A very fleeting sense of hatred and gloating had filled his body, and he felt a sudden urge to lash out at something. Shaking it off as a figment of his tired mind, he quickly caught up with Yuvinel. He knew that the source of her unhappiness was the death of her father, but knew not how to comfort her. Deliberating on the matter, he watched as sobs ran through her body as she sat curled up under a birch. Finally, his heart could no longer take her sorrow, and he stepped into plain view.
The mortal looked up, startled for a second, before making an attempt to hide her distress by turning her face away from those brilliant blue orbs.
"What ails you, my lady?" His accented words were pleasant to listen to, He took a few steps closer and crouched down beside her.
"Is it your father?"
"He was all I had, Legolas!"
The Elf watched as fresh tears rolled down her face, and she squeezed her eyes tight, trying to shut out the pain. He reached for her hand and held it, waiting for her to calm down.
"I only know too well how you feel, Yuvinel. I lost my mother too, years ago," spoke the prince, surprising even himself. This was the first time ever that he had spoken voluntarily of the loss he had suffered.
Yuvinel looked up, her black eyes full of tears, conveying sympathy and grief.
"I am sorry."
"Do not be."
A long silence passed between the pair, as both examined their own feelings.
"What happened?" the maiden asked.
To her surprise, the Elf froze, as if slapped, before a hardened, expressionless mask replaced the earlier sad smile.
"She was killed by unknown assailants," Legolas finally said in a hollow voice, his face unchanging, conveying a kind of icy and merciless beauty of its own.
Yuvinel, did not buying his front, but decided against pushing him further. From what she could see, the Sindarin prince had yet to come to terms with his loss. Instead, silence followed, Legolas staring at the ground, and Yuvinel at him.
Finally, Legolas jumped, a warm and apologetic smile lighting up his features once again. "My apologies, Lady, for having to burden you with my own past."
"There should not be an apology, Legolas. My father led the life he wanted, and died defending me, ensuring my freedom. It is just that I have not had the time to grief, with the events that have followed."
"Lucky in your grief, you are, then. I shall not intrude on you any further thus."
He rose to leave, only to be restrained by the girl.
"Stay with me, Legolas," she whispered. "I feel so alone."
Unable to take the strain any further, the mortal girl broke into fresh sobs, and hid her face in her knees.
Legolas placed an arm around her, bringing her closer to him. He only knew too well how it felt to be in her position.
"You are anything but."
The sobs did not abate, and so Legolas spoke soothingly, words which eventually gave way to a gentle song.
It was a long while before the tears ceased their flow, and a watery smile crept onto the face of the girl. The Elf had finished his song, and was enjoying the peaceful silence that surrounded the pair. It was a feeling he had not experienced much in the past year. And one he found himself missing acutely.
"The song is beautiful, Legolas, what does it mean?"
"A lament for the departed spirit, one that will reach our loved ones who dwell in the Halls of Mandos until they are released by Námo."
"And my father? Will he be there?"
"Alas, I know not about mortals, but it is my belief that all good spirits will find their way to a place of final peace."
The thought seemed to comfort the maiden.
"What are your plans, for surely you have to find a new home?" asked Legolas casually, trying to change the subject.
"I do not know, Legolas, for it was all I had, etching out a simple existence from the forest. I have no other relatives or friends. Marnor took that away from me, along with my father, and he will pay for it." The Silvan Elf found himself looking up in shock at the hatred that ran through her face.
The prince gaped at the maiden, his face showing his lack of understanding. The anger left the girl's face, and was replaced with a calm exterior. Legolas felt frustration set upon seeing her wooden face, knowing that she was feeling anything but calm and collected. Was that what it felt like, then, for others to look upon himself?
He shook his thoughts away quickly, and pretended not to have noticed anything.
"Do not fear, Yuvinel, I shall speak to ada about it. He will be able to offer you sanctuary within the safe confines of Imladris."
"Why do you address Lord Elrond as your father? Esendri told me you hail from the great Wood."
"Our feelings for each other are that of father and son. I see no wrong in it, although we usually keep it hidden, because of my father."
"Why would that be so?"
"My father will not approve, for he is obstinate, his pride often ruling over his actions."
"Does that not sound familiar, for surely I have seen that somewhere closer before?"
The Elf scowled at her before continuing, "There are ill-feelings between our kingdoms, remnants of an old quarrel between my grandfather and the rest of the Sindarin. There have been cordial exchanges between Eryn Galen, or Greenwood as you might know it, and Imladris, but that is about the extent of contact. The situation was made worse by the death of my grandfather at Dagorlad, when they marched against the Dark Lord, and my father held Gil-galad, in whose army Lord Elrond served, responsible."
Yuvinel nodded, seeing the flicker of regret in the blue eyes.
"It is thus unthinkable that his son form such an alliance with the half-Elven. It is all the more exacerbated by the lack of trust between Immortal and Humankind that has plagued the better half of this age. Coupled with the uneasiness my people feel at Isildur's betrayal, this has led us to largely shun, and even feel contempt for mortals. It is not a thing one would list as our best traits. Thus, you see why we choose to keep our relationship secret. Admittedly it is tiring, having to hide it. Even Esendri has no knowledge of it. Hiding, something suited only for weaklings, something I have been doing much of late."
"The wisest know when to lie low, and hiding does not necessary mean weakness, Legolas."
"Nae, it is not in my nature to keep secrets, much less from people that I care for. It is not a choice that I make willingly, but I see no other way! There is much at stake; our very way of life as we know it is being threatened! If fighting it means giving up a part of myself, I would do so without a doubt. You might not understand, but Eryn Galen is, and always will be my home, and it is my people that I must fight for. It is only that I lack the strength to do so!"
