A/N: Okay...Still here, still alive and breathing out fanfiction. ;) Thanks to those who reviewed chapter 11. A lot of you didn't like the heavy and brutal theme that went on but hey, I think it was just right. Besides, I did WARN you that the chapter would be brutal since it was inspired by the movie, Passion of Christ. I personally agree that elves are beings that do not employ violence when it comes to punishments but if you read the words of Legolas, he allowed it to continue to prove a point. Anywhoooo, that would be the only blood brutal scene in this story...
I do NEED to warn you that this story will be long...since I did make a draft on the story and there are enough twists in this story to fuel a soap opera series. After this chapter, we move back to Eryn Lagaslen where all the REAL action will take place. :P
Another thing...THIS CHAPTER HAS NOT BEEN EDITED AT ALL. I'm sorry, I KNOW i should be thoroughly editing it (I did edit a little) but it's already very late here so I'll edit everything tomorrow, alright? please don't yell at me! hehehe :)
TEACHING THE MALFOYS, A HARRY POTTER FIC (DRACO/GINNY). READ AND REVIEW THAT AS WELL! THANKS:)
Chapter 12 - Contradictions and Oxymorons
"Arienne," Galadriel greeted her granddaughter quietly, a soft smile lingering on her lips. "Come, walk with me."
Arienne walked next to her beautiful and regal grandmother. Unlike her, Arienne felt that after the events of the last day, she looked absolutely horrifying. And she had no doubt that it was true. One glance at her mirror after stumbling out of bed an hour ago made her wince. Galadriel, the embodiment of what an elf should look like...and her granddaughter, Arienne, the embodiment of what a troll looks like.
If she had a choice, she would have made herself look more presentable but after she got her grandmother's message to accompany her in her gardens that morning immediately, she really had not much choice. And besides, she did have certain agendas as well. After she was literally hauled by the two guards from the throne room to her chambers the day before, she had not heard a word about what happened to the prince.
"The prince has lost too much blood," Galadriel started.
Arienne snapped her gaze from the rose bushes to her grandmother's troubled features. Apparently, she didn't have to wait long to hear what state the prince was in. "Is he...Will he—will he...be alright?" she asked difficultly, swallowing the forming lump in her throat before expelling a breath through her lips.
"The last I heard from the March warden, the prince was heavily sedated even though he refused them. The healers had to sedate him by darts because he wouldn't let them near him. Even with all the lost blood, he was determined to feel the pain," Galadriel said, trying not to show too much emotion on her face.
"He didn't want Haldir to stop at the seventy-fifth blow. I pleaded with Haldir to stop and get the prince a healer because I knew he was already loosing too much blood. I tried to stop it—"
The lady's gaze was far, as if she was losing herself to a different time. And yet, she was still there, her lips conveying a message. "The prince was not supposed to endure all one hundred of those lashes, Arienne. Even the seventy-fifth blow was already severe. And I know that you knew that,"
The younger elf nodded, her eyes full of distress. "I realized it too late. I am not saying that he did not deserve some of those lashes because he has to be punished. I didn't understand why there was so much blood, his blood pooling all over the floor, until it was too late," she answered.
But instead of adding more to the young elleth's guilt, Galadriel closed his hand over her granddaughter's own, bowing his head. "The prince's punishment has only begun. Your father broke your sister and the prince's engageme—"
"He did whaaat? But the wedding—!"
Galadriel shook her head, "By now, the prince knows how much damage between two families from two elven kingdoms he has destroyed. The prince stays here in the kingdom because of my mercy and respect for his father, even if his own father wishes that his son be tried fully as if he was a common offender."
"Kethaera must hate me now," Arienne whispered, the steady clenching in her heart at the pain of realizing the possibility of her older sister hating her for ruining her chance at the prince. "I should have stayed in Rivendell. If I had, none of this would be happening right now," she said bitterly. "When I was about to go back to Eryn Lagaslen, I already had the feeling that things aren't going to go well. Mirkwood isn't home anymore for me. And it won't be home for me again if my own sister hates me!"
