Disclaimer: Tolkien's heirs and estate own the characters and world, I am but a visitor, owned by two cats and an Arabian gelding. It seemed to me, reading stories, that there were a million tales of the twins, of Legolas, as youngsters, but very few of Arwen. Peter Jackson and New Line had her steal my beloved Glorfindel's role (and horse) in the movie, however...I still like her! Here then, a possible tale from the Evenstar's childhood.
A few clarifications at the end -- things I know will be commented on *g*
A thing of beauty is a joy forever;
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness. -- Endymion. Book i.
Golden eyebrow lifting, Glorfindel cocked his head as he watched armor that had been stationary for hundreds of years, part of a display in Elrond's library, suddenly lurch into clanging life, staggering across the room, right before him. He winced as armor met wall, the resulting crash and muffled yelp turning up the curves of the ancient elf's mouth.
Walking over, he knelt to regard the heap of well-polished metal, pretending not to notice the small hand that suddenly retracted into the chest plates. "Most curious." Glorfindel nodded to himself, curbing a smile. "Armor does not typically take to roaming the halls of the library and yet..."
Only elven ears could have picked up the minute sigh. "I cannot move."
"Undómiel?" It was something he would have attributed to the twins when they were younger, but it didn't surprise Glorfindel that Elrond's daughter was as much a scamp as the boys. He'd hauled her out of more than one tree after she'd climbed too high and couldn't get down. Far from helpless, Arwen simply had a bit more self-preservation than either of her brothers.
"Glorfindel, help me!" Not so much a plea, as a demand. Arwen was, after all, a princess.
Chuckling, not bothering to hide it, the golden haired elf reached out to lift the armor upright, smiling merrily when Arwen's dark head popped up through the neck hole. "'Tis a bit big for you, is it not?"
A most definite frown puckered the full lips, grey eyes dark as the child gazed haughtily at her rescuer. "You're not supposed to mock the maiden in distress, Glorfindel."
"Ah..." Nodding sagely as he sat back on his heels, he regarded Arwen with a solemn expression. "Perhaps that is why I have never wooed and won a maiden for my own, hmm?"
A reluctant smile tugged at the corner of her mouth, and Arwen shifted as the weight of the armor held her in place. "'Tis likely." A huff for her inability to move and she changed her look to one of pleading. "Gofi, this is getting rather heavy."
He knew the look of old -- this child who had stolen his heart from the very moment she'd been placed in his arms by Elrond. Tiny, hardly even hours old, and yet there had been a patient wisdom to those dark blue eyes. A quietly demanding infant, she'd not been happy unless she was held, looking up from the comfort of an exquisite bassinet, tiny hands reaching towards whomever was looking down at her.
Still reaching, pushing, as much as she could. Even when it was more than her father would have preferred.
Strong-willed, still only in her early adolescence, and yet Glorfindel could already see the beauty that she would become.
She was much like her father.
"Arms up, Undómiel." He easily lifted the intricate armor, carefully setting it aside. Heirloom from another Age, it was a reminder of sacrifice and honour. "What possessed you to climb inside your Adar's armor?"
"I thought it was bolted in place," she retorted indignantly. A tiny sniff as she smoothed hair off her forehead. "Ada was speaking of Gil-galad last night, and you know how rarely he mentions him."
Nodding, Glorfindel stood, taking the armor with him. Not heavy to a fully-grown elf, apart from the memories it brought back. "Orodruin or Mithlond?"
"Orodruin." Arwen rose easily to her feet, trotting at the Elf Lord's heels as he took the armor back to the display and began to arrange it again.
"Hmm." More a grunt than an answer, typical of Glorfindel when it came to speaking of the years spent on the plains of Orodruin.
"Why did not women fight as well?" Edging past him, Arwen played with the tassel of her belt. "I can shoot almost as well as my brothers, though..." She sighed, grimacing at her feet. "The armor is heavier than I believed."
