Title: Pirates Of The Anduin

Series: Elf Children Series

Author: Mayetra

Website: http:torturedscribes.feybles.com

Rating: G

Disclaimer: Tolkien characters belong to the Tolkien Estate. Original characters belong to me. No profit is made from this story.

Beta: Fireheart

Timeline: AU after Gifts

Author's Note: Since these are tales for my son, I have taken poetic license with Tolkien's canon for the purposes of plot. This installment was inspired by the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, which I've watched one too many times.

Summary: After being read a pirate story by Lord Celeborn, the children decide to play pirates.

42 Hrívë 171 T.A. – Caras Galadon, Lórien

"And Captain Finch having escaped the Lord Marshal Falmotir, sailed his ship into the setting sun."

Celeborn shut the book he had been reading from with a dull thud and smiled down at his captive audience. Haldir, his brothers, the twins, Arwen and Legolas immediately besieged him with question after question about Captain Finch and his adventures. The older Elf laughed and raised his hands for peace.

"So many questions, young ones, but I am afraid they will have to wait until tomorrow night. Now off to bed with you."

Amid groans and pleas for just one more chapter, the children rose and shuffled out of the Elf-lord's study.

The next day dawned brightly and, after finishing their morning chores, the children gathered at their play talan.

"I think we should play Pirates!" Rúmil announced with enthusiasm.

"I want to be captain!" Elladan said almost immediately.

"But, I wanted to be captain," Legolas argued.

"I think I should be captain." Arwen joined in the argument.

"You cannot be captain," Elrohir snorted.

Rúmil, Elladan, and Legolas all nodded at this statement.

"Why not?" Arwen asked in an outraged voice.

"Because you are a girl," Rúmil retorted. "Everyone knows that girls cannot be captains of pirate ships."

"That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard!" Arwen raged.

"None of you are going to be captain," Haldir announced in a raised voice, so he could be heard over the shouting of his playmates. "If anyone is going to be captain, it will be me."

"Why you?" the kids asked him, expect for Orophin, who was sitting with Hwest watching the whole scene with much interest.

"Because I am the oldest," Haldir said simply. "Therefore, I shall be captain.

The others exchanged glances but could not argue with his logic.

"Very well," Elladan announced, "then I shall be first mate."

Soon a new argument broke out over who would hold the second most coveted position on the pirate crew. This continued for several minutes before Haldir finally decided that they would draw from a box to decide. The others reluctantly agreed to this proposal and a box was filled six crew positions. They each took turns drawing out a slip of paper from the box. To their utter surprise, Orophin drew the scrap with first mate scrawled on it. Arwen won the position of second mate. Legolas was made quartermaster. Elladan, Elrohir, and Rúmil all became mates.

"Now, we just need a ship," Haldir mused.

It was Orophin who announced moments later, "What about Lady Galadriel's barge? I am sure if we ask her, she will let us play on it."

"We do not ask," Elladan declared with a snort. "We are pirates. We take what we want!"

"I do not think that is a very good idea, "Rúmil said softly.

Orophin nodded his agreement.

To everyone's surprise, Arwen backed up her brother's statement. "I agree with Elladan, except that I say we are 'borrowing' the barge. It is not like we are stealing it. We will be giving it back when we are done."

Orophin was finally persuaded and, after gathering their 'equipment', they left the play talan.

Sneaking out of the city had proven to be very easy. The Elflings lay hidden in the bushes fringing the glade along the edge of the Anduin, where the city's boats and Lady Galadriel's barge were kept. Near the center of the glade, stood two wardens talking softly, their duty to guard the vessels.

The children had been expecting there to be guards and planned accordingly. They waited patiently and every time the wardens' attention was drawn away from the boats, one of them would sneak the short distance and slip onto the barge.

Finally, Haldir boarded the barge and motioned to Elladan and Elrohir. The twins began to loosen the ties that held the barge to its moorings. The large swan shaped ship slipped silently into the swift current of the Anduin and began to float downstream, gathering speed as the seconds slipped by.

"The Lady's barge," one of the wardens yelled, as he started to run towards the bank.

