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something's always near by mangacrack

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Story notes:

Written for the Terrifying Tolkien Week
prompt: memento mori



 

"This is not the best night to spend outside," Glorfindel commented as he spotted Elrond on a balcony. "It's far too likely that someone will see you if you keep standing there."

The Lord of Imladris said nothing, only raised an eyebrow when he saw the Balrogslayer refused to leave the house. Apparently the great warrior knew to better stay in the light of the candles than surrender himself to the stars hanging above them.

"I wouldn't mind some company," Elrond said. His voice was soft yet demanding. Very unlike him.

Glorfindel noted how relaxed Elrond appeared. He just sat on the stone railing with one leg drawn up to rest his chin on it, not caring that the waters of the Bruinen raged beneath him. The golden haired elf gripped the door frame hard enough to be distantly aware how the rough texture of the wood cut into his skin. It may hurt but it kept him from leaping outside to drag Imladris protector away from the edge. Not that he feared that Elrond would voluntary jump but this was a dangerous night. A heavy fog engulfed the valley since morning and you never knew if something travelled with it.

A single push would suffice and they would never see Lord of Imladris again. The Bruinen protected them yet could easily take their lives.

"Well, I've no intention of joining you, Elrond. As any sensible person would I'm going to stay inside," Glorfindel said.

He tried to turn his request into an order but unlike most Elves Elrond only smiled at the attempt. Rarely he chose to follow Glorfindel's advice and truth was - the Balrogslayer couldn't force him to. The Peredhel was too stubborn and too powerful for that. Past interactions had proven that Elrond could easily break Glorfindel's wrist if he squeezed too hard. Not that it bothered Glorfindel. As one of the High Elves born in the West, such injuries healed within a week.

Yet Elrond's strength, hidden in his smaller, leaner frame, surpassed even Glorfindel's own. Perhaps it was just the difference in origin that made fighting, clashing with Elrond so difficult. All wisdom of the Valar couldn't have Glorfindel prepared for the otherness that shone in Elrond's eyes.

And to be truthful, Glorfindel wasn't sure if it was the Maia blood in the Peredhel's veins that cause the cold shivers. He met Elwing before he returned to Middle Earth and she was sweet, if a little helpless and frail in appearance.

Elrond's laugh startled the former Lord of Gondolin.

"Oh, I wasn't talking you you, my friend. Stay inside the house and light a few more candles to ease the discomfort this night causes," Elrond said and waved his hand. Indicating that he should be left alone. "For myself, I'll remain here. Come find me at dawn if you must but I promise that your fears are unfounded."

"As you wish, my Lord." Glorfindel bowed and turned to leave.

For once he didn't try to argue. If Lord Elrond wished to spend the night of the living dead outside he wouldn't hinder him. Not as long as he had the option to surround himself with light, songs and living people. The great hall would be filled with elves with similar thoughts. Perhaps the smiles would look a little forced but no one would comment on the need for comfort. Not as long spirits roamed outside, unhindered and curious. Glorfindel envied the race of men that they could celebrate the harvest instead of fearing the dead coming back to haunt them.

For in this night they were the strongest, could speak the living the easiest.

The tales said that Lord Mandos opened the doors to his halls at dusk, letting the fëa trapped inside out to wander the world. To remind the living of their existence, remind them of the mistakes they made over the course of their life. Glorfindel shuddered at the mere thought that this could be really true. Yet ... there was a reason why he didn't sleep during this week, wouldn't until the last effects of Samhain had passed. He could do without ever seeing Eöl's face again. Or Maeglin haunting his steps out of the shadows.

Glorfindel hurried inside. Before he closed the door he dared to look back. Through the windows he saw Elrond still sitting on the railing - only now he had company. Quite a few people had joined him. Most spirits Glorfindel couldn't make out. But the tall red-haired Elf who hugged Elrond with the possessiveness of a concerned parent was obviously Maedhros Fëanorian. When a woman stepped through the grey mist, beautiful and with a smile that showed far too many pointed teeth Glorfindel fled.

Better to listen the next three days to Eöl's howls, accusing him of murder and kinslaying than to spend them in Luthien's and Maedhros' company.

Chapter end notes:

One of my issues with Gondolin is that they cast Eöl if a cliff and just brush it aside. Personal Headcanon is that Glorfindel was one of the guards who did it and felt guilty ever since. Hence the reason he went back to Middle Earth, he tries to make up for basically killing an elf - no matter how justified it may have been.

Elrond on the other hand was inspired by Encairion's "Price of Vengeance II".

Title comes from Iron Maiden's 'Fear of the Dark'.

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