Just another silly little story. The characters aren't mine, nothing is mine. Same goes for everything. I know it's a bit early to write a winter story but I wanted to post this one before Christmas. Just pretend it's later in December. Thanks to Arabella Thorne for reading this in its various forms. It will probably have another chapter or two. Well it was going to have one more chapter but it's too long I think.

Glorfindel lounged back on his chair, pretending to read an account of the year's turnover of honey, but in all reality watching the young elven twins that were working at the desk before him. They were ten years old now, but remained slightly small and light for their age group. They were still indistinguishable by sight, and Glorfindel had to rely on knowledge of their characters to identify each twin.

It was a grey day outside, the sky heavily overcast, and bitterly cold. However inside the Last Homely House it was warm enough, and the book-lined study was distinctly cosy with the chairs arranged close to the crackling of the log fire. He should have been teaching them verb tenses in Quenya but they had been so horrified to find his study devoid of all signs of the approaching festival that he had decided to humour them. In any case it was Midwinter's Eve and he had little interest in another three hours of pleading and bullying young elf twins.

Both boys were working with quiet concentration, sometimes sitting back to observe their work and sometimes leaning forwards to cut shapes out of brightly coloured paper and foil with the villainously sharp blade of Glorfindel's hunting knife. The blond elf could not help but be amazed by the intricacy with which they worked, especially when their fingers were covered in the sweet smelling glue derived from wood sap.

"Glorfindel! Look!" Elladan leant back on his chair, one leg bent to be tucked under the other. He held up a wreath made of red stars, decorated with streaks of silver foil. It was somewhat more garish than the decorations in the halls but it was pretty nevertheless.

"That is very pretty Elladan." Glorfindel smiled as he was handed the handiwork. "Where shall I put it?"

"On the door! The door!" Both boys chorused together, pointing at their target with sticky fingers. Faced with the impossibilities of a whole uninspiring room and limited time they had whispered rapidly together, forming a plan. Elladan was to make the large colourful decorations for the door and windows and Elrohir was to use his more delicate craftwork to adorn the desks and bookshelves.

Laughing, Glorfindel unfolded himself from his chair and carefully positioned it on the polished wood until the boys agreed that it was in the perfect place. Elrohir was more exacting in this matter, and Elladan had long tired of the discussion by the time his younger brother was satisfied.

"Here?" The blond elf moved the wreath a half an inch to the left. Elrohir looked at it, pursing his lips appraisingly.

"Perfect." The tone was that of a craftsman who had just achieved satisfaction. Glorfindel grinned, laughing at the patience with which the twins treated him.

"Good." Glorfindel strode over to admire a thin chain made of loops of pale blue paper and golden foil. Elrohir looked up with a smile and held out the chain to its full length, measuring it against the edge of the desk. The blond elf was not entirely sure that he wanted a border of rustling paper surrounding his work area, but Elrohir looked so proud of his achievement he could not bear to say so.

"It will be a trimming see." Elrohir added a new loop on one end to make up the length. "It would look even prettier if you scattered little stars over your desk. . ."

Glorfindel caught Elrohir's hand just in time to avoid him tipping a handful of tiny gold stars over the documents open on his desk.

"No. I think they would be much prettier stuck on the paper, child." Festive although the decorations were, Glorfindel doubted that Elrond would appreciate sparkles in place of a signature on an important treaty.

Elrohir shrugged, wrinkling his nose slightly at the lack of artistic flair in the older elf. There was no understanding those who were fully grown.

"Very well." Sitting down again he began gluing the stars onto a dark blue backing, explaining as he worked, "This is to decorate your bookcase."


The ringing of the bell at midday disturbed the small group, but unusually for them, the boys were somewhat reluctant to leave their lessons. It was only after the last of Elladan's medallions were hung against the frost patterned windows and they had finished admiring the effect that the twins turned to go to lunch. Which was when Glorfindel noticed that his room was not the only thing that was now decorated in festive style.

Both of the blue woollen tunics were now amply sprinkled with sparkling fragments of foil and rainbow specks of paper. Smiling, Glorfindel helped them brush themselves down and picked gluey tangles out of their hair, hiding the evidence of their productive but not entirely educational morning.

The two boys had barely left, skipping down the halls to their meal, when their father entered the room. Glorfindel hid his gluey hands behind his back and gave his friend a polite smile.

