Beta: Ancient Dame - Thank you sweetie.
Taking their packs and leaving the room, the prince and the ranger headed into the hallway leading to the king's room.
Upon entered the room, Aragorn immediately knelt and bowed to the king.
King Thranduil stared at his son wondering at this meaning.
Legolas only raised his eyebrows.
The king walked toward the bowed man, and placed his hand upon Aragorn's shoulder, and spoke, "Aragorn, you have no need to bow to me,"
Thranduil sighed and noticed how the man stood and gazed at him, he continued, "You the only one that brought a smile to my son's face, and I perished it to my heart, and I am the one that should bow to you, young man."
Silence spread in the room, until Legolas interrupted it.
"Ada," and when he got his Adar's attention, he added, "I am going to the kitchen, see if our food are ready." And with that he left the room.
Thranduil again sighed heavily and then he gestured for the man to sit in the chair while he stood.
"My son did not tell you, so I will share it. I had a wife and I lost her. She was killed in the forest when Legolas was an elfling, and the loss of a mother seemed to take all the happiness and joy he once had. I tried everything in my power as his Adar and a king to restore it, but nothing helped until you came along with Gandalf and the creature."
Aragorn nodded, and then noticed that the king did not finish his words so quickly, and waited to hear more.
Then Thranduil added, "The charm that he wears around his neck will keep him safe, unless he takes it off."
Aragorn sighed, he understood. He was much like Legolas, until he was brought to Imladris.
"I understand, Your Majesty."
Thranduil coughed, and said, "It is Thranduil," he gazed the man and continued in a calm voice, "You are my son's best and only friend, there is no need to use a title."
"Hannon-le, Thranduil." Aragorn thanked and smile to the king.
"Good, now I want you to go search for my son, and leave. You have a long night ahead of you through the forest." Thranduil smiled and watched as the man smiled in return before taking the packs and leaving the room.
'Your Naneth is watching you from above, ion-nin, be safe.' Thranduil prayed to the Valar for their protection.
Aragorn and Legolas left the palace, heading straight over the forest.
In the silence, Aragorn took a moment to try and speak with his friend.
"Legolas…" he fell silent, and felt a cold chill moving through him.
Noticing his friend wide open eyes, Legolas asked, "What is it, mellon-nin?"
"Did you feel it?" Aragorn replied, his eyes scanning the area, looking for something.
"Felt what?" Legolas asked, not knowing what his friend meant.
"I could felt something moving as the cold hit me, or something is out there watching us…" Aragorn replied as he frantically searched for the source of his discomfort.
Legolas looked at his friend worriedly, and asked, "Are you all right, mellon-nin? You look pale."
Aragorn sighed, and wondered why his friend not believed him.
"Come, we should go deeper into the forest, there is so much yet to see, but our time grows short." Legolas walked away, leaving the man alone.
Silence, heavy silence lay over the forest, and Legolas stopped, uncomfortable in the silence. He wondered why his friend, stopped saying anything.
He turned around, but could not see Aragorn. He was alone.
"What happened, where have you gone, mellon-nin?" Legolas called out, hoping that his friend was just joking with him. He felt a sudden cold wave of fear moving through his body making him shiver.
"ARAGORN!" He yelled, but received no answer.
Legolas walked back to the place where he believed they parted, but saw nothing.
His sight suddenly blurred as clouds of fog surrounded him, and the shadows closed in around him.
He could felt danger, and yet he saw nothing.
"WHERE ARE YOU?" He yelled again and heard the echo of his voice, yet there was no sign from Aragorn.
Owl calls sounded through the forest, and Legolas seemed lost as shadows and fogs covered him, and he could hear his Naneth's voice telling to him to come with her.
Then a thunderclap boomed and the elf held his breath as lightning hit the branch above him. Then and only then he saw a line of blood.
"Aragorn?" he called with a shaken voice, fearing he would see his friend covered with blood.
"Why did I not listen to you, mellon-nin?" Legolas murmured in an anguished voice, but only silence answered him.
Legolas followed the blood, not noticing the snakes and spiders that soon reached his side or felt their bites on his legs.
That was the moment when he first noticed the fiery pain, and the creatures' voices around him and the fallen figure of Aragorn.
Legolas watched Aragorn's face a pale shade and sweat covering his forehead, blood pooled around him. In that moment, Legolas forgot his own injury
He knelt beside his friend and wiped the sweat away, "Mellon-nin, I worried what had happened to you. What is going on in my forest, when we should be enjoying the beauty of nature in this quiet night? Something strange indeed is going on."
He forgot his promised to his Adar and removed the charm from his neck, setting it around his friend's, hoping, and wishing that Aragorn would be all right.
