Author's Notes: Thanks to Elwen for beta-ing this with her ubber-quick beta skills. It should be a super-power.. 'Quick Beta'!

Anyway, this is the start of a new series made up of scenes, mostly pranks, from Elladan and Elrohir's childhood. These all take place when Celebrían was still around and Arwen was fairly young. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: All characters belong to J.R.R. Tolkien in all his godliness. The toy soldiers will be returned to the trunk once I am through.

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The Itch

by Lily Frost

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"Smile: tomorrow will be worse"

--Murphy's Laws

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It was spring in the elven city of Imladris, and as such cleaning was being done. Currently a great deal of bedding was hung over the railings, left by the maids to dry in the sunshine. The air was thick with the smell of flowers, and mischief.

"Come along Elrohir, we shan't be caught." A voice hissed from the brush nearby where the blankets lay.

"Yes we will!" Another, nearly equal, voice argued, "Let us wait until dusk."

"It'll be too late then; they will have brought all the linens in from drying."

"Elladan, please, just wait."

"No! Give me that itching powder!" The young elf named Elladan pounced his brother, and from the porch a bush seemed to move. One maid saw this and rushed back into the building, hoping that it was not a bear. After a lot of scuffling, kicking and biting a cloud of dust rose from the brush, followed by a great deal of coughing, sneezing and hacking.

When at last the cloud had cleared the two identical elves stared at each other with wide, dark eyes on powder-covered faces. Then, slowly, they twitched a little bit, jerking their bare limbs. Elladan made a frustrated sound, scratching at his arm.

Elrohir did the same, clawing at his face. "Ugh, this is all your fault!"

"My fault?" Elladan demanded, "It was you who would not give it to me.."

It was as such, powder covered and itching, that their father found them. Elrond looked down, not sure that he wanted to know, "What is this 'it' you speak of?"

"Nothing ada!" They simultaneously cried before they quickly stood up and bolted back indoors.

Elrond shifted his gaze down to the container they had left in their wake, not daring to touch it, and grinned to himself when he saw the label. They certainly got what they deserved.

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Dinner that night, for Elrond, was eventful, to say the least. Well, perhaps it was always eventful when your sons happened to be named Elladan and Elrohir, but tonight was amusing for Elrond. For once the joke was not on him, but had backfired against his sons. They spent the meal desperately trying not to scratch themselves. Elladan had taken to rubbing against the cutlery, and scrubbing his face very hard with his napkin and Elrohir seemed to have developed a twitch. This earned them a rather disturbed look from their mother, Celebrían, and prompted a few giggles from their young sister.

Elrond grinned to himself, "So, what trouble have you been up to today my sons?"

"Trouble?" They asked, looking innocently up at him.

"Why, what could you mean by that?" Elrohir twitched as he said it.

Alas, Elrond could not take anymore of this, he suddenly broke into a loud fit of laughter, nearly spilling his wine.

"If you please!" Celebrían cried, aghast at her husband's sudden unseemly behaviour. "Tell us, what is so amusing?"

Before Elrond could quit laughing enough to reply, both Elladan and Elrohir had made their quick leave of the table and gone up to their chambers.

Elrond explained quickly, "They have become the victims of their own prank, I fear."

That night Lord Elrond and his wife slept well, knowing that their sons were up to their hands in scratching to do much havoc, and for the night, Imladris was safe. Come morrow, Elrond resolved to mix up some cream for their itch. But for now, all he could do was drift into sleep, laughing still in his mind.

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fin