The door to Elrond’s study suddenly opens, which is uncommon; usually, everybody knocks, even if not all wait for an invitation to come in. Only one person would disregard their customs in this way, so Elrond is not left in doubt as to who is about to enter and puts his quill down with a sigh. Around him, the peaceful quiet of the room changes into subtle movement. Shadows vanish, a tail is drawn behind a curtain, a head lowered. Eyes close, ears turn, whiskers twitch.
When his visitor enters, Elrond looks up. “Can I help you?” he asks with restrained civility. He holds his mother-in-law in high esteem and usually cooperates well with her. But living with her under the same roof can be taxing, particularly when she assumes the right to do as she pleases. Not surprisingly, she is also the only person in his household who does not care if she comes at an inconvenient time. All of Imladris knows their Lord is not to be disturbed when he is doing the books, but not so the Lady Galadriel.
“’Afternoon, Elrond. I am looking for my elusive husband; I have not seen him all day.”
Elrond’s eyebrows make a valiant attempt to reach his hairline. She is disrupting him for this?
He remains silent, but she is unfazed. Eventually, he says: “I believe he has gone hunting with the twins.”
“Oh.” A moue of disapproval contorts her features. “Ah, well. I will not interrupt you further, then.”
“You are welcome,” Elrond says to the door which has fallen closed behind her. With a smirk, he picks up his quill again. He does not begrudge the Lord of the Golden Forest this little reprieve at all. At least Celeborn is able to let go and enjoy life when he is away from home, contrary to his wife. He loves his grand-children and spends as much time with them as possible, a fact Elrond cherishes even more as he does not remember his own father, nor his mentors doing anything ever just for the fun of it.
He makes a chirping noise. “Peace and quiet once more, my darlings,” he says. “You may relax once again.”
A curled-up body stretches out again on the settee, a striped tail slowly slips back out from under the curtain on the windowsill. On the sideboard, the tips of pointed ears rise above the rim of a wide bowl, and a ginger paw lazily creeps out between some books high in a bookcase. Soft steps approach.
A movement at his side makes Elrond lift up his free hand and then lower it again on the small body curling up on his lap, gently stroking the soft fur. Peace restored.
With a smile, he turns back to his ledgers.