by Sister Sárie

Rivendell, early 19th Century of S.A.

The large Dining Hall of Imladris was crowded. The name was actually rather misleading, since all the meals were served there, but the hall had been originally constructed to host official dinners a few years ago, and the name had remained.

To be precise, the said structure was currently a Breakfast Hall, where most of the valley’s population was filling their stomachs. It was an odd crowd, mostly made of soldiers and refugees who had been seeking for a sanctuary in this hidden valley nearly two centuries ago. The situation had calmed since those days: Sauron had been thrown back, and Eriador was in peace.

But Imladris remained. The High-king Gil-galad had granted it an official state, and given his half-elven relative a rise in the ranks he would never forget.

The said relative was currently sitting in a more peaceful corner of the Dining Hall: the Lord of Imladris and the Keeper of Vilya. He seemed unhappy, and fidgeted absent-mindedly with the Ring of Power that was in the middle finger of his right hand.

Yet another elf strode in to the crowded hall. He looked around as if searching for someone, spotted what he was looking for, and encircling a few crowded tables came to a halt in front of his long-time friend and comrade in arms.

“Good morning, Elrond”, he said carefully.

The addressed elf looked up from his hands and gave the other one a small smile.

“Hello, Glorfindel”.

“You look worried”, observer Glorfindel.

Elrond sighed. “I’m always worried these days, Glor”.

“You don’t have to tell that to me”.

Indeed he did not. Glorfindel had observed his friend’s slowly weakening state for quite a while now. The sanctuary of the hidden valley and all its people were Elrond’s responsibility, and the little half-elf took his responsibilities very seriously. Too seriously, it seemed to his friend sometimes.

Elrond had proved himself to be a worthy leader to the all of elven kind during the battles in Eriador. All but himself, apparently. Glorfindel had great faith in his friend, he knew Elrond would take good care of his people. He just wished Elrond had more confidence in himself. Most of the time he could not avoid feeling sorry for his friend, the duty was heavy, but this morning he had had enough. During the past winter Elrond had clearly lost weight, and was looking alarmingly pale.

What is it with him, Glorfindel thought to himself, Every time he’s worried, the first thing he does is stop eating!

He looked at the empty mug in front of Elrond.

A cup of tea? That’s his idea of a breakfast?

Glorfindel took a deep breath, and began: “You know, it’s no wonder you’re feeling down, thinking is hard with an empty stomach”.

Elrond shook his head, and stood up.

“I’m not really hungry, Glor”, he said, and attempted to walk away. “See you later, enjoy your meal!”

Glorfindel gripped his arm before he managed to stride off.

“Oh no, you’re not going anywhere!” he exclaimed rather sharply.

Elrond stopped and looked at him questioningly.

“I’m getting tired of this!” continued Glorfindel, “You are taking excellent care of the health of everybody else but yourself. You’re wasting away at this rate! Now sit down and eat, for the sake of Elbereth!”

Elrond seemed surprised.

“I have no idea what you are talking about, Glorfindel”, he replied, “You know I eat light. Besides, I have a million things to take care of today, lady Galadriel is coming to begin with. I just don’t have the time to stuff my face today”.

“You always have an excuse”, Glorfindel snorted.

He turned even more serious, if that was possible, and grabbed the shoulders of the smaller half-elf.

“What is going on in you mind!?” he said angrily, “Do you actually think that starving yourself to death will somehow help our people? Ereinion always praises your logic, but I’m sorry, I just can’t see anything logical, or even sane, in your actions!”

Elrond stiffened, and Glorfindel saw he had hit a nerve.

“I don’t think I need to have this discussion with you”, Elrond replied icily, and tried to release himself from his friend’s grip. This was the lord of Imladris speaking, not Elrond, friend of Glorfindel’s.

That was it. Glorfindel was not about to take this anymore, not for another second.

SIT DOWN!” the former balrog-slayer bellowed in his mightiest voice.

Everyone in the hall fell silent, and mistress Sárie dropped a spoon into one of the porridge kettles.

