1. The Idea
Legolas whistled a merry tune as he made his way along the winding, tree lined trails. His heart was light and he was filled with joy, for he was on his way back to his second home, the last homely house, the beautiful, not-so-hidden haven of Rivendell. He found it a wonderful place to get away from the immense pressures and responsibilities he endured as the PRINCE of MIRKWOOD. He had many dear friends here, like the always good for a laugh and terribly mischievous twins; Lord Elrond, the kind and nurturing father-figure he didn't have at home; and oh-so-serious, fastidious ol' Erestor, who was always good for playing pranks on.
Now, however, Legolas had even more reason to be excited about his little holiday. Just a couple of decades ago Lord Elrond had decided to take in a stray, an orphaned little human boy, and, for some reason he still could not quite understand, he and the boy had become fast friends and the dearest of bosom buddies. Something was very different and special about this young mortal, and Legolas made a point of visiting him as often as his strenuous duties as the PRINCE of MIRKWOOD would allow, which, despite the fact that his own realm was becoming increasingly over-run by the evil of spawn of Mordor, was almost constantly.
Unfortunately, his ever-demanding father had called him back to MIRKWOOD for some dull defending his own kingdom stuff and he had been forced to be away from the home-of-his-heart for far too long. It had been almost two months since last he had walked amongst the beautiful trees of Rivendell and he could wait no longer to be back where he so clearly belonged. As soon as he had hastily dispensed with his boring responsibilities, he hopped on his most beloved and trusty steed and quickly returned again to Rivendell, for it was that easy to travel between the two realms.
Legolas paused from his thoughts and his forward momentum as suddenly the trees around him alerted him to the presence of another. "Who is there?" he called out tentatively. His hand rested on his knives, because one could never be too careful in these dark times.
With a graceful and near-soundless leap down from a near-by tree, a lodgepole pine, if Legolas was correct (and wood-elves always were about matters concerning trees) suddenly a tall, fair, dark-haired elf stood before him. Smiling broadly, the elf stepped forward and offered his hand. "Mae govannen, Legolas mellon nin! Welcome back! Your favourite room is ready for you as always. Ada had the maid turn down the sheets and leave a chocolate on your pillow."
Legolas readily returned the smile. "I am most glad to be back. MIRKWOOD is so dark and gloomy it is best taken in small doses! Hannon le, Elladan." Legolas paused for a moment and studied the elf before him. "Or is it Elrohir? You two are so alike, I can never tell you apart."
The dark haired elf thought deeply for a moment and frowned. "You know, I am not quite certain myself." Then, again, the smile returned to his fair elven face, for the twin Sons of Elrond were never ones to spend their time in serious thought for long, and with a shrug of his elven shoulders he added: "It is of little importance. We're usually just around for comic relief anyway. Call me Elone, everyone else does."
There was another soft thud and suddenly, a second identical dark-haired elf stood beside the first, for the twin Sons of Elrond were never apart for long. Legolas smiled brightly at the second twin. "Ah, Eltwo, it is ever so good to see you!"
After some idle chit-chat and catching up on the latest gossip of the many happenings in their respective kingdoms, Legolas looked around in concern. "Where is that little brother of yours? Rarely does he miss the opportunity to spend time with me! I have been away for too long and I have dearly missed his company."
With that statement, Legolas paused for a moment, looking briefly confused (a state he was not wholly unaccustomed too) as he reflected: "For some reason, I, a high-bred elf of noble lineage and the PRINCE of MIRKWOOD, a realm quite literally under siege from the shadow, can seem to find nothing better to do than spend the vast majority of my time with that human youth."
The two Els shared a concerned glance before Elone spoke, his voice deeply deep with worry. "I fear that he is in hiding someplace, most likely brooding. It is good you have come, Legolas, for Estel is sulking and he will speak to no one. Despite the fact we have raised him, cared for him, taught him and loved him as part of our family, you share a bond with him of which we have no part, and you are the only one who can help him."
Upon hearing this ill news, Legolas too became deeply concerned. It was not uncommon for Aragorn to go off brooding, but once he started sulking, truly there was trouble. "Tell me what has happened."
Eltwo eagerly responded, for this was big news: "Ada dropped the bombshell on him. I mean, the bomb. We have just recently returned from our latest jaunt into the wilds. It is a pity that you, as the PRINCE of MIRKWOOD, were too engaged with fighting the ever-growing darkness in your own realm to join us, for it was actually great fun…"
Here Eltwo paused, for Legolas was glaring at him in a most disconcerting manner, and Elone quickly took up the narrative: "Anyway, Estel returned here to Rivendell after great deeds in our company, and ada thought it was about time to come clean about the whole heir of Isildur thing. I fear that poor Estel did not take the news too kindly."
Eltwo quickly added: "And who can blame him really? He just found out that we have all been lying to him lo these many years, and he is in fact the last remaining survivor in the line of Numenorean kings and now all he has to show for it is a really really old ring and a broken sword."
Legolas frowned. He could just imagine what unpleasant angsty thoughts the poor boy must be thinking. He was deeply concerned for little Estel's mental well-being, and he had to come to the aid of the dearest friend he had ever had in all the many centuries of his life!
He did wonder, however briefly, what, if anything, any of Estel's apparently loving family had done about it. "And has Aragorn spoken to his mother of this?"
At first, the Els simply stared at him, their identical fair elven faces as blank as unblemished newly-fallen snow. Then, Eltwo voiced the question which deeply befuddled their fair elven minds: "Mother? What mother?"