Yuvinel was startled by the outburst. A frown crossed her face before she replied, "Why do you say that, Legolas, when you know it is far from the truth?"
"Little do you know, Yuvinel. There is much weakness in me - "
"And much strength too."
A bitter smile was the only answer.
"What are you afraid of, Legolas?"
A long silence greeted her question.
Taken aback by the answer, the girl continued doggedly nonetheless.
"I believe in you, and so should you. There is such love in you that one who has lost all faith would begin to hope again. It is a precious gift of yours, and guard it well. Never lose sight of who you are, Legolas, for I sense you trying to be someone that you are not. You run from yourself. I shall leave you to sort out your feelings, and I hope you see the truth in my words."
The maiden turned and left, leaving behind a stunned prince.
He had not seen this coming. The startling perceptiveness for as simple a girl as Yuvinel was shocking. Everything she said had hit home. It was uncanny, the way the mortal girl read right into his soul.
Even as he slowly retraced his footsteps back to the dwellings of his adoptive family, images of his father played through his head. Thranduil haunted his every movement, much as the young Elf hated to admit it. He saw that there was no denying that the ruler of Eryn Galen had a pure heart and good intentions, something he had overlooked greatly in the callousness of his youth, where all he saw was a haughty, demanding father.
Which is why he needs me. He cannot stand against the tide alone. I had vowed to be there for him.
Legolas shook his confused head, frustration filling his tired body. He rounded a corner violently, and crashed into two figures who were too occupied in a hushed argument that they too did not realise that Legolas was coming down the corridor. The raven-haired figure lost his balance and fell to the ground, crying out in surprise.
"Do I have to tie you to your bed to confine your wandering about my palace?" Elrond asked in exasperation and embarrassment, but seemed to enjoy his position too much to rise, tired as he was. "Would it really kill you to stay in one place and take the rest you need for once?"
Legolas smirked. "What rest do I need?"
"Might I add that healthy Elves neither roam the corridors of Imladris at four in the morning, unaware of where they step, nor fall unconscious at the drop of a pin." Glorfindel replied, yet he regretted it the moment the words left his lips.
The amusement left the eyes of the Elven prince, and he did not answer, his gaze now stony, fixed upon a spot in the ground.
Elrond shot a withering glance at Glorfindel, before rising from the ground.
He had almost reached the young Elf when the blue eyes suddenly widened, and the lithe body went tense. The colour left his face, and a hand flew up to grasp at his shoulder, crumpling his tunic under the tension. Elrond now saw that his teeth were grinding against each other, and pearls of perspiration were starting to build on his brow.
Finally, Legolas opened his mouth to gasp for air, before sinking into the strong arms of the half-Elven, consciousness taking leave of him for the second time that day.
Startled, Elrond called the body as it went limp, and brought him back to his room, where he lay the light form on his bed.
"Elrond, I did not mean - "
Glorfindel was cut short by a grunt from Elrond, who was busy examining the Silvan Elf. The Eldar walked forward, concern written all over his face. He sucked in his breath sharply as Elrond pried away the tunic to reveal an angry glowing ulceration.
"The Orc poison," whispered Glorfindel. He was over at the medicine drawer instantly, pulling out healing salves and soft bandages while Elrond frowned over the freshly opened injury.
The salves were quickly spread over the burning flesh and ulceration, and herbs were pressed and bandaged to the shoulder wound.
"How could it be?" Glorfindel asked as Elrond completed his ministrations.
"I thought him cured."
"The Orc poison is novel and strange. By all accounts it appears to have been purged from his body, yet the wound still burns."
"The Orc attack cannot have been any more than a chance to capture or inflict this poison upon Legolas." Elrond suddenly realised what had been obvious all along.
"What could the Orcs possibly want from him? Surely they do not believe him to be the one referred to in the prophecy?"
"We can only hypothesise, Glorfindel, although it is looking increasingly likely. I spoke with Mithrandir and Lady Galadriel earlier, and they agree. The power involved is large beyond imagination. It is the very reason we shall hold council tomorrow morning."
"Do we have to simply wait and watch over him, powerless to end his pain?" Glorfindel asked glumly.
"I see that you too have fallen under the spell of the young prince!"
"Bear in mind that I am not the one who adopted him. Admittedly, his charm is near impossible to resist."
Elrond let out a sad laugh.
Could he really be the one with the capability to unleash such power as never known before upon Middle-Earth? Could he be the one with the potential to fill the void left by the fall of the dark lord?
"No!" shouted the half-Elven aloud, startling his companion.
"What is it?"
"I will not allow him to be the one spoken of in the prophecy," said Elrond.
"I cannot see it happening! Can you not see his true nature?"
Elrond sighed and sank into the luxurious cushions scattered about his bedchamber. "Yet, I cannot help but worry. The magic he possesses is strong, uncontrolled, as you have seen. It worries me, and we must not overlook it."
"We shall guide him. He will listen to no other than he does to you."
The raven-haired Elf nodded, his face suddenly old and tired.
"The worry he brings to those who care for him," said Elrond hollowly.
"Trust him, Elrond, he is no longer a child, as you once knew him to be. If only he could hear you now. I trust that he would have a lot to say at being fretted over like a baby!"
Still, Glorfindel was careful to keep his worry from showing.
" I trust that rest is in order for you," he said, drawing a protesting look from the raven-haired one. "Or shall I take a leaf out of your son's book and administer some sleeping drugs?"
Elrond's look turned positively venomous.
"In the meantime, I trust you will take good care of yourself and our little Princeling!"
A pillow thrown in his direction was his answer.
Sindarin Translations: Brannon-nîn - my lord
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.