Author's Note:

Disclaimer: Do not own.

All of my stories are interrelated but you do not have to read one in order to find out the other unless mentioned otherwise.

Dedicated to emi, who loved my world just like I do.

~S~

Thranduil's Halls,

Greenwood the Great,

Early Third Age,

"You are a little fidgety this fine morning." Thorontur murmured in his King's ear as Thranduil shifted again.

"So would you if you have been stuck indoors listening to Men drone on and conduct negotiations." Thranduil murmured back. As young as a king, though full-grown as an Elf, Thranduil had perfected the art of speaking without moving his lips too much. Thorontur gave a harrumph resembling a chuckle.

"I 'have' been stuck indoors, with you in fact, Sire."

Thranduil glanced at the advisor beside him, lips twitching upwards slightly before sobering.

"King Thranduil?"

He often hated his fair skin for showing his blushes of embarrassment so quickly, but Thranduil managed to keep his emotions at bay when he looked at the speaker standing across his throne. The Man looked expectant, and Thranduil did not remember at what note the Man had ended but knew the gist of the speech.

"Your plight is heard, sir," Thranduil said, straightening on his throne. "I will consider the best course and my advisor here; Lord Thorontur will be in touch with you."

The Man nodded, satisfied as he bowed his thanks and was therefore dismissed.

"Well done," Thorontur said, genuinely impressed. "I had not expected to see you handle it so well."

"Always the tone of surprise wherever I am concerned," Thranduil said.

"Not so much now, lord," Thorontur corrected. Thranduil smiled a little. The two of them had always been bickering as long as they had first met, with Oropher often playing the middle role of mediating their conversations. But with his dear father gone, Thranduil noticed the large gap between him and Thorontur, but a friendship had borne out of it.

"Anything else for the morning?"

"You have two more meeting lined in the afternoon," Thorontur said.

"What! I am free till noon? This is a rare day indeed!"

"Rare," Thorontur smirked. Thranduil rose from his throne and the pair marched out of the throne room. "A good time as any to catch up onto the reports, don't you think so?"

"I hardly can hear you sometimes, Thorontur."

"Sire-"

"Oh come now," Thranduil interrupted. They stopped near the entrance of the Halls, where the doors were thrown upon. "Look! The sun is shining upon the forest, and the birds are singing. A little ride will do us all good!"

"You have work to do."

"Thorontur, come, the Warrior within you will not pass this fine weather-"

"You have work to do," Thorontur repeated, lips forming a smile. "I know you would rather spend the day wandering about in the woods but there are certain duties-"

"All of which I have been performing. Tell me, where is my son?"

"Legolas is in the woods-"Thorontur stopped suddenly, scowling at his King. "I see what you are doing. Legolas is a prince, hardly with as many duties as you-"

Thranduil raised a brow at his advisor as Thorontur's voice wavered. The two Elves glared at one another. And then-

"I am going to regret this." Thorontur said finally.

"I knew you would see it my way."

"I am still going to regret this."

"Oh hush!"

oOo

Greenwood the Great,

"You know, Sire, there are less subtle ways of calling us when we are missed," one of the Warriors teased lightly, leaning over the pommel of his saddle.

"I never said I missed you, Halion," Thranduil returned dryly. "And take care of that cheek, you have spent far too much time with the Rangers, it seems."

Having been their commander before becoming king, it was only too natural for them to address their beloved king so easily. Thranduil had become quiet and melancholy after the War, only able to return slowly to himself as the years progressed. The hounds padded around the hooves of their horses, which were used to such company.

"Fresh air to your liking, Sire?" Thorontur asked, raising a brow at the King.

"Yes, even if it has to be shared under these trees-"An acorn dropped on his head from an oak tree he was passing by. He stopped his horse and glared up at it. The tree did not move, seemingly innocent and completely tree-like.

"Just because my son is half-Silvan and I a Sinda-" Thranduil never got to finish his rant. The tree threw two more acorns on his head and an old branch for a good measure. "These trees are against me." He muttered, rubbing the crown of his forehead. His mare flicked back her ears, not liking the fact that she had to bear some of the brunt as well.

"Try not to antagonize them, Sire. We do not want to cut this pleasant ride short, now would we?"

"Something you would never want to happen, Thorontur." Thranduil mimicked the mock-concern in his advisor's voice.

"Of course I would not."

