It was strange to think that in the morning Lord Elrond, along with Lady Arwen and her companions, would be departing the Woodland Realm and returning to Rivendell many leagues away on the western side of the Misty Mountains. Having lived in such close proximity for the past number of weeks, the king knew that he most of all would find the impending absence of the Lord of Imladris unusual. It was funny how one hundred years could pass in the blink of an eye, and yet there were times when a number of weeks could feel like millennia. Of course, as often as not Lord Elrond had half driven the king mad, but he had saved the king's life and been of great comfort and counsel. But now Lord Elrond's services were no longer required. There was no form of payment nor great shows of thanks, as both the king and the lord knew that in time any debts would be repaid in time.
Tonight the night was perfectly clear, moonless, with the stars shining in the heavens providing the only light the elves needed. A great feast and party had been arranged to celebrate their victory in the north some six weeks past and it looked as though the entire populace of the Woodland Realm was in attendance. All were dressed in their finest robes and no effort had been spared on food or wine. Musicians played lively dances, and all had cheered and laughed when Lord Elrond pulled the king to his feet and demanded a dance. The king was quickly rescued by Lady Arwen, looking like the sky and stars themselves in a navy blue dress trimmed with silver thread and diamonds.
Good wine, good food, good music and good friends makes for a most enjoyable night, and Legolas found himself up dancing with everyone from Lady Arwen to the red-haired messenger. When that dance ended, Legolas had to laugh when Lord Elrond took him as partner.
"I am sure, my lord, that you must be able to find a more suitable dance partner than myself." Legolas smiled.
"Your father wishes to see you," Lord Elrond said as they moved in time with the other dancers.
"Where shall I find him?" Legolas looked through the crowds as the dances moved about in a circle.
"He has withdrawn to the throne room."
"And left the party so soon? Pray tell me he is not feeling out of sorts."
"Quite the contrary I believe. The king is feeling quite himself, possibly more so than he has for a very long time. He will not keep you long." Lord Elrond smiled.
"What have you two been conspiring about this time?" Legolas teased.
"Take your leave. The king will be waiting."
"Ada," Legolas said, finding his father pacing in the throne room with restless enthusiasm.
"I am sorry to drag you from the festivities so I shall not keep you long." The king said.
Legolas nodded. He did greatly wish to return to the party, it had been a long time since a feast of this renown had taken place, but was curious about his father's summons. "You will be re-joining us too, Ada?" Legolas asked.
"They are for you." The king said, ignoring his son's question, and gesturing to a box sitting on the stairs. Legolas looked at the box. It was made of a dark wood, polished but without pattern or decoration. "Open it." Said the king.
Legolas walked forward, somewhat apprehensive, and removed the lid from the box. He felt a grin creep onto his face as he saw what was inside. "Ada, they're…"
"Fit for a prince." The king gave a rare smile as Legolas took the pair of knives from the box and twirled them in his hands. "Neither time nor use shall cause them to wear. They shall not rust nor chip nor dent."
Legolas couldn't help grinning as he waved the knives, slashing through the air. "They're perfect, Ada!"
"I have seen you practicing with that old plain pair in the training yard, and by all accounts you have much skill with them. It is a less common choice of weapon, but they suit you well."
Legolas stopped swinging the knives and inspected them more closely. The handles were white oak, and the blades were of true elven steel with a pattern of vines inlaid in gold. "I know not what to say for such a gift, Ada."
"Give any thanks in your use of them. They are for the protection of our kin and Realm, and of your friends, wherever those friendships lead you."
Legolas couldn't help twirling the knives once more. "Hannon-le, Ada."
"Go." The king smiled, "Or your absence shall be noted. Leave the knives in your chambers, and take them to the armourer on the morrow to figure how you shall carry them on your person."
Legolas returned the knives to the box, replaced the lid and took it under his arm. "Yes Ada. I…"
"Have made me proud. When I left you as regent, I knew not what would come to pass, but you have conducted yourself in a manner most befitting. Now go."
Legolas gave a small bow and with a spring in his step, departed from the hall leaving the king alone. Thranduil walked slowly up the stairs to the throne and sat. He watched as Legolas disappeared around a corner, his gown billowing behind him. The king was glad that despite everything some innocence still remained in his son. Much had been lost in these past weeks, and the rest too the boy would lose though the passing years, but tonight that mattered little. Tonight was for feasting and dancing and song. Thranduil crossed his legs and placed his arms up on the throne, the music from the party echoing through the vast halls of the Woodland Realm. Tonight the world was good.
A/N: Then end. Well folks, thats it for this story! Thank-you so much for reading and for all the favourites, follows and reviews. Special thanks to AnneWithane for beta-ing.