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The Tree House

Chapter One: Up an Apple Tree

Erestor was enjoying a blissfully uneventful day. The sons of Elrond had returned from a scouting mission late the night before and were now unconscious in their respective beds while Glorfindel updated his maps with the new information the twins had reported, rendering the three of them absolutely unable to torture him. Yes, Erestor mused while rereading a tome that he'd forgotten he owned, days like this one had to be favorite.

Erestor set the leather-bound book regarding the Noldor elves down onto his desktop and leaned back into his chair. With a sigh that sounded contended even to his own ears, he allowed himself to appreciate the tranquility of the moment. Days like this one shouldn't be spent within dusty pages like all other days. No, days like this one should be honored by doing things that he had not thought to do in an age. Taking care, Erestor pushed the chair away from the desk far enough to allow his body room to stand. After a moment which he used to decide how he would honor this uncommonly quiet day, he moved away from his desk, out of his private study, and down the hall that led towards the gardens of Imladris.

Twice Erestor stopped to smell a particularly fragrant flower once in the gardens. The more vibrant the color of the petals, the longer he would grace the humble plant with his gaze and so caught up in the world of smell and color was Erestor that it wasn't until he was laying flat on his back with his head amid blindingly yellow tulips that he realized he had fallen.

"Oh, I'm sorry." The voice was male. Male yet young and, Erestor noted with satisfaction, sufficiently sincere and contrite. The right hand attached to the voice was offered and pulled Erestor to his feet. Standing once more, the bookish Elf looked down from his six feet and one inch to study the elfling that had caused him to acquaint himself even further with the flowers. The elfling could not be more than thirteen years and was not, Erestor decided, made in Imladris. After a brief moment, he realized of what making this imp was.

"And what do you think you were doing?" Erestor had to fight to keep from smiling from the amount of pure and scalding condescension he had put into his voice. It was difficult for him to sound truly menacing and he was so pleased that he'd nailed it this time that he made a promise to himself, then and there, that he'd indulge in an extra sweet cake during the evening meal as a reward.

The elfling shifted his weight from his left foot to his right and lowered his eyes so that he was now staring directly into the counselor's chest. "I was bringing things to my tree house and—"

"Your tree house?" Erestor was confused. A house in the trees? A flet he could understand, as he had visited Lothlorien several times, but an actual house?

"Yes, it's in an apple tree so that I don't have to sneak into the pantry when I'm hungry. It's not far from here and I was just bringing some things," the golden-haired elfling showed Erestor said 'things', "to put in it."

"I see," Erestor said without his earlier bite. "And in your haste to get to your 'tree house' you didn't see me and that is why I was flatten."

The little one visibly flinched at the word 'haste' and was quick to try and defend his conduct. "I didn't mean to flatten you. And I did see you!" The elfling was growing impatient to return to the tree that he had claimed as his earlier in the week. "I really am sorry, Lord Erestor."

Erestor, in a moment of compassion that would cost him his promised sweet cake, took pity on the suffering little visitor. "I know you're sorry, Legolas."

"You do?"

Erestor nodded once and rested one long-fingered hand on the young princeling's shoulder. "Yes, you are forgiven."

Legolas nearly leapt into the air with joy. If he had gained the ancient's forgiveness then, surely, that meant that he could go now and finally get to his tree house! Legolas's pace was quick, but—still—he only made it halfway across the garden when Erestor spoke again.

"You must remind me to have a talk to your Adar about this hastiness you possess." Erestor had killed the elfling's good mood, he knew, and decided that he would have two extra sweet cakes and one extra goblet of the fine Green Wood wine that had recently been imported into Imladris.

Legolas stared at the spot where Erestor had stood for a good two minutes after the raven-haired elf had left. Legolas well remembered what had happened after his tutor had commented upon his inattention and when his archery instructor had complained of his careless behavior. Of course, Nimaethor had had a small practice arrow sticking out of him at the time, but Legolas's selective memory had blocked out that part and all he could remember was the verbal thrashing his Ada had given him later that night…and that his dessert had been taken away from him. No, Legolas could not allow his father to know that he had once again gotten into trouble, but how does one go about doing that? Legolas pouted and then smiled and ran off in the direction Erestor had gone.

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Elves reach the age of majority at fifty. Humans (I'm rounding up) reach the age of majority at twenty. Simple mathematics then tells us that a thirteen-year-old Elf would be the equivalent to a human five-year-old. At least, that's what I'm going with.

Adar is Sindarin for Father. Ada would be Dad/Daddy.

Nimaethor is Sindarin, meaning "white warrior". I'm not aware of any Tolkien Elf that goes by that name, but—if there is—this isn't him.