Liquid Diamonds

BY : Avgust
Category: +Second Age > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 717
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.

It was the piercing calls from the songbirds that drove Glorfindel from deep reverie. The night was slowly fading to dawn, stars dimming in the awaking sky. Glorfindel moved his hair from his face, blinking his eyes at the bright from the rays that spilled into his room. Once his eyes came into vision, he then focused his attention on the sounds of the mourning doves who cooed their greetings to the breaking day. They sang of the new dawn, telling him that it was still very early.

Glorfindel lay in bed, seeing the rising beams of Anor from his window and he wondered if perhaps today the meeting would be called where he could engage Oropher in dialogue. A sense of excitement flooded into his mind and a sort of pride swelled within his heart. 

Glorfindel felt refreshed. He had slept well last night. The dinner did not disenchant his heart, but had in fact brought intrigue to his soul. Thranduil seemed ever the ally; although to what extent his fervor would resonate with breaking through to Oropher was still unkown. And Oropher, the King himself, had cared enough to invite him for dinner and engage him in conversation. The banter was generally not too obtuse or useless. Still, Glorfindel knew just how formidable Oropher could be, and knew he needed to keep his wits and charm about him this day.

As the minutes slowly ticked away, Glorfindel knew that soon he should rise and find breakfast. Perhaps Oropher would be present at the breakfast table, and just perhaps the new day would find him free of his troubles and in a more approachable and agreeable mood. Perhaps he would be told when to report for this meeting that had caused him to travel at such short notice, trekking far across the face of Arda, over mountains, endless plains, and through strange forests. These looping thoughts were exciting prospects to Glorfindel, and with such eagerness of the unknown day ahead of him he finally stretched, rising from the bed.

The chill of the early morning pulled him to the balcony, as he was curious to see what daybreak looked like deep in the heart of Greenwood forest. The slight breezes and their cold whispers in the air caused him to pull his robes around his body as he stood at the edge of the balcony, whose heights could do little to compete with the soaring crests of the forest canopy around him. The forest sparkled with the glistening of the morning dew; thousands of sparkling diamonds reflected the rays of the sun all around him. The stone of the balcony floor held tiny puddles that pulled at his bare feet, wrapping them in cold water that felt like ice. The morning was still new; the leaves ceased in their movement, and the songs of the birds pierced the silence around him, echoing through the trees around him.

Silver hair caught Glorfindel's attention far below on the forest floor. His blue eyes watched Thranduil leave the citadel where he was staying. Glorfindel noted that Thranduil was dressed in a green tunic, grey leggings and carried with him a bow and quiver of arrows. Intrigued, he watched the other disappear within the forest whose branches and tall trees seemed to swallow him up, hiding his path from Glorfindel. Although out of sight, Glorfindel continued to look on, letting his thoughts muse over where Thranduil may have gone to this early morning. He wondered if he was leaving the citadel for good to journey back to the forest's borders. But hadn't Thranduil told him he would see him again today? A sense of unease pulsed through Glorfindel's mind, and he didn't quite understand these strange feelings. 

Still he knew that what ever Oropher bade his son do, Thranduil had to obey. Perhaps it was Oropher then who had sent him away to the outer borders. The thought that he might not see Thranduil again saddened him deeply. Still thinking about these troubling thoughts, Glorfindel turned from the balcony and he entered back into his rooms.

Knowing the day was soon to great him with his duties as dignitary for the High-King, whatever they may be, Glorfindel dressed himself after he washed. He made himself up as best he could, knowing that he only wanted to leave a good impression on the elves of Greenwood and on their King.

Before he could turn and head to the door, he heard a knock upon it. Three raps in quick succession and a pause while the other waited for his answer. Curiously he walked with hast to the door and opened it to find the one called Galion staring back into his eyes. Glorfindel recognized him as the butler who had shown him to his room yesterday and who had made little conversation with him.

Galion smiled graciously to Glorfindel, and his fair face reflected the warmth of his kind personality and of his courtesy.

"Good morning, Lord Glorfindel." He bowed elegantly before the foreign visitor. "I hope your rest last night was pleasant?"

"Good morning as well, Galion." Glorfindel returned the courtesy.  "It most certainly was."

A gentle nod of Galion's had relayed to Glorfindel that he was pleased to hear his response, and his words seemed to bring satisfaction to Galion.

"You will let me know, please, if there is anything we can do for you to make your stay here in our lands more comfortable for you." Galion's words were heavy in accent, and his verbiage was strange. The thick lilt of his pronunciation of the Sindarin tongue revealed his Silvan heritage to Glorfindel.

"I thank you again, Galion, and I will take your words to heart."

