Title: Fading Luster 1/?
Author: Blue Gold
Pairings: Erestor/Elrohir, Glorfindel/Lindir, Elrond/Celebrian, Elladan/Glorfindel, Erestor/Pelin(omc) (implied), Haldir/?, Legolas/Erestor
Summary: Erestor is friendless and disliked in Imladris all accept this cold elf and do not try to see beneath the surface until the dead return and start spinning tales of a wild lively elf bring forth the question. Who was Erestor of Gondolin and what made him become Erestor of Imladris?
Disclaimer: I *sniff* do not any of the characters in this story. They are owned by Tolkien/Jackson. Warnings: Rape, angst, memory loss, character death (the OMC is dead before the fic starts )
Authors Notes: I’ve taken some major liberty with Erestor and Lindir in this one making them both survivors of Gondolin (granted it’s never stated that they aren’t), Also to get a gauge on the age of Legolas and the twins divide it in half.
Erestor slipped into a room he had seen to be a library on his short tour earlier. He supposed he should have stayed at the welcoming party a little longer but it had started to become overwhelming. The guilt and regret tore at him at such times. Why did he deserve to be happy, having fun?
He had barely sat down on one of the plush chairs when the door was opened. He heard the voice before he saw the owner.
“Ada? Can you tell me a story?”
“I’m sorry little one, I’m the only one here,” Erestor said to the tiny child. He regarded Erestor for a moment.
“Where’s ada?” He asked approaching Erestor.
“At the party I suppose, all the elves are there.”
“Your not there,” the child pointed out.
“I was I decided to leave early. Parties make me sad.”
“Can you tell me a story? Please?”
Erestor smiled, who was he to refuse such a tender request? “Of course,” he replied and wondered what about him seemed to attract children and repulse adults. “What kind of story do you want to hear?”
“About a warrior, who was strong and brave and could shoot a hundred arrows at once. I will be a warrior and I will be the best.”
“How old are you?”
“Eight,” he said with pride as he climbed onto Erestor’s lap.
“Well there was one archer I know a story about. His name was La…Legolas,” Erestor started knowing such a young child would not understand the high form of the name.
“Really?!” The child exclaimed excited.
“Yes now Legolas had the best eyes ever seen in Gondolin, in fact his eyes were so good that he could see in the dark, like it was day and shoot an orc from a mile a way.”
“Wow, what’s your name?”
“Close enough. Now one day Legolas was on the training grounds and some one dared him to shoot an apple.”
“Yes, but this apple was in Ecthelion’s hand and he was a very grumpy elf and walked around all day like this,” Erestor said trying to mimic Ecthelion’s grim expression. The child giggled and Erestor continued.
“So Legolas was afraid that Ecthelion would erm…bite him or that he would be in big trouble if he missed. But he was very far away and decided that Ecthelion would never see him. So to prove that he was the best he shot his arrow.
“Did he miss?”
“No he hit the apple perfectly right when Ecthelion was going to take a bite.”
“Wow, what did he do?”
“Well he didn’t see Legolas, but Legolas loved his arrows so much he had special one made just for him and there were green leaves drawn into them. So Ecthelion knew it was him.”
“Did he get in a lot of trouble?” The child asked with a yawn.
“Yes, Ecthelion was so mad that he chased Legolas all around the city before he caught him and dragged him home. If you thought his grumpy face was bad you should see his angry one!” Erestor said mimicking that face as well. “And he was all red.”
“Did he give Legolas a spanking?”
“Yes but Legolas was really sorry and after a long talk they became best friends and grumpy face smiled a lot more. See Ecthelion had no friends because everyone thought he was very grumpy and never smiled not even at little elves.”
The child nodded though Erestor noticed his head drooping slightly. Erestor smiled at the child knowing he was much too young to hear the full story, how Legolas’ begging and pleading and shocked wails had turned into moans and screams of pleasure or how it was his storyteller who had goaded Legolas into doing such a thing. But it had clearly been what both elves needed.
