Title: The Nightmares Revealed
Notes: The conversation referred to between Aragorn and Legolas further down the chapter is not one which occurs in LOTR but occurs in an earlier piece of fanfiction, 'The Mortality of The Immortal,' don't worry the content of the conversation is paraphrased for anyone who hasn't read it.
Author's Note: I'd again just like to apologise for the fact that I am a Master Sluggard when it comes to getting a new chapter up. However he next chapter is in production and will hopefully feature such comedy moments as Legolas falling in a river. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who reviews, and everyone who is following this story despite the fact I'm a scatterbrain. I also want to extend a massive thank you to Linis who reads this as it is hastily scribbled on bits of paper in my lunchbreaks and who is willing to listen to me ramble through possible ideas. Also thanks to Kezia who takes it all in good humour when I point out that clearly Legolas rocks more than Araogrn and try, with little success, to prove it.
'See Eldarion, even the monarch of Gondor suffers from nightmares now and then,' Legolas jested lightly, 'It is naught to be ashamed of.' But as he spoke his blue, wisdom filled eyes fixed on Aragorn, brimming with unspoken questions.
'Indeed it is not,' Aragorn affirmed, turning his attention away from his friend and to his son, ' but wandering the corridors at night when you should be asleep is. What were you doing out here young man?'
The young child turned to gaze up at his father, his contrite, 'Sorry papa,' he apologised, 'I was talking to Leggylas.'
His mispronunciation elicited a light laugh from the Elf in question, prompting the prince to turn and regard him with serious dark eyes, so similar to those of his mother, 'I was!' he insisted, at which the Elf laughed again. The child may have had the soft eyes of his mother but he undoubtedly had the iron will and stubbornness of his father.
'Indeed you were,' the Elf consented, his eyes dancing with glee in the flickering torchlight, 'but you sounded very much like your father sounds when it is late and he should be in bed.'
'Papa doesn't have a bedtime. He just gets to tell me mine.'
'Your father doesn't have a strict bedtime?' Legolas asked in mock puzzlement, angling a look at his old friend as he did so, 'Well he used to have to obey such a thing, although he too was not very good at staying in bed when that time came, and then he was a sluggard when the sun rose.'
Eldarion giggled at the term, the turned his serious eyes on the Elf Prince once more, 'How do you remember when my papa was little? He's much bigger than you.'
Here Aragorn answered, and Legolas was only too pleased to let him try and explain the agelessness of his people to a young mortal boy, 'Eldarion, do you remember how we spoke about the different people on Middle Earth?' The King asked his son.
'And how some of the people, looked a lot like men like us, but were really very different?'
'And so because they were different they looked young to us but really were quite old?'
'Do mean the Elves papa?' Eldarion finally asked, 'like Mama?' Then realisation dawned and he turned his eyes once more to the Elf Prince behind him. 'Oh, you're an Elf too! I noticed…but then I forgot. Sorry.'
Legolas smiled gently, 'that is quite all right, Eldarion. It is a difficult thing to remember where everyone you meet comes from, especially in a place where so many visitors pass through your door.'
'So you're a bit older than papa, even though you don't really look it?'
'Yes,' Legolas answered, willing to accept that several hundred years could be termed as, 'a bit,' 'that is correct, and so I can remember a time when your father was a child who should have been fast asleep in bed.'
'Like this child should be now.' Aragorn pointed out sternly.
'But Papa I don't want to go to bed! I'll have a nightmare again and I'll get scared and walk around again.'
At this Legolas stepped away from his position by the wall to crouch in front of the young boy, 'Fear not Eldarion, he told him, switching instinctively to his native Elven tongue, 'I elenath tiro lle.'
Fascinated the young boy listened to the strange Sindarin speech as it flowed, 'mama speaks like that sometimes to father. I don't understand it though, what did you just say?'
Still crouched before him Legolas softly translated, telling the story as he had to another young mortal in the halls of Imladris, 'It means, the stars will watch over you, in the language of my people. You see Eldarion, each one of those stars is a courageous warrior, who long ago made a valiant long journey to the Halls of Mandos, and these warriors wish to ensure that all those who are destined to be strong and brave like them are never troubled or hurt, so when you are asleep they will watch over you, and guard you, so that no harm will ever come to you.'
Eldarion nodded seriously, 'So the green sea monster won't come again?'
'He might come again,' the Elf admitted, 'but he will never be able to scare you or hurt you because all the warriors up in the heavens will be watching you always.'
With that the elf stood, 'Now go, off to bed with you for you need your sleep, as do I.'
Confidently the small child trotted away around the corner, presently they heard the soft opening and closing of a door and Legolas' acute hearing could just make out a faint rustle as the young child snuggled up in his bed once more.
'I remember when you used to tell me that story.' Aragorn commented, as he watched his son depart, 'You know I never saw that yellow headed sea monster ever again?'
'Really?' the Elf asked dryly, 'Then what is it that brings you to wander the corridors so late at night?'
'I told no untruths. I was woken by a nightmare, most disconcertingly, in a room that I did not go to sleep in.'
'That indeed is unusual. I have known mortals to speak of this sleepwalking but I do not ever recall you to suffer from such an affliction, even as a child. May I be so bold as to enquire as to the nature of he dreams of the King?'
Aragorn scowled at the comment, Legolas merely raised one eyebrow at the expression writ upon his face.
'I have had the same dream many times,' he finally admitted, leading the way into a well-furnished room. He gestured for Legolas to take the only seat in the room, after a moment's pause the Silvan did, perching on the edge of the seat his blue eyes never leaving the dark eyes of his friend, even as he paced back and forth across the room.