"Greetings." Glorfindel eyed the large mound of papers that Elrond carried with some trepidation. It would be a pity to have to miss the festivities this evening in order to deal with more problematic letters and accounts. However better him than Elrond. The twins would be bitterly disappointed if their father was unable to attend. Like all the other little elflings, the midwinter festival was one of the highpoints of their year.

"Ah. Glor." Elrond paused and surveyed the transformed room with one eyebrow raised inquisitively. Although the halls and corridors were adorned with banners and wreaths for the festival it was unusual for any individual's study to be decorated in this manner. "Feeling excited?"

Glorfindel laughed as he admired his decorations. They may not have the subtle beauty of those in the rest of the building, but they did have a love in them that the others lacked.

"I did my best Peredhil, but even I cannot stand alone against them." Glorfindel adopted an expression of mock fear for a few seconds before the friends broke into laughter.

"Glor." Elrond began regretfully once they stopped laughing. "I am afraid that we have some unexpected business to deal with."

Glorfindel cast a hateful glance at the hefty burden that his friend carried. More than enough to keep two elf-lords busy all evening. Elrond sighed, rubbing his temple with his free hand. He had seen and taken the documents, so he had a responsibility to deal with them. Glorfindel looked at him, eyebrows raised. He recognised Elrond's expression well - and it would mean another evening completing his self-imposed tasks whilst feeling absolutely wretched.

"Let me." Glorfindel removed the papers from his friend and heaped them on his desk. He would be lucky to get to bed at all tonight.

"No Glorfindel. We shall share the work." Elrond shook his head and spoke earnestly.

Glorfindel scowled as he thought. Elrond would not allow him to complete the task himself, and he had no intention of allowing Elrond to miss this family time. Grinning suddenly he threw his cloak over the pile of papers and bundled them under the desk.

"I see no papers." The blond elf shoved his friend sharply in the back, pushing him out of the room and closing the door behind them before he had a chance to protest. "'Tis midwinter Elrond."


"I cannot wait!" Elrohir hugged himself and hopped up and down excitedly, bumping against his brother who nearly spilt a pitcher full of water down his front. It was a recent development for the elflings to be allowed to pour out their washing water themselves and neither boy wished to have to return to childish dependence due to a flooded bedroom floor.

"Well you have to! I'm here first!" Elladan darted in front of the basin, spreading his elbows wide lest his brother try to squeeze in beside him. Elrohir gave him a weary expression much like that often seen on his father.

"I was talking about the Midwinter Festival!" Elrohir spoke slowly with a hint of impatience at his brother's dense mind.

"Oh!" Elladan looked around at him, his face dripping soapy bubbles onto the floor. "I cannot wait either! Especially the tree!"

"No!" Elrohir's eyes gleamed in anticipation of the following afternoon. "Or the gift giving!"

"And the feast!" Elladan splashed water onto his face, his mouth watering as he thought of the food.

"I shall eat a whole boar!" Elrohir flung his arms out wide, demonstrating the magnitude of his intentions.

"I shall eat two boars!" Elladan finished washing his hands and grabbed at the towel, lingering in front of the bowl as he dried off.

"You shall get ill and Ada will give you nasty medicine!" Elrohir elbowed his brother aside and set to washing his own face, hurrying to be ready for the midday meal. Elladan stuck out his tongue at his brother and proceeded to tidy his hair, leaving their shared towel in a damp mass on the dresser.


The instructor had taken pity on the parents of the wildly excited elflings and had made them play three hours worth of running and chasing games in an attempt to tire them out. All the same as Elrond watched his sons chase each other up the path through the gardens, he did not feel that their actions showed anything in the way of weariness.

The sky that had been threateningly overcast all day was now beginning to shed a few flakes of snow, and the twins were running around trying to catch them with their tongues. Since this necessitated a certain disregard for the obstacles in their path Elrond could not help wincing slightly at their numerous tumbles.

"Elladan! Elrohir!" Elrond's voice carried commandingly over the still air, causing the two boys to stop running around with their tongues extended and turn to their father laughing. "Will you carry a message for me?"

"Oh yes Ada!" Elrohir half-ran and half-skipped up to the balcony where his father was standing, closely followed by a little less eager Elladan.

Elrond paused, almost regretting his hasty words before handing over the thick folded sheet of paper, sealed with red wax. He did not entirely trust his sons to deliver such important messages properly, but it would be a less worrisome afternoon for him than waiting for someone to fall off the edge of a wall or run into a tree.

