Liquid Diamonds

BY : Avgust
Category: +Second Age > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 767
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Tolkien's world (Silmarillion/Lord of the Rings/Hobbit), nor the characters from it. No money is made from the writing of this story.

The Greenwood stood before him. The forest's essence was heavy with all the years of the ages, an ancient living coppice that guarded its secrets well yet was tantalizing enough to ensnarl whomever gazed upon it with all of its mystique. To Glorfindel's eyes, the expansive forest seemed to stretch as mighty as any great sea, filling the land with its endless timbers. Tall ancient trees towered as watch guards at the entrance of the realm, imposing giants whose height was nothing Glorfindel had seen outside of Lorien. He instantly knew that this forest was like no other in all of Arda, as if the trees themselves could cast enchantments; trapping whomever passed into their bowels. Pushing his far seeing elvish eyes to scan the distance before him, he could scarcely make out the mountains that jutted above the sea of green in the far distance.

Emyn Duir, he knew the hills' and mountains' name to be. Far in the western glades they stood, just at the edge of those mountains in the heart of King Oropher's realm. Glorfindel could almost imagine its magnificence, upstaging even the glorious forest of Greenwood. The imposing capital beckoned to Glorfindel, leaving an imagined impression in his mind.

Taking a deep breath, Glorfindel passed under the tall trees that towered at the edge of the forest. He was within the Greenwood, and the air seemed to instantly change around him. Scents of the leaves, of the ferns and moss filled his senses, delighting him and enticing him to keep moving forward. Dark green leaves shaded the sun and they rustled in the slight wind that was blowing from the north. Delightful shadows danced across the forest floor, the canopy not yet so dense on the edge of the forest, as to block the sunlight from filtering down. Glorfindel felt at peace within this forest, and an excitement like a lure called to him from beyond.

The path he traveled on was long and winding, and Glorfindel knew that it would lead straight to Oropher's Halls. He recalled the map that Elrond had shared with him before he had left for this journey, and he calculated that he would be at Oropher's kingdom by the end of the next day.

As he rode down the path, Glorfindel from time to time, would let his eyes look around him, and he would marvel at what he saw. The trees seemed to grow larger, and their leaves were as big as his hand, dancing above him within the soothing breezes. Colorful leaves rolled before him on the path, and the moss and ferns relaxed him with their sweet and woody aromas. A strong desire welled within him to just stop and wander around the forest, so that he could take in all of its beauty. But he knew that he did not have the leisure in which to do so. He needed to keep pressing forward.

The day passed far too quickly. Once night had settled on the forest, Glorfindel had to stop his journey, fearing injury to his horse on this unknown path. He settled down in a comfortable spot, just below a wide tree of oak, whose long and low branches made a perfect canopy above him. The forest here was dense, and no stars could he see within the darkening night.

Even though the forest was dark around him, Glorfindel had no fear. The forest seemed to whisper words of a calming serenade, easing Glorfindel's mind and nerves. Fireflies danced around him, and the leaves continued their beautiful symphony. He had no fear this night, and he even drifted into a restful sleep, where he dreamed that same tempting dream that had come to him that one night, not so long ago.

Morning broke slowly in the Greenwood, for the light of Anor could barely penetrate to the forest's floor. But Glorfindel found the eerie dawn beautiful in its otherworldliness, as a dense fog clung around the trees, obscuring the path before him.

Glorfindel tread carefully, not too sure just what was underfoot the fog that kept the path hidden from him. But despite the foreign land he found himself in, he had no apprehensions beyond his own captivation with the beautiful forest that was transforming before his eyes. More light began filtering down from the forest's covering, and the fog slowly began to dissipate.

The forest had awoken, and Glorfindel could hear it calling out to him. Bright green leaves seemed to illuminate as the beams of Anor washed upon them. He breathed the essence of the forest in, and then he closed his eyes, letting his mind form the images from his dream, of the glistening emerald eyes and shining silver hair, and the whispers of the forest that had called out to his soul.

And he was surrounded when he finally opened his eyes. A pair of deep emerald eyes were fixated on his own, as if the image from his mind had materialized into the phantom that was before him. Commands in an ancient elvish tongue were given from a voice that Glorfindel knew could move any elf or man. Words that moved and stirred Glorfindel like no other voice had done before were perceived by his ears, but his mind could make no sense of them. The surrounding elves moved back from the mithril figure, their bows turned down, but ready if ever the one who stood before him were to give his command.

"Welcome to the Greenwood, stranger from afar."

A voice of pure silk rolled from his lips, perfectly speaking the Sindarin tongue, thick however, with a Doriathrin accent.

"Who are you and what brings you to our forest?" His piercing gaze held steadfast on Glorfindel. His long hair gently danced in the wind.

"Greetings." Glorfindel bowed his head respectfully to the one before him. He could tell this one was someone of importance, with emerald eyes and long silver hair, a striking resemblance of the premonition from his dream. He wondered if he could be Oropher, or perhaps was one of his household. He wondered if it were he who had cast that dream into his mind, until he yearned to set foot in the forest, else no peace would ever find his soul again.

"I am Glorfindel of Imladris. I bring to King Oropher some correspondences and as such request an audience with his lordship."

Glorfindel expected a rude or hostile reception now that this Wood-elf knew that that he was of the Noldor. Instead, the eyes of the other seemed to light up at hearing his name.

"Lord Glorfindel, well met! You are known to us." He returned the greeting, slightly inclining his head respectfully. "I am Thranduil."

