Beyond Canon

- Text Size +
The elleth ran up the slope, stumbling on rocks as she did, until she reached the plateau that overlooked the sea. Over her shoulder, she could make out the house on the shore with its stupid pink fence and stupid gardens and stupid elves and stupid rules. She flounced through the grass until she came to a path that she followed that led to a grove of peach and apple trees. There was an elf sitting beneath one of them, leaning against the trunk of a tree and eating an apple. Seeing no one else around, she walked up to him.

“Mae govannen. I am Lasiavis. Who are you?” she asked.

Looking up from his book, Gwindor blinked at the pretty little elleth before him. “Gwindor. Pleased to make your acquaintance. Are you lost?” he asked, not recalling ever having met her, or anyone else his age for that matter, nor was he used to having visitors up here in the orchards.

“No, I’m not lost,” she sighed. “I’m running away.”

“Oh. Running away from what?” wondered Gwindor.

“From home,” she said, as if everyone should know exactly what anyone would be running away from.

“Is something wrong with your home?” he asked, and looking around, he added, “Where are your parents? Are they running away with you?”

“THEY are the ones I’m running away FROM.” Heaving a sigh, she plopped down on the grass beside him. “They brought me to my grandparents, but I don’t like any of them. They don’t let me do what I want to do. I don’t like my other grandparents, either, except At’ada Thranduil does give me nice gifts.”

“I know Thranduil!” said Gwindor excitedly. “He’s a friend of mine! We have had many conversations concerning things of great importance.”

Lasiavis frowned. “Why do you talk funny?” she asked, forgetting that he was praising one of the relatives she disliked the most.

“I have an accent,” he replied. “How far away do you live?”

“I live in the East Dalelands, in the Kastle Village,” she said.

“You must be hungry to have run all that way,” reasoned Gwindor. “Would you like an apple?” he asked.

Smiling, Lasiavis nodded. “That would be lovely, thank you.” She watched as Gwindor picked up the stick that was next to him on the ground and used it to hoist himself up. Balancing with one hand on the trunk, he raised the stick in the air and aimed it at an apple. Heaving it straight up, it snapped the stem before falling back, where he caught it in his open hand. The apple rolled to the ground next to Lasiavis’s leg. “Why do you have a crutch?” she asked.

“A what?” Gwindor propped himself up on the stick, half-balancing on his right leg, which was the stronger of the two.

“That thing there,” she said, pointing as she picked up the apple with her other hand.

“This is a walking stick,” he informed her.

“It looks like a crutch.”

“It is a walking stick because it is a stick that I use when I walk.” His voice was calm, but he was beginning to wonder about the intelligence of this pretty, young girl.

“Well, why do you have it?”

“To... walk with...” Gwindor was wondering if he would have to demonstrate, but Lasuiavis said, “Oh.” and began to eat her apple.

Munching on her apple as Gwindor sat back down next to her, Lasiavis said, “If you walk with a stick, does that mean you’re hurt?”

“No,” answered Gwindor. “It means I’m a dignified sort of fellow. That’s what my friend Olorin told me.”

“Can you walk without it?” pressed Lasiavis.

“Not really,” Gwindor finally replied.

“Why not?”

“Because I need more practice,” he answered. He picked at the side of his stick, looking down at the ground. “Would you like another apple?” he asked as she finished the first.

She shook her head. “No, thank you.”

“I suppose you’ll want to start running away again,” he said sadly. “It’s a shame, though. I don’t have much of anyone my own age to talk to, and... and you’re very pretty,” he said.

“Thank you,” she said a little awkwardly with a slight hesitation. “You’re... very nice,” she finally decided on. Gwindor beamed.

“Whatever are you running away for, anyway?”

Lasiavis stood up and looked north toward the beach below. “I asked my Ada if I could ride the pony, and he said no. So I asked my Nana, who said to ask my Adar, and he said yes. But then my Ada was upset, and now I’m not allowed to for a week and there is NOTHING to DO here,” she complained. “Everyone is too busy with work. They have to harvest and won’t let me help except boring things in the kitchen that I don’t want to do.”

“You should come up here. We don’t harvest for another few weeks, and it’s fun when we do! I sit up on my Nanafin’s shoulders and- wait a minute. Your Ada said no and then yes and then got mad?” wondered Gwindor.

“No! My Ada said no, my Adar said yes. That’s another problem. I have TWO of them,” she groaned. “It’s most confusing.” Gwindor smirked. “What’s so funny?”

“If you want confusing, try this. I have an Ada and a Nana, but both of them are boys.”

“No, they can’t be,” countered Lasiavis.

Gwindor nodded. “Come! I’ll show you!” He pulled himself up, and with his crutch under one arm, he offered his other to Lasiavis, who had never had anyone do such a thing, but she delightedly curtseyed and took hold of his arm. With Gwindor hobbling along, the pair came to the house. Gwindor motioned that they should be quiet as he pushed the door open.

“And... what’s cooking here?”

There was a sound of metal clanking back onto metal. “Don’t. You’ll ruin it.”

