Title - Gardens of Elrond

Author - Jules

Rating - G

Disclaimer - Tolkien owns the elves of Imladris. I own the feral garden.

Summery - An attack of the most unusual sort lead Elladan and Elrohir to an embarrassing situation.

Authors Notes - Okay, this is not my usual writing style. Those that have read some of my really early Rats work know that this weird stuff crops up from time to time. Those in the LOTR genre that have only read my angst stuff, well, this is something slightly different :)

Dedication - To Minka, who dared (kinda) me to write this, then stayed on MSN while I wrote the whole friggin thing. To Sonbon, Sazpot and Katie, ta for all your support!!

Gardens of Elrond

Elladan struggled feverishly against the bonds that held him. His brothers and father were not going believe him when he explained how exactly he ended up in his current predicament. Yes, he would be shamed for centuries, unable to show his face in public within the halls of his own home in shame.

He stopped his struggle and sagged helplessly, suspended many meters in the air with naught but his bonds to support his weight. He resisted the urge to call for help, he couldn't allow himself to be found in such an embarrassing situation, particularly if one of his family, or any of the Palace Guard were to find him. He would have to try and free himself, or persuade his captures to release him. The problem was, his captors weren't exactly in a talkative mood at the moment.

The Royal Elf was starting to get a little frightened, what if he were never released? What if they never found him? Only finding his bones suspended high in the air millennia after he had passed on? What if he couldn't escape? Fear quickened his breathing and he glanced nervously around him, dark leaves, branches and fern fronds seemed darker still in the fading twilight. It was almost as if they seemed somewhat malicious. But then again, everyone knew only the Ents could move, normal flora couldn't move, couldn't scheme, and certainly couldn't kidnap an elf!

Well, that was the part that didn't make sense in Elladan's current situation. There he was, calmly walking through the section of the mist swept gully that he had been allotted to care for, he had paused to examine some pawprints in the moist earth when suddenly out of mist a thin tendril of vine started to wrap itself around his ankle. Not noticing until it was too late the dark elf tried to brush aside the greenery, onto to find it wouldn't budge, and indeed more was trying to ensnare his other ankle. He bolted upright, trying to rip his feet free as he lunged sideways to the nearest bolder, only to land flat on his face when the vines refused to give.

The tendrils' slowly but surely worked their way up the elf's slender legs, encasing the grey leggings in a covering of living green as they trapped more of his body. Realising the he was indeed in a large amount of peril Elladan tried to talk to the vines, explaining to them that he was indeed no threat to them and would not harm them in any way. The vines didn't seem to heed his words, in fact quite the opposite, sending more tendrils out to restrain the elf's arms. He allowed his mind to be receptive to the flora around him, but sensed only anger and frustration, and one overruling sensation. Contempt.

Elladan's mind did a double backflip with 3 full rotations at this discovery. Why the mink would his garden be contemptuous??? The flora refused to answer his question, only showing his mind images of overgrown dark patches, moldy leaves and pest inflicted. It though he had neglected it? Cripes! What was an elf to do? Spend all his time and energy dedicated to caring and loving his selected area of greenery? To not spend his days cavorting around with his brothers playing numerous jokes, tricks and generally making their father mad at them? Talk about being unreasonable!

He understood why his father had delegating the duties of caring for the gardens to both himself and his brother, and he had assumed that it meant nothing more than another superfluous task he could overlook when it suited him. He hadn't noticed the area falling into disarray lately, then again, the only times he came into this place where when he was either chasing his brother, or being chased BY him. Rarely was the area traversed by anyone else, thus he never seemed to take great notice in the feelings of the trees around him. Now he wished he had paid better attention.

Not that that could help his current situation at all. He was still suspended upside down high in the canopy of his own garden, dangling and swaying in the breeze as he tried to formulate a way out of this mess. The plants refused to listen to his reasoning, he tried explaining the rigors of his royal duties, of how they consumed his precious time and how he was oft asked to play envoy to neighbouring elven kingdoms, yet still the greenery refused to release him. It suddenly dawned on him that somehow Elrohir must have found time to tend to his own allotted area, unless that was why his dear twin hadn't come to find him yet. A peel of laughter erupted in Elladan's heart, filling the dark valley with the mirth of what sounded like a madman.

