Beta: The gorgeous Anarithilen, who gives her time so generously and for no reward.
For Scarlett 10 and Kenaz- Happy Birthdays (if a little belated)
Thank you to those who review - it really means a lot. Melusine, ThisLittlePiggy, MDarkspirt, freddie, Vanwa, estra, kasugai gummie, IsaDayDreamer (oh, I think you'll get an idea in this chapter or the next one- don't worry, you sweet thing!) and then lots of lovely guests -please do login as I always reply and like to answer /say thank you.
Nimir – Shining one. Adunaic name for elves.
Agannâlo – Nazgul's name for Mirkwood. Literally death-shadow.
Azgarâzir –The Nazgul's name for Thranduil, whom they hate more than any other ruler for his defence and war against them in Dol Guldur. Although it was the White Council that overthrew Sauron as the Necromancer at the end of The Hobbit, Thranduil was the one who continuously fought them. Literally "wage war" cf. azaggara
-mîk – Child of.
Chapter 13: Nazgûl
A wind suddenly howled through the dank tunnels, tearing masonry from the rain-soaked walls, hurling chunks of wet stone around them. Legolas felt the stones shake beneath his feet and ran faster. He thrust Rhawion back through the arch and down another passageway under the pelting rain.
'Stay in cover,' he shouted and shoved Rhawion ahead of him. They fled. Up the tunnels, into a courtyard, turned frantically and dived down another tunnel. The wind howled after them and a spectral light, eerie, green, luminous, pursued them. A terrible visage stared at him with sunken eyes. Its jaws opened and a terrible scream spilt the air. Legolas saw Rhawion stumble and grabbed him, dragged him through an arch, and ducked down a small corridor, thrust him ahead into a small room, and then another beyond it. The wind screamed by and past them, the green light flared and flashed and disappeared.
There was a horrible slithering sound, like scales drawn over stones and he was for a second thrown back to that moment under the Mountain, Smaug's claws extended and flexed* and his heart suddenly leaped and pounded, hammered in his chest so it must hear, it must hear...Tears leaked from his eyes and horror flooded his veins, every pore... But he kept hard hold of Rhawion who staggered and stumbled against him, shoved him deeper into the tower.
'In here. Quickly!' Legolas hissed. There was no roof to this small room and the rain splattered against the stone floor, drenched their hair and skin. He realised it was an old guard room for there were ancient rusted spears on the wall, shields. Hanging from one corner was a ragged banner, its device faded and the colour bled away into the tattered edges. He dragged Rhawion into the corner with him, crouched in the shadows, nerves jangling, hands feeling fuzzy with it.
'Slow your breath,' he whispered urgently. 'We can stay here for a moment until it has gone.'
Rhawion struggled against him, eyes wild and panicked. 'No! We must flee!'
'We will. Soon.' Legolas' own breath gasped, his chest heaved, heart pounding. He took a breath and willed himself still, looked up at the open sky above him, smelt the clean rain. 'Let it pass us by first. Hold, hold.' He spoke as much for himself as Rhawion. 'Slow your breathing,' Legolas whispered, feeling his own blood thundering in his veins. 'Soothe your spirit, your song...Calm.' He pulled Rhawion's wet face towards him, held his gaze and the frightened Elf stared at him, felt the rain on his own skin.
'Hush...hush. It will not find us if we hide our fear. Think of the stew that Amron will be making. Think of the coin you will win back from me this night.' He breathed with Rhawion, leaned towards him and listened, but the Elf was too panicked and all Legolas could hear was the wild beating of Rhawion's heart; there was a seesaw lurch of waterfalls and valleys, sweet alpine meadows... He had always been in the Valley...
Rhawion clutched at Legolas. 'We must fly this place! Run.' He struggled against Legolas and tried to pull away.
