Disclaimer: Ok, first off, you people should all know by now that no one on the net owns any of Tolkien's stuff, only Tolkien's family has the right to use Middle Earth and all that other junk for money (as far as I know and unless they allow someone else to use it). In fact, if you're anything like me, the only reason you're even reading this disclaimer is because you want to see all of the different whacked-out disclaimers that authors like me come up with. So, ya, there you go. I'm not making any money off of this and I'm only doing this because I have no life of my own. (Ok, I do, but I'M BORED AS HELL!!!!) Also, this is a little short. Only one chapter, but of course, I might change my mind if I get enough reviews telling me to add something. ;)

Old Promises by Elf_Girl

Summary: Ok, this takes place WAY in the past in the very beginning of the third age. Legolas is still really a kid but he is trying to change that by proving that he is a strong warrior. The problem? None of the other Mirkwoodian (ok, I made that one up) elves are willing to accept him because Legolas is still a baby by their standards and is the prince and thus (in their opinions) is a brat (yeah, like they'd know?). This is the story of how Legolas changes that and why he is so damn good at fighting. (Go Legolas! Go Legolas! Go Legolas!()

Chapter 1

"Come on guys! Give me back my bow! Please?" He tried to jump up to grab his bow, but the young elven prince was about half the size of his 'adult' companions. (You'll see why I put that in quotes soon enough.) "Oh, please give me back my bow!" Said one of the elves (we'll call him Sicphier), mocking the prince, "Please, or otherwise daddy will chop off your heads." He and the other members of the hunting party began to laugh. Legolas was starting to get a little ticked, "Hey! Don't mock me! This isn't funny!" he shouted. Sicphier looked up from holding his sides, "Maybe it is not to you child, but for us, it's a scream!" The other began to laugh again.

"Why don't you go home to your parents where you belong little one?" another of the hunters taunted (he will now be known as Marrion). "Yes, really, we are having enough trouble with the growing numbers of orcs in the southern regions without having to baby sit you!" laughed Sicphier as he threw the bow over to Marrion just when Legolas was about to reach his goal. Legolas was trying his best not to lose his temper. He knew that he could always use his nobility to make them give it back but he also knew that they'd never let him live it down.

"Why can't you guys just give me a break? How am I supposed to get anything without it?" This only made the elves laugh more. "Oh, yeah, like YOU are going to find ANYTHING before WE do?" Legolas knew what they were trying to do. They wanted to make him cry just so they could prove their point. Well he wasn't about to give in. "Fine! Keep it! I'll make another one!" He shouted as he stormed off into the woods to find a good stick to make another bow from. Another elf (Erithon) snickered, "Him? Make a bow? This should be a REAL treat!"

Only one of the guards was not laughing (this is our friendly neighborhood captain of the guard from the Hobbit and as it would appear Tolkien gave him no name, we shall call him Sinbroad). He knew the king very well and he was pretty sure it would be their heads if anything were to happen to the king's only son, not to mention he thought Legolas showed much promise as an archer (gee, he's not a dumb as Tolkien made him out to be) and the boy was very compassionate to others. "Come now, don't you think you have tormented the boy enough? What's more, I think someone outta keep an eye on him. It wouldn't bode well if we returned to the palace without the king's son."

Erithon frowned, "You act as though we LET him come! He followed us, remember?" "Even so, he is a member of the royal family and we are sworn to protect them," then he added with a smile, "Besides, do not forget that someday HE TOO shall have the power to have your heads removed, not just Lord Thranduil." Finally, Marrion consented into making sure nothing happened. Pity he couldn't even get that right.

************************************************************************

"I'll show them!" growled the fuming elven prince as an arrow he shot from his new bow whistled through the air and hit his target right in the center. "At least THIS is working the way it's supposed to. Why won't they let me grow up? They call me a baby but they won't give me a chance to prove I can take care of myself! Well I've had it!" He shouted as another of his deadly missiles skewered his makeshift target. "I'll go out on my own and land something big! I'll go to the southern most part of Mirkwood or even farther if I have to! I'll even go all the way to Mordor and back if need be!"

"OoOoOoO, that sounds like fun!" came an all too familiar voice. Legolas sighed, "Get out of here Marrion." "Sorry you're MAJESTY, but I have been ordered to make sure you don't get yourself into a royal mess!" Marrion laughed at his own little joke. "I don't need you to watch over me, nor do I need anyone else!" spat the angered prince who was not going to forgive Marrion for giving him a hard time only minutes before. "Hey, cool it baby, we wouldn't want you to get upset now, would we?" jeered Marrion. "Besides, I don't have time for this nonsense; you have to come back to the camp with me." "I'm not going back." Marrion sighed as the prince flatly refused. "Look, I would be ecstatic if I could leave you out here and get you out of my hair for good but I have orders." he said as he grabbed Legolas by the scruff of his shirt.