They passed by the tree with no further violence, until they found some game. They set the hounds lose to chase the rabbits, pushing their horses behind them as they kept their bows to the ready.

"Well that was fair." One of the Warriors said, taking the five rabbits with satisfaction. He patted the head of one hound, which wagged its tail in happiness.

"Some deer would go well for a feast tonight." Thranduil remarked. They travelled further into the woods, managing to espy some deer across a clearing and they let loose their hounds.

"Well this is splendid." Thranduil said. "Two deer should do well."

"And we are late." Thorontur reasoned. "By the time we reach the Halls, we will be far too late."

"Then let us move quickly."

But the trees had other ideas. Enjoying the fact that the King was walking in the forest, one of them managed to raise its root, causing Thranduil to trip and stumble to the ground. For a moment his companions tried hard to stifle their laughter but when Thranduil tried to rise, the tree clutched onto Thranduil's hunting attire, forcing him to flop down to the mossy ground again.

"I am a king." Thranduil groaned, his voice carrying above the laughter of his companions. "The Lake-Master fears my wrath, the Men of Dale know better than to slight me. And here I am, being outwitted by an accursed tree-"

"Father?"

He looked up and he found Legolas perched on one of the branches, feet resting on it lightly as he looked down quizzically. They shared a startling amount of resemblance, so much so that they could easily be mistaken one for the other.

"As if nothing else would work to be my shame."

"What are you doing?" Legolas' eyes were alight with mischief, lips twitching uncontrollably at the sight of him stuck in the roots.

"Keep that smile at bay, boy!" Thranduil barked. And then he scowled up at the tree. "Let me go." He commanded. "Before I decide that you look better without roots." The roots tightened around his waist before letting go. Just he got up, however, the tree managed to land a large glob of tree sap right on top of Thranduil's head.

"And that is equivalent to a bird's droppings," Thorontur said, smiling down at the King from his mount.

"And all the more difficult to wash off." Thranduil said, trying unsuccessfully to remove as much of the tree sap as he could.

Legolas dropped to the ground, smiling in surprise.

"What are you doing here?" He asked.

"Your father is shirking his duties in an attempt to frolic in the woods." Thorontur said.

"He has put out the part where I have been working for too many days," Thranduil frowned and then corrected himself, "I apologize, two continuous weeks indoors. And what are you doing here?"

"The trees," Legolas said. "They told us of a hunt and we decided to see what it was."

"We?" Thranduil asked, a feeling catching on to him.

Laughter came from just above him and he looked up and inwardly groaned.

"You look fine today, Sire." Hanon said laughingly. "Making enemies with the forest?"

"Hardly," Thranduil said. "And what uses have I of a Head Commander like you when he does nothing but laughs at his King!"

"Well, that is not fair." Hanon protested, dropping on the ground. "I do more than laugh at my King."

"That hardly helps." Thranduil looked up warily at the other three Rangers perched on the branches. "Where is Fion?"

"On a posting for a month on our northern borders." Hanon answered before grinning again. "Pity he missed this!"

"Pity indeed," Thranduil mumbled. "And Dorián?"

"He took some of the younger Rangers for practice near the eastern borders."

The trees moved but not in the playful manner when they engaged with Thranduil. There was danger in them, and unseen force of fury and anger wedged deep in their cores.

"We are not alone." Thranduil said quietly.

~Where are they, my friend?~ Thranduil asked, pressing his hand on the bark of a nearby tree.

~Spiders! They enter this part of the forest looking for food!~

~How many?~

"We have five full-grown spiders coming our way." Thranduil said. He glanced towards the ten Warriors and ten Rangers.

"We can easily be outmatched." Legolas said.

"Not as if we have the advantage over them." Thranduil said. "Now listen carefully."

oOo

Greenwood the Great,

Thranduil jumped when he felt something scuttle over his ankle, stifling a small high-pitched yelp at the same time. Looking down, he recognized a forest mouse running over to the other side. Thorontur stifled his chuckle.

"It has been too long in the woods for you," Thorontur whispered to him. "If you were willing to scream like an Elleth when you feel something touch your leg."

"Silence and propriety before your king."

Thorontur had the gall to still chuckle.

The lights above them were orbs of silver and blue fire. The Silvan Elves were accounted to be the strangest among the Elves, capable of using enchantments and such. Men called it 'magic', a very confusing term. Noontime had worn on, and now the shadows were lengthening.

