AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hi! This is my 2nd fanfic, and I really hope you enjoy it enough to continue reading. It is definitely a Legomance; most likely a Mary Sue(I like them so why shouldn't I write them?)so I hope you are not one of those people who cannot stand Mary Sues.. And if you are.well, maybe you'll like it anyway. I am finishing up my first fanfic, Bending the Rules. Personally, I think this one will turn out better, if only because I am no longer a total and complete rookie, lol. Well, I hope you enjoy it, please review one way or another!

A New Friend: Holding my breath, I crouched behind a bush, listening for another slight rustle like the one I had just heard. My tiny elfling ears had pricked up at the sound, and I had immediately hid behind the bush. I knew what kind of terrible things roamed these woods. My mother was constantly warning me of them. There it was again! It was very quiet. This had to be an elf; it was to hushed to be anything else. An elfling, most likely, because older elves were silent as they walked through the woods. But no parents let their children walk these woods alone. . . maybe this one did as I did, sneaking off whenever possible. Suddenly my shoulders were grabbed from behind. I squealed, quite loudly I'm afraid, and a hand was clamped over my mouth.

"Do you want every orc in Mirkwood to hear you?" a voice scolded. He released my shoulders and looked me over. "What are you doing out here?" he asked imperiously. He was taller than me, just slightly, and was perhaps twelve or thirteen years older, about the same as my brother, not much by elven standards. He had blonde hair, a stark contrast to my dark brown, and blue eyes. He continued to wait for my answer. I scowled.

"Why should I answer to you? I could ask the same of you. What are you doing out here?" As soon as I had finished my first question, he had stood straighter, making himself look even more arrogant than before.

"You should answer to me because I am the king's grandson!" he said as he drew up proudly. I cocked an eyebrow at him. "That makes me a prince, you know," he added when he saw that I was not impressed.

"Ok, Your Highness," I started sarcastically, "I have just as much right to be here as you. My village is just through the trees, that way," I added, pointing over my shoulder. Legolas seemed surprised. "What? Did you expect me to bow and begin fawning over you?" I asked. He ignored the question and looked me over once more.

"Do you carry no weapons?" he asked. Now it was my turn to be surprised.

"Why would I? I do not know how to use any, not many elves our age do." I noticed as I spoke that he had a bow on his shoulder. "Can you shoot that thing?" I asked.

"Of course!" came his quick reply. "Would I carry it if I did not?" I seemed to forget that I had just met him and stepped closer.

"Can I see it?" I asked. He eyed me suspiciously for a moment before submitting.

"Ok, but be careful. It is new." I nodded and took it from him. It was beautiful, and it reminded me of my father's, for it was carved out of the same wood. He had received his as a gift from the king when he had helped save our village from a band of orcs. I felt my eyes fill and turned away from the prince, but not quickly enough. All of his former arrogance disappeared as he put his hand on my shoulder.

"What is wrong?" he asked, obviously concerned.

"It is nothing," I said, sniffing quickly and blinking to rid myself of the tears that were making the trees before me seem to swim. I glanced back at him and saw that he was not going to give up that easily. I sighed. "My father -" the very words caused my voice to break. "He is away at the war. I worry about him. This bow is similar to his, and it reminded me." When I looked back to him, I saw a sadness in his eyes. Could those be tears? No, I must have imagined it.

"Aye, my father is away, too," he said softly. By now the tears were working their way down my face and he placed his arm around my shoulders to comfort me, though I could tell he felt awkward. I wiped my face and sniffed, annoyed at myself for crying so easily. Legolas removed his arm.

"I am Legolas," he said after a few moments of silence. "What is your name?"

"Maranwe," I replied, "But you may call me Mara." I glanced up through the treetops at the sun's position. "It is nearly time for luncheon," I said. "I should probably go." Legolas smiled.

"Why don't you come and eat luncheon with me? I think we are having fish today." Fish? At luncheon? We usually saved fish for dinner, but it was one of my favorite foods, so I readily accepted. My mother would not worry, I often missed meals to sit in a tree and read, or roam about in the woods.

When I had accepted the offer from Legolas, I had not thought about the fact that I was going to the palace. I did not fully realize until we reached the gates of that very place. The sentries posted there let us through without question, as they knew the prince. I stared wide-eyed at the beautiful gardens that surrounded the palace, and at the palace itself. I was from a village nearby, but had never thought to come see the palace, even from a distance. I had never seen a dwelling so large! I had lived my entire life in a simple three-bedroom home with my parents and brother - grandeur such as this was unknown to me. I noticed that Legolas was watching my reaction as we entered his home, and I tried to not seem impressed, for I did not wish to seem like a simple village girl, but since that was what I truly was, it was difficult for me to contain my awe. He led me down so many hallways that I felt I was in a maze until we came to a large room. Legolas spoke for the first time since we had entered his home.

