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Hope in the Healing (PG-13) Print

Written by Susana

14 February 2011 | 36497 words | Work in Progress

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Title: Hope in the Healing, Part VII
Author: Susana
Series: Desperate Hours; Young Estel story
Feedback: Please use the form below
Rating: PG-13, to be safe.
Warning: AU.
Beta: Thanks to Kaylee, for help with Quenya and Sindarin (without you, there would be so many more mistakes and so much less proper use of the elven languages!) Thanks to Holly and Kaylee for their kind assistance with characterization of the Imladris elves. Thanks also to everyone who has reviewed earlier parts. Remaining mistakes are mine.

Disclaimer: All recognizable elements are Tolkien’s.

Summary: Arathorn’s death was a tragedy for Gilraen and Aragorn. But it was also a tragedy for the rangers, and for their comrades in arms, the Lord Elrond’s twin sons.

A/N: I realized that I have a few very brief and non-specific references to Legolas’ elflinghood in Greenwood below. Those references (except for Ecthelion and Thalion, who are my own OCs) are to Emma and Kaylee’s Greenwood OCs. Please note that this is not a preview of what Emma and Kaylee’s elves will be like in the Thrid Age. Emma and Kaylee haven’t reached that point in their story line, and my storyline is AU, so their Greenwood and characters may be very different, for any number of reasons.

Part VII

The twins walked slowly and carefully down the hall to their Captain’s office. Then Elrohir bravely knocked on Glorfindel’s office door, and both elven twins entered and saluted at the balrog slayer’s call of “Come in!”

To the twins’ surprise, Glorfindel had set up on the sand table in his office a scale model of the river where the twins had sent the yrch to their fiery death, complete with the bridge which became a trap, nearly for the twins and several dunedain as well as the orcs. “Let’s walk through this, Lieutenants.” Glorfindel commanded, eyes stern but kind.

An hour later, with their Captain’s help, the twins had identified several change that they could have made to keep themselves and the Dunedain safer, but the biggest issue had been that the damp weather had affected the explosives.

Glorfindel leaned against his desk, and pinned his two must challenging and talented lieutenants with an eagle-eyed glare. “By rights, I should strap you both soundly, for having decided to proceed with this delicate scheme in adverse weather conditions, and with insufficient practice.”

Centuries of self-control kept the twins from wincing. That was basically the punishment they had both expected to receive from their Captain, who did not have patience for almost losing officers, or any soldiers, when it was unneedful.

“However,” Glorfindel continued, voice warming fractionally, “I have decided that some leniency is in order, as you were both under a considerable strain, as were your comrades in arms.” Glorfindel’s voice gentled still more, “Having this winter to spend with their families, without having to keep the same level of force on the borders, is a gift beyond compare for the Dunedain. I’m not blind to that. That being said, you should have practiced more thoroughly how that maneuver should work, before trying it. Perhaps even saved it for the beginning of the spring, when it could have caught even more orcs.”

The twins nodded, more or less agreeing, even Elladan, that Glorfindel had the right of that. They weren’t sure what he meant by leniency, but as they were both still quite sore from their discussion with their father, any type of leniency would be very much appreciated.

Glorfindel shook his head, “I can’t believe you two were this reckless.” The Captain then moved his desk chair to the middle of the room, and pulled out a well-worn strap from his desk drawer. It was not the strap used for serious military discipline; it was merely the two tailed, slender, semi-stiff length of leather used for disciplining teenaged elflings. Well, that Glorfindel had used, although the twins’ father, and Erestor, rarely ever had. But it was enough to impart a ferocious sting, particularly on a bottom that had already been spanked once this day. Glorfindel turned to regard the younger twin, “Elladan, as I am sure this was your idea. I’d like you to go to the corner now, and think about how you might more accurately assess and explain the risks of such an idea in the future.”

Elrohir noted absently that evidently it was Elladan who was in more trouble this time. Glorfindel usually punished the less guilty party first, and made the twin who was more at fault wait for his punishment.

Elladan took a deep breath and answered, “Yes, Captain,” horrified that it had been another one of his ideas that had nearly led him and his beloved brother, as well as several dear friends, to their deaths.

Seeing the horror, Glorfindel reached out and caught Elladan gently by his shoulder, and comforted “All will be well, guren. You meant well, and even came up with a very good idea. Everyone on our side survived. You just need to take more time and prepare more thoroughly between concept and execution. This will be over soon, and you will be forgiven.”

