Legolas was still curled up and fast asleep when four very excited Elves ran into his room. He managed to reluctantly wake up, though as both sets of twin's encouraged him to get out of bed. Encouraged meant the poor Elfling was given no choice in the matter what so ever. The twin's themselves had been awake since before dawn and were more than ready to begin the day's celebrations.
Legolas looked up blearily into his brother's and friend's eyes. Yawning he removed Growly's ear from his mouth and asked. "Why are you in my room?"
Yawning once more Legolas tried to snuggle down and go back to sleep but he was denied this pleasure when he was once again pulled from his bed.
Elladan cuddled Legolas close to him as the friend's all left the chamber. Legolas was cold and he tried to fight against Elladan's grip, but only ended up hurting his arm for his reward. Legolas was further surprised when on leaving his chamber he saw that his brother's along with Estel and Arwen were waiting impatiently for them.
Taking in the shivering Elfling Arwen sighed dramatically. "I know we said that you should go and get Legolas, but did anyone of you think that some clothes may help? He is still in his sleeping tunic, he must be freezing."
The embarrassed looks on all four faces was enough to show that they had not thought of this and they once more made their way back into Legolas' chamber.
After a quick change of clothes, Legolas was back in Elladan's arms but this time he was wearing a warm tunic and had a fluffy blanket wrapped around his small body. The large group of children made their way towards Thranduil's study, where the mid winter celebrations were always held.
Entering Legolas looked around in awe. There was a large fir tree, held in a pot of soil so that it could go back into the royal garden after the celebrations; no wood Elf would willingly hurt a tree. It was covered in tiny candles and a mixture of silver and gold spheres that spun softly catching the light. Also the tree held tiny crystal ornaments and it was these that really caught Legolas' eyes. They were so pretty.
Moving on into the room no one was surprised to see Elrond and Thranduil waiting for their children. Like all parents, they had become used to waking early on any celebration days. Excited children are all the same and Thranduil had become more than used to it since Lomion had been born.
Legolas made Elladan put him down and he ran across the study to his father. Luckily Thranduil managed to catch the blond before he tripped on the blanket that was trailing after him and threatening to trip him.
Elardion, both sets of twin's and Arwen settled into the chairs around the room, leaving Drowlin with no where to sit. He stood awkwardly in the doorway feeling slightly estranged from his family, especially after everything he had done. Legolas beckoned him over to the chair that he and Thranduil were sitting in. He forced Thranduil to move so that both of his youngest son's could squeeze in next to him.
Drowlin looked up at his father who smiled broadly and pulled the blond Prince onto his lap, leaving Drowlin even more room.
The servants around the Palace had long ago become used to the early hours they kept on days such as these, especially on the mid winter morning. They arrived minutes later with trays full of hot drinks and cookies.
Each member of the families gathered took a cookie gratefully, even the Noble Lord's fought their children for their fare share of the treats, much too every one's hilarity.
Legolas held a single biscuit in his hand and was looking at it with a really mournful look. Elrohir noticed this and questioned the Elfling. "What is wrong, Legolas, why do you only look? They are very nice to eat."
Legolas turned large blue eyes to Elrohir. The cookie he held was in the shape of a snow angel, right down to the wings. "What if he is my friend from the other day?" Legolas asked the room.
Thranduil saw his son's apart from Lomion trying hard to hide their laughter at this comment. Lomion opened his arms and Legolas slid down Thranduil's legs and ran to Lomion, sitting on his brother's lap. "Leafie, these are biscuits, they are made by the kitchens for us to eat and enjoy. I promise you that it does not hurt and it is not your friend."
After his brother's reassurance Legolas bit tentatively into the foot of the cookie. Smiling broadly at the taste he took another bite. After that he continued to take small delicate bites, savouring every mouthful. He managed to consume just one biscuit in the time it took the others to have three. Legolas stopped eating as he reached the head of the cookie. Gently placing it down he turned away from it.
"If you can not finish it, little One I will have it." Estel told the blond and he reached over to take the head of the biscuit. Legolas glowered at him and he hit Estel's hand gently before pulling the cookie closer to him.
"You can not eat the head, it is not right." Legolas explained simply.
Estel laughed at his friend's antics. "I am sorry, Legolas please forgive me?" He asked the Elfling. Legolas nodded and the last piece of the cookie was left alone.
A few hours later, after lots of fun and games on every one's part there was a knock on the door. The door opened to reveal Mithrandir, the grey wizard was smiling back at them.
"Did any of you sleep beyond dawn on this special day?" He asked. Elrond laughed and replied to the negative.
Legolas snuggled further into his brother's lap, being so small and thin he felt the cold a lot more than was usual for an elf and the blanket that was wrapped around him barely kept the chill off. Lomion realising this wrapped his arms around the child and hugged him closer, slowly Legolas began to warm up.