Thranduil paused for a moment, studying Glorfindel intently before he turned to the sentry who closest to him, whispering in the tongue that was strange to Glorfindel. His eyes moved slightly on Glorfindel from time to time, before the green orbs were focused only on the sentry that Thranduil spoke to. Finally Thranduil gave him his full attention, motioning for Glorfindel to follow him deep into Greenwood forest.

"If you would please follow me. I will take you to our King, where there you can request an audience from him to discuss for why you journeyed here."

Glorfindel bowed his head again, recognizing Thranduil's name as the prince of Greenwood, the only son of Oropher, whom Elrond had told him a little about.

"Thank you, Prince Thranduil."

Were the only words that he could muster. His mind seemed so enchanted, lingering still on the one for whom he had dreamt of so many nights ago. His legs seemed to move on their own accord, while he tried to piece it all together. How had Thranduil done i, or was it even something that he had done at all? With great will he forced his thoughts back to the journey he took through the forest, instead of on Thranduil, and he followed slightly behind him.

Deep into the forest Thranduil led him down a winding path under ancient trees with broad leaves of green. The forest was peaceful, calm and still, although Glorfindel knew it was full of creatures both great and strange to him. The forest was alive deep in its sea of green, and he knew he was completely at Thranduil's mercy, who led him ever further into this strange and unknown land.

The air was rich with the aroma of mossy dew and the deep moist fragrance of the earth. After some time had passed, Glorfindel noticed that curious elves with dark hair and dark eyes were following his every movement, watching him from high in the trees and around him. The mountains towered in the distance and the trees became larger. Homes were hewn within the trees, strange dwellings that Glorfindel had never seen before.

And Thranduil continued to lead him on past more homes and ever more elves, until the densely populated areas they had passed. The wood-elves that curiously watched him were willowy, tall as the young trees that were dwarfed by the giant trees in the forest, regarding him ever with ancient and cautious eyes. The pace that Thranduil set was quick, and little time did Glorfindel have to take the strange elves in, which caused the elves to morph into a stream of flesh and timbre, indistinguishable in his mind as one great living forest.

Further on they went, and now Thranduil spoke about the Silvan Elves who had welcomed them here at the beginning of this age, and of how they had resettled to the north not too long ago from their earlier dwelling in Greenwood of Amon Lanc. Thranduil spoke with such fondness for the people, and such admiration for the land.

Glorfindel listened on. The dulcet quality of Thranduil's voice and strong Doriath accent was alluring and rich, a voice in which Glorfindel knew he could lose himself within, as if Thranduil's words held magic in their tones. Thranduil continued on with the history of the realm, telling Glorfindel about the ancient Silvan elves, of their earlier kingdom and of their long-gone King, who ages ago had passed into shadow, as if he had merged as one with this very forest. And Thranduil seemed to weave the story that spirits lingered ever in the forest; protective eyes and paladins to the elves who dwelled here.

Glorfindel wondered over the strange forest that seemed to harbor such beauty and trepidation, musing a little of the duality of its nature. A strange land he knew he had came to, one in which he hoped he could learn its secrets. He had never set foot in a land like this before, and for the first time he was actually glad that it had been him that Gil-galad had sent for this mission.

And with the ever changing forest, his thoughts meandered from his own introspection to the beauty of what was around him. They passed back into the lush forest, the elvish settlements were long in the distance. A small forest stream could be heard not too far in the distance, and Thranduil paused, looking back at Glorfindel, letting his deep green eyes pass over his horse.

"We will pause for a break." Thranduil led them to the stream, noting that Glorfindel's horse was weary with travel and needed pause to drink. In that ancient Elvish tongue, words were spoken that moved a sentry to lead Glorfindel's horse to the clear cool water, and the parched animal appreciatively drank his fill.

Glorfindel watched, pleased that his horse was being tended, before seating himself on the forest floor, taking in the ancient trees. He noticed that Thranduil regarded him at different intervals while he conversed with his sentries in the softest of whispers, until finally he come over, seating himself next to him.


"And what impressions do you have of our forest?"

Glorfindel was surprised this was the first and only question that Thranduil asked him, but he quickly gathered his thoughts to respond.

"The beauty is stunning. Not a word I was told about these lands properly prepared my eyes or mind for the wonder and splendor of this forest. I feel the ancient magic in the trees and can see why the elves of yesteryear did not want to leave their homelands."

Glorfindel hoped he had provided an answer that did justice to what the forest had done to his heart. He studied Thranduil who was regarding his response, but his face was unreadable, eyes refusing to disclose his thoughts.

"This forest will do that to you." Thranduil finally replied. "The soul of this land has away of enchanting you, until you yourself are wound within its core, unable to break free. You find yourself becoming a part of the forest, wild and carefree."

A smile covered his fair face, eyes shining bright with the essence of the Greenwood, as if the spirit of the forest lived inside of him. Thranduil rose in elegance, setting his sight on the path that lay before them.

"We should continue on. Our King's halls are not too far away now. We will be there before the sun begins its decent into night."

Thranduil readied his sentries for departure from their pause, and soon Glorfindel found himself back on the trail that led to the heart of Oropher's realm. He was a little nervous as he let his mind reflect again on King Oropher. If the father were anything like the son, then Glorfindel knew his time here would be pleasant. He found an instant fondness and liking towards Thranduil, and although he seemed unreadable at times, he had only been friendly towards him, direct with his warmness. The elves in his company conveyed to him that they held Thranduil in high regard, conveying to Glorfindel that he indeed was a noble one, and someone for whom he wanted to get to know better.

