|The History of Legolas: The Last Green Leaf
Author: Vendie of Rivendell PM
Part II of The History Of Legolas trilogy. Here is the tale of Legolas Thrandulion that was not told in the Red Book of Westmarch; the trials of his youth and young-adulthood, and how fate sent him to Imladris at a crucial moment during the twilight of the Third Age.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Romance - Legolas & Thranduil - Chapters: 19 - Words: 46,874 - Reviews: 28 - Favs: 36 - Follows: 34 - Updated: 01-12-13 - Published: 12-24-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8828286
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Last Green Leaf
Chapter Six – Many Meetings
The next time Legolas awoke, he was unsure of the time of day. He could not open his eyes, though he wanted to. The sounds around him were muffled. It was an odd sensation for the prince of Mirkwood; as an elf, his ears had never failed to hear anything that was within a significant distance. Time passed and gradually he became more conscious of things.
He could feel that he was reclining in a halfway seated position, under sheets, propped up by pillows behind him. He was in a bed… perhaps in the Healing Houses… Someone was speaking near him… speaking to him. Legolas strained to listen, and gradually he could hear.
"…And then Arthion fell out of the tree. You should have seen it, brother. You would have laughed!" It was Hérion, apparently telling Legolas a story.
"I would not have been in that tree if you had not gotten my dagger stuck in the upper branches." Arthion's voice replied, sounding mildly annoyed.
"It was self defense!" Hérion said, chuckling.
Legolas smiled as he conjured up a mental image of one of Hérion and Arthion's brotherly battles. As the image of his eldest brother falling out of a tree entered his mind, Legolas let out a small, labored laugh.
"Legolas?" Arthion's voice cried out in shock. Legolas' eyes fluttered open at the sound of a chair falling over and two pairs of feet rushing across the floor. His vision was blurry at first, but within seconds of opening his eyes, Legolas could see his two older brothers staring down at him, eyes wide open.
"It seems I cannot leave you two alone for too long without someone falling out of a tree," Legolas said, his voice raspy from lack of use.
"Legolas!" both of his brothers shouted happily as large smiles crossed their faces.
"It's so kind of you to grace us with your presence, oh fair dreamer!" Hérion joked, trying to disguise his tears.
"I am glad I could oblige," Legolas replied softly.
"Hérion, you should go fetch Ada, he will be most anxious to see our little brother awake," Arthion said.
"Legolas, you should make him stop me, for there will be not a moment's peace for you once Ada arrives," Hérion appealed.
"There will be no peace if he finds that I am awake and he was not notified!" Legolas pointed out.
"Alas, he speaks truthfully!" Hérion sighed, a laugh still present in his voice. "I shall return in a moment. Ada will be here in less than that, I am sure," he said as he left the room. Legolas and Arthion laughed, knowing this much to be true.
"Legolas," Arthion said softly. Legolas saw that his eldest brother was searching for words, but failing. Arthion was always strong and silent; not easily provoked or moved to show any sort of emotion on his sleeve. Legolas knew that his brother was overjoyed to see him alive just by his expression.
"Legolas… Thank you for returning to us," Arthion finally said, putting his hand on Legolas' shoulder. The tell-tale glint of a tear sparkled in the elder's eyes as he looked down on his little brother.
"Brother," Legolas started, but before he could get another word out of his mouth, the door to his room in the Healing Houses burst open and his father stood there, a look of amazement on his face. A moment of silence overtook the room as Thranduil looked down on his youngest son. It was the first time he'd seen Legolas awake since the day all three of his sons had left on that fateful hunting trip. A thousand images burst forth into the Elvenking's mind; his son's birth, his first steps, scraped knees, hurt feelings, laughter, tears, and finally, the image of his son cold and pale on that first dreadful night after the attack.
"Legolas," he breathed as he took a step closer to his son's bed.
"Hello, Ada," Legolas greeted cheerfully, as if nothing had happened.
"Oh, my son!" Thranduil cried, taking three large strides to his son's bedside. The king of Mirkwood sat on Legolas' bed and wrapped his arms around his youngest son's shoulders carefully, so as not to move him too quickly or painfully.
Thranduil's embrace was tight, as if clinging to his son would insure his stay on this earth. Legolas said nothing, but slowly moved his arms to return his father's embrace. His arms felt as though they were made of lead and his side ached dully, telling him that he was either heavily medicated, or that it had been a significant amount of time since he acquired the injury.
"Ada, I am so sorry," Legolas said. Thranduil pulled back to face his son.
"My son, whatever you are sorry for, you have no need of it. Seeing you living… it has erased all of the pain and sorrow and worry," The king said as two tears rolled down his cheeks. Legolas smiled.
"Besides, we should be thanking you for saving our sorry skins!" Hérion said. Legolas, Arthion, and Thranduil, in spite of himself, laughed.
