Disclaimer: I borrow characters and settings from Tolkien but they belong to him. I gain no profit from their use other than the enriched imaginative life that I assume he intended me to gain.
Many thanks to Nilmandra for beta reading this chapter.
6. Of Mice and Elves
About nineteen years earlier
"Time to move, you lazy lumps," snarled an Orc, and Eilian snapped to attention. Light had gradually faded on the other side of the waterfall, and dusk had deepened now, so that the Orcs were once again stirring. Next to Eilian, Maltanaur climbed to his feet and shifted his weight from leg to leg, testing what the wounded one would bear. He suddenly pressed his mouth into thin line and leaned against the rock wall, and Eilian grimaced. He and his keeper were evidently not going to be running anywhere. They might be able to go through the trees though, once they had reached them. Maltanaur could use his arms more there, and Eilian would stay at his side to support him if he needed it. Alternatively, he supposed he could carry Maltanaur, but that would mean slow going, and they would be easy prey for Orcs on the prowl. Eilian stood too, stretching his legs and tightening his quiver strap.
On the other side of the waterfall, the rumbling of Orcs grew louder by the minute, and suddenly the voice of the leader came, as close to them as it had been on the previous dawn. There must be a rock or ledge upon which the leader stood to direct his followers, Eilian realized. "Tonight we need a successful hunt, or we're going to be out of fresh meat." A low grumble met this statement. "So we're going after that settlement again, but since you were all so effing useless last night, the Elves we were chasing had plenty of time to get back there and warn the rest of 'em. So we can't just go rushing in there and surprise 'em. We'll have to send the scouts to see what kind of defense they're putting up and then make our plans from there."
Eilian looked at Maltanaur, who was still leaning against the rocks. With the Orc so close, they dared not speak, but the look on Maltanaur's face told Eilian that his keeper was just as dismayed by the Orcs' plans as he was. And yet Eilian did not see what either of them could do about it.
"Too bad we wasted so much time chasing those stinking Elves last night," said another nearby Orc.
"They would've made a good meal if we'd caught 'em," the leader said. "And one of 'em was hurt. I could smell it. We might still find him lying about somewhere."
Eilian glanced at Maltanaur's leg. The bleeding had slowed to a trickle after Eilian had stitched the wound, and it had stopped altogether about mid-day. He breathed a soft sigh of relief that at least the Orcs would not be able to detect them that way.
"I hope we find 'im," the other Orc said. "We'd've torn through that settlement last night if they hadn't led us on such a merry chase."
The leader apparently gave some sort of signal to move out, because the noise outside the waterfall changed, and the sound of heavy creatures milling about changed to the more regular noise of tramping feet on the move. The leader must have left too, because Eilian heard no more conversation. Gradually, the sound diminished.
Eilian turned to Maltanaur. "I have an idea."
Maltanaur rolled his eyes. "Why does that not surprise me?"
"We will get to the trees, and I will leave you there and go and lure the Orcs to come after me. Then I will rejoin you, and we will go through the trees and head for home."
Maltanaur gave a short laugh. "Could you possibly think of something more dangerous?"
"We need to do something," Eilian urged. "Luring them away worked last night, and it can work again. They are angry at us and we will be slow enough to attract them, and the closer we take them to home, the more likely we are to run into a patrol. And they will turn back before we get too close, for fear of that very thing happening. If we buy the settlement just one more day, Ithilden can send help."
Maltanaur looked away and then back again. "Very well," he said resignedly. "But I swear I will beat you silly if you take a single unnecessary risk, Eilian."
Eilian grinned. "Never," he said virtuously. "Come." The two of them moved to the edge of the waterfall. "Wait," Eilian commanded. He drew a deep breath, and then, clutching his sword, he plunged through the water, landing knee deep in the stream. In a rapid whirl, he scanned the area, and then, seeing no Orcs, he sheathed his sword and ducked back through the water to take Maltanaur's arm over his shoulders and help him through the falls and out of the stream.
With Maltanaur leaning on him, they limped their way out of the ravine toward where they could see the tops of trees outlined against the starry sky. Eilian felt the tension in his diaphragm easing once they were among them again. Their song was uneasy, for the passage of the Orcs had evidently disturbed them, but its beauty still soothed him as it always did when he returned from the twisted forests of the south.
