Disclaimer: No characters were harmed during the making of this fic. They were returned to Tolkien after I finished with them.
A/N: This is for Burning Tyger. College is all about the papers...and I figure, hey, Elvish libraries had to come from somewhere. Who's to say paper writing is any easier for an Elf? So, I made this Gift Fic. Keep on truckin', my friend.
The dust settled gently on parchment, aging it slowly, carefully curling the edges of pages and making them brittle and buff colored. Ages-old ink sat between closed book covers, waiting to be read, to be forgotten, or to be aged into more dust. Aisles of books, rows of tables, walls lined with benches under windows...such was this library of Rivendell, and all of its silent presence seemed curious and expectant.
In the midst of it all, Glorfindel waited for inspiration.
Outside a spring blossom fell from a tree limb to splash gracefully into a brook; a bird whistled gleefully. Elves spoke and laughed.
And Glorfindel waited, quill poised above blank parchment. In the corner of the page, a few simple designs were scribbled in dark ink; they looked elegant enough, but in fact they were no more than the scribblings of a very, very frustrated Elf.
He swallowed once, in lieu of grinding his teeth together or tossing the book aside and walking out on the whole thing.
"We need your account," Elrond had said. "We need your history, from your eyes, my friend. It would please me if you would do this."
When Elrond said, 'it would please me', it meant there would be no argument. It threatened a lifetime of wondering what opportunity he had offered you which you had forever passed by if you refused to do as he asked. Glorfindel was one to take opportunity when he saw it.
This meant he had agreed to write about his life, beginning to end to beginning, from his first sight of the stars to his first sight of Elrond's children. All the dreams and nightmares in between, all the songs he might have thought up, every nuance he thought notable, and some things Elrond had requested which Glorfindel thought were unremarkable.
But with one stipulation: Elrond wanted no less than four paragraphs for each nuance.
What had seemed a simple thing now seemed...ridiculous. Absurd. Impossible. The many, many years before his first 'death' had bled together until he wasn't sure anymore if he had met this person before he had visited that place.... He simply could not make sense of it on paper. Each time he had tried, it had come out incoherent.
Glorfindel added another dot to his scribbling. It was beginning to resemble a trout. If the trout was lounging on a haystack smoking a hobbit pipe, that is. With a slight frown, Glorfindel set his quill aside and leaned back in his chair. At this rate, his life's story would be a picture book.
"Glorfindel," a light, bell-clear voice greeted him. Elladan peered down at the book and smiled faintly. "You seem to be having difficulty."
"Ai, yes. I can't seem to recall more than a page's worth of my distant past...and even that becomes muddled." He gestured at a small pile of crumpled papers on the desk in explanation. "What brings you here?"
"I thought you might be here still. It is well past the evening meal again; are you famished yet?" Glorfindel had taken scarcely more than water and a few pieces of fruit since he'd begun his project, nearly two days before.
As he considered, eyed the papers, and then Elladan, he decided the assignment could be put off an hour or so. "I am, in fact. Lead on."
His reprieve lasted several hours after the meal was through. It had been more than refreshing, but when the other Elves were off tending to the nightly duties of Rivendell, Glorfindel reluctantly returned to the library and settled heavily in front of the empty book.
Elrond had once said fondly that writing took on a life of its own with time. Glorfindel was inclined to agree. His writing had become impishly, childishly stubborn in not having anything to do with his book.
Sitting here would accomplish nothing. Glorfindel rose and began to pace the aisles, reading the spines of ancient books. He tugged a few from the shelves which seemed most intriguing for one reason or another, and when he had an armful he settled in at his desk.
Hours passed as the lives of heroes and foes, lovers and friends, brothers and fathers, filled his mind page by page. Memories were sparked, began to sift back into place. Old pains and forgotten smiles returned.
Elladan pushed open the door to the library. It was evening meal again, and though he doubted Glorfindel would join him two nights in a row, it was becoming habit to ask. In any case, it afforded him reason to visit, and offer a bit of fresh air to the other Elf.
He paused mid step, certain his ears were deceiving him. Rivendell's libraries had no mice...but there was a definite skritch from somewhere in this room. Hope surged; Elladan crept forward, hardly daring to breathe lest he disturbed what he hoped he would find.
He caught his breath as he silently peered down an aisle to the center of the room where Glorfindel had taken over.
Sunset poured in and soaked the room in red and orange. And Glorfindel, half-bathed in the evening light, was halfway through his book.