Elladan nodded his thanks, and went to face the corner as Glorfindel called, “Elrohir, to me.” Elladan looked at the wall of Glorfindel’s office unhappily. He hated worst of all listening to Elrohir receive his punishment, and not being able to comfort his brother. But Glorfindel was an elder elf, and a bit of a traditionalist about corner time for such major offenses, even though the twins were well into their adulthood.

Lowering his leggings, Elrohir bent over the balrog slayer’s lap with great trepidation. Glorfindel rested a hand very gently on Elrohir’s still pink bottom, and asked exasperatedly, “Well, my student? What made you decide to throw caution to the winds and let Elladan go ahead with his plan before nailing down the particulars, this time?”

Elrohir winced. Whenever Glorfindel said, “this time,” in that tone of voice, it meant he thought he was imparting a lesson the unfortunate elf over his knee had already failed to learn at least once before. “I was frustrated and angry and it made me careless.” Elrohir answered, “I will not be so foolish again.” Elrohir knew that it had been, in part, grief over Arathorn’s death. He thought Glorfindel probably knew that, as well.

Glorfindel snorted. “I very much hope not, as I know your father and my family do as well.” He stated firmly, other hand coming up to stroke Elrohir’s back before he gently cautioned, “Deep breath, guren. This will not be easy.”

Elrohir obeyed, and reluctantly accepted that he might need to hold onto his Captain’s leg, to keep himself in position. To his relieved surprise, it was only Glorfindel’s hand that came down on his bottom, but Glorfindel’s hand was famously hard, and soon enough even the most stoic of Lord Elrond’s sons was gasping and whimpering as his honorary grandfather and captain imparted a brisk, firm lesson.

The balrog slayer’s hand spanked Elrohir’s bottom as steadily as a metronome, and Glorfindel waited until Elrohir was yelping at each firm swat before pausing. By that point, his protege’s bottom was a deep, bright red, from top to undercurve. Glorfindel gave Elrohir a few moments to catch his breath, before picking up the strap he had laid on his desk, and bringing it down sharply on the fullest part of Elrohir’s bottom. Two more strikes of the strap landed in an overlapping pattern, but before Glorfindel reached the tender undercurve where Elrohir was most dreading the strap’s fall, he stopped.

“It is done, guren.” Glorfindel’s deep voice rumbled reassuringly, as he righted Elrohir’s clothing and pulled his sore student gently and carefully into his lap. “You are forgiven, and shall face no further consequences for this folly. We love you well, and it would please us if you exercised greater caution, both for you and your brother, hmm?”

“Yes, Captain.” Elrohir agreed, relieved that this punishment had in fact been relatively lenient, for Glorfindel. His bottom still throbbed, but there was enough time between now and dinner that he should be able to sit for the occasion, if only with great discomfort. Elrohir leaned his head against his Captain’s chest, listening to the reborn elf’s heartbeat for a few moments, before extending a hand to Glorfindel to help him up.

The Captain pulled his most dedicated pupil into a caring embrace, and pressed a fatherly kiss to Elrohir’s forehead, before commanding. “Switch places with your brother, Lieutenant.”

The twins obeyed, Elrohir stopping to grasp Elladan’s hand for a brief moment, worried a bit by Elladan’s sadness How many fights have I gotten us into over the ages, and you always backed me up and never told whose fault it was? Elrohir reminded his brother.

Elladan, who was feeling guilty, shrugged, I don’t know. But I nearly get us killed.

Elrohir shook his head faintly, My decision, too. Let Glorfindel deal with your guilt, gwanur-nin, and let it go. I do not blame you. And I’ll let Ada know if you keep blaming yourself.

Elladan stuck his tongue out at his brother.

“Elflings, anytime now, really.” Glorfindel scolded his lieutenants lightly.

The twins flushed, and Elrohir went to the corner while Elladan came to stand before Glorfindel. “I should be punished more severely than Elrohir.” He stated.

Glorfindel rolled his eyes, then asked, “Are you trying to dictate to me how your spanking should go, again, Elladan?”

Elladan winced. “Ah, no, Sir. I just…I’m the alchemist, and I didn’t explain all the risks well enough. So that part, that was my fault.”

