6. Begetting Day Dance
Chapter 6 - Begetting Day Invitation
The celebrations were over and now it was time to get to work. The trainees walked together to their grounds. Rhavaniel was once again comfortable in her tunic and leggings, hair braided at the sides. They approached the field and went to their assigned instructors. Suiauthon stood tall and proud as he looked out at the approaching students. His shoulders were broad and his face was like stone. He was built different from the Wood Elves, being he was only half sylvan from his mother's side. She had married a Lorien elf, a Galadhrim no less and took on their characteristics. He was raised in Caras Galadhon but came to live in Greenwood when his father was killed while on duty. His mother insisted there was nothing left for her in Lorien and they came back to the Woodland Realm. Suiauthon began his training with the Galadhrim before this tragedy struck and many of their skills stayed with him. Perhaps this was the reason he seemed so detached from the others.
"Rhavaniel is it?" he said as she approached. "Wild. Well, let us hope you were wrongfully named. You will give me no resistance. You will do only as you are told. I will explain things only once. You should be a quick learner or you will fail. Is this understood?"
"Yes my captain." she answered standing at attention.
"You should know you came highly recommended by Prince Legolas. I do not normally take references but I could not go against the royal family. I hope the Prince was right about you." the Captain said.
Rhavaniel wasn't sure how to take this bit of information. Was it a good recommendation or a bad one? Whatever, she would take her punishment. "I will prove beyond a doubt that I was made for this position, my captain." she responded.
"Good. Let us begin."
* * *
Rhavaniel's training was hard and rigorous. There was no room for error. When she failed, Suiauthon found ways to punish her. Mainly, she was made to run or do more pushups than she thought possible. On occasion, as Legolas happened to be walking by on his way to the archery fields, he caught her in these punishments. He would merely smile at her, making her blood boil. To avoid this, she made sure to listen carefully and watch every example her Captain gave her.
After a six week period, the students were allowed a reprieve. They needed some time to recuperate from the many injuries which was common in training. A special camp was set up for all warriors in training. It was meant to be a time for the different ranks of warriors to get to know each other. After all, they were all working towards a common goal, to protect Greenwood and keep its people safe.
Rhavaniel was sitting in a hot spring, enjoying its healing powers alone with her friend Antien, when she spotted Legolas walking along with an elleth. They made their way to an available spring on the other side, well enough away from her. She squint her eyes looking closely at the elleth. Valisilwen (Vahl-ihs-ill-wehn) was her name. She was training to become a border guard as was Legolas. She was quite beautiful; not at all what Rhavaniel would consider border guard material. She looked too soft. Rhavaniel noticed her wavy hair and how it was similar to her own hair.
"So that is why he approached me at the dance." she muttered under her breath. Antien followed her glare and saw the elleth sitting with Legolas.
"He thought I was Valisilwen." she commented.
"Of course not. You look nothing alike. Besides she was not at the dance. She was tending to some other business that night. Surely Prince Legolas knew this." Antien answered.
"It does not mean he did not think I was her. Maybe he thought she came after all." Rhavaniel turned so as not to face the couple. "It matters not. I care nothing about who he is seen with. But I will say this. It does not look good for Valisilwen to be seen in the private company of the Prince, especially during our training years. Some may mistake her for trying to advance her position using the Prince to do so." A slight smile escaped her tight lips. She was glad it was this other elleth and not her. She did not need the unwanted attention. Being trained by Suiauthon was enough added pressure.
Antien slid closer to Rhavaniel so that their shoulders were touching. "Come now. Do you not feel the slightest bit jealous? Remember, you are an elf and you cannot lie."
He was right of course. She could not lie but she could avoid the question all together and let him think what he may. "I'm done here. The water has become too hot. I think I will go for a swim in the lake." she said and jumped out of the spring. She grabbed her towel and began tamping the sweat from her brow. As she did, she dared to glance over at Legolas to find him looking at her. She wore only her swimming clothes leaving her arms and legs bare. None had seen so much skin on her before. She felt his eyes scanning her from head to toe and decided to put on a show for him, especially while he sat with his lady friend.