Glorfindel let his eyes study the King's butler. He looked young, but Glorfindel knew that all the first born were deceptive when it came to gauging age. His fair face was flawless, with skin of a dark cream, eyes like the bark of the woodland trees, and long hair of rich mahogany. He was dressed in a light green tunic that reached to his thighs, and grey leggings that tucked into his knee-length boots. Galion was handsome, an exotic woodland creature for whom Glorfindel knew was perceptive and sharp with his seemingly brooding eyes.

Galion knew Glorfindel had been evaluating him and he kept his gaze steady on Glorfindel; the very one his King-lord did not trust. "I have been asked to show you parts of Greenwood Forest today after breakfast. Our King thought it best that you see more of these lands for which we hold dear."

Galion noted a slight shift in the light in Glorfindel's eyes, as if his annoyance could not be fully checked. He continued on as if he hadn't noticed the subtle stir in the visitor's eyes.

"King Oropher also sends his regrets that today he will be kept busy with other more pressing priorities at the moment. The winter months will shortly be before us and as such, all provisions must be tied up before the snows cripple our trades with our eastern neighbors."

At hearing this Glorfindel really had to mask his surprise and irritation from Oropher's disregard for his business. The winter months were seasons away, as the spring has just budded to early summer. It was not Galion's fault however that his master had little sense or manners for foreign dignitaries. He let a convincing smile cross his face, despite Oropher's slight, and his eyes sparkled with genuine kindness and interest to the younger elf.

"It pleases me to be able to see more of Greenwood. I thank your Lord for granting me such leisure in his lands and for the privilege of learning more about this forest." When Glorfindel really stopped and thought about it, spending the day with the handsome Galion didn't seem so bad at all, knowing as such that patience was a virtue.

Galion grinned and motioned for Glorfindel to follow him down the long and winding corridor. He led him to a small room where a table had been set for just one. Glorfindel took his seat and looked at Galion who stood nearby at attention.

"Would you not take a seat by me, please, Galion?" Glorfindel was not use to eating alone and he sincerely wanted the company. He was use to eating with Elrond, Gildor, and even Erestor with whom he always had a lively entertaining conversation during his meals. He felt a little homesickness not having his friends nearby and hoped that Galion would engage in dialogue with him to ease the strangeness of this foreign land.

"As you wish." Galion took a seat by Glorfindel and poured himself a cup of juice from the pitcher on the table. He watched Glorfindel's features curve into amusement, pleased that he was accompanying him for breakfast. With long slender fingers, he grasped the goblet of juice, only raising it to his mouth after Glorfindel had taken his own drink.

The morning's breakfast plate was a vibrant symphony of color; red and blue berries, and green and orange fruits were encircled around honey clustered grains. Glorfindel slowly ate, enjoying the flavorful berries and the sweet of the honey. The breakfast was good and Glorfindel chatted with Galion about the beautiful dawn he had watched this morning. He spoke of his excitement for the day's walk through the forest, expressing his want to see and learn all that he could. And Galion listened on, adding a word or two to the conversation, his insight sporadic but wittingly astute.

As breakfast came to a close, the two elves rose from the table ready to journey through the forest at Oropher's request. Glorfindel fell in stride beside Galion who guided him with little words towards a great wooden door that was opened as if by an invisible hand. A few stone steps led them down into the forest floor. Green blades of grass pocked through the ground, and the forest floor was lush with plants and brush.

"I think you will enjoy your day. The forest is strongly calling to my soul, and I am eager to walk amongst the trees today. It is not often I get leisure to do so." Galion paused, closing his eyes, breathing in the new day in communion with the woodlands around him. He took his time, as if he had forgotten Glorfindel, until he finally opened his eyes and peered back at Glorfindel. Motioning with his eyes for Glorfindel to follow him, he then took his steps towards a path that led deep into the thick of the forest.

Galion's pace was quick, the words he spoke as they walked were slurred as if wanting to fall into his native tongue. Glorfindel kept Galion's stride, listening to his thoughts. He somewhat expected Galion to take off into a sprint, arms cast back in his embrace to the forest. But with all of Galion's excitement to walk within the forest, he kept a steady pace, until he suddenly slowed his stride, bringing Glorfindel to pause before a strange and crooked tree whose branches were bare and broken.

"And what is this?" Glorfindel was puzzled, speaking his thoughts aloud. He continued to look at the pitiful tree, small and bent and out of place amongst the giant trees that dwarfed it.

Galion motioned for Glorfindel to sit with him beneath the small shadow of the tree. "This tree? It is really nothing. The reason I am tarrying here is to have you look exactly from this spot." He pointed with his left hand from the direction they had walked.

Glorfindel turned his head and the sight that greeted him took his breath away. Somehow he hadn't noticed the path that Thranduil had led him through the day before in the forest had been ever uphill. From this vantage point, the great forest could be seen to stretch beyond what he had ever imagined, a line of sight that had been lost to him from wherever he had looked before.

"How is this possible?"

