Of Wine and Merriment

A sillyfic, derived from the Annals of Beleriand, as translated by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Author's note: First, don't take me up on the matter of Men getting drunk faster than Elves. It just makes sense in a perverse way.

Second, I am in fact a great fan of the Tragedy of Tuor and Idril, this is really meant to be harmless, not fanon…

Third and last, the Mirunaur, yours for the using.

The storm raged loud and cold outside Imladris, sweeping up leaves and tearing at branches, hair and cloaks, bringing clouds upon the Northern winds and a drawing mask of cool water on the free air. Rain, hail, windy whistles, as if Manwe Sulimo was having a truly bad day and had no one to take it out on except Endor the Unfortunate. The halls of the Last Homely Home defied him, however, with their maddening insistence on keeping a fire lit and merry voices raised in song, and embarrassing respectable Elf Lords. Or at least, that last thought did Glorfindel devise kneeling by the little bed, calling out in his fairest, softest half-song voice.

"Oh, Arwen… come out, loth-nin…"

"The thunder hates me!" The tiny Elf maid wailed, and crawled deeper yet under her bed, to the point in which Glorfindel was unsure if she could ever wring herself out.

The golden Elf gave a very quiet exasperated sigh, wondering if the Valar had just played a very wicked trick on him. Surely he had nobler callings on Arda than playing a babysitter for that accursed Half-Elf, who even now – Elbereth save! – was enjoying himself with his wife in fair Lorien, where the worst they had to deal with was Galadriel's infamous cooking.

"Arwen…" he tried another appeal. A mutter came from under the bed, followed by an overstuffed toy dog bonking Glorfindel square on the face. One could not say she had no Elven aim, the beast. "Ow! Why, you - !"

A sob sounded. Glorfindel blew out a long breath and quietly banged his forehead against the wooden floor several times.

"Please, pityael," he started, sweetly. "I will tell you a story if you come out…"

Silence. He held his breath. Dear loving Eru, if I've ever done right by this world…

A mane of hair dark as the shadows of twilight appeared abruptly followed by a serious little face of exceeding childish beauty, wearing an adorable little pout. Then came the rest of Arwen – entirely not much – and settled on the bed, crossing legs and arms and looking at Glorfindel like a princess on her lowliest subject.

"Story, Gofi," she demanded.

She was the sweetest thing in the world, Glorfindel thought.

"Story, hmm?" he asked, virtually melting, hopping on the bed to sit by her. She squirmed away as he tried to put her in his lap, and instead grabbed at her pillow and disappeared under the blankets, all save her bright round eyes. "What would you like it to be about, meleth?"

Arwen considered that for a moment. "About ada?"

Oh, yes. Glorfindel rubbed his hands in satisfaction. Elrond would pay.

"Wait."

Smart child, probably saw him smirking.

"Did ada have an ada?" Arwen asked with a little frown, crawling a bit out of her blanket-cave. The question caught Glorfindel by surprise. He leaned back against the wall and rubbed his chin.

"Hm, yes, well, everyone has one, you know, it's the way of things. Your sire's father is a very important man – "

"And did he have an ada?"

She had struck a soft spot. Glorfindel smiled in nostalgia, bringing to his mind's eyes a tall, golden form, a pair of kind blue eyes, and memories of white walls. "Indeed he had, a dear friend of mine."

"And a naneth?" Well, one could certainly not say she was not persistent.

"A naneth, also, a great princess." Arwen squealed. She was very much fond of princesses and their stories, and had been playing Luthien and Beren with her brothers and toy dog since she was old enough to stumble around pretending to dance.

Glorfindel grinned as the girl fully emerged, her eyes wide with excitement, her hands clutched together expectantly. "Would you like to hear of how they came together?"

An enthusiastic nod provided an answer; Arwen's dark hair flew into her eyes. She swept at it impatiently, and hurled herself into Glorfindel's lap, ignoring even the loud thunder that roared from outside.

Come to think of it, Glorfindel realized, it might not have been the most fitting story for a maid of ten summers, but it was too late to back off now. Ah well, let Elrond deal with the consequences.

"It is a story of Gondolin," he began, stroking Arwen's hair. "Gondolin the White City, the City of the Seven Names, where Turgon King ruled in the First Age of the sun. A daughter he had, Idril Celebrindal, whose beauty and sweet nature were known afar in vast Beleriand. But though her suitors were many, her heart was drawn away from them, rather to a stranger in the city. Tuor son of Huor he was named, and he was rather a mortal Man. There are many great tales of them, but the one I would tell you now is not counted among them. There is little greatness in it, alas; but it is quite an amusing tale of what a mess the Great can make.

"Now, Tuor was not to most social of folk, that is to say the least. It may be found in books of lore – and you have read your books of lore, have you not?" He asked, casting a moment's glance over his shoulder at the grinning Elladan and Elrohir, who thought it good entertainment to watch him melt all over Arwen from the doorway.

The girl gave a discontent huff at her brothers' growing smirks, and Glorfindel was forced to hastily continue.