'What did you dream of?' he asked again gently after long moments of silence passed.
'What of you Legolas? You too spoke of nightmares, did you speak the truth or were you merely trying to comfort my son?'
'I told you no lies, Aragorn,' the Elf replied, 'I too have suffered the same nightmare for many nights these past months.'
'I did not know,' mused Aragorn, 'that Elves suffered from recurring nightmares. I thought your ability to walk in the dream world prevented you from suffering such afflictions.'
The usually confident Silvan answered in an uncharacteristic voice, small and insecure, 'Usually I do not suffer from recurring nightmares Aragorn, and you are indeed quite correct, no other Elf does either,' here his voice cracked betraying the hurt he felt, 'and so they think I am mad Aragorn! They see me awaken night after night and when morning comes they watch my every move for signs of faltering. They question each decision I make but assume that I am so incapacitated by my decline into madness that I do not notice their prying eyes at my back and their meddling in my affairs. That s the true reason I came here. In Ithilien I felt like a caged animal where every move I made was dogged by spectators looking for the final piece of evidence that proved the unravelling of my mind.' He dropped his head into one hand, a small sigh issued from between pale lips the only sign of his continued frustration.
Aragorn ceased his pacing to regard his friend silently at a loss for what to suggest. He had seen Legolas was troubled the very moment he arrived, but he had no idea the Elf was so disheartened. Legolas had always been one of the constants in his life, someone he could go to whenever he was troubled, usually when his foster brothers teased him. Yet he realised he had never seen the Elf show such emotions to him and now faced with such a situation he had no idea of the best way to handle it.
'What do you dream of?' He asked softly, dropping to crouch in front of the Elf, his dark eyes gazing into the haunted blue ones.
'It makes no sense,' Legolas finally cried out, exploding suddenly into movement, an action that knocked Aragorn off balance and sent him sprawling across the floor in an undignified heap. Almost absentmindedly Legolas offered a slender hand to his friend, his eyes focussed on a spot somewhere above the man's head. He released his grip abruptly, and began to pace the room, forcing Aragorn to choose between taking a seat in the chair or entering the path of the Elf.
'I dream of men in blue robes,' he stated finally, and from Aragorn's sharp intake of breath it appeared that their dreams ran along a similar theme.
'Each night they appear,' he continued, ' silently staring at me, approaching and I cannot move either to draw my bow or to flee. The dream is almost identical every night apart from the smallest of details, the area in which they stand, which changes nightly although many of them are unfamiliar to me.'
'I dreamed the same thing exactly,' Aragorn admitted, 'although I do not understand how we could share the same dreams. I have dreamed these dreams for nigh on three months, but I do not walk in the dream world as you do and I have never before noticed a change in scenery or an inability to move. I only see them standing silently, watching, and then in the morning awake in a room different to the one I wet to sleep in with no memory of how I came to be there.'
Legolas nodded, his blue eyes calmer and more thoughtful, 'I do not sleepwalk, but then I dream of being fixed to the spot while you are free to move. Each night they do not merely stand and watch me but advance, closer and closer until they stand face to face, and I am powerless to escape in any other way than to awaken. Usually,' he remarked with a trace of his old humour, which faded as quickly as it surfaced, 'In the dead of night, which I will admit is not the most convenient of times.'
Aragorn rested his head in his hand and stared in concern and the pale, wraith like figure before him. Never before had he seen Legolas so disconcerted, he had walked the circles of life for close to three thousand years and in that time, had seen and learned so much that he was seldom at a loss for knowledge, as he appeared to be now.
'I do not understand how it is we dream the same thing, Legolas, especially when I have never seen figures such as these in my life.'
'I am unable to think of an explanation Aragorn. I have never seen these figures although I have met people who bear a remarkable likeness in both dress and manner. To Mithrandir and Radegast they bore a striking resemblance although they were just as obviously neither of them,' Legolas stopped, mentally remonstrating himself for his absentmindedness at such a time, 'that brings to memory what happened in my dream this night. For the first time they did not remain silent, but asked for a location, the dwelling of Gandalf.'
'Where did you see them?' Aragorn asked impatiently, suddenly filled with the fires on inspiration.
Legolas answered slowly, Aragorn's sudden change in attitude filling him with caution.
'I cannot be certain, for Middle Earth covers a vast expanse and of it I have seen very little. However there was a wide expanse of dry, rocky grassland, with a large amount of water flowing nearby. It appeared to be very similar to the lands of Northern Rohan, to the west of the Golden Halls of Edoras at the banks of the Entwash. Do you think this is significant?'
'I am unsure,' Aragorn mused, 'and although I am inclined to believe that nothing about these dreams is insignificant this remains merely one theory out of many possibilities. It was only brought to my mind when you spoke of the figures reminding you of Gandalf and the other Istari.' At this point he stood and led the way out of the room and down the corridors towards his chambers, 'I am in agreement with you that this was the case and when you mentioned it I remember you once telling me of the members of the Istari.' He sped his pace along the winding corridors of the white tower of Gondor so that Legolas was forced to a gentle lope to keep pace with him.
'Yes,' Legolas remembered the conversation as clearly as if it had occurred only yesterday, 'we spoke of the arrangement of the order of the Istari order. Saruman the White at the head of the order presiding over Gandalf the Grey, Radegast the Brown and two others,' he turned eyes, wide with sudden realisation on Aragorn, 'The Ithryn Luin.'
'Exactly.' Aragorn agreed, 'The Blue Wizards.'