"The forest has chosen to show you, that is all. It is no great magic or trick of eye. The forest is either your friend of foe. It will either guide you and protect you, or cause you disorientation until you are utterly lost. With all the great beauty of the forest, do not ever cease to forget it is a deadly wonder, a force of such deceit."

As his words were ending, a breeze stirred the leaves as if the forest wanted to add its own emphasis to Galion's words. The wind played the giant leaves in a chorus of cascading rustlings that swelled to a magnificent crescendo. Glorfindel had never heard such a glorious sound before. The music the forest made truly seemed ethereal. As with any elf, Glorfindel loved nature and felt a strong connection with the land. But never before had he felt so entranced by the woods before. The forest was bewitching and the strange elves who dwelt here also seemed to have spells of their own that could ensnarl lesser beings.

The image of the Greenwood's prince suddenly came to Glorfindel's mind. He imagined his long silver hair flowing in the wind, those enchanting emerald eyes sparkling at him with warmth, burning strong with desire.

Desire…

Glorfindel wondered what led his mind to think of such thoughts concerning Thranduil. It was true that Thranduil was enchanting like no other, although he barely knew him. But intrigue was something that Glorfindel usually followed and this time, the feelings burned bright, tantalizing him with a strange arousal.

"We should continue."

Galion's gentle voice, like the breeze that had blown through the forest, drew Glorfindel from his reverie, pulling his mind back into the forest and away from its prince. He noticed a knowing grin on Galion's face, as if he knew his thoughts exactly; as if they were naked to his eyes as the day, transparent and clear.

Glorfindel kept his face placid, following alongside Galion whose strange annunciation of the Sindarin words amused and delighted him through his walk within the forest. Galion's words of admiration mirrored much of what Thranduil had spoken of in their esteem of the forest. It was fully evident that the forest was an enchantress, and Glorfindel breathed deep the fragrances of the forest, wishing to know the woodlands as did the elves who called it home.

The trees were lush and denser now, the mountains nearby seemed ever taller. The calls of all that lived in the forest chimed in their midst, echoing strong around them. Ferns grew like small trees, their green leaves stretched far and high. And purple wildflowers bloomed with what little sun that filtered down from the leaves above. Ever further Galion led him on until a clearing opened up before them. Grasses as delicate as a wave in the sea rolled in the gentle winds.

"Who would have guessed?" Glorfindel mused aloud, circling with his face uplifted to the clear blue sky above them, dotted with sweeping clouds.

"This clearing is often used by our people at times of celebrations." Galion divulged a little information about the place where they stood. "It is one of the better places within this forest to count the stars in the clear night sky."

"I am sure this place is quite the sight when the stars are shining." Glorfindel did his best to picture it, closing his eyes now with doing so.

"Perhaps you may see it yet." Galion let his attention leave Glorfindel, and he walked towards the edge of the hill where he then strained his eyes and ears to the sounds he knew were coming from the archery practice spot. He hadn't known that Thranduil was out in the forest today.

Moving from his trance, Glorfindel also let his senses muse on the training that was being held beyond where they stood, down the hill. "Is that archery I hear?"

"Aye, its is, my Lord. The archers of Greenwood are the most skilled, I believe. Archery is an art to us."

"Could I be so honored to see?" Glorfindel beseeched him, curious to see the skill of the Greenwood archers. Weapons were Glorfindel's interest and the thought of watching the archers piqued his attention like the forest could not do. A presence called to him, drawing him with that unknown pull, as if a kindred spirit was just beyond the knoll.

Galion debated a little, knowing that Thranduil was there and he remembered Oropher's words about his unease with the dynamics between Thranduil and Glorfindel.

"If this is what you wish, please follow me." Galion was not sure why he led Glorfindel towards the training grounds. His walk there was a little unsure, but he had already committed to his choice and before he knew it, they were at another clearing where six archers were shooting arrows at various targets.

Glorfindel spotted Thranduil first, and he watched the graceful movements of the Greenwood archers, so effortless and mesmerizing, their bows an extension of their bodies and minds. And when they released the arrows, their flights were of such speed that the arrows were cast across the clearing towards the targets with deadly accurate force. The archers held their stances, their recoils were of such perfection, personified with the arrows now pierced through the centers of the targets.

Thranduil turned from the target, lowering his bow and titled his head, finally acknowledging Glorfindel.

"Lord Glorfindel."

He walked over to where the two stood, smiling with amusement that Glorfindel had came to their training grounds.

"Would you care to take archery with us today?" He extended his bow to Glorfindel, who smiled when he took it from Thranduil's hands. He watched as Glorfindel took his stance, and he was amused with this whole situation. The flight of the arrow danced through the air, singing Glorfindel's skill when the arrow struck the dead center of the target.

"You are highly skilled, my friend." Thranduil nodded with his approval, letting a long finger run through the fletching of an arrow. He kept his gaze on Glorfindel, eyes shining with the warmth of a budding interest that seemed to tease something more than just friendship.

