Disclaimer and other info, check out the first chapter.
A HUGE Thank You goes to:
El- The best Beta in the world!
ErynLasgalen26- blushes I'm glad you liked the fic! Amazing how the same situation can happen to so many people huh? some say music is the universal language, I say it's embarrassment from children! Lol Hope you like this chapter as well.
Miriellar: Well this story was supposed to be a one shot deal, but the responses were so nice and encouraging, that I wrote a second chapter. I hope this one keeps up with the first and does it justice.
MyGirlCrais: It seems that the muse was upon me cause I managed to squeeze out another chapter. If there are good responses to this one as well, then I may post another chapter. But as of right now, this is just a short fic.
Cass: I think when it comes to orcs, Haldir is all business. When it comes to females and the whole relationship thing, I think he'd rather shoot himself in the foot with an arrow than figure out the whole flirting thing. giggles At least, that is my take on him in this particular fic. He's kinda overshadowed by his brothers, who favor themselves Casenovas. rolls eyes Hope you stick with me!
Haldir's Heart and Soul: Thanks for the kind words! I hope this chapter does the first one justice. If there are good responses to this one, then I may do another, just to see if I can fit anymore embarrassment into Haldir's life. ;)
Dragon Confused: Thanks! blushes I just love the young twins! And I think they were mini-troublemakers before they grew into the pains in the butts they are now. cheeky grin And what child HASN'T embarrassed an adult? I think this is a learning experience for them… use it in future pranks. ;)
Lily Frost: Yes, poor Haldir. He gets tortured in many fics… in fact I have one in the works that's gonna give him some mighty headaches. ;) But its nice to torture them.. makes coddling them all the mores stronger. EG
Amlee: Amazing how often this happens to people eh? Kids say and do the most embarrassing things! Hope you find this chapter as funny!
And to everyone else whom have read and enjoyed, I hope you like this next installment. If there are enough responses, then I will write out another chapter.
Also, I am currently writing another Haldir fic that is here on Fanfiction.net. It is called, "Cast of Shadows." It's a rather lengthy fic that is just getting started, but I hope that it is entertaining. :D
--------- ------ ------
Haldir hummed as he picked out a rather vibrant tunic embroidered with ivy leaves and curling vines. It was his favorite and only used on special occasions. He grinned to himself as he pulled the tunic on and fastened the catches, smoothing out the fabric unnecessarily.
Taking a deep breath, the March Warden gazed at his reflection, taking in the highly polished boots, black leggings, and emerald green tunic that tapered perfectly against his frame. He bit his lip, examining his mirror image and mumbled, "I wonder if Landriel likes green." Scoffing at his own question, Haldir shook his head and turned from his mirror, "She is an elf, of course she likes green!"
Thankful that his brothers had not journeyed to Imladris, Haldir stepped from his quarters and started towards the dining hall. Rúmil and Orophin loved to taunt their brother about his fumbling attitude towards elleths, knowing that though Haldir possessed exquisite battle skills, but when it came to courting, the poor warden was totally inept. Many eves were spent with Rúmil and Orophin flouncing their female companions around and inventing jibes to irritate their brother.
Haldir congratulated himself on ordering his brothers to guard Lorien's borders and felt relieved that they wouldn't be around to snicker at his lack of flirting abilities. Tonight, he was going to be charming, witty, and engaging. Haldir stopped mid-stride and closed his eyes, vowing to himself that he would not fall into the same mental trap that always seemed to befall him. He would not stutter, avoid Landriel, or make a totally inappropriate remark. Tonight, he was going to get the whole courtship thing right. He hoped.
With a smirk, Haldir continued on his way, imaging his brothers' faces when he told them of conquering one of his biggest fears: females.
Haldir stopped before entering the Hall of Fire, and took a deep, steadying breath. Forcing a smile, he entered the great hall and made for the Lord and Lady of Imladris.
"Lord Elrond, My Lady Celebrian," Haldir bowed low. "It is good to see you this eve."
