We arrived back in Rivendell very late last night. Even though I've
now done it, I'm still not really sure how it's possible to take a *month*
to drive up from Minas Tirith. Really, it should take four days, maybe
five. But when travelling with old people who want to stop everywhere
and stay a while to reminisce, that time period is greatly expanded.
We stopped in Edoras for King Théoden's funeral, which is understandable,
then at the Doors of Moria, which is not. Most of the time spent on
the road wasn't actually spent on the road at all. It was spent rather
at off-road "rest stops" where we all got out of the cars and met up to spend
far too long reminiscing about boring things like sunsets and mountain views.
Grandma and dad were the worst. Every once in a while dad would say
"Well, I guess this is the last we'll ever see of this place," and then grandma
would flop against grandpa's shoulder and break out into sobs. Not
that things went any faster after she and grandpa left the convoy.
In any case, by the time we finally got back here, Glorfindel was in a bit
of a panic. His plane to Valinor leaves in ten days and he's not packed
yet. Elrohir and I are supposed to go help him later this afternoon,
but to tell the truth, I'm not really inclined to leave the house.
Or really inclined to leave my bedroom at all. I've been travelling
around from place to place since March, and at the moment I'm incredibly
interested in taking at least one day of rest in my own room in my own home.
Sort of. I guess it's my home by default now, since my last home was
The Vala of rest (whoever that might be... Lórien maybe?) seems to
be set against me. I ended up going to help Glorfindel yesterday afternoon,
more as an excuse to get away from dad, who was in the mood for yet more
reminiscing, than because I was really keen on helping Glorfindel pack 7000
years worth of accumulated crap into overseas shipping crates. Dad
and Erestor had taken out all the old photo albums and were looking through
pictures from the First and Second Ages. They were wearing jeans that
were too short and sitting around the dining room table. Dad was wearing
a hat that he got free with a can of Para Paint three years ago. It
was incredibly difficult to try to equate them with the younger thems in
the photos, especially when I realised that the younger thems look an awful
lot like I look now, and I don't want to have to consider that I might look
like the older thems in about 3000 years. I'd rather spend time with
Glorfindel. He still looks exactly the same as he did before Erestor
and dad were even born. That gives me hope.
Glorfindel does have 7000 years worth of accumulated crap. Thankfully
not too much, not as much as dad by a long shot, but still enough to make
packing a chore. It was my job to sift through it all and help him
decide what was worth keeping. And owns some very odd things.
Compared to everybody else I know, his collection of "stuff" is not at all
normal. Most of it is from the early Second Age, if not the First.
All of his furniture looks like it belongs on Antiques Road Show. He
has a couple of lamps that look like they may have been manufactured within
the last five hundred years, but that's it. And then there are the
little things. A few old books, records, pens, cutlery, a paint set,
little wall hangings, wood carvings, a box of jewellery, dishes, candle sticks,
mirrors, hair brushes, slippers and so forth, all much older than I.
In fact, I'd venture a guess that the only significant modern items he owns
are his car and his mobile. Otherwise, his lifestyle doesn't appear
to have changed at all in the past six thousand years. He still has
*clothes* from the First Age, and even some that he brought from Valinor,
and he doesn't have a television.
In the end, we decided to keep everything. If he'd had a condo full
of crappy shopping-channel gadgets, then culling would be easy. But
it's sort of hard to just toss out things that have been around for longer
than I can even imagine. Glorfindel agreed, and in the end wanted to
keep everything. I should hope so. If he's bothered to take the
trouble to carry it all around from place to place over the past several
millennia, I would hope it's all worthwhile. We packed as much as we
could carefully into crates. Then Glorfindel asked me if I was hungry.
I stalled my answer at first, thinking he was going to threaten to cook,
but then he said, "We can stop someplace for supper before I pick Ara up
from the mall."
We went to some crazy vegetarian restaurant where everything had soy or whole
wheat in it. My salad had wheat in it. My drink was made out
of soy. I don't know what the rest was, but it was probably made of
wheat and soy too, with a few green things thrown in for good measure.
It tasted like something that primitive Elves might have made way back in
the day before they invented hunting and cooking. I'm at a loss as
to why that sort of stuff is considered trendy and cool.
The first thing I did when I got back home was microwave a hot dog.
They're nice and processed and seasoned and only take thirty seconds to prepare
straight out of the package; truly the epitome of modern cuisine.
