Oh The Places We'll Go!: 3. Epilogue

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3. Epilogue

The queen’s delegation never did manage to depart that afternoon, as it became clear the moment the crown prince appeared from the cave and deposited his littlest brother into his mother’s arms. “I fear we shall have to wait until tomorrow to get under way,” Minuial told Beleryn over the sound of her youngest son’s sobs.

The captain of the Mirkwood warriors smiled slightly. “The company shall be ready to depart on your command, my queen.” With a bow, and a grin at the little prince still clinging to the queen, he left them.

Minuial laughingly rocked Legolas in her arms. “Hush now, my little one. It is all over.”

“Mmm,” hiccupping back his sobs, Legolas raised his tear-filled gray eyes to her. “We lost Tathar!”

“Peace, child, Alagion found Tathar,” said Thranduil from behind the queen. “Let us take you inside and then we shall send for Alagos. Come.” He gestured to Langcyll, who was carrying Merilin, and Fimsigil, who was carrying Candrochon, and the procession of elven warriors carrying terrified elflings proceeded into the palace.

But Legolas would not let his arms be pried from around his mother’s neck, and Minuial too seemed loathe to relinquish him. So the elven queen carried him herself, as Berensul laughingly told her she was spoiling him. “There there, my darling,” Minuial murmured as they came into one of the palace rooms. “You and all your friends are safe now.”

“I hope now you have learnt your lesson, Legolas. It is not wise to go sneaking away into places you have never been without letting anyone know where you are going.”

(Hic!) “I’m sorry, Father!” (Sniffle.)

Thranduil laughed, sitting down next to the little prince who sat sniffling in his wife’s lap. “You are fortunate that your mother’s party was due to leave or we might not have found you so soon.”

(Sob!) “Am I in trouble?”

“Nay, Legolas, I believe you learnt your lesson from that hour you spent being lost.”

“It felt like weeks and weeks!”

“I am sure it did. But it is over now, and you are all safe and sound.”

“Only because Mother rescued us, or we might have died!”

Thranduil chuckled, exchanging a smile with his wife. “Well, it is your mother’s duty to look after you, isn’t it, my dear?”

“Indeed,” said Minuial, glancing toward the door as several other elves came in. “Ah, here are Alagos and Tathar.” She released her grip on her son, and Legolas at last was willing to get down. No sooner had he climbed from his mother’s lap than he raced toward the newly-arrived elfling who entered at his father’s side. The rest of the adult elves watched in amusement at the highly-dramatized exchange that followed.

“Tathar! Tathar! Where have you been?!”

“I might ask the same of you, Legolas!”

“We were lost in the dungeons, and it was dark and damp and awful and cold and terrible and there were bloodsucking bats and then we lost the torch!” Candrochon cried, gesticulating wildly. “And then we got scared!”

“I was lost in the dungeons too, but I was all by myself! I was more scared than you!”

Thranduil rose and motioned to Minuial as Beleryn came into the room. “We should see to it that our plans are ready for tomorrow morning.”

“You are right, my lord. Come, Alagos, let us leave these two to share tales of their adventures. Do not go wandering off again, Legolas and Tathar. I think you have had more than enough excitement for one day.”

“Yes, Mother!” Legolas, Merilin, Candrochon, and Tathar waited until the grown-ups left.

“So…that’s all? You were just in the dungeons like we were?”

“Yes, Merilin, and I was afraid too!”

“So…none of us found the treasure rooms.”

(Sigh) “No, it would seem not.”

“Tathar?”

“What?”

“Are you sure you found nothing?”

“Of course! What, Legolas, would I lie to you?”

***

Later that night…

Legolas was awakened by a tapping on his balcony window. He opened the curtains to find Tathar standing outside. “What by the Valar are you doing? Do you want to get into trouble again?”

“Come back to my quarters!”

“Why?”

“Just come!”

Legolas knew that if he did not go with Tathar, his friend would immediately accuse him of being a fright owl again. “All right, but if we get into trouble again…”

“We won’t! Come on!”

They crept back to the dwelling of Alagos and through Tathar’s chamber window. “Shh!” (Giggle) “Legolas, I want to show you something. Look, in my box.”