Celebrian nodded her head and said with a hint of annoyance, "Haldir, I have known you for thousands of years. There is no need to stand on formalities with me."
Haldir blushed slightly, "As you wish, my lady."
Celebrian rolled her eyes and muttered, "Haldir," before returning her gaze to the Warden that had protected her all during her youth. "I do wish to thank you."
"Thank me?" Haldir's brow drew together. "For what, my lady?"
"For watching over Elladan while he slept," Celebrian said, then leaned over and kissed Haldir gently on the cheek. "It was a very sweet thing to do."
"It was an honor," Haldir forced himself to say, remembering the embarrassment that Elladan had caused him. He swallowed hard and chanced a glance around the room, "Where are your sons?"
"They will be along shortly," Celebrian said, watching the warden's eyes move through the crowd that had gathered. "Are you looking for someone, Haldir?"
Without thinking, Haldir said, "Landriel."
"Oh?" Celebrian's brows shot up, giving the warden a cheeky grin. "And why are you looking for Lord Erestor's student?"
Haldir felt his face flush and timidly regarded his feet, "She is to accompany me on a walk after dinner."
Elrond, who had remained quiet during the exchange between old friends, smiled knowingly and rose an elegant brow, "Finally got enough nerve to speak to an elleth, I see."
Haldir nodded at the floor, not daring to meet any eyes, for if he did, they would see the fear and embarrassment stirring in the blue depths.
"Elrond!" Celebrian scowled her husband and swatted his arm. "Have you no decency?"
"No," said the Lord of Imladris, and when his wife gave him a danger look, lowered his voice and said to Haldir, "I did not intend to be cruel or to upset you, Haldir."
Haldir swallowed, and looked up to meet the Lord of Imladris's gaze, "There was no malice taken, Lord Elrond."
Elrond pursed his lips together in thought, then leaned forward and whispered, "Did you know that it took me a whole century to get enough courage to speak to Celebrian?"
Haldir shook his head and Celebrian's face was a mask of shock.
"Oh, it was dreadful," Elrond said, ignoring another swat to his arm from his wife and said with a grave voice, "But when I finally got the courage, she accepted, and that was the scariest thing I have ever encountered, and remember, I fought in the Last Alliance!"
"Elrond, really!" Celebrian said indignantly. "To hear you speak, it is as if the entire world revolved around your courage to approach me! Like I was some kind of dangerous warg or monster that you feared to tame."
Elrond gave Haldir a half wink before he turned to his wife, "I would rather face a warg or monster than go through the torment of finding courage to speak to my soul mate. And my dear wife, do not think that I have even began to tame you."
"Oh, Elrond! Honestly!" Celebrian scoffed, but nonetheless threw her arms around her husband's neck.
Elrond waggled his brow at Haldir and said, "Trust me, Haldir. The struggle may seem perilous and all hope lost, but the rewards are well worth it."
Haldir laughed as Elrond growled and spun his wife around, causing her to squeal with glee and hug her husband closer. A presence at his side made Haldir turn and regard the royal pair watching their daughter and husband continuing their banter. Haldir bowed low and placed his hand over his heart.
Galadriel gave her warden a knowing smile, then cleared her throat to gain her daughter's attention, "Shall we dine now, or would you like to retire to continue your drama?"
Elrond sat his wife on her feet, straightened her disarrayed hair, and respectfully turned to the royal couple, "I am sorry, my lady, my lord. But you must know the corruption your daughter holds."
"Oh," Celebrian blushed and gave Elrond a death glare, which was prematurely broken when the identical cries of "Nana!" where heard. She crouched low, opening her arms wide and embracing her twins, giving each a kiss on their rosy cheeks.
"Oh, Elladan, Elrohir!" Celebrian exclaimed, holding them at arms length and appraising their identical attire. "The two of you look like such noble elves!"
"Nana," one of the twins moaned and blushed as the other grinned widely and beamed smugly.
'Must they dress the same?' Haldir frowned to himself. 'Like it is not hard enough to tell them apart in appearance, now we must be further confused with their clothing.'
