Fic: The Ugly Princeling 1/4

Author: Sivan Shemesh

Beta: Manon

Disclaimer: Based on "The Ugly Duckling" by Hans Christian Andersen. Characters belong to Tolkien though they are not mine, never were.

Warning: Emotional feelings, angst, violence. No character death! Probably tissues are needed.

Rate: PG-13

Summary: We all knew about Legolas's beauty, but what story/past is Legolas trying to hide? Find out, as King Elessar tells Legolas' story to his son.

A/N: Aragorn had many names, so apart of Aragorn I used – Estel, and King Elessar. Changing names.

A/N2: The fic was written for Teitho for theme – Middle Earth Fairy-Tales.


Gondor, Forth Age

Prince Eldarion watched from the window as Legolas and Gimli played with his sisters and mother, who was laughing at something Gimli had said.

Eldarion enjoyed hearing Gimli's wise words, as well as the respect and the grace of Legolas.

Eldarion turned his head towards his father and asked, "Adar?"

"What is it, my son?" Aragorn asked as he gently stroked his son's hair.

"Tell me a story…" Eldarion asked his father with pleading eyes.

Aragorn could not ignore the look in his son's eyes.

"What kind of story do you wish to hear?" Aragorn asked.

Eldarion rolled his eyes. "I already heard from Gimli 'An Elf and a Rose'. Tell me a story that only you know," he asked.

Aragorn rose from his chair and walked into the library. He found the book he wanted lying on the table, covered in dust. Making his way back to where Eldarion was, he opened it, remembering of a story that was dear to his heart.

He remembered of some of the tale, but he felt he needed the book to remind him.

He sat on his chair and took his son onto his lap. He looked at Eldarion with mixed emotions, feeling that his son wanted to ask him how he had become king.

Aragorn closed his eyes for a moment, and then opened them again to look at the book in his hands. In it was a story that he had written years ago, and he began to tell the story to his son…

"Once upon a time… far, far away from here, there was a kingdom, named Mirkwood.

A prince was born. The Queen died as she gave birth, and this made the prince's face become ugly, making everyone fear him."

"Ada?" Eldarion called.

Aragorn turned his eyes over his son, and asked "What is it, my son?"

"How do you know this?" Eldarion asked in curiosity.

"I asked his father, King Thranduil, as I was curious as to why he was ugly, and he gave me the answer." Aragorn answered his son, the tears flowing as he remembered the tale.

"Ada?" Eldarion asked again.

Aragorn looked at him patiently, his eyes full of tears, and asked, "What is it, my son?"

"But… but Mirkwood, it is not that far away… it is only takes three weeks of riding to get there, Adar."

"For you, and for everyone that has read my story, it seems a long way away, my son," Aragorn said to him, and added as he noticed the confused look that was on his son's face, "If you knew the short-cuts like I do, you would get there a lot sooner than you think."

"Adar? What had happened?" Eldarion asked, his voice still full of curiosity.

"He was ashamed of his looks, even before his father," Aragorn said, and looked at his son, wondering if he was going to ask more questions, but Eldarion remained silent. So he continued. "He took his bow, arrows and his two knives and left Mirkwood, feeling neglected even by his father, for Thranduil had banished him…"

"Banished? Why would a father banish his own son?" Eldarion asked.

Aragorn sighed; he did not know the answer. Instead, he told his son: "This question, I am afraid, you will have to ask Legolas, my son."

"I will," Eldarion said, and then asked his father to continue the tale.

At this point, Aragorn placed the book on the table next to him, no longer needing it. He looked at his son.

"My first meeting with the prince was in the woods," Aragorn said, his voice filled with pride as he added, "My brothers and I were on a mission for our father, your grandfather, Elrond. We were attacked; there was no warning as arrows flew all around us…"

"Ada?" Eldarion glared at his adar, and asked, "Were you hurt, adar?"

"I was. One arrow had hit me in the leg, while the twins had been hit a number of times," Aragorn answered. He noticed the frown his son gave him. "Blood was flowing from a wound on Elladan's chest, while Elrohir's hand and leg were bleeding."

"What happened next, adar?" Eldarion asked, his arms wrapped tightly around his adar.

"I shouted: 'Who are you?'" Aragorn replied.

"And what did you hear?" Eldarion asked.

"I heard a shout: 'I am no one!'" Aragorn said, and continued, "He asked our names, and asked why we were there…"

"And did you tell him?" Eldarion asked. Aragorn could see the sparkle in his son's eyes and nodded.

"I explained to him who we were; I could feel his eyes on us, especially on me. He was hiding in the trees, I saw him as a creature."

"Why a creature? Did you see his face, adar?" Eldarion asked, his eyes locked on his Adar's.

"Not right away, my son. He told us that he would let us continue, but that we could not deviate from our mission. He warned us that if we did, he would attack us again. We quickly left, helping each other, and made our way to the Great Hall and met King Thranduil. He was shocked to see that we were hurt."

Eldarion was silent, waiting for his father to continue.

"Once the healers tended to our wounds, I could not bear it anymore, so I approached the king and asked him who the creature was in the wood…"

"And what was his answer?" Eldarion asked, his eyes on his father. He was impatient to hear more.

"He sighed heavily before he answered, and then he looked at me and said in a harsh voice: 'He was my son, now he is not!'."

"WHAT? That is cruel, father. How can a father say such words?" Eldarion asked.

'Only Legolas' father, I guess…' Aragorn thought as he remembered.

"I looked at the king. I felt pity for King Thranduil's son, though I had not seen his face."

"And…" Eldarion pressed.

"What is it my son?" Aragorn asked, not knowing what else he should say.

"I want to know what had happened next Adar, please tell me…" Eldarion asked softly.

King Elessar could not ignore the look upon his son's face. The tale was far from over, and Eldarion had the right to hear the rest of it.

End of Chapter 1.