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Chapter One

Spring was finally making her appearance after the long cold winter. Trees were beginning to bud, the trees waking from their winter sleep to rejoice to the world once again.

Grasses dormant for the winter rustled in the mild spring wind. Although still cold there was a spring to the steps of the wood land creatures. Mice and voles scurried amongst the debris of the ground, they gathered up the twigs and small pieces of brush that they could find to line their nests with, nests that would all too well be needed in the future.

A small squirrel could be seen scampering along a branch, eager to be up and about in the relative warmth of the spring sun.

Sitting on a fallen branch was a beautiful bright red Robin warbling, singing to the sun his joy that the long harsh winter was at an end.

It would not be long before blossom would appear on the trees in the Royal garden. The roses would soon bud and their scent would fill the air along with that of the Lavender.

All this was watched with lack of enthusiasm by the small Elfling sitting on the step leading down onto the green. He was small only about seven years of age and so thin. Thin enough that it looked as if a strong wind would blow him away. He had the long limbed look of someone who had grown in a very short of time and the rest of his body had yet to catch up.

For all this he was incredibly beautiful. He had long blond hair that was braided at the sides and joined another longer plait the hung down his back across the top of loose hair. His face was fair, even with the scowl that graced the face at present. His eyes were of the brightest azure blue. Normally they sparkled with a mixture of joy and mischief. Today they were icy with anger.

He stood in one graceful move and walked the rest of the way down the steps onto the lawn, kicking at a loose stone along the way. Reaching the tree he wanted he swung up onto a low limb and with ease traversed the rest of the tree until he was at the exact point that he wanted.

He could look out over the forest from this spot. He gave a long almost weary sigh.

What is wrong, my Prince?

The voice made him jump and look around. There was no one there. The tree beneath him rustled with amusement.

It is only me, little One no one will hurt you while you are with me

The Elfling's face split into a pleased grin. "You are awake."

of course, young one it is spring time

"I have missed you so much." The Elfling hugged the trunk of the tree. "Did you sleep well?"

Yes, it was a very cold winter. I am glad to be awake. The mice are beginning to build their nests amongst my roots. This year will be a good one for the woodland creatures and all will thrive

"You already have mice nesting? That is early in deed. I will make sure to let my Adar know so that they are not disturbed." The Elfling had one hand resting on the trunk before him, enjoying the contact with one he had long missed.

Will you tell me why you are so sadthe trees in this part of the forest loved this little Elfling. While all Wood Elves could communicate with the trees, this little One's ability out shone the rest. He was the only one who could freely communicate with them without thinking about it. It was the same with the animals round about. His talent was incredible and unique.

"Lomion is mad with me and I did not even do anything!" There was a wail in the Elfling's voice.

What happenedthe tree could here the blonds distress.

"Some one let Scamp out of his house and he got into one of his clothes drawer. He would not listen when I said it was not me. I was in classes when it happened all he had to do was go and talk with my tutor. Linethlon would have told him where I was. But no he is so sure that it was me he will not listen. He has gone to tell Adar."

It will work out, your father is wise. You will see. How are your lessons going you had only just started them when I had to sleep

"I love them. I can speak some standard that men speak and soon I will be learning Quenya. That will be fun. I also like history it is fun knowing that your Adar is part of it."

That is good, little One you have been busy I seethe tree could not hide its amusement at the Elfling blabbering in his boughs.

"Yes, and this spring I am beginning my weapons training. I can hardly wait to be able to use my bow properly and meet other Elfling's." There was wistfulness to the Elfling's voice as he said this. The only friend's he had were his brother and they were all older than him and off aiding the Realm for his father.

They will love youthe tree was certain of this.

"I do not think so. Drowlin brought some of his friend's home and they teased me and said some very nasty things to me." He did not like to think of that night and how horrid Drowlin had been to him later that night.

That was not nice of them. What did your Ada say to them the tree did not think that the King would let that go without punishment.

"I could not tell him, Drowlin promised he would break my bow if I did." The sadness in that small voice made the tree rustle its branches at his distress.

You will soon have friends of your own. Do not be frightened of your brother he is showing he is more of an Elfling than you are

That made the Elfling smile. "Ada says the same. I am so glad you are awake and can speak with me." The loneliness shone from his blue eyes.

I will always be here, little One you need never fear that. Your brother is looking for you

Legolas stiffened at this and he peered around the trunk to see which one it was. It was Lomion and he did not look at all happy. He tried to make him self look smaller than he was using the trunk.

"Legolas? I need to talk with you." He did not sound happy either.

Legolas did not answer but remained hidden.

"Legolas, I do not have time for this and Adar wants to see you." Lomion stood with his hands crossed waiting impatiently.

Legolas gave a small sigh before speaking once more to the tree. "I must go my friend, I will see you tomorrow if I am allowed out." he then slid down the trees at such a great speed that Lomion felt his heart hitch into his throat from fear.

"I am here." He glared at his eldest brother.

"Legolas, you are a mess again. What have you been doing?" Indeed the Elfling was covered in dirt smudges and his hair was tangled.

"Talking with my friend." Was the sullen answer.

"Well we have no time to clean you up know, Ada is not in the mood to be kept waiting." With that he caught Legolas' arm and pulled him into the Palace. They were soon in front of the door to Thranduil's study.

Thranduil looked up from the parchment he was reading as they entered the chamber, his right eye rose as he took in the state of his youngest son. He decided he would deal with that later.

"Legolas, Lomion tells me that you have let Scamp loose in his bedchamber. Is this true?" Thranduil watched Legolas as he answered.

"It was not me."

"Legolas you know I do not like you lying. Why did you let him free?"

