This is a revised post of my original. Hopefully it is now a stronger tale.

Disclaimer: The Lord of the Rings belongs to J.R.R Tolkien, Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema and their associates. I am making no money from this; it is just a wonderful way for me to write for an audience with room for me to improve upon my skills/technique through their comments and criticisms.

Author's Note: As any of you who have read An Elf's Fall know, I am no expert on Middle Earth. Any correction you have to offer will be appreciated.

I wrote this tale around this time last year while I was serving jury duty, so in short little breaks, lol.I got the idea while listening to Loreena McKennitt's two winter albums To Drive the Cold Winter Away and A Winter Garden. They're so wonderful! Anyway, it's a seasonal tale that I wanted to share with you all! It doesn't really have to do with Christmas but if you know the songs quoted, well, you'll get the allusions. ;o) Please enjoy and review!

This Poor Youngling

Chapter I:

Horse hooves echoed like thunder as the grey stallion galloped over the sodden turf, driven by his master's panic. "Meneliel! Meneliel!" The fair-haired Elven king let the name rip from his throat as he agilely guided his steed through the trees and straggling weary warriors as he searched for his queen. "Meneliel!" he pulled his mount to a stop as his keen Elven hearing picked up a male's shout over to the left in the distance. He knew that voice. "Húheron?!"

"My Lord! She is over here!"

Not hesitating a moment, Thranduil yanked the reins of his stallion's bridletowars the voicedirection as he spurred the somewhat frightened horse onwards. As soon as he could see the elegant gown of his wife through the trees he lost all sense of or care for regality and flung himself from his steed and into her arms. Yet if Húheron were asked, he'd respond that the scene was more regal than any he'd seen in his long years of service to the king.

Both Meneliel and Thranduil shed tears of joy as they embraced, then, pulling away, held each other's faces in their hands. "Oh My Love, I was afraid I had lost you," Thranduil's voice was hoarse as he wiped away a tear from his beloved's ageless face with his thumb.

"Even if we no longer inhabited the same earth you would never lose me."

Relief and love shone in the king's eyes at Meneliel's words, her voiceever like a sweet bird's song."And I shall never leave you, meleth nín." They touched foreheads for a brief moment before stealing a gentle kiss. Pulling away, Thranduil gazed at his fair wife's face. He fell in love with her all over again every day. She had taught him how to live, she had given him who he was and made him aspire to become a better man, a better king, and most recently, a better father; for they had conceived a child together, one who shone of the beauty of their love and the regality of their people. "Our son must share in this joyous moment! Where is he?"

Thranduil's panic returned as he witnessed Meneliel's eyes grow wide in fear. "Why, he was with Enetheru. My arms were getting tired and she begged me to let her hold him. When we were separated she followed your regiment- I saw her! Where is she?!"

Thranduil's breath came shorter as his apprehension grew. "There were none but men with me… soldiers…" The king paused for a suspenseful moment, his deep eyes darting back and forth, thinking. "By the Valar, they must still be out there somewhere…"

He stood frozen and watched helplessly as Meneliel clasped a hand over her mouth in a silent scream of horror, another around her middle as she slid down to her knees. Thranduil's face grew resolute and within moments he had flung himself back upon his stallion and galloped back towards the scene of the Orc attack.

Meneliel remained where she was, tears refusing to fall, a reluctant Húheron offering a hand of support on her shoulder while he held her horse's reins with the other. Her voice was but a whisper. "The Orcs would have slain them by now…oh my sweet little Legolas…." Then, drawing within from some inner strength, the queen rose to her feet once more. Locking eyes with Húheron, he saw firm resolution, perhaps born of fear but bridled by courage. She took his offered hand off her shoulder and held it in between hers. "Hannon le, Húheron."

Before he could shake off his awe of her strength, Meneliel flung herself upon her grey steed that matched her husband's and galloped off after him. Húheron remained where he was, a hopeless romantic to the end in love with the scene before him, yet terribly frightened of the implications. "Hortho le suil vaer, Hiril nín, for your babe is a creation of your love and your love inspires us all."


Meneliel means "Heavenly creature/Messenger" in Sindarin Elvish

Enetheru means "Name of God, God has heard" in Sindarin Elvish

Húheron means "wolf-lover" in Sindarin Elvish

meleth nín: my love in Sindarin

Hannon le: thank you in Sindarin

Hortho le suil vaer: "May useful winds speed you on" in Sindarin

Hiril nín: my lady in Sindarin