Disclaimer: All canon characters/place names are the creations of J.R.R. Tolkien. Dialogue and small bits of description are borrowed from both the book (The Hobbit) and the film (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey).
A/N: This started off as a one shot merely trying to explain why Elrond was out hunting orcs (and not Glorfindel or anyone else for that matter) when Gandalf and the dwarves arrived, and it ended up turning in what I thought Bilbo's first impression of the elves and Rivendell would be like. We all know from LOTR that Bilbo holds a special place for the elves in his heart. I mean after he passes The Ring onto Frodo he goes on a mini adventure ending up in Rivendell, where he chooses to retire. Not only that but the elves love him enough to let him stay. In the book (The Fellowship of The Ring) there are a couple lines suggesting that Bilbo is pretty chummy with Lindir or at least thats how perceived it. I'd also like to think that Bilbo and Elrond have a pretty strong friendship, and that Bilbo would be friendly with Elladan and Elrohir.
Personally, I like to think that first impressions are the key foundations to any choices we make later in life. This is my take on Bilbo's first impression of Rivendell.
A Short Rest
By K.J. Moon
Chapter 1 - An Unexpected Party
Elrond sat watching the sunrise over the valley of Imladris with his mother-in-law Galadriel. Galadriel had always been more of a mother to Elrond than his own. She was also one of the few beings in all of Arda whom he could relate to, knowing and understanding both the pleasure and grief that comes with holding the burden of possessing a Ring of Power.
Lady Galadriel had arrived the previous day in accordance to the scheduled White Council. A council that was due to commence near the end of summer. Galadriel had wished to spend time with her grandsons while awaiting the arrival of the other council members.
Together Elrond and Galadriel sat on a cushioned bench comfortable in each other's presence, as a mother and son would be. They were hidden within one of Elrond's many blissful private gardens, listening to the soft tumbling of the waterfalls surrounding them. The fresh smell of a warm mid-summer's morn filled the air.
Elrond was the first to break the peaceful silence by asking the one question that had been burning deep within him, "How fares Arwen?"
"She smiles again," Galadriel softly replied. "Celeborn is teaching her to wield a blade. They practice together every evening under the Light of the Eärendil."
Elrond was slightly taken aback by this news, "Arwen has never before shown interest in swordplay…" Just what was his daughter thinking?
"She desires the skill to defend herself in battle. She does wish to befall the same fate as her Mother," Galadriel said. Nor do I wish that of her.
"Her fate will be nothing like her Mother's," Elrond bitterly replied. He had taken every precaution around Imladris to assure that no elf would ever befall the same fate as his beloved. Tormented by the memory of their mother, his sons often roamed Arda restlessly picking off any Orc who dare cross their path.
"You had a vision, " Galadriel stated. "You foresaw Arwen's future."
Elrond said nothing. He just stared off into the vast distance, his eyes filled with pain and sorrow.
"What did you see?" Galadriel lightly prodded as she took both of Elrond's hands within her own.
"I do not wish to speak of it. It may still not come to pass."
You foresaw her death? Galadriel spoke within Elrond's mind. She reached up to Elrond's face pushing a loose strand of hair behind his ear, "Do not fear for Arwen, she is both wise and strong like her father. The future holds many possibilities, none of which are certain. You know this."
Galadriel reached into the folds of her dress producing an ivory envelope addressed to Elrond. He recognized the fine elegant script.
"She misses you Elrond. She asked me to give this to you."
Elrond gently took the envelope and tucked it deep within the folds of his robe. He would read Arwen's letter later in private.
The pair fell again into a peaceful silence listening to the soft echoing of The Music of Ainur contained within the vast depths of the harmonious waterfalls surrounding them. The melody of creation enlightened their spirits. They sat there for some time, before once again the peaceful silence was broken. This time it was by the appearance of a slightly frazzled and out of breath Ellon.
"Lindir is something amiss?" Elrond asked concerned, taking in his young steward's appearance.
"My Lord, I am sorry to interrupt but word has come in from our scouts stationed out to the South. They report a large band of warg riders sighted heading this way. They request aid My Lord."
Elrond nodded in understanding though he did not see what the cause for panic was. Though this was not a very common occurrence in Imladris, there was a procedure in place to follow should such an event arise. Elrond knew Lindir knew of this so he could not understand why Lindir appeared so unkempt.
