Linilya Elf – I know, I'm a terrible person for killing off Isilrö. But Leggy will feel better. I promise.
DreamsofDarkness – Thanks!
SofiaB – Yes, poor horsey.
Lady Ione Athene – LOL. You sure know how to predict things, don't ya. claps at all the muses surrounded you
ElfPrincessLarien – Thanks a bunch!
Legolaslover – I promise that when the battle is over, more fun is in the works. Hehehe.
Elvnchic9 – Sorry, don't hit your head with a rock. It hurts. As to whether I will kill off Thranduil? You'll have to read to find out. But keep in mind that I'm not that heartless. :o)
Linwë – Thanks for the wonderful review. I know, I love writing about Legolas playing pranks on the twins. You rock, too!
Anithrarith – Thanks, but if you do happen to remember what those glitches are, let me know. I'll eventually go back to each chapter and make corrections to typos and such.
Lou – Here's your fix, bro.
Lullaby87 – Here you go!
A/N – I've got good news and bad news.
The bad news: This is the last chapter.
The good news: It's really long.
Chapter 28 – Culmination
There was no place on him where Legolas did not feel any pain. Blood dripped from his nose and into his mouth. He was unable to wipe it away with his wrists chained and pulled away from him. But his aches were not his main concern when he realized that the pain in his chest had diminished. He could easily distinguish the pain from his injuries over the pain of separation from the bond he shared with Aleera as he had felt it for so long that it was almost a part of him. Mixed feelings began rushing through him. He was elated to know that she was alive and had no doubt escaped her confinement. Yet he was troubled to know that she was so close to the danger. Even as his thoughts lingered on her, he watched in growing despair as his father made his way up the long stone stairway leading to the broken bridge. He feared what Pallando would do and listened intently to the Istar's muffled rumblings.
Pallando was grinning. "That's right, you fool of a king, come to me so I can feed you the heart I will cut from your son's chest." He envisioned it and felt the hatred flowing through him like a warm tide. In reality had he wanted to, Pallando could have ended this confrontation quickly. Yet he wanted to savor the moment. He wanted to see the king grovel on his hands and knees, begging for mercy and for the life of his son. He wanted to see the king's shocked expression when the blood flowed from his son's body. He wanted to see the king die right before him. Savoring the moment up close was far more important to him than killing the king and his son from afar.
Gandalf watched Thranduil's progress up the stairway. In moments Thranduil would be at the broken bridge where he would then have to climb the rocks the rest of the way to the cliff. Or if the elven king really wanted, he could actually jump across effortlessly, being an elf. Gandalf wondered if Aragorn and Celegmin had made it into the mountain and he wondered if Aleera had found her way through the catacombs. He wished that he could do something, but he knew that it was Aleera's task. He hoped that she knew what had to be done.
One of the Kozari guards standing behind Pallando turned to the source of the sound. It came from the doorway. A moment later a she-elf stood there, blowing him a kiss and urging him with her finger. He nudged his elbow into the guard directly beside him who also turned. Both moved away from their formation, momentarily glancing in Pallando's direction before they followed the she-elf through the doorway. Neither of them knew that death was only five seconds away.
Legolas's sharp hearing picked out the sounds coming from inside as he watched the two guards disappear into the doorway. There were sounds of scuffling and then faint whispers. He knew the voices. Aleera, Aragorn and Celegmin. Elated he was to know that Aleera was not alone. More sounds followed and the two remaining guards that stood behind Pallando headed inside.
"When the elf king reaches that bridge, I want an arrow sent into his shoulder." Pallando waited for an acknowledgement. "Did you hear what I said?" When he received no response he turned around and found that the guards were no longer standing behind him. "Where in blazes did they run off to?" He turned to the guards holding Legolas. "Get in there and find them."
Two of the guards handed the chains they had been holding to the other two guards and then rushed through the doorway.
"Do you fear me so much that you cannot fight me hand to hand, Pallando?" yelled out Thranduil.
Pallando's attention was drawn back to the elven king who had finally reached the crest of the broken bridge.
