I do not own Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. I make no money from this. Why can't I make money from the things I like doing? *Sigh*
Erestor was not amused.
Actually, this was a dangerous understatement. 'Not amused' is when someone tells a bad joke. 'Not amused' happens when someone tries to submit the wrong paper to her…five times in a row. 'Not amused' was not an accurate description of how she was currently feeling, and anyone making this error quite possibly would not live to make it again.
Where had the day gone wrong? Perhaps when one of her underlings (who was currently unidentified for his own safety) had left her window open after she left the office. It had stormed ferociously last night, and half of her papers and books were either soaked or had been flung by the winds onto the ground and rose bushes below. That wasn't even the first thing that had happened- she had been rudely awakened by Melpomaen rushing in to her room, screaming something about a 'declaration of war'.
This of course, had gotten her immediate attention. It had been a false alarm, but a less then pleasant way to start the day as it was a three hour process to sort it out. And that was before the rained-out office was discovered. The very soggy, wind-blown rained-out office. Elves fled her wrath in droves.
After that, it seemed as though everything-literally, everything- had gone wrong. Not a single elf had brought their brain to work with them today, experienced scribes making novice mistakes, and entire row of books found to have been misplaced AND mislabeled, the Quill, Ink, and Paste Incident (which she shuddered at), and the fussiest most aggravating merchants to ever set foot in Imladris had all flocked to her today to solve every issue. And of course, Glorfindel was busy out on the border and not due back for three more days, so she didn't even have someone to gripe with or drag her to lunch. Which she had forgotten to get. Again. After promising. It was…oh, it was past dinner time as well.
With a resounding sigh (she was a master of those) her head dropped forward on the desk. It was then she realized that there was still ink left over from the Incident earlier, and a brief check in her hand-held mirror-from Glorfindel- told her that yes, it was in fact smeared all over her nose and right cheek. She sighed again, grabbed a left-over cleaning cloth from The Incident and started scrubbing. Managing to get all but a faint shadow, she resigned herself to call it a night. This day needed to be over, and it needed to be over Right Now.
Forget dinner. There was an apple and some (by now very stale) breakfast toast in her room, and she could try to actually have meal tomorrow. When the day wasn't cursed. And so she trudged onwards towards her room, frustrated, tired, and extremely Not Amused.
She felt a small bubble of elation thrum through her as she finally turned the last corner. Safety was just a few steps away. Stopping short as she reached for the handle, she noticed a small package placed in front of the door. 'If this is a prank,' she thought to herself, 'then heads will roll'. Still, she picked it up and brought it into the room with her. Closing (and locking) the door behind her, she relaxed as she took off her shoes and her (rather inky and sticky) outer robes. Comfortable now, she carefully and slowly unwrapped the little package.
On reflection, perhaps she should have used magic to unwrap it, for as she did so it splatted all across the table and began dripping onto the carpet. Erestor resolved to kill the two sons of Elrond next opportunity. The only question was whether to use a slow-acting poison with no known cure or strangulation.
A knock at the door, and her mood plummeted again. For a moment, she wondered if perhaps she could pretend not to be in residence? Duty pulled her though, and so she moved to unlock and answer the door.
"Please Melpomaen, just tell me the bad news," she groaned. Melpomaen shrugged sheepishly.
"My apologies, I wish it was not. I just wanted to tell you that the merchants have agreed on nothing except that they require your help on settling this contract- and yes, they asked specifically for you after your help this afternoon." Erestor leaned against the doorframe. "Apparently you made quite the good impression."
"I see. Thank you for coming to tell me that. I suppose I must prepare for tomorrow." Melpomaen gave a sympathetic look before apologizing and walking away. Erestor closed the door and leaned against it with a weary sigh. She absently cleaned the sludge away before collapsing on the couch, Mîr joining her there, purring away as she made herself comfortable on Erestor's face. 'Great,' thought Erestor, 'even my cat is out to get me today'. She was only saved from slow suffocation when the fluffy creature jumped off and meowed a greeting.
"Please tell me you actually ate today." Erestor jumped up to find Glorfindel standing in the doorway, bearing food. She shrugged even as Glorfindel gave her that obnoxiously knowing look.
"You were not supposed to be back in Imladris for another three days, I was told," she said, her non-answer answering his question. Glorfindel shrugged back.
"I missed seeing the annoyed look on your face you get whenever I am around, and so came back to annoy you some more." Erestor snorted, and would have thrown a pillow except he had food and her cat (the traitor) was currently winding herself around Glorfindel's ankles. Then she caught Glorfindel's eye, and nearly (nearly) blushed. She had been able to avoid him after their…ah, unique confessions of mutual admiration. It was likely for the better, because it had given her time needed to accept that yes, it was true and yes, now everyone in Imladris knew.
That part was not as much fun, but a small part of her couldn't help but feel smug that Glorfindel was hers, not one of those wispy, silly little things that tittered around Glorfindel.