Out of all the young elves in Imladris Elrond saw the most potential for greatness in Lindir. He often worked closely with the young ellon. Elrond was fond of Lindir, as an uncle would be of a nephew. As of late Elrond had been feeling a bit lonely. His sons were constantly running off fighting orcs. Time spent with Lindir helped qualm the loneliness within Elrond's heart. With time Elrond grew to respect Lindir. He saw there was more to Lindir then just a beautiful voice. Lindir was both wise and intelligent. He just needed to gain some confidence.
"Have you not informed Glorf-…" Elrond paused mid thought. That's right Glorfindel and Erestor are both on their way back from Mithlond with Círdan, and my Sons are Valar knows where with the Dúnedain. Elrond slowly brought his hand up to message his brow. Now he understood why Lindir was so panicked, there was no one available to lead a unit of elves out to battle. I guess that leaves only one option.
"My Lord?" Lindir hesitated.
"My apologies Lindir. Worry not, I shall lead a unit out to aid our scouts." Elrond concluded. Causing Galadriel to raise a delicate eyebrow. Elrond needed to take his mind off of Arwen, meeting orcs in battle would be just the thing to do it.
"-But My Lord, then who will be left in charge of Imladris?" Lindir questioned.
Elrond stood up from his bench, placing a hand on Lindir's shoulder. "Why that responsibility will fall to you," Elrond said with a glint of humor sparkling in his dark eyes.
Lindir paled at the thought, "-But My Lord I have never held so much responsibility before. I have never… What if something happens? What if something were to go wrong?" he stammered.
"Nonsense, I have the upmost faith in you. I know you will do well, have confidence in yourself," Elrond encouraged.
"Besides," he added, "It will only be for a couple hours."
Lindir swallowed, his throat felt dry. That's right, he thought to himself. It's only for a couple of hours and this is Imladris. What could possibly go amiss?
Lindir would have felt more comfortable with Lady Galadriel in charge. Along with her husband she lead Lothlórien, a realm untouched by evil. Surely she would have been a better choice to run Imladris in Elrond's stead? Lindir held Elrond in the highest regard but at that moment he could not help but to question what exactly his Lord thinking.
Lindir watched with dread as Lord Elrond put on his chest armor and buckled his sword to his waist. He felt a deep sinking sensation in the pit of his stomach when Lord Elrond mounted his horse, and lead the small company of elves out through the front gates. Leaving Lindir to stand there alone with Lady Galadriel.
Galadriel eyed the nervous elf, mischievously smiling to herself. She looked him over one last time before silently leaving him to stand there alone in his own thoughts. Lindir inhaled deeply trying to calm his nerves. He just had to find something to pass the time before Lord Elrond was due back. Perhaps Lords Erestor and Glorfindel would arrive back before Lord Elrond, and he could pawn his duties off onto Erestor, whom out ranked him. Linder shook his head. That was wishful thinking.
Lindir was sitting in his office catching up on some of that dreaded paper work when a hard knock on the door broke him out of his reverie.
"Enter," Lindir softly commanded. He was surprised to see that it was one of the Imladris Front Guards.
"Excuse me My Lord Lindir, some visitors have arrived through the Hidden Pass. They are currently making their way to the receiving platform," the Guard informed him.
Lindir swallowed, his throat suddenly felt very dry again.
"Perhaps it is Mithrandir, Lord Elrond was expecting him and a few of his companions," Lindir thought out loud, standing up from behind his desk. He hoped it was Mithrandir, that wouldn't be so bad.
"Yes My Lord, Mithrandir has arrived along with fourteen others," the Guard confirmed.
"Fourteen?" Lindir repeated surprised. Mithrandir was not known to travel with companions. In the rare moments that he did, it was never with so many.
"Yes, fourteen My Lord, they appear to be Dwarves and a Halfling."
"Thirteen Dwarves and a Hobbit?" Lindir mused. Why would Mithrandir bring thirteen Dwarves to Imladris? And what of a Hobbit? They were not known to leave their little utopia in the Shire. The thought of meeting a Hobbit excited Lindir. He had never spoken with a Hobbit before. Gildor Inglorion had often told him stories of the small folk whenever he came to Imladris.
"My Lord are you not going to receive them?" the Guard hinted.
"Yes of course," Lindir said, straightening his mithril circlet and nervously brushing the non-existant crease lines out of the front of his robe.
Lindir took a deep breath, mentally willing himself to calm down. This is normal procedure, he told himself. He had received guests before in Lord Elrond's stead but Lord Elrond had always been in Imladris, this was the first time he was solely on his own devices.
