It was a warm summer's evening in Lothlorien and Haldir and his brothers Rumil and Orophin had just returned home after a long two month patrol of the northern borders. Things had been quiet except for a few orcs whom the wardens had cut down without any problems. The brothers' had just finished briefing Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel all the details of their patrol.
"Very good Haldir, you three have done well," Lord Celeborn said after he had finished looking over the reports and listening attentively to his head Marchwarden. "You may go to your talan and rest for I am sure you are tired from your travels." The wardens bowed respectfully and then left.
Sometime after they returned to their talan they decided to relax for a while in a hot bath, now they were enjoying a hot meal of meat, bread and cheese. The unfortunate thing however was they were bored to tears. It was bad enough when one brother was bored but when all three were bored then all of Lórien had better be on double guard! As they were sitting around trying to figure out what to do the oldest Haldir began to grin with the most mischievous of grins. The other two looked at him with a half baffled and half anxious look because when Haldir came up with a plan to entertain it usually spelled disaster. Almost afraid to ask Orophin finally spoke, "Haldir", what in Arda are you grinning about?"
Haldir looked over to his brothers who were sprawled out on the floor eating some fruit and with a smirk replied, "I have the perfect idea on how to liven up our mood, we are going to pull a prank!" He replied almost laughing now.
With a horrified look Rumil groaned, "Oh no, Haldir, please. Not another one of your pranking ideas!"
Orophin was very quick to agree with his older brother, "Rumil's right, Haldir, every time you come up with a prank, something always goes wrong and we get into serious trouble."
"Nonsense! When did my pranks ever go wrong?" Haldir retorted almost offended.
Both Rumil and Orophin nearly choked on their wine at Haldir's absurd question for they both knew all too well how his pranks always turned out in the end, "When?!" Oh let's see now, how about last year when you put super glue on poor Trenardir's chair and it took forever to get him unglued or the time you put itching powder in Sogrions' leggings and he was in the healing ward for a month because he was allergic to it?" Both times we helped you and both times we were severely punished with kitchen duty and cleaning the stalls for four months! I still swear I smell of horse!" Rumil responded wrinkling his nose at the memory of it.
Haldir just coughed in defeat as he had forgotten about that. "All right, maybe they went wrong in the past but this time it won't go wrong because we won't be caught so no one will know that it was us!"
Both brothers still seemed unconvinced. "I don't know Haldir; it just still seems too risky." Rumil said wearily. "Besides, you always say we won't get caught and that this time is different and we believe you then what happens? We get caught!" He added as an afterthought.
"Come on; please guys just for old time sake?" Haldir had pleaded.
After a few moments Rumil and Orophin sighed and Orophin covered his face with his hands. "Fine, but if we get caught and into trouble, so help me Haldir I will chase your butt all the way to Valinor and not even the Valar themselves will be able to help you!" He replied with a glare.
Haldir backed away with his hands in mock surrender "Alright Orophin, and to think that Nana and Ada said I was the one with a temper."
Orophin just snorted. "So genius, what's your plan?"
Haldir laughed like a small elfling on his begetting day. "One of us is going to sneak into Lord Celeborn's study and borrow his book of enchantments, then we will sneak into the bathing chambers and while one of us is keeping a look out we will put an invisible coloring spell on the bottles of scented oils that will dye the poor elleth and ellon who happens to be bathing this night!" Haldir could barely keep the excitement hidden from his voice.
Both brothers laughed at the thought. "Sneak into Lord Celeborn's study? Just how do you suppose we are going to do that? For one he is bound to be in their tonight and guards are sure to be standing by and even if they aren't it's always locked!" Rumil could not believe his brother had even suggested such a thing.
Haldir just smiled, "That is where you are wrong my dear brother. Tonight Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn are taking their evening stroll through the gardens and so there is no need for any guards and as for the study being locked I have a key." He pulled out a small silver key on a chain and dangled it.
Orophin's eyes went wide in shock, "Where did you get that key?"
Haldir chuckled, "Lord Celeborn gave me a spare to hold on to a while back as he is prone to lose his. So any more questions or shall we get started?
" Brother", Orophin started. "So help me this had…"
Haldir cut him off, "I know, I know. It had better work and it will. So let's hurry before they get back from their stroll." Haldir turned and motioned his brothers to follow, but before he did he grabbed a bottle of Dorwinion wine they had brought back from patrol. The other two didn't even bother asking Haldir what the wine was for as they were almost petrified to find out.
As they watched Haldir leave they gave each other a weary gaze and shook their heads hoping that they would not be discovered, as four more long, tedious months of kitchen duty and cleaning stalls just was not on their list of leisurely things to do on their break from patrol.
