1. The Fight
Crouched in a corner, Estel winced as his mother's voice bounced off the wall and reverberated past the hardy oaken doors separating his parents' argument from the main hallway in the Master's apartments. Eleven years old and apt to eavesdropping, fear and anxiety and not a little fascination all churned in his stomach. They had cross days, of course. They fenced with words sometimes, but they didn't fight. They were Adar and Naneth first, and they didn't fight. And this was a fight.
"I will most certainly not remove them to the other side of the house, Gilraen!" Elrond boomed. The boy could well picture all the authority of the towering Lord of Imladris directed at his mother now, the Master's eyes shining in the firelight. For a moment, a fierce protectiveness rose within Estel and he fingered the cold door handle, but just then thought better of it.
"If my- oh!" she fumed, seemingly immune. "Such drivel I've never heard in my life. Poetry and philosophy every hour of the day, and I accede because you do know better, but now this! I won't have it, Master Elrond, I won't have him unmanned and his head turned to a sack of wine." So the argument was about him, Estel gulped, frantically running through everything he'd done that day – practice with Glorfindel, history with Erestor, his free hour in the kitchens helping Galen because Carathir was doing his rotation on the fences – but he could find nothing at all amiss in his conduct. His brothers were away.
"Whatever it was those cooks sung," Elrond growled, and he sounded like thunder coming closer, "I'm sure there was more merit and complexity in it, child, than in all the history in all the songs of all the tongues of men!"
The boy took a step backwards, but now his mother's voice turned deadly cold, the voice that no argument withstood, "O. What are you doing? And where are going? The river is flowing. O tra-la-la-lally, here down in the valley. Ha ha."
Estel stood for a long time in silence.
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.