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Days of Amusement & Expense

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Disclaimer: Made purely for fun, not profit. Belongs to Tolkien. And JKR, but I'm not sure you can tell I'm borrowing from her this chapter. 

Erestor was always entertaining to watch. She was an expert at both concealing and revealing her emotions, and used it to good cause. It was a weapon, finely honed over centuries. This alone made her noteworthy. It was not the only thing that made Erestor incredibly fascinating to the Lady of Light. They were physically almost opposites. While Galadriel herself was tall, gold and silver intertwining her hair, Erestor was short (at least for an elf, or was it just the company she kept?) with black hair of a hue darker than almost any other in recall. Galadriel was the daughter of nobility, 'King' and 'Prince' the title for every other male relative, a true child of the Calaquendi. Erestor brought to mind certain of the elves of Doriath, quick and clever, dark and silent as shadows. Learned of the evils of the world, but less likely to rub their sufferings in your face. Vigorously, in the case of certain Noldor.

Galadriel wrenched her mind back on track. Watching Erestor was very interesting today, because she was being rather obvious. The elf who was droning on and on was incredibly boring (yéni had passed, and still he repeated himself verbatim), and no one was paying much attention. Erestor was trading notes with Elrond and making subtle faces at Haldir, who stood in the shadow of a pillar. She could sense that they were speaking mind to mind, but the conversation itself stayed out of her curious reach.

Which was another point about Erestor. Not often, but occasionally she did something rather remarkable, and then pretended it had not happened. She had brought it up with Elrond, who merely blinked slowly at her before saying he hadn't a clue what she spoke of, which meant of course that he knew but didn't think she needed to know, at least not from him. Which was itself rather significant, because normally he would tell her just enough to let her know it wasn't her business and let it go.

The fact that he had done something quite different left her wondering if he was saying 'Stay away' or 'Ask her yourself'. Very politely, of course. He was quite adept at being rude in the nicest way possible. It was actually an achievement to notice.

Thinking it over, Galadriel decided that he meant for her to find out herself. His actual intention was no the point here, if he truly wanted Erestor left alone, then he shouldn't have left things open to interpretation.

Galadriel subtly studied the seneschal, and felt a streak of jealousy as she watched Erestor exchange yet another note with Elrond, one which undoubtedly had nothing to do with wheat or boots or dwarven diplomacy or whatever it was the idiot was still monologuing about. She thought about asking Elrond, but felt it a point of pride not to ask. Even as her boredom would have her begging for relief- and yes she was aware that she was one of the oldest beings currently living on Arda, and yes she remembered countless lectures from brothers and fathers and grandfathers about patience (hypocrites all) but honestly, she could be doing something useful. Patience was all well and good as long as there was a point at the end of it all, but as it stood nothing much was getting accomplished, other than allowing her time to watch Erestor.

It was nice to know that someone else thought on the same line as herself about the proper use of time. Erestor seemed of one mind on the topic, and Galadriel dared guess that many of the 'notes' Erestor took during the wondrously informative speeches had very little, if anything, to do with topics addressed.

Suddenly, they were moving and talking about not boring things and Haldir was standing at a carefully proper distance but smiling subtly at Erestor. Which was another point, because Haldir did not smile and especially not where just anyone could see him but there he was. Granted, it took at least a century to be capable of reading his facial ticks but still. It was almost as though Erestor was trying to garner attention, in a subtle way.

"Father!" Ah, and here came the next series of entertainment. Erestor ducked behind a series of notes and a pillar, and began edging her way towards the door. "Erestor! There you are!"

It was vastly amusing to watch Erestor, the primary fear of anyone who dared oppose her intelligence in council, trade, or Imladris running, tamer of twins, warriors, and kitchen staff alike, attempt to flee that which others sought: Arwen Undómiel.

