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Few could boast of having tried the lord of Imladris' patience. Merely by raising a finely sculpted eyebrow, he could silence the most disagreeable dwarf. The lord was a renowned healer, great diplomat, founder of the Elf haven of Imladris, and had been herald to Gil-Galad in the Last Alliance of Men and Elves. However; these skills and roles were of little use when faced with his twin sons. A day never passed without the periedhel wondering what he had done that the Valar should curse him with two such terrors. Thus, when tolf three other young elves would be visiting, he groaned.

"Valar! Three hyper miscreants joining forces with our two scamps. I shall be filled with wonder if Imladris is still standing by the end of the first day."

His wife, the Lady Celebrain, daughter of Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel of Lothlorien, smothed a pale golden hair back in place after a gust of wind had toyed with it. Celebrain gave a slight sigh, turning ice-blue eyes to her husband who was currently being very uncharacteristic and pacing the balcony. "Elrond meleth-nin, do not exaggerate. You have never meet the children of King Thranduil. I am sure that they are very well behaved."

Elrond was dubious, his dark brown eyes showing that clearly. A breath of air caught his dark hair, entertwining it with Celebrain's silvery blond tresses. A few red- and orange-colored leaves swirled past the elves. They gazed upward as a gaggle of geese flew by overhead in their V formation. The Lady of Imladris smiled at the birds, then cocked her head, listening to faint murmurs. "You see? The trees agree with me."

Elrond shook his head, but took her ivory hand and they looked over their home with pride. Graceful buildings did not impend nature, but rather were built around it. Trees allowed playful air currents to lead their colored leaves on a merry dance. Musical, rushing water was running, always running, the crystal liquid flowing over sand and pebbles alike. Birds sang to each other as they prepared for the coming of winter. The elf lord squeezed his wife's hand. "It is beautiful, is it not? I begin to think you are right."

Almost as soon as those words escaped his mouth, Elladan and Elrohir darted beneath the balcony pursued by an enraged Glorfindel.

"Come back here, imps! It is fletching arrows for you! Come back I say, or I shall skin you!"

~*~

Elladan and Elrohir figited restlessly. Their dark hair was in neat novices' braids, their grey eyes glinting with impatience. Clad in identical tunics, shirts, and leggings of dark blue, black, and silver, the elflings fiddled with the leaf-shaped clasps of their cloaks. Mirror images of each other, thought Celebrain with a smile.

After what seemed an eternity to the twins, a group of riders came into sight. Glossy steeds aglloped along the path, silken manes and tails floating on a wind of their on making. They snorted to each other, liquid eyes alight with intelligence. Their riders wore the typical green and brown of Greenwood elves. Silver, dark, and flaxen hair in warrior braids framed fair elvish faces. Not a single elf was unarmed. King Thranduil rode at their head, flanked by two emotionless elves. A crown of gold and mithril was upon his head, his clothes were embroidered with gold thread and were of richer shades then his warriors. In the middle of the company on three ponies rode three elflings also wearing richer shades, silver diadems, novice braids in their hair, and cloaks with silver trim.

Elladan and Elrohir watched with increasing eagerness as Thranduil and his children formally exchanged greeting with their father and mother. The Eryn Galen visitors dismounted and let servents take their mounts to the stables. Celebrain pointed the princes and princess to her sons and left them to themselves.

The five elves stared at each other. The Eryn Galen triplets did not seem to know what to say. The ellyn were exact copies of each other and the elleth a feminine version of her brothers. All three had dark eyebrows, deep blue eyes with a penetrating gaze, and blonde hair. The ellyn's hair was pale gold while the elleth's shot with silver.

Elladan smiled somewhat hesitantly. "Mae govannen, mellyn. Welcome to Imladris. 'Tis a pleasure to have you here."

One of the boys dipped his head slightly. "'Tis a pleasure to be here, Elrondionnath. I am Ernil Celeblas."

"I am Elladan."

"I am Ernil Legolas."

"I am Elrohir."

"I am Aranel Laurelass."

Silence descended. Elrohir found his eyes straying to the white knives carried by the triplets. He wondered how old they were if they were allowed to carry weapons around with them. Elronir also wanted to break this uncomfortable quiet.

"We are one hundred seven."

"We are ninety-eight."

"We can swim."

"As can we."

"We can hunt."

"As can we."

"We can use a bow and arrows."

"As can we."

"We can ride."

Elrohir winced. That had been a stupid thing to say since it was quite obvious Celeblas, Legolas, and Laurelass could ride. He got the same response.

"As can we."

"We are almost old enough to go on partols." Short partols.

"As are we."

The twins exchanged an exasperated look. Valar! These elflings were no fun at all. Elladan started to open his mouth to say that he and his brother could climb trees, but snapped it shut, berating himself. They were wood elves. Of course they could climb trees.

Legolas tilted his head slightly. "Well, since we can all do the same things, how about we ride? Or climb? Or have an archery contest?"

Laurelass cut in before either son of Elrond could respond. "Legolas, an archery competition would not be fair and you know that. You would beat us all."

"It was just a suggestion." He shrugged.

Celeblas sighed. "I do not know about you four, but I, for one, do not relish the prospect of standing around doing nothing. Race to the gardens?"

Without waiting for a response, he dashed off in the general direction of the gardens. With indignant yells, the other elflings followed. Elrohir felt a grin of triumph cross his face as he quickly gained on the Crown Prince. Elladan was a great endurance runner, he had to conceed, but he was faster over short distances. Legolas was not far behind him, and neither was Laurelass. Elladan was just a foot behind the Princess. Elrohir got the uncomfortable feeling that the royal siblings were pacing themselves. The elfling passed Celeblas, surpressing a smirk.

He was right. As the gardens loomed ahead and Elrohir put on speed, Legolas and Laurelass suddenly appeared at his side. With a grunt he flung himself at the nearest tree, knowing if he touched it victory would be his. The younger twin found himself crashing through undergrowth in a most unelven fashion and landed with his face in the dirt, spitting out leaves. He sat up grumpily and pulled two twigs from his hair. Silver laughter rang out. Elrohir looked up to see Laurelass laughing and leaning against a birch while Legolas, struggling to contain his laughter, scaled the trunk of said birch with natural grace, Celeblas stifling his own amusement, and his twin snickering. Celeblas raised a dark eyebrow, looking alot like his father. "I did not know the elves of Imladris fling themselves into shrubbery when victory is at hand."

Scowling, Elrohir stood, brushing off his tunic. Laurelass gasped out. "Oh, you looked so humorous when you sat up with twigs in your hair and leaves too. The edain and naugrim say we elves have a strong bond with Arda, but to throw oneself into undergrowth? Very funny, mellon-nin!"

Elrohir glowered at the highly amused elflings and started to stalk off. Elladan grabbed his arm. "Sidh, gwador. We mean no harm. You must admit that if I were to do what you just did, you would laugh, would you not?"

Elrohir had to admit that his brother was right. "Iston. Ohendo nin."

The elder twin grinned. "There is nothing to forgive, gwador. Would you forgive us?"

"Aye."

Legolas jumped down from his perch. Elrohir's eyes gleamed as a thought entered his mind. "What say you we steal some pasties?"

A chorous of 'Aye!'s greeted this.

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