In Place of Another

Summary : Legolas gets mistaken for someone else and ia beaten up in place of another elf. Set when Legolas is quite young, but old enough to be training for a warrior already.

Note : I wrote this a pretty long time ago, and forgot totally about it… just came across it when I was browsing through my files… so here it is for whoever's interested.

~*~

You can't kill me. I'm already dead.

You can't kill me. I'm dead. Dead. Dead.

Something inside Lamalas shifted, like nothing he had experienced before, white hot rage erupted in him . He tore free of the hands holding him down and hurled himself at his tormentor, hitting him again and again and again.

I'll kill you. Kill you. Kill you. Kill you.

They wrenched him off and threw him against a tree. The back of his head smashed against the rough bark and he felt sick.

Slowly, his tormentor got up, and wiped the blood from the corner of his lip with the back of his hand. His eyes narrowed and he said in a low tone.

"You're going to wish you never did that"

Lamalas' rage was gone. Instead he was blissfully numb. Everything was clear to him now. He would be dead very soon. But really, they had killed him a long time ago, so they couldn't hurt him anymore.

The first punch was right over his heart and didn't hurt at all.

You can't hurt, me, I'm dead already. Dead.

But then came a second punch in the side of his head and a third right where the first had landed. Pretty soon it did hurt.

But you can't hurt me. I'm dead already.

It hurt more, a spreading pattern of warm pain.

~*`

Legolas panted slightly as he made his way down the path back home. Training had been especially strenuous  today and the warrior masters had worked them hard. He raveled in the beauty of his forest. Breathing in deeply and taking in the familiar smell of the woods.

 Suddenly, a hand tapped lightly on his shoulder making him jump. He had not heard any footsteps neither sensed the presence of another.

It was Lemalas from the same training party as himself. He was small built for his age with blond hair, much alike Legolas', that hung around rather messily about his head. His eyes darted around nervously and he had a stutter, Legolas noticed for the first time as Lemalas began to speak. It was a strange impediment for an elf to have for they were not born that way. 

"I- I ' ve b- b- een waiting for you-u ." he stammered out. Legolas turned his head expectantly to the other elf, waiting for him to provide more information.

"C c could you meet me at the glade by  the oldest tree tonight, when the moon is highest in the sky?  I – I – I ha-ve something to show you." Legolas pondered over the strange request. There was no great friendship between himself and his companion, and he found it strange that Lamalas would ask such of him. Finally, his curiosity getting the better of him, he grudgingly nodded his head in agreement. It was a harmless enough request.

Lamalas brightened at his response and grinned widely at Legolas . "You're going to love what I have to show you!" He added happily. With that, he left a puzzled Legolas standing alone on the path, and practically skipped down the other direction.

~*~

He has fallen for it.

Lamalas thought gleefully to himself. No longer do I have to suffer the abuse from those three. No longer must I put up with them.   

It would all end tonight and he could hardly wait. He traveled down the path back home, walking as lightly as he had the days before this had all began.

~*~

Legolas pulled on his clock and pulled up the hood over his head. He quietly slipped out of the palace and strode quickly into the night.

He arrived at the glade at the assigned time and wondered where Lamalas was. He gazed up at the stars above, seeking out the star most dear to the elves. A sound behind him made him turn and he whipped around.

Three shadowy figures emerged from the shadows and stepped out into the pale moonlight.

"So you've come after all? I am so glad that you finally decided to stop being the coward that you are."

"Too bad, you're going to regret it."

"Tsk, tsk, the one time you're brave enough to face us, and no one will be here to see."

"or to hear you scream…"

With these menacing words, the three elves advanced on Legolas.