"No, she does not," Galadriel said gently, cupping Arienne's face with her palms. "The king and people of Eryn Lagaslen expected more from their prince; they did not expect brutality and crudeness. They expected propriety for he is destined to be king soon and yet he crossed that line. It is not in the nature of elves to be violent, to revel in physical punishment but we must for we have to nullify physical violence with the punishment of physical violence."
"We elves are peaceful beings but when we are attacked by any force that threatens our existence, it is our duty to protect our lands, our people, our dignity. May that force be an army of orcs, or a revered prince of an elven realm, we lay down the same measures to protect our own. It has been a long time since an elf has been punished in the same violent manner as the prince because we do not allow our basal instincts to take hold of violence and no one, since the prince two days ago, for the past millennia that this has happened."
"I do not understand. I do understand but I don't want to because I don't feel that what's happening is right. My head's full of contradictions and it isn't so easy to sort them all out and I simply cannot make a rash decision because I might miss something important and choose the wrong option. Does that make sense at all? All the while the prince told me he loves my sister and she also expressed to me that she loves the prince. What part do I play between two people who love each other?"
"You play the part of the elleth that the prince is in love with," Galadriel answered softly, watching her granddaughter's distressed face to one of complete horror.
"Pardon me?" Arienne blanched out. "But that's simply preposterous!"
The elder elf gave Arienne a sideways smile and shook her head. "Is it truly?"
"Yes! You know of the time that I adored the prince as if he was the only elf that I will allow myself to marry when i was a mere child of fourteen! Two thousand years later, I grew out of that juvenile adoration and I see him on his engagement ball. He is getting married to my sister and then suddenly he is in love with me?" she cried out, shaking her head at the improbability of what the lady was telling her.
"It must have occurred to you that certain developments have happened since you arrived. The prince may have not appreciated how beautifully you've grown up like Haldir in the years past but it does not mean it dampened his ardor towards you."
Arienne flushed at the words her grandmother chose to portray what prince apparently felt towards her. But even then, it was a mixture of embarrassment and indignation towards the infidelity the prince was capable of! He was engaged to her sister and yet...yet—he wanted her! Was she the only one who saw what was wrong with what was happening?
"Yeah, beautiful way he showed his 'ardor' towards me two nights ago," she said, unable to keep the sarcasm from her voice. "He may have paid for what he did with compliance to the laws of punishment handed upon offenders like him but what about me? What about what he has done to me? I would rather be with the man who respects me rather than someone who rationalizes his actions with his blood being fortified with ale! How can someone be 'in love' and treat them that way? So forgive me grandmother, if I cannot see what you see in him," she said, trying to keep her irritation down.
"I am not condoning what he did to you, child," Galadriel said sternly. "All I am doing is enlightening you on why the prince acted that way, even though it was bad judgment on his part. It would have worked well between the two of you if not for that rashness—"
"Excuse me!" For the second time that afternoon, her grandmother was able to make her jaw drop at her 'revelations'.
She gave her another one of those enigmatic sideway glances, "I can see the future and your future and his were intricately entwined. Your sister is not his destiny." You are.
Arienne rolled her eyes before shaking her head. "I know you like me best Grandmother and I know you would rather see me married to the prince, since well, he is a prince, but I think it would be unfair to my sister if you blatantly played favorites," Arienne said wryly.
The lady chuckled at her words but shook her head as well. "The Valars have different plans for your sister and I know that she will be happy with her fate, I made sure of that. So you see child, I do not play favorites, I simply lead each of you to your real destiny and your destiny may seem evil right now but it is with—"
"Please don't say his name in that context, I do still want to—forgive the crudeness-smash his face into an Oliphant's ass until he looks like leaves that Sauron used to wipe his ass for what he did to me," Arienne jauntily said. It was true, inasmuch as she tried to stop him from 'dying' by flogging, it didn't mean she still didn't want to kill him with her bare hands.
"If you say so," Galadriel responded with a great sigh.
"And grandmother, with all due respect, you do know that my father has arranged my marriage with the March Warden!"
Galadriel raised her delicate eyebrow to her granddaughter inquiringly, "And you're going to comply with this?"
