30. Past And Present III: Estel
Completely A.U. Legolas slave fic. This story was inspired by Bluegolds story "Bound", which can be found here: http://daemel.freespaces.com/authors.html#blue
I use similar plot ideas here with her permission.
Betareader: Many thanks to Surreysmum, who polished this and made it so much better! All still remaining errors are my own.
Warnings: Slash. M/m, BDSM, d/s, torture, toys, non-con and debatable consent. Very graphic descriptions. Special warnings for this chapter: none. Please heed the warnings!
Disclaimer: Universe and characters are not mine, but Tolkien's. The idea of the spell, however, belongs to me.
Guide: In this chapter, I work with flashback scenes. Here is a Guide:
// /flashback/ //; ************Time change within a flashback***********; "speech"; 'thoughts'
For all other warnings, other disclaimers and author's notes see Story Intro.
XXVIII. Past And Present III: Estel
// / Elladan laughed. "Aiie!" he exclaimed. "Careful, little brother, you're scaring the horses!"
The boy was unperturbed. He danced around with excitement. "Elladan! Elrohir! You are back!" he cried. "Were you victorious? Did you vanquish the evil Necromancer? Did you kill many Orcs? I bet you did! Were there great battles? Did they have wargs? And trolls, and spiders?"
Elrohir and Elladan both laughed at this firework of questions, as well as the other warriors around them. Legolas used the time to rein in his astonishment and study the boy bemused.
The young one had to be about seventeen, given that peredhil grew up like normal elflings(1), and he had a certain likeness to the twins; but for some reason, he reminded Legolas of the children of mannish origin he had seen in Laketown once or twice.
Well, if this was another son of Elrond, he had to have at least a little mannish blood in his veins. Maybe it was more obvious in a child.
Yet he knew for sure that Elrond's wife Celebrian had passed over the sea to the Undying Lands a long time ago; Elrond had blamed Legolas' people for that often enough in the past. Had the Lord of Rivendell taken another lover? Legolas and his people had heard nothing of the sort. And apparently it did not hinder the Peredhel from raping and taking his pleasure of unwilling slaves, either.
Bitterly, Legolas shoved his musings away and concentrated back on the exchange unfolding before him.
Elladan laughed again and raised his hands in feigned defeat. "Stop it!" he cried, "You are firing questions faster than Glorfindel can fire his arrows! Give me at least some space to answer!"
The boy stopped his endless flow of questions and beamed sheepishly. "Sorry!" he exclaimed, "I just want to know..."
He clearly was about to start again, and Elrohir joined in the laughter of his twin. "For the Valar's sakes, Elladan, tell him already or he'll pester us until the sun goes down!" he exclaimed.
Elladan scowled. "Me? He is your brother, too! How is it that it is always me, who--"
The boy stood before them, fists on hips, scowling in annoyance. Legolas had to suppress a smile at his visible frustration. He felt himself reminded of his own exchanges with some of his older cousins. His mood dampened again. He had Elrond to blame that he himself had never known his oldest brother, and spent so precious little time with his other one. He wondered at the fact that these two cruel bastards he knew as his masters could act like loving brothers between themselves.
"Don't you think you can distract me with your squabbles!" the boy protested loudly."You promised when you went away that you would tell me everything! You promised!!!"
Elladan grinned. Then he gave in. "Peace, little brother! Yes, we besieged the Necromancer. It turned out it was really Sauron himself, who dwelt there! Finally, we defeated him and chased him away. It was a long, hard fight and a grim and costly battle, but we won. At last, he fled away to his southern hidey-hole of Mordor, and left his stronghold at Dol-Guldur behind. Afterwards, we killed what remained of his creatures, and there were many! Masses of trolls, wargs and Orcs. But we killed them! The wood there is a safer place right now. Of course, given how long Sauron's malice had time to take hold, it is still a very evil place!"
Elrohir grinned, too. "But for now, the enemy has been conquered, and mainly thanks to us. Of course, father and Glorfindel helped a little!"
Elladan quirked a brow at his twin. "And so did Grandmother, and Daeradar(2), and Mithrandir, and Saruman, and Radagast, not to mention the whole host of the Elves of Rivendell and Lothlorien," he added dryly.
