A/N: Aye, there's no doubt about it... I did go on a bit of a description saffari with that last chapter. Fortunately for you, I doubt there'll be such another heavily described one - we're coming up to the action soon!
Anyway, thankyou very much for sticking with me, and for your reviews which I absolutely love getting. Just to let you know, I will be getting FAR more regular with my updates, and you have my sincerest apologies for making you wait so long.... I'm back at college now, and I underestimated quite how much work there is to do! So, sorry about that.
The next two chapters are not a long-winded descriptions, but more as two series of vignettes all taking place during one evening celebration feast, as I had far too much information to put in this chapter, and it would be too much of a slog if it ran in a conventional story-sense. If you like this way, good for you, if not, don't worry, it's a bit of a one-off.
Let me know!
Oh, by the way cough BETH splutter there's an appearance from an original female character in this chapter... now, I am not one for Legolas/ofc love stories, but past reviewers following me from 'Vignettes', 'May his Light...' and 'Survival' have been badgering me about her for too long, and would be greatly upset if she were not included. Those of you who stop reading at the first sign of love, never fear: she is merely part of the background of MY Mirkwood, and will not feature heavily in the story. So don't worry, 'kay?
"Now, Drogoion... is it my imagination, or do all those Pheriannath born under the name of Baggins have a certain... how shall I say it.... unusual flair for adventure and mischief? I am no scholar of your people, but it does strike me as unusual that the two halflings that have left the most impression upon me in recent years come from the exact same clan, and are in fact quite closely related - can you defend yourself, sir?"
Frodo grinned up at the baiting elven king, Thranduil's glittering golden light reflecting in the hobbit's large blue eyes, and momentarily pondered the seemingly-wayward creature.
The free-running wine was making the hobbit's head buzz, and the magical music that swirled all around the Grand Hall - up to the echoing stone roof in fact - made it hard for him to concentrate... But merely an hour ago, in a stark moment of clarity, Frodo had come to the conclusion that he really, very much liked King Thranduil.
They were in the middle of a merry feast, celebrating the safe return of the youngest prince. Bright torches and lanterns flickered, the stones around them rang with the sound of the many elves' laughter, intoxicating smells of roasts (Belphadon the cook had apparently outdone himself) and sweet bread wafted through the hall, and the singing and dancing was unrivalled in it's beauty. The swirling gowns, skirts and hair of the many wondrous elves made a kaliedescope of forest colours, and the hall seemed to shimmer with magic.
The company themselves were all wearing their best clothes, as the elves obviously were - Pippin and Merry itched in their spanking-new, heavily-pressed, uncomfortable linen shirts, Aragorn was still getting used to wearing the clothes of the King he had always been, having spent so many long years in the comfortably-worn hide of a ranger... and Frodo had a lot of sympathy for poor Legolas, who was obviously having trouble not fidgeting in the Royal gowns and silver circlet of Princehood he had been 'conned' into wearing by the Crown Prince. One pale hand kept reaching up automatically to loosen the high, stiff collar rubbing at his neck, and one could almost see him mentally forcing it to be placed diplomatically on the table-top instead, trying to physically control the urge to rip the 'foolish thing' off.
Tusinduil, sharp eyes spotting this pattern earlier (and what with him being the reason Legolas was wearing the finery in the first place), had made a joke that all this time away had made Legolas unfit for court, to which Legolas had finally grinned a little, green eyes showing a bit of their old sparkle. He had swiftly answered, "In your opinion, dearest brother, I never was fit for court!"
But even with all this going on around him, Frodo could barely take his eyes off of the King, who sat close by. Thranduil, for the moment, appeared like a jolly old hobbit who had never quite grown up: for all his piercing blue-grey eyes and deep-set frown, the ancient elf was currently very lively and witty in his conversation, making his guests at the Head Table laugh heartily along with him, and seemed as sociable and amusing a creature as Frodo had ever had the pleasure of meeting, though he knew better than to expect the same mood in an hour or so... he knew Legolas well enough, after all, and according to Aragorn and Gandalf, the two elves were spirited very much alike... and that was usually the problem.
