29. Bubble Pipes and Red Handkerchiefs
"Oh, Master!" The spider had hissed, rising to her full height. "You're awake! You're awake!"
He managed to grimace at her, hoping that it would pass for a smile, and was rewarded by a pat on the head with one long, furry leg. He wondered briefly where Tavor and Brethil were but guessed that they had thought it best to leave him alone for a while. He had refused to look in the mirror, and had a battle with his fingers, yanking at the offending hand whenever it crept upward toward his hair.
Earlier that day, Tanglinna had come to him bearing the shimmering green robes just finished by Ceredirhammad. The Master Archer couldn't decide if he was highly amused or greatly annoyed. Legolas had stared at them in horror, starting to his feet.
"Tanglinna, I -"
"Your father commands it, my prince," he said with a slight grimace. ~Here we go again indeed! ~
"But Tanglinna -"
"You had better dress. Your father is expecting you, my prince." He handed him the soft clothing, then stood with his arms folded over his chest waiting for the prince to get dressed. The grumbling and growling started just as he had expected and he had to suppress a grin.
"You look most, uh, beautiful, my prince," he said, biting at his lips to keep from laughing in amusement at the look on the other's fair face. Amusement had won out over annoyance.
"I look like a girl!" The prince spat, flapping his arms like an over large green butterfly. "This is ridiculous. I think father just does this to torture me." He frowned suddenly, his head feeling very strange. "Have we had this conversation before?" He asked, touching his forehead.
Tanglinna merely smiled.
"You are not quite ready, my prince. One more thing is required."
"What else could this outfit possibly require?"
Tanglinna moved into the hall and returned bearing a wreath much like the other one of small green leaves, and berries trailing strands of white flowers. Only this one bore large orange lilies as well.
"For your hair," Tanglinna said handing it to him with a smirk. He had then turned and let the room grinning.
Legolas shook his head and sighed, staring at the wreath. The last day had been unbelievable and it would appear that the last few weeks had been as well. This wreath was unbelievable.
While he was sitting on the bed, pointedly not looking at the floral creation, the door swung open and then closed. Bilbo suddenly appeared, causing him to jump slightly. The Hobbit smiled as he slipped the Ring into his waistcoat pocket.
"I didn't mean to startle you, Prince Legolas."
The Elf smiled wryly as the small figure clambered up onto the bed to sit beside him.
"How are you feeling? Have you remembered anything yet?"
"No," Legolas sighed, slim fingers tracing a pattern on the bed's embroidered cover. "Not yet. Not on my own anyway. Just that I really need to keep my mouth shut."
"That does seem to be a problem around here. Don't worry. You will remember it all in time, I am sure."
"Has your friend Bumbury remembered yet?"
Bilbo grinned and patted Legolas' arm.
"No, uh, Bombur has not. You're an Elf though so perhaps your memory will return more quickly."
"Then my father's will as well," he grimaced, staring at the wall. "I hope to be far from here that day."
The Hobbit shifted slightly. He suddenly realized just how much he would miss this merry prince.
"Speaking of far from here -" He turned to look at the Elf. "The Dwarves and I are leaving. Very soon."
Legolas turned to look at him. He was surprised that he would miss the Hobbit, whom he had just met - a few weeks ago truly, but met again for just one day.
"Did I know that?" He asked wryly, with a smile.
"Well, I suppose that you did. Did you think we would stay here forever?"
The prince grinned down at him.
"Nay, I suppose not. Where are you going? I don't think you ever told me." Suddenly he laughed. "Even if you had I would have forgotten!"
"That is true enough. I don't believe I did tell you, but - well, I don't think Thorin wanted your father to know where we were going."
"Then whatever you do DON'T tell me!" Mirkwood's prince continued to laugh. "That would be disastrous!"
The two laughed together for some time and Bilbo knew he would indeed miss the prince. He had enjoyed spending time with him, though he still felt guilty about the pipeweed.
"Thorin is in rather something of a hurry. He is getting rather impatient. Not that I can blame him. He has been shut in that cell for quite some time now. I am the only one having any fun," he grinned.
"Is he - is he the one I gave my hair to?" He grabbed at his hand as it reached slyly toward his hair.
"No, that was Gloin. He on the other hand doesn't wish to leave. He is rather distressed by your dilemma."
Legolas frowned. It was rather disconcerting that a Dwarf was so concerned about him.
"But we are going. Though Bombur has created something for your feast and would love to know what your father thinks of it," Bilbo continued. "Oh, bother! I suppose it wasn't wise to share that with you either! It is meant to be a surprise."
"Perhaps I can manage not to say anything about it. I will try my best. I promise! Father would be very surprised to learn that a Dwarf made something for him to eat."
Bilbo smiled at him and patted his hand.
"It has been wonderful getting to know you and I shall miss you. I won't forget my time here. I may even write all this down someday. It would make a most interesting book, don't you think?"
"Uh, please don't write this part. I mean - uh, well - just skip the parts I have forgotten."
Bilbo laughed at the fair face, so twisted with embarrassment.
"Don't worry. I wouldn't do that to you. But it would make an interesting few chapters. Good heavens! So much has happened since entering Mirkwood, it would take nearly a whole book to record it all!"