Elrohir beamed at him. "Exactly! As I said, they helped a bit," he said unperturbed, "but we did most of the work, of course!"
The boy snorted. He cocked his head, fixing his glance on the twins, and at that moment his hair fell to the side, revealing a very round ear.
Legolas exhaled sharply. Mannish ears! The boy was human, not an Elf! But how--?
The boy heard his hiss and looked up, and for the first time he noticed the bound wrists of the strange Elf he had not registered in his first excitement, and exclaimed in surprise: "You have a prisoner!"
Then he surprised Legolas by performing a courteous bow in his direction and greeting him seriously: "Suilad(3)! I am Estel Elrondion. May I ask your name?"
For a moment, Legolas was too surprised to answer. The twins laughed.
"He is a prisoner and slave, Estel," Elladan said, "you do not need to greet him courteously!"
Legolas flushed. Defiantly, he decided to reward the boy for his kindness with equal courtesy. He returned the bow.
"Mae govannen, Estel(4)," he said with his melodious voice. "I am Legolas Thranduilion of Mirkwood. I am a hostage."
Elrohir raised his brows and gave a slow smile. "Our Woodelf-Pet seems to like our foster-brother, Elladan," he said. "Even if he tends to forget his manners!"
Legolas looked back at him, startled, and realized he had just walked into a trap.
But the boy drew his brows together and asked puzzled: "Hostage?" He looked questioningly between his brothers and the slave.
Elladan's face mirrored Elrohir's smile. "He is our new slave," he explained, "and he has just earned himself a punishment, because he forgot he is forbidden to address anyone without permission."
Elrohir shrugged. "He is new, you see. We have been teaching him manners, but he hasn't completely learned them, yet."
Estel seemed puzzled. "He's a slave?" he repeated.
Elladan explained: "When we fought against Sauron, the cowardly Mirkwood Elves failed to join in and offer their support. They let us fight alone, although the matter of the infestation of their wood with evil should be mainly their concern in the first place! So after we defeated the Dark One, father decided to reestablish his power as their overlord and took the army north. And as compensation for their failure they had to give him slaves. Their king offered up his own son just to avoid a harsher punishment! So this one here is now our slave and property, although we have yet to teach him proper manners."
Elrohir cast the slave a dangerous smile. "But never fear, little Pet, we will soon teach you better!" he threatened.
The boy – Estel -drew his brows together, trying to process the information. But Legolas had had enough. He knew he should keep his mouth shut, he knew he would just earn himself another punishment, but he could not help himself.
"That is not true!" he blurted out quietly, but heatedly. "My people are no cowards!"
Both Elrohir and Elladan stared at him in utter amazement, as if they just could not believe their ears. The still present Noldor guards cast him sinister looks and shifted their weapons in their hands. But Legolas had gone too far already to stop now. He would be punished anyway; better then to finish making his point.
"'Tis not true that we failed to fight at your side out of cowardice," he said. "We had to fight our own battle in the north at the time against the Orcs who swarmed our wood and all the lands around Erebor and Laketown in great numbers. It was a battle against overwhelming odds, although we stood at the side of a host of Dwarves and Men, and we lost many warriors there!"
Elladan still looked at him in amazement, but Elrohir gave a slow, malicious smile. "Hear, Hear!" he said. "Our Pet has spirit, yet! It seems he is not yet properly tamed!"
Elladan raised his brows. "I agree," he said. "we will have to give him our closest attention, then, tonight." He turned to their slave. "You still amaze me. You earned yourself another punishment, and this is one you won't soon forget. You seem to develop a liking for the whip, Woodelf-Pet!"
Legolas refused to answer. He knew it would probably worsen his punishment, but he refused to beg them for a penance for defending the honor of his people. Elladan and Elrohir were not in the habit of taking their wrath at him out on the other hostages, as Elrond would have done. As long they did whatever they planned to do to him, he was ready to bear it.