Glorfindel laughed a little, and his chuckle was good-hearted before he spoke. "I believe not as skilled as our Greenwood kin, however." He handed the bow back to Thranduil, and he watched as Thranduil's eyes glittered with intrigue and emotions that seemed to covet something deep within.

"So tell me, my friend, what brings you out to this part of the forest today?" Thranduil placed both his hands atop the bow, holding it out an arm's length away from his body.

"Your King had requested I see the forest today and Galion was showing me around."

"I see." Thranduil was a bit surprised that Oropher hadn't called Glorfindel for a meeting, but then again, despite his love for his father and their similarities, it was hard for him to understand the reasoning that drove his father sometimes.

Thranduil leaned close to Galion, whispering words to him in that ancient tongue. Green orbs continued to bore into his own and Glorfindel knew that it was he whom Thranduil spoke of to Galion.

Galion bowed respectfully to Glorfindel, and he then took his leave from them by walking away from the clearing, disappearing back into the forest and supposedly back towards Oropher's halls.

"I told him to take the afternoon off." Thranduil finally explained. "Galion works so hard and as such has little time to enjoy his home. If the forest is what our King wants you to see, I am not so busy today to accompany you on this walk through it."

"I would like that very much." Glorfindel was pleasantly surprised that Thranduil took a direct interest in him today and was especially pleased that he had not gone back to the outer edges of their border.

"Good. The day is still new and I know just where I want to take you." Thranduil motioned for a sentry to bring him a satchel which he then handed over to Glorfindel.

"It holds a bit of lunch and some wine." Thranduil answered Glorfindel's questioning eyes. "The wine is most delectable and I am sure it will please you." Thranduil motioned for Glorfindel to follow him, and he led him from the clearing and once again the trees were thick and the path was narrow.

"I will not take you too far, my friend. This area I am taking you to will be the perfect place for a picnic. I will enjoy spending some more time with you."

"As will I." He walked along with Thranduil who was silent now. Glorfindel figured Thranduil wanted him to reflect on the woods and hear its voice.

It seemed an hour had passed in their hike and the sun was high in its midday position. The two had chatted with their walk, speaking about the forest mostly; of its flora and fauna. It was then that Glorfindel saw the spot that Thranduil had wanted to share with him. A pond with tranquil waters was surrounded with mossy rocks which were the size of boulders. The trees were still budded with delicate flowers, while others had leaves shaped as fans. The ferns were almost blue and released sweet fragrances into the area. A little sun shown down, but otherwise the area was covered in shade.

"Not many journey here." Thranduil's words were soft as if not to disturb the peace in the area. He took his bow and arrow from his back, setting them aside on the ground. The components of the satchel were then taken out and Glorfindel saw berries, bread, nuts, and fruits. A bottle of wine a pair of goblets also came to view from the satchel.

"You often carry two goblets, Thranduil?" Glorfindel chuckled a little wondering aloud about the customs of the Greenwoods elves.

"Why yes, I do." Thranduil's face was straight, his response was spoken in deadpan. "Do tell me, is this somewhat strange to you?" Thranduil seemed to think Glorfindel's questioning of his habits were bizarre.

"You were planning on having someone share your lunch then today?"

"My lunch, no, not so much." Thranduil smiled now before he continued. "A good bottle of wine, however, is something which should be shared. So yes, I normally do carry a pair of goblets with my wine when I am out, just in case there is someone worth while to share a glass with."

Glorfindel listened on to Thranduil's logic, nodding his head at the storage but thoughtful reasoning. "And does this happen often?" He curiously had to ask his host.

"No, never before have I done so." Thranduil listened to Glorfindel's laughter over his response. He let a smile cross his face, as there was no malice, just only the jovial mirth of someone with whom he would now call a friend. Allowing himself to also share in the humor, Thranduil grinned and poured first a glass of wine for Glorfindel before he filled one for himself. The food was spread onto a cloth and the two sat under the fragrant leaves, ready to have their lunch and enjoy the wine at leisure.

"The wine is good, is it not?" Thranduil let the sweet drink roll across his tongue, savoring the nectar of deep red.

"Yes, this is certainly delicious." Glorfindel couldn't think of a better wine he had ever had, even better than the ones from the night before. Nor could he think of a better setting for the lunch. The setting was peaceful, and the company was enchanting. He let himself swim in the depths of the jeweled eyes before him, musing over the mithril specks that shown as stars deep in their depths.

And Thranduil as well was admiring Glorfindel. The wine was potent and Glorfindel was very attractive. Thranduil already knew of the undeniable attraction he was having for him. But he knew his father would never approve, and he doubted that could do anything to attract such a mighty and fabled legend. With all his self-confidence, Thranduil knew that some attractions just do not come to pass, and with that reasoning it was easy for him to relax and just enjoy the moment, and not worry about trying to attract Glorfindel.