Legolas pinned him against the crumbling wall and forced Rhawion to look at him, let his bow fall to the rain-drenched floor so he could hold Rhawion still. 'It is only fear,' he said quietly, earnestly, ignoring his own wild panic. He closed his eyes slowly and breathed through his nose, for it calmed his men in the Wood, opened his eyes slowly to look at Rhawion, who slowly brought his gaze to fix upon Legolas.
'That's it,' said Legolas softly, encouraging. 'It has been unhorsed, uncloaked. It has no physical form. It can only frighten us. And we need not give it that power.' He hoped it was true, but he had no real knowledge of the Nazgûl like this...a little thought niggled at him; perhaps uncloaked they were worse, in their raw power....He pushed that terrible thought aside and breathed.
Slowly he relaxed his hold on Rhawion, stepped back and let his hands fall to his sides and Rhawion did not flee. Rain pattered on the stone floor, Legolas' skin was wet and hair plastered to his skull, trickled down his neck.
He turned to scoop up his bow, and rubbed his fingertips together frantically for the pricking of his fingers had turned to hot needles. Alarmed, he looked up towards the cracked and broken doorway. It seemed that in the darkness beyond, the air dislocated; everything slowed, colour bled away into a strange sepia, and the walls, the doorway elongated and distorted. It was like looking into a still pond and seeing the reflection break....A heavy weight seemed to press against his chest and squeeze the breath from his lungs. Long shadows beyond the doorway trembled and slid, and something skittered across the darkness, like a slick of oil on water. It pressed onto the dark.
I am coming.
Breathless with fear, heart pounding, he stumbled backwards into Rhawion. Rhawion's eyes were huge, wide, and Legolas felt the hairs all down his neck, spine and his arms rise in frozen horror. Shaking, he drew one of his long, white knives, knowing they were useless against this enemy, and stumbled back.
'What? What is it?' Rhawion asked, breath panicked and fast. 'We must get out.'
From the darkened heart of the tower, beyond the doorway, a cold wind fingered its way towards them, and it smelt of old and empty tombs...
The word seemed to hiss from the air, and the coldness of it made his blood stand chill and cold. His hair stood on end. Azgarâzir was what the Orcs of the South called Thranduil. It knew him.
Far from home....
He stumbled back another step. Breathing hard and fast, he held his knife before him, could see it shaking in his trembling hands.
Better to run....
A long howl came from the tunnels and ruins beyond, like a long leash of sound that wound through the tunnels and empty rooms, the abandoned watch tower...
'What is... that?' Rhawion stared at Legolas, looked down at his shaking hand.
Legolas gripped him hard. 'It is the Nazgul. It has found us.' He glanced around the old guard room. There was only the one doorway, and beyond it the shadows seemed to slide and press against the dark, as if they merely waited. He looked up into the rain, at the grey skies that pelted them with rain and then at the crumbling, slippery walls. 'It is only fear,' he said again, and held hard to Rhawion's hands in his so that his own would not shake.
And then the wraith was upon them. A screaming wind roared along the passages and twisted into the guard room, flattened the Elves against the crumbling walls, tore at their long hair, whipped tears from their eyes. A terrible, blood-freezing scream split the air and both Elves clapped their hands over their ears. Legolas felt warmth seep between his fingers and thought his ears bled. The old spears and iron shields juddered frenziedly in the wind and a knife rattled on the wall like a ghostly hand was shaking it. A rusted sword clattered to the floor beside them. The banner tore and flapped like a huge bat in the rain.
A long, thin knife on the wall rattled more violently and suddenly jolted loose. In the furious wind it hurtled through the air towards Legolas. He pulled back and it whipped past. Behind him, Rhawion stared at Legolas, eyes wide in horror and then...and then...his mouth opened in a wordless O that was lost in the battering rain and wind, and he staggered forwards, clutched at Legolas' sleeve and sank to his knees in the rain.
Bright blood spilled over his fingers where he clutched his chest, soaked his tunic. Legolas stared down at him. The blade that had hurtled towards Legolas, that he had dodged, was buried in Rhawion's chest. Their eyes met in shock and Rhawion's mouth opened, pained shallow gasps came from his lips. Legolas could not speak. Tenderly, he eased the knife from the wound and clamped his cloak over it, pressed it hard. It was instantly soaked.
