Disclaimer: It's a pity but I don't own any of these beautiful elves and I didn't even ask if I may play with them. And I'm in deadly need of money because I don't get any money for writing this. But it's fun to write.
Beta: Yep, hugs for Oli who did a great job. All remaining mistakes are there because I'm to stupid to make them right after her advice.
Authors Note: Of course all of this is completely AU – not only because I made Melpomaen a warrior...
This was written for the November Challenge on a German webpage. Asked for was a story with the words Mist, Music, (Autumn) Foliage, Chocolate and Candlelight in it.
A/N 2: words written in italics style are thoughts or mindspeaking
Elves don't get cold
Elves do not feel cold. Such words could only come from Glorfindel. Erestor put the cape more tight around his shoulders and raised from the huge chair, that stood behind his desk.
Almost all who were ever in his study asked themselves why did the delicate Noldo needed such a wide chair, but only Elrond knew that at the end of a workday - next to Erestor - were usually at least half a dozen of books and parchment rolls, about twenty quills and rulers, at least five ink pots and innumerable pieces of paper were on the seat - not to forget his gray and black striped cat, which went in and out just like her Elf.
Visha opened one of her ice blue eyes, when the pillow on the chair moved and looked up disapprovingly at the black haired advisor, who disturbed her slumber so ruthlessly. His index finger fondling her ear, however soothed her immediately.
Elves do not feel cold, he raged on while stirring the fire in the fireplace. Perhaps Vanyar don't get chilly, but I have been the living proof that an Elf can feel cold. And that Erestor has for three days now.
The door of his study opened and a rush of cold air swelled "Erestor? - What's up here?"
Erestor pressed his lips together in frustration. "Come in please, Elrond and close the door. It gets cold in here."
The Lord of Imladris did what he had been told and observed his adviser questioning. He was pale, but Elrond could remember only very few moments, when Erestor gained some color in his cheeks and - frankly - he didn't want to remember most of this situations. The small Elf next to him could mutate to a true fury if he was dragged to much. Aside from his paleness there were deep shadows under his eyes, probably because he was sitting in the library until the early morning hours again.
"Don't you think that it's a bit overheated in here?" The Lord would have been given anything to be able to remove his robes while he went to Erestor's chair and stroked Visha absentmindedly, who evidently felt very comfortable in the heat despite of her fur.
"I'm cold", the advisor growled, which caused Elrond's eyebrow to climb noticeably up his forehead.
"Erestor, elves don't feel cold."
The small Elf swirled around and graced him with a look that gave the lord chills. "I will remember you, when you lie in bed next time trembling from the cold and try to sooth your runny nose. How was this strange illness called?"
"Cold", sighed Elrond. How much he hated this unpleasantness of his human heritage! "And I get it only, because I'm half elven, exactly like Arwen and the twins." He decided not to remind the Noldo of his fully elven heritage and instead remembered the actual reason why he had come. "Can you do me a favor and seek out Glorfindel? He should have been with us an hour ago and it's getting more difficult to hold out the Lórien envoys."
Erestor was tempted to protest, but then he remembered how often the First Warrior had sent away the service messengers it because he did not want to interrupt a practice just taking place with his troops. So he nodded sighing and went to the training field where he would find the Vanya most likely.
Carefully nursing his displeasure over Imladris' seneschal, he stepped out of the Last Homely House and was grasped immediately by a wind squall, that let him stumble some steps forward. He cursed softly and looked around to find out whether someone had observed his misfortune. At this time of day, all ways in the valley were well frequented, but the Elves near him at least pretended to have seen nothing. Everybody in Imladris knew that one did better not to cross the path of Lord Elrond's gloomy advisor. At least almost everybody knew, for Elladan and Elrohir - the Lord's Twin sons - seemed to forget it once in a while and Lord Glorfindel o Gondolin simply refused to note it.
With firm steps, which made his bad mood recognizable for all, he marched over red and golden leaves, that had fallen in the last days so quickly from the trees, that it seemed that one was able to watch, how the trees became bare.
Normally he loved autumn in the hidden valley. He enjoyed the mild sun that was warm, but didn't burn on his sensitive skin as the summer sun did, and he loved to watch at all the beautiful colours with which the leaves of Imladris' many trees were decorated for this time of year.
If he had found time, he would go out with Arwen - which was quieter than her brothers and Erestor therefore found it more easy to handle her - collecting colorful autumn leaves, chestnut and acorn, and would have done handicrafts with the girl.
But in all other years, it had not stormed and rained so much and in all other years, he had felt also not so condemned.
