Title: Home Coming
Author: Celebrian Helyanwë
Feedback: Yes please. Flames will be fed to Gashdul, Snaga and Zurdok.
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Disclaimer: No, the Lord of the Rings and all canon characters do NOT belong to me. How many times do I have to tell you that? I only own the plot bunny and the original characters. I have a good mind to disown most of them, though. If you want to use them, ask me.
Summary: Continuing from where Captives In the Land of Iron leaves off, Aragorn wins Legolas's trust with the help of his brother. Elrond, Thranduil and Celeborn lead an army to aid the three of them, but Aragorn is captured while releasing his brother and Legolas. Can the elves reach Anganor in time to save him?
Author's Note: This fic takes place immediately after Captives In the Land of Iron and concludes that story. I am working on the premise that both of Aragorn's parents were killed by orcs when he was two and that he was present at their deaths. I am not quite clear on how elven ages run, so when I say Legolas is around 200, I picture him as around a human twenty and just come of age. Also, I know Frodo would not have been born yet, but this is artistic license. I'm write stories, not histories. Anyway, he is between four and five here, old enough to be losing his teeth. (Yeah, I know Tolkien doesn't say that hobbits lose teeth, but they are mortal, so chances are that they do. Besides, I can't resist the idea of little Frodo missing his front teeth!) By the way, I'm placing Arathorn and Gilraen's deaths just before The Hobbit in this series, so Aragorn is only around twenty years older than Frodo.
There was a soft step outside Elrohir's cell. The peredhil looked up. "Estel!" he breathed in shock. His chains rattled as he sat up.
Aragorn put a finger to his lips. "Elrohir, not too loud. One of my men may walk past us any minutes, and it would be disastrous if I were caught," he whispered in Sindarin. "Legolas is in the cell near you."
"You found him?!" Elrohir breathed incredulously. In his mind, Aragorn had been given a hopeless task, yet here the young man had apparently succeeded. At least partially. It was not over yet.
"Yes," Aragorn replied. "I found his trail just outside of Mirkwood. But he has been hurt by the men here and thinks I am one of them."
"Hurt?" Elrohir asked, stiffening with concern. "How so? And how could they harm one so young?"
"Yes, I'm afraid they have," Aragorn sighed. "He is hurt some physically, but the emotional injuries are more serious. They have hurt him with the people closest to his heart."
"Poor boy," Elrohir murmured.
"Aye," Aragorn replied.
Late that night, Strider was disturbed by a whisper. He turned to see Legolas looking at him. To his surprise, the fair-haired elf spoke quietly to him.
"I heard you speaking with the other elf," he said fearfully. "You were using my native tongue. I see now that I was wrong and you are not one of them. Can you forgive the things I said about you?"
Aragorn's heart melted at these words. How could anyone imprison one so young, so innocent, so vulnerable and treat him as this young elf had been? "Of course I forgive you, Legolas," he whispered. "And my offer is still open. I want to aid you."
"You really will?"