University starts in eleven days. I am going back to the Grey Havens
in ten days. I've switched around my class schedule into something
more manageable, but still I don't feel ready to go back. Somehow the
prospect of packing all my belongings into two suitcases and a carry-on isn't
all that appealing. I just *know* that whatever I deem unnecessary
and leave behind will be required for whatever reason come mid-October.
In first year I was convinced I wouldn't need my formal Noldo costume, but
that turned out to be a very wrong assumption. I will have to plan
every day carefully this time around to make sure I don't forget to bring
On the other hand, dad ingeniously booked me into the Mindon Residence, and
those rooms are about the size of a bathroom, so I might also have to do
some very careful space planning to make sure all of my stuff fits.
Started packing, got discouraged, stopped, watched telly for a while, started
packing all over again. So far, I have decided that I need to bring
my pillow, some bedding, my computer, television, DVD-video, movies, CDs,
books, binder, pencil case, toiletries, alarm clock, calendar, and magnet
board. If that all fits into one suitcase, then with any luck I'll
be able to fit all my clothes into the other suitcase and carry-on.
I am able to fit the pillow, bedding, DVD-video, binder, pencil case, alarm
clock, calendar, and magnet board into the first suitcase, with some candles
stuffed in to fill up the corners and a few family photos on top. I
will have to box up my CDs and movies and have dad send those to me on the
bus, I think. For some reason, it seems like I have more and more stuff
I had to unpack everything last night to take out my pillow so I could sleep.
I think I'll have to leave that suitcase to pack last, on the morning of
the 1st before my plane leaves.
I started to pack the other suitcase, and it was already full before I got
to my closet. So I took everything out again, and only packed my favourite
items. Two pair of jeans, three pair of black trousers, one pair of
good dress trousers, twelve tee-shirts, six long-sleeve shirts, four button-up
shirts, one good dress shirt, one tie, gym kit, twenty pair of underwear,
twenty pair of socks, winter coat, light jacket, fleece hoodie, sport coat,
the fancy Noldo costume, two pair of regular shoes, one pair of good dress
shoes, one pair of boots, winter gloves, scarf and hat, vampire cape to wear
to Balathin cabaret, regular pyjamas, winter pyjamas, and one bathrobe.
And one bath towel, one hair towel, and one facecloth, though those don't
really count as clothes.
It still didn't fit. I took out one tee-shirt, one long-sleeve shirt,
one pair of jeans, the light jacket, and one pair of shoes to wear on the
plane. It still didn't fit. I took out the Noldo costume and
the bathrobe and squished it all down. It sort of fit. I took
out one of the towels and squished again, and was able to close the suitcase.
That task is done. Of course now I'll be stuck wearing my least favourite
clothes for the next few days, but I guess it's worth it to be able to have
the packing worry off my mind.
Elrohir is also packing. I'm not sure where he thinks I'm going or
if he thinks he's coming with me, but he's packing. His method is to
stand a suitcase up on its end vertically, stuff a bunch of clothes down
into it, squish everything down, dump some more stuff on top, squish it down,
stuff more, squish more, and so forth until the suitcase is full. Then
once it's all full he shakes the suitcase so stuff settles further to the
bottom, then opens it up just enough to stuff in a few more small items.
He will repeat the shaking and stuffing process several times over the next
few days. I've seen him do it before. By the end, his suitcase
is always bulging so much out the sides he has to tie it up to keep the seams
I watched Elrohir continue packing today until my curiosity got the better
of me and I asked him where he was going. He said, "Grey Havens, with
you." I had to pause for a minute before explaining that I was going
back to university, and living in a residence room big enough to fit a bed,
a desk, and a closet with enough space left over for maybe two people to
stand side by side. He said, "I know, I'm going to university too."
I must've looked shocked or incredulous or something, because he turned around
and grabbed a crumpled piece of paper from his backpack. It was his
class schedule at GHU. He seems to be enrolled in Music Composition
310, Theatre Performance 403, Film Narrative Studies 251, and Conversational
Quenya 300. The same conversational Quenya class I am enrolled in,
I asked him what degree this was for, but he sort of shrugged and said, "I
dunno." Then he said, rather defensively, "Dad said I could go!"
I asked where he was staying. "Mindon Residence," he said. Of
course. Not only am I going to be spending the next eight months living
in a cell the size of a bathroom, I'll be living next door to Elrohir.
