Legolas and Esendri coloured, knowing what Elrond wished to speak about. They rose and left the room, resigned looks upon their faces.
"What new punishment do you suppose ada will inflict upon you?" Elrohir asked.
"Probably a tie between dangling you out of the window by the ears, and a sound beating!" Elladan said, and Elrohir let out a hoot of laughter.
"What?" Esendri asked in amazement.
"The first one was done to me, after I - nevermind." Legolas coloured again, causing the rest to roar with laughter.
All four were still letting out odd chortles as they reached Elrond's chambers. The twins motioned with wide beams for Legolas to step forward, which only served to make him go weak with another fit of giggles. He leaned against the door, attempting to steady himself.
His support promptly gave way and the prince found himself landing in an awkward pile, staring into the startled eyes of Glorfindel. His companions roared with laughter as he picked himself up, a soft Nandorin curse escaping his lips.
Elrond too was having trouble keeping a straight face as he saw Legolas's look.
"Language, Legolas," he chastised.
The twinkle in his eye set off a fresh batch of laughter, as the young Elves filtered in slowly.
"You wished to see us, ada?" Elladan asked, after they stemmed their mirth.
"Indeed," Elrond replied, motioning for Glorfindel to shut the door. "How found you the council?"
"Eilwar was very tiresome indeed," said Elrohir, and the rest of the young Elves nodded in agreement.
The arched eyebrow caused his younger son to blush and mutter an apology.
"You forget your place, pen tithen," was Elrond's rebuke. "Lord Eilwar is a powerful Elflord. His concerns are valid, and he is worried for Middle-Earth."
"Forgive me, ada, I am to blame for my temper was quick to blow." Legolas spoke up, his words. His face was flushed with shame as he continued, "It was unbecoming of me to behave in such a manner, and I shall apologise the next time I see him."
"We did not call you here to reproach you." Glorfindel waved aside the apology. "Although it is hoped that lessons would be learned from today.
"In the meantime, prepare yourselves for a long and dangerous journey, for you are to come with me in search of the jewel. As you have heard, it will take the better part of a year, and we will have to proceed on foot once past the northerly confines of Eryn Galen, as the horses will not do well in such conditions. I trust you will consent to embark upon such a trip?"
His words caused excited gasps to escape the delighted younglings.
"Ada, why make you this decision? Are you to venture with us too?" Legolas asked.
"Nae, Legolas, I fear I will have to stay behind, for Imladris might need defending. Glorfindel will be your leader. The rest of the party is to be decided soon, and I expect you will set off within the month."
"I do not understand, ada. Why send you four younglings on a quest of such immense importance? Surely there are others more capable and experienced willing to undertake the quest!" Elladan, ever the sensible one, raised his doubts.
Glorfindel took a deep breath before answering, as if he had been anticipating the question.
"Indeed, Elladan, your words speak true. However, we feel your presence is needed, as the humans would be taking up this journey. Your father and I felt it. There are few who can speak the common tongue of the Westron as fluently as you do."
"Mayhap you might be underestimating yourselves?" Elrond suggested. "Age, even experience, often matters not. Never allow yourselves to be convinced otherwise."
All four young ones nodded solemnly.
"Off with you then, for you shall need time to prepare, and bid your farewells."
"Legolas, a word," Glorfindel called after the prince, who hung behind, leaving the other three wildly curious as they departed.
Once they had left, a look of concern replaced the half-Elven's smile as he surveyed the proud young Elf before him.
"Legolas, we found this on you," Glorfindel pressed something into his hands. It was the wooden talisman Caeriel had given him. Thanking Glorfindel profusely, Legolas felt a strange twinge run through his body as he held it.
"How feel you now, Legolas?"
The Silvan Elf coloured. It did not pass unnoticed by the sharp eyes of the Elflords, who exchanged a worried glance.
"I am fine, ada," he replied politely, eyes fixed upon the floor, fingering the talisman, already starting to retreat into himself.
"It is good to hear, although you must give me your word that you inform Glorfindel without any hesitation should there be any anomaly with your shoulder," Elrond said.
As expected, Legolas looked up, fire in his eyes. How he hated to be treated like a child, incapable of fending for himself.
