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History Lessons  by Nilmandra

Disclaimer: All recognizable characters and places belong to the esteemed J.R.R. Tolkien and Tolkien Enterprises and/or New Line Cinema. I borrow them carefully and gently, and promise to return them intact and unharmed at the end of the story. Lord Elrond assures me I will make no money on this endeavor whatsoever and I believe him

This story is set during the time covered in the Silmarillion. You do not need to have read the Silmarillion to enjoy the story. The wonderfully engaging storyteller, Lord Glorfindel, will tell you everything you need to know. This story is book-canon based. If I have made any errors, please do let me know. Where canon was silent or contradictory, I used that which fit my purposes (ie - what Glorfindel told me). I receive no greater pleasure than to receive feedback from my readers. Please enjoy and leave a review, a comment, encouragement or whatever is on your mind. Blessings to you all!

Special thanks to daw the minstrel for beta reading this chapter.

History Lessons

Chapter 1: A boring history lesson

TA 142

Elrond stood in the shadows of the hall outside the door of the classroom where his sons were taught. He leaned causally against the doorframe, arms folded across his chest, as he listened to the tutor teach his sons about the history of Arda. The twins were obviously unimpressed by the lesson, yet trying very hard to appear attentive and learn the facts and dates being presented to them.

"When did the first age of Arda begin?" Istuion addressed the question to Elrohir.

"When the Noldor left Aman and came to Arda," Elrohir answered.

"Elladan, why did the Noldor leave Aman?" Istuion turned to the dark head that was nearly resting on top of the table.

"Because they wanted their own kingdoms and lands," Elladan sighed.

"Name two great strongholds of the elves in the First Age."

"Doriath," Elrohir answered first.

"Gondolin," Elladan chimed in quickly. "Did you know that Glorfindel is from Gondolin? He fought the balrog on the pass……"

"Yes, I am aware of that, but it is not really relevant to this lesson," Istuion interrupted the child. "Please only answer the questions I pose to you."

"Yes Istuion," Elladan replied, subdued.

Elrond listened for a few minutes more, noting the stolen glances of his sons out the large window at the east end of the room. The sun was shining brightly after a night of rain, birds could be heard chirping in the trees outside the house, and the sounds of other elflings playing outside drifted into their lesson, drawing their attention away from that which they were supposed to be learning. Elrond cleared his throat to make his presence known, and glided into the room.

"Ada!" Elladan and Elrohir cried simultaneously. Both started to rise, then stopped and looked at Istuion. He nodded and they rose, moving quickly to their father.

"Are you hungry for lunch, nín-ions?" he smiled at bright faces as small arms wrapped around his waist from both sides.

"Yes, Ada!" Elrond knew their excitement had as much to do with the growling in their bellies as it did with the ending of the lesson.

"Glorfindel is home and will be joining us," Elrond shared the good news.

Small bodies deserted him amidst cries of joy as the elflings raced to the dining hall. Elrond turned to Istuion. "This will end their lessons for today. Elladan and Elrohir will be occupied this afternoon with Glorfindel's return."

Istuion frowned but did not argue with the Lord of Imladris. His lesson plans were carefully planned and he had much he wished to accomplish. He bowed slightly as Elrond left the room, then sighed. He would need to adjust his coverage of the first age again.

* * *

"Glorfindel! Glorfindel!" Elrond could hear the excited shouts of his sons as they greeted the seneschal of Imladris. He entered the dining hall to see his sons wrapped around the mighty elf lord as he knelt before them, accepting their hugs and greetings.

Glorfindel was dressed in a twilight blue tunic and leggings, edged with tiny embroidered yellow flowers. His golden hair was braided in a style that was adopted by his House ages before. The flowers and the braid style were all that Glorfindel wore to reflect his heritage. He had sworn his allegiance to the High King Gil-Galad upon his return to Middle-Earth and then to Elrond and the refuge of Imladris. A beloved member of Elrond's house, Glorfindel was a favorite of the twins.

"Did you see Cirdan? What is the sea like? Did you see any big fish?" Glorfindel was peppered with questions.

"Elladan, Elrohir, please wash your faces and hands and then take your places at the table," Elrond gently extricated his sons and sent them to the washroom.

"They have grown, Elrond," Glorfindel commented as he rose to his full height. "I think it is time to begin teaching them to use the sword."

Elrond smiled. "Are you volunteering to instruct them?"

"If you so wish," Glorfindel clapped him on the back. "I will see that training swords are crafted for them."