"I said I am not going with you! I'm tired of being treated like a child!" said Legolas. Marrion sneered at him, "Oh, you poor baby!" Legolas was seething now. "Why do you treat me like this? What do I have to do to get some respect from you guys?" Marrion smiled wickedly, "Ok, you want to know what you have to do? Kill a dozen orcs by yourself and maybe we will CONSIDER treating you half decent." Legolas knew this was meant as another taunt but he gave in.

After about fifteen minutes Marrion brought Legolas back only to learn that a herd of deer had come through the camp and every elf there bagged at least one. "Oh man Marrion! I can't believe you missed it! Talk about fish jumping into the boat!" Marrion was the one who was now fuming. "Grrrr. YOU LITTLE TWERP!!! I MISSED THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME BECAUSE OF YOU!!!" He aimed a half hearted punch at the prince who easily dodged. "Marrion, come now, it's not THAT bad. There are more deer in the forest," said Sicphier. Marrion was still not easily calmed.

However, his anger was short lived as an arrow pierced his right arm. Marrion yelled in pain as the elves' most nightmarish worry had come true. Orcs by the dozens came from nowhere and began an assault on the surprised hunting party. It took literally hours for them to quell the onslaught and even when they did, they had many wounded. Sinbroad spoke, "They are dead. Is everyone alright?" Luckily, no one had died but all of them were injured though none of the injuries were life-threatening but the he saw that one was missing. Sicphier spoke up, "Oh no. Where is the brat?"

"Over here." came a moan from the bloody elven prince ling. They were horrified to see the ghastly wound on his right arm. After looking over it Sinbroad said the worst any of them could expect to hear other than Legolas was dead. "It is poisoned. We shall have to go back." Someone spoke up, "Wait, it is not that bad. If we opened it a little more, his blood would wash it out." Sinbroad smirked, "Oh really? You care to do it? Then you can go back and proudly tell Thranduil the kind of treatment YOU gave his son when we SHOULD HAVE returned and let the healers care for him." Sicphier laughed grimly, "Yes, you're right. Besides, who wants to hear that little brat whine anymore?

As if to answer his question, a stifled moan of pain filled their pointed ears. They looked over to the source and we horrified. Legolas was standing there with one of his two long knives protruding from his arm and blood dripping from the widened gash. 'Never again.' Legolas swore to himself. 'Never again will I allow myself to be put into a position in which others will have to worry for my well being. Never again shall I give anyone a reason to taunt, insult or degrade me. Never again shall I suffer to let any living thing hear me cry out in pain. I will become the greatest warrior of all. Even surpassing Gil-Galad. I swear this by the pain in my arm and the blood that flows from it to the ground.'

The other elves watched on in horror as their young prince finished his self-ministrations. When he was finished Sinbroad approached him. "Prince Legolas? Are you well?" He was actually semi-afraid of the young one. Legolas no longer bore the air of the child they had teased only hours before. Now he stood there in every respect a prince save the blood that had obscured his fair features. He looked up with a grim face that did not suit his young age. "No, I am fine. We can stay out here a while longer." "B-b-but, my lord. You are injured-" began Sicphier but was cut off by Legolas. "I said I am fine. We could return now if someone needs treatment but I shall be fine." he said tonelessly as he bound his bleeding arm in a piece of his tunic that he had ripped off.

Sicphier knew something had happened to Legolas' very soul for the young elf that had followed them out there would have been elated to hear Sicphier sincerely call him 'my lord' yet this one showed no emotion. He had changed in a way that only comes after one as taken the life of another life form capable of speech.

After they returned Legolas almost never stopped practicing the art of warfare. He practiced every means of fighting known to the elves. He was his own worst critic as no shot he ever fired was true enough nor any stab a knife good enough for him. He never stopped criticizing his own faults and nothing anyone said would slow him down. Of course Thranduil noticed the change in his son and he questioned Sinbroad about it. "In all due respect my lord; I think he has become obsessed with this. He seems bent on making sure he will never be the most vulnerable again."

After a while Legolas seemed pleased with his abilities and finally let up. His final test; the Fellowship of the Ring where he would learn a new lesson. Friendship and empathy.

**********************************************************************

Ok ya'll, how'd you like it? Yeah, I know, it was a little morbid (and VERY corny) but I still hope it was ok. I just kinda wrote it spur of the moment because I didn't have anything better to do. If you liked it, that's great! If not, go write your own fanfic like I do when I don't like someone else's! It's not as easy as it looks or sounds! Oh crap! My computer just said that this was like the work of a fifth grader (most unseemly for a high school student). Do you agree? TELL ME!!!