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.
“I don’t want to read that stupid book.”
“Legolas…” Rafél warned the Elfling gently, yet his voice was already lowering threateningly. His patience was nearing its end. The last few days had been miserable. Legolas disagreed every single word he said, disobeying him whenever it was possible. The incident on the training fields burned still in Rafél’s mind, and he kept his mind adamant with Legolas. Right now, Legolas needed a strong hand, or else the child would become unbearable.
The problem, on the other hand, seemed to be only Rafél’s. With his family, Legolas was behaving just as usual, and of that Rafél was glad. He had no desire to have another discussion with the King about Legolas’ unexpected behaviour… Most likely his trouble with the youth was caused by the blade-fighting, and in due of time, Legolas would understand Rafél’s way of thinking. Secretly, Rafél hoped that time would come soon. He would not last long.
“Read it,” the older Elf said sternly, lowering his own eyes to a scroll before him.
Legolas merely sat on his place, staring at Rafél defiantly. He didn’t want to read. He wanted to go out and play with Shannai. Maybe not with blades this time – his father had been very angry of it – but maybe with some sticks, or swim ships made of tree’s bark in a stream. And his disobedience towards Rafél wasn’t funny anymore. At first, it had been exciting, but now it had turned rather annoying. He liked Rafél, most of the time.
But he had decided to make up his own mind of things, and so he would do. And Rafél would have no word to say about it. With a final glance to his bodyguard, Legolas slid down from his chair, walking around the table to reach the door.
“And where do you think you are going?” a calm voice asked.
“Out,” Legolas answered.
“I bet you didn’t read the book yet,” Rafél continued, turning in his chair. His brown eyes were full of warning, and Legolas felt himself flinch before the other’s authority. But Rafél had no right to tell him what to do. He was Rafél’s prince. And Rafél never did anything else but follow him like a dog, nagging about every wrong thing he did. Surely Rafél had better things to do.
“I am going out. You can read the book, if you like it so much.” Legolas reached for the knob, silently proud of himself that he had dared to say such a thing to Rafél. He would have to tell Shannai…
Strong fingers curled around Legolas’ wrist, yanking him away from the door with a force that frightened the Elfling. Rafél merely dragged him back to his place, all but dropping him back to the chair. “Read,” the warrior stated, his voice hard and pure of emotions.
Legolas, too afraid to say against Rafél, lowered his eyes to the text before him. He would have to do better next time…
Rafél sat to his place at the table, drawing his chair closer. Legolas glared at him from his place, the child’s anger radiating out of him. The guardian preyed than no one would notice, for he did not feel like explaining the growing trouble between him and his Prince.
But of course the others noticed. Aduifan and Mîrfanya looked from Prince to his guardian, and Thranduil looked more than aware that something was wrong.
“Is all well?” the Queen asked, her eyes moving from his son to his guardian.
“Of course, my lady. Legolas is merely… tired. We have had a long day.”
Tirifëa raised an eyebrow to this but did not comment, forcing his guardian to do so as well. It seemed that the oldest Prince’s had a fair idea what was going on, but they would let Rafél to take care of it himself.
The dinner passed without too much incident, and in the end of it Thranduil informed that he would look after Legolas for the rest of the evening. Relieved, Rafél left the royal family, going to prepare himself for another day with the youngest Prince of Mirkwood.
“I could put Shannai to another group if you wish,” Thrénandu said to Rafél while they both watched the novices practice. Legolas and Shannai were quite inseparable nowadays. Where you found one, you could find the other.
“Nay, it is good that Legolas has a friend. And I am sure that some discipline would do good for Shannai as well.”
Thrénandu grunted, going forward to help one of the novices with his move. When he returned, his face was serious. “Shannai may have a bad influence on Legolas. After all, he is very… restless child.”
“Too much energy in one package, I would say,” Rafél laughed. “But his heart is kind. I would not hurry with the decision.”
“As you wish. I merely wish to make your task easier”, Thrénandu answered, throwing Rafél a pointed look.
Rafél grimaced. Was it so obvious that he had trouble with handling Legolas?
Suddenly an Elven warrior dropped from the trees, running towards them with great haste. He was exhausted, seemingly having kept a hard pace for some time. “My Lords, we have spotted a group of spiders near the edge of the fields. We killed most of them, but some escaped. We are hunting them down, but my commander told to inform you.” The warrior glanced quickly to the young Elves crowding the field.
Thrénandu nodded, understanding the danger. He let out a whistle, getting the attention of his novices immediately. “We must move away form the field. Get your belongings, gather the weapons and follow –” He couldn’t finish the sentence, however, when an arrow struck to a nearby tree.
A rustling sound came from the trees, and a huge black form moved across the limbs. A few of the children let out a shout, feeling the evil spreading around the creature. Chaos ensued in moments. A dozen of warriors appeared to the field, trying to herd the children away from danger. Some of the warriors attacked the spider, making it retreat from the easy prey.
Rafél rushed across the field, searching for Legolas quickly. He found the Prince soon enough, standing beside Shannai in the shade of a tree, staring at the warriors. Without a word, Rafél drew Legolas to his arms, knowing that a warrior that had followed him would take care of Shannai.
Reaching up, Rafél ascended to the trees, making a quick way away from the battle. Legolas struggled in his arms, trying to get loose, but Rafél paid little attention to the Prince. His entire focus was concerned to the battle and into avoiding spiders. When he finally decided he was far enough, he stopped, letting Legolas drop to a thick limb of a tree.
Legolas glared up at him, anger and hurt upon his young face. “Why did you take me? No one else is here.”
“I took you to safety,” Rafél said, his gaze turning back to the direction of the field they had just left.
“It is not fair! The others went somewhere else, the others fought, and you just ran –”
“Be silent!” Rafél spat, throwing Legolas a fierce look. “It is my task to take you and run. It is my task to make sure you are safe, to leave the others into danger if needed. Do you think I did not want to join the warriors, to bring down that servant of the dark that threatened us? Of course I wanted! But I cannot because I must look after you.”
“Then stop looking after me! I can take care of myself!” Legolas shouted back. The youth glared at his guardian for a while, and then turned around, descending from the three to walk the rest of the way home.
Rafél let out a long, agitated breath. He had not meant to shout at Legolas, but the youth’s behaviour got him fuming. It was not Legolas’ fault he could not fight for his home anymore: it was his own decision. Sighing, Rafél sat down on the limb, drawing his knees up and resting his head against them. At the moment, he was more tired of his life than ever.
to be continued…