"This is the informal dining room, where we eat when nothing important is going on." I looked around at the room in wonder. The walls were wood- paneled, as were the hallways that I had seen, and there were beautiful tapestries hanging on the walls, depicting various scenes, some that I recognized from what I knew from the stories my parents had told me, and some that were completely foreign to me. As soon as we sat down at the large table, a woman rushed out with plates laden with food. I had hardly eaten half of what was before me by the time Legolas had eaten what was originally on his plate - plus what he had added afterwards. I finally set my fork down, with my plate still half full. Legolas raised his eyebrows at me.

"Surely you are not finished!"

"Yes I am," I replied as I giggled. "I cannot see how you can eat that much!"

"And I cannot see how you can eat so little, so I believe we are even." When Legolas had finally eaten his fill (which was quite a bit more than me) we left and went back outside, where we ran around in the trees, climbing and leaping around in the boughs. The sun had nearly completed its downward descent when we heard a voice from below the tree we were currently in.

"Mara! Where are you? I know you are out here!" Legolas looked over at me, and I signaled him to stay silent. I noiselessly made my way to a low branch directly above his head, while an amused prince watched on, for he had guessed what I was about to do. I crouched, ready to spring. I would have to scold my brother for not paying more attention, I thought, as I sprang on top of him.

"Ah!" he cried. He glared angrily at me. "What do you think you are doing?" I laughed as I rolled off of him.

"Teaching you to be more attentive, that's what." Just then, Legolas dropped out of the tree in front of us. I quickly proceeded to introduce them. "Legolas, this is my brother Aldeon; Aldeon, this is Legolas." Legolas nodded and smiled, and Aldeon did the same, but continued to look at Legolas.

"Legolas.that name sounds familiar. Have we met before?"

"Oh", I interjected quickly, "You may recognize his name because he is the prince." Aldeon stared at me, then back at Legolas.

"Prince? I. ahh." I saw something that resembled annoyance flash across Legolas's face.

"Yes, but that is nothing. I am glad to meet you, Aldeon. I hope Mara was not needed today, she has been with me." I stifled a giggle at the look on Aldeon's face. He looked embarrassed and was obviously speechless. Did Legolas's status do this to everyone? If so, I was an obvious exception. He finally responded, albeit nervously.

"No, Your Highness, she was not needed, though our mother was slightly upset that she had missed yet another meal." I caught the irritated look fly across Legolas's face again when Aldeon said 'Your Highness'.

"I believe Legolas would rather you use his name - " I began, but I was cut off by Aldeon's angry glance and harsh words.

"I do not believe that you can read minds, Mara, so if the prince wishes that to be so, he can say so himself," he snapped. He then promptly turned bright red as he realized how this must have sounded to Legolas. "Not that you should, sir, I was only." When I heard my brother, the one who was always the arrogant elf, the one who was always in control, call another elf his own age sir, I could contain my laughter no longer.

"Sir? I do not believe I have heard you say that since." There was silence for a moment, for even though I had stopped, Aldeon knew very well what I had nearly said. Since Father left. Thankfully Legolas finally spoke.

"Such formalities are not necessary, Aldeon. If I may use your name, then so you may use mine. I actually hate it when people use my title and stare. it makes me feel as if I have two heads," he said with a laugh. "Please, do as your sister does, treat me as any other elf." With this, Aldeon seemed to relax a little. "And apologize to your mother for me, I did not mean to cause any problem; she ate luncheon with me." After talking a while longer, we parted ways, Legolas in the direction of the palace, Aldeon and I heading for the village. Of course, he demanded to know how I had met the prince, and when I told him, he gave me a good scolding for speaking to a stranger.

"It is only good fortune that he was friendly, and the prince, he could have been someone not as pleasant. You know that you should not speak to strangers. What would you have done if he had tried to kidnap you?" I could not help but laugh at this.

"You worry to much, brother. I saw that he was only slightly older than me, and what good would it have done for someone so close to my own age to kidnap me anyway? For that matter, why would anybody kidnap me?" I said, laughing, but also genuinely curious, too naïve at the time to know motives that some could have. He avoided the question, shaking his head.

"That is a good question. It matters not, anyway, for they would bring you back within half an hour. I doubt anybody could stand you any longer than that." I shoved him playfully, and we were soon wrestling as we often did, and, as always, he won.

The next day, we saw Legolas in the woods again, and we began seeing him nearly every day. At least two of us were always together, usually all three. I was grateful for his friendship. As we grew older I was able to tell him things that I could not tell my own mother or brother, and I was always able to depend on him to hug me and comfort me when I needed it. As the years passed and things happened that I would remember the rest of my life, I needed that comforting more often than I would have expected.