"Will you deliver this note to the kitchens for me?"

Both boys suddenly began smiling broadly, as he had known they would. The kitchen staff were fond of his young sons and on nights where it was known that they would be eating in the dining hall, dishes that they boys were particularly fond of would often appear on their table. He did not expect them to return without having sampled some of the finest treats that the kitchen could offer.

"Do not spoil your appetites!" Elrond called as an afterthought as the twins pranced away, arguing about who should have the important task of carrying the note.


The kitchens were on the lowest level of Imladris, and the corridors were rather busy with snacking soldiers, blushing maids and busy messengers. The pleasant smells of roasting meat, fragrant herbs and sweet spices drifted along in the warm air, and boxes of vegetables that had newly been retrieved from the stores lay open in the corridors.

Hand-in-hand, the twins weaved their way through the crowds into the main kitchens where they walked straight into the aproned figure of one of the head chefs.

"Well, if it isn't young Masters Elladan and Elrohir." The chef took them each by hand and led them into a quiet corner, where he lifted them onto the tall stools that the kitchen staff used.

"Good afternoon." The boys spoke together for courage, Elladan handing over the letter than he had snatched from his brother at some stage during their journey.

"Why thank you. Did Lord Elrond send you?" The chef slit open the note and read the contents, undisturbed when a friendly looking female elf approached and pinched the twins' cheeks.

"My you are growing into fine young boys!" A hand warm from tending the roast turned Elrohir's head, checking that his ears were just as pointy as an elfling's should be. "I wonder what we can find for you?"

Elladan and Elrohir exchanged a smug grin. Soon they had a bowl of raisins, maple drops and soft fudge to munch on as they watched the action. Sucking on sweets and pleasantly warm from the fire, the boys were content to sit and watch as fish were expertly skinned and filleted, chickens were plucked and vegetables were chopped at high speed. Eventually though they tired of observation and made their way through to a friendly looking young elf.

"Can we help?" A figure far smaller than those usually seen in the kitchen grasped at the table edge and bounced up and down to try and see over the top. It's mirror image smiled at the trainee cook a little more shyly, hopping from foot to foot.

"Well." The young elf paused trying to decide whether it was more improper to refuse the Sons of Elrond their wish, or to allow them to participate in the most menial of tasks. Two faces smiled at him angelically. "I suppose if you wished to."


Elladan ran a sticky finger around the bowl, picking up what scraps of dough he could find. The mixture was sweet, buttery and tasted strongly of cinnamon and he had quite decided that he liked it better than the cooked biscuits.

"Let me try some!" Elrohir set down the rolling pin and tried to remove the bowl from his brother. Elladan reluctantly allowed his brother to have his share, realising that an argument here would result in their fast eviction and an unhappy father. Instead he took his frustration out on the dough, rolling the slightly too soft mixture into submission.

Once they had been shown how to cut and fold the dough into its characteristic triangular shape the twins settled back into an acrimonious relationship, racing each other to see who could cut the most. They were only disturbed when the friendly female elf remembered that it was getting late and that little elflings should be back with their families.

"Now young masters it is time you returned, else the Lord and Lady will be wondering where you have been hiding." The twins were lifted down from their stools and had the flour dusted off their faces and tunics with a few vigorous pats. "We cannot have you returning covered in filth."

"It is tasty filth!" Elladan declared as he licked the last traces of sugar from his licks.

"We always come home all dirty anyway." Elrohir added helpfully. "Ammë does not care."

The elf finished tidying their hair; her speedy hands well practised from her own children, and handed each twin a square of chocolate.

"Now run along with you both!" With a hand behind each child's back she guided them to the door and patted them both on the shoulder. "Mind that you do not linger."

"We will not!" Elrohir promised earnestly. Both twins turned to give their friend a hug, calling their thanks loudly to the entire kitchen, before skipping off down the corridor their cheeks bulging with the tasty treats.


After the dinner, with the twins bathed and tucked up in bed, the Lord and Lady of Imladris gathered in the sitting room together with some of their friends. A fire was roaring in the hearth and the room was amply lit with brass-framed lamps, highlighting the rich colours and delicate stitching of the formal gowns.

The four friends were seated around the low table, a complex game of cards and tokens spread out before them. Elrond and Celebrian shared one bench, their arms wrapped around each other and the blonde head resting on her husband's shoulder. Erestor was sitting very properly, looking disapprovingly at Glorfindel who had sprawled out over the entire length of one bench, his soft leather boots resting on the cushions.