Glorfindel nodded solemnly. “That part was, and I am aware of it. I will deal with it, and you will be forgiven. Now, do you trust me, guren? To deal fairly with you, in calling you to account for your mistakes?” He asked gently.

Elladan took a deep breath and nodded mutely, before pushing his leggings down and taking his place over his Captain’s lap, grasping Glorfindel’s leg from the start.

Glorfindel stroked Elladan’s back gently, waiting for the younger twin’s breathing to slow to something approximating normal, before giving Elladan the same spanking he’d given Elrohir. The same force, the same approximate number of swats, but Elladan being Elladan, the younger twin yelped loudly from the very start, and was sobbing and nearly howling by the end. Pausing to stroke Elladan’s back again, Glorfindel sighed, and called quietly, “Elrohir.”

The elder twin came and knelt by the younger, wincing as the position hurt his own sore bottom. “Shh, ‘Dan, its ok. Its almost over, hold onto my hands. You’re not alone.”

Elladan’s red-rimmed, tear-filled eyes met Elrohir’s, Almost done…but the strap is left. And I’ll get more than you did.

I know, gwanur-nin. But I am here, and you are not alone. We’re never alone, you and I. We don’t get into trouble alone, and we didn’t this time either. I’m with you. I love you. You’re not alone. Elrohir promised silently, squeezing Elladan’s hands gently.

Elladan looked away, breathing deeply, before meeting Elrohir’s eyes again, Love you too, gwanur-nin.

Glorfindel again waited for Elladan’s breathing to calm, before resting the strap against the younger twin’s bright red bottom. “Six, guren.” He told the younger twin gently. “As you said, Lieutenant Elladan, you’re the alchemist. You need to explain the dangers of your plans better to your brother. And I know you’re an optimist, but you have to take worst case scenarios into account. Being clever will not always be enough get you out of whatever mess you are in.”

Elladan nodded mutely, which Glorfindel took as agreement enough. He knew that the younger twin felt guilty, and did not feel the need to lecture further. Glorfindel brought the strap down six times in rapid succession, covering Elladan’s already red bottom with six darker red overlapping stripes, running from the top of his cheeks to the top of his thighs. Elladan howled, and Glorfindel felt terrible, but this wasn’t the first time Elladan had talked Elrohir into some half-cooked, half-brilliant plan, which had nearly killed both of them and everyone around them. It wasn’t even the second time, as a matter of fact it was closer to the tenth, or the twelfth. So Glorfindel laid down all six stripes, before stroking Elladan’s back gently. “All done, Elladan guren. You were very brave, and you are entirely forgiven. Trouble yourself no more, over this, save to be more careful, hmm?”

Elladan sobbed an affirmative, and Glorfindel very, very carefully pulled the younger twin into his arms, careful not to rest Elladan’s doubtlessly throbbing bottom against any surface at all. Stroking the shuddering twin’s hair as Elrohir, standing now, rubbed his brother’s back, Glorfindel waited for Elladan to finish calming.

“I just thought it would work.” Elladan murmured at last.

Elrohir groaned, but Glorfindel laughed. “I must say this for you, guren. You hardly ever try things when you don’t think they’ll work. And if events break right, or even half right, your crazy ideas tend to work.” Glorfindel handed the more fastidious twin a handkerchief, thinking that it was a good thing, too.

Elladan wiped his eyes and face, then blew his nose. Stuffing the damp cloth into a pocket of his tunic, Elladan offered with a self-conscious smile, “And your job is to make sure I think through things all the way…poor Captain Glorfindel.”

Elrohir mentally seconded that thought, but Glorfindel only smiled, tapping Elladan gently on the nose. “Nay, Elladan. On the contrary, I am honored to be here, and having the teaching of your twin and yourself has been one of the greatest joys in my long life.”

Elrohir stood a bit straighter, and Elladan, standing with his twin’s aid and wincing as he set his clothing to rights, shook his head a bit incredulously, “From how much we’ve frustrated you over the years, including just recently, I would really not think that, Captain.”

Glorfindel stood as well, and shook his head, before offering each twin one of his arms, in a warrior’s clasp. They stood like that for a moment, and he met both of their eyes, two sets of pearlescent, smoky gray orbs, like their Adar’s. When he could tell both twins were paying attention to him, Glorfindel said with great sincerity, “Never doubt that being your trainer and Captain, and your friend, has been my honor and my pleasure, Elrohir and Elladan Elrondion.”