Setting the helmet back in place, trailing a hand down the polished surface, Glorfindel was silent a long moment. Holding out a hand, he half-turned, arching an eyebrow at her.
Arwen dropped the tassel and took his hand, skipping once before settling down to walk next to him.
He led her to the statue that cradled Narsil's shards, and sat on one of the steps. Arwen settled next to him, gazing at the mural before her with a pursed lip.
"There was great evil walking the lands in those days, Undómiel." Glorfindel reached out to lift the wild mane of tangled black hair, smoothing it, tucking it behind her ears. "Enough so that we allied ourselves with Man again, as we had not done since the days before Beleriand sunk beneath the waters."
Nodding, Arwen hopped up to examine Narsil. "But they let us down, didn't they?" Shrewdness and near frightening intelligence in the grey eyes that met the Eldar's gaze. "Kept the ring for themselves."
Sadness, and a near-haunted expression sobered the usually joyful face of the golden haired elf. "Men desire power, Arwen. They can accomplish much, filled with great will, but have not the span we do to gain experience. Their memories are short, blurred in the end of their lives by forgetfulness." His gaze roamed the mural of Isildur and Sauron, lost in memory for a while. "There will be one who will right the wrong. Someday." He turned to look at the girl, still so young. "Why do you think your father shelters the heirs of the Dúnedain here in Imladris?"
A frown as she pondered the question. "They are..." Arwen wrinkled her nose, searching for a word to describe why her father allowed the ties with Man, when her grandmother and grandfather in Lothlórien closed themselves off more and more. "...Man's best hope for a future."
Glorfindel nodded. "So he believes, as do I."
She grinned suddenly, chin raising. "You never did answer my question."
"Did I not?" The Eldar stood, smile curving his lips again.
"Fine." A sniff as she tossed her head. "You could just say you don't know."
Chuckling again, Glorfindel put his arm around her shoulders as she leaned into him, walking out of the library into the warmth of the spring sunshine.
"Gofi..." Arwen stopped suddenly, frowning as a thought rose. "Will you stay with us for all time?" Slipping a hand into his, rather surprised at the sense of security the strength of his hand, him simply standing there, gave her. "With Ada, until he sails West?"
Were those tears in the bright blue eyes? Surely not, Glorfindel was ever merry and mischievous!
She blinked in surprise as he knelt, holding her hand in both of his. Gazing solemnly at her. "I will remain with your family until you either no longer need me, or your father sails to Aman, Undómiel." Arwen nodded slowly. She'd known her family had a guardian -- he'd been there for all time as far as she was concerned -- but to hear him pledge it...
Glorfindel smiled brightly, winking at her. "But I foresee a day when another will stand at your side, and you will have no need of me."
"Oh no!" Arwen shook her head vehemently, grey eyes gleaming. "You're..." She looked pained for a moment, before simply offering, "You're our Gofi."
Not missing his wince or the sigh. It cheered her, and Arwen grinned. "Come." She tugged on his hand, all but dancing. "If I cannot wear armor, I can at least sit a horse better than my brothers! Come to the stables with me?"
As if he could resist, had ever been able to resist her wishes.
"Very well, Undómiel." Standing, offering a courtly bow with a flourish, Glorfindel allowed himself to be towed away by an elfling whose head barely rose to his chest.
Missing the form that stepped out of a deep shadow of the library, smiling as he watched his daughter lead his oldest friend on a merry path. Not concerned. Elrond had entrusted his life to the golden haired elf and never been disappointed.
Elrond turned and went back into the library, chuckling to himself over the nickname his children still used.
Who better to watch over his children than their beloved 'Gofi'?
First, this is bookverse, which means Arwen is not going to steal Asfaloth. I just liked making digs at that. *g*
Second, and Dragon, thank you for commenting on this! Arwen's eyes are blue when Glorfindel is holding her as a newborn, yet later, clearly noted as grey. This is deliberate. Often babies are born with dark blue eyes and the colour will gradually change to the shade they will have as an adult.
Anything else? Keep catching these things and thank you!