Thranduil even seemed to be making a bit of an effort with Gimli - he had asked him at the very beginning of dinner if the meat was to his liking, to which Gimli had grunted in a typical way and shifted uncomfortably and mumbled something along the lines of an agreement. This small touch, this one tiny gesture of good will (though it had been followed by a slight sneer on the ancient elf's behalf) had made a deep impression upon the young Baggins, who had deemed the King suddenly in his own mind as 'a capital fellow'.
It was, however, still quite tricky to answer the old devil, and Frodo had to ponder his words - and all their possible meanings and interpretations - very carefully before he was able to answer his questions. But before he was able to formulate a response, Thranduil's quick mind seemed to have changed track, attention span seemingly as impossibly short as a certain Tooklander's:
"You look a lot like him, you know."
"Pardon, my lord?" Frodo was a little surprised by the comment that had appeared out of the blue, and was unsure.
The King smiled gently, eyes dancing, as he recognised the look on the hobbit's fair face as one he had been met with many times - it seemed few others had a mind like his, and even fewer could follow it's many thoughts. "Bilbo... you look a lot like him." He paused, and sipped some wine from his golden goblet, acute eyes never leaving Frodo's face, then he wiped his mouth most un-Kingly with his sleeve, and continued, "Not as in identical, of course... and your eyes must most definately be those of your mother... but still, there's something in your smile..." he trailed off again, before nodding and stating, "It is most becoming."
Frodo didn't quite know what to say, and Thranduil realised this. The great golden elf bent his head down a little, thick hair falling forward from his shoulders, and whispered conspiratorially, "That's quite a compliment... accept it, for I do not give them often and I mean it in the warmest regard."
"B-but of course, your majesty," Frodo was horrified he had forgotten his manners.
But Thranduil didn't seem to mind at all, and layed a friendly hand upon the hobbit's small shoulder, squeezing it in an understated acknowledgement of the mutual trust and bond of friendship the two beings had discovered unexpectedly.
Pippin was absolutely enthralled.
First of all, he couldn't believe he had been allowed to sit up at the High Table with the Royal Family of Mirkwood... he felt very proud to be thought of as an equal to all the lord and lady and elven types who sat there. Of course, the experience would not have been complete had Gandalf not taken him aside before the feast had started and sharply reminded him of all his codes of etiquette and protocol, everything he'd learnd growing up as a hobbit-lad.
And for the first couple of hours he'd been very prudent, and ever mindful of Gandalf's hawk-like glare from further down the table... but the evening was lengthening, and the elves seemed to have relaxed somewhat. So he couldn't be blamed for doing the same, now, could he? Especially with all the wonderful singing and dancing going on all around, and all the gorgeous food being served, and his wine glass miraculously staying full... of course he couldn't be blamed.
That was how he had become sat, placed in between the two princes, Andariun and Arianduil (who he still had difficulty telling apart, though he was getting slightly better at it now), listening in awe as they recounted past hunting misdemeanours and some of the fairly major accidents they'd experienced throughout their long lives. Pip found them to be very engaging, and they seemed to like him, too, though they couldn't quite understand him sometimes, and seemed to find it difficult to comprehend why he was still eating and picking at bits from his plate. They were full and so had stopped eating, and had seemingly never heard of 'filling in the corners', much to his annoyance.
Across from Pip sat Sam, who was in (and had been for quite some time) quiet and gentle conversation with the beautiful prince Ithilmir. The Took thought it was quite touching to see Sam's round, freckled faced completely open and unguarded, massive brown eyes drinking in the sight of the elf sat next to him, who only ever raised his star-grey eyes to stress a point, and who's soft, musical voice never seemed to lift beyond the strength of a murmur. Ithilimir was obviously telling his own stories, and from the looks of Sam's face, they were good. Pip decided he would have to ask for a retelling at some later date.