'I think it is cute,' Galadriel mentally chided her Warden and favored him with an imperious look. 'And it is not your decision on what my grandchildren wear.'
'Forgive me, my lady,' Haldir bowed his head respectfully. 'I did not intend any disrespect.'
'I realize it is difficult to tell them apart,' Galadriel said smoothly. 'But the more time you spend with them, the more you will come to see the differences and not the similarities.'
'Yes, my lady,' Haldir cast his eyes down to where a small elfling was tugging on the edge of his tunic. "Yes, El…" Haldir frowned wondering if it was 'Ladan,' or 'Rohir?' Thinking on his feet, Haldir grinned, "Little Elfling?"
Stormy gray eyes narrowed, "What is my name?"
Haldir felt as if someone had socked him in the stomach. All air seemed to have left him as the little one glared malevolently at him, hands on hips and little rosy mouth curled up in a pout.
"Elrohir?" Haldir hazarded a guess.
The little elfling adopted a cool look and spun on his heel, his voice hard, "You guessed."
Haldir felt like kicking himself but didn't have time to worry too much about the elfling's anger as he was approached by Landriel, looking splendid in a pale blue gown. He felt a sudden flush of heat around his collar and swallowed the lump that somehow managed to sneak into his throat.
"My Lady, you look most beautiful tonight."
Landriel blushed, her hand coyly hiding her face as she smiled, "You are looking very dashing this eve yourself."
Celebrian gave her husband a cheeky grin as Haldir continued to change colors with the many levels of embarrassment. Galadriel and Celeborn pursed their lips together, finding the scene endearing and trying to ignore their blushing warden.
"Shall we sit?" Celebrian said, breaking the uncomfortable silence that lapsed when Haldir found his vocal cords unresponsive.
"I want to sit with Haldir!" an elfling pronounced, defiantly screwing up his face and giving the adults a look of stubbornness.
"You will sit with your father and myself," Celebrian said, trying to steer the youth to his seat, but the elfling was having nothing of it.
"Please, nana, let me sit next to Haldir."
Landriel gave Haldir a small smile and nodded her head to the pouting elfling. Sighing, Haldir offered a weak smile to the pretty elleth and knelt down level with the elfling.
"You do not wish to sit with your parents?"
Little arms flung themselves around Haldir's neck and a muffled voice in his ear said, "You are soft, Haldir. You are funny, and make me laugh," a sniffle escaped from the little elf as he snuggled in closer, "and you are very soft."
As the twin rambled, Haldir blushed and drew the little one into a hug and chuckled at his babbling. When his 'soft spot' was spoken, Haldir pulled away, frowning and gave the elfling a wary look. "You said you would not tell my secret, Elladan."
Elladan seemed to contemplate this for a moment, then, with wide eyes, looked from his grinning grandparents, to his smirking father, and giggling mother. "I am sorry, Haldir. I forgot you did not want others to know how soft you are."
"I will make you a deal," Haldir said, disregarding the looks the other adults were giving him, "If you can keep my secret from anyone else, then I will sit beside you tonight. Do we have a deal?"
Elladan nodded vigorously and threw himself in Haldir's arms, squealing, "Will you tell me a story after dinner? Will you tell my ada and nana that I can stay up with you and then you can…"
Haldir cut the babbling elfling off, "I will sit with you during dinner, but afterwards, you are to obey your parents. I have other promises I have to keep."
Elladan's face contorted into another pout, rosy lips pursing and cherub cheeks puffing slightly as gray eyes teared threateningly.
"If you behave, then tomorrow, I will do whatever you wish," Haldir offered, hoping to prevent the toddler from crying. Crying was a sound the warden hated more than anything, and that included his brothers' ill attempts at poetry and vocalizations while bathing.
"Anything?" Elladan asked hopefully, tears temporarily forgotten.
"Anything," Haldir agreed, and wondered what exactly he was getting himself into.