Rhawion gave a low moan that was almost lost in the howling wind and lashing rain. He gripped Legolas tightly. The wind rose to a piercing, shrieking wail that seemed to pierce his skull and he could barely think.
'We need to get out,' Legolas shouted over the roar of the furious wind. 'Can you stand or shall I carry you?'
Rhawion half closed his eyes and then said, 'I will stand. You will need your sword-arm free.'
Legolas nodded. 'Ready?' He leaned down, pushing through the wind, and slid his hands beneath Rhawion's arms, hauled the Elf up against him. Rhawion slumped heavily against him and he staggered, drew Rhawion's arm over his shoulder as carefully and gently as he dared. The wind battered the walls, thrashed angrily around the room, threw him back. He leaned forwards, keeping one arm around Rhawion's waist and pressed the other hand against the wound. It was wet beneath his hand and it was not the rain. Too much blood, he thought alarmed, and glanced at Rhawion's frighteningly pale face.
The wind flattened against them, pressed them back and Legolas leaned forwards against the driving rain. A shield clattered violently against the wall and the swords and spears banged against the stone. The rusted sword stirred and then shot along the ground as if it had been kicked towards them.
Better to leave him and run....
The furious wind screamed and thumped against the ruined stone walls, then it suddenly tore upwards into the ragged clouds in the sky. The shields and swords abruptly stopped rattling and the silence was as sudden and unnerving as the wind had been.
Legolas stood frozen, staring upwards at the sky and the rain drenched him. The wind had drawn up and up into a spiral, like smoke. He felt Rhawion lean more heavily against him and glanced down at the Elf's bowed head. His cloak and tunic were soaked heavily with blood now.
'Has it gone?' Rhawion asked. He gasped as he drew a breath.
'The wind has gone,' Legolas replied, but he did not think the Nazgûl had gone. He was not even sure that the wind had been the Nazgûl or some sorcery of its Ring...His heart seemed to leap and pound, and his nerves jangled, hands felt fuzzy with it. Rhawion's breaths came shallow and quick and Legolas knew his were the same.
'You said it was only fear,' Rhawion said with a touch of humour and Legolas bit his lip. 'You were right, Legolas. We should not have come here.'
'Ah, it was raining,' said Legolas, and his eyes were fixed now on the shadows beyond the doorway, and it seemed too far suddenly. 'You didn't want to get wet and spoil your hair.'
Rhawion gave a little frightened laugh and Legolas hefted him more closely. 'Ready?' he asked. 'Come then.'
The shadows beyond the doorway were sepia; they shifted, trembled. Like a thin black shroud they slipped along the broken stone floor. It is only fear, he repeated to himself, but it was harder to think that now and he tried to still his thundering heart.
Cold drifted, touched the back of his neck.
I am here.
Elbereth. Help us. The prayer died on his lips and his breath clouded in the air...warm, he was still warm in this deathly cold.
A scrape of steel came from beyond the doorway. Two Orcs stepped out from the shadows; they looked elongated and even more deformed in the shifting and distorted air..
Orcs too, he thought in sudden despair, feeling Rhawion's heavy weight slumped against him, and he tightened his hold. There was a coldness on his neck. He glanced quickly over his shoulder and started, for the shadows on the edges of the room were oily and black. There, the rain did not fall onto the ground.
Holding Rhawion against him, he shuffled away from the corner, heart pounding in horror. Sweat beaded on his forehead, trickled down his back though it was deadly cold and he heard Rhawion give a low moan. Quite suddenly the truth hit him. Was this how he would die? In this terrible place, beneath the dark tower? He knew he could not keep hold of Rhawion and still fight the Orcs. He felt Rhawion's fingers clutch at him tightly as if by holding onto Legolas he might still cling to life.