And with the gentle sparkle deep within Thranduil's eyes, Glorfindel could calm his nerves, subduing them inside. Glorfindel found it strange he had any misgivings at all. He was a warrior, bold and assured. Surely this was the reason why his High King Gil-galad had requested him to make this journey. He would act the part as best he could, and let his charm win over these Greenwood elves.

Glorfindel followed slightly behind Thranduil. He studied him some more, noting that Thranduil was shorter than him, by just a little, his long silver hair flowed down his back and was unadorned or decorated with any braids or ornamentation. His face had been friendly, with clear sparkling green eyes that shone as emeralds, bewitching gems for the like that Glorfindel had never seen before.
He wondered just how similar the father might be to the son, a little excited now to meet the King, who with each footstep, he drew nearer to.

The path Thranduil led him down went deep into the heart of the forest with large trees towering above them. The trees were denser now, the canopy blocked the sun. But although the trail was dark, the forest was not gloomy or displeasing. In fact, the darkening forest seemed to will
an ethereal beauty that Glofindel wondered was even real. But soon, with each step that they took the trees began to lighten up. Vibrant leaves larger than his hand danced in the breezes above him. Thranduil continued to lead them on, until finally they had entered the very heart of Oropher's realm.

Glorfindel took the settlement in. The elvish city at at the glades near the edge of the forest was impressive enough, just at the foothills of the mountains with Oropher's citadel standing grand in its midst. Many elves of Silvan and Sindar decent regarded the party as they passed, finely dressed with garments adorned with jewels. The city was bustling with activity, full of life and built around the very forest these elves cherished.

Glorfindel noticed that this area was far different than the dwellings he had passed as he made his way through the forest. The city was expansive, filling the glades until it stretched even into the forest. It was cleaved within and around the trees, with buildings that wound and soared with the very heights of the timbers. Bridge-ways towered above him, connecting the edifices a top him. And spiraling stairs encircled the trees, whose steps were canopied by delicate arches.

And Thranduil guided him through it all, until they had reached the citadel. Oropher's citadel was nestled between the trees reflecting the forest and the mountains in its organic design, and Glorfindel was instantly awestruck by its beauty.

His horse was guided away, explained by Thranduil to Glorfindel that it was going to the stables where the beast would be attended and cared. Many elven guards stood attentive as they passed, and the massive doors were opened before them. Glorfindel couldn't help but look around as he walked through the grand and impressive halls. And then Thranduil bade him pause, while he went into another room, disappearing from his sight.

Cautious curies eyes seemed to pierce through him. Oropher's guards were uneasy with his presence. But they did not hinder or bother him, seeming to trust Thranduil's judgement that he should enter. Minute after minute passed and Thranduil did not emerge from the other room. Glorfindel felt his curiosity begin to wander, looking at the hall that he was paused in. The stone of the room was delicately carved into archways that seemed to interlace into even more interesting designs. The stone was white, which gave it an airy look, and the floor of the hall mirrored the carvings in the stone that matched the arches that soared above him.

Many a fine fair elves were gathered, standing outside the doorway, just before Glorfindel. They all kept him in their sights, whispering in that same tongue that he had heard Thranduil use, discussing him, the outsider, who had dared enter into King Oropher's realm. But Glorfindel did not have much time to regard them, for he was then snapped back to attention, when Thranduil bade him to join him in the other room.

'This must be it, the heart of Oropher's realm.' Glorfindel thought when he entered into the room. Following a step behind Thranduil, he noted to check his breathing, compose his heart-rate and adopt his ever steadfast confidence that he so desperately wanted to display. He held his head high, shoulders back, carrying himself with grace and ease. Despite his travels and the soils of the road, Glorfindel knew he still presented a noble image, for ever he was a mighty and wise. The stunned silence that filled the room from those he passed testified exactly to that.

Oropher's throne room was nothing short of intimidating, with stone pillars that raised to the rafters, arms carved like the branches of the trees in Greenwood forest. The room was filled with an impressive court, strange elves who peered at Glorfindel. But Glorfindel noted to keep his eyes solely on Oropher, who sat stoic and regal on a wooden throne. His long silver hair was topped with a soaring crown, that mirrored the very forest that Glorfindel had just passed through. His green eyes were piercing, cold and hard as only one who had lived through much bloodshed. His face was set with an unreadable expression. He was a towering imposing figure for whom Glorfindel knew was a noble ruler. And he was one for whom Glorfindel knew would be an arduous adversary.

He bowed alongside Thranduil before his introduction was announced.

"My King Oropher, may I present to you the Lord Glorfindel of Imladris, who brings a message from the High-King Gil-galad."

Oropher eyed Glorfindel for awhile, before he rose from his throne. Slowly he walked over to where Glorfindel was standing, and he stood before him face to face. Oropher was silent long, with a steadfast gaze that seemed that if he only wanted, could turn Glorfindel fast into pieces, shattering like glass against the stone floor they stood on. But Glorfindel met Oropher's gaze, eyes not relenting. He stared boldly with great equal, matching Oropher's will.

Without breaking the stare that had them locked in place, Oropher's words finally pierced through the throne room. "We will receive the messenger from Gil-galad and will hence-forth hold a meeting to discuss whatever fancy has crossed his High-King's mind."

The words were not cordial, but were mocking ever so slightly.

