"Of Chilly Dwarves and an Angry Elf"

Written By: Flinn

Chapters | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |

Chapter 4


Gimli lurched out of the realm of slumber and tumbled dazedly into a sitting position. He babbled and snarled incoherently, casting about for whatever had woken him. Still half asleep, he leapt out of bed, stalking around his room for signs of the one who had intruded on his dreams.

“WHO’S THERE?” he snarled, whipping his head back and forth, small dark eyes scouring every corner where the light from the hearth did not reach. “There’s no use hiding! After all, I have the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a-”


The Master of Aglarond nearly leapt out of his skin. He whirled around, glaring towards the direction of the closed door that separated his chambers from the wide hallway beyond. Whoever had the nerve, the effrontery, the sheer audacity to wake him this late at night, (or this early in the morning, for that matter) had just incurred the thunderous wrath of Gimli.

Gimli stormed towards the doorway, growling and swearing. He would throttle the one who had done this, and he would enjoy it! But just as he was about to fling the door wide, he stopped. There was another sound that in his rage he had not caught before. There was not just one intruder, but many. Muffled voices all joined in conversation or calling out for him to ‘open up’ could be heard. Some were angry, others sounded annoyed, and still others seemed to be confused. Gimli’s own wrath was put aside for the moment as he listened. “What in the name of Aulё?” Frowning, he opened the door.

“Let’s throw him out, I say!”

“Lock him up until he talks.”

“What would one of him want here anyway?”

“Finally! Master Gimli!”

A small crowd of Dwarves hovered in the hallway: arguing, questioning, puzzling. But at the appearance of their lord all voices fell silent. Some held weapons of various kinds and others had flung mail over their night clothes. In the midst of them stood a Dwarf sentry in full armor and beside him looking very comical surrounded by a sea of bearded busybodies, was an Elf.

“Oh” muttered Gimli, a bit under his breath. 
Blast that Elf, he thought, he’s gone and made things impossible already.

“Master Gimli,” said the sentry, taking a step forward and forcing his prisoner to do the same, “this one rode up not ten minutes ago and demanded to see you. Said he was 
expected.” The Dwarf drew out the word sarcastically. Several of the others growled. “I made it very clear that no one was to be allowed in after nightfall and that NO ONE in his right mind would choose wake you at this hour.” Gimli snorted. “But he insisted. What are my orders?”

All eyes turned to Gimli in anticipation of the answer. This was not exactly the reunion the Dwarf had had in mind. He fumbled for an answer.

“Well, um…you see lads, I…” Gimli’s eyes locked onto one Dwarf in particular that stood a little away from the throng. Kori was leaning on his war-hammer wearing a devilish smirk on his face. He was enjoying this all too much. Straightening a little, Gimli continued. “There’s been a…well, I suppose I should…”

“Out with it!” called Kori.

“ALRIGHT,” said Gimli, giving Kori a withering glare. The red-bearded Dwarf took a deep breath and suddenly caught the eyes of the Elf.

Gimli almost glared at 
him as well.

There was an apologetic gleam in those blue orbs, but there was also a look of amusement on his friend’s face that seemed a might too contradictory for him to be truly remorseful.

“I have an…announcement…to make.”

All were silent.

“The Elf’s name is Greenleaf, and,”--
Here it comes, Gimli said mentally--“I’ve asked him to stay and visit Aglarond.”

There was momentary stunned silence. Several jaws dropped. Then…

The hallway exploded in an uproar. Some yelled. Some cursed. Some simply nodded as if they had known it all along. One of these was Kori. Dwarves that had not been part of the original crowd (but had been rudely awakened by the angry roar of their fellows) stormed out of their chambers and added to the turmoil. The Elf stood in the midst of the mass of fuming creatures, unmoving. Gimli could take it no longer.


The shouts died down, and every Dwarf turned their smoldering eyes to Gimli.

“Now listen, ALL of you. I’ll not be having any of-”

“Gimli, may I speak a word on my own behalf?” the Elf asked. He had one eyebrow raised and his head cocked to the side. 
Not with that look you can’t, Gimli thought. It spells trouble every time.