"Shall I begin?" Glorfindel placed down three cards with an innocent look that kept tweaking into a smile. Propping his head up with his elbow and resting his chin on his palm, he looked challengingly around the others and removed a few itchy strands of hair from the pale blue collar of his shirt. "Well come along Peredhil! Surely you will make a move!"

"That I will." Elrond quickly placed down some cards of his own, looking hard at Glorfindel's sleeve that was lying in open folds of velvet suspiciously close to the card pile. The blond elf shifted to scratch his ear, without once appearing to have noticed the dubious stare. Elrond relaxed and turned to his wife, waiting for her to take her turn.

Celebrian however appeared to have little interest in cards, moving closer to her husband and raising her face for a kiss. Elrond willingly obliged, wrapping both arms around her, cuddling her closely. Glorfindel watched with amusement as the blue eyes dropped from the elf lord's face to snatch guilty glances at the loosely held cards. Eventually the pair broke apart and Celebrian played a perfect hand.

"Excellent!" Glorfindel said mischievously, widening his eyes in mock surprise. Celebrian peeked up through her eyelashes at him with an extremely guilty expression. Glorfindel moved his fist across his heart and grinned at her.

"There." Erestor took his turn and fiddled awkwardly with a strand of green silk from the cuff of his gown, looking at Glorfindel with a very odd expression.

The blond elf surveyed his cards and those already on the table with a critical eye, wrinkling his nose slightly.

"Why Glorfindel my little Golden Flower." Elrond taunted, moving his leg rapidly to avoid a kick aimed at his shin. "Can you not make a move?"

"Aye I will. I am merely deciding on which tactic would be easiest for your little half-elven mind to comprehend."

Erestor stiffened slightly, looking anxiously between the elf lords. He had never in all his time heard such expressions of disrespect. Celebrian noticed his distress, and eager to put him at his ease, frowned at the pair as they continued their verbal sparring.

"Ai Celebrian!" Glorfindel sat up with a sweet and innocent smile. "I do not know which move I should make. However should I decide?"

"I do not know, Lord Glorfindel. You must seek more worthy council." Celebrian spoke cheerfully, sticking the smallest corner of a pink tongue out from between her lips when she was sure that nobody else was looking.

Glorfindel caught Celebrian's eye and glanced over at Erestor, raising his eyebrows suggestively. Celebrian immediately broke into peals of laughter, falling back against her husband who was wearing a perplexed expression, and dropping some of her cards. Glorfindel glanced at the exposed card faces, smirked and placed a winning move on the pile.


Two elflings knelt on the chest by the window, their breath misting the cold windowpanes. Their hair was loose over their shoulders, the darkness of the silky strands contrasting sharply with the creamy wool of their nightshirts in the dim candlelight. The darkness of the night outside was reflected in their grey eyes, which were currently bright with wakefulness and interest as they watched the steady fall of icy flakes.

"It is snowing." Elrohir traced a circle on the glass as he stared out into the blizzard. "It is so pretty."

"I shall throw snowballs!" Elladan declared loudly, his eyes sparkling as he made up a mental list of his targets.

"If you throw them at me I shall push you down!" Elrohir gave his brother a slightly anxious look.

"Oh I shall not throw them at you brother!" Elladan's face lit up with an impish smile. "We shall work as a team. You may cover my back!"

Elrohir looked slightly doubtful at this, but decided to keep quiet in case he should be added to the list of those who deserved an attack. In any case his brother's thoughts had already turned to more interesting - and peaceful - affairs.

Elladan placed the palms of his hands against the cold glass and leant forwards to blow on the window with all his might, before leaning forwards to imprint his nose and mouth in the frosting. Intrigued by the patterns that his brother made, Elrohir followed suit and let a few strands of hair to play over the glass, making delicate curving paths.

Elrond paused for a moment in the doorway watching his twin sons before silently crossing the room to stand behind them. Smiling he ran a finger down the centre of each of two cold little bare feet. Both twins turned their heads to look at him giggling, their smiles slightly guilty.

"I think that it is high time that some little ones were tucked up asleep." Elrond wrapped his arms around the pair, picking them both up easily and carrying them over to a bed. "For elflings that do not sleep tonight will be too tired to enjoy the singing tomorrow."

