Elrond beckoned to his sons. “Elladan? Elrohir? Come over here and talk to me. Leave Legolas to sleep, he does not need you disturbing him.”
Leaving Legolas still asleep beneath one of the huge oaks that overshadowed the lawn, Elladan and Elrohir dropped down onto the grass and sat next to their parents.
“I want you to tell me what happened this morning. And I want to know everything, not just that you ‘pulled him out’. I suspect you had to do a lot more than that!” Elrond had already talked to his sons briefly about the rescue that morning, as they rode back to Lasgalen. But in front of Legolas himself, they had not wanted to say much.
“We’d been jumping or diving into the river from the cliff,” Elladan began. “We were racing, seeing who could be the first back up to the top. But then Ar said that Legolas was still underwater, so I jumped back in to look for him. Father, his foot was caught between two huge rocks! I tried and tried to pull it out, but I couldn’t do anything. I think I just ended up cutting his ankle even more.” He cast a quick apologetic glance across to Legolas. “Then El joined me, and at first he tried to push the stones away, but then he used a long branch, and somehow forced the stones apart, not much, but it was just enough. I don’t know how he did it, because the stones were so big, so heavy!”
Elrond looked puzzled. “Yes. I know what you mean. But those stones are well to the side of the pool, and are not usually a danger.”
Elladan nodded. “But we had decided to spread out, to give ourselves more room. I should have thought about the stones!”
“Did you say you had been diving as well? Then thank the Valar Legolas did not dive in that time. If he had hit his head on the rocks, instead of his foot …” Elrond could not finish the thought. Beside him, Thranduil gave no obvious reaction, but Elrond felt a shudder run through him. Involuntarily, he glanced across to where Legolas still lay sleeping.
The twins also exchanged glances. They had dived into the pool on many, many occasions, never once thinking about that particular danger.
Elrohir took up the tale. “Well, anyway, then we swam with him to the bank. That was when we pulled him out. Well, El pushed, and I pulled. Then, when we got him out, El managed to get him breathing again, like you said Taniquel did with me. And then -” his expression reflected the immense relief they had both felt – “then he coughed, and started breathing again. And just after that Arwen arrived with the guards, and then you came.” He nodded towards Thranduil.
“And that was it, really. That’s all.” Elladan finished.
“That is all?” Elrond repeated. “You accomplished the entire rescue before the guards ever arrived. Well done.”
Celebrían sat between the twins. She drew them into a warm embrace, hugging them both tightly and kissing them. “You did extremely well,” she said softly. “I feel so proud of you both!”
“I must add my own thanks.” Thranduil stood, and then bowed to Elladan and Elrohir, much to their amazement. “I will never forget what you have done today. Thank you.”
“We didn’t stop to think about it,” Elladan confessed. “We just did it!”
“We knew the guards would take too long,” added Elrohir. “And by that time …”
It was a sobering thought. The atmosphere was lightened as a slightly sleepy voice called “Why is everyone looking so serious?” Legolas got to his feet, and using his new stick, limped across to where the others sat. Thranduil made no attempt to help, although from his expression he was desperate to do so.
As Legolas sat down again, Elladan looked at him very seriously. “You know, your foot is going to cause us a lot of trouble now!”
“Why? What have I done?”
“You know the games start the day after tomorrow. One of the races is for teams of three, and we were going to enter. We can’t now!”
Legolas looked dismayed. “Oh, no! But I don’t think I’m going to be able to run anywhere for a few days yet. Elladan, I’m sorry! I’ve let you down!”
“Of course you haven’t!” Elrohir kicked his brother. “He’s teasing you. It doesn’t matter. There’s lots of other races. And you could still go in the archery competition!”
Legolas brightened. “Yes, I could!”
“And the two of you can still enter the race,” Celebrían said unexpectedly. “You could enter with Arwen.”
“Arwen?” the twins echoed in disbelief.
“Yes, Arwen. Your sister. Why not?”
Elladan stared at his mother incredulously. “Why not?” he echoed again. “Because – because - ” he ran out of words.
“Yes, why not?” demanded Arwen. “Why can’t I do it with you?”
“But – but,”
“Oh, come on El, why not let her? It might be fun,” added Elrohir surprisingly.
“El! You …” Elladan gave an inarticulate cry at the sudden betrayal. He stopped as he felt his mother’s gaze on him, swallowing his words.
Arwen took full advantage of her unexpected ally. “You see, El? It’s two against one now!” she crowed triumphantly. “What about you, Legolas? Do you think they should let me join in?”
Legolas had no intention of getting involved in the squabble, although he could see no real reason why Arwen should be excluded. It was clear that she was going to win, in any case. He shook his head vehemently. “Oh, no. It’s got nothing to do with me!”
She scowled at him, but then turned back to her eldest brother. “El?”
“Oh … I suppose so.” Elladan sounded rather grudging. “All right, you can join us, Ar.” However, the furious glare Elladan shot at his traitorous brother suggested that Words would be exchanged later.
“Thank you, El!” She hugged Elrohir quickly, then turned to Elladan. “And you, El!”
“Get off, Ar!” he growled.
The group broke up a little later. Legolas followed Elrohir inside, but fell behind a little – he found steps rather difficult. Ahead of him, as Elrohir passed a shadowed alcove beneath the stairs, a hand shot out and grabbed his wrist, pulling him in.
“Elrohir! Why did you do that? Why agree to Arwen joining us? You must be mad!” Elladan sounded furious – he hardly ever used his brother’s full name.
Legolas stopped, and listened gleefully to the reply. “Oh, why not, El? Like I said, it could be fun.”
“But she’ll slow us down! How can we win now?”
“She won’t slow us down that much. And we can help her over the hard parts if we have to. Anyway, how long do you think we could have refused, with Mother breathing down our necks like that? We would have had to agree in the end, you know we would!”
“I know, but you could have supported me a bit more!”
Elrohir sighed. “El, I’m sorry. It just seemed easier this way.” There was a slight pause. “Don’t you agree, Legolas?”
Legolas peered into the alcove. “You knew I was here?”
“Yes, of course!” they both replied.
“Well, come on, then,” Elladan sounded resigned. “If we’re going to do this, we should do it properly. Father has some entry forms in his study.”
They found the forms, then sat down to complete them. “ ‘Names of Entrants:’ ” read Elladan. “That’s easy. ‘Elladan, Elrohir, Arwen’. ‘Race Entered:’ ‘Three person’. ‘Team Name:’. ” He paused. “El, what shall we call ourselves?”
Elrohir gave a snort of laughter. “That’s easy, too,” he said. “ ‘The Lord’s Little Rascals’. What else could we call ourselves?”
“El, that’s perfect!”
Legolas looked puzzled. “ ‘Lord’s Little Rascals’? Does that mean something?”
“Oh, yes! You know what we all call each other? El and Ar? Mother says we sound like an alphabet! Well, according to the guards, El, El and Ar stand for the Lord’s Little Rascals.” Elladan grinned. He had completely forgotten his ill temper.
“But they don’t know that we know they call us that!” added Elrohir.
“It sounds like a very good description to me!” Legolas agreed. “Do your parents know about the name?”
“Oh, yes, it was Father who told us! He thought it was very funny. And I have to admit, it used to be very appropriate. I hope we’re better behaved now. We are most of the time,” Elrohir confessed.
“I remember what you were like when you came to Lasgalen that time,” Legolas reminded them. “But I’m sure Arwen was never that bad!”
Elladan shrugged. “Arwen? Arwen can be worse than we ever were! She just never gets caught!”
“Yes, and when she is, Mother and Father usually think we led her into it anyway!” The twins, Legolas noticed, were in total unity once more. Their rare disagreements never lasted for long.
He tried to imagine some of the things Arwen might have got up to. With the twins as role models, it could be anything. “Well, go on, tell me!”
“Well, one day she decided that because we look the same, it was too confusing for people,” Elladan began.
“Not that it ever bothered her, she always knows who we are! We’ve never managed to fool her,” Elrohir added.
“Although we used to try. Anyway, one night she went into El’s room, and cut his hair. And he must have moved, or the scissors were blunt, or something, because it was all ragged. Why he didn’t wake up, I don’t know!” Elladan glanced at his brother, and began to laugh. “It did look very funny, El, you must admit!”
Elrohir scowled at the memory. “It wasn’t your hair she cut! When I woke up, there was hair all over the pillow. I thought I’d gone bald!”
“I know, I heard you scream!”
Legolas interrupted them. “Well, go on, what happened then? Why did she do it?”
“She said it was to make it easier for everyone else to tell us apart. And it did, it took ages for it to grow back! Mother had to trim it even more, because it was so uneven. I looked awful!”
“I’m surprised you didn’t cut your hair to match, Elladan,” Legolas commented, trying hard not to laugh.
Elladan grinned. “I thought about it, but El looked so silly, I didn’t want to!”
Elrohir glared at him. “Thank you for your support!”
“So what happened to Arwen? Surely she didn’t get away with it?”
“Oh, yes, she did!” Elrohir sighed at the injustice. “She said she was just doing it to help, and to stop us playing tricks on people. The trouble was, only the day before we’d fooled Glorfindel. He was looking for me, because I hadn’t finished some work properly. So we both said we were Elladan, and didn’t know where Elrohir was! He got so confused, he gave up in the end!”
Legolas shook his head in disbelief. “I think that name the guards call you is just right. Just wait till I tell my father about it! Poor Glorfindel. You must make his life very difficult.”
“We do. I heard him say once that he wonders why he ever bothered to come back! El, have you finished with that form yet? We can give to Erestor if you have.”
Elladan signed the form with a flourish. “Yes, finished. Legolas, do you want us to take yours too? You are entering for the archery, aren’t you?”
“All right, thank you. It’s all ready.” Legolas passed the completed form to Elladan, and they left the study.
Hobbling, Legolas made his way slowly up the stairs to his room, while the twins went in search of Erestor. Below him, Legolas overheard their conversation.
“El, I’ve just had a brilliant idea!” Elrohir sounded immensely pleased with himself.
Elladan groaned. “Oh no, not again. I hope it’s better than the last one!”
“Idiot! You know I need a new bow, and you want a new quiver?”
Elladan was cautious. “Yes, but when we asked Mother and Father, they said we have to wait for our conception day. And that’s not until Spring, months away!”
“I know they said that last time, but don’t you think, after today, if we ask again they might say yes?”
“El, that is brilliant! You’re right, they might agree now!”
Their voices faded as they went down another passageway. As he reached the top of the stairs, Legolas smiled to himself. He had just had a rather good idea of his own.Stories > First > Previous > Next