Imladris, shortly after its founding
sighed wearily as they approached Elrond's valley. He had never married nor had children so taking charge of the young Glorfindel
had been especially taxing. Oh, he had cared for Erenion in his youth, but that was entirely different. When the young soon-to-be
High-king had come into his custody, Gil-galad already approached adulthood and merely needed a guiding hand. Very much unlike
having the Elfling at his side placed under his guardianship.
As if his thoughts called to the golden child, Glorfindel
looked up at Cirdan from his horse's back. Those deep blue eyes in that exquisite face looked far older than the years claimed.
In many ways, Cirdan knew that Glorfindel would begin remembering his previous life again once he transitioned from Elfling
to adult. An eyebrow rose in question and Cirdan barely restrained himself from laughing. How very much like Elrond that look
was! They should get along famously.
"I believe you and your foster father will deal quite well together,
There are not many your age, but a few he has taken under
his wing," the Teleri lord explained.
"Will I meet them?"
Glorfindel inquired, his eyes turning to the distant encampment just coming into view below them.
Cirdan moved his
horse onto the trail, turning back briefly before concentrating on the narrow path. "I believe you may, though it could
time to make friends. Many of them have lost their parents to Mandos' Halls rather than to Valinor. Try to treat them kindly,
for some of them have no idea how to play."
The Elfling's face fell, but Cirdan had no further time to reflect on it
as his entire attention turned to navigating the oft-times treacherous footing into Imladris. Below him, tents stretched along
the Bruinen, some sporting Elrond's colors, others that of Lindon. Gil-galad had come to seek his herald's advice, undoubtedly.
His lips twisted in a somewhat sad smile. Neither one of those two would admit their relationship went far beyond what they
presented to the rest of the world. In all his years, Cirdan had rarely seen two so close and so right for each other. Wistfully,
he thought of his long-lost lover, then pushed his personal sorrow behind him for the hope of the future. Visions of Glorfindel
at Elrond's side, acting as his advisor, seneschal, and friend had teased Cirdan until he realized the Elfling's place lay
not in Mithlond, in his realm, but in Imladris, Elrond's home.
The closer the Grey Havens' party came to the main area,
attention they garnered. One Elf ran off toward Elrond's tent, and
then hurried toward the new construction
against one cliff wall. The
familiar forms of the *peredhel* and the High-king emerged from the
welcoming smiles on their faces. Cirdan bowed
from horseback, then dismounted and assisted Glorfindel from his
govannan*, Lord Cirdan," Elrond greeted him warmly. "And who do we have here?" he asked, indicating the wide-eyed young one
"Ah, this is the reason for my visit. May I present someone I believe
you can help? His parents
left for Valinor a decade ago, entrusting
his care to me. However, I have seen that his place is at your side,
Elrond. Surely you can foster him."
The peredhel looked somewhat shocked, but the expression quickly
"Of course. He can join the others we have here, if you
think that appropriate."
Just as Elrond uttered these words,
Galdor approached. The Noldo had
arrived with Gil-galad's group and had become the tutor for the Elflings of various ages.
His favorite, and the one who often followed him no matter the time of day or task assigned to the teacher, clung to the dark
robes Galdor wore. Tiny pale hands and the hint of raven locks peeked around the counselor's robes.
"My king, Lord
Elrond..." Galdor began, and then took in Cirdan and
his party. "What a pleasure to see you, Lord Cirdan! And who is
he asked, indicating Glorfindel.
Cirdan chuckled and tried to pull Glorfindel forward. Surprisingly, the young Elf
did not resist, but moved toward Galdor. However, the adult Elf appeared not the source of his curiosity, but the slender
Elfling behind him.
"Glorfindel," Cirdan began, a combination of introduction and warning
not to act inappropriately.
three voices uttered together in shocked tones.
Cirdan nodded, then moved to stand close to the High-king and the
"Aye. The Valar have returned him to Arda and I believe it
their purpose to have him at your side, Elrond. After all, he
fell defending your great-grandparents' retreat from Gondolin. He remembers naught of it... Yet."
"Perhaps 'tis for the best. Such memories oft bring
great pain." He peered over Cirdan's shoulder, finding Glorfindel doing
his best to get the other Elfling to come out from behind Galdor.
"Who are you?" Glorfindel persisted. "Why do you
hide? I will not hurt you. Come... you look quite pretty," he offered at the glimpses of long dark lashes that matched the
black locks. "Please?"
Galdor took pity on him, and tried to gently guide the little one to stand before Glorfindel.
All to no avail for somehow the tiny one continued to find a way to hide. At last, Galdor gave up.
"Come now. I know you are shy, but you are also one of my
best students," the counselor cajoled.
Glorfindel reached around to pull the little one away from the protection of
his teacher. He took the other Elfling by the shoulders. "I was right! You are pretty! Why ever were you
Huge dark brown eyes regarded him, highlights of red on the high cheekbones pointing out how very shy and embarrassed
the other Elfling felt under Glorfindel's scrutiny. Indeed, the golden Elfling pulled the dark one into his arms, patting
his back and smoothing the long black hair.
"Tell me your name. I am called Glorfindel. Surely you can share yours
with me?" he begged, unaware of the amused looks the adults shared.
"Erestor," came the soft reply, so soft Glorfindel
nearly missed it.
"Erestor? Why it fits you perfectly!" he exclaimed. Indeed, he felt as if somehow this reclusive and shy creature
would come to mean great deal to him. "I think we shall become famous friends, do you not?"
Tentatively, the smaller
Elfling reached out to touch Glorfindel's hair. "Gold... Glorfindel... Friend?" Erestor asked almost fearfully.
Glorfindel hugged the tiny form close, though very carefully. "Aye, friend. Come, show me this place I am to call
home," he encouraged and to the adults' surprise, little Erestor took the offered hand and led the reborn Golden Flower toward
the place he would live for a very long time.