"That is strange, I could have sworn that Aragorn had a mother around here somewhere." With a dismissive wave of his hand and a shrug of his shoulders, Legolas continued: "Oh, well, it matters not. I will be the one to find Estel and bring him from the edge of despair, for I have a special bond with him in which no one else can share."
This comment was accompanied by a protrusion of his tongue directed towards the Els, however, upon seeing the angry glares upon the fair elven faces of two identical very jealous elf lords, Legolas began to discretely lick his lips instead.
Legolas knew exactly where to find the young man because of their extra-special bond and the trueness of their deep abiding friendship. He quickly found Estel hiding out in the woods, sitting on a big rock overlooking a creek, moping.
Without turning to look at him, Aragorn spoke, a big pout marring his pretty young face: "Go away! I don't want to talk to you! You're a big liar, just like all the rest!"
Legolas looked truly hurt by this nasty accusation. "Estel, Estel, I thought you knew me better than that. We are the best buddies ever and I would never willingly deceive you, you know that. The whole cover-up thing was your father's, pardon me, your foster-father's, idea and he made me promise I wouldn't tell you and you know that he can be, rather, well, intimidating when he gets that look…"
Aragorn, not able to remain angry at his BFF for long, turned to look at the elf with true angsty anguish in his eyes: "But they all lied to me, Legolas! They only cared for me and taught me and raised me because I am supposed to be a king or something. They don't really love me, it was all an act!"
Placing an arm tenderly on the young man's shoulder, Legolas responded: "Of course they love you! Everyone loves you!"
Leaning in closer to speak in a conspiratorial whisper, the elf added: "Except maybe those twin Sons of Elrond. They're a little bit 'off' if you know what I mean. But all that really matters is that I love you!"
Suddenly looking around, Legolas quickly pulled his arm away and backed up a bit as he added hastily: "When I say 'I love you' I mean in that brotherly-love, strictly platonic friendship sort of a way, of course."
Suddenly, Aragorn had a thought, which could only be a bad thing, and got that look in his eyes that Legolas had come to dread. "Legolas, if you really love me, you have to prove it!"
The elf eyed the youth suspiciously: "How?"
"You have to sneak out after curfew without telling my ada or anyone else, dash over to the Trollshaws and slay a couple of giant stone-trolls with me!" exclaimed Aragorn, growing ever more excited about his brilliant idea.
"It is the only way that I can prove to them all that I am a mature, wise, fully grown-up man," replied Aragorn, as he attempted to explain the utterly unexplainable. "Ada and my brothers are always coddling me. They are so over-protective, they always treat me like a child and they never let me do anything!" This statement was punctuated with a stomp of Aragorn's large manly foot, and his voice grew ever higher and more whiny as he continued: "I want to prove to them that I am a man now!"
Legolas was forced to cover his delicately pointed ears in an attempt to protect his sensitive elven hearing from the near-deafening pitch of Aragorn's angsty plea. While Aragorn was never known for his overly intelligent ideas, even Legolas had a hard time comprehending the sense of this one as questioned: "So, to prove that you are a man, you want to behave in an incredibly childish, and, dare I say, rather moronic fashion?"
Upon further reflection, however, Legolas added: "Hmmm, I suppose that would prove you are a man."
Aragorn, thrilled that Legolas was finally seeing the sense of his words, nodded his head enthusiastically. "Exactly!" Pausing for a long, long moment to ponder his friends words more deeply, Aragorn's expression turned to confusion as he added: "Hey, wait a minute…"
Legolas cut him off: "As a centuries old elf PRINCE, I do feel the need to be the voice of wisdom in this situation. Trolls are massive, mighty, extremely ferocious, and highly aggressive fighters. No elf in his right mind would willingly cross paths with one without the backup of a whole platoon of highly trained warriors, unless, of course, he happens to have a very powerful wizard along to help out. I do not think it so wise that the two of us go traipsing merrily through known troll territory in search of one of those beasts to fight on our own."
Aragorn shook his head emphatically. "No. Not one. That is not nearly impressive enough. I really want to prove something. We have to take out at least two. We can do it," Aragorn paused to count on his fingers, "that's only one each."
Seeing the rather skeptical look that stubbornly remained on his friends face, Estel really turned up the pout power, as, with his lower lip protruding expressively, he whined: "Don't you want to help me? I thought you were supposed to be my best friend! Though I have no rational basis upon which to make this claim, I just know that I can do this! Don't you trust me? Don't you have any faith in me?"
Aragorn was really going for the jugular with that one. Legolas, admitting defeat, responded reluctantly: "Of course I have faith in you, Estel. You know that because we share an extra special bond of friendship I would willingly do anything that you ask of me, no matter how absurd, as I have proven on so many occasions too numerous to count already."
His countenance brightening noticeably, Legolas continued with a light wave of his hand and dismissive shrug of his shoulders. "Oh, what the heck? Of course I'll do it! It sounds like fun. Besides, what harm could possibly come of it anyway?!?"
Yes, what harm could possibly come of it? Will Legolas ever realize that going along with Aragorn's hair-brained schemes is a mistake? Will the Els ever figure out who is who and if they do, will anyone care? Will anyone ever find Aragorn's mother? Will Rivendell, Middle Earth's most popular resort destination, start charging per person based on double occupancy? Will Aragorn ever get a clue?
To find out the answers to these and many other compelling questions you have not yet even thought to ask, continue on to chapter two, but before you do, don't forget to leave a review!
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.