Alenor looked up from flashing the brooch in different shades of light and watching the colors change. She was back with Glorfindel in the training ground after three days of recuperation after her encounter. Alenor was still frightened terribly at what she had seen and heard, but the most terrible effects were gone; she no longer felt the need to hide under her bed like some young Elfling at their first introduction to a thunderstorm.
“Alenor are you listening to me?”
Alenor winced. The annoying Common Tongue. Surprisingly after her encounter everything just seemed to click into place and she able to understand the words quicker, although that didn’t mean getting her sentences right. She lifted her head to see Glorfindel resting on his bow and looking at her with narrowed brows. He looked quite frightening in this position. “No,” Alenor answered in Elvish. “No I’m not.”
“Speak the tongues of men!” Glorfindel cried exasperated. “Try to concentrate.”
“I’m con. . .concentrating,” Alenor fumbled. She set the brooch back on her cloak and looked up at her instructor.
“Please inform me why you’re so out of it today Alenor,” Glorfindel asked wearily he was still in that frightening pose. “It’s the tenth time already.”
“Concentrating?” Alenor supplied weakly she had understood his words and didn’t exactly what to talk with him about it. Ever since training he was one of Alenor’s most disliked Elves in all of Rivendell along with Lindir.
“Hundred laps around the arena,” Glorfindel ordered waving around him.
Alenor could have shouted at him. The arena was huge and square in a shallow dip so that you had to walk down steps to it. On either side of the railings steps railing marched upwards. They were twined with green vines and climbing flowers. Figures of long dead Elven warriors guarded entrance to the arena. The borders were lined by lush popular trees that in autumn practices made a quiet ethereal surrounding from the way when you practiced leaves from the trees would float down to you and drift about. In the western side were lines of white stands that someone could watch, a mock fight, or practice from. There was a lot of space to run around and Alenor hated running. It didn’t matter if she could run great distances because she was an El, she just hated running, plain and simple.
“Why a hundred?” she demanded getting to her feet brushing leaves off her breeches.
“Because,” Glorfindel explained. “I said an extra ten for every time you don’t listen. Besides it builds stamina, start running! From the stands!” Alenor groaned and lifted to take off her weapons, but Glorfindel halted her. “With them on.” Alenor glared at him and started jogging from the bleachers. She could hear Glorfindel counting her laps.
Alenor fell down at Glorfindel’s feet breathing hard; the count had reached a thousand by now. She hadn’t expected him to remember every time and add onto it! Seven days later on the 11th of October Alenor just wanted to die.
“Glorfindel,” she gasped from her kneeling position. “I hate you.” She had even more reason to hate him too, she had been forced to run while wearing Elven armor. The armor had a light mailshirt underneath, it ended at her knees, seeable because the hard armor overtop didn’t extend that far. The light golden breastplate, she wore had lines that curved downwards and on the sides tender vines looped upwards and down of the breastplate. On the shoulder-guards and those protecting her shins, the flowing waves had the little vines again but with gentle shoots of flowers. In all the armor was light and could easily be comfortable to run. However with weight added of her slender blade of her long sword that softly curved, and her quiver and bow adorned with Elven letters and scripts of stars, sun and moon shining down on radiantly crowned flowering elanor flowers, the weight was a lot to carry around for a thousand laps. When she had drifted off in the morning’s lesson Glorfindel had shown her the armor making her put it on followed by having her run as fast as she could without stopping for air.
“Good,” the Elf said calmly. “Now get up! And by the Valar do you want to run a thousand and ten laps for having to remind you to speak the Tongues of Men?”
“No,” Alenor said weakly stumbling to her feet. The light golden armor bearing down her body, what made the whole situation worse was that the armor was slightly too large for her.
“Good,” Glorfindel said taking out his sword and attacked. Alenor took her sword loosely in hand and did a weak parry that sent the blade flying to land stabbing clearly through an autumn leaf. Glorfindel didn’t look pleased, but however fortunately Alenor was saved from another thousand and ten laps, by an unexpected, but welcome intrusion in the practice.
