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Tales of the Telcontars (PG-13) Print

Written by Susana

19 September 2011 | 56124 words | Work in Progress

Title: A Friend Unlooked For, or “Weren’t you the elf who?”
Author: Susana
Series: Desperate Hours
Feedback: Please use the form below
Rating: PG-13
Warning: AU
Disclaimer: All recognizable elements are Tolkien’s

Summary: An eclectic group of mortals and elves gathers to help a friend get past a tough anniversary.

A/N: This story takes place in Third Age Year 3020, the night before the first anniversary of Boromir’s death.

“You are very drunk, my young friend.” Glorfindel observed to the Steward of Gondor.

Faramir blinked at him, not sure whether he should say, ‘The twins and Melpomaen all say that you would know drunk,’ or instead, ‘You were the one who told me that I needed more practice at being drunk.’ Instead, what came out was, “If I’d gone on the Quest in my brother’s place, he would still be alive. I stayed here, where I was useless, save to lead my men to their deaths.”

Glorfindel pulled up a chair, and sat down beside him. “Hmm. You’re a maudlin drunk. We’ll have to work on that. Estel tends towards it, sometimes, and we’ve made great progress with him. Here, drink more, sometimes that helps.” Elrond’s Captain and Estel’s first armsmaster pushed a glass of ale towards Faramir. Faramir squinted at it doubtfully.

“Honestly, Laure.” A frustrated voice commented from just behind Faramir, and the Steward somehow managed to trip over his own two feet whilst still sitting, in an attempt to stand and bow before the Lady of the Wood.

Glorfindel caught him, and Galadriel shook her head, and gentled her tone, “Stay seated, Faramir. This is a kitchen in the middle of the night, not a court. And we are kin, however distant, for Mithrellas is my adopted sons’ aunt, and my own cousin.”

“My Lady,” Faramir toasted her with the ale, only to have Galadriel take it from him with a tired sigh, and a withering look for the amused Glorfindel.

“Will you never grow up, Laurefindil?” The Lady of the Wood teased Imladris’ Captain, “You of all people should know that what Faramir needs now is water and tea, or at the least more of the wine he has been drinking, rather than ale which he has not touched this night.”

Glorfindel’s eyes held both laughter and sympathy as he replied, “I thought the youngling was trying to make himself truly sick, in which case ale and then perhaps brandy are both called for, ‘Tani.”

Galadriel muttered a curse she hadn’t used since Findecano, later called Fingon, threw up on her skirts after losing a drinking contest with a much younger Glorfindel and Turgon, oh, and also a much younger Galadriel, then called Artanis.

Faramir’s eyes widened in surprise. “Surely that is an anatomical impossibility…” He murmured, shocked.

Galadriel’s eyes widened, and Glorfindel laughed merrily. “You can’t curse even in Quenya around Faramir without him picking up some of it,” the Balrog Slayer explained in between chuckles, “It is not quite as bad as cursing around Erestor or Melpomaen or Elrohir, but it’s bad enough.”

“Ah.” Galadriel commented quietly, smiling despite herself, “Well, I shall endeavor to behave in…” the lady paused.

“A manner befitting a lady?” Glorfindel suggested, still laughing.

Galadriel didn’t dignify that with a comment. She was a lady; but to be conventionally lady-like was a limitation she had never accepted.

“A ringbearer?” Faramir suggested quietly, around obedient sips of water, as all of the ringbearers whom he personally knew were paragons, of one manner or another.

“Nay, I am no longer that, thank Eru.” Galadriel declined, at last choosing, “I shall endeavor to behave in such a manner so as not to shock you, little cousin.”

“S’ok.” Faramir offered, feeling the wine even more now that he had stopped drinking it, for some reason. “Boromir said shocking things all of the time. I could curse a blue streak by the time I was eight. Mithrandir was shocked, as I recall.”

Glorfindel and Galadriel exchanged a look of deep amusement. “I’m sure he was, guren.” Glorfindel said softly, then paused, looking to Galadriel for assistance.

“Are you just drunk and stupid tonight Faramir, or do you really feel you were useless to Frodo in Ithilien?” Galadriel asked bluntly.

Glorfindel shook his head, and confided apologetically to Faramir, “Her brothers called her ‘Lady Tact,’ but only because she had little to none.”

Faramir had to laugh, though he answered honestly enough, “I don’t… know. Frodo says it mattered, that our encounter gave him heart, and much needed supplies. Some days, I believe all unfolded as it was meant to be… others,” Faramir shrugged, “I think I should have tied Boromir up, sedated him, and left for Imladris myself. Or just gone after I had the first dream, before the dream came to my brother for my cowardice.”

“Cowardice?!” An irate voice demanded.

Faramir winced, Glorfindel laughed, and Galadriel smiled serenely.

“She only does that because it’s annoying.” Glorfindel commented in an aside to Faramir.

