3. Laws of Motion
I have taken some liberties here. In the movies, Legolas was said to be 2,000-something years old. Where did they come up with this number? I had always assumed that he was no older than 1,000. Then again, in the movie his character was a bit more reserved (I’m not complaining, it was Jackson’s interpretation of the book and therefore fully merited). Ah, yet another great debate regarding everyone’s favorite Elf. I didn’t even bother to touch the hair/eye color issue.
In true Elvish fashion, Legolas quickly gathered himself together and stood up. 'Yes,' he mused, 'Imladris is quite stunning.' A sense of energy radiated from every tree and blade of grass. This, coupled with the vibrant yellows, oranges and reds of the changing season, was overwhelming. The air hummed and throbbed with life. Legolas almost had mind to reach up into the air and grab a piece, for he doubted not that he would be able to do so.
The Elf cast aside his weapons and walked to the center of the archery field. A careful inspection of the area revealed that he was completely alone and unobserved. Tilting his head upwards to face the sun, he began to sing. Somewhat hesitantly at first, but gradually louder as his self-consciousness faded and he gave in to the surging joie de vivre around him.
Arms outstretched, Legolas began to gracefully dance and spin in circles. His fair voice rang clear and melodious across the grounds. He had not indulged in such childish behavior since his hundredth year, and to do so now with such utter abandon felt marvelous.
With one last spin, Legolas threw himself to the ground and laughed. He closed his eyes and continued humming, bobbing his head and lightly drumming his fingers to the song’s rhythm.
“Pardon me, Prince of Mirkwood,” interrupted a very amused voice, “but would you mind repeating that dance? I am afraid I seemed to have missed the last step.”
Legolas bolted upright, thoroughly humiliated.
* * *
Glóin grunted as he struggled to his feet. Spending a majority of the day with his back against a tree trunk had not been wise. His body protested violently as he staggered forward. ‘Curse these elves and their trees,’ he thought vehemently. Why couldn’t they simply build stone benches like any other sane being?
For a moment, Glóin allowed himself the pleasure of visualizing Rivendell undergoing a proper Dwarvish renovation. He picked up a stone and tested its weight in his hand. Yes, there was good stone to be found here. If one were to uproot several of those troublesome trees. . .
He cast a glance over his shoulder at the young tree he had been resting against. When he noticed Elrond absentmindedly stroking the tree’s leaves, he immediately dropped the stone and barely managed to swallow the oath that sprang to the tip of his tongue.
“Greetings, Glóin of the Lonely Mountain,” said the Elf lord as he smiled and gave the tree an affectionate pat.
“At your service, Lord Elrond,” muttered Glóin. It was unnerving the way Elves suddenly appeared, and the Dwarf was certain they took much pleasure in startling those who lacked the ability.
Elrond, correctly guessing the Dwarf’s line of thought, held up a hand. “Peace, Glóin,” he laughed, “I did not mean to startle you. Forgive me.”
Glóin blinked, somewhat surprised by the Elf lord’s intuition. “Nay,” he gruffly replied, “it is nothing. Do not trouble yourself.”
Elrond smiled as he approached the Dwarf. “I hope you have found the Last Homely House to your liking.”
“Excuse me, my Lord,” interrupted Glóin, “but I do not believe I would be mistaken in assuming you have a different reason for seeking me out, other than the discussion of Rivendell’s hospitality.”
The Elf cocked an eyebrow at the Dwarf who boldly met his gaze. “Alas, you are correct,” confessed Elrond with a slight smile. “Indeed, I did not. Trust a Dwarf to immediately strike the heart of the matter.”
Glóin stiffened slightly. “I mean that only in the most complimentary manner,” Elrond quickly added. He was rewarded with Glóin’s grunt of approval.
“Come,” motioned Elrond, “let us walk along the garden paths before the light has faded completely. Have you yet to see Limulus Pond?” *
“No,” admitted Glóin, wondering how their conversation had again meandered off-topic, “I have not.”
* * *
“Calm down, Legolas.” Elrohir laughed, greatly amused by the horrified look on the other’s face. “I shall tell no one that the Prince of Mirkwood behaves like a child when he thinks no one is watching.”
In truth, Elrohir was quite glad to have witnessed Legolas acting as such. Legolas had a tendency to be more quiet and reserved than most, and Elrohir often wondered if it was due to his nature, or the effects of growing up in Mirkwood. Elrohir suspected the latter, for it was a belief (though not openly discussed) shared by many.
Legolas fluidly got to his feet and smiled somewhat sheepishly at the dark-haired elf. “I was not aware you had engaged in spying, Elrohir.”
