4- Elrond Spills Ink

Every so often a book or scroll or even just a loose leaf of parchment would become worn, torn, and basically needed to be rewritten before it became illegible. The easiest was the parchment—it was only one piece after all. Scrolls weren't that bad, but a tad more time consuming if you wanted to get it perfect—which Erestor always wanted to, and since this job was given to him because nobody else was brave enough to do it, all of the scrolls were so perfect that the only reason people knew that they were not the original version was because it was not crumbling in their hands. Not that anyone thanked him; no, when people ventures into the library to read their favorite scroll and found that they were no longer afraid to touch it, their response was: "Thank the Valar." As if they had done anything.

But that was not the worst part of the job. The worst, most horrific, torturously time consuming, part of the job was rewriting the books. First Erestor had to get the leather for the cover, then the correct number of sheets of parchment—along with extra's for if he made one little mistake like spelling hobbit with one 'b' or mixing up 'confirm' with 'conform'—then he had to write out each and every page from the book with painful slowness—Erestor was now an expert in forging peoples signatures (Elrond's in particular), a skill that he was very proud of but would never admit to.

Erestor supposed it wasn't all horrible, as he sat at his oaken desk in his study, finishing the very last page to a particularly long and dry book about healing herbs with a flourish. There was a certain amount of pride and accomplishment that had never dulled over time that he felt when he finished such tedious work so perfectly. Erestor tried to imagine Elrond doing this kind of work and almost scoffed. Elrond was such a drama queen; always either playing the role of leader in a fight or the 'I need more bandages! If we don't stop the bleeding this patient will die!' Healer with every paper cut. The thought of Elrond sitting quietly, quill scratching for hours on something that was already written was absurd. He couldn't handle it, Erestor thought smugly.

Erestor put the old book in his desk for until he had the opportunity to dispose of it. He bound the new book together with deft and fingers. It was late into the afternoon before he was done, but as Erestor straightened out his desk and placed the rewritten book in the middle, his ink well and quill right beside it, it was totally worth it. All it needs now, Erestor thought, is the title. To be honest, he was surprised that he had forgotten, but it was a very daunting book, so he forgave himself. He opened the leather cover to the first page—which was blank, and waiting so patiently for its words to be written. Erestor dipped his quill in his ink, brought the tip to the page, and wrote in fancy and curling letters, Herbs and Herblore, Healing Edition. Erestor sighed in happiness. He couldn't wait to relax in the Hall of Fire with a generous glass of wine.

Elrond burst into his study without knocking. "Erestor, my friend, could you help me with this paperwork? There really is too much for one person, and—" He was already piling all the numerous papers that he held haphazardly onto Erestor's previously organized desk.

"I'm sorry Elrond," completely insincere, "but I have been working all day. I shall not be touching a quill until at least tomorrow."

Elrond looked panicked. He held a few papers under each of his armpits, a quill in one hand and a full black ink well in the other. So disorganized, Erestor thought distastefully.

Elrond looked ready to start pleading—which Erestor was looking forward to—but before he could start there came the dreaded and urgent call of, "Healer! We need a Healer! Lord Elrond!"

Elrond started, dropping everything he was holding: the quill, the parchment, and… the ink. It didn't happen in slow motion, there was no way to prevent the inevitable. One second the book that Erestor had put so much time into was safe, its front cover still open to the title page for drying purposes, the next second Elrond's horrid black ink was seeping through the pages. The book was ruined. Erestor's jaw dropped so far that he imagined that anyone who had looked at him in that moment would have had a clear view to his uvula—which was disgusting and the reason that Erestor always tried to keep his mouth open at a more acceptable level.

Elrond didn't seem to notice.

All that elf did was run hurriedly out of Erestor's study, calling back to his lackey, "I'll need those forms done by tomorrow morning!"

Erestor hissed like an angry cat, but to his credit, he did not swear.

No, all Erestor did for the rest of his day and all through that night was Elrond's paperwork, and work on his re-rewritten Herbs and Herblore, Healing Edition. He did not forget though, and if Lord Elrond signature mysteriously ended up agreeing to King Thranduil's invitation for a festival, well… Erestor certainly didn't know how that happened. And Elrond just thought that he had had a lapse in judgement in consenting to being in the presence of the one elf he always tried to avoid.