Only a Scratch
Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to The Lord of the Rings. This story was written for entertainment purposes only.
This fanfic was not intended as some cruel blow against Aragorn and Legolas friendship fics, but instead as an amusing break from the average one. Enjoy!
I remember that day well, though it began like so many others. The sun shone, the birds sang, and Aragorn and Legolas announced their intent to go on a hunting trip, bade us farewell and departed.
Glorfindel and I sat on the porch and laid our bets.
"I think it'll be both of them," Glorfindel said. "Multiple wounds for Legolas, and a broken leg for Aragorn."
"The left one. He broke his right leg last time."
"And for Legolas? What sort of wounds?"
"Gaping wounds," Glorfindel said – with relish, I thought. "And the odd laceration, here and there."
I made note of this.
"What about you, Erestor? What do you think?"
I pondered. "I think it will just be Aragorn. After all, Legolas was the more severely injured of the two last time. His luck can't be that bad."
"I think Aragorn will fall into a deer pit those human settlers make, and that it will be lined with spikes," I said. I wrote this down.
"Puncture wounds, then?" Glorfindel asked.
"Yes. Maybe a broken arm too. His right one. And a concussion."
At this point, one of Glorfindel's warriors advanced on him and started a long discussion on some dull, military tactic that does not interest me, and I excused myself. I had real work to do.
I confess, I did not give Aragorn and Legolas a second thought, merely because I've learned that the more I worry about them, the longer it takes them to finish suffering and stagger home. Thinking about Aragorn and Legolas is not going to help or hinder them in any way, so I have found it best to think about happier matters.
I was eating lunch outside when Legolas came lurching towards me, a number of Imladris elves hurrying close behind him. To my mind, this proved that Aragorn had fallen into his deer pit, and had sent Legolas for aid.
"Legolas," I said, "is Aragorn all right?"
"Oh, yes," Legolas said. "He's fine."
"And you?" I asked. "Are you injured?" He did look rather pale, I realized.
"It's nothing," Legolas said. "Only a scratch."
Nearly three seconds of silence passed as we stared at him, and then one of the other elves gave a little gasp and said, "Oh, no!"
This reminded us that we needed to stop standing there, gaping like dimwits, and that we needed to start panicking instead. When Legolas comes and tells about us his 'scratches', his dramatic collapse inevitably follows within minutes. It's good to be prepared.
The other elves and I immediately launched into action. I turned and ran for the main house. The others ran in different directions, each one instinctively understanding the urgency of his task. The Valar know we've done this often enough.
I bolted inside and said, quite loudly, "Lord Elrond! Lord Elrond! Legolas has just returned from his hunting trip, and he says he has a scratch! Only a scratch!"
Elrond flew out of his study, a quill pen still in his hand, his eyes huge and worried. "Quick, Erestor!" he said, taking charge of the situation. "Run and tell Glorfindel!"
Even as I sprinted through the hall towards Glorfindel's chambers, I could hear someone ringing the alarm bell. Two tolls for Legolas, followed by a pause, and then four tolls in quick succession, standing for the so-called 'scratches'.
It has been my experience that scratches are the worst. I hadn't seen any lacerations on the elf-prince, but I thought Glorfindel had probably won the bet in regard to gaping wounds.
Charging down the hall like a bull in a meadow, his head lowered and his thoughts apparently elsewhere, Glorfindel nearly smashed into me. "Trees, Erestor, look where you're going!" he said, and then, "It's Legolas, isn't it? Did you see him?"
I nodded, panting. "Elrond sent me to tell you."
Glorfindel is, after all, the second in command in Imladris. I awaited orders.
"The extra bandages," Glorfindel said. "Where are they kept?"
"A hall closet," I said. "I can find it." With my eyes closed, even. It's a very familiar closet.
"Find it, then," Glorfindel said. "Bring as many bandages as you can possibly hold."
"All right," I said. I had only just recovered my breath, but an advisor's lot is not a happy one, especially when it comes to crises instigated by Aragorn and his friends.
