The older Elf smiled benevolently back at him.
"We kept you sedated, hoping that the sleep and the inactivity would make your wounds heal faster. Evidently, it has worked! It is difficult to keep you to one place, my little prince, and that was the only way to do it. Forgive us, Your Highness!" his voice gentle and reassuring, eyes twinkling at the sight of the bright face surrounded by soft linen.
Another face poked its way into his sight, and grey eyes stared at the prince. The joy on the face of Esendri was all too obvious to behold.
"Master! Awake you are! It has been more than a week!" he exclaimed.
Legolas blinked. He had been unconscious for more than a week. It was almost unbelievable.
"Nana?" he asked, enquiringly. The little boy in him had been awakened by his ordeal, and he found himself wanting her badly.
"She is taking a much-needed rest and will be here shortly."
"Meanwhile, Master Legolas, would you like something to drink?" Esendri was altogether overjoyed with his master's recovery, and it was evident from the little jumps he made from time to time as he stared down at his master. He was kneeling beside the prince on his bed, and staring at him with love and euphoria in his face.
"Yes, thank you!" he nodded his head vigorously. He felt as if there was an empty hole in him. Esendri rushed off to the side, and brought a whole platter of the richest fruit as well as delicate pastries. Legolas picked up a few and scoffed them down his throat ravenously.
Milinral chuckled slightly. "Well, that completes the path to recovery. You have healed very fast, Your Highness. It has surprised us all, but there is some iron will and determination inane in you that has aided the process greatly. Your arm has regained much of its function, and your cuts and torn tissues have replaced themselves. All that is left now is your foot. That too, I am told, would heal, but it would take a few months at the least. There is to be no extreme activity for you, or risk being a cripple for the rest of your years!"
"When can I get out of the palace again?" Legolas asked in between mouthfuls.
"Ai, I can see there is not containing you. Perhaps in a week's time, if the Healers have cleared you. You may go for a brief sitting in the gardens, but only under the close scrutiny of one able enough to handle you, and no walking, if you value your mobility enough!"
"No walking?" Legolas cried with dismay, "What about my birds?"
Milinral gently chided the boy. "You would worry us all over again if you do not take heed. Your mother is weak from all the grief that you have brought to her. Surely your own fun and enjoyment should take a step back to her health and welfare?"
The little Elf blushed a little. He busied himself with the fruit, and nodded slightly. There was something about this Elf, some raw power that scared him. He was kind and fatherly, yes, but he had a hint about him of great deeds and power. The prince did not dare disobey him. For the first time in his life, he felt slightly cowered in the presence of another.
Esendri heaved a sign of relief. He had foreseen that his master would be demanding for his freedom the minute he awoke. And there were few who could make sure he did as he was told. It was a good thing that he was willing to listen to Milinral.
The rock that had been hanging on the heart of the little Elf had been lifted, for his master had finally woken up, very much recovered. He kept the joy subtle however, for he knew the Little prince was extremely excitable. It would not do for them to get him all worked up, and risk hurting himself and worsening his condition yet again. It had been difficult enough as it was, to progress to this stage.
All this ran through the mind of the small servant. Milinral noted the suppressing of the joy and the brief flashes of apprehension and euphoria that danced across his face. He saw that the Elf was mature for his age, even more so than the prince, who had assimilated some of his palatial upbringing to form a wilful and precocious nature that hid under the surface, re-surfacing from time to time.
It startled the older Elf, as he looked upon the pair. There was a bond between them that he himself had difficulty explaining. Legolas had taken very well to Esendri, and trusted him dearly. It was as if the both had been friends all their short lives.
The prince had finished his meal by now, and was gratefully accepting a goblet from his servant. Milinral watched as his face turned deep red upon downing its contents, he started as he noticed how it remained after the goblet had left the small lips.
The Elf walked over to the bed and snatched the chalice from the hand that held it. Bringing it up, he examined its contents.
"Feywine?" his voice was stern and sharp, addressing the question at the flushed Elf before him, although he felt great surprise and amusement.
Esendri coloured to the very roots of his hair. He ran and stood before Milinral, a defiant look on his face, and a slight hint of anxiety in his voice.
"Do not blame Master Legolas! It is my fault, for it was I who came upon the idea of stealing some from the kitchens!"
Milinral worked hard to keep his face from contorting into a smile. The effect was frightening, and the two younger Elves watched in horror as they saw his face screwing up, as if to let out a bellow.
"Feywine!" he blurted out again. "You are but children!"
The little servant panicked, and tears came to his eyes. "Please! It is entirely my fault! Do not punish Master!"
Milinral surveyed the pair of rascals before him, the prince still pale from his loss of blood and injuries the red flush having started leaving his face, Esendri loosing colour as nervousness and fear took over him. He was astonished at what he saw. A pair of Elves who had not reached ten drinking feywine. It was a strong substance, and the hilarity of the situation soon caused him to burst out into laughter.
"Indeed! For why should I punish you? I do think it was the correct thing to do, for it seems to have added some colour to your face, Your Highness!"
The two younglings heaved a sigh of relief. They would not be reported. King Thranduil would not take kindly to it if he found out about this incident.
"Now that His Highness appears to have recovered, I take my leave!"
Legolas struggled to sit up in his bed, beads of sweat forming at his temples in the process, as unused muscles tried to protest.
"Please do not leave us, Milinral, for I have so much to say!" he exclaimed excitedly.
"Ai, I have left my crops long enough! They would be dead if I tarried any longer!" The older Elf quipped, and was gone before the pair could protest any further.
"I would have to find his house, for we have to visit him one day!" Legolas sighed and slumped back upon his luxurious pillows.
Esendri reached out and gingerly touched the little prince's forehead. His face broke into a wide toothy smile for the umpteenth time that day.
"Your fever has subsided, Your Highness, that is a good thing! You were burning the past few days, I was ever so worried! Promise me never again to try and move when you are not given permission to!" he proclaimed.
The little prince stared up into the grey eyes of his servant.
"I have no recollection whatsoever of the past few days! All that comes back to me is the splitting pain."
A cloud passed over the little Elf's face as he recalled the excruciating spasms that rocked his body. It was something he would not forget so easily. However, it did little to dampen his spirit, and he promised himself that he would be moving about in no time.
"That was due to the fact that Milinral put you under an enchantment, a spell of some sorts, that made sure you would not move unnecessarily. You responded very fast to the healing balms and salves given to you by the Healers. Even your shattered ankle would heal if given the proper care and time!" he spoke authoritatively, the worry passing away, his sprightly spirit surfacing yet again.
The door to the prince's chambers opened slightly, and the beautiful Elf-maiden who had kept a silent Virgil beside her son's bed rushed in. She gave a small exclamation of joy and surprise upon seeing the little boy awake.
"Nana!" Legolas cried joyfully. He reached upwards and buried himself in her soft flowing robes as she ran forwards and embraced her son.
Tears streamed down both mother and son's cheeks. The Elf-maiden's eyes were bloodshot from worry and weeping, but they now shone with the light of the evening stars as they beheld her son, who had been delivered from his pain.
She stroked the little boy's hair with her small hand and spoke to him softly in her rhapsodic tongue.
Esendri slipped quietly out of the room, but not before taking in a last look at the sight of mother and son, still holding on tightly to each other. A small, contented smile crept onto his face as he surveyed the sun dancing across the room, illuminating the peaceful sight.
His master had recovered fully now. Truly.
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.