"Are you not skilled enough with a sword that you resort to your magic?" continued Thranduil, walking across the twelve foot section of the broken bridge to the very edge. He hoped to engage the Istar with a sword, mainly to buy Aragorn time to plan a way to rescue Legolas.
"I have no fear of you, Thranduil. If swordplay is your preference, then so be it."
Aragorn had just enough time to catch a quick glimpse beyond the doorway before the Istar moved passed his line of vision. Pallando moved to the two holding Legolas and angrily unsheathed a sword from one of the Kozari. Aragorn ducked again as Pallando walked by, then his attention turned to Legolas, now being held by only two guards. He ducked back inside and turned to Aleera and Celegmin. "Two guards left."
"Then let us finish them off," exclaimed Celegmin.
Aragorn grabbed Celegmin's arm before the elf could move toward the door. "Nay, Celegmin. It will draw the Istar's attention and he will use his power against us." He turned back toward the doorway and Celegmin and Aleera moved to peer from the other side.
Aleera glanced to where the two Kozari guards held Legolas with chains. "Oh Valar, look what have they done to my Legolas." His face was bloodied and one of his eyes was swollen shut. His hair was caked in blood and his posture was bent slightly forward, from what appeared to be broken ribs or perhaps worse. The wound on his back must have started bleeding again because she noted the blood stain around it had spread widely. She wanted to rush out and embrace him.
Pallando glanced across the thirty foot gap that separated the cliff and the broken bridge. Far below were the jagged rocks. The only way across was to scale down the side of the cliff and walk across those rocks to the stairway, then climb the stairway to the bridge where Thranduil stood. That would take far too much time. Pallando moved several steps backward and then took a running start to leap across the gap, using his powers to remain airborne until he was directly above the bridge. He landed behind the elven king and quickly raised his sword to strike. But Thranduil quickly unsheathed his sword and spun around to block the blow.
"Your magic you still use, Pallando."
Pallando laughed. "It was merely a short hop." He swung his sword to the left and was blocked again.
"Perhaps for an elf," Thranduil replied with a grin.
Pallando's grin slipped. "I will use no magic to defeat you, Thranduil. But be assured that I will not kill you until you witness the death of your only heir."
Thranduil clenched his teeth and swung twice at the wizard, his efforts blocked by the other's broadsword. "You will not harm a hair on his head, Istar."
Pallando laughed. "Too late for that warning, king. As you can see he has not been treated very gently."
"Aye, I have seen it and you will suffer for it."
They continued to clash swords, blow after blow, their feet skirting around the twelve foot stretch of broken bridge. While Thranduil's moves were geared toward delivering a killing blow, Pallando's on the other hand were aimed toward striking a harmful, yet not deadly blow. Thranduil struck left and then swung quickly around to strike at the right, catching Pallando slightly off guard. Pallando's sword slipped and Thranduil cut into the wizard's left arm. The force would have been enough to dismember his arm if his sword had not partially stopped the momentum.
Pallando jumped backward and gripped his stinging arm. His teeth clenched in rage at the small smile that graced the elven king's face. "Do not think you will be the victor in this, Thranduil."
Thranduil realized that Pallando was easily swayed into distraction, causing him to err. He figured that he could gain the upper hand if he continued to play mind games with the Istar. Pallando was nothing like Mithrandir. While Mithrandir was in good standing with the mighty Maiar, Pallando no longer had such a connection with his Gods and Thranduil could clearly see Pallando's confidence waning. "Where did your spirit go when last I killed you, Pallando? I am convinced that the Maiar did not greet you with open arms after the cruelty you planned to bestow upon my wife."
"The Maiar? I have no association with the Maiar. My loyalty lies elsewhere."
"With Sauron? You have allegiance with the dark lord?"
"Please…your concern is touching," he sarcastically spat out.
"What foul deeds does he ask of you?"
