' for nearly an hour. His 'quarry' had been quick and clever. But now he had found his prey, as he spied two little feet peeping out from the bottom of a tapestry.
Best not ruin all of the elfing's fun, he thought.
"Ai, Valar!" he sighed, throwing himself noisily against the wall. "I am spent. I have no strength. That...that beast was just too quick for an ageing elf like me. How shall I live down the shame?"
The tapestry giggled.
"I shall not be able to look at Lord Elrond in the eyes again. Lady Celebrian shall think me cowardly, and Erestor will think me clumsy and never let me in his library. Whatever am I to do?"
He really was enjoying this far too much.
"You can come live with me, Glorfindel!"
A speedy lump threw itself into the elf-lord, and had he not already been leaning woefully against a wall, he would have been hard-pushed to keep his balance. He looked down onto an armful of blue-eyed, golden-haired elfing, smushed against his chest.
"Ah there you are, my little woodland sparrow! So flighty you are!"
"I beat you, Glorfindel!"
He made sure to make a great show of clutching the elfling to his breast.
"I thought I had lost you, tithen pen! I threw myself – in anguish! - against this wall, so in despair was I. I had thought – do you know what I thought?"
The elfling's eyes were wide. "What did you think?" he hushed soothingly, awkwardly patting the arms that held him.
"I thought that I would have to go and find Elrond, and Celebrian and...Arwen. And explain to them how I'd lost you, and you were never to be found. And then I thought how would I explain this to your father? Would he lock me away? Would he take my life as payment for his dear little one? Would he -" he gulped. "Would he stop sending dorwinion?" He finished in a dead whisper.
The elfling gasped at the catch in the elf lord's throat, and threw his little arms around him. "Ada would not harm you, Glorfindel. Ada is a very nice elf."
"But even the nicest elf would be very upset to lose you, elfling."
"Ada would still not hurt you," the little one insisted. "I would ask him not to."
Glorfindel fought valiantly to keep his face neutral. "How could you ask him, tithen pen, if you were lost?"
The young one stared at him aghast, as if all was lost and his father really were going to battle his favourite elf-lord. Quickly as it had come however, it had vanished, and he looked at the older elf through a pointed, slightly patronizing, gaze.
He did look so like his father.
"Lord Glorfindel," he said, as if the answer were so obvious, and he were talking to a child even younger than he. "I would ask the trees to tell him."
Glorfindel did not take the time to point out that he could just have the trees direct them to his hiding place. Instead, he threw the little one into the air, and caught him just inches before he hit the ground, the little thing shrieking all the way.
"You have saved me, little one!" he exclaimed, as he span the child around in circles, drawing many an amused stare from outside where the windows overlooked. As he span in faster circles, Glorfindel's keen elven eyesight spotted something new. A blur of auburn and gold; and it was coming every closer with every spin.
The elfling's joyful shrieking stopped as he found himself still. Dangling from the elf-lord's arms, he could see that someone had joined them, and though he was upside down, he was a clever elfling and it didn't take him long to figure out who it was.
"Suilliad, Lord Elrond!" He greeted the newcomer happily from his precarious perch. "You have come just in time! I was saving Glorfindel."
Elrond eyed the child, not quite so successful in suppressing his mirth and Glorfindel had been. "Aye indeed?" He asked, with just the right amount of impressed awe in his tone. "Why you are a valiant one, Legolas. But come, if you will relinquish your charge to me you can bathe and dress yourself for your father this afternoon. Or do you forget that he comes to collect you today?"
"I have not forgotten!" In a flurry of legs, Legolas was free from Glorfindel's grasp and almost at Lord Elrond. Before he vanished around the corner, he turned back, golden hair flicking behind him.
"Do not fear, Glorfindel!" he said. "Remember, I will keep you safe!"
And with that, he bounded out of sight.
If elves could look sheepish, Glorfindel looked it now. Elrond surveyed him with a steady brow and amused twinkle in his eyes.
"I had told him a rather...edited version of my adventures in Gondolin, my Lord," he said, giving the first plausible explanation that came into his head. He did not think the lord of Imladris would be too pleased about him telling long tales of King Thranduil to his own son. "The Prince just became a little excited and seemed to think I needed protecting."
Elrond pursed his lips in that way that meant he didn't believe the elf-lord's story in the slightest. But to Glorfindel's great surprise, he didn't make him admit to anything.
"Perhaps, mellon-nin," he said instead, "You should also think about redressing for our guests."
Glorfindel eyed the crumpled state of his tunic and leggings, and noted a stray lace protruding from one of his boots. "Aye my Lord, I shall."
Elrond then left the golden-haired elf alone in his corridor, as he swept after the errant Prince.
