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Mithril for the Peredhil by KimicThranduilion

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Elrond stared at his twin sons. If he wasn't a highly respected elf lord he may even have allowed himself to gape a little but instead he settled for staring. Stared first at Elladan his oldest then at his younger-by-only-three-minutes son Elrohir. Or rather he stared at their ears – for there in Elladan's right ear and Elrohir's left – were identical small mithril hoops twinkling at him in the late evening sun that streamed into Elrond's study. Earrings that were very much similar to the ones worn by the elves of Mirkwood.

Elrond sighed inwardly switching his stare from his son's newly adorned ears to take in the rest of their appearance. For once it seemed that they had managed to cross the High Pass without any trouble for he could see no sign of the injuries that usually adorned them after their trips to Mirkwood. For the twins had indeed just ridden in, home again after their latest sojourn into Mirkwood. They had been gone a relatively short time of only a month having been sent to deliver a message to King Thranduil of the Woodland Realm – or rather they had volunteered. For Elrond could have easily have sent the message by carrier pigeon (or hawk as they used in Mirkwood) or even send a messenger if the message required hand delivery. The twins however had volunteered themselves to deliver the message and at the same time get to visit their woodland friends Legolas the Prince of Mirkwood, Tauriel and Aeglosson whom they had not managed to see for a decade – a far too long a time in their opinion. So Elrond had let them go biding them stay for only as long as was necessary and polite for he needed them back soon as tutors to the latest bunch of elves to start their basic warrior training.

Elrond shook himself mentally – staring at his son's ears would do nothing to help him find out why his Noldor raised sons were happily wearing jewellery that was associated with their woodland kin. He was also aware of the fact that they were growing ever more nervous the longer he simply stared at them without uttering so much as a 'welcome back' and he had to stop a smirk appearing. It would be unbecoming of him after all but he still relished the fact that he could still make the twins squirm – a very rare feat. Pushing this happy thought to the side Elrond decided to put his sons somewhat at ease and satisfy his curiosity about their new ear-wear at the same time.

"So my sons I am glad to see you home hale and whole" Elrond began.

"We are glad to be home Adar" they answered simultaneously. It could be quite disconcerting when they did that but Elrond had millennia of experience in it by now so he paid it no heed.

"Well you are not quite as whole as you left though are you?" Elrond raised an eyebrow at his sons, "are you going to explain the additions to your ears ions-nin?" Elrond noticed with small satisfaction that their nervous energy spiked again.

Elladan glared at his twin and Elrohir sighed internally. He was the more diplomatic of the two – yes, and he had a way with words that Elladan did not – that was true too but he did not want to be the one to explain to their father even if the entire thing had been started by him. Explanations of drunken revelry to strangely calm fathers were hard Elrohir mused feeling slightly annoyed and betrayed, as it was clear Elladan would not help to explain this latest jaunt to their father – it was simply not fair. Well maybe it was a bit fair – Elladan had simply followed him – it was all his own idea after all and he supposed the least he could do was to be the one to explain it to their Adar and try and get him to understand.

Realising that their father was still calmly (too calmly in Elrohir's opinion) waiting for an answer he began.

"Well Adar you see what happened was…."


Elrohir sighed – he'd be glad to finally get off his horse. Not that he wasn't fond of Arauca but he was starting to get just the tiniest bit sore. Yes even elves - and especially Peredhil - could get saddle sore after weeks of riding - still at least the weather had been fair and they had made good time through the High Pass. They had also managed to avoid any trouble – not an orc, goblin or other fell creature of the Dark One had crossed their path. Elrohir sighed again, they had just passed through the Forest Gate and he was already getting impatient, wishing that they would come upon the Mirkwood patrol sure to be watching them even now, and get to the Elven King's halls where he could deliver his Adar's message, finally get off Arauca and rest in a proper bed; he'd had enough of camping under the stars – no offense to Elbereth intended. One could say what one liked about the wood elves but they were gracious hosts and the Elven King's halls were nothing short of luxurious comfort. A wry grin crossed his face – Elrohir could hardly wait. As the sons of Elrond and respected nobles there would be sure to be a welcoming feast – wood elves threw the best feasts and never needed a firm reason to host one – but first he would be assigned to his rooms. Despite the people of King Thranduil living in what was basically a cave – he'd never let Legolas hear this thought - it was light, airy and beautifully decorated and his and Elladan's guest rooms were among the best available. Thinking of the spacious suite he would be sharing with his twin he glanced across at Elladan who was giving him a mildly amused look.

