Beyond Canon

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“If you keep biting your nails, you will cause your fingers to bleed.” Glorfindel set a bowl of soup down on the table. “Before you give me any fuss over food being here in the library,” interrupted the blond elf before Erestor could begin, “it would not need to be here if you would start coming to dinner. And lunch. And breakfast.” In a lower voice, he said, “You told me it was nothing when you did not show up the night of the banquet, nothing was worrying you, but now, you sit here and worry. The ring is out of Sauron’s hands, peace has come to us, and you sit. And worry. And you have not eaten a thing as far as I can tell. So now, I worry about you.”

“Do not. I am fine.” Erestor had hidden himself a back corner of the library, if one could call it that. In Lothlorien, there were six libraries, each for a different discipline. This happened to be the tree that housed the horticultural, botanical, and agricultural collection. On a table in the back, piles of books surrounded the scholar, blocking him from view of anyone not knowing he was there. The librarians, after the first day of trying to be friendly, had simply left him to himself.

Glorfindel shoved two piles aside so that Erestor was not blocked from the view of whomever might dare sit at the other end of the table and sat down. “Fine, my ass, you are. Elrond has been trying to find you, as has Galadriel.” When Glorfindel noticed Erestor sink down further in his chair, he said, “What is with you?” Leaning across the table, he asked, “Did something happen between you and Galadriel?”

Erestor rested his face in his hands, rubbing his eyes. One of the librarians passed by, tsking at the steaming bowl that was on the table, but she said nothing and continued on her way. Bowing his head down further, he leaned his forhead against his palms with his elbows on the table. Staring at the wooden surface, he let out a long sigh that spoke volumes.

“Oh.” Glorfindel bit his lip. “Well.” Taking one of the books from the stack, he opened it and idly paged through. “If you want, I can tell them I could not find you.”

“What does... she... want?”

“Something about staying here and teaching her children. Her daughter was never formally schooled and her son is just at the right age…to...Erestor?” Glorfindel’s voice changed to one of concern when he noticed the tears falling from Erestor’s eyes onto the table. Looking around hastily to find the exit, Glorfindel stood up and then pulled Erestor up from his chair, discretely handing him a handkerchief. As he escorted him from the library, one of the pages took note and wandered over with a worried look. “Onion soup, silly me, it makes him tear up,” Glorfindel said, waving away the page as they made their escape.

Once at the base of the tree, Glorfindel whistled, and Asfaloth trotted over near immediately. The horse nudged his muzzle against Erestor’s shoulder, and the dark elf mounted, blowing his nose once he was on the saddle as Glorfindel leaped up onto the horse behind him. From there they rode to the river, finding a spot that Glorfindel deemed free of the stealthy wardens that patrolled the forest. “My friend, what is wrong?” he asked once they had dismounted.

At the shore, Erestor was staring down into the clear water, into the eyes of his reflection. “Do you recall what I told you so many years ago in Gondolin? What I told you not to reveal to anyone?” Glorfindel nodded beside him. “Glorfindel, I do not know how it is possible, but that child...” Erestor shook his head. “It was not to happen this way. This is not what I meant to pray for.”

The many years they had spent together had somehow allowed them to understand what the other meant even if others would not have. Placing a hand upon Erestor’s shoulder, Glorfindel asked, “Are you saying, you think the boy is your son?”

Swallowing numerous times and dabbing at his eyes with the cloth, Erestor finally nodded. He wrapped his arms around himself, shivering a little. “It was not supposed to be this way.”

“But Erestor, he is only a few years old. I assume now that she is the one you had relations with in Valinor long ago. How could-“

“Do you recall when Elrond sent me back to deliver the message to here that their king had fallen?” Erestor looked over to see Glorfindel shaking his head. “When Amdir died, someone had to come to tell Celeborn the news, that Amroth was now king. I spent a few weeks here gathering supplies with the party that traveled with me before we came back. It was in the fall. I was told he was found, in the fall, the following year, beneath a tree. I know, it sounds ridiculous,” said Erestor, seemingly chastising himself. “I have no other solution to it.”

“Is that why you do not wish to speak to her?” asked Glorfindel. Erestor nodded. “But... you are going to tell her about this, are you not?” Erestor shook his head. “Erestor, why not? Erestor, if he is your son- Erestor, you have always said you wanted children!” Glorfindel was trying in vain to get Erestor to look at him, for the dark elf was now traveling down the waterline with his back to the blond. “Erestor, you have to tell her. He should know who is father is.”

“His father is a good elf, a lord, a noble, a husband, a- yes, Glorfindel, yes.” Erestor waited for Glorfindel to stop shaking his head with disproval. “Glorfindel.” Now it was Erestor who was turned from. A sigh, and he marched to the blond, circling around him. “Glorfindel,” he said, taking hold of his cheeks and making his face him, “I will not ruin what he has. It should be this way. This is what is best for him.”

“But is it the best for you?” Glorfindel removed Erestor’s hands from his face, but did not release them. “Erestor, I know you. I know you better than you know yourself sometimes.” This comment made Erestor smile, just a little, for it was probably true. “Erestor, you must tell them.”


“Then I will.”

“No!” In a panic, Erestor gripped Glorfindel’s hands tighter. “Fin, please. Do not do this. Fin... Fin, I did not mean for this to happen. I meant for them to have a child, to be happy, to have a family. How will it be for him, hmm? To have a mother here and a father somewhere else, and to live with an ellon who thought himself his father- Fin, it would be such a mess. Did you see how happy they are? It has been so dark these recent years- let them have that happiness, Fin. Please. Please.”

“I will not tell them.” Glorfindel will nearly knocked backwards from Erestor’s embrace. “And Erestor, I am here for you, for whatever support you need. It seems to wrong, though, Erestor. To exchange their happiness for your own.”

Erestor stepped back, and he wiped the fresh tears from his face. “Sometimes... the best thing for a child is the worst thing for their parent.”

“You are a good father, to make this sacrifice for him.” Glorfindel motioned in the direction of Caras Galadhon. “If you stay here and tutor them, as Galadriel has requested, you could see him everyday.”

The look on Erestor’s face was hopeful, so hopeful. “No,” he said finally. “It would slip, I would say something. I cannot stay here.” Silence fell between them as Asfaloth trotted back. It was becoming dark and a chill wind blew through the trees. “Glorfindel?”

“Yes, Erestor?” The blond reached up to scratch behind his steed’s ears.

“Would you consider staying here, to teach?” Erestor was wringing his hands as he asked. “I would just hate if he were to have a poor education, and I know you would be a great teacher.”

Without hesitation, Glorfindel nodded. “For you, I would do anything within my power, my friend.”
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