See Disclaimer & Summary and Warning in First Chapter.

Beta: Oli

Chapter 9

"This isn't sounding very interesting, Uncle Erestor." Elladan said, as he could not hear the story.

"The story that I am going to tell you... and you may stop me if it is too rough for you, all right?" Erestor asked first before he continued.

"This is a story of a young elfling from Mirkwood, that was sent on a hunting trip in Mirkwood and beyond to discover his bravery, and be heard around Middle-Earth. This is a story of Deriān."

"Deriān was a young elf from Mirkwood, he was young and passionate with motivation to succeed with everything. He was skilled both arrow and bow, and waited until his name until his name was called to go on the hunting trip..." Erestor started to tell the story only to stop, as Elrohir was curious.

"What was he waiting for? In our homeland, you go anyway…as you need to know how to fight… and this hunting trip only adds more to his character…" Elrohir said.

"Young Elrohir, this is different in any homeland, though our tale is focused in Mirkwood mostly." Erestor told him softly.

"Continue… please…" Elladan asked.

Erestor nodded and continued, "There was a messenger that came to his house, letting him know that he should come to the palace and wait for the king Oropher…"

"But I thought that King Thranduil is the king." Elrohir interrupts him again, as he was curious.

"King Oropher was a father to Thranduil, and King Thranduil is the ruler at this time." Erestor explained.

"What happened to last King Oropher?" Elrohir asked, as he seemed puzzled with all the news that he was getting.

"That, young one, I will tell some other night…" Erestor replied.

"But I want to know now…" Elrohir sniffled.

"Young one, I've already started a story that both of you wished me to read, ask me another night… all right?" Erestor asked him, and received a nod.

The advisor smiled, and then he continued, "… on the third day at dawn. And so did Deriān, as he rode upon his milky white horse toward the palace and placed his horse in the stable, and then he walked inside the structure and looking around he saw the chosen ones. All he had to do was to wait for the king to arrive, and knelt in honor to a great king…"

"How should I know if King Oropher was indeed a great king? Will you tell us more about him?" Elladan asked this time.

"When the time will come, I will tell you, but this is not this time." Erestor replied.

"This is boring, get over to the point when he was caught… then it should be more interesting." Elrohir suggested as he yawned.

"Let him read, gwador… I want to read what had happened in the hunting trip, as it might explained to us, what had happened to him." Elladan told to his brother.

Erestor looked at them, hoped that at least they are not going to fight over the story.

Then he noticed that they were communicating visually without speaking while staring into each other's eyes.

Erestor shrugged, as this was the reason he did not stay with the twins enough, as both of them, knew how to manipulate other elves that were around.

"Can I continue, or should I leave you two alone?" Erestor asked as he gave them a soft smile.

The twins stared at him, and then exchanged looks between themselves, before answering to him.

"You can continue, Uncle Erestor." Elladan replied.

"King Oropher gave each of the skilled elves his blessing and wish them to come back safe from the hunting trip to their families…"

"And then what happened?" Elrohir asked.

The advisor sighed heavily, trying to calm himself, as he stared at the twins.

"Let him tell us, and stop interrupting him gwador…" Elladan told to his half.

Erestor then continued, "Deriān and his friends to the hunting trip left the palace, and took their horses from the stable, and each one of them, stood and waited, then as a horn was heard, they mounted upon their horse, Deriān bowed to his family before the company of elves left the border into the wilderness out of Mirkwood…"

"Why the wilderness?" Elrohir asked, cutting the advisor again.

"Let me continue young one, and if you still do not understand, then I will explain it to you, all right?" Erestor asked him softly.

Elrohir nodded.

"Deriān scanned the open area, and then he was alert, he heard noises all around in the trees, his keen ears heard something, he turned his horse toward the noise, making all the hunting group go on alert. Not noticing that they were walking into a trap, that supposed to take them all alive to Mordor, torture and kill them, by giving information about Mirkwood…"

Erestor stopped in hope that Elrohir would not stop him. He stared at the young elf, noticed the tense in his eyes, he continued.

"They were attacked just after leaving Mirkwood's border, by orcs and wargs. Many of them died in the ugly fight, and some were taken alive, and even injured to Mordor, dragged all the way…"

Erestor stopped as he saw the twins shrugged and shiver by the sight.

He closed the book, and told them, "Good night, young ones… sleep, sweet dreams, and maybe in another night when you feel that you can hear it all, I will tell you… now, no argument, sleep."

The twins nodded, and stared at each other, seeing the horror of the story within their minds eye. They tried to remember a good memory to have sweet dream and not ones of the story that they just heard.

Erestor left the room, leaving the door half open, and then he headed toward the healer's room, seeking news about Lindir and Estel.


