2. Questions 2
Summers in Mirkwood
Chapter 5 Questions : Part 2
Lothwen smiled as she saw her three young elflings run into her solar out of the dark passageway. She knew that Legolas and his siblings had spent the morning with Thranduil. Thranduil had already spoken to her and had told her that he had been telling the elflings of how he and Lothwen had met. Of course Lothwen was expecting her children to ask her to continue the tale and her expectations were met with a single question.
"Naneth can you finish telling us about how you and Ada met?" asked Lothlanos as he made himself comfortable at his Naneths' feet.
"Ada stopped right when you were delivering the message from Amroth to Daeradar Oropher." said Legolas with a smile.
Silvriniel and Lothlanos snuggled onto the couch beside their Naneth and prepared to hear the rest of the story as Lothwen smiled at her elflings and put on her best storytelling voice.
"It began like this." Stated Lothwen as her memory went back in time to the day she and Thranduil began their relationship.
Spring 3430 SA
Lothwen stirred nervously as she waited in the hall for her escort to arrive. She hated riding messenger service for Greenwood. Oropher was stern and haughty enough to frighten the hardiest of ellons, and Lothwen was but a young elleth barely past her majority. Lothwen much preferred Imladris, it was a merrier place and Lord Elrond was not quite so intimidating. That son of Orophers', young Thranduil was however quite handsome. Thranduils' gaze gave her a fuzzy feeling in the pit of her stomach and made her rather weak in the knees.
Lothwen smiled, she could not wait to meet Thranduil in the gardens after dinner. She would unfortunately have to ask one of the ellons who had ridden escort for her to act as her chaperone in lieu of her siblings or parents. A shame really, she thought, she would like to be alone with Thranduil.
"Lady Lothwen of Lorinand." announced Orophers' seneschal Galion, and Lothwen moved forward to curtsy gracefully to King Oropher.
"Hir-nin, I bring word from Amroth of Lorinand. Gil-Galad has called for an alliance of elves, men and dwarves to march to war against the Great Enemy Sauron."
Lothwen having delivered her message to the King bowed and backed away from the throne. She shyly lifted her eyes and grinned to see Thranduil staring at her unabashedly.
Oropher looked from his son to the young elleth and smiled. Finally, his ion had found an elleth that would steal his heart away.
"So Gil-Galad seeks an alliance does he? I shall have to meet with my council before I make a decision on this matter Lady Lothwen. If you will have the courtesy to remain in the Greenwood for the time being I will have your answer for you forthwith. I am certain that ion-nin Thranduil will keep you amused for the duration of your stay."
With that Oropher and the Queen stood up from their thrones and departed to get ready for dinner. As they left the members of the court all bowed with respect for their King and Queen. Thranduil offered his arm to Lothwen and offered himself as her dinner escort. Lothwen blushed and accepted his offer.
"Hiril-nin I will meet you here in a half an hour to escort you to dinner then." stated Thranduil as they walked to the doors of the chambers Galion had assigned to her and her escorts.
"Certainly hir-nin." said Lothwen with a smile as she entered her chambers. Her heart was all aflutter. She had never felt this way about an ellon before and she was not quite certain how to react. She retired into her chambers and began to go through her saddlebags in an attempt to find something formal enough to wear to a dinner at the royal court of the Greenwood. As she flung garment after garment out of her bags she heard a knock at her door.
"Hiril-nin I am Thranduils' younger sister Bronwiniel. My brother thought that perhaps you might wish to borrow one of my gowns since your own wardrobe is so limited." stated the elleth as she walked into Lothwens' bedchamber. Bronwiniel was carrying a gown of deep lavender silk with a matching pair of slippers. She also carried a wreath of spring flowers for Lothwens hair, and a girdle of silver leaves.
"Oh thank you, I really was not expecting to have to extend my stay so I did bring any formal clothing." Lothwen blushed at this admission and offered Bronwiniel a cup of tea. Lothwen hurriedly began to get into the elegant gown attempting to do her hair at the same time.
"Here let me help with your hair." Bronwiniel giggled hysterically as she watched Lothwen struggle.
Before she knew it Lothwen was standing outside her door waiting for Thranduil to arrive and escort her to dinner. Bronwiniel had left a few moments earlier to help the Queen dress for dinner and had promised to loan Lothwen more gowns if necessary. She started as Thranduil touched her arm.
"Hiril-nin may I escort you to the Great Hall for dinner. Galion's wife Selwen has made roast duck in orange sauce and a fresh sallet this evening. It is quite good."
"Hir-nin I am certain that I cannot eat a bite, I am so nervous at your presence." Lothwen blushed as she said this and almost stumbled on the edge of the hall runner. Thranduil reached his powerful arms out and quickly caught Lothwen before she fell. He then gently escorted her to the table closest to the Royal Dais.