“Normally, I do not. But I find you to be most entertaining,” retorted the son of Elrond. “And,” he added, “I wished to know whether you had reached a decision yet.”
Legolas pursed his lips. Lord Elrond had ordered several scouting missions ere the Fellowship set off. The campaigns would each take at least a month to complete.
“Nay, I have not yet decided,” answered Legolas. “Whither will you go?”
“Down the Silverlode and beyond,” replied Elrohir with a heavy sigh. “Some will go north, past the springs of Hoarwell and into the Ettenmoors. Aragorn will be departing west with the Rangers. I believe they mean to go as far as Tharbad.” *
“Of course,” continued Elrohir, “we need scouts to the east and south: into Mirkwood, or over the Dimrill Stair and eventually on to the Gladden Fields.”* He paused to glance at Legolas. “Your knowledge of Mirkwood is extensive. I am sure it would be of great advantage to us if you were to join that mission. And you would be able to inform your father of your journey.”
In true Elven stoicism, Legolas attempted to keep his face void of any betraying emotion. Despite his valiant efforts, his minute flinch at the words “your father” did not escape Elrohir’s notice. This struck the son of Elrond as odd, but he wisely decided not to pursue the matter.
“We shall hold council tomorrow morning and discuss the final details,” concluded Elrohir. “You will be present, I assume?”
“Yes, yes, of course.” The younger elf nodded and absently waved a hand. “Lord Elrond informed me this afternoon.”
Elrohir shaded his eyes and surveyed the archery grounds. The sun had begun to set, and elongated shadows began to dance among the grass. The field itself was bathed in a brilliant orange glow. At his side, Legolas had slipped into moody introspection.
“Gather your arrows, my moody little friend,” teased Elrohir. “It grows dark—though I am not sure it is due primarily to the setting sun.”
With mock indignation, Legolas stalked over to retrieve his bow and quiver. Turning, the prince grinned rather impishly at the dark-haired Elf lord. “Better to be moody than a grinning fool,” he retorted. “Does it not make you ill to walk around all day with that ridiculous look plastered upon your face?”
And with that, he dashed off into the forest, Elrohir hard on his heels.
* * *
Aragorn had been searching fruitlessly for Boromir all day, and had yet to find him. He came to the edge of Limulus Pond and released a frustrated sigh. ‘I thought only Elves possessed the ability to disappear,’ he thought wryly.
Boromir did not strike Aragorn as the type to hide. If anything, the man of Gondor tended to be confrontational and bull-headed. On the other hand, Boromir had seemed extremely uncomfortable around so many Elves. Perhaps he decided to forgo this quest and had returned home. Aragorn shook his head viciously to dispel the thought. No, Boromir would not do such a thing. He was not the type. The situation was awkward enough, and wishful thinking would do nothing to help the matter.
His ears caught the sounds of voices gradually moving towards the pond. Aragorn’s hopes faded as Glóin and Elrond came into view. No, he would not find the son of Denethor tonight.
“I am not suggesting you forgive Thranduil for the grievances he has caused you,” Elrond was saying, “but do not let your anger take control. Please do not make the situation any more difficult.”
“And how, Lord Elf, would you expect me to go about doing this?” snapped Glóin.
“Glóin of the Lonely Mountain, you will support your son and let it be known that any acts of… considerable vengeance… will NOT be tolerated.” Elrond’s words were not a suggestion.
* * *
Legolas tore through the forest’s branches. He cast a fleeting glance over his shoulder. Elrohir was faster than he had anticipated.
‘But not fast enough!’ he thought with a grin.
He raced onward and noticed a clearing up ahead. More concerned about the Elf lord chasing him, Legolas thought little of how “improperly” he was behaving. After all, one may only act so princely when being hunted by a son of Elrond. Not to mention that Legolas, in his younger years, had been tormented enough by his elder siblings to have a pretty fair idea of what Elrohir might do to him if he were caught.
With a great leap, Legolas landed in the clearing. He quickly straightened, and suddenly found himself face-to-face with an extremely astonished Elrond and Glóin.
“Lord Elrond! I—AAAIIIIII!!!!!!!” Elrohir, noticing only that his prey had ceased moving, lunged.
Legolas was catapulted forward as Elrohir hit him from behind. Unfortunately, Glóin was standing directly in the path of motion. Legolas slammed into the Dwarf, and a resounding splash! echoed throughout the clearing as all three landed in Limulus Pond.
* Limulus Pond: Completely made it up. Scientific names make very good Middle-earth names. There are no Limulus living in the pond.
* The Fellowship of the Ring: Book Two, Chapter Three ‘The Ring Goes South’
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