"Your kingdom slips through your grasp as we speak, Thranduil. You are gullible to think your people will continue to follow you to their deaths. The dark forces are strong in Dol Guldur and they will continue to strengthen as time passes. If you must know, I will lead them through your woods and every living soul will be wiped out, including your precious trees. Your realm will be a barren wasteland after I am through with it. And then I will concentrate on other elven realms. Before long Sauron will rule Middle Earth, as it should have been over three thousand years ago." Pallando lunged forward with his broadsword.
Thranduil continued to block each strike. "Sauron will be defeated as he was in the Last Alliance."
"There is no Isildur to defeat Sauron."
"And Sauron has no Ring of Power."
"He will find it. He knows it has not been destroyed."
"You are a fool, Pallando. The Ring is lost. It disappeared when Isildur was murdered by Sauron's minions."
"It will turn up. I have seen it predicted. I have seen the vision in the palantir."
"No truth do the Seeing Stones tell of the future. They are merely a device for communication between the evil forces."
The two continued to battle upon the broken bridge, their swords clashing loudly between their dialogue.
Legolas tore his eyes away from where his father valiantly fought against Pallando. The chains wrapped around his neck were nearly cutting off his supply of air and he pulled at the Kozari guards holding him. One guard stepped up and slammed an elbow into Legolas's face. Legolas abruptly dropped to his knees from the blow and he fought to remain conscious, breathing heavily to allow the oxygen to enter his lungs.
Without another thought, Aleera rushed out from the doorway, avoiding Aragorn's hand as he tried to grab her. Still clinging to the arrow that had originally been shot at Legolas, she jumped on the back of the Kozari attacker and stabbed him repeatedly with the arrow. The Kozari cried out in pain and tried to dislodge her. The other guard moved to his aid, realizing his mistake too late. Legolas regained his feet and slammed into him, forcing him into a run that sent him off the cliff.
Unfortunately the guard still held the chains tightly and Legolas found himself suddenly sliding to the edge from the weight of the Kozari guard and his armor, the chains digging deeper around his throat. Aragorn and Celegmin rushed out at that moment. Celegmin punched at the guard who was slamming his sister into the wall, while Aragorn jumped on Legolas to prevent him from sliding any further.
The Kozari dangled freely from the chains and he cried out in fear as he saw the drop beneath him that would assuredly cause his death if he fell. He began to climb the chains, his weight dragging both Legolas and Aragorn toward the edge.
Aleera released her hold on the last standing Kozari and fell to the ground in a heap. She slowly raised her head and saw Celegmin wrestling him to the ground. Her eyes turned to where Aragorn was futilely attempting to stop Legolas's slide to the edge of the cliff. From the corner of her eyes she spied the Kozari raise a dagger, about to plunge it into Celegmin's heart.
Pallando struck two blows at Thranduil and was gratified to feel that one of them hit their mark. The elven king cried out from the deep cut to his chest. Pallando drove on, slamming his sword hard while Thranduil arched to intercept, but the wizard could almost smell his victory at hand.
The Kozari guard reached up to continue his climb up the chains, unaware that by doing so he was pulling his only anchor down with him. He glanced down and saw the contorted body of his fellow Kozari who had been forced off the cliff by the elf. He gritted his teeth, swearing that he would send the elf flying from the cliff to see if he liked the sensation.
Aleera thought quickly and reached her hand out toward Legolas and Aragorn. A surge of power flew from her fingertips and the links of the chain suddenly came apart, stopping the two from sliding any further. Then she turned and sent the same force in the direction of the dagger in the Kozari's hand.
Aragorn and Legolas found themselves no longer sliding and they both heard the cry of the Kozari guard who finally fell to his death.
Celegmin stared at the Kozari above him and witnessed the dagger suddenly coming out of his hand and turning to sink into the guard's chest. The Kozari slumped dead upon him.
Legolas was thankful when Aragorn pulled him up on his feet and quickly proceeded to unwrap the chains from around his neck, allowing the air to finally rush in. He barely had a chance to take a second breath before Aleera rushed over to embrace him, kissing his bloodied face.
Aragorn moved toward Celegmin and helped push the dead Kozari off him before helping the elf up on his feet.
