Shadow: 55. LV

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55. LV

"Have you seen Legolas, Esendri?" Emerging from the house, Elrohir ran straight into a red-faced and furtive servant.

Esendri quickly wiped his mouth with the back of his hand before answering, "I believe he is visiting his mother's grave, as he is wont to do every time he returns. It is located to the north of the palace, ask anybody about and they will be able to point you to it." Having spoken, he quickly did an abrupt turn, and scurried off in the opposite direction.

Elrohir decided not to probe further, and instead followed the directions, coming up to the queen's grave with the aid of a passer-by or two, who did not seem to think it odd that a stranger sought out the burial ground. A grove was in plain view as he neared the entrance of the sacred place. He paused to marvel at the skill the Silvan Elves had with trees, and they way they tended the place and kept it immaculate.

Entering the grounds, Elrohir felt a sense of serenity come over him as he followed the path through the archway of lush, green leaves. Coming up to the final resting ground of his friend's mother, Elrohir was not surprised to see the blonde Elf kneeling in front of it, his head bowed. When he saw that Legolas did not respond, he walked up to the grave and got to his knees, saying a silent prayer for the departed soul of the queen, aware of his own loss at the same time.

"She was killed by Orcs and Dwarves," Legolas suddenly said, his voice choked and full of emotion, causing Elrohir to open his eyes in alarm. Turning towards his friends, Elrohir saw the alien expression of anger and hatred upon the fair face.

Legolas saw that the other was not about to say anything, and so held out a broken arrow.

"This killed her," he said.

"How did you find out?" The alarm within the twin rose by he second as he saw just how affected Legolas was. Surely Thranduil had better sense than to let his son in on the truth that he had been shielded from all these years. The relationship between father and son had taken its first wobbly steps on the mend ever since that day in Imladris, and it had been hoped that Legolas might finally have come to terms with his mother's death completely now that his father was willing to actually speak to him about it.

"It does not matter!" Legolas snapped. "By the Valar, Roh, if I had known it I would have killed that Dwarf in Imladris with a single shot through his black heart!"

"Legolas," Elrohir pleaded. "Do not let your anger cloud your thoughts, it was not he who killed your mother!"

"My thoughts are clearer than they have ever been for almost two hundred years! Why was this kept from me?"

"Why?"

"This is precisely the reason why. None of us wanted you to hate."

A cold laugh escaped the slender throat. "That was naÅ0ä7ve. Sometimes hate can help one through when all else has failed."

"Can it help you, Legolas?" Elrohir said.

His friend did not respond to his question, and instead fixed his eyes on a spot on the tombstone, focusing on the intricate carvings that had been wrought by the finest stonemasters in their kingdom.

"My mother did not like anything beyond the simplest designs. This is why this grove lacks the ornate decorations that my father is so fond of. Only her gravestone was commissioned to bear designs fitting of a Queen of Eryn Galen. I cannot help but share her view. Does this not look more beautiful in its simplicity?"

The younger twin was startled by his sudden change in temperament and the topic. Worry swept through him as he beheld his unnaturally calm friend. He did not understand what had precipitated this turn of events. Legolas had emerged from that meeting with his father with shining eyes that were still filled with tears, and there had been something rekindled in him. He had shed all his burdens that night, Esendri had confided gleefully in Elrohir that it seemed as if the old Legolas had finally been returned to them. He had even managed a few misadventures on the journey back to Eryn Galen with his servant, the twins, and their friends, much to the exasperation of Glorfindel, who was leading the party, and the amusement of Thranduil, who now saw their antics through the eyes of a fond father.

It was here, looking at the calm that had befallen Legolas, that Elrohir suddenly remembered a warning that his own father had issued to both him and Elladan, one that spoke of their need for caution with regard to the Elven prince, that he was to be watched carefully at all times, and anything unusual was to be reported immediately to Glorfindel. At the time, both had left it without a second thought, as they saw that Legolas had seemed to finally become able to shrug the chains that weighed him down.

Searching his memory further, Elrohir now remembered how Legolas had set off to visit a friend, Lithroleah, just a few hours ago. It had struck him then, for it had been barely two hours after the prince had shown the twins to his house, and had taken his leave. Obviously something had happened in that meeting that he was not revealing now. Å6¶5"Have you not realised by now that keeping things from those who hold you the dearest never helps?" Elrohir tried to pry some information out from the other.

Pas expected , Legolas stiffened up at his words, and seemed to give the matter careful consideration. Just as the raven-haired Elf was about to let go of his breath which he had been holding, a sudden shudder went through his companion.

"Go away, Roh, I wish to be alone with nana." His words had turned icy cold, much to the other's aggravation.

"Legolas - "

"Leave me alone!" The words were spat out so forcefully that Elrohir rose and left quickly, feeling hurt at his friend's treatment.

Storming quickly down the path, he cursed under his breath. A fortnight of without having to worry for his friend, was that all one got these days? Clearly he had to seek out somebody else to air his concerns, but would it be Glorfindel or Thranduil?

"Hullo, Master Elrohir," the twin ran straight into Esendri.

"Perhaps you could talk some sense into that thick skull of his!" the raven-haired Elf growled.