Oropher motioned for a strange elf to come forward. Glorfindel watched as he came forth from the shadows and stood before Oropher.

"Galion, show our visitor to his quarters, that he will be staying in for the duration of his stay here."

Oropher turned back to Glorfindel, his words were direct as to impose his will on him, letting this intruder know that his attendance was mandatory. "Lord Glorfindel, you will join me for dinner tonight. Dinner begins exactly at sundown. Make sure you are not late."

Glorfindel bowed again, accepting the invitation. "Thank you, my Lord, for your hospitality. And when can I expect this meeting?"

Oropher's reply was only a dismissal, signaling for Galion to lead Glorfindel to his chambers. His piercing gaze then set on Thranduil, letting him know that his presence was required further, after Glorfindel had left the throne room.

"Thranduil." Oropher signaled for him to follow from the throne room, into a more private council room that was adjacent to the throne room. His father's chief advisor also joined them from, following just behind. Thranduil followed Oropher, wondering what his father needed to discuss about Glorfindel.

Oropher shut the door behind him, and motioned for Thranduil to seat himself beside his chief- advisor, who had lived and survived both sacks of Doriath.

"I want you to keep an eye on that Noldo." The last word was spoken with slight disdain. "I trust him not, brazenly journeying here alone, the great Lord Glorfindel who brought down a Balrog, who is returned to our lands from the Halls of Mandos."

Oropher paced the counsel room, evidently angered that Glorfindel had been sent by Gil-galad, who now wished to open up discussions with his realm. Oropher had no intentions of ever establishing relations, or ever pledging an alliance with Gil-galad, even despite the evil that he knew lingered just beyond his fair forest home.

Thranduil watched his father's movements, how his eyes had darkened with anger. But he did not understand the request that Oropher had placed on him, or the intentions.

"Keep an eye on him? What ever for?" Thranduil had to ask, perplexed at the request.

"I know you were but a youngster when the Noldor brought Doriath down Thranduil, but I know that you remember. Their lot can not be trusted. They destroyed what we had rebuilt of our great kingdom, slaughtering anyone who stood in their way, and all because of some madness over gems. Their minds are easily corrupted, ever hungry for power beyond what is theirs to control. Even if a new age has come, they simply can not be trusted. Look what happened with Eregion, with the foolish smiths who created such evil, befriending and trusting the Dark Lord himself.
They bring nothing but misery."

Oropher's words were filled with his anger, which bordered on downright hatred for the Noldor. "We will proceed with great caution, using full discretion before we even consider agreement to met with this servant of Gil-galad."

'And, I intend to test him to see if he is worthy.' Oropher thought to himself, choosing to leave this information privy from his son.

Thranduil nodded, knowing not to cross his father. But he also knew as well what had happened in Doriath. Although he condemned the kin-slayers, the dare to thief that silmaril and the spell it had put their King under had started the events that had brought the kingdom down to ruin. Oropher knew that both parties held blame, but Thranduil knew better to remind him of that. He also knew that Oropher knew that there was a growing presence of evil in the land, and that darkness and fowl things from the southeast caused a stirring of worry in his father's heart and mind.

Both father and son knew that although isolated they wished to be, Sauron would not ever leave them be. However, despite this threat, his father was the king, and his decrees had to be followed. He knew better than to cross his Lord's will.

"As you wish, my King. And what shall I report on?" Thranduil waited for a response.

"Just keep an eye on him. If you deem anything strange or worth reporting on, let me know that." Oropher's eyes were set as stones on his only son. "And furthermore Thranduil, I want you to stay around my halls. Do not venture out of this area unless I give my command. Do I make myself clear, Thranduil?"

Thranduil nodded again, letting Oropher know he understood his words, before leaving the room when his father had dismissed him.

After Thranduil had left, Oropher turned to Galion who had entered the room just shortly after Thranduil had departed.

"My king," Galion bowed low, "Our visitor was shown to his guest chambers." Oropher nodded, acknowledging the words.

"Galion, I have a request of you." He bade Galion to come closer to him. "You are the eyes in which I trust the most for the going ons in my halls. Keep an eye on Thranduil and Glorfindel. I do not like the way in which my son looked on at that Noldo. How he announced his name with such endearment. Report to me all activity between the two, but in the end, let us hope that there is nothing to report."

Galion bowed again, accepting the duty his King had given him. He shut the door behind him, leaving Oropher alone to discuss the matter of Glorfindel with his chief advisor.

---------------

Glorfindel sat in the rooms he had been given for his stay. The rooms consisted of a small sitting room, private bath, and sleeping room. The chambers suited him just fine. He especially liked the large balcony that overlooked the crowns of Greenwood forest below. Glorfindel found himself standing there now, letting his eyes travel as far as they could. He took in the sight of the leafy summits, expansive in their sea of greens. His blue eyes took in all the sights below him, allowing the essence of the great forest once again to engross his entire being.

There was no denying that this forest was different from the ones that surrounded Imladris. Even the forest of Lorien had a different air about it. Greenwood had an ancient feel to it, it was a far more magical place of wonderment and mystique. And Oropher's citadel was very much a part of the forest and the mountains, a rustic dwelling that seemed to worship the forest around it, celebrating the land.

He turned away from the balcony, suddenly aware of the state he was in. He felt the need to refresh, so he walked into his bathroom, pleased to see that a bath had already been drawn for him. The inviting water beckoned to his weary body and he hastily pulled off his tunic, boots and leggings and eased himself into the warm bath water. His body instantly relaxed and he let himself lay there, soaking in the relaxing water at leisure.