But such foolishness had no place now. He had finally grown up. Acted like the elf he was supposed to be instead of a spoiled, misbehaving child.
“Little one I think you should go back to bed. What if your nana wakes up and finds you gone?”
“Okay bye bye E’stor.”
“Good bye….” Erestor stopped then realizing for the first time he did not know the child’s name.
“Oh well,” Erestor said but decided he had been wrong to come in here, he was a guest and had not asked. It was his own foolishness for not brining something to read. He made his way to his guest room and went to bed despite the fact that only young elves were in bed at this hour. And the boring lifeless elf he had become.
It occurred to Erestor again that Pelin would have never glanced twice at the elf he had become. Someone who could barely recall the touch of a sword let alone wield one.
Thranduil frowned deeply when it became clear that Erestor was not returning to the celebration. Erestor the supposed guest of honor had fled at the first opportunity and Thranduil had wrongfully assumed that it was to change into more festive robes. But the elf had never returned.
First he had barely touched his food now this second insult. Thranduil took these as personal insults and rethought his idea to leave these as matters between advisors. He would keep a watchful eye on Erestor. He had a suspicion that Erestor thought Mirkwood backwards and would be able to easily fool the simple woodland folk in a deal that was more beneficial on the side of Imladris.
Thranduil shook his head, He would be dead before he would allow that to happen. He would watch Erestor like a hawk for as long as the talks took.
Erestor pinched the bridge of his nose but otherwise there was no outward expression of his annoyance. Every point he made, Thranduil and his advisor promptly attacked, as if he was after the very throne of Mirkwood instead of a simple trade agreement. This was supposed to have been a simple formality and a way to gage how open Mirkwood would be to more important alliances in the future.
“I think a break for lunch is in order,” Thranduil’s advisor said.
“Yes, Erestor?” Thranduil asked.
“Thank you, my lord I’m fine.”
“I’m sure the cooks can prepare something to that fits your delicate taste,” Thranduil said with thinly veiled annoyance.
“Do not trouble them,” Erestor whispered wondering what he had done to have the King of Mirkwood despise him so. He had only been there less than a day but apparently that was enough.
The fact was he was hungry but he was too nervous to eat. How was he supposed to go back to Imladris and tell Elrond that he couldn’t get a simple treaty signed? Some Chief Advisor, he would be lucky to remain an advisor after this debacle. But he knew when a situation was hopeless, when they returned from their lunch he would put an end to this nonsense before it dragged on for weeks.
“It is just I again little one.”
“E’stor!” The child exclaimed climbing into Erestor’s lap.
“We’ll hello my little friend. And how are you today?”
“Okay, but I can’t find ada. Want a cookie?”
“Yes, thank you,” Erestor said talking the treat as his stomach growled.
“Here,” he said handing Erestor the entire bag.
“I couldn’t take all your cookies.”
“Nana will give me more,” he replied with a shrug.
“Let us share instead,” Erestor said holding a cookie out to the child.
“Okay,” he said happily and for a few moments Erestor forgot about all his worries in dealing with Thranduil and just enjoyed the time with the child.
When the cookies were through Erestor smiled. “I think I have kept you locked up long enough, why don’t you go play outside?”
“Will you come?”
“I have to work, I’m sorry.”
“Like ada. I want some juice. Do you want juice too?”
“That would be lovely,” Erestor replied as the child happily bounced out of the room. Erestor brushed away some crumbs and started looking over the papers again wondering if there was something he wasn’t seeing. Something that wasn’t in Mirkwood’s favour.
Thranduil and his advisor were about to renter the room when he noticed his son carrying a goblet filled to the brim with liquid. He was walking carefully towards his father though in his concentration didn’t notice him or the slight crease in the rug as he tripped spilling the cup all over the floor and himself as he landed in the puddle and started sobbing.
Thranduil rushed to pick his son up to soothe him and his Advisor went off to find some servants to clean up the mess.
“Legolas you know you are too small for the big goblets.”
