Pre-Story Notes: This is crack, pure and simple. Though some parts of it are canonically accurate, everyone in this is OOC and overly-frazzled, and not meant to be taken too seriously.
Remember that elves age at much slower rate than humans. The basic formula is that they don't reach physical maturity until about 50, and full maturity until about 100. They begin their first few years ageing physically similar to humans until about three or four, at which point their bodies mature much slower, but their brains faster. Thus you get pint-sized geniuses. At the age of twenty, at which most humans would be considered 'fully grown', elves are physically about seven.
Imladris is the Elven name for Rivendell. Gilraen (for those of you who may have only seen the movies), was Aragorn's mother. After Arathorn (his father) was killed, she and Aragorn travelled to Imladris and lived there, where Aragorn took on the name Estel, which means 'hope'.
A huge nod to Erestor, whose comedic genius inspired the content and style of this one-shot. If you haven't read her stories, you are most definitely missing out.
Feedback is always appreciated.
Elrond was having a good day. The sun was shining brightly down on the valley of Imladris, birds and Elves alike were singing gaily in the warm summer breeze, and Erestor and Glorfindel had thus far managed to avoid bringing him into their endless squabbles.
Suddenly Erestor burst into Elrond's study, banging the door loudly and looking terribly frazzled, his dark hair standing somewhat on end in a way that made Elrond want to reach for the comb hidden in his desk drawer. Instead he rose with the intention of telling Erestor unequivocally that he had no interest whatsoever in dealing with whatever the latest argument with Glorfindel was, even if Glorfindel had stolen Erestor's favourite pen, or spilled ink on a book, or otherwise done anything unnatural. No, he was going to tell him once and for all that he didn't care that Glorfindel was a self-important tosspot, or that Erestor was a whinging toerag -- he was going to tell them to take their argument somewhere else. Somewhere, preferably, that didn't include him. But before he could say any of this Erestor cut him off.
"They're coming," he said, his voice high with panic.
At that moment Glorfindel stumbled into the room, adding somewhat to the drama of the moment, his arms and legs akimbo and blond hair standing up in all directions. "It looks bad," he added unhelpfully.
The blood drained from Elrond's face in terror and anxiety as he began to loudly bellow orders. "Fetch bandages! And painkilling herbs! Perpare a bed with clean sheets! Boil water! Fetch a bucket and cloth to mop up the blood!" He dashed, looking entirely undignified, madly through the halls.
Elrond was right to panic — after all, he'd spent most of the early years of his fatherhood piecing his sons back together.
It had all begun one fateful morning when Elladan, no more than two at the time, had accidentally knocked his brother out of bed — over the safety bars Elrond had installed. Neither elfling seemed able to impart exactly how this had happened, (and, indeed, Elrond had been deeply concerned as it seemed that Elrohir was only able to speak in gibberish), but this was unsurprising, as the twins had not yet learned to speak (a fact Elrond remembered after the panic died down, much to his chagrin).
However, it didn't end there. All throughout their childhood they displayed the remarkable ability to accidentally harm themselves.
Elladan, at the tender age of twenty, had received a bit from a 'butterfly' that was more than six inches long. He had been as baffled as the rest, but offered no further explanation than 'I told you, it bit me, Ada!'
He had, at one point, begun to suspect that the two of them were simply fighting behind his back — and he certainly would have believed that was the case if it weren't for the fact that most of the 'accidents' seemed to happen when the twins were apart. In fact, he'd seen Elrohir, while wandering cheerfully through the library searching for a book Erestor had recommended, trip on absolutely nothing and knock over a whole shelf full of priceless texts on Numenorean carpet patterns.
Erestor never recommended anything again, (and, indeed, came very close to forbidding anyone to even enter the library again. That would have been the case had it not been for Celebrían's quick thinking and remarkable ability to formulate rational and convincing arguments).
Celebrían and he had been assured by all concerned (except Erestor, who was somewhat of a pessimist), that the twins were merely going through a 'phase', and that they'd grow out of it soon enough.
'Why, when I was their age,' Celeborn had said, imparting rather more information than anyone (save perhaps Galadriel) cared to know, 'I was constantly knocking things over and tripping on ellith's skirts.'
Elrond had stated unequivocally later that he'd known all along that clumsiness hadn't come from his side of the family.
The twins did, however, seem to mellow with age — and for a brief period, as they approached adulthood, the protective padding around the china, vases and other breakable artefacts in the house of Elrond was removed.
At least until they became fascinated with the prospect of hunting orcs.
Elrond's heart had nearly stopped when he'd seen them stumble, leaning on each other for support, covered head-to-toe in blood and dirt, back to Imladris after their first hunting expedition.
With Erestor and Glorfindel's help he'd managed to drag the two of them to a bed, and began frantically bandaging them up — resorting to shredding bedsheets when he'd run out of bandages. All the while he lectured, allowing his frustration to come out in the form of a long verbal diatribe that left their ears ringing, and made them both feel like elflings again. Of course, it was absolutely nothing on the lecture he received from Celebrían later in the evening for letting them go at all.