Elladan shrugged and turned to Estel. "Do not believe his lies," he said harshly. "They fought their battle for jewels, not to repel a threat. They only dared to leave their woods and go to Erebor because shortly before a man had slain the dragon that dwelt there, and they wished to secure a part of the treasure for themselves. And they only stood against the Orcs because when the Orcs came to Erebor in great numbers, doubtless also to squabble about the treasures, they advanced too fast for the Mirkwood Elves to retreat without a battle." He turned a cold glare to his slave. "As I said, cowards!"
Legolas felt too drained to rise to the bait again. Besides, what was the point? He knew the son of Elrond was lying through his teeth, he knew the words were meant to provoke him so that he would give them an excuse to punish him even further, and he knew he could not win this fight, no matter what. So, he just refused to give an answer.
Then he looked down at the boy. The young one scowled at him.
"I despise cowards!" Estel exclaimed and spat at the feet of Legolas' horse. Then he turned around and ran away.
Legolas watched him go. He knew it had been too much to hope this young one would be different from his foster brothers. He was still raised by Lord Elrond after all.
So why did he suddenly feel so empty?
A few days later, Legolas was kneeling on the floor in the big quarters of his new masters, where Elrohir and Elladan had left him. He was cleaning their boots, several pairs of them, and polishing them with grease, as he had been ordered.
He was hurting all over from last night's latest round of abuse and punishment. The twins had made good on their threat to teach him a lesson he wouldn't forget for a while, and they had drawn it out during the last few days. There was hardly a place on his back, his ass and thighs, that did not hurt.
He looked up when he heard a noise, and there in the doorway stood the boy he had met that first day in Rivendell. The young one watched him carefully out of thoughtful grey eyes. His face was inscrutable. He seemed curiously shy and shifted his position uncomfortably.
Legolas was not supposed to address anyone without being addressed first. And he was not about to let himself be baited into earning another punishment. So he just waited for the boy to speak.
Finally, the boy came hesitantly closer. Without preamble, he said: "I spoke with Glorfindel. He told me about you."
Legolas raised a brow, but did not answer. The boy swallowed.
"He told me of the battle your people fought against the Orcs. While my foster-father attacked Dol-Guldur. He called it a great battle and said it vanquished the Orcs in the north hopefully for a long time."
Legolas nodded, but did not reply. The boy studied him. He seemed still very uncomfortable.
"He said, father nevertheless demanded a honor-debt of your people, because they failed to assist him in the fight against Sauron. And that you gave yourself willingly into slavery in payment of that debt to appease father's wrath."
It sounded questioning.
Legolas looked at the boy. Still he said nothing. He could have argued that nobody invited the Mirkwood Elves to the attack on Sauron's stronghold in the first place, probably because neither the Elves of Rivendell nor those of Lothlorien trusted their subjected Mirkwood brothers not to take the opportunity to rebel or to demand their freedom. But what was the point? He would just give the brothers another excuse to torture him.
Not that they needed any to do so if they were in the mood.
The boy still watched him intently. "Glorfindel says that this is a honorable thing to do, that you gave yourself up to avert harsher punishment from your people. He says I should respect you."
For the first time since Estel had entered, Legolas spoke. Quietly he said: "Lord Glorfindel is a noble Elf and a honorable warrior."
Estel beamed at him. "Yes he is, isn't he? He is Glorfindel of Gondolin, you know! He once slew a Balrog!"
Legolas nodded again, amused at the boy's hero-worship. He felt himself reminded of his own reaction when he read that particular story as a little Elfling.
Estel hesitated again. Then he said seriously: "I am sorry I sneered at you the other day. I was rash and unjust in my judgment." He stepped carefully closer. "My apologies."
Legolas stared at him in complete disbelief. Then he decided that the boy – unbelievably, but nevertheless obviously – meant it. Obviously, this one was very different from his foster-brothers.
He took a deep breath.
"Thank you," he offered, and gave the boy a solemn and serious bow, "your apology is accepted, Estel Elrondion. I am grateful." After a moment, he added: "You are gracious!"
The boy blushed. "Call me Estel, please," he said. "Everybody does." Then he added after another moment of hesitation: "I would like it... if you were willing... I would like you to be my friend."
Legolas looked at him in amazement. Carefully, he answered: "I am the slave of your brothers..."
Estel shrugged. "Aye, I know. So you will probably spent a lot of time in Rivendell," he said. "We could do a lot of things together. I could show you your new home. I know all the good places."
