4. Just Add Water
The history of Middle-earth is richly spun with yarns of love, sorrow, treachery and heroism. But never, in all the Land’s ancient weavings, has an Elf been slain by the hand of a single Dwarf.
Legolas Greenleaf—Sindar Elf, Prince of Mirkwood, and youngest son of Thranduil of the House of Oropher—was dangerously close to becoming the first.
Limulus Pond was not very deep, yet it was nonetheless wet (as water tends to be). The two Elves and Dwarf found themselves coughing and gagging in a desperate attempt to dislodge water from their lungs. Pushing several strands of wet hair out of his face and tucking them behind his ear with a slender hand, Legolas guiltily regarded Glóin out of the corner of his eye.
The Dwarf had gone strangely silent. Tiny rivulets of water were streaming down his face and beard, and he was covered in duckweed. Yet he made no move to wipe himself off. The setting sun did not help matters: her orange florescent rays reflected in Glóin’s eyes, making them glow in a most disturbing manner.
It was said that the Dwarves were molded from the earth. And indeed, the sopping wet creature seething in the muck of Limulus Pond was reminiscent of such beginnings. Aragorn, however, (from his safe distance on the bank) highly doubted that they had been borne into the world so enraged.
Lord Elrond recognized the danger of the situation immediately. Elrohir made move to stand up, but was stopped when his father held up a hand and shot him a warning glance. Legolas, for his part, had made no effort to rise as of yet, and continued to watch the stone-like Glóin warily.
“Master Dwarf,” began Elrond as he cautiously approached the pond’s edge, “allow me to assist you out of the water.”
Glóin slowly rotated his head and stared at the Elf lord’s out-stretched hand as though Elrond were offering him a snake. After what seemed like an eternity, he finally acquiesced and grabbed hold. A collective sigh of relief rippled through the trees, and Aragorn and Legolas both let out the breath of air they did not know they were holding.
“What goes on here?” demanded a gruff voice as short, heavy footsteps marched towards the pond.
Legolas resisted the urge to drown himself. Gimli, son of Gloin, could not have picked a worse time to make an appearance.
* * *
Contrary to Aragorn’s belief, Boromir was not hiding. At least that’s what he told himself. For two days now, the Man of Gondor had sought refuge in the vast library of Imladris. Oh, he would have much rather been exploring the outdoor wonders of the Elven kingdom, but the feeling of being constantly watched by Elven eyes had eroded his nerves. Three days ago, he noticed that he had developed a nervous twitch, and this discovery concerned him greatly.
All in all, it was a pleasant library. Boromir supposed he would be enjoying it much more if he were a reader. That, however, was Faramir’s department. ‘I wonder what he would think if he were to see me now,’ thought Boromir as he slowly paced down a shelved isle. It took him exactly fifty-eight paces to reach the end of the isle—Boromir had counted in one of his many moments of overpowering boredom.
Turning sharply on his heel, he began to pace back down the isle when suddenly the library doors were flung open. Not wanting to face an Elf, Boromir quickly dropped onto all fours.
‘Oh good grief,’ he berated himself furiously, ‘this is ridiculous. I am the son of Denethor! I am NOT some spineless child. Get up, you fool!’
He had just resolved to stand up when he heard footsteps swiftly approaching. He quickly dropped back down. Muttering an oath, he punched himself in the left shoulder as it began to twitch violently. He wondered if he was going mad.
“Aha! There you are!” Gandalf’s head poked around the corner of a shelf. There was an uncomfortable pause. “Son of Denethor, what in the name of Arda are you doing on the floor?”
Boromir glanced up. The look on Gandalf’s face suggested that he was not the only one questioning his sanity.
Clearing his throat, the man stood. “I was, ah, reading,” he offered, and seized the first book his hand landed on. “Ah, ahem, yes. Most fascinating. Elvish literature that is. Isn’t it? I mean, to say, if you enjoy that sort of thing—which I do, most definitely.”
Boromir cringed has he heard the babble flowing from his mouth. He didn’t even know Elvish. If his sword had been unsheathed, he would have seriously considered impaling himself upon it. Inwardly, he groaned.
“Oh,” was the only reply Gandalf could bring forth. There was another uncomfortable pause.
Boromir thumbed through the book in his hands and attempted to regain some semblance of aristocracy.
“Oh,” repeated Gandalf, suddenly recalling why he had been searching for the man. “Lord Elrond wishes to hear of your decision at the council meeting tomorrow morning.”
“Decision?” asked Boromir, still trying to regain his composure.
