Let Rumil Do It

"No. No No No! Our last shortcut through the woods nearly ended in disaster. I will not put my vulnerable body into your hands again. Ever! Go away Thranduil! And you too Glorfindel!"

"Now listen here, Celeborn. We all suffered as much as you did during that last lovely little jaunt.  If only you had all listened to me and NOT to Elrond or Glorfindel, we would have gotten there and back with NO problems. But because the three of you had to fight and bicker, and not follow my directions, we ended up walking in circles and then being found out by Haldir and Legolas. That won't happen this time. IF you listen to me and ONLY me!"

Celeborn held up his hand to make Thranduil shut up.  They'd been having the same argument all morning. Thranduil—and his big ego—wanted to prove that he really DID know the way to Rohan.  The only way he could prove it, or so it seemed, was to drag Celeborn, Glorfindel, and Elrond along with him while they walked to Rohan and actually made it this time.

"I love how easily you forget that my wife frowns upon these little excursions, no matter who plans them!"

Now it was Thranduil's turn to hold up his hand.

"Your wit…wife is of no consequence this time. Legolas and Haldir are not here, so no one can tell her what is going on. We simply leave and come back a few hours later, with no one the wiser. And no sunburns or poison ivy. And no fire-damage."  This last was said with a look over to Elrond, whose eyebrows were finally growing back.

Celeborn didn't know how, but Thranduil had obviously convinced Elrond and Glorfindel to go. Who was he to stop the party?

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All Celeborn could do was sit on the ground, his head in his hands, near tears as Glorfindel and Thranduil argued and Elrond tried to mediate.

They were lost. Again. Things had started out fine.  It was a nice day for a walk. And Rohan did have the best brandy, well worth a little trouble in order to get some.  But this was ridiculous. Everything had gone downhill after Elrond insisted that they all have a sip of miruvor in order to keep their energy up.

He'd passed a flask around.  Celeborn was delighted that his own flask was much larger than Elrond's.  Actually, his flask was bigger than anyone's. Bigger than Thranduil's knife. Not bigger than Gil-galad's spear though.  The next thing he remembered was that they were still walking, only it was dark. And he didn't recognize the forest around him. And his feet hurt. And he was hungry. And thirsty. He was sure they weren't even close to Rohan.

"Thranduil! What in the name of all that is holy have you done? Where are we?"

Thranduil stopped walking, turned around and glared. "This is NOT my fault. I know the way. Or at least, I know when I'm not drugged senseless!" 

Elrond had the decency to look suitably chastised, though he shrugged his shoulders and jerked his head toward Glorfindel.

"I brought miruvor.  HE spiked it with the Valar only know what."

"I only added a few drops of the last bit of a special plant that Erestor and I bred in Gondolin.  He saved one and carried it to Imladris. Anyway, it was the last bit of potion we had from it."

"What does it do? Erase your memory? Make you go to sleep?"  Celeborn wanted answers now.

"No. Nothing like that. It...well, it makes you stronger.  You can walk faster, further. Or run for weeks if you have enough. You don't need food or water. It was helpful during battles, or sieges."

"Weeks? How long have we been under the influence of this drug? And why don't I remember anything?"  Celeborn was beginning to have a really bad feeling about this.

Glorfindel took a deep breath and winced before he spoke again. "I may have added too much. Since you're not used to it, well, it had some unintended side-effects. Apparently, it affected me too. I don't remember much of the last few days either. Maybe the age of the plant made it more potent."

"DAYS?!  We've been gone for DAYS?!"  Celeborn squeaked while Elrond and Thranduil started shouting at Glorfindel again. That's when Celeborn had sunk down to the ground and tried not to cry.

Eventually, he wasn't scared anymore. He was angry. He jumped up and pushed his way into the little circle of elves.  He stared right into Glorfindel's eyes, almost touching noses with him. "Listen you….you drug Lord! Get up to the top of that tree and find out WHERE WE ARE!"

Celeborn was pointing at the tallest tree in the clearing. Glorfindel shook his head and turned away. Ever since he'd been killed, heights had bothered him.

"Oh for Valar's sake! I'll go."  Before anyone else could move, Thranduil started up the tree.  He only slipped down two or three times before he finally reached the top and could see far enough to tell them how to get back on track. Or back to Lorien. Or at least someplace familiar.

As he jumped down to the ground he pointed. "That's the way we need to go. But we better have another swig of that—what did you say it was called Glorfindel?"

"It's a hybrid between marigolds and junipers. I wanted to call it mariper, but Erestor said marijuni, so that's it's name."

"Right. Marijuni, we should all have some more so we can run back. I think we're uh…in Fangorn."

"Fangorn? Well, then we're closer to Rohan than Lorien. Let's go get that brandy!"  Glorfindel didn't always know when to shut up.

"NO!" The other three shouted back in unison.

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"NO! NO! And again, NO! Have you learned NOTHING? Our last shortcut through the woods nearly ended in disaster again! No brandy is worth it. Get out!"

When the other three wouldn't leave, Celeborn picked each one up and bodily threw them out the door of his study. He wouldn't be tricked a THIRD time.  If he wanted Rohan brandy, well, he would just let Rúmil do it. The boy was too trusting by half.  He'd fetch Celeborn anything he wanted.



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