"So, all is well, then? For the most part, at least?" For a conversation starter with the person you loved, this one wasn't exactly ideal. But it was something, and she wasn't about to show just how flustered she was. She didn't get flustered. Male specimens didn't fluster her. She was the flusterer, not the flusteree.
And she wondered if the ink fumes were starting to affect her, because the only other options were A. Insanity and 2. Flusterment.
Apparently oblivious to her predicament, Glorfindel spoke blithely on. Stupid unaffected blonde warriors. He was just sitting there, next to her, like nothing had happened except for the fact that he was sitting rather close.
"As well as can be expected, at least. Nothing too earthshaking. How has your day been?" Erestor twitched a little and nearly whimpered.
"Oh. That terrible?" Erestor nodded.
"Ink. And War but Not War. And Rain. Lots and lots of stupid people. More ink. And paste. And Elrond's soon to be deceased sons. And many many needy stupid people." Glorfindel patted her head sympathetically. Usually it annoyed her, but this time she hid her face with a tea cup because she was almost blushing. This whole 'love' thing was wearing thin rather quickly. It needed to stop. But it also made her happy, which made her confused. And twitchy.
"I am sorry. I heard something about merchants?" Erestor groaned.
"Yes. Apparently, I am the only one in all of Arda and Valinor who can help them, or stand them. At any rate, they have asked for me specifically by name to work with them tomorrow. I would rather claw my eyes out, quite frankly." She crinkled her nose in distaste, and Glorfindel handed her a buttered roll, at which action she nearly blushed again. She was going to have a very stern talking to with herself later on this evening, because she had been friends with Glorfindel for a long time, it was not as though they had just met. And honestly, she was well over a thousand years old, she wasn't a young teenager anymore, scaring Ron away as she and Hermione compared boys. She remembered that time Neville had ended up on an accidental almost-date with her- Merlin and Morgana, that had been embarrassing.
She was centuries older now, and curses because she realized she had fallen hard and all those repressed emotions were taking revenge on her now that she had been honest. Honesty was NOT the best policy, and a pox on whoever had said that it was and oh, he was smiling at her because apparently she had said that past sentence out loud.
"I rather appreciate honesty, for my part," he told her, then winked at her. That cheeky -!
"But not bravery, I see. Remind me which one of us confessed and then ran away? Not to mention, it took you long enough to say it in the first place." Glorfindel sniffed delicately, and fussed over his tea. Erestor barely managed to keep from smacking him with a pillow.
"But at least I said it first."
"But you cannot say it again, I think." And he froze. Erestor savored her victory for 1.2 seconds before her brain caught up with her mouth. Could she say it again? But if she said it now, then wouldn't it be cheapened by the fact that they had been arguing about it?
They sat in a slightly awkward silence. The cat purred contentedly between them. Erestor gathered her courage in both hands, and refused to face him as she opened her mouth.
"I do love you."
The silence was unbearable, but she couldn't stand to see his face, either.
The problem was solved when he moved first, and hugged her, carefully not squishing the feline who refused to move. Quite the furry little chaperone.
"I know. And I love you." For a moment, she thought he might kiss her again, but then Mîr opened one eye and gave a warning glance, so he merely held on tighter for a moment. Then he drew apart, and handed a plate to her. "But you do not eat enough. It would not do for my future bride to die of starvation, now would it?" Erestor nearly choked on the tea she had sipped to calm her nerves.
"Who- I NEVER said-!" But turned to find him laughing at her, not out loud but with his eyes. She gave in to her instincts and smacked him (finally) solidly with a pillow. He really did laugh out loud then, and she ignored him in favor of food and tea.
Honestly, the fool of a warrior. She smiled into her tea cup. But her fool of a warrior.
"So, why exactly are you planning on killing Elladan and Elrohir, dearest?" Just like that, they were back to being friends (but more, too) and completely comfortable. If this was love, it was not quite as intolerable as she had thought it earlier.
"Oh, there was a package that I opened and it squished. And landed all over the room. Before you say anything, I know, I know. Magic. But I was tired and forgot." Glorfindel hmphed at her.
"As you say. Still, would you like me to help you with your revenge?"
"Revenge? Whatever do you mean? If there should be an incident involving the twins and some strangely and unfortunately unavoidably placed substance, I for one am quite certain that it will have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with me. A mere coincidence, is all." Glorfindel looked impressed.
"Love, you look wonderful when you are being sneaky." Love? Love. She liked the sound of that.
"But if someone were to help ensure that such an incident occurred, I might have a few suggestions as to how to carry it out."
Yes, she liked it a lot. It fit quite well, and she smiled at her…love.
So yeah, it appears that all I can do is apologize. Constantly. At any rate, here is the next chapter. Have fun.
Thanks for reading, reviewing, adding, etc. Your alerts keep me writing! Or at least, reminded that I need to write.