Most likely, this fear was rooted in their first real meeting a week prior. Despite previous visits, they had somehow managed to almost completely avoid each other. When they did actually meet, it was magnificent. Arwen decided that despite being the younger, she had a solemn duty to guide her new apprentice in proper appearance. She quickly managed to terrify Erestor by making friends with the Renegade Tailor (who did have a name, but had taken a liking to the title) and somehow learning Erestor's work schedule and free time habits. Haldir of course was dreadfully conflicted, but rather surprisingly assisted Erestor in her crusade to Avoid Arwen Until She Leaves. Which just made another tick in her book of Interesting Erestor. Haldir never chose anyone over Arwen except perhaps Galadriel when the situation called for it.

Galadriel watched as Arwen managed to pull Erestor (forcibly, it seemed) out the door, followed by a rather flustered looking Haldir and a bemused Glorfindel.

"You are plotting, and it does not give me any comfort." And there was Elrond at her elbow. She would never admit it, but he was the one person who perpetually managed to sneak up on her.

"Then it is well I am not in charge of you or your comfort. Indeed, as your guest I believe it is rather the other way around, and watching my dear granddaughter play doll suits me well." Elrond sighed, and reached up to rub the bridge of his nose. A rather Erestor-like thing to do. Or was he the originator of the habit? Galadriel tried to recall Elrond's younger years.

"At any rate, please do not torment my right hand overmuch. I have tried to protect her from Arwen's...enthusiasm, but it does not help that you encourage her." Galadriel didn't even bother pretending offence.

"It will not kill her to spend some time with someone as lively as your lovely daughter." Elrond shook his head, seeming rather amused.

"True, but that is Glorfindel's office. And Lindir's as well, I should add. Arwen may be just a bit too much when included with those." They froze their conversation when a rather harried looking Erestor leapt through the windows. Their third floor windows. She collapsed gracefully in a chair. Noticing the stares of her Elders, she smoothed her hair and robes.

"If they had not intended people to enter that way, they should not have made the trees so easy to climb, nor the windows so wide." 

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Erestor had not felt this hassled in centuries. Centuries. She was supposed to be the one in control of this realm, and instead she spent her time completely rearranging her schedule to avoid ONE bored elf maiden who apparently-


She shuddered, and avoided the thought. Slightly less terrifying was the interest Lady Galadriel had recently taken. It seemed much more along the lines of generic curiosity, that of an older cat being surprised to find something actually rather entertaining, and forgoing a nap to figure it out. Not that THE Lady of Light resembled a great, golden, smugly satisfied feline with a mysterious smile. Not at all.

It still brought to mind a cat and mouse when Galadriel sat across from her at meetings.

Be that as it may, the Lady seemed to gain a great deal of satisfaction watching her granddaughter torment the mouse, and so Erestor dismissed most of the attention as somewhat annoying but mostly irrelevant to the current situation.

Which, most recently, had led to her running through the halls. She was far too old for this, and was also wishing she had metamorphmagus abilities at the moment. Just as she had determined that no, it would not be an abuse of power if she unlocked a random door and hid, a tall golden form ended her flight. Glorfindel and his horrible timing, the idiot king-

"Running in the halls?"

Except not Glorfindel. Definitely not.

"Lady Galadriel." Erestor tried to sound pleasantly surprised, she truly did. It didn't succeed. "I apologize, it was not my intention to- ah, collide with you or anyone." The sound of the chase echoed close by, and Erestor stiffened. Galadriel nodded to herself, grabbed Erestor's arm, and pulled her into a room.

"Grandmother, you found her!" Stardust in vocal form haunted Erestor, who quickly checked the windows. No trees? For the love of-

"Yes I did, but I am afraid we are having a rather important discussion right now." It sounded so pleasant, but the implicit command left no doubt. Go away and find someone else to torture, I'm taking a turn right now. And here Erestor had thought Lord Elrond's line was troublesome. Still, at least entertaining the Lady of Lothlórien held the potential for tea. Very nice tea, if memory served. Actually, now that her panic had subsided, it smelled exactly like tea and baked apples...

Had they planned this together? If so, Erestor's life had just become incredibly complicated and difficult.