She took the towel, slowly and deliberately drying her moist skin, paying extra attention to some parts more than others. Another stolen glance proved that she had his attention and the expression on his face was priceless. His eyes were wider than usual and his lips were slightly parted. As she wiped her face once more, she secretly glanced over to see Valisilwen following his gaze. Then she made a face resembling dissatisfaction and slid away from Legolas, now sitting on the opposite side of the spring. Rhavaniel laughed to herself. Sometimes being an elleth came in handy. It did not take much to draw the attention of an ellon, especially when bare skin was exposed. She finished up her show and headed for the lake.
* * *
Later that evening, she was enjoying a simple meal with her friends. A tent was set up for a dining hall. There were tables lined up in two rows. Some ate inside but most would rather be outside in the open air. Rhavaniel was feeling rather tired and decided to go inside. The others journeyed out after they finished their meal but she stayed behind. It was nice to have a moment alone. It did not last long.
"Hello Rhavaniel." said a smooth voice. Any other elleth in the Greenwood would have swooned at its melodic charm, but she rolled her eyes and dreaded what else he had to say.
"What do you want Thranduilion." she answered unemotionally.
He sat down on the bench next to her. "That was quite a show you put on today."
"Whatever are you talking about?" she said trying to be clueless.
"No one dries off just to jump back into the water. I suppose you did that for Valisilwen's sake. It worked. Now she despises me." he said.
"I was not drying off. The spring became unbearably hot and I was merely wiping away the sweat." she said defensively. On the inside, she was enjoying the fact that Valisilwen abandoned her suitor.
"Well whatever happened, she will have nothing to do with me and is probably telling all of her friends to stay clear of me as we speak."
"Are you saying it is my fault that while you were entertaining one, you were ogling another? I find that a poor excuse for why an elleth is not interested in the most sought after Prince in the elven realm." she countered.
"Well, since you have spoiled my plans, I think that it is only right that you show your remorse by making it up to me." he said with a crooked smile.
"Make what up? Legolas, I don't know what game you're playing but…"
"I mean, now that you have chased Valisilwen away, I have no one else to accompany me to the dance next week." he interrupted.
"Legolas Thranduilion, have you lost your mind?" she said, thinking there was some ulterior motive behind this plan of his.
"No, I just do not want to show up alone at my own celebration. You cannot possibly have forgotten what next week is." he said waiting for her answer.
Of course she didn't forget. Next week was their begetting day. So now she knows that Legolas is having a dance and Valisilwen was to be his partner. "I will not play sloppy seconds to your warrior lady. Besides, maybe I have my own celebration to go to." She didn't though. This year, with all the training, she decided to just get together with some of her close friends and share in a glass of wine. Then again, going to a dance, especially one being held by the royal family, sounded like a grand time. Going to this dance with Legolas… well that was another thing.
Rhavaniel let down her guard and looked at Legolas with sincerity. "Come now Legolas. Why would you want to have me as your partner? You know we do not get along. As a matter of fact, we have never gotten along. If you are doing this just to prove some point, then please do not waste my time. I know you have always hated the fact that our birthdays are on the same day. I remember how you hated sharing the day when we were young and then having to attend each other's parties was pretty excruciating too. Save me whatever tricks or embarrassment you have planned and let's forget about this."
Legolas decided it was best to let his guard down too. "No tricks, I swear. Actually, to tell you the truth, I was asking Valisilwen about you. I wanted to find out if you had anything planned for your birthday before I invited you to mine. Listen, I am trying to make amends with you for recommending you to Suiauthon. I regret my hasty revenge for your winning the last challenge. Then you apologized and I felt like a fool. So now I ask you honestly and from my heart, Rhavaniel, will you accompany me to my birthday dance?"
This could be her payback for all the rough times he put her through. He was being open and honest right now. It would be so easy to turn him down and let him go alone to the dance. However, Rhavaniel was not that type of person. Something inside her made her set aside her differences with Legolas. "Alright, I will go to the dance with you. But I swear if you are up to something…"
Legolas put his hand over his heart. "I swear that I have no other course of action to take upon you. Just two rivals who need a break from all this competition. So, what say you Rhavaniel? Will you do me the honor?"
She glared at him for a minute, searching for any sign that this was a trick, but she found none. "Alright Thranduilion, I will go with you."
"Good. Then it is settled." he smiled. He left the tent, leaving Rhavaniel feeling a little better about Legolas and his intentions. Maybe he was finally changing into someone who she could learn to like.
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.