Thranduil's Secret
By SkyFire

A/N: 1)Warning: Sap! Sap! Aaaaaah! Save me from sappy plotbunnies! Help!
2)I'm considering making another version of this second half; another ending for part 1. Or
several; I'm not sure. Part 1 would stay the same, then there would be multiple endings. Good
idea? Yes? No? Maybe? Let the plotbunnies know! :o)

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louise: That *was* one of my first thoughts... might still happen... ;o)
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addicted: *groan* ;oP
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Trin: *choking* If you throttle me, I can't post! *evil grin*
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Everybody else: I'm glad you all are enjoying it this much! The plotbunnies thank you for your
reviews! And so do I! :oD
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For Disclaimer, see part 1.

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Thranduil's Secret
By SkyFire

Part 2

Legolas blinked, stared. "You are not?"

Then it sank in.

His eyes widened. "You are not my Ada? But..." He gestured helplessly at the room. "All this?
None of it truly belongs to me by right of birth? None of it...?"

Thranduil raised a hand for silence. Now that he had spoken the words, the worst of the tension
had left him, relieving him of a weight he had not even known he was carrying.

"I said that you are not my son," he said. "But you *are* a part of this family by birth."

He sighed heavily, grasping for the right words to clear the stricken expression from Legolas'
face, lighten the confusion-darkened eyes. "Let me explain. It happened at the beginning of the
Third Age. I had just returned from the Last Alliance. My father and two-thirds of the Elves we
had led were dead--"

***

Thranduil, newly returned to the palace in the Elven kingdom of Greenwood the Great, walked
slowly down the smooth stone corridors to the private suite of the royal family. His steps
slowed even further the closer he got to the family's private sitting room.

An outside room, the sitting room's outside wall was lined with glass doors that let out onto the
wide outside balcony. When all the doors were open, the transition between inside and outside
could barely be seen; especially with all his mother's plants growing in there. Sun filled the
room for most of the day, pouring in through the glass doors and the myriad skylights that made
up the room's sharply-angled ceiling.

He hesitated as he came to the doorway; inside the room, he could see the back of his mother's
head as she sat on one of the outward-facing couches, her hair twined with the leaves and flowers
that were her crown at that time of year.

A deep breath, then he moved to stand in front of her. "Mother," he greeted quietly.

She raised her head, looked at him through sorrow-dimmed green eyes. She held out her open arms
toward him. "Thranduil," she said.

A soft sound of grief escaped him as he sat on the couch beside her, climbing into her embrace as
he used to when he was younger.

Gently, she stroked his golden hair. For a long moment they stayed that way, both giving and
receiving comfort from the other. Then she took him gently by the shoulders and pushed him away
slightly so that she could look into eyes so similar to how her own had looked... before she
received knowledge of Oropher's death.

"Mother," he said again, voice cracking. He swallowed, tried again. "Mother, you rule the Wood
now. You are Queen--"

She was already shaking her head. "No, my son. My time here is over. Soon, I will be reunited
with my beloved Oropher. It is up to you, King Thranduil of the Greenwood, to rule our realm as
is your birthright."

"Mother?" he said again, voice trembling as he looked upon her with eyes darkening with the
growing understanding of what she was telling him. Going to be with Oropher? But his father
was... No! "Mother, no!"

"It is far too late to change my fate, my son. There is, however, something that you can do to
ease my mind."

"Anything!"

She smiled softly, cupped his cheek tenderly in one gentle hand. Then she looked toward a
doorway, one that led further into the royal family's private quarters -- the hallway that held
the doors to the bedchambers. "Legolas!" she called.

//Legolas?// Thranduil thought, confused. //Who is that? Why is a strange Elf in our
bedchambers...?//

The answer to those questions came in the form of the *smallest* Elf he had seen in a very long
time. Golden hair the color of Thranduil's own spilled unbound around the small, round face and
tiny shoulders; bright green eyes sparkling with the light of the stars stared fearlessly around
the room. One tiny hand clutched tightly to a slender stick from which trailed a number of
bright, colorful ribbons. The ends of the ribbons were ornamented with small bells and beads
that made the ribbons flare out and make cheerful noises whenever the stick was twirled.