His cousin Merry was further down the table sat next to the friendly prince Fienngil, who the hobbits had all decided they liked very much - and both beings seemed to be currently in the thoes of a mild hysterical fit.
The tall warrior-elf was wiping tears of mirth from his dark lashes, and slapping his large hand down flat against the table top in his amusement, the young Brandybuck's tales of strife at not getting home in time for dinner getting far beyond reason.
Merry grinned himself and continued, feeling the power he held to make ageless elves chuckle coursing through him. He laughed out loud as Fienngil snorted on his wine when being told about Bilbo's eleventy-first birthday bash, but when the prince threw his head back, thick light brown hair falling down his back, and roared (at the part where Merry and Pippin were caught, red-handed, by Gandalf in his fire-work cart), Merry's dark eyes caught sight of something, and he stopped laughing.
Fienngil, still chuckling, noticed the hobbit's expression and frowned a little. But then he must have realised what Merry was looking at, as a large hand went instinctively to his right ear, covering it from view.
Yet Meriadoc Brandybuck's curiosity was notorious in the Shire, and with good reason... so he momentarily ignored good manners and common sense, and raised the question he was dying to ask, shouting it over the sudden swell in the music all around them: "My prince, if you don't mind me asking, whatever happened to your ear?"
It was a good question, for when Fienngil laughed, his head tilting backwards and mouth agape, exposing straight white teeth like the jaws of a lion in Harad, his long hair had fallen away from his neck, revealing his ears for a moment. And Merry had seen that the right ear was half-missing... there was no elven point at all, the appendage not curved in the usual leaf-shape... rather the ear seemed to simply finish just above where it attached to the head. There was no fresh wound, no scab, it just... ended. Merry would have assumed that Fienngil had been born like that, if it weren't for that annoying fact that he was one of the Firstborn, and such a defect was physically impossible.
Fienngil flushed a little, withdrawing his hand, and Merry's stomach suddenly panged for fear he had insulted the warrior and was soon to be one with the rats in the dungeons of Mirkwood. But then the handsome prince smiled, and merely answered the question, and Merry was able to breathe once more. "It was bitten off, a very long time ago, by an orc."
The Morningstar could plainly see in the charming face of the young hobbit that Merry was not in the least bit satisfied with this rather succinct explanation, and so he continued, "By the Valar, you halflings never tire of your terrible affliction of question-asking, do you... I shall tell you a short story, then, seeing as your people seem so eager for them..." At this point, Fienngil glanced down the table at Pippin and Sam, both absorbed in elven tales.
Merry smiled and nodded eagerly, "And seeing as your people are renowned for telling them."
The prince grinned warmly in answer, and bowed his head in a gesture of admitting defeat, if Mirkwood elves ever did such a thing that is, and so began in a story-telling voice:
"A long time ago, there was a surge of unprecedented trouble upon our western borders. We dispatched warriors to fight, and of course these elves in turn dispatched with the said trouble quickly (Fienngil said this as if it were the most obvious thing in the worlds). But yet more trouble came, again and again, and what with the direction and course of the trouble, the King wisely believed it would only be fair to warn our kin in Imladris and the Lord Elrond that trouble appeared to be heading his way, as the warriors of the Homely House - though undoubtably brave and capable - deal with it rarely and might have been caught unprepared.
"Five elves were chosen as the messengers, they included myself and Legolas; Legolas' faithful personal guard, Abrome; a very experienced (and very grumpy) stealth warrior called Maegathir; and Tauredal, who was another captain and a close friend of ours. Anyway, we travelled to Imladris, and were just about to reach the borders of that beautiful land when we were ambushed by a strong contingent of orcs."
