Haldir sighed deeply, looking out over the forest with a keen eye. It was early in the morning and the rest of the world was celebrating the dawning of a beautiful new day while all Haldir wanted to do was pass out from exhaustion. He vaguely wished he had something with which to occupy himself while waiting for his replacement that was already nearly an hour late. The blond yawned deeply, feeling his eyes glaze over slowly. He allowed them, just for a moment, when a beautiful yet slightly husky voice called, "You're really not a good march warden are you?'
Haldir's eyes snapped to attention instantly. Looking around for the voice's owner, all Haldir found was a small black kitten lying gracefully on the tree branch above him. The kitten's head was resting on large black paws and intelligent green eyes were watching him intently.
"Who spoke to me?" Haldir commanded the air, as he did not know where else to direct it.
"I did nincompoop," the kitten replied calmly in perfect elfish.
Haldir stared at the creature for several long seconds, dark eyes narrowed in concentration, before finally stating rather plainly, "You are a kitten."
"And you are blond," the kitten responded, voice tinted with sarcastic awe.
"Kittens can't speak elfish." The march warden supplemented.
Yawning languidly, the green-eyed kitten gave Haldir what he assumed was the cat equivalent of a smirk. "Shows what you know."
The blond elf cleared his throat in annoyance, looking up at the small kitten. "I know you can not possible speak elfish. As a kitten you do not have the facilities to speak."
The kitten sat up, yawning widely before answering, "And yet here we are, having a conversation."
Haldir, perhaps wisely in terms of his sanity, choose not to continue his fight over whether or not kittens could speak. The kitten was stubborn and had the bad habit of pointing out the holes in his arguments. Quite the same reasons that he no longer battled wits with Lord Celebron. "Who are you? Why are you here?"
Large green eyes blinked at him slowly, the kitten's strange expression of happiness slipping. "I-I-I don't know." He murmured, seemingly only just realizing this lack of knowledge.
"Then how do I know you are not a figment of my imagination?"
This apparently was a hot topic for the kitten, because the next thing Haldir knew he had a lapful of kitten who - as it were- had very sharp claws. The elf resisted crying out - in both surprise and pain - choosing instead to grip the kitten's downy fur gently as to avoid squashing the troublesome thing.
"It is widely considered rude to claw another's genital area." Haldir conceded, gulping slightly.
The kitten tightened his strong grip, causing a flinch in his fellow. "Am I real?"
With a nod the kitten released his catch, allowing Haldir to let loose a breath he had been unaware of holding. "What is your name?" Haldir questioned, looking down at the innocent looking feline.
A single blond eyebrow ascended, lips turning very slightly at the corners. Two paws settled gently against his thigh and Haldir felt his smile disappear. An entire conversation passed in a single gesture and Haldir made mental note to not tease the kitten when he was capable of sinking his claws into any part of his anatomy. Haldir slipped his hands under the kitten's front paws and used the grip to lift him into the air. Harry was much smaller then Haldir had originally thought, being able to fit the entirety of his body in one of the elf's large hands.
"I'm sorry I'm late Haldir! I allowed myself to be distracted." Haldir glanced down towards the bottom of the tree to find his replacement - a young new member of the Elfish army.
Haldir felt his right eye twitch slightly - the only clear sign of his annoyance. He dropped down easily to stand next to the younger elf, cradling Harry against his strong chest. "Do not waste my time with your apologies, just get to work."
"Will do sir! Once again I am - what are you holding?"
"A kitten," Haldir explained slowly, somewhat concerned that this cadet could not identify a kitten when he saw one.
His fellow blinked and cleared his throat awkwardly. "There is not kitten sir."
"There is no..." Haldir held the kitten out from his body so that the somewhat pathetic looking thing was dangling right before the younger elf. "You are telling me you can not see this?"
"Yes?" The dark haired elf murmured slowly, looking unsure of himself.
"You can not see him." The blond stated. The other nodded. Turning his eyes to Harry, Haldir spoke - half questioningly, "He can not see you."
Harry shrugged and Haldir drew him back to his chest, chancing a glance at his replacement. The elf was looking at him with no small amount of concern.
"I must," he muttered slowly, stroking the soft fur beneath his fingers absently. "I must be imagining things. I am very tired."
The younger had the grace to look ashamed, but said nothing. Turning away, Haldir started his trek back to the main building of Rivendell in which he roomed still cupping the small kitten. There was no way, he thought, that he could be imagining this. Even during the wars of past when he would often go weeks without sleep, he had never dreamt up a false being (let alone a kitten) to keep him company. Haldir looked down at the kitten, only to find the creature watching him with wide eyes.
"Kittens," Haldir called to the elf that had replaced him. "they can not speak elfish, yes?"
The answer sounded highly confused, but was what he had expected. "Yes, they can not."
A.N. . I'm soooo happy with this! Well, please let me know what you think.