Maeglin, Amroth and  Tuor. But Lamalas…  The truth dawned on Legolas too late as he felt strong arms grip his own and pin him to a tree. He opened his mouth to speak but his words were lost as he gasped out when a fist connected with the tender flesh of his stomach. The clenched hand reared again and struck, struck again, again, pounding him. The hands holding him down rendered him helpless, incapable of resistance…

His head connected with the back of the tree, hood and all,  dazing him and making the world around him spin crazily. The hands around him loosened their grip and he fell to his knees, panting heavily. His hands tightening on the grass that covered the ground in a bid to lessen the stress of his pain. He tried to speak to tell them it was a mistake. They had the wrong person. Why were they doing this anyway?

A foot bore down on his neck, grounding his face into the soil and Legolas could taste the dirt in this mouth. He choked, trying to spit it out but the foot continued to hold him there. His hand was wrenched behind him and brutally twisted. Legolas distinctly heard a crack and dismally worried that something had been broken. He could not move his arm. Something was definitely broken.  Waves of pain radiated from his arm and all over his injured, bruised body. A new surge of agony passed though him taking him away with it. His body went limp.

"He's out." Tuor said to Maeglin.

"Good, he won't cross us again." Maeglin replied sending another vicious kick to their victim, he moaned slightly on the ground.

"Time to leave" The other two followed him grimly, leaving the poor broken body lying in the dirt.

Legolas floated back to consciousness unwillingly, and with awareness came the pain with a vengeance.

He let his tongue explore his swollen lips. He didn't want to move anything else. He lay there for awhile, mustering as much sense and reason as he could to convince himself to move.

He had to make it home. His elven healing had already began to do it's work and he struggled to his feet, supporting his body with his hands. He cried out as his broken arm gave way, throwing him back onto the ground. Slowly, he tried to stand again, this time being careful of his broken limb.

He wavered on his feet for a moment, the trees around him titling a little from time to time, and holding onto the steady barks of trees for support, limped slowly back to the palace.

How many times, he had to stop and rest, holding on to anything that was near for support, he did not know, but finally, he made it back home.

He stumbled wearily into his room.

Safe at last.

Legolas staggered to his bed and flopped down on the soft covers. Though his back ached terribly from the countless bruises he had received. Reluctantly, he shakily sat up and took off his shirt and tunic. Blood had dribbled from his lip,  down his neck and on to his chest. He mopped at it, trying to avoid the bruises.

He heard the door to his room creak open and panic spread through his being.

Not now.

Desperately, he dived under the covers of his bed and pulled them high over his head, just as his father walked into the room. He breathed deeply, trying to pretend that he was still asleep. He heard his father sitting on his bed, and his body tensed as he prepared for the inevitable.

His father placed a hand on his shoulder and shook him gently. Legolas cried out in pain, as his broken bones were jarred. He cried out in pain, unable to catch the noise before it escaped. His father froze, worried.


"My Son… what is wrong?"

Trembling, Legolas turned around to face his ada, wincing as his body weight rested on his bruised back.

Thranduil took in his breath sharply. His son. His only Son had been brutally abused.

How and why?

Legolas fixed uncertain eyes on his father. Unsure of what his reaction would be. He was loathe to tell him what had happened. He did not want to relive it.

Wordlessly, the king of Mirkwood stalked out of the room, passed the message to one of the his subjects to send for the healers, and strode back to his son's side.

Legolas watched his movements in silence, trying to slow his ragged breathing. He was in so much pain that he half wished the dark void of unconsciousness would claim him again.

~*~

They gave him a sleeping draught so he did not have to be awake when they did their work on him. His eyes drifted out of focus as he thankfully succumbed to sleep, the stress of events weighing down on him.

Thranduil stood tersely by his side. Seething with rage as the healers cleaned the dirt away from his son's injuries making them stand out sharply in contrast with the fair skin. Legolas' face was contorted in pain and he moaned as they inevitably pressed down on the patches of black and blue that marred his skin.

After what seemed like eternity, the healers finished their work and Legolas rested with his arm bound ,a soothing lotion covering his many bruises and a clean white bandage wound around his head.

Thranduil sat by his side, his hand in the smaller elf's, his heart filled with rage at his son's condition.

No one hurt Thranduil's sons and got away with it.

TBC…

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