“Well met, Gimli son of Gloin.” Lady Galadriel said calmly, “But lower your voice; Faramir knows he is gathering foolish fears as chaff to throw into the wind. It is a normal thing, on such an anniversary.”

Aragorn came and squeezed his Steward’s shoulder, as Legolas murmured something… calming or inciting… to his friend the dwarf. “Hmmph. My cousin Dain II Ironfoot died at the gates of Erebor, and many dwarves and men laid down their lives beside him, defending Erebor and Dale at the end of the Ring War. You’re no coward, brother of Boromir. And I for one will not take any more such talk from you.” Gimli said sternly.

“Nor would Boromir.” Legolas commented with deceptive lightness, as Faramir watched him warily.

“Is a mercurial and dubious sense of humor a trait all golden haired elves share in common?” Faramir asked plaintively.

Aragorn choked in laughter, as Glorfindel and Legolas looked at one another and shrugged.

“There are more stories about you, Glorfindel.” Legolas commented, a teasing gleam poorly hidden in his eyes, “There’s one about..”

“I knew your father during the War of the Last Alliance, and you when you were just past crawling.” Glorfindel pointed out kindly, but quickly, “I’d drop this line of thought, Thranduilon, but it’s entirely up to you.”

Legolas smiled and desisted, but then temptation got the better of him, and he had to ask, “Weren’t you the elf who dropped an elven Lord from the West into the ocean, in full sight of King Finarfin and the Maia Herald Eonwe?”

A pause of confused silence.

“Legolas,” Faramir essayed tentatively, “I don’t think that Glorfindel was um, there.” Saying the word “dead” about the balrog slayer seemed to be something that Elrond’s family did not do, and Faramir tried to pay attention to these unspoken taboos.

“That was my husband, actually, Legolas.” Galadriel corrected, her eyes weighing the Prince of Eryn Lasgalen carefully, as if she suspected her youngest elven cousin of looking for this story on purpose, despite his innocent expression.

Aragorn didn’t drop his ale, but it was only because he was sitting next to Faramir, and his poor young friend didn’t need any more misery on the night of the anniversary of Boromir’s death. “Daerada Celeborn dropped an elf into a harbor in front of your father?” Aragorn said in shock.

Glorfindel chuckled, putting together one fact and another.

Galadriel poured Faramir another cup of water, and began, “Normally I would not tell this story… it is really Celeborn’s, or perhaps Ingloren’s, or Faronglas’. But tonight… I think it fitting.” Galadriel smiled gently at Faramir, “Though my husband lost his temper that day,”

“Understandably.” Glorfindel interjected with a grin.

“Another friend of mine learned the value of a friend unlooked-for.” Galadriel continued, unruffled, as Faramir absently wondered if dealing with Glorfindel’s interruptions had trained all of Elrond’s family and Erestor for the future existence of the twins.

First Age 545, When the Host of the Valar Arrived at the Isle of Balar

Faenglorien stifled a sigh as the great ships of the Host from the West arrived. Here was hope, real, tangible, at last. Surely with the Maia Eonwe, the great Manwe’s herald, and the Vanyar, and Aran Arafinwe, and the countless elves they had brought from the West, they might defeat Morgoth. It was good that this fleet numbered so many; out of the dozens of elves of Faenglorien’s family who had traveled over the ice, and their many descendants, only five survived. Faenglorien herself, her brother, her husband, her son, and a distant cousin who found them too painful a remembrance of his lost own lost family to spend much time with them at all. Other families of elven exiles had taken similar losses… of all of Aran Arafinwe’s children and grandchildren, only Galadriel and Ereinion survived. And the Sindar of Doriath had suffered staggering losses, as well. Some at the hands of her own kin by marriage, though they had just been following their foolish Lords’ orders.

Since Galadriel had been a talented if challenging adolescent, Faenglorien had been her friend, first her teacher and then her student in the arts of prophecy. And Faenglorien saw only darkness in the coming days. Darkness, and little hope of victory. She feared the West had come too late.

Celeborn, Faenglorien’s lord since his marriage to her lady centuries ago, squared his shoulders, and went to assist other elves and men of Balar with greeting another ship. Faenglorien had little sympathy in her sorrow, but she spared some for Celeborn. He was a great leader amongst his surviving people, had been a great King’s valued officer and nephew, but the arriving Noldor and Vanyar saw him only as a barbarian. Still, he greeted them with a smile on his face, and welcome in his voice. Galadriel, on the other hand, had retired to their home, pleading a sick headache, at her ladies’ insistence. This day would not be improved by Galadriel striking a foolish, loose-tongued would-be savior from the West, and that had nearly happened twice already. In fact, Faenglorien thought Galadriel had been about to help a certain Vanya cousin into the harbor. Even that thought could not wring a smile from her, though she did reflect that Celeborn’s strengths were different from her lady’s, and tended more towards endurance. But they were no less worthy.

Celeborn and Faenglorien and her husband Sinyefal rowed out to the next ship, to help guide it into its assigned place in the harbor for disembarkation. To Faenglorien’s pleased surprise, one of the elves on this ship struck up a conversation of his own free will with Lord Celeborn.

