1. A Golden Lion
‘Welcome home my golden lion.’ Below an elleth paused in her task and smiled. He has returned at last. They must be ready to see to his comfort. She sent a gentle mental nudge to the chief house elf suggesting that a warm bath and clean clothes as well as a hot meal was needed for the returning Lord Glorfindel. Unconsciously he paused in his routine chores and dispatched word to the Lord’s house elves alerting them to his pending arrival.
Glorfindel urged Asfaloth through the last gate and into the main courtyard. Pausing only to remove his saddle bags, he rubbed his mount’s nose, whispered an affectionate ‘thank you’ and gently slapped his rump urging him on towards the stables where Asfaloth knew a welcoming rub down and a manger full of hay and grain awaited him. Glorfindel climbed the steps to the main house and entered the wing that housed Elrond’s key staff members. As he crossed to his chambers Erestor exiting his and his welcoming grin brought an answering one to Glorfindel’s face.
“You are two weeks late, meldir nin. Your messages have been cryptic and Elrond was somewhat concerned. Shall I ask them to hold dinner until you have time to bath and change?”
Glorfindel shook his head. “No, all I desire for the moment is a hot bath, a quiet meal and bed. If you would pass to Elrond there is nothing I have that requires his immediate attention and I will give him my report when he is free tomorrow, I would be most grateful.”
Erestor nodded and waved a hand as he departed on down the hall.
As Glorfindel entered his outer sitting chamber he heard the voice of Ceredir, the house elf that cared for him and maintained his rooms. Crossing to the sleeping chamber he tossed his bags on the bed and began removing his cloak and weapons. Ceredir stood at the door to the bathing chamber supervising the other two elves that were pouring large vessels of hot water into the large stone tub. He turned at the sound of the weapons being removed.
“My lord, welcome home. Your bath is ready and I will have your dinner served in about an hour.”
He moved to help Glorfindel strip off his cloths and handed him a fluffy towel. As Glorfindel took it, he looked at the house elf and grinned.
“How do you do it? What secret form of communication or foresight do you have that allows you to have all of this ready for me whenever I return?”
Ceredir smiled. “I have none, my lord. We were told by Master Hebgobel that you would be here shortly and to be ready for you. It is he you must ask how he knows such things.”
Glorfindel nodded and sank gratefully into the tub, groaning as the warmth of the water relaxed tired muscles. The house elf grinned and quietly disappeared into the outer room returning with a carafe of fruity red wine and a glass a short time later.
“Ceredir, I was just thinking about some wine, thank you.” He took the glass and sighed. “It is indeed good to be home.”
The house elf nodded and with a slight bow left the balrog slayer to his ablutions. When Glorfindel had finished bathing and washing his hair, he dressed himself in a pair of deep green silk sleeping pants and a moss green velvet robe. Padding on bare feet into his outer sitting chamber he paused to savor the delicious smell of the food laid out on a small table in front of the cheerily burning fireplace. Ceredir was just placing a last bowl of fresh rolls there and he glanced up at him.
“All is ready my lord.”
“Thank you, I believe I could eat a oliphaunt after all the cold and soggy things we had out on patrol. Rain seemed to get into everything.”
“Will you require anything else my lord?”
“No Ceredir, when I have finished eating I am heading to bed. You need not bother with clearing up until in the morning.”
The house elf nodded and made a last check as Glorfindel sat down in the oversized chair he loved.
“Then I will say good night, my lord, may your rest be peaceful and pleasant.”
Across the building in another wing, the elleth sighed. He was back, and all was well with her world. She sat before the small fire and returned to her needlework at peace for the first time since he had departed on his patrol. Finally rising she put the needlework aside and prepared herself for bed. Snuggling beneath the covers she smiled and whispered. “Good night my golden lion, may your dreams be pleasant.”
Glorfindel stretched out on the oversized bed and settled back into the pillows hoping he could relax after all the recent nights sleeping on the ground. It seemed to welcome him, saying. “Good night, my golden lion, may your dreams be pleasant.” He smiled to himself. He rather liked the thought of himself as a great golden lion. Then he frowned. Where had that come from? He gave a momentary effort to pursue the thought but lost to his need for rest.
The rumble of the falls and the brisk morning breeze slowly edged its way into his consciousness and he awoke refreshed. Stretching he quickly rose and dressed before heading out to join the other citizens of Imladris in the dining hall for breakfast. He was glad to see his lord Elrond already there along with Erestor and two other councillors. Grinning he quickly joined them and starting filling his plate as Elrond leaned back in his chair and studied the balrog slayer.
“You look none the worst for wear, meldir nin.”
Surprised at the comment, Glorfindel stopped a forkful of eggs midway enroute to his mouth and stared back at the elf lord. “I am in excellent health, meldir, and fully recovered from the strain of the trip. Was there some reason you expected me not to be?”
“Only that Master Hebgobel seemed certain you were in dire need of sleep and refreshment last evening. I was considered preparing a special renewing tea for you until Erestor said you seemed fine although a bit road weary and tired.”
Glorfindel continued eating while he considered his lord’s comments. “Your concern is appreciated Elrond, but unnecessary. I am not so foolish that I would neglect my health unwisely. Ceredir takes excellent care of me and seems to know when and what is needed. In fact, I intend to commend him to Hebgobel before the day is out. I wish to know how he seems to know when I am departing or returning often before I know myself. His foresight is amazing.”
He looked around the table at his fellow diners. “Have any of you found his ability to be somewhat unsettling?”
Elrond frowned at him and then at Erestor. “To the best of my knowledge I am not aware of any such gift, nor has he ever provided the kind of assistance for me you describe. He is an efficient and effective manager of all the housekeeping but Erestor would be better informed as to this. Erestor?”
Erestor shook his head. “If he indeed has such a gift it would simplify arrangements for travel and such. But in all honesty he has never shown such within my experience.”
“That is most strange, It bares following up on. Such knowledge of our movements could be dangerous in certain situations.” Glorfindel finished his tea and rose from the table.
“Elrond, when will you have some time to meet with me and hear about the findings of my trip?”
“After lunch would be best.” He grinned at his seneschal. “Perhaps you will also have solved the mystery of your good service.”
“I will attend to that later. First I have to check on trainee and equipment status, and then I intend to spend a couple of hours on the practice field. I have spent too much time on horseback recently and my muscles need the exercise. I will meet with you after lunch.”
“Do you wish me there also, meldir nin?” queried Erestor.
The balrog slayer shook his head. “You are welcome if you wish to join us. There are only some minor problems that Elrond need to be aware of.”
“If I am in the vicinity I will stop by.”
“Until then meldir nin.”
Meldir nin-my friend (male)
Oliphaunt-elephant large animal used by the Haradrim as beasts of war
Hebgobel- from the (Sin) Heb to do, keep, keep hold of plus from the (Sin) gobal walled house or village, thus keep house or housekeeper
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.