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.
Mîrfanya slipped through the branches, his feet sure and stable upon the limbs that made his winding path. Aduifan was right behind him, his steps matching his.
“Do you think they managed to take care of the spiders?” Aduifan asked, his voice low.
“Why not? There was enough warriors to take care of an entire colony of spiders,” Mîrfanya answered.
“I know, and we have managed to destroy a colony with a far less number of warriors. But I think we all were shocked of how close to the stronghold these creatures have got.”
Mîrfanya nodded, and then halted. He felt great distress in the trees, and for a moment he wondered if one of the enemies had got this far. But there was no such hatred and loathing in the trees’ song. Merely sadness. With nearly invisible movement, Mîrfanya commanded Aduifan to follow him. The other did not question his actions, knowing well what bothered his companion. “We check this swiftly and then keep going,” Mîrfanya muttered. They were to meet their Princes soon, but they should investigate this disturbance first.
“Mîrfanya,” Aduifan whispered, stopping the other with a hand on Mîrfanya’s shoulder. Aduifan pointed down with his had, and they both saw and Elf sitting on a lower branch. They would have passed by him easily, but the agony of the trees was stronger here.
The two guardians dropped down, making enough noise to make themselves known to the other Elf. The Elf did not seem to notice them, however, or he merely ignored them, not bothering to show that he had heard them. Aduifan was the first to reach their kinsman, stepping lightly beside him.
“Are you –” he started, then gasped. “Rafél! What are you doing here? Where is Legolas?” he glanced around, not seeing a sign of the young Prince.
“He left,” Rafél muttered. Feeling the others’ pressing gazes, he raised his head. “He went home. We had some words, and…” he sighed, rising up to stand, leaning against the trunk. “I’m finished with him.”
“Are you serious?” Mîrfanya asked, shocked. “You came along well. Though these last few days have been hard, they surely do not override the years you have already spent together?”
“Two years. What do they matter? Legolas doesn’t want me to look over him, and I do not want to do so either,” Rafél spat.
Aduifan sighed. “You already regret your words for him, don’t you?” He took a step closer. “He will learn. And so will you. Like I learned with Tirifëa. You see how we come along now.”
“Legolas is not Tirifëa. Nor is he Lossaurion. And I am not neither of you,” Rafél argued.
“Aye, we are all individuals,” Mîrfanya agreed. “You were in attack of the spiders, weren’t you?” Rafél nodded, not bothering to answer. “Did someone get hurt?” Mîrfanya asked.
“I didn’t stay to look. I only took Legolas and left the place,” Rafél replied.
“Ah, so that is the problem,” Aduifan smiled. “Legolas didn’t like to be rescued, especially before his novice-friends, and you didn’t wish to leave the battle to others.”
“The problem isn’t solved with hard words and brooding, Rafél,” Mîrfanya continued. “You must accept your duty as Legolas’ guardian. In time, he will accept you, and be glad that you are there. We have both been through this,” Mîrfanya glanced at Aduifan. “The first time is always the hardest. But what if you wouldn’t have taken him to safety? There is always risks.”
Rafél sighed, knowing he was losing this battle. “What shall I do?”
“Do nothing,” Aduifan said quickly, surprising his companions. He changed a look with Mîrfanya, making the other Elf frown. “Wait for Legolas to do the initiative.”
Rafél nodded his agreement, and watched as the other guardians headed towards the palace. What are they planning? He wondered, not sure if he wanted to know. He would trust to their advice, though, and wait. After all, they had been together with their Princes for ages…
“There you are. What took you so long?” Lossaurion announced, waking his older brother from his thoughts.
“We met Rafél on the way,” Aduifan said, nodding at Tirifëa as he and Mîrfanya reached the waiting couple.
“And Legolas?” the Crown Prince asked, seeing that this conversation was being led to somewhere.
“He ran home, most likely,” Aduifan said slowly. His eyes met Tirifëa’s darker grey ones, and something passed between them.
“Of what shall we speak with, my little brother?” Tirifëa asked cautiously, never releasing Aduifan’s eyes.
Mîrfanya watched the scene played before them, throwing a challenging glance at Lossaurion. “We have still a lot to learn,” he mouthed.
“How about beginning with a small explanation why you have guardians? Legolas seemingly hasn’t yet understood why he has one,” Aduifan continued, making Tirifëa smile.
“Nay, he got one today, and he…” Aduifan halted, looking at Mîrfanya briefly.
