“Of course, Adar.”
The young elf knocked lightly on your door, opening it when she heard a call from inside. She found you fully clean and dressed but struggling with the long impossibly tangled locks that fell down your back in a wet clump. She quickly assessed that you couldn’t bring your arm up far enough to run the comb through them and you were grumbling under your breath about how you should just cut it all off.
She hummed in amusement and you turned to see who could possibly have come to check on you, blushing red when your eyes landed on her, “I see I have made my host wait long enough that he sends his own daughter to assure my well being. Give me just a moment and I will return to him with you.”
She looked you over as you struggled to pull your hair into a sad excuse for a bun. There was no doubt that you were part elf in the flowing dress her father had given you as it accentuated your fair skin and elegant form.
Short you may be, due to your father's dwarfish genes, but stocky you were not. It was like you were an elf that just ceased to grow at a certain point in her childhood, leaving you with long and elegant limbs and slender shoulders.
She stepped foreword and stopped your hands, “Allowing you to leave with your hair in such a state does your beauty a disservice. Please let me aid you with your burden.”
You blushed but didn’t protest as she directed you toward a chair and, once you were sitting, began the task of fixing the tangled mess. She brushed it back gently as she began, revealing your delicately pointed ears, “Ah so you are Peredhel.”
You sighed bitterly, “That is the nicest way of putting it, yes.” She wondered what you meant but did not press further as she sensed it was a sore topic for you.
A short while later you trailed along behind her on your way to where your group was eating, as Arwen’s skilled hands had made quick work of your matted hair. She went ahead of you onto the balcony when the pair of you reached it as you paused hesitantly before venturing forward to follow her.
Elrond couldn’t hide the small smile that tugged at his lips as all eyes turned to look you over, “It would seem you found our friend well, my daughter, as you were not absent long.”
Arwen gave her father a slight nod and mischievous smile, “So it would seem, Adar. She only needed some help with her hair to which I gladly obliged.”
Bilbo’s jaw hung open, much to the amusement of his dwarven cohorts, particularly Fili and Kili who were having trouble stifling snickers. You held yourself with grace but kept your eyes on the floor, uncomfortable with your current state of dress and uneasy with displaying your elven-like traits so openly.
The dress you wore flattered your form and brought out your eyes with subtle tones of purple and silver and your step was light and made only the softest of sounds in the matching flats that encased your feet. Arwen had out done herself with your hair doing it up in full elven style with countless braids going this way and that through a mass of loose natural curls that fell freely down your back, leaving your pointed ears exposed.
Gandalf gave a small knowing smile, remembering your passionate hatred for dresses as you thought them entirely impractical, “My dear come join us. Surely some food and drink shall do you more good than bad.”
You bypassed the tables where the dwarves sat, much to Bilbo’s dismay, and found a chair next to your mentor, forever by his side as an apprentice should be. You bowed gracefully to your host before offering, “Imladris is even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined, my Lord. It is truly a gift to be able to see it and I thank you for your hospitality.”
Elrond examined you closely, “Few Peredhel choose to come here if their elven parent chose to live among mortals.”
You gave a slight nod, “My mother may have chosen that path but her heart never left these halls, she spoke of it and you often in my childhood.” Gandalf rested a hand on your shoulder reassuringly and gave you a proud smile to which you returned a small shy one, embracing your mother’s elven genes was not something you often did.
Elrond had questions that he dare not ask for fear of offending you, so you let your betters speak as you took in your surroundings, observing as always. Balin noticed that Bilbo’s eyes never left you and he nudged the young hobbit, “Quite a transformation from the clever little tomboy that camps with us each night isn’t it?”
Bilbo shook his head, trying to keep from staring any further, “Yes quite. If it weren’t for her height I’d say she looked as though she belonged here, among the beautiful things of elves.”
“I doubt she sees it that way, laddie, in fact I think our host’s attentions make her quite uncomfortable.” Balin offered, inclining his head in the direction of your fidgeting hands under the table that, from their angle, were clearly visible.
Balin was more right than he could have guessed as a moment later you caught the attention of Fili and Kili and inconspicuously pulled a face, to which they chuckled and then returned even more grotesque and odd faces very openly, causing you to let out a soft giggle.
Your host raised an eyebrow at the noise and you offered quiet apologies, waiting until he was no longer paying attention to you to return your own contorted face. They and a few other dwarves who were now watching erupted into loud laughter and when Gandalf looked at you, you feigned innocence.
The next time you looked up your eyes locked with Bilbo's and you sent him a small shy smile, which he returned before Gloin flicked his ear, “If you think the young maiden fair you should tell her so.”
Bilbo startled, shaking his head, “What? I don’t- I mean she is but- I couldn't- she's-“
The dwarves erupted into laughter at his complete befuddlement just a Thorin excused himself from your table. You looked after him, feeling as though you shouldn't have returned or at least continued to cover your ears. Despite you doubts, you couldn’t help but join in a moment later when Bofur began to sing from a top a chair, your lips soundlessly mouthing the words to the merry tune as a wide grin crossed your face.
Elrond didn’t notice until you allowed your voice to join theirs in the last verse and as it finished he commented, “Your voice rings out true and beautiful, a gift of your elven parentage I'm sure. If only you would put it to use singing something other than boisterous dwarven chants.”
You blushed a soft shade of pink, “A fair voice can be used for many things and still carry the same quality my Lord and, though my voice is not something I often share, in my time I have sung both the gentlest of elven songs and the roughest of bar rhymes for one without the other greatly diminishes one’s appreciation for each. Now if you’d please excuse me I’m feeling rather tired.”
Gandalf gave a small smirk at your wise answer as Elrond gave you a farewell nod and watched you almost float away, “Your apprentice is quite something, Gandalf, wise beyond her years and able to slip between worlds with ease, where ever did you find her?”
Gandalf offered his host a secretive smile, “Sometimes the most valuable of gems is found in the lowest and darkest of places Elrond, I can offer nothing more for her tale is not mine to tell.”