Title: Tithen Maethor

Author: Calenlass Greenleaf

Disclaimer: I do not own Estel or Elrond. I own only the wooden sword. :)

Spoilers: For any Aragorn references in LOTR, both books and movies.

Rating: PG-13. No slash (I don't write it) or romance (This is not a romance piece).

Genre: Angst/Hurt/Comfort

Summary: Written for the OAA Prompt 108—Weapon. He is the little warrior of Rivendell, the fierce dae amlug-dagnir…Elrond's POV.

A/N: It's been too long since I last did a prompt. Originally a poem, but I changed it while halfway through because a poem wasn't enough. This one is exactly 500 words, not counting the header, title, "The End," or the translations.

A/N #2: Many thanks for Deandra for pointing my typos!

Roses of Sharon: She's one of the few who can insult me and live to tell the tale. -Grins and sticks out tongue-

Tithen Maethor

He is the little warrior of Rivendell, the fierce dae amlug-dagnir. He swings his wooden sword at Balrog and Orcs envisioned in his mind and imagination, rescuing countless toy soldiers, slaying the myriad of paper enemies, and once, during the dead of night, even wrestling with a blanket he claimed was Sauron himself.

He twirls in the dance of the swordsman, jumping from tabletop to bookshelf, hacking at furniture and—Eru help us—even elves, and shouting his loud war cries of "Lacho calad! Drego morn!"

Awkward though he may seem, with many a crooked stance and riposte, often stumbling, often falling, the look of determination set upon his face belays any doubts of his courage. The light in his eyes is determined and bright, his grip on the weapon tight and unrelenting. There is no doubt that one day his enemies will fear him and know he is the Heir.

But as the years pass, he outgrows his wooden sword, fighting with real weapons and foes that are very real. Each time he returns home, he is stained with blood, the blood of his enemies and his own. The light has not dulled, nor has the courage faded. But the weariness in both body and spirit are apparent.

The little warrior is no longer so little.

He is not the innocent child he once was, but one who has faced, is facing, and will face great and fell things in his life. Though he has become mighty and brave, strong and a man to be proud of, I still worry.

He was born the Heir, with the weight of the world upon him. His childhood was carefree at least, but once he was of age, and taught of his heritage, that carefree life was over.

He played the warrior when he was young. "It is only a game!" he insists. "Play with me, Ada?" Now it is no longer a game, but a way of life. Day after day and year after year, he saves and protects the lives of many, some who do not even appreciate what he does. They call him names, their comments spiteful. I see my child confront them—head up, eyes steady.

As a youth, he refused to acknowledge his wounds and weariness. He hated it when I fussed over his various scrapes and injuries. Many times I wonder why children always hide their pain, troubles, and fears. Do they think it a sign of maturity? During his childhood years I had tended to many a bloodied nose and broken bone, yet he always insisted he was fine.

The warrior no longer does that; he knows what weakness is, and what is not. He comes back to me with deeper hurts, his eyes full of tears—not for himself, but for others.

He asks me if I thought him a warrior, with all his doubts, and if he were worthy of that title.

My reply is always the same.

"Le tithen maethor nîn, Estel."

The End

Sindarin Translations:

Tithen maethor – little warrior

Dae amlug-dagnir – Literally "shadow dragon-slayer"

Lacho calad! Drego morn! – Flame light! Flee night! (I didn't make this up; taken from Merin Essi ar Quenteli.)

Ada – Daddy

"Le tithen maethor nîn, Estel." – "You are my little warrior, Estel."