Summary: Glorfindel is given a daunting task by Lord Elrond. Will he survive to see the other side of it?
Chapter One: Sunday
in which Glorfindel is assigned his mission by Lord Elrond of Rivendell.
Elrond paced around and around his study, trying desperately to think of a solution to his ever-pressing problem. Again and again, he came up with possibilities, then just as quickly rejected them.
Too young... too old... too kind... too strict... still being taken care of for trauma from the last time... moved to Lothlorien afterwards...
Elrond sighed. There was no way he would be able to convince any elf within Middle Earth to look after his young sons, Elrohir and Elladan for a whole week! The last time h had left them under the care of a baby sitter, they had set her on fire ("By accident!" they insisted) and sent her screaming form the room when they had thrown spiders on her head from high on a wardrobe they had climbed. After that story head spread, there was not a single elf who disappeared when word got out that Elrond was searching for a care taker for his sons.
This time, he needed a sitter because he was headed to the Grey Havens tomorrow on diplomatic business that he needed to discuss with Círdan the Shipwright. Celebrían would normally look after their sons, but she had been long overdue for a visit to her parents in Lorien, and so, both of the twins' parents would be away. She was leaving tomorrow as well.
Erestor was more than capable of running Imladris in Elrond's absence, but after he had tripped backwards down a flight of stairs over a pile of books conveniently placed by the twins, he outright refused to have anything to do with their upbringing.
"Bring them to me when they are old enough to read," was all he had said before storming from the room after the aforementioned incident had taken place.
Elrond thought for another moment before another possibility entered his mind, one he had not even smiled as he though about it; the more he thought, the more he knew it was perfect.
Without a backwards glance, he set off to find Glorfindel.
Glorfindel sat under the shade of an apple tree, long legs stretched out in front of him. He held an apple in his hand, one he had picked about three hours ago but hand't had the energy to actually eat. It was hot today. Hot, hot, hot. The sun sone strongly, and Glorfindel was only outside because the twin demons that Elrond had fathered were inside.
He didn't know what it was about him that the twins liked, but they plagued him at every step he took, tripping him in corridors, dropping books on his head as he passed under balconies (a habit which had lead Glorfindel to start skirting balconies and checking them before he continued on his way), and being downright irritating. Erestor, laughing as Glorfindel vented his frustration, had said only that the two small children admired him. Glorfindel had grumbled himself into silence, and decided that until they were old enough to swing a sword, he would avoid the two "demon children," as he and Erestor had termed them, all together.
Glorfindel closed his eyes, letting the heat overcome his senses and allowing his mind to slip into daydreams, one involving him fighting a pink dragon, and another where Elrond stood over him wearing nothing but a frilly dress and curls in his hair.
"Glorfindel. Glorfindel! Glorfindel!"
Glorfindel jumped and snapped his eyes open.
There was Elrond, but he was wearing his usual attire, definitely not a dress, though Glorfindel's cheeks heated slightly and he snickered to himself as Elrond raised an eyebrow at him, but made no comment.
"Come with me, Glorfindel. I need to speak with you."
Glorfindel sobered as the elf lord turned and walked away back into the relatively cool interior of the House. What had he done now?
Glorfindel sighed and hauled himself reluctantly to his feet, stretching as he ran his mind over his actions of the past few days, searching for anything that would have gotten him in trouble. He had come in from a long patrol three days ago, and had been either sleeping or eating since then, apart from an occasional drink with Erestor. Perhaps Elrond was angry at them for drinking an entire bottle of Dorwinion from Greenwood two nights ago? They had received their punishments, Glorfindel could assure Elrond. The hangovers they had earned with still made him close his eyes and shiver.
But when Glorfindel reached Elrond's study, he found no sign of Erestor. Elrond sat in his chair behind his desk, and motioned for Glorfindel to close the door and take a seat. Glorfindel did so.
"Well, Glorfindel," Elrond said in a buisness-like tone, "You may have heard that I am going to the Grey Havens tomorrow." When Glorfindel nodded, he continued.
"It turns out that Celebrían's visit to Lothlorien also falls upon tomorrow, Monday, and she will be gone for the remainder of this week as well."