“Legolas, I’m not sure if-”

“Legolas?!” exclaimed an older, grey bearded Dwarf that leaned heavily on the handle of his axe. “Legolas?! Thranduil’s whelp from Mirkwood?”

Mentally, Gimli slapped himself. Hard.

Aloud, Gimli ground out: “Perhaps.”

The room went wild once more, and not just with shouting. Weapons were raised and brandished in the Elf’s direction. One Dwarf stalked towards Legolas with two throwing axes waving in the air.

this is the legendary Son of an Orc whose father locked my cousins away without cause!” he shouted. “The one whose father joined forces with those who wished to strip them of what was theirs!”

“STAND DOWN, MASTER FORIN. Fili and Kili would have died in battle whether the Elves came or not!” Gimli countered. “STAND DOWN, I SAID!”

There was a fire lit behind Forin’s eyes, and it seemed to take him a great deal of strength to keep himself from sending his twin blades whirling. But gradually he lowered his weapons and simply glowered hatred at the Elf. Gimli looked to Legolas and was surprised to see the deceptively calm restraint etched on his friend’s features, even with all the negative remarks being tossed about regarding his father and heritage. The Elf was not happy; far from it. The amused look in his eye had quickly turned smoldering. The muscles on his jaw bulged and he stared forward, making eye contact with no one. But compared to some of the scathing comments Gimli had received when he had first ‘mentioned’ Thranduil to Legolas, the Elf was doing exceptionally well at holding his tongue.

The room was beginning to get rowdy once more. An irate, half-asleep Dwarven mob was nearly impossible to deal with, and if nothing was done quickly it was sure to turn into a riot. Gimli growled a sigh as his patience level dropped. 
Welcome to Aglarond, Master Elf, he said mentally. What a wonderful beginning to your visit.


After much shouting, several threats, and a few jeers, Gimli finally disbanded the grumbling company. Hostility was still thick enough to smell, and all knew that this particular war of wills was not over. But after a while, many decided that they preferred the inviting embrace of their warm beds to standing around pointlessly debating over an Elf. Gimli had made it very clear that he intended for Legolas to stay. But it was also clear that the issue was not completely settled. There were many disgruntled Dwarves climbing into bed that night.

Now, Gimli and Legolas sat together in the empty Dining Hall at one of the many wooden tables that were scattered around the room. Nearby, a cold hearth was situated to the side of an exceptionally large table. The Hall was empty and quiet, save for these two. Gimli sat at one of the side tables upon a simple bench seat. Legolas sat across from him, forced into slightly bowlegged position because of the short stature of the usual bench occupants. The Dwarf idly glanced up and down his friend’s frame.

Legolas looked much as he had the first time the Dwarf had met him in Rivendell: no armor, garbed in a simple and yet elegant tunic, clean and neat despite weeks of travel, his hair tied back and intricately braided. Tall, lithe, reserved, and well-built. He looked...unchanged, even after the several years since Gimli had last seen him. Yet despite his exterior appearance of strength, the Dwarf couldn’t help but notice that Legolas was looking thin; even for him. The Elf’s prominent facial features seemed a little too angular; there were subtle dark circles beneath his eyes, and although he met Gimli’s gaze with his usual piercing glance, some of the brightness in his eyes had dimmed. Gimli frowned.

"What?" Legolas asked, rubbing his forefinger around and around the rim of the mug Gimli had set before him. The Elf had insisted on water, shrugging aside Gimli’s attempts to convince him to have something stronger.

"You don’t eat near enough," Gimli stated, shaking his head. Legolas’s gaze drifted down into his mug, a slight grin on his face. "A body can’t live on sunlight and tree talk." Legolas chuckled.

"No?" he said, looking up at Gimli. "Perhaps not."

Gimli stretched and took a deep breath. "Well, that’s soon to be remedied, for this time you 
will receive the hospitality of the Dwarves: roaring fires, malt beer, and all the ripe meat you can hold! And I shall see to it that you are properly heavy by the time you leave this place."

