Elrond's Indignity by BlueberryMuffins76
Sometime in the fourth age, several decades after the War of the Ring, some certain elves who had retired to the Undying Lands decided to pay a visit to their former homes. Among them were Lord Elrond and his lovely wife, Lady Celebrían, along with her parents, Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel. Being the kind and generous elves that they are, they sent word to the last ruling elf in Middle Earth, Elvenking Thranduil of Mirkwood. While not entirely thrilled at their visit, he and his wife, Elvenqueen Arabesque, hoped that bygones would remain bygones and perhaps the elf rulers could learn to actually get along.
“Meleth, how about we hold a party at Rivendell once we have settled in a few days?” Elrond asked Celebrían, hoping Middle Earth had once more become the friendly and happy place it used to be long ago before they were married.
“Capital idea! We simply must have dancing, especially now that Manwë has taught us so many new moves!” she squealed.
Just then, her parents walked up. “What’s this I hear about dancing?” Galadriel inquired.
“Naneth, we simply must hold a party at Rivendell! We shall invite all the remaining elves, including but not limited to Elvenking Thranduil and his people in Mirkwood.”
“Good idea! We have some musicians from Lothlórien amongst us, and I’m sure they can help with all the new music and dancing!”
Celeborn smiled. “Whatever you ladies want is fine with me! You know I’m happy as long as my wife dances with me!” Winking, he slipped her a kiss, so Elrond linked arms with Celebrían and walked away.
A few weeks later, the elves arrived safely in Middle Earth and had a lovely trip back to Rivendell, full of memories both evil and wonderful. Galadriel and Celebrían had sent out all the invitations and elves had RSVP’d with great gusto. It appeared every single remaining elf would attend the ball!
Once the night arrived, Elrond stood beside Celebrían as they greeted their guests. Thranduil glided in with Arabesque on his arm and the Lord of Rivendell extended his hand. “Pleasure to have you, King Thranduil!”
A look of disdain flashed across his face, but the Elvenqueen nudged him, so he shook his hand. “Thank you for inviting us.”
“Yes, thank you! I’m sure we will have a wonderful time!” Arabesque beamed as she hurried her husband to the dance floor. “A waltz! Our favourite!” Soon the happy couple held each other as they twirled around the floor, forgetting their worries and woes as they beheld only each other. The particular dance was called Ada’s Kujawiak* and consisted of traveling around the floor in a counter clockwise manner. The Elvenqueen clasped her husband’s right hand with her left and they waltzed four steps forward, then she twirled to face him on the fifth step, placing her hands on his strong shoulders. In this position they waltzed the remaining three bars of the measure, then rotated around each other counter-clockwise for four bars, and clockwise for four more. The process was repeated once, then a new sequence began. Waltzing forward three steps, on the fourth Arabesque pivoted on her left foot and turned Thranduil with her, quickly turning backwards with their hips pressed against each other. Some of the more common elven men would slap their left legs while lifting the up, supported by their female partners; however, Thranduil found this move rather undignified and instead moved his hands in time with the music, complimenting Arabesque as she did likewise.
As the last guest walked in the door and took the hands of the Rulers of Rivendell, they too joined in the fun, along with the Lothlórien rulers. “We should teach some of the new dances we learned!”
“After the tango, Meleth,” Elrond assured his wife. Just then, the waltz ended and the musicians started up a slow tango, so he gathered her close and guided her up and down the dance floor, his cheek next to hers. Occasionally he would move his arm, which indicated to Celebrían to turn away from him in an individual spin. As she pirouetted back to him, he held her close and dipped her in order to sneak a kiss. Across the room, Thranduil did likewise with Arabesque. A random elf ran up and handed him a red rose, stripped of the thorns, which he immediately put in his teeth. His wife smiled up at him. He really was quite romantic when he chose to be! Stealthily spinning her around the room, they whirled out the door onto a little alcove. There he took the rose from his mouth and gave it to her. “For you, my Meleth!” he bowed and smiled up at her, then caressed the hand she held out.
Giggling, she snatched the rose. “Stop that! What will you do if someone catches us like this?”
“Well, how about this?” His arms crept around her, his face mere inches from hers. “I love you, Arabesque!” he breathed, then his lips found hers and a gentle and tender kiss.
“Mmmm!” she sighed as she surrendered to him. After a couple of minutes, she drew back. “Come, I want to dance some more! Put the rose in my hair, please?”
After obliging, he took her back to the dance floor.
As the music ended, Elrond stepped to the middle of the room. “Attention, everyone! My family and I have learned some new dances in the Undying Lands that the Valar suggested we teach you.”
The crowd collectively the gasped, at least those who had remained in Middle Earth. The Lord of Rivendell laughed. “They have fun in the Undying Lands too, you know!”
Everyone chuckled at this statement and the light mood of the party returned.
A funky disco beat began, and Elrond demonstrated all the moves he knew. Thranduil rolled his eyes at the Lord of Rivendell’s terrible attempts at disco. The elf looked like a dying starfish struggling for life on the beach, the way he was wiggling around as though his back was about to pop out of joint at any given second. However, the other elves found Elrond’s moves quite good and cheered him on as they joined in. The Elvenking, rather unamused, strode towards the middle of the dance floor, not about to be outdone by a mere lord, who technically didn’t even rule any longer. Winking at his wife, who joined him, they both wiggled their hips back and forth in time to the beat, swaying in opposite directions so as to lightly bump each other on every completion of the move. Then Thranduil started to bob his head up and down while doing the same with his right index finger. If you have ever tried this, it is something most mere mortals cannot accomplish. However, the Elvenking of Eryn Lasgalen, formerly known as Mirkwood, is not a mere mortal by a long shot and a highly proficient dancer, thus doing these three moves simultaneously is as easy as walking for him. The elves around him realized this and soon started clapping and cheering for him.
It was Elrond’s turn to be unamused. He glared at his guest, whom he hadn’t really wanted there in the first place, and tried harder with his moves. Celebrían and Arabesque stood to the side lines, trying to hide their smiles as they rooted for their men in friendly comradery. They knew a dance-off was about to ensue and anxiously awaited all the moves the elves would come up with.
Thranduil resisted the urge to smile as he increased his moves. He smoothly glided back and forth, keeping his feet together as he swished back and forth, still bobbing his head but changing his hand movements to the mashed potato.
Retaliating, Elrond attempted a shimmy but managed to look as though someone had tried to push him over and he was fighting to keep his balance on the edge of a precipice. His hands flailed everywhere as though he warded off a million insects trying to fly in his face.
Now the Elvenking had a sly grin on his face. He did three backflips in a row, causing elves to scatter this way and that. The audience clapped wildly, and Arabesque let out a shrill scream that could be heard over everyone else. “That’s my Thranduil! Go, my Meleth!”
Such a reaction served to anger Elrond, who had an even deeper scowl on his perpetually grumpy face. He couldn’t let someone from Mirkwood – excuse him, Eryn Lasgalen – who was always a lesser ruler, even if he did call himself King, to show him up in his own home! Throwing himself to the side, he tried to do a series of cartwheels. However, on the very first attempt, he ended up bending over like a folded blanket, resembling a dizzy ostrich with its head in a hole as he turned around. His futile attempts at cartwheeling were met with raucous laughter from all his guests, including his own family.
A line of elves formed to congratulate King Thranduil, who had a smug smile on his face as he stood proudly next to the Elvenqueen.
Indignant Elrond had quite enough. He motioned to the musicians, and the Hokey Pokey started. “This dance is called and is really easy, thus needs no explanation. Just follow the calls and it will turn out fine,” he directed.
Somehow all the elven rulers ended up in the middle of the room with Arabesque flanked by her husband and Elrond. They all laughed as the caller told them to put their right hands in, which they did. Of course Thranduil had to add some hip swaying in there, so the Elvenqueen joined him and they bumped hips intermittently. They repeated with their left hands and both feet. The caller told them to put their heads in, and hair flipped and flew everywhere as all the elves leaned over and shook their heads. Laughing hysterically, they looked up and noticed everyone but Thranduil appeared a mess. Arabesque suspected he didn’t actually follow the orders but ignored it. Then the final verse came. Everyone jumped in towards the very centre of the room and jumped back out, then turned around. Unfortunately, as Elrond and Arabesque turned they ended up too close to each other and crashed. Thranduil was at his wife’s side in an instant and caught her before she injured her derriere. Elrond was not so lucky and fell ungracefully onto the floor, tangled in his robes and his dark hair falling all over his face.
“Are you alright, Meleth?” Celebrían shrieked as she rushed to his side, kneeling on the floor.
“I don’t know…” he moaned, for his pride had been injured as well as his body. “Help me up and I’ll see.”
She helped him into a sitting position and he placed his hand on her shoulder, pushing himself up as the others around him offered their assistance. Once standing, he tried to put his weight on his left ankle and would have tumbled to the floor a second time had not he still been holding to his wife’s shoulder.
“You are not alright!” she scolded.
“No, I think I have just twisted my ankle. I shall be fine in a few hours.” With Celeborn’s help he limped to a chair along the side-lines, disappointed that he could no longer dance with his wife.
Meanwhile, after ensuring the elven ruler had not sustained extremely serious injury, Arabesque started to cackle.
“Meleth, whatever is so funny?” the Elvenking inquired, looking rather concerned although not surprised.
The Elvenqueen shrugged, then held her sides as she continued to laugh.
Galadriel stared pointedly at Thranduil, who held her gaze without fear as she telepathically communicated with him. “I think your wife has had too much wine. You really need to watch her better.”
“No, Lady Galadriel, she has not had any tonight and I have been with her the entire time we’ve been here. She’s actually really embarrassed and concerned; this is a reaction she has to relieve the tension in the room. You know as well as I do that she would never make fun of another’s pain!”
Just then, Elrond noticed the interchange and his face grew dark as he realized the Elvenqueen was laughing at his indignity! “Summon the Mirkwood rulers over here at once!” he directed Celeborn.
The silver-haired elf made his way to the middle of the dance floor yet again and exchanged his own private conversation with his wife. “Come, King Thranduil and Queen Arabesque, Lord Elrond wishes to speak with you.”
Exchanging worried glances, they walked over to the side-lines and were met by a stony glare. “I thought we could get along better now, but I see how it is. Queen Arabesque, I must ask you to leave my home at once!”
“How dare you!” she screamed. “I have done nothing wrong! Bumping into you was merely an accident for which I am quite sorry.”
“Humph. I demand you leave at once or I shall have my guards so kindly escort you out,” he nodded to two elves standing nearby, ready to take action.
“Come, Meleth, we shall not stay where we are not wanted. Lord Elrond, I shall have you know you are not welcome in Mirkwood at any time. Anyone who insults and accuses my wife so rudely is no friend of mine.” Taking her arm, he and the Elvenqueen strode out the door on their own accord.
“I would never wish to visit your nasty realm anyway, Thranduil!” Elrond retorted to the retreating form.
Once outside the doors, Arabesque exploded. “Who does that Elrond think he is, kicking me out like that? How dare he do such a thing! I am queen, after all, and he’s a mere lord. You know I didn’t knock him over on purpose!”
“Calm down!” Thranduil commanded. “I believe he’s more upset that you laughed than the actual event. He just doesn’t understand your reaction. I know you truly didn’t think it was funny.” Funny how their roles had just reversed; usually she was the one calming him down after a fit of anger!
“Well, he’s supposed to be the wisest elf…maybe I don’t want to go to the Undying Lands if it takes your wisdom from you like that!”
“Really? Are you sure you didn’t have anything to drink, maybe a glass of wine behind my back?” he winked.
Punching him, she assured him, “No, just that delicious coffee punch. I didn’t get enough of that, or enough dancing. I’m going back!” She marched away and pounded on the door. “Let me back in! I’m sorry! You know I didn’t mean anything! You’re not being a very good host…”
Rushing to her side, Thranduil grabbed her and turned her around. “Arabesque, please, you’ll only make matters worse!”
“But he was so rude!”
“Come now, what did you always admire most in Lord Elrond?” he gave her his signature stare that meant business, and not the funny kind.
“That he had always been so kind to those who didn’t really deserve it,” she sighed. “Yet look at him now! Throwing me out isn’t nice at all.”
“No, but I would likely do the same thing if the situation were reversed.”
“But that would be different! If that hoity-toity Celebrían tripped you up, I’d be throwing her out by her ear!”
“Arabesque!” he scolded. “You have to stop acting like this. Forget about it. How about we go home now?”
“No! I want to dance some more, and it’s so much better with more elves, even if you don’t like some of them.” She banged on the door some more and was ignored.
The Elvenking shook his head and sighed, then settled on a stone bench a few feet away. This was going to be a long night. Since when did his wife get so stubborn? She was normally so sweet, gentle, & reserved.