"I EN'T GOIN'!"
"Lyra, you're not actually going to school, it's just the dress--"
"I DON'T WANT IT!"
"Come on, it's 80 degrees outside! This'll feel a lot cooler, you won't have to wear any tights or fur boots--how long's it been since you even wore your coat?"
"I LIKE my boots."
"Yeah, well, this comes with boots too! You can still raise hell in it, I promise."
"Can I wear my knife belt?"
"Absolutely. Look, the pinafore even has a pocket."
"We need to comb your hair, though, it's getting all frizzy on the side--"
And then, in the middle of this, the doorbell rang.
I stood there stupidly for a moment, and then I remembered the last time someone had shown up unannounced. "She's upstairs," I said.
The goose honked pleasantly and went on past me.
"Hey, hold the door! Thanks."
"Oh hey!" I said. (Speaking of deals, I had snagged Sideshow Exclusive Legolas With Elven Cloak for half what he normally goes for on the secondary market. I was smug all day long after winning that one.) "What took so long? And why aren't you in a box?"
"Decided to take the scenic route," he said, grinning. "You have some great woods around here."
By the time we all got back upstairs, Lyra dancing around in her new dress, swinging her skirt and chatting with Serafina and Kaisa on the dresser, so she was the first one to reach the newcomer:
"Have you killed anyone?" Bless her, like clockwork.
"Mostly orcs," he said, smiling.
"With your bow? En't you got a sword?"
"No, but I have THESE," he said, flourishing his knives. And after that, he was Lyra's new best friend.
Of course, he was pretty popular with everyone else as well--the Arwens ran up to him for hugs
("I can't tell you how good it is to have an elf around here that I'm not directly related to!")
followed by Very Butch Shoulder Thumps and One-Armed Sideways Man Hugs from the Aragorns. And here came Galadriel gliding up:
"Welcome, Legolas, son of Thranduil! How's the cloak holding up?"
"Fantastic," he said. "What've we got to eat? I'm totally out of lembas."
Arwen launched into a litany of pies, but Legolas looked a bit overwhelmed. "I think we have some Nilla wafers," I said. "That work?"
"Wafers would be excellent," he said.
So while the elves were munching, I went to check on Serafina and company--apparently she'd left in such a hurry to get to Lyra that Kaisa had had to stay behind (since witches and their daemons can be separated for great distances) for some kind of big witchly meeting.
"Well, Ruta Skadi wouldn't shut up--"
"--but the prophecy panel went pretty well, and there've been some breakthroughs in bloodmoss application."
"Wait, where was this?"
"WonderCon," he said patiently.
"Wasn't that in February?" I asked, not even stopping to wonder why witches would be at a sci-fi convention.
"No, WONDERCon--Witches Of Norroway, Denmark, and the Enara Region."
"Not all of Finland?"
Kaisa looked at me as if I were stupid. "WONDFuhCon?"
"... I see your point."
And then Tonner Edward came in bearing the latest fruits of Anna and Elizabeth's reign of terror. I mean, I guess if "terror" comprises threatening arts-and-crafts projects. And with diminishing returns, at that. "Post-It notes all up and down the hall. I managed to take them down before the little one could see. No sense in getting his feelings hurt again--" He stopped short.
"Legolas, Edward. Edward, Legolas. Elf, sparklepire."
This is why I let Galadriel do the introductions.
"They must have gotten into the crayons--"
"You have crayons?"
"Yes, I have--"
"You're--how old are you?"
"YES, I AM THIRTY AND I HAVE CRAYONS, I HAVE A BOX OF EMERGENCY CRAYONS IN THE CABINET UNDER THE TV BECAUSE EVERYBODY NEEDS CRAYONS SOMETIMES, OKAY? EVERYBODY NEEDS CRAYONS."
Purple Arwen peered at the symbol inside the red NO circle. "Is that supposed to be... what, an explosion?"
"Well, I am against explosions. That's sensible, at least."
Tonner Edward ran a hand through his hair. "That's supposed to be a sparkle," he said tiredly.
"Then... what's the pointy bit in the middle?"
"Fangs, one would assume."
"Two of our number have gone rogue in an attempt to terrorize the... sanguivores," explained Galadriel. Yeah... we're gonna have to give Legolas a crash-course in Shelf Culture.
"Please. Their antics make me feel nothing close to terror. They're mild annoyerists, if anything." Well, maybe not mild, judging by the dour pucker of his mouth. He turned and shouted at the house in general, "I DON'T EVEN HAVE FANGS, ALL RIGHT?"
As if in reply, we suddenly heard a horrible banshee screech that I recognized as the battle cry of Bad Cat. " 'Scuse me while I break this up," I said; I was halfway down the stairs before I realized that the rest of the house had gone to bed for the night, which meant that all the dogs were locked up on the other side of the house. There was no one left to fight with the cat except--
"Everybody with tracking skills, downstairs NOW!" The guys scrambled for weaponry while Legolas stowed his wafers--I added for his benefit, "You're looking for two girls, a pirate and a gypsy. DO NOT ENGAGE THE CAT. MOVE MOVE MOVE!"
Tonner Edward refused to go, although his mind-reading skills would have been USEFUL, YOU KNOW, in locating the girls, but on the other hand, I might not have a cat anymore if I sent him out there. The Littlest Edward heard the commotion and came running in--wanting to help, bless him, but I had rather the opposite concern for him, so I told him to stay in my sister's old room and guard his ponies (he had put them to bed for the night), you know, lest a vengeful Bad Cat, deprived of his prey, come looking for seconds. And I wasn't entirely faking on that, either--I had a very, very bad feeling about the whole thing, which seemed to be confirmed when Helm's Deep Aragorn returned with only... a little faux-leather pirate hat. Worse yet: the Faramirs came back with Anna's silver cross, the strand of dental floss broken. By the time Fug returned empty-handed, I had begun to fear the worst. And then... finally... Legolas returned.
"Oh, they're totally fine," he said. "I gave 'em my wafers and sent 'em on their way. They said they were running out of food, so--"
"You LET THEM GO? They've been on the run for WEEKS now! You were supposed to bring them in!"
"Well, you didn't tell me that!"
Edward let out a long huff of irritation. And then I noticed that the Middle-earthers were trying really, really hard not to laugh, and I don't think they were not-laughing at Legolas.
Of course, now I was curious. "So... what did you think of the girls?" He looked at me blankly. "You know, like... as people."
He shrugged. "They seem like cool enough cats. I do kinda long for the sea now, though. Not sure what that's about."
(More from the Secret Life of Dolls; fan community)