Fienngil looked down to see Merry absolutely enthralled by the story - he grinned to himself and continued, "We had been taken by surprise, and there was many... we killed them all, but not one of us escaped without wounds. Maegethir's left leg was very badly broken and his fingers of both hands all but snapped off, lying at different angles across and behind his palm... he was in a great deal of pain. Abrome had recieved a very nasty slash across his chest, leaving him dizzy from blood loss - he had gained it trying to protect Legolas and I, as his job is. Poor Tauredal was unconscious for reasons I knew not at the time (I later discovered he had been clubbed over the head with the flat of an orc scythe). And, having fought to the very last and then crumpled across the ground, surrounded by a pool of blood, lay Legolas."
Merry gasped in horror, breaking the spell for a moment. He looked a little sheepish at his outburst, and Fienngil felt a great deal of warmth towards the perculiar little creature then. It had seemed like there were no other beings in the room for a while, just himself and this amazing halfling.
He carried on retelling the story of that day, decades ago, that still brought a knot of cold, stark fear in to his chest, "He had been run through with one of those evilly-barbed orc-swords, and it had shredded his insides.... I was so sick from worry for my dear brother that I did not realise half my ear had disappeared till I collapsed into Lord Elrohir's arms upon arriving at Imladris House, having aided in carrying Legolas, both of us now half-dead from bleeding out."
Fienngil laughed again, eyes twinkling, "I was teased for a very long time after that, by members of both households... we never were able to find the rest of my ear." He shifted in his seat, strong dark blue-grey eyes seeking out Merry's chestnut-brown ones, "I wear my hair loose, without warrior-braids, to cover it: I don't mind my wound at all, and think it's amusing when people ask me about it, I've had it for so long... but I do mind people staring from afar."
The young Brandybuck nodded in a queer sense of understanding - having returned to the Shire from his quest, he and his companions were no strangers to being stared at... he had enjoyed the uproar he and Pippin had caused with their new-found height and strange clothes at first, but it became quite tiresome after a while.
But questions still burned in his through, demanding release, and he blurted out, "But what about Legolas? I presume he survived, seeing as he is this very minute sat but three seats away from me, flicking peas at Strider."
Legolas himself appeared to hear this, as a pink sort of flush crept along his high, pale cheekbones and pointed ears, and he set his catapult/fork down at once, folding his hands to the sound of Aragorn laughing triumphantly and Gandalf clicking his tongue in annoyance at the 'pair of fools'.
Fienngil beamed at the hobbit, greatly amused by Merry in general. "Aye, he survived: it was touch and go for a while, we feared he would not pull through, for the wound was most horrible, and poor Lord Elrond and his two sons had tried everything they could...
"But then one day a dark-haired, wild-eyed human child - with curiosity more bountiful than any halfing's - had been so intrigued by the striken elf-warrior, lying limp and pale in a bed in the house, that he disobeyed strict orders designed to keep him away from the injured creature, and crept into the room when no one was there... The wounded elf-warrior happened to drift into feverish wakefulness for a mere moment, and spied this human-child at the side of his bed, staring intently at him with slate-grey eyes that housed the shine of the stars.
"The elf-warrior croaked in Westron, 'What are you doing here, human-child? Should you not be with your father?' for he knew not who this child was, having never met him before. And the human-child replied in Silvan as good as if he had been born in a tree that he most certaintly should not, and would the elf-warrior please hurry up and get better, for his father was heartsick with worry and so stressed to find a remedy for him that he no longer had any time to play."
"Let me guess...." Merry said, a bright and happy smile cracking like dawn across his face as understanding struck him.
Fienngil nodded again with approval at the hobbit's powers of deduction, "Aye, the human-child was indeed Estel... Legolas (you know well what he's like) was vastly intrigued by the odd little fellow: the human-child had a way of making him laugh unlike any other, and he found it interesting to simply talk with the intelligent seven-year-old, and could do so from dawn till well into the evening.