“Glorfindel! Alenor! I need your help. The Enemy tried crossing the ford and I need Elves to scout out and see what’s wrong. Gandalf and I sent them off and we’re worried about too strong a force.” Alenor looked at her grandfather and felt a stab of black humor at his amused look at her gear. “Now, don’t change or anything you must leave now.”
Alenor could have cursed him then, she was to ride out like this? What was she some Elven warrior descended from the second age? Instead since she couldn’t say anything she glared. She was glad that she had managed to persuade Legolas against coming to these practices, he would have been falling over in laughter at the sight of her in full armor and running.
“You’ll have to ride Sunrise Alenor and Glorfindel you can have Arwen’s horse Moonrise.” There was an amused quirk to Elrond’s voice as he named her horse. All of Elrond’s children had horses with identical names. “They’re both ready and have provisions with then. Hurry along now, quick!” Elrond turned and ran towards the steps, but couldn’t resist a final jab. “Goodness Alenor you forgot your helm would you like me to fetch it for you?” Alenor was halfway to grabbing her bow and shooting Elrond in the back of the head for his words.
“Are you missing your Ring?” Alenor shot back. “Some Elves are losing their grace!”
“You lost yours a long time ago Alenor,” Glorfindel said and gave her a hearty slap to the back, ramming the armor against her light clothes underneath. Alenor gasped for air as she nearly stumbled to her knees. “Come on!”
“I hate you!” she yelled at him in Elvish. “Eru curse you!” Glorfindel waved her toward the stables as if not hearing her. “I hate you!” Alenor shouted again. “Curse you! Eru curse you! I hate you! Can you hear or not? Curse you!” Glorfindel made a motion for her to follow. Grinding her teeth Alenor stood up and was forced to a weary jog to catch up with the swift moving Elf.
“I hate you,” Alenor pronounced. They hadn’t been riding for a while and before leaving Glorfindel had had trouble getting Moonrise to cooperate with him. The horse used to Arwen’s and Alenor’s tampering had listened to Alenor’s words. That indicated that the horse was not to allow Glorfindel to ride on her. In following every time despite gentle words of the Elf lord Moonrise would throw Glorfindel into a pile of hay when he tried to get on. The masquerade didn’t continue you for long as Elrond had quickly found the source and told her quiet or he’d make her wear her two sets of armor. She had shut her mouth all the while wondering how that could be accomplished; she wasn’t quite ready to find out though, even though it was tempting.
“I hate you,” she said. “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!” She had been trying since they left the last bridge in Rivendell, to get Glorfindel to cooperate with her and answer to her words. “I hate you! You smell worse then a Ranger that’s been in the wild for three years without a bath and you’re so skinny someone couldn’t tell the difference between a tree and an Elf!”
“And you,” Glorfindel replied at last though with calm that got Alenor even more frustrated. “Could match a Dwarf in a shouting contest for three days straight and you wouldn’t know what each other were saying. I’m sure you could look like a Dwarf woman if you added a beard.” Alenor tightened her hands on Sunrise’s mane. The horse shook his head in agitation at the hold and Alenor released her hands to lighter grip.
“I hate you!” she proclaimed.
“How many more times are you going to tell me that?” Glorfindel asked indifferently. “I know you hate me and I can’t do anything about it.” Alenor would have crossed her arms had the armor not prohibited it.
“I should ask an Easterling to dance he’d do it better then you!” Alenor said firmly.”
“And you’d get a knife in your ribs,” Glorfindel pointed out. How could he talk so calm? It frustrated Alenor to no end. They might as well have been discussing the weather!
“It would save me from you,” Alenor said in a tight voice. Glorfindel edged closer to Alenor and slammed something on her head. Sound went ringing in her ears. She realized now what he had placed in the saddle bags other then food, Elrond’s final jab had come true.
“A thousand and ten laps when we get back,” Glorfindel said firmly. Alenor glared at him. She could feel the light golden helm against her forehead and the piece the fell out to touch the bride of her nose, was already irritating her badly. She was glad that that the rest was open so she could at least breathe. Glaring at Glorfindel Alenor stuck her tongue out.