Nevertheless, the twins remained in good spirits. Despite being bandaged from head to toe, and confined to their beds, they insisted that it was 'the best hunting trip they'd ever been on' (a true statement, given that it was the only hunting trip they'd ever been on), and that they couldn't wait to do it again.
After several decades of well-practised whinging, wheedling, and cajoling, the twins succeeded in getting their wish: they were allowed on a second hunting trip — provided, of course, that Glorfindel went with them.
So, gleefully, the twins set out, singing merrily as they rode out under the bright midday sun.
They did not return for two months — by which point the entirety of Imladris and Lothlórien had been driven to hysteria, several search parties had been launched and re-launched, and Elrond had taken up drinking.
Merrily they stumbled back down into the valley one evening, while everyone was having supper. Glorfindel and Elrohir were supporting an unconscious Elladan, and Elrond was greatly displeased to not that Elrohir had a rather distinct limp.
Their wide smiles were strangely eerie, but Elrond bundled them up and ushered them into the sick room anyway, laying each of them on the bed and stuffing them with as many medicinal herbs as he could get his hands on. Diligently he bandaged his sons — Elrohir grinning loopily all the while, and Elladan lolling about unconscious, the tiniest bit of drool escaping the corner of his open mouth.
"What happened?" he demanded, taping up a huge gash on his son's head.
"We were ambushed," Glorfindel supplied unhelpfully.
"Who are you?" asked Elrohir, blinking slowly in confusion. "Where am I? And what are you doing to my head?"
"Oh, don't worry about that," Glorfindel said cheerfully, correctly interpreting the expression of horror on Lord Elrond's face. "He was kidnapped by a group of slavers and kept under the control of mind-altering drugs. The healers in Bree said he'd be fine in a week or so."
Elrond sat down with a loud thunk, entirely missing the chair and landing on the hard floor.
"You missed the chair," said Elrohir stupidly.
But, true to the word of the anonymous healer in Bree, Elrohir had recovered. Elladan had eventually woken up (and unknowingly saved himself from drowning in his own drool), and they had both agreed that hunting was much more fun when Glorfindel went along.
Elrond slept on the couch for nearly half a year before Celebrían admitted that it wasn't actually his fault.
It seemed that nothing would stop them from going out, and no amount of training nor reasoning could convince them to stay out of harm's way.
"It's not really our fault, Ada," Elrohir insisted. "It just happens!"
Elrond couldn't help having flashbacks to the first time he'd heard Elrohir utter those words — he'd walked into his study to find his desk overturned, and Elrohir sitting dazedly amid a pile of ink-stained maps and trade agreements.
The phrase 'but I only left him alone for a minute' was becoming the most-used in his lexicon.
And it did 'just happen', over and over again. Try as he might, he couldn't seem to stop it from happening.
The fact that Elladan and Elrohir were insistent about joining the Dúnedain in their patrols was of little help — and they often disappeared for months, sometimes years at a time, only to return battered, bloodied and exhilarated.
He was beginning to wonder about their mental stability, and, more worryingly, his own.
So, when they returned home, panic was usually very much in order. As was the replacement of his upholstery, as both twins seemed unable to avoid bleeding on it.
He dashed down the hall, skidding to a halt in the entrance hall, glancing worriedly over his sons, checking for injuries.
Both seemed to be standing on their own — but then again, there was a first time for everything. As far as he could see there were no large blood puddles, no gaping wounds, no obviously broken bones, concussions or other apparent injuries.
For a moment he simply stood and stared.
"Hello, Ada," Elladan said cheerfully, moving forwards looking the perfect picture of vigour and health. As he stood aside Elrond noticed a young woman, in what appeared to be her early twenties, standing awkwardly, cradling a young boy to her chest.
Elrond blinked slowly. "Are you injured?" he asked bemusedly.
Elrohir laughed. "Of course not." He stepped forwards, ushering the woman along with him. "Ada, this is Gilraen," he said smiling. "And her son Aragorn, son of Arathorn, heir of Elendil."
"Oh," said Elrond, feeling unusually at a loss for words. "I am sorry to hear of the death of your husband," he added tactfully, gathering his wits about him at last.
Gilraen accepted his statement gracefully, placing young Aragorn on the ground.
"You are most welcome here in Imladris," Elrond continued grandly, gathering his stride. Elladan and Elrohir began to retreat inconspicuously, well aware that when their father began speaking in that tone of voice, a very long speech was certain to follow.
Regrettably, he never got the chance. Just as Elrond opened his mouth to address Gilraen again there was a loud crash.
As one all the adults in the room turned to find Aragorn sitting dazedly amidst the pieces of what had once been a precious vase, rescued from the ruin of Gondolin, and utterly irreplaceable.
"I'm so sorry," said Gilraen apologetically, oblivious to the look of growing horror on Elrond's face. "I only took my eyes off him for a moment."