"Mama!" the tiny Elf cried joyfully, running on skinny legs to his mother, falling only twice,
glaring at the rug distrustfully after each fall before picking himself up and keeping on.

Thranduil stared in shock at the Elfling that was currently climbing all over the Queen of the
Greenwood. "'Mama'?" he asked.

Still smiling that soft, sad smile, she hugged the young Elf to her even as he curled up on her
lap and started playing with one of the ribbons of his toy. "Thranduil, this is Legolas. He was
conceived the night before our forces marched to the Alliance. He is nearly nine years old. He
is your brother."

As Thranduil sat there, blinking in shock and looking like someone had just crept up behind him
and poured icewater down his back, she looked to the young Elf on her lap.

"Legolas?" she said, catching the young one's attention. "Legolas, this is Thranduil."

Big green eyes looked to Thranduil, then back to his mother. "Mama?"

"Go on, Legolas. He won't hurt you."

At her reassurance, the Elfling climbed from her lap, then went over to plop down on the couch
beside Thranduil. "Hi," he said brightly. "I's Leg'las." A frown marred the tiny forehead.
"LeGOlas." He smiled proudly.

Thranduil smiled at the Elfling's efforts. "Hello," he answered. "I am Thranduil."

"T... Tran... th..." Legolas sighed. "Hard."

The Queen caught Thranduil's attention even as Legolas kept trying to pronounce Thranduil's name,
nearly going cross-eyed as he did, little pink tongue sticking out slightly as he tried to make
his mouth form the 'th' sound.

"Thranduil, I want you to take Legolas as your own. Be as a father to him."

"What? But-"

"Please, my son. It would ease my mind to know that you look after him so, now that I cannot and
will soon be gone."

He hesitated only briefly; she knew he could never refuse her anything, let alone something that
important to her. At last, he nodded, gathering his small brother into his embrace.

At Legolas' questioning look, he said simply, "You can call me Ada."

"Ada!" Legolas crowed, small arms hugging Thranduil tightly about the neck, briefly cutting off
his air supply.

Thranduil stroked the silky golden hair. "Yes. I am Ada."

Their mother smiled.

***

Within the week, their mother had joined their father in the Halls of Mandos.

Everyone who knew the truth of Legolas' birth was sworn to secrecy on pain of banishment by their
new, young king.

And so Legolas Oropherion grew up Thranduilion and never knew that he was not his brother's son.

***

Thranduil finished the tale, sat staring at his hands, twisting them together in his lap in
uncharacteristic nervousness. Finally, he gathered the courage to look to where Legolas sat
silently beside him. He saw him there, eyes wide and mouth open in shock.

"Legolas?" he asked.

Legolas shook himself, closed his mouth. He stared at the King. "I am not your son," he said
slowly, as if still trying to comprehend what he had been told. "I am your brother?"

Thranduil nodded simply. "Yes."

"My mother...."

"Is my mother as well."

Legolas shook his head again, dazed. His Ada was not his Ada. But he was still Mirkwood's
prince by birth. Oropherion, not Thranduilion.

No.

"Ada, I-"

"Legolas, I just told you. As much as I would want it to be true, I am not-"

"You might not have sired me, but you raised me. You were there for all those important things.
Not him. I never knew him." He looked a little confused. "At least, I don't remember having
known him."

"You did not. He was killed before you met. I am still not sure if he knew about you or not. If
he did, he did not share it with me."

Legolas waved it away as inconsequential. "It matters not. As I was saying, Ada, as far as I am
concerned, *you* are my Ada. And now my brother as well, though that might take some getting
used to." He smiled at Thranduil. "And like I said before, I will always love you. You are my
Ada, whether or not you are my sire."

Thranduil smiled, hugged the younger Elf to him again. "I love you, my son, my brother."

Legolas returned the hug just as strongly. "And I you, my father, my brother. Always."

END

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Aaaaawwwwwwwwww. So... much... sap.... I honestly don't know how that happened. *sigh* Ah, well.
Hope you liked it, even though there is enough sugar at the end there to choke an Oliphant.
*grin*

Anyways, you know the drill: click the button down there and leave a review for the plotbunnies...
they're coasting on a sugar-high right now, and get downright vicious when they come down....
Help! *grin* (And let me know what you think of the idea of multiple "part 2"s!)