A/N: Here's the first chapter to a new story which I'm going to write! I hope you enjoy it! I'm thinking that it's going to be one interesting story. But I'm the writer, what do I know:)
Disclaimer: I own Caen. Yep. That's it!
Upon Earth's Opening
Chapter One : A Youth's Advantage
"It is hopeless. She is hopeless. Nothing can be done."
"Are you sure, Brannon?"
"Thranduil. She is coming close to finishing her second decade. She has not uttered a single word to us. She probably doesn't know the difference between a teapot and a thumbnail. She's a hopeless case. My advice is..."
"Your advice is not needed here. I want to see the girl."
With that final statement, Thranduil waved the frustrated healer, Brannon, away and rose from his desk.
"She is but a child. There is hope for her. There must be something that can be done."
"Twenty years and she hasn't said a word!"
"You have only just taken her into your care. Maybe she has not said anything to you for good reason."
"We do not even know her name, sire! Nor who her parents were, nor why she was found wandering the forest alone, nor..." Brannon listed his parade of horribles. Thranduil, however, did not listen to his arguments.
"Brannon, I will not argue with you. Show me this girl."
"Alright, Sire... but why you're bothering with such a small matter of importance is beyond... Right this way, sire..." Thranduil had just given his silencing stare.
While walking to the left wing of the palace, Thranduil heard the pitter-patter of small children's feet running in their direction. He snagged his son bodily from the group of running youths and threw him over his shoulder like an infant.
"Legolas, you know better," he simply said.
"Father! Let me down! I was having fun!"
"I have need of your assistance, and you will no doubt run away as soon as I set you down. So no." Thranduil continued to walk along.
"What do you need me for?" Legolas whined, spitting out a piece of hair that had blown into his mouth and resisting his father's clutches with a lot of wiggling.
"Lady Silma would not appreciate your tone..."
"But Lady Silma isn't here," Legolas protested, grimacing at the thought of his strict tutor.
"In here, Sire," Brannon opened a door to a small and scantly furnished room. There was a small wardrobe, a simple bed, and a tiny table next to the window with a disproportionately large chair. Sitting on the bed was a small girl, her auburn hair falling in front of her forehead and obscuring her face. She had her hands clasped, as if in prayer, and small sounds were coming out of her mouth, as if she was trying to speak, but could not find the strength to do so.
"Put me down!"demanded the small Legolas. Thranduil did so, and Legolas bounced over to the bed where the girl was sitting.
After glancing back at his father, as if to ask for permission, Legolas pushed back the girl's hair and tucked it behind her pointed ear and peered into the girl's face. Thranduil could now see that her eyes, which were red and puffy from tears, were a shocking gold-green, like the color of ivy in the sunlight.
"Hi," Legolas said, smiling at the girl.
She stared blankly at him.
"My name's Legolas," he continued, swinging his feet back and forth.
"That's my daddy, the King. I'm a prince."
For the first time, a sign of understanding: she bowed her head to him.
"No, you don't have to do that. I want to be your friend," Legolas raised her chin with his hand.
She bit her lip nervously and blinked.
"What's your name?"
The smallest noise came from her throat. "Caen."
"Caen? That's pretty," Legolas stared around the room, searching for something to entertain himself with while the girl was quiet.
"Wanna go outside and ride horses?"
Her eyes grew wide, and for the first time, she smiled.
"I'm afraid she can't," Brannon interrupted. "She must stay inside, Legolas."
"But why? She wants to go!"
"Not everyone can do everything on impulse, son. Come along..."
"I want to stay with her," Legolas protested.
"Not right now, son. It is time for your lessons," Thranduil said apologetically.
"But there's something wrong with her!" Legolas nearly shouted at his father. The room fell silent and still. "I want to help her!" Legolas said much more quietly.
"Not today, son..." Thranduil said firmly.
Caen's smile had vanished from her face, and she had returned to the quiet and shy elf she had been before. Her hair fell into her face again and Legolas tucked it behind her ear again. He saw a tear in her eye and he wiped it away. Then he turned to follow his father out of the room.
"Caen..." Brannon muttered. "Thranduil, your son might be the key we need to unlock this girl from her cage she's created. What horrors are in her past that she is so quiet about?"
"Or been forced into silence..." Thranduil sighed. "No, he will not be the key she needs. Not now," he said. "I must attend to something. Brannon, can I trust you to see my son to the library for his lessons? Thank you."
Back in his office, Thranduil summoned Aradan, one of his advisors, to him.
"My Lord Thranduil," Aradan bowed deeply.
"Aradan, you are aware of the girl who was found yesterday morn?"
"The quiet one, yes. One of my troops found her."
"Have a party ready tomorrow to take her to the Dell. This is something Elrond would be better off with. I will have a letter ready by the evening," Thranduil sent Aradan away and then he poured himself a glass of wine. This was going to be an interesting project. He didn't understand why he was getting involved in it, but he felt that it was the right thing to do.
He hoped it was the right thing to do, sending this girl with whom his son connected with so well to Rivendell.
Legolas would forget about her soon enough. He was a child. Children never remembered anything important.
Thranduil sipped his wine and thought for a long while before picking up his feather quill and etching a letter for Elrond.
Here is an interesting patient for you. She was found in my forest just yesterday morn. She does not speak to anyone, but she does understand when we speak to her. We know not who her parents are, or if they are still alive. I am sending her to you because I feel none of my personnel have the talent as you do in the Dell. All we – young Legolas, that is - can get out of her is that her name is Caen, or otherwise she was given that name recently. She looks no older than 20 years to me.
I hope you will take her in and find her a good foster home. I do request, however, a regular update on her condition.
After another page describing the condition of Mirkwood and the politics between himself and Celeborn of Lothlórien, Thranduil finished the letter with:
Best regards. And congratulations, regarding your newborn daughter.
Thranduil sprinkled dust on the letter to seal the ink, and then he rolled it up and sealed it with wax. He set the letter to the side of his desk to give to Aradan later.
He then heaved himself out of his chair, reminding himself that he was too young to be 'heaving' anything, and walked out of the study to check on his wife, Ithilwen, in their room.
A/N: So who liked it? Who doesn't think I should keep writing it?I'm really looking forward to writing this. It should be good!
Your immediate future for this story includes: Deception,Spying, A dark lord, the stealing of a certain wood-elf's clothing, and a dance or two.
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