"Why ever not? I have known the Haldir for a long time now, I enjoy his company and we respect each other," she responded defensively, truly confused at what her grandmother was trying to lead her into. "I find that his intentions are noble and true. There is nothing about our arranged union to be looked down at."
"And the prince?"
"What about the prince?"
"What does the prince play in your life?"
"Before, he was my adored protector. Now, he is the man who has nearly destroyed my relationship with my sister. A year from now? Simple. He will simply be the prince and the future King of Eryn Lagaslen, nothing more," Arienne answered simply.
I fear that you would be more than just the subject of the future king, Galadriel thought sadly. The pair walked silently after that declaration from the elleth, each lost to her own thoughts. When they finally reached the alcove leading to the ballroom, Galadriel turned to Arienne and gently touched her cheek.
"Since your father has broken your sister and prince's engagement, there is no need for me or Lord Celeborn to bless any union. The king has also sent escorts from Eryn Lagaslen that will arrive this afternoon and will bring you and the prince back to your land in the morn," she said, kissing Arienne's forehead. "It is a pity that the prince made poor choices in his actions."
- a - b - c - d - e-
She watched the steady rise and fall of his back.
He was still sleeping, still heavily sedated from the healers' potions that had to be forced on him. Because of the wounds from the flogging, he had to sleep on his stomach.
The soft afternoon light filtered in from the room, forming a soft glow around the room. It was a picture of calm and serenity, belying the storm that was about to be unleashed when morn comes and they have to go back to Mirkwood.
It's as if nothing happened, Arienne thought sadly, studying the calm expression on the prince's sleeping form. He was once again her old protector, the elf she adored and loved the most outside her own family. And yet, she knew it could never be the same again. No matter how much her grandmother tries to tell her that it was for her own good that she came back from Rivendell, she couldn't shake the fact that she was the cause of so much chaos in the lives of the people she cared about.
Then comes the startling, or maybe not too startling revelation from her grandmother about the prince and his intentions. She was simply surprised that someone else was able to detect the differences in action from the prince towards her.
At first she thought that he was simply making up for the lost time but as time passed, she couldn't help but feel uncomfortable with his actions. Even if he wasn't engaged to her sister, she would still feel awkward. The prince was undeniably handsome but that was not enough for her to simply throw herself at his feet. Nay, it didn't work that way now, she mused.
Simply put, she had already set boundaries even then. He is..was her sister's betrothed, while she...She was the child who once adored him and had finally grown out of that stage and is determined to stay away from his path. But then, he wouldn't allow her to be away from his path. She dared not think of his actions towards her, she dared not betray her own sister. And yet, even with that loyalty she had for her sister, he dared to betray her, his family name and their family.
It was close to the end of the middle of the afternoon. In a couple of hours, dusk would settle throughout the land. She had received word that the escorts from Eryn Lagaslen had already arrived half and hour ago. She knew her father pulled a lot of strings (which she knew were very easy to control since Corellon had the King's hands tied because of his son's actions) to get the best guards to get to the Golden Woods in less than the usual week-long journey.
She knew she shouldn't be there, for the sake of her own pride and yet she had stealthily climbed out of her own window, carefully avoiding the guards Haldir had posted around her room. It didn't take her long to find herself climbing into the window of the prince's chambers. She shouldn't be there, but she was. Her sense of pride and indignation demanded her to allow herself to believe that he deserved those lashes. His actions to her, her family and their country demanded that she denounce his existence in her life.
And yet, for some inexplicable reason, she was there. In his room. A day after her gown soaked his blood like a sponge.
It had taken two healers to scrub her neck and arms of sedating potion to calm her down yesterday. With flailing arms and screams that was reminiscent of her younger days as the elleth that threw tantrums when the prince leaves her for trips, the two guards who had been ordered by Haldir to take her back to her room displayed scratch marks on their faces and necks as she tried to free herself from their arms after realizing what Legolas was trying to do to himself.
She knew that in the deepest recesses of her heart, she could forgive him. "Besides, forgiveness and trust are two extremely different concepts," she murmured to herself. The fear in her heart that he had caused her that night undoubtedly will remain for a long time. Perhaps she was being too kindly or perhaps too untrue to herself when she said that she could forgive him.