“I just…juice…” he sobbed into his father’s chest. Thranduil petted his hair, it was clear the drink had not been intended for Legolas and it wouldn’t be the first time he had sought him out.
“Let’s get you cleaned up, then we can go outside for a walk.”
“Really ada?” Legolas asked wiping his tears on his father’s silk tunic. Thranduil took it all in stride.
“Yes son, but just a little while, I will have to go back to work. Though I think I need a bath now too.”
“With me!” Legolas shrieked in glee.
“Oh alright,” Thranduil said with a smile as he tickled his squealing son. He had no qualms about letting Erestor stew in his juices for another hour or two. Besides it wasn’t that long.
Thranduil had finished off his dinner in a slight annoyance and now sat in a more relaxed sitting room having wine and having a delightful conversation with a guard from Imladris. It was the second time Erestor had disregarded Mirkwood hospitality and it seemed even his own people had a low opinion of him.
“All I have to say is I am not looking forward to having to spend weeks on the road with him again. No elf should be that silent, I suppose he thinks he is better than us lowly guards. The only one that seems to get the slightest respect from him is Lord Elrond, and I would suppose you.”
Thranduil shrugged in response. “But you are king of Mirkwood! Its no wonder that he doesn’t frighten small children.”
“My lord, I’m sorry to interrupt, but I was wondering what time did you tell Erestor we would resume the talks tomorrow? I would like to be refreshed for another day with him.”
“I did no such thing, I lost track of time with Legolas and barely had enough time to change for dinner.”
“But I…do you think he is still there?”
“One would have to be a fool to remain in that room all day,” Thranduil said handing his advisor a glass of wine. “Do not trouble yourself.”
Erestor blinked, he must have dozed off. He looked around; and realized the room was bathed in darkness. It seems he had been forgotten by all even his little friend, who he had to be sure to ask his name on the next occasion he saw him.
Rubbing sleep from his eyes he stood, he could take a hint. He would leave tomorrow. He made his way to his guest quarters, slipped out of his clothes and into bed, ignoring the fact that he had only had some cookies the entire day.
The next morning Erestor was up early and went to the room of the head of the group that had escorted him. He knocked on the door and after a moment a slightly hung over elf answered.
“No, no, it would be too much for you to actually know my name, Lord Erestor. What do you want?”
“I would like to leave earlier than planned.”
“Today if possible.”
“That can not be done, we will leave the day after tomorrow as planned,” he said coldly and shut the door in Erestor’s face. Erestor sighed, two more days. Maybe he should use the time to try and get something from this trip. Maybe he could try to show Thranduil and his advisor the advantages Mirkwood would receive.
He entered the study again and saw that everything was as he left it. He sat down and pulled fresh parchment to himself and wondered if he could reword the treaty to put Mirkwood first. He would try and put the best offer forward. Elrond had given him permission to use his judgement in securing the treaty.
By the time Thranduil and his Advisor arrived from breakfast, Erestor had drawn a new agreement that gave Mirkwood a slight but distinct advantage. He might as well have written that he was secretly planning to overthrow Thranduil for all the good it did him. He left the office at the end of the day dejected. This was the first serious, albeit supposedly simply, duty he had had outside of Imladris and he had failed miserably.
They had not broken for lunch and Erestor neither realized nor cared that it was near dinner. Thranduil dismissed him with a wave of his hand and not being informed by Thranduil or his Advisor he went to bed early yet again.
“What does that elf do?”
“Sleep my lord,” a servant said as they entered the study to replenish supplies and clean.
“What do you mean?”
“Yesterday, I came in here to tidy up, and he was asleep at that chair. He did not even realize I was there when he woke. He went to his rooms and to bed. Even the little prince does not sleep that much.
“You are telling me he was in that room all day, fell asleep then woke only to go to bed?”
“Yes my lord.”
Thranduil suddenly felt a pang of guilt, he had never believed Erestor would wait for them all day. So that was why he missed dinner? Maybe he had misjudged the elf, tomorrow he would look at the original proposal without such a critical eye. Instead of searching for lies, he would see what the Advisor was actually saying.