He climbed into an oak and then reached down to help Maltanaur up after him but found that his keeper was already pulling himself up with arms made strong by years of using a bow. Good, Eilian thought. As he had hoped, they should be able to move through the trees more quickly and easily than they could move on the ground with Maltanaur's wound. They swung their way through the branches until they were some distance from the ravine.
"I will go and find our friends the Orcs," Eilian finally said, halting their progress. "You keep moving toward home. I will find you again easily enough."
"I should come with you," Maltanaur worried.
"You would slow me down," Eilian told him. He watched as his keeper wrestled himself into accepting the fact that, this time at least, Eilian would be safer without him. Finally, Maltanaur sighed, and Eilian knew he had won his point.
"Be careful," Maltanaur admonished one last time, and then he started slowly off through the branches.
Eilian wasted no time starting in the direction the Orcs had taken, listening to the trees as he went so that he would pick up any tiny disturbance that would tell him where the troop was. No more than twenty minutes passed before a foul odor drifted to him on the night breeze, and when he turned toward it, he moved only a short distance before he caught the sound of heavy feet trampling through the woods. He accelerated and soon caught sight of blacker shapes in the inky dark beneath the trees.
Moving swiftly and silently, he swung into a position about a quarter of the way up their line and fitted an arrow to his bowstrings. It was too bad their leader was not in sight, he thought regretfully, but he should be able to get their attention anyway. Drawing a deep breath to steady himself, he ran his eyes over the Orcs moving below him, picked out one carrying a bow, and loosed a shot that landed squarely between the Orc's eyes. The Orc stopped, as if in surprise, and then crumpled to the ground. His companions turned to him startled, and then, seeing Eilian's arrow, gave a shout, but not before he had loosed three more arrows, taking out three more archers.
Orcs were now scattering below him, seizing their own bows, and scanning the trees for him as they sought for some sort of shelter. Those Orcs who had been ahead had turned and started running back, drawn by the commotion. Now, he thought, and taking his courage in hand, he made a long leap across a small clearing to a tree further away from the Orcs.
"There he is!" shouted a harsh voice, and three black-fletched arrows sailed past his shoulders, narrowly missing him on either side. For a second, he quailed at how easily he would have been wounded had he been only slightly to one side or the other, but then he pushed that thought from his mind and jumped forward again, listening with satisfaction as Orcs came running after him.
Eilian now settled down to playing the dangerous game he had decided would be most likely to draw the whole troop after him. With his heart pounding, he moved out onto a branch, allowed himself to be silhouetted against the sky, and waited until a shout and an arrow whistling toward him told him that the Orcs had seen him. Then he dodged the arrow, ducked back into the leafy canopy and moved swiftly away. He slid to one side and stopped long enough to shoot another Orc, and then moved again, making sure he could be glimpsed as he sailed from one tree to another.
"You maggots!" shouted a voice Eilian recognized as the Orc leader's. "If you can't shoot better than that, you deserve to have the stinking Elf put his arrow in your arse!" Eilian wished he could take time to look for the leader, but his only safety lay in constant movement. For a second, he worried about what would happen after he found Maltanaur. With his keeper in tow, he might actually be slow enough for the Orcs to catch unless he and Maltanaur were very clever about moving in and out of sight.
An owl hooted from ahead of him and just to his left, startling him enough that he nearly missed grasping the branch toward which he had just jumped. Again the owl called, and this time, Eilian knew he had not been mistaken. He put his hand to his mouth and echoed the signal, and then with exhilaration flooding his system, he began to fly as fast as he could in the direction from which it had come.
"Here, Eilian!" called Maltanaur, and he veered toward his keeper's voice to find him sitting in beech tree, leaning back against the trunk, with a Home Guard warrior standing over him.
"How many of you are there?" Eilian demanded immediately. "About fifty Orcs are coming this way."
The warrior nodded. "So Maltanaur said. A dozen or so of us are here now, and the signals we are sending should bring more. The entire Home Guard is out looking for you, Eilian."
Eilian grinned. "Then we should have an entertaining night."
"Not you, you fool," Maltanaur said. "You and I are going home. Your little brother is about to be born, remember?" Eilian looked at him in dismay.
The Home Guard warrior nodded. "We will take care of things here. There are horses about half a mile north of here. You and Maltanaur should take two and go to let Ithilden know what is happening." He smiled wryly. "I cannot understand why but he seemed quite worried about you."