"Day by day, miraculously, the wounded elf-warrior regained strength and recovered, finally able to walk around and fire his beloved bow once more, in about half the expected time... he still claims it was down to the charm of the human-child that chatted incessantly at him from his bedside, simply not allowing him to fall back into unconsciousness."
Fienngil smiled fondly, looking back across at his youngest brother and best friend, who were in the middle of a quiet, focused talk despite the clamour of laughter and fine music all around, leaning into one another and speaking in hushed voices. He had never told Aragorn how thankful he had been for returning his brother to him... but he had the feeling the man knew regardless.
Aragorn slyly glanced out of the corner of his eye while he drank wine from his gold goblet, as if trying to weigh Legolas up.
He was a little concerned: his best friend was clearly very happy to be home and with his own people, and had laughed and joked with his brothers and sisters, and he was meeting once again with old friends he'd had all his long life. But as the night had worn on, Legolas had become curiously quieter and quieter, withdrawing further into himself, till now he sat all but alone at the High table as others had left to dance and sing and converse.
Now, Aragorn was no stranger to this kind of behaviour from his elven friend: Legolas was a naturally quiet and reserved elf, liking to slip away into his own thoughts from time to time, and sometimes despising crowds so much he fled them for space in his own head and the light of the stars... but not at a banquet held in his honour, and not when surrounded by the people he loved the most in all the worlds.
Even if he was wearing clothes he abhorred.
Deciding to take action, the King of Men placed his goblet firmly back down on the great oaken table, wiped the wine from his lips with the back of his hand, and turned to his friend. "Come now, Legolas - you have said not five words in the past half hour... tell me what is wrong, for I know you enjoy a party as much as any of your joyful kind, probably even more."
Legolas looked a little startled by Aragorn's quick perception, and at once opened his mouth to deny such a thing, but at the look in the human's knowing grey eyes, his proud shoulders sagged... he knew the game was up: Aragorn knew him too well.
There was a pause while the prince tried to find words to communicate the turmoil of feelings whirling like the elven dancers all around inside his chest, and when he finally spoke, all he said was: "He has not yet spoken to me alone... and he has deliberately designed it so." Then his eyes fell away from Aragorn's, and he was suddenly focused intently upon the knots in the oaken table.
A penny the weight of a solid stone dwarven-pillar dropped at once in Aragorn's mind, and he felt foolish for not realising the problem before then. He thought about what he could say, and reached out a hand to place it comfortingly upon the elf's slender shoulder: "Ah, Legolas.... mellon nin, please don't think like that... I reckon he just hasn't had much opportunity to- "
"You know my father well, Estel," the prince's fair voice raised, and his golden head whipped up to stare pointedly at his best friend, green eyes flashing angrily. "You know that when the King of Mirkwood desires something, he will make the opportunity to achieve it."
Aragorn kept silent, knowing all too well that this was true. The elf before him sighed a little, releasing his anger to the air, sadness washing down through his next words as he shrugged, "I expected him to be angry... furious, even, over the way we last parted and the length of my travels." Legolas even smiled slightly, "A long spell in irons was what I believed was to be my punishment - at the very least, I was going to have the very hairs on my head raised by a level of shouting and yelling not yet experienced by Lasgalen's ears... but to be simply ignored..."
He looked downwards again, smile vanishing as quick as it had appeared, long lashes hiding his eyes, "He could not have thought up a better punishment."
Aragorn's heart went out to his friend: it seemed that Legolas and Thranduil could never quite catch a break when it came to their relationship with one another... they were far too alike to ever be simply peaceful in each other's company: it was either one extreme or the other with the two frustrating elves. Aragorn himself believed that the father and son might love one another a little too fiercely, making the fact that they rarely understood each other all the worse... as both ever struggled for the other's well-being and trust, without ever really knowing the best way to go about it.