Although his body relaxed, his mind was something other in which to tame. Thoughts of the Greenwood and of her King would not dissipate from his mind. The thought of dining with Oropher enticed him, making it all the more difficult to let the long of the road wash away in the water. With force he had to relieve his mind. He knew he needed his full intellect for dinner and weariness sometimes could dull even the wisest of souls. Closing his eyes, he relaxed his breathing, steadying it so his mind could pause as well. And as he meditated, time started to slip away. But Glorfindel knew the sun would soon set, and not wanting to cross Oropher, he rose from the bath. He knew he would be expected in the dinning halls soon, wherever that was in this unfamiliar place.

Satisfied that the dirt from the road and his long journey were gone, he dressed himself in his finest tunic, a silver-blue top with grey leggings and his fine elven boots which he had cleaned off. He did his hair, combing it out until it shone as ripples of gold, and braided back a few simple braids into his hair. He looked at his reflection, a majestic vision. He knew he presented a befitting representation of the Noldor, and a worthy dignitary within Oropher's realm.

A gentle rapping come on his outer chamber doors and Glorfindel moved his head in that direction, nothing that the sun was just about to set. He made hast to the door, opening it up, seeing the face of Thranduil staring back at him.

"You look as if you are ready for dinner. I thought I would accompany you to our dinning hall." Thranduil motioned for Glorfindel to follow him.

"A most pleasant surprise, Prince Thranduil." Glorfindel inclined his head.

Thranduil laughed a little before responding to him. "Please, just call me Thranduil. I request most everyone not use that title around me. It allows me the allusion of living a simpler life, something I very much yearn for sometimes in all this bustle of formality."

His sparkling green eyes shown as emeralds, full of such warmth and jovial mirth. Thranduil's long silver hair was still unbraided but he now were a circlet of mithril on his brow, nullifying whatever request the prince implored at deterring his announced title.

Glorfindel smiled over the beauty of the one before him, whose fair face was similar to Oropher's, but gentler, eyes still full of wonder and life and that good that comes with living.

"As you wish, Thranduil." Glorfindel let the name roll over his tongue, pondering a bit over the strange name. "I thank you for accompanying me. I have been most surprised at the hospitality I have been shown since my arrival here."

Thranduil smiled back, lifting an elegant eyebrow when he felt Glorfindel's eyes roam over him. Thranduil knew he was considered as elven perfection, a majestic creature who could cause pure desire on any. But Glorfindel him impressed even Thranduil, with his shimmering golden hair and crystal blue eyes in whose depths swam such wisdom and might. For the first time in his life, Thranduil felt insignificant and small. Slowly he was becoming awe struck by Glofindel. But ever an enigma, Thranduil could mask his true feelings and desires even from the most discerning of eyes. He kept his breath steady, face relaxed, voice calm and detached, uninterested in the one before him.

"It pleases me to hear that you are satisfied thus far with your visit to the Greenwood. My home is a magical place." Thranduil let his love for the forest ring forth within his voice. Greenwood forest was special to him, and he had merged his soul long ago with the ancient forest, pulling forth its magic into his very core.

"I hope that during your stay, you will get to see and learn more of this forest." He stated to their Glorfindel.

"I would be most honored and humbled to be able to learn more of this great forest."

"In time, I believe you shall." Thranduil paused, turning to Glorfindel now, stopping him in his tracks.

"A word about King Oropher." He let his voice fell to but a whisper. "If you are serious about seeing the objective of Gil-galad come to pass, for which we both know must come to be for the good of all, you must forget your own ways. Set your actions on Oropher's terms. Let the spirit of this land guide your mindset. I can not intervene for you. It will only drive Oropher to rage. This is something that you alone must be able to forge." Thranduil turned, and then without another word or care for response from Glorfindel, he continued on, walking down the halls.

Glorfindel reflected on Thranduil's words, pondering the advice. He knew that Oropher had left the west to seek a simpler life, returning to their ancient days before the bloodshed had driven a rift between the elven tribes. He noted to heed Thranduil's words, advice that he knew could be the difference to seeing that an agreement to align if so asked was forged. Thranduil was astute, Glorfindel mused, noting that he had been able to know exactly why he had made the trip to the Greenwood.

He saw that Thranduil had now stopped, and he was standing beneath a large arched entrance that led into a dining hall. Two elven guards stood as stones by the arch way and Thranduil gently motioned for Glorfindel to follow him into it.

Glorfindel noted that the dining hall was expansive. Table after table filled it, although the room was quite empty. He followed Thranduil to a table that was already set, finding his seat when Thranduil pointed to it. It was a place next to the King's and opposite of Thranduil, although Oropher was not yet present in the dinning hall.

Two other elves entered the room, and took their seats, one by Thranduil, the other beside Glorfindel. He recognized them from earlier when he had stood in Oropher's throne room. The two elven lords were finely dressed, robed in light grey-green garments with light silver threads sewed in interlace with such delicate detail. The one who took his seat by Thranduil also had silver hair and an ancient look in his eyes as one who had lived beyond an age. The elf seated just beside him had dark brown hair, warm with reddish hues. His skin was a little warmer in tone than the other elf's, having a complexion of rich peach, whereas the other was of pale ivory.

The table was just set for the five of them, although it went on for forever it seemed. Glorfindel understood that Oropher wished a more intimate dinner to better scrutinize his purpose, and Glorfindel was grateful, relieved that on his first night be would have more of Oropher's attention.