Soon it was time for them to go down to the family room for their real morning meal. Once they had arrived they saw that the table was laden down with all of their favourite foods. Each member sat in their normal place and found a bowl or plate with the food set in front of them. Legolas had a huge bowl of strawberries in front of him.
He looked around the table and saw the others happily digging into the mounds of food and laughing. Increasing the scope of his eyesight he saw three servants, two male and one female, leaving the room. Quietly he left his seat and made his way over to them, catching their attention.
"Please wait." He begged as he stopped in front of them. "Thank you for our lovely food." The Elfling gushed. "Thank you for making today so nice." The servants were surprised, they were not used to getting praise and thanks for the things they did.
The female Elf, called Ellarin picked the Elfling up and gave him a motherly hug. "You are most welcome, little One. It makes my heart sing with joy to see you enjoying this time of the year."
Legolas smiled briefly before asking. "Do you not like it?" The two male Elf's had already left the room and she did not how to answer the young Prince.
"It is not that I dislike it, but I have no family to celebrate it with. They are all in Lothlorien."
"Share with us." Legolas jumped from her arms and with his uninjured arm pulled Ellarin towards the table.
"No, my Prince it would not be appropriate." She tried to object gently, but Legolas would not let go. Thranduil laughed when Legolas arrived back at the table with a servant being pulled behind him.
"Ada, she has no family and she is all alone here. Can se have some fun with us?" Legolas did not pause for breath. By this point Ellarin was mortified beyond belief and bright red with embarrassment.
"I am so sorry, my Lord, please I am so embarrassed." Ellarin rambled.
"My Lady, I am the one who should apologise." Thranduil remarked, desperately trying to remember the Ladies name. "It is Ellarin if I am not mistaken. Legolas has a tendency not to listen to others when they say no to him. It would be pleasure for you to join us in the morning meal, if you have time?"
Ellarin did not know what to say and when Nolvo stood and fetched another chair she felt she could not refuse. To do so would be extremely rude. "Thank you, my Lord's."
Legolas scowled when he saw the empty plate in front of his guest. Seeing his brother's discomfort, Lomion placed a few delicacies on the platter in front of her. "Please, my Lady eat."
Later that day the group were sitting in the study once again. Ellarin had left quickly after the morning meal, highly thrilled at having eaten with the Royal family.
Legolas lay half asleep on Estel's lap. The family had been playing games for the last three hours. And all were enjoying spending the time together.
"I can hardly believe that Leafie shared his strawberries." Elladan spoke quietly, not wishing to wake the tiny Elfling.
"I think that once Legolas is grown up, he is going to have men and women fawning over him." Elrohir agreed.
Arwen laughed lightly. "You mean he does not already?" Thranduil smiled and took his son from Estel so that he could join in the game of cards.
Legolas stirred slightly and snuggled closer into his father's arms. The group of Elves and the one man spent many hours happily playing games and laughing. They did many things that they usually did, but this day was rather special.
Not only was it the mid winter celebration it was also little Leaf's begetting day.
He had been born in the middle of winter, receiving the name if Greenleaf because on the day of his birth the tallest tree in Mirkwood had produced a single leaf that continued to shine throughout the long winter and greeting Legolas into life. Since that day the Elfling had brought life and love to all he touched.
Thranduil had always told his son's when they were younger that if they wanted to have gift's on the mid winter day, they had to receive them when Thranduil decided it was time. Every time one of them asked if it was time for the gifts, they succeeded in only adding more time onto the wait.
Legolas was too young to know yet, just why the day was special. Thranduil had decided that they had waited enough. Checking with Elrond the King announced. "Everyone go to your rooms and gather anything you have for presents and come back here."
All apart from the Legolas and the three adults leaped up and raced to their rooms. Legolas peered sleepily at his father. "Where they go?"
Thranduil explained to Legolas what the day was and had to smile at just how excited the Elfling became.
He was practically jumping up and down as the others came back to the chamber in dribs and drabs. Suddenly he stopped and ran from the room as fast as he could. Estel traded confused glances with his foster father before following the Elfling out of the chamber.
He followed the sound of small footsteps as he rushed after the Elfling. He caught up with him just outside Legolas' bed chamber. Pushing open the door he caught sight of the Elfling awkwardly rummaging around underneath his bed.
Legolas finally found what he was looking for and he picked the twelve pieces of parchment up. He struggled with standing, he could not use his left wrist and the other was full, but he made it with some difficulty and made his way towards the door.
Seeing that Legolas was struggling Estel swooped down and took most of the parchments from the blond. Scowling Legolas led the way back to the study.
They all looked up as Legolas and Estel re-entered the chamber.
