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 felt weary to the bone. His previous day with Legolas had ended up as a disaster. He had hunted the child across the palace halls, and when he had finally found him, he had been forced to carry him bodily back to a room where he was able to lock all the doors – if he wanted to stay in a same space with the Prince. When he finally had placed the struggling child to his father’s arms, he had been eternally grateful that the day was over.
But there was a new day to come, and as Rafél walked towards Legolas’ room, he was already dreading what he would be forced to endure today. Hopefully nothing much worse than yesterday, though that was naught to impossible. But he was ready to believe anything from this young Elf.
Knocking on the door, he drew a deep breath. The door was opened, and a small golden head was pushed out. As Legolas noticed Rafél, his face darkened some, but instead of shutting the door at Rafél’s face – as the other suspected he would do – the Prince opened the door, letting Rafél enter.
“I am glad you came,” came Galenrosiel’s voice from the room. “We were not sure if you would be willing to continue after Legolas’ behaviour yesterday. But he is very sorry, aren’t you?” Galenrosiel glanced sharply at Legolas, who nodded gingerly, watching Rafél carefully.
Maybe he only had a bad day, after all, Rafél thought, smiling at the child. Legolas returned the smile awkwardly, stepping to his mother to receive a cloak around his neck.
“Be good today, or your father will be furious.” Galenrosiel kissed Legolas to the cheek, and then herded him towards Rafél. “Do what you like with him. There is nothing else to do before you two come along with each other,” she said.
Nodding, Rafél opened the door, allowing Legolas to pass by him. Keeping one eye on the Prince in a case the child would decide to run away again, Rafél closed the door, but Legolas stood obediently beside him. I might guess Thranduil wasn’t too happy about his actions yesterday. We must make sure that this day ends up better. “Would you like to go out?” Rafél asked softly.
Legolas nodded eagerly, and Rafél guided him out. They walked in silence, Legolas’ eyes wandering from place to another. As they passed by the training field, Legolas stopped, his ears hearing the ring of metal and shouts of Elves. “What happens there?” he asked eagerly, glancing at Rafél.
Taking his chances, Rafél answered. “There lay the training fields, where the warriors practice. Would you like to take a look?”
Legolas nodded, and they headed closer. Rafél had to place his hand upon the Elfling’s shoulder to keep him from dashing head first to the field, the eagerness of Legolas amusing him greatly. Most likely the child had never been one the training fields before. Finally he took Legolas’ small hand in his to control the youth, and he was amazed by the strength of the small body as he was pulled forth.
They reached the clearing, and Legolas stopped, his eyes wide. “They have real swords, like my Ada’s guards!” the child shouted in awe, his eyes darting from Rafél to the warriors.
Few of the warriors halted their practices to see what made the noise, and they smiled to the child’s wonderment. “Rafél, why don’t you take a closer look?” one of them called, the others smiling at the couple.
“Please, can we?” Legolas begged, and Rafél led the anxious child to the field, the warriors soon surrounding them.
“Is this Prince Legolas? Last time I saw him he was barely able to walk,” one of the warriors exclaimed. “But that was a year ago, at least.”
“Indeed, this is Prince Legolas. Legolas…” Rafél said, drawing his attention to the child who was currently reaching towards one of the swords. “Do not touch those, they are very sharp and dangerous.”
Legolas pulled his hand back, disappointed; he would have very much liked to touch one of those shiny blades. “Can I have one too?” he piped up, looking hopefully at Rafél.
The warriors laughed, one of them reaching out to fondle Legolas’ hair. “You will get one when you have grown up, little Prince. Until then, you must merely watch, or use wooden blades, like the younger novices. Maybe you would like to go and see them?”
Legolas thought about this, and then nodded. Rafél smiled, nodding to his fellow warriors and was then led away by the eager Elfling.
The warriors watched them go, shaking their heads. “What on Arda…” one of them muttered, smiling, “I really wish to see what shall follow this.”
“You must have heard that Rafél was chosen to be Prince Legolas’ guardian?” another warrior said.
“More like a babysitter he seemed to me,” the first laughed, raising his blade.
“Things will change,” one of the elder one’s commented. “After all, the young Prince is only a few years old. In time, he will become a warrior greater than any of us, if Rafél shall train him.”
None of the others disagreed, and they went back to their practice.
In the meanwhile, Legolas and Rafél had reached another training field, where much younger Elves were practising. Legolas observed them, his brow furrowing. “They are not too good, aren’t they?” he finally commented.
Rafél laughed, rising Legolas to sit on a nearby low branch of a tree. “No, they are not very good yet. But they shall be. They just must learn more, that’s all.”
“My brothers say that you are a great warrior,” Legolas continued, now staring at Rafél.
And how I wonder this came up yesterday, and not before, Rafél noted. It would have done things much less complicated. “Yes, I am a warrior. But there are yet greater ones than me,” he smiled.
“But even Ada says you are great!” Legolas argued. “And he says you will teach me.”
“So I will, when the time comes. But for a while we will just watch the others, and study other things. But in a few years we shall begin your training as well,” he encouraged as he saw Legolas’ face fall.
Legolas’ face brightened, and he dropped from the branch, taking a small stick to his hand. “And then I will be a great warrior too! Just like Ada and my brothers and the other warriors,” he laughed, swinging the stick, trying to mimic the earlier actions of the warriors.
Rafél laughed, watching the youth play. Maybe things weren’t as desperate as they had first seemed…
to be continued…