Celeborn seemed pleasantly surprised as well. He gently corrected the curious, pleasant elf’s pronunciation of Sindarin and the language spoken by the Edain, and slowly, Faenglorien realized that this elf was…“Inglaurel!”

Inglaurel, one of Galadriel’s dearest friends and her social escort before they had left Aman, smiled brilliantly. “Faenglorien!” He caroled in relief, coming to embrace her, “You are well, praise the Valar. And…” Inglaurel hesitated as his expression turned worried, “Your Lady Artanis, um, Galadriel, as she is called now? She is well?”

Faenglorien hastened to reassure Inglaurel that Galadriel was well, only suffering from a headache.

Celeborn, who spoke Quenya perfectly well, looked curious.

Inglaurel, coming to the logical assumption that Celeborn must know Galadriel, and the perhaps forgivable assumption that this Sindarin elf probably didn’t understand Quenya, switched into his broken Sindarin, “I am Galadriel’s friend and betrothed.” He explained to Celeborn earnestly.

Celeborn dropped him into the harbor, and Faenglorien felt rather bad for not having explained sooner that Celeborn was Galadriel’s husband, or that Inglaurel had been Galadriel’s escort to a number of family parties, just as a friend. She would reflect later that it was unfortunate that Inglaurel had confused the word for “escort” and the word for “intended bride,” as well as the past and present tense. And that it was also unfortunate that several Noldor lords had said rather loudly in Celeborn’s hearing earlier that morning that Artanis would have been better off marrying that absent-minded weasel of an alchemist, Inglaurel, rather than some barbaric Sindarin princeling. But at the time, Faenglorien couldn’t stop laughing. It helped that Inglaurel was promptly fished out of the harbor by some of Balar’s most talented human blacksmiths, from whom he received a new name, Ingloren, and with whom he struck up a lasting friendship. It also helped that Inglaurel, or Ingloren, as he called himself thereafter, had an excellent sense of humor, and didn’t blame Celeborn in the slightest. In fact, he’d immediately apologized for the misunderstanding, and Celeborn had promptly offered to give Ingloren language lessons. Although Faenglorien was not sure if that had appeased Celeborn’s rather appalled father-by-law.

Third Age Year 3020, Kitchens of the Citadel in Minas Tirith

Legolas had laughed so hard that tears were running down his face. “Oh, just wait ‘til I tell Adar.” The elven prince chuckled. And Glorfindel was laughing so hard he had trouble forming coherent words.

Aragorn and Gimli had been consumed by mirth as well, and even Faramir had cracked a smile.

Galadriel sat in the midst of the laughing males. Smiling gently, she informed Faramir, “Faenglorien had been unsure if she could carry on the fight, before that. Meeting Inglaurel… Ingloren, again, and the, ah,” Galadriel paused.

“Hilarity that ensued?” Offered Faramir, quiet good humor in his eyes.

“Yes, that.” Galadriel agreed with an appreciative smile for the Steward’s gentle wit, “gave her the strength to go on. If you did the same for valiant Frodo, who carried the fate of us all…”

Faramir nodded, “I see, my La… um, cousin Galadriel. And I take your point, both of them.”

Galadriel nodded, adding, like a gentle wind into Faramir’s mind, Faenglorien, if she had not found her strength, would have stayed on the Isle of Balar, and survived the war. As it was, she died to save me, in battle. I know… ?? Galadriel spared a kind look for Glorfindel, who had told her this, ??I know, for a fact, that Faenglorien never regretted her sacrifice. Never regretted riding to war at my side. I am sure your brother would feel much the same, and someday, many decades from now, he can tell you so himself.

Faramir nodded, more at peace than he had been in the week since he realized the date. Aragorn poured his Steward and friend another cup of water, and the night turned to remembrances of times past, and friends still present, and those dearly missed. And a Princess enjoyed one last night amongst her younger family members and friends whom she would soon have to bid farewell, while a Reborn Balrog Slayer quietly reassured an old friend that she would be sailing to a warm welcome home.

NB: Please do not distribute (by any means, including email) or repost this story (including translations) without the author's prior permission. [ more ]

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6 Comment(s)

Oh these are wonderful. Eldarion is such an astute child :)

— Maria    Thursday 14 October 2010, 1:28    #

A very interesting beginning. I look forward to reading more!

— Ria    Thursday 14 October 2010, 3:05    #

I love these father-son moments, they’re so perfect and heartwarming.

— Anna    Monday 20 December 2010, 17:55    #

Just lovely!

— Linda    Tuesday 11 January 2011, 9:58    #

This is so lovely to read! It’s light and bright and makes me smile or chuckle during reading. Very enjoyable, I hope you update soon.


— Aneyrin    Wednesday 2 February 2011, 15:56    #

Cute, cute, cute story.
Thank you for sharing it with us.

— lille mermeid    Monday 16 May 2011, 15:50    #

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