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After the Council

July 1st, 2006 (05:50 pm)
crushed

current mood: crushed

Story Info





Title: After the Council

Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)

Fandom: The Lord of the Rings

Era: The Third Age of the Sun

Genre: Drama (“AU”)

Rating: K / FRC

Characters: Legolas (, OC)

Summary: After the Council of Elrond, Legolas must face his protector and tell him of his decision.
Part of the history of “The Last Journey”. Complete.

Warnings: None

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 has been 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!

This story goes a little more along the lines of the movie, but I think it doesn’t differ too much from the books either.


About After the Council: This is a short story, but I just had to do it: it explains a lot of the relationship between Legolas and his bodyguard. How difficult was Rafél’s decision after all, when he had to decide between his love for his Prince, and the decision of the Council that Legolas alone would accompany the Fellowship on the behalf of the Elves. And of course there is the order given from Thranduil to look after his youngest son, which cannot be easily ignored.

After all, Rafél is the responsible off Legolas, and if something would happen to the Prince, it would be because his protector didn’t do his task…

I really nearly cried as I wrote this, and I cry very seldom, at least not during watching movies, reading or writing. But this story touched something in me. I truly hope that you will also find this fic as touching as I do.

Enjoy!


Story and status: Here below you see the writing process of the story. If there is no text after the title, then it is finished and checked (until someone of my dear readers points me out some mistake, or I will do some updating…).

After the Council




OC’s Introductions:



Rafél
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.



~ ~ ~




”)…(” = Sindarin
“/…/” = Quenya





After the Council




25th of October, year 3018 of the Third Age,

Rivendell



“You have my bow.” Legolas strode through the corridors of the Last Homely House, his own words ringing in his head. By the Gods, what made me utter those words? Rafél will never accept my decision. I just should have kept my mouth shut! But as he thought that, he knew he could have never been able to do so. Not as that noble little creature was ready to go onto the gates of very Evil itself, without even fully realising what was waiting for him there

But Rafél...

Legolas shook his head, trying not to think what his bodyguard, his protector, would say. He had no true desire to go back to his rooms and face his old friend.

His only defence would be that it was Rafél himself who had taught him all about honour, unselfishness and helpfulness. But it was also Rafél who had taught him obedience, and that as a Prince, he served his people first, as well as his King, and then himself. His allegiance belonged to his people.

Torn by these emotions, Legolas came to the door of his rooms, standing before it for a moment. Then he drew a deep breathe and opened the door, stepping swiftly inside and closing the door soundlessly behind him: as if somehow that would have bought him some more time not to be noticed by his protector.

But Rafél wasn’t in the room.

Legolas stood in the middle of the room for a moment, listening carefully for any signs of the other’s present, and then relaxed, being sure that Rafél wasn’t around. He had at least a brief moment more to plan what to say to the older Elf.

Nervously playing with the hem of his tunic – a habit that irritated him very much and which he had tried get rid off – he walked to the open windows that led into a small garden, his eyes gazing into the distance. His thought couldn’t grasp on anything, and so he just stood there, his hands still playing idly with his tunic, but he paid no mind to it anymore. The only thing he was able to focus on was that Rafél was most likely going to hear of the decision of the Council from the other Elves – probably from those of the Mirkwood. So in the end he wouldn’t have to tell Rafél nothing…

The decision of the Council… he thought desperately. Now I have a chance to strike against the might of the Dark Lord – an opportunity that cannot be wasted. He corrupted my home, and is responsible for the deaths of many I have known. Even if this mission will lead to my death, I have done more than I never could have within Mirkwood… he sighed. There is no turning back now. Only thing I regret is that I may never see my father and my brothers again, or any of my friends. Never will I again walk under those ancient trees outside my fathers’ palace, nor swim in the cool pools at night. There is no return from the Dark Land. Like my grandfather never returned from the battle of the Last Alliance, I really doubt if I will return from this journey…

“)Taren nîn?(”

Legolas jumped, turning around startled, but immediately relaxed as he saw Rafél standing behind him, the taller Elf’s deep brown eyes watching at him worriedly.

