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Lessons Learned

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Title: Lessons Learned.

 

Author:  washow

 

Rating:  G

 

Summary:  Elrond is a very busy elf but a little boy is desperate for his attention.  Can Elrond pry himself away from Imladris long enough to impart important lessons to his son and in the process learn a lesson himself?

 

Disclaimer:  I do not own Lord of the Rings nor am I making any profit from this story.  Any similarities to other fan fiction are purely coincidental.  I tried to remain as true to the books as I could but there may be a few discrepancies.  This is not slash but a tale of friendship and family love.

 

 

 

The Hunt

 

 

“Please ada!  I know how to use a bow, can’t I go hunting tomorrow with the young elves.” The human begged.

 

Elrond let out a slow sigh, this was the twelfth time today Estel had asked to go on the hunt tomorrow and Elrond’s patience was wearing thin.  He took a sip of wine then looked at the boy, “We have been over this Estel.  I have several important things to do tomorrow and can’t get away to take you.  I’m sorry but we’ll go hunting soon.”

 

“I wish I was important”, the boy muttered just loud enough for the elf lord to hear him.

 

Elrond opened his mouth to respond but was saved when Elladan offered, “We’ll take him ada.”

 

Elrond was momentarily stunned as he mentally shifted gears from making an apology to Estel to considering the possibility of allowing his twin sons to take Estel hunting.  Unfortunately his youngest son didn’t give Elrond a lot of time to shift gears before he started begging, “Please ada, let me go with Dan and Ro.”

 

Elrond sighed yet again and wondered momentarily if his children really would cause his hair to turn gray.  “I don’t know Estel, you have never been hunting and I’m not sure your first time should be with the twins.”

 

Estel looked as though he was going to pout but was cut to the chase by Elrohir, “But ada Elladan and I have been hunting for centuries we are capable of teaching him.”

 

Elrond knew he was beaten when all three of his sons looked at him with puppy dog eyes.  He raised his hands in a sign of concession, “All right you may go with the twins, finish your dinner than go upstairs and start packing.”  Estel wolfed down the rest of his dinner and ran upstairs to get his things ready.  When the twins rose to go finish their own preparations Elrond stopped them, “Not you two, I need a word with you.”  The twins exchanged a look than sat back down in their seats, “The three of you have coerced me into letting Estel go so I expect the two of you to be on your best behavior and guard over that child.” 

 

“I promise we’ll take good care of him, ada” Elrohir assured. 

 

Elrond nodded, “Be sure that you do and pack plenty of bandages.”  The twins smiled in understanding and took leave of their father to finish packing.

 

The next morning the twins and Estel were in the courtyard packing the horses while their father looked on from the top of the stairs.  When they were ready to go Elrond came down the stairs to pass along last minute pieces of advice, “Be sure to stay together, don’t leave the valley and be home two days from now.”

 

Elladan put a reassuring hand on his father’s arm, “Don’t worry ada we’ll come back to you just as healthy as when we left.”  With that the three mounted their horses and rode out of the courtyard, bound for their first adventure together.

 

An hour later Glorfindel was amusedly watching his friend stare at a blank space on the wall.  The blond elf tried hard to keep from laughing but he found it funny to see his old friend so distracted, “So the plan is to allow orcs to set up a permanent settlement in Eastern Mirkwood in exchange for some prime land in front of the black gate.  Does that sound right to you Elrond?”  The ancient elf asked while being very careful not to indicate anything was amiss by his tone of voice.

 

Elrond looked up suddenly, “Yes that seems correct.”  He responded distractedly.

 

Glorfindel burst out laughing, “Thranduil will be less than pleased to learn that you’re trading off pieces of his land.”  The lord of the valley looked at his friend with confused eyes, “Elrond, have you heard a word I’ve said?”

 

Elrond grinned sheepishly, “I’m sorry my friend I suppose I’m a bit distracted.  I just can’t get my mind off my youngest son.  Estel is so young and vulnerable and we both know the twins can be irresponsible at times.  I know they love him but I worry that they don’t understand just how fragile humans are and so will overestimate his abilities.  I wish I could spend more time with him because human lives are short and when he learns of his heritage he will have to take up the leadership of the Dúnedain and I’ll hardly ever see him.”