"What has Legolas done now?" The light-hearted tone of the servant did little to sooth his frazzled nerves. "Switched your feywine for brine or spread honey all over your saddle?" Esendri said.

To the surprise of Esendri, Elrohir rolled his eyes and stormed off, muttering something in Quenya that sounded suspiciously like a curse about how Silvan Elves were to be the death of him.

Esendri shrugged and pushed on, soon drawing up on his friend. He sat cross-legged beside his master after bowing respectfully in front of the grave

"Legolas, I must say that I am greatly in awe of your ability to infuriate others. Pray tell me what on earth have you done to make Elrohir so angry?°± I could use a trick or two!"

If Legolas had been startled by his entrance, he did not show it. Instead, he turned towards Esendri, the expression on his face being enough to wipe the smile off the cheery features.

"Did you know who nana's attackers were?" Legolas demanded.

"Nay, why ask you?"

"What is this?" Legolas waved an arrow in front of the small Elf's face, causing his grey eyes to widen in recognition.

"Orcs!" he exclaimed.

"Ai, Sen, Orcs and Dwarves," Legolas said.

Something felt wrong about the whole issue, and the smaller Elf knew it. Instinctively he quickly wrapped his arms around the neck of his friend from behind, pulling the lithe body close. Instead of leaning into the embrace as he usually did, however, Legolas shrugged him aside, irritation plain.

"Why was this hidden from me? It was clear they knew all along!"

"Tell me honestly, Legolas, do you think His Majesty and Lord Elrond would have wanted you going off to hunt down every single Orc and Dwarf within a thousand leagues as you will undoubtedly attempt to do? That would have been dangerous, if not utter foolishness! Ignorance might sometimes be the kindest thing, my fair prince!"

"Not when it concerns the death of your mother!"

"Wake up, Legolas! Can you not see that this hatred and thirst for revenge is pointless? My parents were taken captive and tortured out of their minds by Orcs! Do you see me trying to hunt them all down?" Esendri's voice was unnaturally high now

The blue eyes widened in shock. This was the first time that Esendri had ever spoken of the matter. Legolas never knew how his friend's parents had died

"They are - " Suddenly his voice was timid.

"Yes. It is a fate worse than death itself, say some," Esendri managed to say, turning his face away momentarily in an attempt to compose himself.

A few awkward minutes passed between the two, and a rising sense of guilt rose in Legolas.

"Please do not start that! You could never have known about this, your father is the only other one who does." A sad smile appeared across the sharp features of the younger Elf, as he gently pulled his friend into his arms. "It is not worth turning your heart over to hatred for. Your mother would never have wanted it to be this way."

"How did you cope, Esendri?" Legolas murmured.

Stroking the blonde tresses of his friend, Esendri took a while before he finally answered.

"By knowing that you would not have survived long without me."

"What do you mean by that, Esendri Ceadirion?" Legolas demanded haughtily, although there was now a ghost of a smile on his face.

"You know full well, Master, that you owe your continued existence entirely to me. There is no denying it, so you might as well give in to it!"

In response, Legolas laughed before pulling on a mock scowl. "I do not know of what you speak, Esendri! Hard evidence is what I need!"

An evil chuckled rumbled through the servant, who promptly started blowing lightly at the pointed ear of his friend, causing him to squirm uncomfortably. He held on tightly as the blonde Elf made a half-hearted attempt to escape.

"I admit defeat, mellon-nÅ0ä6n, and will take your word for it!" Legolas said, for it was getting unbearable.

Esendri smiled to himself but carried on the torment a while more before stopping.

"I shall have no more such talk from you, my little Elf, or I shall think out other better ways of torturing you!" he chuckled, before letting go of his grip on the other.

Even after he had been released, Legolas lay leaning on his friend, a sense of peacefulness taking over him once again, although the events of the past week were not far from his mind.

"It has been a long journey, Master Legolas, I presume some rest is in order?" Esendri broke the silence, sensing that his friend seemed to be drifting off.

"Ai, Esendri, the events of past days have indeed taking their toll," said the prince.

The servant picked up the allusion immediately, and tried to push him further.

"I trust all is well now between you and your father?"

"It will take time for the wounds to heal, for long has it been. I now regret that I viewed him the way I used to. For so long have we been strangers. I wake from turbulent dreams still, my mind taken over by confusion and remorse at how it came to be so."

"Indeed it should never have been to that, but take comfort in that what is wrong has been righted," Esendri counselled. "In the meantime, I would recommend you get as much rest as possible ere the feast tonight, for I have been told that it will last till dawn and will be held on a scale as never was seen under the leaves of this forest for centuries! His Majesty seems to be in high spirits!"

Legolas laughed as he thought of how feasts like this used to end, with he and his servant collapsed in a pile, unconscious from excessive pranks and merry-making, until they had awoken late the next day, untouched, with splitting headaches and how they had taken days just to recover from the ordeal.

Esendri pushed his master off himself and got to his feet. "To bed with you!" he commanded sternly, before hoisting the Sindarin prince to his feet and forcing him back to his dwellings before Legolas could even react.

*****

Sindarin Translations:
mellon-nÅ0ä6n - my friend


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: fael bain

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Kings

Genre: Action

Rating: General

Last Updated: 08/10/05

Original Post: 09/21/03

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