"So much for the meetings." Thranduil said.

"Don't sound so sad about it. I know you are not."

Thranduil grinned.

"There they are." Thranduil murmured. Thick bodies bumped over the ground as the spiders' legs tapped, making sickening clicking noises. Thorontur muttered something sorry about using the prize of their hunt as bait but otherwise kept his silence. As if on cue, the lights disappeared.

The trees shifted, forming a tight cluster around the spiders, cutting off their route from the ground which would force them to climb.

"Lights on," Thranduil called.

The orbs returned, this time with greater light than before. Spiders never welcomed the light and even now they shrank away from it. The Rangers gave a call before firing their arrows upon the spiders. Spiders had thick smooth body serving as their armour, their head being the most targeted place and their underbelly the weakest.

"Two Warriors for every spider." Thranduil said. "Make it quick."

The hounds took most of the attention of the spiders, nimble enough to avoid the jets of web directed at them and maiming them by tearing their legs. At Thranduil's signal they broke into the clearing.

Thorontur, as always, stayed by his side.

The spider lunged at Thranduil, its entire belly rising up and falling over Thranduil, catching him off guard. Thorontur gave a cry but Thranduil had no time to move away and Thranduil's knees buckled under the heavy weight of the spider, and he was forced to the ground.

"Pretty little trinket," the spider hissed, one leg touched the mithril circlet Thranduil wore for his hunts and for a battlefield. "It will be a nicccccce prize."

Thranduil twisted his sword until he was able to point it towards the spider and drove it deep in its underbelly, making it scream. Black blood gushed over Thranduil's frame. The spider became heavy, nearly crushing Thranduil's chest. But the tree beyond it lowered its branches, slamming it against the body of the spider and pushing it off Thranduil. Then it bent over Thranduil's frames, the branches circling about him in protectiveness as the King lay and regained his breath.

"Father! Are you well?" Legolas asked worry spread on his face as his hands hovered above him. Thranduil got up with his son's aid, the skirmish now won.

"Just a bruise," Thranduil assured him before turning his attention to the tree that sheltered him.

"Thank you, my friend." Thranduil murmured, touching the tree bark briefly. The tree shifted, before lowering a branch and caressing him. He smiled.

"I will hereby say that these trees are good friends to have."

"I am glad you think so, father-"

"Even if they are biased, favourite-picking, irritating, old, slow-"

One of the trees in their path raised a gnarled root and Thranduil tripped, but regained his balance quickly.

"Pesky weed," he muttered. The tree whipped Thranduil at the back of his head. Legolas sighed.

"Never mind."

When they had returned, the unspoiled game in hand, Thorontur took it upon himself to console irate Men of the meetings and had managed to convince them to stay longer. Meanwhile Thranduil bathed and refreshed himself, dressing into light blue clothing for the night. He relaxed by the fire, watching the red and orange flames play when he heard a knock.

"Enter."

"Everything is sort out." Thorontur said, as he closed the door behind him. "Tomorrow will be a busy day, considering the fact that today's meetings will be postponed till tomorrow."

"Go away, Thorontur." Thorontur laughed lightly before moving out the door.

"And Thorontur? Have my father's rooms cleaned and my things shifted into it. I think it is high time I took on the role of a king fully."

"Wha- As you wish, Sire."

~S~

Author's Note:

WHY do I have the tendency of posting something nice after posting something tragic? I am seriously too nice to my readers. There is no hard bone in my body when it comes to you guys. :P

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emi: I have absolutely no idea when you are going to read this. You had caught me by surprise by reviewing again. XD And if you want to laugh at my misery, you started up all my inspirations juices to the point that I simply 'had' to write something to take off that itch. :P How are you too, 'old friend'? Lurking in the shadows? Why, that makes me sad! But I understand. I miss the ramblings though. :D And I have NOT have had coffee for months and thank you for reminding me. I am craving one now! Yes, you will find out who the bad character is in BAW but the problem is I do not remember much of the plotline. I need help in remembering.

You read the reviews! Aaaaah, you shouldn't have! But I think you will enjoy Tempest, but please please give me those long reviews. :P

By the way, your review was something I got when I was just heading for bed and I got so excited that I lost my sleep. :P So it works both ways, hehe! Anyway, this is a happy returns kind of gift. I hope you enjoyed.

Cheers!