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Title: A Linguistic Misadventure
Warnings: Extreme silliness, messing about with canon in slightly odd ways.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Arda and its inhabitants belong to Tolkien and I’m just borrowing; no insult intended, no profit being made.
Summary: Shortly after delivering the Fellowship to Lórien, Haldir sits down with a vocabulary book...and makes a rather embarrassing realisation.
Word count: 500
"You really, honestly said that?"
Haldir reluctantly raised his eyes from the book he was studying to meet his sister's astonished gaze. Now that she was off-duty she had changed out of her green-grey uniform and in the light, gauzy robes she looked altogether much softer, the cut emphasising her femininity in spite of her strong archer's shoulders. The softness, however, was rather compromised by her current fierce expression. "I am sorry," he said. "Look, I learned Westron from a little foresting village just outside Mirkwood. They spoke a rather unusual dialect with a lot of words that no one anywhere else seems to use..."
She made a dismissive, outraged gesture. "You could have...checked!" She got up and stalked across the room to where an ornate full-length mirror hung on the wall, looking at herself critically. "I do not look like a man, do I?" Haldir was surprised to hear the uncertainty in his sister's normally self-assured voice.
"Of course not," he replied quickly. "But...the Marchwarden uniform is not exactly figure-flattering, and when you braid your hair on duty it makes your face look totally different." Her frown told him that she was not yet convinced by his arguments.
"Not that different!"
"Neither the Halflings nor the Dwarf had ever met a Galadhel before. Perhaps they jumped too quickly to conclusions based on what I said..."
"Yes, about that," she hissed, turning away from her reflection and coming back over to glare at him. "What exactly did you say?"
"I introduced myself, explained I spoke their language..."
"Very badly, as you seem to have proven!"
"...and explained that these were my brothers, Rúmil and Orophin, who did not speak Westron." He winced. "Look, I can explain, really. In the village where I learned Westron, they used the same word for brothers and sisters. I knew it was unusual, and did once check the common vocabulary-" he indicated the book he was holding "-but I just forgot which one was which when put on the spot like that."
Rúmil tossed her head scornfully. "And then the stupid creatures accepted your statement at face value and for the rest of our acquaintance, they thought Orophin and I were males!" She snatched the book from his hands. "Give that here. It seems that if I want people to know any accurate information about me, I will just have to learn Westron and tell them myself!" With determination, she turned to the first page and started to read.
Haldir, red from embarrassment and feeling rather guilty, left her to it, instead distracting himself by checking the fletching on his arrows. He supposed she had a right to be offended, really - and he rather hoped the normally sanguine Orophin would accept the news with amusement rather than equal horror.
His thoughts were interrupted as Rúmil suddenly let out a giggle. "Perhaps that was why the Halflings all looked so completely taken aback when Orophin pinched Legolas on the backside just before we parted ways!"