The twins nodded slowly, hearing his words and knowing them to be true, as they were not only of elven heritage, but also the sons of Elrond Peredhel, and knew truth when they heard it. “The greatest source of frustration, in your life, as well, though, Captain.” Elrohir said with sad certainty.

Glorfindel tugged lightly, pulling both the twins into his arms. “Daerionnath-i-gur. Your great-great-grandfather Turgon, were he here, would not only be jealous of me for having the two of you as students, but he would also say that I richly deserve you both, for all the frights I gave him. Yes, your carelessness frustrates me, greatly, because I love you, and wish you to live. But, were I to be honest,” Glorfindel gave them both a rueful smile, “As a much younger elf, I would have thought a burning bridge of yrch, however imperfectly planned, quite a fine thing indeed.”

The twins smiled tentatively at their honorary grandfather and military superior, and Elladan, who never knew when to stop, asked, “Would you tell us a story of you, as a younger ellon, Glor?”

Elrohir stepped on his twin’s foot, wishing he had been a little quicker, as Glorfindel’s face went from loving to greatly saddened.

“Not today, Elladan guren.” Glorfindel said softly, squeezing Elladan’s shoulder to show he meant no offense, “I have much to get done yet today. Perhaps another time, and when Melpomaen is present as well? And even your edair.” Glorfindel knew that Erestor and Elrond both enjoyed stories of when Glorfindel had been young, for they were not often something that Glorfindel felt up to sharing. And there were things that Glorfindel had to be careful about, details he was not to mention, even to those who were his family. And Glorfindel was not a careful ellon, by nature. Being careful was something it had taken him years to learn.

“Melpomaen should be there.” Elladan agreed, moving his foot away from his twin’s. “But for now, um, do we have your leave to depart, sir?”

Elladan was not normally so formal, so Glorfindel stroked the younger ellon’s hair gently again, before ushering the twins before him in the direction of their room. If his lieutenants had needed more time to compose themselves, Glorfindel would have granted it, but the twins both looked relatively composed, just wrung out. Sleep would be the best thing for them, and they had time for a decent nap, before dinner. Glorfindel decided to walk them to their door, just in case. Any sensible elf, having been punished so soundly, would know to go to sleep. But the twins sometimes would decide it was the appropriate time to replenish the stillroom (Elladan), learn a new sword-drill (Elrohir), or take up an entirely new area of study (usually Elladan, but sometimes either or both).

“Ah, Captain, we do know where we live.” Elrohir pointed out, a hint of a laugh lurking in his gray eyes.

“You don’t have to walk us to our rooms. We’re not idiots, we’re going to take a nap.” Elladan yawned, politely covering his mouth. It had already been a long day.
Glorfindel rolled his eyes tolerantly. “You could have fooled me, elflings muin nin, as little as you’ve been home these past few years. Do we need to have another little discussion about inappropriate guilt?”

Correctly understanding that Glorfindel was referencing the death of Arathorn, the twins hastily assured him that another discussion would not necessary, although Elladan kept the idea in mind, as something he thought his twin might need, in a few months, if Elrohir hadn’t managed to grieve for Arathorn. Elladan was not going back into the field, with his twin still so messed up about that. And Elladan was not above snitching to Glorfindel or their Adar, not for something this important. Though he’d probably try to have Melpomaen do it for him.

Glorfindel, his voice softening, continued, “I know our human allies have needed help, and I’m proud of you, and I know your father and my grandson are as well, for the way you’ve protected the Dunedain over the centuries. In fact, it reminds me of how your father used to champion the NĂºmenorean settlements in Lindon, in his younger years, Erestor tagging along with him. But your Ada needs you here, too.” Glorfindel wondered at the oddity of giving this lecture to Elrond’s sons, when once he had been giving it to Elrond. Though Elrond had been a great King’s heir, as well.

Melpomaen, Adar, and now Glorfindel. We should at least consider it, ‘Roh. Elladan pointed out. Really, Melpomaen would have been enough, for the twins to have considered it. Such was the relationship between the three young Lords of Imladris.

“We shall consider it, Captain.” Elrohir replied softly. “But we have responsibilities to the Dunedain, as well.

“Think on it, guren.” Glorfindel said softly, “I’m not asking as your Captain, I’m asking as your Adar’s friend.”