Thranduil was briefly distracted by what was happening on the cliff and did not react in time to avoid Pallando's sword as it sank into his shoulder. The sudden excruciating pain drove him backward and he felt his entire arm go numb. Then the sword dropped from his hand.
Legolas saw his father take the hit and his eyes widened in fear. "Adar!" (Father)
Pallando swung around and was surprised to find Legolas free from his chains, no Kozari guards in sight, the she-elf Aleera present, as were two others. In anger he raised his hand and sent the four slamming into the far wall and held them there, applying more and more force to eventually crush them into the rock. He had already grown tired of this game. With his other hand he sent Thranduil flying from the bridge and the elven king fell hard upon the rocks below.
Gandalf helplessly watched all of it unfold. Yet he still had confidence in Aleera and that she would continue to find her power.
Aleera cried out as she felt like the back of her head was about to crack open from the weight of the force Pallando was pushing them with. She instinctly summoned up her own energy and the force suddenly ceased, sending her, Celegmin, Aragorn and Legolas pitching forward to the ground. Aragorn and Celegmin immediately lost consciousness. When Aleera looked up, she saw Pallando raise his hand again.
Pallando could not understand how the she-elf had managed to break his force. He studied her briefly before deciding on a different strategy. "Let us see how you fare against lightning." He sent a bolt from each of his hands.
Aleera reacted without thinking, raising both of her hands up. The effect was a force field that blocked the lightning from striking her or the others.
Gandalf took the opportunity to begin the ascent toward where Thranduil lay unmoving on the rocks. He had seen the elven king receive the blow to his shoulder and then witnessed him falling from the bridge. It was a fifteen foot drop from where he had fallen and Gandalf was deeply concerned that he would not find Thranduil alive.
Pallando stared with his mouth open at the she-elf across the gap. How could she have stopped the lightning from striking them? Was there more to her than he first thought? She appeared as any other elf to him…fair complexion and pointy ears. As she glared back at him, he found himself looking into her green eyes and finding something familiar about them. Green eyes…"Who are you?" he asked, his voice loud and menacing.
Aleera did not respond. She merely met Pallando's eyes and held his gaze fearlessly. Perhaps days ago she would have cowered from such a powerful wizard. But now she knew that she held as much power as he. She felt it within her, knew how to channel it, knew the strange words to chant to bend the forces around her to her will. The words had come to her as if she had known them all her life and that they had only been locked away from her memory until recently. To prove to the wizard that she played no games, she channeled her power and rain began to pour down over Pallando.
Pallando looked up in surprise at the rain that was falling around him and nowhere else. Was it some strange coincidence that this elf found the powers of the Blue Wizards? How had she come by them? He lowered his gaze back to her and she held it without fear. She even had the gall to smile smugly at him.
Legolas had no energy left to stand and even with the threat of Pallando still existing, he was unable to look anywhere but where his father lay crumpled on the rocks. He saw no movement, sensed no feelings emitting from him. Was he simply unconscious or was he dead? A moment later he saw Mithrandir reach him. The Istar reached to touch Thranduil. Relief flooded through Legolas when he saw his father slowly sit up with Mithrandir's help. Tears quickly flooded his eyes. His father was alive.
Gandalf left Thranduil sitting up and took several more steps forward as he looked up in Pallando's direction. "Give it up, Pallando. You have no chance of defeating Aleera."
Pallando turned his gaze down to Gandalf. "Perhaps you know something about her that I do not, my old friend."
"Never have I been your friend, you sorry excuse for a wizard. You will answer to the Maiar for your actions. It was you who killed Alatar. The vision came to me in a dream, passed on by Oromë."
Then it suddenly all made sense to Pallando. He turned to Aleera and looked her up and down as if seeing her for the first time. The color of her hair, the distinct green tint of her eyes. "You are a descendent of Alatar."
Aleera raised her chin proudly. "And you, traitor of the Maiar, have lost this battle."
"So you say…" Pallando sent another wave of lightning, aiming it directly at her with all of his strength.
Aleera raised her shield, but felt the strength of his force and it nearly brought her down to her knees. Not letting up for a second, Pallando sent a ball of flames which engulfed her completely. She cried out from the heat, but the flames did not touch her.