Meanwhile…

In the guest's room…

Haldir still waited for his brothers to tell him what he did wrong, as they were not speaking with him anymore, and they are not laughing as he loves to see them doing, even if they acted naughty.

"Gwadors, tell me, and I will try anything just to see you smile again." Haldir begged them.

Rúmil stared at his brother; he nodded, and responded to his big brother.

"We do not love her."

"How do you know? Have you spoken to her? Learned about what she loves?" Haldir asked them as he raised his voice, making his brothers regret telling him.

They crawled into the bed, not wishing to see him, not even to answer his questions.

Haldir stared them, and then left the room; feeling useless inside the room, as the quiet soon overtook him.

He closed the door after he left, and headed toward the kitchen, hoping to find Süril there.


In the healer's room

Elrond moved from bed to bed, checking the injured elf, and sick boy, hoping that they would be all right.

Lindir could still feel the pain from the apples in his face, and in his ribs, and he hoped that he had not broken them.

Elrond walked to him, and checked his ribs, noticed the pain mask upon Lindir'. He sighed heavily, knowing that his sons and maybe Haldir's brothers were responsible for this.

The lord knew that he should do something about it, and their behavior should stop before any other elf would be hurt.

Maybe if he sent Erestor to Lothlórien to figure out what they could do about it all, it might just be the solution.

"Lindir," Elrond called for his attention, and then he added, "You need to stay in the bed, not moving about as your ribs are broken…"

He saw the shock in the eyes of the young elf, he sighed heavily, and continued, "You may walk around escorted with another elf, and your ankle, I checked it, you have a sprained ankle, I believe that you just took a wrong move, my friend."

Elrond bandaged the elf torso, and gave him a herbal tea to ease his pain, and hoped to see him moving around with no escort, as he moved to his ankle and bandage it too."

"You will be all right, mellon-nin." Elrond told him softly, as he cared for his ankle, knowing by the look on Lindir's face how much it was hurting him.

"I cannot believe it, they hurt me, and you sent them to bed, and me, I am the one that suffers, they were shooting at me, and I am staying here, because of them, and cannot leave the room with no escort…" Lindir attacked, feeling useless, as he ranted his frustration.

Elrond said nothing, knew that the young elf, need to get all the anger out of him, as he waited for him to finish, but still said nothing.

Lindir continued to lash with his tongue, still angry about all the things that he got through.


Outside…

Glorfindel who sighed in relief when all of them returned to the house, took a walk into the line of the trees, and almost caught as he saw a milky white horse passed by him.

"Gandalf?" he called, surprised to see the Maia come to Imladris, without any word or anything to let them know of his coming.

The horse turned around, and the Balrog Slayer could see the wizard staring at him.

"Lord Glorfindel, what are you doing outside? Where is everyone?" the Maia asked, surprised to see only Lord Glorfindel outside.

"All of them are inside, the boy and Lindir are in the healer's room with Elrond. And I think with the twins as well, Erestor is around in the house, Haldir and his brothers must be in the guest's room…" Glorfindel explained to him.

"Haldir? What is he doing in here? What happened in Lothlórien?" Gandalf the Grey asked.

"I think that Lady Galadriel banished him because of his brothers, as their behavior was the reason why they were all banished." Glorfindel replied, hoping it was the right answer to give.

Glorfindel walked beside Gandalf as he rode on his horse toward the house, and then when they arrived, a stable lad came and took the horse to the stable, and then both of them walked into the house, surprised to see some elflings walking around.

"Where is your brother?" Glorfindel asked, as he noticed Rתmil and Orophin outside of the guest's room.

"Might be around, we did not see him, since he left the room." Orophin replied, and let his brother continue.

"He must have left to be with her and not us... he hates us and prefers her company." Rúmil added, he was angry with his big brother's behavior, as he walked off and left them alone.

"Do you remember Gandalf, young one?" Glorfindel asked, and he could see how his sad eyes change, to happy ones.

Gandalf stared at Glorfindel, noticing what he was going to do, the Maia asked them, "Where are you staying?"

"In the guest's room," Orophin replied, and added, "Will you do some magic for us?"

Gandalf nodded and let them lead him toward the room.

When Gandalf left, Glorfindel start to do some searching, and checked every room.

He entered to the healer's room, and let his friend know, that Gandalf had arrived.

Lord Elrond seemed surprised to know this as he had not received any correspondence saying he was coming, as if he didn't have enough to deal with, with all these misbehaving elflings around.

"Where is he now?" Elrond asked.

"He is with Haldir's brothers." Glorfindel replied.

"Why? What happened now?" Elrond asked, and seemed surprised that Glorfindel added nothing to his answer.

"It seemed that Haldir left them in the room alone…" Glorfindel answered only to be cut by Elrond.