"As I said, then, the books of lore tell us that Tuor spent three years of his life a thrall of the Eastern Men, and four more wandering lonesome in wild places. Therefore, it can be quite understandable that he reckoned little of the company of others, and was rather shy and awkward, preferring to be silent unless spoken to. Though he had many fascinating tales to share, and his voice was as the distant sea should be one lucky enough to corner him into singing, he kept mostly to himself, even in fair Gondolin where friendship was to be found under every rock one happened to have overturned. Among maidens, it was worse yet – he had evidently not gazed upon one in his life, so folk guessed, seeing him gawk and stutter and turn to flee whenever the opportunity presented itself.

"It was an embarrassment – not only to him – and worse, seeing as that dear and goodly Man took almost entirely to locking himself in his house, spending the good years of his life with the company of naught but books and harps. Somewhat like your father, Arwen-loth… do not tell him I said that – " Arwen frowned, opening her mouth to speak, but her brothers' snickers silenced her. Glorfindel smiled and went on.

"This, my friend Ecthelion and myself perceived, was an evil visited unfairly upon our city, which should bask in the glow of all good souls, socially functional or otherwise. Long have we, and the fool adan's companion Voronwe, sat at devising a manner to bring Tuor forth. We knew we could not simply force him out of the house – they are of fragile mind, these mortals, doubtlessly some talk and sunlight would have driven him mad – and could not inflict upon any the torment of coming inside and watching him brood. A cunning plan was in order, yet none of us seemed to be coming up with one, being occupied as we were – "

"With chasing skirts rather than suits of mail," Elrohir drawled. Glorfindel shot him a glare worthy of the Captain of Balrogs.

"Your sister," he intoned, "is listening."

A thunder crashed outside.

"The story, Gofi," Arwen spoke into the very meaningful silence that followed.

Glorfindel pulled his eyes away from the younger Elf, slowly, letting every inch be felt, and looking gleefully back to Arwen continued with renewed enthusiasm.

"We were, trust me, very occupied indeed. None too occupied, however, to take immediate notice of the solution when it came to us, seemingly by grace of the Valar, though later it became questionable precisely which one.

"One day Voronwe had, by some chance encounter so typical of him, gotten his hands upon a bottle filled to the brim with some infernal substance rumored to be Mirunaur, the Fire-Ale of Doriath. How it came by our city, I am not sure I wish to know, and why he kept it, I wonder to this day. It smelled of – "

Your sister is watching.

" – interesting things, and its taste went to prove that having a Balrog step on your tongue is not always such a bad idea. Ecthelion and myself were most intent on testing it, but for that my friend had came up with an idea we thought at the time was much better. At the time…

"Do not play with Fire-Ale, Arwen-nin.

"As I am sure your brothers would tell you, wine has a power to loosen a man's tongue and sooth his straits. Few things indeed in Arda are so ever beneficial when one dares not speak aloud without clouding one's head – just ask your daernaneth sometimes. Thus armed with that knowledge did the three of us, Ecthelion, Voronwe and myself, set us a time, and went together to Tuor's house upon the walls of Gondolin to partake of the thing. We had assured that the Man, ill-prepared for the onslaught, was the first to taste of Voronwe's prized horror, then took each a glass, until we were very much surprised – yes, Elladan, very much – to discover the bottle was empty.

"At first, all seemed to be in order. Tuor was a sour drunk at most times, and entirely no fun company. But this Elf-bane had gone to his head with all proper speed, and soon he was as gleeful as an Elven youth wandering with his love in Nan Tarneth in spring, and just about as sensible. One could never guess he had once been distant and uncertain – ere we were done he laughed wildly at jokes that made Ecthelion blush, and had worn out his voice for the next few days at the least singing us songs of his own devising, which were doubtlessly meant for more somber – or at least more coherent – occasions. It was a sight I will never forget, and I am very much sure I ought to be regretting that.

"It was only when the poor adan had stumbled from his chair, falling sprawled, limp and laughing to the floor, that a thought took the three of us that did not occupy our minds before. I distinctly remember Voronwe going very pale and Ecthelion turning to smack his brow against the nearest wall, recalling of a sudden that our friend was no Elf.

"For you see, Arwen-iell, it is a difficult thing to intoxicate the Edhil. Such we were created – hardy and steadfast, doubtlessly a cruel joke of Eru's in that regard. Alas, we have outwitted him with such things as the Mirunaur, two glasses of which could make your father dance upon the dinner table clad in your mother's robes. And ere now, far too late, did my friends and I recall that we had given an entire bottle of the beast – an entire bottle – to Tuor, a mortal Man.

"He, of course, was entirely not troubled by this at that moment. I doubt he even realized what havoc was being wrecked on his body and mind even as he stood again, gazed at us long smiling in a most unbecoming way. Then, of a sudden, in a gesture that surprised us all, laid his hands upon the table, and called out: "But I must speak to Idril!" Then, in a somewhat less surprising turn of events, did he lose all semblance of consciousness and crumpled to the floor."

"No tolerance," Glorfindel heard Elrohir mutter.

"It gets worse, brother," came Elladan's dismal reply. "The same blood runs in our veins!"