For a moment, Eilian was torn, but then he looked at the wounded Maltanaur and thought about what was to happen the next day -- no this day -- at the palace. "Very well," he conceded reluctantly and reached to support Maltanaur, who was struggling to his feet.
They made their way toward the horses. "Did you enjoy yourself?" Maltanaur asked dryly, and Eilian laughed.
"I am afraid I did," he admitted, and then climbed down to where the horses waited.
The door to the sitting room opened, and Thranduil came in. Eilian got to his feet, bracing himself for what was almost certainly going to be a lecture. His father crossed to the table, poured himself some wine, seated himself, and only then nodded his permission for Eilian to sit too.
He swirled the wine in his glass and took a sip. "Eilian," he said, "do I really need to tell you that your use of my crown was disrespectful or that a chemise is an inappropriate 'treasure' to put in the hands of Legolas and his friends?"
Eilian looked down at his own glass. In all truth, he thought his father was overreacting, but he did not think it would be wise to say so. "No, Adar." He looked up to find Thranduil studying him.
"Are you sure?" Thranduil asked coolly. "It strikes me as possible that you found both things amusing."
Eilian grimaced. "I suppose I did, but I promise you, Adar, I will leave the crown and any other symbols of the realm alone, and you know I would cut off my right arm before I would harm Legolas in any way."
His father eyed him and then nodded, apparently accepting his promise as sufficient. "In truth, I am more concerned about Amelith," Thranduil said.
Eilian blinked. "What do you mean?" he asked uncertainly. "She was not harmed, only upset, and really, she was silly to be so disturbed by a mouse."
"I agree. So why was she here? You do not seem to have much respect or affection for her."
Eilian could feel heat rising into his face. Why had Amelith been there? Well, he knew the answer to that question, although he did not want to have to give it to his father, who undoubtedly knew it too.
"I know that you are capable of appreciating a maiden of worth when you find one, Eilian," Thranduil said. "I hope you will not let self-indulgence lead you into folly. I know from experience that marrying the right maiden is the single most important thing an Elf can do to promote his own happiness. I would wish that kind of happiness for you."
Eilian bit his lip and looked down at his hands, holding the goblet of wine. "I will try to remember that, Adar."
The door opened and Ithilden came in. Welcoming the interruption, Eilian turned to him. "Is there any word about the missing Men?"
Ithilden shook his head. "Not yet, but I still have patrols out looking." He looked tired and worried. Of course, thought Eilian with some sympathy, Ithilden looked that way all too frequently.
"Sit down and have some wine," Thranduil said, rising himself but indicating that Eilian should keep his seat. "I must go and read a story to the three elflings." Eilian smiled at the thought of his little brother and his friends all tucked into Legolas's bed, and he could see Ithilden and Thranduil smiling too. How lucky we are to have the brat, Eilian thought with a flood of warmth.
Knowing that he would probably have to return soon to tell the elflings to settle down, Thranduil stepped out into the hall and closed the door to Legolas's room. How much energy those three had! he thought and smiled at the memory of their three heads crowded around him to peer at the pictures in the book from which he had read to them. Even Turgon had looked sweet and innocent, Thranduil thought wryly.
But his mind lingered most on Legolas, his baby, whose twentieth begetting day was now only an hour or two away. Of course, he had not actually been born until late morning. Only after Ithilden had brought word of Eilian's safe arrival had Lorellin's labor begun to move swiftly, as if she and Legolas had been waiting for their missing one before they had agreed to get on with things. After that, it had been only a matter of an hour or so before the midwife had cried out in triumph, caught their tiny, wailing son, and lifted him up for their inspection.
About nineteen years earlier
"Look how beautiful he is, my lady!" the midwife cried, and Lorellin gazed at her son and laughed in pure delight. Thranduil already had his arms wrapped around her, for he had been supporting her during the last stage of labor, and now he tightened his grasp.
"Well done, my love," he murmured. The midwife cut the cord and then was busy for a moment or two wiping off the signs of Legolas's hard struggle to be born before she placed the baby in Lorellin's waiting arms. Legolas had been protesting noisily but quieted as soon as his mother's embrace closed around him and she began to speak to him. He turned a solemn gaze on her and seemed to listen attentively.
"Hello, my sweet one," she murmured. "Hush now. Ada and I want to have a good look at you, and then we will send for your big brothers. Would you like that?"