"I almost hope that I "don't" remember what happened. From what you have all told me it sounded as if I have acted rather - er, foolishly."
"No, I wouldn't say that exactly. Though it has been rather amusing. But I do apologize about the pipeweed. I really didn't know how you would react. I guess that is why I have never seen an Elf smoking before." The Hobbit shook his head. "I wonder if Elrond would react that way."
Legolas couldn't suppress the grin that toyed on his lips.
"Perhaps some day you should ask him about the "Morn Nen" wine that we sent him. I wish I could have seen that! How long do you suppose he forgot things?"
"You sent Elrond Morn Nen wine? I didn't know that. That was rather wicked of you, Prince Legolas," Bilbo said, though he grinned at the thought. "One day I will have to ask him all about it. Perhaps he knows a quick cure then! That was very - daring of you to send that to him."
"Yes, I was young and foolish. What can I say?" He grinned widely at the Hobbit, noticing that a button on his waistcoat was missing. "I have that button. Let me get it for you!"
It wasn't until he had crossed the room and was rummaging in a box on the dresser that he realized what he had said.
"I - I remembered that, didn't I?"
"Wonderful! You are starting to get your memory back. I wonder why you are and poor Bombur hasn't yet."
Legolas found the button lying beside the Angol Osp Echor, the dragon- headed bubble pipe. He stared down at it and then drew it out as well.
"Bilbo, I want you to have this." He said handing him the pipe along with the button. "Something to remember me by," he continued with an amused look. "Not that "you" will forget it."
Bilbo held the pipe in his hand and smiled gently.
"Thank you, Prince Legolas. I will cherish it always. I may need it before my journey is over. Who knows." He thought of the dragon that lay ahead in the Lonely Mountain. Perhaps he would need it. "Though - if you don't mind I know a little Hobbit who will like it quite a lot and I should like to give it to her when my own adventure is over. Her mother will appreciate it since she is rather taken with Elves herself. She will think it wonderful to touch something once owned by the Elf Prince of Mirkwood." He grinned thinking of Little Pip and her rather silly mother. "The child has this fear of spiders, imagine that. Perhaps she can use this to help her."
"That would make me very happy. Tell her for me that spiders really aren't so bad," he laughed. Afraid of spiders! Imagine that indeed! "Oh, and take her this wreath as well!" He ruffled the leaves with his fingers.
"I don't think your father would like that very much. I don't want him angry with you again so soon. I would love to give you something to remember me by, though I don't suppose you want my pipe," Bilbo grinned. "That would indeed make the king very, very mad."
Legolas laughed, wondering if he would laugh when he entirely recovered his memory of that night. Or more importantly when his father remembered.
"Nay, that would probably not be a good thing."
"How about this?" He pulled out a clean red handkerchief. "This is one of the ones Elrond gave to me."
Legolas raised one eyebrow.
Bilbo grinned as the Elf took the square of red silk.
"Rather a bright color for the Lord of Rivendell, isn't it?" He agreed. "I understand from Lord Glorfindel that he has an entire drawer filled with them. Elrond is a mysterious person." He shook his head, and then sighed. "I suppose I had better be going then. I must watch for my chance to free the Dwarves after all." He solemnly extended a hand to the prince of Mirkwood. Legolas took it, squeezing it in a friendly manner.
"I hope that the rest of your adventure is as enjoyable as this one was - er is." He shrugged. "Are you certain I can't interest you in this wreath? Perhaps Gloin would like it. Though I haven't worn it yet, and there are no stray hairs caught in it," he giggled, thrusting the wreath onto his blonde head. "That was rather silly of me - cutting off my warrior braid and giving it to a Dwarf."
"You did make him very happy. Perhaps some day he will share it with his son, you know, the story of the fair Elf maiden of Mirkwood and then his son will fall in love with Legolas the Sparkly Green as well."
Legolas laughed, an image of himself in a sparkling robe of green and ridiculously tasteless circlet, blowing bubbles and singing the barrel song with a Dwarf.
"Then I hope to meet his son someday," he said, knowing that it would never happen in all the Ages of Middle Earth. "I shall charm him myself and have another conquest. We shall be the greatest of friends and people will wonder at that. A Dwarf and an Elf best friends! All because of a warrior braid given to his father so long ago."
Bilbo chuckled at the amusing, if impossible image.
"That would be something indeed. I hope to see it!" He slid from the bed and stood looking up at the prince who rose to his wreath perched on his head. "Farewell, Prince Legolas of Mirkwood."
"Farewell, Bilbo. Tell Gloin -er and the others - that I wish them a safe and -er profitable journey." He laughed They are Dwarves after all. There must be a treasure to be had in it somewhere. A treasure not consisting of spun gold Elf hair." He grinned and then said quietly "I hope to meet you again some time."
"That would be my fondest wish." The Hobbit bowed low and gracefully.
Legolas bowed and smiled at the Hobbit.
"Namarie, nin mellon."
Bilbo nodded, and turned to leave clutching his bubble pipe in one hand. He would miss the prince very much. He slipped on his Ring and vanished.
Legolas stared at the door as it opened and closed seemingly on its own.
"Good bye, Bilbo Baggins of the Shire."
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.