Axe & Bow Archive Entry


The Last Straw

by Mantida

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JRR Tolkien. No money is being made and no copyright infringement is intended.

Many thanks for Mogs for beta-reading.

Elrond was sitting depressed with his face in his hands. Legolas had told him this dreadful news about himself and the Dwarf, and, looking perplexed at his lack of response, at last had left him alone. Elrond realized that his contribution to the talk with Legolas hadn't been quite as it should have been, but the shock had been tremendous, and he had been hardly able to form a coherent sentence. Even now he couldn't shake off the feeling of impending doom. His only hope was to have some peace and quiet in Valinor but even that hope was shattered now. Elbereth, why?

And why had he sent Legolas on this blasted Quest in the first place? Ah, yes, Mithrandir had had a hunch. He would have a word with Mithrandir about these hunches of his. And Legolas had asked him to go, damn his blond hair. Elrond had always had problems with Elves of this colouring. A grave weakness. He should have known that something terrible would happen. After all, Legolas was Thranduil's son.

There was a knock at the door and Glorfindel came to the room. Another golden-haired Elf. Blond Elves everywhere.

Glorfindel caught Elrond's hunted look and was rather mystified. What was it about now? Elrond had not been at his best recently, but this deer-at-bay expression was something new.

"Have you heard this?" Elrond said in morose voice. "Legolas has fallen in love with this Dwarf, Gimli. Reciprocated love, too. This is the limit."

Glorfindel pondered over the news. An Elf with a Dwarf? Most unusual, almost unheard of, especially in this day and age. And a Sinda, too. Wait a moment, what was Legolas's ancestry again? Grandson of Oropher of Doriath... Was the kinship with Eöl finally showing in this line?1 Yes, it must have been that... Everyone knew about Eöl and his Dwarves... If only Eöl had stuck to the Dwarves... So many disasters would have been averted... No Maeglin born, Gondolin might not have fallen...

"You realize what it means, don't you?"

Glorfindel blinked and returned to the Third Age. No, he didn't. What concern could Legolas's personal life be to Elrond?

"Arwen first, and now Legolas. Celebrian may forgive me in time, but not Thranduil. No, not he. He will come to Valinor after me, and I will never have a moment of peace."

Of course, Thranduil. How could he have forgotten? Still, the degree of the Elrond's alarm seemed excessive. His friend had been of late in a permanent foul mood, and, objectively, had some reasons to be. But, in Glorfindel's memory, Elrond had never sounded this agitated--

"How large exactly is Aman? Never mind, not large enough. He will look for me, find me, and make my life a nightmare."

Or this paranoid.

"Elrond," Glorfindel asked patiently, "Why do you think Thranduil will blame you for his son's life choices? You haven't forced Legolas to fall for this Dwarf."

Elrond laughted bitterly.

"Talk to Thranduil's and you will find that I'm the primary source of every calamity which had happened in Middle-earth, at least since the last half of the Second Age. If not before that."

"Don't you think you you're exaggerating?"

"Exaggerating? Not destroying the One ring? My fault. Sauron in Dol Guldur? My fault. Creating the ring in the first place? Also my fault, although I still can't quite see how. Stirring Balrog in Moria? Why, if you asked Thranduil, I'm sure he would be able to trace it back to me. And who has been to blame for this affair with those Dwarves he had imprisoned? Himself? Never. The Dwarves? Yes, to some extent, but ultimately it was my fault again. Because I've been encouraging them."

Elrond paused to breathe and continued.

"Now imagine his reaction when he learns about Legolas and the Dwarf. After all, I sent them with the Ringbearer. Together."

Glorfindel had enough.

"Elrond, this is ridiculous. Listen to yourself. Don't you think it's high time you and Thranduil came to terms with each other? When did you break up? Five thousand years of Sun ago?"

"No, only four and a half," Elrond said with a frown. "And I and Thranduil? I am perfectly indifferent to him. He still bears a grudge."

Perfectly indifferent. Of course. As demonstrated.

"And I don't even want to know what stories he's spreading, but it was all his fault," Elrond added. "You have no idea--"

Glorfindel had no idea, and sincerely wanted to preserve this state of mind.

"You both have found someone else since then, you both have got married, you have had children--"

Glorfindel wanted to bite his tongue, but it was too late.

"Children," Elrond repeated gloomily. "You have children and how does it end? They marry Men and leave you forever."

Valar, not again. He should have known where saying this word led with Elrond nowadays. And he was tired of the subject. Elrond being maudlin over Arwen was even worse than Elrond raving about Thranduil. His friendship stretched only so far.

Elrond realized that his words were falling on deaf ears and went to look for Celeborn. There, at least, he could always count on sympathy to his feelings about Arwen's marriage.

On the search for his father-in-law Elrond came upon Thranduil's son and the Dwarf, who both casted him identical puzzled looks. He couldn't help shaking his head with pity at Gimli and sighing. He wasn't particularly fond of the Dwarves, but he actually felt sorry for this one. He knew only too well how it went with this family. At first everything might seem perfect, but it was only a matter of time before their temper started to show. Back in Lindon, Thranduil had been charm incarnate, at the beginning, but afterwards...

Of course, Elrond cheered up, Gimli was mortal, and might not live long enough for the painful disillusionment. Which was inevitable. Unless the Dwarves also believed that berating someone's lineage was a playful flirting, and having a blazing row a perfect foreplay. Highly doubtful.

1 Eöl "for the Dwarves he had more liking than any other of the Elvenfolk of old" (The Silmarillion, Of Maeglin) ;-)

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