I don't know why I ever agreed to go back to university at all.
Oh that's right, I didn't. I don't have a choice in the matter.
After supper I asked dad if he knew what Elrohir was up to with this university-going,
and he said, "Of course, I encouraged him to go." I couldn't help but
ask why. We both know that sending Elrohir to university is a bit of
a waste of time and money. He skips most of his classes, and the ones
he doesn't skip, he sleeps through. But dad only looked stern and said
that he was proud of Elrohir for acting responsibly and having the desire
to learn. I could see by his eyes that he wasn't in a mood to discuss
this further. He's always held a bit of an unreasonable hope that Elrohir
might not be stupid after all, and it was obvious that there was no point
in trying to take that hope away from him.
But honestly! Elrohir, a desire to learn? That's the last thing
he'd want to do at university! Much more likely, he has a desire to
get drunk indiscriminately on weekdays and spend weekends throwing impromptu
toga parties in the residence common room. And sure enough, when I
later asked him, he proudly told me he found a perfect pure white bed sheet
to make into a toga.
I went and checked my own bedding and was pleased to see I'd had the sense
to pack the hideous jewel-tone abstract pattern sheets. There's no
better excuse for getting out of a toga party than inappropriate attire,
The first thing I heard this morning, as I was walking into the kitchen to
discover breakfast, was an exasperated voice saying, "Can the crap, Peredhel,
where's my idiot son?!" I peered cautiously around the corner.
Dad was in the kitchen, and Erestor, along with what looked like two Glorfindels.
Erestor was hiding behind a spider plant, and dad was standing at the table
with a sort of deer-in-the-headlights look. One of the Glorfindels
was sitting with a mug of coffee, and the other was standing in a decidedly
aggressive pose opposite dad. From the back, they both looked the same-
long blond hair and sharp black rayon suits.
I tried to sneak away but dad, obviously looking for any escape from the
situation, saw me and yelled out in a relieved voice, "Elladan! Come
in here a minute!" I went. He said, "You remember Legolas' father,
Thranduil, from Mirkwood? Thranduil, this is my son Elladan."
I looked at Thranduil. From the front, he looked a bit like Legolas,
if Legolas had been born with Glorfindel's personality and fashion sense.
Though maybe a bit grumpier. I said, "Hi." He looked at me and
said, "Hmm." I suddenly wished I'd thought to put on real clothes instead
of dirty old jeans and a tee-shirt I got free from being in the Avid Readers
club at the public library.
Dad said, "Thranduil was just wondering if we knew anything on the whereabouts
of Legolas, Elladan. Did he happen to tell you where he was going?"
I said no, our parting words had been on the topic of laundry. I'd
hugged him goodbye and commented that his hoodie smelled like Bounce sheets,
and he'd told me about his trip to the laundromat. However, it was
my impression that he was going to look around the Glittering Caves and Fangorn
Forest with Gimli, and I mentioned that. Then Thranduil turned back
to dad and said, "Damnit, Peredhel, the boy has the wits of a toothbrush!
He needs to be supervised! How could you let him go off like that?
And who is this Gimli character anyway?" Dad looked sheepish and started,
"Erm, I believe he's a Dwarf from the-" but he didn't finish, because Thranduil
cut him off with a string of unmentionable words.
Thranduil eventually calmed down and sat beside Glorfindel with a defeated
sigh that sounded a bit like, "I need a drink." Dad, who has no sense
of when to just flee a situation instead of trying vainly to improve it,
kept talking. "I'm sure Legolas will be fine," he said. "The
trip to Mordor with Aragorn seems to have done him quite a bit of good.
He's much more responsible now, and better at thinking things through."
I could vouch for that. I noticed a definite improvement in him, compared
to what he was like last summer and at Fiommereth. I distinctly heard
him use the word "insinuate" in one of our Minas Tirith conversations.
Thranduil seemed to think this over, and said, "Well, as long as he's home
in time for..." and then paused as if considering what he'd ever need Legolas
home for. He amended his statement to, "Well, as long as he's not dead!"
I don't think Thranduil ever sleeps. He was up late last night playing
Bubble Bobble with Elrohir when I went to bed, and he woke me up early this
morning to get me to show him how to use the coffee maker. I asked
him with some degree of annoyance why Elrohir couldn't be his coffee helper,
and he said, "Elladan, your brother means well, but I wouldn't trust him
to flush a toilet for me even if he'd taken an extensive training course
and had special certification in toilet-flushing." And he's right.
