Title: The Pride of Mirkwood

Author: Sivan Shemesh

Beta: Aranel

Rating: T

Warning: Emotional torture, violence, failure, angst (pretty obviously).

Characters: Thranduil, Legolas, Elrond, Elladan, Elrohir.

Disclaimer: Characters belong to Tolkien. I just borrowed them for my own evil plans.

Spoiler: Total AU.

Summary: Everyone in the kingdom depended on Prince Legolas to win the contest. But when a peredhil twin beat him, surely his father and his people hated him now.

Note: Legolas is 14-years-old – only an elfling compared to the other elves.

Note2: Legolas has a stronger connection with nature than normal.



Prince Legolas's quiver hung ready at his side. He stood, poised with bow and arrow, taking aim at the strangers that approached.

"Do not shoot, my son, they are our friends." Thranduil stopped him.

"But, adar, I do not know them, they are strangers," Legolas justified himself, but lowered his bow and joined his father.

King Thranduil approached to greet his old friend, Lord Elrond, who was followed by his sons. Thranduil always had trouble telling them apart. He stepped toward Elrond, clasping his shoulders, as they exchanged a warm smile. Thranduil had proposed a friendly match between the two kingdoms and he was pleased that Elrond had accepted the invitation.

Prince Legolas, however, watched the two identical elves. He did not know them, but they looked like a reflection of the other. He was all the more curious as to who they were. He looked on attentively as Lord Elrond introduced them.

"This is Elladan…"

"Father, I am Elrohir," One of the twins said as he grinned at his father.

"This is Elrohir," Elrond restarted.

"Father, I am Elladan." The twins were smirking.

Thranduil was not confident he was having any better success.

Legolas scanned their faces carefully, which made the twins frown as they noticed the elfling examining them meticulously.

"Oh… my dear friend, it seems that I have forgotten to introduce my dear child," Thranduil apologized and added. "This is my only son, the Prince Legolas. He will compete against your sons as the pride of Mirkwood."

Elrond and his sons stared at the young elfling, who smiled, a broad smile, at his father's words.

"I will win any one of you," Legolas said with determination as he looked at them, and hissed at the twins, "You may look the same, but you are not. Not to me…" he paused as he noticed everyone looking at him, even his adar. He continued emotionlessly, looking at the first twin, "Your heart is weak, I will win you so easily, which means that you are Elrohir."

Elrohir could felt the warm tears fly down over his cheeks in spite of himself. Who did he think he was? A prince, with too much pride… Surely Elladan would beat him.

Elladan looked severely at Legolas. He could see the hurt and the pain in his twin's face and he was very much of the mind to put the young one in his place, but he held his rage in. It would not be prudent to act against his adar's wishes, nor to court the wrath of the Elvenking.

Thranduil stared at his son in shock and disbelief. "Forgive him for his impertinent words."

Elrond swallowed. His son's tears had confirmed Legolas's identification of the twins. For an elfling to speak this way before his adar's friends… That was a surplus of confidence.

Elrond only responded peaceably, "There is no need to apologize for your son, dear friend."

The young one was looking over at the trees, watching as the sun set beyond the horizon, listening to the last song of the birds as they slept on the branches in the trees.

Elrond continued, "Too much pride causes too much pain. Your son will learn in time, when my sons win him."

Prince Legolas turned to meet Elrond's gaze and said coldly, "They will never beat me, my lord." He turned to his adar and said, "I am going to practice, adar."

Thranduil looked at. "This is time for bed, Legolas, not for practicing, and I wish also to speak to you about your manners."

"No father, it is time to practice, as I have an important contest tomorrow and I shall be prepared for it." With that, Legolas walked into the forest.

Elrond and his sons shifted uncomfortably at the tension between father and son.

"Show us our chambers, my friend. At least we are willing to take a rest before the contest," Elrond said.

"Forgive me, my friend. I raised this elfling after my wife's passing. I did not think that it would affect him in this manner," Thranduil confessed apologetically.

Elrond clasped his friend's shoulders. "Do not worry about it, my friend. You need not be so hard on yourself for your son's behaviour. He is still an elfling, he will learn in time," Elrond assured his friend.

"Though I do hope that Legolas will take the loss well. He has never lost," Thranduil added.

"It will happen. Have faith in my sons, dear friend," Elrond said.

Thranduil looked over at Elrond's sons, noticing their forced smiles.

He smiled and led them to their chambers. "Follow me, my friends, as rest is well needed to beat my son's pride. Come."

As the doors to their quarters closed, Thranduil thought to check on his son, as he indeed had a long day ahead with the contest. But it was his son's choice and Legolas would have to face the consequences of his harsh words. With that, he headed off to retire for the night.

End of Chapter 1.