The library was deserted at this time of night, and for that he was thankful. The place he sought was a small, dark corner with a table and two chairs, hidden from prying eyes by conveniently placed shelves. Fresh candles had been placed on the table and he found the flint and tinderbox quickly. With slightly trembling hands he lit one, watching with a morbid fascination as the wick burned. He lit all of them - gathering the extra ones which were stocked under a cabinet as well. He looked at the glow of the flames, the candlelight painting his features, but, instead of softening them and showing the large amount of beauty he possessed, it only deepened the shadows in his face, his blue eyes shining eerily, the light reflecting in them.
He knew that the little shivers running down his spine were fairly normal, his fear of fire was justified, but he remembered a time when he could look at the flickering lights without feeling the chill of death. He sat in the chair, the table covered in candles, wax dripping down the sides to fall onto the lip of their holders. He raised a hand to feel the warmth, shaking slightly but holding on. He remembered a game from childhood, always done in secrecy among the other elflings. Fire wasn't intended to be played with like this, but the few that found flame fascinating would try. They would light one of their candles and pass their fingers through the fire, moving quickly enough not to be burned, though the first few who tried did. Taking a deep breath, he inched his hand toward the light. He almost drew back, but he bit his full lip and pushed it through.
He didn't know what he had expected, but it turned out he felt nothing. Just like in his previous life, his finger sliced through the flame, causing it to flicker for a moment, then return to its normal state as though nothing happened. Frowning, he did it again, and the slight rush, the sense of power he had felt, even the fear - it just stopped. Worried, he did it again, this sudden lack of emotions disturbing him. After several tries, he leaned back looking at the candles with his brow furrowed and lips pressed in a thin line. Something changed then - the set of his jaw and the way one of his hands rested clenched upon the table, while the other descended on the flame with a purpose previously lacking. Instead of playing the little game he had set up, this time he pressed his hand down around the burning wick.
His natural instinct was to pull back quickly, but he quenched it, finally feeling something, even if it was pain. The hot wax clung to his hand, stinging, and he could almost smell the burn of his flesh, but he didn't need a reminder. The hot, raw smell, diluted with smoke, sulfur, melting steel and burning golden hair would forever be inscribed in his memory and senses. There had been fire everywhere, heat so overpowering that every breath was difficult to draw, almost as difficult as the sword, red hot from striking at a foe wreathed in what he had come to so dread.
The sharp pain from the palm of his hand distracted him from his thoughts, which were filled with visions of an endless fall into the dark. He pulled his hand back quickly, the palm dotted with wax and an angry red from the mistreatment. He peeled the cream-coloured bits off of his skin, wincing as they painfully pulled away extremely sensitive flesh. What had he been thinking? He shook his blonde head, scooted the chair back and stood, holding his hand gingerly. He leaned forward, blowing the candles out one by one, watching as each flame was extinguished. What had been so vibrant, so frightening to him before, was gone in an instant; within a blink of an eye flickered out to die an early death.
He gathered up his things in the sudden darkness of the room, waiting a moment for the wax to harden a bit before returning the candles to their rightful place. He wiped away the traces of his presence there, as if it would also clean and sort the cluttered thoughts in his mind. He slipped from the nook, walking through the deserted halls back to his quarters. He entered his room in a blur, striding quickly over to the balcony that graced the chambers given him on his arrival. There was a chill in the air, he noticed, as he stood out in the cold, early dawn. A sardonic smile touched his lips as he considered how much this resembled his life right now. He was standing in a cold, dark and misty place, unsure of what to do or what should be done. Yes, he feared fire in a way, yet right now he needed a beam of light and of warmth to show him the way.
He walked back into his rooms, closing the balcony doors behind him, heading for the bathroom for a salve for his hand. But when he settled in his bed there was nothing to keep the thoughts at bay, and Glorfindel spent the few hours before the sun graced the sky restless and alone.