Hunting Games

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Wish I did.

Maedhros darted from one bush to another, hoping the light from the Golden Tree was not making his flame-red hair blaze like a beacon.

Now, where were they?

At least one had to be around here somewhere. A particularly sweet scent came to his nose, and Maedhros smiled. He was near the rose patch.

The rose patch...Hmm.

One of the first rules of hunting he had been taught was this: knowing the habits of your prey was very important. And if he knew the habits of one of the prey he particularly sought, then he was not far from finding him.

Manoeuvring his way into the rose patch, making as little sound as possible and keeping close to the ground. The various scents of the flowers – yellow, red, pink, white – were now whirling around him.

Aha.

Maedhros crept silently towards his quarry, a devious grin on his face. The songbird really must learn to be more watchful. He was an easy target.

Should I give him a small head start? Maedhros wondered. It would make no difference in the end, of course, but...

Deciding against it, he crept the remainder of the distance and pounced, wrestling his victim to the ground and playfully tickling his ribs.

Musical laughter pealed around the rose patch. Maedhros tickled under Maglor's arms next, smiling as his brother laughed helplessly.

"Do you surrender?" he asked, knowing what the answer would be.

"Yes, yes! I give up!"

Maedhros stopped the torture and allowed Maglor to sit up.

"How did you know where to find me?" Maglor asked, wiping away tears of mirth.

"I may not be as good a hunter as Celegorm, but I know the rose patch is your favourite part of the garden. You should not be so predictable."

... ... ...

A small figure with hair as red as Maedhros' own was running behind bushes that contained bright blue flowers. Dodging behind one, he paused to catch his breath.

So, the twins had become separated... Good. One was easier to catch than two.

If Amras kept running in the direction he was, eventually he would reach where Maedhros was hiding.

He did.

"There you are!"

Amras looked around, squeaked with mock fright at the sight of his eldest brother and began to scamper across the lawn. Maedhros ran after him and captured him easily, sweeping him up into his arms.

"I have you!" he said triumphantly to his little captive. "Now – you know what comes next!"

He knelt down, put the elfling on the grass, took hold of one small ankle, removed Amras' shoe and gently tickled the sole of his foot. Amras giggled with delight, squirming about. Maedhros let go of his brother's foot, and at once repeated the process with the other. Amras squealed and wriggled.

Deciding that his brother had had enough, Maedhros released him.

"I will not be so merciful next time I catch you!" he warned Amras, who was putting his shoes back on as fast as he could. Maedhros got to his feet, brushing back stray strands of red hair that had fallen over his face – and almost jumped out of his skin when strong arms seized him from behind and held him fast.

What? He...he hadn't even known he was being approached!

"Let us see how you like it," his father's voice growled close to his ear.

Before Maedhros could even struggle (which would have been to no avail anyway) Fëanor wrestled him onto the grass and started tickling his stomach. Maedhros began laughing immediately as he tried to escape the merciless fingers.

"No... Let me go, let me go!" he pleaded.

"Not yet. I hoped you had learned a long time ago about vigilance. Maybe this will finally teach you that lesson." Fëanor's voice was barely audible over the laughter of his oldest son.

Of course he knew that this was only one of his sons' favourite hunting games – but Maedhros had not heard Fëanor coming up behind him, and so he must take the consequences.

His other sons had by now appeared in that section of the garden, and were watching with amazement. Celegorm and Curufin were openly smirking at seeing their tormentor being tormented in such a way.

Tears were openly streaming down Maedhros' face, and his laughter was nearly hysterical. Fëanor stopped tickling, and gave his son's shoulder an affectionate rub, smiling at him as he waited for Maedhros to calm down. Standing up, he put his hands on his hips and faced the others.

"Now, who's next?"

Loud shrieks and yells filled the air as they turned and ran, their father hot on their heels. Maedhros sat up, and grinned as he watched the fleeing figures.

Yes, little brothers, you had better run.

Hope you enjoyed it!