Lindir quickly walked along a long balcony overlooking the great vast beauty of the valley below. He made his why past two guard sentries, gliding down a stone staircase leading him straight towards the receiving platform. He schooled his expression hoping he gave off an air of commanding confidence when he saw the unexpected and somewhat intimidating party below.
Gandalf looked up and smiled warmly at the approaching young elf. Lindir ignored the cold stares of the Dwarves below, instead focused his attention on their unofficial leader, Gandalf.
"Mithrandir!" Lindir greeted, as the Dwarves whispered amongst themselves. Lindir pretended his sharp ears couldn't hear their gruff mumblings.
"Ah, Lindir! " Gandalf replied, a little surprised to see that it was not Elrond who had come to greet them.
"We had heard you crossed into the Valley," Lindir spoke in elvish.
"I must speak with Lord Elrond," Gandalf replied in common tongue, all too aware of the Dwarves around him.
"My Lord Elrond is not here…" Lindir answered.
"Not here! Where is he?" Gandalf exclaimed. It was rare for Elrond to not be in the Valley.
Lindir opened his mouth, about to give an explanation when he was cut off by the sounding of a grand horn call followed by the sound of hoof beats of many approaching horses. Lindir directed his vision towards the main gates.
"Everyone back up, hold ranks," one of the Dwarves shouted, seeing an approaching company of fully armed elves. Thinking they were under attack they pulled the smallest of their group towards the centre forming a circle.
Holding their weapons in a defensive stance the Dwarves stood hard and unmoving as stone as they were approached and surrounded by unit of fully armed elves, lead by Lord Elrond himself.
Lindir was surprised but happy to see that Lords Glorfindel, Elladan, and Elrohir were amongst the returning elves. Elrond must have met them on the road. Lindir smiled to himself, he now had many evenings filled with stories of their travels to look forward to.
"Gandalf!" Elrond exclaimed.
"Elrond, My Friend," Gandalf replied as he approached the great Elf Lording sitting astride his steed. "Where have you been?" The wizard asked in elvish.
"We've been hunting a pack of Orcs that came up from the south. We slew a number of them near the Hidden Pass," Elrond replied in elvish as he dismounted, handing his sword to Lindir, who was all too grateful to be of use to his Lord. Elrond signaled for his sons to lead the party of elves away, before turning towards the Dwarves.
In common tongue Elrond spoke, "It is strange for orcs to come so close to our borders. Something or someone has drawn them near."
"Ah, that may have been us," Gandalf confessed. Elrond raised an eyebrow.
The apparent Dwarf leader made his way to the front of the Dwarf pack, standing before Lord Elrond. Elrond looked upon this Dwarf and smiled. Though Elrond had never met him before, he seemed familiar, kin to an old friend of his.
"Welcome Thorin son of Thrain," Elrond said, acknowledging the Dwarf Prince.
"I do not believe we've met," Thorin replied curtly, unable to keep the surprise from his voice.
"You have your Grandfather's bearing. I knew Thror when he ruled under the mountain," Elrond replied, seemingly able to read Thorin's mind.
"Indeed, he made no mention of you," Thorin bit back. Lindir shuttered at the hostility in the Dwarf's tone.
How dare this Dwarf insult my Lord, Lindir thought. Imladris was a place of healing, a sanctuary for all who seek it. Lord Elrond opened his home and his heart to all whom enter through his gates. He was a friend to all and enjoyed the company of others. He held no major qualms over race. His kindness extended out towards all the Children of Ilúvatar; Elves, Men, Dwarves and Hobbits. He welcomed all, and treated all equally and justly as such.
Elrond narrowed his eyes at the Dwarf's ignorance. Looking straight at the Dwarf Prince, Elrond spoke in elvish his tone elegantly matching Thorin's.
"What is he saying? Does he offer us insult?" One of the Dwarves gruffly shouted in Thorin's defense. The other Dwarves grumbled in agreement. Lindir was forced to stifle a laugh of pure mirth. Not only was Lord Elrond wise but also he had a grand sense of humor.
Seeing the situation slowly deteriorating Gandalf answered slightly exasperated, "No Master Gloin, he is offering you food."
Thorin turned back towards his friends. They whispered amongst themselves before coming to an agreement.
"Very well, in that case lead on," Gloin replied in earnest, the rest of the Dwarves nodding in agreement. The Dwarves instantly changed their demeanor. Thinking only of the forthcoming feast, monetarily forgetting their host was a dreaded untrustworthy Elf Lord.
So these are the Elves, Bilbo thought to himself in awe.
A/N: My computer kept auto-correcting Ilúvatar to Elevator.