"Tell me about your home. I would like to know more about Imladris." Thranduil's request was spoken between the chewing of berries, breaking the silence within the clearing.

"You have never been?" Glorfindel didn't know why he seemed surprised with the fact that Thranduil had not been to Imladris, given his knowledge that Oropher held little love for the Noldor. He knew that Oropher's household had passed over the Misty Mountains into the Greenwood early in the Second Age, far before Imladris had been founded.

"That is correct. Not once have I been to Imladris but I have heard such esteem for the place from those who have seen it. My father's counsellers has been but they told me very little about it, you see. So of course, how could I not be curious to hear what you have to say about it, to know without a doubt what they say is true. Let me hear it from your own lips." He poured Glorfindel another drink and then refilled his own.

Nodding his head in gratitude, Glorfindel began to answer Thranduil's request on the impressions of his home. "Imladris, they call it the Last Homely House, nestled into a cliff with dozens of waterfalls spilling around it. The rooms are airy and open, so that nature is welcomed in. A great hall we call the Hall of Fire is the focal point, where everyone gathers, be it for song, for dance or simply to converse. We discuss the past, as the lore-masters in Imladris are great and always willing to share their knowledge of yesteryear. We debate about the present, of the vile in the land that is with ever worry and concern for we know the very freedoms of all people are now under threat. But we are elvish folk of course, and we love song. Our minstrels sing songs there of hope and love, of bravery and sacrifice, of beginnings and of endings. Imladris is a refuge for the weary, to serve as a sanctuary amidst the chaos and evil that threatens our lands. Lord Elrond is its protector, a wise soul for whom I hold in high regard and am proud to serve."

"Yes, I know Elrond." Thranduil could easily agree with Glorfindel's accolades for Elrond. "I dwelt in Lindon before we passed over the mountains into the east. I always found him to be delightful and good company. It brings me no surprise to learn that he has constructed a dwelling so enchanting and mighty. I am sure as the years fall ever forward that I too shall come to know Imladris for myself and then I can make my own impressions of the place."

"We would love to have you visit us Thranduil. I could then return your hospitality and show you around my home. I know you will like it there very much. The pines are fragrant and the river is ever mighty, the waterfalls create a magnificent symphony, pooling into a shared crescendo that can uplift any jaded heart."

"This home of yours must be very beautiful indeed. I very much believe I will see it yet before the passing of my life." Thranduil's expression suddenly darkened, the mirth in his eyes clouded over, as if what joy he had evaporated, replaced with thoughts that reflected his own demise. Green eyes closed with the weight of his thoughts and what joy he had was now replaced with dark forbidding worry.

"What is it Thranduil?" Glorfindel had to inquire, the change in the other was very drastic, like a cool summer day turning to storm. "What brings your expression to darken so in which the light from your eyes cease to shine?"

"I have dreams sometimes, Glorfindel." Thranduil found it easy to to confide his deepest secrets to the other. "I know a dark day will soon be on us. I have seen the sun turn red with thousands of blood spilled from our kin. I have heard in my dreams the screams of death and of a dark presence who would annihilate us all. And in my dreams I believe I have seen my own death. I see laying dead in the marshes my own reflection, silver hair flowing around a dark face in death shadow, with green eyes that shine with no light of life. I wake with such a forbidding worry that somehow this will come to pass." Thranduil was silent, eyes honest and imploring a response from Glorfindel.

"And you think who you see is really you?"

"I believe the one in the death sleep from my dream is me, yes. Not many have silver hair and eyes the green of mine. Now I know dreams do not always come to pass and that my death may not be imminent, but it does pose to caution, that someone may die for whom I hold dear. Their death could always be personified with my reflection since dreams are often ambiguous. I do not have the gift of foresight as strong as others, but what the Valar do reveal to me has always come to pass."

Glorfindel listened on, understanding where the dark dream stemmed from. It was from that very same reason that Gil-galad had sent him to the Greenwood. The foul of Sauron grew ever stronger, his power grew and spread, until he had waged a war on the elves of Eregion whose wounds still bleed even with the passing of time. The need for all the elves to unite was pressing and Glorfindel knew he could not let this mission fail. He would have continued thinking the doleful thoughts but Thranduil pulled his attention solely on him.

"Ah." Thranduil suddenly sat his goblet down, before falling back onto the soft grass in the clearing, long silver hair spilling in every which direction as if to personify his fragmented mind. "The day is beautiful and I wish not to dwell on such dark matters. A time will come for that but not this day." He rolled onto his stomach locking eyes with Glorfindel, smiling with bright eyes that beckoned for Glorfindel to switch his mind to more light-hearted jovial thoughts.

"If this is your aim now, I certainly can converse with whatever topic you desire to speak on." Glorfindel was a little bemused with how Thranduil suddenly changed again back to the whimsical elf he had been earlier this day.

