Celebrimbor was frowning. His pen was tapping a steady rhythm of frustration against the parchment scattered in front of him, and Narvi found himself grinding his teeth in time with it. He abandoned his own plans, ones of geometry and dimensions and hinges, and stood; followed the incessant tapping to peer over the edge of Celebrimbor’s desk. It brought him closer than was comfortable to the Elf – close enough to smell the faint, flowery scent of his soap and to touch the fine fabric of his sleeve – but the tapping was driving him mad. It had to stop. So did the frown that creased his brow and made him look as old as he probably was. Narvi hated that frown.
All over the desk were countless pages, covered in arching curves and flowing, Elvish runes – all of them annotated with writing that was far more angular and scrawling, but equally illegible. It was enough to give any Dwarf a headache – curves! In architecture! – and apparently enough to give Celebrimbor one as well.
“You are yet to finalise the design?” he asked. That part of him used to teaching youngsters sank with dismay. He was due to begin cutting the doors on the morrow. No final design at this stage…did not fill him with confidence, no matter how great the designer’s skill and reputation.
“For the most part, it is done,” Celebrimbor replied. “There is but one element that frustrates me.”
Two pages were slid in front of him, identical indeed save for one part – a star set in the centre of the door, just above the lock. Present in one, absent in the other; Narvi had no idea what symbolism it had beyond that there had to be a kind of symbolism else Celebrimbor would not be concerned. For an Elf, he was well rooted in the earth. Still occasionally prone to flights of fancy and inanity – as proven by this current escapade – but practical as a Dwarf for the most part.
Practical as a Dwarf. He looked again at its placement, right in the centre of the doors and over the lock, and under the crest of Durin.
“It is the crest of your family?” he asked, and hated how surprised he sounded. Still, he had wondered why the Elves of this place would follow him if not for lineage, though he knew not what lineage that might be. Not only were Elven families a mystery to him, but Celebrimbor had never mentioned his kin before – he hadn’t even given his father’s name as an introduction.
Narvi sensed dangerous ground. He resolutely did not look at Celebrimbor, nor press him for answers; he looked at the designs instead.
“This one,” he decided, tapping the one with the star. “It gives the doors a greater symmetry.”