Elrohir nodded, and Glorfindel walked with the twins the rest of the way to their room, intending to see them cared for and tucked in for a nap. But when they got to the twins’ sitting room, Melpomaen was already curled up on a settee marking up correspondence, salve and massage oils on the table beside him.

“Hi Daerada, I was just…” Melpomaen began awkwardly, and Glorfindel smiled at him gently, waving away his explanations.

“It is well, daerion-nin.” Glorfindel replied gently, “I had intended to see our young lords similarly cared for, but I will leave them in your capable hands.”

The twins smiled sheepishly at Mel, who waved them towards their bathing chamber, where he’d put oils for relaxing and healing into the bath he’d already drawn. The twins disappeared gratefully, and Melpomaen, drawing on his endurance and his courage, asked, “Those training trips that I keep, um, not having time for? Maybe we could do them, after Yule, and before the spring?”

Glorfindel gave his much-loved great-grandson an incredulous look, “After literally years of not finding time for this, now, during the most bitter winter we’ve had in the last twelve-year, now, you want to review how to recognize the signs of trolls?”

Melpomaen winced. “Well, want, no.” He answered honestly, “But the twins want me to go with them in the spring, and I want, well, I want to learn, or review, all I you think I should, to be ready for that.”

Glorfindel sighed, and pulled his great-grandson into a hug. He was glad that Melpomaen was asking for help, glad that his daerion always took his lessons seriously. But he did not like the thought of sending his beloved grandson Erestor’s only child into danger again. No more than he liked sending the twins. “I am always happy to aid you in any endeavor, daerion-nin.” Sighing again, “And I will consider your request, to go with our young Lords.”

With that, Glorfindel took his leave, and Melpomaen joined the twins. Whistling in sympathy as he tossed Elladan a soap with soothing properties, Melpomaen commented, “I think they must have taken into account, with me, that the troll incident was more-or-less an accident.”

Elladan made a rude face, and gave some thought to pulling the gently teasing Mel into the bath after them, and perhaps giving their dear friend and advisor a mostly play spanking over his wet leggings. A few swats might well be in earnest, for Mel looked more tired than he ought. But Elrohir splashed Elladan, reminding the younger twin that Mel was doing them a favor, so Elladan contented himself with scolding, “You’re over-working yourself again gwadar-nin.”

Melpomaen, indignant, retorted “I am not.” Then, pausing to think about it, he added honestly “Well, maybe I am. It’s always busy, this time of year, and I’ve been helping Gilraen amuse Estel, as well.” Making a face himself, as one of Erestor’s pet annoyances was Melpomaen overworking himself, the twins’ best friend pleaded, “Please don’t say anything to Ada – I’ll tell him I’m feeling over-tired myself, and ask for tomorrow morning off.”

“The whole next week of mornings off.” Elrohir countered immediately, getting out of the water and accepting a towel from Melpomaen.

“You are ridiculous.” Melpomaen countered, huffing a laugh.

“No, but its just as easy for me to mention to Ada Erestor at dinner that you look tired.” Elrohir replied, half-teasing, half-serious.

“Very well, the next three days.” Melpomaen countered. As often with his best friends, his pseudo- younger brothers, Melpomaen was not sure whether to be annoyed or appreciative that they cared so much.

“Deal.” Elrohir agreed, helping Elladan out of the bath and handing him a towel.

“Deal, only if you swear you won’t forget to ask Erestor for time off.” Elladan added, “Don’t forget, we know you, too.”

“I won’t forget, unless its unavoidable.” Melpomaen said sincerely. At the twins’ unimpressed looks, he snapped, “Look, if we’re dealing with another crisis I’m not going to leave our edair buried just because I’m tired.”

“Ok, but if its “unavoidable” that you work yourself to the ground, tell us, so that Elladan can help.” Elrohir offered.

Elladan nodded. He didn’t mind helping. But Elrohir’s handwriting was such that it was better all around if the elder twin was not involved.

