3. Archery Practice
I walked through the gardens with the yummy Lord of Imladris in silence for a while, partly because I couldn't think of anything to say, partly because my heart was beating so rapidly, but mostly because I was trying so very hard not to be lusting over Elrond. I mean come on. Elrond?
We reached a gazebo-looking structure, which was so much more beautiful and elaborate than any gazebo I had ever seen, and Elrond indicated that I take a seat on one of the benches. I hesitated at first, hoping he would take the lead and sit so that I could perch myself scandalously close to him. He did not and I belatedly realized he was being a gentleman and was waiting for me.
I sat on one of the benches. He sat across from me. I felt a pang of disappointment and then reminded myself who this was. Elrond is not hot. Elrond is old. It wasn't working. Elrond was hot.
"It is a dangerous time in which you have found yourself in our fair valley."
Mmm. Dangerous. Mmm. Fair. Mmm. Snap out of it, Arandil!
"Ok." In my defense, there was a small part of my brain trying desperately to reel in the fangurl and speak intelligently with Lord Elrond. If you had asked me prior to that day what my conversation with Elrond would be like, I would have expressed my desire to talk to him about lore, language, history, culture and the like. Not in a million years would I have said, 'I wouldn't be able to talk to him. I would be too distracted by his unfathomable good looks.' Yeah. But that was the case now, wasn't it?
Thankfully he did not notice my current state. Either that or he was gracious enough to pretend to ignore it. Either way, he continued as if it wasn't a drooling puddle of fangurl sitting across from him.
"Coincidences are few and far between. There is a purpose for your being here, even if it is not immediately apparent." Sure there is. Oh, you mean a purpose other than chasing after elves and mucking around with your history? Well, in that case, maybe not.
Elrond came over to where I was and knelt down in front of me, taking my hands in his. I hoped fervently he didn't notice my palms were sweaty, something that only happened when I was nervous. "If there is anything you can recall about the events leading up to your being discovered on our borders, anything at all, it may prove to be useful information."
Anything I can recall? I remember finding that original edition Lord of the Rings book in my grandparent's attic. I seem to recollect a piece of parchment with something written in Tengwar written on it, folded in the middle of the book. I can't forget the hours I spent on the internet trying to translate the Quenya words, or the excitement I felt when I figured out what they said could get me here. Was I going to tell any of this to Lord Elrond? Oh, hell no.
"I'm sorry, Lord Elrond." I batted my eyes at him; just because. "Everything prior to waking up here is a blank."
Suddenly, Elrond did look old; and tired. He stood up slowly and extended his hand to help me up. "Perhaps the man that was with you may be able to provide us with some information. There are strange folk about and it would do well for us to know the reasons people suddenly appear in our valley."
I felt hurt. Was Elrond calling me strange folk? Me?
He smiled slightly at me as if he could sense my upset. "Do not worry, we do not mistrust you, or your companion. But you may hold a key to events that are occurring."
Doubtful. But who am I to disagree with a gorgeous Elf?
"Of course, Lord Elrond." Is it bad that I was starting to find calling him 'Lord Elrond' remarkably exciting? "If I remember anything I will be sure to tell you." If only as an excuse to see you again.
After my conversation with Lord Elrond (shiver), I decided to head to my room. Nothing was going as planned. Justin was off male bonding with my favorite Mirkwood prince and my first interaction with Elrond was high-schoolish at best. I was supposed to be drooling over his sons, not him. I was supposed to be learning from him; finding out interesting tidbits of information about Arda. But no, instead I was contemplating whether or not LaCE really did apply to elves whose spouses sailed West. Oh, the evils of the peredhel; all the right parts of Elves and Men in one spectacular body.
So at any rate, before I ran into anybody else that I might know and inadvertently lust over, I went back to the room. Justin was not there, which only served to add to my irritation. I'm not quite sure why I was so aggravated, except that I'm a control freak and don't like it when things don't go as planned. But aside from that, there could have been worse things than me finding Elrond attractive, right?
Of course there could; such as Justin and Legolas coming in, laughing together as if they had been best buddies forever. Men. Give them some weapons to play with together and they're instant friends.
Justin saw me and came running over excitedly. "Guess what we did!" I was so not in the mood. I glared at him and sighed, but he didn't notice, so caught up in his fantastically stimulating news. "We hid in the trees, and these dwarves walked by, and they had these stupid hoodie things on, and Legolas," he waved his arm back at the elf who was standing in the doorway, chuckling at Justin's retelling, "shot the hood right off one of their heads into a tree behind them."
I raised my eyebrows at Legolas. "Oh, that's wonderful for diplomatic relations." He stopped laughing, his smile replaced by a neutral expression, but I could see his eyes still dancing. Well, I suppose I'd be laughing too if I hadn't started out in such a foul mood. I turned back to Justin as he continued his tale.
"Anyway, the dwarves were looking around and you could tell they were pissed off. So Legolas shot another one's hood off. The dwarves were so mad, they started running around kicking the trees, shouting in some other language."
"They believed my king to be the culprit and were cursing his name," Legolas explained with a hint of a smile.
"Oh, that's terrific!" I said, but began to smile as well. What I was picturing was just too funny not to laugh at. "So what happened next?" I saw Legolas glance at Justin and turned to see Justin looking down at the floor.
"I started laughing and fell out of the tree." I gasped.
"Do not be concerned," Legolas laughed. "The one called Gimli cushioned his fall."
"Oh my Gawd!" I covered my open mouth with my hands and began giggling foolishly. "You fell on Gimli! Oh that is too funny! How pissed was he?"
"Don't know." Justin shrugged. "We ran like hell after that and didn't stop 'til we got back here."
I heard a throat clear and swung around to face the doorway. There, standing behind and slightly to the left of Legolas, was Elrond. It would have been a beautiful picture had I not been so worried about what the Lord of Imladris was going to say about the Dwarf-shooting incident. Much to my surprise, he curled half his mouth up in a smile.
"At least now I know that it was not an orc attack as I was led to believe by our other guests."
"Orcs rarely have aim enough to shoot clothing off targets so low to the ground." Legolas threw back over his shoulder without turning.
"No," Elrond peered around to look him in the eye. "I might have known it was one of Thranduil's archers who was so inclined."
Legolas's only response was a raised eyebrow directed at Elrond. He walked over then to Justin, "It was a pleasure teaching you the finer points of archery." He glanced out the corner of his eye at Elrond, but his words did not elicit any response. Looking back to Justin, he continued, his eyes twinkling mischievously, "Perhaps you might join me again tomorrow for more practice?"
Justin looked quickly at Elrond and then back to Legolas. "Sure. Sounds like fun."
Legolas smiled and turned to me. "Good day, Arandil." He gave me a quick nod of his head. "Until we meet again." With that, he walked out of the room without a word to Elrond.
Elrond stood where he was without moving for several minutes, and Justin and I just watched him. Finally he smiled tiredly at us. "I shall send your dinner when it is time. Good day to you both." He too left, leaving Justin and me alone in the room. With a smile, I turned to my husband.
"Fell out of a tree, huh?"
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.