Sighing they followed Haldir to Lord Celeborn's private study. As they made their way to the study they passed several elves and nodded, greeting them as normally as possible while continuing their way up to their destination. Fortunately for the three brothers, no one questioned them as to what they were doing or where they were going. And on a plus note, they didn't run into Celeborn or Galadriel either.
Finally, they arrived and as promised, there weren't any guards at the door. "See, what did I tell you. No guards."
"Just shut up and open the door before someone sees us." Rumil whispered. He wouldn't relax until they had the book and were out of here.
Haldir pulled out the silver key, unlocked the door and hurried inside Celeborn's study and went towards the shelf that held the specific book. It took a while to find it as Lord Celeborn was an avid collector of books of all types. That was the one thing that he and his son-in-law Lord Elrond had in common. Finally after what seemed like hours he found the book he was looking for. It was a large red and black book with gold binding entitled 1000 Ways to Enchant Dwarves written in Quenya. Picking it up he hid it under his tunic and left the study. As he was making sure it was locked he signaled to his brothers to follow him to the bathing chambers.
As they were making their way down the vast city they failed to notice Sogrion the Marchwarden for the southern borders following them. Sogrion had been a victim of Haldir's pranks a year back and had vowed to avenge himself after he had been in the healing ward for a month recovering from a reaction to itching powder that Haldir had poured into his leggings one night. Sogrion just knew by how the brothers were quickly walking that they were up to something and he was determined to discover what it was.
What are those guys up to now? He thought to himself. Being careful not to be discovered he quietly followed them while keeping a safe distance. Once they reached the bathing chambers Sogrion hid up in the nearest tree and kept an eye on the three brothers.
Unable to go inside all he could do was sit and wait for them to emerge from inside and leave, then he would go in and find out what it was they had been up to.
Haldir had told Rumil to stay outside and watch for other elves that might be approaching. Haldir had given Rumil a signal to use to alert Orophin and him if anyone were to approach. As Orophin and Haldir entered they realized that Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel's things were in the chambers. Orophin looked at Haldir with fear. "You said that they were on their walk! Why is there stuff in here?"
Haldir shrugged and walked towards the first of the tubs. "They must have decided to stop here and bathe before returning home. It's too late to turn back now." He said with determination; but on the inside he too was afraid. However Haldir was not one to back down from anything and this was not going to be an exception. Besides what was one harmless prank going to do?
"Haldir, pulling a prank on the other elves is one thing but pulling one on our Lord and Lady is a completely different matter altogether!" Orophin could not believe Haldir was going to even go through with this. This last patrol must have really taken a toll on Haldir because he has totally lost his elven mind! Orophin mumbled to himself.
Haldir glared at his brother. "We have come too far to turn back now Orophin. Besides this is a harmless prank. No long lasting harm will become of this. So either you help me or go back to the talan. What is it going to be?" Haldir knew his brother wouldn't back down but he couldn't afford for him to falter either as anyone could walk in on them at any time. Besides if Galadriel and Celeborn's clothing was here that meant that they were not too far away and would be back at any given moment, so they had to do this and do it quickly or they would be caught and Haldir didn't want to have to face an angry Galadriel or explain to Celeborn why he had his book of enchantments. He knew that Galadriel was unaware that her husband had this book and Haldir had sworn not to let anyone know. Celeborn did not like dwarves and it was no secret either.
Orophin glowered back, "You have completely lost your elven mind Haldir, but I am not one to back off of a challenge either so I'll help; but this is the last prank I'm pulling with you!"
Haldir smirked, "If you say so, but I remember you saying that the last time as well." He pulled out the bottle of Dorwinion wine and replaced Celeborn's old wine with the more potent wine. Orophin began to ask why he was replacing the wine but thought against it as he knew it would be pointless.
After he took care of the wine he pulled out the spell book and found the spell he was looking for. "Ah here it is, the spell to turn any water into an invisible dye. And the best part is it turns its victims into the color they detest the most!" Haldir burst out laughing.
"What is so funny?" Orophin asked not amused at the moment.
"I'm just envisioning Lord Celeborn a deep purple and Lady Galadriel bright neon green." He stopped laughing as he noticed his brother just gawking at him and started to perform the enchantment first over Lord Celeborn's hot water then he did the same to Lady Galadriel's. When he was finished he shut the book, "Done! Now let's get out of here before somebody notices us." He put the enchantment book back inside his tunic and started for the door.
"You must have a death wish Haldir." He arose and proceeded to follow his brother out of the chambers. And just in time for in the distance they saw Celeborn laughing and talking with his wife. They were too busy to even notice the three wardens scurrying off into the distance with Sogrion following after them.