He hitched Rhawion up a little more, shifting away from the creeping shadow, but it brought him closer to the Orcs. They watched him carefully, unmoving, sabers drawn and small yellow eyes glittering with blood-lust.
'He ain't going to last long that one,' one of the Orcs said in Westron.
Legolas almost jumped. He had not expected that. He held his knife out before him, but it would be useless against their heavy blades.
'Why don't you just drop him and we might let you go? You can run faster then.'
Legolas stared at the Orc. Its thin lips had pulled back to show its sharp, pointed teeth and he remembered the scrap of blue dress they had found at the Orc encampment, and the bones he had seen near the old campfire on the mountain. He heard Laersul in his head then, telling him...breathe...breathe...as he had so long ago in the Wood. Would his family ever even know what had happened to him?
The other Orc edged closer, its saber gleamed in the rain that still poured into the small guard room. The Orc sneered and then took a bold step forwards, lightly tapping its saber against Legolas' long white knife. Its small yellow eyes met Legolas', eyes so alien and 'other' that Legolas knew there would no mercy for either of them.
'I will tear out your heart while you still live,' it said. 'I will hold it dripping into your own screaming mouth while I eat it.'
Legolas batted away its blade as if in contempt but his blood had rushed to his head and he felt giddy with it.
The air shifted beside him. He dared not look but slid his gaze sideways to where the dark was colder, deeper.
Azgarâzir-mîk... They will eat your flesh and chew your bones...
He hardly dared breathe and the darkness shifted, seemed to tremble like an oily black pond disturbed by a pebble.
Rhawion gave a quiet groan and Legolas felt warm liquid against his thigh. Horror lifted the hairs on his scalp. It is only fear, he told himself, it is only fear, remembering Laersul holding him tightly, forcing Legolas to look into his steady grey eyes even as he had forced Rhawion... He wished Laersul was there now, wanted his calm and steady heartbeat, he had always soothed Legolas. And he knew then, he would never see Laersul again. He felt his fingers tremble and give, his knife clattered on the wet, broken stones. A low growl came from the thick throat of one of the Orcs and the other laughed jeeringly.
'Not so cocky now, albai.' It kicked his knife away into a corner and grinned horribly, showing its pointed teeth.
Legolas clasped Rhawion to him, the heavy weight dragged him down on one side, unbalanced him, and hampered him. His knife glinted in the corner but it was so far away now. The rusted sword was nearby but too close to the Nazgûl. He could not help the shudder of fear at the stillness of the shadows. He had his other knife in his harness but he would have to reach back and leave his side exposed. He knew he could not fight them. 'Rhawion,' he said softly. 'I have to let you go for a moment.'
He felt Rhawion shift against him and try to stand. 'I know,' he said in a low voice. 'But do not leave me in this place.' Then he gave a quiet groan as Legolas let him slip gently to the ground. He leaned briefly against Legolas' legs before he crumpled slowly on the wet, broken stones.
One of the Orcs laughed and stepped closer, aimed a hard kick at Rhawion but before he could even reach him, Legolas suddenly whirled, his left foot lashed out at the Orc's groin. Already he had drawn his knife and struck out to block the second Orc's blow. He did not pause to hear the muffled cry of the first Orc doubled over, clutching its groin. Swiftly, he shoved the second Orc's saber away with his knife, and spun and kicked the rusted sword up into the air, catching it deftly in his free hand; the heavy saber clashed against the rusted sword; he was shoved back for a moment. The Orc came hurtling at him, whirling its saber and met his sword with a clanging, heavy weight. The Orc kicked out and Legolas leapt back, whirled lightly, and spliced the air in front of him, knife in one hand and the sword in the other, deflecting the blow from the second Orc which was still struggling to its feet, clutching its groin, and blocking the saber of the first Orc as it fell towards Rhawion.
