Haldir Shops for Helm's Deep

by Lithilien Quicksilver
The Scene: Exterior shot of one of the better mallorn neighborhoods of Lothlórien. By the entrance of an understated flet, an elegant gilt-edged sign swings gently in the breeze, its mithril letters glittering. They read:

The Elf Wearhouse: Everything for the Well-Dressed Elf, from Battle to Ballannor

[As the scene opens, we see Haldir gracefully ascending the stair to the entrance of the flet/store/thang. Let's follow him inside, shall we?]

A delightful tinkling of unseen bells announces Haldir's entrance. The Shopkeeper appears and approaches Haldir, arms outspread.

SHOPKEEPER: Ah, mae govannen, Haldir! It has been too long since you graced my poor establishment with your mithril mastercard!

HALDIR: (stepping back guardedly) You aren't going to hug me, are you? I can't abide being mauled.

SHOPKEEPER: (redirects his arms to sweep the store's merchandise) Oh, no, of course not! I merely intended to direct your gaze to the marvelous New Line we are carrying this season! I would not dream of insulting your regal haughtiness with a hug!


SHOPKEEPER: Now, in what way may I be of service to you this evening?

HALDIR: I need some new armor. Elrond and Galadriel have decided to send a contingent of my archers to aid The World of Men at some utterly forsaken place called "Helm's Deep", if you can imagine that!

SHOPKEEPER: Indeed? And here I thought they had decided "the time of the Elves is over".

HALDIR: Yes, so did I...confidentially, I think they had some outside influence. I overheard Galadriel mention someone named "Peter" to Celeborn just before she telepathed Elrond. None of his business, if you ask me...I don't think he's even an Elf. [Haldir sniffs disdainfully.] Anyway, if I must go, I shall go in style! What do you have new this season?

SHOPKEEPER: Well, what did you have in mind? We have this lovely leather number...[indicates armor on rack]

HALDIR: Ah, no, no! Too retro! That looks just like what I wore to the Last Alliance. [mutters to self] Tho I suppose we whould start calling it the Next-to-the-Last Alliance now. [raises his eyes and looks sharply at the Shopkeeper] What have you got in mithril? And mind now, I'm not paying an arm and a leg for it!

SHOPKEEPER: Oh, such good timing you have! We have a terrific sale on mithril armor just now! Buy the armor, choose a cloak from selected stock for free! [walks to rack in back of store, beckoning Haldir to follow] How about this? [sweeps a suit of armor off rank, angles it into the light so the mithril shines]

HALDIR: Ahhhh!!!!!! Now that's more like it! I love the feather motif! And, as I expect this to be an evening event (we are fighting orcs, you know), the mithril should catch the torchlight in a most remarkable way! Let me try it on!

[The Shopkeeper assists Haldir in donning the armor, then directs him to a wall mirror (tho how they keep that basin from spilling when it's hung on the wall I'll never know!) to inspect his reflection.]

SHOPKEEPER: Oh that's you!

HALDIR: [turning this way and that] I do look rather dashing, don't I?

SHOPKEEPER: Indeed you do! Now what else will you be needing? Boots? Helmet?

HALDIR: Oh, boots, absolutely! Some nice understated mithril ones, I should think. (Author's note: Sorry, guys, I just had to throw that in there, you know! hehe) But no helmet...I can't abide my hair getting mussed. Besides, helmets always give me a headache.

SHOPKEEPER: I sooo understand! Nothing worse than helmet hair! Now how about the cloak? You can select anything from this rack. [indicates the "Buy armor, get cloak free" selection]

HALDIR: [looking through the selection with a disdainful curl to his lip] No.....no.....not that one....no....ugh!....Don't you have anything that says "Head Elf on the Prowl"? These are awful!

SHOPKEEPER: Well, sir, I was holding this for your brother Rúmil, but since he hasn't come back for it in over an age, I suppose it would be alright to let you have it. [retrieves a covered hanger from a rack behind the counter and slowly unveils a glorious crimson cloak. Haldir gasps.]

HALDIR: It's beautiful! Now that's a cloak with which one can make an entrance!

SHOPKEEPER: And it's a one of a kind creation! Try it on! [holds out cloak to Haldir]

HALDIR: [taking cloak and twirling it to watch the flow of the fabric as it settles round his shoulders] Oh, yes! I like it! I like it! [narrows an appraising eye at his reflection and purses his lips] You don't think it's too gaudy, do you?

SHOPKEEPER: No indeed, sir! It makes the outfit!

HALDIR: [nodding and smiling in a very self-satisfied manner at his reflection] Yes....I must agree. It's to die for! I'll take it!