Perhaps she could cause the mass hallucination of an invading army, and slip out during the chaos.

"So, Erestor, what was my dearest granddaughter trying to do to you this time?"

Erestor did not want to answer that. It involved a lot of pink, and lace. And Glorfinel's stupid, smirking face that was just asking to get turned zebra striped (and wouldn't that be marvelous? Did elves even know about zebras?).

"The Lady Arwen desired that I try on some of her outfits from when she was younger." And wasn't that an even worse kicker? Galadriel said nothing, but one corner of her mouth tipped just a bit, and Erestor knew that the Lady was imagining it all too well.

"Yes, she did go through a rather...fluffy period, if I remember." Fluffy was one way of putting it. Worthy of a Disney princess parody, more like. Erestor, who had accepted tea, tightened her grip just slightly. "Come now, surely between the two of us, knowing each other as long as we have, you can talk to me."

Perhaps it was unwise, but frankly speaking, Erestor was running on low sleep, had skipped at least four meals in the past two (or was it three? She couldn't keep track anymore) days, and that was only from the normal chaos meetings between Lothlórien and Imladris caused. The addition developments and increased stress would require at least two months of tea therapy on their own, and perhaps Erestor could push for meetings once every three centuries instead of one meeting per century. Lord Elrond and Lady Galadriel could speak mind to mind, what need had they of being face to face? In fact-

"Erestor?" She looked up, startled. Ooh, this was unfortunate. Things were starting to rattle. Quickly reigning in her emotions, Erestor made a swift decision.

"As the Lady wishes. Honestly speaking, while I have no problem with the colour pink in general, I think it should be used in moderation and rarely on me. When said pink comes in five different shades on the same dress, I think it is an abomination. When said pink abomination also comes with six layers of" and a wild gesture with her hands, almost spilling tea, "poof, it becomes an evil of its own. I will NOT allow such evil to be enacted upon my person. I am a free creature, and will not wear a dress merely to entertain a bored elven maiden. If she truly wanted something to do, I am sure I could find some work that does not. Involve. Me. I also think that it is rather telling as to her mental stability, no matter how old she was when wearing It."

Personally, Erestor was quite impressed that she had managed not to break the teacup, and merely placed it down upon the saucer with a slight clink.

Thereupon, something utterly terrifying happened.

Galadriel laughed.

This, Erestor realized, could perhaps become the ultimate weapon in our fight against the Dark Lord when he rises again. The laughter seemed to be a mixture of early sunlight and forceful winds (and look who was trying to be poetic), and sounded so utterly unrefined and contrary to everything else Galadriel did currently. This was the laughter of the strong willed Daughter of Noldor who fought with a sword, not words, and crossed the Grinding Ice.

"Erestor, I think we shall be friends." And Galadriel placed another apple tart upon her plate, smiling in a non-mysterious way for once.

Right. Of course. Erestor lived to entertain Old Elves. Notice the capitol letters. Actually, weren't Glorfindel and Galadriel related?* It would make sense. What had she done to deserve this?

"Although I must confess, I agree with my granddaughter. You are quite adorable, especially when angry." That was it. Erestor was going to have to leave Imladris in exile.

"I am not adorable. Any such descriptor is unhelpful for my position, and honestly, speaks poorly of Arwen's ability to judge character." This was stated in her best Seneschal voice, eyes disinterested and hands politely folded, ignoring the obvious bribe. Galadriel simply reached over and patted her hands gently.

"Of course, dear child." Erestor snatched her hands away, grabbed the lonely apple tart, and stormed out of the room. Politely, of course. Usually it disconcerted people when, even obviously angry, she still gave them the vague niceties she always did. Galadriel appeared unaffected. Of course, she was likely old enough to have invented it.

"Not quite!" Galadriel called from the room. Erestor left swiftly. She was not adorable. And if she had to punch faces until people remembered that again, well. Omelets and broken eggs and all that.

It would also be pleasant, she thought, to start with Glorfindel.