"Yes, this is what I wish, for I would hate to send you away with only dreary thoughts of the Greenwood when the land is ensorcelling in all its beauty. And I would certainly feel grief, yes grief, if you thought the people of this land were stubborn and disheartening, woeful and somber. Certainly I should be mindful to be good company today, especially when I sent the charming Galion off to what ever catches his fancy today. He really is a wonderful one, is he not? I wonder perhaps if you would have had him stay as your guide, considering we are not really walking about any more in this great forest. But then again, Galion certainly does not have such good wine. The wine is good, yes, is it not?"

Thranduil seemed to babble now with discorded tangents but Glorfindel followed along, letting his thoughts keep pace with Thranduil's spinning mind. His sparking emerald eyes then focused with Glorfindel's, expecting an answer to his words.

"Yes, the wine is good, and yes, I do find I like Galion, and I can certainly say that I am glad to have your company today, and I have only positive thoughts of the Greenwood and its people." Glorfindel hoped he had answered the questions in the train of thought Thranduil had rolled off his tongue. He was not use to such dialogue.

"Such things you say I wonder if just to humor me." Thranduil took to his feet and moved over to the pond, dipping a long finger into the still waters. He kept his back to Glorfindel who watched him from a distance, before he lowered his eyes to his goblet, examining the delicate design of the metal. The cold wind blew suddenly now, rustling the trees which dropped the delicate petals around their luncheon spot, but Thranduil did not heed it, fully engrossed with Glorfindel for whom had stolen his entire attention.

"Please speak your peace with me. Tell me everything that runs through your head." Thranduil's words snapped Glorfindel back to his attention alone.

Glorfindel found himself laughing now, wondering what games Thranduil was trying to play. "Oh Thranduil, I speak with all honesty. I like it here, and I am finding myself to especially like you. I have not met anyone like you and I mean that with only esteem and admiration. There is no malice in my words." His face was palpable, eyes reflecting the truth of the words, and Thranduil's smile relayed that he was at least pleased with this response.

But instead of replying to his statement Thranduil, gazed deep into the pond, watching as the still surface had turned from placidity to the now choppy waves from the increasing wind.

"We should head back."

Thranduil could hear the wind in the distance increase in its intensity. Glorfindel also could hear it and together they understood that a storm was moving in. Even distant as it was, it did not take long for the thunder to boom across the lands, slowly becoming more audible to their far-hearing ears. With haste they picked up their provisions from the earlier picnic, packing it back into the satchel. Thranduil retrieved his bow and arrows and as the wind began to assault the trees around them. They soon began their way back to Oropher's halls, making as much speed as they could.

"I am not very certain we will make it back before the storm hits. These early summer storms move fast and manifest with such force and power."

Glorfindel knew that Thranduil's words to be true and kept his pace as quick as he could. The wind began picking up with ever more intensity and with its biting venom, grew ever colder. The trees moaned with the force of the storm, dropping their leaves and branches around the dashing elves. Bits of sky was shown and the elves could see it was dark now, a deep grayish green color that hid the sun. The thunder boomed louder and closer but the two could move no quicker.

A giant crack and flash of lightning so violent now lit the sky and forest, and then as if it were a prelude, the cold rain poured down from the skies. Knowing that they had to take shelter, Thranduil grabbed Glorfindel's hand, tugging him towards a giant tree, whose slow decay had created a hollowed center in its broken trunk. Glorfindel was motioned by Thranduil to enter into the trunk, before he placed some fallen branches with great giant leaves over its broken top. He secured them down although with much difficulty due to the unrelenting wind and heavy rain.

After he had finished making the quick roof for their shelter he entered inside the trunk where Glorfindel sat bunched up. They were cramped but sheltered and gratefully out of the storm that continued to pound the forest around them. Both looked at one another, silently agreeing to stay here until the wrath of the storm had passed them by.

"I was not expecting that." Glorfindel leaned his head against the wood, feeling some rain trickle down his collar and into his tunic, tickling its way down his back.

Thranduil only nodded, embarrassed that he had failed to take notice of the subtle signs the forest had relayed to him about the impending storm. He tried to wring some of the rain from his hair, moving the silver strands away from his face.

Both were soaked but now safe in this shelter out of the storm. Outside their makeshift shelter of the large tree trunk, the storm grew ever angrier, lightning flashed in quick succession and the thunder was so mighty that the whole of the land shook within its voice. With all the violence of the storm neither could converse, as their attention instead fixated on the fury of nature and its ferocious raw power.

Glorfindel kept his eyes on Thranduil, who peered at the forest from a small hole in the tree trunk. His face was covered in rain that dripped from his hair and down from the leafy roof that leaked the rain down on them. His eyes were dark, and a bit of mud was smeared on the side of his face. His hair was in disarray with leaves and earth tangled in, and his clothes were in no better shape. Glorfindel knew that he as well looked like Thranduil did, and he had to stifle a chuckle, although he doubted Thranduil would be able to hear his laugh amidst the screams of the storm.