“Yes, my dear Man. You do recall the scouting missions, do you not?”
“Ah, of course,” replied Boromir. “It had momentarily slipped my mind.”
“Well, we shall have plenty of time to discuss the matter on the morrow,” said Gandalf. “In the mean time, there is quite a decadent feast awaiting us in the dining area.” The wizard smiled and patted his stomach as it growled.
“It would be most rude of me to keep you—or your stomach—waiting,” laughed Boromir, relieved that the awkward moment had passed. Besides, the prospect of a good meal was enticing, even if it did mean being subject to the endless scrutiny of Elven gazes.
Before they departed, Boromir admired the book one last time and flipped through a few more pages. “A marvelous book,” he stated lightly as he placed it upon a table.
Gandalf nodded in agreement, deciding not to tell Boromir that he had been “reading” the book upside down.
* * *
“I repeat, what goes on here?”
“Greetings, Son of Glóin,” said Elrond smoothly. “We seemed to have had a slight…accident. If you would be so kind as to escort your father back to his quarters, I’m sure you will find the servants more than willing to supply you with dry towels and such.”
Gimli placed both hands on his hips and challengingly glared at the Elf lord. Elrond was reminded of a similar look Glóin had given him only a few hours earlier.
“Come, boy,” muttered Gloin vehemently, “I shall inform you of this…accident… on our way back to the room.” And with that, the older Dwarf stomped over to his son, taking special care to glare at Legolas as he passed by.
Elrond sighed as the two departed.
“Congratulations, Legolas,” quipped Elrohir cheekily, “you certainly managed to make a mess of that one. Throwing Dwarves into ponds and behaving as a two hundred year…” He trailed off as Elrond turned to face him.
“And speaking of acting one’s age,” began the exasperated Elf lord. Legolas was granted momentary satisfaction as he saw Elrohir cringe. “I do not even want to know of your motives for this display of foolishness. I am sure, my son, that you have much better things to do than to spend your time picking on those younger than yourself.”
Elrohir’s normally soundless footsteps squelched as he stepped onto the bank. “But, my dear father,” he protested with a laugh, “if it were not for me, impudent youngsters such as Legolas and Aragorn would not have grown into the respectable warriors they are today.”
Elrond rolled his eyes as Aragorn and Legolas groaned. “The feast is in an hour. I trust you will be dried and presentable by then?”
Elrohir grinned has he wiped away the duckweed plastered on his face. “I should like to think this duckweed brings out the color of my eyes…”
Aragorn snorted. “GO,” commanded Elrond.
Legolas rung out his hair and grimaced as he stood on the bank. Aragorn had never seen his friend act in such an irresponsible manner and did not intend to let the issue be forgotten any time soon.
“My friend, I did not know you were capable of—” Aragorn stopped short as Legolas looked him straight in the eye, pulled himself up to his full height, and attempted to straighten his soaked tunic with a forceful tug.
“Heir of Isildur,” began the Elf with an impressive amount of superiority considering how ridiculous he appeared, “I would like to remind you that in my present condition, it would not be below my severely-depleted dignity to shove you into this pond.”
Aragorn wisely changed the subject.
* * *
The two chatted merrily as they meandered back to the halls of Rivendell. Had Aragorn been less amused by Legolas’ situation, and had Legolas not been so preoccupied with the uncomfortable feeling of wet clothes, both might have noticed one very angry Dwarf lying in wait among the deepening shadows of the evening.
* * *
Gimli’s anger boiled as the fair Elf approached. It was a shame to bring Aragorn into this mess, yet the Elf must pay for the insult Gimli’s father had received. Gimli had heard of the countless cruelties inflicted by Thranduil, and he was not about to let the king’s brat escape so easily. As far as he was concerned, the Elf had it coming.
His fist closed around a good-sized rock. He slowly crept out of the underbrush, and throwing the rock with all the strength he could muster, Gimli let out a terrific bellow of rage.
Just as he hoped, the Elf spun around to face his attacker.
* * *
A cry of attack from the rear startled Aragorn and Legolas from their light-hearted conversation. Both whirled around to face their opponent.
Under normal circumstances, Legolas would have been able to avoid the missile, yet Gimli had foreseen this and purposely yelled after the rock was launched.
CRACK! Legolas felt something hard and sharp slam into his forehead above the right brow. The world suddenly exploded. He vaguely remembered Aragorn’s look of astonishment and the intense pain that shot through his head.
Then everything went black as the Elf crumpled to the ground.
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.