Lost Soul

Disclaimer: For the last time (at last!) ME NO OWN. Bleh. XD

Epilogue

The sound of children's laughter floated on the breeze and through the open window, into the room where two identical dark-haired Elves sat.

A voice was heard, calling them inside where a warm fire waited. The noise of little feet pattering into the stone halls grew louder as they approached the study.

The door burst open and the Elves found themselves buried in a tangle of arms.

"It's the Els! The Els!"

"Carry me!"

"Story! Story!"

Elladan pretended to groan in agony as he tried to make his escape. "I thought that Valinor was supposed to be a nice, peaceful and quiet place… Who let all these demons loose?"

"We're not demons!" An Elfling protested indignantly.

"Aye, aye," Elrohir ruffled the tiny head fondly. "Demons aren't as pretty as you."

Another Elfling grabbed his hand and gazed up at him with large, innocent blue eyes. "Tell us a story? Please? Naneth says we can't play outside anymore."

"Yes! Yes! Story! Story!" The sea of Elflings around the twins started bouncing and clamouring for a story.

"Alright, alright," Elladan sighed as he dropped down into a chair, his actions mirrored by Elrohir in the chair facing him. "But this time, you give us the ideas."

"How about a story about them?" A grimy finger was pointed in the direction of a full-sized portrait of a blonde Elf and a dark-haired Human standing together with a waterfall in the background.

"Them?" Elrohir repeated in surprise. He raised an eyebrow as he caught his brother's gaze, then he smiled and nodded. "Alright, now, listen carefully…

"Once upon a time, there lived an Elf known as the Golden Prince…"

X.x.X.x.X.x.X.x.X

"You want to do a what?!"

"Calm down, Legolas, it was just a suggestion."

"After what happened the last time round, you want me to get another portrait done?! The answer is no, no and NO!"

"Fine, whatever suits you. I just… Never mind."

::a long pause::

"Estel?"

"Yes?"

"Do you really… really want to get a portrait of us done?"

"It was just a thought. But since you don't like the idea then forget about it."

"It's not that I don't… it's just… I don't dare to trust. And besides, what if something goes wrong again?"

"Nothing will go wrong. The twins said that they'd do it for us… so if we end up with crooked faces we'll have a good excuse to thrash them."

::relieved laughter::

"Don't worry, 'Las. If anything happens again, you won't be alone. I'll go where you go. Always."

"I know. You promised."

"Aye. I promised."

X.x.X.x.X.x.X.x.X

Elladan gazed unseeingly at the portrait, thinking of the brother and friend they had left behind.

"What happened in the end? Did they live happily ever after?" The Elflings demanded impatiently, reminding the twins of a day a lifetime ago when a grey-eyed boy had sat on his foster father's lap, demanding an ending to the story of the Golden Prince.

Somewhere in Arda, the leaves of the mallorn trees were covering a small mound with a carpet of gold. Elanor flowers were blooming on a grave which held two bodies but one soul…

"Aye. They did." Elrohir smiled fondly at the Elflings gathered around him.

"They lived very happily ever after."

X.x.X.x.X.x.X.x.X

The End

Started: April 23, 2004

Finished: November 11, 2004


Index:
Random Ramblings
Summary
History
The Original Ending/Hectrix
Glossary
Review Replies
Last Words


RANDOM RAMBLINGS

Sad ending? Well, not really. They did end up together, and I already stated very explicitly that I'm not going to turn this into an MPreg… what happens to Gondor and heirs and all that headache-y stuff, I'll leave to your imaginations. Of course, if anyone wants to do a sequel to this, you're more than welcome to it. Just let me know in advance, so I can bug you, 'cos I hardly read stuff from fanficnet anymore. XD More crap and ramblings at the end of my 'appendix'. ((cough cough))

Ok. Let me just clarify that I've never written an 'appendix' before, so forgive me if I ramble. Oh, and if you're looking for something serious… I, err, suggest that you look harder, because I'm only serious when writing my stories. My notes are going to be… ((wink))

This is my first (and hopefully not last) successful big project, and the most well-received among all my stuff so far. I'd like to say a very big THANK YOU to all my readers and reviewers. Thank you so much for seeing me through all 21 chapters of Lost Soul, and for all the wonderful reviews. And since I'm never going to get a Grammy or an Emmy, I'd like to thank my parents, my family, my – ((gets pulled off the chair and killed by rabid sugar-high plot bunnies))

But there were lots of firsts in this story… This is my first story with soooo many original characters, I had such a headache naming them. And I think lots of people suffered along with me, thanks to my… stupid names. Hehehe. My first real battle scene was also written in this story. And this is the first story that actually went above 200 reviews. I mean, my biggest record so far was only 35. Yup, very sad. Anyway, on to the real stuff.