"I told you I did not let him free. I was in lessons with Linethlon he was teaching me about the last Alliance. As him."

"I will. Lomion would you please go and ask Linethlon if he will join us."

"Of course, Ada." Lomion quickly left the room leaving only Thranduil and Legolas in the chamber.

"Legolas, if you are laying it would be better for you to admit this now or your punishment will be all the harsher."

If Thranduil hoped that Legolas would answer that he was mistaken and there was silence until the door opened once again and Lomion entered with Linethlon.

The tutor bowed low with a respectful. "Your majesties."

"We have a bit of a puzzle here. Can you tell me where Legolas was mid morning?" Thranduil was smiling at the tutor.

"Of course, my Lord he was with me as he usually is after the morning meal. We were having a history lesson." He smiled down at the Elfling at his side.

"He was with you all morning?" Lomion had to ask.

"Yes, he never left the room once. We had quite a pleasant lesson." He looked up at the King. "Is there a problem?"

"Some one let an animal out in Lomion's room and we are trying to find the culprit responsible." Thranduil answered.

"It was not the Prince as he was with me. I think the answer lies else where, my Lord."

"Thank you, Linethlon it would appear so."

The tutor bowed once again and left the room. Silence fell.

Lomion was the first to break it. "I am sorry, Legolas I should have listened to you."

Defiant blue eyes turned to him. "I told you it was not me."

"I know and I am sorry." He held out his arms to the young Prince. They were studiously ignored.

"Why is it always me? Why am I always to blame if anything goes wrong?" Legolas could not hide his hurt.

"You are not always blamed first…"

"I am. When Nolvo hid your shoes last week, you blamed me and when Drowlin took your knife you came to me first. Why? Why is always me you blame first?"

There was no answer to that because Legolas was right; they did always go to him first. He was the youngest and this was what was expected of him.

"I am going to my room." With that the small Prince turned and left the room without waiting to hear another word.

"That went well." Thranduil's voice was cold.

"I am sorry, Ada I should have checked this out first without bringing it to you." Lomion was upset and embarrassed at what he had done, how could he believe that Legolas would do this?

"It is not me you need to apologise to, Lomion it is Legolas if he will speak with either of us."

The pair was subdued when they joined the other of the family for the evening meal. They took their places and waited for the youngest of their number to appear.

It soon became obvious that Legolas was not going to appear. Lomion stood to go and fetch him but Thranduil stopped him. "Begin your meals, I will fetch Legolas."

He knocked on the door to Legolas' chamber minutes later. There was no answer.

He knocked again calling out this time. "Legolas, may I come in?"

There was a muffled. "Go away."

"Please, little Leaf I need to speak with you." There was silence and then a muffled.

"Alright."

Thranduil gave a sigh of relief and opened the door; he had thought for one moment that Legolas would refuse to see him.

Legolas stood in the large window looking out over the courtyard. He did not turn as Thranduil entered.

"It is time for the evening meal, Ion-nin. We missed you."

"No you did not. How could you? It must have been a relief for you."

"Legolas! That is uncalled for." Thranduil could not hide his shock.

"Is it? Almost as uncalled for as being accused of something I did not do?" Legolas still had not turned to face him.

"I am sorry about that as is Lomion. Come down for your meal."

"I am not hungry."

"Legolas, please we want to say sorry properly in front of everyone." There was pleading in his tone.

Legolas turned then and Thranduil was shocked to see the tear tracks and red eyes that came from hours of weeping.

"Leafie?" It was barely above a shocked whisper, it was so unusual to see his joyful youngest son crying.

"Why does every one hate me? What have I done?" Fresh tears slid their way down the pale face.

"Oh, Leafie we do not hate you, why do you think we do?" Thranduil opened his arms and after a moments hesitation he ran into the warm arms.

"I am always the one to blame for anything that happens. Even you do not believe me. Drowlin hates me as do his friends. I am not wanted here." The last was a wail.

Thranduil closed his eyes at this; he had thought that this was all in the past, this insecurity.

"Legolas of course you are wanted here, we love you and would be lost without your love. Please you have nothing to fear. What makes you think Drowlin hates you?"

He could not quite make out the muffled reply. "I am sorry, Leafie what was that?"

"He and his friend's were mean to me and he said that if I told you he would break my bow."

"He said that did he? I will speak with him."

"No! Please, Ada he will break my bow."

"I will not let him do that and if he does you can break his." That earned him a watery smile. Legolas could outstrip Drowlin with the bow any day and it was this that was causing the jealousy of his brother.

"Will you come and eat with us?"

"I am not hungry tonight. I think I will stay here." Legolas really did not want to see his brother's at the moment.

"That is alright. I will come to see you later." He kissed his son before heading for the door. Stopping at the chamber door he looked over his shoulder. "I love you, Legolas." And then he was gone.

Legolas lay on his bed for some time when there was another knock on the door. Elardion entered with a tray.

"I thought you might be hungry, Little Leaf."

Legolas gave him a watery smile. "Thank you, but I am not hungry."

"You need to eat, Leafie. Ada told us what happened; it was mean of Lomion to blame you without proof and I know he is very sorry. Ada is speaking with Drowlin at the moment. If you would like I will look after your bow for you when you are at lessons."

"Would you?"

"Yes, I would. Now eat and I will be happy. If Ada says it is alright would you like to come riding with me tomorrow afternoon?"

"Yes, please." Legolas loved riding with his brothers.

It was a much happier Elfling who settled down to sleep unaware that the future was about to be upset once more.

To be continued.

Well, here you are our first chapter of a new story. Please let us know what you think?

Love,

Mei, Shell and the gang.