Disclaimer - I do not own anything of Middle Earth.

Author's note - This is the prequel to 'To Be and Elfling or Not to Be an Elfling'.


The Fingers of Shadow

Greenwood the Great was aptly named. Its trees were lush and filled with abundant fruit. Its paths were safe from danger. It was expansive and vast, bigger then ones normal forest. The animals were peaceful and likely to let you watch them. It was also filled with life and laughter. For Greenwood the Great was a forest of an elven kingdom. It also got its greatness for another reason. The king was the greatest they had known, even more so then his father. They trusted him beyond anything and loved him greatly.

The elven kings home was built into a mountain. It created a safe citadel for his people. It also provided homes. A market was built into for the trade of ones goods. There was also schools. One school was for the caring of horses. Another was a weapons school. Another was a school for learning a craft. The final school was that of learning. The school of learning was taught by Almindis.

This day, Almindis had a group of elflings in with him. It was the group that was the size of seven year old children. Almindis dreaded this group the most. This was due to a group comprised of four elflings. They were always causing mischief and trouble. The first was Tlatgorn, the son of the horse school teachers son. The second and third were Narwain and Innasgorn. There parents were crafts people of the kings court. The last elfling was Legolas, the kings own son.

Today, it was fairly bad. Tlatgorn had begun to bother Aenil and Eloadle, the twin daughter and son of the Captain of the Guard. They choose the two because the two tended to study extremely hard and tended to be serious all the time like their father. It was also known that Aenil was allowed to use weapons. Many of the female elves teased her for this. They always told her that if her Naneth had been alive, then she would never have been ailed to learn to fight.

Tlatgorn balled up a piece of paper and threw it at Aenil. He then threw one at Eloadle. When they looked up, he looked away innocently. Aenil picked it up and threw it at Legolas who she assumed was the ringleader in the shenanigan. He looked up from his studies frowning. He then threw it back at her, hitting her brother again. Her brother threw it and it hit a female elfing behind their table. Suddenly the room erupted in things flying.

"That does it! All of you will clean this up and leave the class room. I will not have you in here if you can not behave." A few elflings gave a happy laugh and hurried to clean up. Almindis wondered if he was sane.

M

The four elflings laughed as they continued down the hall. They were all glad to be out of lessons. They didn't see a smaller elfling sneak up on them. Suddenly Legolas felt himself being pulled down as the elfing jumped at his neck. Smells of food baking could be smelled throughout the palace halls.

"I've got you Legolas!" Squeaked the attacker the size of a four year old from his back.

"Tlatgorn, get your sister off me! She is choking me!" Legolas's face twisted with agony as the elfing squeezed his neck tight. Tlatgorn reached for his sister and tried to pull her off.

"No! No! No!" Legolas gasped for breath as her grip got tighter and she continued to scream.

Narwain laughed, a funny little grin on his face. "Why is that little siblings always have crushes on there older siblings friends. Emphasis on the crush part Legolas."

"Hey, you're one to talk, you have a crush on your brother's wife," Tlatgorn spoke up. His face begged them to help him.

"Not true!" The other elfing pouted, placing his hands on his hips.

"It is too!" Tlatgorn threw him an angry look.

"Shouldn't we be focusing on getting Glaslind off of Legolas before she kills him," The fourth elfling stated with a serious look on his face. It was at this point that Tlatgorn and Glaslind's mother came around the corner. At this same point Tlatgorn yanked his sister off none to gently. His mother then took her and held her tight.

"You've been hurting your sister again, haven't you Tlatgorn?" Glaslind's tiny tongue snuck its way out and then back in. Legolas gave them both a look of shock. He was still trying to force air into his lungs

"No, she was ..."

"How many times must I tell you that no matter what she does, you shouldn't hurt her." His mother shook her finger at him.

"But Naneth ..."

"For this, you won't go to today's picnic," The four looked at each other realizing that they had forgotten about this. She then turned and left.

"We're sorry Tlatgorn,"

"Would you three stay and play with me." Tlatgorn looked at them hopefully. Narwain and Innasgorn looked at each other.

"We promised to help our Naneths," Nawain looked at his feet.

"Legolas? Please?" He turned to the last elfing, pleading.

"I wasn't going to the picnic," Legolas also looked at his feet, making Tlatgorn realize what he meant by that.

"What do you mean you were not going to the picnic?" Tlatgorn put his hands on his hips.

"Ada was going to spend today reading to me. It was supposed to be just the two of us," Legolas looked up with a grin on his face.

"Why can't you do that some other time." This statement caused Legolas to start to become upset.

"I don't get to spend as much time with my Ada as you three do with your parents," Tears were in his eyes.

"Fine. You know exactly what I think of reading. It's stupid and you can keep it," Tlatgorn stormed off.

"Ignore him Legolas,"

"He'll calm down later," These statements didn't stop a few tears from falling.

M

Glaslind was playing with all the other elflings. As one of the games they played was where you hide, she went and hid behind a tree. She heard yells as other elflings were found by the one seeking. Today was very nice and wonderful. She was so young though that she could not sense danger. An invisible shadow crept towards her, seeking its first victim.