Disclaimer: I do not own LOTR, or any of its characters. Haldir: I'll have you know that I'm an excellent public speaker! Me: And? Do you want a medal, or a chest to pin it on? Haldir: I have both a medal and a chest, for your information. Me: That was sarcasm, Haldir. Haldir: I knowI was being sarcastic back. Me: OoohThe Arrogant One gets sassy! You do know this means war

Chapter 9

Elrond's Celebration

The Last Homely house was gaily lit with lanterns, and lively music floated out of the windows. Legolas and Haldir stood before the front door, looking quite dashing in the tunics they had worn for the closing ceremonies. Legolas had even added his Mithril crown to complete his ensemble.

"Are you ready for this?" Haldir asked Legolas, hooking his thumb at the door.

"How bad could it be? We go in, smile, wave, kiss a few hands, maybe take a spin or two around the dance floor, and we're out of there!" Legolas shrugged.

"I don't knowsomehow I don't think Elrond is going to let us get away with what we did so easily"

"What can he do in front of all the guests?"

"I just don't trust him, Legolas."

"We might as well get it over withlet's go," Legolas decided, opening the front door and stepping inside.

A major domo was waiting to announce their arrival to the room. Haldir and Legolas waited at the open doorway to the ballroom while the attendant called out their names and titles.

"His Highness, Prince Legolas Greenleaf, of Mirkwood, and Haldir, March Warden of Lothlorien!" the major domo shouted in a deep, cultured voice.

Haldir and Legolas stepped through the open doorway, their eyes scanning the crowds, and smiling. They lifted their hands in a wave, but froze when they spotted what had been hung along the walls of the ballroom.

Four tremendous paintings, which reached nearly floor to ceiling, had been hung on the walls - two on one side of the room, and two on the other. The paintings on the left-hand side of the room were of Haldir and Legolas dressed in the maiden's gowns, and pink, fuzzy, high-heeled slippers, with egg running down their faces. The paintings on the right-hand side of the room were of Haldir and Legolas in their black Speedos.

The entire room burst into laughter at the expressions on the two champions' faces, which were burning a bright red. Elrond laughed loudest of all as he motioned for the competitors to come forward.

"Come on, come onsurely our two champions aren't shy!" Elrond called, as Legolas and Haldir hesitantly made their way down the aisle.

Narrowing his eyes at Elrond, Legolas bowed formally, then whispered to Elrond, "Don't you think this is taking things a bit too far, Elrond? I am royalty, after all."

"Bah! Your father, the King, commissioned one of those paintings! Just take your lumps, Legolas," Elrond whispered back, thoroughly enjoying the Prince's discomfort.

"I suppose Galadriel and Celeborn commissioned one, too?" Haldir said, eyeing the huge portrait of himself in the black Speedo and wincing.

"Of course! You may want to thank the artist for, umbeing so generous in his rendering of your, umattributes!" Elrond laughed.

"There is nothing wrong with our attributes! Our attributes are just fine, thank you very much!" Legolas growled, a blush creeping up his neck.

"Well," Elrond continued, changing the subject before Legolas decided to take a swing at him - even Elrond knew how far he could push the Elf before Legolas lost it completely, "we have another surprise for you tonight, later. Please, take your seatsdinner will be served shortly."

Seating themselves at the head table, Legolas and Haldir tried, but failed miserably, to keep their eyes from wandering back to the giant portraits. They exchanged worried glances over the promised "surprise" Elrond had spoken of. Whatever is was, they were certain it wouldn't be pleasant. Thankfully, dinner was served soon after, and they were able to stare at their plates for while.

After dinner, Elrond stood and addressed the dinner crowd. "My friends, we are here tonight to honor the big heroes of the day!" he began. The crowd erupted into laughter at his reference to the paintings. "Not many know this, but when Haldir and Legolas were barely out of their elfling years, they both had a crush on a certain young elleth"

Legolas and Haldir looked at each other, their eyes widening. "Nooo, it can't be" Legolas gasped.

"How could Elrond have found out?" Haldir asked, paling a bit.

"Oh, I told him," Orophin said from behind Haldir. "Just so that you know, big brother, this is to get back at you for the decade of latrine duty you gave me." He chuckled and quickly walked away before Haldir could strangle him.

"It is my pleasure to welcome to The Last Homely House, Lady Veruca of Lothlorien!" Elrond continued, gesturing toward the open door of the ballroom.

If ever time had ever played a sick joke on any elleth, it was Veruca. She was quite possibly the most horrific female either Legolas or Haldir had ever seen. Her hair was cut very short, and stuck out in spikes all over her head. Elves were never known to get fat, but somehow, she had managed quite nicely. Her gown didn't quite disguise the rolls around her middle, nor the saddlebags attached to her thighs, and her meaty arms quivered with her every step. She had at least three chins - that they could count - which jiggled above the most tremendous, sagging bosom in Middle Earth. As she approached the head table, she smiled, showing all three of her teeth.

"Legolas! Haldir! It's been ages! Wellcome give me a hug!" She called, opening up those drooping flesh-bags attached to her shoulders.

Neither Legolas or Haldir could seem to move - they were frozen to the spot. They looked at each other, then back at Veruca, whose fat was swinging gently under her arms.

"If we make a dash for the door, we might be able to get out before they realize what we're doing," Legolas whispered.

"Not going to happen, mellon ninthey've closed the door and there are archers guarding it," Haldir whispered back. "Elrond must have known we'd try to make a break for it."

"If you kill me, the Valar will reward you for your mercy," Legolas pleaded, casting a quick glance toward Veruca, then screwing his eyes shut.

"And be stuck here by myself with that? I think not!"

Reluctantly, they rose from their seats and made their way down to where Veruca stood waiting. She clasped them both to her enormous bosom, effectively suffocating the both of them. Their arms waved about frantically as she gave them both a mighty squeeze.

Letting go, finally, just before they both lost consciousness, she said, "I can't believe you both had a crush on me! Oh, please allow me to introduce my life partner, Max"

After the spots retreated from in front of their eyes, Legolas and Haldir saw the Elleth standing slightly behind Veruca. At that moment in time, both Legolas and Haldir wished dearly for the protection of the Cave Troll.

Max was as tall as both the champions, but much more massive. Broad shouldered, muscular, she seemed able to snap them in two if she had the mind to. Right now, it seemed likely that she did, because she was glaring at the two Elves with undisguised malice.

Evidently, she was not pleased with how happy Veruca was to see her two former suitors.

Legolas and Haldir slowly backed away, their hands held out in front of them. Elrond finally took pity on them, and gestured to a couple of Elven archers, who escorted Veruca and Max to their table.

Breathing a tremendous sigh of relief, Legolas and Haldir made their way back to their seats. Both poured a generous cup of wine, and downed it in one gulp.

Leaning over the table, Elrond said, "I hope this will teach you two a lesson. NEVER screw with me." He chuckled at their expressions, and walked over to where Galadriel and Celeborn were speaking with Thranduil.

"Someday, if it take me all of eternity, I will find a way to get even with the pompous, Half-Elven jackass!" Legolas swore, his gaze following Elrond.

"I may compete against you in everything else, mellon nin, but in that quest I will be your biggest supporter!" Haldir agreed, his eyes likewise following Elrond.

The musicians struck up their instruments again, music filling the hall. Legolas and Haldir never moved from the head table for the rest of the night. Instead, they spent their time talking quietly between themselves, each trying to top the other's suggestion for the most painful, torturous way to kill Elrond.

They were still at it when dawn broke in the windows of the empty ballroom.

The End