Legolas blinked. If he remembered correctly from his own time as Elfling, 'all the good places' were either ones where you were not supposed to go, or those you were at least not supposed to go alone without an adult. Or places that would never appeal to any adult anyway, since they were cramped, dusty and hard to reach. He fought a smile. The boy was serious; he deserved a serious answer.
Besides, Estel sounded so very hopeful, and a little lost. Legolas asked himself how many playmates the boy might have. While his own people still had many Elflings because they needed to fill the losses left by Orc raids or hostages given to the other Elven realms, he had heard that in the other Elven realms people had stopped reproducing for a long time now.
Slowly and very seriously, he said: "I would like that very much, Estel. I will be honored to be your friend, as much as my duties to your brothers permit it."
He was rewarded with a brilliant smile. The boy nodded once, then turned around. "Let's go, then!" he exclaimed. After a moment, though, he noticed that Legolas did not follow.
He turned around again. "What are you waiting for?"
Legolas shook his head. "I have been ordered to clean your brother's boots," he said, "and I need their permission if I want to go with you."
Estel scowled, and Legolas looked down, disappointed. He set the finished boot he had been working on away and reached for the next one. His back ached, and he made a grimace.
Estel hesitated. "You are hurt," he stated in sudden understanding. "Did they beat you much?"
Wordlessly, Legolas nodded. Estel bit his lips.
Then he nodded. „All right, then! Let me talk to my brothers! I am sure they will agree to 'lend' you to me; they will be glad if I do not pester them for a while!" He smiled mischievously. "Afterwards, we can go and I can show you around, if you like!"
Legolas looked at him in amazement and felt his heart go out to the boy. "Thank you, Estel," he said in a heartfelt tone.
The boy smiled at him and turned to run to his brothers. Legolas watched his retreat.
Very hesitantly, he allowed himself to dare to hope again. / //
_____________ o ______________
Legolas smiled again, slowly withdrawing his mind from the memory. Half an hour later Estel had returned with Elladan, and after the twin determined that it had been Estel's idea, not Legolas', to steal the slave away from his normal duties for the day, Legolas had been given a most serious warning that should anything happen to Estel, not only he but all the other hostages would pay for it dearly. And afterwards he and the boy were off together. At the end of the day, though completely exhausted, Legolas had seen the kitchens, Estel's rooms, the training grounds, the gardens, the stables and even Estel's most favorite places in the woods and at the waterfalls. Though he still hurt from the traces of the beating he had received the night before, by talking to the boy and listening to his endless chatter about such normal and important things like slaying dragons, angering the crows, teasing squirrels, exploring caves, stealing from the cook and doing everything else you did when you were an eleven-years-old human boy (or you had done once at the time when you had been a seventeen-years-old Elfling), Legolas had started to laugh and feel alive again.
Nor had it ended there, because Estel afterwards 'adopted' the new Elven slave of his brothers and 'borrowed' him as often as he could, until they spent nearly every amount of free time Estel had together. A year later, Estel wheedled permission from his brothers with a little help of Glorfindel to let Legolas teach him the bow, effectively giving his Elven friend the joy of rekindling his skill with that weapon. Whenever Legolas would train his own skills with the bow, Estel watched him and beamed as if he had shot every hit himself. And even later Legolas was allowed to accompany Estel on his first longer hunting trips and explorations of the forest. They became nearly inseparable, whenever Elrohir and Elladan did not demand their slave's services.
Even those services got easier to bear with time, since the twins found that they were at a loss to explain to their curious young brother why Legolas so often had to move so stiffly and hurt at funny places. While they would simply tell Estel that Legolas was unavailable this week when they wished to play harsher games, they found that their little brother was curious and crafty enough to try and work around that, since he believed his enslaved friend was simply 'grounded'. So they saw themselves forced to tame down the bed-games most of the time. They even began to take Estel's feelings for their slave into consideration in the way they treated Legolas. They did not want to hurt their little brother by injuring his beloved companion. They even defended the whole development of Estel's and Legolas' friendship and their own changed attitude towards the slave to Elrond.