The golden Elf chuckled to himself, noting Arwen's wide eyes and slightly opened mouth as he continued. "What could we do? We took him to his bed, and would have sent for a healer, had Ecthelion not wisely noted that mayhap the story was best not getting out, and it was only ale, after all. Thus we left Voronwe to watch over his unfortunate friend, and departed as quietly as we could, idly pondering why was it that Tuor had mentioned Idril.

"Indeed it was Idril that we had encountered walking along the streets. Very nervous was she, and seemed relieved to see us. At once she began presenting us with all manners of questions concerning where we had gone and what we had done, and we evaded her as best we could, feigning ignorance when she spoke of Tuor. I believe it was Ecthelion's tongue that slipped, saying that he had mentioned her, but when she, eagerly, asked where and why, he immediately took back his words, saying it was in chance conversation, and nothing of importance.

"The poor thing! How she had hung her head, thanking us quietly and walking back down the street, leaving Ecthelion and myself as confused as we had ever been.

"It was not until several days later that we had learned precisely what transpired, a wondrous tale in truth. Two nights had gone before Tuor awakened, and two more before either his head or stomach would silence their complaining. Being himself, he took it all in as good spirits as was possible – and Arwen-filit, respect him for that as you do for any great deed! – and had promised us even that he had no plans of telling Turgon King of the fiasco. A precious soul, Tuor! He truly did his best, but somehow Turgon, who was no fool, nor blind to all that transpired in his beloved city, did learn and learn all of the incident. Furious, he summoned the three of us to stand before him, and demanded to know just where we had gotten that poison, and why were we going about feeding it to, of all people, that poor Man who did not know what hit him.

"Now the chief share of his rage was directed at Voronwe; and it was quite touching, seeing our friend trying to mask the origins of his prize. He had never been much of a liar, nor good at hiding a truth, and before Turgon's overflowing rage he nearly broke, and may have taken to blame for his own, were it not that at that very moment, Idril came running from her room, calling out to her father to cease his assault upon Voronwe, saying, breathlessly, that the fault was hers."

"Oh!" Arwen gasped. "But she was a princess!"

Glorfindel laughed. "Indeed she was! And a wickedly cunning princess at that. Flushed and fretting did she stand before her outraged father, and explained to him, in great detail and bursting emotions, how she took the bottle from the deepest store, gave it to Voronwe and bade him have Tuor drink of it, in desperate hope that, with his mind sufficiently addled, he would at last speak and say whether he loved her or not!"

As if on cue, Elladan and Elrohir both burst into wild laughter. Even Arwen started giggling, clapping as she hopped up and down on her bed. Glorfindel smiled smugly, waited a moment, and cleared his throat. Instant silence fell upon the room.

"Now," he went on, smirking, "that came as quite a surprise to all of us, not the least to Turgon himself, who suspected nothing. Needless to say, he forgave her – the poor maiden's patience was absolutely spent, and still that fool adan would not say a word. Therefore he summoned to him Tuor, who was quite confused as for the whole affair, and bade him either speak or suffer to be again intoxicated till he did. And that, it turned out, was certainly threat enough to have the shiest and most awkward man I have ever known heartily confess his deep love to the King's daughter, and stoop even to kiss her as she seemingly fell into his long-waiting arms.

"Matters progressed quite swiftly from that day on. As slow as Tuor was on taking the first step, he caught on soon on the many aspects of romance, up to and including showing his face in public. Needless to say, Ecthelion, Voronwe and myself counted our plan a grand success – so much that, on their wedding day, did Tuor and Idril find upon the threshold of their house's door a finely decorated basket, wherein lay nestled as an innocent child a full, unopened bottle of Mirunaur."

His task done, Glorfindel leaned back and sighed deeply, content and remembering. Arwen sat a little while, the story doubtlessly giving her all the wrong ideas, then at last leaned forward, looked very deeply into Glorfindel's eyes, and asked the obligatory question.

"Did they live happily ever after?"

He smiled.

"Quite."

He lifted up the toy dog from the floor and arranged it nearly next to the Elfling as she cuddled in her blanket, closing her eyes. The storm had consumed the last of its breaths outside, the air was very clean, and no thunder disturbed little Arwen as she drifted off to a satisfied sleep.

Glorfindel stood, and stretched, straightening his back.

"Oh, well," he said, turning around to walk out, and found himself faced with the very, very strangely grinning Elladan and Elrohir.

"What?" He asked impatiently.

"We were just…" one twin started.

"Wondering…" the other broke into his words.

"That Mirunaur… did it by any chance…"

"Oh, suppose… survive into the Third Age?"

"In Lorien, perhaps?"

"Gondor?"

"In your father's study," Glorfindel heard himself say.

The two froze. "What?"

"Your father's study." Ah, well, no use stopping now. "He is very much fond of it, is my good friend Elrond. More than he should be, in fact. Ask your mother if you do not believe me."

And whistling he left them behind to stare, at least before they set to the task of confirming his words once Elrond and Celebrian return. Oh, yes, revenge was certainly sweeter than any wine.

~~End~~