Glorfindel's eyes had filled with suspicion as though he had an inkling of where this conversation was headed, but he remained quiet.
"As both Celebrían and I will be away, there is a service I require of you in my absence."
Glorfindel raised an eyebrow.
"If it doesn't involve drinking, eating or sleeping..."
Elrond glared the other elf into silence.
"It involves all three. It just won't be only your eating, drinking and sleeping you'll be looking after."
At this statement, Glorfindel half rose out of his chair, shaking his head as he realized what Elrond was asking him to do.
"No, no no, no, no!"
Elrond pointed at Glorfindel to sit. Glorfindel flopped back into his chair, a look of horror on his face as Elrond continued.
"I am asking you if you will look after my sons while the two of us are away." Forestalling Glorfindel's protest with a hand raised, he went on. "If you accept, I will give you the next week to recov- ah, relax and rest, as well as two bottles of Dorwinion to do with whatever you like."
Glorfindel had missed Elrond's slip of the tongue, but still regarded the elf lord as though he had lost his mind. Finally, the golden-haired elf seemed to find his tongue.
"Watch your sons? For a week? Two bottles?"
"No. I'll never survive it."
Elrond narrowed his eyes. "Why do you say that?"
Glorfindel laughed sardonically.
"Do you remember when they dropped three volumes of trade histories on my head? Or when they laced my meal with sneezing powder so that I couldn't speak for sneezing? I thought my eyes would fall from my head!" Ignoring Elrond's attempts to break in, Glorfindel pressed on. "There was also the occasion that I recall in which they set my bed on fire, and the time when they invented a new game which involved stealing all of my clothing and forcing me to run about the house naked-"
"All right, all right!" Elrond said heavily, closing his eyes and wincing at the memories those incidents brought forth. "Is there any way at all to get you to do this for me?"
Glorfindel regarded Elrond shrewdly, and Elrond felt a flash of apprehension, remembered Glorfindel's wit and sense of humor. Slightly apprehensively, he leaned forward to listen to the other's proposition.
"If I babysit for your sons for one week, you have to curl your hair and wear a dress for an entire day."
"Done!" Elrond clapped a hand over his mouth as he realized what he had just agreed to. He had been to preoccupied with the fact that he had finally found a care taker for Elrohir and Elladan that he had rather forgotten to listen to the rest of Glorfindel's sentence.
Glorfindel's face split into an evil grin. "Very well," he said. "Three bottles of Dorwinion– yes three, I think you know perfectly well why I deserve a third– a week off, and you have to wear a dress." He extended a hand to shake Elrond's.
Weakly, Elrond shook, telling himself that one day was a small price to pay for Glorfindel's voluntary babysitting. He was lucky that Glorfindel had not demanded a week!
"Let's go find them," Elrond said wearily. Glorfindel beamed.
"Give it back!"
"No! It's mine!"
The two elflings sat on the floor, one hugging a stuffed horse to his small chest while the other scrabbled for it. Both shouted the whole time. The room in which they sat was an absolute mess. When Elrond and Celebrían had first had the twins, they had organized this room into two parts, one spot for each other the twins' toys and games. Now, however, it was as though the bins and boxes had exploded onto the floor, spewing their contents everywhere. The two elflings, not taller than a grown elf's hip, shouted at each other right smack in the middle of it.
Glorfindel began to have serious doubts as he stepped into the room. Elrond shot him a look, but said nothing as he called to his sons.
The twin sons of Elrond looked up, eyes wide at the sight of their father and Glorfindel standing there very imposingly. Elrond continued in a softer voice.
"Elrohir, Elladan, you know Glorfindel."
The twin's identical guilty looks confirmed Elrond's words.
"Your mother and I are leaving Rivendell for a while, and he will be looking after you for that time."
The twins exchanged glances, but still said nothing. Glorfindel cold swear that they were speaking in their heads to each other.
"Now you be good, and come with me to say good bye to your mother. She's leaving early tomorrow."
The twins jumped up and followed their father out of the room. On their way out, one of them, Elrohir, Glorfindel thought, looked back and shot him such an evil and calculating look that Glorfindel honestly felt his very core shake with trepidation at what the two little demons had in store for him.