And the winner of the contest is... *drum rolls start* *muses whisper to the author* They already know. They had to click on the title to get here. *drum rolls stop* Well fine then, spoil my fun.
Anyway, by an astonishing 3 to 1 ratio "Leaves of Glass" has beaten out its competitor "Meldir, Gwador, Gwarth" to be my next story. Apparently Legolas is not interesting enough on his own. To all of you who voted for the prequel, I'm sorry. But I promise it will be the next story I post. When that will be I have no idea. In the meantime you'll just have to speculate on what happened to our dear elf.
To all of those who do not know me and my work, this is the sequel to the only other Lord of the Rings story I have. The other one is called "Memories of Ilithien" and can be found in my profile of course. I don't believe that you need to read the other to understand this, but that is only a guess as I have not yet written the entire thing. As the story progress you made find yourself not understanding what's going on and may need to read the other.
Summary - Pain. Heartache. Sorrow. Loss. Betrayal. These are the things the prince of Mirkwood has suffered in his long life. And to they brash young Ranger that wishes to befriend him, the prince of the Firstborn seems to have grown hard as stone. But sometimes, he fears he will shatter him.
Disclaimer - Anyone who actually believes that I own/created/are affiliated with/make profit off of the most amazing creation to every grace the written page since the Bible was made, are in serious need of mental help.
" Leaves of Glass "
Chapter 1 - A Forest's Anger
Strider, Elrond-Halfelven's foster son, Ranger of the North, crept slowly through the dense forests on the outskirts of Mirkwood, his senses alert, listening, feeling for the disturbance he felt in the air. The woods screamed so loudly that even he, mortal Man that he was, could hear their anger, their rage. The devastating fury had pulled him from his camp, drawing him to the maddened forest.
He went slowly, searching behind every tree, peering under every bush, looking for what could possibly have aroused the wrath of the ancient trees so mightily. His sword was drawn, held tightly in his hand, ready for anything. His body was tense, waiting. For what he didn't know.
The trees were restless in their anger, shaking, their leaves blowing though no wind reached through their thick canopy. The darkness around the young human seemed to pull at him, breaking through his senses, stealing his thoughts, mulling over them then tossing them to the heavens. No creature moved in the dark depths of Mirkwood's trees, no wildlife sounded the songs of growing night. All he could see, hear, breath was the trees and their anger.
The trees screamed at him in their language, cursing him, accusing him. He heard a branch crash down behind him, looked up to see the leaves shaking in earnest; tree limbs seemed to stretch out towards him, condemning him, reaching for him. For his death.
He stepped into a tiny beam of light that shown on the thick carpet of dead leaves, the light glinting off his sweat-soaked hair, shining into his eyes, making them sparkle a brilliant silver. He looked up, through the thick canopy of tree limbs, still quaking, still reaching for him, and saw the darkening sky overhead. He knew if he stayed in the raging forest past nightfall he would surely die. Every moment the darkness grew deeper, dragging him to his doom.
He twisted in the ray of light, facing the direction he had come. He would return to the forest on the morrow, he told himself. Tonight he wished only to stay alive long enough to do so. He stepped out of the sunlight, back into the suffocating darkness to the tree boughs.
He let out a startled cry when a rough limb smacked him in the face, throwing him to the ground, his unshaven cheek left raw from the bark. He had stayed too long.
The trees quivered in anger, reached for him, pulling at him, trying to break him. He did not want to die this way.
"Im thelle ú haru!" He shouted from the forest floor, hoping the trees would listen to him. "Im iest na-erui o gwanno sen dôr. Dâfo nin gwanno!" ("I mean you no harm!" "I only wish to leave this place. Let me go!")
Immediately the trees stopped. The leaves stilled, the boughs turned back. Strider stood slowly, watching the dark trees that surrounded him cautiously, as their wrath seemed to flow away like a slow stream.
As he straightened the air shifted again, but this time he felt something else surround him. Not anger but... hope? Yes, hope, mixed with a great deal of urgency. The trees stirred again, their boughs shifting, all their hard limbs creaking as they seemed to point to the North, farther into the black woods.