"Feeling tired gwanur-nin?" Elladan smirked at him. "Perhaps we ought to stop for a few moments to let you catch your breath little brother?"

Elrohir mentally rolled his eyes, why did Elladan insist that he was the 'older' brother? They were twins for Manwe'ssake. It was nothing short of annoying. Well most of the time it was annoying, other times it was really useful – times such as getting him to be the one to explain some of their less wise decisions to their father or Glorfindel. He decided though that he couldn't be bothered to rise to the bait and merely shook his head.

"Not so much tired as wishing to be off horseback and washing away the grime of travel" he responded. "I shall be glad when the accursed patrol of Mirkwood makes themselves known so we might make haste towards the palace however" he said raising his voice towards the canopy. Not so much as a leaf moved though and Elrohir bit back a curse while Elladan tittered beside him.

"Come now Elro, you know how the wood elves are, they always show themselves when they please and not a moment before."

"That is very true Noldo" a lilting, accented voice replied right behind Elladan's shoulder.

Elladan visibly started as he heard the voice of their friend and Prince of Mirkwood causing Elrohir to unsuccessfully try to repress a laugh and Elladan's horse Alarca to shake its head in annoyance.

"Although" Legolas continued his mirth apparent "if you know this fact I fail to see why you are always so very surprised when we do show ourselves."

Elladan mumbled something under his breath about the annoying habits of wood elves whilst Legolas gave a quick, sharp, short series of whistles and the trees around them came to life as the Mirkwood patrol made themselves visible, landing softly – almost soundlessly – on the ground. The troupe arranged themselves quickly with Legolas at their head and gave a small low bow with fists on heart.

"Mae Govannen Elrondionnath" Legolas solemnly intoned giving them the welcome they were due as he and his troupe straightened up from their bow and swept their hands outward and to the side palms facing forward in the traditional signal of welcome.

Then Legolas grinned up at them "You are early and…" he gave dramatic pause for effect "unscathed! I did not think that was ever possible for you two but Elbereth be praised" he finished laughing openly now along with most of the patrol.

"Impertinent whelp" Elladan mockingly scolded "is that the way to talk to your elders and betters?"

"I don't know about the betters part but you are certainly my elders oh Hir-Nin Elladan."

"I'll Hir-Nin you in a minute" Elrohir growled "if you and your patrol don't get a move on and get on with the escorting."

"Fine, fine impatient one" Legolas clicked his tongue and gave off two more sharp whistles that the Brethren had managed to learn meant move out. "Let's get these gilded Noldor princelings home Dírnaith" he shouted gaining laughs from the members of the patrol. Legolas only just managed to scramble halfway up the nearest tree and avoid the half-hearted jab heading his way. He cocked his head sideways looking at them in an almost birdlike fashion.

"Was the trip here truly so awful and tiresome my friends?" Legolas asked. Worry was clear in his pale blue eyes as he scanned them for any hidden injuries whilst his troupe waited somewhat restlessly in the trees above. It wasn't very safe just here on the borders and they were keen to get further into their beloved Mirkwood.

"No Legolas it was truly fine" Elladan replied "Ignore Elro he is merely keen for food, wine and bed."

