“My friends,” Aragorn said suddenly to the group he was dining with. “I cannot express my gratitude and joy enough in seeing all of you here, safe and hale, after so many struggles.”
He smiled, enjoying the sight of this special occasion. The Fellowship was together once more, with the addition of some new, dear friends, and for once, they were sharing a meal without danger lurking behind them. The hobbits laughed heartily as they ate, and Gandalf and Aragorn especially enjoyed listening to their lively conversation. Legolas and Gimli were trading insults with each other as usual and laughing lightly with Faramir and Éowyn. The sense of relief and accomplishment were palpable in all. Each one felt as if a great weight had been lifted from their shoulders.
“I must admit,” Aragorn continued, “to some surprise on my part that we succeeded in our quest. But succeed we did. Every one of you is dear to me. I thank the Valar deeply for their many blessings, not the least of which are all of you.”
“I’ll drink to that!” Pippin said enthusiastically. Merry thought that perhaps he had already drank to too many things.
“Well said, Aragorn,” Gimli added, a bit more seriously.
Legolas sighed. “I only hope that our lands and our people have fared as well as we have,” he said, and Gimli nodded in agreement.
An attendant knocked on the door hesitantly. “My lord, there is a visitor,” he announced. “It is actually for Legolas, my lord,” he said uncertainly, glancing to the elf. “He did not tell me his name, but,” after a pause, he added, “it is an elf.”
Curious, Legolas rose. “Bring him in, please,” he said, slowly stepping away from the dining table.
When the attendant brought in the visitor, Legolas found himself looking at a familiar face. He stared a moment in confusion, then stepped toward him. The dark-haired elf, dressed in the deep greens of Mirkwood, entered the room silently, eyes fixed on Legolas. After another moment’s hesitation, Legolas asked abruptly, "Naergon, what are you doing here?”
If Naergon was troubled by Legolas’s greeting, he did not show it. Without emotion, he bowed slowly to Legolas – and only Legolas, Aragorn noted. Only then did the elf speak. “My duty, my lord.” Then he fell silent, simply staring at Legolas.
With those words, Legolas suddenly halted his slow approach to the elf and took a step backward, his eyes widening. He began to shake his head, eventually speaking his denial. “No. No, Naergon.”
Naergon took a step forward to match Legolas’s retreat. He said nothing for a moment, an expression of grief clouding his fair face. Finally, he replied softly, “Yes, Legolas. Yes.” He reached his hand into his tunic and pulled out a small flat bundle wrapped in deep green cloth. Holding it in front of him, he spoke quietly. “Though the battle was a fierce one, we were victorious in the end. Much of the Greenwood was scorched, but we prevailed, undoubtedly because of your father’s blade.” Legolas’s eyes widened further at his last words.
“He was a force to be feared, surely," Naergon continued, pride evident in his voice. “His blade sung; he was fierce and unyielding,” he paused slightly, “up to the very end.”
The room behind Legolas had fallen silent. All waited to hear the news that had caused the elf to still so. And yet, Aragorn, from where he had come to stand near the young prince, could see him trembling.
“His last words were of you, my lord. He was proud of your role in the War against the Dark Lord. He looks forward to seeing you again in the Undying Lands.”
Finally, Naergon turned the bundle in his hand over and began to unravel it. With utmost care, he uncovered an exquisite circlet, such as all Elven lords wear. Aragorn had seen Legolas wear a similar one just days ago when the Man was crowned King of Gondor.
Naergon bent one knee as he offered the circlet to Legolas. “My lord, I pass onto you the circlet of the King of the Greenwood, worn by Thranduil and Oropher before him. I offer you my service and my allegiance, King Legolas of the Greenwood.”
With shaking hands, tears gathering in his eyes, Legolas accepted the circlet of the Greenwood and placed it on his head. As he closed his eyes and felt the weight of it settle upon him, he wondered that he never knew before how heavy a piece of silver could be.
Thanks to my beta readers, who have been so generous: Avon, Nienna, and most especially Thundera Tiger!
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.