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Originally written and posted on LJ Dec 08
Erestor and Glorfindel. Two characters I have written little, if anything, about. Rather than rising up to the challenge of presenting these elf lords in dignity and grace, my mind decided it would rather take the easy way out.
Besides, NiRi asked for an Erestor acting “out of the normal way”, so this is completely her fault.
Glorfindel sat and watched the two dancers on the floor. The dance of the bride with her father was one tradition that belonged to both Elves and Men, and so it seemed very appropriate for this dance to be the first at Arwen’s wedding. They did not speak with one another, but both Elrond’s and his daughter’s eyes spoke volumes. There was great happiness within their depths, but underneath it an underlying grief. Glorfindel wished, not for the first time, that Aragorn had been born an elf. He hated seeing that sadness in his lord’s eyes.
The dance ended, and soon other couples joined the dance floor and swung to the merry tune played by the minstrels. Wine and ale flowed freely among the guests, and any sadness that was in Elrond’s eyes disappeared for the time being.
The golden-haired elf was quietly keeping an eye on his lord from afar when he was suddenly joined by Erestor. The elf had a full glass in hand and a bright sparkle in his eye; it was quite unlike his usual demeanor.
“Glorfindel, my friend!” said the dark-haired elf in greeting. “You look solemn on such a fine Midsummer eve.”
“And you look... unnaturally cheerful,” said Glorfindel as he glanced him over.
“My cheer to outweigh your sobriety,” retorted the other. “And this is a good night to be cheerful! Weddings are rather wonderful occasions.”
“I never thought you were one to be into such celebrations,” he replied with a raised brow. “Tell me, how many times have you filled your cup tonight?”
“I am not quite sure,” said Erestor. “The number hardly matters at this point.” He drank from his cup. “Besides, this is absolutely wonderful- it is Dorwinion! I cannot even imagine how it came to be here, but I shan’t see it go to waste!”
“Sounds to me that you have been seeing Greenwood elves far too often for your own good and have developed some of their habits,” Glorfindel said, a smirk playing on his lips.
Erestor looked slightly baffled by the statement, but he quickly brushed it off. “Nonsense. I haven’t been to Greenwood in many a year, and they rarely enough come to Rivendell. But come now, I did not seek you to talk about Greenwood and solemnity.”
“Then what did you come for?”
“I came for an answer to a question.” Erestor’s cheerful manner suddenly fell and he became as solemn as his companion. “I have been wondering about this for a long time, yet for some reason I have not asked until now.”
“What have you been wondering?” Glorfindel’s amusement died as Erestor became serious. “You may ask me anything.”
The counselor nodded and said, “The bells.”
Glorfindel blinked in surprise. “I beg your pardon?”
“The bells upon Asfaloth’s harness.”
The other elf was completely confused. “What about them?”
“What in the world made you put them there?”
He blinked once more. “Nothing made me put them there. I made the decision to put bells on his harness quite freely.”
“Very well then, but why? What in the world possessed you to clad that noble beast with those terrible noise-makers?”
Glorfindel frowned. “They are not terrible noise-makers. They make a lovely sound.”
“Hardly. They are loud and bothersome and hardly appropriate for Asfaloth.”
“Why would they not be appropriate?”
“You take him into battle. I do not believe that little tinkling bells fits stealthy operations nor the atmosphere of such skirmishes.”
“I do not have Asfaloth clad in bells in battle; the bells are only for special occasions such as celebrations,” Glorfindel argued.
“You took it when you went out to find Frodo,” Erestor pointed out. “That was hardly a celebratory errand.”
“I did it so Aragorn would recognize me!” he said defensively. “You can ask him yourself; he knows the sound of those bells well.”
“Aye, because you have Asfaloth wear them all the time,” Erestor said triumphantly.
Glorfindel only stood up. “Before we continue this conversation, I am going to need some of that Dorwinion you mentioned earlier.”
“Of course!” Erestor stood up as well, heedless of the slight spill his sudden action made. “Come, follow me! It is an excellent vintage.”
“I dearly hope so.” And so Glorfindel followed his merry companion to the Dorwinion. Once his sobriety was gone, he would be happy to discuss anything Erestor wished to discuss.
Even little tinkling bells.
Based on the fact that Tolkien made it quite clear that Aragorn and the hobbits heard a tinkling before Glorfindel’s arrival and this small passage:
“The wind whistled in his ears, and the bells upon the harness rang wild and shrill.” -Frodo running away on Asfaloth in Flight to the Ford.
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