He had the inkling of a thought that his brother was caught in the same situation as he was, held captive within his own garden. It all started to make sense. With both himself and Elrohir gone from the palace their father would assume that they were playing another one of their many games, staying out late to hunt deer or orc or whatever game they had chosen for the moment. That left Estel. But how would they get some kind of a message to the young human man without either insulting their pride or getting themselves both in heinous amounts of trouble for neglecting their duties.

Swallowing his pride Elladan let out a mid-pitched whistle, sounding very much like that of a lyre-bird but with subtle difference. It was he his brothers' way of letting know where each other was if they wanted no-one else to catch on. A similar whistle returned, slightly lower in pitch and hitched with a touch of fear. So his brother was indeed caught in the same situation if not worse. A wave of relief washed over the elf, partially because he now knew that he wasn't in this alone, and partially because he brother wouldn't be able to use his current predicament as future blackmail material.

It still didn't help the current situation any. If anything it made things slightly worse as now there were two of them to rescue. Fortunately the trees seem to be content letting their catches sway high in the canopies without actually harming them any further.

A great wind came up suddenly, roaring through the narrow valley with great force, sending the elf ricocheting into the neighbouring trees with a velocity he rather didn't much care for. He grunted as his body slammed into the solid timber of the oak next to where he had been suspended and hear snatches of similar turmoil from where he know his brother to be hanging nearby. The wind continued its assault, tossing the helpless elves as though dry leaves on a forest path, repeatedly blowing them into the tall trees around them. It seemed as though the entire natural world were ganging up on them, teaching the rebellious young elves a lesson about respecting their surroundings and all other life.

Unbeknownst to the young elves the wind brought with it another of its allies. Dark clouds rolled in from the south, closing out the moon and stars and plunging the valley into complete blackness. The winds chilled the temperature further still and then slowly ebbed, allowing the twins to ponder what next would befall them.

Elladan gathered his courage and turned his gaze past his toes towards where the stars used to be. Where there once was the shimmering stars in all their glory and the grace of the moon, was now shrouded in the darkest, blackest, foulest looking stormclouds the young Lord had ever seen.

Fast the rain fell, causing tiny waterfalls as the water cascaded off the elves' bodies and finally ran into their hair. Lightning flashed around them, briefly illuminating their surroundings before deafening them with a tumultuous crashing of thunder. Elladan tried to protect his sensitive ears from the loud noise, only to once again realise his arms well and truly bound to his side.

For hours they endured the freezing cold, cascading rain and the thunderstorm, until the first twinklings of light began to peek under the dense clouds, signalling the beginning of a new day. As the tinges of colour increased the storm receded, the clouds finally parting to reveal a radiant sunrise. Shades of red, yellow and pink erupted across the sky, bathing the land in a myriad of colour, and then something very bizarre happened. As quickly as the young elves had been caught, they were released. Or more accurately dropped on their heads.

Both had the reflexes to twist during their somewhat lengthy descent to avoid landing square on their faces, but both on succeeded in landing in somewhat ungraceful heaps. As if by instinct the twins headed towards each other, needing to know if the other was hurt before looking after themselves. After making sure they had no serious wounds they set about returning to their home and pondering different ways of explaining themselves.

" Orc attack?" Elrohir suggested while trying to wring his hair out.

" Fell in the river?" Elladan countered while pausing try and drain the water out of his ear.

" How about we were ambushed by a group of dwarves?" Elrohir asked, trying desperately to think of an explanation before they entered their fathers' halls.

" How about you both simply tell the truth" Elrond's voice boomed as he and a small squadron of Imladris' warriors rounded the corner of the path, having very plainly heard the conversation between the twins. The siblings looked at each other, before Elrohir turned his gaze to the ground, leaving his older brother to do the explanation.

" Um we, um, were. You see it happened like this, we were out walking as we do, yes and then.. umm, well.." The dark elf stuttered like a child having just grasped the concept of spoken language. Elrond however saw right through his son's embarrassment.

" You mean to say that the very gardens I entrusted the both of you to care for, the ones that had fallen into severe disrepair finally had had enough of you games? I do hope you both have learnt your lesson" With that he turned on his heel and left, not allowing his sons the smile that graced his ancient features that would have ruined the serious air that he had left his sons with.

Begrudgingly the twins fell into their rightful place behind their father and were frog-marched back to the halls, shame and embarrassment written fairly across their faces. Yes, they would never live this one down.