Elves Aragorn thought with a shake of his tousled dark head, glancing up at King Thranduil and finding him also staring off into his own personal space, oblivious to the ordered chaos around him. He knew instinctivly at that moment that the Elven King was desperate to speak with his son, but was unsure as to how to behave and which course to take... and Aragorn had enough experience to know that Thranduil was consequently post-poning the inevitable confrontation until he was able to figure it out. The wisest beings in all of Arda, and they still cannot talk to one another
But instead of voicing his thoughts, Aragorn tried to console his friend, "Mellon nin, do not think it so... all the wine in the air has made your thoughts run away with you- "
"Estel, I attempted to speak with him," Legolas interrupted. "Frodo was speaking to Fienngil, and Gandalf to Esladiya, and so when I saw they were both occupied and my father was not, I left my place and went to him. I tried to speak to him about all our plans for Ithilien and the eventual aim of taking some of my people there from here, in the hope that he might be interested or show that he cared... but he swiftly became angry and waved me away like I was some mortal messenger from one of the Woodland Settlements, saying that then was not the time to trouble him with such irrelevancies."
Aragorn could see that the comment and behaviour had deeply hurt the prince... but the man had the benefit of being and outsider looking in, and was also able to see Thranduil's side of things.
Legolas sometimes was unable to gauge the correct times and places to mention certain things, a trait which made him utterly unable to have any diplomatic responsibilities in his Kingdom, unlike most of his siblings. It was somewhat of a notorious joke in the Palace: the young prince had a unique way of saying things without any ostentation whatsoever... consequently, without any 'cushioning the blow', as it were... and people who weren't used to it could find this odd tactlessness quite unnerving. King Theoden and Lord Eomer being excellent examples of this reaction in practice.
And Aragorn imagined that the proposal from his only-recently-returned youngest child to take a contingent of elves from him and his waning Kingdom - at a time when the King was desperately trying to stem the flood of elves leaving Mirkwood and Middle Earth, for he felt the poison of darkness and evil far too swiftly drawing in all around his city and he needed loyal subjects to defend it - was probably not the thing Thranduil would most like to here at this particular juncture in time. Although he knew it in his heart of hearts, Thranduil had always adamantly refused to succumb to the idea that the the time of the elves was fading.
But Legolas' pride and, Aragorn hated to say it, inherent arrogance made it hard for him to fully consider every single possible feeling of those around him, though he tried hard and his consideration for others was notoriously boundless. It was what had partly led him to leave with the fellowship, what had made him stay the longest at the end of the quest, and what was now causing him trouble with his father. It was something the prince had been born with, and had forever struggled against... but not even if the stars changed their very courses, would Legolas be able to conduct himself the way he did without any effort like, say, Frodo Baggins managed.
Having said that, it was clear to Aragorn that Legolas - for all his jokes and bravado and misgivings - had missed his father and family while on their long journey... and was now quite crushed by Thranduil's behaviour.
Sighing in frustration, trying to think of what to say, the man's eyes wandered the brightly-lit hall. Suddenly he caught sight of someone he knew, without a doubt, would cheer Legolas' flagging spirits, and a rugged grin warmed his features, making his grey eyes crinkle and sparkle, and a warmth grow in his chest.
He nudged his best friend with his elbow, eliciting a grumpy hiss and a sharp glare from Legolas (who seemed to be in no mood to joke that evening). Aragorn ignored the elf's bad-tempered behaviour, and instead nodded his head in the direction of the middle of the hall. Legolas' golden head turned to follow his friend's gaze, and his breath latched in his throat.
There, in the thick of all the dancing bodies, motionless body, clad in the softest material of deep red and softly illuminated by the torchlight flickering all around, stood Evylenn... Legolas' best friend in Mirkwood, and someone he had known for many millenia but thought he would never see again. He had mourned the quite-overwhelming idea of losing her during long nights there and back again, and had discovered whilst travelling with the fellowship, quite unexpectedly, that he loved her dearly and always had done. Legolas had even gone so far, with this newly recognised insight, as to promise himself he would tell her his true feelings if he ever made it back home.