He studied the table setting, while he waiting for Oropher to arrive. The table was set with delicate candle holders, and a woodland motif of decoration. Leaves of various colors and vibrant bunches of berries were placed in crystal vases atop the table. The hall itself was very much open to the woods, with large open archways that showed the vista of vibrant colored trees. But yet, they were inside, with a ceiling above their heads, and it was comprised of raised arches that mirrored the very branches and leaves of the enchanting forest beyond the open walls.

The others at the table stood, so Glorfindel followed their lead, and he stood to attention with respect when Oropher entered the room. Oropher had changed his crown to a simpler circlet, more ornate than the one Thranduil wore, but far less imposing than the one that had decorated his person when Glorfindel had seen him last in the throne room. He was dressed in a grey-green robe with dark green thread that shimmered with mithril highlights. The green of his robes brought prominence to his eyes, that gleamed as they took in the others within the room.

They all took their seats only when Oropher had seated himself. Silence was held while servers came into the rooms, carrying plate after plate of salads loaded with nuts and berries, and plates of fruits, breads and pastries. And bottle after bottle of wines were presented to Oropher who took great consideration with making his selection. On finally settling for a deep red wine, the bottle was uncorked and their wine glasses filled, matching their now filled plates.

Glorfindel watched the charades, a little surprised at the order and primness of the dinner, surprised that the elves in Greenwood acted as such. He hadn't really thought of what Oropher's court would be like, or how their feasts would be held. He had kind of imagined a dinner under the great forest, with the night's light and fires lighting their way, and tables of rustic wood topped with the jewels of the forest; a feast for the entire forest. He had imagined merry Elvish music and smiling fair faces enjoying the night, and song and dance long into the hours. Looking around, there was none of that here. Just silence and the imposing figure of the Woodland-King.

Thranduil's eyes sparkled at him, a smile and a wink, as if suggesting to Glorfindel that this was not always their norm, and that perhaps he could descry one of their woodland feasts in time, if he thus could earn it. And Glorfindel understood that the reason they dined in this setting was purely for him.

The meal was delicious, and Glorfindel was grateful for that, for he had not realized just how hungry he actually was. The food he had ate on the road had been nourishing, but sorely lacking in everything else. His appetite was great and the company was good with Thranduil present.

Thranduil, for his part, seemed to smile at him, beckoning for him to glance at him, eyes reflecting intrigue and yearning. Glorfindel wandered what for, and averted his attention back to his plate. He took his goblet, raising it to drink down the sweet nectar.

Glorfindel could feel the weight of Oropher's gaze on him, scrutinizing his every move. He was studying him, making him out, as if his movements and facade could alone disclose to the King all there was to know about him. Glorfindel remained docile and calm, while he took in the father and son.

After taking a long drink from his wine, Oropher finally spoke to Glorfindel.

"What brings you to my realm?" His formidable voice cut through the silence, demanding an answer that was no less than what he sought.

"The High-King…." Glorfindel started to speak, until Oropher cut him off, voice snarling in its interrogation.

"No, why were YOU sent, Lord Glorfindel? I know what Gil-galad wants. But why you? Why not an advisor, a counsellor, a real diplomat?"

Glorfindel felt his pride well up, but he was wise, and with his wisdom he knew that Oropher knew exactly who he was, and he certainly knew that Oropher knew his noble pedigree. He was a diplomat as any, and he kept his calm, as he knew that Oropher wanted him to lose his temper, to falter, and to fall into anger and frustration. He would not give in to the game in which Oropher wanted him to play.

"My Lord, it is not in my nature to question the judgement or wishes of my King. He asked that I see this task through, and as his loyal subject, I would do his will. The Greenwood's friendship is of most importance to us…."

"We are none of Gil-galad's concern, nor will the Greenwood ever be aligned with any realm of the Noldor. "

Glorfindel was again interrupted, as Oropher spat his dislike.

"The Noldor ask of friendship when destruction and grief is all that they bring with their offerings. Do not bring the poison of your words and intentions into my realm." Oropher's green eyes were as cold as an ice-covered rock, and seemed as if glacial gems that reflected no warmth for Glorfindel.

Glorfindel checked his tongue, remembering Thranduil's words from earlier. He couldn't just waltz in and expect Oropher to open his heart as friends and agree to answer to the High-King's call, when ever that day would come. Somehow, Glorfindel would have to earn Oropher's respect, to prove he was worthy to discuss answering to the call of alignment. This would not be an easy task, but Glorfindel felt up to the challenge.

He understood exactly where the deep rooted anger and mistrust stemmed from. Oropher's strong disdain for the Noldor went back to the First Age, when Doriath had been sacked by the Feonors. A slow healing pain had wounded the hearts of the Sindar with the death of their King and the sack of their city by the dwarves. The city had been rebuilt, but only to fall to ruin when the sons of Feonor marched on it a few years later, finally beating down the wounded people. Oropher had seen his King Thingol and kinsmen die at the hands of the dwarves, and had seen his friends and relatives die. And as a prince of Doriath, he had helped rebuild the realm up again only to watch if fall forever when the Noldor brought it down.

Glorfindel could admire the resolve that Oropher had, how he carried on in Arda despite the wounds in his heart from the death he had seen and the pain he had felt. A strong person he was, and Glorfindel understood that his stubbornness and caution only was a result from wanting to keep those dearest to him safe, his family, his people. But the signs of a greater evil had given them all a warning that even if Oropher wished to keep his people isolated and out of the mix, that evil would not let his desire come to pass. All people were bound by this evil and threat. For this very reason, the High-King knew he may need to call on the Greenwood to align if ever they decided to challenge the Dark-Lord once and for all.