"It must have slipped its mooring," his partner suggested as he ran along side him.

They jumped into one of the small, lighter boats and began to paddle after the barge.

"What do we do, Haldir?" Rúmil asked in a hushed voice.

"Unfurl the sails," Haldir bellowed as he stood up, from his hiding place by the tiller.

"But, Haldir, we do not have sails," Arwen told him in confusion.

"Just pretend," Haldir retorted in a huff. He continued to bellow orders. "Man the oars. Quartermaster, see to the cannons."

The wardens noticed the frenzied activity on the larger boat.

"What in the name of the Valar do those Elflings think they are doing?" the first muttered.

"I do believe they think they are stealing the Lady's boat and doing a very good job of it, I might add," the second answered, with a bit of mirth in his voice. He really didn't think the Elflings would actually accomplish their task.

"Stop right now!" the first warden yelled at the children, as he and his comrade began to paddle harder.

Haldir looked back at the wardens with a large smile on his face. He raised a hand in a mock salute. "Get ready, here they come!" he hissed under his breath.

Just as the wardens were beginning to pull along side the barge, Haldir roared, "Fire!"

Elladan, Elrohir, Rúmil and Arwen pulled in the oars they were using and joined Legolas by the 'cannons'. The cannons were, in fact, three baskets filled with rotten fruit and vegetables pilfered by the children earlier that morning.

"Sauron's Balls!" the first warden cursed as he was pelted with a rotten tomato.

The second warden was to busy ducking a rotten pear to be of much assistance.

The wardens tried valiantly to catch the ship. In the end, they admitted defeat and turned back. It was a bit humiliating to think the children had fought them off with rotten fruit, but it was rather difficult to row and dodge food at the same time. Both returned to shore, covered in slime and reeking.

"We had better inform the Lord and Lady," the first announced. "There is no telling who will find those foolish Elflings before we do."

The second nodded and they broke into a run towards the city.

On the ship, Captain Haldir and his crew were busy celebrating their victory.

"They did WHAT?" Galadriel roared.

Celeborn was standing next to her, trying with difficulty not to laugh.

"They took your ship, my lady," the first warden answered her.

"And they beat us back with... rotten food," the second added, feeling a bit foolish now that he actually had to report that little tidbit. It was unnecessary as that fact was pretty obvious.

"Celeborn, were you reading to them from that pirate storybook of yours?" Galadriel turned her piercing grey eyes on him.

Celeborn quickly wiped the smile off of his face and tried to look serious. "Yes, my dear, but I did not think they would take the tale to heart."

"Did I not warn you about reading that particular story to them?" Galadriel asked him in an agitated voice.

"Well... yes, but I really did not see the harm..." Celeborn's voice trailed off as his lady wife glared at him.

"You know what overactive imaginations those Elfling possess! The proof is in this latest stunt!" Galadriel ranted. "Now, I suggest that you gather some wardens and bring them right back to the city before something awful happens to them!"

Celeborn nodded and quickly left the throne room, followed closely by the two reeking wardens. Once outside and well out of hearing distance of Galadriel, he burst into peals of laughter. Fat tears streamed down his face as he clutched his sides. "The little rascals have done it this time!" he announced to his stunned wardens in between chuckles. "Galadriel will have them trimming the lawn with embroidery shears."

Celeborn wasn't angry at his wife's waspish tirade because he knew that worry for the children's safety was behind it. He couldn't blame her and wished that the children hadn't actually taken the barge. Still, the thought of a bit of fun was too much temptation to pass up. He eyed the two wardens and asked, "How would you both like to have some fun and a bit of revenge?"

The wardens exchanged glances, smiles crossing their lips. It was not often that their lord showed his playful nature, but when it emerged a great time was normally had by all involved. They both nodded eagerly.

On board the "Black Swan", as their new pirate ship had been dubbed despite the fact that the ship was actually white, the Elflings were busy making plans.

"I think we should stop for lunch," Arwen suggested.

"We could tie the ship to the bank and pretend to storm a town," Elladan added.

Haldir nodded his agreement. "Let us make for that large glade over there." He pointed to the open field bordering the Anduin ahead of them.

