If someone was wondering: "Sindarin"

Warning: this is a bit of a filler chapter.

Vesper was playing chess with Celebrían when she heard the news. The Erebor fell into the hands of a dragon.

"There is not much I can do for now. We'll see what the future will bring," she commented to her friend.

"True. Sometimes I think we aren't needed in this world," Celebrían retorted.

"Mhm," Vesper made a move with a horse.

"Will you go to see your one?" Celebrían asked.

Vesper shook her head. "Not yet. It still isn't time. It's frustrating."

Celebrían grabbed her friend's hand an squeezed it in comfort. "You'll see him one day."

"Yeah. Hopefully, he won't kill himself before I find him. He was always throwing himself into danger when it could save someone."

Soft footsteps echoed in the dark forest, a quick breath accompanied them. The owner was running for his life, his crimson blood trickling down from his side, blonde hair flying around his pointed ears.

He heard the spiders behind him and prayed that his men have escaped. They were getting nearer and nearer, there were too many to fight alone.

Slowly a splashing of a river entered the elf's ears and he pushed himself to run faster. The river was his only hope.

He stopped at the edge and looked down. The cliff he stood on wasn't that high, but the river was fast and strong. He hesitated but a snaping of a twig made him decide and he jumped.

The last thing he saw before the cold waters closed above him were the ugly heads of his persecutors.

Vesper was filling her flask with water after another cleansing ritual in the Mirkwood forest, to which had Valar send her.

The darkness that was corrupting the forest started to corrupt its inhabitants. If it continues to spread, they may end up with crazed elves. The Valar couldn't take it any longer and send her here.

She thought she did a good job so far. Everywhere she did a cleansing ritual the heathy green colour returned and it seemed brighter. She even managed to not follow the pull in her heart and waited patiently, through sometimes it was very difficult.

She stopped filling the flask. Something was different, the pull was different, it was getting stronger like it was nearing her. She jumped to her feet and started to look around.

'Where? Where is he?'

Her eyes landed on something floating in the river.

'Don't tell me. That damn idiot!'

Gathering her magic she accioed it to herself. A figure of an unconscious elf landed in her arms. He was surprisingly light. She looked at his face and recognised him immediately.

"William!? What the hell did you get yourself into this time?" she said exasperatedly to the unconscious elf.

Legolas woke up in unfamiliar place. He was in what seems to be a bed made from sticks and furs, which was in some kind of tent. He felt bandages around his stomach pressing gently against his wound, he was also dressed in shirt and pants that weren't his. Somehow he wasn't alarmed, maybe the one, who saved him, gave him some drugs.

"Good morning, sleepyhead," someone greeted.

Legolas turned his head to the source of the voice. His eyes widen and breath hitched.

"Ethel," he said, his voice hoarse.

The woman stood from her place next to a fire and came over to him. She was holding a flask with water. Legolas tried to sit up to drink, but his body was weak. Ethel hepled him sit and drink. When he had enough she put away the flask and helped him lay down again.

"Hey, Will. Long time no see," she sat on the edge of the bed and took one of his hands. "Glad you remember me."

"How? What happened after I... I"

"Shh. I have lived long life, but never married or had my own kids. I couldn't bring myself to seek love again. I didn't want to, even if I was lonely at time. I've always waited for you," she smiled.

"I haven't marry either. I have waited for you for hundreds of years," he squeezed her hand. "I promise you, we will live a happy life here."

They were silent for a long time just enjoying each other's presence. Legolas reached out and pulled her down so she was laying on him. She shifted a little to not lay on his injury but settled quickly. He wrapped his arms around her and breath in her scent, she smelled like forest and something else, familiar scent. It took him some time to recognise it, it was magic.

"How are you here?" he whispered.

"When I was dying, Valar took me and made me into a real phoenix. I'm a phoenix with a human form and still a witch. I serve them as an Istari."

Legolas's arms tightened protectively.

"Don't worry. I haven't done anything too dangerous. The most dangerous thing is probably cleansing Milkwood forest."

"That's your doing?" he ask incredulously.

"Yeah. Valar didn't like the effect the darkness has on elves, especially on King Thranduil, so they sent me here to do something with it. Why?"