Elladan immediately turned to his twin and exclaimed, "Haldir will take us swimming tomorrow, and then we will have a picnic by the river, and then he will play dragons and elflings with us!"
Elrohir, who had been watching Haldir skeptically, perked up and grinned, "And maybe we can go hunting!"
"Yes!" Elladan chimed and embraced his twin, the two giggling and dancing in circles.
Haldir gave Elrond and Celebrían a withered look. Both parents grinned triumphantly, Elrond with a hint of smugness.
"Only if you behave and gain your parents permission," Haldir turned from couple and regarded the identical elves eagerly plotting their day.
Elladan immediately turned to his father, story eyes wide and watery in a perfect imitation of a lost puppy, and asked, "Ada, can we go with Haldir tomorrow and play?"
Elrohir stood behind his brother, but instead of looking at his ada and giving a puppy-look, he was staring at Celebrían, his lips pursed into a worried pout.
Celebrían exchanged a look with her husband, as if contemplating the fate of the twins, and slowly nodded their heads.
Knowing that Haldir had no idea what he was in for, Elrond added firmly, "But it is up to Haldir when he wishes to pick you up, and for how long he plays with you."
Celeborn noticed his son-in-law's mouth twitch at the word 'play,' and felt himself bubble up with laughter at the thought of Haldir playing. Not able to hide his smirk, the Lord of Lorien imagined Haldir roaring and chasing after elflings, teaching the young ones to swim, and trying to get their constant babble to settle down long enough for any type of game to approach. Oh, his warden had his hands full, that much was for certain!
Haldir's brow creased momentarily, wondering why Elrond had informed the twins that he was in charge. Of course he would be in charge! He's the adult!
Before Haldir could retort, Celebrían called, "Dinner is being served. Everyone find their seats."
Haldir rose and seated himself across from his lord and lady, both of whom were wearing grins that matched the twins. 'I see where they get mischievous nature,' Haldir thought to himself.
'Well, they are my grandsons after all,' Galadriel mentally chided with what could only be described as 'smug pride.'
Haldir gave Galadriel a broad smile and watched as the others took their respective seats. Celebrían was on Haldir's left, Elladan on his right. Haldir had to hold back laughter as he noticed that Elladan's nose was barely even with the table edge. He opened his mouth to say something, when someone tapped him on the shoulder.
Turning, Haldir found Elrond holding a small wooden stool and motioned to his son, "He will be needing this."
Haldir bowed his head and accepted the small appliance and motioned for Elladan to rise.
Elladan stood up from his chair and allowed Haldir to place the boosted stool on it, then the elfling clambered up, perching himself up and grinning in a cheeky way.
Haldir leaned towards the elfling and whispered, "I think I have figured out the mystery as to why you and your brother can reach the table while not sitting on your parents lap."
Elladan whispered with a grin, "We are too big to sit on Ada's lap. We are growing up."
Haldir gave the elfling a lopsided smile and added, "I sat on my Ada's lap until I was over a century. Rúmil and Orophin took my place over the years, but I never forgot what it was like to be so small, yet able to do anything while with my Ada."
"Where is your ada?" Elladan asked, watching as Haldir scoop food onto his plate.
Haldir paused for a second, and said hastily, "He sailed with my nana."
A small pair of arms wrapped themselves around Haldir's neck, catching the warden off guard, "You can be our brother. We will share Ada and Nana with you."
Elrohir looked down the table at the two, wondering why Elladan was adopting Haldir as their new brother. He looked to his mother on his right, then to his ada on his left and wondered if they wanted another elfling. With a furrowed brow, Elrohir took a bite and chewed with a frown. He refused to look in his brother's direction, disgusted with his twin for abandoning him and adopting Haldir.
Haldir bit back the mirth that threatened to overtake him, and withdrew himself from the elfling's grasp, "It is a noble gesture, young Elladan, but I think your ada and nana have enough to worry about with you and Elrohir."
