~ To start anew ~

by Ola

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A/N~

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Part 15~

"You will not be swayed to change your decision?"

"I cannot, dear friend."

"But… Legolas…"

"Legolas will be fine. Do not trouble yourself so."

The king of Mirkwood heaved a sigh, while his gaze stayed trained on the horse lying on the grass outside and the bundle of blankets that reposed on its flank. The distance was no obstacle. A worried heart always knew where to look.

"You cannot tell me to bring my worrying to an end. It is his life about which we discuss."

"I am well aware of that my friend. As I am about a father's concern." An understanding glance passed between the two elders. Many a time have the two lords exchanged tells of their elflings' mischief. And to no end have they worried. Often times for good reasons, as sobbing younglings had run back to their fathers for reassurance or healing of body and heart. This instance was no different.

"I know. … I know. But… have you not…have you no inkling of what the future may hold for him?" Something. Anything. The king was grasping at straws.

"His time has not revealed itself to my eyes. I am not meant to see it."

"B…" Lord Elrond raised a hand to forestall any comment.

"He will live. I know that." Again, a sigh escaped Lord Tranduil.

"Hard is such a hazy future to accept, good as it may be."

For all answer, Lord Elrond placed a comforting hand on his friend's shoulder. No, he could never truly understand the other's position and pain. But a father's concern and love never changed, no matter the importance of the facts.

Both elves looked out the large window.

No. Nothing could change a father's concern.

"Ada?" a soft knock and a little dark-haired head peaked out from around the door's frame. A smile instantly graced the eldars' faces.

"Yes Estel?" silence returned to the study as the little boy decided what exactly he wished to impart, only to then have his words rushed out and colliding together.

"Idon'twanttogo!"

"…"

"I want to stay with Legolas! I don't want to leave yet!" His warm gray eyes turned round and pleading for all their worth. The king of Mirkwood kneeled down by the child, and smiled.

"Perhaps you could help me persuade your ada, while I could not. Hmm?" 

 "Do not give him ideas, you irrevocable rogue." Despite the words, Lord Elrond's lips tugged into a smile of their own. Mayhap the two friends should have stayed together to reminisce about times past, when they were as young as their children, and just as misbehaved. Those times had been so worry-free. So innocent. … So much has changed now. For the better and the worse.

No one could stop time.

And did anyone truly wish to?

"I am sorry dear heart. We must go. Your brothers and sister miss you, and I cannot stay long away from home. We will visit soon again, all right?" At the sound of his siblings, Estel's face lit up with joy, only to once again fall into its previous pitiful state.

"You promise?"

"Yes Estel. I promise. We will visit Legolas soon." I truly wish this promise to be true. Eru, please. Let me not be wrong about his future and his current state. Let me not come back to Mirkwood to lay to rest both of them. The Elven lord closed his eyes against the sudden vision. No. It will not happen. Those are simply an old man's unhealthy musings.

"Can I tell him goodbye?"

"Certainly. We will all come down to see him. Come."

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The princeling weighed far too little in his father's arms as both elves watched their departing friends.

"Lord Elrond departed rather quickly, think you not? It is not his wont to give his patients such mercy," a smile graced the younger of the two.

"Perhaps he grew weary of your disobedience to his commends, sunshine.:

"Oh, ada, I was not so bad… was I."

"Only a little."

"But still, all humor aside, it is not like him. Something must be truly amiss in Rivendell." A silence descended as two pairs of blue eyes watched the now clear road while King Thraduil decided just how much to tell his son of the current events that plagued Middle-Earth.

"Your message concerned not only Mirkwood. Evil grows in the East. Mordor becomes stronger. Sauron has not yet much force, but he is biding his time." The silence suddenly turned colder.

"Ada?"

"Yes sunshine?"

"… How will it all end? For it will end some time…" the eldar's hands tightened unconsciously around his son's light frame. He did not wish to think of such dark times. And yet, they kept on coming, no matter how much one wished to keep them at bay. They simply slivered past all defenses, only to crop up at the most unexpected moment, driving all light and warmth away. Both the death of Mordor and life's destiny as well…

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A/N~ Sorry for ending it on such a dark note. But I knew that if I didn't end here and post this little part (aiii, I'm truly sorry for the length), I wouldn't do it for another long while. *sigh* too much going on right now. Declaring a major, trying to find a program to study abroad, plus the abominable exams and daily conundrum of classes and homeworks. I hope some of you are still hanging on there somewhere! =)

~Ola~