Now the order was easier said then accomplished. All of the children had taken rides on the Swan boat with the Lord and Lady. They had watched the wardens maneuver the ship, but it turned out to be much harder to do then they thought it would be.

As the children struggled with the ship, they were unaware that they were being watched from the banks.

"What do you think they are trying to do?" a tall Elf asked his leader.

"I do believe they are trying to land the ship," the leader said softly with a shake of his silver head. "The bigger question is why are they alone on it in the first place. An answer I shall get after we have rescued them."

The Elf motioned for his small band to begin preparations.

Meanwhile on the ship, panic was beginning to set in as the children found they were unable to steer the ship correctly.

"Haldir, we are caught in the current!" Elladan shouted.

"I know," Haldir grunted as he leaned on the tiller trying to get it to turn. "Paddle harder."

"I want to go home," Arwen wailed from her seat next to Elrohir.

"Shut up and help me row," her brother snapped at her.

"Do not tell me to shut up," she shouted back at him.

"Look!" Orophin exclaimed from his place in the bow of the ship, Hwest clutched to his chest. "It is Lord Celeborn!"

The other Elflings looked across the wide gap of water between the ship and the shore. They could indeed see the silver haired Elf-lord along with a small band of wardens. None of them stopped to question the fact that the 'wardens' were not wearing the standard Lothlórien uniforms. They began to shout and wave at the adults on the back.

"We are going to shoot a rope out to you," one of the wardens yelled to the terrified children. He drew back on his bow and let loose his arrow, which was tied to a rather lengthy piece of rope. The arrow sailed in a long arc landing with a small splash on the other side of the ship. The rope fell across the center of the barge.

The children quickly retrieved the rope and Legolas tied it to the bow of the barge. They continued to paddle as the adults began to pull them toward shore.

Finally, the barge was beached onto the bank and the Elflings scrambled off of it, happy to be back on shore once again.

Stopping to catch their breath, they didn't really get a good look at their rescuers, except for Orophin, who promptly exclaimed, "You are not Lord Celeborn!"

The other Elflings looked up in shock and saw that Orophin was correct.

"Fear not, for your Lord Celeborn is my younger brother. My name is Galathil." The silver-haired Elf bowed slightly at the Elflings. He did resemble Celeborn in many ways and it was easy to see why the Elflings had mistaken him for their lord.

The children suddenly remembered their manners and promptly made their greeting, giving the noble lord their names and relationships.

"So, what exactly were you doing on my sister-in-law's boat?" Galathil asked them with a slight smirk.

"We were borrowing it," Legolas prompted.

The other Elflings nodded.

Galathil exchanged glances with his companions. "I guessed as much, but why?"

"We are pirates," Haldir informed him.

A look of comprehension dawned on Galathil's handsome face. "Has my little brother been reading to the tales of Captain Finch?"

The children nodded enthusiastically.

The lord smiled fondly. "I remember the hours of fun Celeborn and I had as children after reading those stories. You must tell me of your adventures, but first, let us partake of lunch."

While they sat on the banks and ate from the traveling rations and picnic lunch that Arwen had brought, the children related their adventure. Galathil and his comrades had a hearty laugh over the Elflings' antics.

"I suspect that my brother will be along to fetch you any time now," Galathil said with a twinkle in his eye. "I think we should give him a bit of a surprise!"

Fed and safe, the Elflings were ready for more adventure and agreed immediately.

"There is the ship, but where are the children," the warden next to Celeborn asked softly.

"I do not know," Celeborn answered him. He was busy scanning the treeline across the meadow from where they stood along the edge. His face was a mask of concern until his sharp eyes caught sight of a makeshift flag near the meadow's opposite edge. He recognized the banner immediately. "It would seem that my brother has found our wayward Elflings," he said with a smile.

The wardens around him started to enter the meadow, but were stopped by Celeborn's quiet command to hold.

"It would seem that my brother has joined forces with the children. If I am not mistaken, they are the pirates and we are to be the law."

The wardens all chuckled at this announcement. One towards the rear of the small group asked, "Should we prepare then, my lord?"

