The darkness of the night sky was lit up with the vivid glow of red and orange flames as they danced up into the never-ending blackness of the night sky, colours intertwining, sending golden sparks raining down upon the water.

Standing on the highest balcony on the highest point of the elven stronghold, beneath the star filled sky, a tall elf with a regal bearing gazed out into the night, his sharp blue eyes fixed towards the lake and the dancing glow that burned brightly in the centre of the water, for elf eyes could see further than a humans, allowing him to see the destruction. It was a terrifying sight to behold as the flames devoured everything within their grasp.

Thranduil looked up, and his eyes narrowed as he watched the large outline of the winged serpent turn around in midair, swooping back towards the lake and releasing yet another torrent of flames on the already burning town of Esgaroth upon the Long Lake.

Smaug had come.

A light wind tugged at his robes, playing with the long pale golden tresses of his hair, flicking them gently across his face as he stood there. He scraped it back, pushing it behind one delicately pointed ear. The Elvenking once more turned his gaze to the sight of the flames. If he strained his ears, he could hear it faintly – the unmistakable sound of the crackle and hiss that accompanied the flames.

He could almost feel the terror of the people as they tried to escape the burning inferno that surrounded them. But there was no escape. The water hissed and steam arose as the flaming embers of timber fell into the water.

Alone on his balcony under the cold watch of the stars, the king's mind began to wander, drifting back to a scene embedded in his memory forever.

"May you die in dragon fire!" Thorin's harsh words cut across his mind.

"Do not talk to me of dragon fire! I know its wrath and ruin. I have faced the great serpents of the North."

Thranduil's eyes darkened with anger as he replayed his meeting with the dwarf. He had warned Thorin what his actions would cause, but the stubborn dwarf had refused to listen. Now, he would pay the price and many would lose their lives. They would all perish because of his foolishness.

The wind picked up, sending the flames high into the sky, twirling in spirals and curling mercilessly back down on the small wooden houses the men of Esgaroth had once dwelt in. Thranduil continued to watch the burning scene before him, but his eyes were not focused on the flaming sight. The flames had brought forth a memory; one Thranduil had locked away in the back of his mind for many, many centuries.

Until tonight.

The sight of the burning village had pulled from the deepest part of his mind a memory of pain and of fire, of agony oh so great. Long had he desired to forget, but the scars would remain for far longer than the memory of the bitter, searing pain.

Absently, Thranduil's long, slender fingers reached up and touched the side of his face. It was always there, a constant painful reminder of pain and fury. A permanent scar that never would heal.

He dropped his hand to his side and turned away from the balcony, his long robes draping elegantly behind him as he walked away. Away from the burning inferno. Away from those painful memories.

For dragon fire, there was no cure.

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