There's A Portal In The Store Cupboard by Burning Nightingale

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Story Notes:

Keiliss' request: "11. Glorfindel, Imladris, midwinter, no angst. Bonus points if there's a peacock feather in the mix, extra bonus points for slash (not Elrond, please)."

Author's notes: I had quite a lot of fun writing this one, even though it's essentially plotless and quite silly :D I hope it makes an adequate Christmas/holiday gift


Midwinter festivities in Imladris were always a joyous occasion. The holiday included a large feast, a little dancing, singing traditional tunes and, most anticipated of all, a dramatic performance.

This year, like many years, the twins had taken it into their heads to provide this part of the entertainment, and had recruited Lindir to help them. The young musician was a rather more willing participant than Melpomaen, who was standing irritatedly at the door to the library’s store cupboard, watching Lindir and the twins root around inside. “I should never let you in here,” he grumbled, “You always manage to make a mess.”

Elrohir walked past the door, playfully tapping him on the end of the nose with an unexplainable length of garden cane he’d found somewhere inside. “Stop looking so melancholy, Mel. We’ll help you clean up.”

“You say that every year, too,” Melpomaen said darkly.

Glorfindel had been watching the four of them from the door of Erestor’s study, smiling lightly to himself, for the past half hour. From behind him, he could hear that the scratch of pen against paper had stopped; Erestor must have finished signing the last few letters. Sure enough, a few moments later he appeared at Glorfindel’s shoulder. “Mel’s let them loose in the cupboard again,” he said, a fond yet exasperated tone to his voice.

“They find something new every year,” Glorfindel laughed, “I don’t know where half of that junk in there even came from.”

“There’s a portal to another universe in the back. New items drop out of it every year. I keep meaning to ask Mithrandir to come and fix it.”

Erestor sounded so serious that Glorfindel gave him a slightly concerned sideways glance, only to find the Councillor glancing sideways back at him, his lips curved upwards just slightly and a mischievous look in his eyes. Glorfindel shook his head and huffed, “Honestly,” rolling his eyes, and Erestor laughed at him.

The sound made Melpomaen turn to scowl fiercely at them. “Oh Mel, take that ghastly look off your face,” Glorfindel teased, grinning, “You’ll give yourself frown lines and scare off all your suitors!”

Any mention of Melpomaen’s ‘suitors’ was apt to turn him into a shy, blushing mess, and he did not disappoint. Flushing, he spun back around and entered the cupboard, spluttering something about chastising Elladan for breaking something. Glorfindel sniggered, and Erestor hit him lightly on the arm. “Don’t use that against him,” he said, frowning.

“Sorry,” Glorfindel smiled placatingly at him. “You know me. I find it far too tempting.”

“You are rogue, you mean,” Erestor said, shaking his head, but still smiling slightly.

“Shall we see what they’ve found?” Glorfindel started toward the cupboard, and Erestor fell into step beside him. They leaned in around the door and found there was no one in sight. The cupboard was a large room, filled with standing shelves packed to bursting with whatever items were found unneeded around the House. Erestor had been encouraging various members of the Household to clean it for years, and had brought the issue to Elrond’s attention several times, but no one was eager to begin sorting through the ceiling-high piles of junk and random items that had accumulated there over time.

They could hear laughter from nearer the back of the room. They found the twins further in, with Melpomaen in front of them. He leaned away in annoyance when Elrohir brushed a long feather in his face, snapping, “Stop pushing things into my face, Elrohir, that’s the second time you’ve tapped me with something today.”

“What is that?” Glorfindel asked.

Elrohir held it up. “A peacock feather.” When Glorfindel held out a hand for it, he passed it over. “They’re quite magnificent things, I always think.”

“Not quite as magnificent as this,” Lindir’s voice announced.

They all looked around and saw him at the end of one of the shelves, sporting a huge peacock-feather headdress and grinning from ear to ear. The twins fell about laughing. “Where on Middle-earth did that thing come from?” Glorfindel wondered, staring.

“I told you, another universe.” Glorfindel gave Erestor a look, and he laughed. “Well, I think it came from Harad, actually, but I can’t remember why we have it.”

“I can’t think why anyone would want to keep it locked away!” Lindir said jokingly, strutting forward exaggeratedly and pouting for effect. “Why, I could wear this all week.”

“I dare you,” Elladan laughed.

“Or maybe just for the play,” Lindir conceded, smiling. “Now we’ve found it, I think we’re honour bound to include it somewhere.”

“There’s a book of fairytales from Harad somewhere, if you don’t find any suitable inspiration,” Erestor said. “Mel knows where it is, I’m sure.”

