The three young Elves peered into the sitting room before being called by Elrond, who gestured towards the company of Lorién Elves. "Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel of Lorién, this is Legolas, son of Thranduil."
Both immortals smiled at a suddenly self-conscious Legolas, who bowed low before them.
Elrohir stepped up and greeted his grandparents with barely suppressed mirth at his friend's tongue-tied state.
Their attention was drawn by Elrond motioning towards two figures at the far end of the room. One was tall and elegant, cloaked in flowing robes of white, intelligent eyes glinting. The other was the complete opposite, his grey hair falling in unruly locks, a dishevelled look about him, raiment grey and tatty, yet still possessing an unmistakeable air of wisdom in his kindly face.
"Curunír, Mithrandir, this is my younger son, Elrohir, my daughter, Arwen, and Legolas of Eryn Galen."
All three greeted the members of the Istari respectfully, awe in each of their faces, for they had heard much of their great deeds.
"Elrohir bears a remarkable resemblance to you," said the Grey Pilgrim to the high-Lord, his eyes twinkling as he beheld the flustered young Elves.
Saruman smiled, eyes fixed upon Legolas's face, his lips curled up in a way more akin to a snarl, their coldness causing Legolas to shudder. A chill took hold of him, as he felt the other's piercing gaze refuse to abate. The Elven prince wondered at the man behind the cold mask. He noted that in contrast, Mithrandir had not even given him a second glance beyond the initial disinterested glance.
His thoughts were broken by a question from Elrohir, and the formal atmosphere was replaced with casual conversation. Still, Legolas could not help but find his attention being drawn to the two wizards.
He was similarly trapped as dinner was announced, and the Silvan Elf found himself seated at the far end of the long table. Elrohir had settled himself at a distance away from Legolas next to Galadriel, and was talking animatedly.
An irrational annoyance rose in Legolas as the ceaseless chatter and night wore on. All he wanted to do was to speak with Mithrandir or Saruman.
To his dismay, Legolas watched as first the Lorién Elves, and then the leader of the Istari took their leave from Elrond.
"Legolas?" the Elven prince jumped as he noted that Elrohir was peering at him in concern.
"It is late, you should rest!"
"Thank you, Roh," Legolas said, and followed the peredhel out of the room, after throwing a last glance at Mithrandir.
"Thranduil's son, you say he is?" Gandalf asked Elrond, his face grave.
"Ai, Mithrandir, why do you speak in this manner?"
"There is something - strange - about the boy. He seems to be radiating some kind of - "
Gandalf nodded, surprise in his eyes. "Do you feel it too?"
"Nay, mellon-nîn. I have seen with my own eyes. It was not a day ago when he demonstrated his powers to Elrohir. I do not fathom how or why kept it hidden for so long. It is a mystery, and I thought I knew the boy well. It would not surprise me though, that he does not even know of the true nature and strength of his own powers."
"It came to him naturally then? I don't suppose Thranduil would have an idea of it! We must speak to Legolas and quiz him more closely. Only then can we have a grasp of what he is capable of."
"I feel your concern for this matter too, Mithrandir. He will need guidance. The power he possesses is not to be scoffed at, and neither must he reveal it casually. There are dark powers at work, ones that serve to corrupt him, and twist his abilities to their ill-use. While Legolas has a good heart and a strong will, I cannot say for sure that his mind will not be bent with trickery and deceit. There is much in his past that can be used as a weapon against himself. He is vulnerable."
Gandalf looked up at his words.
"His mother was slain by Orcs and outcast Dwarves."
The wise wizard nodded in understanding.
"He was a mere child when it happened, and is yet unable to deal with the loss. He keeps in under control for the better, where it does not affect him; but it is there beneath the surface, volatile and dangerous. He has adjusted remarkably well to the circumstances, to his credit, and has led as ordinary a life as one can get, as Thranduil's son."
"Thranduil is wiser than you give him credit for, Elrond," said Mithrandir.
"I do not deny having prejudice against him. I can never understand his being so distant from his own son! How a father can forbid his son to grieve for his mother, I do not know."
"Mayhap it is his way of dealing with the loss. Thranduil is proud, and to display one's emotions to others may be his idea of weakness!"
Elrond smiled bitterly, detecting the irony of the situation. "I see then where the young one gets his stubbornness from. I do not deny that Thranduil is wise and has a good heart. Also, Legolas might not know it, but his father cares for, and his proud of him."
"Do not be troubled by his seeming lack of parental love, Elrond! Can you not see that he is doted upon by many? Have you yourself not taken him under your wing? If there is any trouble with the boy, it would be an excessive outpouring of attention from those around him!"
"Ai, Mithrandir, these are not substitutes for the love of a father! He seeks Thranduil's approval, whether he wants to admit it or not, and it is something his father will never openly express! They are quite the pair!"