Both boys fell quiet at this. They had no desire to be sent to bed after dinner like the smallest of those who lived in Imladris.

"However, if you sleep now I should imagine that you will be wide awake tomorrow." Elrond lifted Elladan onto his own bed, saving the child's feet from scampering over the icy floors.

"Goodnight Ada!" The two boys chorused together, smiling cherubically as their father tucked them in, making sure that the blankets were thick enough in this cold weather.

"Goodnight." Elrond hugged each child closely before blowing out the candle and heading back to the sitting room, leaving the door slightly ajar so that any disturbance would be audible.

There was silence for what seemed like an eternity to the wakeful elflings. Then unable to take it any longer Elladan kicked his mattress, producing a soft thump. A few seconds later Elrohir answered with his own thump.

Feeling daring and barely managing to smother his giggles Elladan grabbed his pillow and thumped it hard against the bedstead. After a moment's silence something soft came flying across the room at force, covering his face. Forgetting to subdue his yell of surprise Elladan scrabbled desperately, relaxing when he realised that is had only been a spare nightshirt. Elrohir giggled and crept out of his bed, sheltering behind one end.

"Boys?" Celebrian came in wearing her nightgown, holding a small lamp and observed her two sons with a curious expression. Both were squinting at the sudden brightness - Elladan standing on his bed wielding a pillow, and Elrohir crouched in the shadow of his bed holding out a blanket in an attempt to capture his brother.

"Sorry Ammë." Elladan sat down suddenly, making the bed groan in protest. Elrohir guiltily crept back under his covers, his anxious eyes appearing quite dark in the orange light.

"Try and get some sleep now." Celebrian tried to keep everything as calm as possible in the hope that they would drop off. "It is getting late and it will be a long day tomorrow."

Once their mother had left them after a final kiss and cuddle, the twins lay silently trying not to be the cause of any disturbance that would result in them being banned from the treats tomorrow.

Elrohir was just beginning to feel comfortably warm and sleepy when light feet pattered across the floor and his brother scrambled into his bed.

"I cannot sleep." Elladan whispered into his brother's ear as he wriggled into more than his fair share of the blankets.

"I am too excited." Elrohir whispered back, moving closer to his brother for warmth as Elladan's tugging left half of his body blanketless.

When Elrond came in the check on the twins a little while later the pair were curled up together, their dark hair tangled together and Elrohir's mouth still close to his brother's ear as if to whisper a final comment.

Moving gently, careful not to wake the sleeping children, Elrond kissed each child on a warm cheek and draped a spare blanket from Elladan's bed over the pair, before leaving for the welcome warmth of his own bed.


The snow was still thin on the ground - no more than a dusting of crisp white powder over fallen leaves - but it lay more deeply on the bare branches of the trees, changing their pale silhouettes against the night sky.

Fine snowflakes were falling steadily through the darkness, occasionally landing on the traveller's beard and twinkling in the light of his torch before melting in his warmth. It was a still night and as he approached up the long road into the valley he could hear distant bell-like voices raised in song.

By the time the rider had reached the main courtyard of Imladris however most of the elves were tucked up in bed, and the clear silence was broken only by the noise of the horse's feet as it made it's way up the newly swept road.

Halting by the great doors into the house, the shadowy figure dismounted and handed the reins of his horse to one of the elves on guard. Then he looked up, watching for the telltale flash of gold in the dimly lit windows of the house.

"Mithrandir!" Glorfindel called joyfully, skimming down the steps to the courtyard and greeting the wizard with a warm embrace.

"Lord Glorfindel." The old man greeted the elf formally but his eyes were twinkling. "It is late on midwinter's night to be wandering these fair halls."

Glorfindel chuckled and took Mithrandir's bag, letting him lean on his stick to rest a while before continuing.

"Elrond is well?" There was a distinct weariness in the old voice.

"Elrond is trying to persuade two over-excitable little elflings to turn to their beds." Glorfindel grinned.

The pair walked together to the east wing where Glorfindel slept and Mithrandir would stay. As they passed through the many great halls Mithrandir lingered a little, standing as if to catch his breath, his right hand cupped slightly over the end of his staff.

Finally, in response to a low call from Glorfindel, Mithrandir turned and followed his light footsteps up the passageway. But the previously shadowy halls were now lit with the flickering starlight that highlighted the festive decorations, and the frost forming on the windows seemed to dance in silvery patterns that were unusually beautiful.