Well, this is just a short one-shot in honor of WoodElfJedi's first FF birthday! She asked, I delivered. We love you Lir! Please enjoy, and happy birthday!

Peredhil Scheming

"Ada, Ada! Elros won't let me play with the chessboard!" Elrond wailed from the room adjoining Maglor's study, and he sighed as he stood to go sort out the trouble. Usually the twins were good enough, but this was the fourth time today that they had been fractious. And he hadn't seen Maedhros anywhere around, which was unusual when he was home.

"Elrond kept wanting to mess up the pieces." Elros said calmly, while his brother glared at him balefully. Maglor stifled a sigh and looked down at them with raised eyebrows.

"And why, exactly, are you two not in a good mood today?" Maglor queried wearily, suddenly catching a look between the two boys. For a moment he wondered with a flash of dread if some prank was in the air, but then Elrond looked back at him.

"Because we're bored." Was the answer. For a moment Maglor stared at them, nonplused, wondering if he'd missed something. Elros looked like he wanted very much to laugh, while Elrond looked much too innocent.

"Then why don't you go out?" Maglor asked, motioning to the courtyard under the balcony where the twins were currently playing.

"Because Ada Maedhros said that we couldn't go out anywhere without you." Elros piped up, looking serious. Too serious. Elrond nodded enthusiastically, and Maglor shook his head.

"I'm sure that the courtyard would be safe." He said, feeling amused despite himself. Elrond shook his head adamantly now.

"No Ada, because maybe there might be bad elves out there!" He exclaimed, and Maglor frowned. "And why do you think so?" He asked, and Elros answered. "Because Ada Maedhros said so." He said primly, and Maglor threw up his hands.

"If only you'd listen to us like this all the time!" He exclaimed wearily. "I can't keep up. Go on, and I'll join you." He sighed, and Elros and Elrond looked at each other before grinning in the manner Maglor knew too well. Then with a war-whoop, Elros was climbing out to the balcony- and jumping over. Maglor let out a strangled yelp and reached for the child, but it was too late. Elrond laughed maniacally as Maglor peered over the balcony, only to see a rope stretching to the ground from his feet and Elros safely at the bottom of it, grinning up at him. He wilted in relief as Elrond took his turn down the rope ladder, shaking his head as he retrieved a chair and sat on the balcony to watch them.

"Aww, come on Ada! Play with us!" Elrond called cheerily, while Elros jumped up and down with a happy smile. Maglor smiled wistfully at them, remembering his own twin brothers and their exuberance. Then he stood and looked down at them before suddenly smiling mischievously. With a swift movement, he had vaulted over the railing and was sliding one-handed down the rope. When he landed, Elrond and Elros were clamoring for a lesson with wide, sparkling eyes as he laughed, feeling lighter than he had for days. They played together until it was well evening, sitting on the railing of the balcony and watching the sun go down together.

"Did you have fun today, you two?" Maglor asked softly, brushing his hand through their hair. They smiled up at him and he felt fondness well up in him for the two. Then they grinned at each other.

"Do you think we can now?" Elros asked, and Elrond nodded, eyes gleaming.

"Ada Maedhros said when the sun went down." Elrond replied, and before Maglor could ask they were sliding off his lap and dragging him through the hallways. Disoriented, he followed them and was finally led to the main dining hall. Elrond and Elros pushed him through, peering around him as he stared with wide eyes at the multitude of elves gathered there.

Slowly they all began to sing, a song of celebration and thanksgiving even during time of trouble. He stood there with tears streaming down his face as those under his rule sang to thank and honor him, with Maedhros slipping up next to him to hug him and the twins. When the song ended and everyone had bowed, he thanked them softly with great feeling. Then he turned to Maedhros with a questioning look, and his brother threw back his head to laugh. It made Maglor's heart leap to hear his brother's unforced laugh, sounding like his old, carefree self.

"You've forgotten its your birthday, haven't you?" He asked with a grin, and Maglor stared at him in consternation as the twins snickered.

"You mean..." He turned to the twins, who grinned up at him.

"Ada Maedhros said to keep you out of the dining hall until evening." Elros chipped in, and Elrond nodded. Maglor shook his head and gave them a rueful smile.

"I suppose then I should keep myself more alert next time for scheming elflings." He said teasingly, and they danced around the two, laughing gaily before going to snitch fruits and sweets from the cook in honor of the great birthday. Maglor leaned into his brother, who hugged him back gently, kissing his brow.

"Happy birthday, brother." He murmured, and Maglor smiled up at him gratefully.

Thank you, Eru. Despite our lives, I do not regret these years... I wish these times would never end.