"Lady Lothwen I will meet you outside n the passageway after dinner." whispered Thranduil.
He discreetly stroked Lothwens' hair and continued up onto the dais where he was seated to the left of Oropher. This was the traditional seating arrangement in Middle Earth for the Kings' Heir. Queens Elsiriel smiled at her tall son and proceeded to place a choice portion of roast duck on his plate. It was after all his favorite dish. Both the King and the Queen of the Greenwood grinned to see the covert glances that their eldest son was exchanging with the pretty messenger elleth.
"So, ion-nin, you like the young elleth from Lorinand. I hear all three of her brothers are fierce warriors. Thranduil, you would be wise not to break this one's heart." teased Oropher. With that the King of the Greenwood ordered another chair bought up onto the dais and placed between Thranduil and Bronwiniel.
"Hiril-nin Lothwen, will you join us on the dais for dinner? We have had a place set for you beside ion-nin Thranduil." Oropher smiled at the suddenly shy elleth encouragingly. Then he sent Thranduil down to assist Lothwen to the Royal Table.
As dinner proceeded through several courses and dessert Lothwen took the opportunity to quietly study the Royal Family of Greenwood. Oropher was tall with long golden hair and emerald eyes the color of summer leaves. He had the powerful physique of a warrior and lines around mouth and eyes that spoke both of great humor and fierce temper. Elsiriel was small, quiet and obviously one of the Silvan folk native to Greenwood the Great. She had dark hair and violet blue eyes. She was petite in comparison to her husband. She had a gentle smile and wise and knowing eyes. Thranduil other than his mothers' eyes, and being less muscular than his father was a mirror image of Oropher. The two youngest members of the Royal Family were young elleths. One elleth Bronwiniel was the same age as Lothwen and a female version of her father, while the youngest Dariel was about nine years of age, and small and dark like her Naneth.
With a shock Lothwen noticed that dinner was finished. The rest of the Court stood as the members of the Royal party left the Great Hall. Thranduil offered Lothwen his arm as they descended the dais. Then he steered her in the opposite direction that from the rest of the Royal Family. He led her out a small green door and down a fenced off path.
"Hiril-nin may I show you my Naneths' gardens?" asked Thranduil with a teasing tone in his voice.
"I would be most honored hir-non Thranduil. Hir-nin Amroth has told be that Queen Elsiriel grows that most lovely roses."
"Yes my Naneth is most well known for her gardening skills." stated Thranduil as he opened yet another door that led into the Queens' Gardens.
Thranduil pulled Lothwen closer as they entered the gardens. A gentle breeze was blowing and spreading the scent of dozens of roses throughout the garden as they walked along the paths. Finally, Thranduil pulled Lothwen onto a marble bench beside him and took her tiny hand into his own.
"Lothwen when I met you this afternoon I had the feeling that my life was going to change forever. I cannot picture my life without you. I would like to ask permission to court you. Before my unit and I leave to meet up with Gil-Galad I intend to travel to Lorinand with you. While there I intend to seek the permission of your eldest brother Haldir to court you. If I live through this war I intend to ask for you hand in marriage."
Lothwen blushed to the roots of her hair. She could not believe that this ellon that she had scarcely met was asking to court her. She knew that Thranduil was serious from that look in his eyes. But, she also knew what her answer would be and she only hoped that her answer was the correct one.
"Hir-nin I will accept your suit if my brother gives his permission. I never dreamed that you were this s-s-s-s-serious." stuttered Lothwen.
Thranduils' face lit with a joyous smile and he pulled Lothwen into his arms and kissed her soundly. He kissed Lothwen so powerfully that she became weak in the knees and Thranduil had to carry her back to the bench.
"Hiril-nin I had best return you to your keepers before they think that I have despoiled you." Thranduil stated with a grin as he escorted her back to the Palace
Lothwen returned to the present with a start. She smiled to see that her little elflings had fallen to sleep. It had been a long road for her and Thranduil. It had taken Thranduil many long years to heal from the loss of his father and all that he had seen in the Battle of the Last Alliance. He was still bitter in many ways for much of what they fought for had not come to pass. The creatures of Morgoth still roamed the lands of the Free Peoples, and ellons and elleths could no longer wander the Royal Gardens as freely as had she and Thranduil. Spiders lurked in the Gardens now and not the healthy kind that kept the insects away. This was the future she had dreamed of so long ago in Thranduils' arms beneath the stars. Three healthy elflings, a people that had only grown stronger through adversity. And, she thought as Thranduil pulled her into his embrace for a long kiss, a loving husband.
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