“He got upset,” Mîrfanya offered. “They had words, and Rafél was near to quitting the whole game.”
“Legolas has been a lot of trouble, then?” Lossaurion asked, but to everyone’s surprise, he did not say this with a smile.
“He has,” Mîrfanya replied. “But when he understands Rafél’s task and accepts him, all will go smoothly.”
The Princes nodded, sharing a swift look to each other. “We shall speak to him tonight,” Lossaurion promised.
A soft knock at the door startled Legolas. “Legolas, may we speak with you for a moment?” Tirifëa’s voice came through the wooden door.
“Of course,” Legolas replied, not sure if he wanted to talk to anyone at the moment. He had eaten his supper quickly, declaring he was not hungry, and then he had slipped to his bed, mulling in his dark thoughts.
His brothers entered, Lossaurion closing the door softly behind him. Even if Legolas had an own room now, his quarters were right next to that of his parents. Right now, neither of the older brothers wished to alarm their parents.
“How are you, little one?” Aduifan asked, sitting on the side of the bed.
“I’m fine,” Legolas said, smiling a little. His brothers were quite busy with the matters of the realm, and they seldom had time to speak with him. He was glad of every minute of attention he got from them.
“We heard something happened today on the training fields,” Lossaurion began, also sitting down, but instead of sitting on the edge of the bed, he crawled to the bed so he was able to lean his back against the wall. Settling himself down comfortably, he looked at Legolas, his light blue eyes meeting those of his brother. “Why don’t you tell us? I am sure it was quite exciting.”
“Spiders attacked,” Legolas said quietly, his fingers playing with his bedcovers.
“Weren’t you afraid? You have never seen spiders before, haven’t you?” Lossaurion asked again.
“I really didn’t see anything. The spider stayed in the trees, and there were a lot of warriors everywhere.”
“Did they win the fight?”
“I don’t know.”
“How could you not know? Do you try to tell us our brother is so unwatchful that he did not see how the battle ended?” Lossaurion mused, feeling Tirifëa’s gaze upon him.
“I wasn’t there when the battle ended,” Legolas muttered, a ting of anger in his voice.
“Why were you not?” Lossaurion pressed.
“Because Rafél dragged me away!” Legolas shouted, startling his brother.
“Weren’t you glad? The spiders could have escaped the warriors, and attack you,” Lossaurion continued, his voice calm.
“I wasn’t happy,” Legolas stated, raising his eyes from the blanket. “I would have liked to stay and watch, or go with Shannai and the others. But instead he dragged me away.”
“Did it ever cross your mind that he did so to protect you?” Tirifëa asked.
“He said he would have liked to fight too, but he couldn’t because he had to take care of me,” Legolas muttered.
“You did not answer my question, Legolas. Do you understand that he took you away from the danger to protect you?”
There was silence. Legolas stared at the blanket again, lips slightly pouting. Tirifëa sighed, his right hand twining itself around Legolas’ shoulders.
“You must understand, Legolas, that Rafél only wishes to protect you,” Tirifëa said softly. “This is very new to you both, and right now, you are both learning your places. This is as hard to Rafél as it is for you. He is a great warrior, and he wishes to defend his people, but now he has to think you first. For now on, he will always think you first. And you must let him do so. You are still young, and you may not understand all the reasons behind his actions, but let me explain to you a little: you live for tomorrow, wondering whether you play with Shannai or go to study. But Rafél thinks about the further future: his actions are guided by that that you will be in his care after thousands of years. You may think he does things strangely, that he does so only to make your life miserable, but it isn’t so: he is doing them for you, because of you.”
Tirifëa leaned forward to place a kiss on Legolas’ forehead. “Give him a chance, and you give yourself a chance, too. Think about this, will you? Ada and Nana chose him to this task because he is capable of taking care of you, in battle and in life. You just must let him to do his job, even if it means that sometimes you are forced to take orders from him.”
Legolas nodded, raising his face to give his brother a kiss. Then he did so to Lossaurion, and his brothers rose up.
“Sleep well, Little leaf,” Lossaurion said, and they stepped to the corridor, the door closing soundlessly behind them.
Legolas did not sleep, however, but lay in his bed awake, thinking about his brothers’ words. They were older than him, but years ago, they had been in the same situation. Maybe they were right. Maybe Rafél was right.
Smiling to himself, Legolas dug himself deeper under the blankets and drifted to sleep.
to be continued…