I wouldn't trust Elrohir to flush a toilet either. He'd probably get
distracted by an ant on the bathroom lino and forget completely what he was
supposed to be doing.
He went on to tell me, while the coffee was brewing, how he'd tried to teach
Elrohir some table manners last night after Glorfindel went home to finish
up on last-minute packing. Unfortunately, Elrohir thought it was a
game, and only agreed to learn if Thranduil agreed to play Bubble Bobble
with him. Thranduil got a bit hooked, and they ended up playing Bubble
Bobble until half three. I asked him why he stayed here instead of
at Glorfindel's, where there is no Bubble Bobble and no Elrohir to distract
him, and where he's supposed to be anyhow since he did in theory come to
see Glorfindel off to Valinor. He said that there is no spare bed or
even any bed at Glorfindel's now that all the furniture's been shipped, and
he didn't fancy having to share the inflatable camp mattress. I guess
that's reasonable. Then I asked him if dad knew he stayed here.
He said he didn't quite know. He didn't see dad at all last night during
his Bubble Bobble tournament, and it was Elrohir who showed him to a spare
room. I decided it might be best to inform dad that Thranduil was hanging
around the kitchen before he got up and found out for himself the hard way.
Dad was in his room, asleep, with a crossword puzzle book lying open across
his chest and a pencil nestled into a crease in his pyjamas. He looked
very peaceful and relaxed so I just stood and watched him sleep for a while.
There was a piece of fuzz on the end of his nose that fluttered when he breathed.
After a minute I sat down on the edge of the bed and gently shook him awake.
He startled, looked up at me, and immediately said, "What's wrong?"
I assured him that nothing was wrong, then offered him my mug of coffee.
I'd only had two sips out of it, and he couldn't tell I hadn't brought it
especially for him. He eyed me warily and asked what I was up to.
He knows me too well. I guess it's sort of sad that I can't bring my
own father coffee in the morning without being suspected of something.
I'll have to work at being a better son in the future.
I waited until he didn't have a mouthful of coffee before telling him that
Thranduil was still here. He sort of groaned and said, "Tell him I'm
sick. Tell him we half-Elves get sick all the time, like mortals.
He'll believe that. He's ignorant. He once asked me if I could
grow a beard." I nodded and left him there mumbling to himself, and
went back to Thranduil in the kitchen. I informed Thranduil that dad
was suffering from crossword sickness and couldn't leave his bed for fear
of not being able to think of a six-letter word for "obsolete". "Well,"
said Thranduil, "I guess I'll just have to rely on you then."
Thus I was stuck entertaining Thranduil for the next twelve hours because
Elrohir was too asleep and dad was too hiding and Glorfindel hadn't shown
up yet and Erestor had just plain disappeared. I showed him around
the house. He pointed out the room he was staying in- the one next
to the furnace room where we always put Legolas when he comes. I told
him he ought to move if he's going to be staying tonight as well, which he
is, and we hauled his suitcase to Arwen's old room, which has a balcony,
fireplace, television, and no noise from the humming furnace. He grinned
and said, "Well Elladan, now I know for certain you're the smart twin!"
Which is a compliment, I suppose, but it still concerns me that he had any
doubt on that matter whatsoever. We sat in Arwen's old room and watched
the news for a while, and when that got boring I took him for a drive to
the Dairy Queen to get Dilly Bars because he had a 2-for-1 coupon that was
valid only in Eriador.
Glorfindel finally showed up around seven, apologising profusely for leaving
poor Thranduil at the mercy of the Peredhil for so long. Thranduil
clapped me on the back and told Glorfindel not to worry, that he's been having
a great time. I should hope so. He'd won nearly $30 off me playing
Crazy Eights, which I don't think is even a gambling game at all. And
I didn't get a chance to win my money back, since he and Glorfindel went
off to the kitchen to make some sort of good-bye mess. They came out
an hour and a half later bearing pots of popular foods from their respective
cultures. To be honest, I preferred the regular Mirkwood soup and potato
thingies to the ridiculously spicy Vanyarin whatevertheyares. The smell
of food lured Erestor out of hiding, but dad didn't show up until later when
the drinking started.
Glorfindel and Thranduil decided it would be a good idea to get roaringly
drunk for old times' sake while fondly recalling stupid things they've done
together over the years. There were a disproportionate number of stories
involving luncheon meat (often in combination with Gil-galad in some way).
