Title: Prince of Dol Guldur
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings
Era: Third Age of the Sun
Genre: Action/Adventure, AU
Rating: M / FRM
Characters: Legolas, Thrandui (, OCs)
Summary: Mirkwood Elves live constantly under an influence of a shadow, and it isn’t too hard to cross the line to the side of darkness... Legolas learns this as he meets a stranger in the woods, who desires to show him a new way to see the world.
Part of the history of “The Last Journey”. Complete.
Warnings: Death, evil, darkness, violence, etc.
Legolas sat alone in the armoury, slowly cleaning his weapons. He had no desire to join with his family for the supper – or actually only to his father as his brothers were away with their own patrols – and so he had decided to take care of his weapons in the meanwhile. The other novices were long gone, even Shannai who would have normally stayed behind with Legolas: it seemed that the other youth understood Legolas’ desire to be alone, and hadn’t pressed on with his company.
The door opened softly, a tall figure stepping inside. Legolas raised his head, giving an inward sigh as he recognised Thrénandu. “Rafél was looking for you,” the trainer began, eyeing at Legolas’ work. “I am sure those are quite clean for the day.”
“Why not to do the job properly when you start one?” Legolas muttered, his eyes fully upon his task.
“Today in the forest…” Thrénandu continued, sensing the other’s reluctance, “you were acting unusually. Is there something you would wish to tell me about?”
Legolas gave the other a long silence, not bothering to answer. Thrénandu and he were quite close, yes, having patrolled together numerous times, but this was a thing Legolas kept fully with himself. “Nay, there is nothing,” he finally said, deciding that the other was not going to leave him alone before getting an answer of some sort.
Thrénandu let out a weary sigh, tilting his head. “There is, but you do not tell me,” he said, knowing well enough how the mind of the young Prince worked. “Fine, I cannot force you,” he finally relented, taking his leave. There was no point to start an argument with the young Elf: he would lose it soon enough.
As Thrénandu walked the path from the armoury, he soon ran into Rafél. “Ah, good that I found you,” he smiled grimly, making the white-haired Elf raise an eyebrow. “I found your Prince,” the captain explained, motioning at the small building behind him. “Just a few words with you before you go,” he said hurriedly as Rafél started forward.
“Is ought wrong?” Rafél asked, sensing that something was out of place.
“There is something wrong with Legolas,” Thrénandu began carefully, not wishing to get the older one alarmed. “He seemed quite distant at some part of our patrol. When he halted on the road, he told me he had stopped to inspect the road. But there was also something he left unsaid – both on the road and back here as I questioned him about it few minutes ago. It might be nothing, but the way he is hiding it… it deems bad.”
Rafél nodded, his brown eyes narrowing. “I will ask him about it. Thank you,” he nodded, stepping past the other Elf.
Thrénandu looked after him, his brow furrowing with worry. “Valar willing that he speaks to you,” he muttered, shaking his head. Then he also turned, heading back home for the night. Tomorrow he would see what his revelation had caused.
Back in the armoury, Rafél opened the door silently, sliding in like a ghost. Legolas did not raise his head from an arrow he was inspecting, but Rafél knew the other had marked his arrival. “We will be late for the supper soon,” he stated gently, sitting on a table next to Legolas. “Your father is waiting for you.”
“I am not hungry,” Legolas stated.
Rafél sighed, shaking his head. “How long are we going to play this game? I know perfectly why you are hiding in here, so why don’t you give me a truth instead of hollow lies.”
“Why should I tell you something you already know?” Legolas answered, his eyes meeting Rafél’s.
Rafél opened his mouth to reply, but hold back his words, smile appearing to his face. He played my words perfectly against me. I must remember to congratulate the Cousins – after I have given them a little rebuke about teaching my protege such things, especially as they are used against me. “But there is something I do not know, isn’t there?”
“Even if there is, you don’t have to know that.”
“Ah, but there is the point where you are mistaken: I must know because it is affecting to your training. Or do you require me to follow your every step from this on?” Rafél asked, hint of anger in his voice.
Legolas looked up at his guardian, seeing the truth in the other’s words. “I will focus better next time, I promise.”
“It isn’t enough that you promise if you cannot keep it,” Rafél stated gently, folding his hands over his chest. “But it doesn’t matter because I will most likely follow you to your further patrols.”
Legolas looked surprised, his eyes narrowing in suspicion. “Is it my father’s order?” he asked bluntly.
“Nay, but he would agree with my decision,” Rafél laughed. “Orcs are getting closer again, and we have spotted new colonies of spiders.”
“So my brothers’ efforts are in vain,” Legolas muttered.
“Not in vain, but there is little we can do when the enemy is as many and daring as it is now,” the older Sinda said softly, resting one hand upon Legolas’ shoulder. “We are living in dark times,” he sighed, his eyes full of compassion as he gazed at Legolas. “But come, your father is truly wishing to see you. Even if you are not hungry, you may still do your duty as a son and make him forget all his worries for a moment.”
Legolas nodded, taking his weapons as he rose up. Rafél led him out, making sure that the youth did not see the dark look passing his features. What is it that you are not telling me, Legolas? It may not be anything, but at these days we must be on our guard…
to be continued…