“)Is all well, Legolas?(” Rafél asked, taking a step closer to the other Elf.

“Yes, all is fine,” Legolas blurted out, then glaring at Rafél angrily, as he had often done when he had been a child. “You were sneaking again.”

Rafél chuckled, but still there was a slight glint of worry in his eyes. “)No ‘sneaking’, my Prince. You have told me often enough that such a behaviour is… both childish and unnecessary. Because you think I walk silently enough without… sneaking.(” His steady gaze rested upon Legolas, observing.

Legolas shifted nervously, suddenly remembering his previous thoughts. His eyes slid away from those of his guard, darting across the floor.

This alarmed Rafél even more. He is nervous. I wonder if that has anything to do with the Council… maybe it didn’t go as well as expected. All those Dwarves around, after all… And rumours about the evil awakening, and that the Ring would be finally found… But I think it is something else. Poor youth – though I should not think him as a one anymore, but I can’t help it – he is so young still, unused for these kind of long discussions, with all those high lords around him. I should have gone with him to the Council today… but it wasn’t my place. I cannot protect him from everything, after all. “How did the Council go?” he asked softly, changing into Westron in attempt to calm the Prince. After all, Legolas had responded to him with this tongue, and maybe preferred to speak it rather than Sindarin.

Legolas all but winced, his eyes quickly meeting those of Rafél, and then he turned to stare out of the window again. God, he knows… why else would he bother to ask it like that? Elbereth help me… Legolas closed his eyes. He had seen often enough as Rafél released his wrath upon other people, and so he had no desire to be the object of that kind of treatment. “I think you know,” he answered, so quietly he wondered if Rafél heard him at all.

Behind the Prince, Rafél frowned, growing even more alarmed. He is more than upset. Afraid, even. I can feel it as well as smell it. But why? A sense of dread grew inside of him, a surge of protectiveness that had grown during the long years he had watched over Legolas rising to the surface. “No, I do not know. I spoke to none after the Council, wishing to hear news from you. Should I have done otherwise?” he asked as calmly as he was able, wishing to coax some answers from the younger one.

It took some time before Legolas truly realised what the other had said. He doesn’t know. So, after all I have to tell him. Just wonderful. Well, better get it over and done, then. I’m only torturing myself while holding this up. So with a deep calming breathe, he turned around to meet his bodyguard, protector, mentor, closest friend. “The Ring of Power has been found. It was decided that a Halfling would take it to the Mount Doom, for that is the only way to get it destroyed. Eight others will accompany him: three from his own kin, Mithrandir, two Men, and one from both on the behalf of the Elves and the Dwarves.” He paused for a moment, letting this information sink, then took another deep breath and said: “I will go on the behalf of the Elves.”

It took nearly five seconds before Rafél truly understood what Legolas was saying. “You. You will go with a Halfling to Mordor, to the doorsteps of Sauron, trying to destroy the Master Ring?” Legolas nodded. “Have you gone mad?! You was sent here as an emissary of our people, not to go with some mere Mortals to –”

“They are not just mere Mortals, Rafél. Mithrandir will be there, and also Aragorn. And I am quite capable of taking care of myself. You taught me how to.”

“Indeed I did,” Rafél muttered darkly, his eyes nearly black in the darkness of the room. “You cannot go.”

“I gave them my word. I gave Frodo my bow.”

“Then tell them to sent someone else. You are too much needed among your own people.”

“You say, that I should take back my word? And what would that look like in the eyes of the others?”

“I do not care! Surely this group isn’t leaving immediately? They can well find someone else more… experienced.”

“You think my skills are not enough?!” Legolas demanded, defiant.

“You cannot go,” Rafél repeated.

“Yes, I heard that when you said it for the first time. But I will not mar my honour by backing off when I have once given my word. And you know I can help them. You know my skills are enough.”

Rafél clenched and unclenched his fists at his sides, his face showing his anger clearly, eyes blazing. “You have no right to abandon your people so,” he said at last.