They ended up laughing so hard they fell off their chairs. Dad and
Erestor stared in shock at the confessions. I could tell by his expression
that dad had always wanted to know who covered the windscreen of Gil-galad's
Camaro with baloney. They ended up talking about Gil-galad for a while,
and high kings in general. The more dad and Thranduil drank, the more
argumentative the talk became.
Then because I've always wanted to know, and because I knew dad was drunk
enough not to get too unforgivably mad at me, I asked him why he never took
the crown of the high king after Gil-galad died. He looked thoughtful
for several long seconds, then said (in a loud, drunkenly slurred voice),
"I guess I just didn't feel like it." Glorfindel said, "I was the high
king once." Then Erestor started laughing hysterically. But dad
was still looking thoughtfully serious, so I asked him if that meant the
crown passed to me after he refused it. He nodded once, as if thinking
to himself, before Glorfindel stood up and shouted, "No! It's mine!"
Dad nodded again, more emphatically, and said, "That's right, Glorfindel's
the high king now."
I sarcastically said, "Oh really, when was the coronation?" but they didn't
seem to catch the sarcastic part because Glorfindel's drunkenly unfocused
eyes suddenly lit up and he said, "Coronation! We should do that before
I go!" Thranduil jumped up and pointed an accusing finger at Glorfindel
while yelling, "Bastard! I thought you were a socialist!" Glorfindel
said, "I'll bring down the system from within!" That seemed good enough
an answer for Thranduil. Then Erestor turned to him and asked, "Aren't
you the king of Mirkwood?" Thranduil didn't answer that. He was
too busy trying to stand steadily so he could help with Glorfindel's coronation.
I'm not sure why they thought they should go through with it, but dad stumbled
off to get Gil-galad's crown down from the display cabinet and Erestor gathered
up more celebratory wine. Glorfindel meanwhile debated with himself
over whether or not his clothes were suitable attire to become High King
of the Noldor in. He decided they were not, so he stripped down to
his shorts and tied the tablecloth around himself as a cape. It seemed
a bit beyond my power to explain to them that none of this could in any way
be considered a good idea. Least of all the fact that the High King
of the Noldor in the East would be a Vanya who is moving to Valinor tomorrow.
Naturally they didn't listen to me.
The four of them, having decided that the back yard by the ponds would be
an ideal place for the coronation, paraded outside. First dad, carrying
the crown and sceptre on a pillow, then Glorfindel, looking very proud and
noble indeed in his shorts and tablecloth, then Thranduil, shouting occasional
curses to the Noldorin monarchy, then Erestor, taking an occasional swig
from the celebratory bottle of wine he carried. They sang as they went,
and made such a racket that Elrohir, who had been playing Nintendo through
the whole spectacle thus far, came out to see what was going on. I
sarcastically told him that we were about to witness the glorious historical
moment of the crowning of the Seventh High King of the Noldor in the East.
He didn't catch the sarcasm either, since he said, "Oh COOL!" and ran inside
to get his camera.
Dad had to ask Glorfindel what to do, since Glorfindel was the only one who'd
ever been to an actual Noldorin coronation before. It ended up being
a bungled and very abridged ceremony. Dad sloppily placed the crown
on Glorfindel's head and proclaimed him High King. Then they drank
more, and Elrohir took some pictures of Glorfindel making obscene gestures
with his sceptre. Then Glorfindel stumbled over and put his arm around
me, and said, "Now Elladan... since I'm leaving for Valinor tomorrow, I think
you'll have to be in charge of running things here. So don't do anything
wrong!" I humoured him and said, "Fine." He seemed happy with
that, and went inside to ring Aralindë and tell her he was the high
king. It was twenty after one in the morning. I'm sure she was
thrilled to hear it.
While Glorfindel was inside and Elrohir was taking pictures of Erestor balancing
the wine bottle on various parts of his body and Thranduil trying to steal
it from him, I took dad aside and tried to talk to him sensibly. I
asked him if this coronation was legally binding. He said that as far
as he knew, it was. Anyone descended from Finwë could claim the
crown, if it were available, though it should in theory belong to the closest
male relative of the previous king. So all this time the crown was
just *sitting there*, I could have claimed it, being Gil-galad's first cousin
three times removed! Also his second cousin once removed, on mum's
side. I'll bet nobody could force me to go to university if I were
High King of the Noldor!