Elladan looked down the table, past Haldir and Celebrían, trying to catch his twin's eye, but Elrohir was stubbornly looking anywhere but him. Frowning, Elladan looked to his ada, who was turning a lovely shade of crimson and seemed to have developed a sudden urge to bite his knuckles.
"Elladan, finish your dinner or you will not leave table, and most certainly not play with Haldir tomorrow," Celebrían scolded when she realized her husband was rendered incapable of speech.
Elladan nodded and started to eat, glancing occasionally down the table to catch his twin's eye. Elrohir finished off his dinner exceedingly fast and asked his ada for dessert, to which Elrond only beamed and ordered some pastries for his son. Elladan felt his appetite disappear and picked through his food, occasionally taking a bite and oblivious to the conversations around him.
When everyone had finished, and desserts were but a memory, Elladan asked if he could be excused. Celebrían gave Haldir a look, clearly telling him that he had authority in this matter. Haldir sighed and nodded, then felt his heart leap into his throat when Landriel gracefully sat in the elfling's abandoned chair, minus the booster seat.
Haldir cleared his throat and asked, "Did you enjoy dinner?"
Landriel coyly ducked her head and nodded, "It was very nice, though it did not compare to the company."
Erestor looked from Glorfindel and gave Haldir a searing look, clearly a warning. When he was sure the warden caught his meaning, he returned his attention to his friend.
Haldir felt his face flush and stood, holding Landriel's chair, "Shall we?"
Landriel rose and smiled, a soft pink hue on her cheeks as she said, "Yes, that will be lovely."
Haldir held his arm expectantly, to which Landriel took it without hesitation, and the pair began to say their good nights to the royal couples.
Elladan sought Elrohir, and when he found his twin sitting near the fire, watching the flames jump on the grate, he sat next to him and put his arm around his sibling. Elrohir roughly jerked his twin's arm away from him and continued to glare into the fire.
"What is wrong, Elrohir?" Elladan asked in a weak voice, not knowing what had caused his twin to react so harshly towards him. "Have I done something wrong?"
Elrohir continued to stare into the fire, the vibrant colors reflecting in his dark eyes, "There is nothing wrong. Leave me be."
Elladan folded his arms across his chest and said nonchalantly, "I like where I am, thank you very much. I believe I will remain with my brother for awhile."
Elrohir slowly turned his head, his cold gray eyes narrowing slightly, "There is no brother of yours here. I suggest you go and spend time with Haldir, considering you were so willing to replace me with him."
Elladan looked temporarily shocked. Never had his twin spoken to him in such a manner, but now that he thought about it, he could see Elrohir's point of view. Sighing, Elladan saw the pain and misgivings in his twin's eyes."Elrohir, I was not replacing you," Elladan said slowly, watching his mirror self look away disbelieving. "No one could ever replace my brother, my twin, my other half. Haldir does not have his ada or nana and he needs someone to look after him."
"Haldir does not have his ada or nana?" Elrohir asked, turning and looking his brother in the eye.
"Aye," Elladan answered. "No ada and no nana. I could tell that he was sad. I only wanted to make him feel happy. I did not mean for you to feel like I was trying to replace you, Elrohir."
Elrohir's expression softened and he leaned forward, wrapping his arms around his twin, "I did not know. Please, forgive me for being mean to you. I did not want to lose my brother."
"You never will," Elladan said in Elrohir's hair as the two hugged on the hearthrug.
After a couple of minutes, the twins broke apart, their eyes red and watery, noses running, and apple cheeks blotchy from crying. The twins yawned simultaneously and giggled, then went to hug their mother and father goodnight. They had a very big day to prepare for, and were determined to get a restful sleep.
Elrond and Celebrían were shocked when their sons hugged them before retiring. They exchanged worried looks when the twins didn't put up a fight for bedtime.
As the two headed for the door, Elladan stopped and called to Haldir, who was leaving with a pretty elleth on his arm, "Haldir, will you tuck us in?"