“Abandon? One bow missing among the hundreds of others cannot be a loss overly great. And what of the mission of the Fellowship? Now we have an opportunity to destroy Sauron for once and for all! Is this how you embrace that chance: by ordering me to stay behind when I am already seen worthy of accompanying the eight other Walkers?”

For a while Legolas was sure Rafél was going to hit him, but then Rafél turned his head away, closing his eyes, breathing deep. Moments passed, both of them standing still, their minds set, waiting for the other to yield.

“You will send no other?” Rafél finally asked, something like surrender in his voice.

“No.”

Slowly, Rafél nodded, and then turned to look Legolas swiftly, his eyes full of anger still. “I will leave you to rest, then, my Lord,” he said, and started to the door. But before he went out, he stood there for a moment, and then spoke again. “You know, then, that none returns from the Black Land?”

“Yes, I know that,” Legolas answered. I know that I am not going to return, and I also know that it will be you to bear this news back home. He swallowed quickly, trying to master his emotions.

Rafél only nodded, looked at him once again, and then left from the room, leaving Legolas alone to the darkness.

Finally alone, Legolas let out a shuddering gasp, his defences crumbling down, and he slid to the floor, too weary to hold back the tears anymore. I am so sorry, Rafél. I am so sorry!

- - -


The stars are shadowed tonight. Or maybe it is just my own spirit, making all look dim around me… Rafél pressed his head to his hands trying to calm himself. He had wandered through the halls of Imladris for long, and finally he had found his way to the far corner of the gardens, where he finally sat down to a marble bench.

There he had sat for a long time, not caring as the time passed. “I will go on the behalf of the Elves.” He nearly wailed aloud as Legolas’ words rang through his mind again and again. “… I am quite capable of taking care of myself. You taught me how to.” Rafél moaned, raising his head from his hands, gazing at the sky, begging the distant stars to give him answers. “)Why?(” he whispered, his heart twisting in agony. “)Why do you always have to choose the path I cannot follow? How am I supposed to protect you if I cannot follow you…(”

But in his heart Rafél also knew why Legolas had chosen to go with the Fellowship. He indeed could help the Halfling, as much as it pained Rafél to admit it. Maybe I trained him too well: to think with his heart first, rather than listen the orders of others: to use his own mind. But no, he did the right decision. Anything that I did in the past couldn’t have changed what happened today. This is the road he is meant to walk, and it seems that my road no longer follows his.

Looking at the stars again, Rafél walked in his mind through all those long years he had watched over Legolas, cared for him, helped him up as he stumbled, laughed with him, laid down to sleep next to him in the middle of the great trees of Mirkwood, guarded him in numerous battles…

Sighing, Rafél let his gaze fall from the sky, his eyes following the trails of the trees before him. I should be beside you now, offering you my strength and courage, but how can I give such things to you, my Greenleaf, when I have none myself? Maybe you are the one of us to march to the gates of the Dark Lord, but I am the one to return alone to our home, and to face your father’s wrath. For that day I fear, but even more than that, I dread the day when they finally come to tell me that you have fallen…

Getting up, Rafél stood still for a moment, a brief breathe of wind swaying his hair gently.

And with a final glance to the sky, he turned and returned to the Last Homely House, knowing that this night wouldn’t offer him much rest.


25th of December,

Rivendell


It was nearing to dusk, Legolas noted absently, packing the rest of his belongings swiftly. It was nearly the time to go. After two months of waiting, the Fellowship was finally setting out to its long journey towards whatever end.

Legolas straightened, and then put on the last parts of his clothing, slowly lacing his bracers. Feeling someone’s eyes upon him, Legolas turned to look at the door, meeting the deep brown eyes. Rafél stood there, quiet, watching him with silent recognition. Without a word, only a silent message passing between them, the older Elf left, leaving Legolas alone again.

