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.
Rafél sat alone in a dim hall, staring at the fireplace without actually seeing the flames. His thoughts were far away from their usual paths, making him oblivious to everything around him. “We have come to a decision to ask you to be our youngest son’s guardian.” Thranduil’s words rang across his thoughts, waking numerous questions in him. He doubted if he was the best option to be the young prince’s bodyguard. Raising a young child would need an experienced hand, which he had not, and he wasn’t sure if he would desire to leave his own life for that of the child.
That was ridiculous way to think this, of course, and Rafél knew it. Legolas’ time as a child would be only a heartbeat in the long lives of Elves, and when Legolas would grow up, Rafél would be able to teach him much. He had fought in numerous battles, captained troops of various ages, and knew how to deal with novices.
But was he willing to sacrifice his own career as a warrior to take care of another’s? That question was one among many, and he seemingly had no answers.
It showed something that the Queen put trust in him: she knew what would be good for her offspring…
“Here you sit alone, brooding in silence.” A voice startled Rafél, making his head whip around in alarm. A comforting hand was laid to his shoulder, Aduifan’s smile widening a little. “I am sorry we startled you. It was not our intention.”
“We…” Rafél questioned, but when he turned further around he saw Mîrfanya standing behind him, and that explained the rest.
“We thought you may wish to speak with us,” the other Elf said, his green eyes serious.
Aduifan had always been the merry one of the two, and sometimes Rafél wondered how on earth he was chosen to be the guardian of the Crown Prince. But when you saw Aduifan on the battlefield, or with Tirifëa, it smoothed out all the questions: they belonged together, and Aduifan was more than capable of taking care of his Prince.
Mîrfanya, on his side, was little more serious and stern, which had served him well while dealing with Lossaurion. His patience seemed endless at times, but sometimes it came to a crushing end, and then no one desired to be near to him. Lossaurion had faced this situation often enough in his youth to wish to anger his guardian nowadays.
Mîrfanya sat down beside Rafél, his eyes illuminated by the fire. Smoothing his auburn hair, he glanced at Aduifan, silently commanding him to join them. The other did, sitting down on Rafél’s other side, joining his fingers under his chin, his grey eyes searching Rafél’s face. “Have you decided?”
“Decided what?” Rafél asked, even if he knew the question’s meaning.
Aduifan laughed, his light bronze hair glowing in the soft light of the fire, reminding Rafél of the countless nights around the campfire with these two. “News travel fast, as you see. I think a certain mother told his sons…”
“And certain sons informed their guardians,” Mîrfanya added. “But do not hurry with the choice: give it time. It is not a light thing to make you mind of.”
“You would be responsible of the life of another. Guard him night and day. Teach him everything you know.” Aduifan frowned. “It sounds bad, doesn’t it?” he glanced at Mîrfanya.
The other Elf nodded. “It does. But,” he smiled, “it is worth it.” He looked at Rafél, seeking to comfort the other. “You see them grow, to become great warriors and leaders. It’s worth of the effort.”
Rafél pondered this, nodding slowly. “But I am still unsure. It cannot be so easy…”
“Oh, it isn’t,” Aduifan agreed. “But I got Tirifëa, and I am eternally happy about it. Lossaurion was a rascal,” he made a face at Mîrfanya.
“I managed to handle him – with certain difficulties, of course,” the other guardian admitted, his smile turning fond. His green eyes searched Rafél’s again. “There are days when you wish you haven’t ever heard of Thranduil and his children. There will be even more days when you just wish to leave a stubborn child to the forest and return to your previous duties. And then there are days…”
“When you leave the child into the forest?” Aduifan suggested. “I did that once. But I went back to him in an hour. It taught Tirifëa some manners, anyway.”
Rafél laughed, shaking his head. “I am not sure if I am willing to leave my place as a warrior at all.”
“What do you think we thought when we were requested to this task?” Aduifan smiled. “But it was worth it. Because even more numerous are those days when you realise your life is complete: you have found your meaning. You feel important. And you see the seed of your actions to grow to be a flower that blooms brighter than any other.”
“I would not change away any of the moments with Lossaurion. Even when he made us both fall into a mud puddle and refused to take a bath. Or when he scared my horse away – ten miles from home – and I had to carry him back because he suddenly had no strength to walk.”
“Or when he pushed you into a bush of burdock?” Aduifan asked, innocently. He had nearly laughed himself to death that day.
“Yes, even that I forgave,” Mîrfanya sighed. “Do you know why?” he asked from Rafél. “Because I love him. He is my best friend, and one I would die thousand deaths for.”
“It is hard to explain,” Aduifan said soberly, “but if you ask us, you should take the task.”
“But it is your own decision,” Mîrfanya said, squeezing his shoulder and rising up, motioning Aduifan with him. “Good night,” he said, and then the two left Rafél to his thoughts.
“Am I ready to be pushed head first to a bush of burdocks?” Rafél muttered quietly to himself. He was not too sure of the answer.
to be continued…