Nay, not only is it too soon, but he has not earn forgiveness. The punishment of the whip is different from pain of having to earn someone's forgiveness, she thought before her eyes caught a slight shift in his breathing. From the deep and even breaths he was talking seconds ago, the prince was already short of gasping for air. Arienne approached his sleeping form cautiously.
Legolas' eyes twitched rapidly, his head restless at the apparent dream he was having. The groans came next and the clutching of the sheets by his right hand, fisting and twisting the linens as if grasping for something.
Suddenly, the thick bandages that was wrapped around his torso was beginning to color with crimson splotches. She knew that because of his sudden and tight movements, it was causing the wounds to open up once more. And if he continued his thrashing, the healers would rush in and see that she was there.
"No...No...I'm sorry...No...I'm so sorry..."
She watched, fascinated at the words that the prince muttered in his sleep. This was nothing like the usual sleep talking. The prince's words were in distress, as if it was being wrenched from his throat. The peaceful face from moments ago was completely gone. It was replaced by someone who was in obvious and acute pain.
Glancing once more to the door and seeing that it wasn't going to open anytime soon, she carefully walked towards the bed and crouched near the edge. The contortions he was making with his face marred his angelic features. It was truly unlike the expression he had on two nights ago. Maybe she was simply a fool by being there. He had hurt her and yet she was there playing nurse when the healers were on call all day.
"Legolas, wake up..."
The bandages continued to soak the blood coming from the tearing wounds. With horror-filled eyes, she started to shake his arm lightly to move him into consciousness. "Wake up! Your bandages are going to tear even more!" she hissed, trying to stop his shaking.
Suddenly, when Arienne was already detecting sweat beads forming on his temple, the prince's eyes shot open. Arienne's green eyes were the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes and not that it was a welcoming sight, but to find out that she was there and she woke him up from that dream, it was understandable that he reflexively pulled away from her from shock. "Arienne? What are you doing here?" he asked, grimacing from the searing pain from his back. "You're not supposed to be here."
Legolas carefully shifted out of the bed, obviously discarding the intense pain he was undoubtedly feeling as he set his eyes grimly. It wasn't an unusual dream. He had been having it every time he closed his eyes to rest. It was a gamble he took every time he tried to sleep. It was always a bad idea, he always ended up dreaming about the night of the ball.
This time, he wasn't himself. He was simply looking above what was happening and yet he could feel both his and Arienne's emotions at that time. But as always in the dream, he could never stop himself from harming her...Simply apologizing over and over again and trying to reach to 'himself' to stop what he was doing. The most acute pain he felt from the dream stayed with him even after he had woken up. Each time he felt her fear...her fear towards him, his head clenched as if it was trying to suspend the beating of his heart.
Having her wake him up from the dream where she played a main role didn't help with the internal pain he was feeling; it surpassed the physical pain he felt. The lashes he could bear them without so much as a grimace or wince, he had endured more battle scars and survived. But the one he carried all the time was an all together different matter.
"What are you doing here?" he asked gruffly, sitting at the edge of his bed, feeling her walk away from where he was. He felt her fear. Her fear of him.
"I wanted to see if you were alright," she answered truthfully.
Great, how awkward can this get? Arienne thought sarcastically to herself. "Oh, alright." She did not bothering to glance his way before starting to walk towards the door. She paused. "The escorts from Eryn Lagaslen have already arrived. We ride at dawn tomorrow," she added softly before heading to the door.
"How are you?"
"I think you know 'how i am'," she answered curtly.
Legolas winced inwardly. "I'm sorry."
"You're going to drag it out of me?"
"No, there's simply too many transgressions for me to know which apology is for which."
"I'm sorry for every single transgression I made to you,"
Arienne quirked an eyebrow and glared at him. "How do you think I should respond to that?"
"With you hurling your shoe my way?"
"Hurting other people is your style, not mine," Arienne said, not biting on the bait.
"Have you figured out what made me do that to you?"
