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Chapter 10

The Seventh Day

The five elflings sat at the table, too nervous to eat their breakfast. They continually glanced at the number of elves who had been in Elrond's study the night before; had they decided what their punishment would be? However, the elves faces were unreadable, and whenever one of the elflings caught there gaze, the elf would quickly look away.

Finally, when breakfast concluded, Lord Elrond simply glanced at the elflings and they immediately knew they were to follow him. As they began to trail after him, a few more elves joined them, consisting of those related to the five elflings with the exception of Glorfindel and Erestor. The elfling anxiously glanced at their family, but they continued to lead them to Elrond's study without looking at them.

When they eventually arrived, Elrond gestured for them to sit in the five chairs set out in the center of the room. Elrohir did so, despite it being the last thing he wanted to do, and Haldir sat next to him, nervously swinging his feet. The other elflings all took their chairs and the adults assembled before them; fixing them with stern glares.

For a moment in his nervous state, Elrohir absentmindedly wondered if you had to take a class on learning this look when you became an adult, for they were all agonizingly similar with their narrowed eyes, eyebrows drawn together, and slight frowns. His train of thought was halted however, when Elrond stepped forward and began to speak, "I am sure you all know exactly why you have been brought here?"

The elflings nodded; their eyes downcast.

"And I'm sure you all agree that there must be some sort of punishment for your misbehaviour?"

Again, the elflings nodded though some of them now began to fidget in there nervousness; Elrond sounded very stern.

"It is only due to a great deal of convincing by everyone here that your punishment is not being settled by the court. However, should you do anything like this again, I have no guarantee that your sentence will not be much worse than what we have decided."

Legolas began to chew his lip while Lindir tugged at a strand of his hair; could he not just tell them what they must do to fix what they had done?

"For now, until we feel sure that you have learnt your lesson," Elrond paused, emphasizing the last sentence, "You will not be allowed to partake in any aspect of the festival; whether that is the feasts, the dances, or any other celebration that may occur. Instead, you will spend every afternoon and evening helping in any way to clean up. You will also have a strict curfew, and it is expected that you keep your wanderings outside of your dwelling places to a minimum. Any infringement on these guidelines will result in further consequences. Also, should your behavior not improve, your punishments will become much stricter and be extended until you learn from your folly. Is that understood?"

The elflings nodded, all were looking chastised, but rather relieved; this was a much better punishment than what they had been expecting. Just when they were certain that they were free to go however, Elrond spoke up once more, "And Elrohir and Elladan, you will spend the rest of your morning learning from Erestor as to how to properly clean a carpet. You will then apply your new skill to every carpet you can find in the Last Homely House."

Elrohir and Elladan groaned.

~.-Later that Day-.~

Legolas, Lindir, and Haldir stood before large buckets of soapy water. At their sides where large piles of dirty dishes and in the background was the everyday kitchen clamor of food being prepared and the crackling of the fires being used to prepare the food. Just as they seemed to making a dent in their mountains of dishes (they might have passed for hills now), a door banged open and Elrohir and Elladan came in carrying two trays laden with even more filthy glasses, cutlery, and china. The three other elflings promptly groaned in unison upon seeing them.

"When will it end?" Legolas scowled, grabbing another plate to wash.

"Never, by the looks of it," Lindir answered, scrubbing at a particularly stubborn piece of food.

"I think we need to switch jobs," Elrohir panted, "My arms feel like they're about to fall off."

"What!? You think we're fairing any better!?" Legolas cried indignantly, "Look at my hands!" He held them up in front of Elrohir, who winced. They were red and wrinkled from being in the water so long, and his fingers were worn raw from scrubbing.

"And my father always said that a bit of hard work never hurt anyone," Lindir stated dryly.

Elrohir scoffed, "Yeah right, you should have seen our hands after we finished shaking the dust out of what must have been all the carpets in Imladris. I have two words for you: rug burn. It also didn't help that we kept inhaling all the dust we shook out of the carpets."

"Oh yeah, I forgot you had to do that. I take it that it didn't go very well?" Lindir asked, looking sympathetic.

"Can anything go well when you have Erestor breathing down your neck?" Elladan scowled.

"He's just bitter," Elrohir stated in a mock whisper, "Half way through the ordeal he accidently tried to pick up a carpet Erestor was standing on."