"I told him to stay in the room with them!" Elrond claimed, and wondered why the guard could not follow his words, and stay with them.

Glorfindel noticed Lindir in the bed, and wondered how he was.

"How is Lindir, mellon-nin?" he asked.

"He is wounded, and he needed escort, if he wished to leave the room, his ankle hurt, really bad." Elrond replied.

"I am in the room." Lindir let them know.

Glorfindel could feel the anger in his voice, and walked to his bed, and tried to comfort him a bit, hoping that it would take the anger away.

"I know that you are in the room my friend, but I also know that you will not let me know of your condition." Glorfindel told him and saw the bandages upon his torso and the ankle too was covered with herbs inside.


Mirkwood, at the same time…

Thranduil watched with wary eyes as his son fought in his mind against the demons, the poison with his mind and body.

"Fight for me ion… please… I love you and do not want to lose you…" Thranduil said into the elfling's ear, hoping that he could hear him even if he was unconscious.

Gîl walked back in the room with a tray of food that the maids prepared for them.

He put the tray on the table, and then he knelt beside the bed, and checked the bandages.

Gîl moved then where he puts the new bandages and herbs, he took it with him, and back to the bed, and re-opened them, cleaned them before placing new ones, checking to see if there are any changes, which seemed not to be happening.

He sighed heavily, and then put the herbs into the new bandages to the hole in the princeling's stomach.

"Is there any change?" Thranduil asked him with worried eyes.

Gîl shook his head, as a 'no', as he stood, and walked toward the table, holding the tray.

"I do not know what to do anymore…" Thranduil said before he took a plate from the tray, and then he added, "This is my fault…"

"How is it your fault, my king?" Gîl asked, seemed curious why the king blamed himself.

"I told him about the time, my Adar and I went to explore the woods, and how I came across a trap and spider webs… and I believe that I made him go explore, and to get hurt… and this is all my fault." Thranduil replied, and stared at his son, hoping that he would be all right, and forgive him for his foolish story that he told him about.

"But, King Thranduil, this is not your fault, never was," Gîl tried to convince him, and continued before the king added anything, "Princeling Legolas was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, my king."

"Twice?" The king had asked him, and stared at him, and then he continued, "I cannot bear if it he loses the battle in his mind, to save himself from the poison that is crawling in his body, I already lost too much, and I cannot face another death."

"You need to have faith in your son, not giving in to grief." Gîl said to him, hoping that the king would understand the words.

Silence surrounded them, and Thranduil stared at the healer, knowing the words, and yet seemed lost to the faith and hope, by seeing the death too close to him that he did not wish to see it again, as it tried to get his only heir as well.

"A... A-da?" a weak voice called from the bed.

Thranduil stared at his elfling with a shine of hope in his eyes.

"Greenleaf?" he asked him, concerning for his health, and yet happy to hear his voice, to know that he did not lose him after all.

"A-da?" Greenleaf called, wished to hear his Ada next to him, speaking to him, and telling him to fight.

Gîl as he heard the princeling's voice, hurried over to his side, and checking all the bandages, and sighed in relief when he saw what remains of the wounds, only to find that the wounds had at last started to close, knowing this would only leave a small scar.

The king stared at the healer, noticed the relief in his face, knowing that his elfling fought for his life well.

Greenleaf opened his eyes, letting his Adar sink into the ocean of his blue eyes, and keep telling him that he was safe, and no one was going to hurt him.

"I love you ion-nin..." Thranduil felt the crack in his voice, as he tried to hold back the tears so they would not fall in front of his son.

It was a great ordeal for him to see him unconscious and now see him awake, took everything from him, as he took the elfling into the welcome embrace, letting his son feel his strong arms softly holding him

"Ada... I love you too..." Greenleaf said with a hoarse voice, as his throat was dry.

Gîl then took the half water glass, and helped him to drink it slowly.

"But I love you more, ion." Thranduil softly said it to him, and rubbed the soft cheek of his elfling.

Gîl hovered around the elfling, and start questioning him, to know if everything is all right.

"Princeling Greenleaf, I need to ask you several questions, can you answer me?" Gîl asked him.

Thranduil nodded to the healer that he gave him the permission as he too was curious to know what happened.

Greenleaf nodded as he stared at the healer and then let his head fall slowly onto his Adar's shoulder.

"What had happened to you to cause such a harsh wound to your stomach?" Gîl asked as he stared at the elfling with worried eyes.

"I do not know, I walked into the forest, and suddenly felt the pain, and afterwards, I could not move, though I know that I was near a tree, I could feel the branches touching me, though one of them was sharp." Greenleaf replied, as he tried to remember what had occurred to him.

"So it was only a branch that hit you?" Gîl asked, and focused his eyes on the elfling.