 

Glorfindel started laughing yet again, “Elrond I don’t believe I’ve ever heard you ramble.  If you are so concerned about the amount of time you get to spend with the child let’s do what we must, delegate what others can do and postpone the rest then we can ride out after those irresponsible children of yours.”

 

Elrond looked skeptical for a moment than changed his mind and started sorting through papers, “If you’ll help me with these, we can ask Erestor do finish those and these can wait until we get back.”  Glorfindel smiled and immediately set himself to the work.  Three short hours later the work had been taken care of and the two were galloping out of the courtyard with the goal of catching the young ones who had left that morning.

 

“Come on Estel” Elrohir said as he gently nudged his little brother, “help us unpack the horses and then you can stare all you want.”

 

            The gentle prodding got the twelve year old human boy moving and he started unsaddling his horse.  As he turned to put the saddle down he caught a glimpse of the lake, “It is so beautiful here,” the boy said with a gentle sigh.

 

 

            The twins exchanged a look than broke into identical smiles, “That it is little brother, that it is.  This is the same place we came on our first hunting trip.” Elladan supplied.

 

            “Really?” the boy asked.

 

            Elrohir smiled, “Really, in fact Elladan and I were just as awe struck as you are when Ada and Glorfindel brought us here.”

 

            The boy looked up from the pile of firewood, “Ada and Glor brought you on your first hunting trip?”

 

            Elladan could sense the boy’s disappointment so he added, “Yeah but they’ re not much fun, you’ll have a better time with us.”

 

            “I heard that Elladan.” came drifting from the woods behind the elf.

 

The sound of a voice behind him made the elder twin spin around.  “Ada?”

 

            From the other side of the camp came another familiar voice, “Really I thought we taught you two to be more alert.” Glorfindel declared as he entered the camp. “We’ve been following you all afternoon.”

 

            “Ada, Glorfindel!” the boy exclaimed from his place by the fire, “I thought you had important things to do at home.”

 

            Elrond walked over to his youngest son, “We did.”  When the boy turned confused eyes to him the elderly elf continued, “We accomplished our tasks in Imladris and now we are here to take care of the important task of teaching you how to hunt.”

 

            While the father and son discussed the dinner menu the twins converged on Glorfindel, “Didn’t trust us I see.” Elrohir said with a twinkle in his eye.

 

            “We trusted you to get the boy in trouble.” Glorfindel teased back than turned serious, “Shortly after you left your father started thinking about how short human lives are and how important this trip was to the boy so we rode out to join you.”

 

            Once the new arrivals had their horses unpacked the group sat down to dinner, “When are we going to hunt?” asked the anxious boy.

 

            Elrond smiled at his youngest, “We could go now as it is sundown but I think we’ll wait until morning.  As soon as you finish eating you need to get ready for bed.”  The boy started to protest but Elrond continued, “We’ll have to start very early in the morning and you’ll need your strength.”  The boy shot his father a rebellious look but the negative nods from his brothers caused him to acquiesce to his father’s desires and head off to bed.

 

            True to his word Elrond woke Estel early the next morning and the group headed to the hunting grounds where they concealed themselves among the branches of the trees.  Elrond crouched next to the young human to wait and soon the father and son were rewarded as a large herd of deer emerged from the forest.

 

            “There are so many, we won’t have to hunt for a long time.” Estel whispered to his father.

 

            Elrond smiled, “We must be careful to take only what we need my son.”

 

            “Since there are so many why can’t we take all we’re going to need for the year?” the boy asked.

 

            “There are several reasons we can’t little one.  First of all we don’t have a means to get all of the meat back home.  Secondly, other people may need some of this meat in the near future and we must always share with the other peoples of Middle Earth.  The last reason we can’t kill all these deer is that some must be left alive to ensure herds in the future.  Watch how Glorfindel and your brothers carefully select the deer to kill, being sure not to take any young females or fawns.”  True to the elf lords word Glorfindel and the twins each selected either a buck or an older doe as their prey.  Elrond than turned to his son, “which deer would you like to take?”

 

            The boy considered his choices carefully before finally replying, “The doe over on the edge of the herd, she seems to be alone and appears to have been around for awhile.”  The elf lord nodded his agreement and helped his son site in the doe.  As the pair walked to the kill the elf lord said the most important words to his son, “I’m very proud of you.”

 

 

The End