Thranduil stared at the newborn infant lying at his mother's breast and reached out in wonder to touch the downy blond hair that stood up like a bird's plumage on the top of the tiny head. Lorellin turned her tired, joyous face toward him. "He will look like you, my love," she crowed. He smiled down at her and kissed her sweaty hair and thought that she had never looked more beautiful.
How could he ever have doubted the wisdom of having this baby? he wondered. Lorellin had been right: What better way could they have chosen to defy the Shadow? But even as he thought that, he felt the helpless fear he had experienced when Ithilden and Eilian were born too. He had given another hostage to love, and he knew only too well how short were the time and distance over which his protection could extend. Eilian's narrow escape had reminded him of that just an hour or so ago.
"You go and get something to eat, my lord, while I help the queen change her gown," the midwife said.
"Do go, my love," Lorellin said. "And could you have a meal sent for me too, please? I am starving!"
Thranduil laughed and kissed her again. "You have been working hard." He slipped out from behind her, propped pillows behind her back, and went in search of food and his older sons.
Ithilden took the feather-light bundle from his father and pushed the flap of blanket back to reveal a round, little face, with lids half-lowered over dreamy blue eyes. The baby's hand was flung up next to his face, and his fingers were curled over. Ithilden was struck by how trusting babies were. He could not imagine being so serene that he would continue sleeping while someone picked him up.
And suddenly, his heart lifted and he laughed. It made no sense, but instead of feeling heavier, his burden of worries actually felt lighter because this sweet, hopeful little creature now dwelt in the world.
"How are you, Naneth?" Eilian asked, bending to kiss his mother's brow.
"I am wonderful," she boasted. "I have just done something amazing."
He laughed and glanced over to where Ithilden was holding Legolas, looking at the baby with a dazed expression that Eilian could not resist smiling at, annoyed as he still was at Ithilden. Both his older brother and his father had fussed at him in a most irritating way when he and Maltanaur had ridden out of the woods and into the warrior training fields an hour or two ago. He could understand that they might have been worried when he was late returning home, but sometimes they acted as if he could not take care of himself at all and needed the two of them to protect him. He had held his tongue because there was no point to annoying his father or his troop commander, but he knew they had still been aware of his resentment, and his father had finally let out an exasperated sigh and gone back to their laboring mother.
Ithilden lowered Legolas gently into his cradle and came over to kiss their mother too. "You are amazing," he agreed.
Eilian moved out of his way and edged over to the cradle to peek at Legolas. Just as he drew near, the baby began to cry, making noises that sounded more like a cat mewing than any sound Eilian had expected to hear. He froze and stared at Legolas's rapidly reddening face.
"Pick him up, Eilian," Thranduil urged. "See if you can tell what he wants."
Eilian glanced at his father in astonishment and was nettled to see him grinning. He slid his hands under his baby brother and lifted him to nestle in the crook of his arm. Immediately, Legolas stopped crying and regarded Eilian with huge blue eyes, seemingly curious about who had hold of him now. Then he solemnly hiccupped, startling Eilian and everyone else into laughter.
He is so tiny, Eilian thought, and his arm tightened protectively around this scrap of new life.
"If he is happy, you can put him back down again if you like," Thranduil said, but Eilian shook his head. What if Legolas felt lonely in his cradle? He thought he would just keep an eye on the little one for a while.
"What a lucky baby Legolas is," Lorellin said contentedly. "He will have people who love him looking after him at every turn."
Eilian looked at her and saw the love in her eyes as she looked back at him and Legolas, and suddenly, his eyes stung with tears. Legolas was not the only lucky one, he thought and began to jiggle his little brother and croon to him.
Legolas lifted the first package off the small pile of gifts. "That is from me," Eilian told him. Legolas pulled off the brightly colored paper to find a box with a fitted lid. He lifted the lid, and Annael and Turgon crowded in from either side of him to see what lay within.
"Warriors!" Legolas cried. He lifted out one of the carved wooden warriors and was delighted to realize that the bow could be slipped off the warrior's shoulder and the tiny arrows came out of the quiver.
"You can see I have not painted the last two yet," Eilian told him, smiling at his delight, "but I can do it before I go back to my patrol or you may want to do it yourself."
"Thank you," Legolas beamed at him and reached for the next package.
"That is my gift," said his father. The gift rattled, and Legolas shook it experimentally to listen to the sound again. Again, he found a box when he slid the paper off. This time, when he lifted the lid he found a pile of wooden pieces, cut in odd shapes and having paint on one side. Legolas picked up one of the pieces and turned it over in his hand. "It is a puzzle," Thranduil told him. "You put the pieces together and make a picture."
