Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings
Era: Third Age of the Sun
Genre: Action/Adventure, AU, Angst
Rating: M / FRM
Characters: Legolas, Thranduil (, OCs)
Summary: Dark creatures get even closer to Thranduil’s stronghold – with fatal consequences. Legolas witnesses death for the first time in his life, but when a terrible accident faces the royal family, the pain of the youngest is easily forgotten.
Part of the history of “The Last Journey.” Takes place a few years after “Guardian”. Complete.
Warnings: Character’s death, evil, darkness, violence, etc.
Beta: Kitt of Lindon
Disclaimer: This story is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories about Middle-earth (mostly on the Lord of the Rings). The characters are not mine - except for those whom I have created. The story is alternative universe, but written to honour Tolkien’s creations.
Have a good time and enjoy the ride (at least I hope you do!)
Feedback: Yes, please, be so kind! Please review, I would love to know your opinion.
Author’s Notes: English is not my mother tongue, so it isn’t perfect. Please inform me of spelling and grammar errors, so I can correct them!
About Influence: A dark, angst story, which takes a strong look to an event not mentioned to touch Elves: death. Very few things (or no things at all) are said about Legolas’ mother, Queen of Mirkwood. What happens here is purely one of my own versions, and it shamelessly serves the purpose that is known later in The Journey –series.
This story is an important part for the future in “The Last Journey” (and later, “The Final Prayers”) as well as “Prince of Dol Guldur” and “Loyalty to Blood” before those, even if the connection of these stories is told much later.
Hopefully I get a lot of good feedback from all of you! Nice (or less nice) moments while reading this, for I wish that this piece of work will entertain you.
Chapters and their status: Here below you see the writing process of the story’s chapters. If there is no text after the chapter’s name, then it is finished and checked (until someone of my dear readers points me out some mistake, or I will do some updating…) so, check this page, because here I will mark the dates of the updates…
1 Little Hairy Friend
2 Day of Death
3 Mourning Without Tears
5 Comfort of Shadows
6 Fading Dream
7 Forgotten and Found
Race: Sindar Elf of Mirkwood
Legolas' mother and the Queen of Mirkwood, wife of Thranduil. Pale golden hair, light green eyes with a hint of blue.
Race: Sindar Elf of Eryn Lasgalen
Age: Born in the Second Age
Legolas' oldest brother and the Crown-Prince of the Woodland Realm. Long golden hair and deep grey eyes.
Race: Sindar Elf of Eryn Lasgalen
Age: Born in the Second Age
Legolas' older brother and a Prince of the Woodland Realm. Long golden hair and light blue eyes with a hint of green.
Race: Sindar Elf of Eryn Lasgalen
Age: Born in the end of the First Age
Tirifëa's bodyguard. Light bronze hair and grey eyes. A skilled warrior. One of those few Sindarin Elves who came with Oropher to the Greenwood the Great.
Race: Sindar Elf of Eryn Lasgalen
Age: Born in the First Age
Lossaurion's bodyguard. Auburn hair and green eyes. A skilled warrior. One of those few Sindarin Elves who came with Oropher to the Greenwood the Great.
Race: Sindar Elf of Eryn Lasgalen
Age: Born during the Age of the Stars
One of those few Sindarin Elves who came with Oropher to the Greenwood the Great, and fought in the Battle of Dagorlad. Legolas' bodyguard. Also a captain and a remarkable soldier in Woodland Realm's forces, though mostly his time is occupied with his duties to protect Legolas. Unlike (usually) to Sindar Elves, he has deep brown eyes. Long, very light, nearly white, brownish hair.
Race: Silvan Elf of Eryn Lasgalen
Age: Born on the Second Age
Captain in Woodland Realm's forces. Has been Legolas' tutor since the Prince started to practice as a Novice. Long golden hair and light blue eyes. Uses both bow and sword with years of experience.