"My father, King Thranduil, send me along with some of my men to investigate the sudden decrease of darkness in last month. We were attack by the spiders and I..." he trailed off.

"Sacrificed yourself and lured the spiders away, while injured, and jumped into a river," she finished for him.

"How do you know?"

"Who do you think fished you out from the river, besides I know you. With your story I can connect the dots," she sighed exasperatedly. "Just don't die. I don't think I can bear loosing you again," she whispered.

His arms tightened around her protectively. "I promise, I won't."

They layed like this for hours until Legolas fell asleep. Vesper carefully detangle herself from him and went to cook a dinner. When he woke up they ate a soup with some bread and Legolas had to drink some more potions to speed up the healing. Next day was similar to the first Legolas slept throughout most of the day, and Vesper did another cleansing ritual and took care of Legolas.

This was also a day neither of them will ever forget.

After dinner when Vesper was rebandaging his wound he gently traced his fingers over her cheek and stopped under her jaw. She looked up at him curiously. He smiled and kissed her. The kiss was light at first but soon turned passioned. He pushed her down on the bed and climbed on top.

Alright I'm NOT writing porn so the rest is left to your imagination.

The smell of burned porridge woke Vesper up soon after that she heard soft cursing in Sindarin, which made her open her eyes. Will, or Legolas, was kneeling next to the fire trying to save what's probably their breakfast. He wasn't good at cooking in his previous life and she doubted he's any better now. As a prince he probably doesn't have experience beyond making lembas and preparing and roasting meat.

Vesper couldn't help but laugh. Legolas turned to her with sheepish smile.

"I made breakfast, but it's little on the darker side," he said.

Vesper laughed some more and Legolas joined her. After she dressed they ate their breakfast and Vesper checked Legolas' wounds again. They were healing nicely since his body spent last two days regenerating.

"Are you well enough to come with me?" she asked.

"I think yes. Where are you going?"

"Deeper into the forest to do another cleansing ritual. This place is so infected only powerful rituals work and I can do just one per day."

"I will go with you. Have you, by any chance, found my weapons?"

Vesper grinned apologetically. "Only the daggers. You can borrow my bow if you want."

She inclined her head to a tablet that served as a potion lab, there was a bow and a sword leaning on it. Legolas stood up to examine the bow. It was light and durable. He tested the strength of the string.

"It is a good bow, thank you for lending it to me."

"Don't worry about it. What's mine is yours and what's yours is mine, isn't that how we lived before?" Vesper dismissed his thanks and continued to drink her tea.

"You are right," Legolas smiled lovingly at her.

After breakfast they both dressed properly and left the safety of their camp. Vesper lead Legolas to a place where she'll perform the ritual. Legolas couldn't help but notice how close it was to one of the patrol routes.

He watched as Vesper prepared the ritual. He always watched her when she performed magic. It used to be an excuse to ogel her, but now he could feel the magic and understand what she was doing more clearly.

First Vesper made a circle in the ground with diameter of two meters. Secondly she made five smaler circles from ashes just inches from the outside of the big circle and placed a crystal in center of each smaller circle. Then she made a star from salt and every point of the star touched a crystal. Next she wrote runes around each smaller circle and made a bigger circle around it, again from the ash. She wrote runes above and below the line of the big circle and made a smaller circle inside, careful not to disturb the lines made from salt.

She pulled out a sage from her pocket and lit it on fire. She walked around the whole magical cycle chanting in foreign language and tapped her staff in periodic intervals. The smoke from the sage didn't disappear but stayed and formed a cycle above the ground. When the cycle was complete Vesper stepped inside the star.

Legolas could feel a wave of white magic with every action Vesper took but it double when she sat down in the middle of the star, placed her staff on her lap, the sage still burning in her hand, and started to chant in another language he didn't understand.

Vesper's staff was getting brighter and brighter with every line that left her lips until it was shining like a star. Legolas could see the darkness leaving this place. It was like a shadow was lifted from the forest. He was filled with hope and happiness he hadn't felt since the spiders appeared, like he could breath again.