Greenleaf nodded, and then he asked his Adar, "When can I return to my bed?"

Thranduil exchange glances with the healer who seemed surprised by the elfling question.

"When I am convinced that you are better, ion-nin." Thranduil replied, and rubbed his son's cheek.

"But I feel better, Ada." Legolas tried to convince his Adar, hoping that he would feel the soft of his bed, and sleeping again with his Adar, and hearing the stories.

"I know that ion, but I do wander what made you leave your bed and go outside, and in doing so you broke your promise… where as I kept mine and I did sleep." Thranduil added with a soft smile.

"Did he sleep?" Greenleaf asked the healer.

Gîl nodded and then he added with a smile, "Only you, broke the promise, and you should now take a long healing sleep, as your body is still weak and needs the rest, I will make sure that no one disturbs you."

Greenleaf nodded defeated.

"Rest, ion, I am not going until you are all right," Thranduil calmly told him, and added, "Rest, and you will feel better."

"Only if you too will take a rest Ada," Greenleaf asked him, and continued, "You look like you did not leave the room, sleep Ada, and then together we can leave the healer's room, and be back to our comfortable room."

The healer grinned, and more warmth placed in his heart, as the elflings knows exactly what his Adar needed, nor did he blame him.

"Watch us, Gîl, and let us know who disturbs our sleep." Thranduil said to the healer.

The healer nodded, and watched again how both Adar and ion fell into welcome sleep.

He sighed in relief, and hoped to see them happy and smiling again the next day, and he thought smiling, 'At least the king would not kill someone.'


Imladris

Lord Elrond watched both of his patients, and thanked Glorfindel for letting him know that Gandalf came, though his mind kept going over the reason of why Gandalf was in Imladris, he hoped that nothing had happened.

"Elrond, mellon-nin, are you all right?" Glorfindel questioned him as he saw how exhausted his face seemed to appear."

"Leave, mellon-nin, go see Gandalf, maybe it will ease some of the thought you cannot wave off." Glorfindel told him, hoping that he would take what he suggested.

Elrond stared at the Balrog Slayer, and then he nodded, mumbled his thanks to him, and left the room, only to be bumped into by Galdor, who heard of the arrival of Gandalf.

"How did you know he had come, Galdor?" Elrond asked him as he sighed heavily.

"Fireworks, elflings laughing, and calling aloud, 'GANDALF, AGAIN', is this the answer to your question, my lord?" Galdor replied and left a question open at the end with a smile.

"Fireworks? In the guest's room?" Elrond was upset, as the last time that the twins played with fireworks, the boys almost destroyed their room.

Elrond walked toward the hallway, followed by Galdor, as they arrived, Elrond opened the door in the wrong minute, when Gandalf had another firework working, the smoked settled all over the lord's face.

Haldir's brothers laughed at the sight.

Elrond gave them a glare, that silenced them at once.

Gandalf covered his mouth as a smile slipped onto his face.

Elrond turned around and ordered the Mirkwood's guard, "Galdor, take them outside the room, and together find the missing brother, do something until I finish my talk with Gandalf."

Galdor nodded, and understood that he will not have the message for his king soon, and hoped that everything is all right in his homeland.

"Come along, young ones, let me tell you a little story about the princeling I had left with the king in my homeland, while we find your brother, all right?" Galdor called to the elflings, taking them outside of the room.

Elrond sighed in relief as they all left. He took a towel that lay upon the bed, and cleaned his face.

Then he sat on the chair, and waited for Gandalf to sit, and then he stared at him with questions in his eyes waiting to ask them.

"What are you doing here, Gandalf?" Elrond asked him

"Lady Galadriel told me of the banishment of Haldir and his brothers, and I came to see how you are dealing with them," Gandalf replied, and then he added with a grin on his face, "And now I see Galdor here, is there something wrong in Mirkwood too?"

Elrond gave him a glare, and the Maia smiled largely, knowing he had his answer within that glare.

"Thranduil sent Galdor with a message, that he needs help with his elfling, but I have no answer to the king, as my hands are full already, Gandalf, these elflings will be the death of us all." Elrond told him and hid the smile.

"What they did do now?" Gandalf asked.

"You do not wish to know, believe me…" Elrond replied to him, hoping that it will please the Maia.

"I do, though I came to understand that Lord Lindir is in the healer's room, and it got me curious, why is he in the healer's room?"

"Imagine: elflings, apples, and one young lord in the corner…" Elrond told him shortly, not wishing to add more details, knowing that Lindir would feel uncomfortable already.

"Ouch…" Gandalf spoke, and hid the smile.

"Do not let Lindir see you smiling," Elrond warned him and added, "I never saw him so angry, I guess the elflings really got to him."

"Dreadfully, I believe." Gandalf added.

TBC…