Author's Note: I am not an expert in Tolkien though I have read the trilogy and The Hobbit. I am a huge fan of the movies. Hopefully I will be able to use the knowledge I have to create an interesting blend for this fanfic. I hope you enjoy my story. Thanks for reading!
Legolas looked grimly at what he would call home for the next few years. It was beautiful, no doubt, but he would miss the thick, overgrown trees of Mirkwood. Rivendell was beautiful place located in a valley, but it was little too open for him. No matter, he would make this home because there was no way he was going to stay in Mirkwood after what had happened. He would take openness over the excruciating pangs of pain every time he saw Virania. She was the sole reason why he was here. Well, no, his father suggested that he stay in Rivendell for a change of scenery and teach Elrond's new charge archery. According to his father, this proposal just so happened to coincide with Legolas' heart shattering in Virania's hands. But Legolas knew that his father was worried about losing his son to the darkness and bitterness in his son's heart.
Legolas got off his horse, gave the reins to an elf servant to take into the stables and made his way into Lord Elrond's home. He wandered around a bit, staring at the artwork on the walls and statues in all the rooms.
"Legolas, I am glad that you have arrived," Lord Elrond said as he entered the study where Legolas was milling around.
Legolas bowed. "Thank you for your generous invitation, I greatly appreciate it," he said humbly.
"My pleasure," Lord Elrond said.
"Legolas!" a female voice cried out in happiness. Lady Arwen hugged her longtime friend, which he gladly returned. "I'm so glad you are here!"
"It's good to be here and to see you again, Arwen," Legolas replied.
Arwen noticed the dullness in her friend's eyes but said nothing. "Come, let me show you to your room," Arwen said. Legolas followed her through elaborate corridors which he would probably get lost in during his stay.
"Have you met Kari yet?" Arwen asked.
"No, I've just arrived. Who is that?"
"She's the person you'll be teaching archery to. We'll go to the library after we put your belongings into you room. She's usually in there reading about healing and such. She wants to be a healer," Arwen explained as they walked.
"A healer who knows archery. She will be a very well-rounded person," Legolas commented.
When they finally arrived at his room, Legolas looked around in admiration. His room was actually two rooms, one to receive guest and one for sleeping. "This is a wonderful room," Legolas commented.
"I'm glad that you like it," Arwen said. "Let's go see if we can find Kari."
As they entered the library with a wide array of books in it, Legolas looked around to see if he could find someone, but no one was in sight. All he could see were large chairs by a hearth.
"Kari?" Arwen called out.
A little head popped out from behind one of the chairs. Legolas' eyes bulged. He had no idea he would be teaching a child.
"Hi, Arwen," Kari said, climbing down from the chair and approaching her with a book in one hand and a bowl of strawberries in the other.
"Kari, this is Prince Legolas of Mirkwood. He'll be staying with us for a while and during his stay, he will teach you archery," Arwen explained to the little girl.
Kari's brown eyes turned to Legolas and she smiled. "Hi, Legolas," she greeted. "Would you like a strawberry?" she asked, pushing the bowl of strawberries up for him to take one.
"Uh, no, no thank you, Kari," Legolas replied. He looked at the girl curiously. She wasn't Elvin. Yet her ears seemed slightly pointy. He didn't understand her appearance at all; it struck him as very weird.
"What are you learning about right now?" Arwen asked.
"Oh! It's great, Arwen. I'm learning about how some plants heal burns," Kari replied enthusiastically.
"That is wonderful. Well, you should get back to it now, we'll leave you alone. I'm coming back for you in about an hour to put you to bed," Arwen said.
"Alright," Kari replied. She turned her attention to Legolas once more, "Are you sure you don't want a strawberry?"
"No, but thank you."
Kari shrugged and walked back to her chair and began reading again.
Legolas and Arwen left her and when they were out of earshot, Legolas exclaimed, "She is a child! She doesn't look a day over 200 years and here I thought I would be teaching someone who was at least 1000 years old."
