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A love denied
Chapter 5: No silver lining in the clouds.
Glorfindel also rose and started to go after the Elf-Lord. Erestor caught his upper arm mindful of the still bleeding cut.
“Let him be. Maybe he needs some space to breathe.”
Not sure of his feelings at present, Glorfindel only nodded. He had known Elrond for a very long time. The Lore Master had always been difficult, but someone you could easily get along when respecting his boundaries. Since Celebrían had left, Glorfindel found it increasingly difficult to reach the Peredhel.
“Let me see to this cut,” Erestor said softly.
“It´s nothing,” Glorfindel replied and walked away.
`What else? ` Erestor thought.
He gathered up the two swords and looked around. The twins had vanished. It was strangely silent in the valley, in the atmosphere – everywhere.
The peace of the sanctuary was at stake – it´s foundations were shaking.
Glorfindel nodded his thanks at Thalan, a young apprentice healer in Elrond´s service. He had relented and allowed himself to be treated after a furious head healer had explained to him how important it was to treat deep cuts properly if he wanted to have full use of his arm in battle.
Tinár was not really angry at him. He had also been rejected when trying to help the valley´s Lord - the cut Elrond had received was a lot more serious than Glorfindel´s injury.
Only after Arwen had appeared and promised to look after her father and take care of his wound, had Tinár had stepped aside, but not without venting his anger on another – in this case the other stupid Elf-lord in his opinion. Arwen was as competent as any healer at Imladris – having been her father´s pupil almost since she could walk.
Testing his arm while walking down the corridor, Glorfindel was just about to enter his chamber when he sensed someone near. He turned around. The sons of Elrond emerged from an alcove in the dimly lit corridor.
Glorfindel took a deep breath. Trouble was looming. Nonetheless he made an inviting gesture toward his rooms.
No words came in reply, only the expression in two pairs of dark eyes.
Glorfindel raised an annoyed eyebrow. Nevertheless, he followed the young elves he had known all his life. Quietly he closed the door.
Elladan was standing at the window facing the courtyard.
Glorfindel had hardly taken one step inside the room when the older of the twins whirled around.
“How could you let this happen? Were you in need of some excitement?” His tone was heavy with sarcasm.
Glorfindel took a slow steadying breath. After briefly closing his eyes, he stepped just in front of the dark haired elf, their heads only inches away. Glorfindel could feel the hot breath. He had to make a statement; otherwise the situation would spiral out of control. In this case Elladan being exactly like his father.
“I have said it before and I will say it again. Watch your tongue, young one. I do not need to explain myself. If you have anything to say worth me listening to, then say it. Otherwise leave my rooms.
Elladan stepped back from the intense gaze. Suddenly the Elf-lord he had known all his life had changed. As always of late he had been angry, wanting to provoke, to vent some of his frustration but instantly he noticed that he had stepped over a line. For a short moment, he wanted to apologize but then the anger resurfaced. As it always did of late – dark and malicious, pouncing on him like a beast.
“Come on, Glorfindel. Spar with me, maybe you can still learn something?”
Elrohir, silent so far, had sprung up from the bed he had just sunk down on. He had clearly sensed the changing of the aura in the room. He was so tired of placating his brother to prevent worse mischief.
Yet before he could intervene he was thrown back by some sort of shock wave coming from where Glorfindel was standing. In one fluid motion, he leapt back to his feet. After briefly closing his eyes he opened them again, yet he was barely able to look at the blinding white light emanating from the spot where his mentor was standing. He could no longer see Glorfindel.
Hardened through recent events, he felt fear for the first time in ages – real fear because the figure standing in the middle of the room no longer resembled the companion who had raised and protected them all their life.
From time to time they simply forgot that the golden haired Elf-lord was one of the mighty elves of old, one who had been reborn and was still some of the great, even here on Arda marred.
No word was uttered. Elladan was simply staring at the glowing figure trying to shield his eyes. Some sort of conversation was held, yet Elrohir was receiving nothing – his brother was closing his mind to him completely.
Elrohir could not say how long it was before the blinding light faded. Glorfindel appeared as normal as before. Without another word, Elladan left the room. Elrohir looked at his mentor.
“Go after your brother. It would not be wise to confront your father right now.”
Elrohir, already in the process of leaving, whirled around.
“Stop ordering us around, Glorfindel. We shall see our father when we deem it right.”
The door was slammed shut; Glorfindel was left alone in the dark.
