16. Chapter 16
Legolas had been in and out of healing sleep for almost a week. With the help of the healers, his wounds were almost completely mended. It was explained to Thranduil that his recovery time was somewhat lessened in their world. His body was trying to repair itself at a normal rate but was unable to do so. It used up most of his energy, making him very weak.
"It was as if he was… mortal my lord." said the healer. "If he did not return when he did, we might not have been able to help him."
Thranduil looked at his sleeping son. Legolas had always been the first one to leap into danger. He had no fear of the unknown and sometimes it got him into trouble. It seemed he had crossed paths with someone on the other side, a female. The elven lord wished the portals could be closed off to this world, but without the key, it was impossible. He looked in the direction of the Courtyard of the Archways as he spoke to his assistant. "Lock the one he came from until we can talk to him and figure out exactly what happened." It was the best he could do for now, though it was only a temporary solution.
* * *
Legolas was deep in the world of dreams as he slept. His mind took him back thousands of years earlier, before he sailed to Valinor, before the War of the Ring, even before evil settled on his Woodland home when it was still known as the Great Greenwood. Then, he was a young Elf of only three hundred years. He was still honing in on his warrior skills. Full of life and vigor, Legolas was a much sought after prize for any elleth. He was a prince after all and quite a handsome catch. Yet, no one had captured his eye. His mind was not bent toward romance and love. He was the son of a mighty Elf King and wanted to prove himself as such. That is, until he met her.
He was making his way back to the palace after a tedious day at the borders. Being a prince did not excuse him from being reprimanded by the Captain of the Guard. He had been reckless, jumping into the heart of danger without waiting for a command. The Captain told him he could have gotten others killed because of his actions. Legolas thought he was doing what was right. As he walked home, he thought about his poor decisions that day. He was deep in thought when a sweet sound caught his ear. Somebody was playing a lyre. It was a hauntingly beautiful song but full of sadness. Then a voice accompanied the instrument. He was instantly entranced by the melody as it drifted from somewhere above him in the canopy of the trees. He looked up and saw the most beautiful elleth he'd ever laid eyes upon sitting among the branches. Her hair was auburn but not very long as most elleth, only to her shoulders. Her skin was fair, soft and smooth to look at. She wore clothes similar to his own, suede tunic and leggings, instead of the usual dresses and gowns worn by the females of the Greenwood. She was very odd but beautiful and she caught his attention.
Legolas climbed the large ash and watched her from behind as she stroked her instrument with long slender fingers, the fingers of a musician. He waited for the song to end.
She had seen the Prince walking by and noticed him climbing the tree. He was a mystery to her and a very handsome one at that. The fact that he let her finish the song before he spoke made him even more alluring to her. She finished her song and gazed lovingly at her instrument.
"Le Suilad." he greeted her as she stood up on the branch she had been sitting on.
"Hello." she said timidly. Legolas could see that she was very young, almost too young by Elf standards.
"Your music is beautiful. I just had to meet its maker. I hope you do not mind the intrusion."
"Not at all. I am always very appreciative of someone who will stop and listen to my playing." she smiled shyly.
Legolas could feel her reserve. "Where did you learn to play like that? I have never heard a song that has moved me more than this one."
"Why thank you… uh…"
"Legolas." he answered for her. "And yours?"
"My name is Minaethiel (Min-eye-thee-ell) [meaning 'unique']." she said as she attached the lyre to her back. The elleth began climbing down the tree.
Legolas hurriedly climbed down, reaching the ground before her. He was waiting at the bottom and held his hand out to her as she reached the lowest branch.
Minaethiel looked at the handsome Elf below her, hesitant to reach for him.
He gave her his most warming smile. "Allow me my lady."
Minaethiel gave him her hand and he helped her to the ground. She instantly felt his strong grip and the sensation his touch had on her. Neither one could let go of the other as they stood face to face on the ground.
Legolas was consumed by her beauty and warmth of her touch. She was very tall, almost as tall as he was. Her eyes looked like diamonds as they sparkled in the light of the day. She held him there, her stare cutting through to his very soul. She had an inner strength he had never sensed from anyone before.
Minaethiel realized the moment lasted longer than what was proper and turned her head to the side, closing her eyes as she did. "I'm sorry. I do not mean to stare. I have only heard of you, Prince Legolas, but have not had the pleasure to look upon you with my own eyes." Their hands were still joined.
Legolas' heart was all a flutter by nothing more than the sound of her voice. "It seems I am the one who should apologize my lady. I do not recognize you at all. Are you new to our forest?"
"Yes, I have only just arrived a month ago. I came here from Lothlorien by request of the Lady Galadriel." she said batting her eyelashes.
"You know the Lady of Light personally?" he asked surprised.
"She is my Great Aunt. She has sent me here so that I may learn of the ways of the Woodland Elves. I am to visit all elven realms. I am her… apprentice, you might say."
The Lady Galadriel was the most powerful and wisest of the Elves. He looked upon Minaethiel with wonder. "You are a direct descendant of the Valar." Legolas could not take his eyes from her. "That would explain your musical talents. Only one with the blood of the Valar coursing through their veins could accomplish something so beautiful." Realizing he was still holding her hand, he instantly pulled away. "I am sorry if I have crossed any lines my lady."
Minaethiel laughed to herself. "I am not fragile, Prince Legolas. I will not break from your touch. I am only flesh and blood as you are." Minaethiel looked to the ground as her shyness returned. "You are quite charming Prince Legolas."
His heart swelled at the sound of her voice. "And you are quite talented… and beautiful, Lady Minaethiel." He held his arm out to her. "May I escort you to wherever it is you are going?"
She politely took his arm in hers. "Care to join me for a bite to eat?"
Legolas smiled and led her away. "That is a wonderful idea."
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.