"They will be very excited," Elrond replied. "I only wish they could be so enthralled with their studies."

"The children of Master Elrond, the Lore-master of the elves, do not like their studies?" Glorfindel asked, surprised.

"Their history lessons are not what they might hope for," Elrond admitted.

"Are the lessons what their father might hope for?" Glorfindel inquired.

"No, their father would be equally subdued by the memorization of names and dates," Elrond laughed. "I must speak to Istuion about teaching them more than the memorization of facts. They are young but capable of understanding the reasons for events that occurred and application of that knowledge today."

"Perhaps you should teach them yourself," Glorfindel suggested.

Elrond pondered that idea silently. Before he could respond the twins returned with their normal vigor, sitting at the table with scrubbed faces and hands, waiting for the adults to join them.

"Perhaps," Elrond replied thoughtfully. "Perhaps the mighty Captain and Balrog Slayer of Gondolin might teach them as well."

"Only if I can teach them my way," Glorfindel accepted the challenge.

One brow arched, Elrond eyed the laughing warrior. "What is your 'way', pray tell?"

"You will have to watch, my friend." Glorfindel's eyes twinkled as he sat down between the twins. "Cirdan sends his greetings to you two. He wants to know when you plan to visit him, that he might tell you stories of your father?"

"Stories about Ada?" Elladan grinned. "Did Ada ever get into mischief? Did he ever…."

Elrond watched as Glorfindel began to tell a story he had learned from Gil-Galad about mischief that Elrond had once gotten into while living on Balar. His attention partially on the three conspirators, he saw Celebrían appear in the hall and moved to escort her. "Meleth-nín," Elrond kissed her hand. "I am glad you could join us for lunch this day."

"I am glad also," Celebrían replied. "Planning for the spring planting is on schedule. I am well pleased with the help Erestor has provided to me. Glorfindel!" Celebrían's eyes fell upon the golden-haired elf sitting with her sons and she walked to him, pleased when he rose and bowed to her, kissing her hand and accepting a return kiss to the cheek.

"Nana! Glorfindel is telling us a story about Ada!" Elrohir exclaimed as Elrond seated Celebrían, who was quickly drawn into the story; and Glorfindel held their attention as he regaled them with the tale he had recently heard from Cirdan.

Elrond was silent, allowing Glorfindel to tell Cirdan's version of the story which lasted through lunch. He listened as Glorfindel wove into the story the names and descriptions of the Havens of the Falas, the ships of Cirdan and Gil-Galad's role in the mischief. Glorfindel finished the story as the twins finished eating.

"I wish we lived in the First Age," Elladan nudged Elrohir. "It was so exciting then."

"If they might be excused, I need the presence of the twins for an important errand," Glorfindel addressed Elrond as he rose.

"You may be excused," Elrond answered the eager expectation in the eyes of his children. He turned to Glorfindel. "I will join you later."

Glorfindel smiled. "Leave the robes."

With a twin tugging on either hand, Glorfindel left the house and headed to the armory where, unbeknownst to the twins, they were about to be fitted with their first training swords.

"What is happening this afternoon?" Celebrían inquired.

"Glorfindel plans to begin their weapons training," Elrond replied. "He has also accepted a challenge to help teach them their lessons. I plan to watch this afternoon, but I plan to be involved in their education in both of these areas."

Celebrían kissed him and rose. "My Adar took responsibility for my education. It is a highlight of my childhood. I am pleased you wish to do this for our sons as well."

Celebrían watched as a brief shadow crossed Elrond's face. He quickly masked it, his face becoming impassive almost immediately. Her mind touched his, though, and she could feel the wall that he had erected to protect himself from intrusion into this private part of his life. His pain tugged at her heart, and she felt an overwhelming sorrow at the many losses and turmoil of his early years. She moved to stand behind him, gently kneading his shoulders and massaging his upper arms. The tension that had flitted through him gradually eased and she felt him relax both mind and body.

Elrond reached both hands up, twining them with Celebrían's and pulling her down to him. He lightly kissed the inside of each of her wrists, feeling her warm breath against his ear, then her lips. He felt the delicate kisses, the light flicking of her tongue against the tip of his ear and his breath drew in sharply. He twisted in his chair, and pulled her into his lap. Her arms wrapped loosely around his neck, she gazed into his eyes and raised her head to press her lips to his, sucking lightly on his lower lip. He returned the kiss gently, probing delicately into her mouth and tasting the sweet wine they had enjoyed with their meal.