SUMMARY

For those who got confused along the way:

1000 years ago, Legolas' soul was stolen by a very obsessed Elf called Danin. Danin imprisoned Legolas in a portrait, which can only come to life at night, and then conveniently lost it in a forest. 1000 years later, the portrait falls (almost literally) into Estel's hands, and he carts it home without realizing that the Elf in the portrait is actually the star of a fairy tale Elrond told him when he was a child.

When the other Elves realize who and what the painting is, they immediately set out for Mirkwood with the portrait in tow. Along the way, Estel and Legolas develop feelings for each other (ok everyone, this is where we go 'awwwwww'. Come on. Say it with me: AWWWWWWW). When everyone is assembled in Mirkwood, Mithrandir informs them that Danin is most probably hidden in a mage village in the outskirts of the forest.

Estel and the twins set out for the village, only to find, on reaching it, that Danin is dead. However, they also find out that the mage who 'invented' the full-blown use of blood magic was Danin's cousin, and had been reincarnated to atone, after she decimated a village, and killed herself, in her one and only attempt to use blood magic. She tells Estel that although there is no real way to reverse blood magic, he might be able to free Legolas by using a soul-bind, another type of blood magic similar to what Danin used.

The three musketeers, I mean, brothers, return to Mirkwood where they discuss (how to usurp the throne from Louis the dunno-th who is actually disguised as Thranduil) ((gets bonked on the head)) what to do next. It is decided that Estel should go ahead with the bind, since there was no stopping him, while the rest would… wait and watch. (ok, this is getting cheesy so let me just cut to it)

Cue the epic battle between Estel and Danin in their quest for the ownership of Legolas soul! Estel wins (of course) and he returns to the real world where he and Legolas live happily ever after. Whether they got married and whatnot is all up to you guys to imagine. Not writing that, or an MPreg either…


HISTORY

This story was inspired by the book "The Portrait of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde. And I was inspired to read that book by Dorian Gray ('the wolf in sheep's clothing, rawr'), played by Stuart Townsend, in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Let me give a short explanation of the book for those who haven't read it:

In the book, young Dorian befriends an artist who idolizes him and paints a full-length portrait of him. The painter calls it his most perfect work, and put his entire soul into the portrait. On seeing the portrait, Dorian makes the foolish wish of wanting to remain young forever, like his portrait, rather than to grow old and to see it daily as a reminder of what he once was. As they grow older, everyone starts to notice that Dorian never changed, and remained as youthful and innocent as he was before, but only he realizes that the effects of his lifestyle are actually being reflected on his portrait. He continues indulging in his reckless depravity as his portrait grows more and more loathsome to behold. Finally, one evening, his phobia of the portrait being found and recognized overcomes him and he decides to shred the canvas to remove all traces of evidence. He stabs the canvas, and the servants hear a scream. When they arrive at the scene, all they see is the body of an ugly old man with a knife through his heart, and a portrait of their young master in the prime of his youth.

From the above, I think most of you will be able to see the similarities between 'Lost Soul' and 'Portrait'. The ending for 'Portrait' was actually closer to how my original ending ran, but I'll cover that in a later section.

I first decided to write this story when I was chatting with a friend online about 'Portrait'. My argument for Dorian accidentally killing himself in the end was that everything worked in reverse. If the portrait grew old while he wanted to remain young, then he should have stabbed himself, and maybe the portrait would have disappeared. (If the argument doesn't make sense, don't worry, we have a tendency to argue until we get confused, and I think by this point of the conversation, we were pretty near the '???' stage) So this got me thinking: What if I wrote a story about someone's soul being trapped in a portrait? Then maybe I could get it to end the way I wanted it to.

And thus, Project Lost Soul was born.

On the whole, I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out, although I wish I had developed some of my OFC's more, but I didn't want to bore people, and I felt it wasn't necessary, so I left it as that. I took Hectrix's past further, because the whole story sort of hinges on her actions in her previous life, so I wanted the readers to understand how the whole deal happened, and perhaps empathise a little with her.


THE ORIGINAL ENDING/HECTRIX

The original ending was very different from the one you guys read. For one, Hectrix was directly involved in it, and it was also much messier than the soul-bind. I'll be explaining my original ending together with Hectrix's original role, because they're linked, and it'll make more sense this way.