And here she was, looking more beautiful than he had ever thought possible.
Without another word to Aragorn - and ignoring his knowing, smug look (entirely unbecoming of a King) - Legolas left his chair. Green eyes stared into twin pools of rich hazel as he slowly closed the gap between them. For just a second, it was as if they were the only two beings in the room... the sweet music drowned out by the hammering of his heart, and the torches dimming till all he could see was the warm light on her pretty face.
Evylenn simply stood still, waiting for him, shocked that he was finally home.... after all these years she could speak to him, physically touch him, and make sure he really was unharmed and returned to her. Tears of happiness and relief glittered in her already-sparkling eyes as he walked towards her as if in a daze. She had missed him bitterly - more than she had either expected or thought possible - and had come to realise that the ever-present burning in her chest and thought in her head was that of deep love... more than that of one friend for another.
Suddenly, he was stood before her, and she drank in the sight of him, just as he did her. The torchlight set his hair ablaze, shining like morning-glory, and his lean, strong body seemed even more proud and triumphant now he had returned, but his handsome face - seeming to have lost just a little bit of the resiliant innocence it had held when he set off for Rivendell (strange that a warrior of his experience could have the idealism he still held within his heart) - was softened as he watched her. To him, Evylenn appeared to be a queen: fine mahoghany curls let loose, intelligent hazel eyes wide and happy, soft cheek flushed with relief and rosy lips struggling to hold onto the beautiful smile that kept threatening to escape.
There was a pause, as both stood, enchanted by the other's mere presence. And suddenly they were together, one unity, lips pressed together in an expression of pure love and relief and happiness. Legolas' hand tenderly brushed at a tear drying on her cheek, and she held him close with both hands upon his shoulders.
They broke apart to the sound of applause, as the elves around them saw that their long-anticipated predictions had, indeed after many centuries, become true. Merry and Pippin, who had been dancing close-by, grinned idiotically at the two elves, and then at one another, and Frodo nudged Sam with his elbow, making the gardener turn about and, upon seeing the pair, chuckle and roll his dark brown eyes in fond amusement. But in the blinking of an eye, Evylenn punched Legolas in the chest, knocking him back a few paces with a look of comical surprise upon his fair features, an injured air about him as Fienngil let out a roar of laughter and approval at his youngest brother's humiliation.
The elf maiden pointed at his face with one threatening finger, and her eyes flashed with a dark fire: "That's for not coming back sooner... do you know how worried I've been?!"
Legolas grinned boyishly at that, cares forgotten as he saw her concern, he stepped forward and once more drew her to him, where she buried her smile in his neck, breathing in his soft scent.
Aragorn stood upon the platform of the High Table, a smug look of ridiculously-misplaced pride upon his handsome features: it appeared he thought he was the one who had engineered the whole affair and had brought the two together, and seemed to be very pleased with himself for doing so. He rubbed his large hands together with satisfaction and then straightened out imaginary creases in his silken formal tunic, before glancing around, hands on hips, as if expecting others to rush forward and congratulate him for his success.
All he recieved was a wry, questioning stare from King Thranduil, watching him curiously out of the corner of his eye, one golden brow raised in a half-hearted challenge. A slight smile was being descretely hidden behind his bejewelled hand, as he tied to cover the fact that he was over the moon about the reunion of his son and Evylenn.
The man quickly flushed a little and, giving a slight shrug of his broad shoulders and relaxing his arms, turned away sheepishly, as if he hadn;t been expecting thanks in the first place. Thranduil only chuckled and went back to watching Legolas from afar.
End of Part I.
A/N: What do you think? I am promising action very soon, I just have to sort through the plot lines and characters and exposition first, kay? Hope you're enjoying it anyway, please review and let me know!
Oh, and by the way, I've only just learnt how to seperate the little bits within the chapter, so I'm sorry if up to know you've had to guess where one bit ends and the other begins!