A snapping of a twig made him altered again and he spun on his heel facing the newcomers with an arrow ready. He locked eyes with Tauriel, his best friend and girl he thought he was in love with. He looked behind her to find her squad with her. He put away his weapon and greeted his friend.

"Mae govannen, Tauriel."

"Legolas. Where were you? What is happening?" she asked.

"I will explain everything once the ritual is finished."

"What ritual? Is that the source of the great magic?"

"Yes. A new Istar was send here to help the forest."

All the elves watched the ritual in silence. They could feel the good fighting of the evil that is lurking in their woods. After so long there was hope. The Valar is still looking after them.

The light started to deminish revealing Vesper sitting there. The sage was nearly fully burned and there was a silvery cloud of smoke above her head. The cloud twisted and formed into hundred of smoky birds that flew in all direction making a near invisible barrier. When the birds landed on the borderline to where the ritual reached the barrier was fully formed. It shimmered slightly before fading away. However, the elves could still feel it was there.

The light on Vesper's staff completely disappeared leaving her exhausted. She used the staff for support and stood up. Seeing her heading to pick up the crystals Legolas moved to help her, Tauriel and others following. Vesper turned to the coming noise her eyebrows furrowed in confusion when she saw the other elves.

"Ethel, these are the Guard of Woodland Realm and their captain, Tauriel. Everyone let me introduce you to my one, Ethel."

"What?!" most of the guard shouted in shock and disbelief.

"Legolas, I have to correct you with the name. I was given name Vesper the Witch by the Valar, and Curuni by the Elves of Imladris," Vesper introduced herself and went back to her work of collecting the crystals. Legolas can handle the explanation.

Tauriel watched the woman carefully. Curuni, as she introduced herself, didn't seem to be special, but looks can be deceiving. The power the ritual radiated was prove she is powerful.

"How did you met her?" she asked her best friend.

"After I lured the spiders away I was injured and had to jump into a river to escape. Ethel fished me out, brought me to her camp and treated my injuries," Legolas explained.

Tauriel frowned. She trusted Legolas he was saying true but she didn't trust Curuni, not yet atleast. "Let our healer check your injuries."

"Do you not trust my one?" Legolas asked.

Tauriel bit her lip. She wanted to say yes however it would hurt her friend.

"Let the healer check you up," the voice of Curuni cut in. The woman picked up the last crystal and turned to them. "I may have experience in healing but I am not a healer. A real healer may find something I overlooked."

Tauriel stared not sure why is the woman persuading Legolas. Shouldn't she be offended by her action?

"Alright," Legolas agreed.

"Let's head to my camp. You'll have a peace there," Curuni offered and everyone agreed.

Moments later they stood infront of an empty clearing. Tauriel was about to ask Curuni where is her camp when the witch continued walking and disappeared infront of their eyes. Legolas grinned at Tauriel mischievously before stepping to the clearing himself and also disappearing. One of the elves followed their prince and stepped in. Slowly one by one they entered the clearing. Tauriel took a deep breath and stepping through herself. It was like passing under a waterfall. The magic danced on her skin for a moment then she could see a tent with stranger amulets hanged on it.

The tent seamed only small enough to hold one person but seeing no one around she entered the tent. Her eyes were bulging out, the inside was much bigger than the outside. There was enough room for them all to sleep comfortably. She saw her men scattered about looking at everything. Truly there were many interesting things in the tent.

On the other side of the tent was a bed that looked more like a nest. On the left side was a table on which was a cauldron, burner, knives and chopping board among other things. Above the table hung variety of dry plants and on both sides were shelve with bottles; it looked like healers' laboratory. On the right side were bookshelves full of books. They were old, worn-out, but well cared for. In the center was a fire and around it rugs and furrs for sitting.

Center of a tent is a strange place for a fire but Tauriel won't question the witch. Looking around she spotted Curuni in the bed flipping through a book.

"Where is Legolas?" Tauriel asked the other woman.

Curuni looked up from her book and lazily pointed at a curtain on her right, which Tauriel didn't notice before.

"In the bathroom with the heater."

Tauriel nodded. Curuni returned to her book. Tauriel felt awkward, the person infront of her was her friend's destined one and she used to be his first love. Will Curuni hold it against her? Does she know? Who is she actually?