Sindarin: - Westron:
Ada – Affectionate form of father (Adar)
Adar – Father
Hannon le – Thank you
Mellon nîn – My friend
Nana – Affectionate form of mother (Naneth)
Saes – Please
Author’s Note: All phrases in this story are “spoken” in Sindarin (I do not believe that the Elves would use Westron among each other, in their own realm.) If other languages are used, I will mark them. A little bit of sweet Legolas here, terrorising the chapter, but we will get over that soon…
The morning was unusually warm and beautiful, the song of nature filling the air with joyous concert. As Galenrosiel, Queen of Woodland Realm, walked through the woods, she regretted that she would be forced to leave the forest soon. Not that she felt terribly sad about it: waking her youngest son was never a regrettable task.
But today she would have loved to spend the day outdoors as much as possible. Maybe she would be able to persuade Thranduil to take his family on a small trip to the forest later that day. Legolas would love it, and she was sure that their two elder sons wouldn’t fight too much, either. It was far too seldom that they all had a chance to spend time together.
But when the world was as it was, Galenrosiel understood that her husband and older sons were forced to do all in their power to fight the Shadow rising against them. But as much as the Wood-Elves fought, they were not able to save their home from the evil that now lurked everywhere around them. The land before green and beautiful was now turning twisted and dark.
Galenrosiel stared at the forest before her, not really seeing anything. Her mind lingered in the past, walking paths that no longer existed. There, in her heart, was never a place for the shadow: there Greenwood the Great would always be a realm of light and life.
“Good morning, my lady,” a smooth voice said from behind Galenrosiel and she turned around, meeting a white-haired Elf with a warm smile.
“And good morning to you too, Rafél. The trees sing with such joy this morning,” she continued, gazing at the canopy above them. Rafél also looked up, a small smile upon his lips. Then he looked around, as if looking for something. Galenrosiel noticed this, laughing softly. “Legolas is not with me. I suppose he is still asleep, though I am on my way to wake him. Breakfast will be ready soon, and I do not wish him to miss it.”
“That little sleepyhead,” Rafél laughed. “But do not trouble yourself: I shall go and wake the child. You may then enjoy this fine morning for a while longer.”
Galenrosiel smiled at the older Elf, her eyes shining. “Thank you, Rafél. I truly appreciate that. Do not be late, you two!” she called after the guardian as the other Elf headed to the direction of the palace. Rafél bowed and then disappeared to the forest, leaving Galenrosiel alone.
But she was not alone. In here, middle of the forest, she could never feel alone or abandoned. And in celebration the woods sang to her, enjoying her presence among them.
The door was slowly pushed open and a figure stepped inside, closing the door just as silently. Legolas pressed his eyes closed as the arrival walked towards the bed. The youngest Prince of Mirkwood knew well who had entered the room, but he didn’t feel like getting up yet. It was so nice to just lay there, curled up in soft blankets like a mouse in her nest. Digging a little deeper into his pile of blankets, Legolas pretended to be asleep.
But he might have known that he could not trick Rafél so easily.
“Come now, you sleepyhead. All others have risen and yet you still doze here.”
Legolas merely grumbled something, still trying to sound like as if he was asleep. Suddenly the covers were yanked back, and Legolas grabbed them with all his might, holding onto them tightly, not willing to let go. There was a soft laugh from Rafél as the older Elf wrestled with him gently.
“Legolas, just for record: Elves sleep with their eyes open.”
The little Prince thought about opening his eyes, but seemingly Rafél had decided that he was already awake. With a pitiful sigh Legolas sat up, looking up at Rafél through his tousled hair, smiling brightly.
Rafél shook his head, yet he also was smiling. “Now, up with you. You may dress and brush your hair while I make your bed.”
Legolas pouted unhappily for a moment but then jumped to the floor, hunting himself something to wear. He would not have training today, so he and Rafél would probably just study in a library. Legolas wriggled into his clothes and then ran to a drawer, reaching out with his hand to find a brush. When he encountered it he jumped back, running to the balcony of his room. Then he stood there in the soft sunlight, sorting out his hair.