During these two months after their argument – or a fight one could have called it – they had barely spoken, and for a while Legolas had thought that Rafél would ride back to Mirkwood before the Fellowship would set out. But he hadn’t. Though he had stayed in Rivendell, it was nearly the same as though he had left, Legolas thought. No words had there been, no practising together. Legolas had felt abandoned, but he had let the feeling go, knowing that Rafél had the right to do what he did: after all, Legolas had made his decision without even asking the other, and the Prince would see his decision to the end.

When Legolas finally was ready, he took his weapons, and with one last glance around the room, he stepped out to the corridor, taking a straightest route towards the courtyard.

But before he got there, someone stepped from the shadows before him, blocking his path. Rising his gaze, Legolas met Rafél’s eyes, and was shocked when he saw only sorrow there. No hint of anger, bitterness… “Rafél?” he asked worried.

Rafél just stared at him, then gently he tested the belt holding Legolas’ quiver in his back, just like in a same manner as when Legolas had been a young and excited novice, ready for his first hunt with his protector.

Legolas stood still, and soon Rafél seemed to be content with Legolas’ weapons. But instead of letting go, he rested his hand upon Legolas’ shoulder, meeting the blue eyes fully. “I wish you good luck,” he said at last, his voice rough.

Legolas nodded, biting his lip. “)Hannon le(,” he said soberly.

Rafél smiled. “That I cannot follow you doesn’t mean that my thoughts cannot. Whatever befalls upon you on your road… I wish you to know that I am thinking of you.”

Legolas nodded, fighting the tears. “I…”

“Don’t,” Rafél silenced him, his smile even sadder than before. “We shall meet again. Somewhere.”

Legolas bowed his head. Then he raised it again, his blue eyes shimmering with unshed tears. “Tell my father and my brothers that I love them. And for Shannai and the Cousins… well, you know what to say.”

Rafél nodded. “You will make your father proud. And more than that, your kin should be proud of you. Such a decision…”

“Is easy to make, but hard to keep, when the end draws near,” Legolas finished. “They are waiting for me…”

With a final smile, Rafél suddenly drew his young protégé to his arms, embracing him hard. Legolas returned the embrace with equal force, pressing his face to the others chest, letting his tears soak into the garment. He could feel Rafél drew a shaky breath, knowing that the other, too, was crying.

“)We shall meet again(,” Legolas repeated, not wanting to let go. But he had to. With final squeeze, he signalled Rafél, and the older Elf also let go, drawing a little further away from Legolas.

With final nod, Rafél let Legolas pass, looking after him mournfully, wondering if he would never see his Prince again before Mandos would take them both. “/Namárië/,” he whispered.

Legolas soon reached the courtyard, walking as swiftly as he could without running. If he didn’t walk away from Rafél now, he would never find the courage to do so again. Stopping for a moment, he closed his eyes and drew a deep breath, then opened his eyes again and went down the short stairs to join the others.

After short leaving ceremonies, Elrond blessed their journey, sending them away with courteous words – words that seemed very hollow to Legolas, yet he was not alone with that opinion. Among the people who were seeing them off, stood Lady Arwen, grief easily seen upon her fair features. Legolas felt pity for her, and he swiftly glanced at Aragorn, who seemed to be enclosed into an inner struggle. So I am not the only one after all, who is aware of the fact that we may not return. Though I am not sure if that is a good or a bad thing, in the end.

With that final glance, Legolas turned back to the Fellowship. A moment later Frodo started to walk ahead, and Legolas smiled as he heard the Hobbit ask uncertainly from Mithrandir for which way he was supposed to go.

And as the Nine Walkers passed out of Rivendell, under an ancient archway, Legolas saw his protector standing alone, away from the others, his eyes meeting Legolas’. With a final smile, Legolas stepped out of the courtyard, not knowing what would lie ahead. Behind, he knew, was watching one he had learned everything from: how to fight, to survive. Now it was for the first time he took a step without knowing Rafél was watching his back. And inside his heart Legolas knew that he would miss Rafél dearly before he would meet his end…




The End





)Sindarin(: - Westron:
Taren nîn - My Prince
Hannon le - Thank you


/Quenya/: - Westron:
Namárië - Farewell