Legolas summoned up the rest of his strength and crawled to where Celegmin lay unconscious. He pulled the bow from him and retrieved an arrow. Then Legolas pulled himself up on one knee. Holding the bow with his left hand, he desperately tried to notch the arrow and pull the bowstring with the broken fingers of his right hand. The pain was tolerable, but it was difficult getting his fingers to work. When he had it, he shifted to aim at the Istar standing on the broken bridge and let the arrow loose.
Pallando felt the elf's strength begin to wane and he intensified the heat of the fireball surrounding her. How foolish of her to believe that she could have defeated him. No one could defeat him. Even Alatar had been unable to. And then quite suddenly he felt a sharp pain in his face, causing him to break the force and stumble backward. His left eye had gone dark and when Pallando reached up, he discovered an arrow sticking out of his face, just below his eye.
Legolas pulled two more arrows out of Celegmin's quiver and notched them both. Forcing his broken fingers to cooperate, he drew back the bowstring and released. One arrow ran through Pallando's throat, while the other found its mark between his eyes.
Aleera had dropped to her knees when Pallando's force had evaporated. Her strength had all but left her from the attack. She raised her eyes to see what had made the Istar stop. She saw the arrow and immediately knew that it had come from Legolas. Then two other arrows struck him. Pallando held a look of shock on his face before his eyes rolled into the back of his head and he fell backward. She turned to Legolas just as he dropped the bow and fell on his hands, trying desperately to keep from collapsing. Aleera crawled over to him and pulled him upright again before she embraced him. She was elated when Legolas found the strength to wrap his arms around her. And in each other's arms they cried.
Three Days Later…
Aleera hurried into the sleeping chamber upon seeing the look of desperation on the face of the frazzled healer. It had seemed the longest trip of her life as she ran down the corridors thinking that Legolas had taken a turn for the worse from his injuries. What she had not expected was to find Aragorn and Legolas mock fighting with their walking sticks. Both were still reclined on their beds, which were situated side by side, and were sitting up and leaning toward each other, laughing and slamming their walking sticks together.
"What is going on here?" inquired Aleera with her hands on her hips.
Legolas and Aragorn froze in mid-swing and turned to her, looking like two children caught doing something they were not supposed to be doing.
Aleera walked between the two beds and pulled the walking stick from Legolas's unbandaged hand. "You should not be sitting up, Legolas. The healer warned that any abrupt movements will render you blind in that eye."
Legolas slunk back down on his pillow, a frown upon his face at being reprimanded by his wife. "It was only for a moment."
"I care not if it was for three seconds. Do not move. Am I clear?" Aleera whirled around to Aragorn and yanked the walking stick from his hand as well. "And you, future king of Gondor," she said as she pointed her finger at him. "Stop provoking him or I will separate you."
Aragorn lowered himself back on his pillow. "Aye, aye, my lady. I will heed your words," he said as he raised the sheet up over his nose.
"Good." Aleera tossed both walking sticks into the corner and walked out of the room.
Legolas turned his head to Aragorn. "I told you she would yell at us."
Aragorn smirked. "Whipped you are, Legolas, to allow your wife to treat you in such a manner. When I marry Arwen, she will know not to raise her voice to me."
Legolas laughed. "How wrong you are, mellon nin. How very wrong you are." (my friend)
Three more days later…
Legolas opened his eyes and trained them on Aleera, where she sat beside the bed. "Mas gar le na?" (Where have you been)
"Im gar na cared bach sui treneri an i aran." (I have been tending to matters as instructed by the king)
"Ha nin adar sa heb le o nin." (So it is my father that has kept you away from me)
Aleera stood up and moved closer. "It is not your father that kept me away. I wanted you to get as much rest as possible." When he reached his hand out to her, she took it. "Forgive me, Legolas, but I can no longer bear to be apart from you."
Legolas pulled her roughly toward him and smiled at her squeal as he managed to get her on the bed and on her back. Heedless of the pain in his back, he rolled himself on top of her. The look of surprise on her face was well worth the pain and so would be what he had next in mind. "I have regained more strength than you think, meleth and I will beg you not to stray from my side again."
