Glorfindel finished his training session. The Lórien archers were proving their worth with the sword. The warrior had just enough time to wash up before supper. He was looking forward to speaking with Orophin again. For a youngling, the elf was extremely level-headed. When he had explained Maedhros' problem, the silver-haired elf spent nearly a whole night looking at possible solutions. Glorfindel sighed. As of yet they had thought of nothing. Námo had to know the answer, but he was not likely to tell. This evening, he would ask Orophin to join him when he went to talk to the Noldo. It would give Maedhros a chance to meet someone new. Finally feeling presentable, the elf lord headed to the dining hall.
When Glorfindel arrived, he found the twins and Haldir hassling Rumil about something. That young elf had a real lively streak in him; he was energetic, loved to drink and gamble and could out shoot every archer, the golden lord included, in Imladris. Despite his immature behavior off the field, Rumil more than made up for it in discipline on the field. Glorfindel noticed the changed seating arrangements and wondered. Maglor sat in Celebrian's seat (the children did not seem to mind) next to Lindir followed by Haldir. It seemed that Elrohir and Rumil had traded places. Elladan now sat next to Rumil and Orophin found himself seated in Elladan's usual spot next to Glorfindel. The ancient warrior did not mind the arrangement, but he did wonder about the reason…somehow the twins were looking decidedly guilty. Greeting the table and eyeing the twins, he took his seat. A few minutes later, the Lord of the Valley appeared and the meal began. It was a relaxing affair; he, Elrond and Orophin had a wonderful discussion about the advantages of various bows. Haldir and Elrohir were in deep in discussion about healing plants and Elladan and Rumil were in a tense debate about…ale? The warrior shook his head. It was then that he noticed someone missing.
"Elrond, where is Erestor? He did not lose track of time again, did he?"
Elrond swallowed his bite before answering. "I saw him carrying a tray earlier. He said he was anxious to finish going over the trade agreements." Glorfindel nodded.
With the meal over, most headed to the Hall of Fire for merry-making. Touching Orophin lightly on the arm, the golden lord asked the young elf to join him when speaking to Maedhros. Orophin agreed and the two headed out the other door.
Eying the pair, the younger twin asked, "Does you brother not like to relax? He has been to the hall for no more than an hour since he got here."
Rumil laughed, "Orophin prefers books to fun."
"I don't know, looks to me like he prefers tall golden-haired warriors to your company," Elladan replied with a smile. The group laughed as they headed towards the Hall of Fire. Haldir however had a concerned look in his eye.
Slowing down a bit, Elrohir leaned a bit closer to the Lorien captain. "Is something wrong, Haldir?"
"Um, no nothing." Haldir glanced behind them.
"Is this about your brother?" Haldir just stared. This dark-haired elf walking next to him was only a few years older that Rumil, however, he was extremely intuitive. "You know, you can talk to me. I will keep quiet." Elrohir looked up at the archer with compassionate eyes. Haldir was an intense elf that took looking after his brothers seriously.
Seeing Elladan and Rumil farther down the hall, Haldir decided to speak. "It is Lord Glorfindel. I think Orophin fancies him."
"Glorfindel is an honorable elf. Why does it bother you?"
"When Orophin pursues a relationship, he does so with his whole heart. I have seen it broken to many times by those who bed him for his looks or to gain favor with me, or the Lady. I have tried to subtly tell him that Lord Glorfindel would not bother with a simple archer. He could have the king of Mirkwood if he so desired. Stars above, he was Ecthelion's lover. I have read accounts of their merry-making; love like that does not end with death. Rumil was correct when he said that Orophin prefers books." Haldir finally stopped, giving Elrohir an opportunity to speak up.
"You do not really know Glorfindel. He could care less about station in life; respect is earned, not an expectation of birth. I have not seen him with anyone, romantically, in decades. That is because he suffers the same fate as you brother… they wish to bed the mighty Balrog Slayer, the re-born warrior. They are developing a friendship; do not worry about it till it becomes an issue."
Haldir was impressed. "Are you always this insightful?" he asked.
Elrohir looked down and chuckled. "No, not really. You just seemed troubled, and I wanted to ease that for you."
"Thank you." Came the sincere response. Holding the door to the Hall of Fire, they entered and looked for their brothers.
Maedhros was so wrapped up in thoughts involving a certain dark-haired beauty that he did not hear the knock on the door. He looked back from the window when he heard his name.
"Maedhros, good evening, may I come in?"
"Of course, Captain."
"I have a friend with me who might be able to help." Entering the room with a hesitant Orophin in tow, "This is Orophin, a guardian from Lothlorien." The younger elf bowed to the Noldorian Prince.
"It is an honor."
"The honor is mine. Thank you for offering your help. I am afraid Glorfindel and I have worn out our old brains looking for a solution."