Melpomaen’s expression softened, and he smiled. “Deal. Now you two go lay down, and I’ll try to make you as comfortable as possible before you sleep.” Melpomaen didn’t mind tending to his gwedyr. After all, they’d done the same for him, after the troll incident, and on numerous other occasions. Far fewer than he’d provided salve and comfort to them, but more than enough.
Glorfindel left the twins’ room with a sigh. The twins and Melpomaen would help eachother, they always had. Glorfindel himself now had to go deal with a much more obstreperous elfling…though to be fair, Elrond had not only had ages longer to practice being difficult, he’d also spent crucial years as an elfling bereft of parental counsel, save from Maglor and Maedhros, whom Glorfindel remembered from Tirion, before any of the kinslayings, as having being all right enough elves, but not the world’s most responsible elder brothers. They’d had many younger brothers, but Feanor and Nerdanel had been royalty, and all of their sons had had nursemaids then valets and guards. To be fair to Maedhros and Maglor, perhaps they’d simply lacked opportunities to practice…or perhaps grief for Ambarussa had made it difficult for them, to keep and care for Elwing’s twin sons. Or perhaps occasionally organizing mass slaughters of innocent elves, however reluctantly, had made it difficult for even the most decent sons of Fearnor to raise elflings, who knew? Either way, Glorfindel was quite sure that Elrond and his twin had made a good decision, convincing the Feanorions to send them away, when they did.

Elrond still seemed like a man of middle-age, to a human, but four millenia as a ring bearer had weighed upon him. Only Glorfindel knew of the extent to which his Lord’s mostly mild aches and pains had affected his prowess on the field, but to Elrond, it was telling. And Glorfindel was worried too, and this afternoon, after the council meeting but before dealing with the twins, Erestor had picked up on that, and Glorfindel had confessed.

Glorfindel arrived at Elrond’s office, at the same time as Erestor, who had a confused Healer Moicasion in tow.

Elrond looked up from his work, and smiled knowingly at them. Glorfindel closed the door, and prepared to watch as his inyo gave Elrond the lecture of a lifetime.

Erestor glared at his iaur gwador, “Of all the stupidity, gwador. Anatar finally told me, just an hour ago, why he alone has been partnering you at morning practice, these past months. How dare you hide from me that you are in so much pain?’

Elrond held up a hand, which would normally give Erestor pause, but not in this moment. “I don’t think so, gwador. Moicasion will look you over now, and try to find the source of this phantom pain that is like but unlike to the human arthritis. Or you will spend this afternoon in a similar state to your sons.” Erestor threatened in a dark tone of voice. Glorfindel suppressed a feeling of pride, though the situation was quite a serious one.

Elrond couldn’t stop a chuckle, and Moicasion was smiling a bit, too, albeit sadly. Erestor’s eyes narrowed, and Elrond allowed Moicasion to explain, “I have been treating Lord Elrond since only a few weeks after he first noticed the pains, Erestor mellon-nin.”

Erestor visibly relaxed, though it was clearly evident that he was still quite unhappy with his gwador.

Glorfindel, relieved, commented, “Well, thank goodness you are not as stupid and heedless as I had thought, Elrond guren.”

When Elrond, Erestor, and Moicasion had all turned around to stare at him, Glorfindel winced. That had been a bit tactless, even for him. “Sorry, Hir Nin.” He apologized sincerely to Elrond, “I just meant that a thousand years ago, hiding it is exactly what you would have done.”

Elrond shook his head, “A thousand, I think not. An age ago, though, I most certainly would have. But others’ lives now depend on my well-being, and I could tell this was no passing ache. Sadly, Mo is just as in the dark as I am. We think it must have something to do with being a ring-bearer, and part human. But we are not sure. We have found some medicines that help to alleviate the pain, but the effects do not last.”

Erestor, his first anger passing, asked pointedly, “What about your Naneth Galadriel? She’s a ring-bearer. Or Master Isyatur who trained both you and Moicasion in the arts of healing, or your Atar Cirdan, for that matter?”

Elrond looked abashed, and Moicasion triumphant, “I recommended that Elrond contact them, but Elrond felt it unsafe to spread the knowledge that far…”

“Write the letters.” Erestor said firmly to Moicasion. “I will encode them myself, and send them in the next dispatches. I do not trust Elrond not to downplay the symptoms, in his contacts with Arwen.”

Moicasion nodded, and bowed respectfully to Erestor. Then he met Lord Elrond’s eyes, over six thousand years of complicated history between the two healers. Respect was certainly there, and even love. And compassion, for a fellow healer who was suffering. And shame, that Moicasion, one of the greatest healers who had ever walked Arda, though he had long been overshadowed by his Lord’s larger-than-life- reputation, could not heal Elrond, when the younger healer had need of him. And even frustration and irritation at that last, as well. Any healer hates an undiagnosable or uncurable condition.