Celeborn nodded.

Along with their standard equipment, the wardens had each brought a bag of fruit and vegetables gathered from the same spot as the Elflings.

"Surrender, you filthy band of curs!" Celeborn shouted.

From across the meadow, Orophin answered him. "Ye will not take us alive, Lord Marshal!"

"So we do this the hard way," Celeborn shouted back. With a roar, he picked up a handful of rotten cherries and charged into the field, followed by his wardens.

From the opposite side, Galathil, his party, and the Elflings charged as well. They were carrying the remaining piece of fruit from the barge and mud-balls made at the water's edge.

The battle was long and fierce. Mud and rotten food soar though the air. In the end, a draw was declared. Celeborn sent his wardens to fetch the light boats they had beached a bit further upstream and the rest of them gathered at the barge. Before long, they were paddling upstream towards Caras Galadhon, laughing and chattering excitedly about their grand adventure.

The happy atmosphere that had carried them home quickly evaporated once they entered the city. Galadriel was waiting for them in the central glade. She said not a word but eyed each of them in turn. They were filthy, covered head to toe with dried food and mud.

"Say something, my dear," Celeborn finally said after the silence had dragged on for many minutes. He had expected her to be irritated with them, but not this prolonged silent angry glare.

"I was worried sick!" she roared at them.

The Elflings and a fair number of the wardens flinched.

"I expected you back hours ago!" she continued.

"That would be my fault, Galadriel," Galathil started to explain.

"I have no doubts that you had a hand in this, Galathil! I know all too well how much mischief you and Celeborn are capable of!" Galadriel cut him off with a wave of her hand.

She looked down at the seven Elflings standing around Celeborn and the others. "And what did the seven of you think you were doing when you stole my boat?"

"Actually, it was more like borrowing," Legolas answered her without thought.

"Borrowing?" Galadriel asked, one of her golden brows arching. "You may call it what you like, Legolas Greenleaf but no matter what pretty word you try to attach to the deed, the fact remains you took it without permission."

The seven children had the good breeding to flush at her words.

"It was Orophin's idea, Grandmother," Arwen announced, willing to sacrifice the youngest Elfling in a moment of self-preservation.

"And I suppose you were completely opposed to the idea and the boys kidnapped you," Galadriel snapped at her granddaughter.

"No, Ma'am," Arwen answered her in a quiet voice.

"Then it matters not whose idea it was since you all participated. That makes you all guilty of the deed!"

The children all hung their heads.

"Galadriel..." Celeborn started to address his wife. He could see her point and agreed that the taking of the boat had been wrong, but he felt she was being overly harsh because she was angry.

"Do not 'Galadriel' me, Celeborn!" She snapped at her husband. "The children are not the only irresponsible ones in this fiasco. If you had not read them that story in the first place, like I told you, none of this would have happened!"

"Should we report to the garden in the morning?" Haldir asked glumly.

Galadriel stared coldly down at the young Elf. "No, Haldir, I have a much better punishment in mind." She looked at all the adults surrounding the children. "For all of you, I might add."

Galathil dipped his brush into the bucket of paint. "You know, Celeborn, I have to hand it to Galadriel. She really does know how to give great punishments."

"Do not remind me," Celeborn replied with a grimace. He was busy brushing green paint onto the wall in front of him.

"Do you really think the Lady means to have us paint the whole wall, my lord?" Orophin asked from his place on Celeborn's other side.

Celeborn sighed and looked at the huge expanse of wall in front of him. It was part of the great wall that encircled all of Caras Galadon. "I hope not, Orophin. I really do."

The End

Final Author's Note: These stories have been wonderful to write but

the time has come to put them to rest. I've grown tired of the LotR

fandom. After long thought, I've decided to write original Elf

Children stories in an original world created by my husband and I. I

will have greater freedom to develop the characters. I have found the

LotR world to be limited and restrictive. These tales are for my son

but it has been a pleasure to share them with you. I am undecided if

I will post the original tales once I write them. Mostly, due to the

fact that the main reader fan base for these tales are LotR and won't

want to read about original Elven children. Thank you for taking the

time to read these tales.