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Green and Silver Leaves by Glorfindel

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Beta: keiliss - thank you so much :)

Thanks also to ignoblebard for the early plot and title discussions :)

Written for Phyncke, as part of the 2016 My Slashy Valentine Exchange.


It was good to be home. Haldir dropped his backpack on the floor and looked around his flet. He smiled; tonight he would be sleeping in a soft bed, all he had to do was make it. Furthermore, he didn't have to get up early. That meant he could go out to his favourite tavern and get drunk. Tomorrow he would have a late lunch with his family, as he always did when returning from patrol, but tonight would be spent with friends.



Haldir spent the rest of the day doing the things that all young Marchwardens do when returning home from a six month patrol along the Lothlórien boundaries. He took his washing around his mother's, stopped for a cup of tea, then returned home, made his bed, had a bath, and dressed in his going out clothes. A few of his friends would be going to the tavern in the main square and he intended joining them.



It was much later that a very drunk Haldir went into an all night cake shop and bought six fairy cakes, two buttercream puffs, and three greasy and golden egg and bacon pies. His post tavern cake shop purchasing was a habit born of being very hungry the next morning and needing something greasy to settle his stomach, plus it was late and he liked to eat cakes; drinking always left him feeling hungry for sweet things.



Strings of red and gold lights hung between the trees swaying gently in the breeze. The golden leaves faintly rustled, otherwise all was quiet. With a happy sigh, Haldir climbed the stairs ringing the mallorn trunk. He wasn't particularly tired but his muscles felt tense. Tomorrow he would spend the day at the public baths relaxing in the hot spa, having his muscles pummelled by Bregon, his favourite masseuse.



When he reached his flet, half way up the mighty tree, Haldir looked over the wooden rail at the trees beyond and to the sides of the small clearing. On every trunk were tiers of flets. The elves behind each door knew peace because of the efforts of the Marchwardens. Haldir wondered if they truly appreciated just how safe they were, and then he smiled, knowing that he was one of the elves who made it so. He looked around, ready to unlock the front door when he saw a bottle of wine standing on what appeared to be a letter on a side windowsill.



"What is this?" he said to himself, and then looked around to see if anyone had heard. Quickly he went through the front door. The flet was in darkness, so Haldir lit a lamp and hung it from the wall. The dull yellow glow provided enough light for him to read the letter.



Dear Haldir,

Your presence is required tomorrow in an official capacity. Prince Legolas is visiting our realm and you are to be his bodyguard.

We expect you to attend the Welcome Celebration tomorrow morning, where you will be introduced and assume your duties forthwith. The celebration starts half past the ninth hour.

Sleep well.

Lady Galadriel




"Damn." Haldir sighed angrily. "Why do I have to squire a spoilt brat prince around?" He looked at the wine and considered it a bribe, but he would drink it anyway.



About two minutes later Haldir walked out of his front door and sat on the wooden platform that adjoined his flet, glass of wine in hand. The night was too lovely to spend inside. He watched as various elves climbed the steps to their dwellings on the other trees; there did not seem to be much happening on his one. He was glad because it would mean moving out of the way every time someone passed. He bit into a cream bun and drank a large draught from his glass.



Across the way, an elf he did not know climbed the stairs and stopped at the flet directly opposite. Another two elves carried several suitcases between them and placed them by the door before leaving. Haldir was intrigued. Who was this elf and why couldn't he carry his own luggage?



Perhaps if Haldir had not been well on the way to being drunk he might have held his tongue.



"Hello beautiful," he called. The elf did not acknowledge him. This was too much for Haldir. "Why can't you carry your own suitcases? Got something wrong with your arms?"



The elf stared imperiously, mouth slightly open, but said nothing. He went to turn away.



"Think you are too good to talk to me, eh?" Haldir went from happy to being irritated in a fraction of a second. He had no idea why he did it after the event but it seemed a good idea at that very moment to throw a cream puff at the elf.



The cake split open on impact. A large splat of cream shot across the elf's face and a smaller spatter covered the front of his shirt. Haldir sighed, cream puffs were not normally so full; he wished he had thrown a fairy cake instead, after picking the icing off of course. Then he howled with laughter; he couldn't help himself. "Valar! You should see the look on your face," he called over, pointing as he did so.



After removing the bun from his cheek the elf threw it back in a movement so swift that Haldir didn't have time to close his mouth. The bun shot to the back of his throat causing him to cough violently. With eyes watering he tried to breathe. After a few seconds of panic he formed a fist and jerked it upwards under his ribcage. The remains of the cream bun shot onto the wooden platform. Bending double and heaving huge breaths, he could see the elf out of the corner of his eye, grinning widely. "You idiot! You could have killed me."



The elf merely shrugged, turned around and went into his flet, closing the door behind him.



The evening was no fun anymore. Haldir drank the last of the wine and picked up the cakes. On the way back into the flet he slipped on the remains of the cream puff and fell backwards. The cakes flew with him, cleared the wooden rail, and sailed across the clearing, landing on the door of the flet occupied by the mysterious elf.



Haldir looked longingly at his lost cakes, his bottom lip poked out so far in a sulk that a bird could have perched on it. Then he got up, turned around, and went into his flet.
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