Initially, I intended Hectrix to be Danin's daughter, whom he had with a mage one night when he was drunk. The mage was later killed during a civil war where she was burnt to death (cf: Firga's mother/Hectrix burning herself to death in her previous life). Hectrix inherited Danin's immortality, and was the Lamia's advisor. Only the Lamia and her family knew about Hectrix's roots, and it was kept secret at Hectrix's request. Going by that timeline, Hectrix was about 400 years old when the drama unfolds, and had been the guardian of the Lamia's ancestors, and now Zykon. Since Hectrix was Danin's daughter, she had the blood necessary to break the spell, so she had to travel back to Mirkwood with the gang.

For those sharp enough to notice, Zykon likes Hectrix. ((wink)) Didn't take that part out of the story. He actually tried to persuade her not to leave with Estel and gang, which is not in the posted version.

In Mirkwood, she helped Estel and Legolas perform the soul-bind, then began the rites to free Legolas from the painting. Warning, here comes the confusing part. First thing she did was to kill Legolas' body, because as mentioned by Mithrandir and Elrond earlier, the soul cannot survive without the body, and vice versa. At the same time, the twins were to destroy the painting. With nothing left to hold it in the material world, his soul would try to enter the Halls of Mandos. Estel's role in performing the soul-bind was mainly to hold him back while Elrond resuscitated Legolas.

Danin appeared and complicated matters, but was thwarted by Hectrix, who decided to sacrifice herself to make up for her father's wrongs, and because (dun dun dun!) she was in love with Estel, and couldn't bear to see him pine after his Elf. So both of them return to the real world and lived happily ever after.

Ok. So that was how the story ran originally in my head. In terms of writing, I only got to the part where she went back to Mirkwood with them before I hit a dead-end. For those who remember, I kept complaining in the earlier chapters that I had a stupid original character who insisted on writing herself. Well, that character was Hectrix dear, who decided to morph into a Mary-Sue and swallow my story. I decided to scrap it, because I realized that the focus had shifted onto Hectrix, instead of remaining on Estel. Because in the end, the story is about ESTEL saving Legolas, not some non-canon girl doing all the work.

I think the idea for Hectrix being a reincarnated Elf-mage stems from all the modern-day Fellowship stories I've been reading. The ones where everyone, except the Elves, is reincarnated, regain their memories and fight a new evil etc. And since I wanted to have cliffies and plot twist galore, I decided, why not? And my writing muses came back to me and I finally managed to finish this story. Phew!

(In case anyone's interested, I actually had another epic going 4 years ago, but it died halfway through because I lost interest and my OFC morphed into a Mary-Sue. So I'm really glad I managed to finish this.)


GLOSSARY

(Warning: this is where all my hyperness starts.)

Author: Crazy, sugar-high, hyper being with a very big ego; the source of this story; obsessed with sharp, pointy objects, considering her penname means 'sword' (or some other pointy object) in Japanese.

Celeborn: Elf; Husband to Galadriel; Lord of Lorien; winner of the Lorien Best Supporting Actor role to his wife; henpecked, needs to get a life.

Danin: Elf; cousin to Hirga and Firga; obsessed artist who stole Legolas' soul; escaped to mage village and commited suicide there; subsequently banished by Estel in the void he created for his restless soul.

Elrohir: Elf; son of Elrond; twin brother of Elladan; foster brother of Estel; bane of Erestor's life; insane half of the Crazy-Twins-From-Hell figurine set.

Elladan: Elf; son of Elrond; twin brother of Elrohir; foster brother of Estel; bane of Erestor's life; motherly half of the Crazy-Twins-From-Hell figurine set.

Elrond: Elf; Lord of Rivendell; healer of all boo-boos accumulated by his sons; highly stressed; ought to go for counseling; restrainer of King 'I'm-going-to-kill-that-Human' Thranduil.

Estel: Human; foster son of Elrond; foster brother to the twins; bane of Erestor's life; love interest of Legolas; focus of King 'I'm-going-to-kill-that-Human' Thranduil's attempts at killing Humans; 007 alias: Strider, bumbling Ranger, future King of Gondor.

Erestor: Elf; advisor to Elrond; object of all torments; worrier who would have stomach ulcers, high blood pressure etc if he was Human; dark-haired half of the GlorfyRestor plushie set.

Firga: Elf; sister to Hirga; mentor to Hectrix; cousin of Danin; mage; head of the Fire Mages.

Glorfindel: Elf; advisor to Elrond; tormentor of Erestor; imbiber of much sugar; possessor of springs under his boots; blonde half of the GlorfyRestor plushie set.

Galadriel: Elf; wife of Celeborn; Lady of Lorien; meddler in other people's business; psychic; matchmaker (well, she did throw Estel and Legolas into the same dream…).

Hectrix: Human; reincarnation of Hirga; angsty OFC who provides the solution to Estel's troubles; creator of many headaches on the author's part.

Hirga: Elf; older sister of Firga; cousin of Danin; first mage to use blood magic, subsequently killed by her own spell.

