Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings
Era: Third Age of the Sun
Genre: Drama, Action/Adventure (“AU”)
Rating: T / FRT
Characters: Legolas, Thranduil (, OCs)
Summary: Soon after Legolas’ birth, there was a bodyguard chosen for him, as had been the custom in the royal family. But how was Rafél chosen to this task, and did he accept his new duty immediately and without hesitating? How did the young Prince of Mirkwood receive his guardian? And most of all, how did they befriend and grew inseparable…
Part of the history of “The Last Journey”. Complete.
Warnings: Violence, mentioning of death.
The royal family’s small, private dining room was already filled with voices and laughter when the King and Queen entered. The Elves sitting around the table rose as they noticed the arrivals, saluting their King with respect. Thranduil waved with his hand, signalling the others to sit down: he did not need to be saluted by his own sons as they dined together.
Helping Galenrosiel to sit down to her place, Thranduil took his own place, glancing at the other people at the table. On his right side sat Tirifëa, his oldest son, and beside him his bodyguard, Aduifan. Beside Galenrosiel sat their younger son, Lossaurion, next to his own guardian Mîrfanya.
Both Tirifëa and Lossaurion rose from their places, walking to their mother and kissed her cheeks ceremonially. As this was done, the food was brought to the table and everyone turned their attention momentarily to the food. They ate in silence, enjoying of the feeling of the family united. It was too seldom these days that they all ate together.
“How have you been feeling, Nana?” Lossaurion asked finally, his eyes swiftly darting to his father,
“I have been well, thank you. Though the most discomfort is caused by your Adar being overly protective.” Galenrosiel smiled at Thranduil, her face purely innocent.
Thranduil cocked his head to the side, but did not disagree. Being overly caring and protective was his right as a father and a husband. A task he with all his heart enjoyed. He heard Tirifëa laugh on his side, but when he turned to look, the Crown-Prince had already hidden his face into a napkin, and only Aduifan’s slightly smiling face was in view. Before Thranduil had time to speak, Lossaurion was asking his next question.
“Do you know when the little one will be borne? Or which is it? Surely you know by now –” There was a pained gasp from Lossaurion and a stern look from Mîrfanya. Lossaurion made a face at his guardian, and turned around to look at his mother again¬.
Galenrosiel smiled at her younger son, feeling Thranduil lean closer. She hadn’t told even her husband which the child was. Of course she knew, for she shared a connection with her unborn child. “As for if my child will be a girl or a boy, I shall not say nothing: we shall all see it when the time comes.” She was able to feel the males’ disappointment radiating around the table. “But I may say that your new sibling’s time to see the world is near.”
Thranduil felt his heart speed up in excitement. Soon he would hold his new-born child in his arms. Leaning closer to Galenrosiel, he kissed her temple softly, drawing one arm around her.
There was a sound of a smothered laugh from Tirifëa’s direction, and Thranduil looked somewhat angrily at his oldest son. Tirifëa, on his side, finally got control of himself, but continued to smile at the royal couple. “It is merely strange to see you act like this, Adar. Even with Naneth, you are usually very guarded with your emotions and how to show them in public – or even in the company of your own family. I merely find this –” he searched for the word.
“Amusing?” Aduifan offered with a grin.
“No!” Tirifëa shot a glare at his bodyguard, and then they both laughed. After a moment, Tirifëa turned back to his parents, making an apologising look. “I was saying that I am slightly shocked of such an open display.”
Galenrosiel smiled somewhat sadly. “Worry not, for this shall not last long. As soon as our new child is some weeks old, your Ada will go back to normal: that is how it always goes.”
Thranduil sat in shock for a moment, and suddenly realised that it was true. He always acted like this before their child was born, and soon after the birth, he returned to his duties – and normal behaviour. Pondering if this was a good or a bad thing, Thranduil turned to his Queen. “What if I would stay like this? Whatever this is…” he laughed a little nervously.
Galenrosiel looked at him surprised, and then shook her head, taking Thranduil’s hand in hers. “You are not even aware of what you are doing, my dear. However things go this time, I will be happy. And you have your duties as a King. But do not think for a moment you are a bad father: our sons have been fortunate by far.”