In that moment, Legolas wondered whether he should tell his family of his dream… if it could be called a dream. He was sure it had truly happened. He had felt his mother's spirit just as he felt his brothers and father around him now. But as he remembered his mother; her words, her face, her smile, and her voice, he realized that his grief was still as a fresh wound and he could not bring himself to retell it.
Instead, the young prince put aside his grief for a time to enjoy his family before him. He never told his brothers or his father of his encounter with Almwen.
Days went by and Legolas was well on the way to recovery. He was set to return home within a week. But for the meantime, his only concern was how to make that week go faster. However, as he was not the most patient of elves, the time seemed doubled. In an attempt to make the time seem more meaningful, Legolas put his mind toward reading whatever scrolls he could convince his brothers and Nestadriel into stealing from the library. His plan was to glean all he could of the battle tactics of Men before he left the Houses of Healing. That way, his mind would always be preoccupied.
"Good morning, Prince Legolas," came a cheery voice from his door. Legolas put down the scroll he had been reading to see a Healer he had never met before standing at the foot of his bed. She was wearing the traditional white healer's garb with her brown, curly hair half pulled back. Her eyes were as blue as the sky on a sunny day.
"Good morning," he said, nodding to acknowledge her with questions in his eyes. Nestadriel usually came to change his bandages in the morning. This unannounced replacement was strange.
"Lady Nestadriel is helping with a birth this morning," the elleth said in response to his unspoken questions. "I'll be changing your dressing today."
"Oh… what do they call you?" He asked, feeling a little more awkward than he thought was necessary.
"Anariel of Mirkwood, your highness… Now, can you sit up by yourself, or do you need my help?" She asked, coming over to his bedside.
"I can move myse- ah!" Legolas, in his haste, began to sit himself up too quickly and moved his wound in the wrong way. He let himself fall backwards, but Anariel was at his side quicker than he could hit the bed.
"Not so hasty, my prince, or you shall re-open your wound," she said softly, helping him back up. Legolas turned to face her and their eyes locked for a second before they both turned away.
"Apologies," Legolas offered for no reason.
"No need to apologize to me, my lord. You are the one who continues to hurt himself," she quipped with a smile. Legolas chuckled and looked up at Anariel. Something about her joyful demeanor demanded his attention. He was unable to look away from her.
"Do you need assistance with your shirt?" She asked at length.
"I believe I can manage the task," he said with a smile as he began to undo the buttons on his shirt. Anariel went to the bureau opposite his bed and withdrew some fresh bandages from the drawer. When Legolas' shirt was removed, she took off the old bandages and began to apply medicine and rewrap the wound. Casually, she glanced at the scroll that Legolas had been examining earlier.
"The History of the Alliance Between Rohan and Gondor? Have you been to either land?" She asked.
"Nay. I may only dream of such places. My father is, well… overprotective, at best."
"And it seems with good reason," Anariel said, pointing at the large gash in his side.
"It was not recklessness that earned me this," Legolas sighed fixing a hard gaze upon her.
"I apologize, my lord. I only meant it in jest," she replied in a quiet voice. She peered up at him in concern, and after a moment Legolas softened his gaze with a faint smile.
"My father is barely content with me a mile away from our home, let alone to other lands. I have never left Mirkwood in my life."
"Never?" Anariel asked, looking up at him in confusion. He was unsurprised by this. Arthion and Hérion were regular emissaries to lands beyond the Woodland Realm. It came as a surprise to most elves that Legolas was not also engaged in such duties.
"Never in my life," he repeated, "but I dream of those lands every day. I want to visit every corner of this Middle Earth with every fiber of my being… though, these days; it seems like the only traveling I will do shall be from the pages of scrolls to my imagination." Legolas said sadly. Anariel finished the last wrap around his wound and gazed at him with a raised eyebrow and lips downturned in a frown, as if she was thinking. Legolas watched her, wondering what she could possibly be considering.
"Where would you like to go next, then?" She asked after a pause.
"Where would you like to go next?" Anariel repeated, taking up the scroll and shaking it for emphasis. A smile broke over Legolas' face.
"Not only a daunting journey across land and sea but across time as well? Splendid! Pray, if I bring back a scroll, will you recount the story to me? I am curious as you may be, and eager to study the world of men. All I have ever known is Mirkwood and Silvan Elves."
Legolas laughed. "Bring the scroll and we shall go off on this adventure together, then."
Anariel smiled and got up to leave. "I shall bring it back later this afternoon?"
"I look forward to it."
Just then, Hérion walked into Legolas' room. Anariel gave a short bow to Legolas, then turned to his brother and did the same before leaving the room. Hérion gave Legolas a confused smirk and pointed to the door.
"That was not Nestadriel."