Legolas, Lindir, and Haldir all cringed, though whether it was for Erestor or the lecture Elladan surely must have received was debatable.

"So what happened?" Legolas asked curiously.

Elrohir snorted, "You can probably guess; Erestor did a spectacular face-plant, and once his nose stopped bleeding, Elladan received what must have been a ten minute talking to, if it even can be classified as that."

"Go on," Lindir completely abandoned the spot of stubborn food he had been scrubbing at and leaned forward, wanting to hear more.

"He was yelling so loudly that most of what he said was completely unintelligible," Elrohir chuckled.

"It isn't funny," Elladan growled, "My ears still hurt. Though the fact he could barely speak for the rest of the morning was a bit of a bonus," he added thoughtfully.

The elflings snickered, but immediately broke off when an elf chastised them and told them to get back to work. Legolas, Haldir, and Lindir quickly got back to scrubbing their dishes and the twins soon joined them.

"On a different note," began Legolas blandly, "My father got inspiration from Lord Elrond and decided I also need further discipline. I am now sentenced to go to all meetings with him, when we get back home, in hopes I learn the responsibilities of a true elvish Prince and stop taking part in what he considers to be foolishness."

Elrohir snorted, "If he wanted to stop you from being 'foolish' then all he would have to do is ban you from seeing us. We're the only reasons you did any of the stuff you did."

"Don't tell him that!" Legolas exclaimed sounding completely serious, "I don't want him to get any ideas!"

Elrohir rolled his eyes, but nodded, "How about you, Lindir and Haldir, did your parents and brothers devise any further schemes to keep you from taking part in 'foolishness'?"

Lindir groaned while Haldir nodded sadly.

"Good, we would have been horrified at their parenting if they hadn't," Legolas announced, surveying a plate to see if it was clean enough.

"Which I suppose is code for 'We would have been so jealous we would have never spoken to you again?'" Elladan asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Possibly."

"Well, there is no need to go and abandon our friendship; my father banned me from going on any patrols," Lindir continued to scrub at a speck of food that was refusing to come off.

Legolas looked up; confused, "I though you didn't like patrolling?"

"Your right, I don't, and when he saw that I was taking the whole thing rather too well for his liking, he then proceeded to forbid me from touching my harp or my flute," Lindir answered glumly before finally holding up his plate in triumph when the spot of food came off of it.

Elladan looked sympathetic, "Do you know for how long?"

"No, he hasn't told me yet; I think he enjoys letting me worry about it. Not that I'm going to be able to play them for a long time anyways at this rate," Lindir frowned; yanking a splinter he had received from the wooden tub out of his sore hand.

"Ah, well, must be awful to be you," stated Elrohir in less than compassionate manner, causing Lindir to glare at him, "Anyways, what did your brother's force you to do Haldir?"

Haldir looked melancholy and sniffled, "I had to let Fuzzy go."

There was a slight pause as the other four elflings stared at Haldir a tried to judge how they should react to this. Finally, Legolas spoke up, "Well, that's too bad, but I'm sure Fuzzy will be happy in his natural habitat," he proceeded to pat Haldir on the shoulder and promptly got Haldir's shirt wet; having been cleaning cutlery only moments before. Haldir didn't seem to mind however and just stared sadly into his tub of water while absentmindedly scrubbing at a bowl.

Lindir winced; Haldir was clearly taking the loss of his pet hard, "So," he said quickly, trying to change the subject, "Does anyone know what happened to Doronor, Lalvon, and Toron?"

"Yes," Legolas nodded," I asked my father. So far they have been prevented from doing their duties as servants to the king for an unknown amount of time. My father says it's not going to be permanent though."

Elladan let out a sigh of relief. It was good to know that their misbehavior hadn't resulted in the loss of the three servants jobs, that was, after all, what they had been trying to prevent in the first place.

For a few more minutes the five elflings scrubbed away at their dishes in silence, and then Elrohir spoke up, looking thoughtful, "Well, at least there's an upside to all this."

The other four elflings stared at him; certain that he had gone insane.

"And what is that?" Legolas asked raising an eyebrow.

"We don't have to dance with any girls."

~.-The End -.~

*Sniffle* it's over . Anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! Please review. :D