The twins latched onto the idea, and hurriedly persuaded Melpomaen to help them look for the book, leaving Glorfindel and Erestor suddenly alone. “They forgot to take this,” Glorfindel said softly, twirling the long feather in his fingers.

“I think they have enough of their own,” Erestor laughed.

~~~

Later that evening found Glorfindel out on one of the chilly walkways of the House, wrapped in a cloak and staring up at the clear night’s sky. The night was cold and his breath made a misty fog in the air in front of him, lit up as it passed gently by the small lantern hanging from the eaves above his head. He scanned the garden, and then looked back up at the sky.

“You look like you’re waiting for something,” a familiar voice said at his back.

“Erestor,” he explained, nodding out into the garden as Elrond came to stand beside him. “He wanted to go out in the garden, but as you can see, I have no shoes.” He held one foot forward. “I did not feel like getting wet feet, so I have stayed here for the moment.”

Even as they watched, a familiar dark-haired figure reappeared from behind the bushes and approached them, crunching through the snow. “I think it has gotten deeper, down by the river,” Erestor observed, meaning the snow he was shaking off his boots as he stepped back onto the covered walkway.

“At least we shouldn’t have to discourage the twins from swimming in the river this year,” Elrond said, shuddering slightly. “I don’t want to know why they thought that would be a good idea.”

“Who would have thought it, from sons of yours?” Glorfindel laughed.

“Oh Glorfindel, you did not know Elrond in his younger days,” Erestor said, grinning.

Elrond shot him and look and said regally, “Far behind me now, I assure you. One day those two rascals will be just as civilised as I am, and you will all wonder at how they were once so wild.”

They all laughed. “That’s what you’re desperately hoping for, at least,” Glorfindel added, chuckling.

They walked back in the direction of their rooms together, and the conversation turned to the Midwinter Festival. “We’ll have it all; the usual large feast, decorations, dancing. Whatever strange show the boys decide to put on, and I suppose some roasting nuts over the fire or whatever it is anyone cares to do with them.” Erestor made a face; it was a well-known fact that he was not fond of nuts.

“Apparently Mithrandir will be making an appearance this year,” Elrond said. “I received a letter from him a week ago.”

“He has his usual room in the East Wing,” Erestor said, nodding.

“Maybe you can ask him to fix that portal,” Glorfindel snorted.

Erestor laughed, but Elrond looked confused. “What? Portal?”

“Erestor tried to convince me there is a portal to another universe in the back of our store cupboard,” Glorfindel said, one eyebrow raised.

Elrond nodded sagely. “Ah, that one. It’s been giving us trouble for years.”

Erestor laughed, and Glorfindel scowled. “Honestly, you two. You’re both as silly as one another.”

They had come to Elrond’s door, so he bid them goodnight and they continued on.

“Did the twins tell you which play they mean to perform, in the end?” Glorfindel asked.

“It is a secret, apparently,” Erestor smiled. “I imagine it may be the one about the Jade Princess, though. She is famous for her outlandish clothing.”

Glorfindel nodded. “And did Mel deign to join them?”

“I encouraged him to, and when that didn’t work, I told Elladan he had my permission to simply abduct him from his desk.”

“Rather forceful parenting.”

Erestor raised an eyebrow. “Am I his father?”

“I thought you were distant cousins.”

“No, Glorfindel, that was Elladan’s misunderstanding, remember?” Erestor sighed exasperatedly. “How long have you known me, now?”

“Three thousand and twenty one years, seventeen days and six hours, exactly.”

“That’s wrong.”

“I swear, it’s the truth.”

Erestor glared at him for a moment, and then laughed. “Well, I can do no better. I don’t remember the exact amount of time either.”

“Of course you don’t,” Glorfindel grinned as he opened their door, “Who could? And does it matter? It is not the time spent, but how you spend the time.”

“Did you get that one from Mithrandir?” Erestor asked archly.

Glorfindel’s smile was fond. “It was ‘Thel who used to say that, actually.”

Erestor smiled. “It’s a good enough sentiment for me,” he said softly, before shutting the door quietly behind them.


Chapter End Notes:

I don't know whether anyone in Middle-earth would have had a concept of a 'portal', but I assume they would. It felt a bit modern, but it was the best way I could convey that idea. Also, I'm not sure what climate is natural to peacocks, so I went for an exotic region. As for Erestor's and Melpomaen's relation, I usually stick to the idea that they are completely unrelated in family terms, though my headcanon still wavers on how they met. And as for how long Glorfindel has known Erestor, I'd say their acquaintance started from near the beginning of the Second Age, so if anyone wants to do rough maths for me, I would be most obliged XD



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