But as he stood before Rhawion, protecting him, a finger of ice stroked down his spine and he gasped in horror. Sudden terror surged around him; he was closed in, the walls were crumbling, crashing around him; a terrible shriek split the air and he turned and slashed his long knife wildly at empty air that smelled of old and empty tombs.
Instantly a heavy blade hammered down; he blocked with the sword just in time but already there was the glint of another blade raised above Rhawion and he lashed out again with his foot and caught the second Orc again. It doubled over snarling and cursing in its own tongue.
Darkness slicked around him, the air trembled and the horror froze him. It gathered near Rhawion and the Elf's face turned slowly towards it, his breath rasping and panicked and loud. Legolas kept his sword outstretched towards the Orcs and edged closer to Rhawion.
...Leave him. As you did the nimir in Agannâlo...He is meat.
It is hopeless, he realised, but the Elves of the Wood had never given up easily, so he fought the despair and he lunged forwards and slashed at the air. A horrible hissing laugh cut the air and the Orc behind him lunged and caught the slightest nick of his own suede tunic, the faintest slide of steel against his skin and a bead of blood. He did not know but it was enough and when the Orc pulled back, it glanced down at its blade and grinned horribly at the wet crimson smear.
'Glorfindel!' Legolas shouted with all of his strength, hoping against all possibility, against all hope, that maybe, just maybe the glorious warrior might hear him.
The final attack came only an instant later. The Orcs leapt towards him, sabers raised and flashing a frenzy of blows. They attacked from the same side and he saw they tried to push him back, away from Rhawion and knew they would force a surrender from him if they took Rhawion. Their strikes were clumsy and unskilled and he saw how he needed to strike first one, then the other and took a step towards them, his knife and sword crossed before him.
He could hear Rhawion's breath, little panicked gasps but he dared not look away from the Orcs. Instead he edged closer to Rhawion, and pressed his ankle against Rhawion's arm so the Elf knew he had not been abandoned. Rhawion felt so cold, and Legolas almost looked down for he thought he would see the darkness writhing over the Imladrian and the horror that touched him made Legolas want to run. Then a finger of cold air, like ice, stroked his cheek and he cried aloud.
...Nimir... Azgarâzir's son...
It was the lightest of touches, the coldest; its breath lifted a strand of hair and stroked his ear and he turned his face away in slow horror from the Darkness that melted and snaked away from Rhawion now, and instead poured around his neck, coiled about his chest and pressed itself over his lean hips, his thighs, wrapped its sinuous formlessness about him and he could not breathe. Fear tightened against his lungs, dread crushed the breath from him and the slow horror froze him so he could not move. The rusted sword dropped from his hand and he wanted to scream but would not. He clung to his knife, gripped it hard, thought of the Wood.
You should have fled...
Cold. Cold. Like frost. Ice. He would die now.
A dark tendril of cold twisted around his throat, buried itself in his ears, forced itself into his mouth so he choked. His fingers scrabbled in panic at the darkness squeezing round his belly, slowly forcing the air from his chest, squeezing the blood from his heart and veins, brushed against something small and round. The roulette. And suddenly he felt a surge of warmth, and there was an image of fire, molten steel, the ring of hammers and deep voices chanting, the deep song of the mountain that had withstood time and was not afraid of the Nazgul.
Almost sobbing with sudden hope, he grasped it and struggled against the coiled, crushing darkness, wrenched his arm free and flung the little shining wheel away from him towards the Orcs. A gurgling cry came from the throat of the second Orc and it dropped its saber, clawing uselessly at its neck as the cunning little roulette buried itself, sawing deeper with its tiny teeth. He did not pause to look but slammed both himself and the heavy coiled darkness against the other Orc. Hard, hard he stabbed his knife deep into the Orc, thrust deep, felt the scrape of steel against armour and shoved, hard, harder until the resistance gave way and the knife sank into the Orc's flesh. He pushed deeper, both hands, all his weight though the Nazgûl's shrieking filled his ears and he wanted to clasp his ears and crouch on the ground. He felt his throat hurt but did not know he was screaming.