“It is allright, Mo. The best of the painkillers for these phantomn pains were your concoction, and just having someone to discuss it with helped. Write the letters, and Erestor can,” Elrond paused and gave a half-amused, half-exasperated smile, “supervise as I review them, and add any additional details I may be able to think of. Thank you, for…well, you know.”

Moicasion nodded again. He did know. “Very well, my Lord.” he bowed to Elrond, and took his leave.

Erestor picked up a ruler and asked Elrond, “Does your hand hurt today, gwador? And Eru help you if you lie to me…”

Elrond shook his head, but his eyes met Erestor’s, No. I have little pain today, and what there is of it only in my legs. Its like that…it comes and goes, different places. I am sorry I did not tell you, but, Sweet Arda, Erestor, you are the worst of elves at keeping a secret that has to do with my well-being…you’ll be solicitously asking how I am, constantly, now.

Erestor’s eyes narrowed again, That may be so, but if I had kept such a condition from you….

“I’ll leave you two to discuss this.” Glorfindel said quietly. “I, after all, knew, and you have taken more care of yourself, in consulting with Master Moicasion, than I had expected, Elrond.” Elrond stood, and Glorfindel embraced the younger elf, We love you, guren. You are more than just our Lord; you are like my other grandson, and his only brother. Do not keep something like this from him again. It wounds him, on the inside. And he has always been solicitous of you…I doubt anyone will notice.

Elrond nodded, sorrow and apology in his eyes. I know. I will.

Glorfindel nodded, and gave his young Lord a paternal kiss on the brow. Then he hugged his angry inyo, adding, Do not be too hard on him, Erestor-nin. It was very hard for him to admit this at all even to himself.

Erestor sighed, and nodded. I know, Anatar, but honestly, Elrond can be so careless of himself at times…

He comes by it honestly, remember. Glorfindel said, projecting images of Turgon, bleeding from several wounds, refusing his healer’s orders to even pause to have them bound before returning to the fray. Of Fingolfin, challenging Morgoth.

I know. Erestor agreed, dark eyes serious, But I want a happier fate for Elrond. He may be the iaur gwador, and I am most certainly answerable to him. And answer to him I would have, had I concealed a hurt of any magnitude. But he is also answerable to me, because I will not lose him, not for something we could have fixed.

Glorfindel squeezed his grandson tightly, then gave Erestor a kiss on the brow, projecting Very well, inyonya. Do not leave him too sore to write, considering the letters he may need to add to.

Erestor looked over at Elrond, who had returned to scribbling something in the margin of parchment he had been writing on. It might do him good, silly iaur gwador. But allright.

That night, at dinner, the twins were relieved to find that they were not, in fact, too sore to sit. If they had been, they could have taken a tray in their rooms, and no one would have thought less of them for it. Not even their Captain, they knew, for Glorfindel himself had been in a similar situation, after he’d helped them to save Bree. But Elrohir and Elladan were glad to be able to join their friends for dinner. They were uncomfortable, but it was good enough to be home again, that they thought little of it.

After dinner, the twins helped Estel to set up his siege reenactment again, this time playing it through as if Imladris had had mangonels inside the walls. When Gilraen murmured something about calming Estel down before bed, the twins and Mel helped Gilraen read, “Little Elfling and the Scary Wizard,” to Estel, complete with voices.

“Little Elfling and the Scary Wizard” was the first of a series of books that had been written for a young Legolas, although for some reason that escaped Melpomaen, only Thranduil and Arwen had realized that the books were not only gifts from Elrohir to Legolas, they had been specifically written for Legolas, by Elrohir. The main character of the series was a young elfling of approximately 20 years of age, the equivalent of a human of about eight and a half, the same age at which the twins and Legolas had shared a memorable adventure. The young elfling was very simply called “little elfling.”