He suppressed a further curse, when his boot glided off on the damp leaves causing him almost to slip. That really would have made his day, all the more because he was now in visibility expanse of the barracks and the adjacent training zone of the soldiers.
What's that? Why did no one one sweep this way?, he asked himself until it occurred to him, that he had forgotten, to send the troops out that held Imladris' streets usually clean and safe to walk. He, who was not only famous for his razor-sharp intellect but also for his memory and organization skills. Perhaps it was the piercing headache that had tormented him for three days, that was to blame, and he should ask Elrond for a tea.
His eyes narrowed to slits when he entered the practice field and saw the missed seneschal locked into a demonstration battle with his Second in Command.
Melpomaen let go of his sword as soon as he recognized, who was approaching them. "Oh, oh, a thunderstorm front is coming for us."
Glorfindel looked surprised to the sky. "If that is a diversionary tactic it won't …"
"No, no diversionary tactic", the Vanya groaned softly and went on a bit louder, "What a pleasure, to see you here, my sweet Erestor."
"Whether it's a pleasure, is left to be seen", came the icy answer.
Glorfindel's lips curled in an impish smile. "It is always a pleasure to see you. What can I do for you?"
Melpomaen winced, but Glorfindel seemed not to attend to the obviously especially bad mood of the Noldo.
Erestors eyes became even narrower. "For me nothing at all, but you can entertain the Lórien envoys."
The Balrog slayer's mood sank immediately. "You are much better with those things than I am."
The Noldo shook his head. "Don't even think about it."
"I would owe you something."
"Do you have an actual idea how much you already owe me?"
Glorfindel sighed. It was true, he used to unload the largest part of his paper works onto Erestor. Even the rosters were usually worked out by the black haired Elf. "Tell Elrond and the guests that I am indispensable here. I have to instruct our soldiers."
Some of the warriors standing next to him laughed, but Erestor was not amused. "To me it looked more like you would play with Melpomaen."
The Balrog slayer tried to give his voice some snub. "You've interrupted my duel with Melpomaen, what was purposed to be a lesson for the future defenders of Imladris, and so far he hasn't got me not out of this circlet." He pointed at a circle, that had been pulled around both duelists into the sand.
"No one has overcome Glorfindel so far", specified Melpomaen.
The advisor's eyes shot back and forth between both and remained again on the seneschal. "I guess, I can help out with that."
Now also Melpomaen wasn't able to suppress a laugh any longer. "Does that mean that you want to take my place and try to overcome the Balrog slayer?"
"If he promises to handle the guests worries afterward, yes", the addressed grumbled, and took a step forward.
Melpomaen shared a questioning look with Glorfindel, but when the Vanya only shrugged helplessly, he delivered his sword to the advisor with an inviting gesture and left the circle in which the duel had taken place. The petite Elf was almost pulled down by the surprising weight of the weapon but he quickly adjusted and stepped to the warrior into the circle.
"Erestor?" Glorfindel observed the entire scene with increasing apprehension. The Noldo was barely reaching to his shoulders and carried one of his heavy ceremonial robes. What was worse however was that he was hardly able to hold Melpomaen's two-handed sword, what was much too long for him anyway. And as far as Glorfindel knew he never had received an education at any weapon.
Of course the seneschal would be careful, yet more careful than with the new recruits, but nevertheless the danger remained that Erestor might injured himself accidentally.
Mean time even the soldiers, who had not attended the show battle led before came closer. A duel - indifferently in which way - of Lord Elrond's both most trusted friends wasn't something anybody wanted to miss. The more, because wicked tongues in the valley were telling that the First warrior secretly was after the small advisor. Glorfindel himself never had said anything about it unfortunately - not in the public anyway.
"What's up?" the advisor asked impatiently. "Could we start?"
"As you like", Glorfindel answered yielding. He lifted his sword with closed eyes for the usual ritual greeting in front of his face and sensed in the next moment that something was not right.
At the moment, when the Vanya had greeted, his opponent had put away Melpomaens sword, ducked himself under Glorfindel's weapon and pushed an elbow into the warriors stomach. Totally taken by surprise the First warrior lost his balance and landed inelegant on his rear.
"I won", said Erestor coolly.
Glorfindel opened his eyes and looked around. He really sat outside of the circle while the advisor stood alone into its middle and put a night black strand of hair behind his ear, that had solved itself. "That is not fair. The duel not yet was opened."
A finely shaped noldorian eyebrow jumped upward. "I did not know, that an Orc would greet, before he attacks."
- Tbc -