Title: Elven Escapades

Authoress: Ladya C. Maxine

Rating: G

Summary: see chapter one.

Disclaimer: I do not own Lord of the Rings or any of its characters. Any and all unrecognizable characters belong solely to me and are not to be touched. I am not making any money off of this and I write with the sole intention to entertain.

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"Ada?"

"Yes, Arwen?"

"Did the maids clean my room?"

Not pausing in his writing, he nodded.

"Aye."

"Did they go in my closet?"

"Your gowns are being cleaned, so I suppose so."

"Did they find...something?"

Catching on to an unnerving realization, he stopped writing and looked sceptically over at the small elfling who watched him with too wide, too innocent eyes.

"Something?"

"Something."

"Something like what?"

"Just…something. They didn't say anything?"

"They didn't. However," he fixed her with a serious look, "I would like to know what it is the maids should have found."

"It's not my fault! Elrohir and Elladan couldn't keep them in their room!"

"Them?"

"...so Elrohir asked if I could keep the buckets in my closets…"

"Buckets?"

"But I guess they escaped..."

She frowned softly but then simply shrugged and skipped out, leaving Elrond massaging his suddenly aching temple.

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"No you can't!"

"Yes, I can!"

"Nuh-uh!"

"Uh-huh!"

"Nuh-uh!"

"Uh-huh!"

Elrohir watched back and forth as his brother and their blond friend argued from where he laid comfortably on the grass.

"What are you doing?" Arwen asked, appearing out of nowhere and crouching down next to the younger twin.

"Legolas says he can hit anything with his arrows. Elladan says he can't," the elfling shrugged, fighting the urge to yawn. It was so boring! It was almost noon and they had only played six pranks so far!

"Fine then! Let's see how good you are. Let's see you...um..." Elladan looked around them, "Let's see you...hit that!"

They all looked up to see the lonely apple hanging from a branch above their heads. It was pretty high but Legolas squared his shoulders.

"Easy."

Giving him a sceptical look, Elladan stepped back to allow him room. Elrohir and Arwen came to stand next to him, the three peredhils watching curiously to see if their woodland friend could actually hit that.

Before they could even doubt it the arrow was pulled and launched and with a solid thud it connected with the apple, ripping it off the branch and continuing on. It finally reached its limit and with a large arch it plummeted back down to earth, disappearing behind the shrubs that surrounded a terrace.

A thump followed by a pained "Ai!" followed so exchanging quick glances the four elflings scampered off, disappearing beneath the foliage.

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"An apple?"

"Aye, my lord. It fell from the sky! With an arrow! It is a miracle I am still standing!"

Elrond glanced over at Thranduil who shook his head helplessly. Sighing, he turned back to the servant who had his hand protectively held over a rather large lump on his once smooth brow. Judging from the injury it hadn't been a real arrow, else the Elf would have been dead, and there was only one sort of arrow that came to both lords' minds.

"Is it truly necessary that Legolas learns archery?" Elrond asked after he had led the still shaken Elf to the infirmary.

"At least the arrows are stumps. And I fear he must; Mirkwood in dangerous."

"More so than here?" They both looked over at the bruised servant before sighing simultaneously.

"At least he doesn't know of the powdered arrows yet. If ever he got his hands on one of those..."

Elrond shuddered at the thought.

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"Are you sure your ada gave you that?" Arwen asked, eyeing the rather scary looking arrow the blond held in his hand.

"Well, I found it just lying around...in his closet, on the highest shelf, wrapped in chain mail in a trunk with lock and key... but if he didn't want me to find it I'm sure he would have hidden it from me."

That did make sense so she nodded, though wasn't so sure about it. Looking up, she shielded her eyes from the sun, squinting at the blonde's new target. This one looked a bit more difficult than the others.