"No. I haven't gone that far off the road. It's not my style to reminisce on unsavory memories,"
"Is it that hard to understand why?"
Arienne shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe you were simply looking for another elleth to be who was hormonal and vicious enough as you were that night and I was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time?"
Wince. "You're getting good at verbal jabs."
"Don't worry, I have a lot more. You gave me the ammunition."
Legolas chose not to say anything and let some air pass between them. This were getting too angry too fast and he wanted her to stay a bit longer for him to explain and say words than he was afraid to say that led to this between them.
"Is there anything else you want to discuss? I still have to pack for tomorrow," she said unfeelingly.
The prince glanced up to where she was before slowly standing up, keeping the pain off his face. He walked to the windows and touched the marble pillar to support his weight. Moments passed before he spoke once more, "I was jealous of the warden."
A small smirk appeared on her lips at that admission. "That's old news. Why you are, I cannot fathom."
"Is it so hard for you to understand that I feel something for you?" he snapped at her, whipping his head to where she was, holding her surprised gaze.
"Is it so hard for you to understand that you cannot feel something for me?" she retorted.
"Why not? Because I was engaged to your sister?"
"No, because you've hurt me and my family enough!"
"And you think I'm going to hurt you again?"
"What makes you think you wouldn't anymore? You already did hurt me once, what's going to stop you from doing it again?"
"Damnit Arienne, if I can change what happened, I would—"
"But you can't," Arienne said dully.
"I want to change what happened, can't you understand that?"
"It's not as simple as that Legolas, and you know it. You destroyed people's trust; I don't think I can trust you at all. And you know what? I don't want to trust you anymore because I don't see the point in it anymore. There's no reason for me to; the only link you had to me was when you were engaged to my sister. Now that you aren't, there is nothing between us."
"So that's it. I tell you that I feel something more than brotherly affections and you simply throw it away. Why are you doing this?"
"Damn you! You make it sound so easy but you know it isn't! One moment you physically assault me then the next moment you declare these so- called feelings for me! Am I the only one who sees what's wrong with all of these! Look, I'm not that child who follows you around like a lost puppy, I've told you that a million times. This is who I am now, with obligations attached as well as a different perspective on life."
Legolas stared hard at the magnificent view from his window, a muscle ticking on his forehead. "I am paying for what I did to you, I pay for it every single time I breathe in. Every single time I breathe in, I see you. I see you looking at me terrified, pleading for me to stop. Each time I see that in my mind, I feel like a goddamn animal, Arienne. I pay for what I did to you with every single breath I take. I never want to see that look in your face again." He turned his gaze to where she was standing and continued, "I'm not asking you to forgive me now. I'm not asking for you to forgive me tomorrow or a year, hell, a century from now. All I want is for you to know that I am sorry, that I will make it up to you, no matter what and that I think it's bullshit that you won't acknowledge that what I feel for you is more than this...whatever this is we have right now."
Arienne growled at the nonsensical path the conversation was heading into. "I am acknowledging it, I'm simply choosing to do nothing about it because unlike you, I have no plan on betraying people I love."
"You're saying that you do have feelings for me but you choose to ignore it?" he asked incredulously.
She whipped her head to where he was and glared, walking back a few steps to where he was to make a point. "How thick can you get! Are you simply hearing the words that will be beneficial to you? I do not feel anything for you, at all. Sure, maybe if you rewind time when I was still twelve years old pretending that we're going to get married. But it's two thousand years after, get over it!"
"So when we get back to your perfect little world——"
"It isn't so perfect anymore when you came into the picture," she spat.
Legolas smiled humorlessly at her venom and continued, "——and live that boring mundane things you love to do."
"Yeah, my perfect little world with my father, my sister, minus you, plus Haldir," she snapped. Then Arienne's lips curled into a vicious smile, turning towards him, "Oh, did I mention to you that instead of your wedding with my sister, my own wedding with the March Warden will 'replace' yours in the spring? Oh, what a SHOCKER, isn't it? My life isn't so mundane after all. Oh...oh...I almost forgot, he's also going to stay in Eryn Lagaslen till the wedding."
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