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.
I could swear I have seen him before, somewhere. His entire presence feels so… familiar. But how can that be, for I do not remember him. And Elves do not easily forget…
“Legolas, are you listening to me at all?” Rafél’s asked, his voice perfectly calm. His eyes, however, betrayed his displeasure.
“I am sorry, I was in my thoughts,” Legolas apologised, turning a page of a book before him. “Please, continue.”
Rafél stared at his student for a while, then to his own book before him. With a barely audible sigh he shut his book, leaning forward. “What are you worrying about? If it is Shannai, the healer said he will be attending to the training normally from tomorrow on. He just hit his head, felt a little nauseous when he woke, nothing worse.”
Legolas nodded, chewing his lip. “That is good,” he mumbled, his fingers tracing the edges of the page before him.
Rafél stared at the young Elf for a good while, trying to read through the other’s expression. “Legolas, you can really tell me if something is bothering you. Even if it is something… personal.”
“I am fine,” Legolas quipped, raising his eyes to Rafél’s. “Truly.”
And I am supposed to believe that? Rafél felt like asking. Your skills in lying aren’t too good yet, and of that I am glad. Otherwise, I would be in real trouble with you. “Well, if you change your mind, tell me. I am always keeping you as my first priority. You know that, don’t you?”
Legolas snorted, his eyes back on the pages again. “How do we define evil?” he muttered.
“What?” Rafél asked, barely hearing the other’s words. “Evil? Why do you think of such a thing?”
“Never mind,” Legolas said quickly. “Can we continue with the lesson? I promise I will pay attention this time.”
Rafél thought about his options for a while, knowing that this was just another trick which was meant to throw his attention away from Legolas. But he wasn’t going to give in so easily. “You wish to speak of evil?” Rafél asked.
Legolas raised his head, various feelings flittering across his face. “Yes,” he finally said, sitting up straighter.
“Very well,” Rafél continued. “What about it? There are a lot of aspects to speak of.”
Legolas thought about this, recalling his last night’s discussion. “How do we Elves define evil? And how does that differ from the other races?”
Rafél blinked, not having expected this sort of an answer. “Well, we Elves…” he halted, uncertain. “Evil is… evil. You know what evil is.
“Explain to me like I wouldn’t know,” Legolas requested. He saw Rafél’s uneasiness easily enough, and a new fear began to bloom on the back of his mind. Was he right, after all? Do our elders only teach us to hate evil, even if they do not know what evil truly is?
“Evil takes many forms. In the beginning of the world, there was no evil at all. But envy and desire for power created it, corrupting one of the Valar themselves. The one who became Morgoth. He wished to rule all earth and its peoples, destroy everything beautiful his kinsmen had created – mar their work. He created foul creatures, filling them with his hate and evil.” Rafél looked at Legolas, hoping that his answer had satisfied the youth. But Legolas’ eyes told his quite the opposite. With a sigh, Rafél leaned back in his chair, his eyes meeting Legolas’. “There is much evil in this world. It is will to destroy, to own, to hurt. It has so many forms I think no one knows them all. And then there is less evil in some than in others.”
“So you say that evil is in one’s nature?” Legolas asked.
“Within some, yes. Other’s may be corrupted by one’s evil, and they become evil themselves.”
“But that is not really an answer…” Legolas mumbled.
“What kind of answer do you desire to have, Legolas?” Rafél shouted, frustration in his voice. “You know evil well enough, for you live in a world filled with it. I don’t have to lecture you about it! Less we know, happier we are…” he finally muttered to himself.
Legolas was silent, his eyes full of strange sympathy as he gazed at Rafél. “I am sorry I asked,” he finally whispered and got up, leaving the room silently as a ghost.
Rafél sat in his place, staring at the empty chair across his. “How do we define evil?” he repeated. Then he shook off his reverie, standing up as he realised what he had done. But when he reached the door, Legolas was gone.
to be continued…