I told dad this (not the part about not going to university, though), and
also pointed out to him that Glorfindel isn't exactly descended from Finwë.
Dad said, "Sure he is." I said, "No, he's not." Dad said, "Yes
he is. He's the son of your great-uncle Finrod."
I think my first reaction to that was something along the lines of "What?!"
which only made dad repeat himself even though I'd heard him the first time.
I asked Erestor if this was true, but he only looked confused and said, "Maybe,"
then asked me to repeat the question. I asked Thranduil, but he didn't
know. I didn't bother asking Elrohir. There was only one person
I could ask who might know for sure. So I ran inside to ring grandma.
I sort of forgot that it would be two-thirty in Lórien until grandpa
answered he phone sounding groggy and annoyed. Grandma didn't sound
I asked her if it was true that Glorfindel was actually the long-lost son
of her older brother, and she said yes. I asked since when. She
said, "Since he was born, I'm guessing." I ignored her sarcasm and
asked since when had they *known*. She said, "Since Arwen's wedding.
It came up in that talk you interrupted." So that's what they were
"conferencing" about! They weren't having sex at all! Well, maybe
they still were- I wouldn't put it past them. But I asked her how they
found out, since Glorfindel's parentage has always been a mystery to everyone
(except his mum, I'm guessing). She groaned and said, "It's a long
story that would be better off not told in the middle of the night."
I thanked her for her time and hung up.
So Glorfindel is really grandma's nephew, and my first cousin once removed,
and Gil-galad's second cousin, and Finwë's great-grandson, and therefore
the actual legitimate heir to the throne, not just some drunken idiot trying
to cash in! Why doesn't anybody ever tell me anything?! Disgusted
and annoyed with the whole scenario, I decided that the only reasonable course
of action would be to eat a large bowl of ice cream and then go straight
to bed. Which is what I did. Though it wasn't exactly straight
to bed- I stopped off in the library first to look up a picture of Finrod
in one of those fancy books dad likes so much. I suppose Glorfindel
does look like him. That only made me more annoyed.
Stupid Glorfindel stupid son of stupid Finrod. Thinks he's so great!
Well he wouldn't if *I* were High King of the Noldor. Like I *should*
be. Nothing ever works out for me!
Glorfindel left for Valinor today. After sleeping on it, I realised
that I don't really hate him. He just annoys me sometimes. And
I'm glad he's High King and not me. He can deal with all the psycho
assassins and Elrohir's peculiar songs of loyal devotion (which might be
worse). I'll just continue innocently going to university to get my
political science degree so that I can oust him from government with a plebiscite
to establish a Noldorin republic.
He stayed over last night. I found him this morning, passed out on
the kitchen floor holding half a lemon in one hand and an empty tequila bottle
in the other. He was wearing his crown, though his cape had gone missing.
Thranduil was a few feet away. He was using a few wadded-up rubber
gloves and SOS pads as a pillow. Neither of them looked too happy to
be woken up at the ridiculous hour of eleven. But by noon they were
both awake and showered and dressed, sitting around the kitchen table discussing
the finer points of last night's foolery and planning more foolery for today.
In order to remember everything about his life here, Glorfindel borrowed
Erestor's camcorder to do some sort of in-depth video tour of the house.
Elrohir was his tour guide, and was able to come up with an amusing anecdote
related to every single room. Even the pantry. He still remembers
the time a mouse jumped off the top shelf and landed on his nose when he
was seven and had gone to sneak a cookie. The mouse ran under the sink
and dad had to catch it with a minnow net. I'm not sure why Glorfindel
would want to capture the stunning aesthetic of the pantry to cherish for
always on Mini-DV, but he did.
It took over two hours to tape the entire house and surrounding yard.
It was sort of a sad time. After the whole thing was done, Elrohir
burst into tears and wailed that he was worried he'd never see Glorfindel
again. It took Thranduil and Erestor fifteen minutes to get him to
quit clinging. He continued sniffling all through lunch while dad and
Erestor talked about their own moving plan, to be implemented sometime within
the next few years, and Glorfindel talked about how great Valinor is and
how glad he is to be going back. Makes me wonder why he ever left in
the first place.
Ever-practical dad asked, "Do you have your ticket?" Glorfindel said,
"Of course I do," and patted his pocket. Then he got a funny look on
his face. He looked in his pocket. The ticket was missing.