Piles of presents were on the floor each clearly labelled. Legolas could see some with his name on and he began to get excited again.
Thranduil smiled as his youngest took the rolled up parchments from Estel and looked around before deciding that he wanted to sit with Mithrandir.
Laying the parchments on the floor he pulled him self up onto the Maia's lap, Mithrandir laughed down at the Elfling. Legolas sniffed the air and saw that the wizard was smoking his pipe, blowing out a large smoke ship. The small Prince reached up and took the pipe before placing it on the table next to them.
Every one laughed and Nolvo commented. "I told you the smell was bad."
Mithrandir scowled at every one in the chamber apart from Legolas. "Very well, little One, no smoking near you."
Elrond was having trouble stopping him self from laughing but he finally managed it. "Who wants to go first?"
Before any one could answer Legolas had jumped up from Mithrandir's lap and looked pleadingly at Elrond. Nolvo and Elrohir seeing the look on Legolas' face got down on their hands and knees mirroring the puppy dog look on the Elfling's face.
Legolas looked downhearted at this and Elrond picked the blond up saying. "I think Leafie should go first." The Mega Watt smile he received made them all feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Legolas gathered up the parchments and opening them slightly so that no one else could see them he handed them out. All twelve people had one.
A nod gave them permission to open them. Unfolding the parchment they all gasped. They each had a Legolas original that was worthy of much praise.
Both sets of twin's had one of a warrior scene with each of them in the foreground. Elardion received one of a view from his chamber window. Arwen was astounded by a picture of the woods.
Estel received a picture of him self playing with Legolas. Elrond was shocked at the picture of Rivendell, knowing it had been copied perfectly from another painting.
Mithrandir could only marvel at the picture of him sitting tall on the back of a grey horse. The detail was incredible. Legolas had even included his staff with his pipe sitting in its place at the top. To say he was pleased would be an understatement.
Lomion smiled and laughed at the happy picture that showed him playing with Legolas and Scamp.
Thranduil gasped and felt tears spring to his eyes at the family portrait that he held in his hands. It was of them all. Laurelin was sitting in the middle with Legolas on her lap; One twin stood either side of her. Behind them was Thranduil, Lomion and Drowlin. Elardion was sat comfortably on the floor smiling up at the viewer.
Legolas looked shyly at every one; they all tried to hug the Elfling. Ten minutes later they had all finished admiring Legolas' work. They moved on to handing out the presents.
First was Arwen and to Legolas' delight he found the soft toy versions of his pets, even Mousey. From Lomion he received a small kit to look after his bow with. The twins gave him a new quiver, embossed with gold leaves; it also had his name on.
But the gift he treasured above all was the book he received from Elardion. It was the complete story of Knight Growly and little Las. He opened it, eyes wide. It was illustrated as well, some of them were pictures that Legolas had drawn; the others were drawn by one of Lomion's friends. The book was beautiful. The front was once again painted with green leaves around the border.
Legolas could only hug his brother, they all noted that as they went on to open their presents Legolas was still holding the book as if he would not let it go.
"If you like and every one else agrees, would you like me to read you a story later on?" Elardion was touched that Legolas like it so much.
"Yes please, Elardion. Ada, can we?" Big happy blue eyes turned to Thranduil and he did not have the heart to refuse.
"Perhaps after we have finished the evening meal that would be very nice." Every one else agreed with that too, they had all come to like Elardion's tale.
Once the presents had all been opened, Legolas asked Drowlin to help him carry some parchment and his paints down to the study. When he was settled and the others were busy playing games once more and the adults were all talking while enjoying their goblets of wine. Legolas set to work.
Lomion noticed how quiet the Elfling was made his way over to his side. "What are you doing, Leafie?"
"What are you painting?"
"It is for Ellarin so that she will not be as lonely here on her own." He glanced up at his brother. "Do you think she will like it?"
Lomion looked at the picture. It showed them all at the morning meal, Ellarin included.
Lomion hugged his cherished brother. "I know she will love it." He had to blink away the tears that threatened to fall, his brother was so thoughtful to others.
Lomion was rewarded with the return of the Mega Watt grin. Once he had finished drawing Legolas crossed to speak with his father.
Thranduil picked his youngest up and sat him on his lap. "Ada, can I give this to Ellarin at the evening meal? She is so lonely and would not have had any presents." This had worried Legolas.
"Yes, my Leaf she will love it." Giving the King a big hug he went to sit beside Lomion watching the others playing games. It was warm in front of the fire and soon he was asleep in his brother's arms.
The evening meal was a jolly affair, once more their favourites were served. To Legolas' joy rather than a formal sit down meal, they had a buffet. This had been arranged by Thranduil so that any of the servants who were away from their families could join in. Legolas' kindness towards Ellarin that morning had brought home to him that not all could spend this holiday with family.