When I reached the infirmary at last, a heaping pile of bandages in my arms, bedlam greeted me. Elves were running around with herbs and salves and vials of medicines, and other elves were running around for no apparent reason, and getting in the way of everyone else. Elrond and Glorfindel were in the midst of the fray, issuing commands and trying (in vain) to quell the panic.
I dumped the bandages on a bed, cleared my throat, and asked, "Where's Legolas?"
Nearly four seconds of silence passed this time, as elves froze mid-panic and turned to look at me, and then to look all around the room, as if hoping to find Legolas there, tucked up in bed like a good little patient.
Legolas was nowhere to be seen. The panic resumed.
"He's probably expired in the garden somewhere!"
"We must find him!"
"Hurry, everyone! Form a search party!"
They formed a search party and galloped out of the room. When the dust settled again, I saw Elrond fall back limply against a medicine cabinet and heard Glorfindel say, "There, there, Lord Elrond. I'm sure he'll make it once again."
Glorfindel looked very concerned and sympathetic, especially for someone who had, only a few hours before, been placing bets on the hunting trip in general, and Legolas's fate in particular.
Elrond pulled himself together and noticed me for the first time.
"Erestor!" he said. "What are you doing just standing here? Get some paper and start drafting a letter to King Thranduil."
"Yes, my lord. Right away," I said, and exited the room to look for paper and ink. Which is, incidentally, something else I can do with my eyes closed.
As I strode purposefully down the corridor, Elrond yelled after me, "Tell him it wasn't our fault!"
"Yes, my lord," I said.
I went to my study, opened my drawer, pulled out the letter I had written that morning, filled in a few blanks, signed it with Elrond's name, blew on the ink to dry it, and then hurried back to the infirmary, paper in hand.
By this point, Elrond had collapsed into a chair, looking like a nervous wreck, and Glorfindel was trying to reassure him. This is Glorfindel's main job in such situations. I'm the one who has to go running hither and yon, making sure everything gets done properly.
As I said, it's not a happy lot. Just a bit of advice: if you want a stressless, carefree lifestyle and a pleasant work environment, become a marchwarden in Lothlorien instead.
"I brought the letter," I said.
Elrond opened one eye. "Did anyone find Legolas yet?" he asked. "And where's Aragorn?"
"Legolas said Aragorn was fine," I said. "As for whether or not they've found Legolas, I can check and see."
I stuck my head out the window. The elves were wandering around in the garden below, looking anxious and unhappy.
"They haven't found him," I said. "Or else they've found his body and don't want to tell you yet."
Glorfindel says my sense of humor is going to be the death of me some day. If looks could cause people to drop dead, that would have been the day.
"We found him!" someone cried.
Elrond stopped glaring at me, and stood up. We could hear the pitter-thump-pat of elven feet in the corridor, and then the doors burst open and the elves tumbled into the room, dragging Legolas with them like some unfortunate prisoner of war.
"He was in the library!"
"He must have gone there by mistake!"
"He must be delirious!"
Legolas did look confused, I thought, as the elves hauled him to an infirmary bed and plumped him onto it.
Elrond, Glorfindel and I walked to the foot of the bed, and stood there, peering down at the elf-prince, searching for gaping wounds, lacerations, and other similar things. Elrond had a fistful of bandages in either hand. Legolas eyed him warily.
"Erestor tells me you are gravely wounded," Elrond said.
"I'm not!" Legolas said. "It's just a scratch!"
Elrond sighed. "We all know what that means, Legolas."
Legolas thrust his hand at the elf-lord, palm up. The three of us leaned over it.
Nearly five seconds of silence...
"Oh," Elrond said. "It is just a scratch."
I think I remember that day so well because of how it ended, with me hiding in a tree in the woods somewhere...
Who cares if Legolas's injuries consist of scratches or gaping wounds?
Next time, I suggest we just let him bleed to death.