And since both twins were in the habit of taking long expeditions away from Rivendell to hunt Orcs, and did not yet dare to take their slave with them on those since Legolas with a weapon was a danger, and without one a liability, Estel and Legolas indeed had a lot of undisturbed time together. In those times, Glorfindel was the one who fed the spell for the slave, although the Noldor Lord loathed the necessity, though he never complained or let his dismay out on Legolas.
Legolas remained Estel's faithful shadow and trusted friend until the time Estel began his first, fumbling and awkward explorations into sexuality. Then, their relationship got a bit awkward, and soon afterwards it transformed itself into much more. But by then, Legolas would gladly have given his life, his heart and his very soul for this boy – and the young man he had grown into – and count himself blessed to do so anyway.
Until Elrond succeeded in ruining even that beyond repair.
Legolas gaze searched and found the dark lump in the camp that was the form of his sleeping master. He felt as if he would drown in his torn feelings. It had been Estel who had given him hope and had protected him, had called him back to life again and finally had taught him to love. It had been as if he had found shelter from a nightmare.
And now, the very man who once had been that boy who made him live again was about to throw him back into his old nightmare! Once again he was to become the unwilling bed-toy of anyone who pleased to take him and who gained his master's permission to do so.
Legolas cried, helplessly and desperately. He made no attempt to stop the tears, simply huddling deeper against the tree trunk. Finally – it felt like hours, but probably it had been only minutes – the tears subsided and he tried to compose himself again.
He hooked his arms around his knees, rocking slightly. Harshly, he reminded himself that Aragorn very likely was not aware of what he truly demanded of his slave. There was an important point to consider. A point he needed to remember, he must not forget.
Estel did not know.
He did not know what happened to Legolas during these first few month directly after his enslavement, did not know what Legolas had been through before he came to Rivendell and became his friend. Estel met him first when Legolas had already become the exclusive property of his brothers. And since Estel had been just eleven years old at that time, the twins had never told him the whole tale. Instead they had carefully kept the sordid details from the boy.
And later, during the many nights of nightmares when Estel had patiently held Legolas until the Elf's trembling ceased again, Legolas had mostly refused afterwards to give him details of what exactly those dreams had been about. And Estel, generous as he was most of the times when he was not playing his games, had let him keep his secrets.
All Aragorn had ever heard from him and others were some hints that Elrond had lent the Mirkwood Elf out to others now and then before he had been given to the twins - and later to Aragorn - as slave. Legolas was not sure if Estel had not learned some more about this time during their first visit in Lothlorien; there had been that incident when Haldir had nurtured a broken jaw a week or two after trying to talk Aragorn into sharing his slave and bragging that he already had tasted him once. At least the fight had been enough to make it clear to everyone to whom the slave belonged, and that his owner would not share, and afterwards Legolas had thankfully been left alone. Haldir had even made a truce of sorts with Aragorn, since the Adan had earned his respect with his blow.
When Aragorn had asked Legolas about Haldir's bragging afterwards, the Elf had just told him that it had happened when he was first enslaved, before he had been given to Aragorn, and that Elrond had given him to Haldir for a night as a reward. It was not exactly a lie, but he had also not disclosed the whole tale.
Even so, it had been enough to appease his master. Legolas did not know how much of the story Haldir had told Aragorn, or how much Aragorn had learned from other Elves, but from his master's behaviour afterwards he had guessed that it could not have been much. And Aragorn had never asked him for more details of the tale since.
No, Aragorn had no way of really understanding why Legolas loathed it so much to have to share himself with others than his master, and what the decision to keep the bargain of sharing Legolas with Boromir meant for his slave. He probably thought the whole affair nothing more than the deal he had once made with his two closest confidants among the Rangers, Halbarad and Onogdir, second and third in command among the Dunedain.
That had been during heir fifth year among the Rangers. Aragorn had been very seriously wounded in a fight with wargs; the wounds were nearly fatal, and he had been dangling between life and death for weeks. There was no way he would have been capable of feeding the spell. In those rare moments when Aragorn woke from his fever and was clear, he had commanded Legolas to leave his side and return to Rivendell, but Legolas had outright refused to obey. He would not leave his side, keeping watch and taking care of him until he was exhausted. They had argued. Legolas had told Aragorn that he was welcome to punish him if he survived, but to do that he should please focus on surviving. No argument nor threat had managed to send him away. When Legolas began to show serious signs of withdrawal, Aragorn had been positively desperate.
