11. To Rescue a Prince
Crouched behind the pillar, the four figures in black watched the changing of the sentries with keen interest. It did not escape their attention that the new guards had shields that were less polished and that they dragged their feet more as they walked. It was the window they had been waiting for.
Legolas turned to Elrohir and nodded, while bending down to whisper in Faramir's ear.
"Let me deal with them," he said.
Not waiting for Faramir to question him further, he stepped into the main path, into full view of the guards. Behind him, Faramir and Salanor could not contain their gasps of surprise.
"Halt! Who goes there?" the guards cried, leaping to their feet, swords drawn.
Legolas lowered his hood, and a soft song escaped his lips. Gentle and soothing, it seemed to confuse the men, who shook their heads like great cats trying to ward off sleep and confusion.
"Who are you?" one of the guards said, although his voice had lost its sharp tone and was instead filled with curiosity and wonder.
Legolas reached them, and Elrohir followed suit, beckoning for Faramir and Salanor to do the same.
"We are nobody," Legolas said, his voice a low, pleasant purr.
It was then that Faramir realised Legolas was lacing his song and speech with Elven magic and working it upon the minds of the soldiers. Well-versed in Elven lore, Faramir recognised this power to be unique and unheard off even among the Elves, and felt himself grow disconcerted that he had known Legolas for so many years without knowing that he had this power.
"You see nothing, and will remember nothing," Legolas said, walking past the soldiers and walking through the open door, while Elrohir, Faramir and Salanor followed behind.
Once within the castle grounds with no one else in sight, Legolas stopped singing and pulled his hood over his head again.
Seeing Faramir's questioning gaze, Elrohir said, "It is an ability that Lass had discovered only in recent years. He uses it sparingly, and only on those who are easily bent to do the will of others."
"Not because it is not powerful enough," Faramir said, sudden realisation hitting him.
"No," Legolas said quietly. "It is too unpredictable and uncontrollable. The only person I told about it was Roh. I do not like using it any more than you like the idea of it."
Turning to Salanor, Elrohir gave him a quizzical look.
"You do not curse him for possession of the magic."
Salanor gave a small smile.
"Faramir trusts him, and there is nothing he could do that I would question."
"And for that, I know that I do not err in trusting my life -- and that of my family's -- in Salanor's hands," Faramir said.
Salanor found himself filled with gratitude and unable to speak, and so he gestured for them to follow him, leading the way through the deserted compound.
Working their way through the sentries one at a time, it was not long before they stood outside the entrance to a large tower.
Elrohir gave a start as he noticed then that Legolas was frowning, and his brow was wet with perspiration.
"I need your help, Roh," Legolas whispered. "I can feel my control on it slipping away."
Without a second's thought, Elrohir grabbed Legolas's hand in his own, and the binding channel that flowed between them flared open, breaking down the usual barriers of space and flesh.
Legolas took his time at accepting the fusion of their spirits, allowing two to become one, enjoying opening himself up completely to Elrohir, feeling Elrohir exploring every single inch of him.
When he started singing, the first, golden note was twice as beautiful as earlier, a deeper, supporting tone added to his usual lilting baritone.
To a side, Faramir and Salanor felt themselves be moved to the verge of tears at the onset of his song, Faramir suddenly realising that he was catching a tiny glimpse of the purity and power of Elven love.
The sentries did not have a chance, unlocking the door and stepping aside as commanded by Legolas, blissful and euphoric expressions on their faces.
"Thank you," Legolas said, his voice laced with thick layers of magic, and the guards felt as if they had just been gifted with a cartload of praise and goodwill.
The last strains of the song died down, but Elrohir and Legolas still remained grasping hands, bathed in the glow of each other's love and regard.
"You are --" Salanor said, the truth dawning on him.
"Married," Faramir said. "They have been so for many lifespans, long before we were born, and will stay that way long after we have turned to dust. It is the way of the first-born, a way which they have to hide."
Salanor bowed deeply. "Then I curse my fellow men for not seeing past their own eyes. They will never know what it means to love."
Elrohir felt as if all his troubles of the past month melt away.
"Thank you, Salanor, for understanding."
Legolas smiled, and turned to the door at the top of the tower. Whipping out a key procured from the sentries earlier, he put it in the lock, and the door swung open. A bare room with a tiny bed flung the furthest it could get from the door, and a bowl of half-eaten grey gruel sat in the middle of the room.
Salanor let out a cry of surprise as he saw the empty room, but Legolas let go of Elrohir and knelt down in front of the bed. Bending down, he looked under it to find two large eyes staring back at him.
"Hello," Legolas said, smiling. "Why are you hiding under that bed?"
The eyes widened further.
"Are you from Gondor?"
"Yes we are. We are here to bring you back to your father."
A sudden movement, but the boy still refused to emerge from his safe hideout.
"Perhaps I have to bring this bed all the way to Gondor if you refuse to come out," Legolas said with a troubled air. "Now, it is this long, and that heavy --"
A giggle escaped the little boy, and he reached out to grasp Legolas's hand.
"Where are the bad men?"
"We have them knocked out and lying asleep down the stairs," Legolas said, keeping his grip.
The boy thought for a while, before inching his way from under the bed. He stood up to reveal a boy of about seven with unkempt hair and filthy clothes that had once been rich and ornate.
"Faramir!" he cried when he saw the steward standing behind Legolas.
"Hello, Master Halim."
"Where is my father?" Halim said, looking around the room.
"Back in Gondor."
"Then you must take me back to him. He will be wanting me to be there."
"It is what we have come here for, Halim," Elrohir said.
Halim's head bobbed, and he flew out of the door without much hesitation, Salanor and Faramir close behind.
Left alone, Elrohir touched Legolas's chin with the crook of his finger, and held his gaze for a few seconds before the pair followed after the humans.
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.