A belated birthday fic for LadyLindariel. Happy birthday, and sorry I'm late! Hopefully we'll continue to have you in our wonderful community for years to come~
A chuckle. "Tell us a story, Glor!"
A long, thin hand held up a golden goblet to tapering lips that tilted up at the corners. "Another, Thel? Really? How many must I tell?"
"As many as I demand, of course! How else shall I be able to outdo you in front of others unless I know what the standard is?" Came the reply gaily, followed by riotous laughter.
Blue eyes rolled fondly, and the cup was set aside. "Very well, then. Shall I tell you about the time that Elrohir had a vision that saved me?"
"A vision? To save you? Ha! Let's hear this miracle!"
"I hate you, Thel."
"I know, Glorf." The answer was smug. "Now on with it."
The golden-haired warrior sighed. "Very well. It all started when Elrohir woke up yelling for me..."
Glorfindel burst into the room, sword drawn while Elladan leaped for his own sword.
"Glorfindel! Glorfindel! I don't know what it means!" Elrohir yelped from the bed, tangled in the sheets. A moment later his tousled head popped up, staring around with wild eyes.
Glorfindel, realizing that there was no attack, sheathed his sword with a thunderous frown. "Did you have to wake the entirety of Imladris because you didn't know what a dream means?" he growled, in a snit from the scare.
"The horse came back alone, Glorfindel, alone!" Elrohir insisted, climbing out of bed while Elladan groaned and rubbed his eyes.
"What horse? Whose? From where?" Glorfindel demanded.
"Your horse! Asfaloth! I don't know from where, but it came back alone!" Elrohir's arms flailed.
"Stop acting like an elfling, Ro," Elladan groaned, flopping back over.
"No, no, you don't understand - Asfaloth never comes home alone. Remember the time Glorfindel fell into the Orc trap and couldn't get out for days? Asfaloth never came home! Asfaloth never comes back without Glorfindel," Elrohir cried.
Glorfindel's face darkened. "I won't die, child. Lord Námo would stick my sorry feä on a pike outside the doors of Mandos if I landed on his front step again," he said gravely, causing Elladan to let out a muffled snort.
"Well then explain to me why he came back. Alone." Elrohir crossed his arms.
"Stop saying alone, it makes me feel lonely," Elladan complained from his pillow.
"Well, go back to sleep, Elrohir. I promise to take heed from your dream - your father is not known as the seer of Imladris for nothing," Glorfindel sighed, and headed back to his own quarters for a glass of Dorwinian.
"... Glorfindel, do you mean to tell me that you went to get a glass of Dorwinion after hearing that you might die from the son of a great seer?"
"Stop saying it like that, Thel, I'm not that incompetent."
An incredulous snort. "Oh yes, of course, I forget that you did take my advice that one Midsummer's festival to tie up your hair."
"Shut up and let me continue, you great oaf. What graceful Elf falls into a fountain and drowns?" The snide remark was accompanied by a disgruntled glare.
"Oh, tell on." A sigh.
"I thought so."
"Estel has joined the ranks of the Rohirrim under their King Thengel, Glorfy. What think you?" Elrohir asked Glorfindel, half curious and half bitter.
Glorfindel stared at the horizon with a sad, wistful smile. "I wonder where the Estel I dandled on my knee has gone, and who is the man that has taken his place," he sighed, then turned and strode towards the gates where Asfaloth waited patiently. Mounting, he turned back to look at Elrohir and Elladan briefly, with a golden smile. "I shall return in two weeks, at the most," he said easily, then patted his chest where a package of letters was safely stored and galloped on down the trail.
Elladan waved; Elrohir, however, pressed his chest with a wavering frown.
"Be careful, Lord Glorfindel of Gondolin..."
"And you heard that?" Asked skeptically with raised eyebrows.
"No, I am telling the tale from hindsight, idiot. Of course I didn't hear it. Elladan told me later."
"Fine, fine, don't be so miffed with me. Tell on, it is becoming interesting." He waved his friend on.
"Lord Glorfindel! It is fortunate that you should have come." Estel jogged towards him with a relieved look but a worried frown.
Glorfindel dismounted easily, patting Asfaloth's neck. "Oh? Trouble already? The twins will not be pleased," he teased, causing the young man to roll his eyes.
"Please, Glorfindel... Truly, it is as though you have been sent."
Glorfindel's eyebrows furrowed, a memory tickling the back of his mind. After a moment, he brushed it aside, intending to think on it later. "What is afoot?" he asked, wordlessly handing Estel the package of letters. Estel took it with a small, grateful smile, plunging it deep into the recesses of his inner pocket.
"An entire Orc pack was spotted east of here not two days ago, and just disappeared this morning. Utterly gone. Scouts have been sent, and there is no trace, no sign of them. No one understands it," Estel said in frustration. "It is impossible for them to be out of sight in such a short time."
Glorfindel's frown deepened, and he nodded curtly before leading Asfaloth to the stables. "I shall look into this matter, Estel. It does sound as though some magic has been used... Dark arts," he added under his breath, and felt Estel pause.
"I did not consider that," came the startled reply. "But it is true that the previous King Fengel's advisors are not above bringing an Easterling or Dark Númenorian into the kingdom to wrest the throne from King Thengel," he mused.
Glorfindel hummed thoughtfully, absently unlatching the sword at his side from its leather restraints. "Yes... I shall go look," he murmured.
And yet, a great wariness fell upon his mind as he strode towards the open plain.
"Do not tell me you forgot about the vision. The vision that the son of a great seer had about -"
"Ecthelion of Gondolin that is no more," came the exasperated scolding. "Do you or do you not want to hear this tale? I could just leave you hang there-"
"Oh shut up, you Balrog-breather. You know it is my solemn duty to make life difficult for you."