The storm seemed to last forever, as if even the strong winds that had propelled it could not move it from over the Greenwood. Glorfindel thought they would have to spend a night in this tree trunk, but this proved not to be the case. Just as it came, the storm began to subside, rolling on beyond the lands that the wood-elves called their home. The lightning struck elsewhere, the thunder was far less deafening and the rain fell more gentler now.

"We survived." Glorfindel laughed. The situation brought great humor to him.

Both were still soaked and they were still covered in earth and the bits of the forest. Glorfindel followed Thranduil out from the trunk, back into the forest. Branches were scattered on the forest floor and as they continued to make their way back to Oropher's capital, they noticed some trees had been broken in half from the might of the storm.

Thranduil looked over at Glorfindel. "I am sorry to have got you caught out in that storm. I should have paid more mind to the clues the forest was giving me and paid more attention to the shift of the wind. I am much better with that typically."

"Do not fret." Glorfindel gave Thranduil a reassuring smile before reaching over to pluck a leaf that was tangled within his silver-strands. "I believe we were so caught up with the good of our company little else could capture our attention."

"You are right in your assessment of the situation." Thranduil stopped walking, his eyes imploring Glorfindel to look into his own. "I find you fascinating, Glorfindel. I like your company and being with you. I am sure you have heard this from others all the time, but I mean it, all the same."

"That may be, however, it means a lot coming from you Thranduil." Glorfindel wondered again about Thranduil. He wondered if this one could perhaps have a growing attraction to him. The thought amused and strangely excited him. But he could not muse long on those thoughts, for a small group of Silvan elves had approached them.

"Prince Thranduil, there you are. The King was concerned when you and Lord Glorfindel were not in his halls during the wrath of the storm." They took the sight of the two were in, with obvious relief on their faces that their beloved prince had turned up unhurt.

Thranduil smiled at the group, and he handed his bow and arrows off to one of the elves. "We were caught up in the storm, but we are unharmed. We head now back to our chambers to get cleaned up. I know we must look a freight." He chatted on with others who expressed again their pleasure of his safety. They walked with them back to the citadel. Glorfindel could easily see that the elves adored Thranduil. They seemed to gravitate to him as if he was a bright shining star and and his aura was magnetic. The elves all took their turns speaking to him, and they ignored Glorfindel's presence.


The group finally reached Oropher's citadel, which stood tall and unfazed by the storm that had passed. Standing on the steps which were covered in puddles was Oropher himself, who looked displeased when they approached him. They all bowed deep, not expecting that the King be present on their return, and they looked back at him awaiting a statement or comment.

The King's face was covered in anger and Thranduil knew it was directed solely at him. And when Oropher bade everyone else depart except for Thranduil, his assumption was confirmed.

"Come my child." The words were cold, spoken to deride Thranduil, letting him know that he had invoked his father's wrath. Thranduil followed his King into his private halls that led to his most secretive chambers. These rooms were often used to discuss serious matters where prying ears could gain no insight for what was meant to stay secret. He was led into a room and a heavy door of oak was shut behind him.

"Sit." His father's voice moved him to take his seat on a small chair, made of wood and carved with delicate carvings. His father watched him sit and then wasted no time with getting to the points he needed to make.

"Tell me, is there anything to report on the Lord Glorfindel?"

Thranduil shook his head no to this question, knowing better than to speak at this moment. His father's expression showed no kindness, eyes cold and set, lips pressed firmly together. Oropher kept the uneasy silence, freezing his son with his unwavering stare. With stinging words, the King finally continued.

"I was told you had sent the guide I picked for Glorfindel away, taking it solely upon yourself to waste your day with the Noldo instead of training your mind and body." His father's words were as cold as ice, stern and biting in hopes that they would tear into Thranduil's heart and mind.

"These are vile times in which we live, Thranduil, and as an independent realm we must be vigilant and strong, ever ready for whatever foe may come at us. You have brought great disappointment from me today and have angered me. And that is not even weighing in that with your frivolous infatuation with the Noldo, you could not even use what I had taught you with reading the forest and lands to know that a mighty storm was approaching. You could have been hurt and that Noldo could have been as well. That is something I do no want on the Greenwood's hands, having Gil-galad accuse us of any malcontent towards his dignitary."

The anger that Oropher expressed steamed from a deep rooted love for his son. His son was no longer considered young, but had lived for many years now. Even with his great age, Oropher felt such a protective pull over Thranduil. He often found himself chiding and lecturing him, as he hoped to mold Thranduil into a strong leader as he was. Oropher knew that what crossed into his mind was the correct corse of action for Thranduil. It was time his son learned to leave behind his carefree attitude and act as as Oropher did.