"Can I help?" Annael asked. "Unless you want to do it all yourself, Legolas," he added hastily.
"It would be good to do it together," Legolas decided. "Thank you, Ada." He picked up the last package, the smallest of the lot, and looked at Ithilden, who was watching him with what seemed almost like a sad expression.
Legolas pried the paper open and found just what he expected: The elegantly carved hilt of a knife was visible at the top of an embossed leather sheath, made to be buckled onto a belt. He drew the knife reverently from its holder. The blade gleamed in the light of the lanterns on the wall. "Thank you, Ithilden," he breathed.
"You are welcome, Legolas," Ithilden said. "I hope you never have to use it for any purpose other than woodcraft."
Legolas glanced at him in surprise and then scanned his father's and Eilian's faces too. They all looked sad, he thought. What was the matter?
The door opened and a beaming servant came into the room bearing a tray that smelled enticingly of apple tarts. "Cook says to tell you that these are freshly made, Legolas," she said. She took a platter off the tray and set it on the table in front of Thranduil, whose serious face dissolved into a smile as he put three apple tarts on a plate and passed it to Legolas.
"Happy begetting day, Legolas," he said. "May the stars shine upon you."
"Thank you, Ada," Legolas grinned.
Across the table, Ithilden rose to his feet. "By your leave, Adar, I must go and see about the search for the missing Men."
Legolas blinked at him. "You have not had any tarts!" he cried. "We will save you some," he added firmly.
Ithilden smiled at him. "Thank you, Legolas. That is very generous of you." And he went out the door to his day's work.
Magnificence scurried along through the soggy leaves, eager to get back to the burrow and enjoy the acorn he had just found and now carried in his jaws. He supposed that Splendor and Brilliance would want some share of his haul, but Splendor had shared the berries he had found and Brilliance had been generous with the soft root, so Magnificence had to concede that sharing the acorn seemed fair. Besides, there were plenty more where this nut had come from, and it wasn't as if he hadn't already gorged on them where they lay.
Suddenly, the ground shook a little, and he realized that a low, rumbling noise had been growing louder. The Clumsy Ones were back, he thought in exasperation. Magnificence hated the Clumsy Ones. They upset the trees, and they were not careful at all about where they stepped. The only good thing to be said for them was that, two days ago, before Magnificence and his companions had made their surprise trip into the Singers' house, the Clumsy Ones had scared away the Many-Legged Black Ones. The Black Ones were even worse than the Clumsy Ones because they would actually eat mice if they were hungry enough.
A huge, smelly foot appeared out of nowhere, and Magnificence dropped the acorn and dove into the hole, to find that Brilliance was there already, twitching his green clad tail. Like all their ribbons, Brilliance's was beginning to look a little bedraggled. Being dragged through wet leaves and thorn bushes was apparently hard on ribbons. Magnificence hated to think about getting rid of his blue one. The young Singer who had given it to him had been terrifying in his gigantic size, but he had been gentle, and Magnificence had rather liked him. Moreover, Magnificence thought the ribbon added to his imposing presence.
Splendor tumbled through the entrance to the burrow, his red-trimmed tail quivering in fury. "I dropped the berry I was carrying," he said in vexation, "and I just know one of the Clumsy Ones will step on it."
And indeed, just outside the burrow, two Clumsy Ones could now be heard whispering to one another. "There they are! I told you the spiders had left three of them to dry. One of them is wriggling a bit though, so I'll bet the meat is still fresh."
"We need to get them out of here before the cursed Elves find us. That bunch we just saw is getting too close!"
Splendor was peering out the entrance, and now he gave a sudden squawk. "My berry!" He darted out of the burrow to retrieve his prize before it was flattened.
"Get my acorn too," Magnificence hissed from the entry, and Splendor scurried over to where the acorn lay and tried to fit it into his jaws along with the berry.
"Sauron's snot!" shouted one of the Clumsy Ones. "What was that?" Splendor darted under some leaves.
The other one turned around and clouted him on the head. "Shut up, you fool!" he hissed. "Do you want the Elves to hear us?"
"There was a mouse with a red ribbon on its tail!" the first one said, clutching his ear.
The other one smacked him again. "Have you been drinking on duty again?"
An arrow suddenly flew out of the trees and thudded into the arm of one of the Clumsy Ones. With a cry, he and his companion took to their heels.
