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For disclaimers and summary, check in previous chapters.
Elrohir hid his smile as the king broke down before them.
It seemed that, finally, the king was starting to understand his faults – he should never have dealt with Legolas that way – and the young elf hoped to see his friend smiling and playing, enjoying life again.
There was a slight movement from Estel's bed, and the peredhilswatched, holding their breaths, as Estel tried to move his hand slowly.
"Ouch…" the boy cried as his shoulder burned in pain.
"Do not move your hand, Estel…" Elladan said gently to his little brother, trying to soothe him.
Estel nodded and stared into his brother's gray eyes.
From the side, Elrohir could see the hurt and the pain as the tears squeezed out from the boy's eyes.
"We are here for you little brother… and we will not let anyone hurt you…" Elrohir said to him, a fierce love showing in his eyes.
"L… Legolas?" Estel asked weakly. In spite of the pain, he wanted to know how his friend was doing.
"He will be all right now," Elrohir assured him, hoping that would be true.
"Is that so?" Estel mumbled drowsy, his gaze directed at the blue eyes in front of him.
Elrohir nodded and watched his little brother drift off.
"Estel is finally asleep, adar," Elrohir told his father, while his twin continued what he had meant to ask, "How is Thranduil coping?"
"He will be all right, ion-nin, just give him time," Elrond replied.
Thranduil watched his son's head thrash from side to side. He eased his hand toward Legolas's forehead, trying to calm him down just as he saw Elrond did.
He could feel the heat radiating from his skin, and he turned, facing the Lord of Imladris with a worried expression.
"Is there anything that I could do to reduce the heat?" Thranduil asked the elf-lord.
"Have the maids to bring more water from the river; the cool water should help," Elrond suggested.
Thranduil nodded and called to Galdor, who stood at the doorway, watching them in silence.
"Ask the maids to do that; help them if needs be, " Thranduil ordered his guard.
"I will do as you wish, King Thranduil," Galdor affirmed and left.
Thranduil sighed heavily. Galdor was his friend, and right now, he needed a friend most, not a formal guard.
"He is doing his duty by protecting you," Elrond told the king.
Thranduil looked at the healer, and nodded.
Somehow Elrond seemed to have an inkling of his thoughts, and he had tried to warn him that he was being too harsh on his son. But he had chosen not to listen, and now, he had to deal with the consequences; now he had to watch his injured son, lying in the bed, battling the raging fever.
In his heart, he feared that things between him and his son would never be the same again. He had broken the bond between father and son, all because he had been grieving for his wife.
End of Chapter 33.