Aleera smiled up at him. "You, beg? I find that hard to believe."
Legolas lowered his lips to hers, tasting her for the first time in what seemed like an eternity since the last time. The humor of the moment quickly faded as he found himself becoming instantly aroused. "Stay with me, Aleera. Do not leave my side even for an instant. Saes…" (Please)
"But Aragorn might return at any moment," she said.
"Nay, he is out with Arwen. He will not return until dusk."
Aleera carefully slid her arms around Legolas's neck and opened her mouth again to his persistent tongue. She had missed the intimacy they shared and was not surprised at how quickly he was able to persuade her out of her gown. He had been unclothed beneath the sheet and the sudden sight of the scars upon his normally flawless skin brought tears to her eyes. She made an effort to kiss every single one of those scars, which would be a constant reminder to her of the sacrifices this elf had undergone for her, starting with the day they first met.
As Legolas made love to her, he knew that her tears were born of guilt. She had expressed this guilt to him upon their return to Mirkwood after the battle at the Lonely Mountain. He did not want her to blame herself for all that had happened. It was not her doing. She had been a victim of circumstances that were beyond her control. He kissed the tears from her cheeks, then kissed her damp eyes. "I love you," he whispered in her ear. His heart swelled as he felt her tighten her grip around him. She would forever belong to him. And one day, they would sail together to the Undying Lands, with their children and grandchildren.
"Do you feel well enough to walk with me?" Aleera asked him later as they laid together in bed.
Legolas turned his head toward her. "Walk where?"
Aleera grinned and jumped off the bed. "It is a surprise."
Fifteen minutes later, Legolas was fully dressed and being carefully led by Aleera down a stone path. The moment he realized where the path led, he stopped in his tracks, staring at the gate leading to the stables. His heart clenched in his chest as he recalled that Isilrö was dead. "Nay, Aleera, I cannot go in there just yet."
Aleera tugged at his arm. "But I want to show you something."
Legolas frowned and looked down. He knew what Aleera was trying to do. She wanted him to see the horses. "I cannot."
"Legolas, saes…" (Please)
Legolas looked up into her pleading eyes. He missed Isilrö terribly and was not ready to choose another horse at this time. But he allowed her to continue leading him forward. The closer he got to the stable entrance, the more he was losing the battle with the tears that threatened to fill his eyes. When they reached the threshold, Aleera made him stop.
"Close your eyes," said Aleera.
Legolas did as she asked and he let her lead him inside. The strong scent of horses brought comfort to him and he let it drift into his lungs. When he felt that she had led him to what had to be the center of the barn, she stopped him again.
"Sit on the floor here." Aleera helped Legolas lower himself down and he crossed his legs.
Legolas heard a small sound in front of him and sensed the uncertainty of whatever horse was in the stall.
"Open your eyes," said Aleera as she sat down beside Legolas.
Legolas opened his eyes. Standing on wobbly legs three feet away was a pure white colt. The timid creature nickered in Legolas's direction. An odd sensation came over Legolas. He somehow had a feeling that this colt belonged to Isilrö. He had bred the stallion to several mares, but had lost track of the time that passed, forgetting that some would already have given birth.
Aleera did not speak. She knew that Legolas would understand and did not require her to explain what he was looking at.
Legolas reached a hand out and the colt hesitated, watching him warily, with its mother just behind. Then the colt took several tentative steps toward Legolas until it touched his fingers with its nose. Tears filled Legolas's eyes and he reached out to caress the colt's face. The colt nickered again and suddenly moved closer to him, practically crawling on his lap. Legolas wrapped his arms around the white colt and wept.
Aleera's eyes filled with tears as well and she brought her arms around Legolas to comfort him as he held Isilrö's offspring.
"I will name him Brassenglos," Legolas finally said through his tears. (white moon)
"It is a fine name," replied Aleera.