A blinding flash of white light struck the broken floor of the guardroom and the rain pelted down suddenly. He felt its fury, the dark coils grew, bigger, heavier, filled his mouth, ears, pressed against his eyes...It engulfed him, swallowed him.
He tried, oh how he tried, to fight the terrible pounding fear but the dark reached into his frightened mind and dug its talons into his memories, ripped them from him one by one, reached into his heart and closed its fingers around it...squeezed. Blood burst in his veins, he could feel his eyes bulge....
Another flash of white light and somewhere a loud voice shouted....but stars burst in front of his eyes and choking, struggling to breathe, his chest heaved...he thought his heart had burst...
And suddenly the dark slipped from him, and he fell. The wind was back and tore around the room, thundering against the walls so the room shook and the walls shuddered, stones toppled and crashed around him and he could hear a voice, like a Song. He lifted his head, thinking he must have died and that Námo had come for him. But through the swim of tears, he saw a shining figure - a warrior with a sword of white fire and he stood tall amongst the falling ruins and his voice cried aloud in a language Legolas did not know. Glorfindel.
Legolas shook his head, crawled towards Rhawion and clasped the Elf against him. Stroking the hair back from the Elf's still face, he whispered hoarsely, 'Glorfindel has come,' he whispered. 'Hold on, my friend. We will be safe now.' It must be the rain that was making his face so wet, Legolas thought but he felt the stillness of his blood, and when he struggled heavily to his feet and hauled Rhawion up, he was limp and very cold. Legolas did not want to think about that now so he slung Rhawion's arm over his shoulder and hitched him close.
The wind tore at their long hair, whipped tears into his eyes and his ears burned with the shrieking. It seemed he saw a spectral face, skull-like in the air for a moment, tearing towards him and almost he lost his nerve but he felt the warmth of Glorfindel and heard him shout into the wind. 'Begone foul thing! Cursed of Sauron. There is no fear, no terror you hold that would unseat me, for I am Glorfindel of Gondolin and you are nothing!'
Through the wind that swirled and twisted around them, Legolas saw a blaze of light, white like lightning that flared and burned up in the wind, and he was suddenly elated that here was Glorfindel! And Glorfindel had slain the Balrog and defeated the Witchking of Angmar. The wind howled, shrieked through the cracks in the walls, broke the stones apart so the walls shuddered and wobbled. The ancient weapons still left hanging on the walls shook violently and clattered loose, hurled towards them and Glorfindel merely batted them away with his great sword. It shrieked up into the sky and they saw above them, the sky scattered with eerie greenish flickering lights and sparks of white. It whirled around the ruined tower above them, battering it like some great beast. The thunder boomed across the valley, into the Mountains and the wind rammed against the crumbling tower again and again.
Legolas stared wildly at Glorfindel for a moment. Then he grabbed Glorfindel by the arm, eyes wide. 'We need to get out of here!' he shouted. "It is bringing down the Tower!' He dragged at the Elf lord's arm, but he merely pushed him gently away.
'Go,' Glorfindel shouted over the sound other rushing wind. 'Hide. I refuse to run from this slave of Mordor!'
Legolas looked at him with absolute adoration then and all his fear fell away. He cradled Rhawion gently in one arm and seized his white knife that had fallen near the dead Orc. 'If I am going to die, my lord, it will not be of fear. And I would not be shamed by standing with you.'
Glorfindel turned his beautiful face towards him and smiled and Legolas' breath left him. He would willingly walk through Mordor itself for this lord whose courage and deeds were legendary, and everything they said of him was true.
'Take Rhawion out of here,' he said gently to Legolas and lifted his hand to wipe away something on Legolas' cheek. 'Gimli is on his way and will aid you. I will guard your retreat. I will be close.''
'I cannot leave you,' said Legolas urgently.