"I love you, Elrond Peredhil," she whispered as she embraced him.

"I love you too, Celebrían," Elrond replied, his voice husky. "Thank you."

Celebrían replied by deepening the kiss. "Hervenn, adar, melethron, Hîr," she kissed him gently, once for each word. "I must return to Erestor."

Elrond set her on her feet and watched with admiration as she glided from the room, the soft swish of her skirts the only noise as the silk moved with the sway of her hips. The door closed softly behind her, and he stared at it for a moment. A smile crossed his face briefly. She always knew what he needed, knew when his insecurities plagued his mind. She would remind him of all that he had been blessed with - wife, children, friends, the protected refuge in which they lived - and it was enough to overcome the losses that had occurred throughout his life.

Those who raised him had loved him, but he had not had mother or father, home or security in those early years. He wished to provide those things to his children; he wished to teach them all he knew, all they might want to know. Glorfindel was right. He would entrust some things to their tutors; but they could have no better teachers than their own father or beloved friend. He would teach them his way as well.

* * *

Elrond shed his outer robes, as suggested, and walked to the grassy field where Glorfindel was sitting with elflings gazing at him attentively. Elladan and Elrohir each held a small training sword in their laps, with cloths and vials of oil within easy reach. They were oiling the blades, mimicking Glorfindel's movements as closely as possible. Elrond sat down on the slope of the slight hill, Glorfindel aware of his presence but his sons' backs to him. He listened as Glorfindel described to the twins how to care for their blades, as well as why it was so important to provide that care. They finished and Glorfindel sheathed his sword, followed promptly by the children.

"What are you studying with Istuion?" Glorfindel asked.

Elladan sighed audibly. "The First Age."

"You do not sound very happy about it," Glorfindel replied, one eyebrow raised as he gazed at the more dramatic of the two elves. "At lunch you said that the First Age was exciting and you wished you lived then."

"YOUR First Age is exciting. Istuion's is not," Elrohir explained.

"Really? You both do know that we are talking about the same First Age?"

Elladan laughed. "Of course."

"Your father was born in the First Age," Glorfindel informed them.

"Our Ada?" Elrohir looked incredulous.

"Your father and his twin brother," Glorfindel continued.

"Ada has a twin, just like us?"

"It runs in your family. Your grandmother, Elwing, had twin brothers too."

Elladan stood up and moved to stand at eye level, right in front of Glorfindel. "We have a grandmother named Elwing?"

Glorfindel laughed and pulled the elfling into his lap. "Yes, the mother of your Ada was named Elwing. Your father did not know her very well though."

"How can someone not know their Nana?" Elrohir crawled closer to Glorfindel too, confused.

"The First Age was very exciting, but it was also very tragic Elrohir," Glorfindel replied. "Many elves died or left Middle-Earth during that time. Almost everyone who stayed lost someone they loved. Your father lost his grandparents and his parents when he was just a tiny elfling."

Elrohir's eyes filled with tears. "Ada didn't have an ada or a nana? Who took care of him? Who tucked him into bed at night? Who did he go to when he was scared of thunder?"

Glorfindel's eyes met Elrond's as he stroked Elrohir's hair and soothed him. He wished he could provide comfort to Elrond, for he felt the remnants of pain deep in his friend's soul.

"Your Ada had other people who loved him and took care of him, and he had his brother when he was little too. They were as close as you two are now. Your Ada is a very special elf; did you know that?"

Two little heads nodded. Of course their Ada was special. He was their Ada after all.

"Would you like to hear the story of when your Ada was little?"

"Yes!" two young voices answered him together.

"Why don't we go inside to my study and I will tell you there, where it is nice and warm?" Glorfindel suggested. The afternoon sun was dipping below the treetops and the temperature had dropped as shade spread over the field.

Glorfindel stood and led the twins to the armory, where they put their swords and equipment away. As they came out of the stone building, they saw their Ada.

"Ada! Glorfindel is going to tell us a story of when you were little! Do you want to come hear it?" the twins called, two voices forming the sentences although only one spoke at a time. They were very good at completing each other's thoughts.

"I would like very much to hear it," Elrond answered, amused. He glanced at Glorfindel who grinned back at him. "After all, Glorfindel was not there for all of my youth."

"True," Glorfindel admitted. "However, I have very good sources of information."

The four settled into Glorfindel's study with drinks and the elflings sat next to Glorfindel as he began his story.

* * * * *

Hervenn ---------------- husband
Adar -------------------- father


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