Legolas turned his face toward Aleera. "Hannon le," he said as he leaned closer and kissed Aleera on the lips, the tears on their faces mingling. "For knowing what I need to make me feel better." The colt began to lick Legolas's face, making him laugh. (Thank you)
Hurbag sat on the cold floor of the cell, elbows resting on his knees, hands holding up his face. He had been in this cell for at least ten days. Maybe more. All he had to look at were the trinkets lying about, the things that had drawn him into the cell to begin with. But he had looked at everything at least five times over, just to pass the time and he was now bored with the shiny gold objects. If he never laid eyes on them ever again, it would suit him just fine. He wondered what was happening outside the caverns. Had Hurrnäd successfully killed the king's son? If that had been the case, then he surely would have been freed by now. So what was taking so long? Did the Kozari kill off all the elves and leave him to rot alone in this cell with no food or water? Perhaps they were unaware he was in Thranduil's dungeons. He stood up and moved to the small window with the bars and was about to cry out when he heard faint voices approaching. They were coming to rescue him…He stepped back from the door and rubbed his hands together. Food…it was the first thing he would request upon his freedom. But when the door swung open, the last person he had expected to see was an elf. Curses upon the Kozari for failing!
Emlin grabbed Hurbag and dragged him roughly out of the cell. Then he threw him out into the corridor. "Orc scum! Get on your feet and walk!"
Hurbag dragged himself to his feet, turning back to sneer at the elf before finally moving forward. His mind conjured up a dozen images of what the elves would do to him and none of them were in any way compassionate. The elf led him through a maze of corridors and finally through a pair of doors flanked by more elven guards. A moment later he was thrown to the floor at the feet of Thranduil. When he looked up, the elven king had a stern look upon his face, head held high, looking at him passed his pointed nose. To the king's right sat his son and only a small bit of consolation did he feel at seeing the healing cuts on the elf's face. Even with those wounds, the elven prince looked upon him as if he were a slab of fly-infested meat. He glanced to the right of the elven prince and saw another familiar face. It was the she-elf he had sold Hurrnäd many months ago. He recognized her cold green eyes. Turning back to the prince, he sneered. "You are supposed to be dead," said Hurbag in fury.
"I am sorry to disappoint you, Hurbag," replied Legolas.
With a sigh, Thranduil turned to the group of elves seated on the right. Among his advisors sat Celeborn, Glorfindel, Haldir, Elladan, Elrohir, Galadron, Aragorn, Arwen and Gandalf. "Allow me to introduce a source of great annoyance to me and my realm. This creature is Hurbag, captain of the Orc horde that no longer exists." He emphasized the last three words in Hurbag's direction.
Hurbag winced at the news that his fellow Orcs were all dead. In actuality he had known they would be defeated against the elves that had fought viciously near Lake-Town. But the manner in which the elven king had relayed the news to him made his blood run cold.
"What shall become of this creature?"
Legolas had no pity for Hurbag. Many elves had died by his hands, many that were his close friends. "I say we burn him alive, douse him out with cold water and then burn him again."
Hurbag cringed. That was not one of the ways he had imagined the elves killing him.
Gandalf stood up and walked from the rest of the group. He stepped up to the left side of Thranduil's throne and looked down at the cowering Orc. "Although this goes against my better judgment, Thranduil, I say we release him."
There were gasps among those in attendance. Thranduil looked up at Gandalf. "Why do you come to this conclusion?"
Gandalf had a faint smile on his face. "He will run south to join the mass in Dol Guldur. There he will inform the Necromancer that the elves of Mirkwood are a force to recon with and that the Necromancer would be wise to take his order and leave these woods immediately."
Hurbag spat on the floor. "I will do no such thing!"
Gandalf continued to smile at the Orc. "Perhaps not. But he undoubtedly is already aware of your captivity, Hurbag. If you are released, you will be hunted down by the minions of the Necromancer. Any torturous death exacted by this realm will pale in comparison to what the Necromancer will do to you for your lack of ability."
Hurbag was well aware of that fact and he lost all control of his dignity as he crawled to the feet of the elven king. "Please, please, do not release me, great king of elves. Do with me as you wish, but do not release me."