“I’m not going to ruin it, I’m just going to taste it,” protested the deeper voice.

The second voice was ignoring the first. “Where is... I need more sugar...” he mumbled. The sound of someone walking away could be heard followed by a call of “Don’t touch it!”

Gwindor and Lasiavis peeked around the corner into the kitchen to see a tall, dark elf glancing over his shoulder as he cautiously lifted the lid off of a pot and dipped his little finger in. Suddenly, another elf came back around the corner, humming and carrying a clay jar. “Ress!”

“That’s my Ada,” whispered Gwindor as he pointed out Erestor, who dropped the lid and slurped the orangey syrup from his finger. “And my Nana is the other one.”

“But he’s a boy!” she hissed.

“Well, he’s still my Nana.”

Glorfindel lifted the lid quickly and peered down inside. “You’re just... lucky is what you are,” he scolded Erestor, who was washing his hand of any remaining evidence.

“Ada? Nanafin?” Gwindor came around the corner fully now, with Lasiavis behind him. “I want you to meet my friend, Lasiavis. Could she stay for dinner? She’s running away from home.” The elleth buried her face in her hands as soon as the last sentence was out of Gwindor’s mouth.

Glorfindel and Erestor exchanged quick glances. “Well, of course your friend can stay,” said Glorfindel. “I’ll set another place. Erestor, perhaps you would be able to go out and fetch me a pair of eggs from the barn.” Erestor nodded and left out the back way.

“So, Lasiavis, why are you running away from home?” asked Glorfindel as he took another plate out of the cabinet.

“Just... because...” she said with a shrug.

“Oh. I see,” he said. Behind him, Gwindor gave Lasiavis a confused look, and she hushed him. Unsure why she didn’t want to share her reasons with everyone else, Gwindor managed to get himself to the table and to sit down, but only after he pulled out the chair for Lasiavis, waited for her to sit, and pushed it gently back in.

Glorfindel set a bowl of chopped vegetables and some sort of dish that had noodles and sauce down in the middle of the table. Glancing toward the door, he said, “Your Ada will be back soon, Gwindor. Now, Lasiavis... running away... you didn’t seem to say why,” he said. When she only fidgeted in her chair, he asked, “Does one of your parents dislike you?”

“They all dislike me,” she said with a pout.

“Do they beat you?”

Lasiavis looked up with wide eyes, and Gwindor looked confused. “NO! Never! What kind of elf would beat their children?”

“I don’t know, I’m just trying to understand why you’re running away,” Glorfindel said softly. “Do they yell at you? Call you names? Tell you how they wish you had never been born?”

Both of the elflings looked horrified. “No, they’ve never done that! They love me!”

“I thought they disliked you,” said Glorfindel, feigning confusion.

“I...” Lasiavis did not have time to finish as Erestor entered the cottage.

“Sorry about that,” Erestor said. “Shall we eat?” The elflings were both too shocked by Glorfindel’s words notice that Erestor did not bring back any eggs with him.

As the meal was nearing the end, there was a knock on the door. “I wonder who that could be,” spoke Erestor, hastily getting up from the table. Into the house came Legolas and Elodien, looking as if they had just jumped off of their horses onto the front porch.

Elodien reached Lasiavis first, scooping her off of the chair and into her arms. “Sweetie, don’t ever scare us like this again! We’ve been so worried about you!” Lasiavis mumbled something against her mother, who loosened her hold. “I know, I know, but you do understand why your Ada didn’t want you to ride the horses, don’t you? No one was there to watch. Those horses aren’t like the ponies your At’ada has, if you fell off you could be very badly hurt!”

Legolas had slowly approached and was standing beside Elodien now. Lasiavis looked up at her stern-faced Ada and her lip began to quiver. As soon as Legolas held his arms open to her, she practically leapt into them and started sniffling, burying her face. “I’m sorry we’ve disturbed your meal,” apologized Legolas, but Erestor shook his head.

“Think nothing of it. She is welcome here at any time, as are you.” Erestor took the ellethling’s hand and squeezed it. “It was very nice to meet you, Lasiavis,” he said. She nodded and mumbled something back and then looked over and waved at Gwindor, who returned the gesture with a smile.

As they were leaving, the wind carried back the conversation on the porch. “Perhaps it would be a good thing to have them interact. Gwindor really hasn’t been with others his age.”

“Lasiavis, either,” admitted Legolas.

“Ada? What’s wrong with him?” asked Lasiavis as the door closed behind them.

“With who?”

“Gwindor can’t walk. What’s wrong with...” the shut door drowned out the rest, but Gwindor had already heard enough of it.

So had Glorfindel, but his reaction was not as swift as he made an attempt to grab Gwindor’s arm as he limped swiftly away from the table. “Gwindor!”

“I’m not hungry!” he shouted as he dropped his crutch and used the banister to hoist himself up the stairs, a far faster way to climb them as he had long ago learned.

Erestor reentered the room cursing, not having to be told what had happened. “His room?”

“I assume so,” sighed Glorfindel as Erestor ran up the stairs.

