Do I Have Any Volunteers?
2. A Chat with Glorfindel
After filling the glass, he returned the bottle to its place. No sense in letting anyone else know it was here: there wasn’t enough to go around, and technically, the bottle was for Aragorn. He would give him the rest later; Aragorn might tease him a bit, but he wouldn’t really care.
Turning back to his drink, he found it missing. Elrond frowned. It was an odd occurrence that things would disappear from where he put them.
“Are you feeling well? It isn’t like you to forget to pour yourself a glass.”
Elrond’s eyes snapped up to the chair Bilbo had so recently vacated to see Glorfindel sipping from His glass.
“I did not forget to pour myself a glass. It has merely been relocated to the hands of a thief.”
Glorfindel arched an eyebrow. “So you didn’t notice my coming? That is even less like you. What is wrong, my friend?”
Elrond sighed and set about getting himself another glass of wine. “Nothing more than you should expect.”
“Or do you mean nothing more than you know.”
Elrond looked up from putting away the wine bottle: he would blame the missing wine on Glorfindel. “What on earth do you mean by that?”
Placing his glass on the edge of the desk, the old warrior spoke, “It is just that some of your more recent actions have some of us concerned. Certain things that do not seem like the wise ruler we all know. Someone had to speak with you…”
“And you were unlucky enough to be chosen.”
Glorfindel sighed, “Yes. Apparently, my being a Balrog slayer makes me invincible.”
Elrond chuckled at that. “I have an idea of to what you are referring, but please, what part of my behavior troubles you and Erestor so? And, yes, I know it is him. You are the only two who know me well enough to question my behavior.”
Elrond sighed and slumped in his chair; there was no sense in maintain formalities that would be so readily seen through. “I shouldn’t be surprised. He has a habit of sticking his nose where it is least wanted.”
“He means well, but he does have reason to stick his nose in his business.”
“Now you have confirmed my suspicions, but please, continue.”
Glorfindel stood up and began pacing the length of his office. “What were you thinking?! We want this mission to be secret, and while I doubt that any of the young warriors would knowingly or willingly give away our mission, YOUNG warriors make mistakes. You should pick someone who at least has had some combat experience. Prince Legolas would be far better than any of the untried warriors that heard about your request. At least he has gained experience by fighting to keep the darkness out of his father’s realm. But, just asking for volunteers? THAT is one of the most foolish approaches to finding an elven representative that I have EVER heard.” Glorfindel looked at the elven lord and was flabbergasted: he was scribbling away on a piece of parchment. “Did you even hear a word I said?”
“Yes, of course: foolish way to find a representative. You know that; I know that, but the issuer of that request obviously did not.”
“What? But you made the request. How can you both know and not know something?” Now the warrior was confused.
“Now it is you we should be concerned about. Tell me, did I personally make this request to the warriors?”
“Then who did make this request on my behalf?”
“It was…. Ah… so our old hobbit has picked up some of the wizard’s less endearing tricks.”
“That has been my guess. He was here not too long ago, you know? He had the audacity to suggest that all 3 of my sons go. Please sit down and finish your wine. Thranduil will never forgive me if I let it go to waste.”
The golden-haired warrior complied. “Wasn’t that wine meant for Estel?”
“Yes, but he won’t mind a missing glass.”
“Actually, he might, but I’ll blame the 2nd one on you.”
“Why not? I think you look good in red.”
“Oh, no! He is banned from my chambers. That incident will NOT be repeated! I could not get the warriors to look at me and still keep a straight face for weeks!”
“You have to admit it WAS rather funny.”
Glorfindel looked away from his snickering friend. “Well, maybe a little,” then he grinned and turned back, “but he will definitely think twice about trying something like that on me after my ‘mistake’.”
Elrond couldn’t help but breaking out into full laughter at the memory. “Oh! Estel…. He looked so….” Elrond had to stop and catch his breath, “there are not the words to describe it!”