There was a knowing smile between Tirifëa and Lossaurion.
“Well, as we now seem to be finished with the food, I would ask my lady wife if she would join me for a walk?” Thranduil asked courteously.
Galenrosiel smiled at him, taking the offered arm and rose herself. “Yes, I would like that. I shall see you all at the evening meal?” she addressed her sons and their protectors. All the four nodded, rising to their feet to salute their King and Queen as they left the room.
“Which do you think it is?” Lossaurion asked from Tirifëa as they sat down again.
“I would say a girl,” Aduifan laughed. “Why else would she be keeping it as a secret?”
Tirifëa shook his head, his face thoughtful. “As Nana said, we shall see.”
Some time later the royal couple was walking among the woods near to the palace, the trees around them bending closer, whispering at them fervently.
“They have so much to say,” Galenrosiel gasped, reaching out to touch the rough bark as she passed by, closing her eyes and humming softly. Thranduil smiled, looking at her with shining eyes, trying to memorise her every move to his mind. He wanted to remember this sight when he would be working long and hard again: thoughts of Galenrosiel were always soothing to him.
Suddenly another Elf emerged from the forest, following an invisible Elven path on the ground. Galenrosiel stopped, waiting Thranduil to catch up with her, and then they continued forward together.
“My King, my Queen,” the other Elf saluted them with respect as they met upon the road.
Thranduil smiled brightly, nodding to the Elf. “Rafél, I heard you had returned from your scouting mission. I hope all went well?”
“Certainly, my Lord. I believe that my report shall be given to you as soon as Prince Tirifëa is through with it.”
“In the case there is something to inform me about. What I heard from Tirifëa, there was not much to report about.”
“True, though I am not sure if that is a bad thing,” Rafél smiled grimly. Then he turned to the Queen, his deep brow eyes softening. “I hope you have been well, your Highness?”
“I have been well, thank you for asking,” Galenrosiel replied, eyeing the warrior with a smile. She had known Rafél for a long time, for he had served both under Thranduil and his father Oropher. Rafél was a skilful, trusted warrior, but he also was very well aware of the etiquette: he always acted politely and smoothly with his Queen, listening to her words with true interest – a skill that many other warriors left much to desire. She had always liked him: when Rafél was present, one felt safe and secured. Rafél had a feel of authority and control around him, created during the long years as a warrior.
“My King,” called another voice, and all three turned around to see a captain of Woodland Realm’s forces and the headmaster of the warrior trainers approach.
“Ah, Thrénandu, what can I do for you?” Thranduil asked smoothly.
“I would like to discuss with you for a while, if you have time, my Liege,” Thrénandu announced, bowing to the Queen.
“Certainly, we may speak now. My dear,” Thranduil turned back to Galenrosiel. “If I may?”
“Of course, I am sure it is something important,” she said smiling.
“I may keep company for the Queen, if you so wish,” Rafél said, and after a nod from Thranduil, the King strode some distance away with Thrénandu while Galenrosiel began to walk with Rafél.
“The young one will be born soon, I assume?” Rafél asked politely, his voice telling that he did not push Galenrosiel to answer.
The Queen laughed softly, her hand caressing her swollen belly. “Soon, yes. And I honestly hope my child would hurry: he has been even more active than Tirifëa and Lossaurion.”
“He?” Rafél regarded her with risen eyebrow. “So you know which it is.”
Galenrosiel blushed, looking back where her husband spoke with the captain. “Do not tell Thranduil: I have tired to keep it as a secret. It seems that my mind is slipping…”
Rafél smiled conspiratorially. “Of course, my Lady. Your secret shall be safe with me.”
The Queen smiled thankfully, taking the offered arm as they walked a little further. They crossed a bridge that went over a swiftly running stream, a slight sheen of foam rising into the air. Sighing contentedly, Galenrosiel leaned to the older warrior. She didn’t feel very good at the moment, and she moved her hand over her belly again.