"Now I have said what needed to be said." Oropher looked his only son over. His long silver- hair was completely in disarray, tangled with bits of the forest still. He was covered in earth and his clothes were still damp from the storm. Oropher loved his son deep within, but Thranduil had way too much of his mother in him. She had been a wild gentle soul who was quick to enjoy the good of life instead of pondering and reflecting on the events on the horizon. And Thranduil was just like her.

As much as Oropher wanted to lecture his son, he took pity on him, dismissing him to go clean himself up and change into dry clean clothing before the evening meal. He watched Thranduil bow before departing and Oropher knew that the time Thranduil knew of joy and carefree days in the forest were over. The time had come for his only son to learn how to be a king, for deep in Oropher's heart he knew that something dark was surely going to come to pass. His son needed
more structure and responsibility. Oropher knew that the choice he now made was only for the good of Thranduil and ultimately the good of Greenwood and for their people.

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Glorfindel had reached his chambers with the help of a servant who had blushed slightly when he had asked her to guide him there. The endless halls were still confusing to him and with the curves of the organic design, he found himself easily disoriented as if Oropher had purposely constructed it this way to play with the mind's of his visitors. He actually wouldn't put it past Oropher, he mused while he pulled off his wet and soiled clothing. No bath had been drawn for him, so he had to wash with just the water basin in the room. But it served its purpose well allowing him to clean the days events away. He was soon dressed again in clean dry clothing and seated himself on a comfortable chair near an open window.

Letting the events of the day run through his head, Glorfindel found himself now musing on shining green eyes bright like gems. He held the image long within his thoughts, refusing to let it dissipate from his mind. Thranduil was like no other he had met before, and what intrigued him the most was the way in which Thranduil had regarded him, letting the warmth of his soul shine in his bewitching eyes, painting the world with his beautiful soul, which shone with an aura that Glorfindel had not seen before.

Glorfindel had enjoyed the time with him very much and had taken delight with his unusual personality which had mirrored the days events, changing as quickly as the storm that blow in. To Glorfindle, Thranduil was stunning. He was someone for whom Glorfindel could find himself calling a friend, and possibly, he mused, could even act on his attraction to the him.

But then again there was the father. Oropher's face flashed into his mind, his obtuse expressions and eyes as cold as ice scoffed at him. The father was nothing like the son. His spirit was strong, his resolve was efficacious, for which Glorfindel knew would be a major obstacle with any dealings he may have with Thranduil.

The years had passed, but Oropher still held his anger, his strong disdain was as obdurate as ever. What enmity he held towards the Noldor, Glorfindel could not understand. The years had passed, the kinslayers had already had the Valar's judgement passed on them. But yet for Oropher the wounds still bleed. With all of his wisdom, Glorfindel knew there was more to his story for which he would have to learn if he was ever going to find a way to gain his trust.

Glorfindel let his mind focus back on Thranduil. Elrond had told him that he would be an ally, someone who could aid him with this task. He remembered his Lord's words, though brief had they been the day he had departed. He had learned that Thranduil was a gentle soul, full of life and love and warm to friendship. But Elrond had also cautioned that he was quick to change, his moods often rolling like the tides across a choppy sea. He had witnessed just a little of his fluctuating thoughts, how he danced from mood to mood. But Glorfindel didn't find it worrisome. Instead he found he rather liked the eccentric prince, and hoped the King would not see to sunder them for the rest of his stay.

A strong knock sounded on his door and Glorfindel complied with the summoning, opening it shortly to see Galion's friendly face.

"Dinner is now ready, my Lord."

Thanking him for reminding him, Glorfindel then followed Galion to the same dinning hall he had been brought to thus far for the duration of his stay. However unlike last time, Oropher and Thranduil did not join him, and he ate amongst the others of the King's court, who politely made small talk with him. As much as they spoke, the dinner passed with its uneventful dialogue, slowly blurring in its mindless hour. The Greenwood elves spoke of nothing and often in circles; words void of joyful thoughts or of welcoming. Glorfindel was surprised that the wood-elves could even be anything other than merry and lighthearted. It was all Oropher's doing, he mused, as his hospitality had not yet been extended to him yet, this outside intruder. But Glorfindel would not let his spirit break, and he kept his smile wide, words filled with mirth despite the reluctance attitudes around him.

Eating his fill, Glorfindel shortly excused himself, not really surprised when the others seemed to pay his departure with little protest. He did not walk back to his rooms, but instead stepped outside, letting the good of the night forest wash over him.

A woodland garden he remembered passing was his destination this early night, and it did not take him long to reach it. The pines and the cool of the earth filled his senses, and the night sky was light with flickering lights from hundreds of fireflies around him. The night was so tranquil that soon he found himself relaxed and calm, and he knew that this night his dreams would find him without trouble.

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Not beta read. My apologies for all the mistakes 



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