While Rafél was occupied with his tasks, he kept one eye on Legolas all the time. It seemed that it was a habit he had grown used to and he didn’t even have to remind himself of watching over the youth. He still heard occasional taunts from his fellow warriors about his transformation from warrior to a baby-sitter, but he knew that would change when Legolas grew older and became a warrior himself. Then Rafél’s most important role would also come in use: to watch over Legolas in battles. But this was yet hundreds of years away and Rafél had long ago decided that he would not hurry things. He enjoyed his time with young Legolas far too much. There was no reason to ruin the young innocence. Even if Legolas had already seen some dark, evil things, he was still a child and couldn’t understand the dangers of the world yet. And there was no need to. He would have plenty of time to fight the Shadow on his own, later. And even if Legolas was already trained to fight with other novices, it was merely exercise of mind and body, as well as relationship to other Elves and warriors. More demanding and full warrior-training would take place in some fifty years.
On the balcony, Legolas sang softly to himself while he smoothed out his golden hair. He could hear that Rafél was already finished and moving about in the room, arranging things. Then a movement caught his eye and Legolas turned his head, seeing an animal emerge from the forest. With a smile, Legolas set down his brush and kneeled down, beckoning the animal closer. A small muzzle moved slightly when a fox smelled the air, and then it let out a soft sound, coming closer to the Elf. Legolas extended his hands and in moments he had pressed his face to the silky fur of the animal in his arms, giggling slightly as the fox sniffed him.
Rafél entered the balcony, scanning his surrounding for any kind of threat, and then spotted Legolas. An amused smile spread across his face as he looked the youth pamper a fox, the animal visibly enjoying the attention. “If you are ready, Legolas, we could go to a breakfast.”
Legolas looked up, his eyes shining. “Can I take him with me? Please Rafél!” the Prince pressed his new friend closer, the fox letting out a soft sound, licking Legolas’ neck.
“No, I am afraid you cannot take him with you,” Rafél said gently, kneeling down.
“Why?” Legolas asked, and then remembered that no-one took animals to the table. “But he can wait in my rooms until I have eaten, right?” Legolas asked again, his eyes full of hope.
Rafél sighed, scratching the fox’s head. “You cannot do that, Legolas. This fox here is a free animal, and so he should remain. He came to you just for a visit, but nothing more. It is a way of Olvar and Kelvar that they love to be in the company of Eldar. But when that friendship is given to us, we have no right to take their freedom for our own, selfish needs.”
Legolas nodded, his face sad, but yet he understood. “Bye fox. Maybe we shall play together later.”
The animal looked somewhat disappointed as it was lowered back to the ground, gaping at Legolas questioningly, as if expecting a new game. As none came, the fox shook itself and then ran back to the forest. Legolas looked after it for a while, then turned, putting his hand into Rafél’s, indicating that he was ready for the breakfast.
When Rafél and Legolas entered the dining room the others were already seated, talking quietly. As soon as Legolas bounced into the room everyone fell silent, smiling at the youngest of their family.
“Legolas, how has been your morning? Busy, I suppose, because you haven’t appeared since now,” Lossaurion teased when he caught his brother into his arms after Legolas had kissed the others of his family.
Legolas laughed, struggling in Lossaurion’s hold. “I got a new friend this morning!” he announced happily.
“You did?” Thranduil asked, smiling.
“Yes, a fox. We played together,” Legolas chided, finally being let down by Lossaurion.
Many glances turned into Rafél’s direction, but the guardian merely shook his head, silently informing the royal family that everything was in order.
“That is nice, darling. Now sit down so we may eat,” Galenrosiel smiled, guiding Legolas to his place.
Legolas sat down, reaching out to get some bread, a piece of meat and cheese. Gazing at his plate, Legolas frowned, then carefully looked at the others seated around the table and then grabbed some more food swiftly.
Thranduil watched the display, his smile spreading. Legolas must be in a growing-age. Or then Rafél has changed his training some. Whatever it is, I suppose I should be glad that the youth has a good appetite. Turning his attention to his own plate, the King of Mirkwood and Woodland Realm focused onto his own breakfast.