“What have you--Tathar! Where did you get all those? Pearls! All pearls! Did you--you were NOT in the dungeons when we got lost!”

(Snicker!) “I only found one treasure room, but as you see, it was more than enough. I wish you could have seen it! Mountains of it! Gold and silver piled all about the floor and boxes of gems!”

“How could you not tell me!”

“I’m telling you now! Would I keep such a thing from my best friend?”

“You stole my father’s pearls, Tathar, what will you do when they are missed? The guards know we were down there!”

“There’s little chance of that, there were so many I dug my hand into the barrel and still left it heaping full. Oh, Legolas, the dragon Smaug himself would come for Mirkwood if he knew what’s down there.”

“You may still get into trouble.”

“Come, Legolas, it will be fine. I will give you one if you promise not to tell anybody.”

“I…nay, I do not want one. Someone would find it.”

“Oh, go on, I do not begrudge you a share of my treasure! You must take at least one! You are my best friend.”

“I need no pearls to remind me of that, Tathar.”

“Have it your way,” Tathar rifled idly through the box. “Look at this one!” He held up a teardrop-shaped pearl, colored a pink so pale that it was almost white. “Looks like the petal of an apple blossom.”

“That’s a pretty one. And this one,” Legolas held up a round black pearl the size of a blueberry. “Father says black pearls are the most valuable. How much would you guess this is worth?”

“Plenty, that is for sure. Are you certain you don’t want one?”

Legolas considered it, then shook his head. “I would rather just look at yours. But a share of your sweetmeat stash, THAT I’ll take!”

“Ahhh!” (Giggle!) “Come on, then!”

***

Dawn, the next morning…

“Legolas?” Thranduil gently shook his youngest son from his slumber. “Come on, little one, wake up.”

“Mmm, what is it, Father?” Legolas murmured, blinking sleepy gray eyes at the his father.

Thranduil smiled, “Your mother’s delegation is departing shortly. We must go and bid her farewell.” Seeing that Legolas was not going to bestir himself very quickly, the elven king simply picked him up and carried him from his chamber. *I expect all his adventures of yesterday wore him out.*

Queen Minuial, waiting with the three elder royal children, Berensul, Belhador, and Limloeth, smiled when she saw her husband carrying a still-sleepy Legolas down the outer palace steps. “You are spoiling him, my lord.”

“Since when are you the only one permitted to carry him about?” the king replied with a chuckle. He put Legolas down. “Come, little one, say goodbye to your mother.”

Legolas rubbed the last of the sleep from his eyes and sighed heavily, “NOW where are you going?”

“Legolas, that is no way to speak to your mother. She is going to Moria, to visit the dwarves.”

“What?! You’re going into caves…like the ones down there?”

“No, my little one, not like those. There are lots of dwarves in the caves, and I shall be perfectly safe.”

“We were not very safe.”

“Do not be silly, child, you came out all right,” laughed Limloeth.

“Only because Mother sent Berensul to rescue us!”

Thranduil chuckled, “And I told you, it is a mother’s sacred duty to protect her children. No harm will ever come to you.”

“Of course,” agreed Minuial. “Come, my son, let me kiss you.”

“Oh, Legolas, do not squirm so. She shall be gone for a few months, at least kiss her goodbye.”

“Pfft, all right. But Mother, if you go, who will look after me then?”

“Why, your father, of course. After all, I may have noticed you were missing, but it was he who sent Berensul to find you. Now, I must be off. Goodbye, Thranduil. Take care.”

“And you, Minuial. Come back safely to us.”

With that, the elven queen of Mirkwood mounted her horse at the front of the company, next to the captain of Mirkwood’s warriors, and they rode away, waving back to her family. Legolas watched them go and shivered slightly. “Father, will you always protect me?”

“Of course, my Legolas. It is a father’s lifelong task to protect his children. I shall never let anything happen to you.”

“Or Mother?”

“Or Mother.”

“Promise?”

“Promise.”



~Fin~

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Jocelyn

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Humor

Rating: General

Last Updated: 02/06/03

Original Post: 02/05/03

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