Horse(s): 4-legged creature(s) which provided transportation since teleportation doesn't exist, and since the eagles would have gone on strike if Estel and Legolas decided to make out in mid-air. XD.

Lamia, the: Human; mother of Zykon; ruler of the Mages of Onbekend.

Legolas: Elf; son of Thranduil; love interest of Estel; Prince of Mirkwood; owner of the soul residing in the portrait Estel picked up; object of Danin's obsessions.

Mirkwood: Elven realm ruled by Thranduil; formerly known as Greenwood the Great; home to the comatose Prince and over-anxious King.

Mithrandir: Istar; Grey Wizard; origins unknown, but favourite food is pipe-weed. XD

Onbekend: Hidden mage village found in Dol Guldur; ruled by the Lamia; Norwegian for 'Hidden'.

Rivendell: Elven settlement ruled by Elrond; home and hospital to the twins and Estel.

Spider(s): 8-legged creature(s) out to catch everyone, wrap them up and suck their blood. Whee!

Thranduil: Elf; father of Legolas; ruler of Mirkwood; over-anxious; drama-queen, I mean, king; needs to get a dose of tranquilizers; goal in life: kill the blundering Human.

Tyan: Human; blundering Ranger-trainee; bane of Strider's existence; source of Strider's migraines; discovered the portrait by chance and sold it to Strider/Estel.

Zykon: Human; son of the Lamia; liker of Hectrix, disliker of Estel and the twins; modeled vaguely after an amalgam of the author's favourite bad guys (it's all in the hair! The silver hair!!! ((swoons)) ).


REVIEW REPLIES

The-Serious-Padfoot: ((rofl)) Selective blurness? XD I'm like that… I only notice what I want to… I once walked right past my senior who waved in my face and didn't know until my friends told me what I did… but I can spot back-up dancers dropping their pom-poms at the corner of a concert DVD… ((sheepish grin))

Marbienl: Thanks for the concern… Your topography is pretty accurate, cos I am located in the same region as the quake area, but no damage done in my little tropical island, other than plenty of rain and natural air-conditioning, cos we're on the other side of where the quake happened… and that doesn't make much sense so I might as well tell you that I'm in Singapore, so you can look at a map and figure out what I'm rambling about. ((cheesy grin)) Doubt I'll be doing any more LotR stories for a while… my inspiration for more Arrie and Leggy luff has run dry… tsk tsk. Happy New Year (very belated though…) to you too!!! XDXD

Crazyrabidfangurl01: Ooh, what time did you stay up till? I clocked 7 am, cos I was over at my friend's house fangirling the year in. XD Never managed to pull an all-nighter before though… darn. I'll R&R your stuff when I've more time (and more sleep) okie? ((pats pats))

Keeper of Destiny: ((passes tissues)) Don't be sad… the last chapter wasn't really a proper chapter… just an excuse for me to spam readers with more crap in my 'appendix'. XDXD

Child of Magick: You know, I can't remember what else I've read by Oscar Wilde… only 'Portrait'… guess I've succumbed to fangirl brain rot? XD I'm not a really big fan of MPreg, but if a story's well-written, then I don't mind as much… maybe it grows on you like slash? And I'm glad you noticed the parallels between the story and 'Portrait'. ((prances happily)) my Literature skills hath not gone down the gutter! My teacher would be so proud of me…

RMC: Nope, he didn't die, only the OFC. And yay for another slash convert!!! ((bounces madly)) Welcome to the club! Remember, sugar is ALWAYS good for you!!! XD

Grumpy: Hehehe, I was being evil there, trying to make everyone think that I DID kill Leggy off in the end. XDXD But how could I not give them a happy ending? ((huggles them))

Moonyasha: Yay!! Puppy!!! ((glomps puppy)) Getting immune to slashyness yes? You should work your way up from the mild ones, then I bet you'd get hooked real fast. XD

Sindauviel: Thanks! And yup, it just ended, how sad… but hope you liked it!

Losing Grip: Good good, all the questions got cleared up. Glad you've been enjoying yourself, happy reading the epilogue!


LAST WORDS

No, I'm not dying. Just to say thank you again for reading this story. I'll be taking a break from Lord of the Rings and going back to my original genre of anime/manga. My next project will be a humour (well, hopefully I won't be the only one finding it funny…) story from Prince of Tennis. Hopefully that one will go through to the end, because I've the sequel planned out already. Wish me luck and see you guys should inspiration strike after I get my hands on the Return of the King Extended Edition DVD!

((showers love and sprinkles on everyone)) ((blow kisses and disappears one last time in a cloud of sugar))

(And the readers and reviewers heave a huge sigh of relief. XD)