"Of course, how could I ever live up to your legacy?" Was the wry reply.
The answer he received was short and extremely rude.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones-"
"I will hurl this decanter at your face. Get on with it, you spawn of Arien."
"As always, your insults are as creative as ever, my dear friend. Now, where was I? Don't you dare even suggest I am losing my memory. Oh yes..."
Glorfindel crept silently among the large rocks that littered the cliff face below Meduselde, keen eyes sweeping for any sign of life. Even more, his ears and feä were searching, mind reaching out to detect any traces of magic or movement in the Unseen realm.
It was not until he reached the very base of the cliff, however, that he finally found what he was looking for - and not a moment too soon. The wariness that had made his senses hyper alert became suddenly very useful as a blade shot past his face, while he barely managed to spin blindingly fast to the side in time to avoid it. Pinpointing the exact location of the presence that crowded in his mind, he leapt forwards, sword drawn.
It was met with a clash that he was sure reverberated through the entire mountainside. He was half surprised that it hadn't caused an avalanche. To his even greater surprise, a human emerged from behind the rock the sword had originated, a dark, swarthy man that was clearly from the East. A leer hovered on his mouth, and darkness radiated from his aura like a choking fog and a creeping sickness.
"Surprised, Elf?" He cackled, lips pulled back in a hideous grimace to show cracked teeth and rotting gums. Glorfindel felt supremely unimpressed and disgusted.
"Perhaps. But I have had a warning," he replied calmly, and swiftly lashed out. As he fought with the enhanced human, he remembered the vision that Elrohir had told him not two years ago. That Asfaloth came home alone. He would not let that happen.
Despite that the Easterling could match him blow for blow in strength and speed, he had not the skill to match the great Balrog-slayer. With a swift parry and a seemingly-impossible slice to the side, the broadsword in the Easterling's hand twisted away with a sickening crunch and the detestable creature was huddling on the ground, howling while clutching his mangled fingers.
Glorfindel wasted no time in bringing the pinioned man before the Rohirric Court.
"But Glorfindel, magic! Dark magic! Dear Valar, have you no sense? What if he had placed a spell on the king!"
"Would you stop interrupting!? I am getting to that part!"
"You mean it happened, you great dolt!? Forget it, I have no connections to you."
"Please, I make life interesting." Golden hair flipped sassily.
"Stop that, it's likely to blind me in its blondeness. You're the definition of a blonde, Glorf."
"Why thank you, dearest friend."
"You do know that is not a compliment?"
"I never take anything you say seriously, Thel. Now, on with it. I dragged him before the king..."
"The interrogation provided nothing," Estel sighed wearily, sinking into a chair. "He poisoned himself, though not before trying to cast a spell on the King."
"Who stopped it?" Wídfara sounded incredulous.
"I did," Glorfindel stepped into the room, having come back from burning the Easterling's body. "Now, I must be off. I have a tale to take back to Elrohir - of how he saved my life," Glorfindel chuckled.
"Oh?" Estel's eyebrows skyrocketed.
"Hush, youngling. I shall tell you later. Now, I must be off... Where is Asfaloth?" Glorfindel queried, patting his messenger bag and heading for the stables.
"In the field, grazing. Where are you off to next?" Estel queried.
"Ah, yes. I am riding towards a small outpost of nomadic elves to deliver a message," Glorfindel replied easily, saddling Asfaloth once more.
"Ah. Well, many thanks for your help, Lord Glorfindel. Safe journeys."
"To you as well, Estel - stay out of trouble, this time," Glorfindel chuckled, earning a sigh from the young man.
"As much as I can, Glorfy," he replied dryly.
"Good, good." And with a salute, he was off.
"... How anticlimactic."
"I know; all because you were banking on me being stupid."
"Alright, very well. I shall associate with you once more, Glory."
"I don't suppose you could repay your lack of faith in me with desisting in using those odious nicknames?"
"Of course not! What would life be without them?"
A sigh. "Anyways... I was greeted most eagerly by the twins when I returned..."
"... And so, you see, Elrohir, I took your warning and gave come back safely." Glorfindel concluded with a slight smile, lifting his glass in a toast.
Elrohir rolled his eyes, though his relief was evident. "Of course, oh mighty Balrog slayer of old. I shall always remember the day that my dreams saved your life," he said sarcastically, earning a chuckle from Glorfindel.
"By the way, I learned a line in Rohirric that might tickle your fancy, Elrohir. I smiled when I heard it."
"Oh?" Elrohir did sound interested, while Elladan preferred to pay attention to his cup.
"Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago?" Glorfindel articulated, gesturing with his hand, then stood and set his cup down. "Quite fitting, I must say, for this little adventure."
"But what does it mean?" Elrohir queried after the departing Glorfindel in confusion.
"Where is the horse gone? Where the rider?" Glorfindel's voice floated back to them in a thoughtful tone, leaving behind an echo as golden as its origins.
"Hmm. Interesting. Isn't Elrohir's name from Rohirric roots as well?" Ecthelion queried thoughtfully.
"Oh yes. Elrohir - El for the shortened from of Elda, then Rohir from rochir meaning horse-lord. Quite fitting, I must say," Glorfindel replied, swirling the wine in his cup and staring into the dregs of it.
Ecthelion leaned back into his chair. "Fitting indeed." He agreed. "About as fitting as your name-"
Glorfindel cut him off with a scathing glare.
The other elves walking through the hallways could only smile involuntarily at the golden and silver laughter that floated through the air.