Thranduil scowled at the hideous creature pawing his feet and looked up at Gandalf, who gave him a wink. Then he turned to his son. "Legolas?"
Legolas glared at Hurbag for a moment before turning to Aleera. "What say you, Aleera? You have just as much right to deal out his fate as I do."
Aleera met Legolas's eyes and in a flash she recalled the treatment Hurbag had bestowed upon her while in the company of the Orcs before she was sold to the king of Kozar. They had beaten her, dragged her in the dirt, treated her like a captured animal and taunted her with vile threats to her virtue. It was not a time she wanted to ever recall again. His fear of the Necromancer was obviously greater than his fear of how he would die in the hands of elves. "Release him to the Necromancer."
Hurbag straightened and stared at the she-elf. "Nooooo!"
Legolas turned toward Emlin, who was standing just behind Hurbag. "Release him and make sure he ends up in the hands of the forces in Dol Guldur."
"Aye, ernil," replied Emlin with a nod. (prince)
That same evening…
Legolas waited for the servant to bring a tray of wine goblets. "Leave it." After the servant walked away, Legolas leaned toward Aragorn and reached beneath the table, feeling the small packet Aragorn handed him. Then while Aragorn stood up and sat on the edge of the table, blocking him from being seen by anyone, Legolas opened the packet and poured the powder into two of the goblets. He carefully stirred the contents by moving the goblets around. "It is done."
Aragorn scanned the large hall and found where his adoptive brothers stood speaking to Celegmin and his younger sister Brithla. He walked in their direction.
Legolas remaining seated at the table, attempting to flex the three broken and bandaged fingers of his right hand. Soon they would be healed enough so that he could practice with his bow once again, although he knew he could still shoot straight, even with broken fingers as he proved at the Lonely Mountain when he killed Pallando. He glanced at where his father stood with Gandalf, Lord Celeborn and Lord Glorfindel. They were undoubtedly thinking of ways to put a dent in the forces at Dol Guldur. He knew Gandalf had an inkling that the Necromancer might in fact be Sauron himself. But no one had been able to prove it thus far. Legolas then glanced in Aleera's direction. She stood with some of the elf maidens of the court. Against his better judgment, he agreed to let her befriend them. He sincerely hoped that none of them ever crossed Aleera in any way, for her retribution would be harsh and swift, knowing the Istar powers she possessed.
A moment later Aragorn returned to the table with Elladan and Elrohir. The three sat down and Legolas handed out the goblets on the tray. Then he held his goblet up. "To our brothers that perished in battle." The others held their goblets up and then drank. Legolas exchanged a small smile with Aragorn.
Fifteen minutes later, Aragorn walked with Elladan while Legolas walked with Elrohir. The twins could barely walk as they were led down the corridor.
"Where are we going again?" asked Elrohir, his words slurred from the affects of the tainted wine.
"A maiden awaits your company, my friend," replied Legolas.
"What about my brother?"
"There is one for him as well." Legolas led the way to a chamber and kicked the door open. The grunting of pigs could be heard coming from inside. "Listen, she speaks to you now."
Elrohir smiled stupidly. "Ah, such a fair voice she has, too."
Legolas could not contain his laugh as he dragged Elrohir inside, with Aragorn dragging Elladan. There was more giggling coming from inside and finally Legolas and Aragorn exited, closing the door behind them.
Aragorn wiped his hands on the front of his tunic. "How long do you think it will take before they realize things are not as they should be?"
"Hopefully not until morning," said Legolas with a grin. "Come, let us be off. Aleera mentioned something about swimming in the river. Perhaps you and Arwen would care to join us."
"I speak for Arwen when I say we would be delighted."
The two of them rushed off away from the closed door. Aragorn stumbled along the way and Legolas returned to help him back up on his feet. And as they made their way down the corridor, all but their laughter could be heard, their thoughts on the reaction of the twins when they sobered and woke up.
Sorry this had to come to an end so quickly. If you're interested, go check out my Alien vs Elf trilogy. It's not a parody, it's just good old fashioned alien ass-kicking fun.