Elrond obeyed merely out of the surprise, which was what Glorfindel had been aiming for.

His furious expression suddenly turned into a cheerful smile.

“Much better!” he said, and walked to mistress Sárie.

The other elf took a careful step back, but she was not Glorfindel’s next target. Instead the blond elf lord took the kettle from her hands, gave her a kind smile, and went back to Elrond’s table. He fished the lost spoon from the kettle, and after wiping it clean started to spoon some porridge on an empty plate on the table. He gave a thoughtful look to the filled plate, and then fetched some sugar. He added four large spoonfuls of it to the porridge, an act which made Elrond shiver.

He pushed the plate in front of Elrond. “Now eat it”.

Elrond stared at the porridge rather uncertainly. Glorfindel was tapping his foot. Everyone in the hall was staring.

“I’m not sure…” Elrond began.


Elrond lifter the spoon, and tasted the porridge carefully. He swallowed hard, and put the spoon down again.

“I cannot eat this Glor…”, he started to speak again.


Elrond gave him a slightly glassy-eyed look, and picked the spoon up again. He managed a total of three spoonfuls before he stopped again.

“Glorfindel, if you’d only let me speak…”

Glorfindel slammed his fist to the table. “You will eat it Elrond, even if I must tie you down to the chair and force it down your throat!”

Elrond looked at his friend, and then the porridge. He gave a resigned sigh and lifted the spoon up again.

He managed another five rather painful looking spoonfuls before he suddenly jumped up and ran outside. Glorfindel cursed and ran after him.

Once he got outside, he expected to see Elrond’s back disappearing between the trees. Instead he nearly bumped into his friend, who was rather unceremoniously vomiting around a corner.

“Elrond!” Glorfindel nearly screamed, “I’m sorry Elrond! I didn’t mean to… what is wrong? Are you ill? Why didn’t you tell me, I shouldn’t have forced you to…”

Elrond straightened, and put a hand on Glorfindel’s arm. He looked rather pale, but managed a reassuring smile to his friend.

“It is alright Glorfindel, I am not ill”, he replied.

“But why…” began Glorfindel, but Elrond silenced him.

“What you said back inside was true. My behaviour has been ridiculous, and I’ve been too wrapped up in my other problems too even notice it. I will try to take better care of myself from now on”.

Glorfindel looked puzzled for a moment. Then a bright smile lit up his face.

“You have no idea how glad I am to hear you say so!” he exclaimed. Then his happy expression turned into a frown. “Then why did you…” he glanced behind the corner.

Elrond turned more serious again too.

“Glor”, she said with conviction, “I promised I would start eating again… and I will. But there’s nothing in this world that can make me touch that porridge again!”

Glorfindel stared at him in confusion. “What’s so horrible about that? Mistress Sárie is an excellent cook”.

“I’m sure she is”, replied Elrond, “And I’m also sure there was nothing wrong with the porridge when it left her hands. But I simply refuse to eat anything after you have added four spoonfuls of salt to it!”

Glorfindel’s jaw dropped. Elrond looked at his face for a moment, and then burst into laughter.

The morning turned into a day, and around noon the approaching hoof beats alerted Elrond, who made his way swiftly to the courtyard. Lady Galadriel had arrived.

Elrond walked swiftly towards his newly arrived guests by the side of lord Celeborn, who had been waiting for his wife rather anxiously for the past few weeks. When Elrond was about to bow respectfully to the fair lady, another person caught his eye. A young maiden left the company of her escort, and walked to the side of Galadriel. She smiled at him.

Suddenly the day looked a bit brighter, and the chilly late-winter’s wind was no more. Suddenly Elrond felt that whatever the future would hold for him, no matter how great the revenge of Sauron, everything would be alright. He knew he could survive anything, if only this maiden stood by his side.

Lady Galadriel’s voice drifted to his ears: “Lord Elrond, may I introduce you to my daughter”.

“My lady, I wish you will have a pleasant stay here in Imladris”, replied the said lord.

And she did. But that is another story…

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