1. Hidden Music
Sighing contentedly, Legolas leaned against a sturdy trunk. Here in solitude, it was easier to think, to let the beauty of the night wash over him. There was much to be learned in the subtle music of the woodlands. It hearkened back to the Great Music of Illuvatar, when the world was sung into being. Legolas knew that each note of the hidden music was a gift from Illuvatar, a gentle call of love to his children. That was why, even after centuries of wandering, Legolas never tired of gazing at the scenes of wonder in the woods. Each newly budding sapling, each towering oak, each animal that ran across his path held secrets of Illuvatar’s loveliness and His care for all living things. Legolas smiled, his own heart responding the lulling songs all around him.
He wafted among the trees like a benevolent phantom. Not a twig was crushed under his step. Everywhere around him was splendor that set his soul singing. Then, suddenly, music of a different strain reached his ears. It was sinister and discordant, yet incredibly cloying. Legolas felt a great sense of evil drifting toward him on the night air, and his heart quailed. A wave of alarm froze him. He wished he had brought his bow and arrows. But since he was the only one awake, he must protect the Fellowship. Slowly and cautiously, he followed the evil to its source.
It seemed to come from a large oak with a wide trunk. Legolas noticed a small figure crouched between two roots. A hobbit. Legolas chuckled to himself; it was only Frodo! But as Legolas approached, the warning inside him grew stronger. When he reached Frodo it rose to a fevered pitch. Before him, the hobbit leaned against the tree, staring up at the stars and hugging his knees. His chest heaved, and sweat glistened on his brow. But the eyes of Legolas’ heart saw a different scene. All the terrifying evil he had felt turned into a lake of black poison. Frodo sat chained in it, and Legolas watched in horror as the venom rose higher and higher, lapping at the hobbit’s chin. He gasped and coughed, but then he turned to look at Legolas. Strength and resignation were in the Ringbearer’s eyes…and love. Legolas understood now what the Ring and the morgul poison were truly doing to Frodo, and that he endured it for all of them. For Legolas himself.
Legolas wiped his stinging eyes, and the vision passed. Frodo sat looking up at him with the same expression he had worn in the vision. Legolas knelt beside him.
“You cannot sleep?” the elf asked gently.
Frodo shook his head.
“You are in pain?”
Frodo nodded, biting back a sob.
“I will wake Aragorn.” Legolas started to rise.
“No, no,” Frodo protested. “Do not trouble him. There is nothing he can do.”
Legolas thought for a moment, frowning. “Let me see your wound,” he said. “We must make sure it has not become infected here in the wild.” He felt terribly helpless, but he longed to do something for Frodo.
Frodo objected, but Legolas helped him remove his cloak, vest, shirt, and mithril mail. In the moonlight Legolas saw the small mark on Frodo’s left shoulder. It was not red or swollen. Legolas touched it carefully, feeling the smooth scar tissue.
“Am I hurting you?” he asked.
“No.” To Legolas’ surprise, Frodo’s eyes filled with relief. “So you have the Elven power as well! When Glorfindel came for me from Rivendell, his touch revived me. It seems the darkness cannot stand against the light that dwells within the Elves. It cannot stand against you.”
Legolas smiled and covered the shoulder with both hands. He felt the hobbit relax. He touched Frodo’s icy left arm, and it grew warmer.
Frodo closed his eyes. “Thank you!” he sighed.
Legolas beamed. He covered Frodo with both their cloaks, keeping his arm around the small shoulders underneath. Half asleep already, Frodo slumped against him.
“The light within the Elves,” Legolas repeated. He spoke to Frodo then, long and fervently, of Elbereth, the Lady Who lit the stars. He spoke of the great power and love of Illuvatar, and how the Elves saw it most clearly in Her light. For that reason She was the dearest to them of all the Valar, the great spirits sent to shape the earth. The Elves often sang to her in supplication and praise, and great was Her love for them. Perhaps it was Her light that shone in them. Oh, what an honor to be Her vessel! Legolas sang to Her out of pure joy.
When his song ended, he looked down at Frodo. He was asleep. Legolas carried him back to the camp. He placed him next to Sam and covered him with the cloaks and his blanket, hiding the valuable mithril shirt. Legolas sat back on his heels and contemplated Frodo. He realized sadly that the hobbit’s relief was only temporary, that he could do nothing to stop the evil from rising over his head. Fear for the Ringbearer crept back into his heart. The vision returned. Now Frodo was submerged in the poison, completely exhausted. Then two glowing arms reached down, lifted his head above it, and caressed his brow gently. Legolas raised his eyes to marvel at the indescribable beauty of Elbereth herself.
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.