On the third floor of the grand house, facing the east, a large terrace ran alongside the outer wall. An opened doorway rose majestically over it, its archway one of the most detailed and lovely piece of work and it lead to one of her ada's most favourite places in the house; his library. Many days he would sit in the doorway, enjoying the cool breeze provided by a nearby waterfall as he read.

He wasn't there now but the doorway had another occupant.

Hanging by an invisible thread, swaying softly in the breeze, was a spider.

Spiders, big or small, were not at all liked in Middle-earth. It was very rare to see a spider in Rivendell but when they were found they were quickly eliminated. So it went without saying that the elflings felt very lucky to have come across one for themselves. It wasn't as big as the monsters the great warriors slay in Legolas' realm, in fact it was just a bit bigger than the tip of their smallest finger, but it would do for four eager, little elflings.

"But wouldn't ada be mad if he finds an arrow in the library?" Elrohir asked. He was a prankster but certain things he knew not to mess with, his father's library being one of them.

Legolas rolled his eyes.

"This isn't a normal arrow," he explained. "A very good craftsman back home made it. When it hits the enemy it makes a big sound and then disappears. I saw them use it one time on a warg. It's magical. Your Ada will never even know it happened and we'll get rid of the spider."

The word 'magical' stopped all doubts and the siblings eagerly watched as he fitted the arrow, which was actually too big for his bow.

Now, youngsters are known to see things differently then adults. The arrow Legolas had was by far not magical, but destructible. A new weapon of Mirkwood, brought to Rivendell to show its power, its head was covered in a powder. The sudden force of impact with the target triggers an imbalance that causes a massive explosion, which, of course, completely disintegrates the arrow as well as the target...and everything in its surrounding.

This little fact was not known to Legolas so with a final tug he pulled back the arrow as far as he could, his small arm straining under its weigh. Sighting alongside the trembling shaft, he found it difficult to get a fixed lock. Finally, he felt he had it right and released the arrow.

The shaft whistled through the air as it raced upwards...

Sailing through the trees...

Shooting over the hedges...

Rocketing across the terrace...

And missing the tiny spider completely.

It disappeared inside, the spider swaying slightly on its thread in the aftermath.

"Aw! You missed!" Arwen pouted. "Ada's going to be mad when he finds that arrow in--"

Her words were cut off by a massive BOOOOOOM that shook the very ground they stood on. Crying out, they dropped to the floor, watching fearfully as a large ball of fire exploded out of the archway, almost blasting the entire wall off of the house. It took several seconds for the rumbling to fade away, leaving nothing but thick clouds of smoke. From out the smoke, hundreds of little objects fluttered to the ground.

"That arrow is magic!" Elrohir gasped, "It's snowing!"

"Um..." Elladan said doubtfully, catching a 'snow flake'. "This isn't snow..."

Holding it up he showed them a scrap of paper, blackened around the edges, words still discernable on it. All that remained of what was once a book.

Alarmed voices sounded as others were drawn to the scene.

"Maybe we should go; we'll probably get in the way," Legolas offered, to which the three nodded vigorously.

They turned away from the smoking building...only to run into the elf that stood behind them, arms crossed and not too pleased.

"Glorfindel!" Elladan yelped.

The elder's eyes scanned over the small group, relieved to see that they were at least unharmed. His gaze settled on Legolas, who was still holding his bow. The young blond quickly dropped it, faking innocence.

"Let's go. Your fathers will be eager to have a word with you."

Nodding, they started to follow the tall blond.

A thought came to Arwen and smiling sweetly, she skipped over to the seneschal's side and pointed out;

"At least we got rid of the spider!"

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Erestor patted his lord and friend sympathetically on the back as they surveyed the damage.

The entire room was...black. That's the only way to describe it, other than completely destroyed. Shelves and bookcases had been reduced to charred splinters and anything remotely of a paper element was gone. Elrond sighed loudly, rubbing between his eyes.

"Ai Elbereth!"

Thranduil stepped into the room, gingerly stepping over a still smouldering pile of rubble.