His blue eyes then wandered over to Thranduil who looked similar to his father, but with much softer features and a more striking face. He wondered of his mother, if it were her gentle nature that shown within Thranduil's face. His eyes went back to Oropher and he noticed that no queen was present. Oropher's next words let Glorfindel know that his expression had give his thoughts away.

"My queen has been dead for an age now, Lord Glorfindel. Surely your High-King would have told you that."

"My apologies, my lord." Glorfindel was embarrassed that Oropher could read him so easily. But Elrond had not said a word about Oropher's wife or what fate had befallen her. Glorfindel wondered what had happened to her and by whose hand she had succumbed to.

"No reason to say such, as so many I loved have departed Arda forever. After awhile, it is what one comes to expect, is it not? Surely you of all people would know this to be true, Lord Glorfindel."

Glorfindel felt his mind spin. Oropher was unlike any other person that he had met before. Glorfindel knew a few of the Sindar, but little of the distant ones who had departed east over the Misty Mountains, far off from Lindon and Imladris. His self doubt made him wonder again as to why Gil-galad had chosen him for this task. Although he was wise and mighty as any elven lord was, his patience was not limitless and could easily be tapped. Especially if Oropher would only scoff at their reasonable request. Glorfindel knew that Oropher knew of the danger in the land, of the growing presence of Sauron. Wasn't this one of the very reasons why Oropher had moved his people further north? Surely it did not all fall on just the dwarves in Moria or the presence of Galadriel in Lorien that had caused them to seek a new capitol.

Unsure with how to answer Oropher, Glorfindel finally responded, hoping the words he now spoke would satisfy him. "My Lord, I am afraid I know little of the Greenwood's people and suspect I was chosen because I bring no misconceptions or opinions of her King. I am truly sorry if my ignorance has offended you, but I can honestly say, it is with great respect that I wish to learn all I can about this realm."

Oropher's green eyes softened a bit, but ever stone they remained in an indurate fashion. "I believe the distance of the road has dulled your wits, Lord Glorfindel."

Oropher set his wine goblet down, motioning for Galion to step forward. "Please ensure that our guest finds his way back to his rooms. If you will excuse me, Lord Glorfindel, I grow weary this night and will retire now. You are free to seek your rest as well, for I know the distance of the road must have exhausted you."

Everyone stood when Oropher departed without uttering another word, followed shortly by the chief-advisor who also stated his leave for the night. Before he knew it, his eyes were instantly on Thranduil who just smiled back to him.

"Welcome to the Greenwood." Thranduil laughed a little before he finished off the rest of his wine. "If you stick around long enough, you will get use to our King. He is like that, you know, imperious. And you never really know what sort of mood he will be in."

"A little like you, Thranduil." The other counsellor who had remained silent through all of the night, finally said the first words Glorfindel had heard him speak. His voice was deep, and he seemed more jovial than the chief-advisor who had earlier departed. With the thick of his accent, Glorfindel knew he had Silvan heritage, and was most likely a Lord from this land who had accepted Oropher as their King.

Thranduil only just raised a single eyebrow when he heard the counsellor's words, and he cared not to respond. He then let his eyes fall back to Glorfindel. Alluringly, he smiled at him, before he was forced to once again turn his attention back on his father's counsellor, who had started speaking after taking a drink from his goblet.

"I do wonder how King Oropher will proceed with handling a request from the High-King himself, especially with the ever growing evil in the lands." The counsellor stated, posing his question to Thranduil.

"Our King is wise, and I trust that he will do what is best for our people." Thranduil stated little, not wanting to really discuss the topic in detail. He wished it were just he and Glorfindel alone, but the counsellor was taking his sweet time with his dinner plate, and Glorfindel had already finished his plate and looked as if he was ready to retire for the night.

"It is not our way to interfere with other peoples. I wonder if Oropher will act with a Silvan mindset."

"I am sure he will act as a King." Glorfindel chimed in, his fatigue evident on his fair features from his long journey and events of the day.

Both nodded at his response, and just as Thranduil had thought, Glorfindel then rose, excusing himself back to his rooms. Thranduil and the counselor stood in politeness, and wished him a relaxing and peaceful night.

"I think I will also take my leave." Thranduil wished his father's counsellor goodnight.

Thranduil then headed swiftly to his bedroom chambers, throwing his circlet off before falling onto his bed. What a day it had been and his mind swam with the images of the glorious visitor. He was unable to cast Glorfindel from his mind, and not really knowing what moved him, he removed his boots and clothes, until he was clothed only in a simple robe. The feel of the cold stone floor was amusing on his bare feet, and Thranduil found himself walking his father's halls in this early night.

-----------

The night came with the songs of the Woodland Elves singing their love for the stars. Fair elven voices pierced through the night, ringing as chimes in a harmony that only the Eldar could produce. Their singing could make any soul feel comfort and melt into an ease. Glorfindel leaned against a pillar, the fatigue from the day was finally setting in. The song that rolled across the night and the calm of the forest made him forget his earlier trials from the day. He took a sip of his wine, enjoying the cool sweet liquid, and he let his mind become enchanted with the rolling song.

"The night is most beautiful." Thranduil said, as he came to stand by Glorfindel. His deep green eyes sparkled.

