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Finders Keepers

Summary: When young Estel finds something in a long locked chest, Elrond has to confront the memories connected to it… Rating= K

Disclaimer: Nothing recognisable as Tolkien’s belongs to me. Therefore the once mentioned Godwine is my only possession.





The eighteen year old boy jumped and looked warily around. The lock on the chest had made a louder noise than he’d expected when it opened. Satisfied there was no-one coming to investigate he pushed open the lid. And gasped, the chest was filled to the brim with objects. Or as his Adar called them ‘valuable artefacts’.

After a minute or so of rifling the boy lent forward, his eyes sparkling with excitement. Leaning down into the deep recesses of the chest he dug with both hands and then pulled them free, triumphantly clutching the handle of a curved hunting knife, still in its surprisingly plain sheath. Before he could properly examine his prize a dark robed arm swooped over his shoulder and its attached hand snatched the knife away. The boy spun round on his knees to be faced by long, flowing robes at eye level, raising his gaze he came face to face with his father, the Lord of Imladris

“Go to your room Estel.” The elf lord’s voice was deadly quiet

The boy stayed still, holding his hand out for the knife “Can I have it please”

“Go to your room” The voice got louder

“I want the knife Adar, an old searching law still stands here: finders keepers”

“GO TO YOUR ROOM!”

Estel found himself hauled upright by the collar and practically thrown out into the corridor, with the door slammed behind him for good measure

Elrond staggered backward and collapsed in the chair. He hadn’t meant to react like that, much less physically eject his adoptive son from the room. He looked down at the object clutched by a set of white knuckles. Relaxing his grip he, slowly, reverently, drew the knife from its sheath, tracing the ornate inscription with a forefinger

“gûd daedhelos…Foe of dread”

He drew a shuddering breath, the last time he’d seen that knife out of sheath had been at the beginning of the Second Age, when Elros showed him Eönwë’s gift to each of the Edain leaders. For all he knew, this was the last one remaining.

He shut his eyes and swallowed as the memory overwhelmed him.


First Age 587



“Look at this Elrond”

The Peredhel didn’t respond as his twin entered the tent

“Elrond…”

He finally removed his nose from the book and subjected his gaze at the curved knife his twin held out for inspection.

“Usable.” He returned to reading, missing Elros’s frown

“Usable. Is that all you can say? There are only two of these in the whole of the world Elrond. Mine and Godwine’s…”

Elrond’s head shot up, his eyes wide and face pale “Elros no… By all the Valar, please no.”

“No what?” the twin looked over his shoulder

Elrond’s voice shook “Tell me you didn’t choose to join the Edain, that you didn’t choose death.”

Elros’ voice stayed steady “I cannot lie to those who know me well, and most certainly not to you. You who know my mind and heart like it were your own. I have chosen the life of men, though it may be three times as long as those who were our allies today.”

“Elros…” his eyes were full of tears “Gw - Gwanunig nin” There was no point in fighting it, not when both heart and fëa were breaking, he slipped to the floor, on his knees, tears pouring down his cheeks.

Elros silently moved to his twin and, kneeling, placed his arms around him

“Even if our fates are sundered, I will always be there with you. I will always be a part of you; Amparindo

Even through his tears Elrond had to smile at his nickname



S.A. 442 Numenor



Amparindo

The voice came weakly from his arms. Elrond looked down at his brother’s ancient face, aged almost beyond recognition “Yes Gwanunig nin?”

Elros struggled for breath and finally managed to speak “The chest, the one which has its end sticking out from the wall… I want you to take it with you when you leave.” He gasped for air, fighting once more for breath before continuing “The things in there are things in there that would mean more to you than to my heirs, I packed it two days ago. Will you take it?”

Elrond smiled “Of course, is there any reason for you to doubt?”

His twin laughed weakly “I guess not…”



Elrond felt tears filling in his eyes and he angrily swiped them away. It was no good crying now, after all these years. The hurt dug deeper inside as he tried to force it away.


His temper broken once more, he pushed the sheathed knife back into the chest and slammed the lid down with the palm of his hand. Forcing the padlock closed he pinched his finger between the two pieces of metal and cursed

“Naicë”

Finally the padlock clanked shut and Elrond let it swing to thud into the chest side. As he rose and made to go the elf regretted his harshness and turned back, caressing the carved ship on the lid in apology.



3 years later (T.A)



“Chainmail, Jacket, Vambraces, Cloak’s over there, Sword… Sword! Where has it got too?” The confident check list faded away into confused mumbles as the newly identified ranger hunted around for his weapon.

“Here Aragorn.” Elrond picked it up from by the wall and handed it to his foster son.

The young man’s face relaxed in relief “Hannon le Adar” he frowned in consternation “I can still call you that can’t I, when its private?”

“Or with the twins, or even in public. Estel, you will not remove my attentions so easily” The elf let a laugh creep into his voice

Aragorn smiled in response “I should have known.” He turned back to the table, now empty of equipment “I think that’s everything”

“Not quite Estel…” Elrond reached under his cloak and pulled out the hunting knife, he looked straight at his foster son “I think it’s time this had a new owner.”

Aragorn was clearly stunned “Adar, I don’t know what to say…”

Elrond shook his head “You have no need to say anything… This knife was forged as a trophy of the War of Wrath, now you will take it on the next stage of its journey defeating the dark forces. 5951 years is long enough for it to languish in that chest.” Carefully he knelt and buckled the belt around Aragorn’s waist “I found a plain strap so it wouldn’t attract attention.”

He stood up and looked the new chieftain over, nodding slightly “Onen i-estel Edain… Galu, Elrosion”


It was only later, when he recalled the look of surprise on Aragorn’s face, that Elrond realised what he had called his foster son. Yet somehow the name fitted him. Much like Elessar, the name he would carry as the King of Arnor and Gondor… it was truly who Aragorn was.


And the knife had known


Gwanunig nin = My twin

Amparindo = One who learns a lot from books

Naicë = Ouch

Hannon le Adar = Thank you Father

Onen i-estel Edain = I gave Hope to the Dúnedain...

Galu, Elrosion = Good luck, son of Elros



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