"Thranduil," Elrond began calmly, "what are the effects from the powder arrows?"

The blond sighed and motioned helplessly to the chaos around them.

"This basically sums it up."

"And of the elfllings, which one had the most likely access to the arrows?"

"I get your point," the blond rolled his eyes, unbecoming of his race. "I will pay for the damages."

"Most of these ashes were once scripts from before my birth. Not even all the jewels in your hoard can replace them."

Stalling, Thranduil found a new interest in the outside, which was a much more panoramic view now that the entire wall was gone.

"By the Valar…"

Glorfindel stepped into the room, mouth falling open and eyes widening. He hadn't expected it to be this bad.

"It looks like a Balrog's den!"

"My father always told my brother and me as children that we will understand his headaches when we have children of our own…yet I truly don't believe I was anything like this as a youngster."

Glorfindel choked back a disbelieving laugh, turning his head as he blinked away tears. Elrond frowned at his lifelong tutor and friend but his attention was caught by four pairs of wide eyes peeking at them around the doorway.

"Care to join us?" he asked with a raised brow.

The eyes disappeared and the four adults could hear as the elflings debated in loud whispers amongst themselves who should go first.

"Ladies first, Arwen!"

"No fair! Legolas, you fired the arrow!"

"Elladan made me so he should go!"

"Uh-uh! Elrohir, go inside!"

"I didn't do anything!"

Elrond rolled his eyes, ignoring Erestor and Glorfindel's chuckles.

"In here, now. All four of you at the same time."

After a few seconds silence, four small elves shuffled into the room; Elladan still trying to get Elrohir to walk before them but the younger twin struggled against his older sibling's insistence. They finally came to stop before the adults.

Folding his arms into his sleeves, Elrond raised a brow.

"Well? What happened?"

"--I didn't do anything!--"

"--Arwen found the spider!--"

"--Legolas took the arrow!--"

"--Elladan made me!--"

"--Elrohir said we should look there!--"

"--Legolas missed the spider--"

"--it was snowing!!--"

"Silence!"

They fell silent, nervously awaiting their punishments.

10 minutes later, after an extensive lecture on safety, theft and "playing with fire", plus individual tasks that would take weeks to complete, the four elflings' heads hung. Their downcast faces worked their magic in the elders' hearts and they had begun to reconsider the punishment when a commotion from below brought all four adults onto the balcony to look down upon the courtyard.

A dozen or so maids were running in circles over the grass, shrieking and sobbing as they frantically tugged at their dresses and shook their heads. Despite the distance and running, their sharp eyes caught sight of many small, black things which clung to the maids, some slipping down their bodices or curling in their hair.

"Are those…slugs?" Glorfindel asked, wincing when two of the maids collided in their hysteria and fell to the floor. Several other elves came running to their aid, attempting to calm them down to remove the slimy creatures. Using the elders' distraction, the four elflings quickly slipped from the room, scurrying down the halls before splitting up and disappearing in the Last Homely House.

Vaguely taking note of the youngsters' retreat, Glorfindel and Erestor turned and ran out to help the grieving maids, leaving the two lords to watch the spectacle in stunned silence. Elrond was the first to break it.

"Thranduil?"

"Yes?"

"Tell me, what are those?" He pointed to three scattered objects on the ground amidst the shrieking maids.

Leaning forward slightly on the railing, the blond shrugged as he studied them.

"They look like buckets to me-- Where are you going?" he asked when his friend turned with a swirl of his long robes.

"To add two more weeks of chores to Arwen and the twins' punishment," was the determined answer, all ounce of sympathy drained from the lore lord.

Confused but not questioning the Lord of the Valley, Thranduil sighed and turned back to the courtyard where things had moderately settled as Glorfindel and Erestor arrived. A small tickling sensation on his hand made him look down.

A small spider, no bigger than the tip of a child's smallest finger, scrambled over his hand before disappearing from view beneath the railing.

Tbc……

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