Erestor rapped on the door with his knuckles twice before he was told to “Go Away!”. The third time, he could tell that something had been thrown across the room against the door. “Gwindor, please let me come in. I want to be sure you’re alright.”

“I’m fine! I want to be left alone!”


“Good night! I’m going to sleep now!”

Erestor slid down to sit against the wall beside the door, listening for any sounds that would make him force the door open, but it sounded as if Gwindor had thrown some things around and then thrown himself onto his bed to sleep. It wasn’t long before Glorfindel walked up the darkening stairway.

“Are you going to sleep here in the hall?” he asked, offering his hand to Erestor. Shaking his head, Erestor allowed himself to be helped up onto his feet.

“Everything will work out in the end,” the golden haired elf said as the pair entered their own room. “He just needs time.” Glorfindel coaxed Erestor to change for the evening as the bed was turned down. When Erestor came back from the washroom, he found Glorfindel sitting at the desk staring at his folded hands.

“Are you alright?” Erestor asked, putting a hand on Glorfindel’s shoulder.

Giving a small smile, Glorfindel said, “I’ve just been thinking about my father this evening. When she said she was running away, I started to recall what made me flee Beleriand.” Erestor sat down on the bench beside Glorfindel and started to unbraid the golden hair. “The last few years, when he began to suspect were the hardest. He would find reasons to hit me. I swear barely a day passed that he didn’t backhand me across the face or beat me with his belt. Sometimes he would break a switch off a tree and whip me before the bruises and welts from the day before had healed. When he found out... when I told him, that is, I ran without even thinking. Do you think I was wrong?”

Absently picking up the hairbrush, Erestor began to work the snarls from the ends of Glorfindel’s mane. “If you’d have stayed, well, you couldn’t have known what he would have done.”

“Look at the mess I landed in. One thing I knew is that my father would not have killed me – but Turgon was a different matter. I’d have been put to death, and it was only Ecthelion who kept me in check.”

“How old were you when you ran away?” asked Erestor, gathering Glorfindel’s hair at the back of his neck and tying it off.

“Forty-five. I turned Forty-six not quite two weeks after I took an oath of fealty to Ecthelion’s House. I told him I was three hundred and forty-five, but he knew. Funny, how he was more like a father to me than my own father was.”

“I suppose unconditional love runs in your family, then,” smiled Erestor, and Glorfindel smiled back.

- - -

“Gwindor’s not come back yet,” said Glorfindel in a worried voice as he suddenly noted the time. Erestor had just come in the door, having returned from the gardens for the day, and looked around in alarm.

“Are you sure?” Erestor went to the stairs. “Gwindor!” When there was no answer, he headed for the door. “Where was he last?”

“Probably in the orchard,” called Glorfindel as the door shut. “He couldn’t have gotten far,” he mumbled to himself.

Continuing to call for him, Erestor finally found the child sprawled in the grass, growling and hitting the ground hard between tears. Looking around, Erestor saw that the walking stick he had was nearby, but had hit a rock and splintered. Kneeling down, he began to draw Gwindor into his arms.

“No! Get away!” Gwindor pulled back, floundering over onto his side. “Don’t touch me!”

“I just want to help you,” Erestor said in a panicked voice. “Please, let me-“

“No! Leave me alone!” Gwindor used his arms to move himself backwards. “I don’t want help! I don’t want pity! I don’t want help from you!” He picked up the crutch and began to beat it against the ground, pieces of it flying as they broke off. “I don’t! Want! This!”

Stopping when there wasn’t anything left but a handful of wood, Gwindor broke into sobs again, the remnants dropping from his hand. “Why am I so ugly? What did I do?” He kept asking it, over and over as Erestor slowly approached him and enfolded him in his arms, rocking them both until Gwindor fell limp against him. “Ada, I don’t want this.”

“If I,” said Erestor, lifting up Gwindor’s chin with his hand, “could take your pain, if I,” he said, putting his hand on Gwindor’s thin, twisted leg, “could take this, if I could be the one in your place, I damn well would. I would do anything I could to make you better, if it were in my power.”

“I know.” Gwindor hiccupped. “I’m sorry, Ada.”

“Baby, you have nothing to be sorry about,” he said, sniffling. “We will fight this and find a way to win, alright?” Gwindor shrugged. “Look at me, peanut,” he said, making Gwindor smile a little. “We’ll do this. You and me.”

“And Nanafin,” he added.

“Well, we can’t leave him out of anything. He’s too quick, and he’d pout about it.” Erestor’s words made Gwindor smile. “He’s made dinner. Are you hungry?”

“I guess,” said Gwindor, shifting his gaze to the broken stick he had used.

“Come on, I’ll help you up,” offered Erestor, but Gwindor hesitated.

Heaving a sigh, he said, “I... think I hurt my ankle. Can- would-“

“You don’t have to feel bad about asking me, I like to carry you, when you let me.” Erestor lifted Gwindor up into his arms and told him, “It makes me feel useful in my old age.”
You must login (register) to review.