Before the Grey Pilgrim could answer, a loud whistling caught their attention. Elrond was out on the balcony in a flash, his keen eyes already picking up the source as a large bird wheeling above the rooftops of the slumbering city, its large wings casting an large shadow over the rooftops of Imladris.
Upon spotting the half-Elf, the eagle swooped in, landing on the railing of the balcony, its golden feathers shining in the moonlight.
Elrond glanced at Gandalf, puzzlement in his eyes, for eagles did not usually travel by night.
"What business brings you to Imladris in such a rush, Obsiran?"
"Elrond, trouble has come to Middle-Earth!"
A loud cry was let out before he could continue, and a figure pushed past wizard and Elflord, rushing up to the eagle.
"Obsiran, you are hurt!" Legolas cried, and started to examine a black wound on the breast of the eagle.
To his surprise, the eagle snapped at him fiercely, causing him to jump back.
"I have no time for this, Legolas!" he hissed sharply.
As the eagle spoke, it became evident to all three that his injury was worse than it appeared, for his body was swaying from side to side, and his words were slurred.
"My people came under attack from Orcs and giant spiders. Few managed to survive, for we were ambushed in the dark of the night. I have flown here to alert you, and my leader has gone to King Thranduil. I do not know what the situation in Eryn Galen is. One of my brothers whom King Thranduil sent to relay a message to you was killed a week ago. It was only upon my flight from our colony did I find his carcass deep with the forests of Eryn Galen, ripped to shreds by some beast. It was then that I realised the message had not been delivered."
To the horror of those present, the splendid beast slumped forward once he had finished speaking, blood spurting out from his beak. Legolas caught him with a cry as he fell, and the raven-haired Elf was over by the eagle's side in an instant, examining the wound.
"'Tis the same Orc poison!" he muttered to no one in particular. "Do not move him!"
Upon seeing the glazed eyes of his friend, Legolas could wait no further, and pressed his palm to the wound.
"Legolas, no! You will be hurt!" whispered the eagle hoarsely, realising what he was about to do.
Before Gandalf could interfere, the young Elf summoned upon the magic with all his strength, pouring the full effects of the power in his panic into the wound. An inexplicable feeling of satisfaction came over him, and a loud roar grew in his ears. The world ceased to exist, and all he could feel was the blissful sense of life, which he drank in eagerly. Just when he thought he was about to explode from the feeling of addictive euphoria, a sudden burst of pain filled him. He opened his mouth to scream, but no sound came out. The light was blinding, and the waves of pain increased in intensity. The light grew brighter, exploding around him, before the Elf fell into darkness and emptiness.
When he awoke, Legolas found the grim face of Elrond looking down at him. Struggling to recall what had happened, he sat up, noticing that he was back in his bedchamber. His head was spinning from the after-effects of the magic, and he felt totally drained.
"Ada, how fares Obsiran?" he asked.
"He did not survive, Legolas. Mithrandir did not managed to stop you in time."
Legolas frowned at his words, unsure of what he had just heard.
"Ada?" he asked, only to be met with a stony gaze.
His heart went cold as the truth finally hit him. He had killed the eagle.
Saruman had been jolted awake by the sudden influx of magic. It was so strong, so intense, that he had felt it even as he slept. Sharp and powerful, it had disappeared in an instant, leaving no trace.
He got out of bed and walked over to the window. It was unlike anything he had ever experienced before.
Frowning, he looked out at the peacefully slumbering city of Imladris. Had the Elves possession of such powerful magic?
A knock on the door jolted him out of his thoughts, and the Grey Pilgrim entered his chambers.
"Saruman. I apologise for disturbing you so late at night."
"Do not worry, my friend, for can you not see I am not asleep? What business brings you here in such a state?"
"A colony of eagles close to Eryn Galen came under attack from Orcs and giant spiders. There were few survivors. The attack took place under the cover of nightfall."
"Yes, Saruman. I fear we might be witnessing the return of the great evil that plagued Middle-Earth during the First Age."
"How came you across such news?"
"One of the eagles managed to make his way to Imladris. He died shortly after delivering the message, despite the efforts of the Elves to heal him of the Orc poison."
"So, the Elves have command over a strong magic. It is as I have guessed."
The grey wizard did not reply.
"Do you know about it?"
"Nay, it is new and unknown to me!"
Saruman let out a breath of disappointment. "Surely you know more about the Elves than I do!"
"I shall leave you to your rest then, for the night is late and you have travelled far from Isengard. We shall speak of this later. Elrond is adamant that the Council be held only upon Glorfindel's return, and that is at least two days away."
The leader of the Istari nodded in acknowledgement and watched, as the other left the room.
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.