Ellarin had been delighted with her picture from Legolas and promised him that it would have pride of place in her quarters.
Thranduil had been pleased that some of the staff had joined them for the evening meal and they all seemed to have enjoyed it.
Once the food had all but disappeared and Mithrandir had jokingly said that they could rival Halfling's with their appetites, they made their way back to the study.
Once they had all settled either in chairs or on the floor, Elardion opened the book he had made for Legolas.
At Thranduil's nod he began.
"Once Upon A Time in a land not so far away were two very good friends. They loved adventures and loved helping people as well. There names were Knight Growly and Little Las. They had many adventures, but were always looking for more."
The only sound that could be heard was the crackling of logs on the fire.
"One day the village where they lived woke up to find that overnight a deep snow had fallen. The world outside looked pristine and new. The snow beckoned to the Elfling's in the village and once they had had their warm morning meal they had been given permission to go and play." Elardion could not hide his smile at the rapt faces around him.
"Knight Growly and Little Las were making their way through the village and had walked right into the middle of a snowball fight. One hit Growly right on the back of his head! Not able to leave it there, they had to join in and soon they were involved in a well fought game. It was late morning when they left the laughing children and went on their way." Every one was smiling at this remembering their play fights of the day before.
"As they reached the outskirts of the settlement snow began to fall softly again." Thranduil could not help but look out of the window, it was indeed snowing again. "First they checked on their friends in the stable, making sure that they were warm and had plenty of feed. Once happy, they set out for the pond on the far reaches of the settlement. The pond was frozen solid and perfect for ice skating and it did not take long before the friend's were skating away." The look on Legolas' face was beautiful.
"Suddenly a loud cry went up and they both turned in time to see one of the Elfling's disappearing into a crack that had formed in the ice." The ooo's and ahh's were perfectly timed. "Without sparing a thought for their own safety they dashed forward. With Knight Growly holding on to his legs, little Las reached for the hand that was poking from the ice. Just when it looked as if it was going to be an impossible rescue, little Las caught the flailing hand and with Growly's help they managed to pull the soaking Elfling from the water."
Legolas' eyes were wide as he listened to the tale unfold. He felt warm and safe in Lomion's arms.
"They arrived back into the village to find a large clapping crowd, the news of the rescue had already spread back to the village. The Elfling's mother had rushed to take him from Growly's arms. That night there was a great feast in celebration of the pair's deeds. But to little Las astonishment it was announced that because of all his brave deeds he was also going to be Knighted. Growly was so pleased and happy for his friend." This was met by clapping from all the room and Mithrandir began to blow smoke knights in celebration.
"They partied long and hard that night, before bedding down, the snow was once again falling, promising not only more fun to come but more adventures too." Elardion finished the tale with a flourish amid loud claps and whistles.
The twin's began a vicious game of chess against each other and Drowlin began playing cards with Estel and Arwen.
Legolas was more than happy just to stay where he was and Lomion made no move to move either. They sat their happily watching the others. A knock on the door sounded and as Thranduil opened it to find Ellarin and a few others carrying trays with mulled wine and pastries to eat.
Ellarin gave Legolas a big happy smile before she left the room. That night passed as the rest of the day had in happy contentment and it was a very tired Elfling that was carried to bed by his father, his new toys safe in his arms alongside Growly.
Okay folks I have some good and bad news.
The bad news is that you just read the final chapter of Once upon a time. I know there are loose threads in the story but they will be cleared up in our brand new story A Long Time Ago that is already posted.
Both Shell and Myself hope you have enjoyed reading this story and please review and tell us what you thought of it.SaphireCat: Because e decided that in order for our story to work he and his other children needed dark hair. Plus I (Mei) Has to confess at never reading the Hobbit although I do not speak for Shell.Lady Leeanne: No worries. Glad we are there now. I hope you like and I know about the brother thing mine is always kicking me off.LadyJackIsBack: Shell says I use the word Yay to much but I have to say YAY YAY YAY.Dark Borg Drone Hannon Le Mellon nin. I speak basic and shell does to and we love you to.Pointy-eared-elfs: Fun in the snow just seemed a really nice image. I hope that you liked this one to.
Larnia : We have put Leafie through a lot have we not.Blue September Rain: Drowlin is going to stay nice for a little while longer although he may be mean in our next story.bradleigh: I know what you mean but Snow men or Elves just did not seem right so we decided to call them snow angels.
Okay we have had lots of people asking what is up with Drowlin and I have to say one more time that it is slightly explained in Meis fic Happily Ever after and it will go into deeper detail in another of my stories soon however these are slash so if you do not read them then you will never know.
Love You all and hope to see you on our new story. A Long Time Ago
Mei Shell and all the gang.