Haldir turned beet red and gave the twins a look that stated quite clearly that now was not the time. A set of identical, angelic faces met the warden's stern visage, which immediately dropped. Haldir kissed Landriel's hand and excused himself, promising to only be a minute. Landriel smiled, her face as red as Haldir's as she watched her escort quickly walk to the twins and usher them out of the Hall.
Haldir's strides were purposeful and eating up the distance to the twins' room. Only when the distant call of "Haldir, wait up," did he slow his strides and wait for the elflings. With a grin, he picked the two up, spun them around, and dashed quickly to their rooms. The twins giggled as they felt the wind in their hair from Haldir's speed.
Elladan put his arms out and closed his eyes, imaging that this is what it felt like to fly. He smiled, "Faster, Haldir. I can almost reach the stars."
Haldir laughed and increased his pace, taking stairs two at a time. When he reached the landing that was the twin's quarters, he slowed and walked quietly to their shared room. Placing each elfling gently on the floor, he lit a few lanterns as they scampered about, pulling out sleeping clothes, which, to Haldir's amusement, were identical.
Haldir followed behind the two elflings that stripped as they raced around the room, plotting their course for tomorrow and all the fun they were going to have. Sighing, Haldir bent and picked up discarded clothing, remembering that Rúmil and Orophin used to do the same thing. A part of him felt a pang of remorse, realizing they haven't done this in a very long time. Haldir frowned, wondering if this is what mortals feel when they say they are getting 'old.'
In the span of a few minutes, in which battle plans were formed, threats dished out, clothing scattered, collected, and then struggling into, the elflings went to their beds and pulled back the blankets, still chattering away happily. They had it planned that tomorrow, while on their hunting expedition, they were going to help Haldir bring down a troll, which had captured many mortals and were torturing them, and planning on eating them for dinner.
Haldir sighed and pulled the blankets around Elladan, who was still giving a background on the troll they were going to encounter tomorrow, and the horrible things that he and Elrohir were going to do to it.
"Hush now, little one," Haldir said, tucking the blankets in snugly. "It is time for sleep, or else you will be too tired to accompany me." 'Though I doubt you will ever run short of energy,' Haldir thought to himself.
Elladan nodded and held up his arms expectantly. Haldir cocked his head, unsure of what the elfling was indicating. When his brothers did such a thing, they always wanted to be picked up and played with, but he couldn't see Elladan wanting to play now.
"Haldir," Elladan said with a frown. "Are you going to give me a good night kiss?"
"What?" Haldir exclaimed, then seeing the distraught look on the elflings' faces, sighed, "Of course. Do you know of anything else that keeps bad dreams away?"
"And monsters," Elladan said, feeling Haldir give him a light kiss on the brow. "They keep monsters away too, Haldir."
"What was I thinking?" Haldir mused, then felt the little arms around his neck once more and a sloppy kiss being planted on his cheek.
"I do not want monsters getting you either," Elladan said, cuddling back into his blankets and giving Haldir a satisfied look. "Now you will be safe and not have bad dreams either."
Haldir felt a sudden rush of emotion. From where it came from, he had no idea, but he felt an overwhelming urge to protect and cherish such a precious child. He wondered vaguely if this is what it was like to be a parent, and wondered what in the name of Arda was wrong with him!
Haldir rose and saw Elrohir giving him the exact same look and bent down to give the elfling a kiss on the brow, "Sleep well, little Elrohir."
"You guessed," Elrohir said with a twinkle, then rose up to plant another sloppy kiss on Haldir's other cheek. He wrapped his arms around Haldir's neck and warily rubbed his face against Haldir, wondering why he ever thought that Haldir was trying to take his place.
Haldir tucked the blankets around Elrohir and ruffled his hair affectionately before blowing out the lanterns and leaving a single candle glowing on the table between the two beds.
"Good night Elladan. Good night Elrohir. May your dreams be sweet and the Valar watch over you," Haldir said as he left.
"Good night, Haldir," chorused a pair of voices.
"Do not forget your promise."
"We will be up early."
"Come and get us when you are ready."