"Indeed, your powers of observation are unsurpassed," Legolas dead-panned.
"Oh Legolas, you maiden-slayer you! What trouble are you getting yourself into now?" his older brother teased. Legolas smiled and shook his head, rolling his eyes.
"Have you only come to tease me?" Legolas asked.
"Sadly, no," Hérion replied with a grim sort-of smile on his face. He stepped forward and sat on the end of Legolas' bed. "I have news. There are stirrings to the south of an uprising in Orcs."
"This does not bode well," said Legolas dourly. Hérion shook his head, his expression darkening.
"No, it does not. There are rumors… though they are just that; rumors… that the leader of the dark forces in the south, Necromancer, is really the Dark Lord," Hérion said softly. "They say that he is trying to take all of Mirkwood."
Legolas felt his innards fall to the bottom of his body cavity. No coherent words came to his mind to form sentences to react to his brother. Only a concerned stare replied for him.
"They are just rumors, but a shadow is growing over Mirkwood. There were days when sunlight dropped down between the trees, but we have not seen the sun for days now. I do not know what exactly it is, brother, but dark times lie ahead. Father does not want me alarming you with this ill news, but I thought you should know. Be prepared, Legolas," Hérion said.
"Be prepared for what?"
"I fear I do not know."
Later that day, Legolas pushed aside evil thoughts when Anariel returned with four rolls of parchment on Númenor. Anariel read first for some time and then handed the scroll over to Legolas to continue. She sat cross-legged on his bed, her elbows resting on her knees and her hands propping up her chin, watching the prince as he read.
"In an hour unlooked for by Men this doom befell, on the nine and thirtieth day since the passing of the fleets. Then suddenly fire burst from the Meneltarma, and there came a mighty wind and a tumult of the earth, and the sky reeled, and the hills slid, and mighty Númenor went down into the sea, with all its children and its wives and its maidens and its ladies proud; and all its gardens and its halls and towers, its tombs and its riches, and its jewels and its webs and its things painted and carven and its laughter and its mirth and its wisdom and its lore: they vanished forever. And last of all the mounting wave, green and cold and plumed with foam, climbing over the land, took to its bosom Tar-Míriel the Queen, fairer than silver or ivory or pearls. Too late she strove to ascend the steep ways of the Meneltarma to the holy place; for the waters overtook her, and her cry was lost in the roaring of the wind." Legolas concluded with a sigh, put down the third roll of parchment.
"It sank!" Anariel exclaimed.
"It would appear to be so," Legolas replied, raising his eyebrows, but sounding unsurprised.
"Just like that?"
"What do you mean, 'just like that'? Were you not listening? The earth shook and erupted in fire and water!" Legolas laughed, taking up the parchment and shaking it in her face. "It was far more catastrophic than 'just like that'!"
"Well, I knew that Númenor was obliterated, but I thought that there was a large battle and catastrophic fighting… Did no one survive?" Anariel said in a frustrated voice.
"It is your turn to read – you tell me!" said Legolas. Anariel frowned playfully at him as she snatched the parchment from his hands. The prince could not help but smile at her. Never before had he met an elleth so free and open with him as she. Most elleth of the Woodland Realm were quiet and stiff in his presence. Anariel was decidedly the opposite, and it was refreshing.
"Very well then," Anariel said, sitting up straight and holding the parchment out, mocking a distinguished face. She cleared her throat, and Legolas smiled at her and chuckled. Anariel eyed him before beginning to read.
"But whether or no it were that Amandil came indeed to Valinor and Manwe hearkened to his prayer, by grace of the Valar Elendil and his sons and their people were spared from the ruin of that day..."
The sudden voice ended their reading. Both Legolas and Anariel looked up to see Nestadriel standing there in the doorway, looking astonished. Anariel dropped the scroll.
"Lady Nestadriel, I - "
"You are supposed to be making rounds." Nestadriel reprimanded.
"Aye, my lady," Anariel said quietly. She quickly stood up from Legolas' bed and went to the door. Before leaving Legolas' room, she turned and bowed.
"Tell me how it ends!" She said with a smile before she bolted out the door.
Nestadriel whirled around and watched with in annoyance as the younger elleth fled. "Heavens," she exclaimed quietly. "My Lord," Nestadriel continued, turning towards Legolas, "I apologize for her impropriety, she is…"
"Nestadriel, I am happy she came," he assured her.
"I am glad of that, Prince, but I promise she will not bother you again."
Legolas looked confused for a moment and then laughed. "No, please see to it that she does!"
Nestadriel shook her head, and left. "Aye, my prince."
The excerpt in italics Legolas and Anariel read comes from The Silmarillion: Akallabêth, "The Downfall of Númenor". I am in no way claiming to own The Silmarillion, Tolkien's works, or anything related to them.