"Do not speak of me as if I were not here" Elrohir admonished his twin half-heartedly. Turning towards Legolas and seeking to put the blonde wood elf at ease he stated "but 'Ladan is right I simply wish to be off horseback right now." He added with a smile after a small pause "Food and wine would also be agreeable" earning a responding smile from Legolas.

"Well mellon-nin food and wine await for Adar has been planning the welcoming feast for days, but in the meantime if you are so truly tired of being on horseback come with us through the trees - 'tis faster anyways" Legolas gestured up towards the dark leaves.

"Tis ok my friend I cannot leave Arauca down here on her own."

"Pssh" the woodland prince scoffed "They will be fine I will give them the directions to the palace and Thoron and Celegil will pay special mind to them."

"We can mind our own horses thank you" Elladan piped up.

"I know that 'Ladan but you Noldor need to keep your eyes on the trees when in them rather than on your horses." He smiled at them sweetly "You'll need all the attention you can muster if you are to come up here but fear not I shall tell the trees not to drop you and that you are my charges" he finished gently stroking the tree he was still perched halfway upon.

Elrohir sighed again – it was swiftly becoming a habit and he dared not think what his Adar or Glorfindel would think of it. It would do him good to get of Arauca and stretch his cramped muscles; and he felt better knowing that two of Mirkwood's experienced warriors would be looking over her, keeping an eagle sharp wood elf eye out for any of the many fell creatures that inhabited Mirkwood.

He nodded his ascent "Fine I will travel wood elf style" and hopped lightly off Arauca's back to which the great, black horse shook her head, no doubt tired of her owners somewhat irritated mood and glad to finally be spared from it.

"Me too" Elladan said swinging of his horse and making the reins secure so that they would not drag along the leaf strewn forest floor.

Legolas hopped down from his perch and proceeded to whisper to the two horses giving them directions to the palace. He had an affinity with nearly all animals – all elves did but it was particularly strong in Legolas - and Alarca and Arauca were no exception as they trotted happily off. Legolas swung up into his tree again and after laying his hand almost reverently on the bark and presumably asking the trees to keep them from falling Elladan mused darkly he gestured for them to follow him.


Their trip through the trees was nowhere near as eventful and death defying as he had though it would be Elrohir noted happily. Whatever Legolas had whispered to his precious trees had obviously worked and he and his twin has had no trouble keeping their footing amongst the branches. In fact they were so much at ease that he, Elladan and Legolas had been merrily swapping stories and news of what had gone on in the decade since they had seen each other last. Of course having the Mirkwood warriors around them at strategic points was certainly helping. The two warriors Legolas had assigned to keep an eye on their horses were diligently doing just that and the rest of the patrol kept eyes and ears out for any of Sauron's minions allowing the three friends a fairly carefree and happy chance to catch up on their lives.

They were now very rapidly approaching the enchanted river that separated King Thranduil's courtyard from the rest of the forest. Elladan could see their horses just ahead of them beginning to trot over the beautiful and magical bridge crossing over the river. The bridge was wrought of stunningly beautiful white marble that gleamed where the sunlight reached down through the gap in the thick canopy over the river but it had one very special feature that far surpassed its beauty. It could become invisible and visible based on the command of the home guards positioned on the other side of the river at the entrance to the courtyard. A feat that never failed to impress any visitors to the Woodland realm. It was a pre-caution that was sadly necessary for the darkness that spread from Dol Guldur was an ever present threat to the wood elves and their stronghold.

The network of branches in front the patrol ended and they and the Brethren jumped to the forest floor below before crossing over the bridge and walking into the courtyard where King Thranduil, Crown Princess Rithel, Crown Commander Aglardaer, Commander Halon and assorted councillors were awaiting them.

