A/N: I'm happy to see interest in this! This chapter has a bit of a nod to the Hobbit movies.


Estel was sulking in his room. Of course, he would never admit that he was sulking, but it was hard to deny with his face scrunched up in a pout. Estel was not-sulking in his room because he wanted to hunt orcs with his brothers and the rest of the hunting party, but Elrond, his Ada, said he was too small. A few hours into his not-sulk, after he forgot to be mad and turned to reading instead, Estel heard the horns announcing the successful return of the hunt. He bounced off the bed and bounded out of his room, eager to see his brothers and hear tales about the hunt.

The sight that greeted him as he looked down from the walkway stopped him short. By the hunter's entrance, there was a gathering of people, and not all of them were elves. They were short and stubby, and most had beards- they were dwarves! Estel had never seen dwarves before. He decided that he could stand not seeing his brothers for a little longer and decided to spy on the dwarves. It would help him practice his stealth, which Ada said he lacked, and he would get to learn more about dwarves. Estel crept closer as the hunting party arrived and encircled the dwarves. Words were exchanged, but Estel was still too far to hear. Not for the first time, and probably not for the last, Estel silently cursed his mortal hearing. By the time he got close enough to hear what was being said, the dwarves were already being escorted into Imladris. Estel huffed in disappointment, then quickly ran off to find his father.

"Ada! Ada! There are dwarves here!"

Elrond smiled fondly as his foster-son came running up to him. "I know, Estel. I greeted them."

"Can I meet them? Please?" Estel implored. He even pulled out the cute pout that usually made people smile and agree with what he wanted. Unfortunately for Estel, Elrond had long since been immune to that look, and he had the duty of keeping Estel safe and secret.

"I am truly sorry, ion-nin, but I cannot let you meet with them." Elrond knelt down to be at eye-level with Estel and put a soothing hand on his shoulder. "It is very important to keep your existence here a secret from all who might do you harm. These dwarves, while they do not know who you are, might tell of the human child in Rivendell to the wrong ears, and alert our enemies to you. You must keep away from them. I say this only to keep you safe, do you understand?"

Estel looked down, disappointed, before meeting Elrond's eyes and nodding. Elrond gave him a quick smile and stood up again. "Now, go find your brothers. I'm sure they would love to tell you about our orc-hunt." Estel immediately brightened and quickly ran off, shooting Elrond a quick smile over his shoulder. While Elrond knew that Estel wouldn't deliberately put himself in danger, he also knew that there was mischief in his smile.

Estel found his brothers in the stables, putting away the last of their equipment from the hunt. "Elladan, Elrohir, you're back!" Estel called. The twin sons of Elrond turned and smiled at their little brother.

"Hey Estel! Do you want to hear about the hunt?" Elladan asked.

"Yes," Estel answered, "but first, can you tell me where the dwarves are?"

Elladan and Elrohir shared a look, debating whether or not to tell him.

"Why do you want to know?" Elrohir asked. "I'm pretty sure you aren't allowed to talk to outsiders."

Estel pouted. "I know. I just want to see them. Books don't tell you everything. Plus I want to work on my stealth"

"Sounds like you've thought of everything, honeg," Elladan laughed. The twins shared another silent conversation look. Elrohir sighed.

"The dwarves will be in the dining pavilion in half an hour. If you can get close enough without Ada spotting you, you can study the dwarves all you want. But if anyone sees you, you have to let us train you in archery for the next two weeks."

Estel thought for a moment. Ada was hard to sneak past, but maybe he'd be distracted enough by the dwarves… "Deal."


A/N: I think I might write more for this, but I don't know.

Ada- father
Ion-nin- my son
Honeg- little brother

Thank you Sioux3 and tgo62 for commenting! I am continuing this, and actually I have a whole timeline I'm working from. I'm going to try to post things in order, but I might get ideas for later on in the timeline before my earlier ones are done, or I might get an idea for an earlier story after posting later ones. That's why I always include the year in the chapter titles.