1. The Last Straw
Thranduil of Eryn Lasgalen, recently Mirkwood, spoke to the dark Silvan elf at his side. She was leaning with her arms on the railing, studying the scene before them with amusement. He noted that for once she had forsaken the tunic and breeches of the huntress and was looking extremely regal, if one ignored the quaint beads and feathers adorning her hair. She flicked a glance sideways at the king and let him continue.
“Over the years there have been any number of creatures brought home: the injured wolf cub, the falcon with the broken wing, that nest of field mice that got loose and bred in the storeroom. Then there was the ferret. How could anyone know the beast was pregnant until it shredded one of my shirts and birthed its kits under my bed.” The Elven King glowered, resting his chin morosely in his palm. There was a stifled giggle from his companion.
“At least it took care of the mice.”
“Don’t make me hurt you.” He warned teasingly.
“You’d have to catch me first, Ancient One.” She replied in kind. Thranduil reached out and sharply yanked one of her ornate braids.
“Don’t be impertinent.” He directed his gaze once more into the paddock beyond the fence. “This time he has gone too far. Forest creatures I can understand—but a dwarf ? And that dwarf in particular. He knows how I feel about that rabble from Erebor. That whole regrettable incident with Thorin and his hairy relatives has been a source of embarrassment these past years. Now my son has dragged Gloin’s only son home with him and expects me to make it, I mean, him, welcome.”
“The dwarf is a hero of the War of the Ring and your son assures me his friend is housebroken.” The last part of the statement was delivered completely deadpan, but when Thranduil turned aghast to face his companion, she was grinning mischievously. “Have you tried speaking to him regarding yon dwarf?”
Thranduil snorted derisively.
“He is headstrong.”
“Takes after his father, I surmise.” She looked sideways at him.
“I may have sired him, but you chose him for your mate, Aiwë. Surely you have some influence over him.” Thranduil retorted.
“He left on the quest against my wishes. I am grateful that he has returned to me when so many others did not return to their loved ones. Had he returned with a moonstruck cavetroll in tow I would be no less grateful. The dwarf is not so bad. He obviously charmed the Lady of Lorien—do you also question her judgment?” Thranduil stared at his marriage-daughter, taken aback by her attitude.
“This is a surprise, considering you were one of the warriors that brought that riffraff in to the palace fifty years ago. Spitting mad you were that they had disrupted the festival.” She shrugged.
“Times change The dwarves were amusing in a grumpy way. Once you got past their dreadful speech and the hair, some of them were quite charming.” She turned her attention pack to the paddock where Legolas was patiently trying to acquaint the dwarf, Gimli, with the finer points of Elven equitation.
“He might as well try teaching a duck to juggle.” The King muttered under his breath. There was a bellow of outrage quickly followed by a heavy thud and the thunder of hooves. The elven horse, a pony really, came prancing across to the fence where Thranduil and Aiwë were watching. She rubbed the pony behind the ears and whispered to it in Avari. Obediently, the animal trotted back to Legolas and Gimli
“That had to hurt.” Aiwë murmured, watching as the dwarf was helped to his feet yet again
“One can only hope.” Thranduil said with a grim smile.
“Do not be uncharitable, Father. The situation might have been much worse. In the greater scheme of things, what’s one small dwarf?” She smiled warmly as her husband and his comrade approached.
“Your riding is improving, Master Gimli. Come. Let us provide you with a glass of our finest vintage to refresh your spirits.” She slipped the latch and pulled the gate open for the two friends.
“I am grateful my lady, although a flagon of ale is more to my taste.” Gimli graced her with a slight bow.
“Regretfully, we have no ale in the stores at the moment—but we shall make every effort to procure some for you. Thranduil said tightly.
“I am obliged my Lord Thranduil.” Gimli bowed before the King, looking up at him through heavy brows.
“Much better.” Aiwë whispered to Thranduil, linking one arm through that of the king and the other through that of his son. “We shall make a dwarf friend of you yet.” She cocked her head to one side listening to the dwarf’s murmured comments to Legolas.
“….not the bastard my father claimed him to be….”Aiwë burst into a Silvan ballad that drowned his comments out.
One small victory at a time she thought to herself as she steered them towards the gardens of the palace.
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.