“Alright, you can blame it on me AFTER he agrees to go with Frodo: he’ll have too much on his mind after that to think about revenge. And don’t say anything, because it is his time, and as much as you want to keep your daughter, it is his right and destiny.”
“You do not need to tell me this, old friend. I will miss her, but as I told Bilbo, it will only get harder for him if he waits longer. Besides, without someone to pull together all of man-kind and make a peace after the darkness, what hope will this victory bring? I think that this is the greater hope of Estel than that of the fellowship’s quest, but to bring that greater hope, he will need to first go with Frodo and earn the admiration of humanity. In this, Bilbo was right.”
“Maybe there is more wisdom than we know in that hobbit. Did you not say that he mentioned all your sons go? Do you think there is any wisdom in that?”
“Humph. No. They would create more trouble that not.”
“Really? I believe they are quite responsible. Especially after what happened with Celebrian.”
Elrond smirked, “They gave Estel the red dye, AND told them where you keep your bath items.”
“You are right. I stand corrected, but have you given any thought to an elven representative?”
“Are you volunteering?”
“Of course not! But I will go if I must.”
Elrond laughed, “Do not worry! I believe you would be too noticeable. I liked your idea better.”
Elrond pushed that paper he had been writing on earlier over to Glorfindel. “Yes, that is what I was writing down.”
Glorfindel picked up the paper and read, “‘Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, Mithrandir, Estel, Legolas’…. Legolas!! King Thranduil will have your head when he finds out!”
“But you were absolutely correct: he is young enough that he will not be well known by Sauron and yet he has valuable battle experience that none of our young warriors do.”
“Let me reiterate my previous concern: how are we going to let his father know?”
“Let us see if the prince will accept before we worry about that. He will probably know best how to handle his father.”
“I will defer to your superior wisdom on this one. Have you thought of a dwarf representative yet?”
“No, I believe I will Gloin about it. He will be able to give good council on the abilities of those with him.”
A knock was heard at the door.
“That was much too confident to be another volunteer…. Enter!” Aragorn opened the door and walked in. “Am I interrupting, father?”
“No, of course not, we were just discussing the various members of the fellowship.”
“Have you come to any conclusions?”
Glorfindel spoke up, “We have. Why don’t you see for yourself?” He handed Elrond’s notes to the ranger.
“His father will be furious.”
“Only if he accepts,” Elrond commented, “Do you believe he will?”
Aragorn grinned, “He was just commenting on how someone would need to keep a ‘young child’ like me in line.”
“I am curious,” Glorfindel wondered, “how did he know you would be going? We have only just decided?”
Aragorn answered nervously, “Well, if we are going to bring about an end to Sauron once and for all, I do not believe there will be a more appropriate time for Gondor’s king to return. I was going to volunteer for the job and request that Legolas and Boromir join me: that was the main reason why I came.”
Elrond cocked his head. “Legolas I understand, but why Boromir?”
“The road through Rohan will not be as safe as it was when he came. Traveling with the fellowship will give him protection until we get closer to Minas Tirith. Also, he will be the next steward. If I am to take the throne without resistance, I will need his assistance. I can think of no better time to prove my honor and earn his trust than on this venture. I would ask that he be named as the representative of man.”
“I had not thought of this, but you are right. He will be a great asset when the time comes and a loyal friend if you earn his trust. Very well, Boromir will be asked to represent man. What of your other reasons? You said this was only your main one.”
“Yes, well, Legolas mentioned a bottle of his father’s Dorwinion that was sent for me. He said he entrusted it into your care as I was not available. We were hoping to have a private gathering tonight before we set off on our scouting missions.”
Glorfindel quickly stood up, “Well, I must be going. I believe I am needed on the archery field to help Uruvon with his aim. I wouldn’t want to miss it!” Before anyone could stop him, the normally fearless Balrog Slayer was halfway down the hall.
“Father…. What happened to the Dorwinion?”
“Yes, well… it all started with Bilbo…”
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.