They heard a yelp from the bookshelves. One of the elves was holding his finger protectively and was glaring at a book with teeth, which on the foor infront of the bookshelves.

"Don't touch the books, please. The Biting Book is quite protective of them," Curuni told him.

"Why is there such a book?" the elve asked.

"My apprentice brought it with him. He said it was one of his school books. The books you see are copies of my old library. And that one kept sneaking into the library all the time."

"You have an apprentice?" Tauriel asked intrigued.

"Used to, before I died and was reborned in this world," Curuni said shortly.

"I'm sorry," Tauriel apologised.

"Don't be. You didn't know." Curuni just waved her off and returned to her book.

Everyone in the tent was observing the witch. They needed to know if she was good enough for their prince. So far she seems strange but not bad. A loud shutting of a book startled them.

The witch was mumbling something under her breath in a language none of them know. She stood up from her bed and went to a bookshelf completely ignoring the growling Biting Book. She carefully put her book back in its place and started to examine the titles of other books. Dissatisfied with her findings she waved her hand and the books changed.

"What in the Valar?!" someone shouted.

Tauriel drew her weapon and watched the witch carefully. When nothing happened she relaxed, others followed her lead.

"What are you doing?" Tauriel asked Curuni.

"Looking for better ritual or something that will help me create one." she answered.


"The ritual I am using to cleanse this forest takes lot of my energy. I can only do one per day. It is not enough."

Curuni took another book and looked inside.

"I see," Tauriel said.

"Also," Curuni started turning to Tauriel. "Can you stay here with Legolas for a while?"

"Of course, but why?" Tauriel was confused by the request.

"I'm planning to take a look at the spider nest in the old ruins and I really don't want Legolas following me while he's injured," Curuni explained little sheepishly.

Tauriel thought for a moment and had to agree that it was something Legolas would definitely do.

"We will do that, however we have to return tomorrow and report to the King. I would appreciate if you would accompany us," she said.

"I would be honoured," Vesper replied producing her pipe from somewhere and stuffing it.

Tauriel frowned at the pipe. It was a disgusting habit but nothing she wasn't familiar with, Gandalf was quite found of smoking after all.

"When will you finally stop smoking?" Legolas asked standing before the bathroom.

Vesper smiled at him. "When I am pregnant. So far you weren't successful in that endeavour."

Legolas' cheeks tinted pink and others laughed. "Don't you have some shame?" he nearly whined.

Vesper grinned at him. "My sense of shame died the day my mentor talked me into dancing naked around fire with her and five other witches."

All the elves blinked in confusion. "Dancing naked?" Tauriel asked.

"Don't bother. My kind have some of the weirdest traditions," she waved them off. "How is your health, Legolas?"

The healer cleared his throat before the prince could answer. "Prince's health is good. His woulds are nearly fully healed. I have never seen any wounds heal so fast, what kind of magic is that?"

"Potions," Vesper gestured to the "lab".

"May I take some samples?" the healer asked with interest.

"Take as many as you want, I can make more." Vesper didn't really care.

The healer immediately started to look through the vials carefully selecting which will he take with him.

Vesper puffed out a puf of smoke, which turned into a Niffler and started to run around the tent's ceiling. Legolas made his way to his future wife. She made another puf and soon a smoky faun was dancing around the fireplace. She made some more smoky creatures from her home world, the elves watched them with curiosity burning in their eyes. Those creatures were something non of them have ever seen.

Legolas watched Vesper as she absent-mindedly started to braid her hair, unbraiding the existing braids and braiding them into one viking style braid. The finished braid reached the end of her spine.

"Are you going somewhere?" Legolas couldn't help but ask. He just got back to her and he wasn't ready to leave her side again.

"Only for a while, I'll be back before you know it," she smiled at him.

He was still frowning but agreed, Vesper left not long after. Before she left she drank a Magic-restoring potion and took her sword and staff.

Logolas stared longingly after her even after but Tauriel and others distracted him by asking questions about her. Only if he looked after her a little longer he would have saw what was coming for her, maybe then he would be able to help her fight the darkness.