Glorfindel stared for a moment and then turned his head to watch as the wind screamed and tore at the walls like a frenzied, maddened beast. The walls shook and crumbled and a shower of small stones pelted down on them. Glorfindel looked up in sudden alarm. 'It is as you say!' he suddenly agreed and he clasped Legolas' arm briefly, and then shoved him ahead of him. 'This tower is about to fall. Run!'
Legolas stumbled over the broken stones and sprang away from a huge block of stone that crashed to the ground, shattered and showered them with pebbles. The noise was terrifying as the rocks tore themselves apart and a shower of small rocks rained down on his head. He put his hand over Rhawion's head and half lifted, half carried him, stumbled out of the guardroom and into a courtyard, where the rain drenched him immediately.
'Don't stop,' yelled Glorfindel and already the ground was shaking and quaking and there was a terrible roar as the stones ripped apart and crashed around them. 'Keep running!' He felt Glorfindel grab Rhawion's other arm for the weight lifted from him. They ran through the pouring rain and the rocks and stones that pelted them until they broke free of the tower. And then there was grass beneath their feet and the willows were waving madly, their long fronds waving and streaming in the tearing wind, like weeds in the river. Dead twigs and leaves were thrown at them, caught in their hair, scratched their faces and Glorfindel hefted Rhawion up then into his arms and carried him, and Legolas followed.
A stocky figure hurried towards him, panting slightly. Gimli. Never had Legolas been so glad to see a Dwarf!
'Come, Legolas. Quickly before the Tower falls in on itself.'
Legolas turned his head and saw that a sickly greenish light came up from the Tower and there were flashes of red and white amongst it. A dreadful wailing came from the ruins and made the hairs on his arms and back rise. Thunder seemed to come from inside the tower and the earth shook.
'Quickly. Behind these rocks. There is granite beneath and it will be safer than standing here with the shock about to come,' Gimli said and tugged at Legolas' arm. And then the Tower began to fall, the ruined battlements crumbled and rocks and debris fell around the tower, shattered on the ground, and even here they were pelted with small showers of rocks.
Glorfindel grabbed Legolas, pushed him down, below the rocks. Legolas noticed the Dwarf was crouching beside them and thought how strange; it was even funny and he felt a small bubble of laughter well up from some deep part of him. He no longer felt fear, or panic but a strange dislocation, like he was standing outside his own body and watching as Glorfindel carefully let Rhawion down onto the ground.
'He needs to have that wound bound,' said Legolas numbly.
Gimli reached out and touched Rhawion's pale face. He looked up at Legolas with a strange expression and said nothing.
There was a tremendous crash and the earth shook and thundered. Legolas clung to Gimli and felt a strange vibration go through him and stared at the Dwarf; he was humming, deep in his chest and throat the reverberations trembled through Legolas too and he thought of the deep stone, solid rock they were standing upon. Granite, Solid. Strong, good stone. Around them he thought he could see the slate and shale splinter and slip and the gaps appear between the splits filled up with loose stone and rocks. He thought as he looked down at his feet that he could see the blue veins and gold threaded through the rock below and how the ancient rock was steadied by the Dwarf's humming.
Dust rode up in spite of the rain and washed over them, muddying the rain to make a dirty ashen paste that streaked their faces and clothes and hair.
At last it was quiet and Legolas lifted his head and stared at Glorfindel. The warrior's hair was streaked with blackened ash that had mixed in the rain and streaked his hair, his face. A smudge of dirt was on his cheekbone but his blue eyes looked beyond Legolas at Rhawion and he did not move.
Legolas turned as if asleep and touched Rhawion's hair, his face. He was cool and still. He felt heavy like the blood stood still in his veins. And then he knew. Too late. Ah, too late. He turned away and bowed his head in shame and pity and covered his eyes with his hand.
Mienpies has done another fab picture- Legolas having a fanmoment!!
Legolas has seen Smaug up close once, and it was before the Battle of the Five Armies. He went into the Mountain and stole a glance at the sleeping Dragon.
The next chapter is already almost finished- but reviews will encourage me to post early of course:)