“We’re not practicing,” she informed him.
“Technically we are Alenor, your lesson has not finished,” he said. “Start speaking the Common Tongue or it’s a thousand and twenty!”
“I hate you,” Alenor proclaimed loudly in the Common, she saw Glorfindel roll his eyes.
“Good gracious Alenor what happened to you?” she lifted her head to see Arwen coming upon Asfaloth holding someone close to her, there was a worried light sparked in her eye.
“Speak the Common Tongue,” Alenor mimicked Glorfindel. “Where. . .Where are the. . .others?”
“Behind me, Aragorn told me to ride from the Ford,” Arwen answered quickly. “I have to go. One of you is coming with me.” Before Glorfindel could say anything Alenor heeled Sunrise forward past Arwen.
“What are you doing to her?” Glorfindel looked over at Arwen and then down at the pale Halfling in her arms. They were riding as fast as they dared to Rivendell.
“I don’t know, she hates me,” Glorfindel answered. “I guess I am rather mean around her, but I really have no choice. She can’t run!”
Arwen laughed tightly. “I know,” she said. “She’s worse then an Orc that’s drunk while running, you know how much she hates it. What’s the point of dressing her up in armor and making her do it?”
“Endurance,” Glorfindel answered. “Is that Hobbit alright?” Arwen looked at him with a worried expression.
“I don’t know,” she answered. “That’s why we have to hurry.” Glorfindel nodded and pushed Arwen’s mount to greater speed.
“Arwen, my daughter I want you in the study as soon as dinner is over!” Elrond said in a sharp tone as she dismounted Glorfindel’s horse handing the poor hobbit from her arms. She wanted to run along with her father and check on him, but there were other things she had to attend to.
“Yes father,” she acknowledged him and a bow of her head. “Let me know how the Halfling is, I’m so afraid for him!”
“As we all are,” Elrond said compassionately. “Don’t forget!” Then turning he strode into the house yelling at a startled Elf to get the healers.
“How well did it go?” Arwen smiled slightly and turned to Glorfindel.
“You okay?” she asked. There was a slight frown on his face at her question just a slight crinkling on his forehead and glimmers of golden hair the fell down.
“Yes, I was not impressed that you had run off, but Alenor’s words argued it out,” he said. Then nodded at the slender blade that curved gently to slap against Arwen’s legs the belt that held the sword dangled from her waist. Arwen could remember when she gotten it after her completion in Glorfindel’s training, he had given it to her with a bestowing smile and watching the wonder light upon her fair Elven face. Even to this day she could still the pleasure light up upon her face as she drew the blade out of its scabbard for the first time and the sun’s rays jumping off the polished blade. “What were you planning to do with that?”
“Planning to fight off the Nazgul,” she answered with a worried smile. Her gaze drifted back to the doors as tendrils of black hair wound down the side of her face and her light-gloved hands folded over each other. Her lips pursed and she looked at Glorfindel. “Aragorn and I did all we could is that enough?” she asked. A smile drifted on his face as he clasped Arwen shoulder.
“Yes,” Glorfindel confirmed. “Your love for helping the wounded did more then you thought.” As always unused to flattery and praise Arwen lowered her head and blushed profusely.
“Really Glorfindel all I wanted was to see that the poor hobbit was safe,” she protested in a weak voice. “He’s been through so much!”
Glorfindel chuckled. “I know Arwen, you always want to help when you can. It is well, now have a bath and brush out your hair. Then go see him, your father will need you and don’t forget your appointment!”
Arwen stifled a groan in her throat and hurried inside. In all despite worry a bath did sound good and an addition as a well of a thought bloomed in her mind to get even with what words Aragorn had spoken to her. She could clearly remember those most hurtful words though she was just sure that Aragorn was trying to protect her from helping Frodo in the last leg of the race: “You’re a woman Arwen! You can’t help him! Go back to your needlework and leave this be, I will not have you chasing Ringwraiths for some silly hobbit’s life!” Yes, Arwen decided with twist of her lips she would get even with her love one way or another.