King Thranduil and Princess Rithel both glided down the stairs to greet them looking every inch the royalty that they were followed swiftly by both commanders and the assembled councillors. It was King Thranduil and Princess Rithel who drew the eye though – King Thranduil wore a dark green flowing velvet robe decorated with tiny silver leaves stitched into the hem and sleeves that sparkled with every move he made. Under this open robe could be seen a high collared silver tunic made of the finest silk. Around his neck hung a gold chain adorned with emeralds and tiny rubies, rings of gold, diamonds, white gems and emerald were upon his fingers and in his left ear gleamed a golden hoop roughly the size of a quails egg with an emerald dangling at the bottom of it. Thranduil inclined his golden head in welcome bringing attention to the emerald and mithril crown upon his head fashioned into the shape of interlinking green leaves.

"Mae govannen Elrondionnath" hailed King Thranduil in his deep, rich voice, "the Woodland realm welcomes you and is pleased to host you once again."

"Indeed Lord's Elladan and Elrohir Mirkwood is most pleased to see you again" added Princess Rithel inclining her own head of silver in greeting.

Princess Rithel wore a beautiful circlet of mithril, pearl and white gems with further white gems plaited into her hair which hung in one heavy braid to her hips. She wore a beautiful silken dress in palest pink that served to highlight her pale ivory skin.

The assembled councillors and both commanders merely bowed, fists on heart and swept their hands outward and to the side palms facing forward in welcome before chorusing "Mae govannen."

Elladan and Elrohir stepped forward as one bowing and returning the welcome given them by the councillors and commanders in a long practised manoeuvre.

"Mae govannen Aran Thranduil and Hiril Rithel" they replied perfectly in sync straightening up from their bow which the warriors behind them and Legolas had copied. "We thank you for welcoming us so graciously to your home."

"And we receive the welcome of your councillors and commanders too" added Elladan in acknowledgement to the welcome they had been given by them.

"Mae govannen Aran-nin and Hiril-nin" Legolas and the rest of his patrol greeted their Liege and Lady.

"Mae govannen Commanders and esteemed councillors" continued Legolas effortlessly slipping into the role of diplomatic Prince, "we are pleased to be able to escort our guests safely and will report shortly Commanders."

Crown Commander Aglardaer inclined his head in acknowledgement of his Prince's words.

"Well let us not stand out here all evening" smiled Thranduil "There is a feast to properly welcome the Elrondionnath that awaits after all."

Suddenly all was action as two stable hands rushed out to guide Alarca and Arauca to the stables whilst the warriors and Legolas headed off to the left of the courtyard towards the army barracks with both Crown Commander Aglardaer and Commander Halon to give their report. Thranduil held his hand out to his daughter Rithel and they led the procession of councillors' back up the stairs and into the palace.

"Come my Lords – I will show you to your rooms" Rithel said sweetly as she looked back over her shoulder at the Brethren, "Galion is rather busy at the moment putting the finishing touches to the grand hall for the feast."

"Oh Hiril there is no need" began Elladan.

"Truly Princess there is no need for one as lovely as you to bother with this task – we well know our way to our rooms" continued Elrohir.

"Do you indeed" mused Thranduil, amusement in his voice, "I seem to remember you two getting quite lost every time you have visited these halls."

"Adar is right 'Ladan, Elro so come" she whirled around and grabbed their arms "let's makes haste."

Thranduil chuckled as he waved them off as they disappeared with Rithel – who looked a delicate beauty but was really a very strong willed (and strong armed) elleth a fact proved now as she threw her earlier delicate decorum to the wind and dragged the twins behind her in a secure grip to their suite.

Chapter end notes:
Adar - Father

Ions-nin - My sons

Peredhil - Half-elven

Gwanur-nin - My twin

Mae Govannen - Well met

Elrondionnath - Sons of Elrond

Dirnaith - Military (Troupe/Guard)

Mellon-nin - My friend

Hiril-nin/Hiril - My Lady/Lady

Aran-nin/Aran - My King/King

Elleth - Female elf

Arauca - Elrohir's horse (Quenya) Swift

Alarca - Elladan's horse (Quenya) Agile