The dark green leaves shook violently, trembling urgently as Strider passed them, slowly walking towards the direction they 'pointed'. At this the Ranger sped up, walking swiftly through the trees, their boughs parting to let him pass, wondering what caused the trees to feel such a desperate need as to talk to a Man.
He sped on, detouring past large boulders, skirting fallen logs, following the desperate cries of the frantic trees. He splashed through an ankle high, black pool, spraying the water in his haste, soaking his boots to the knee. He raced past woodland creatures, startling a grazing doe and her two fawns, sending birds flying from their grounded nests. He didn't even take the time to wonder how he would get back; he just kept running towards the unknown end the trees led him too.
Finally, out of breath, bloodied by branches that had not left his path quickly enough, and thoroughly lost, he stumbled into a small, squared clearing. As he leaned one hand on the rough bark of a dark tree he could feel the relief, the joy, in the trees. They stopped shaking, stopped pointing him on. He had reached his destination.
Strider looked up, blinking away the sweat that dripped into his eyes, searching for the reason he had been brought here. He gasped at what met his eyes.
Across the clearing an elf sat against a dark tree, his head bowed, his long hair shielding his face as it fell in a long golden river over his head and shoulders. He seemed peaceful, sitting alone in the quite woods, like he was simply basking in the nature around him. He looked almost asleep with his head bent to the forest floor.
That is, he would have if he had not had an arrow protruding from the center of his hands, pinning them to the dark tree above his head.
A wind suddenly blew through the clearing, sending the elf's blonde tresses flying around his face like golden leaves torn from a tree. When the wind died and the long locks settled again Strider gasped once more.
"Legolas!" The young Ranger shouted as the elf's fair features were shown.
The trees quivered at the name of their prince, urging the human to the other side of the clearing, begging his help. Strider immediately raced to the elf's side, kneeling beside him as his eyes swept over his thin body.
The prince's clothes, forest-hued and adorned with the symbol of the royal house, were torn and bloody. His hair fell in a disheveled cascade around his shoulders and face, hiding his eyes. His chest rose and fell in jagged breaths. His hands, pierced with the arrow, were covered in drying and new blood, the dark red still running in a stream down his arms, staining his tunic all the way to his chest as the blood continued to fall.
Strider reached up and gently touched the bark near Legolas' bloody hands. The tree beneath his fingers cried out in misery. It aided in its prince's suffering.
Strider bit his lip and looked at Legolas again. He gently brushed the long blonde hair away from the elf's face, tucking it softly behind one delicately pointed ear. The prince's eyes were closed, hiding the brilliant blue orbs from the world, sign that the pain had become too much to bear for the Eldar.
The young human stared at the pain-ridden elf, lost. After all the time spent training with his foster father he now faced his first true emergency and he had no idea what to do. He breathed heavily, praying for guidance from the Valar, seeking the aide of Elbereth, she that loved the Elves most of all.
He heard nothing in return but the desperate shaking of the trees. Help him, they said. Save our prince.
"I shall do my best." He whispered.
He cast one more look at the unconscious elf, then he pulled his knife from its sheath at his hip. He then cut a long strip from the bottom of his shirt, then another, laying them across his lap, ready to be used.
Then he reached up and took the end of the arrow in his hands and snapped it off just above the prince's skin, leaving a jagged edge still embedded in the tree and his hands. He tossed the feather-adorned wood into the forest. The trees quivered as they accepted the weapon that had so wounded their prince.
"Díheno nin, caun." He muttered in Sindarin. ("Forgive me, prince.")
Then Strider gently took both wounded hands in his, holding them firmly by the delicate wrists and long, thin fingers, and pulled them away from the tree.
Legolas woke with a scream.
To Be Continued...
*cries* Ah the shortness of it all! I read it and read it and edited it and edited it, but I just could not find a way to make it any longer, I'm sorry! This will not be the norm. Well, at least not to this extent.
But anyway, go review. Yes. Tell me you love it, tell me you hate it, tell me you didn't understand it and think I need to go back to elementary school. Just review.
Until next time!