Heart Songs

Summary: (One shot) It is winter and the birds are hungry. Little Estel wants to feed them but they seem unwilling to approach his little outstretched hand. Legolas offers his help and teaches the young child all about songs that come from the heart.

Rated: G

Author: Celebdil-Galad

A/N: This is a stand alone from out other fics.

A small frown pulled at little Estel's pudgy cheeks as he shivered out in the snow. His hand, covered in an intricately decorated woolen mitten, was outstretched palm upward and dusted with various bird seed. He couldn't understand it. He had decided, much to his brothers' amusement, that if he was a bird, then he would be hungry in weather such as this. He had also insisted that birds simply loved hot fresh pastries, but Elrond had exchanged the delicious items in exchange for some exceptional bird seed and kindly instructed Estel to set the seed outside.

His brothers had accompanied him on the task, but Estel had insisted on staying out to watch the feathered creatures. After about an hour of this, the twins had tired of this and attempted to pull the boy in with them, but he would none of it. He had continued to hold his hand outstretched, waiting for one little bird to flutter to his fingers, with little glittering black eyes, but the creatures were still very wary and lingered in the branches, cocking their heads at him.

Elladan and Elrohir had decided to send for Legolas, who was over with his father for the Yule Tide. For some reason, Estel seemed to listen to the Woodland prince better than he did to anyone else except Elrond. However, getting Elrond was completely out of the question, because the twins didn't want to admit to their father that they had permitted Estel to be out in these conditions for this period of time. If they were lucky, Legolas would keep quiet and merely convince the child to come indoors.

It had not taken long for them to locate the prince, who was lazing in the Hall of Fire, having taken a Yule Tide break from his usual antics. It had not taken much convincing to get him to venture outside, because Legolas was rather amused by the idea and had decided that he had to see this for himself. He had not recalled a human taking this sort of interest in wildlife in…well a long time.

Now he stood soundlessly just behind the boy, a grin splitting his fair face from ear to ear. Estel was shivering and every now and then he sniffled and whined at the birds, "I am c-c-cold, c-c-c-can't you h-h-hurry?" Of course his soft whines only caused the birds to retreat back further into the branches and flutter around nervously. A chickadee scolded the child from a short distance, wondering why this strange creature didn't just put out the seed and have done.

Legolas' grin broadened, if that was possible. Seeing the Wood-Elf and feeling safe in his proximity, a few birds came and fluttered about his head, their wings brushing his pointed ears. One actually landed on his shoulder and Legolas stared sideways at it for a moment before he proceeded to walk noiselessly toward Estel.

Approaching the child, he finally mentioned. "It is cold out side, young one." Estel's frame shivered as though on cue, his clothes, though warm, not being quite enough.

The boy's head spun around and he grinned a toothy grin. "H-H-Hello, Leg'las." The greeting was said around a set of chattering teeth. The snow had wetted the boy's rosy-cheeked face and Legolas came along side the toddler, crouching at his side. Gently he extended his cloak to share with the child and pulled Estel in against his body, using his own dry sleeves to towel off Estel's face. Young Aragorn continued to keep his hand outstretched, still hoping.

Looking t the birds, Legolas smiled.

Estel pouted. "I-I gave them food." He snuggled closer against the warmth of the Elf. "They still don't like me."

Legolas frowned for a second and then he asked. "Well have you tried singing?"

Estel giggled incredulously. "Singing? W-why Leg'las?"

The prince chuckled warmly. Taking some of the bird seed from Estel's hand, he cuppeed his one hand and poured the seed into it before extending it in the air by the boy's. "Do not the birds sing? Song warms the heart and they are glad of it. They trust those who can sing to them."

Estel looked shocked and his mouth formed a near perfect 'O'. "Oh. How'd we sing, Leg'las?"

Legolas cleared his throat. "Like this. Listen and then you try." The prince began on a low, jovial note that quickly turned high and even more cheerful. He sang of Greenwood before it's descent into darkness and of the sun on the leaves of the trees, and of spring and the fresh smell of the air after a cool rain. His voice rang clear through the snow and his breath ghosted white in the frigid air.

The birds drifted and landed along the length of his arm and on his hand. Some even extended their greetings to Estel and lightly bounded along his arm and hand, eliciting giggles from the child as their feet ticked his hand.

When Legolas had stopped singing, Estel frowned and looked at him with pleading eyes. "Why did you stop?" He pulled away from the prince to look into his eyes. Legolas pulled him back against his chest, coddling him.

"It is your turn," he explained softly.

Estel frowned, shook his head and almost cried, "I c-can't sing!"

Legolas laughed lightly. "Sure you can. Just open up your heart and pour your soul out into the air. That is all that the good birds do. Can you at least try for me?" The Elf looked at Estel with pleading eyes and a small frown pulled at his face.

Seeing Legolas wanting him to try so badly, Estel decided that he didn't want the prince to be sad. It was Yule and he didn't want to make Legolas disappointed on the biggest holiday of the year when everybody should be happy.

The boy's attempts at singing were nothing extravagant but they made Legolas glow inside. While he was singing, Estel's tremors of cold had ceased and the birds had descended upon his hand were eating at the food, no longer having any doubts. Estel paused his song only to grin brightly and look up at Legolas, who picked up where the song had left off, leaving little Estel to watch the bouncing birds in awe.

The End

Well, that was my short half drabble/one shot. It was inspired by watching the birds outside my window. grins I love doing that.

"The Edge of the World" (sequel to "Masquerade"), which might end up being renamed, actaully, is going to be posted around New Year's. ;)

Well, Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you guys all have the best holiday ever!