"Hey, you are older…quite older…than I, I might add." The Balrog Slayer bantered. Orophin pulled up another chair and the three began rehashing Maedhros' dilemma.
After about an hour, Maedhros dropped his head back onto the headboard. "I give up! That Vala is out of his omnipotent mind." Orophin shook his head in defeat and Glorfindel rubbed a hand over his face.
"What are we not seeing?" He asked exasperated. Their defeat was interrupted by a knock.
"Come!" The reclining elf called out with a sigh, never moving his head from the headboard. He was looking at the ceiling in hope that the answer could be found there.
"I am sorry, I did not know you had company. I will return another time." Erestor hoped that the twinge of sadness he felt was not present in his voice. However, before he could turn back through the door Glorfindel stopped him.
"Wait!" The elf turned from the door to look at his friend. "We need your brain." Erestor gave Glorfindel an incredulous look and sighed. That is until he saw Maedhros' tired eyes look at him with something akin to desperate hope. Making his way into the room, the dark elf waited for the situation to present itself.
"Come sit down. Why I did not think of this sooner is beyond me." Glorfindel patted the foot of Maedhros' bed. As the advisor got himself comfortable, leaning against the footboard, Glorfindel continued with his rambling. "We are warriors. It is all we have ever known."
"In other words, we could not look beyond that way of life." Orophin interjected. Glorfindel beamed at the quick-thinking elf next to him. For a brief moment, they locked eyes and became oblivious to all else. Erestor quietly cleared his throat.
Glorfindel look a bit sheepish but continued, "Erestor is not a warrior; he can see beyond that way of life. Furthermore, I cannot think of an elf with broader knowledge." Erestor found the fuzz on the blanket very interesting at this point. He was always uncomfortable with attention.
Maedhros looked at the young elf sitting on the end of his bed. He could not get over the beauty this one elf had; his stomach did a little flip.
"Will you help me?" beseeched the warrior. Erestor looked into deep cinnamon eyes and knew he was lost. He would challenge a Balrog if this remarkable elf asked it. Erestor gave a slight nod.
"Perfect!" said an excited Glorfindel. "The problem is that Maedhros cannot be a warrior and we cannot figure out what he could do instead."
Erestor looked puzzled. "Namo put conditions on my return to Arda. I can not be a warrior or train solders or even work in the capacity of a strategic advisor." The great elf said with a dejected tone. Now he stared at the blanket in defeat. What would a beautiful, young, highly intelligent elf want with an old has-been who does not even know what to do with his new life?
"You will need to be a bit more specific." Maedhros looked up. "I need to know exactly what Namo told you…word for word, if you can recall it."
Maedhros smiled a little and began relating his restrictions. "I am not permitted to use a sword or arrow or any weapon with a point or cutting edge." Erestor nodded understanding. The former warrior continued, "I can not be directly involved with the planning of a battle…even against the Darkness." He stopped here. There was no need to go over the love thing, as it was not relevant.
Erestor tilted his head to the side in thought. Maedhros was reminded of the expression Erestor used while playing chess. "Well, I have a thought; however, I want to make sure I understand correctly. Namo said you could not *use* a sword or such. Did he say you could not handle them at all?"
"No, he did not use those words."
"Alright. You cannot be a trainer because that directly involves preparing for battle. You can not be an advisor to Glorfindel or Elrond…at least not for tactical situations." All three warriors were waiting for the councilor to get to his conclusion.
After what seemed like hours, Erestor looked up with a smile. "The smithy." He was rewarded with three blank stares. With a sigh, he began to explain. "I assume you would prefer a more physical trade. You have extensive knowledge about weaponry. Making a sword is completely different than using one. Furthermore, there are other items that can be made that have absolutely nothing to do with warfare."
The smile started slow and quickly grew as the red-haired elf grasped the concept. This young elf is absolutely brilliant!
"I do not know," Glorfindel was hesitant. He knew that to break an agreement with Namo had the most unpleasant results. "He would still be making items, which are used in battle."
"But that is not their sole purpose; they are used in hunting, and it is the owner of the sword that carries it into battle. The same applies to arrows and knives, which also have practical uses. In addition, even if I cannot make them, Erestor is right. There are other things that are made at the smithy." Erestor's heart raced as he heard the hope and excitement in the other elf's voice. "Of course," Maedhros continued, "the question remains: is there a position available?"
Ignoring the other two elves in the room, the two on the bed conversed. "Actually, there might be. I am a friend of the elf who runs the forge. One of his smiths was married and moved to Lorien. He has been desperately looking for skilled help. I will introduce you if you would like."
"I would be in your debt, Erestor. If your friend is willing to give me a chance, I promise neither of you will be disappointed."
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.