Legolas laughed; a musical sound–one of Gimli’s favorite things about his Elven friend. It was something that had always intrigued him and set his mind at ease when situations grew difficult. The relaxing, melodious sound of Elven laughter was something he would never quite understand, but would always secretly treasure.

"Gimli, we have gone over this on several occasions," Legolas began, some of the twinkle returning to his eyes. "Elven bodies are built naturally slim; as Dwarven bodies are built naturally stocky."

Ignoring the Elf, Gimli got to his feet and began rubbing his hands together eagerly. “Speaking of food, what’ll you have?”

“We were not speaking of food,” Legolas countered.

“Close enough,” Gimli pressed. “I ask again: what’ll you have?”

“Oh, nothing, thank you,” Legolas waved him off. “I had a bite already.”

“A bite?” the Dwarf asked scornfully, clicking his tongue. “Sounds like an awfully small amount of victuals.” Legolas glared good-naturedly and shook his head. “
When did you have this bite?”

“Midday,” Legolas replied, absently taking a sip of water.

“MIDDAY?” Gimli roared, causing the Elf to choke. “Do you 
want to starve to death?”

It took a moment for the Elf to regain his composure. But when he had, he sighed. “Gimli…I do not 
need as much to satisfy my hunger as you do.”

“That’s not it,” Gimli said, an accusing tone to his voice. When Legolas didn’t respond, the Dwarf leveled him with a frustrated glare.

“What?” Legolas asked. “What have I done?”

“It’s what you haven’t done that’s bothering me,” Gimli said. He paused a moment, glancing up and down his friend once more. “If you weren’t a pig-headed Elf I’d say you looked a bit ill.” Gimli leaned forward, both hands firmly on the table top. “Legolas:” he announced, “you’re downright skinny.”

“Haven’t we already established that fact?” Legolas replied.

“Doesn’t look as if you’ve slept well either.” The Dwarf raised one bushy eyebrow at the Elf. Legolas met Gimli’s eyes and a short battle of wills commence between them: one searching the opposite’s gaze, the other attempting to hide the knowledge that the other was so desperately looking for. To Gimli’s amazement, after a moment it was not he who could no longer stand the Elf’s gaze. It was Legolas who lowered his eyes.

“Ah, mellon-nin,” he sighed. “Why must you press the subject?”

“Out of concern for a friend,” Gimli replied.

Legolas began running his forefinger around the mug’s rim once more.

“What is it?” Gimli asked.

“Nothing worth your hearing or your worry,” Legolas replied, a little softer than before.

“Now, Laddie,” Gimli commanded. “Let’s have it.”

Silence passed between them. At length, Legolas spoke, and when he did, the emotionless mask he often wore when troubled or angry melted into pain.

“I…I feel so…” he laughed mirthlessly. “Well, I’m not really sure what. Perhaps weary is the right way to describe it.” The Elf paused once more, as if unsure. “I fear the lady Galadriel’s warning was well founded.”

“The sea,” Gimli half-whispered. He was filled with a mixture of relief and sudden dread. “Is that it?” Legolas nodded, his eyes becoming distant.

“More and more I hear 
her call: in the rain, the streams…even the breeze.” He seemed to be talking more to himself than his companion. “It grows steadily stronger and more urgent with each passing day. Her voice is pleasant, yet vexing; beautiful, yet maddening. She draws one in with the sounds of the waves and wind…the gulls crying...the salt spray…”

Legolas’ voice drifted away into nothing, and his eyes seemed to glaze over. The desire and the deep longing of his heart were displayed across his visage like a scar. He didn’t respond when after a long moment Gimli tapped his arm. He didn’t stir when Gimli called out his name asking if he was alright. He simply sat gazing with unseeing eyes: frozen by the call of the sea, and being swept away by his yearning. A yearning to sail across 
her glistening water and reach the land beyond: Valinor. To hear the song of the sea birds and set foot on the land where Telperion and Laurelin had cast their light. To be reunited with those who had taken that same journey: be it by death or by ship. There would be no fear or worry or doubts, no malice, darkness, or evil corrupting its shores. He would be released from the ties that bound him to Middle-earth. Free from bonds that held him there…

His presence of mind came rushing back as one of those ‘bonds’ cuffed him in the jaw. Legolas fell backwards over his seat and landed unceremoniously on his rear end. The sea’s enchanting pull was severed just as suddenly as it had come on. Flaming blue eyes locked onto the figure of a Dwarf standing over him, looking a bit annoyed and despite this, slightly guilty.

“WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL ARDA WAS THAT?” Legolas shouted. Gimli was taken aback by the sudden display of emotion after watching his friend begin to silently fall prey to his own longing. His features reddened visibly.

“Well, I wasn’t—” Legolas had already gotten to his feet and stood towering over the Dwarf, anger evident in his stance. Gimli involuntarily stepped back, confused by the threatening figure that had suddenly possessed his Elven companion. But almost instantly, the Dwarf’s confusion melted into angry frustration. After all, he had only been trying to help.

“WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL ARDA IS THIS?” he roared. For a long moment Legolas stood: his whole frame tense with anger. He raised his hand as if to strike the stunted figure who dared to stand before him. But suddenly his blazing gaze evaporated, and he found himself once more. He shook his head several times, and the rage that had taken hold of him completely fell away.

“I—I do not know,” Legolas said. The Elf was silent for moment, but slowly his troubled expression turned into one of realization. “Gimli, please forgive me—it is the sea that is bothering me, not you.” He sat down heavily on his seat, and to Gimli’s eyes his friend seemed even wearier than before.

“You were looking a little…distracted,” Gimli stated, his ire leaving him as well. “I thought it would be best if I...er..turned your attention.” Despite his worn appearance, Legolas attempted to grin.

“Thank you, 
mellon-nin,” he said, then his eyes lowered once more. “It has grown difficult for me to fight her song of late.” He paused, noticing the almost bleak expression on Gimli’s face. “Have no fear, Gimli, I am not sailing. Not yet. I promised Aragorn that I would stay until his mortality claims him.” Gimli’s hard features seemed to soften a little. Some of the reserved strength returned to the Elf’s voice and he straightened, looking the Dwarf in the eye as he spoke. “It has simply proven to be…a struggle. That is all. Do not trouble yourself with it. I can manage my thoughts and feelings as long as I keep my head clear…which I am sure you will have no trouble doing for me if necessary.” Legolas absently rubbed his sore jaw as Gimli chuckled.

“Don’t worry about it, lad,” Gimli said, clapping the Elf on the back. “I and my fist shall be here if you have need of us.” He winked, and Legolas shook his head good naturedly.

“But don’t think for an instant you have to keep this from me. If you recall, we both agreed the last time we met: no matter how ridiculous, minor, or calamitous a situation gets, we were to be there to catch the other if he should fall. Or knock some sense into him if need be.” Legolas chuckled.

“Oh, and if there comes a day when you feel as if you need…I don’t know…a lovely conversation with the shrubs outside”--Legolas scowled playfully—“feel free to do so! I’ll not lock you in. You’re free to come and go as you please; when you please.”

“Thank you, Gimli,” Legolas said, and for the first time since arriving, he truly smiled.

“Now,” said Gimli, “what’ll you have?”


A pair of dark eyes was intently watching the conversation between the Lord of Aglarond and Prince of Mirkwood. It had been an interesting discussion; mostly idle chatter from what the watcher’s ears had caught. That is, until the sea incident.

Kori ran a hand thoughtfully down the length of his beard. This, too, he could find a use for. 
A weakness to exploit, if the time opportunity presents itself, he thought to himself. The lone Dwarf stood pondering for a long moment. Tomorrow’s the First Year celebration. Maybe if I can get him to drink water…but he’s drinking water now. So, the actual water itself doesn’t bother him. Hmmm… Kori pondered over what he had heard.

More and more I hear her call; in the rain, the streams…even the breeze.” Nothing the Dwarf could exploit there.

She draws one in with the sounds of the waves and wind…the gulls crying…the salt spray…”

Suddenly, an idea struck Kori like a blow to the face. Chortling wickedly to himself, he slunk back down the hallway and disappeared.

Chapters | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |