Warrior and Minstrel
This is an amateur effort and does not intend to infringe on the rights of J.R.R. Tolkien. No profit is made and no harm is intended.
I go for Home 12 canon, so Orodreth is Angrod’s son, and Gil-galad’s father. I am giving Orodreth a younger brother, Inglor, who would be Gildor’s father.
The story is set in Imladris on TA 141, ten years after A New Home.
Thank you to Alexcat for her help beta reading this story. :)
Lindir stood, sword in hand, ready to strike at the right time. His opponent was stronger and stocky-built for an elf, but Lindir had learned to use the speed his slimmer body gave him to his advantage. He waited a bit longer, feet firmly set on the ground, and raised his sword to parry the blow, and quickly counterattacked. He didn’t disarm his opponent, but he did force him to move away before starting a new attack.
“You have improved, Lindir,” Erestor said when the practice was over. Erestor had been a great warrior in Lindon, and a friend of Lindir’s father. Erestor and Glorfindel often trained the younger elves in the arts of war, but Lindir had not yet been allowed to join the patrols. Being of age was not enough, and elves younger than a century were discouraged from any activity that placed them in danger.
It was a peaceful time in Middle-earth, but sometimes patrols confronted the orcs still prowling on the west bank of the Anduin, or hill trolls on the way to the Havens. Lindir worried that Gildor and his company might encounter such creatures, even if everyone said that they were stupid and easy to fool. Lindir didn’t agree. Trolls were strong and single-minded, and that made them dangerous.
“Thank you, Erestor,” Lindir said. “It was an honor to spar with you, and I’m glad I survived it,” he added with a small grin.
Erestor smiled slightly. “I was careful not to kill you, young one. I didn’t want to upset the twins. They are fond of you.”
“Then I’m lucky they are,” Lindir said, his grin fading a bit. He was never certain if Erestor was joking or not. He was pretty certain the older elf would never hurt him, but had Erestor been holding back?
“Just tell him he did well, cousin,” another elf said. It was Glorfindel. “He was not holding back, Lindir. Not as much as he implies, at least. You have improved since the last time I saw you two sparring.”
“Would you mind sparring with me now, cousin?” Erestor said. “It’ll be good for Lindir to watch, and I won’t need to hold back.”
Glorfindel smiled somewhat wickedly, and soon they were sparring as if their lives depended on it. Lindir had seen them fence before, but never like this. It seemed to him that both elves were back in the days when carrying a sword had been a necessity, not a matter of choice. Erestor was good, very good, and he gave Glorfindel a good fight, but the golden-haired elf was stronger and more experienced. In the end, they were both covered with small cuts and bruises.
Many young elves had gathered to watch Erestor and Glorfindel, and now were speaking animatedly about the match. Many of them were already in the patrols, and those under each elf’s command praised their captain. The group dissolved when Glorfindel asked if they had nothing better to do, but Lindir could see the hidden humor in his blue eyes. Erestor was scowling at him, but his expression changed as soon as he realized that Lindir was watching him.
“I believe you have something else to do, Lindir?”
Lindir started to shake his head and froze. There would be a performance in the Hall of Fire soon, a play in which he was going to sing and play the flute. The rehearsal would start in less than two hours! Lindir rushed to the baths, oblivious to the looks those whose path he crossed gave him.
Once in the baths, he quickly got rid of his clothes and got into the warm water. There were other elves there, a few of them members of the dawn patrol; others were too young to leave the vale, and as eager as Lindir to do so. They were listening to the older elves’ account of the encounter with the shape-shifters who lived near the Carrock. Lindir had never seen one of them; another reason for him to wish he was already old enough to join the patrols.
“It isn’t as exciting as they think,” a voice said behind Lindir. It was LůmiŽ, one of the most accomplished guards Imladris had. LůmiŽ was a hundred and forty years old, and wore his hair shorter than most elves. Erestor had told Lindir that LůmiŽ had lived with men for a short while.
“Is it not so?” Lindir asked, turning to look at the other elf. LůmiŽ was always nice to him.
“It can be dangerous,” LůmiŽ said, giving Lindir a towel. “Let me help you with the robe.”
As he rose from the bath, Lindir was suddenly aware of the way LůmiŽ was looking at him. He blushed, and covered his body with the towel before allowing LůmiŽ to help him.
“You are beautiful,” LůmiŽ said softly. “I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable, Lindir. It’s the truth.”
“I don’t see myself as beautiful, but thank you,” Lindir said quietly. He tied the sash of the robe, and looked at LůmiŽ. “I have to go, LůmiŽ. I have a rehearsal…”
LůmiŽ smiled softly. “Of course, you should go now. I am looking forward to seeing the play.”
Lindir nodded, and managed a small smile. His heart was beating furiously as he left the baths. Nobody had ever called him beautiful, and LůmiŽ was so handsome… Surely the other elf was just being nice, but it felt good to be called beautiful. Lindir’s mind drifted to Gildor, and for a moment he imagined the blond elf speaking LůmiŽ’s words. Lindir shook his head, knowing there was no way for Gildor to see him as other than a child. It would be better to stop fantasizing about this.
Back in his quarters, Lindir quickly changed into fresh clothes, and wrung as much as of the moisture as possible from his hair before fixing it in two loose braids. He took his flute and the scrolls with his lines, and rushed to the Hall of Fire. Most of the other performers were there already. Lindir was very relieved that he was not the last to arrive.
“What took so long?” LŪriel asked. She was a pretty maiden, and every elf in the vale seemed to think so. Lindir was very fond of her.
“But I’m not the last to come…”
Larion snorted. “Because Maelion is sick, or you’d been the last.”
Lindir frowned. “It’s not that late.”
“No, it isn’t,” LŪriel said. “Don’t pay attention to Larion. He was hoping you wouldn’t come so he could play your role.”
“I will have to make sure he is sick next time,” Larion said, grinning.
Lindir’s expression softened, but he didn’t smile. Larion was never friendly to him, but remained in the boundaries of courtesy. Maybe it was just a matter of different personalities. He had to smile, though, when LŪriel winked at him.
“Come then, my prince,” she said. “I am ready to enchant you and make you forget about everything but my eyes.”
Everyone was smiling but Larion, but Lindir ignored him. He loved music, and performing was one of the things he did well. He took LŪriel’s hand and kissed it, and they started to sing. Their voices blended well, and even the birds seemed to stop singing. Lindir could feel his spirit soar into the sky and reach somewhere far away from Imladris. He quickly got his mind under control, and slowly LŪriel’s face appeared before him. Nobody had noticed. That was good. There was no need to trouble anyone with this.