Panic. Elrohir was displaying a suspiciously smug grin. Glorfindel
turned to him and asked, "What did you do?" to which Elrohir ingeniously
replied, "You can't leave if you don't have your ticket." Glorfindel,
obviously not in the mood for pranks, picked up Elrohir rather violently
by his shirt collar. "Elrohir," he said, "I have been waiting for this
day for the past 7431 years, and I'm sure not going to allow my plans to
return to my home country to be ruined by *you*!" He looked capable
of murder in that moment. Elrohir wisely handed over the ticket.
He was not allowed to touch Glorfindel during the goodbyes, only wave forlornly
from three feet away.
And that was that. There was a goodbye hug, a promise of emails, and
then we all stood on the front step and watched Glorfindel drive off to the
airport. He's been part of my family since I was born, and now he's
somewhere over the ocean on his way to Tol Eressëa. It's possible
I won't ever see him again, which seems strange to think about.
Everyone was pretty much depressed for the rest of the day. Dad and
Erestor sat at the kitchen table drinking tea. Dad got out a jigsaw
puzzle, but they were too sad to work on it. Thranduil sat with them
when he wasn't pacing aimlessly. After a while he got a beer from the
pantry, but he was too sad to drink it. Elrohir went and sat in the
den, but he was too sad to play Nintendo, so he watched television.
He vowed to watch only the news for the next 24 hours, to be sure that there
was no breaking report of Glorfindel's plane crashing into the ocean or anything.
I mostly drifted between sitting with dad and Erestor at the table and sitting
with Elrohir in the den. It didn't feel right to be doing anything
Spirits were lifted briefly when we ordered in pizza for supper, but the
joy only lasted about ten minutes. Then the depression returned.
I'm going to have to write stupid Glorfindel an email to make sure he knows
just how miserable he's making everybody.
Dad is worried. Thranduil doesn't show any sign of leaving. Rather,
he appears to be making himself very comfortable in Arwen's old room.
I was sent to ask him in a friendly-like manner when he's planning
on going back to Mirkwood, but all he would say was "I had to book my trip
for at least a week in order to get the best airfare deal." So that
means he'll be here for another five days, if not longer.
Dad wasn't happy to hear that, since Elrohir and I are leaving for uni tomorrow
and he'll be forced to entertain Thranduil on his own. He rubbed his
forehead aggravatedly and said, "I *know* he's Glorfindel's friend, and I
*know* that in theory he's not so bad, but somehow I just can't bring myself
to *like* him." I asked if this was because Thranduil insists on calling
him "Peredhel" instead of "Elrond". Dad said, "Maybe..." in such a
way that indicated this was the exact problem or at least a large part of
it. I pointed out that he has it better off than Erestor, whose name
Thranduil never uses. Erestor just gets called "hey you Noldo!" most
of the time. That didn't seem to cheer him up much.
School starts tomorrow. I don't feel ready. Maybe because I'm
still here in Rivendell. I'll be in the Grey Havens in six hours though,
so I'm hoping I feel more school-ready when I get there. The plane
leaves at four and crosses over three time zones, so it'll still be four
when I arrive. My suitcases are packed and ready to go by the garage
door. That's not counting the three boxes of stuff I need to get dad
to send to me on the bus. Elrohir's things are sort of in a pile next
to mine. He's not even going to try to close the suitcases until the
last possible minute, to minimise strain on the zips.
We had a last family lunch together at noon: dad, Elrohir, Erestor, Thranduil
and I. Erestor fancied it to be quite the swanky affair. He'd
taken the time to melt cheddar onto Triscuits in the microwave instead of
just using Cheez Whiz. That didn't make much of an impression on dad,
though, who was still in bad shape from Glorfindel leaving and Thranduil
staying. As he stared down at his plate, I could almost hear him thinking
about how to cope with the next eight months of only having Erestor around.
From the look of things, that thought didn't do much to cheer him up.
All the Beach Boys CDs and Trivial Pursuit parties in the world don't make
up for having your entire family stolen by air transport.
Though I suppose there's always the telephone. Which reminds me, I
haven't spoken to Arwen in weeks. Maybe I ought to ring her.
Not that she's gone out of her way to contact me, I might point out.
Maybe I'll just send her a postcard from the Grey Havens. She'll need
something to take her mind off Aragorn. He can be a bit of a handful.
I'm putting my bet in now that the marriage lasts two years, tops.
Continued in Part Three
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