Into the Mines

By: Max Pilote

Disclaimer: First of all, I don't own the rights to Lord of the Rings. I just do this for fun and I'm sure many other people do it. Second, I toy with a few ideas that Tolkien seems to have left vague. It is known that Aragorn was raised in the house of Elrond under the name of Estel. Like many other fanfiction writers out there, I take it that meant Elrond was sort of a father to the young boy, since he was quite young (I think three). There is also an issue regarding Legolas's mother that is never touched. Me? I'm vague on the situation as well and it may confuse you. I think that Legolas's mother passed to the Undying Lands but he considers her dead. Last, we come to the part where Legolas and Aragorn are friends. Legolas seemed to know so much about him (going by the movie for a moment) that I just took them to be old friends. Last, and most likely least, I apologize for any spelling errors and grammatical errors. I also apologize for any inaccuracies in information. I'm pretty sure that covers it all.

Spoilers: Many for Unfrozen.

Rating: PG-13 for violence

Series: Unnamed as of now. I am really searching for a name! E-mail me if you have one!

Unfrozen

Into the Mines
Catch the Stars
By Death or Poison
The Last Part of Me
Kidnapped
Blood on the Bruinen

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Summary: Sequel to Unfrozen. It's been nearly two years since Legolas had been to Rivendell. A joyous reunion quickly turns dangerous when the two friends are forced into an abandoned mine by a small group of orcs...

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Chapter One - The Return of Greenleaf

[--Flashback--]

"What has happened here?" demanded Elrond as he rushed into the hallway. The man lay bleeding on the floor, a knife his side. Standing a few feet away was Legolas. The look on his face was hard to describe. It looked like fear, but also surprise.

By this time, the twins had come as well. It was so confusing.

Elladan turned to Legolas, "What happened?"

The prince simply stood there, staring down at the man. It seemed there was no way to get answers out of either the elf or the man. The man, of course, was unconscious. Legolas seemed to be in this state of shock.

Elrohir took Legolas by the arm and started to pull him away. Taking the knife out of the man's side, Elrond noted that it was indeed Legolas's. Had he attacked the man on purpose?

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The sun was shining brightly on that warm summer day. A soft breeze whispered gently through the beautiful elven city. Nothing could spoil such a beautiful day...save for orcs.

Elrond stood on the balcony of his study, staring blankly at the sky. News of orcs had come from the borders. It had been a long time since orcs had been so close. It had been so long, in fact, that the wise elf-lord could hardly remember.

His worries were not just on the orcs, however, but an elf who had worked his way into Elrond's family and their hearts. Legolas, if he had left when his letter said he would, should have been over the pass and coming to the borders that afternoon. The elf-lord frowned. He had not told Estel of the orcs. The boy did not need to worry over these matters. Besides, it would serve only to drive the child out to helping his friend.

Legolas was clever. He could avoid the orcs...right?

With a heavy sigh, Elrond glanced down at his adoptive son waiting expectantly on the steps. It was a tradition now. Every time word of a visit from the prince came, Estel waited on the steps for him.

Elrond smiled. They were such great friend, Estel and Legolas. Ten years ago, the elf would have probably killed the human...had his heart not stopped him. Years after Estel's kidnapping and rescue, the elf-lord asked for a deeper explanation. Legolas simply said that he felt sympathy for the boy. His heritage, his predetermined destiny-the child would have no easy life. That was a factor, Legolas had remarked, that stopped him.

Estel was extremely anxious for this visit. Two years had passed since Legolas was last seen in the halls of Rivendell. An...accident had driven him from the haven. Both the elf-lord decided it would be best if he left for awhile.

Two years ago, a hunting party had stumbled onto Imladris, seeking healing. This party consisted of four humans. Legolas did all he could to avoid the men. On the third night of their stay, however, his attempts failed. One of the men had been wandering around for he could not sleep. When he accidentally surprised the prince, the human found a knife in his side.

"I...I lost myself," Legolas had said when Elrond asked him what had happened. "I found myself in that prison again...facing the man who destroyed my life. I didn't mean to attack the man. At least, I don't think I did..."

Estel had been mad for several weeks for Legolas had left silently without saying good-bye. A letter arrived explaining what happened, saying the exact date when he was leaving from Mirkwood, and the date he was expecting to arrive at Rivendell.

That is why Estel was waiting so loyally for the wood-elf to arrive.

Elrond looked down and closed his eyes. "Illuvitar, protect Legolas...for his sake and Estel's."

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Legolas Greenleaf frowned as he glanced over the bushes at the abandoned orc encampment. They must have moved on at sunset yesterday. They would travel as far as they could before setting up camp again.

There had to be a more permanent camp nearby. They would not dare venture past the borders of Imladris. Nor would they go too close. The elf-prince had only to avoid them. He knew that it would be harder then it seemed, however. Everything was always harder then it seemed.

Slowly, cautiously, Legolas moved into the camp and found some tracks. The group of orcs was slightly smaller that most. The tracks indicated that there were probably thirty orcs travelling together. What they were looking for, he was unsure of.

Moving quickly, he found the direction the tracks led off to. Since the border was a mile away, they would probably have gone only half of that. It would help in avoiding the patrols.

Legolas heard three voices coming from about twelve feet away. The elf crouched down in a thicket of bushes and watched warily. Three orcs stepped out into the clearing. They were probably separated from the larger group.

"This is all your fault," said one of them, snarling at a smaller one.

"You made him angry at the three of us," said a second one, accusing the same one as the first.

"At least he did not kill us," said the accused orc. "It could have been much worse."

The three stopped walking, falling silent as they stood just where Legolas had been standing a few moments ago. One of them glanced at the other two and growled.

The prince frowned as he sat crouched in the bushes. They knew he had been there. Quietly, he fitted two arrows to the string of his bow and pulled it taut. This would have to be quick and quiet.

The first arrow struck the smallest one in the neck, taking him out almost instantly. The second missed its intended target of the second one's chest. Instead, it struck him in the shoulder. Quickly switching out his bow for his daggers, Legolas moved from the bushes. The orc had no time to react before his head was cleaved clean off his neck. The last one remaining drew his blade and swung at the elf. He rolled away, the blade just barely missing.

He got back to his feet and turned to the orc. In the few seconds Legolas's back had been turned, the orc had produced a bow and arrow. The bow was already loaded and pointed at Legolas.

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Dinner was not as cheerful as it normally would have been. Elladan and Elrohir were the only life in the room, as it seemed. As they did everyday, the twins were having a friendly argument over something. Tonight's topic was archery skills. Elrond would be watching and laughing slightly, but he was not present at the table. Estel simply looked...depressed.

It took several minutes before either twin noticed.

"I hit twelve targets today," said Elrohir with an arrogance about him. "You only hit ten."

"I was having an off day," argued Elladan. "Besides, I beat you yesterday. You hit eight targets, and I hit twenty. You can defend me, Estel. You were- oh...what is wrong, little brother?"

Elrohir nudged his twin and jerked his head towards the empty chair beside their human brother. It struck the eldest brother.

"Oh! Legolas-"

"...has finally arrived," came a voice from the door.

All eyes turned to see Legolas leaning casually against the frame with the same reckless smile on his face he always had. Estel rushed over and hugged him tightly.

"You came!" exclaimed the human. "I thought that you weren't going to!"

"Now, that is absurd," responded the prince with a soft chuckle. "You know I keep my promises."

He pulled away from Estel. "I have to speak with Lord Elrond," he said, his voice suddenly serious. "Do you know where I can find him?"

"His study, I believe," responded Elladan.

When Legolas left the room, Estel found a small crimson stain on his sleeve.

"Legolas is hurt!"