Serondai peered into the dimly lit room and scanned it quickly before sneaking inside. She often hid herself in Elrond's private quarters to indulge in some leisurely reading to escape the trivialities or her day to day life and this particular day was no exception. She would greet Arwen later, when there was a smaller gathering of elves and she felt less pressure to entertain.
Her long, silvery robe skimmed the gleaming floor as she walked towards the solid wooden shelves laden with books. Reaching up her hand, she ran her finger along the spine of her favourite and slid it out from between two much larger books. Opening it, she delighted in the elaborate golden ivy twisting across the cover and in between the letters of the title, delicately painted in thin, curving handwriting. The book smelt delightfully old, like an ancient forest in autumn.
Pulling out Elrond's favourite chair, she slumped into it, dangling her right leg in an undignified manner across an arm. Balancing the book on her left leg, she opened it up and smiled at the striking painting of a female elf holding her hands up to the stars. The paper felt thin and fragile beneath her fingers, but also rough. Serondai was accustomed to this sensation- she had disturbed the book many times and read it from cover to cover on numerous occasions, but mostly she enjoyed the pulchritudinous paintings throughout.
"That was a favourite of mine when I was a little younger," said a voice from the corner. Startled, Serondai let the book slip from her fingers and it landed on its spine before hitting the floor. She stood up and glared in the direction of the corner where she could see the outline of a tallish elf with his long, thin legs elegantly crossed and his hands clasped in his lap. She could not quite make out his face and stepped closer, cautiously, "I can see you are fond of books. Elrond has brought you up well."
"Elrond has hardly had a part in my life," she replied bitterly, "the elf, Glorfindel spent the majority of his time with me as I grew up. He is a kind elf"
"Ah, Glorfindel yes. I was a student of his," the elf shifted into a more comfortable position to stretch and let his arms fall heavily back down, "you must be Serondai. You have grown considerably since our last encounter."
"Do I know you?" Serondai asked, folding her arms.
"Yes, but I doubt you would remember me. I am Elladan, son of Elrond," the elf seemed arrogant, almost as though he was insulting her for not being of higher blood, "I can see it is Glorfindel who has had the main part in your up-bringing. I knew it as you walked in.even the way you walk suggests it," he laughed and stood up effortlessly, taking a step into the dim light. Elladan shared his father's features, the high cheekbones, the grey eyes and the long, dark hair, although it was not pulled back off his face like Elrond's. Serondai noticed he wore travelling clothes of scarlet and brown and hung loosely at his side was a dagger engraved with elvish rhunes.
"I did not realise you had returned from your travels," Serondai replied, gritting her teeth.
"My brother and I returned shortly after our sister. Elrohir is in his quarters, sleeping."
"That is no surprise," Serondai smirked, falling back into the chair, "I have been told you were both quite lazy and ignorant." Although she could not see his face, she could feel the atmosphere of the room change.
"I suppose Glorfindel told you that," he said resentfully. It was more of a rhetorical question. He smiled again and at a glance it would have been easy to mistake him for his father, "but I would not wish *us* to not be friends just because of a foolish disagreement in the past between Glorfindel and I."
"What disagreement?!" Serondai asked eagerly. Elladan chuckled.
"Nothing for you to worry about," he replied, standing. His condescending attitude was infuriating and Serondai stood sharply and coughed to grab his attention.
"I have somewhere I must be," she said. She made an effort to pass, but Elladan put out a long arm and blocked her escape.
"Do not leave on my account, please."
"Do not flatter yourself," Serondai snapped, making a second attempt to pass, "Elladan, let me pass!"
"Serondai, I .Elladan, you have returned," Glorfindel was peering around the large door his brow knitted into a frown, ".Serondai, Arwen is waiting for you."
"Of course, Glorfindel." She gave Elladan a threatening glare and he removed his arm with a mischievous grin, watching her with interest as she left. After she was out of hearing range, Glorfindel stepped inside, closing the door behind.
"Stay away from her, Elladan."
"Glorfindel, I am not what I used to be. I have had so many years to dwell upon our little.disagreement, and I feel it is about time we forgive and forget," Elladan said, seemingly serious and untroubled by the older elf's presence.
"That is as may be, however I would prefer if you left Serondai well alone. You and your brother are trouble and I know of your strong influences over the younger among you."
"Oh come now, she is hardly a child! You never change do you old friend?!" Elladan laughed, returning to his original seat.
"It seems neither do you. I will warn you once more Elladan.stay away from Serondai..."
A Friend in an Enemy