Then he stood, the full moon light falling on his body, and then another scream make him cover his ears. It reminded him of a Nazgul, but somehow it was different.
There was a loud, screaming voice and he looked in the sky
'Nay, it cannot be…' Legolas thought, wondered how, and why it was happening.
Legolas tried to remove his sword from the sheath to drive the ghost away, but he could not do anything. He was rooted to the ground as the dragon ghost came at him, and he could feel the pain rising like a flame.
The elf tried to focus his eyes on his friend instead of the ghost, "Please, be well, my friend, I hope that the charm will help…"
His whole body was burning up. He could feel everything inside of him melting, and he collapsed upon the blooded ground, as the snakes and spiders covered his body, leaving Aragorn alone.
The power of the charm seemed to finally start, as Aragorn opened his eyes and noticed snakes and spiders covering something.
"L… Legolas?" he called weakly, but received no answer.
Fear crawled through his body and tears filled his eyes, as he believed something terrible had happened to his friend while he was unconscious.
'What will I tell Thranduil?' he asked himself worriedly.
Aragorn moved the dagger slowly from the sheath and tried to kill the animals as they reached his body.
His dagger slipped from his fingers as a cold wind blew on his face.
"Aragorn…" the man heard the voice calling him, but saw nothing, then his dagger hit the ground.
"Mellon-nin, where are you?" Aragorn called in soft voice, hoping that his friend would find him so they both could escape.
Aragorn lowered his head and noticed of all sudden his wound had healed itself without the help of any healer. He wondered what was going on as he certainly did not know or have any clue. And Legolas was not around.
"Why did you leave me here all alone…?" Aragorn asked, noticing how bright the night appeared to him, but there was no sign of his friend.
Still receiving no response Aragorn continued to search to find his friend, but found only the sheath and its sword, the belt, and the braid.
"Legolas?" Aragorn almost whispered as he moved his hands over his chest, encountering something that should not be there. He noticed the charm chain around his neck, and asked, "Oh, mellon-nin, what have you done?"
Aragorn decided that it might be wise if he returned to the palace, and tell the king everything that he saw and that he did not see his friend.
And then the dragon ghost that had attacked Legolas started to attack the man as well. Aragorn watched as the dragon spirit came at him and then faded, never did touch his body.
He grasped one side of the charm and asked himself if it was something that fights the type of evils they had just encountered.
He had luck of the devil, and yet Legolas is still missing.
While back at the palace…
"Your Majesty," the guard called, "You need to come outside, there is something going on outside."
"What is it?" Thranduil asked the guard.
"Lurking evil that should not be appeared on this night, and the full moon is not doing any good to help disperse it, Your Majesty." The guard replied, staring outside at the forest with fear, knowing the Prince Legolas and his friend were out there.
They watched as a frightened Aragorn left the forest and Legolas was not with him.
Thranduil and his guards headed toward the lone ranger.
"Why did you remove it from your neck?' Aragorn asked himself, upset over his friend's decision that might cause him his own life.
"Aragorn, where is my son?" Thranduil demanded in a harsh and worried voice. Noticing the pallor of the man's face, he continued with a more calm tone, "What happened?"
"I… I do not know… Thranduil." Aragorn replied, feeling guilty having the charm, and not knowing of what had happened to Legolas.
Thranduil noticed the charm that lay on Aragorn's chest and he asked, "How did you get it? I give it to Legolas…"
"I do not know that either, though when I woke, what ever had struck me, left me wounded and had gone. I did not see your son, only snakes and spiders trying to find a way to bite me…"
"Did you say spiders and snakes?" The guard cut the ranger short.
"Aye, I did," Aragorn replied, and he asked curiously, "Why?"
Aragorn glanced at the king and noticing the frowning look waited for an answer.
Thranduil replied as tears slowly trailed down his cheeks, "It was the same way the guards found my wife."
The guard noticed that his king was lost in his memories, as the past filled his thoughts. Turning to Aragorn he explained, "There was an old legend of a dragon called Smaug, who was slain by elves, and yet nothing of it was ever seen. I guess that only it's victims saw it…"
"I saw it too, but it vanished in front of my eyes and never touch me." Aragorn cuts the guard.
"You are the only one then, that was left alive to tell of it." Thranduil said sadly, a bittersweet smile on his face.
"Do you think it has something to do with this Charm?" Aragorn asked sudden.
"It might," Thranduil replied thoughtfully, and recollecting his memories, he added. "I did not touch it although my wife did, and on the day that she left it behind, she died. All we found of her was her braid and her weapons, and now… Legolas… I think that you are next…"
Aragorn grew paler as the king mentioned his son, and then his eyes opened wide as he knew that he was the next one that might find his death if he removed it from his neck.
If you want more…about the Charm… let me know your thoughts.
This was for Halloween… (grin).