Later that evening Glorfindel walked down the corridor toward his Lord´s chambers. He silently opened the door and was not surprised when he saw Tinár just rising from Elrond’s bedside.
The Half-elf was sleeping, his eyes closed. His injury had been treated and the damaged leg was propped up on a plush cushion.
Tinár motioned Glorfindel to step outside the room with him.
“Lady Arwen has done an excellent job in treating the wound and convincing her Lord father to rest….”
The “but” was left hanging in the air.
“Well?” Glorfindel asked softly but with enough insistence to make the healer look at him sharply.
“When I arrived Lady Arwen was just leaving her father’s rooms….”
“Yes?” Glorfindel asked. He sounded irritated. The healer was stating the obvious.
Tinár looked the Elf-lord in the eye. He didn´t like to be questioned like an Elf child caught helping himself to the cakes.
“She was crying, my Lord. She has kept watch at her father´s bedside, and has taken care of his wounds. He did not even thank her, only asked to be alone after waking.”
“She has told you that?”
“No, I´m a mind reader!”
Tinár lowered his eyes. “I´m sorry, my Lord; that was uncalled for.”
“There is nothing to be sorry for, Tinár. I´m the one who should apologize. I had no right to question you thus. This lesson I have learned twice today.”
Without another word the Elf-lord turned leaving the healer standing in the corridor with a much worse feeling than before.
Glorfindel headed out of the house, He knew exactly where to find Elrond’s daughter when she was not in her rooms. Twice he had wanted to help and was rejected. Maybe this time he would meet with more success.
He walked down the narrow path directly leading toward the river. On the base where it veered off to the east and border of Imladris was a cove, not easily detected when you did not know where to look.
Arwen had often played here as a child when she wanted to be alone. Each time she gave her father a fright when she was missing and out of his sight. After Glorfindel had discovered her hiding place, the searching had stopped much to her dismay.
Elrond had countless times told his daughter not to come here – a swell of the river could easily reach the den. As a child, Arwen had only looked at her father and countered with her childish logic.
`You control the river, Ada. What could possibly happen?`
Despite his tense mood, Glorfindel had to smile. Little Arwen had always been very smart – no adult could stay cross with her for long.
Arwen was no longer a child. Her wits were sharp now. She knew exactly how to hold her ground against the male elves surrounding her.
Her mother’s departure had knocked her off course, however. While everyone had reacted in some way to Celebrían leaving, Arwen had not shown any emotion, at least not openly.
Glorfindel stopped walking. The longer he thought about this the greater his anxiousness became. Had he ever seen Arwen cry or complain or even comment on the matter? The twins had loudly argued with their father, they had even accused the Elf-lord of not doing enough to heal their mother.
Now they vented their anger and frustration by riding out time and again and slaying orcs.
Elrond´s reactions to his wife´s leaving had ranged from total stupor to the actions this day had seen.
But Arwen? How had she grieved? Glorfindel could not recall one moment when Elrond´s daughter had voiced her fears, her concerns, or her sorrow in some way.
Was all this now building up, exploding?
He rounded the bend silently and was surprised to see Arwen sitting totally still at the water´s edge, her bare toes immersed in the water.
He deliberately stepped on a twig, yet the she elf did not react. Glorfindel frowned.
He carefully rounded on the seated woman to look her in the face. Her eyes were glazed over as in sleep, yet Glorfindel knew she was far from sleeping.
He had seen this state of mind often enough before. Like her father Arwen had the skill of far-speaking. While Elrond conferred from time to time with his mother in law or other mighty elves like Cirdan, Glorfindel had never seen Arwen use her ability until now.
He did not need to be a mind reader to know with whom she was conferring.
On the one hand, he was relieved that she was not lost in grief; on the other hand he anticipated trouble looming.
He was just about to turn as not to disturb her concentration when Arwen blinked and rose. Her gaze cleared and she looked at him with dark eyes.
“You may be right, Glorfindel. Trouble may be coming into the valley. My grandparents are already on their way here. This situation cannot carry on like this.”
Glorfindel raised an eyebrow. Galadriel and Celeborn coming to the valley to clear things? He let out a breath.
“I´m not sure if this visit will lead to the desired end, child.”
Arwen had turned again toward the river but now whirled around.
“I´m no child anymore, Glorfindel. You would do well to keep that in mind. And do not worry, my Lord. My grandparents will not order anyone around or hand out any advice. They are only coming to escort me to Lóthlorien. Imladris is no longer my home. I am leaving.
To be continued…….
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