"Look there!" cried a Singer. "Hanging from the branch? Could those be the three missing Men?" Singers flew through the trees overhead, and Splendor came hustling out from under the leaves and scrambled into the hole carrying both the acorn and the berry. He spit them out.
"That was close," Splendor said.
The three of them converged on the berry and the nut. "You can have the berry, Splendor," said Magnificence. "You were the one who found it. Brilliance and I will share the acorn." They settled down to their meal.
After a while, Brilliance looked up. "I wonder where Precious is," he said.
Precious took the piece of paper between her sharp teeth and hurried off the desk and back into the snug hole she had found near the fireplace in the room belonging to the Singer in charge. She liked this room. Few people came into it, and the Singer to whom it belonged usually worked quietly. She had heard him make his voice menacing, but he did not seem to find it necessary to shout. Precious approved of that.
Back in her refuge, she set about shredding the paper to add yet another soft layer to her nest. She snuggled down in it to see how comfortable it was. It was almost right, she thought, but not quite. Now what else could she use? As she turned, her eye was caught by the brown ribbon still tied to her tail. She liked the ribbon and thought she looked quite beautiful in it, but she was willing to sacrifice her own vanity in such a good cause, so she spent a few minutes nibbling at the ribbon and soon had it off. She nosed it into the nest and tested the bed's comfort again. Yes, she thought approvingly. That was perfect. And soon the time of waiting would be over. The babies would be very happy here, and so would she.
Thanks to everyone who has read this story, and especially those who have reviewed it. I had a great time writing it.
Firnsarnien: Amelith has won no popularity contests either with Thranduil's family or with readers. Good. I didn't like her either. The elves were very tolerant of the kids' antics actually. I suspect Thranduil is less tolerant of Eilian's though.
Lamiel: I needed to write a lighter story after the battle ending "Tangled Web" and this has been a lot of fun to write. I enjoyed being able to write about Lorellin and even do some glimpses of little Ithilden and little Eilian. I would say that Eilian was totally lacking in discretion, what with the chemise, the crown, the wine, and the nasty maiden. Bad Eilian! I think that Eilian is confident in most ways and lives a pretty independent life, but I also think that his mother is the only one who loves him unconditionally at the time Legolas was born and that mattered to him. He would know she wouldn't stop loving him, but I can see that he might unconsciously worry about the baby taking his place at home. At least, that's what I thought.
Ninna: I'm glad you are enjoying the story. I hope you enjoyed your vacation! And I have to say that computer problems make me crazy!
Alice: And see, you were right about Eilian being in trouble! Thranduil is trying to be a good ada to him too, but he has a harder time with Eilian than with Legolas. Of course, he's probably said the same things to Eilian about a million times and is getting tired of it.
Legolas4me: Well, Amelith did make a fuss and I didn't like her, but I have to say that if a mouse ran over my foot, I might squeal too. Of course, I'm not a wood elf, more's the pity. Thranduil is being a very good father to Legolas. I liked writing about that.
Frodo3791: All mice accounted for now, I think! At least, for the moment. ;-) Lorellin's loss was a real tragedy for her family. It makes me sad to think of it. Is detasselling done for the year?
Brazgirl: Legolas did not want to see any more smooching or sickening stuff like that! Ick. Kissing girls! What is Eilian thinking?! Thranduil is a good father to Legolas just now, but he has more trouble with Eilian. Sigh.
JastaElf: Poor Eilian! He's a generous, brave, loving guy who is also quite stupid where females are concerned. Something seems to interfere with his thought process! ;-) I really liked writing about good!ada!Thranduil in that chapter. He helped Legolas learn to be a better person, and that's just excellent. Eilian is actually pretty lucky to have Maltanaur, I think. His keeper looks after him in all kinds of ways.
The Penumbra: So does this count as Eilian getting into "too much trouble"? Thranduil is not pleased, but he's also concerned about his son, I think. Poor Eilian. He was just having a good time. Actually, until I started writing this story, it had never occurred to me that Eilian might have been jealous.
Draco's Daughter: Little Legolas is cute and very sweet. I enjoy writing about him, so I'm glad you like reading it! Thranduil is really a pretty good father to his baby, I think.
Dy: Amelith was way out of line saying what Legolas should be able to do, but you see that Thranduil made an effort to be a good father to Eilian, even though he was annoyed.