The books also featured a wise and strong elf who was little elfling’s cousin, called Golwembel (who was more or less based on Elrohir); an Ada elf (fairly clearly wriitten as Thranduil), an annoying elder elf (called Uncle Grumbles, and loosely based on a compilation of Cirdan, Glorfindel, Galadriel, and Celeborn and Elrond in their most superior moods), an elf who essentially served as a surrogate great-grandmother to Little Elfling (loosely based on one of Thranduil’s family friends); a healer elf (based on a compilation of Ecthelion of Greenwood, a young healer who was a friend of Thraduil’s and Legolas,’ and on Elladan); and several soldier elves, one of them who was called Lieutenant, and who was more or less based on Lieutenant Thalion, Legolas’ much older foster-brother. Various other characters were featured in one or several books within the series, including a Wizard, the “Scary Wizard,” of this book’s title. The Wizard was loosely based on Mithrandir, who had visited when Legolas was little, and who had apparently frightened Legolas rather badly by accident, the first time they had met. Melpomaen, as the illustrator and author’s agent, of course had a complete set of the books, which he happily shared with Estel. Then Gilraen took Estel to bed, and the twins and Melpomaen retired not long after. The three of them fell asleep together, discussing old times. Only Melpomaen was really aware that Estel had joined them during the night, at least at first.

Later in the night, but well before dawn, Elladan awoke to a slight discomfort. Nowhere near the unpleasantness of waking up to a cold drizzling rain while trying to sleep on the cold, hard ground, but less than the comfort he was accustomed to, here. That, and a scent that would awaken the healer in Elladan anywhere- the smell of fear, tears, and urine, like he had smelled in a thousand different places, caring for the wounded – and a warm, shaking body between him and Melpomaen. Estel.

Elladan scooped up the child, soothing him. “Do not fret, do not be upset, Estel-nin. It is perfectly normal. I did the same thing when I was young after an upset like you had yesternight. Come, tithen-pen muin nin, help me to run a bath. Then we’ll wake the sleepy heads, and all four of us will have a nice, quick soak, put on new clothes, and we’ll go get into the other bed – that’s one of the nice things about being twins, having two beds handy for times like this.”

Elrohir and Mel, after being awoken, made similar reassuring noises. Elrohir even recalled a funny story about Belemir- well, the first part hadn’t been funny. An assassin had attacked the young elfling while he had been visiting Annuminas with his family. Estel didn’t need to know all of that, so Elrohir just explained his little brother had suffered a fright, and that “Belemir had always felt safest with Glorfindel,”

“No accounting for taste,” Elladan murmured, before his twin and Mel both shushed him.

Elrohir continued, “So Glorfindel was the one to wake up to wet bedsheets and distraught child.”

That story, told as he was warmly re-dressed in one of Elladan’s night shirts, made Estel giggle sleepily. He fell right back asleep, as did his foster-brothers and their gwador. All four slept soundly until morning, when Gilraen, seeking her wandering son, retrieved Estel with a smile to dress him for breakfast, having been assured by the just woken sons of Elrond and Erestor that Estel had been “no problem at all,” and was always welcome. Gilraen found the elves, with their more physically demonstrative shows of affection, to be somewhat odd. But she understood from what Arathorn had taught her of his distant cousins that elves were just a bit different. Besides, it seemed to give Estel comfort, to be near his father’s friends of a night. And Gilraen would not deprive him of such comfort, if it did not bother Elladan nor Elrohir, anymore than it had bothered Melpomaen or Elrond these past months.

After Gilraen had collected Estel, Elladan murmured pensively, “I think I should get “that book” back from Daerada Cirdan.”

Melpomaen made a face. “I don’t recall that it had chapters on small elflings, Elladan.”

Elladan murmured distractedly, “That one didn’t, it was the second in a set. I didn’t show you the one with chapters on small elflings. I have some tact, Mel.”

Melpomaen nobly forewent any one of a hundred possible replies to that statement, and instead said only, “It is a good thought, ‘Dan. I’m sure your father – all of us, reallly – could use the guidance.”

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1 Comment(s)

NB: Comments span all chapters and may contain spoilers!

I really enjoyed this fic. I stumbled across it completely by accident when looking for a translation for “mellon muin nin” (which incidentally I read in another of your fics) The first chapter was my favorite because Faramir was in it. I LOVE your characterization of Faramir. I have been reading all your stories that contain Faramir over and over since I first discovered them last week.

One thing I think that you could do to make them better is to translate any elvish you use at the end of your chapters or at least put a glossary of terms somewhere. I don’t know about your other readers but I am not all that familiar with elvish. I can recognize a very few words and even those confuse me when they are used outside of the context with which I am familiar. I really want to know what all those terms of endearment mean exactly. :) Other than that, I love your stories and I love that you update so often! I can’t wait to read the rest of your series. (especially the stories about Faramir)

— firstar28    3 September 2011, 04:39    #

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