"Ada, I do not think the need would ever arise," he said, polite as ever, although there was a hardness in his tone.
"This has naught to do with you being weak, Legolas!"
When he received no answer, the Elflord pushed on.
"You must know that you are not well - "
He was sharply cut off by a livid glare from the young one.
"Ada, there is naught wrong with me!" he practically shouted.
"Elbereth, Legolas! do you have to fight us all the way?" cried Glorfindel, losing his cool. He fell silent though, as he saw Elrond giving him a quick, warning look.
"Yes, by all appearances the poison has been purged from you, but we are up against strong adversaries. There is no use pretending that it was not you the Orcs and humans were after. As for why, we do not know!" Elrond said.
A shudder ran down the spine of the youth as he considered his. Elrond spoke the truth, yet, how could it be so? What did they want of him?
"I do not understand, ada," he whispered, "What good would come out of this?"
"We know not," Elrond replied. "Which is why you have to promise me to do exactly as you are told."
The Elven prince nodded, and both Elflords heaved silent sighs of relief.
"I do not understand," Legolas muttered, more to himself than to anyone.
"How was it that I killed a friend like Obsiran?" the Silvan Elf whirled around and faced Elrond. "How was it that the magic has the ability to take away a life? How could I have allowed it to use me such?"
Elrond's mind raced furiously.
"I do not want this magic anymore, ada, I must purge myself of it!" he blurted out, starting to shake uncontrollably.
Recognising the young one's symptoms as shock, Elrond crossed the room and enveloped the Silvan Elf in a warm embrace. He could have kicked himself for not realising just how affected the Silvan Elf had been. Some kind of father he was, letting Legolas run off, not seeking him out, leaving the job to Elrohir instead.
"I am sorry, ion-nîn," he whispered, "I wish too it had not happened; but we cannot change the past. Obsiran was a good beast. Caru lond ruth dan le.
"Let it go."
It was a while before the lithe body ceased trembling, but Elrond waited before he spoke again.
"You must understand that giving up the magic is no solution, pen ernil, and it cannot be done even if you seek to do it. What I can do is to teach you to control it. Esendri too tells me he is in possession of the same powers. For that case, I shall see you both in my study after dinner."
Legolas broke gently from his arms, gratitude in his eyes.
"I wish to visit Obsiran one last time, ada."
"Ai, Legolas, I shall take you to his grave," Glorfindel said.
In the meantime, all that remained for Elrond to do was to start off his guidance of the two young Elves, before Glorfindel would take over the task once the company left. Elrond grimaced; he did not envy Glorfindel. It was not going to be an easy task, for the magic was powerful and had been given free reign for many years. Legolas, while generally respectful towards him and quick to learn, had shown himself capable of being impulsive and stubborn. He could tell that Glorfindel would have his work cut out for him. Still, there was no other way.
A tap on the door signalled the return of Glorfindel, who slipped in, a satisfied look upon his face.
"How fares he?"
"The trip seemed to bring him closure, and he took it well. I would not worry myself further," replied the blonde Eldar, crossing the room and pouring two glasses of. "Although I doubt the younglings bought your story of why they shall be part of the company."
" Glorfindel, do you think I have such low faith in my sons?" asked Elrond, "It will have to do for now. I have better things on my hands than explaining myself to young Elves."
"Mayhap training stubborn Elves is one of them?"
"Laugh you might, but you must remember this burden goes to you once the company sets out, for I can assure you there would not be enough time for me to even scratch the basics!"
"Ai, Brannon-nîn, and I am looking forward to the challenge! Something which to pass the dull and lonely nights with, I should think!"
The half-Elf chuckled at his words. A brief, peaceful silence passed between the two, and Elrond closed his eyes, reclining in the seat.
"I trust you should enjoy whatever dullness that remains in Imladris, for it will be a rare commodity once you set out!"
"Dullness? Ai, I am afraid I dare not hope for so much! After all, the potent combination of two young Silvan Elves and the young Lords of Imladris can barely get any better!"
Sindarin Translations: pen ernil - little one ion-nîn - my son Caru lond ruth dan le - Do not harbour anger against yourself. 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.