“Are you well, my Lady?” Rafél asked, but a sudden flash of pain stopped Galenrosiel from answering. “My Lady…”
“The baby…” the Queen gasped, her hold of Rafél tightening. “My son will be born.”
Various emotions washed over Rafél’s face, but his hold of the Queen didn’t falter. With sure hands, he carefully lowered her to the ground. “Breath deeply. There is still time.”
She nodded, leaning against the tree behind her, trying to calm herself. She had already given birth to two children: certainly she knew how to bring a third one to the world. And yet she was grateful that Rafél was there beside her: he brought an air of security around her.
Swiftly Rafél took his cloak from his shoulders, gently placing it around his Queen. He had seen many babies born to this world, and he knew that keeping the Queen calm was now the most important thing. Glancing swiftly to the direction where the King surely was still speaking with Thrénandu, Rafél made sure that no one else was in sight. He didn’t dare to leave the woman alone to search a healer. With few things to do, Rafél took Galenrosiel’s hand, murmuring soothing words to her. Rising another hand to her belly, he carefully inspected the proceeding of the labour. He frowned, glancing at the Lady worryingly. “You shouldn’t have left for a walk in the first place.”
Galenrosiel smiled weakly, squeezing Rafél’s hand around hers. “I know. But at least I don’t have to wait anymore.” Her eyes grew dreamy, her smile pleased. “My son will be born,” she repeated her earlier words.
Nodding, Rafél took a better position beside her, keeping a close eye upon his Queen. She was calm, waiting for the time to come when the child would be born. Maybe this is what she wanted: to give birth to her child among the trees, like all the Elves desire. Far from the fussing healers… Rafél smiled, glancing again to the direction of the bridge. Not long anymore. I only wish that the King would make it in time to see his son born…
As if hearing his thoughts, Thranduil appeared to the sight, slowly walking over the bridge. It did not take long before the King saw them, his eyes growing wide with shock. Then the King broke into a run, reaching the two in few short moments. “What is wrong with her?” he asked, dropping beside his wife, alarmed.
“The child is going to be born, my Lord. I thought it better not to move her,” Rafél answered.
“It won’t be long, my love,” Galenrosiel said quietly, smiling up at Thranduil.
The King’s face was unreadable, but he took his wife’s hand from Rafél, and slowly a worrying smile took over his features. “You planned this.”
“Perhaps,” she smiled, and then gasped, glancing at Rafél.
Smiling reassuringly, Rafél kneeled between Galenrosiel’s legs, running soothing hands over her belly. “I know what to do,” he said to Thranduil, and the King nodded, taking hold of his wife. He had been present when their sons had been born, and he knew that the time had come.
His face now serious, Rafél concentrated at his task, letting Thranduil to do the task of calming his wife. An hour passed, unnoticed, only the soft gasps from the Queen breaking the silence, his husband’s soft encouragement blending together with the voices of the trees that seemed to be bending close, both sheltering the trio and watching over them. And then at last, a sharp cry of a new-born broke the silence.
Tears of happiness were running down Galenrosiel’s cheeks as Rafél raised their child to his arms. “My Lord” he addressed the visibly shaken Thranduil, “you have a son. Congratulations.” He raised the baby up, offering him to his father.
With shaking hands, Thranduil took his offspring to his arms, looking at the small creature with wonderment.
“Legolas,” Galenrosiel whispered, and for a moment the air was filled with the song of the trees, their joy for the new child spreading through the air and ground. “Greenleaf,” she said, gazing up to the green leaves of the canopy above her.
Glancing at Galenrosiel, Thranduil placed their son to her arms, kissing her forehead gently, and then that of the child’s. “Thank you, my Love,” he said, voice shaking. The he turned at Rafél, smiling. “Thank you.”
Rafél nodded, smiling at the mother and child.
“Our Little leaf,” Thranduil breathed, gathering his wife to his arms, his heart pounding with joy.
to be continued…
Sindarin: - Westron:
Adar - Father
Ada - “Dad”
Naneth - Mother
Nana - “Mum”