Some talk took place during the breakfast, and finally Galenrosiel presented her idea for the day. “If you all have a free afternoon, I would propose a picnic later.”
“That is a wonderful idea,” Thranduil said, smiling at his wife. “I shall ask my aids for my schedule, but I am sure I can arrange my day.”
“So do I,” Tirifëa echoed, his bodyguard Aduifan nodding. It was known that the crown-prince of Woodland Realm was almost as busy as his father, but when a chance of sharing a day with his family presented itself, Tirifëa was most of times more than willing to re-arrange his own goings.
“Ah, a trip,” Lossaurion exclaimed, throwing a meaningful glance at Legolas who seemed to be so absorbed to his eating that he barely heard anything. “Doesn’t that sound nice, Legolas?”
Legolas’ head shot up, and he looked at Rafél quickly, his hands tightly in his lap. “Yes…” he said uncertainly, smiling.
Lossaurion looked at his younger brother, his brows furrowed. Legolas was always overjoyed beyond measure when a word “picnic” was mentioned: it always meant an easy day among his family (and the Princes’ bodyguards), lots of laugher and games. Now it seemed that Legolas was totally lacking his interest.
Thranduil also looked at his youngest, frowning. He also noticed that Legolas’ plate was empty, even if it some time ago had been almost full. The King looked at his son, then carefully rose and stepped to Legolas. The youth looked up at his father, his hands clutching the doubled hem of his tunic. Thranduil indicated the Elfling to unfold the cloth, and Legolas did so, though rather reluctantly. Thranduil couldn’t hold back a small, amused laugh. Legolas looked both defiant and sad, staring at the small pile of food inside his tunic.
“And to whom are you going to give these?” Thranduil finally asked.
“To the fox,” Legolas mumbled, swiftly glancing at his mother who was now standing beside them.
“I am sure that the fox is already on his way,” Thranduil said, smiling gently at the Elfling before him. “You have a good heart, Legolas, but you must understand the ways of Kelvar. They love us and we help them when they are in need of help, but the animals of the world are not dependent of us. And as for your small friend, I am sure he is already far away from here: foxes have better things to do than wait for Elves to play with them.”
Legolas nodded, still disappointed, but he unloaded the food to the table without further objections. He gave a look at his mother who smiled down at him, nodding in approval. Legolas smiled at her, and then turned at Rafél. “What shall we do today?” he asked, all misery seemingly forgotten.
“Well, you have no lessons today, so you may decide what we shall do until the picnic,” Rafél said, hiding his own amusement well.
“Well, I shall inform you all later about the timing of our trip,” Thranduil said, kissing Galenrosiel’s cheek.
“Have a nice day,” Galenrosiel said, knowing well that Thranduil would appreciate a day with his family more than that with his advisors.
Thranduil smiled and then walked out of the room. Tirifëa also rose from his place, excusing himself, his younger brother leaving with him. As Lossaurion disappeared from the door Legolas got up, glancing at Rafél.
“May he come with me?” Galenrosiel asked from Rafél suddenly, laying his hand upon Legolas’ shoulder. “I will go to see for the preparations of the celebration field, and I could take Legolas with me. You could have a free day.”
“Thank you, my lady, but it isn’t necessary…” Rafél replied.
“Can I go?” Legolas jumped up and down. “I shall see you on the evening, anyway. We may be together then.”
Rafél looked at the young Prince and nodded then, bowing at his Queen. “If you have need for me, sent a word. I shall be on the training fields.”
“Of course,” Galenrosiel said and then looked down at Legolas, extending her hand. “Shall we?” Legolas shouted excitedly, taking his mother’s hand and together they left the dining room.
Rafél looked after them for a while, a smile upon his face. He did enjoy his time with Legolas, but today he could go and train himself. And at the afternoon, he could resume his task again. Humming to himself a little song that Legolas had taught him, Rafél also left the room to find his weapons.
to be continued…