"I have a bad feeling about this coming festival," Legolas remarked one day to his friend Aragorn. It was a beautiful fall day in Rivendell, with shining mists wreathing the high peaks that surrounded the river gorge.
The young ranger laughed, green eyes dancing. "Why, friend Legolas, what could possibly go wrong? It is the Bonfire tonight, you know."
Legolas's blue-gray eyes were grave as he looked out over the majestic vista of flaming trees. "I do not know, Aragorn, but something is going to happen."
"You worry too much, Legolas."
The two whirled to see Elrohir, Aragorn's Elvish brother, standing behind them.
"Father always has wonderful festivals, Legolas," the tall elf said, smiling.
"Hello, Elrohir, you startled us," Aragorn replied.
"Sorry." The dark-haired elf grinned. "What are you worried about?"
Legolas shrugged. "Maybe nothing. You're right, the Bonfire will be great."
Two hours later
Elladan, Aragorn's other Elvish brother—Aragorn had been adopted by Elrond as a child—came into the room that Aragorn and Legolas shared whenever Legolas came to visit.
"Good afternoon!" he said cheerfully. "Elrohir had a great idea—we're going to roast marshmallows!"
"What are marshmallows?" Legolas looked confused.
Elrohir, who had come in at that moment and was busy chewing, held up a white ball. After swallowing, he said, "They're these delicious little sweet things that Father bought down in Bree. He said we could have them."
"Is it safe?" Aragorn wanted to know.
Elladan frowned. "The marshmallows?"
"No, having a fire in our room."
Elrohir laughed. "What in Ea are you thinking, Aragorn? We're going out back to the fire pit, of course!"
Legolas and Aragorn looked at each other and shrugged, then followed the two brothers out the door.
They walked carefully down a rocky trail in the growing dusk to a fire circle, where Elladan took the bag of marshmallows and handed his friends long, sharp sticks. He quickly started a small fire and pt a marshmallow on the stick, then let the small puff of white toast over the colas. When it was the color of burnished gold, he stuck it in his mouth and pulled the stick out.
"Mfsgood! Try one!" he said, mouth full.
Legolas reached for the bag of marshmallows and tripped, landing with a long braid in the flames. His hair instantly caught on fire.
The other three shouted with alarm and Elrohir tossed the water on his friend's head, while Aragorn pulled Legolas back from the flames.
Legolas sat there, stunned, with water trickling down his burned head as the odor of burnt hair filled the air.
"Are you okay?" Aragorn demanded. Legolas mutely shook his head and motioned to what was left of his hair. Elrohir handed him a consolatory marshmallow, and the elf stuffed it in his mouth.
"Elladan? Elrohir? What happened?"
The four leapt to their feet, hastily waving their hands to get rid of the telltale smell. Elrohir grabbed everyone's sticks, stuck a marshmallow on each one, and redistributed them, while Aragorn and Elladan looked around frantically for something with which to cover Legolas's hair (which had already started falling out). By the time Elladan tossed him a hooded cloak, Legolas was completely bald.
The injured elf quickly put on the clock and hood, then all four sat down and put their marshmallow sticks into the flames as Elrond himself came down the path.
"I heard shouts," he explained, looking at each one intently. "What happened?"
"We, uh, we…" Aragorn stammered as he faced revealing Legolas's embarrassing accident.
"We got the fire started," Elladan chirped glibly. "Elrohir here"—he glared at his brother—"dropped the water all over the wood, so we were glad when it finally ignited."
In the semidarkness Legolas shot a grateful look toward his friend.
Elrond sighed. "Don't shout so next time. I thought you had been hurt." He turned to go back up to the houses of Rivendell and then added, "It seems that my guest and my elder sons have all entered their Harebrained Years at once. And it seems that you, Estel, are the cause." He looked at Aragorn, whose bewildered face demanded an explanation.
"The Harebrained Years"—Elladan snorted at the name and received a glare from his father—"are a time in an Elf's life—a male elf, that is, for none of our women act so—when he acts like a young child of Man, always getting into trouble and doing foolish things just for fun. None can explain it, but it seems to hit around the time that a Man comes into the Elf's life." He smiled. "Mine hit right after the birth of Arwen, and my wife was not pleased, I can tell you that." He walked away.
Who's Arwen? Aragorn thought, but realized that it might have been a mumbled version of Elladan, and shrugged the thought away.
"This is great," Legolas fumed, his cheeks flushed. "My hair is gone, you guys!"
Elrohir tittered, and Legolas shot him a glare that would have killed a duck at 50 paces.
"It's not so bad," Elladan managed, his ribs shaking with silent laughter. "My friend's aunt is bald, and she wears a wig—a blond one like your hair. Maybe I can…borrow…it."
Legolas's eyes brightened. "Will anyone be abe to tell that it's not my real hair?"
Elladan said, "Well, GIGGLE, I don't, SNORT, think so, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, Legolas," he finished weakly.
"You're no help, Elrohir," Aragorn snapped. He didn't find the situation as funny as his Elven brothers. "Come on, Legolas, let's get that wig."
"If any of you says a word about this, I'll…I'll…well, you'll be sorry," Legolas intoned darkly, clutching the cloak around his shoulders as he followed Aragorn into the darkness.
Elladan scaled the wall as quickly and as silently as an ownl flying thorugh the trees after nightfall. Aragorn followed with some difficulty, and landed not-so-softly on a thick rug. He heard an elvish voice singing in the other room, and stepped as softly as possible after his brother, for elves hear the slightest noise.
He and Elladan peered through a partially-ajar door at a woman with long, blond hair who was admiring herself in a mirror. She was quite pretty, even though he knew that the hair must not be hers. On the wall were 3 more long tails of lovely blonde hair, just Legolas's color.
Stay here, Elladan mouthed, then went swiftly to the window and was gone, leaving Aragorn standing terrified in the darkness.
Suddenly Elladan appeared at the woman's doorway—he had entered the house through the front door this time and headed for her room.
"Litharwe," he said, "will you come and help me decide where our guests should be placed? I don't want to offend anyone, and these traders, you know…" He glanced past her for a moment as she stood up, and caught Aragorn's eye, motioning slightly with his face toward the wigs.
"Certainly, Prince Elladan." Litharwe browed and followed him out the door. Aragorn waited for a moment, then snuck forward and snatched a wig.
"Not that one," hissed a voice.
Aragorn spun, hand on his sword hilt, and met the fair blue eyes of Legolas.
"What are you doing here? I didn't even hear you!" Aragorn was indignant.
"I'm an elf—I don't make noise when I choose not to be heard," he replied derisively. "Hand me the bottom one, Estel." Aragorn's Elvish name meant "hope."
Aragorn did so somewhat meekly, and Legolas set it on his head carefully, complaining, "I feel like a girl."
"You look normal," Aragorn said. It was amazing. Legolas looked as if he had never lost a hair.
Legolas peered anxiously in the hand mirror. "It's going to fall off."
"No, it's fine. I've seen that woman walking around on windy days. Her hair stayed in place."
"Good. Let's get out of here."
Aragorn agreed as Litharwe and Elladan came back down the hall, Elladan making some stupid excuse for "not knowing" that there were already name cards at each place at the table.
The two friends glanced at each other, then raced across the darkened room and out the window.
A week later, Legolas's amazing Elvish healing powers had re-grown his hair to its original length, and Litharwe's missing wig mysteriously reappeared.
Legolas never ate marshmallows again.
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