The congregation in the small courtyard could already see the delegation from Lasgalen as were nearing Imladris. Glorfindel however, was far from comfortable. Betrayal burned from his boots to his golden crown as he heard two young elves whispering amongst each other.
"Well!," whispered one, astonished. "It is not a grand procession at all!"
"I think I might be disappointed, Elladan," replied the other.
Lord Elrond sternly cut them off. "What are you speaking of?"
"The King's guard is small. I thought he always travelled with as many people as he could fit through his gates?"
"Where on Arda did you hear such nonsense?"
Elrohir went to answer, like a good, dutiful son, but quickly closed his mouth when a sharp elbow from his twin met his ribs. Elladan had quickly caught onto the horrified look on Glorfindel's face.
Someone had been playing tricks again.
Elrond resisted the urge to sigh. "I do not know where you are getting your schooling on King Thranduil, but I advise you my sons to ignore them."
"Yes, Adar," they replied in unison.
The delegation had now reached the bridge, and all could make out smiling faces and waves of greetings. What could not be seen however, was perhaps the most important thing of all.
"Where is Legolas?" asked Celebrian, looking around her skirts in case she had missed the young prince.
Now that he thought of it, Glorfindel hadn't seen him since he had pelted off for his bath earlier that day.
"He was detained during his bath, my love," replied his Lord. "When I last left him he was being wrangled by a maiden into his clothes. He shan't be long."
Glorfindel bit the inside of his cheeks. Really, it had been too long since he had gotten to make mischief with an elfling as young as Legolas. He had forgotten what it did to one's composure.
The King and his company had reached them now. Having never met him before, the twins remained respectfully silent as the older elves greeted each other. To their surprise however, Thranduil did not remain on his great horse, high and aloft, but sprang lightly down, with a smile on his lips.
"Mae Govvannen, good King," Elrond said bowing slightly as he welcomed his old friend.
Thranduil responded in kind, before stepping forward and clasping Elrond's forearm in the warrior's greeting. "Suilliad, mellon-nin. I hope this day has found you and your family well."
"Indeed it has, my King," answered Celebrian, stepping forward and greeting Thranduil with a sweet kiss to his cheek. "My daughter is engrossed in her lessons at the moment and my sons have delighted in running rampant all day. My husband has whiled away the hours by hiding from them."
Thranduil laughed lowly and turned to the sons in question. "Elrondionath," he said. "Come stand before me, if you please."
With subtle glances to each other, the twins stepped forward lightly, stopping not an arm's length from where the Woodland King now stood.
"It is our honour to meet you, King Thranduil," said Elrohir.
"Our pleasure, truly," added Elladan, with all sincerity.
"And it is also mine, children," Thranduil answered, grasping each of there arms in turn. "I am told that you are showing promise at such a young age in sword training."
The twin's eyes widened, and they wondered briefly who could have told the elven King such a thing. Seeing the question in their eyes, Thranduil smiled.
"You forget who are my kin and neighbours, younglings," he said. "You have a very proud daeradar."
Elladan and Elrohir grinned to each other, almost forgetting their manners. They said quick thank you's to the elven King and took their place by their mother and father's side.
Thranduil turned to Glorfindel, who stepped up and embraced him before he could say or do much of anything. Quickly pulling back, the Gondolian beamed mischievously at the Sindar.
"It has been too long, mellon-nin," he said.
"Aye, far too long, Glorfindel," he replied. "So long in fact, that I seem to have missed when you adopted the ways of the edain." Thranduil's eyes sparkled with mirth at the unusual greeting from his old friend.
"It must fall to someone to break the suffocating propriety that sometimes falls around here," he grinned. "Who better than me?"
"Of course," Elrond added. "None are better suited to the task than an overgrown elfling."
Glorfindel bowed with gusto at the title, and laughed good naturedly. Yet when he looked back to Thranduil, he could see the woodland king scanning the open courtyards and corridors of Imladris, looking for something.
"Speaking of elflings," he spoke at length. "You would not know where my son is?"
Celebrian smiled indulgently. "He'll be along shortly, good King. I believe one of the the servants is trying to tame him to make him presentable for you."
A wide smile swept across Thranduil's fair face. "Then good luck to her. When Legolas gets overexcited he can become...boisterous. But it does seem a little late in the hour for him to be bathing."
Glorfindel took to Thranduil's side, as they began to walk into the Last Homely House. "Ah you see my lord, I think that blame must fall to me."
Thranduil quirked a brow questioningly.
"I believe my Lord Elrond and Lady Celebrian were searching for him for some time whilst he was in my charge."
A smile tugged at the corner of the King's lips. "And pray tell what he was doing there?"
"Testing the quality of tapestry camouflage, my lord."