"Legolas, Kari isn't a full elf," Arwen began explaining.
"Well that explains the peculiar appearance. She was the strangest elf I have ever seen," Legolas replied, still surprised.
"Her father was an elf, her mother was a woman, a mortal."
Legolas looked at his friend strangely. "Oh, Valinor…"
"Kari's father abandoned her mother when he found out she was pregnant. Her mother came to my father for help and he let her stay here. She died while giving birth to Kari and we have been raising her for the past six years," Arwen said.
"Six years? She's six years old?" Legolas asked, even more surprised.
"Yes, she is mortal," Arwen said sadly, looking down to the floor. It was evident that she was deeply attached to the girl already and the thought that one day she would perish like all mortal things hurt her dearly.
"I cannot teach a six year old girl archery," Legolas said disdainfully.
Arwen frowned. "You don't even know her, she's brilliant. In ten years she will be the best healer Rivendell has and she has learned more in her six years than some elves learn in their entire lifetime of thousands of years. She is a hard worker and at six she understands that she is different than the rest of us here, save Bilbo and Aragorn, and she studies relentlessly. My father wants her to learn archery because he fears there will be a time when she will have to defend herself in her short lifetime and so she deserves the best archer in Middle Earth and that is you, Legolas. Please help her, she is so special," Arwen said passionately.
Legolas furrowed his eyebrows, "Alright. I will try, but I've never taught archery to a mortal child, I don't know how successful it will be."
"It'll be fine. She will be a good learner," Arwen assured him.
Kari made her way down to the open field where she would be having her first archery lesson two days later. She knew Legolas didn't want to teach her, but that he was asked to by Lord Elrond and that request was not meant to be rejected. She had heard the entire conversation between Arwen and him because she had snooped. Her ears and eyes had the sharpness of an elf though mortality ran in her veins.
She saw Legolas waiting there, a bull's-eye target a few feet away. He was a very beautiful elf, one of the more beautiful Kari had seen, though she had not seen many in her short life. She really liked his hair, its blonde color and small braids by his ears were very nice looking.
"Hello, Kari," Legolas greeted his student uneasily.
"Hi, Master Legolas," she said politely.
"Well, um, I guess we should start," he said.
"You have a bow and a few arrows?"
"Yes, Lord Elrond had this made for me," she said, presenting Legolas with the small bow that fit her hand perfectly.
Legolas inspected it and gave it back to her. "This is good. You will probably grow out of it in a few years and then we'll try an adult bow. The sooner you make the transition from a small bow to a regular sized one the better," he said.
The lesson went rather smoothly after the initial awkwardness. Legolas showed Kari the proper way to hold the bow and where to position the arrow and a few other fundamentals. Kari learned quickly and she corrected her mistakes after the first try usually; it seemed that she had an innate skill with the bow. Legolas found himself actually enjoying the afternoon with Kari as well.
"Thank you, Master Legolas, I know you don't want to teach me archery," Kari said bluntly at the end of their first lesson.
"What?" Legolas asked her innocently.
"I heard you and Arwen talk two days ago. Thank you for doing this even though you don't want to," Kari said, a hint of sadness in her voice.
"No, I liked teaching you today. I'm sorry you heard my surprise before. It was just that I thought I was going to teach someone older. I did not mean to insult you," he said, talking to the six-year-old as though she were an adult.
"You did not insult me. I understand. I'm different, I know that," Kari said.
"Different isn't bad."
Kari shrugged. "I must go to the Healer's Hall for my lesson. Goodbye, Master Legolas, I will see you tomorrow," she said before she ran off.
"Kari!" Legolas called after her.
The young girl stopped and faced her teacher.
"Please call me Legolas," he said, smiling warmly to her.
Kari grinned widely, showing the small gap in her front teeth from a lost tooth. She waved and continued to run.