"Prince Thranduil!" Glorfindel was startled a little, surprised that he had came upon him unnoticed.

An impish smile spread across Thranduil's face. "I hope I am not disturbing you this night. If you are tired, please let me know, so you can take your rest."

Although he was weary and his fatigue was starting to manifest, Glorfindel was glad that Thranduil had sought him out this night. The bright stars could still be seen even though the leaves were thick and numerous in this forest, and the soft glow of the lanterns around the balcony illuminated Thranduil, and Glorfindel once again, saw the image of that dream personified now in Thranduil. Such intrigue and peace filled his being and Glorfindel smiled, genuinely glad that Thranduil was beside him.

"Not at all. I am glad to share this evening with you. It is still too early for me to find rest tonight. And I am most glad to have your company." Glorfindel took another drink from his goblet, before he paused and suddenly stated. "Where are my manners? Let me pour you some wine to enjoy as well."

Thranduil raised a slender hand, stopping Glorfindel from exiting the balcony to complete the task. "I can pour my own wine, my friend."

Glorfindel watched him walk back int the room, disappearing from this sight to the table that held the wines and goblets.


"You selected my favorite wine." Thranduil was once again at his side, sipping the sweet nectar, resting his lithe and slender frame against the balcony railing.

Glorfindel took in the sight of the one beside him. Thranduil had changed into a thin robe, one he mused that the could sleep in. The robe was draped around his body loosely, revealing his chest with skin as white as alabaster. His long silver hair flowed down his back as straight as ever, with not a single hair out of place. The one who shared the night with him was one of the most beautiful sights Glorfindel had ever seen.

"Is that so? A lucky coincidence, I suppose." Glorfindel didn't really know why he stated such. He did not really believe in coincidence, believing instead that the Valar guided all things as they were meant to be.

Thranduil laughed a little, sipping some more of the wine he so adored. "And why so lucky?" Curiosity gripped him, wondering why he had chosen that vernacular.


"Well, lucky because the wine pleases you, and that makes me glad." Glorfindel really didn't know what else to say, not sure why Thranduil inquired on the topic.

Changing the subject, Thranduil leaned in closer to Glorfindel. "Tell me, what are your impressions of Oropher?"

Blinking a little, Glorfindel knew he needed to choose his words with caution, carefully speaking to Thranduil about his father. He knew of Thranduil's loyalty to Oropher. It must be a strong one if it had caused Thranduil to journey east with him to the Greenwood.

"The King, from what little I have spent with him, has already impressed on me his might and greatness as a ruler…."

"Now, now. You do not have to say such endearments to me. Tell me what you truly think, not what you think I want to hear." Thranduil's smile teased Glorfindel, an eyebrow raised with his dare.

"I look on you both with and see so many differences. " Glorfindel confessed, feeling propelled to trust Thranduil, and open up to him. "I feel at ease with you, but with your King, I feel ever on edge."

"He likes to do that to people, especially to those who seek something from him." Thranduil was silent for awhile, contemplating his words, sighing audibly, before continuing.

"It is a pity that it is not me that you have to win over, because already I can tell I like you very much. I would say to you, my dear Glorfindel, just be yourself with him. Do not put on any airs or show your unease because Oropher will use that against you."

Thranduil let his head fall back, so his face was uplifted to the night sky.

Glorfindel took Thranduil's words in and watched his eyes close, as if he was taking in the full essence of the cool forest night. He watched as a smile crossed Thranduil's face, before he went back into the room. Returning shortly, he held the half-empty bottle of wine in his hand.

"Your glass is empty." He stated matter of factually to Glorfindel, before he refilled the goblet. Laughter escaped from Glorfindel's lips. "How did you even notice?"

"My friend," Thranduil chimed. "I always notice when wine bottles and goblets run dry. That is never a good situation to have at all."

"How is that even possible? One can not know such things." Glorfindel laughed to the strange one, whose face was marked with seriousness.

"A special sense, I suppose." Thranduil shrugged, not really caring to explain his reasoning to Glorfindel. "And now you have a full goblet, and can once again enjoy some good wine."

Glorfindel mused on his surroundings. Here he was in the Greenwood, drinking wine with the enigmatic Thranduil. Elrond had told him a little about him that day before he had left for the Greenwood. He had been told that Thranduil would be an ally, a carefree spirit who held no malice or ill-will within his heart. He was certainly glad Elrond's words held true, for the kindness and friendship that Thranduil offered kept Glorfindel calm and at ease with his frustrations from Oropher.

"A word about dinner tonight." Thranduil's words snapped him to attention. "I could not help but notice that you seemed to scrutinize the setting. We sometimes dine in that room yes, but often we hold great dinners under the trees, full of such song and dance. I hope you get to see one before you depart our lands."

He downed the remaining wine from his goblet and smiled. "I look forward to seeing you on the morrow. Sleep well, and may good dreams only find you."

"Good night Thranduil, and thank you for the company tonight. It was unexpected and most appreciated. I too, as well, look forward to seeing you tomorrow."

He watched as Thranduil left, and he looked into his wine glass, before finishing it off. He was very tired from the long road of his journey, and needed sleep.

After a long day, Glorfindel headed into his room to let sleep find him. Even though the uncertainty and excitement for tomorrow was running though his mind, the weariness from his travels and the potency of the wine easily caused him to drift into a fast and peaceful sleep.

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Notes: this chapter was not beta read and I apologize for all mistakes. 



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