Thranduil couldn't hold back a small laugh, knowing how much his little son loved to play hide-and-seek. "Aye he can be quite critical on that count, I think. The tapestries of my own house have been found desperately wanting."
Elrond spoke up from the front of their procession. "He was also being frightened by tales from Gondolin I believe. Is that not right, my lord Glorfindel."
The great, golden-haired elf paled; his lips thinned, as he glared into the back of Elrond's skull. Beside him, he could feel the weighty gaze of Thranduil's disapproval.
"He is a little young for those stories of yours, is he not?"
Glorfindel cursed his traitorous mind, as it failed to give him a reasonable excuse to the elf-king, and cover his white-lie to the Lord of Imladris. He did not think that the latter would appreciate him speaking to the elfling of the possibility of the former locking elf-lord's up or murdering them, and his particular love for fine wine.
"Ah," was all that would come to his mind.
"As I recall," Elrond continued, with far too much mirth in his voice for Glorfindel's liking. "You told me he was trying to protect you from a Balrog."
It was a credit to Thranduil's nobility that he managed to keep a straight face. "You are to be struck down by a Balrog in the middle of Imladris, Glorfindel?"
Glorfindel started to look sheepish again. He opened his lips, praying to the valar that something would come out – when he was cut off.
For the second time that day, Glorfindel spied a little speeding blonde-haired blur; only this time it was Thranduil's arms it sprang into, instead of his own.
"There you are my little leaf," he said. "I was starting to wonder if you were avoiding me, and did not want to come home."
Thranduil held Legolas to him, strong arms fastened beneath little legs. But it would have mattered not. Legolas clutched to his father so tightly around his shoulders and his middle, that he would not have moved an inch if the elf-king let go.
"Oh no, Ada," Legolas said, his sweet voice muffled by Thranduil's cloak. "I'm excited you are here! But ada, I cannot let you do it!"
Thranduil looked bemused. "Do what, ion-nin?"
"I told him that I would look after him and protect him. I swore, ada."
The King blinked slowly. "Tithen las, do you speak of Lord Glorfindel?"
"Yes ada, you must not hurt him!"
Glorfindel closed his eyes and resigned himself to the worst.
"Yes, ada. He did not mean to lose me! But I am very quiet and good at hiding you know, so you cannot blame him! Don't you remember when we played and you lost me for nearly a whole day? It was my fault if anything ada - and I made him hurt the wall and he was really very upset."
Thranduil chose not to acknowledge the part about him losing his own child – a memory which could still bring a pinkish blush to his face. "And why was he upset, Legolas?"
"Well I asked him ada, I did. Because you always told me to look after sad people and make them not so, so I asked. And he said that he was worried that everyone would think ill of him if he had really lost me. And that you would slay him or chain him up! And I heard you – you told him that a Balrog was going to come and get him!"
Thranduil's dark brows rushed up to meet his fair hair at Legolas' exclamation. As he looked over his child's shoulder, he saw very much the same expression gracing Elrond and Celebrian's features. The twins however, he noticed, were looking anywhere but the spectacle unfolding before them. But Glorfindel stood, with his head bent and silvery-gold hair falling around his face like a shield, and shook his head ruefully. Yes, he would be having a word with the Balrog-slayer.
But Legolas was growing impatient, and took Thranduil's silence and judgement and anger. " Ada, baw!," he said forcefully, placing his little hands squarely on his father's shoulders, and leaning in so close that their noses were almost touching. "I told Glorfindel that I would keep him safe, and you must not make a liar out of me."
Legolas stared at Thranduil, blue eyes wide and beseeching, but his little jaw set resolute, as if he were scolding the elf-king. It took all of his restraint not to gather his son to him and coo like a fool. "Very well, tithen ernil," he said at last, "If you have made an oath, I cannot break it. Glorfindel is safe – this time."
Legolas gave a delighted yelp, and again locked a tangle of limbs around his father, face burying in his neck. After a moment he pulled back and grinning wildly, turned in Thranduil's arms to see Glorfindel.
"See, Glorfindel I told you ada was a very, very nice elf! He just loves me very much."
Ignoring the ominous looks being cast his way from Elrond, Glorfindel gave a sweeping bow. "His majesty is all kindness, my dear little one. How could I have ever doubted him."
Thranduil shook his head, exasperated, as Elrond again began leading them through the halls to house his guests.
"I think, Lord Elrond, if it does not trouble you, we should get some food into this little orc. I think you are hungry, ion-nin."
Legolas looked surprised. "I am, ada! How do you always know these things?"
Thranduil smiled. "It is as you say, little leaf. I love you very much – it is my duty to know these things."
"What is a Balrog?"