Of course, Aragorn knew - and Legolas rightly argued - that Elrond and the twins would refuse to save Legolas anyway if he came back to Rivendell without Estel, having left his master badly wounded and probably dying; and even Glorfindel might have had second thoughts under such circumstances. Yet that did not pacify Aragorn's desperation. He feared his slave would die on him even if he finally recovered. And indeed, it had been close.
In the end, what saved Legolas' life was a chance visit of Elrohir and Elladan to the Rangers. As soon as the twins learned what happened they had smoothly taken control of the situation. One had taken the already severely suffering Legolas to bed, the other had dedicated himself to assist in Estel's healing, and they took turns in that until Legolas and Estel both were out of danger. They allowed the slave back to the bedside of his master only after Legolas was completely recovered. When Aragorn was healed, they shared the slave with him a few times more for old times sakes and as a kind of 'payment' for their troubles before they left again.
As soon as they had left, Aragorn took Halbarad and Onogdir into his confidence and extended the spell to them. Legolas had loathed it, but he had been unable to refuse Aragorn's logic that they could not risk anything like that happening again, and that Aragorn needed to know Legolas was safe and had someone to fall back to among the Rangers even when his master could not take care of him himself.
Legolas stared through the leafless branches of the tree into the fading night.
Yes, he had loathed it then, too, at first, and then he had learned to accept it. But there was a difference. Halbarad always treated Legolas as a comrade and a friend. Whenever Legolas was forced to lie with him, be it because Aragorn was absent or otherwise hindered to feed the spell, Halbarad treated it as two warriors giving each other comfort and joy in friendship and respect. He never simply used Legolas for his pleasure. Of course, Halbarad also fancied him and had joked once or twice already that if Aragorn ever would give him up - or if the Elf ever wanted to leave their chief - Legolas would be welcome to join Halbarad's bedding for good. Most of the times, he made those jokes well in Aragorn's earshot, and they were nothing more than good-natured teasing. Halbarad would never treat the Elf just as a whore.
And Onogdir, while not that welcoming, treated sharing his bedding with the Elf simply like necessity, a kind of medical treatment on the rare occasions Legolas had found himself in need to turn to him. Onogdir did not like Legolas that much - nor did he like Aragorn, as a matter of fact - but he never treated him other than a free warrior, either.
Neither of them would ever dream of taking the slave to bed just to feed their pleasure, or seeing him as a simple pleasure-boy.
But Boromir would do that.
And Aragorn did not see the difference, or if he saw it he probably thought it a mere detail and unimportant.
No, Aragorn had no true idea what his command did to his slave. He couldn't.
He just wanted to keep him safe.
Legolas sighed and stared into the now increasingly brightening sky. Dawn was near. It was time for him to end his musings.
Stretching his limbs and forcefully composing himself, he thanked the tree for its support, then he got up and climbed down again.
It was time for him to wake the Fellowship.
______________ o ______________
(1) Elves reach physical maturity between fifty and a hundred years according to Tolkien's essay „Laws and customs of the Eldar", History of Middle Earth Tome X (Morgoth's Ring) pp. 207-214, here especially page 210. They come sooner to the mastery of their bodies than human children, but stay in childhood longer. With the age a human would reach his or her full height – about eighteen- an Elf would still look like a child between seven or ten. Therefore I estimate that an Elfling just short of the beginning of adolescence would be between the age of seventeen and twenty, and about forty he would be the equivalent of a mortal teenager of sixteen or seventeen. If Estel was Elrond's natural child, he would be an Halfelf (Sindarin: Peredhel), and develop like one. Obviously, Legolas thought halfelves would grow like normal elves.
(2) Daeradar – Sindarin: Grandfather. The grandfather of the twins is Celeborn, and Galadriel is their grandmother.
(3) Suilad-- Sindarin: Greeting (to you). Estel Elrondion – Sindarin: Hope, son of Elrond
(4) Mae govannen – Sindarin: Well met!
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