Summary – Legolas returns home after the War of the Ring. How will his father react to Legolas' decision to move to Ithilien?
Disclaimer – I do not own anything and my apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien for using his characters.
A/N – Reviews and constructive criticisms are appreciated
Chapter 1 - Arrival
Legolas smiled as the familiar buildings and caves of his home in Eryn Lasgalen came into view. After being gone as one of the Nine Walkers for a year, he was happy to be home. And to see his family. It had been much too long.
All the Elves Legolas had seen since crossing the borders had greeted the prince warmly and it continued as he rode to the stable. He could not wait to see his father, brother and brother's family, but he had to take care of Arod first.
He swung down and was loosening the pack on Arod's back when he heard a familiar voice cry out, "Legolas!" He turned just in time to see his brother, Sorontor, before he was engulfed in a hug. They held tightly for each for a long moment before Sorontor released him and took a step back.
"Oh, Legolas! You are a sight for sore eyes. We have missed you. Especially Narcalimo."
"It is great to see you too, Sorontor. I cannot wait to see my nephew. Which I will as soon as I take care of Arod and see Father."
"Legolas, we have Elves here that can take care of your horse. You are no longer required to do so. Have you been lost in the wilderness so long that you forgot that?" his brother chided
The Walker smiled sheepishly. "I guess so, brother. I have gotten so used to doing everything myself – hunting, setting up camp, cooking, traveling, defending, fighting – that I forgot that I did not always used to do it all."
"Well, you can forget again now that you are home."
"That will be nice for a while."
An Elf from the stable greeted Legolas and walked up to Arod. Legolas placed a hand on the horse's head and to him to go with the other Elf. Arod snorted in agreement and the two left for the stables.
"Come! Father has been waiting anxiously for your arrival."
"Why is he not out here?"
"I am not sure he knows you have arrived. But anyways, he wants to greet you privately. He did not want anyone to see how glad he is you are back. It does not fit with his reputation as strict."
Legolas laughed. His father was very strict and proud, but loved his sons with a tenderness that surprised many who knew the king. "Lead the way, Sorontor. I am not sure I remember anymore."
Sorontor laughed and put his arm around Legolas' shoulder. Then he spoke seriously, "You do not know how much I missed you. And worried about you. When Lord Elrond sent the messenger to tell us you had joined a Fellowship to destroy the One Ring, we were shocked. Not shocked that you went, but more scared that we would never see you again."
He glanced at his brother and noticed for the first time the change in Legolas' eyes. While the Elf was still fair and beautiful, his eyes showed some of the challenges he had been through. No matter what Legolas would say, the quest obviously had been a most difficult one. Sorontor continued. "Father was proud that you went, but also angry. Even as we fought at Dol Guldor, I know Father prayed to the Valar every night for you. And thank them! You have returned!"
Before Legolas could respond, they had reached the door of the house. Prior to them opening the door, Narcalimo hurled through and hugged Legolas. "Legolas! I am so glad you are back! I missed you!"
"I missed you too, Narcalimo!"
After a few moments, Sorontor spoke, "Narcalimo, let Legolas go. He cannot breathe." Reluctantly the young Elf released his uncle. Legolas smiled at him. "We will spend time together later, young one. First I need to greet Father."
"Will you sit by me at dinner? And tell me about what you have done?"
Sorontor noticed the quick shadow that darkened Legolas' eyes. It was gone almost before he had registered it. "Aye, I will sit by you at dinner. And I will tell you about some of my fellow Walkers." Narcalimo smiled.
"I cannot wait!" He quickly hugged his uncle again before heading past them, out of the house.
Once inside, Legolas was greeted by other members of the household and Melime, Sorontor's wife. Then he made his way to his father's study. Sorontor nodded at the door. "I will let you greet him privately. I will see you at dinner, brother." The two hugged again before the crown prince headed down the hall.
Legolas knocked on the door.
"Enter," came his father's familiar refrain.
He pushed the door open and took a step in. The king was standing at the window only half turned towards the door. The window looked away from the stable, so he didn't realize his son was home yet. He looked at the Elf entering and his eyes widened when he saw who it was.
"Legolas!" In a couple of quick strides, he was around the desk and engulfed his son in the tightest hug yet. For several long moments, the two stood locked in the other's arms. Then reluctantly, Thranduil stepped back. He kept his hands on his son's shoulders as he looked into his eyes. He saw the same scars that Sorontor had. This quest had changed his son forever.
"Thank the Valar! You are home."
"It is great to be back."
"There is so much I want to say to you and I want to hear about the entire quest," Thranduil said. "But first, I just want to celebrate you being home."
"That sounds good," Legolas smiled.
"We will have a fun dinner tonight. Stories and songs to celebrate the return of Eryn Lasgalen's prince."
"I will enjoy that. And I like the new name," Legolas smiled, then sobered and continued. "I will tell you and Sorontor about the quest, but I would prefer not to tell anyone else the main story. Will you grant that?"
The king nodded. "Whatever you want, my son."
"Now, let me go tell the cooks to prepare a feast while you bathe and rest. Then we will gather with Sorontor and his family and tell you about what trouble your nephew has gotten into while you were gone. Later is soon enough for serious conversations."
"Is Narcalimo still following in Sorontor's footsteps?"
"No, he now seems to be following your footsteps, which is much worse!"
Both Elves laughed. Thranduil hugged his son again before they left the room.