Haldir laughed at the two and smiled, "I shall honor our agreement and get you after breakfast. Sleep well."
Haldir partially closed the door and smiled when he heard the banter start up again about what battle lies in store for them. Leaving the two to their preparations, Haldir quickly left, his feet swiftly flying over the ground as he raced back to Landriel.
Stopping in front of the door to the hall, Haldir straightened his clothes, took several deep breaths, and entered. He found Landriel by the door, talking intently with Erestor about something that had the advisor in a foul disposition. When Haldir joined them, Erestor immediately fell silent and gave the warden a strange look.
Haldir smiled pleasantly, "Good eve to you, Lord Erestor."
Erestor barely nodded his head, eyes still transfixed on Haldir in a strange way, "Good eve to you, Warden."
Haldir felt as if someone had deflated him. He started to fidget under Erestor's gaze and turned to Landriel and asked shakily, "Shall we?"
Landriel stifled a laugh and said, "In a moment," before she turned, retrieved a napkin from the table and began to clean Haldir's face.
Haldir felt himself instantly blush red and felt the heat rush to his face so fast, had he been a mortal, he would have swooned. Landriel wiped a couple places with the napkin and when Haldir saw what was on it, let out a groan that echoed around the suddenly quiet room.
Elrond and Celebrían joined the trio as Landriel hid back her amusement and replaced the napkin.
"It is nothing, Haldir," Celebrían said, seeing what was on the napkin, and noticing the rub marks on Haldir's face. "We have had this to happen to us several times. Sometimes it can not be helped."
"Let me guess," Elrond said with a smirk, "They gave you goodnight kisses?"
Haldir nodded and rubbed his cheeks, "Aye."
"Though it is very sweet," Celebrían said with a wince, "It is rather sloppy, and always do their noses run."
"Must be the mortal in them," Elrond snickered.
Haldir looked to the napkin that held several slick-looking places and groaned again. He should have felt the snot on his face, but so intent on getting back to Landriel, he ignored the cooled, wet feeling on his cheeks. The sense of dread welled up in his stomach and he wished more than ever that the floor would just open up and swallow him whole, or that lightning would penetrate the wooden ceiling and strike him dead on the spot. But no such luck was to befall the captain of the Galadhrim. He inwardly cringed, knowing that Landriel had just wiped elfling boogers from his face.
Just when all of Haldir's blood was reaching his face and turning it a brilliant shade of crimson, Erestor's voice sounded in his ear, "Do not worry, they have gotten most of Imladris. Several times I have had to wash my face after their affections."
Haldir regarded the advisor for a moment, and noticed the slightly twitching around the elder's mouth. Haldir smiled sheepishly and said, "It is the only way to keep monsters away."
Erestor nodded, his face stern and solemn, "And bad dreams, do not forget. There is powerful magic behind that."
"There's magic in a runny nose?" Haldir smirked.
"Indeed," Erestor nodded, though there was no mistaking the smile that spread across his face. "Do you think any monster would dare be near if you had such things on your face? Not very appetizing, I should think."
Haldir, Landriel, Elrond, Celebrían, and Erestor all laughed heartily. Elrond and Celebrían were a little shocked and surprised to see Erestor tease so openly. He was very secluded and always a private elf. Rarely did he show such emotions or enjoy company of many others.
The merriment lasted for nearly an hour, each telling of their time of receiving their charms against monsters from the twins. As the night fell heavily, Haldir led Landriel out into the crisp evening air. The two walked for a time, finding each other's company soothing and relaxing. When the moon was high in the sky, Landriel reminded Haldir of his promise and that if he was to keep up with the elflings tomorrow, he would need plenty of rest himself. He walked Landriel to her small dwelling, and placed a chaste kiss on the back of her hand before departing.
On the way to his quarters, he wondered why everyone seemed to insist that he needed rest to deal with the two elflings. He had after all, helped raise his two brothers and was the captain of the Lorien army. Surely they had enough confidence in him to watch over the twins for an afternoon. They couldn't be that much trouble, could they?